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New Testament Study Group with Scholarly Focus


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Some friends and I are about to embark on a year long study of the New Testament from an academic perspective (likely using a popular textbook on the New Testament written by a prominent scholar whose background is Catholic). We haven't finalized all the plans yet. If you'd like to participate, shape the upcoming study plans, or otherwise join in other conversations about the New Testament scholarship, please join us!
https://www.facebook.com/groups/152515401862902/

To be more specific, we're going through Luke Timothy Johnson's kindle edition "The Writings of the New Testament: An Interpretation," since it is only $4.99 through April. He's a recognized scholar, also a believing Catholic. His book is around 600 pages long, so about 10-15 pages per week. He also has several "Great Courses" available on Audible for $15 or so if you're an Audible m...ember. His courses on "Jesus and the Gospels" and "The Apostle Paul" would cover much of the material of his textbook. 

We've had the first few posts about the Introduction, but it's not too late to jump in by any means.

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I would love to join, but i'm not sure if i have the time to commit to reading.   I'm in one of those 'almost overwhelmed' phases of life and one more responsibility might not be the thing for me.  But it sounds so awesome that i might try anyway. :D 

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1 hour ago, bluebell said:

I would love to join, but i'm not sure if i have the time to commit to reading.   I'm in one of those 'almost overwhelmed' phases of life and one more responsibility might not be the thing for me.  But it sounds so awesome that i might try anyway. :D 

The group is broader than just this project - only about 10% of the members of the group are reading this textbook.  The rest post and comment as they please.  Here is the facebook group description.

"Before requesting to join this group, please read the following:...

This is a group for Mormons interested in scholarship on the New Testament and its surrounding time periods (Second Temple Judaism, Greco-Roman culture, Early Christianity, extra-canonical writings, etc.). The focus will be on the interpretation of writings produced in ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern cultures during this time period. Since most scholarship on the Bible has been produced by Christians outside of Mormonism, this group will not hesitate to discuss both "non-Mormon" and Mormon writings and interpretations. NOTHING IN THIS FORUM SHOULD BE CONSTRUED AS REPRESENTING OFFICIAL LDS DOCTRINE, which may or may not harmonize with views discussed in this forum. That said, we are a group largely comprised of LDS members, and we're therefore very friendly-LDS.

The value of such discussions should be evident. In the words of LDS scholar Grant Hardy at the 2016 FairMormon conference: "I wish we were much more involved in mainstream academic conversations regarding biblical scholarship, religious studies, theology, and world religions. Otherwise, we risk just talking to ourselves and saying the same things over and over. If we’re incapable of speaking about our religion in ways that make sense to knowledgeable outsiders, they’re going to assume that we have nothing to say."

To join this group, you should own a copy of a modern Study Bible (e.g., HarperCollins, New Oxford Annotated Bible, NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible, etc.), or alternatively, be willing to access well-regarded 19th century Study Bibles at http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ such as ”John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible,” “Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible” by Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset, or Adam Clarke’s Commentary.

This study group presumes your willingness to assent to the following without debate in this forum (i.e. regardless of your personal beliefs - including whether you're a non-believer or non-Mormon etc., you are welcome to join the group provided that you just don't debate these items here):

1. That God, the Eternal Father, His Son Jesus-Christ, and the Holy Ghost exist.
2. That God called Joseph Smith Jr. as a prophet.
3. That the Book of Mormon contains writings inspired of God.
4. That the New Testament contains writings inspired of God.

No other requirements are necessary."
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Please pop this up every now and then.  I am still trying to get through some financial issues for my mother and can't focus on anything that requires more than 10 second of thought it seems like. (Just spent 2 hours being brilliant finding something for my brother and Mom's taxes fro 2014, but seriously should have taken a half an hour at most, I get so distracted so easily).

Anyway, if I ever focus again, this is something I would probably like to do, but I won't remember on my own, lol.

Edited by Calm
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