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The Bible and Beyond Discussions

Monthly Monday Textual Study

Once a month, at 8:00–9:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday nights (generally the fourth of the month), Early Christian Texts hosts a presentation and discussion of one of the early Christian texts.  Dr. Hal Taussig generally leads the sessions by first sharing a well-framed overview of the particular subject and after that providing time for all participants to ask questions or share their own insights.

There is no charge, but attendees are invited to donate or become a Bible and Beyond patron. You may attend any or all sessions — you are welcome any time.  We look forward to your participation.

Folks who need a brief introduction to these rather surprising and deeply moving texts are invited to watch the archival videos below, or, for those who would like a more in-depth introduction, we think you’ll 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.  

Transitioning from Head to Heart

Following each one-hour discussion program, participants are invited to stay connected to the the Zoom meeting and participate in a 20-minute period of spiritual reflection. Rev. Karen Hagen will guide us through a practice based on the subject covered in that month’s discussion. We expect the Head to Heart portion of the discussions to lead to deeper understanding and to help participants move beyond simply taking in information to finding personal inspiration and transformation. This practice is based on the concept that the divine has given us our whole self — thoughts, feelings, memories, intuition, body, and intellect — to use in discerning the divine presence. The divine is always seeking to be in more relationship.

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    Upcoming Discussion

    (Please note:  The Zoom meeting is online approximately 10 minutes before and during the meetings.)

    Sophia/Wisdom/Jesus/God in the First Three Centuries CE

    Monday, August 15, 2022 (NOTE: This is the third Tuesday, not the usual fourth)
    8:00 – 9:00 pm Eastern Time
    Click here for the Zoom meeting link
    Facebook Event Page
    Presenter: Dr. Hal Taussig

    The key character of Sophia/Wisdom in the development Jesus peoples of the first two hundred years of the Common Era, the development of Second Temple Judaism, and initial development Rabbinic Judaism are the extraordinary dimensions of this Monday Bible and Beyond Discussion. We’ll be looking at a complicated set of documents in the following order of importance:

    • I Corinthians 1:18-2:9 with special emphasis on 2:6-8
    • (Letter of) James 3:13-18
    • Luke 7: 31-35
    • Gospel of Matthew 11:25-30
    • Proverbs 1
    • Proverbs 8
    • Ecclesiasticus 24
    • Wisdom of Solomon 7-11

    All of these texts are in a Christian Bible of one kind or another.  All of the I Corinthians, James, Luke, Matthew, and Proverbs are in all Christian Bibles, and Proverbs in the Hebrew Bible. The texts in Ecclesiasticus and Wisdom of Solomon are in all Roman Catholic Bibles.

    We will study passages from these books that include the character of Wisdom/Sophia.  She is a divine female character who descends from God to work with humans.  In a number of Jesus peoples of the first two centuries, this character of Wisdom/Sophia is associated with Jesus himself, although in other Jesus peoples writings of the first two centuries Jesus and Wisdom/Sophia are not associated with one another.

    Links to online texts used in this Discussion:

    I Corinthians 1:18-2:9 with special emphasis on 2:6-8; (Letter of) James 3:13-18; Luke 7: 31-35; Gospel of Matthew 11:25-30; Proverbs 1; Proverbs 8; Ecclesiasticus 24; Wisdom of Solomon 7-11