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.
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.”
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
On November 22, 2017, Professor Hindy Najman (Oriel College, Oxford University) presented a paper on “Philosemitism and Antisemitism in Biblical Criticism” at Tel Aviv University. There was also a reply from Dr. Ofri Ilany (The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute) and a further response from Prof Najman.
William Loader, Emeritus Professor of New Testament at Murdoch University, discusses his most recent book Jesus in John’s Gospel: Structure and Issues in Johannine Christology (Eerdmans, 2017) with Dr Robert Myles, current Lecturer in New Testament at Murdoch University (audio: 25:12).
Among other things, we talk about Rudolf Bultmann’s influence on the study of John, the relationship between John and history, and recent political interpretations of John’s Jesus.
h/t: Robert Myles’ Blog
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
Professor Yair Zakovitch (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) delivered a talk on historical criticism as “Literary Archaeology” as part of the Orange County Community Scholars Program (OCCSP), podcasted January 19, 2005.
The talk is available in m4a audio format:
Professor James Kugel (Harvard University) delivered one of the papers at the 2013 Limmud Conference, “Modern Biblical scholarship and traditional Jewish belief”.
Did Moses really write the Torah? Is there any archaeological evidence that the Exodus took place? Did the Israelites really conquer Canaan and settle there? Most biblical scholars in universities tend to answer all these questions with a ‘No.’ What then is a religious Jew to make of all this? A different way of approaching the question.
In April 2015, Professor Amy-Jill Levine (Vanderbilt University) delivered the Sherman Lectures at the Centre for Jewish Studies, the University of Manchester. The lectures are now available on YouTube. Her lectures address both the historical Jesus and his Jewish context and also contemporary Jewish-Christian relations.
Lecture 1. Jesus in His Jewish Context: The Importance of Recovering History(April 27, 2015)
Jesus and his first followers were Jews, thoroughly grounded in Jewish Scripture, Jewish ethics and theology, and Jewish hopes. To understand the New Testament materials is thus to recover part of Jewish history. This presentation explores how knowledge of this common history not only became lost, but how Christian interpretation began to bear false witness against Jesus’ Jewish context by characterizing it as legalistic, elitist, obsessed with ritual purity, misogynistic, vengeful, and xenophobic. It then shows how the Gospels themselves can be used to correct these false and noxious stereotypes.
Lecture 2. The Mistakes Jews and Christians Make About Each Other (April 28, 2015)
Although both Jews and Christians share a common ancestry in the Scriptures of Israel, the parting of the ways between Synagogue and Church has led to ignorance and stereotyping of the other. This presentation addresses the major misconceptions Christians and Jews have of each other.
Lecture 3. Is the New Testament Anti-Semitic? (April 29, 2015)
What does the New Testament say about Jews and Judaism? Is it appropriate to call it “Anti-Semitic” or “Anti-Jewish”? What are the major problematic passages, and what explanations are typically made by pastors, priests, and theologians to defuse them of doing harm? How do anti-Jewish interpretations arise, and what can be done to prevent them?
Lecture 4. Messianic Judaism, Conversion to Christianity, Intermarriage, Inter-religious Households: Disputes for the Sake of Heaven (April 30, 2015)
Jews who believe in Jesus of Nazareth as Lord and Savior have, from the first-century to the present, been regarded by the majority Jewish community as at best misguided and, at worse, as apostates and traitors. Jews who marry Christians have been rejected by their family and community; intermarried couples today may struggle with how to raise their children: as Jews, as Christians, as neither… Inter-religious dialogue has been regarded by some Jews as a waste of time, if not as a dangerous pretence designed to encouraged Jews to convert to Christianity. What are the major issues facing Jewish-Christian relations today, and how do we achieve shalom bayit (peace in the household) without sacrificing the particulars of our own traditions on the altar of inter-religious sensitivity? While answers that will satisfy all are not possible, addressing these questions should make us all better informed about twenty-first century Jewish communal issues.
There is a symposium at Syndicate on the volume edited by Christopher M. Hays and Christopher B. Ansberry, Evangelical Faith and the Challenge of Historical Criticism (2013).
The following critical responses to the volume are available on the Syndicate website:
Symposium Introduction, by Chris Tilling (see also special redacted extracts introducing each chapter in the book, on the author’s blog)
“Welcome to the Conversation“, by Kenton Sparks, with response by Hays and Ansberry, and further response by Sparks, May 25, 2015
“How Now Shall We Read“, by Ashleigh Elser, May 27, 2015
“Scripture Making: The Authority of Moses and the Apostle Paul“, by Sarah Whittle, May 29, 2015
“Things Done (pretty well), and Things Left Undone“, by Stephen Fowl, June 1, 2015
“Though I Walk through the Valley of the Shadow of the Critics“, by David Crump, June 3, 2015
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.
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.
At the 2014 SBL/AAR Annual Meeting, Professor John J. Collins and a group of professors discussed teaching an “Introduction to the Hebrew Bible” course. The session, sponsored by Fortress Press, is available on YouTube and via podcast.
In addition, John J. Collins discusses his book here:
“When the first edition [of Introduction to the Hebrew Bible] came out, one of the people who reviewed it was Thomas Römer. He said, ‘You know, this actually would work best for people who didn’t know anything about the subject.’ To which I said, ‘D’uh!’.”
– John J. Collins (1:15ff)
On April 23, 2014, at the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago, Professor Aren Maeir gave the 2014 David Kipper Ancient Israel Lecture: “New Light on the Biblical Philistines: Recent Study on the Frenemies of Ancient Israel”. Professor Maeir discusses the evidence which challenges the theory that the Philistines arrived in a single invasion in Iron Age I. The video is now available on YouTube.
Aren Maeir is a Professor at The Martin (Szusz) Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology, Bar-Ilan University and Director of The Tell es-Safi/Gath Archaeological Project, The Institute of Archaeology.
The Philistines are well-known from biblical texts as one of the main adversaries of the ancient Israelites. At the same time, the biblical narrative indicates that other types of interactions also were the norm. Recent excavations in Philistia, and in particular those at Tell es-Safi, biblical Gath of the Philistines, hometown of Goliath, have provided exciting evidence of the very complex interaction between these two cultures, revealing the multi-layered facets of what could be termed a Frenemy relationship between the Philistines and Israelites. In addition, recent finds have very much changed our understanding of who the Philistines were, where they came from, and how their culture formed, transformed, and eventually disappeared. These topics will be addressed in this lecture.
h/t: Aren Maeir, The Tell es-Safi/Gath Excavations Official (and Unofficial) Weblog
John J. Collins interviews Joel Baden about his recently published book The Historical David: The Real Life of an Invented Hero (HarperCollins, 2013). Baden follows a prevalent North American approach in claiming to be able to detect an extensive “historical kernel” in the biblical David traditions, originally written within the lifetime of those who knew David. The interview was recorded on January 28, 2014 at Yale Divinity School, and concludes with a Q&A session.
The Historical David: The Real Life of an Invented Hero offers a controversial look at the history of King David, the founder of the nation of Israel whose bloodline leads to Jesus, challenging prevailing popular beliefs about his legend. Baden makes clear that the biblical account of David is an attempt to shape the events of his life politically and theologically. Going beyond the biblical bias, he explores the events that lie behind the David story, events that are grounded in the context of the ancient Near East and continue to inform modern Israel.
Thomas Levy, on the University of California Television (UCTV) show Dig This!, interviews Richard Elliott Friedman on the sources and redaction of the Pentateuch. Friedman defends the documentary hypothesis for the composition of the Pentateuch.