Taylor Weaver on Paul, Gifting, and Class Struggle

Taylor Weaver (University of Kent) presents his talk on Class Struggle and Early Christianity, delivered to the Religious Studies department at the University of Kent, February 2018. The talk is available on YouTube, in two parts:


Introduction to the Quran: The Scripture of Islam

A Notre Dame edX course begins today (February 20, 2018) with the foremost scholar on the sources of the Qur’an, Gabriel Reynolds: “Introduction to the Quran: The Scripture of Islam”.

Enrol here for free.

About this course

According to Islamic tradition, the Quran is not simply an inspired scripture. It is a divine book brought down from heaven by the angel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad, and its message is the key to heaven. Join us for an exploration of the scripture that is the word of God to over a billion people.

This course will introduce you to various aspects of the Quran, including its basic message, the historical context in which it originated, the diverse ways in which Muslims have interpreted it, and its surprisingly intimate relationship with the Bible. By the end of the course, you will gain an appreciation for the perspectives of Muslim believers and academic scholars alike on the origins and the meaning of the Islamic scripture. No background in Islam or Arabic is necessary for this course.

What you’ll learn

  • Basic organization, structure, and literary style of the Quran

  • The Quran’s role within Islam and its meaning to Muslims

  • Traditional Islamic and critical academic perspectives on the origin of the Quran

  • Strategies utilized within the Quran to construct persuasive arguments

  • Place of Biblical characters and traditions within the Quran

  • Analysis of the Quran from an academic perspective

Gert-Jan van der Heiden on the Revival of Paul in Contemporary Philosophy

Professor Gert-Jan van der Heiden (Radboud University) discusses the revival of Paul in contemporary philosophy, including Martin Heidegger, Jacob Taubes, Alain Badiou, and Giorgio Agamben. The lecture (February 2, 2017) is in Dutch, and begins at 2:10:

David Jeffrey – Interpreting the Bible in Art: Rembrandt’s Bathsheba

Professor David Jeffrey (Baylor University) discusses Rembrandt’s Bathsheba, in a lecture delivered at the Lanier Theological Library on October 7, 2017.

The tradition of biblical commentary in the West is venerable and rich. From the outset, theology was essentially commentary on the biblical text exclusively. What is less well recognized today is the extensive role both literary and visual artists played in shaping the way people understood and applied biblical texts. In this lecture, David Jeffrey looks at some of the ways both late medieval and Reformation commentary dealt with one of the most awkward passages in biblical history, the relationship between King David and Bathsheba. Because of David’s key role in the lineage and typology of the Messiah, the story in 2 Samuel 11 produced a range of fascinating responses from both verbal and visual commentators, but perhaps none more profound than that of Rembrandt in his 1654 Bathsheba.

John Barclay: Paul, Grace and Liberation from Human Judgments of Worth

Professor John Barclay (Durham University) delivered the lecture, “Paul, Grace and Liberation from Human Judgments of Worth,” on April 4, 2017, at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.

“His argument re-calibrates the entire discussion of Paul that has taken place over the last 30 years or so: while there certainly were various understandings of “grace” in the early Judaism Paul knew, his encounter with Christ brought him a new understanding of God’s “grace” as incongruous grace, grace given to the undeserving in Jesus Christ.”

Mark Seifrid


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.

Mark Smith on God’s Body in the Hebrew Bible

Professor Mark S. Smith (Princeton Theological Seminary) delivered a talk entitled, “The Embodied God of the Hebrew Bible” at the John Hope Franklin Institute, Duke University, on February 9, 2017.

The talk examines “the different embodiments of God throughout the Hebrew Bible as a way to explore the entanglement of the corporeal and the divine”, and begins at 6:05:

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)



  • 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)

Alan Garrow’s solution to Synoptic Problem: Matthew used Mark and Luke

Dr Alan Garrow presents a studio version of the paper presented at the NT Research Seminar of the University of Durham on Monday 12 January, 2015 (h/t: Chris Tilling):

“Streeter’s ‘Other’ Synoptic Solution: The Matthew Conflator Hypothesis”

matthew conflator

A published version of this paper is available here: Alan Garrow, “Streeter’s ‘Other’ Synoptic Solution: The Matthew Conflator Hypothesis“, New Testament Studies 62, no. 2  (April 2016): 207-226.

However, Mark Goodacre (NT Blog) points out a serious flaw in Garrow’s argument. Garrow argues that that when Matthew uses Luke alone, there is a high level of verbatim agreement; but when Matthew uses Luke and the Didache (which Garrow identifies with Q), there is a low level of verbatim agreement. According to Garrow, Matthew gets distracted when he uses two sources, and is less verbatim. However, Goodacre points out that we would then expect a similar pattern when Matthew uses Luke and Mark. But that is not the case. When Matthew uses Luke and Mark, there is still a high level of verbatim agreement – which is not what we would expect if Garrow’s theory were correct.

Dale Martin on Ancient, Biblical, and Modern Families

On February 9, 2017, Professor Dale B. Martin (Yale University) gave an open lecture on ‘the family’ in ancient and modern times, at the University of Kent.

The lecture begins at 5:20.

h/t: Taylor Weaver

Carolyn Osiek on Women Disciples, Leaders, and Apostles: Mary Magdalene’s Sisters

On July 22, 2011, Professor emerita Carolyn Osiek (Brite Divinity School) delivered a lecture at Boston College School of Theology and Ministry Continuing Education: “Women Disciples, Leaders, and Apostles: Mary Magdalene’s Sisters”.

Barbara Reid on Mary Magdalene and the Women Disciples in the Gospel of Luke

On July 21, 2017, Professor Barbara Reid (Catholic Theological Union at Chicago) delivered the lecture for the 9th Annual Mary of Magdala Celebration, at Boston College School of Theology and Ministry Continuing Education: “Mary Magdalene and the Women Disciples in the Gospel of Luke”.

Click here for a transcript of this presentation.

William Loader on Jesus in John’s Gospel

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