Introducing Restoring Abrahamic Faith by James D. Tabor
This terrific little book is a “must read.” We love this book because it takes the Bible completely seriously, explores it fearlessly, following the text itself, and other sources, and explains things – including, e.g., the nature and early history of Christianity, but also many aspects of the Torah Tradition itself – directly, simply, and rigorously honestly. This is an open-hearted, large-souled book, very American, in its way (in its trust in the power of logic, truth and the black-letter Scripture itself to create change), which convincingly explains why the whole human race needs to re-think the Bible and rediscover the ancient faith of Abraham.
Michael Dallen, 1stCovenant Foundation
Restoring Abrahamic Faith is a superb manifesto, very similar in many ways to my own personal credo. It is truly a wonderful, inspirational book that should draw people back to the fundamental biblical message, one which puts Jesus, James and John the Baptizer into context. I’ve just placed a write-up on my website, under Recommended Reading, along with a photo of the jacket cover (http://www.barriewilson.com/rreading.html). I think the chapter on The Messiahs is especially well done and I’ll direct my students to the book, especially for that chapter. What constitutes a Messiah, as opposed to a Savior, remains a perennial favorite amongst my students. I personally learned a lot from the chapter on The Plan – hadn’t thought of thinking about the future quite that way – and Turning To God is very similar to the kind of message I advocate when speaking in churches/synagogues.
Prof. Barrie Wilson
York University, Toronto
I have just finished Restoring Abrahamic Faith. I’m not sure that my words will convey how profoundly your book has reached me. You have put into words something that I have “felt” and understood but didn’t have words or ways to convey what I felt and understood. I was raised in the Episcopalian tradition and have attended many other main line churches in my lifetime but I have always “talked to God.” Your book has given me a new understanding of what Biblical Faith is. A new pathway has opened for me through your words and I can’t wait to see where it takes me.
Trinity Church in the City of Boston
I just finished reading an amazing book entitled Restoring Abrahamic Faith by Professor James Tabor of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Tabor’s book is a manifesto of biblical theology deeply rooted in the text of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament). The book is full of profound wisdom and penetrating observations that skillfully elucidate the meaning of numerous biblical verses. Whether or not one agrees with all of the author’s conclusions, there is much to be learned from his encyclopedic knowledge of the biblical text and archaeology. I strongly encourage anyone who has a love for God’s holy Word to read this book!
Nehemiah Gordon, Biblical scholar, Author
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Restoring Abrahamic Faith attempts to set forth in a clear and engaging style an exposition of the ancient Hebrew Faith as revealed in the Hebrew Bible, with a particular emphasis on Abraham, Moses, the Torah, and the Prophets. Restoring Abrahamic Faith offers a compelling proposal for the 21st century, namely a return to the “ancient paths” of the Hebrew faith with Abraham, the first Hebrew, as a prime model. As such it is foundational to the origins of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, the three great Abrahamic Faiths that subsequently developed in different directions. Abrahamic Faith takes one back to the beginnings, and thereby offers a perspective that is as fascinating as it is valuable for anyone interested in the biblical tradition.
Prof. Tabor writes:
This book is very much a personal “manifesto” based on my own study of the Bible for the past 40 years. Although this work is based on my academic and historical work, it is nonetheless a biblically based exposition of the ancient Hebrew faith as drawn from the Torah, the Prophets, and the Writings of the Hebrew Bible. My intention is to address, in particular, Christians, Jews, Muslims, and secularists, by offering a challenging presentation of the great questions of Biblical Faith. Some of the fascinating subjects covered are: Who is God? What are the Holy Scriptures? How does one know the will of God? How should we live? What does salvation mean? What about the so-called “Lost Tribes” of Israel? Is the present return of Jews to the Land of Israel significant? What about the coming of the Messiah? Who was Jesus and what was his message?
From the Preface…
I began thinking seriously about the contents of this book back in the late 1960s. I had graduated from college with majors in Greek and Bible, fired by a passion for discovering the historical Jesus. It was that Quest that led me to the insights and concepts represented herein. The more I learned about Jesus the more I realized how vital it was to see him as a Jew who put his faith in the God of Abraham, who upheld the Torah, and who lived and died for his ancestral faith.
As a Christian I had grown up with a strong emphasis on the New Testament. The “Old Testament,” as we called it, was looked on as mere “background” to the superseding revelation brought by Jesus and the apostle Paul. I had never taken the “Jewishness” of Jesus very seriously—at least not in terms of its implications.
I presented the results of my forty years of academic work on the historical Jesus in a previous book, The Jesus Dynasty (Simon & Schuster, 2006). This latest book, Restoring Abrahamic Faith, goes quite a few steps beyond. It is a personal manifesto of my own biblical faith, informed by my historical work, while at the same time moving outside its strict academic parameters.
I am enamored with the Hebrew Bible—Torah, Prophets, and Writings—and it has riveted me like nothing else over these many years. In its pages I find compelling testimony to the experiences of those who have sought to “walk with God,” and a program of hope for our troubled planet. The idea and the ideal of the Kingdom of God—that is, God’s will being done on earth as in heaven, is one that beckons us across the ages. This book is about that ancient Hebrew faith and what it might mean to us in the 21st century.
Pentecost, June 15, 2008
Mevaseret Zion, Israel
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