St. John’s Bible Study Group will meet Thursday, April 24, 2014 (6:00pm to 7:30pm, at St. John’s) to continue our study of A New New Testament (Hal Taussig, ed., A New New Testament: A Bible for the 21st Century Combining Traditional and Newly Discovered Texts (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: New York, 2013). The New Testament as we know it is a collection of documents reflecting the thoughts and theologies of one of many Jesus-following communities that were established in the centuries following Christ’s death. In fact, there was tremendous diversity among those who considered themselves Jesus’ disciples as to who he was and the import of his message and teachings.
Much of the writing of these disciples has been lost, however. Manuscripts were actively suppressed or destroyed by early Church Fathers bent on eliminating any expressions of Christianity that did not agree with their own. Relatively recent discoveries have recovered some of this material that was protected by different communities. Until then, our only knowledge of them came from material quoted in the work of these polemicists who were more concerned with drawing lines between what would be considered “orthodox” Christianity and what would be considered heretical perversions of the faith. Read More →
We are studying A New New Testament. The New Testament as we know it was assembled over many centuries. Along the way, lots of gospels and letters that were used by early Christ communities were not included in the “final” collection of books. In fact, many of them were actively suppressed and disappeared from view – often hidden in caves in the desert to avoid being burned by those who were out to punish “heresy.” Major archeological discoveries and discoveries in ancient libraries have revealed about 75 – 100 gospels and letters that were not included when the classic New Testament was assembled. Rev Dr. Hal Taussig brought together a group of 19 experts from a variety of religious traditions, including Geoffrey Black (the President of the UCC) to see which of these would be useful for the spiritual lives of 21st century people. The result is A New New Testament, which includes the 27 books of the classic New Testament and 10 books previously hidden. We will be studying two of those books on March 20 — The Gospel of Mary and Thunder – Perfect Mind. This will be an exciting look at what first century Christians were reading and studying — and much of it will be meaningful to 21st century people. Please join us.
Contact Linda to let her know if you will attend so we can order enough pizza. Copies of these two short books are on the Piano in Diehl Hall.