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Workshops and Lectures from the October 2016

Enlivening Scripture Conference


Friday Morning, October 21st

Introduction to A New New Testament with Hal Taussig

Hal Taussig has crisscrossed the country in the past three years, speaking to hundreds of churches and universities and at least as many media outlets to speak about his recent book, A New New Testament: A Bible for the 21st Century, Combining Traditional and Newly Discovered Texts. This popular book, with key input from 15 national spiritual leaders, added ten important recently discovered texts from the first two centuries of the Jesus movements to the traditional New Testament. Barbara Brown Taylor says of this book, "What some...never dreamed brilliant facets to the diamond of divine revelation." Marcus Borg wrote of the it, "Readers will not be able to see the New Testament in the same way again."

Expanding the Lens: Ancient Texts and Visual Media with John Rogers and Elizabeth Honer

Filmmaker John Rogers and animator Elizabeth Honer will explore ways of utilizing visual media to bring extra-canonical texts to life. They will premiere a short film on The Acts of Paul and Thecla produced in colloration with Light/Noise Studios. Join us to discover new ways of experiencing ancient texts together.

New Meanings, New Texts, and Negotiating New Identities with Chebon Kernell

At the intersection of his leadership on the Council for a New New Testament and his executive worldwide ministry for fresh spiritual identities, Rev. Kernell leads an investigation on how the recent discoveries from the earliest Jesus movements can help individuals and communities emerge from clichéd spiritual identities into fresh and deeper expressions of religious self-understanding. 

Friday Afternoon, October 21st

Art Beyond the Canon with Natalie Renee Perkins

in this workshop we will discuss the use of some extra canonical texts in art. We will look at examples of work that focused on the The Acts of Paul and Thecla, Thunder Perfect Mind, and The Odes of Solomon. Thus is an interactive workshop, be prepared to participate.

Introducing New Scriptures to Local Churches with Hal Taussig

A local pastor and nationally-known professor and author for over 30 years, Hal Taussig will work with local church people to integrate the surprising and beautiful new discoveries from earliest Jesus movements into the full range of worship, preaching, social activism, spirituality, and education into the life of local churches.

Beyond Heresy and Orthodoxy: How Early Christian Writings Got Framed with Deborah Saxon

This workshop will provide an overview of newly-discovered, extra-canonical texts, sorting through the confusion regarding their relationship to the New Testament. The rhetoric of those who won the debate at Nicaea have distorted our understanding of these writings. Now that we are able to read them for ourselves, new perspectives are emerging that provide a much richer framework than that in which we label works as either orthodox or heretical.


Friday Evening, October 21st 

Resurrecting Easter with John Dominic Crossan

Saturday Morning, October 22nd

Reconstructing Thecla with John Dominic Crossan

Saturday Afternoon, October 22nd

The Rape of Eve with Celene Lillie

Sex, violence, power, and redemption. In recent decades, scholars of New Testament and early Christian traditions have given new attention to the relationships between gender and imperial power in the Roman world. In this presentation, Celene Lillie explores the story of the Rape of Eve from three Nag Hammadi texts, On the Origin of the World, The Reality of the Rulers, and the Secret Revelation of John, in which Eve is portrayed as having been humiliated by the worldly rulers, yet experiencing restoration. Rather than stories of temptation, disobedience, and the “fall” of humanity, these are complex tales in which Eve, as a messenger of the divine realm, is not shamed by the sexual violence perpetrated against her, but becomes the mother of those who will save humanity. By setting these stories in the broader context of Roman cosmogonic myths at play in imperial ideology, the Nag Hammadi texts, offer us a window into symbolic forms of Christian resistance to imperial ideology, and invite an appreciation of the currents of Christian response to the Roman Empire and the culture of rape pervasive within it.

Mary Magdalene:  A Thorough Going and Vibrant Historical Update with Ann Graham Brock

Dr. Ann Graham Brock will share some of the highlights of her journey of discovery and explore the profound impact that Mary Magdalene has made within early and contemporary Christian history. Few biblical figures have had such a variety of interpretations throughout history as Mary Magdalene. This presentation will combine historical information rooted in the New Testament gospels, expanded by the discoveries within the last century of long-lost additional extracanonical texts, such as from Nag Hammadi and Oxyrhynchus in the deserts of Egypt, and then ask the question before all of us --“So what?” Why is she such a relevant and often misunderstood figure for today, and how does this woman help us have greater insight into Jesus’ teachings?

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