In this workshop we will explore what we as scholars can know about the Jesus of History, both what he said and what he did. An exciting picture of a human being closely connected to God emerges. There will be ample time for questions.
Joanna Dewey (Ph.D., Graduate Theological Union) is the Harvey H. Guthrie, Jr., Professor Emerita of Biblical Studies at the Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, Massachusetts. She is the author of several books including The Oral Ethos of the Early Church (2013) and Mark as Story (3rd ed., 2012).
Stephen J. Patterson (Claremont Graduate School) specializes in the study of the historical Jesus, Christian origins, and the Gospel of Thomas, an early Christian gospel not found in the New Testament. Most recently he has written about the theological significance of the newest phase in the quest for the historical Jesus. He is the Geo. H. Atkinson Professor of Religious and Ethical Studies at Willamette University, Salem, Oregon.
Who Was Jesus?
The church has worshiped Jesus as the Second Person of the Trinity, the Divine Son of God for nearly two millennia. But with the emergence of the historical method, academic scholars have sought for the Jesus of history rather than the Christ of the creeds. Scholars have produced two competing pictures of the historical Jesus: Jesus as the prophet of the coming apocalypse and Jesus as the subversive sage.
(Stephen J. Patterson)
Friday evening, 7:30–9 pm
Saturday Session I: Jesus was not just a talking head. He practiced a way of life and invited others to share in that way of life—a way of life based on healing, eating, and community. In an oppressed subsistence economy such as first century Galilee, health and adequate food were basic needs all too often absent. Jesus gathered a joyous community around himself.
Saturday, 9:30–10:30 am
Saturday Session II: Parables figure prominently in the teaching of Jesus, yet their meaning has been obscured by the church’s habit of allegorizing them. Understood within Jesus’ cultural environment, his parables provide us with a glimpse of the world re-imagined.
(Stephen J. Patterson)
Saturday, 11 am – noon
Saturday Session III: This session will explore additional teachings of Jesus and also raise the question if Jesus also had a future expectation of God’s intervention. (Joanna Dewey)
Saturday, 1:30–2:30 pm
Questions and Answers
Saturday Session IV: Apocalyptic and Wisdom traditions will be traced in other early Christian texts followed by Question and Answer time.