The story of Twelve Apostles is the story of early Christianity: its competing versions of Jesus’s ministry, its countless schisms, and its ultimate evolution from an obscure Jewish sect to the global faith we know today in all its forms and permutations. In his quest to understand the underpinnings of the world’s largest religion, Tom Bissell embarks on a years-long pilgrimage to the apostles’ supposed tombs, traveling from Jerusalem and Rome to Turkey, Greece, Spain, France, India, and Kyrgyzstan. Along the way, Bissell uncovers the mysterious and often paradoxical lives of these twelve men and how their identities have taken shape over the course of two millennia.
Written with empathy and a rare acumen—and often extremely funny—Apostle is an intellectual, spiritual, and personal adventure fit for believers, scholars, and wanderers alike.
We have known of the existence of the Gospel of Thomas from ancient writers, but it was only after the discovery of the Nag Hammadi Codices that the actual text became available. The Gospel of Thomas is basically a collection of sayings, or logia, that sometimes seem similar, perhaps more primitive than sayings found in the canonical Gospels. Sometimes, however, the sayings seem better explained as reflecting a “Gnostic” understanding of the world. This involves a rejection of the material world and a desire for gnosis, a secret knowledge, in order to escape the world and return to the divine being.
The best part here is the background material on the gnostics and the general tenor of the movement which, once consumed, gives much more insight into the writings in the Gospel of Thomas. The idea of multiple types of Christianities is intriguing. Though we have a few today, they’re not as obviously different as earlier incarnations in the first several centuries in the common era.
I just heard a snippet of a radio show recently in which the interview guest would be talking about practicing multiple faiths simultaneously could be interesting and fruitful. Obviously this is not a new ideas…
A classic since 1949, Gospel Parallels presents Matthew, Mark, and Luke printed side-by-side for easy and enlightening comparative study. Now fully revised and updated using the NRSV, it features a more readable type face and a new, even more effective system for comparison.
This HTML presentation of the Five Gospels is designed to be a teaching tool for introductory level classes in New Testament and Christian Origins. For this reason, and because of the particular constraints of HTML, it does not offer the same level of detail as a printed synopsis (i.e. Throckmorton 1979, 1992; Aland 1985). Its advantage is that it allows more "play" than a printed synopsis and that it presents the materials in the same order as the canonical Gospels. Moreover, it offers texts that are not commonly included in the synopses designed for classroom use: Thomas and Paul. Others may follow.
An interesting website, but could use with some additional UI tweaks to make it more interesting/usable. It’s certainly got a lot of the data in place.
The Gospel of Matthew contains some of the most famous passages that both Christians and non-Christians are familiar with. However, Matthew also presents itself paradoxically as preaching a Torah observant Christianity and a Christian mission that seeks to reach gentiles. The figure of Jesus in Matthew is that of a teacher, the founder of the Church, and the model for the apostles and Matthew’s own community. Matthew seems to be writing for a church community that needs encouragement to have faith in a time of trouble.
Matthew: The Most Famous Gospel [00:00:00]
Jesus and the Torah in Matthew [00:12:29]
The Foundations of the Church in Matthew [00:22:08]
The Gospels of the New Testament are not biographies, and, in this class, they are read through a historical critical lens. This means that the events they narrate are not taken at face value as historical. The Gospel of Mark illustrates how the gospel writer skillfully crafts a narrative in order to deliver a message. It is a message that emphasizes a suffering messiah, and the necessity of suffering before glory. The gospel’s apocalyptic passages predict troubles for the Jewish temple and incorporate this prediction with its understanding of the future coming of the Son of Man.
00:00 - Chapter 1. The Gospels Not As Biographies 13:44 - Chapter 2. A Historical Critical Reading of Mark 22:18 - Chapter 3. Mark's Messiah 30:26 - Chapter 4. The Apocalyptic in Mark
Featuring vibrant full color throughout, the sixth edition of Bart D. Ehrman's highly successful introduction approaches the New Testament from a consistently historical and comparative perspective, emphasizing the rich diversity of the earliest Christian literature. Distinctive to this study is its unique focus on the historical, literary, and religious milieux of the Greco-Roman world, including early Judaism. As part of its historical orientation, the book also discusses other Christian writings that were roughly contemporary with the New Testament, such as the Gospel of Thomas, the Apocalypse of Peter, and the letters of Ignatius.