On March 9, 2017, I gave a lecture at Washington & Jefferson College in Washington PA, called “Who Wrote the Bible? The Surprising Claims of Modern Scholars.” This was part of a kind of lecture tour that I did for the nation’s oldest honor society, Phi Beta Kappa. The society’ has a “Visiting Scholar Program”: a dozen or so scholars are chosen each year to visit college and university campuses to meet with Phi Beta Kappa members, teaching some classes, and give a public lecture. I went to eight campuses over the course of the academic year, usually for two or three days each, teaching a variety of classes and giving lectures on a variety of topics that each school could choose from..
This particular lecture is based on my book Forged. It deals with how ancient people understood the phenomenon that today we would call “forgery” — when an author writes a book falsely claiming to be some other well-known author. Would ancient people consider that to be a deceitful practice? Would they approve of it or condemn it? Did it happen much? Could it have happened in early Christianity? Could some of the books of the New Testament fall into that category? These are the kinds of question the lecture tries to produce.
The video quality of this lecture, as you will see, is not good. But the audio works just fine! I hope you enjoy it.
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