Margaret Mitchell: Two Hypocrites founded Christianity (Peter and Paul)?

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Professor Margaret M. Mitchell (Professor of New Testament and Early Christian Literature at the University of Chicago) gives a lecture entitled “Peter’s ‘Hypocrisy’ and Paul’s: Two ‘Hypocrites’ at the Foundation of Christianity”, delivered on September 12, 2011 at The University of Texas at Austin.

In an infamous passage in his Letter to the Galatians (2:11-14), Paul called out Peter as a ‘hypocrite.’ This passage, especially when read in light of Paul’s own appeal to himself as ‘all things to all people’ in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23, was to cause deep trouble for later Christian interpreters, who sought to defend their movement against charges from outsiders that it had a cracked and unstable foundation in dual ‘hypocrites.’ This lecture will introduce this ‘pagan’ critique and the cultural force it had, and the various solutions to the inherited dilemma from their scriptures that were offered by patristic authors (Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Jerome and Augustine). In light of this context, turn to a sustained analysis of an untranslated homily by John Chrysostom, hom. in Gal 2:11 (In faciem ei restiti), which addresses not just the hypocrisy of Peter and Paul, but also the sticky problem of the hypocrisy of the Christian who reads this text approvingly as Paul’s “in your face” to Peter. As we shall see, Chrysostom does this by engaging in a convoluted pretense of his own.

The lecture is available in mp3 audio format.

Lawrence Stager on the Philistine City of Ashkelon

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Professor Lawrence Stager (Harvard University) gives a lecture on Ashkelon, the Seaport of the Philistines, delivered on March 4, 2013 at The University of Texas at Austin:

Explore the origins, daily life, religion, and language of the Philistines, a cosmopolitan people who occupied the great Mediterranean seaport of Ashkelon for nearly six hundred years, until its destruction and their exile by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar in 604 B.C. In twenty-five seasons of excavations, the Leon Levy Expedition to Ashkelon has uncovered much new evidence about the mysterious Philistines, including a rare example of one of the ancient marketplaces that linked land routes from the southeast to a web of international Mediterranean merchants. (1175-604 BC)

The lecture is available in mp3 audio format. An earlier rendition of the lecture, from May 20, 2012, is also available on video:

Lawrence Stager is is Dorot Professor of the Archaeology of Israel in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University and is Director of the Harvard Semitic Museum. Since 1985 he has overseen the excavations of the Leon Levy Expedition to Ashkelon.

Carol A. Newsom: Demons and Evil Angels in Early Judaism

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Professor Carol A. Newsom (Emory University) gives a lecture on “Demons and Evil Angels in Early Judaism”, delivered on April 22, 2013 at The University of Texas at Austin:

Although classical Israelite religion has very little to say about demons and other evil forces, but popular religion took it for granted that evil demons existed, haunting desert ruins and sometimes preying on people. In the late Persian and Hellenistic periods (4th—2nd centuries BCE) speculation about these types of figures proliferates. Incantations against demons, protective amulets, and practices of exorcism are all attested. Mythic accounts of the origin of evil spirits are developed, and the names and occasionally even the appearance of the demons are described. This talk will examine the origins and functions of speculation on demonic forces in early Judaism, a worldview with profound and lasting cultural effects. Although rabbinic Judaism largely rejected it, this worldview strongly shaped Christian religious beliefs. And while modernist Christians do not take the mythology of evil spirits literally, variations on these beliefs remain common among conservative evangelical and Pentecostal Christians throughout the world.

The lecture is available in mp3 audio format. It is also available on video, at an earlier rendition of the paper, at the Carolina Centre for Jewish Studies, November 2012:

Carol A. Newsom is Charles Howard Candler Professor of Old Testament at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology. She has written seven books and scores of articles, book chapters, translations, encyclopedia articles, and reviews. She has received several prestigious research fellowships, including grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Henry Luce Foundation, and has won several awards for excellence in teaching and mentoring. She recently served as president of the Society of Biblical Literature and is a senior fellow at Emory University’s Center for the Study of Law and Religion.

Adela Yarbro Collins: Women Prophets in Early Christianity

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Professor Adela Yarbro Collins (Yale University) gives a lecture on “Women Prophets in Early Christianity”, delivered on February 13, 2014 at The University of Texas at Austin:

Dr. Yarbro Collins will begin with Paul’s attitude toward women prophets in 1 Corinthians, then trace the evidence for prophetic practices in the late first and throughout the second century, investigating the participation of women and the responses it engendered. She will continue with a discussion of the “Montanist” movement and the significant leadership of women in it and will conclude with a discussion of the opposition to this “New Prophecy.”

The lecture is available in mp3 audio format.

Adela Yarbro Collins is Buckingham Professor of New Testament Criticism and Interpretation at Yale University Divinity School. She received her Ph.D. from Harvard University. She was also awarded an honorary doctorate in theology by the University of Oslo, Norway.

Na’ama Pat-El: The Syriac Particle lam

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Professor Na’ama Pat-El gives a lecture on the Syriac particle lam, delivered on April 10, 2014 at The University of Texas at Austin:

The Syriac particle LAM has been assumed to be a marker of direct speech by grammarians and linguists. Several scholars has traced its history to an infinitive of the verb to say in Aramaic. In this talk I will take a fresh look at the function of the particle in Syriac texts of various genres and periods and its possible etymology. The results will shock and amaze you, and will serve as a reminder of what happens when one does not read ancient texts carefully.

The lecture is available in mp3 audio format.

Na’ama Pat-El is an Assistant Professor, focusing on Semitic historical linguistics. She is the author of Studies in the Historical Syntax of Aramaic (Gorgias, 2012) and a co-author of Language and Nature: papers presented to John Huehnergard (Oriental Institute, 2012). She has published on language contact and historical syntax.

See also: Na’ama Pat-El, “The Function and Etymology of the Aramaic Particle LM”