#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).


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).

Marcus Borg: Resurrected into our Experiences

One recurring interest for Professor Marcus Borg (March 11, 1942 – January 21, 2015) was the nature and meaning of the resurrection of Jesus. The late Marcus Borg was involved in a number of debates and discussions concerning the meaning of resurrection, and we include a selection here.

Crossan and Borg vs. White and Renihan
Gulf of Alaska, 2005

This debate took place on board a cruise ship in 2005 in the Gulf of Alaska, between John Dominic Crossan, Marcus Borg, James Renihan and James White.


Did Jesus Rise from the Dead? William Lane Craig vs Marcus Borg
University of North Texas, Denton, Texas (October 22, 2001)

“William Lane Craig debates Jesus Seminar member Marcus Borg on Jesus’ physical resurrection. Darrell Bock and Daryl Schmidt (also a Jesus Seminar member) respond.”


Believing in the Resurrection: Was Jesus Actually Raised from the Dead? Marcus Borg & Charles Holt
Hosted by the Rollins College on February 7, 2013


Listen also to a debate between Borg’s fellow Jesus Seminarian, John Dominic Crossan with N.T. Wright,
The Resurrection: Historical Event or Theological Interpretation?
New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, March 11 or 12, 2005


Madeleine Boucher on Mary Magdalene

Dr. Madeleine Boucher, former professor of New Testament and director of the Women’s Studies Program, Fordham University, presents a lecture examining what the Bible and tradition say about Mary Magdalene (July 22, 2009).

This lecture looks at the conflation of traditions of Mary Magdalene as well as Scripture references to clarify who this “Apostle to the Apostles” was and was not.  Special focus is given to the resurrection narrative in John’s Gospel.

A helpful handout is also available for Madeleine Boucher’s lecture.


James McGrath: New Testament Lectures

James McGrath’s YouTube lectures include a number on New Testament studies:

1. The Infancy Narratives in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke

Lecture on the stories about Jesus’ birth and infancy in the New Testament, by Dr. James F. McGrath, Clarence L. Goodwin Chair in New Testament Language and Literature at Butler University. I apologize that the first sentence and a half got cut off.

2. A Lecture on Crucifixion in Early Christianity

A lecture on the Passion Narratives, focusing on the place of the crucifixion in Paul’s letters and the Gospel of Mark, by Dr. James F. McGrath, Clarence L. Goodwin Chair in New Testament Language and Literature at Butler University in Indianapolis.

3. The Relationships between the Gospels

A lecture on the Synoptic problem (i.e. the relationship between the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke) and on the distinctive features of the Gospel of John, by Dr. James F. McGrath of Butler University in Indianapolis.

4. The Book of Revelation

A class on the Book of Revelation and apocalyptic literature taught by Dr. James F. McGrath, Clarence L. Goodwin Chair in New Testament Language and Literature at Butler University in Indianapolis

Why Study? University of Nottingham Video Series

The Why Study Theology and Religious Studies? series from the University of Nottingham contains various contributions from biblical studies. These include:

Why Study the Didache? with Tom O’Loughlin

Why Study Early Christianity? with Tom O’Loughlin

Why Study Orality? with Tom O’Loughlin

Why Study the Protoevangelium of James? with Tom O’Loughlin

Why Study Rabbinic Judaism? with Holger Zellentin

Why Study Rudolf Bultmann? with Henri Gagey

Why Study Paul’s Letter to the Romans? with Richard Bell

Why Study the Death of Jesus in Paul? with Richard Bell

Why Study St Paul and Israel? with Richard Bell

Why Study the Hebrew Bible? with Carly Crouch

Why Study Prophecy? with Carly Crouch

Why Study Biblical Warfare? with Carly Crouch

Why Study Jesus Christ? with Roland Deines

Why Study the Pharisees? with Roland Deines

Why Study James of Jerusalem? with Roland Deines

Why Study the Old Testament alongside the New? with Margaret Barker

Why Study Hebrew? with Peter Watts