Thursday, July 7, 2011

Yale Open Course: New Testament 5

In the fifth lecture, the prof talks about the NT as reliable history.  He basically says it is not.

The lecture is focused on the differences in the stories of Paul in both Acts and Galatians.  In Acts, it says that Paul was introduced by Barnabas to the other disciples a short time after Paul's experience in Damascus.  The prof counts 5 times that Paul was in Jerusalem before the Jerusalem Council of Acts 15.  In Galatians, it says that Paul visited Jerusalem perhaps once or twice before the Jerusalem Council, and then only to see Peter and James.  The prof says that these stories are probably contradictory, even though some devout believers have tried to harmonize them.

The prof thinks the account in Galatians is probably more accurate because Paul was being so forceful about something that the readers of his letter could have verified.  However, he admits that his main point is just that the texts must be sifted in order to arrive at historical truth, rather than taken at face-value.

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