Apostle Paul (The Great Courses)

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Coming to grips with Christianity means coming to grips with Paul. There is no figure aside from Jesus himself who is more important to the history of this world religion, and no figure from the age of the early church about whom we know more or of whom we have a more rounded view. Historian […]

Dead Sea Scrolls (The Great Courses)

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The year: 1947. A Bedouin shepherd tracks one of his stray goats into a cave mouth above the shore of the Dead Sea at a desolate place named Qumran. Inside, he discovers a pair of tall, thin clay pots. And what he finds when he opens those pots will be nothing less than the greatest […]

History of the Bible: The Making of the New Testament Canon (The Great Courses)

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The New Testament stands unchallenged, in the words of Professor Bart D. Ehrman, not only as the “‘bestseller’ of all time,” but also as the most important “book—or collection of books—in the history of Western civilization.” Yet how many of us, Christian or otherwise, are as knowledgeable about the New Testament as we would like […]

Historical Jesus (The Great Courses)

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Who was Jesus of Nazareth? What was he like? For more than 2,000 years, people and groups of varying convictions have pondered these questions and done their best to answer them. The significance of the subject is apparent. From the late Roman Empire all the way to our own time, no continuously existing institution or […]

Lost Christianities: Christian Scriptures and the Battles over Authentication (The Great Courses)

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In the first centuries after Christ, there was no “official” New Testament. Instead, early Christians read and fervently followed a wide variety of Scriptures—many more than we have today. Relying on these writings, Christians held beliefs that today would be considered bizarre. Some believed that there were two, 12, or as many as 30 gods. […]

Old Testament (The Great Courses)

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The Old Testament, or Tanakh, was written in ancient Israel over 1,000 years by many authors. What can this book teach us about the ancient Israelites? What does our faith find in new scholarly understanding? As scripture or as the most influential piece of literature ever written, this book is a source of constant wonder, […]

New Testament (The Great Courses)

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Whether you consider it a book of faith or a cultural artifact, the New Testament is among the most significant writings that the world has ever known. Scarcely a single major writer in the last 2,000 years has failed to rely on the web of meaning contained in the New Testament to communicate. Yet the […]