Mark Your Calendars!
Finding the Real Jesus—Beyond Forgeries to Facts
A Panel Discussion
Presented by the Robert C. Cooley Center for the Study of Early Christianity
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary—Charlotte
At 9:00 PM (EST) this Sunday, March 1, CNN will begin a six-part series entitled “Finding Jesus: Faith, Fact, Forgery.” The series will focus on major relics associated with the life of Christ (the Shroud of Turin, a relic believed to be a bone from John the Baptist’s finger, the burial box allegedly belonging to Jesus’ brother James, and the alleged pieces of the True Cross) and on extra-biblical writings purporting to describe Christ’s life (such as the Gospels of Judas and Mary Magdalene). Prominent scholars (most from major secular universities) will be featured.
This series will surely raise many questions about Jesus and will possibly answer those questions in ways that undermine the historic Christian faith. As a result, Christians will perhaps come away from the series with confusion, questions, and maybe even doubts about their faith.
To help Christians address their questions, the Robert C. Cooley Center for the Study of Early Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary—Charlotte will be holding a public panel discussion of the CNN series in the Rogers Hall of Mission on campus.
The panel discussion will be held at 7:00 PM (EDT) on Monday, April 20, after the CNN series concludes. The panelists will be Dr. Rollin Grams and Dr. Donald Fairbairn of Gordon-Conwell—Charlotte, who will both be present in person; and Dr. Craig Evans of Acadia Divinity College in Nova Scotia, and Dr. Ben Witherington of Asbury Theological Seminary in Kentucky, both of whom will join us by videoconference. (Dr. Witherington is one of the scholars appearing on the CNN series.) The panel discussion will be live-streamed to the Web and will later be available on DVD.
Please do make a point of watching the CNN series beginning this Sunday, and of noting your questions about it. We look forward to hosting you on April 20 for what will be a very stimulating discussion of the series.
First Century Mark?
Check out the following links for articles that contain information and discussion concerning the recent claim that there is a first century manuscript of part of Mark's Gospel.
Mummy Mask May Reveal Oldest Known Gospel at Live Science
Possible First-Century Copy of Mark’s Gospel Discovered by Denny Burk
Earliest Fragment of Mark’s Gospel Apparently Found by Ben Witherington, III
Questions About "First Century Mark" at Evangelical Textual Criticism
Responses to Newsweek's latest take on the Bible, an article called THE BIBLE SO MISUNDERSTOOD IT'S A SIN, by Kurt Eichenwald
Ben Witherington, III - News Weak—- The Problems with Mr. Eichenwald’s Article
Michael Brown - A Response to Newsweek on the Bible
Daniel B. Wallace - Predictable Christmas Fare: Newsweek’s Tirade against the Bible
Jesus' Wife, Again?
Click here for Dr. Robert R. Cargill's excellent review of Simcha Jacobovici and Dr. Barrie Wilson's new book, The Lost Gospel. For a shorter review by Dr. Micheal J. Kruger, click here. Finally, click here for John Dickson's brief remarks.
A multi-part review by Richard Bauckham can be found at Mark Goodacre's NT Blog.
Does the Bible Really Tell Me So?
Click here for Michael J. Kruger's excellent review of Peter Enns' new book The Bible Tells Me So: Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read It.
MNAMON: Portal for Ancient Writing Systems in the Mediterranean
Mnamon provides information on the best and most useful material available on the web for the research and study of ancient writing systems in the Mediterranean: archives, research centers, bibliographies and teaching materials.
All information is selected and critically reviewed by specialists. A brief presentation of the characteristics, the places and times when documented and the languages that used each writing system are included.
New SBL site: Bible Odyssey
Textual Resource from the German Bible Society
Check it Out!
Bible Secrets Revealed or History Distorted?
Check out the following links for a series of responses to the History Channel's new documentary Bible Secrets Revealed.
See the following links for a review of Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard's book Killing Jesus: A History.
Internet Guide to Religion
Princeton Theological Seminary Puts Books Online!
Reviews of Reza Aslan's Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth
Take a STEP in Bible Study!
A Review of The Myth of Persecution: How Early Christians Invented a Story of Martyrdom
New Testament Virtual Manuscript Room
A "New" New Testament?
Check out the following links to read scholarly responses to the recently released A New New Testament. This collection of texts, touted as the "Bible for the 21st century," is a collection of writings that includes ten "newly discovered" texts in addition to the twenty-seven canonical texts of the NT. The collection was chosen and assembled by Hal Taussig and a team of eighteen scholars and religious leaders, including Jesus Seminar member John Dominic Crossan.
Paul Barnett - A New New Testament
Daniel Wallace - A New New Testament: Are you serious?
For information on the formation of the New Testament canon, check out Ten Basic Facts About the NT Canon that Every Christian Should Memorize by Michael J. Kruger. Another helpful site is 4Gospels.com.
Scholarly Response to "The Gospel of Jesus' Wife"
In response to the recent, sensationalistic claims regarding a newly translated papyrus fragment that refers to Jesus' wife, please visit the following links:
- Tyndale House Newsletter
- Francis Watson - The Gospel of Jesus' Wife: How a Fake Gospel Fragment was Compsed
- NT Blog: Francis Watson, Addendum: The End of the Line?
- Larry Hurtado - "The Gospel of Jesus' Wife" . . . Maybe . . . Maybe Not
- Michael J. Kruger - The Far Less Sensational Truth About Jesus' "Wife"
- Darrell L. Bock - Quick Thoughts on the New Jesus Wife Text
- The "wife" of Jesus? Some comments from Craig A. Evans
- The Biblical Word - Jesus' Sister/Wife? Ben Witherington on the Jesus' Wife Papyrus
Scholarly Response to: The Jesus Discovery: The Resurrection Tomb that Reveals the Birth of Christianity
In response to the recent claims of Dr. James Tabor and Simcha Jacobovici in their new book The Jesus Discovery, please check out the following links:
Cooley Center iMac Computer
The Cooley Collection is now pleased to offer a full complement of sophisticated exegetical research programs accessible on a new iMac in the Cooley room. A significant investment has been made in the purchase of Accordance 8, one of the premier Bible software programs. A host of high quality Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic resources have been made available. These fully-searchable texts are invaluable resources to anyone studying the cultural and linguistic background of the biblical texts.
For scholars of the Old Testament, the Cooley Collection now offers the complete biblical manuscripts of the Dead Sea Scrolls, multiple versions of the Septuagint (including the Cambridge Septuagint apparatus), Aramaic and Hebrew Inscriptions, the Targums, the Samaritan Pentateuch, and the Ugaritic Databank. For scholars of the New Testament and early Judaism, the sectarian documents of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Mishnah, the works of Josephus, Philo and the Old Testament Apocrypha/Pseudepigrapha are available, in addition to grammatically tagged versions of both Vaticanus and Sinaiticus. Specialists in early church history will find Greek and English versions of the Apostolic Fathers, a collection of apocryphal Gospel texts, and Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History. In addition to Accordance 8, other notable programs are installed on the iMac, including BibleWorks 7 and Logos 4. The Soncino Judaic Classics Library has also been installed, giving access to rabbinic literature including the Soncino Babylonian Talmud, Mishnah, Midrash Rabbah and the Zohar. PDF versions of Jacob Neusner’s translation of the Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmuds have also been installed.
Advanced students and researchers wishing to use the new computer resources may do so by appointment, which can be made by contacting the library director, Dr. Robert Mayer (firstname.lastname@example.org), and the Cooley Center fellow, Rev. Mark Poe (email@example.com) by email. Requests should include a description of the research project and the estimated length of time needed for research. Dr. Mayer and Rev. Poe will schedule your appointment and arrange for brief training in use of the computer and its resources.
Interested in Becoming a Patron?
The Robert C. Cooley Center is dedicated to exploring the historical foundations of the Christian faith. Achieving this end involves historical, literary, and archaeological research into the origins of both biblical and Christian faith and practice. Patron support is crucial to the continuing work of the Center. Your support is used to fund the bi-annual newsletter, the yearly lecture series, as well other projects and areas of research conducted by the staff at the Center. If you are interested in supporting this important work, please contact Dr. Rollin Grams at 704.527.5842 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.