The Scholars Collective
online learning with biblical scholars
Wednesday: 7:00PM -8:30 EST
4 Sessions (1:30hr ea.)
Dates: 9/4. 9/11. 9/18. 9/25 
The primary goal of the seminar is to introduce laymen to the important ancient translations of
the Bible that have influenced our modern English translations and to increase appreciation for
our variety of English versions.
We begin with a survey of Bible translations and versions from the Second Temple period through to the early church fathers—approximately 300BC to 400AD. After this, we turn to the important pre-King James English versions of the Bible, as Tyndale’s Bible and the Geneva Bible. Attention then turns to some of the more popular modern translations of the Bible—New King James, New International Version, Revised Standard Versions, etc.,— with a focus on how they relate to the original texts of the Old Testament.
In 2011, Dr. Notley with Professor Ze’ev Safrai pioneered a complete anthology of the earliest Jewish parables – Parables of the Sages (see book here). This collection provides the literary, linguistic and religious background for the parables of Jesus. Since its publication, he has continued his research by asking how this corpus should reimagine our reading of the Gospel parables.
The aim of these sessions are to introduce the participant to the genre of Jewish parables, to look at their development in the early period, to identify similarities and differences between Gospel and Jewish parables, and to ask what difference they should make in our understanding of the parables of Jesus. This exercise is no small matter. Parables were the vehicles by which the sages communicated their theological ideas. If one want to understand fully the theological content of Jesus’ message, then we must learn to read his parables as Jewish literature.
Tuesday: 7:00PM -8:30 EST
4 Sessions (1:30hr ea.)
Dates: 11/5. 11/12. 11/19. 12/3 (2019)
Following Dr. García's most recent book, Understanding the Gospels as Ancient Jewish Literature (see book here) places the Gospels in the context of contemporaneous Greco-Roman Jewish texts (4th cent. BC–3rd cent. AD), a collection that includes the Dead Sea Scrolls and the literature of the early Rabbis.
While decades of research into the “Jewish backgrounds” of the Gospels have proven to be fruitful, little attention has been given to their function as a witness to the evolution of ancient Judaism. Comprehending this evolution sheds new light and meaning on the Gospel narratives, as well as on the core message of the Jesus movement. Understanding the Gospels as Ancient Jewish Literature argues that when viewed through the lens of ancient Judaism, the Gospels become a source for the geographical, historical, and religious reality of ancient Judaism, some of which would have otherwise been missing from the historical record. And in turn, the study of ancient Judaism clarifies some of the teachings attributed to Jesus by the Evangelists.