Shaye Cohen: The Hebrew Scriptures in Judaism and Christianity

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Professor Shaye Cohen, of Harvard University, delivers an introduction to both early Judaism and early Christianity, through the lens of their respective interpretations of the Bible.

The Hebrew Scriptures in Judaism and Christianity” is available on iTunes. The course includes a syllabus and notes for each lecture, and exam papers. There are 26 lectures in total.

In 70CE the Romans destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem. Second Temple Judaism, whose worship consisted of animal sacrifice permitted by biblical command only at the Temple, would have to reinvent itself as Rabbinic Judaism.  Contemporaneously, the authors of the New Testament Gospels were writing about the Jewish apocalyptic prophet whom they believed was the awaited messiah.  For both the rabbis and the gospel writers, for both ancient Jews and ancient Christians, the central authoritative text was the Torah and the other books we now call the Hebrew Scriptures.  This course surveys how the interpretation (and reinterpretation) of these books spawned two rival cultural systems, Judaism and Christianity.  The issues addressed are: 1) What are the truth claims of Judaism and Christianity?  2) In the first centuries of our era, how did Jewish biblical interpretation differ from Christian?  3) What differences resulted in “the parting of the ways” between Judaism and Christianity?  4) How does each culture deal with the biblical passages concerning: circumcision, the food laws, the Sabbath, Passover, the manifestations of the deity (e.g., Logos), the messiah, atonement/redemption, and the concept of Israel as the chosen of God?

Lectures:

1. Introduction to the Course
2. What is the Bible?
3. What is Judaism?
4. What is Christianity?
5. Jewish Bible Interpretation in Antiquity
6. Christian Bible Interpretation in Antiquity
7. The Parting of the Ways
8. Justine Martyr and Early Christianity
9. Circumcision: The Jewish Understanding
10. Circumcision: The Christian Understanding
11. The Food Laws: The Jewish View
12. The Food Laws: The Christian View
13. The Sabbath
14. From Shabbat to Sunday
15. Pesah/Passover
16. The Seder
17. From Psah to Pascha
18. Melito of Sardis and the Christian Passover
19. The One God, Torah, and Logos
20. The One God who is Two
21. Messiah: The Restoration of the Davidic King
22. Christ as King and Messiah
23. Atonement through Sacrifice and its Surrogates
24. Atonement through the Sacrifice of Christ
25. Israel, the People of God
26. Who is the True Israel?

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Michael Satlow – From Israelite to Jew

Professor Michael Satlow, of Brown University, offers a complete set of lectures on early Judaism (recorded 2011), available for free download on iTunes. The course, “From Israelite to Jew” covers the exile, return from exile, Persian, Hellenistic, and Roman periods, including Philo, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the destruction of the Temple.

 Name   Description   Released   Price 

 Episode 1 – Between Faith and Reason–1/4/11 Free View In iTunes
 Episode 2 – The Religion of Israel–1/4/11 Free View In iTunes
 Episode 3 – Exile–1/4/11 Free View In iTunes
 Episode 4 – Return–1/4/11 Free View In iTunes
 Episode 5 – Ezra–1/4/11 Free View In iTunes
 The Hedgehog, the Fox, and the Talmud–1/4/11 Free View In iTunes
 Episode 6 – The Torah–1/4/11 Free View In iTunes
 Episode 7 – Nehemiah–1/4/11 Free View In iTunes
Episode 8 – Jews of the Persian Empire–1/4/11 Free View In iTunes
 Episode 9 – Hellenism Arrives–1/4/11 Free View In iTunes
 Episode 10 – Jubilees and 1 Enoch–1/4/11 Free View In iTunes
 Episode 11 – The Revolt of the Maccabees–1/4/11 Free View In iTunes
 Episode 12 – The Hasmonean Kings–1/4/11 Free View In iTunes
 Episode 13 – Origins of Jewish Sectarianism–1/4/11 Free View In iTunes
 Episode 14 – Hellenistic Judaism–1/4/11 Free View In iTunes
 Episode 15 – Herod the Great–1/4/11 Free View In iTunes
 Episode 16 – Philo–1/4/11 Free View In iTunes
 Episode 17 – The Dead Sea Scrolls–1/4/11 Free View In iTunes
 Episode 18 – Jesus and Other Strange Jews–1/4/11 Free View In iTunes
 Episode 19 – Josephus–1/4/11 Free View In iTunes
 Episode 20 – The First Century–1/4/11 Free View In iTunes
 Episode 21 – Destruction–1/4/11 Free View In iTunes
 Episode 22 – After the Destruction: A Beginning or an End?–1/4/11 Free View In iTunes
Professor Michael L. Satlow specializes in Early Judaism and has written extensively on issues of gender, sexuality, and marriage among Jews in antiquity, as well as on the Dead Sea scrolls, Jewish theology, methodology in Religious Studies, and the social history of Jews during the rabbinic period. His latest book is entitled Creating Judaism.