This Sunday, April 18, I will be giving TWO live Zoom lectures for anyone who wants to come.  They will be recorded for my undergraduate course on the New Testament and there will be a 30-minute Q & A to follow the second one.

There is no charge per se, but I would like to ask for a donation to the blog in exchange, if you can see your way clear to do it.  If not, that’s fine – we all have our circumstances!  But one of the main reasons I’m doing these lectures is to raise money for the Food Bank of North Carolina; as with all food banks right now, it is in desperate need.  Your donation is completely tax deductible. To make a donation now, go to the blog home page and scroll to the bottom to find the blue “One-time Donation” button.

Here is the info you need:

  • Time: Sunday, April 18th, 2:00 pm  and 3:15 pm (Eastern Time)
  • The Lectures will last about 50 minutes, with a 15-minute break in between, and a Q&A to follow the second.

First Lecture:  From Jewish Prophet to Anti-Jewish Religion: The Rise of Christian Anti-Judaism.  Jesus was thoroughly Jewish, in every way.  So were his followers.  After his death they continued to believe, behave, and worship as Jews.  But by the second century many Christians saw Jews as opponents of truth and God himself.  Eventually the hatred escalated and led to verbal and physical violence.  How did that happen?  In this lecture we will explore how a sect within Judaism rapidly developed into a largely anti-Jewish religion.

Second Lecture: Christianity and Empire: Persecutions of the Early Church.  Contrary to what is often said, Christianity was not an illegal religion in the early empire, and there were no empire-wide persecutions against the church in the entire first two centuries of its existence.  But there was sometimes (often?) local opposition, and sometimes (how often?) that led to official Roman opposition locally.  Eventually this would lead to the more sustained persecutions ordered from the highest levels of the imperial government.  But why?  Why would Romans want to persecute highly ethical, loving, sincere, and truth-seeking people?  In this lecture we learn how widely the early Christians were persecuted and explore the reasons why their opponents were sometimes intent on stamping them out.

As you know, these lectures are meant to raise money for those in need (see below).  Can you donate a bit?  My suggested minimum donation is $10 for one of the lectures and $15 for both together (there is no maximum donation!).

Three participants will be allowed to ask the questions at the end.  These will be the three highest donors.

In weeks past we have had a number of people donate $100; to be among the top three, you’ll probably need to go to about that level.  Whatever you donate, if anything, is completely up to you.  And everyone, donor or not, is absolutely welcome to hear the Q&A.  The last few weeks we have heard some terrific questions.

In case you wondered, I have no plans to make these lectures generally available.  The recordings will be for my class only.

If you want to attend, all you need do is respond by letting us know, here: Register for my Sunday Lectures

As soon as you register, you will receive a Zoom link via email from [email protected].

If you have any questions about how it will work, let me know.