The Biblioblog Reference Library

[«] Posts by the Author "jdtabor"(#750)

February 24 2018, 7AM

I met Billy Graham two times. The first was on his first London Crusade in March, 1954. It was his first crusade abroad and he went on to Holland, France, and Germany.  I had just turned eight years old but I remember it well. In addition to preaching at... [Culture] [Event] [in memoriam]

February 17, 10AM

 I consider the following to be the top twenty “fictions” related to the discussion of the Talpiot tomb separated into six basic categories. Since the Talpiot “Jesus” family tomb came into public attention in 2006 there has been a... [Archaeology] [family of Jesus] [Talpiot Jesus Family Tomb]
So much has been in the media over the past two decades on the 1993 Waco tragedy with a plethora of new TV specials marking the 25th anniversary in 2018. Sorting through the mass of information is a daunting task. In terms of the older productions I recom... [Apocalypticism] [Event] [Waco]

February 14, 9AM

In terms of perspectives on the 1993 Waco disaster I would particularly recommend the following in order for anyone who wants to get up to speed on what went on, right and wrong. The first chapter of Why Waco is available on-line: https://www.ucpress.ed... [Apocalypticism] [Event] [news] [Waco]

February 11, 8AM

I have been invited to join Mike Collins “Charlotte Talks,” on WFAE our local NPR station, this Monday, Feb 12th, at 9am, for a Waco Redeux, with the “real” characters, namely survivor David Thibodeau and FBI chief negotiator Gary Noesner—b... [Apocalypticism] [Event] [news] [Waco]

February 10, 3PM

What can we reliably know about Paul and how can we know it?  As is the case with Jesus this is not an easy question. Historians have been involved in what has been called the “Quest for the Historical Jesus” for the past one hundred and seventy-five... [Christian Origins] [Paul]

January 29, 11AM

January seems to be the month for a host of retrospective TV documentaries and specials looking back on the disasterous events outside of Waco, Texas during the 51 day siege of the Branch Davidian Mt Carmel Center in 1993. As a result David Koresh and 80 ... [Apocalypticism] [Bible] [Event] [messianism] [Waco]

January 28, 7AM

 Recent polls indicate that up to 70% of Americans, both Black and White, approve of some form of corporeal punishment of children–with Evangelical Christians coming in at over 85%. 15 States in the USA explicitly permit some form of “paddlin... [Bible] [Biblical Expositions] [Culture]

January 21, 8AM

I loved this essay by Bret Colasacco,  one of J. Z. Smith’s undergraduate students in years before he retired. I found it quintessentially “Smith” and those of us who have taken that elevator ride to his office, or sat in one of his ama... [in memoriam]

January 13, 9AM

To understand Jesus and the movement that developed after his death we need to have a handle on a way of thinking that I call messianic apocalyptic eschatology. This is a way of describing a certain expectation and outlook on the world and human history t... [2nd Temple Judaism] [Apocalypticism] [Christian Origins] [Dead Sea Scrolls]

January 7, 10AM

Sorting through the New Testament gospels accounts of the “sightings” of Jesus is incredibly complex. I have done my best to lay them out for comparison and interpretation in several posts on this blog, including “How Faith in Jesus̵... [Biblical Expositions] [Christian Origins] [Death and Resurrection]


This extended tribute to the memory and work of Jonathan Z. Smith by by Russell T. McCutcheon, University of Alabama in Religious Studies News is particularly noteworthy.–2017   [Uncategorized]

January 5, 9AM

Everyone seems to “love” the Dead Sea Scrolls though I fear, much like the Bible, few seem to have actually read them. Some years ago I remember a very enthusiastic woman who came up to me after one of my public lectures on this scrolls, excla... [2nd Temple Judaism] [Archaeology] [Christian Origins] [Dead Sea Scrolls]

January 4, 1PM

The “Tomb of the Shroud,” that was discovered and investigated in 2000 by Shimon Gibson, Boaz Zissu, and me, with a team of our UNC Charlotte students  in the summer of 2000, continues to yield up many scientific secrets about life and death ... [Archaeology] [History of Jerusalem]
Religion News Service OBITUARY Religion historian Jonathan Z. Smith dies By Yonat Shimron | January 2, 2018 Religion historian Jonathan Z. Smith from a video series. Images ... [in memoriam]

January 3, 4AM

The braided hair of a Jewish woman was found at Masada but until recently no example of preserved hair from a Jewish male had ever been found from the late 2nd Temple period. This discovery is one of the many fascinating, but less publicized finds of the ... [2nd Temple Judaism] [Archaeology] [science]

January 2, 2PM

Start the New Year off right. This is not a commercial! Biblical Archaeology Society lecturers do not get royalties for our lectures; we donate our time and expertise as a public academic service.  BAS is a non-profit organization. If you become a Biblic... [2nd Temple Judaism] [Archaeology] [Bible] [Christian Origins]

December 31 2017, 5PM

Quintessential JZ Smith…if you never had the pleasure of hearing him…his Plenary Address to the American Academy of Religion in 2010. [Uncategorized]


A sad day for so many of us who loved Jonathan Z. Smith as a teacher and friend. There was no one to match him and likely won’t ever be again. For all of us a light has gone out. Not a lot to say other than what Elaine, his wife, has released to the... [in memoriam]


Joseph, husband of Mary, mother of Jesus, is never mentioned in the gospel of Mark. Since Mark is our earliest gospel that seems all the more striking. Mark has no account of the birth of Jesus whatsoever, much less any story of the virgin birth. When Jes... [Biblical Expositions] [Christian Origins] [family of Jesus]

December 30, 1PM

Millions of my generation will remember, whether admitting to having seen it or not, the grossly pornographic Italian-American 1979 film “Caligula,” co-produced by Franco Rossellini and Bob Guccione, of Penthouse magazine. Malcolm McDowell pl... [2nd Temple Judaism] [Apocalypticism] [Christian Origins] [Greco-Roman Culture] [messianism]

December 29, 1PM

And truly, I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her. –Jesus of Nazareth One of the more intriguing stories that Mark preserves is that of an unnamed woman who anoints Jesus&#... [Biblical Expositions] [Christian Origins] [family of Jesus] [in memoriam] [Mary Magdalene]

December 28, 8AM

Everyone repeats endlessly that “Jesus was a carpenter.” Hey even Kris Kristopher has a song that begins that way, and one sees bumper stickers about following a “Jewish carpenter” all the time. Did you know that the reference to J... [Biblical Expositions] [Christian Origins] [historical Jesus]

December 24, 5AM

There are three basic positions that have been offered in response to the two birth stories we get in Matthew and Luke: 1) Jesus had no human father; 2) Jesus is in fact the biological son of Joseph; 3) Jesus is the biological son of an unnamed male under... [Biblical Expositions] [Christian Origins] [family of Jesus] [Jesus Family] [Mary Mother of Jesus] [Pantera]

December 23, 7AM

Although only Matthew and Luke assert the “virgin birth” of Jesus, and the teaching is found nowhere else in the New Testament, the belief that Mary’s pregnancy resulted from a divine act of God without any male involvement developed into a fundamen... [Biblical Expositions] [Christian Origins] [family of Jesus] [historical Jesus] [Jesus Family] [Mary Mother of Jesus] [Pantera]

December 22, 1PM

What about the family tree of Jesus? It is quite a complex question when you begin to look into it. Matthew calls Jesus a “son of David” in the opening line of his gospel. In Luke the angel predicted to Mary that her son Jesus would “sit on the thro... [Biblical Expositions] [Christian Origins] [family of Jesus] [Jesus Family] [Mary Mother of Jesus]

December 20, 12 PM

As we begin to reconstruct the birth, life, and teachings of Jesus our best and earliest sources are the four gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, contained in the New Testament. For the past two hundred years scholars have analyzed and compared these ... [Biblical Expositions] [Christian Origins] [family of Jesus] [Jesus Family] [Mary Mother of Jesus]

December 19, 7AM

When I think of Mary the mother of Jesus I think of the forgotten city of Sepphoris. According to tradition she was the firstborn daughter of an older couple named Joachim and Anna who lived there.[i] Few today have heard of Sepphoris. It is not mentioned... [Biblical Expositions] [Christian Origins] [family of Jesus] [Mary Mother of Jesus]

December 17, 9AM

Our Gospels present us with not only a profoundly “male” story, but it is also a profoundly asexual one. Theology is one thing, history is another, and on these matters of sex, birth, and death there can clearly be a conflict but little contes... [2nd Temple Judaism] [Christian Origins] [Jesus Family] [Mary Magdalene] [Mary Mother of Jesus] [Philosophical]

December 10, 6AM

“There were three who always walked with the Lord: Mary, his mother, and her sister, and Magdalene, the one who was called his companion. His sister and his mother and his companion were each a Mary.” Gospel of Philip 36 According to the Copti... [Christian Origins] [family of Jesus] [Jesus Family] [Mary Magdalene] [Mary Mother of Jesus] [Talpiot Jesus Family Tomb]

November 29, 9AM

In my 2006 book, The Jesus Dynasty, (pp. 235-237) I published a photo of an fragment of an 1st century CE limestone ossuary, or burial box, inscribed with the name “Simon bar Jonah,” a rare patronym used by Jesus one time in Matthew 16:17 to r... [Archaeology] [Christian Origins] [Talpiot Jesus Family Tomb]

November 26, 7AM

I explore this question from a biblical perspective with Dr. Robert L. Kuhn, host of the acclaimed PBS Series “Closer to Truth,” along with a host of perspectives from historians, scientists, philosophers, and theologians. You may view the who... [2nd Temple Judaism] [Apocalypticism] [Bible] [Christian Origins]

November 25, 8AM

Here is a segment from my various interviews with Dr. Robert Kuhn on his award-winning PBS program Closer to Truth. I am asked to address here the question “Can Different Religions All Be True?” You can view this and other interviews with me a... [Bible] [Philosophical]
Here is a lecture I did over 20 years ago at Emmanuel Study Center in Athens, TN. The audience was  very mixed in composition, a group of Rabbis, Jews, Torah oriented Gentiels, and Christians. It is a bit of a teaser but the complete lecture with Q&A... [2nd Temple Judaism] [Bible] [Biblical Expositions]

November 17, 5AM

Few readers of the English Bible realize that the name “James” actually comes from the Hebrew name Jacob or Yaaqov, which adds to the confusion over the various “Jameses” mentioned in the New Testament. There is, of course, Jacob t... [2nd Temple Judaism] [Christian Origins] [family of Jesus] [Jewish Christianity]

November 15, 6AM

One of the special perks of having Dr. Shimon Gibson as our director at our UNC Charlotte sponsored Mt. Zion excavations is having him guide us about the Old City of Jerusalem. Dr. Gibson, or “Shimon,” as we affectionately call him, is not onl... [Archaeology] [in memoriam]

October 27, 8AM

I wrote my Ph.D. dissertation at the University of Chicago, on “Paul’s Ascent to Paradise” under the direction of Jonathan Z. Smith, the late and great Robert M. Grant, and Bernard McGinn. Its focus was the celebrated passage where Paul ... [2nd Temple Judaism] [Apocalypticism] [book review] [Christian Origins] [Greco-Roman Culture] [Paul]

October 17, 2PM

The most popular post on my Blog, measured by reader interest, is titled “Can A Pre-Christian Version of the Book be Recovered?” It has over 5000 views since it was first published. In that post, which I ask that you read or re-read before loo... [Apocalypticism]

October 13, 12 PM

Like many of my readers I just received the November/December 2017 issue of the ever-fascinating Biblical Archaeology Review. As usual, it is chock full of interesting feature articles. If you are a subscriber, you probably, like me, begin paging through... [Archaeology] [Bible] [Event]
The 2017 Biblical Archaeology Society Publication Awards were just announced in the latest November/December issue of Biblical Archaeology Review. These were carefully selected from hundreds of entries so any or all of them are certainly worthy of purcha... [book review] [Christian Origins] [Hebrew Bible]

October 11, 2PM

Since all the publicity about the Talpiot “Jesus Family” tomb broke back in 2007 it seems that the hypothesis of a 13th century CE Templar connection to this tomb has fascinated the public. After all, almost anything about the mysterious Templ... [Archaeology] [James Ossuary] [jesus discovery] [Talpiot Jesus Family Tomb]

October 8, 6AM

Michael Servetus (aka Miguel Serveto) is surely one of the most remarkable men of history, though he is largely unknown in general circles. He was born in Spain in 1511 and died in 1553, at age 42, burnt at the stake as a heretic by John Calvin’s Ge... [Christian Origins] [historical Jesus]

October 5, 9AM

This article, published in the December, 1999 issue of Bible Review magazine remains relevant to this day. [Apocalypticism] [Biblical Expositions] [Christian Origins] [Roman World]

October 4, 7AM

Tonight on the Jewish calendar marks the beginning of one of the lessor known festivals in the biblical calendar. Many non-Jews have heard of Passover, Pentecost (Shavuot), Rosh HaShanah, and Yom Kippur, but the larger culture knows little about Sukkoth&#... [Biblical Expositions] [Event] [Festivals]

October 3, 7AM

Here is a short interview on Paul over ten years ago: That was then, and here is now, see here and of course my book Paul and Jesus. In fact I still agree with much of what I say here.   [2nd Temple Judaism] [book review] [Christian Origins] [Judaism] [Paul]
It is difficult for one to imagine a version of Christianity pre-dating Paul with none of the core theological affirmations we find in the Apostles Creed.  Yet that is precisely what our evidence indicates. The original apostles and followers of Jesus, ... [Christian Origins] [Judaism] [Paul]

September 29, 1PM

Being “washed in the blood of the lamb” has become a more appealing cultural image to our minds than “washed in the blood of the hairy goat,” but it seems that neither image, in connection to the removal or “atonement” ... [Biblical Expositions] [Event] [Festivals] [Judaism]


When I find myself in times of trouble Mother Mary comes to me Speaking words of wisdom, let it be. And in my hour of darkness She is standing right in front of me Speaking words of wisdom, let it be. Let it be, let it be. Whisper words of wisdom, let it ... [Christian Origins] [Event] [family of Jesus] [Mary Mother of Jesus] [news]

September 27, 5AM

So a lively and thoughtprovoking attempt to resolve some of the historical problems that Paul poses–yes. But, sadly, tendentiousness and text-selectivity renders most of the thesis increasingly implausible. James D. G. Dunn, who is the Emeritus Ligh... [book review] [Christian Origins] [historical Jesus] [Paul]

September 26, 3PM

My lecture this past summer in Jerusalem at the CENSUR 2017 conference (Center for Studies on New Religions) at the The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute in the opening session “Holy City: Jerusalem in New Religious Movements” session. [History of Jerusalem] [messianism]

September 25, 9AM

For several months millions around the globe have been focused on a particular solar-lunar-stellar-planetary configuration of the constellation Virgo that appeared in the sky on September 23, 2017, see my post, “What Is Going to Happen on September ... [2nd Temple Judaism] [Apocalypticism] [Christian Origins]

September 24, 8AM

I have made 64 trips to the Holy Land since 1990. I find the number astounding looking back. By far most of these trips have been for research, whether working at six different archaeological sites (Sepphoris, Wadi el-Yabis, Suba, Qumran, Talpiot tombs, a... [2nd Temple Judaism] [Bible] [Christian Origins] [Dead Sea Scrolls] [Event] [jesus discovery] [Jesus Dynasty] [Talpiot Jesus Family Tomb]

September 18, 10AM

  I am teaching a course this semester called “The End of the World as We Know It” after the REM song of that name. We are examining ideas associated with Biblical prophecy and the Apocalypse, both Jewish and Christian (and towards the en... [2nd Temple Judaism] [Apocalypticism] [Christian Origins] [Hebrew Bible]

September 17, 6AM

So the soldiers, out of the wrath and hatred they bore the Jews, nailed those they caught, one after one way, and another after another, to the crosses, by way of jest, when their multitude was so great, that room was wanting for the crosses, and crosses ... [2nd Temple Judaism] [Archaeology] [Christian Origins] [historical Jesus]

September 16, 12 PM

Jacob Neusner, renewed scholar of the ancient Judaism, who so profoundly shaped the academic study of religions in terms of both method and content, died last October 8, 2016, on the Sabbath, at age 84. On the Jewish calendar that would be next Sabbath... [2nd Temple Judaism] [History of Jerusalem] [In Memorium] [Judaism]

September 13, 1PM

The story of the fiery destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is one of a diminishing few biblical narratives of which our culture is familiar. Though few might have read the extended account, set in the time of Abraham, that runs through Genesis 18-19, the im... [Archaeology] [Biblical Expositions] [Hebrew Bible]

September 11, 7AM

Happily, I come out of a Christian tradition in which the Hebrew Bible carries as much authority as the New Testament. No different weight is given to one or the other. The Bible is one, Old and New, in my particular tradition. My own interest is far more... [Apocalypticism] [Bible] [Christian Origins] [historical Jesus] [Paul]

August 28, 6AM

I was recently pleased to participate in a wide-ranging conversations with my colleagues at UNC Charlotte as a guest on their ongoing series “Conversations about Buddha, Jesus, and Mohammed.” You can listen to or download from iTunes. https://... [2nd Temple Judaism] [Apocalypticism] [Archaeology] [Christian Origins] [messianism]

August 15, 6AM

Back in 2015 I published a piece in the Huffington Post dealing with what I consider to be reasonably strong evidence for a “married Jesus” and within hours it drew thousands of responses and hundreds of comments–positive, negative, and... [Biblical Expositions] [Christian Origins] [historical Jesus] [Mary Magdalene]

August 12, 7AM

[This post refers back to August 1st when I had been traveling out of the country for six weeks and could not post so easily. It is interesting that in our English tradition we refer to the “Dog Days of August” which corresponds to this time o... [2nd Temple Judaism] [Apocalypticism] [Festivals] [History of Jerusalem]

August 4, 10AM

As some of you know, and as I mention in my book, The Jesus Dynasty, the most commonly accepted explanation for the tradition that Jesus is “son of Pantera” is that the word pantera is a pun for the Greek word parthenos or “virgin”... [Christian Origins] [Greco-Roman Culture] [Pantera]

July 30, 10AM

This post is a follow-up to a previous one where I recount the remarkable story of my discovery of the late great Poet James Whitehead and his historical and literary interest in the sources that refer to Jesus of Nazareth as “Yeshua ben Pantera.... [Panthera]
I want to share an amazing story. Not too long after the publication of my book The Jesus Dynasty in April, 2006 I was told about an English professor at the University of Arkansas who had recently died who had done a wealth of research on Pantera, had tr... [Panthera] [Personal]


Reposted from my former Jesus Dynasty blog archives: May 14, 2014 I am in Germany this week carrying out some further research on 1st century CE Roman cemetery sites, remains, and fortifications on the northern German frontier area of the Rhine and Nahe R... [Panthera]

July 9, 12 PM

When I was growing up in the Cambellite/Stone “Churches of Christ” one of the ongoing discussions among my college age missionary minded friends at Abilene Christian College (now University) was whether or not those who had “never heard... [Apocalypticism] [Biblical Expositions] [Death and Resurrection]

July 5, 12 AM

June 24, 10PM

There are many “Gospels,” many Gods, many Lords, and many Christs. The challenge is sorting them out. Paul refers to “my gospel” and warns against those who “preach any other gospel” than his. Most readers of the New Te... [Christian Origins] [historical Jesus] [Paul]

June 19, 9PM

The Knight’s Palace in the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem was abuzz with activity this past weekend as 64 of our participants flew in from all over the world–filing the hotel to near capacity. The 2017 Mt Zion archaeological ex... [Archaeology]

June 13, 6AM

Birger Pearson’s piece at the BAS Web site addressing the questions of whether Mary Magdalene was Jesus’ wife? and Was Mary Magdalene a Prostitute? is really well done in my view. It is short but to the point. I see it as an advance over the a... [Christian Origins] [historical Jesus] [Mary Magdalene]

June 6, 1PM

Fundamentalism relies on two pillars.  First one needs an inspired and Holy Book, and second one must  forget that that book has a history… Joseph Hoffmann (paraphrased)   [Uncategorized]


In the meantime, it is indeed interesting to note that this very practice of patronymy/paponymy/metronymy, by its repetitive nature, leaves the sample of names quite narrow and refutes in essence the argument of “very common names” put forward by a nu... [2nd Temple Judaism] [Archaeology] [Christian Origins] [family of Jesus] [historical Jesus] [James Brother of Jesus] [jesus discovery] [Mary Mother of Jesus] [Panthera] [Talpiot Jesus Family Tomb]

June 1, 9AM

  Since I began writing about the “Jesus Family tomb” discovered in East Talpiot, Jerusalem around Easter 1981, by far the most common response by colleagues and media reports alike has been the inaccurate generalization that the names f... [2nd Temple Judaism] [Archaeology] [Christian Origins] [jesus discovery] [Jesus Family] [Talpiot Jesus Family Tomb]


I wanted to share with my readers the translation of an ancient text, known in various Greek manuscripts as well as Aramaic fragments found among the Dead Sea Scrolls, with which many might not be familiar. It seems to capture in a few lines the core of i... [2nd Temple Judaism] [Apocalypticism] [Christian Origins] [Judaism]

May 30, 8AM

Many of my blog readers often write me asking when and where I might be giving lectures. Although I do regularly lecture here in Charlotte and around the country, by far the most lecturing I do are the in-depth sessions at various Biblical Archaeology Soc... [2nd Temple Judaism] [Apocalypticism] [Archaeology] [Biblical Expositions] [Christian Origins] [Dead Sea Scrolls] [family of Jesus] [historical Jesus] [James Ossuary] [Jesus Family] [Jewish Christianity] [John the Baptist] [Mary Magdalene] [Mary Mother of Jesus] [messianism]

May 29, 9AM

The festival of Shavuot falls this Wednesday on the Jewish calendar, observed Tuesday sundown through Wednesday sundown. Shavuot in Hebrew literally means “weeks” or “sevens,” which refers to the seven weeks between Passover and w... [2nd Temple Judaism] [Biblical Expositions] [Christian Origins] [Festivals] [Judaism]

May 22, 1PM

The New Testament has been the most influential collection of documents in history. Taken by both commoners and those in power as the inspired and infallible  “Word of God,” and interpreted ofttimes outside its historical context, its fateful influen... [Biblical Expositions] [Christian Origins] [Paul]

May 21, 6AM

The New Testament has been the most influential collection of documents in history. Taken by both commoners and those in power as the inspired and infallible  “Word of God,” and interpreted ofttimes outside its historical context, its fateful influen... [Biblical Expositions] [Christian Origins] [Greco-Roman Culture] [Paul] [Philosophical]

May 20, 3PM

The New Testament has been the most influential collection of documents in history. Taken by both commoners and those in power as the inspired and infallible  “Word of God,” and interpreted ofttimes outside its historical context, its fateful influen... [Bible] [Biblical Expositions] [Christian Origins] [theology]

May 19, 4AM

The New Testament has been the most influential collection of documents in history. Taken by both commoners and those in power as the inspired and infallible  “Word of God,” and interpreted ofttimes outside its historical context, its fateful influen... [Biblical Expositions] [Christian Origins] [Paul]

May 18, 8AM

The New Testament has been the most influential collection of documents in history. Taken by both commoners and those in power as the inspired and infallible  “Word of God,” and interpreted ofttimes outside its historical context, its fateful... [Biblical Expositions] [Christian Origins] [Culture] [Paul]

May 14, 5AM

The New Testament has been the most influential collection of documents in history. Taken by both commoners and those in power as the inspired and infallible  “Word of God,” and interpreted ofttimes outside its historical context, its fateful influen... [Christian Origins] [Greco-Roman Culture] [Paul]


I want to put in a good word this Sunday morning for Professor Bart Ehrman’s blog–my fellow New Testament scholar down the road at UNC Chapel Hill. Unlike other blogs out there you have to “pay” to read it–beyond the tantaliz... [Bible] [Christian Origins] [religious studies]

May 13, 4AM

In this new series I have gathered together a list of fateful New Testament passages that have been both understood and misunderstood over subsequent ages in ways that reinforce and foster incalculable harm to our lives. I did not try to order these into ... [Uncategorized]

May 12, 6AM

Millions were introduced to the famous “Ark of the Covenant,” if not in Sunday school growing up, then through the blockbuster 1981 “Raiders of the Lost Ark” Indiana Jones film. The familiar image of the gold plated ark with its an... [Biblical News Stories] [Hebrew Bible] [Judaism]

May 11, 5AM

This is the third installment of my response to the review of my book, The Jesus Dynasty, by my friend and colleague Prof. James F. Strange published in the Biblical Archaeology Review (November/December, 2006, pp. 72-76). You can read Parts 1 and 2 here ... [book review] [Christian Origins] [historical Jesus] [John the Baptist]

May 8, 5AM

Here is the Part 2 of my reposting of my responses to the review of my 2006 book, The Jesus Dynasty, by my friend and colleague Prof. James F. Strange originally published in Biblical Archaeology Review (November/December, 2006, pp. 72-76). You can read P... [2nd Temple Judaism] [Apocalypticism] [Archaeology] [family of Jesus] [Talpiot Jesus Family Tomb]

May 6, 12 PM

I want to thank my dear friend of over 45 years, Dr. Philip Arnold, with all his dignity (Ph.D. in New Testament from Rice University), philanthropist extraordinaire (, for letting his “hair down” in this lovely vi... [Event] [Personal] [Waco] [Worship]

May 5, 4AM

I read the news on Wednesday in the NY Times tribute obituary: “Hubert L. Dreyfus, Philosopher of the Limits of Computers, Dies at 87.” I realize many of my readers have likely never heard of the extraordinary philosophical contributions of Pr... [Biblical Expositions] [Christian Origins] [Death and Resurrection] [Event] [in memoriam] [theology]

April 19, 9AM

Various TV programs during this Spring/Easter season have focused on the question of the authenticity of the controversial “Shroud of Turin,” Those challenging the authenticity of this ancient relic point to carbon dating tests done at three independe... [Archaeology] [Christian Origins] [History of Jerusalem] [James Ossuary] [Talpiot Jesus Family Tomb]


April 19th has become a day of infamy in American history with the Branch Davidian tragedy in Waco, Texas in 1993, and the horrible Timothy McVeigh Oklahoma City FBI building bombing in 1995.   Next year marks the 25th anniversary of Waco. As some of... [Apocalypticism] [Event] [messianism] [Waco]

April 14, 5AM

Don’t miss “The Real Jesus”  that premiers on Sunday at 8pm ET on the Smithsonian Channel. This four-part series takes the famous 1977 Franco Zeffirelli’s  “Jesus of Nazareth” film star, Robert Powell, who became to the masses the quinte... [2nd Temple Judaism] [Apocalypticism] [Christian Origins] [Event] [historical Jesus] [History of Jerusalem] [John the Baptist] [messianism]

April 10, 11AM

So once again Holy Week has arrived. Palm Sunday was yesterday, clouded by the horrific bombings of the Christian gatherings in Egypt. Today is the 14th of the Jewish month of Nisan, with the festival of Passover beginning at sundown.  Jews around the wo... [Archaeology] [Christian Origins] [Festivals] [historical Jesus] [messianism]

April 8, 5AM

If you missed the recent PBS two hour special “Last Days of Jesus” you can stream it free of charge on-line here, though this might be only for viewers in the United States, I am not sure: [Uncategorized]


Perhaps some of you have heard about the fabulous project at Yeshiva University pioneered by my friend Professor Steven Fine and others. It is finished and now can be viewed in this remarkable video. This project is as fascinating as it is chilling, remem... [2nd Temple Judaism] [Archaeology] [Greco-Roman Culture] [Judaism] [Roman World]

April 3, 9AM

This special two-hour PBS program airs tomorrow night, Tuesday, April 4th, 8/7c and is repeated Wednesday and Thursday, see local listings for times. I am one of the presenters and we filmed on location in Israel this past January. I have not seen it yet ... [2nd Temple Judaism] [Christian Origins] [historical Jesus] [Judaism] [messianism] [Roman World]


In December, 2006 my friend and senior colleague Prof. James F. Strange, Professor of New Testament at the University of South Florida wrote a very interesting and provocative two-page review of my book, The Jesus Dynasty for Biblical Archaeology Review. ... [2nd Temple Judaism] [Apocalypticism] [Christian Origins] [Jesus Dynasty] [Jewish Christianity]

March 31, 6AM

I never thought much about it until looking at this lovely painting by Titian (Tiziano Vecellio c. 1500), where Jesus is ever so discretely clothed–though barely so–as his companion Mary Magdalene tries to “touch” him (John 20:11-1... [Biblical Expositions] [Christian Origins] [Death and Resurrection] [jesus discovery] [Talpiot Jesus Family Tomb]

March 28, 6AM

Today brings the New Moon or a new month on the Jewish calendar. But it is not  just any new moon. According to the Torah, “This month (literally “new”) shall be to you head of the months…Exodus 12:1. Today is the beginning of Nis... [Biblical Expositions] [Festivals] [Judaism]

March 27, 6AM

Parts 1 & 2 are posted here and here. These were introduced by another post on “Another Comforter: The Forgotten Brother of Jesus” which you can read here. The disciples said to Jesus, “We know you will leave us. Who is going to be our l... [2nd Temple Judaism] [Christian Origins] [family of Jesus] [James Brother of Jesus] [Jesus Family]

March 26, 4AM

Subscribe to TaborBlog in the sidebar and don’t miss a single post Part 1 was posted here. If you missed it please go back and read this series of posts in sequence. Thus in ­Luke’s account in Acts, when James suddenly appears out of nowhere as l... [2nd Temple Judaism] [Christian Origins] [family of Jesus] [James Brother of Jesus] [Jesus Dynasty] [messianism]

March 25, 8AM

Today I begin a series of posts on “James the Just,” the largely forgotten brother of Jesus, following up on my post “Another Comforter: The Forgotten Brother of Jesus” on the missing key to understanding Christian origins.1 The d... [2nd Temple Judaism] [Apocalypticism] [Christian Origins] [family of Jesus] [James Brother of Jesus] [messianism]

March 21, 2PM

I am most pleased to note that one of my most popular Biblical Archaeology Society Seminars is on sale for a limited time at 75% off! I am not sure how long this sale will last and I should point out none of us receive royalties for such lectures, so when... [2nd Temple Judaism] [Archaeology] [Biblical Expositions] [Christian Origins] [Dead Sea Scrolls] [Death and Resurrection] [Judaism] [messianism]

March 17, 5PM

Discover the historical Jesus in a new way through The Jesus Discovery (only $6.45 paperback on Amazon–less than a Kindle, and brand new! It begins with the controversial Talpiot tombs (see “Does the Evidence Add Up?)but then uses that avenue ... [Archaeology] [book review] [Christian Origins] [family of Jesus] [jesus discovery] [Jesus Family] [Jewish Christianity]

March 15, 8AM

One of the ideas I explore and develop in my 2006 book, The Jesus Dynasty, was the notion of two Messiahs. I had no idea it would become sensational–much less controversial. It actually became headline news, with a cover story in USNews & World ... [2nd Temple Judaism] [Apocalypticism] [Christian Origins] [Dead Sea Scrolls] [historical Jesus] [John the Baptist] [Judaism]

March 3, 1PM

Those engaged in the academic study of religions, and specifically the origins and development of early Christianity, draw a sharp distinction between what they call the historical Jesus and the “Christ” of Christian faith and devotion. How an... [2nd Temple Judaism] [Apocalypticism] [Archaeology] [Christian Origins] [Jesus Family] [Mary Mother of Jesus]

February 28, 10AM

In this new six part series I present responses to essays offered in my course at UNC Charlotte on “John the Baptist.” John is the most underrated figure in Christian tradition, rarely given his due as a messiah and inaugurator of the movement... [2nd Temple Judaism] [Apocalypticism] [Christian Origins] [John the Baptist] [Judaism]

February 27, 9AM

In this new six part series I present responses to essays offered in my course at UNC Charlotte on “John the Baptist.” John is the most underrated figure in Christian tradition, rarely given his due as a messiah and inaugurator of the movement... [2nd Temple Judaism] [Apocalypticism] [Christian Origins] [John the Baptist] [Judaism] [messianism]

February 26, 6AM

In this new six part series I present responses to essays offered in my course at UNC Charlotte on “John the Baptist.” John is the most underrated figure in Christian tradition, rarely given his due as a messiah and inaugurator of the movement... [2nd Temple Judaism] [Apocalypticism] [Christian Origins] [John the Baptist]

February 25, 12 PM

by jdtabor via TaborBlog (#86990)
I am honored to be a Biblical Archaeology Society “BAS Publication Awards” judge this year for “Best Book Relating to the New Testament.” I look forward to some amazing reading. If you have written a book in this category send it i... [Archaeology] [Bible] [Christian Origins] [Hebrew Bible] [Judaism]


Congratulations to my friend and associate Simcha Jacobovici for this well-deserved award. At the bottom of the news story you will find the link to watch free one of Simcha’s films dealing with what we know about the methods of Roman crucifixion in... [2nd Temple Judaism] [Archaeology] [Christian Origins] [Event] [science]


In this new six part series I present responses to essays offered in my course at UNC Charlotte on “John the Baptist.” John is the most underrated figure in Christian tradition, rarely given his due as a messiah and inaugurator of the movement... [2nd Temple Judaism] [Apocalypticism] [Christian Origins] [John the Baptist] [Judaism]

February 24, 1PM

In this new six part series I present responses to essays offered in my course at UNC Charlotte on “John the Baptist.” John is the most underrated figure in Christian tradition, rarely given his due as a messiah and inaugurator of the movement... [2nd Temple Judaism] [Apocalypticism] [Christian Origins] [Dead Sea Scrolls] [John the Baptist] [Judaism]

February 23, 3PM

In this new six part series I present responses to essays offered in my course at UNC Charlotte on “John the Baptist.” John is the most underrated figure in Christian tradition, rarely given his due as a messiah and inaugurator of the movement... [2nd Temple Judaism] [Apocalypticism] [Christian Origins] [John the Baptist] [Judaism] [messianism]

February 22, 5AM

The thesis of this post is a simple one. Behind the New Testament book of Revelation, formally called “The Revelation of Jesus Christ,” (Rev 1:1), is an older Jewish apocalyptic document that had nothing to do with Jesus or the early Christian... [2nd Temple Judaism] [Apocalypticism] [Christian Origins] [messianism]

February 21, 2PM

The 1st century CE Jewish historian Titus Flavius Josephus, known today as Josephus, was born Yosef ben Matityahu /יוסף בן מתתיהו in the year 37 CE. He began his career as commander of the Jewish forces in the Galilee in the 1st Jewish Revolt ... [2nd Temple Judaism] [Christian Origins] [historical Jesus] [James Brother of Jesus] [John the Baptist] [Judaism]

February 20, 7AM

I find it somewhat amazing that so many freely expressing opinions on the controversial Talpiot “Jesus” tomb and/or the “James ossuary” have not kept up with even the most minimum of the latest research on the topic. I find this is... [Archaeology] [James Ossuary] [jesus discovery] [Talpiot Jesus Family Tomb]

February 19, 5AM

Continued from Part I which is linked here. THE TIME OF THE EXILE AND BEYOND Beginning in the eighth century, and well down into the sixth century B.C.E., the nation of Israel suffered through political, social, and military catastrophes. First under the ... [Apocalypticism] [Biblical Expositions] [Christian Origins] [Death and Resurrection] [Judaism]

February 18, 1PM

I thought readers, new and old, might find these stats of interest. Have you ever wondered who reads this blog–on a global scale? Here are a few  graphics of the global countries and territories where my blog is read, sorted by numbers of page-view... [Tabor's Blog]


Here in two parts, one today, the second tomorrow, I want to offer a broad sketch of how the Biblical hope of “life after death” emerged and developed. Expect some surprises. What few realize, especially those who have focused more on the New ... [Biblical Expositions] [Death and Resurrection] [Hebrew Bible]

February 17, 7AM

Most of us who teach in the field of Christian Origins get asked from time to time by students or in public lectures, “Professor, Do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God?” Scholars are aware of the rich and diverse ways in which the term &... [2nd Temple Judaism] [Apocalypticism] [Biblical Expositions] [Christian Origins] [Hebrew Bible] [historical Jesus] [Judaism] [messianism]

February 15, 6AM

For many years I have been interested in the controversial question of whether Christopher Columbus might have been Jewish–and thus functioning in the Spanish Court as a converso or “secret” Jew. It is surely not without significance t... [Uncategorized]

February 14, 5PM

Pictures often say more than words can tell…No further comment needed. My thanks to Prof. Candida Moss, expert on early Greco-Roman and Christian Martyrdom, for posting the cartoon. [Culture] [Event] [Greco-Roman Culture]


This lovely photo was taken around 1990 before we began our UNC Charlotte sponsored excavations on the hillside in the foreground, just outside Zion Gate along the Turkish (16th century) Wall of the Old City. The impressive bell tower and four turreted Do... [Gallery]

February 9, 1PM

  I am most pleased to see the important research of David Clausen, who did his M.A. work with me and Dr. Shimon Gibson here at UNC Charlotte, highlighted in the latest issue of Biblical Archaeology Review. ((David Clausen, “Archaeological Views:... [Archaeology] [Biblical Expositions] [book review] [Christian Origins]

February 5, 8AM

Recently I saw a news story about a woman who lost 177 lbs and restored her health by followed what was called “The Daniel Diet.” I found her story compelling and inspiring. Apparently this idea is being picked up in many churches throughout t... [Christian Origins] [James Brother of Jesus] [Jewish Christianity] [John the Baptist]

February 2, 8AM

The earliest mention of the practice of circumcision in the Bible is in the book of Genesis, chapter 17:10 “This is my covenant with you shall keep, between me and you and your descendants after you; Every male among you shall be circumcised”&... [Biblical Expositions] [Hebrew Bible]

February 1, 11AM

This post originally appeared on the Huffington Post and drew a massive response, pro and con.  It is reposted her without editing due to popular demand as well as the important biblical and cinematic issues it addresses. Enjoy! Darren Aronofsky’s ... [Apocalypticism] [Bible] [Biblical Expositions] [Hebrew Bible]

January 26, 5AM

Plato’s mysterious tale of Atlantis–the advanced ancient civilization that simply disappeared, has fascinated us for 2500 years. Did Atlantis in fact exist? If so, what circumstances could have led to its sudden disappearance and is there any... [Event] [ancient world] [Television]

January 21, 12 PM

I am staying overnight at the lovely Mt Zion hotel, overlooking the Hinnom Valley south of the Old City of Jerusalem. It is one of my favorite places in the world. I have stayed here a half dozen times over the years, both when we have been excavating at ... [Christian Origins] [historical Jesus] [Paul]

December 23 2016, 4PM

What is altogether fascinating is a much earlier and little known biblical reference to a different but very related date–Kislev 24 on the Jewish calendar–which begins this evening, December 23rd, at sundown. This year Christmas Eve and Hanukk... [2nd Temple Judaism] [Biblical Expositions] [Hebrew Bible] [History of Jerusalem] [Judaism]

December 10, 7AM

I finished up Religious Studies 3113, my “Historical Jesus” course here at UNC Charlotte on Tuesday. For the last class I wanted to try to offer an overview of what we can say about Jesus both in terms of what he did and what he said. Here are... [historical Jesus]

November 7, 6AM

If you live in or anywhere near Charlotte, North Carolina we hope to see you at this lecture, open to the public and free of charge. Come and learn the latest about our exciting excavation in the ancient city of Jerusalem. The sacred city of Jerusalem is ... [Archaeology] [Event]

November 4, 9AM

I have made 60 trips to the Holy Land since 1990 but only five of those involved tours. Usually I go for academic research, or for a filming project, or to do archaeology. If and when I lead a tour I want it to be really something special and unique–... [Archaeology] [Christian Origins] [Dead Sea Scrolls] [historical Jesus] [History of Jerusalem] [Judaism]

October 28, 5AM

The extraordinary discoveries of at our Mt Zion site related to the Crusader period have been studied by Prof. Rafi Lewis and were profiled this week in HaAretz: Debris from Crusader Attack on Queen of Jerusalem Found on Mount Zion. Next week he will be ... [Archaeology] [History of Jerusalem]

October 25, 4PM

October 6, 2AM

In my post on “That Other King of the Jews,” I stressed my own conviction that Jesus of Nazareth thought of himself as much more than a teacher, prophet, or healer, but rather that he understood himself to be nothing less than the “one t... [2nd Temple Judaism] [Apocalypticism] [Christian Origins] [historical Jesus] [messianism]
Then they arrayed him in scarlet, and when they had plaited it they invested him with a victor’s wreath made of thorn, and saluted him with, “Hail! King of the Jews!” (Mark 15:18).   According to the gospel of Mark, when Jesus is o... [2nd Temple Judaism] [Christian Origins] [Jesus Dynasty] [Talpiot Jesus Family Tomb]

October 3, 8AM

Cry aloud to God our strength, raise a shout to the God of Jacob. This evening at sundown the Jewish holiday popularly known as Rosh HaShanah begins. Literally, rosh ha-Shanah means “head of the year.” It is commonly included on our secular calenda... [Biblical Expositions] [Judaism]

September 14, 8AM

A Roman gold coin depicting the Emperor Nero, dated to 56 CE was discovered in summer, 2016 at UNC Charlotte’s archaeological excavation at Jerusalem’s Mt. Zion.Credit: Shimon Gibson The discovery of a rare gold coin bearing the image of the R... [Archaeology] [Christian Origins] [Roman World]

September 5, 6AM

I recently wrote a post titled “Do Historians Exclude the Supernatural?” Here I want to explore a related issue that one often hears from a variety of circles also having to do with methods of the academic study of religions–how scholars... [Biblical Expositions] [Christian Origins] [historical Jesus] [religious studies]

September 4, 7AM

It has become almost axiomatic to assume that any responsible “quest for the historical Jesus” will value the Synoptic gospels–particularly Mark–as primary and more historically reliable in contrast to the gospel of John, which is ... [Archaeology] [Biblical Expositions] [Christian Origins]

September 3, 8AM

It has become common to read the Gospel of John, with its theology of Christ as the heavenly Messiah, its attitudes toward the Torah, and its “othering” reference to “the Jews,” as elements of an emerging anti-Judaic, or even anti-... [2nd Temple Judaism] [Christian Origins]

August 20, 7AM

Legendary stories of gods fathering humans, so common in  Greco-Roman culture, may well have contributed to accounts of Jesus’ miraculous birth in Matthew and Luke but I would suggest an alternative. I am convinced that the idea of Jesus’ bir... [Uncategorized]

July 28, 12 PM

The investigative task of the ancient historian is by definition an interpretive one and no interpretation is without predisposition or even prejudgment stemming  from known or unknown proclivities of both a personal and contextual nature. Add to this th... [Philosophical] [religious studies]

July 20, 5AM

There is a very intriguing story, unique to the Gospel of John, about a wedding attended by Jesus and his disciples at the Galilean village of Cana (John 2:1–11). Within the Gospel of John the story functions in a theological and even allegorical manner... [Biblical Expositions] [Christian Origins] [family of Jesus] [historical Jesus] [jesus discovery] [Mary Magdalene] [Mary Mother of Jesus] [Talpiot Jesus Family Tomb]

July 14, 4AM

The influential Israeli newspaper HaAretz offers a nice profile of our 2016 Mt Zion excavation in today’s Premium on-line edition highlight some of our new finds and offering a summary of past seasons and what we are concluding.1 Archaeologists e... [2nd Temple Judaism] [Apocalypticism] [Archaeology]

July 2, 4AM

According to the Jewish historian Josephus (Jewish War 7:389-406), when the Roman Tenth Legion finally captured the desert fortress of Masada in the spring of 73 CE, bringing a tragic end to the Jewish Revolt, 960 Jewish defenders of Masada–men, wom... [2nd Temple Judaism] [Archaeology] [Judaism]

May 31, 5AM

They sent over a young archaeologist by the name of Amos Kloner. He climbed into the tomb and came out literally shaking. I’ll never forget. I asked him what he saw and he repeatedly muttered ‘I never saw such a thing….I never saw such a tomb.’ La... [2nd Temple Judaism] [Archaeology] [Christian Origins] [family of Jesus] [jesus discovery] [Talpiot Jesus Family Tomb]

May 22, 4PM

From the lovely, elegant, and scholarly 1985 JPS translation, to the unparalleled Oxford maps, the extensive scholarly, well-balanced notes (including academic as well as rabbinic perspectives), the essays, tables, and charts in the back, with additional ... [Bible] [Biblical Expositions] [Hebrew Bible]

May 13, 6AM

Our archeological excavation begins one month from today at our unique site on Mt Zion. We are the only foreign university currently excavating in Jerusalem. We have a record number of participants coming this year–over 70 total plus staff, coming f... [2nd Temple Judaism] [Archaeology]

May 1, 7AM

The magazine Popular Archaeology has just done a very nice cover story feature on our Suba “John the Baptist” cave excavation for their Spring issue.  We conducted from 2000-2011—overlapping with our Mt Zion dig.  Even though that excavation is l... [Archaeology] [Christian Origins] [John the Baptist]

April 22, 7AM

Wishing all of my readers a meaningful, insightful, and joyous Passover, however observed or not. Remembering ancient Israel’s birth of freedom and all those who seek life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as our core human values. Shabbat Shal... [Bible] [Event] [Judaism] [Personal]

April 9, 9AM

Today brings the New Moon or a new month on the Jewish calendar. But it is not  just any new moon. According to the Torah, “This month (literally “new”) shall be to you head of the months…Exodus 12. Today is the beginning of Nisan... [Bible] [Biblical Expositions] [Hebrew Bible]

April 3, 4PM

I have been thinking lately about the essential differences between Judaism and Christianity, or more properly, the kind of religion reflected in the Hebrew Bible and that of the Greek New Testament. In terms of definition and label I am neither a Jew no... [Bible] [Biblical Expositions] [Christian Origins] [Hebrew Bible] [Judaism]
One of the most fascinating interviews I have ever read is one conducted by Biblical Archaeology Review editor Hershel Shanks with Jewish thinker and Holocaust surviver Elie Wiesel and renowned Harvard Biblical scholar Frank Moore Cross (BAR July/August, ... [Christian Origins] [Hebrew Bible] [historical Jesus]
Happily, I come out of a Christian tradition in which the Hebrew Bible carries as much authority as the New Testament. No different weight is given to one or the other. The Bible is one, Old and New, in my particular tradition. My own interest is far more... [2nd Temple Judaism] [Biblical Expositions] [Christian Origins] [historical Jesus]


The mystery deepens…the plot thickens… Few have heard anything about the “Abba Cave,” discovered in 1971 in the north Jerusalem suburb of Givat Hamivtar–not far from the tomb of “Yehohanan,” the famous “cru... [2nd Temple Judaism] [Archaeology] [Judaism]

March 27, 4AM

Carefully re-reading the late and sorely missed Jane Schaberg’s book, The Resurrection of Mary Magdalene, which I heartily recommend to all my readers, has set me to thinking and working through all the texts related to her once again, particularly... [Biblical Expositions] [Christian Origins] [family of Jesus] [historical Jesus] [Mary Magdalene] [resurrection] [Talpiot Jesus Family Tomb]
All across the world this morning, moving from east to west, Easter bells are ringing. Multiple millions will gather in churches to celebrate Easter–“Rejoice! Christ is Risen!” will be the theme of every service. Without exception texts ... [Biblical Expositions] [Christian Origins] [historical Jesus] [jesus discovery] [Mary Magdalene] [resurrection] [Talpiot Jesus Family Tomb]

March 26, 5AM

Jesus was taken down from the cross a few hours before sundown on the preparation day for Passover, the afternoon of the 14th of Nisan. Joseph of Arimathea, an influential follower, had hastily placed Jesus’ dead body in an unfinished rock-hewn tomb... [Biblical Expositions] [Christian Origins] [historical Jesus] [jesus discovery] [Jesus Dynasty]

December 12 2015, 8AM

TaborBlog is under maintenance with a redesign and new features and will be back up soon. Thanks for your interest and your patience. James D. Tabor   [Uncategorized]