Religious Studies lecture, October 9 2012.
when studying, there is a timeline on p.167
when studying, go look at the power point for both glen and the textbook
structured ones which are like coles notes.
Moslems recognize Christ as a prophet. Jews do not. They claim him as being
unike a lot of other religions, for modern christians, it is predominantly about
BELIEFS. emphasis is on FAITH and DOCTRINE, not necessarily on the STUFF
THAT YOU DO.
earliest christians were mostly jews and they accepted the TANAKH as their
scriptures, calling it the OLD TESTAMENT or OLD COVENANT
the ot was superceded by the nt (which means NEW COVENANT).
WRITTEN IN koine greek
● 4 GOSPELS
● LETERS *7 BY PAUL
● ACTS OF APOSTLES (A MYTHIC HISTORY)
● REVELATION: AN APOCALYPSE
● MYTHIC HISTORIES... NOT "SECULAR" OR NONBIAS. SACRED
earliest gospel came 50 years after Christ's death
Jesus was an important mythical construct for early christianities
textbook preents Jesus as guys who does things, glen says there is no evidence he
existed outside of Christian documents.
whether Jesus existed in historical reality or not, the gospels that tell of him are
unquestionably mythic texts. you simply can't talk about Jesus in a historical way.
different Jesuses for different groups
think about the different christmas stories mashed into one christmas story
christians would get into brawls in the street about whether jesus was all god or
all god man. jews would laugh about christians fighting over their jewish zombie
THE NICENE CREED ::: 325 CE
we believe in one God the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth....
why does this creed say these things? bcause there was controversy. some
christians believed in multiple gods. The Nicene Creed took 300 years to make this final assertation that THIS is what
Christianity is. People were NOT in agreement. People all over the place had
different ideas of what Christianity was. What was Jesus? What did he mean? What
was he like? How did he relate to God? Does he have sex? Does he poo? Does he
have nocturnal emissions?
the actual chronological order of the New Testament was very different than the
way it is now composed. it was composed to lend validity and the feeling that their
was only one way of looking at this.
earliest literary evidence of Christianity:
PAUL OF TARSUS the apostle Paul, St. Paul, etc.
● of Jewish descent
● had a postresurrection encounter with Jesus
● wrote a series of letters in the 50's (with the first—galatians—written in
● paul never met jesus in his life
● 7 of the 13 ascribed to him in the new testament are authentic
● these letters respond to letters already sent to paul. we only have the
response and not the original letters with their queries and such
● paul kind of disappeared after his letters. after he died, no one read his letters
or cared about him for about a hundred years after his letters were written.
he died a failure. the groups he wrote to mostly disappeared. Paul wasn't out
to invent a new religion. He was a Jew. He identified himself as a Jew. At no
point would he see himself as outside the realm of Jesus. His earliest letters
date about ten years outside of when Christ was believed to have died. He
didn't really like "Christians," he persecuted them, but he had a conversion
experience. He realized that Jesus might have offered the best kind of
Judaism. So he hitched his horse to that wagon. The earliest evidence we
have of "Jesus" was a guy (Paul) talking to a ghost.
● His perception of Jesus would be strange to us today:
● Dualist, someone who saw the world as light and dark, male and female,