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Historical Foundations of Christianity

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  1. Historical Foundations of Christianity • The Bible as History • Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017 • Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) • The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa • Larry Clayton, Instructor

  2. What is History? • What is this course about? • What is history? • Herodotus, the “father” of history • Documents. See slide 4 • Some examples of “good” history? • Some of “bad” history?

  3. Saving Private Ryan • History always more powerful than fiction. • To wit, this movie. • Any other examples you care to suggest?

  4. Primary vs. Secondary Documents • What do primary documents tell us about any historical period? They add not only immediacy to the subject, but, obviously, a firsthand witness to the events. • The documents give us an unfiltered view of events, one unfiltered by the passage of time (which, on the other hand, adds perspective), but also untouched by the cultural setting of the student separated from the events by hundreds or even thousands of years

  5. Primary vs. Secondary Documents (2) • “Primary” documents are distinguished from “secondary” documents by having been produced at the time of the event. They can be letters, journals, diaries, newspapers, pamphlets, anything produced at the time. Secondary documents are histories of the events written by someone not there; they could be separated from the events by only a few years, or many centuries


  6. Primary vs. Secondary Documents (2) • So, a letter from the apostle Paul to the church in Corinth (the letters to the Corinthians) is a primary document. Someone who writes about that letter hundreds or thousands of years later produces a secondary document, or an interpretation and comment on the event.

  7. Genealogy

  8. History or Theology? Or Both? • 1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning.

  9. Is the Bible True? • Is the Bible true? • How to test it? • Against other, extra-Biblical, evidence • Against archaeological evidence • Internal literary evidence

  10. Wikipedia • A note on sources online. • Welcome to Wikipedia,the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit.2,040,580 articles in English

  11. Wikipedia, on the Bible and History* • Contents • 1 Introduction • 1.1 Conservative religious views • 1.2 Liberal/Progressive religious views and secular views • 1.3 Overview of academic views • 1.4 Critique of the Maximalist - Minimalist Dichotomy • 2 Old Testament/Hebrew Bible • 2.1 Genesis • 2.2 Problems with conventional Biblical chronology • 2.3 Exodus • 2.4 Joshua • 2.5 United Monarchy • 2.6 Later kings • 2.7 The Exile and after • 3 New Testament/Greek Bible • 3.1 Historicity • 3.1.1 Pontius Pilate • 3.1.2 Historicity of Christian beliefs • 3.1.3 Historicity of Christian traditions • 4 Marginal views • 5 Schools of archaeological and historical thought • 5.1 Biblical minimalism • 5.2 Biblical maximalism • 5.3 Increasing conflict between the maximalist and minimalist schools • 6 Archaeology and modern Israeli politics • 7 Mid-Eastern Analogies • 8 Conclusion • 9 Footnotes • 10 References • 11 See also • 12 External links • *BTW, Wikipedia founder a UA graduate.

  12. Adam and Eve, 3rd Century, catacombs, Rome • Not exactly a Playboy rendition. • But, true or mythological? • Creationism vs. Evolution?

  13. Assyrian Empire (746-609 BCE)

  14. Babylonian Empire (809-539 BCE)

  15. Persian Empire (550-330 BCE)

  16. Empire of Alexander the Great (336-323 BCE)

  17. The Ten Commandments • Moses with the Ten Commandments by Rembrandt • This 1768 parchment (612×502 mm) by Jekuthiel Sofer emulated the 1675 Ten Commandments at the Amsterdam Esnogasynagogue.[1]

  18. The 1956 version of the Commandments starring Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner and Anne Baxter