Monday, July 25, 2011

Yale Open Course: New Testament 12 & 13

The twelfth lecture is on the letters of John.

  • In Gospel of John, Jesus talks in riddles, and responds to questions with non-sequiturs
  • Mark includes atonement as a reason for Jesus' death, Luke doesn't
  • 1 John says that everyone is a sinner, yet contradicts by saying no believers sin
  • 1 John commands believers to love brothers, not the outsiders
The thirteenth lecture is on the Historical Jesus.
  • Prof says no reputable historian believes we know anything about the birth or trial of Jesus
  • Peasants, like the disciples, would not have been let into a Roman trial court
  • All reputable scholars believe there was a Jesus of Nazareth
  • Historians agree that the sign nailed to the cross and the baptism by John the Baptist of Jesus are historical
  • Important criterion for historicity is multiple attestation (found in more than one source), e.g. Jesus' teaching against divorce
  • Another important criterion is dissimilarity (something that "swims against the current" of early Christianity), e.g. Jesus' disciples being armed in the garden during the last Passover.  Another example is when Jesus says "nobody is good but God."
  • Prof says Jesus was an apocalyptic prophet
  • Says Jesus picked 12 disciples because of the idea that the 12 tribes would be reconstituted at the restoration
  • Says Jesus was executed because the Romans believed he was claiming to be King of the Jews

No comments: