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9May/094

“Restoring Abrahamic Faith” by James Tabor (book review)

According to the publisher's website (Genesis 2000 Press), 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.

Brief background: The author, James D. Tabor (Ph.D. 1981, University of Chicago), is Chair of the Dept of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where he has taught since 1989.

I knew Tabor's book was going to focus on Hebraic-roots and though I have much interest in that topic, my primary desire in reading it was driven more with curiosity in how he would approach the issue of the House of Joseph (the Lost 10 Tribes). You have to wait until the third major section of the book (titled "The Plan") before he really delves into the Two-House reality in earnest. Since David Horowitz (founder of United Israel World Union) was his mentor, I knew Tabor must have some profound things to say about 10-Israel... and I wasn't disappointed. A brief sample:

These promises of restoration are addressed to both the House of Israel ("the Lost Tribes") and the House of Judah ("the Jews"). One of the most neglected points in the Hebrew Prophets, even among Jews, but virtually unacknowledged among Gentiles/Christians, is their constant emphasis on the total restoration of ALL Israel--meaning all twelve Tribes. Ephraim/Joseph, who has seemingly been lost among the Gentiles, will make himself known to his brother Judah. The results of this reunion will astound the world and alter world history. pg.78

When we have the head of religious studies from a major university making such monumental remarks regarding 10-Israel (e.g., altering world history), the "One-Housers" and/or the oblivious schools of Christendom should be jarringly shoved into the light of reason in regards to Joseph... even if they are barricaded into their worldview with slabs and slabs of misinformation and tradition. In my experience, one of the main reasons Christian ministers will say the "LAW" isn't for Gentiles is because the "LAW wasn't given to Gentiles", but instead, it was given just to "the Jews" (in their "proper" exegetical minds). Hence, I believe much of Christiandom is close-minded toward the Two-House reality partially because they fear the far-reaching ramifications... in the realm of Lawlessness in particular. Exposing Joseph to them, is like rescuing an elderly person from the Matrix, the Red Pill is too traumatizing for them to swallow. Knowing this, maybe Tabor leaves the 10-Israel topic for later in the book. The first two sections of the book brings much compelling "scriptural" reasoning as to why the WAY of TORAH is good and was meant to be Light to all nations no matter if they have a Hebrew or Semitic heritage. The subject of 10-Israel could probably have been left out and the general message would be solid none-the-less. However, I'm thankful he included it and think the outline and flow of the book was very thoughtful and digestible... and think it would likely be so for most all readers.

My only disagreement with the book is Tabor's conclusion that Yeshua (Jesus) was not / is not the same Person as יהוה. If you read the book (and I hope you will) I would suggest reading my article: Is Yeshua (Jesus) the same Person as יהוה (YHVH)?. Tabor would claim many of the New Testament verses that paint Yeshua as Divine were inserted by later scribes in later generations, and he may turnout to be correct wholly or partially (if need be, I will be amiable to Yeshua's corrective voice when he returns). I'm very familiar with the textual criticism of Bart Ehrman and at least partially aware of how NT manuscripts were tweaked occasionally in order to support particular religious doctrines, yet I must refute Tabor's general proclamation that the "god-man" paradigm is entirely Hellenistic. In passages like Genesis 18-19, יהוה appeared in the form of a "god-man" to Abraham; and in Genesis 32, יהוה appeared to and wrestled with Jacob as a "god-man". Yeshua being and having the same mind of יהוה is not necessarily a Greek/Pagan innovation just because the Greeks frequently epitomized "god-man" type legends.

I hate to sound off on a negative note, especially since I agree with the majority of what Tabor writes. So please know... all in all, I greatly respect Tabor and enjoyed, quickly consumed, and highly recommend his book Restoring Abrahamic Faith. I truly do believe it would be a worthy and significant addition to anyone's library even if one doesn't agree with all his conclusions.

Shalom Aleichem,
Hanok ben Isaak

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Comments (4) Trackbacks (0)
  1. He is an antichrist who denies
    The Father and The Son.

    He who does not have the Son (of God – Yahshua)
    does not have the Father (YHWH).

    It is obvious that Tabor is of those without.

    At first his book is fascinating but the more you read the more you see that his light is darkness.

    …Until you finally get to the root of it and see who you are dealing with – very simple!

    His core belief:
    “A woman cannot get pregnant without a male
    and a dead man (clinically) does not resurrect”.
    So that’s his core belief – from there, he makes the Bible fit within his parameter of beliefs. He doesn’t know the scriptures nor the Power of the Eternal God – YHWH.

    So we see who we’re dealing with. The same lie – there are so many discrepancies, misquotes, twistings of scriptures in his book – If it was worth my time I would write about all OF them but it’s not.

    He belongs with ‘Brown’ and the false Jesus of the DaVinci Code –

    Again: who is the antichrist? He who denies the Father (YHWH) AND the Son (of God – Yahshua)
    PERIOD!

    Hey, instead of reading this PHD sugar-coated stinking garbage, read your Bible (not the new PER-versions) – Many antichrists and deceivers have come into the world and this author is one of them.

    AMEN!

  2. RE: above comment was really for “The Jesus’ dynasty” Tabor’s other book.
    CONCLUSION: Same

    4th phrase of above comment: “…at first the book is fascinating…” THE HOOK: “The Abrahamic Faith…”

    5th phrase of above comment :…Until you finally get to the root… ‘ROOT (who is the writer and what’s his goal?)
    which becomes EVIDENT in “the Jesus’ dynasty”
    where he shows his real color by twisting YHWY’s testimony about His Son [Yeshua]

    and making his false (another) jesus, A SIMPLE HUMAN, WHO IS DEAD. the son of Joseph and Myriam (the author’s myriam had sex with another man before she married Joseph and his jesus also had sex w/mary magdalene and bla la bla, bla bla bla (I’m getting bored!)

    BUT REMEMBER, all who have the Spirit of G-d / The Spirit of truth and not the spirit of error:

    All of us who truly love, believe and obey the YHWH of the Tanakh (O.T.) and who truly believe Moshe, believe in the testimony, including that Yeshua, the Messiah is the Son of God and Joseph’s DNA was/ is…. nowhere to be found in Yeshua’s body.

    Yeshua says: “But don’t think that it is I who will be your accuser before the Father.

    Do you know who will accuse you?

    Moshe, the very one you have counted on!. For if you really believed Moshe, you would believe me [Yeshua] because it was about me that he wrote. But if you don’t believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?” (John 5: 45-47) Complete Jewish Bible

    Matt 16: 15-16 (Complete Jewish Bible) Yeshua speaking to his apostles: “But you… who do you say that I am? Shim’on Kefa answered, “You are the Mashiach, the Son of the living God.” Shim’on Bar-Yochanan,” Yeshua said to him, how blessed you are! For no human being revealed this to you, no, it was my Father in heaven….

    “Child of G-d” Do not ever forget this and please, do not be impressed by PhD’s nor by titles, nor positions. Remember that the Son of G-d called many of those ‘holier and smarter than thou’ “sons of the devil”

    YHWH is the Eternal G-d, the Father,
    Yeshua (of Nazareth) is the Son of the Living God and the only name under heaven by which men can be saved and He is coming back as King of kings and L-rd of lords and every knee will bow, even Satan’s who will be thrown into the bottomless pit for a thousand years and lastly, to the lake of fire. (in a nut shell)

    Revelation 22 (last chapter of the last Book of the Holy Bible)
    …. “Whoever keeps acting wickedly, let him go on acting wickedly; whoever is filthy let him go on being made filthy…. Pay attention! “[says Yeshua,] “I am coming soon, and my rewards are with me to give to each person according to what he has done. “….I am the ‘A’ and the “Z” , the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” …”I, Yeshua, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the Messianic communities. I am the Root and Offspring of David, the bright Morning Star. The Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come!’ Let anyone who hears say, ‘Come!’ And let anyone who is thirsty come – let anyone who wishes, take the water of life free of charge.” …” The one who is testifying to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon!” Amen! Come, Lord Yeshua! May the grace of the Lord Yeshua be with all!

    THE END.
    (from: “Complete Jewish Bible” Translation by David H. Stern)

  3. He is not accepting the Salvation given by Yeshua HaMashiach by grace through faith.
    “For God so loved the world that he gave his only and unique Son, so that everyone who trusts in him may have eternal life, instead of being utterly destroyed. “

  4. Michele,
    With all due respect, I believe you have “missed the boat” when it comes to understanding the writings of James D. Tabor. First, he is a scholar of first rant; an eminent Biblical historian. Second, he is following the evidence as is currently known, and sometimes that means “rocking the boat.” He is not afraid of exploring possibilities that other scholars are too fearful to follow – treading where others fear to tread. Dr. Tabor is fearless when it comes to getting to the the truth.

    I ask you, “Does it make sense to you that an immaterial being (a.k.a, God) has a human son? Why not also a daughter? Is there something wrong with God having a daughter? Given the facts of human evolution and cosmology, does the Genesis creation stories make any sense at all? Does the non-existent Garden of Eden, along with its talking serpent make sense? Does original sin as defined in the Bible make sense to you? Does the horrible human sacrifice of a human being, Jesus, make sense to you anymore than the Aztecs making a human sacrifice to their god? How can a human sacrifice appease a spirit God? Shouldn’t there be a better, less violent way? Isn’t the Eucharist an example of cannibalism, eating Jesus’ flesh and drinking his blood? Our society condemns cannibalism, plus it is against the law.

    If you are as fearless as Dr. Tabor, you will step back from your ingrained beliefs and ask these questions within the context of known facts. There are many additional questions like the above that you could examine.

    Or, you can choose to believe entirely on faith and faith alone. To me, there is nothing wrong with that. To me, an atheist possesses a kind of faith in his or her belief that there is no god. Faith can be a strong force in one’s life if it is used constructively. If you need faith for purpose, meaning and value in life, then by all means don’t ask the above questions, or any like them. Continue to believe what an ancient book says to believe. Continue to believe what those whom you consider to be authorities tell you to believe. Don’t think for yourself; just believe.

    But please, stop your judgmental diatribes of Dr. Tabor and his serious and scholarly work. Stop attacking the messenger of truth. Stop condemning others. Check out the plank in your own eye before pointing to the splinter in another person’s eye.

    Shalom
    Nathan


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