One of the most dramatic scenes in the New Testament comes when Jesus at Caesarea Philippi asks his disciples who the crowds think him to be. They reply with a series of choices—Elijah, John the Baptist, etc. Then Jesus asks of them: “Who do you say that I am?” This weeks lesson works with this theme. We’re going to visit three web sites that give different answers to our question. These are substantial sites that you should explore and sample areas that are of interest to you.
Barry Smith, a Baptist professor, offers an entire online course on the Life of Jesus. Pick a section(s) that interest you and spend some time with the material. Cam Howard presents a portrait of Jesus based on the work of Marcus Borg who you met in last week’s assignment. Finally, the Jewish Encyclopedia allows us to look at the ministry of Jesus through the eyes of Jewish scholars.
We begin our assignment with a
Cam Howard’s Portrait of Jesus (Click here)
The Jewish Encyclopedia – Jesus of Nazareth (Click here)
Gerd Ludemann – The Life of Jesus (Click here)Bonus Assignment
Did Jesus Oppose the Purity Laws - Paula Fredriksen is William Goodwin Aurelio Professor of the Appreciation of Scripture at
Jesus and Women - Amy-Jill Levine is E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Professor of New Testament Studies at
This lecture was delivered to the Otter Street Church of Christ in
Online Question of the Week
How would you describe Jesus’ ministry from a historical perspective? Try your hand at providing a brief thumbnail sketch of Jesus and his ministry in just a few sentences with these limitations: no confessional language or theological descriptors (Savior, Son of God, etc.).
Reading Assignment – Jesus and the Land
Read Chapter 3, pp 71 – 109
The author presents two “conversion experiences” that he presumes for Jesus. But what about Jesus’ baptism by John? In what sense was that too a “conversion experience”? Share a few comments around the idea that Jesus’ faith developed through a series of religious experiences.