Paul and Jesus by James D. Tabor
How the Apostle Transformed Christianity

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This fascinating examination of the earliest years of Christianity reveals sharply competing ideas about the significance of Jesus and his teachings and shows how the man we call St. Paul shaped Christianity as we know it today.

Historians know almost nothing about the two decades following the crucifixion of Jesus, when his followers regrouped and began to spread his message. During this time the apostle Paul joined the movement and began to preach to the gentiles.

Using the oldest Christian documents that we have—the letters of Paul—as well as other early Christian sources, historian and scholar James Tabor reconstructs the origins of Christianity. Tabor reveals that the familiar figures of James, Peter, and Paul sometimes disagreed fiercely over everything from the meaning of Jesus’ message to the question of whether converts must first become Jews. Tabor shows how Paul separated himself from Peter and James to introduce his own version of Christianity, which would continue to develop independently of the message that Jesus, James, and Peter preached.

Paul and Jesus gives us a new and deeper understanding of Paul as it illuminates the fascinating period of history when Christianity was born out of Judaism and became the religion we recognize today.

About James D. Tabor

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James D. Tabor is chair of the department of religious studies at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. He holds a PhD in biblical studies and is an expert on Christian origins. He is the author of several books, among them The Jesus Dynasty. Visit him online at
Published November 13, 2012 by Simon & Schuster. 321 pages
Genres: History, Religion & Spirituality, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Another entry in the guess-who-Paul-really-was contest.

Oct 30 2012 | Read Full Review of Paul and Jesus: How the Apost...

Publishers Weekly

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In this compulsively readable exploration of the tangled world of Christian origins, Tabor (The Jesus Dynasty) vividly recreates the frenetic and fraught attempts by the earliest followers of Jesus to

Sep 10 2012 | Read Full Review of Paul and Jesus: How the Apost...

Tabor (The Jesus Dynasty) asserts here that no individual has had more influence on forming contemporary Christian beliefs than the apostle Paul. Paul believed he had a more legitimate claim on the true interpretation of God's word because his understanding of Jesus was based on divine visions an...

Apr 01 2013 | Read Full Review of Paul and Jesus: How the Apost...

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