Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Montreat Conference Center Lecture Series

You can join me and Prof. Ziony Zevit for a lecture series at Montreat Conference Center this May. Full details are available here:

Montreat Conference Center

Asheville, North Carolina

May 25 – May 31, 2015 | with Mark Goodacre, Duke University and Ziony Zevit, American Jewish University

This spring, the Biblical Archaeology Society will host a very special program in the spectacular mountains of western North Carolina. We invite you to join us for a week of expert Biblical scholarship, wonderful company and relaxation in the beautiful setting of the Montreat Conference Center, located near the charming town of Asheville, North Carolina. Professors Mark Goodacre of Duke University and Ziony Zevit of the American Jewish University will present a total of 20 lectures over the course of five days, offering participants an opportunity to learn about the latest in Biblical research from renowned Biblical scholars who are also two of BAS’s most popular speakers.

Here are the details of our lectures:

Mark Goodacre's Lectures

The Apocryphal Gospels

For centuries, people around the world have been familiar with the Gospels of the New Testament. The stories of the life and teachings of Jesus in the books of Mathew, Mark, Luke and John are perhaps some of the best-known accounts in the Biblical cannon. But what about the myriad of writings and accounts that did not make it into the “final cut” of the Bible that we know today? New Testament scholar Dr. Mark Goodacre of Duke University takes us on an exploration of the Gospel accounts that did not make it into the New Testament, and examines their implications for our understanding of the life of Jesus, his contemporaries and the world they lived in.

Lecture 1: The Proto-Gospel of James
A compelling prequel to the Gospels, the account known as the “Proto-Gospel of James” centers on the life of Mary and Joseph as well as narrates Jesus' miraculous birth in a cave in Bethlehem.

Lecture 2: Infancy Gospel of Thomas
This account introduces the bizarre adventures of the miracle-working, precocious, irascible
child Jesus.

Lecture 3: Gospel of Thomas
The Gospel of Thomas gospel is full of Jesus' sayings and yet contains no passion narrative, no miracle stories and no story narrative. However, this valuable text may nevertheless shed light on the historical Jesus and the development of earliest Christianity.

Lecture 4: Gospel of Philip
The Gospel of Philip is the most notorious among the lost gospels, and features the lines that gave rise to the fictional account of Jesus’ life that featured so prominently in Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code.

Lecture 5: Gospel of Mary
A gospel written in the name of a woman, depicting Mary Magdalene not as the repentant prostitute of western Christian tradition, but as an important visionary and leader in the early church.

Lecture 6: Gospel of Peter
Written in the name of Jesus' right-hand man, the Gospel of Peter tells an alternative version of the Passion story in which a walking, talking cross emerges from the tomb on Easter morning.

Lecture 7: Secret Gospel of Mark
Discovered in 1958, the Secret Gospel of Mark depicts Jesus in a night-time encounter with a young man, but could this unusual text in fact be a modern hoax?

Lecture 8: Gospel of Jesus' Wife
First published by Harvard Divinity School in 2012, this tiny fragment features Jesus’ mention of "my wife.” But is it actually no more thana 21st-century forgery?

Lecture 9: Fragmentary Gospels
Many gospels only survived in fragmentary form. One of them, the Egerton Gospel, is a curious hybrid with similarities to both the Synoptic Gospels and John. Another, the Dura-Europos Gospel Harmony, is our earliest evidence of an attempt to blend the four gospels into one narrative.

Lecture 10: Gospel of Judas
First published in 2006, the Gospel of Judas instantly attained notoriety - could this really be an alternative take on the gospel story, in which Judas Iscariot is now a hero?

Ziony Zevit's Lectures

Sweet-Singers, Story-Tellers and Scribes

Most narratives in the Hebrew Bible are short, filling a chapter or less. Yet, despite an appearance of straightforwardness and simplicity, they are often complicated stories, whose characters, driven by unstated motivations, move in undescribed settings. This renders biblical narratives easy to read but difficult to understand. Understanding them, however, enables us to enter the thought-world of those who wrote them in ancient Israel, a world very different from our own. Hebrew Bible scholar Dr. Ziony Zevit of the American Jewish University examines the context of some of the most well-known but perhaps little-understood narratives of the Old Testament.

How Did the Bible Come to Be?

The Creation of the Cosmos

Abraham and the Binding of Isaac

Stories about Child Sacrifice

Why Was Israel Enslaved?

Reading the "So-Called" Ten Commandments

Some Characteristic Features of Biblical Narrative

Ruth and Real Estate

The Garden Story (Part I)

The Garden Story (Part 2)

There is more at the Biblical Archaeology Society website including details on how to register.

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