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Reframing Christian Scriptures: How Newly Discovered Texts Open Up the Past and Future

April 26, 2013 - April 27, 2013



Arthur Dewey & Hal Taussig

The last 150 years have witnessed a wide range of exciting new discoveries of early Christian literature not included in the New Testament. Documents such as The Gospel of Thomas, The Gospel of Mary (Magdalene), The Gospel of Peter, The Gospel of Truth, The Thunder: Perfect Mind, The Letter of Peter to Philip, The Secret Revelation of John, The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, and many others have begun to reshape how the beginnings of Christianity are conceived. It is now clear that a great diversity of often competing, early Christian literature existed, that cannot be best assessed using the categories of orthodoxy and heresy, biblical or non-biblical. This Seminar on the Road examines how a more diverse set of Christian scriptures changes the way we understand Christian beginnings.

Such diversity of Christian scriptures also has significance for the way we see ourselves today. Illustrative of this is Hal Taussig’s new and controversial book, A New New Testament: A Bible for the 21st Century Combining Traditional and Newly Discovered Texts. Under Taussig’s leadership 19 national spiritual leaders—including bishops, heads of denominations, nuns, and scholars came together to choose ten newly discovered works from the first two centuries to add to the existing New Testament. This new New Testament allows for the first time 21st century readers to read new and traditional texts alongside one another. This Seminar on the Road examines what meaning emerges when diverse texts from Christian beginnings are read as companions rather than as heresy or orthodoxy.

This workshop concentrates on describing some of the many important new documents from the first two centuries of early Christianity. It looks carefully at how these new documents help make sense of the many differences in early Christian literature, both inside and outside the New Testament, and emphasizes the relevance of diverse early Christianity is for the 21st century.


Arthur Dewey and Hal Taussig
Early Christian Scripture and a 21st century New New Testament (Taussig)
Becoming Like Jesus: An Entrance Into the Gospel of Thomas (Dewey)

Friday, 7:30–9 p.m.


Hal Taussig
The Thunder, Perfect Mind and the Gospel of John: The Divinization of the Human Journey

Saturday, 9:30–10:30 a.m.

Art Dewey
The Gospel of Peter: the Germ of an Inclusive Passion Story

Saturday, 11 A.M.–noon.

Art Dewey & Hal Taussig
The Gospel of Mary

Saturday, 1:30–2:30 p.m.

Hal Taussig & Art Dewey
The Implications of Early Christian Diversity for Twenty-First-Century Followers of Jesus

Saturday, 3–4 p.m.


Arthur J. Dewey (Th.D., Harvard University) is Professor of Theology, Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio, co-founder of the Healing Deadly Memories Program, and co-author of The Authentic Letters of Paul.

Hal 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 thirteen books include A New New Testament (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: 2013), The Thunder: Perfect Mind: A New Translation and Commentary (PalgraveMacMillan: 2010) and A New Spiritual Home (2006: Polebridge).


Plymouth Congregational Church
1900 Nicollet Avenue at Franklin
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55403-3789


Westar Institute
Willamette University
900 State Street
Salem, Oregon 97301
877-523-3545, 503-375-5324 fax
email us

Mark L. Larson, PhD
Phone – (763) 267-7383


April 26, 2013
April 27, 2013
Event Category:


Plymouth Congregational Church
1900 Nicollet Avenue at Franklin Minneapolis, MN 55403 United States