I was sad to see the Letters of Paul MOOC end because I was so engaged in it and learning new things. I have been reading from the MOOC’s bibliography which has proved rewarding, but I’ve been feeling ready for a different focus and was not quite sure how or where to find it. And then I got very lucky.
First lucky find
I found a WordPress blog called Biblical Studies Online. From that blog…
“The goal of Biblical Studies Online is to provide both biblical scholars and the interested wider public with ease of access to quality biblical scholarship, as it comes available online.”
The blog makes available videos, audios and e-books on just about any aspect of Biblical Studies you could want. Exploring this blog I found my next MOOC (Second Lucky Find) which I will re-blog here. It opens in May. Can’t wait.
Third Lucky Find
Also on the Biblical Studies Online blog, I also found this audio lecture/ presentation and a bunch of others I have lined up for listening. This one was a delight.
“On November 10, 2011, Ziony Zevit delivered a lecture on the idea of “the Fall” to the Agudas Achim Congregation, Alexandria, Virginia. The lecture is available as an mp3 and on iTunes.
The idea of ”the Fall” of humanity from divine grace as a result of original sin is deeply ingrained in both Jewish and Christian religious consciousness. Although the idea of the Fall is attested in Jewish writings of the first century BCE, the New Testament, and in Rabbinic texts, it is unknown in the Hebrew Bible.
This lecture looks in on Adam and Eve as they walk through the garden, eavesdrops on their reported conversations, and watches as God drives them out from Eden. Following in their footsteps, as portrayed in Genesis 2 – 4, and reading the biblical text very closely, it undertakes to respond to the following questions and discover why what we think we know is wrong: Why does the Hebrew Bible not consider what happened in the garden a Fall? Why did later thinkers come to think of what happened there as the Fall? And if not a Fall, what did happen there?’
Fourth Lucky Find
While you are there (in itunes, that is) you might want to look for The History of Rome – a podcast in many, many brief episodes (each 12-15 minutes long) which cover the rise and fall of the Roman empire. The podcaster, Mike Duncan, is (according to Wikipedia) a stay-at-home Dad who broadcast these episodes between 2007 and 2012. Duncan has a great voice, easy to listen to and a subtle, gentle sense of humor. It’s like listening to a storyteller. I always look forward to the next story.
Sixth Lucky Find
More luck: I think I may have found my next “read:” Christ’s Resurrection in Early Christianity by Markus Vincent.
(Farnham, England: Ashgate, 2011. Pp. vi + 276. Paper. $39.95. ISBN 9781409417927. ) Reviewed in March by RBL.
Here’s the first paragaph by reviewer H.H. Drake Williams III (Tyndale Theological Seminary, Badhoevedorp, The Netherlands):
“How did the resurrection become a key belief within Christianity? Was it always so important for early Christians, or did it become so much later? In this volume Markus Vinzent considers texts from early Christianity and concludes that the resurrection of Christ was largely nonexistent for the first 140 years of Christianity, except in Paul’s writings. It was also not of central importance until the fourth century…”
I could not resist that thesis: that “the resurrection of Christ was largely nonexistent for the first 140 years of Christianity…”
Seventh Lucky Find
A very happy one… After wandering around for a while in the land of NPP (New Perspective on Paul), I found a pdf of a 2010 talk given by Dan Harrington, SJ on the subject. Reading it was almost as much a pleasure as listening to Fr. Harrington teach. Here’s the link to that paper: Paul and Judaism: Ten New Perspectives.