James Tabor: Jesus and John 'Twin' Messiahs
In case you missed it, ABC’s 20/20 ran a story tonight interviewing James Tabor, author of The Jesus Dynasty and a historian with the Religious Studies Department at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. He has some pretty interesting --- uhm --- ideas. You can read the article here . I recorded it, so for a short time watch the video here.
I’ve selected a few choice quotes.
His conclusions are certain to provoke intense controversy and skepticism among other scholars and followers of the Christian faith. Tabor argues the historical evidence shows that Jesus had a human father, and that he was joined by a fellow messiah.
Tabor stumbled upon a crypt of sorts from the first century where he found ossuaries and “the only example of a burial shroud from the first century.”
In the same tomb, Tabor's group also found an ossuary — a box used to contain the bones of the deceased — that had the name Miriam or Mary inscribed upon it. Tabor also believes the recently discovered ossuary of James, which some scholars have dismissed as a forgery, may have also originated in this tomb.
"There's some circumstantial evidence that the ossuary of James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus, came from this particular tomb," he said. "We have entertained the possibility that this tomb might've been the family tomb of Jesus."
Wow that’s a pretty huge leap unless he’s got some blockbuster information in his book that he’s not sharing --- there absolutely no evidence what so ever that Jesus or anyone associated with him had anything to do with that crypt --- but I don't buy it.
"I'm ready to let the average reader know what we scholars actually discuss. And if it's shocking, it's shocking. You don't have to accept it. Jesus had a father."
Did that mean Tabor does not believe in the Virgin Birth of Jesus?
"I don't," he said. "I think all humans have a human father."
He actually also went on to say “everyone needs two chromosomes.” Well heck Tabor, you got me there. That’s a pretty rock solid case.
Luckily 20/20 also interview D.A. Carson, who responded quite well.
"What Dr. Tabor has done is assumed that the whole thing cannot be," Carson said. "It is a sham and therefore the evidence has to be jiggered, it has to be selectively appealed to in order to take away the evidence of God actually doing something in space, time, history. At that point, no amount of evidence will ever convince him unless he's open to the possibility that Dr. Tabor himself is wrong … and that God has disclosed himself in space, time and history through a man. Namely, Jesus of Nazareth."
Tabor says he is a “pro-Christian” because he wants to get back to the “root” of the faith. There is lots more to Tabor’s theory aside from Jesus was not raised from the dead, was not born a virgin. Based on evidence from the so called “Suba Cave” …
Tabor believes that, contrary to the New Testament, Jesus and John the Baptist were twin Messiahs. He says that early texts anticipated more than one Messiah and that the practice of baptism suggests that they were acting similarly in their respective ministries.
Carson’s reply can be summed up pretty simply: “Its pure Mythology.”
The interview continued over to Nightline but I missed part of it, there is a lot more to be read however --- in this article on the ABC website.