Professor Charlesworth argues that Jesus is the genius behind the New Testament and the focus of the Evangelists. Who then is the Genius in the New Testament?
Where among the Disciples does John sit and stand? How is he prioritized; is he "the beloved disciple"?
To what extent and how overtly and then subtly do the Dead Sea Scrolls affect the written words in "John"?
When John's subtleties rely on symbology, how should the symbols be interpreted? Just two of the five symbolic issues in John are almost enough for a lifetime of study: the Symbolism of the Serpent in John, and the question, is it truly conceivable that Jesus married Mary Magdalene? (If that thought of others makes you fume, read before you thunder.)Published by Eerdmans, THE GENIUS IN THE NEW TESTAMENT, Perspicacious Traditions in the "Gospel of John," is planned for release in early 2017. We will post a notice when it's available and are certain you will find it exciting, challenging and enlightening.
The Princeton-Prague Symposium on the Historical Jesus reconvened on March 16th to the 19th at Princeton Theological Seminary. The topic for the four day Symposium was “Illustrating How to Use the Gospel of John in Jesus Research” with lectures ranging from the field of archaeology to literary approaches, all in an effort to search for historical features in the oft-neglected fourth Gospel in the study of the historical Jesus.
Below is listed each speaker along with their paper topic in chronological order:
Paul Anderson: “Why John is Fundamental in Jesus Research”
Alan Culpepper: “The Chronology and Sequence of Events in John’s Account of Jesus’ Ministry”
Harry Attridge: “Methodology for Finding Historical Knowledge in the Gospel of John?”
Shimon Gibson (read by John Hoffman): “Archaeology, Architecture, and Pre-70 Jerusalem Described in John”
James H. Charlesworth: “Two Jerusalem Pools (Mikvaot) and John’s Jesus”
George Parsenios: “How and in What Ways Does John’s Rhetoric Reflect Jesus’ Rhetoric?”
Petr Pokorný: “The Kingdom of God for the Historical Jesus and in John”
Jan Roskovec: “John’s Portrait of Jesus Within Judaism”
Craig S. Keener: “The Baptizer: Jesus’ Teacher According to John”
Urban C. von Wahlde: “Judaism, the Historical Jesus, the “Signs Source,” and the Gospel of John”
Michael A. Daise: “Jesus and the Historical Implications of John’s Temple Cleansing”
The consensus of the congress was the following:
1. Scholars devoted to reconstruction the life of Jesus must no longer ignore John as so many have over the past 50 years.
2. Passages in John have a strong a case to be historically reliable as any in the Synoptics (Mt, Mk, Lk).
3. The Gospel of John is a very Jewish composition.
Congress on Judaism and Christian Origins
in Moscow, Russia, 2-4 June 2016
Alexey Samov (Russian scholar), Lea Berkuz, and Professor Charlesworth, answer questions during the international symposium in Moscow.
The three-day event was focused on the Dead Sea Scrolls, Second Temple Judaism, Jesus, Paul, and Christian Origins.
Scholars from many cities -- notably Rome, St Petersburg, Moscow, Warsaw, Berlin, and Princeton -- presented invited lectures.
Charlesworth's lectures will be translated into Russian to inform scholars in eastern Europe about the exciting developments in this field of research.
The international symposium was sponsored by the Institute for Bible Translation and St Thomas Catholic Institute, both in Moscow.
Comments of Alexey Samov about Conference
and from other attendees:
In an email to Dr. Charlesworth dated 4 June 2016, Alexey Samov wrote, "It was so much pleasure to have you here in Moscow... Your lectures were excellent. I have received very positive feedback from many people who were there.
Many questions, many new thoughts about things that seemed to be simple before.
All this is very important for Russian audience, students, and scholarship. I am glad some famous Russian Biblical scholars were with us these days, especially Michael Seleznev, who is, I think, one of the best Russian specialists in the Hebrew Bible and the LXX ..., and Eugenia Smagina, who is a researcher of Gnosticism, Coptic and Syriac literature...
You are wonderful, Let's keep in touch, Alexey."
(Comments of George Makrauer, Administrative Assistant to Dr. Charlesworth. "I visited the Soviet Union in 1973. I had to keep the fact I was Jewish a "secret." So did my father-in-law, who secretly brought with him a collection of materials to give to a young couple living in Moscow, who had applied to emigrate to Israel. The husband an engineer, the wife a school teacher. Upon applying, both were fired from their job. The materials my father-in-law brought were given to him by a U.S. group that funneled materials to "Soviet" Jews to teach them Hebrew, how to live in Israel, find a job and other introductory materials. Our clandestine encounter, hand signals to identify each other, following them to a subway station and onto the correct train, them at a discreet distance walking to their "apartment" and more all made an indelible memory. THEN, to read Dr. Charlesworth's reports of the "congress on Judaism and Christian Origins in Moscow, Russia" -- publicized openly and held publicly -- was a jolt to the bitter past with a deep hope for a much better future."
Dr. Charlesworth and Lea at Petrodvorets
about 12 miles outside St. Petersburg, Russia.
Dr. Charlesworth and famous actor Robert Powell* being filmed for the Smithsonian Channel production “Jesus,” here on Lake Kinnereth, alternatively the Sea of Galilee. Later, on the Mt of Beatitudes, Charlesworth answered Powell’s question about attitude and explained in Aramaic the incipient is “Happy is...” and that Jesus promises happiness to all in the Kingdom of God.
* Robert Powell is an English television and film actor, best known for the title role in Jesus of Nazareth (1977). He has close to 150 screen and radio credits. His distinctive voice has become well known in advertisements and documentaries, especially in World War II documentaries including World War II in HD Colour, Hitler's Bodyguard, The Story of the Third Reich and Secrets of World War II. He then played Jesus Christ in Jesus of Nazareth (1977). See IMDB.com for complete filmography and other appearances.
FOUNDATION ANNUAL MEETING IN CONJUNCTION
WITH BIBLICAL ARCHAEOLOGY SOCIETY'S
18TH ANNUAL BIBLE AND ARCHAEOLOGY FEST
Biblical archaeology, research, academic and general audience presentations, announcements of new finds in history and archaeological, new publications and differences of opinion find their collective day in the sun each year in November, when academic and theological organizations hold their individual annual meeting over a span of days allowing attendance at many different sessions.
This year it was Atlanta, the week of November 15. Many of the speakers await this annual conclave of academe to release major announcements of new discoveries that are fresh to the field or compel revisions of interpretation of earlier study.
Here are most of the organizations meeting in Atlanta, November 2015:
- Biblical Archaeology Society 18th Annual Bible and Archaeology Fest
- Foundation on Judaism and Christian Origins
- American Schools of Oriental Research
- Society of Biblical Literature
- The American Academy of Religion
- Westar Institute (Taking the Scholarship of Religion Public)
- Evangelical Theological Society
- Institute of Biblical Research
- Georgia Baptist Convention
- International Qur'anic Studies Association
- Near East Archaeological Society
- The North American Association for the Study of Religion
The papers presented at the open sessions are usually made available in print or DVD.
If interested, check each organization’s website for subject and availability.
Dr. Charlesworth spoke at a number of different organization sessions. The subject of his presentation at the Biblical Archaeology Society program was, “Where did Jesus meet Mary Magdalene? New Archaeological Discoveries.”
GOT MIGDAL? BEEN THERE? Dr. Charlesworth's tours include a special tour in Migdal and on-site presentation by the director of the synagogue excavation... one of the surprising finds in Galilee.