On Sunday we will discuss the story of Peter and Cornelius in the tenth chapter of Acts. Who is the central character of this story? Peter? Cornelius? What did the author expect us to infer about the two?
You may be familiar with the story in John 7:53-8:11 of a woman brought to Jesus by a group of “Scribes and Pharisees” who accused her saying she had “been caught in the very act of adultery.” We will discuss this story on Sunday in a way you may have not heard before. In addition to asking what the surface meaning of the story might be, we will examine it’s history in the development of the canon of the New Testament. What does it’s placement at this point in John’s story mean? How might it’s meaning change in a different context?
Added February 21, 2016
I have uploaded the presentation I used this morning. You can find it here.
If you are interested in reading more on this topic, you can find related resources at bibleodyssey.org, a website created and maintained by the Society of Biblical Literature.
In the class, The First Christmas, we will look at the two stories of Jesus’ birth found in the Bible, considering their politico-religious context in the first century CE and what they mean for today’s world. We will neither try to defend the stories as factual nor dismiss them as non-factual, but rather read them as narratives with both political and personal meanings for the ancient world and for our own. They presented a strong challenge to the empire of their time. What are their implications for our nation’s role in the world? On a personal level, they offer a challenge to live in communion with God. What does that mean for today’s church and today’s Christians? Join us for a lively discussion!
I recommend the book of the same title by Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan as a way to extend your exploration into the topics we sill discuss. There is no need to read it in advance of the class.