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Early Christian Texts: The Bible and Beyond
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Those who have immersed themselves in these texts have been strengthened, shocked, inspired, and healed by relating to them. They contain extraordinary gems of wisdom, but also challenge preconceived notions about what it meant and what it means to identify as a follower of Jesus.

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The Gospel of Thomas Goes Public

The Gospel of Thomas Goes Public is the first course in the Nag Hammadi series.

Presenters Dr. Shirley Paulson and her co-instructor, Dr. Hal Taussig, explain the complex but extremely important relationship between the recently discovered Gospel of Thomas and the Bible, and help learners gain confidence in their own ability to interpret and make use of the text.  Sign up and purchase on Udemy.

Learn more about the course here.

Ancient Christian Texts for Modern Healing

Ancient Christian Texts for Modern Healing is an introduction to early Christian writings and their challenges or promises for transforming the world.  This course is offered through the website, Udemy. There are plans to offer many more! Sign up and purchase on Udemy.

Taught by Shirley Paulson, PhD, the introduction course provides a good foundation for continued study.  Learn more about the course here.

Bible and Beyond Discussions
Monday Textual Studies

Once a month, at 8–9 pm Eastern Time on Monday nights (generally the fourth of the month), Dr. Hal Taussig presents an online discussion of one of the early Christ movement texts.  These discussions, hosted by Shirley Paulson, PhD, begin with a well-framed overview of the particular text, and then participants ask questions and share their own insights about the meanings and potential for these texts.

Conference Presentations and Similar Events

Title: The Gospel of Thomas and the Bible: The “Marvelous Coincident” (of special interest to Christian Scientists)
Presenter: Shirley Paulson, PhD
Type: Presentation (via Zoom)
Date: June 8, 2021
Time:  1:00 pm – 2:15 pm and 7:00 pm – 8:15 pm (Central)
Where: Principia Summer Session (Online)
Description: The Gospel of Thomas lies in an intriguing location in Biblical history and contemporary significance for Christian Scientists. Mrs. Eddy had a surprisingly meaningful relationship to it, even though the full text of the Gospel of Thomas wasn’t even discovered until 1945—some 35 years after her passing. We’ll talk about what’s in this ancient text and why it mattered to Mrs. Eddy.

Title: The Gospel of Thomas and the Bible: Why It Matters to Christian Scientists
Presenter: Shirley Paulson, PhD
Type: Presentation (via Zoom)
Date: June 17, 2021
Time:  1:00 pm – 2:15 pm and 7:00 pm – 8:15 pm (Central)
Where: Principia Summer Session (Online)
Description: The Gospel of Thomas comes to modern Christians cloaked in controversy over its relationship to the Bible. It is so similar in some ways, but it hints at a kind of spirituality that alarms those who think it might be a ‘gnostic’ text. We’ll take a closer look at a bit of the content of the book and consider some of the gnostic accusations in the context of Christian Science.

Title: A 2nd Century Healing Text: Was it Christian, Gnostic, or Something Else?
Presenter: Shirley Paulson, PhD
Type: Presentation (via Zoom)
Date: July 22, 2021
Time: 6:00 pm Eastern (5:00 Central, 4:00 Mountain, 3:00 Pacific)
Where: Admiral Church, Seattle, WA (Online)
Description: Buried for more than a thousand years in the sands of Egypt, the Secret Revelation of John has stayed a secret far longer than it should have. Even now, 75 years after its discovery in 1945, it eludes easy understanding even as it shines with the message of God’s loving presence amid suffering and pain. We will discuss the Secret Revelation of John’s three gems of healing wisdom that have been encrusted in a millennium of doubt and theological limitation.

The Bible and Beyond Blog

The Bible and Beyond blog explores historical and spiritual questions about Jesus, women, salvation, healing, the meaning of life, and where Christianity came from. This blog opens the conversation that will help all writers and readers unlock some of the mysteries from extra-canonical books, forgotten scriptures, so-called “gnostic” gospels, and the Bible.  Read Shirley Paulson’s introductory post here.

The Bible and Beyond Articles

The Bible and Beyond articles take readers beyond the surface of some of their favorite ancient texts, to show what’s happening behind the scenes and why these writings can be so meaningful to us today. Some texts are obscure, and few people know about them. Others are well known, but their meaning remains a mystery.

The Bible and Beyond Podcast

The Bible and Beyond podcast is a series of interviews with scholars who are able to unlock mysteries from extra-canonical books, forgotten scriptures, so-called ‘gnostic’ gospels, as well as the Bible. Host Shirley Paulson, Ph.D., and her guests explore historical and spiritual questions about Jesus, gender, women, salvation, healing, and the meaning of life. The discoveries these scholars share don’t always fit with what we’ve been told, but time and again they lead us toward a deeper intimacy with Jesus.

What the Apostles Did after the Resurrection

April 7th, 2021|

"Christian believers for the past two millennia haven’t distinguished between canonical and noncanonical sources. Lots of stories in noncanonical texts have been just as much true stories for believers as canonical texts. Lots of stories in noncanonical texts have been just as much true stories for believers as canonical texts." An interview with Dr. Janet Spittler.

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