Presentation on the Hagar Stories

I have uploaded the presentation I used this morning in the class on Hagar. You can access it here.

Some of you asked where you could get a copy of the poem we read. I have to acknowledge that I misspoke in attributing the poem to Edmond Lewis. It was written about her, inspired by her statue of Hagar.  Tyehimba Jess published the ekphrastic  poem under the title “Hagar in the Wilderness” in Poem A Day, a digital poetry series containing over 200 poems by contemporary poets. You can read “Hagar in the Wilderness” there (Just click the title of the poem to get there).

If you would like to read more about Edmonia Lewis, you can find short overviews at either or The Smithsonian also has a nice short article on her. contains a slightly more detailed treatment.

I look forward to seeing all of you again next Sunday. Allen Davidson will be leading the discussion.

Great Class this Morning / More Resources

I really enjoyed our time together this morning. Your insightful comments and discussion made it a very engaging time. I hope you found the partner discussions meaningful.

Here is a link to the LA Times series that I mentioned, and from which the pictures at the end of class came.

Product of Mexico, LA Times

Just below the video you will find a row of tabs. Each tab takes you to a different article in the series.

The Galilee that Jesus Knew

The Biblical Archaeology Society has made freely available a number of books recently that discuss archaeological finds in the area of Ancient Israel. These books are targeted not just at biblical scholars, but at general readers interested in what archaeology has to show about the ancient world in the areas relevant to the Bible.  One of these books, The Galilee that Jesus Knew, is relevant to the discussion that we began this morning (the cultural and historical context of the Pre-Easter Jesus). Clicking the title of the book in this paragraph will take you to a page where you can download a free copy.

Jesus and the Politics of his Day

This evening as I listen to Dr. William Barber’s sermon at Riverside Baptist Church in New York, I am reminded of a book that I read many years ago on Jesus and politics. Jesus and the Politics of his Day is a collection of essays by prominent biblical scholars on the political context of Jesus’ ministry.

You can read the entire book online at Cambridge University Press ebooks.

You can hear Dr. Barber’s sermon here:

Presentation from this Morning

I’ve uploaded the presentation I used this morning (February 1, 2015). You can view it online here: Pre-Easter and Post-Easter Jesus.

The Birth of Jesus in Matthew and Luke

I have uploaded a table comparing the stories of Jesus’ birth in Matthew and Luke, the only two Gospels to address the issue. If you have a chance today, take a look at it and think about what it implies about the authors’ perspectives on this event.

Click the link below to see the table.

Birth Stories

Defining Scripture in the 21st Century

I have uploaded the presentation that I will use on Sunday, January 18 so that you can view it online. Feel free to share it with anyone you want, but some parts may be difficult to understand outside the context of our discussions in class.

You can find the presentation here.

1/18/2015 Comment: I’ve corrected the links in this post. The presentation displays properly now.

A Book on Women as Ministers in Early Christianity.

when-women-were-priests-womens-leadership-in-early-karen-jo-torjesen-paperback-cover-artThe discussion this Sunday may leave you with some questions about the historical role of women as ministers in the earliest Christian churches. Here is a book that you may find helpful in exploring further information on that topic:

Karen J. Torjesen, When Women Were Priests: Women’s Leadership in the Early Church and the Scandal of Their Subordination in the Rise of Christianity.