Because of the crisis, I will be teaching my course, Introduction to the New Testament, remotely this semester, by recording two lectures a week, starting Sunday, for my students to listen to during the week at their convenience.  Last week for the heck of it I tried recording a lecture by myself in an empty room.  It, uh, did not go well, to say the least.  I need *someone* to talk to if I’m going to talk.   Otherwise I just stumble over my words and forget everything I’m supposed to say. I would like an audience.

Which gave me an idea.  Would any of you like to hear one or more of my lectures as I record them?  There would be no charge per se, but I would like to ask for a (completely voluntary) donation to the blog.

Here is what I have in mind.   We will try it out this Sunday (Jan 24) on Zoom.  I will give two lectures, one at 2:00 and the other at 3:15.  Each lecture will take about 50 minutes.

  • The first will be “What Is the New Testament? The Early Christians and their Literature,” where I describe the basic organization, structure, and contents of the NT and deal with the question of why we have *these* twenty-seven books and not others.
  • The second will be “The World of Early Christian Traditions,” where I explain why it is important to know about the historical, political, cultural, and religious context of the New Testament if we hope to understand it (focusing on the Hellenization of the Mediterranean, the Roman empire, etc.)

Anyone who wants to come is welcome.  My suggested donation is a minimum $10 to listen to one of them and $15 to listen to both (there is no maximum donation ? ). After the second lecture I will take questions from three attendees for 20 minutes (which will not be included on the recording I send to the students).   Which three?   The three largest donors for the lecture(s).  Everyone else, of course, is free to listen in.  (To make things fair: if you bid a larger amount and are disappointed about not being one of the three, you are under no obligation: make your donation any amount you choose!)

All the donations would go directly to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina.

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

So, are you interested?   All you need do is respond: NOT here on the blog and NOT to my personal email BUT:  by sending an email to:  [email protected]   For the subject line of your email please put “Recorded Lecture 1.24.”  In the text of the message itself, simply indicate the amount of the donation you are willing to make.  If you prefer not to make a donation, just leave the text blank.

Everyone who responds by 11:00 am on Sunday morning will received a Zoom link by noon.

Any questions about how it will work, let me know.