Lectures & Events

Prof. James D. Tabor will deliver the 2014 Forrest Reed Lecture on at Vanderbilt Divinity School on Monday, March 17, 2014 at 10AM. His topic is both controversial and provocative:

Was Paul the Jew the Founder of Emerging Christianity? Details below and linked here. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Vanderbilt JDT March 2014


The 2014 Great Decisions Lecture “The Relationship Between Israel and the United States: How the Bible Shapes the Dialogue,” scheduled for February 12th was cancelled due to the snow storm. It is now rescheduled for Wednesday, February 26, at 7:30pm:

Charlotte Center City, Room 204
320 E. 9th Street
Charlotte, NC 28202

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Great Decisions lecture series sponsored by the Office of International Programs

Dr. James D. Tabor “The Relationship Between Israel and the United States: How The Bible Shapes the Dialogue” RESCHEDULED DUE TO BLIZZARD


Wednesday, February 12, 2014, 6:30pm
Charlotte Center City, Room 204
320 E. 9th Street
Charlotte, NC 28202

The Office of International Programs coordinates the annual Great Decisions lecture series for the Charlotte community to present foreign policy issues selected as pressing by the Foreign Policy Association. The series is coordinated in collaboration with Charlotte Country Day School and the World Affairs Council of Charlotte.


Biblical Archaeology Society’s “Bible Fest XVI,” November 22-24 in Baltimore

James D. Tabor, “Was Paul the Jew the Founder of Christianity?

Sunday, November 24, 9:00-10:15am

Paul has been loved and hated through the ages. Some see him as a faithful Jew until the end of his life, though one who came to believe Jesus was the Messiah, whereas others have charged he abandoned his Jewish faith and was the founder of the new religion of Christianity. What can we learn from Paul’s seven authentic letters themselves when they are considered separately from later theological issues and controversies? Should Paul be seen as the unacknowledged founder of Christianity?

20 scholars with provocative topics. You can find more information here.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Elon University Conference on “Jewish Christian Relations,” Sunday, November 17, 1:00-6:30pm, my topic ““Who is a Jew?: A Modern Conundrum with Ancient Roots.” The papers really look fascinating, not to mention the presenters. Lectures are free and open to the public. You can find more information here.


IsraelTour 2013See details of our itinerary here. You can register on-line here. I have traveled to Israel over 50 times since 1990 but only three of those trips involved taking a tour group with me. I am not in the “tour business” and most of the time on my trips I am involved in archaeological projects, filming, or doing research. The only kind of tour I have ever been interested in is to serve those with an interest in biblical history and archaeology who wanted something beyond your average “Holy Land” tour. I receive no compensation for these tours beyond travel expenses.  I do them because I enjoy the people who go with us and have seen what a difference it makes in their lives–even those who have made multiple Holy Land trips in the past.


Southeastern Regional Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature and the American Schools of Oriental Research, March 16, 2013, 2:30-4:30pm, Hyatt Regency, Greenville, SC. This sessions is free and open to the public. You can read more details here.

Theme: Special Session on The Jesus Discovery: The New Archaeological Find that Reveals the Birth of Christianity (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2012)
Ralph K. Hawkins, Averett University, Presiding
James Tabor, University of North Carolina, Charlotte

• A New Iconographic Image and an Mixed Greek/Hebrew Inscription from a Sealed 1st Century CE Tomb in Jerusalem

Chris Rollston, George Washington University

• The Talpiyot Tombs: Some Sober Reflections on the Epigraphic Materials Mark Goodacre, Duke University

• The Jesus Discovery? A Skeptic’s Perspective James Tabor, University of North Carolina, Charlotte, response


Society of Biblical Literature, Annual Meeting, November 17-20, 2012, Chicago, IL. Paper in the Ancient Near Eastern Iconography and the Bible section:

  • An New Image and an Mixed Greek/Hebrew Inscription from a Sealed 1st Century CE Tomb in Jerusalem

Abstract: Using robotic technology and HD cameras this tomb was explored remotely in 2010 under an Israel Antiquities Authority License directed by the author and Rami Arav of UN at Omaha. The technical operation was unprecedented. The tomb was briefly examined in 1980 but then sealed up and a modern condominium building was built over it. It is two meters below the ground level. The tomb was accessed by a series of drill holes. It contains seven ossuaries, two of which are inscribed with unusual feature. The first is an icon that we identify as the earliest “Jonah and the fish” image ever found, the second, on the ossuary next to it, a four-line Greek inscription that appears to be a mixture of Greek and Aramaic/Hebrew words written in Greek. The interpretation argued here is that it is an epitaph declaring God/Yahweh will raise up, has raised up, or an imperative to raise up. This paper interprets both in the light of one another and in the context of of early Jesus followers who during the pre-70CE period apparently believed that their slain leader, Jesus of Nazareth, had been exalted to heaven.

Meeting registration required, information here.

Here is the program entry with times and details:

Ancient Near Eastern Iconography and the Bible
9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Room: W176a – McCormick Place
Theme: The Relationship between Text and Image

Joel LeMon, Emory University, Presiding

Meir Lubetski, City University of New York
Baffling Inscribed Personal Names in Hebrew Onomastics (30 min)

Martin Klingbeil, Southern Adventist University
Seals and Scarabs from Khirbet Qeiyafa (2010-2011) (30 min)

Richard Freund, University of Hartford
Text and Artifact: The Emergence of the Menorah as the Symbol of Ancient Judaism in Coins, Mosaics, Murals, Glass and Pottery (30 min)

James Tabor, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
An New Image and a Mixed Greek/Hebrew Inscription from a Sealed 1st Century CE Tomb in Jerusalem (30 min)

Discussion (15 min)
Business Meeting (15 min)



Biblical Archaeology Society, 15th Annual Bible and Archaeology Fest, November 16-18, 2012, Chicago, IL.

  • Is There Reliable Archaeological Evidence Related to the Earliest Followers of Jesus?

The recent events surrounding the James ossuary controversy as well as the new discoveries of a four-line Greek inscription and an image that is arguably one of “Jonah and the big fish,” in an ancient Jerusalem sealed tomb have sparked renewed consideration of the question of whether Jesus’ earliest Jewish followers left behind any distinctive archaeological remains. This paper will consider this century old discussion, represented by scholars like Sukenik, Bagatti, Figueras, Rahmani, Taylor, and Gibson, assessing the state of the question today.

Registration required, information here.


Biblical Archaeology Society, Seminar at Sea, Caribbean Cruise and Lecture Series, January 27-February 3, 2013.

  • A Hidden and Forgotten Gospel: The “Q Source”
  • Cities Set on a Hill: Sepphoris and Nazareth
  • “Thou Art the Man”: The Trial of Jesus of Nazareth—Part 1
  • “Thou Art the Man”: The Trial of Jesus of Nazareth—Part 2
  • A Tale of Two Tombs
  • The Original Church of the Apostles
  • Question and Answer Session with Dr. Tabor

Registration required, information here.