Spring 2014 Meeting Online Resources
Wondering about how you can join the conversations going on at the Spring 2014 national meeting? There will be several ways to stay connected online. The list below provides an overview of meeting-related resources:
- Follow live updates on Facebook and Twitter during the events.
- Watch for session recaps on the Westar blog at the end of each day.
- Listen to the Christianity Seminar voting session live online, Saturday, March 23rd, from 2:00 to 3:30 pm (Pacific Standard Time). Can’t join us live? There will also be an audio file—available until June 18, 2014—with visuals of the questions as they were being formulated.
Check the Spring Meeting program page regularly throughout March and April for meeting-related resources. This spring’s theme is Archaeology: Rewriting Early Christian History, featuring guest speakers Jodi Magness, L. Michael White, Milton Moreland, and Kathryn Gin Lum.
New Religion for Life Podcasts:
Fellows Shelly Matthews & Jason BeDuhn
Pastor John Shuck of First Presbyterian Church in Elizabethton, Tennessee, recently interviewed two Westar Fellows on his radio program Religion for Life. Both Jason BeDuhn and Shelly Matthews have published books in the past year that ask important questions about how the early Jesus movement formed into Christianity as we know it today.
BeDuhn’s book The First New Testament: Marcion’s Scriptural Canon reconstructs the earliest version of the New Testament for the first time in a modern language. As Jason explains in his interview, the last attempt to do so was ninety years ago by Adolf von Harnack, in Greek. Matthews’ book The Acts of the Apostles: Taming Tongues of Fire looks at Acts as “idealized history” and asks how the author tamed the egalitarian Jesus movement to make it more palatable to the elite.
March/April 2014 Issue of The Fourth R
A new issue of The Fourth R is now available! Many of the articles featured in this issue touch on mythology and modern life. Is there still a place for mythology today? What was and is the value of a myth?
“Where Have You Laid Him?”
A Plea to Study Christian Origins
Includes an audio clip from the Fall 2013 national meeting
Revelations about the historical Jesus, Christian origins, and related topics can come as a shock. To cite a few common surprises, often the first to startle people into historical consciousness, consider these: Matthew and Luke relied on Mark to write their gospels. Furthermore, since the names Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were assigned to gospels by believers, not appended to the manuscript as in modern times, we don’t really know who wrote the gospels. The Apostle Paul certainly wrote some of the letters attributed to him, but some letters are almost universally rejected: 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus, for example. Likewise, the Jesus Seminar is famous for pointing out that Jesus didn’t say every word attributed to him in the New Testament.
Such information might not be upsetting to someone who sees the Bible as literature or as a collection of texts. But for those of us who were raised within the Christian tradition, or surrounded by it in our culture, we can be left reeling. As one person asked recently at a Westar event, “What am I supposed to take home from this?”