Professor James D. Tabor, Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, has responded to Dr. Jack Poirier’s critical review of Tabor’s recently published The Jesus Dynasty: The Hidden History of Jesus, His Royal Family, and the Birth of Christianity (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2006). Tabor’s original rebuttal of Poirier’s review was published on The Jesus Dynasty Blog.
Poirier’s review on JP has caused a stir on the Internet, with blog sites such as Mark Goodacre’s NTGateway Blogs commenting on Poirier’s review.
I wanted here to offer a few notes and observations in response to Jack Poirier’s on-line review of my book, The Jesus Dynasty on the Jerusalem Perspective Web site. I would not attempt to respond here to the underlying theological differences between us, and how Poirier’s assumptions differ from my own as a “liberal scholar,” nor to the tone and attitude Poirier adopts in his review. I will leave that to readers of my book and of his review to judge. I do want, however, to get some facts straight in the hope of bringing some clarity to a number of points he raises.
I’m frankly surprised that Tabor would deny that most scholars reject the so-called James ossuary. I was there at the after-hours exhibit of the James ossuary in Toronto the same night Tabor was there, and I witnessed first hand his initial excitement over the ossuary. Many scholars (including myself) shared that same excitement in the beginning. In my experience, however, those scholars who still think that the inscription may be authentic are few and far between.