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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 Acts of Paul and Thecla

Monday, August 26, 2019
8:00 – 9:00 pm Eastern Time
Zoom Meeting Link: https://zoom.us/j/499027361
Facebook Event Page
Presenter: Hal Taussig

The text is available here, here, and here.
Also recommended is the translation by Celene Lillie in A New New Testament: A Bible for the Twenty-First Century Combining Traditional and Newly Discovered Texts, edited by Hal Taussig, published by Houghton, Mifflin, and Harcourt.

The Acts of Paul and Thecla is mostly about a teenage girl in the first century who grew into a teacher and healer. Around the edges of this story there is also the figure of Paul, the apostle; but the story is mostly about Thecla. At the beginning of the story, the teenage Thecla is betrothed to a man; but quite early on, she breaks off this betrothal, leaves home, and starts teaching in public about a new way of life without marriage. This places her at odds with the government for whom such single life is frowned upon. Much of the story portrays Thecla’s life in danger because of her anti-marriage life style and teaching. She, however, with God’s help survives and even thrives in her teaching and healing until old age. Although this study of The Acts of Paul and Thecla provides some basic information about its writing and setting; it focuses on Thecla’s gender and sexuality. Discussion concentrates on her freedom and leadership, especially the ways her gender and sexuality is far more than what has often been considered “virginity” and/or “celibacy.”

Past Discussions

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.”