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Reframing Christian Beginnings and Christian Scriptures

November 8, 2013 - November 9, 2013

The last 150 years have witnessed a wide range of exciting new discoveries of early Christian literature not included in the New Testament. Gospels such as Thomas, Mary, Truth, and The Thunder: Perfect Mind, among others, have begun to reshape how the beginnings of Christianity are conceived. It is now clear that a great diversity of often-competing stories existed outside the conventional and canonical Christian understandings of its early history. Concurrently, in recent years the story of Christian origins has been subjected to a thoroughgoing reassessment, led by the groundbreaking work of Westar’s Acts Seminar, a decade-long research project examining the historical reliability of Acts of the Apostles.

This Seminar on the Road, “Reframing Christian Beginnings and Christian Scriptures,” emphasizes how these important new documents from the first two centuries help make sense of early Christianity and how the reconstruction of early Christian diversity is relevant for the 21st century.


Friday Lecture

Early Christian Scripture and a 21st century New New Testament (Taussig)

The Problem of the Acts of the Apostles and History (Smith)

Friday, 7:30–9 pm

Saturday Workshops

Loosening Canon: Reading the Gospels of Thomas, Matthew, John and Thunder Together (Taussig)

Saturday, 9:30–10:30 am

Jerusalem Beginnings and Endings: Acts of the Apostles and its Excesses (Smith)

Saturday, 11:00–Noon

The Acts of Paul and Thecla and the Acts of the Apostles (Smith/Taussig)

Saturday, 1:30–2:30 pm

The Implications of Early Christian Diversity for the 21st Century (Smith/Taussig)

Saturday, 3:00–4:00 pm


Arbor Grove Congregational Church, Jackson
First Baptist Church, Jackson
Universalist Unitarian Church of East Liberty, Jackson

Local Contact

Nancy Angelo
Arbor Grove Congregational Church


Smith DennisDennis Smith (Th.D., Harvard University) is LaDonna Kramer Meinders Professor of New Testament, Philips Theological Seminary, Tulsa, OK.  His major publications include: Acts and Christian Beginnings: The Acts Seminar Report (with Joseph B. Tyson, 2013), Meals in the Early Christian World (with H. Taussig, 2003); From Symposium to Eucharist (2003), and Many Tables (with H. Taussig, 1990).

Taussig HalHal Taussig (Ph.D., The Union Institute) is Visiting Professor of New Testament at Union Theological Seminary, NYC, Professor of Early Christianity at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Philadelphia, and co-pastor at the Chestnut Hill United Methodist Church. His books include A New New Testament (2013), The Thunder: Perfect Mind (2009), A New Spiritual Home (2006), and Many Tables (with D. Smith, 1990).


All Sessions

  • Individual Rate $75
  • Pre-registration Rate (by Oct 25) $60
  • Additional Family Members $50

Single Sessions

  • Friday Evening Lecture $20
  • Saturday Morning Workshop $30
  • Saturday Afternoon Workshop $30

Refunds are available until two weeks before the event if requested in writing, minus a $10 administrative fee. No refunds will be given after that date.

Learn more about the Jesus Seminar on the Road (JSOR) program.


November 8, 2013
November 9, 2013
Event Category:


First Baptist Church
201 S. Jackson Street Jackson, MI 49201 United States


Westar Institute
(503) 375-5323