The fourth of the 2020 CSSSB Online Discussion Series will be held on Monday, May 4, at 7pm BST (2pm EST/11am PST). CSSSB’s Prof James Crossley and Prof Chris Keith discuss John Ball, the Peasants Revolt, the Bible, Accordion playing, and the Historical Jesus.
The First Biography of Jesus: Helen Bond vs. Chris Keith
On April 13, 2020, Professors Helen Bond and Chris Keith will have a Zoom discussion on Bond’s book due out later this month, The First Biography of Jesus: Genre and Meaning in Mark’s Gospel (Eerdmans, 2020). The discussion commences at 7pm BST (2 EST/11 PST).
The discussion is the second in the Centre for the Social-Scientific Study of the Bible’s 2020 Online Discussion Series.
The Historical Jesus and Current Trends in Research: James Crossley vs. Chris Keith
On April 6, 2020, Professors James Crossley and Chris Keith had a Zoom discussion on the Historical Jesus and Current Trends in Research.
The discussion is the first in the Centre for the Social-Scientific Study of the Bible’s 2020 Online Discussion Series.
Sexually abused Jesus, Passover, House churches: Free online Zoom talks at University of Otago:
The Theology Programme at the University of Otago is offering three free Zoom talks on selected Biblical topics: The sexually abused Jesus, Passover traditions in the Bible, and New Testament house churches.
Each session will involve input followed by facilitated discussion.
Click links to enrol:
Tuesday 7 April, 7:30-8:30pm (NZ Time; 8:30-9:30am UK Time)
David Tombs: Seeing His Innocence, I See My Innocence: Responses to Jesus as a Victim of Sexual Abuse
Wednesday 8 April, 7:30-8:30pm (NZ Time; 8:30-9:30am UK Time)
James Harding: Biblical traditions relating to Passover (Recorded)
Thursday 16 April, 7:30-8:30pm (NZ Time; 8:30-9:30am UK Time)
Paul Trebilco: House Churches in the First Century: Community in the New Testament
Social Memory Theory and Conceptions of Afterlife
On May 16-17, 2019, at the Husitská teologická fakulta at Univerzity Karlovy in Czechoslovakia, a conference was held on the subject of “Social Memory Theory and Conceptions of Afterlife”.
Many of the papers at the conference were recorded:
Thursday, May 16th
I. Afterlife from Ancient Egypt and Israel to Early Judaism
10:15 – 10:45 Jiří Janák – Weighing of the Heart: Ancient Egyptian Judgement of the Dead and its Later Developments
10:45 – 11:15 Craig Broyles – The Nightmare of Sheol and the Counter-Memories of Yahwism
11:30 – 12:00 Dávid Cielontko – Eleazar Remembered: The Death and Afterlife of the Maccabean Martyr
II. Afterlife in Early Christianity – A
14:00 – 14:30 Sandra Huebenthal – Additional Notes to an Unfinished Symphony. Ressurection and Afterlife according to Mark
14:30 – 15:00 Thomas R. Hatina – When the Saints Go Marching in: Remembering Vengeance and Vindication in Matthew 27:52–53
15:15 – 15:45 Torsten Jantsch – A memory of Hades: The description of the underworld in Luke 16:19–31 and accounts of journeys into Hades in early Jewish and Greco-Roman literature
15:45 – 16:15 Kyle Parsons – From Romans to Colossians: Making Sense of Competing Conceptions of Resurrection
16:15 – 16:45 František Ábel – The Anamnestic Rhetoric of the Eucharistic Tradition Reflected in 1 Cor 11:24–25: Its Meaning and Role in Perspective of Afterlife Conception
Friday, May 17th
II. Afterlife in Early Christianity – B
10:00 – 10:30 Tobias Nicklas – The Apocalypse of Peter and its Otherworldly Landscape of Memories
10:30 – 11:00 Christian Handschuh – Extended Memory? Passio Perpetuae et Felicitatis as „Exempla fidei“
11:00 – 11:30 Jiří Lukeš – The Apocryphal Acts of Paul and Thecla – Sexual Asceticism as a Condition of Eternal Life
III. Hermeneutics and Memory
11:45 – 12:15 Petr Pokorný – Social Memory Theory and Formgeschichte
12:15 – 12:45 Zeba Crook – Form Criticism vs. Memory Theory on Resurrection Belief
14:00 – 14:30 Jan Payne – Program for Hermeneutics – To Understand the Past Is to Understand How the Passed Ones Approached Their Future
14:30 – 15:00 Lukáš Nikl – The Potential and Limits of Social Memory Approaches in Biblical Studies
15:00 Closing Discussion
Joan Taylor at Ideacity, on what Jesus looks like
Professor Joan Taylor delivered a talk on what Jesus looked like at Ideacity 2019, June 19-21, in Toronto. Ideacity is an annual meeting for rich people, which features talks from popular authors and academics, and was founded by Canadian media mogul Moses Znaimer.
Paula Fredriksen vs. James Crossley: The Death of Jesus, the First Christians, Apocalypticism, and Caligula
On April 11, 2019, the Centre for the Critical Study of Apocalyptic and Millenarian Movements (CenSAMM) hosted a talk by Professor Paula Fredriksen (Boston University/Hebrew University of Jerusalem) at St Mary’s University, Twickenham. A response and exegesis of Mark 13 was given by Professor James Crossley (CenSAMM/St Mary’s University, Twickenham).
“Prof. Paula Fredriksen (Boston University/Hebrew University of Jerusalem) will be discussing her new book When Christians Were Jews: The First Generation at St Mary’s University, Twickenham at 15.00 on Thursday 11th April 2019. Prof Fredriksen is Aurelio Professor of Scripture emerita at Boston University and Distinguished Visiting Professor of Comparative Religion at the Hebrew University. Censamm academic director, Prof James Crossley (St Mary’s University), will give a response.”
Female Disciples in Early Christianity: Non-Hierarchical Christianity at St Paul’s, London
On Tuesday 30 October 2018, at St Paul’s Cathedral (London), Professor Helen Bond (University of Edinburgh) and Professor Joan Taylor (King’s College, London) discussed the roles of women in early Christianity, beginning with Jesus’s female disciples: “My Soul Glorifies the Lord: Jesus’ female disciples”.
“The traditional story of the birth of Christianity is dominated by men. It is often thought that Jesus only chose men to be his disciples and apostles, but evidence suggests that this is really only half the story. Were female disciples in fact crucial to the Jesus movement? Profoundly scandalous at the time, the idea remains highly controversial 2,000 years later. Two distinguished early church historians will present research that shows as many as half of Jesus’ disciples were women. They say the evidence shows that women were integral to his mission and only if we see men and women working together do we see the whole story, revealing the early church as far more radical than we thought.”
0:05 Andrew Carwood, chair
7:10 Helen Bond – opening address
23:10 Joan Taylor – opening address
35:55 Helen Bond – second address
52:35 Joan Taylor – second address
1:03:25 Helen Bond, Joan Taylor, and Andrew Carwood – Panel Q&A
John W. Rogerson: The Kingdom of God
Emeritus Professor John W. Rogerson (1935-2018) delivered the Lent Lectures 2014 on “The Kingdom of God” between 12 March and 9 April 2014, at Beauchief Abbey, Sheffield.
Wednesday 12th March
Lecture 1: What is the Kingdom of God?
Wednesday 19th March
Lecture 2: The Kingship of God in the Old Testament
Wednesday 26th March
Lecture 3: The Kingdom of God in the preaching of Jesus
Wednesday 2nd April
Lecture 4: The Kingdom of God in Paul and John
Wednesday 9th April
Lecture 5: The Kingdom of God and Today’s Church
Simon Gathercole on Crucifixion and Resurrection in the Gospel of Peter
Dr Simon Gathercole (Cambridge University) delivered the third Lagrange Lecture at the École biblique et archéologique française de Jérusalem, on May 2, 2018, entitled “The Death and Resurrection of Jesus in the Gospel of Peter”.
Gathercole examines how the Gospel of Peter takes the traditions in the canonical gospels, and rearranges them, in part in order to blame “the Jews”.
#MeToo Jesus: Jesus as Victim of Sexual Abuse
On 16 January 2018, Dr Jayme Reaves (Public theologian, Dorset) and Professor David Tombs (University of Otago) delivered the joint paper “#MeToo Jesus: Why Naming Jesus as a Victim of Sexual Abuse Matters”, a Shiloh Project lecture at the University of Sheffield.
The #MeToo hashtag and campaign created by Tarana Burke in 2007 and popularized by Alyssa Milano in October 2017 has confirmed what feminists have long argued on the prevalence of sexual assault, sexual harassment and sexually abusive behaviour. It has also prompted a more public debate on dynamics of victim blaming and victim shaming which contribute to the silences which typically benefit perpetrators and add a further burden to survivors. As such, the #MeToo movement raises important questions for Christian faith and theology. A church in New York offered a creative response in a sign which adapted Jesus’ words ‘You did this to me’ in Mt 25:40 to read ‘You did this to #MeToo’. This presentation will explore the biblical and theological reasons for naming Jesus as a victim of sexual abuse drawing on earlier work presenting crucifixion as a form of state terror and sexual abuse (Tombs 1999). It will then discuss some of the obstacles to this recognition and suggest why the acknowledgement nonetheless matters. It will argue that recognition of Jesus as victim of sexual abuse can help strengthen church responses to sexual abuses and challenge tendencies within the churches, as well as in wider society, to collude with victim blaming or shaming.
For further reading, see David Tombs, ‘Crucifixion, State Terror, and Sexual Abuse’ in Union Seminary Quarterly Review (1999).
Jörg Frey YDS Shaffer Lecture: Gospel of John
Jörg Frey, Professor of New Testament at the University of Zurich, gives his three-part Shaffer Lectures at Yale Divinity School on January 23, 25, and 30, 2018, on “Theology and History in the Fourth Gospel.”
The three lectures are as follows:
Lecture I: “Christology as Theology: The Johannine Approach as a Challenge Then and Now”
Lecture II: “The Quest for the Jesus of History and Historical Tradition in the Fourth Gospel”
Lecture III: “The Spiritual Gospel: John’s Reworking of the Jesus Story for Deeper Understanding”
Naomi Seidman on a more “Jewish” Yiddish and Jesus’ Jewishness
Professor Naomi Seidman (Graduate Theological Union) delivered the 2017 GTU Distinguished Faculty Lecture: “When Jesus Spoke Yiddish: Translating the New Testament for Jews” on November 17, 2017.
Dr. Seidman’s lecture explores the linguistic strategies used by missionary translators between 1540 and 1940. During this period, translators abandoned Luther in search of a more “Jewish” Yiddish that could express their conceptions of Jesus’ Jewishness.
The lecture begins at 12:20. There is a response by Margaret Miles at 1:03:20.
Biblical Scholars on the Christmas Story
There are a few podcasts and radio segments about on the biblical accounts of the birth of Jesus. Here are three:
- Dr Robert Myles (Murdoch University) speaks about the birth of Jesus on the Rev Bill Crews podcast.
“What Does History Say About the Birth of Jesus” (December 24, 2017)
- Also, Professor Francesca Stavrakopoulou (University of Exeter) speaks about the stories of Jesus’ birth on BBC4’s The Infinite Monkey Cage Christmas Special (December 25, 2017).
- Over the years, Mark Goodacre (Duke University) has provided a number of discussions of the biblical accounts of the birth of Jesus:
“Was Jesus born in a stable?” (December 15, 2010; 11 min)
“Conflicting Christmas Stories” (December 6, 2012; 14 min)
“Is the Virgin Birth based on a Mistranslation?” (December 20, 2012; 12 min)
“The Magi in Matthew’s Gospel” (December 18, 2015; 14 min)
“Christmas in John’s Gospel” (December 14, 2016; 13 min)
Francesca Stavrakopoulou tells the Truth about Easter
On April 16, 2017, Professor Francesca Stavrakopoulou (University of Exeter) was interviewed by Dan Snow (BBC) on the History Hit podcast. The topic is “The Truth About Easter“, and Professor Stavrakopoulou discusses the origins of the Easter holiday.
The interview is available in mp3 audio format (26:09).