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Before the New Testament in After Jesus Before Christianity
Join Westar scholars Deborah Saxon and Steve Patterson for this lecture based on the book, "After Jesus Before Christianity.

Introducing clearly that there was no such thing as a New Testament in the first two hundred years, this lecture reclaims how these many groups were deeply imbedded in oral culture.

The lecture shows how the Anointed clubs, the Wisdom circles, and the Jesus groups’ writings were not book-oriented, but mostly complicated combinations of memorials, songs, bathings, and meals with lively discussions.

Chapter Nineteen carves the way from the myth of “Bibles” in these first two centuries into portraits of lively communities and oral practice.

Dec 15, 2021 07:30 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Deborah Saxon
Westar Scholar @Westar Institute
Professor of Religion at Butler University, Indianapolis Deborah Niederer Saxon (B.A., Baylor University; M.A., Indiana University; Ph.D., Iliff School of Theology-University of Denver) teaches in the religion department at Butler University in Indianapolis. Her work focuses on gender, understanding the diversity of Christianity, and collaboration among those from the world’s many ethical and spiritual traditions. In 2017, she published The Care of the Self in Early Christian Texts (Palgrave Macmillan), a book arguing that we can understand the history of the early followers of Jesus better by focusing on their spiritual practices rather than their doctrinal disputes. She also serves on the Westar Institute’s Board of Directors. See her most recent blogs and podcast on Early Christian Texts: The Bible and Beyond. Professor of Religion at Butler University, Indianapolis and other info on her Linked In profile.
Stephen J. Patterson
Westar Scholar @Westar Institute
Stephen J. Patterson grew up the child of a pastor and schoolteacher in rural South Dakota. He received a B.A. from Yankton College in South Dakota, and holds graduate degrees from Harvard University and the Claremont Graduate School, where he received a Ph.D. in New Testament in 1988. In 1986 he was a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Heidelberg in Germany. Patterson specializes in the study of the historical Jesus, Christian origins, and the Gospel of Thomas, an early Christian gospel not found in the New Testament. Most recently he has written about the theological significance of the newest phase in the quest for the historical Jesus. Published books The Forgotten Creed: Christianity’s Original Struggle against Bigotry, Slavery, and Sexism (Oxford University Press, 2018) The Lost Way: How Two Forgotten Gospels Are Rewriting the Story of Christian Origins (Harper, 2014) Beyond the Passion: Rethinking the Death and Life of Jesus (Augsburg Fortress, 2004)