Robert Alter – 1987 Stroum Lectures: The Invention of Hebrew Prose

Professor Robert Alter (University of California, Berkeley) delivered the 1987 Stroum Lectures in Jewish Studies at the University of Washington: “The Invention of Hebrew Prose: Literary Language and the Dilemma of Mimesis”.

 

Lecture 1:

Lecture 2:

Lecture 3:

Yael Zerubavel – 2009 Stroum Lectures: Encounters with the Past

Professor Yael Zerubavel (Rutgers University) delivered the 2009 Stroum Lectures in Jewish Studies at the University of Washington: “Encounters with the Past: Remembering the Bygone in Israeli Culture”.

Professor Zerubavel examines the construction and reconstruction of collective memory. The first lecture examines the use of antiquity for Zionist and nationalist interests in modern Israel.

Lecture 1: “Bridges to Antiquity”

Lecture 2: “Mirrors of Galut (Exile) in the Homeland”

Lecture 3: “When the New Becomes Old”

 

 

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

David Tombs on The Rape and Sexual Abuse of Jesus

Professor David Tombs (University of Otago) presented a Public Lecture at the University of Auckland on July 20, 2016 entitled “Acknowledging Jesus as Victim of Sexual Abuse”.

Feminist and womanist theologians have questioned traditional Christian models of atonement that appear to render God complicit in the extreme violence of the cross, likening Jesus’ crucifixion to a form of ‘divine child abuse’. These models of atonement often reinforce unhealthy attitudes towards the acceptance of sexual violence and abuse.

Professor Tomb’s presentation will link the critiques of atonement to recent research on crucifixion, which re-reads the historical and scriptural evidence on Roman crucifixions to suggest that sexual humiliation and sexual violence were prominent features in this event. This will lead to discussion on the theological and ethical relevance of such an understanding of crucifixion, including its significance in light of recent sexual abuse scandals within the church.

The paper may be listened to in mp4 format, with accompanying visuals here, or the mp4 file may be downloaded here.

h/t: Caroline Blyth

Fernando Segovia: Toward Biblical Criticism as Global-Systemic

On February 11, 2016, at Yale Divinity School, Professor Fernando Segovia (Vanderbilt Divinity School) delivered a lecture on biblical criticism in the emerging world system, one in which the West will no longer dominate. His lecture, entitled “Toward Biblical Criticism as Global-Systemic: Analyzing the Global Framework as Departure”, was held at Yale Divinity School.

“Beyoncé, Black Women, and the Bible”: Nyasha Junior on Womanist Biblical Interpretation

On February 4, 2016, Professor Nyasha Junior (Temple University) delivered a talk at Rowan University College of Humanities and Social Sciences entitled “Beyoncé, Black Women, and the Bible”, which outlines her approach to Womanist Biblical Interpretation. Junior is the author of An Introduction to Womanist Biblical Interpretation (Westminster John Knox, 2015), and her talk is largely based on this book.

African-American women have a complex relationship to feminism, which has often focused on the concerns of affluent, White women. Some African-American women choose to identify themselves and their scholarship as womanist, drawing on Alice Walker’s 1983 definition of the term. Based on her recently published book An Introduction to Womanist Biblical Interpretation (Westminster John Knox 2015), Dr. Nyasha Junior will discuss how scholars use womanist approaches within biblical studies. She will explain how womanist biblical interpretation is related to feminist biblical interpretation and also deeply rooted in the work of previous generations of African-American women interpreters of the Bible.

Melvin K.H. Peters: Translating the Old Greek Bible (The Septuagint): An Inconvenient Witness to Biblical History

Professor Melvin K.H. Peters (Duke University) delivered the lecture, “Translating the Old Greek Bible (The Septuagint): An Inconvenient Witness to Biblical History” at the BYU Kennedy Center on April 2, 2009.

Peters speaks about the Septuagint, the Leningrad Codex, and NETS (New English Translation of the Septuagint). He asks why the retroverted Septuagint is not preferred by the majority of academic and confessional users of the Bible.

Amy-Jill Levine on The Carpenter, Gender, and Sexuality: The 42nd Annual Antoinette Brown lecture

Professor Amy-Jill Levine (Vanderbilt Divinity School) delivered the 42nd Annual Antoinette Brown lecture on March 31, 2016, at Benton Chapel, Vanderbilt University Divinity School. The lecture also celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Carpenter Program in Religion, Gender, and Sexuality.

Levine’s lecture was entitled “The Carpenter, Gender, and Sexuality: The Use and Abuse of the Gospels in Politics and Piety”. Her lecture looks at what the Bible teaches about rape, adultery, and women’s sexual pleasure. She also discusses the contemporary deployment of the Bible as a weapon: contemporary interpretations of the Bible which result in people dying, such as condemnations of homosexuality and abortion, and domestic abuse. Lastly, she examines the roles and authority of women in the Bible.

The lecture begins at 9:00.

Interview with Emanuel Tov on the Septuagint

William A. Ross interviews Professor Emanuel Tov (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem) about the Septuagint (published May 6, 2016).

0:00-3:18        Describe how you became interested in LXX studies and your training?
3:19-7:04        How did your academic mentors think about the Greek of the Septuagint? 
7:05-17:30      Describe some of your more significant publications in the field.
28:45-29:30   How has the field changed over the course of your career?
24:15-25:24   What are areas in LXX that still need research? 
25:25-28:44   What are some of your current projects in LXX studies?
28:45-29:30   What is the future of LXX studies?

Phyllis Trible on Jacob, Hagar and Sarah

phyllis-trible

Professor Phyllis Trible delivered the 2014 Kellogg Lectures at Episcopal Divinity School, on May 9, 2014. The two lectures are available in audio format, on SoundCloud:

1. Justice for Jacob

2. Justice for Foremothers: Hagar and Sarah

 

Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza – Liberating Scripture (2015 Sprunt Lecture Series)

Professor Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza delivered the 2015 Sprunt Lecture Series, titled “Liberating Scripture: Reading against the Grain,” on May 4-6, 2015, at Union Presbyterian Seminary.

Lecture 1: “Love the Brotherhood”

Lecture 2: “What is in a Name: Rediscovering our Jewish Ancestors

Lecture 3: “Reading Otherwise – Reading for Liberation”

Discussion session:

Valarie Ziegler – Submission, Sex, and Sinraptors: The Evangelical Adam as Alpha Male in American Popular Culture

Professor Valarie Ziegler delivered a lecture at Trinity University on March 24, 2016 entitled “Submission, Sex, and Sinraptors: The Evangelical Adam as Alpha Male in American Popular Culture.” The lecture was delivered in the 2016 Lennox Series and Seminar at Trinity University (San Antonio, Texas).

From Kentucky’s famed Creation Museum to People Magazine’s obsession with the ever-expanding Duggar clan of 19 Kids and Counting, Christian conservative evangelical institutions are ubiquitous in American popular culture. Eager to recreate American society in the image of Eden, conservative evangelicals have given us eHarmony, princess purity balls, erotic wife spanking, militant fecundity, and a steady stream of illustrated Bibles depicting dinosaurs romping with Adam and Eve – not to mention a succession of spectacular sex scandals. Most people would be hard put to connect these colorful images to Christian devotion. But conservative evangelicals regard the subordination of women to men as central to God’s purpose in creation, and submissive wives and daughters, as well as dinosaurs in Eden, are useful signifiers of men’s primacy over women. This exaltation of male power and privilege not only gives license in the evangelical world to abusive behaviors (think Josh Duggar) but also impacts important levels of social discourse in the larger American culture, from romance to science, from procreation to presidential politics.

 

Are the Gospels based on eyewitness testimony? Bart Ehrman vs Richard Bauckham

ehrman-bauckham

On April 9 and 16, 2016, Professors Bart Ehrman and Richard Bauckham engaged in a debate on the radio show Unbelievable about the topic of Bauckham’s most well-known book, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony.

Bart Ehrman’s new book “Jesus Before the Gospels” makes the case that the stories about Jesus would have changed and evolved before they were written down as the Gospels.

Richard Bauckham, author of “Jesus and the Eyewitnesses”, defends the view that the Gospels were written by those with access to eyewitness testimony of Jesus’ first followers. They debate who wrote Mark, whether the the Gospels came from anonymous traditions and how they received their titles.

The shows are available on iTunes:

Saturday 9th April 2016 

Saturday 16th April 2016

Here is a transcript of the end of the discussion from the first episode:

Ehrman: What they’re doing [in the time of Irenaeus, ca. 180 CE] is that they’re naming these gospels in order to provide them with apostolic credentials […]

Bauckham: To maintain this, you have to say that Papias’s discussion of gospels he ascribes to Mark and Matthew are to other gospels, gospels we know nothing about, rather than to the gospels we know as Mark and Matthew’s gospels. I find that a very…

Ehrman: Well one thing we can say about Papias is: he tells us two things about Matthew’s gospel. He says that the Gospel of Matthew is written in Hebrew, and he says that it is a collection of the sayings of Jesus, the logia, the sayings of Jesus. Matthew’s gospel that we have was not written in Hebrew; it was written in Greek. And it is not the sayings of Jesus; it is an account of his words and his deeds and his passion. So what Papias is describing isn’t anything like our Matthew.

Bauckham: Well, I think Papias made a mistake when he thought it was written in Hebrew, certainly. It is a very brief account. Papias calls his own book, “An account of the sayings, logia, of Jesus.” And actually Papias clearly told stories about Jesus, because we have two or three of them. But I think what really interested Papias were the words of Jesus, so he tended to use logia to cover the context of the Gospel, because the sayings of Jesus were what mattered to Papias.

Ehrman: Well that’s right, but he doesn’t call his book “The logia of Jesus”.

Bauckham: Yes he does…

Ehrman: His book is the “Exposition of the logia of Jesus”. He’s giving explanatory comments on the sayings of Jesus. And he says that Matthew wrote logia. Well, Matthew’s Gospel is not a collection of logia. Matthew’s Gospel is a narrative gospel. And so both of the things that Papias said about “Matthew” aren’t true of our Matthew. And so, no, I don’t think he’s talking about our Matthew.

Bauckham: The translation of Papias’s title is debatable, and I think it means “Account of the Sayings of Jesus”. In other words, Papias wrote something like a Gospel book, a collection of sayings and stories about Jesus. And we have some of the stories; it wasn’t just sayings.

Ehrman: I don’t think Papias’s book could be just an account of the logia of Jesus, because it’s five volumes long. He’s actually giving an exposition of the teachings of Jesus.