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Follow Mark Goodacre as he explores the latest research on Mary Magdalene—including the validity of the Coptic papyrus fragment The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife—and the role she plays in the early Christian texts.
The Gospels of Matthew and Luke narrate Jesus’ birth to a young virgin named Mary. Are these stories history or are they legend? The “Scandal of Jesus’ birth,” presented by the always-popular Mark Goodacre, is the first video in the upcoming 10-lecture set “Who Was Jesus?”
Jesus was not the only person considered the Son of God in the ancient world. Other “divine men” were also said to have been born miraculously, to have healed the sick, fed the multitudes, cast out demons, and raised the dead, and who at the end of their lives were thought to have ascended to the heavenly realm to live forever. Why do we never hear of these others? And was Jesus the real thing, whereas all these others were frauds and impostors? This lecture considers some of the other Sons of God, and examines the ways in which Jesus was both similar and different.
In “The Temple, Aramaic Epigraphy and the Historical Jesus,” Bruce Chilton of Bard College explains how these three separate fields of study can be combined to understand better the Jewish context of Jesus’ life and teaching. Chilton dismisses the notion that Jesus was simply pro-prophecy and anti-ritual, examining numerous analogies in Christian and Rabbinic literature. Using Aramaic inscriptional evidence, especially from first-century Judea and Galilee, Chilton sheds light on the language Jesus spoke and how it relates to the cleansing of the Temple described in the Gospels.
Since the public controversy over the Talpiot “Jesus” family tomb broke in 2007, much has happened behind the scenes. This presentation brings things up to date, examines what we know for certain about who may have been buried in the Talpiot tomb, and how new evidence is helping to separate mere speculation from solid historical and archaeological interpretation.
Both within the New Testament and in later Christian gospels, writings that describe the death of Jesus increasingly declare Pilate innocent of the whole proceeding. The logic of this exoneration gives rise to an obvious question: If Pilate is not guilty for condemning an innocent Jesus to death, then who is? The early Christian answer? “The Jews.” This lecture examines these ongoing attempts to exculpate Pilate and inculpate the Jews in the death of Jesus, paying particular attention to non-canonical gospels, some of which declared that Pilate eventually became a Christian convert and martyr.
Recent events surrounding the “James ossuary” controversy and the discovery in the second Talpiot tomb of an image that is arguably one of “Jonah and the big fish” have sparked renewed consideration of the question of whether Jesus’ earliest followers left behind any distinctive archaeological remains. This lecture considers this century-old question and asks how the Talpiot discoveries are changing our perspective on the traditional evidence.
This lecture sorts through the major scientific, historical and archaeological issues related to the “James ossuary” controversy and the ongoing debate over its authenticity. We examine the variety of media and academic responses to the first-century bone box inscribed “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus,” and clarify what we know about the box and its inscription, and what remains uncertain.