Monday, August 07, 2006

Eisenman's new Book Plugged on The Jesus Dynasty 'Blog

As per the title, James Tabor has plugged Robert Eisenman's forthcoming book.

I must confess, after his last effort (which relegated his observations on the shortcomings of radiocarbon to his own thoroughly unqualified declarations by fiat) I'm more than a little reticient about anything Robert Eisenman might have to say about the Dead Sea Scrolls. What's offered in the publicity blurb posted on Tabor's site sounds eerily--too eerily for my tastes--like one Barbara Thiering.

For anyone interested in whether or not I'll overcome my biases and read the book, the answer is probably not. Fool me once, shame on you. . .


James D. Tabor said...

I think there is a world of useful information in Eisenman's book on James the Brother of Jesus, though admittedly, it is not the easiest book to work through. Eisenman can not be compared to Thiering in any way, he is infinitely more qualified as a historian, though I like you do disagree that James or any of the early followers of Jesus might be directly mentioned (Teacher, Liar, etc.) in the Scrolls.

Rick Sumner said...

Hi Dr. Tabor,

I agree that Eisenman's James the Brother of Jesus is substantially more academic than Thiering (though the question of qualification as an historian is a bit of a sticky one--Thiering is qualified, she's just a lunatic), it's certainly possible--even probable--that the blurb makes his new book sound less substantial than it is.

That said, I didn't find his James as useful as you seem to. It seemed too much a case of finding what one is looking for to me. And while one may find good information, if one ignores the interpretation, one can find much of the same information in a good Bible dictionary, without having to sift through 900+ pages of speciousness to find it.

What has always defined Eisenman for me is that he first asked and was then granted the c-14 dating. It said he was wrong. He asked again. It still said he was wrong. Suddenly c-14 wasn't that reliable anyway.

If that's not ad hoc (to speak nothing of purest eisegesis), then I must confess I don't know what is.