Bart Ehrman debates Robert Price and the Milwaukee Mythicists: Did Jesus Exist?

On October 21, 2016, Professor Bart Ehrman (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) debated Dr Robert Price (Centre for Inquiry Institute) on the topic, Did Jesus Exist?

The debate was hosted by the freethought group Mythicist Milwaukee, at their 2016 Mythinformation Conference.

Debate Format:
Opening Presentations:

Speaker for the affirmative: Bart Ehrman
30 minute presentation
Speaker for the negative: Robert Price
30 minute presentation
10 minute break
Discussion:
Bart Ehrman
10 minutes of questions for Robert Price
Robert Price
10 minutes of questions for Bart Ehrman
This repeats 2 times for each speaker for a total of 60 minutes
10 minute break
Audience question and answer period
40 minutes

Immediately following the debate, James Crossley, Daniel Gullotta, David Fitzgerald and James McGrath discussed it with Arick Mittler and Matt Kovacs. The discussion is available in two mp3 files:

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Memory and the Reception of Jesus in Early Christianity

The Memory and the Reception of Jesus in Early Christianity Conference was held on Friday 10th to Saturday 11th June 2016, at St Mary’s University, Twickenham. Some of the lectures from this conference are now available on YouTube:

Day 1

Chris Keith (read by Steve Walton), “The Memory Approach and the Reception of Jesus”

Christine Jacobi, “The Reception of Jesus in Paul”

Discussion after Keith and Jacobi

Richard Bauckham, “The Psychology of Eyewitness Memory”

Helen Bond, “The Reception of Jesus in the Gospel of John”

Discussion after Bauckham and Bond

Jens Schroeter, “Memory and Theories of History” [lecture is incomplete: cuts off early]

Day 2

Samuel Byrskog, “Memory and Narrative”

Sandra Hübenthal, “The Reception of Jesus in Mark’s Gospel”

Discussion after Byrskog and Hübenthal

Alan Kirk, “Memory and Media”

Joan Taylor, “The Reception of Images of Jesus Prior to Constantine”

Discussion after Kirk and Taylor

Ruben Zimmermann, “Memory, Identity, and Mimetic Ethics”

James Crossley, “The Reception of Jesus in Talmudic Literature”

Discussion after Zimmermann and Crossley

Rafael Rodríguez, “Memory and Liturgy”

Anthony Le Donne, “Reflections on the Past, Present, and Future of the Memory Approach”

Panel Discussion

On James Crossley’s Redirection of the Life of the Historical Jesus: A Syndicate symposium

Crossley-Jesus

There is a symposium at Syndicate on James Crossley’s book, Jesus and the Chaos of History: Redirecting the Life of the Historical Jesus (2015).

The following critical responses to the book are available on the Syndicate website:

Symposium Introduction, by Chris Tilling.

“Historical Jesus, Epistemic Modesty”, by Helen Bond, November 23, 2015

Response by James Crossley, “Rethinking Upheaval: A Response to Helen Bond”, November 23, 2015

“How Chaotic is the Kingdom Tradition?” by Brent Driggers, November 25, 2015

Response by James Crossley, “The Dictatorship of God Is among You? A Response to Ira Brent Driggers”, November 25, 2015

Reply by Brent Driggers, “Clarifications and Further Questions”, November 25, 2015

Reply by James Crossley, “Imperialism or Liberation?”, December 12, 2015

“A Man in His Time”, by Rafael Rodríguez, November 30, 2015

Response by James Crossley, “Jesus and the Permanent Revolution? A Response to Rafael Rodriguez”, November 30, 2015

Sin, the Law, and Purity“, by Paula Fredricksen, December 2, 2015

Response by James Crossley, “Living Legally in End Times: A Response to Paula Fredriksen”, December 2, 2015

The Historical Jesus, His Illiteracy, and a Memory Approach: A Syndicate Symposium on Chris Keith’s Jesus against the Scribal Elite

Chris-Keith-Symposium-Header

There is a symposium at Syndicate on Chris Keith’s book, Jesus against the Scribal Elite: The Origins of the Conflict (2014).

The following critical responses to the volume are available on the Syndicate website:

Symposium Introduction, by Chris Tilling.

“Put into Perspective By an Illiterate Jesus”, by Dagmar Winter, October 10, 2015.

Response to Chris Tilling and Dagmar Winter by Chris Keith, “Jesus, Scribal Illiteracy, and Conflict: In Grateful Dialogue with My Respondents”, October 12, 2015.

“Text-Brokering and Social Upheaval”, by Tobias Hägerland, October 14, 2015.

Response by Chris Keith, “Understating the Significance of Jesus’ Success: A Response to Tobias Hägerland”, October 14, 2015.

“Literacy, Iconoclasm, and a Maddening Portrait of Jesus”, by Christopher Skinner, October 19, 2015.

Response by Chris Keith, “Embarrassment and the Unpalatably Illiterate Jesus: A Response to Christopher Skinner”, October 19, 2015.

“Will the “Real” Jesus Stand Up?”, by Jason Lamoreaux, October 21, 2015.

Response by Chris Keith, “‘Perspective’ and the Debateable Legitimacy of Putting Humpty Dumpty Together Again: A Response to Jason Lamoreaux“, October 21, 2015.

Steve Moyise on ‘Reimagining the Jewish Jesus’

From the Dead Letters and Living Words conference at Newman University:

Prof. Steve Moyise encouraged us to re-examine the Jewish Jesus in the paper ‘Reimagining the Jewish Jesus‘ which he presented at the Dead Letters & Living Words conference at Newman on 6th June 2015…

It is difficult to overstate the impact of Geza Vermes’ Jesus the Jew (1973) and E.P. Sanders’ Jesus and Judaism (1985) on New Testament and Historical Jesus studies. Although an awareness of Jesus’ Jewish background had long been a part of our consciousness, it was their work that drove it to our attention. Jesus could no longer be seen as being distinct from his Jewish background. In order to be fully understood, his life, work and teaching needed to be studied within the context of late Second Temple period Judaism.

In a typically entertaining and accessible paper, Moyise took three elements of Jesus’ teaching that are traditionally seen as being distinctively Christian in character and a discontinuity from the Judaism of his time:

  • The Son of Man is the Lord of the Sabbath
  • Jesus and the Food Laws
  • Jesus and the Second Coming

Moyise explored each in the light of their Jewish rather than Christian context, throwing light on how they would probably have been understood by the contemporaries of Jesus and, in doing so, challenging our assumptions and traditional understanding of them.

PowerPoint slides are available here.

BSO Podcast: Chris Keith on Social Memory and Historical Jesus Studies

The latest BSO online interview is now available for download from iTunes or streaming from here. In BSO5 James Crossley interviews Chris Keith. Chris Keith is Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity and Director of the Centre for the Social-Scientific Study of the Bible at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, London.

BSO interviews Chris Keith, discussing some of the most contentious areas in historical Jesus studies today. This include: social memory, the so-called criteria of authenticity, form criticism, and various issues in historical Jesus studies.

Amy-Jill Levine: Who Did They Say He Was? Jesus in Text and Context

Professor Amy-Jill Levine (Vanderbilt University) delivered the lecture, “Who Did They Say He Was? Jesus in Text and Context” at Westminster Town Hall, Minneapolis, on March 31, 2015. Levine addresses the question of who Jesus was to the first-century Jews who heard him and sometimes followed him (and sometimes did not).

Bart Ehrman reads the Gospels horizontally: On the discrepancies between the Gospels

On February 25, 2014, Professor Bart D. Ehrman (University of North Carolina) presented “Jesus and the Historian” at the Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

ehrman-discrepancies

Biblical scholars have long recognized the discrepancies between the four New Testament Gospels and the difficulties that result in determining who Jesus really was. Can these four Gospels be relied upon to give us an accurate account of Jesus’s words and deeds? Bart brings to bear his analysis and lengthy scholarship to answer this question.

Biblical Studies Online Podcast 3: Jesus, Paul and Empire

The third installment of the Biblical Studies Online podcasts is now available on iTunes. The theme is ‘Jesus, Paul and Empire’:

James Crossley talks about a major recent trend in New Testament scholarship which casts Jesus, the Gospels and Paul as anti-imperial thinkers and suggests that while there may be some truth in this description, the imperialism in the New Testament should not be underestimated.

BSOThe iTunes Content Rating has been designated ‘clean’ so the podcast can be enjoyed by all the family.

Susannah Heschel on The Nazi Jesus of German Biblical Scholarship

Two lectures are available on YouTube from Susannah Heschel, Dartmouth College’s Eli Black professor of Jewish Studies, and author of The Aryan Jesus: Christian Theologians and the Bible in Nazi Germany (Princeton University Press, 2010), on the developments which led to the construction of a Nazi or Aryan Jesus in mid-twentieth-century German biblical scholarship.

1. “From Rabbi to Nazi: The Vicissitudes of Jesus in Modern Theology,” The Krister Stendahl Memorial Lecture, Nov 7, 2011, Ersta Konferens, Bringsalen, Erstagatan 1K, Stockholm.

Both Christian and Jewish theologies developed in the modern period within a European context, shaped by intellectual currents of Enlightenment, romanticisim, and historicism, but also by political movements of imperialism, racism, and nationalism. These two theological movements – and here I will focus primarily on the Protestantism and Judaism of Germany from the late 18th century through World War II – developed with careful attention to each other. Indeed, each was shaped by the claims and concerns of the other: reforms of the synagogue, for example, followed traditions of the church (organ, weekly sermon, music), while Protestants wrestled with the (non)distinctiveness of Jesus from first-century Judaism. Demonstrating the independence and autonomy of each religion, and preserving its “unique” message became increasingly difficult in light of the blurred boundaries between the two religions. Interestingly, Jewish thinkers turned to Islam as a template for defending Judaism’s ethical monotheism, while Christians in Germany turned to India to discover the original “Aryan” soul, and increasingly in the early twentieth century found affinities with racial theory.
My talk will outline the history of these developments in order to demonstrate the roots of our contemporary conflicts over religious tolerance. I will not propose a constructive theology for the future, but I will instead demonstrate some of the pitfalls of several approaches, ranging from liberal to Orthodox. The goal is not simply to seek paths of coexistence and tolerance of several religious faiths in one society, but to find ways in which the existence of other faiths not only influence, but enhance and deepen our own.

2. “The Aryan Jesus in Nazi Germany: The Bible and the Holocaust,” The Kripke Center for the Study of Religion, Project Interfaith and the Institute for Holocaust Education, Creighton University, April 23, 2013.

This lecture is also available in an mp3 version.

Mark Goodacre – NT Pod podcasts

NTPod

Mark Goodacre, Professor of New Testament at Duke University, provides a regular podcast on New Testament scholarship called NT Pod.

The major topics of these podcasts are the Gospels and Jesus scholarship, although Goodacre also addresses topics in Pauline scholarship, the apocryphal gospels, and other aspects of the New Testament. While the podcasts are short and succinct – usually 10 to 15 minutes – they provide clear, accessible, up-to-date, and authoritative overviews of many topics in New Testament scholarship.

Timothée Colani, Jésus-Christ et les croyances messianiques de son temps (1864)

Timothée Colani’s Jésus-Christ et les croyances messianiques de son temps (1864), particularly famous for his argument that a ‘Little Apocalypse’ underlies Mark 13, is freely available in various forms here courtesy of the University of Michigan’s collections.

Ernest Renan on Christian Origins

Seven volumes of Ernest Renan’s History of the Origins of Christianity are available online and for free download courtesy of ccel.org.

History of the Origins of Christianity. Book I. Life of Jesus

History of the Origins of Christianity. Book II. The Apostles

History of the Origins of Christianity. Book III. Saint Paul

History of the Origins of Christianity. Book IV. The Antichrist

History of the Origins of Christianity. Book V. The Gospels

History of the Origins of Christianity. Book VI. The Reigns of Hadrian and Antoninus Pius. (A.D. 117-161)

History of the Origins of Christianity. Book VII. Marcus-Aurelius

LibriVox Audiobooks – Historical Jesus: Strauss and Schweitzer

librivox

LibriVox publishes free public domain audiobooks, mostly pre-1923 out-of-copyright works, which are recorded by volunteers. The collection includes two classic historical Jesus works (which you might want to play on your phone as you are out jogging):

David Friedrich Strauss, Life of Jesus Critically Examined, tr. George Eliot (German original, 1835; English tr. 1860)

Albert Schweitzer, The Quest of the Historical Jesus, tr. William Montgomery (German original, 1906; English tr. 1910).