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Early Christian Texts Discussions
Presented by the Tanho Center

Tanho Monday Textual Study

Once a month, at 8:00–9:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday nights (generally the fourth of the month), the Tanho Center sponsors a presentation and discussion of one of the early Christian texts.  Each Monday session is led by a trained scholar of these texts.  Discussion leaders will share a well-framed overview of the particular text, and give time for all participants to ask questions or share their own insights about the meanings and potential for these texts.

There is no charge, but people are invited to give donations to the Tanho Center.  One does not have to attend every session, and anyone is welcome any time.  We look forward to your joining these textual studies.

Folks who need a brief introduction to these rather surprising and deeply moving texts are invited to check out the several short films on the Tanho website home page. People who would like a larger introduction will enjoy the book, A New New Testament: A Bible for the Twenty-First Century Combining Traditional and Newly Discovered Textsedited by Hal Taussig and published by Houghton, Mifflin, and Harcourt.  

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The Tanho Center is dedicated to the study and interpretation of the large range of early Christ movement texts discovered in the last 150 years. By incorporating recently discovered texts into contemporary practices, we hope to signify exactly what tanho means in Coptic: “to make or be alive.”

Click to donate to the Tanho Center to support the Monday Discussions

Click the button above to donate to the Tanho Center to support the Monday Discussions.

Upcoming Discussions

(Please note:  The Zoom meeting links are only active approximately 10 minutes before and during the meetings.)

The Wisdom of Solomon: A First Century Divine Female

Monday, October 28, 2019
8:00 – 9:00 pm Eastern Time
Zoom Meeting Link: https://zoom.us/j/499027361
Facebook Event Page
Presenter: Hal Taussig

One of the earliest lists of important books in the Christ movements (the Muratorian fragment) lists “The Wisdom of Solomon” along with Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, thirteen letters of Paul, and two letters of John.  The most fascinating dimension of The Wisdom of Solomon on such a list of well-known early writings about Jesus is that the word ‘Jesus’ does not occur in The Wisdom of Solomon. The Wisdom of Solomon is now considered to have been an important writing for the hundreds of thousands people of Israel in first century Egypt.

Why would a list of many of the central early Christ movement documents include The Wisdom of Solomon?  This evening study lays out powerful connections between the early Christ people and the person of ‘Wisdom’ in this document.  Of particular interest is that this person of ‘Wisdom’ in this document is both divine and female.  Often named ‘Sophia’ (the Greek word for ‘Wisdom’), this divine person can also be compared to the first century figure of Jesus, who is often pictured as divine but not necessarily as divine as the Yahweh or Elohim in Hebrew scripture. Our study together will examine Wisdom/Sophia’s divine femaleness in relationship to both the many oppressed women in the first century CE and some of the advances women made during that same time.

Find the text in The New Jerusalem Bible and The Oxford Annotated, or find it here on the web.

Past Discussions

The Thunder, Perfect Mind II
Vulnerable Divinity: An Innovative Approach to God in the 21st Century from an Early Christ Movement

Monday, September 23, 2019
8:00 – 9:00 pm Eastern Time
Facebook Event Page
Presenter: Hal Taussig

The recently discovered “The Thunder: Perfect Mind” from the second or third century introduces a full-blown picture of a vulnerable God that for may help make sense of Divinity for 21st century people seeking a new way of thinking about God.  Here is a key sentence from this recently discovered document: “I am she who exists in all fear and in trembling boldness.”

Read the text here,

The Acts of Paul and Thecla

Monday, August 26, 2019
8:00 – 9:00 pm Eastern Time
Facebook Event Page
Presenter: Dr. Hal Taussig

The text is available here, here, and here.  This discussion concentrates on Thecla’s freedom and leadership, especially the ways her gender and sexuality is far more than what has often been considered “virginity” and/or “celibacy.”

The Thunder: Perfect Mind

Monday, July 22, 2019
8:00 – 9:00 pm Eastern Time
Facebook Event Page
Presenter: Hal Taussig

Click here for the text we’ll be using in this discussion. University of Pennsylvania professor Andrew Lamas calls The Thunder: Perfect Mind “one of the ten most important documents in history.”  Replay the discussion on YouTube (right).  Audio starts after the introductory text.

No Such Thing as ‘Gnosticism’?

Monday, June 24, 2019
8:00 – 9:00 pm Eastern Time
Facebook Event Page
Presenter:  Deb Saxon

Read discussion information and texts here. Deb Saxon tackled this complex topic and engaged us in a discussion about why it is important to avoid this label.

“The Letter of Peter to Philip”

Monday, May 20, 2019
8:00 – 9:00 pm Eastern Time
Facebook Event Page
Presenter:  Hal Taussig

“The Letter of Peter to Philip” is a text that was first discovered in the famous Nag Hammadi jar found in Egypt in 1945.  Click here for the text that was used in this discussion.

“The Sentences of Sextus”

Monday, April 29, 2019
8:00 – 9:00 pm Eastern Time
Facebook Event Page
Presenter:  Hal Taussig

Learn and discuss one of the intriguing Nag Hammadi text, “The Sentences of Sextus.”