Paul, Our Earliest Christian Author Bible Study

PAUL, OUR  EARLIEST CHRISTIAN AUTHOR BIBLE STUDY

Studies will be held on the third Sunday in September (15), October (20), and lastly in November (17), 2019

The Bible study will begin at 11:15 a.m. (note time change) in the Chapel with a light lunch.  This study is done with DVD’s, 30 minutes long, taught by Professor Bart D. Ehrman, with a discussion following for another 30-40 minutes.

If you are interested in participating, please let us know by signing the sign-up sheet in the Narthex or click  “YES” when you get the News Flash Notification or by sending the church office an email. 

If you have any questions, please see Peggy Bragg.

 

The article below is written by Rev. Denise Clark-Jones. . . .

Why study Paul? The unprecedented rise of the Christian faith in the first century is largely attributed to Paul’s evangelical mission to the Gentiles throughout the Roman Empire. While the four Gospels hold the primary position of importance in the New Testament, Paul’s writings pre-date each of them. Of the 27 books of the bible, 13 are either written by Paul or by other evangelists who attributed their writings to Paul. It is possible that these Deutero-Pauline letters used materials from some of Paul’s letters that did not survive. In the book of Acts, written by the author of Luke, approximately half of the book deals with Paul. Through his letters, Paul authored the first systematic theology of the Christian faith.

So, who was this theologian, evangelist, preacher, and church-starter? Paul was born in Tarsus, in the present country of Turkey, roughly around the time of Christ. He began his missionary work in 33 CE (for Common Era, formerly referred to as AD). Biblical scholars agree that the earliest possible date of the first gospel, Mark, is 65 CE. Of the Pharisaic sect of Judaism as well as a Roman citizen, Paul spoke both Hebrew and Greek, thus making him particularly effective as a missionary. Paul’s encounter with the risen Christ gave him the exalted title of “Apostle.” The dramatic confrontation, while Paul was traveling to Damascus to persecute followers of “The Way,” has become part of common vocabulary describing a sudden transformative event as a “Damascene” or “Damascus Road experience.”

The series of Adult Education classes on Paul, beginning September 15 following the worship service, will use as its core curriculum, lectures by Dr. Bart Erhman from the Great Courses library. Erhman is a renowned New Testament and Christian history scholar who has authored 30 books, including 6 New York Times bestsellers: Misquoting Jesus,  Jesus, Interrupted, God’s Problem, Forged,  How Jesus Became God and The Triumph of Christianity. He is the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. According to his Internet website, Erhman’s work has been featured in Time Magazine, the New Yorker, the Washington Post, and other print media. He has appeared on NBC’s Dateline, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, CNN, The History Channel, National Geographic, the Discovery Channel, the BBC, NPR shows and other major media outlets. I had the privilege of hearing him speak when I was a seminarian.

Each lecture is about 30 minutes. I will provide an introduction and lead the discussion after each video lecture. I hope you will take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about Paul, second only to Jesus (who never intended to start a new religion), as the founder of the Christian religion.

Hope to see you there!