Jesus Process Members Announced

As we work toward having a functioning website up and running in the fall of 2012 I am pleased to announce the charter members of The Jesus Process (TJP). It is likely that this number will be modestly expanded in 2013.

The project has the dual purpose of encouraging the non-parochial and non-theological study of Christian origins, including texts, artifacts, and ideas, and the dissemination of information, through its website, book-series, and other outlets, to professional scholars and others with an interest in its work.

TJP is not a professional society, but a consultation of men and women who feel an academic responsibility to the field of biblical studies generally and the study of early Christianity in its historical and social context particularly.  It advocates rigour, honesty, and methodological transparency in an age increasingly threatened by mere information, opinion-mongering and  web- and media-based sensationalism.

At the same time, its members hope to exploit advances in technology to create a public forum in Christian origins governed by consensus rather than private opinion and ideology.  For that reason, while membership in TJP is limited to those with credentials in the study of religion and closely related fields, including Semitic languages, archaeology, classical philology, and textual studies, its forum will be open to everyone who wishes to participate in a lively and civilized discussion.


Maurice Casey

Maurice Casey is a British scholar of New Testament and early Christianity. He is currently Emeritus Professor at the University of Nottingham, having served there as Professor of New Testament Languages and Literature. Casey has argued strongly in several books and learned articles for Aramaic sources behind the New Testament documents, including the Double Tradition and the Gospel of Mark as well as occasional passages found in the Gospel of Matthew or Luke. He has discussed many examples of these Aramaisms. He has also contributed works on early Christology and the use of the term son of man. His latest publication is Jesus of Nazareth: An Independent Historian’s Account of His Life and Teachings, (T&T Clark, 2010).  In 2010, he was honoured with a Festschrift, Judaism, Jewish Identities and the Gospel Tradition (ed. J.G.Crossley with a preface by C.K.Barrett. London: Equinox).

R. Joseph Hoffmann

is an American Scholar trained at Harvard and Oxford, a former senior scholar of St Cross College, Oxford, and former research associate in Patristics and classical linguistics at the University of Heidelberg.   Hoffmann has specialized in the development of the New Testament canon, second century Christianity, and the pagan milieu of the early church.  He is professor of historical linguistics and cultural studies at the Graduate University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing.

Stephanie Louise Fisher

was born in Aotearoa New Zealand in 1965.  She went to the University of Victoria, in Wellington, earning two first class degrees, with an eclectic range of interests including history, anthropology, sociology, classics as well as music. She also worked as a research fellow to Jim Veitch on the history of the Lloyd Geering heresy trial.  She won two scholarships including the Commonwealth scholarship and the overseas research scholarship for research at Sheffield or Nottingham. choosing to work with Professor Maurice Casey from the University of Nottingham. She has been research fellow to Maurice Casey working on his book Jesus of Nazareth and his current book refuting mythicists.  She is now writing up her doctoral thesis on the Double Tradition, and publication may be expected in two or three years’ time.

James Crossley

has been at Sheffield University since 2005 where he is now Professor of Bible, Culture and Politics. He is particularly interested in the role of ‘religion’ as a human phenomenon and its relationship to social, economic and ideological contexts, especially, but not exclusively, how these relate to the critical study of the origins, use and influence of New Testament texts. His research extends from the historical Jesus and the Gospels, early Jewish law and constructions of Judaism to social and economic explanations of Christian origins, social history of contemporary scholarship, reception of the Bible in contemporary politics and popular culture and construction of ‘religion’ and the media.

Justin Meggitt 

is the University Senior Lecturer in the Study of Religion and the Origins of Christianity at Cambridge University as well as a Fellow and Director of Studies in Theology and Religious Studies at Hughes Hall. He holds a Ph.D. and specializes in formative Christianity within the early Roman Empire, along with sectarian and utopian movements. His many publications include The Madness of King Jesus. London: IB Tauris (forthcoming 2012). ‘For who hath despised the day of small things?’: Quakers and Muslims in the Seventeenth Century (forthcoming) and Paul, Poverty and Survival. Edinburgh: T and T Clark, 1998.

Roger David Aus

was born in the USA in 1940.  He studied English and German at St. Olaf College.  Aus went on to study theology at Harvard Divinity School, Luther Theological Seminary, and Yale University, from which he received his Ph.D. in New Testament Studies in 1971. Ordained in the Lutheran Church, Aus served German-speaking congregations in Berlin for many years. Aus has written several books, beginning with Water into Wine and the Beheading of John the Baptist (Brown Judaic Studies, 150. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1988). His most recent book is Feeding the Five Thousand. Studies in the Judaic Background of Mark 6:30-44 par. and John 6:1-15 (Studies in Judaism; Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2010).  Such books have established Aus as a leading authority on the use of Jewish material to understand stories in the Gospels.

Deane Galbraith

has studied at the University of Otago in New Zealand, and is reviews editor for a new journal in reception history, Relegere: Studies in Religion and Reception. His primary research interests are in the development and transformation of myth in the writing of the Pentateuch and ideological bias within modern Pentateuchal scholarship and is currently writing up a doctoral thesis at the University of Otago.

Jim West

is Adjunct Professor of Biblical Studies at the Quartz Hill School of Theology; Adjunct Professor of Biblical Languages and Literature at Foundation University (The Netherlands); and Pastor of Petros Baptist Church, Petros, Tennessee. He has written a number of books and articles and serves as Language Editor for the Scandinavian Journal of the Old Testament and Language Revision Editor for the Copenhagen International Seminar.

Philip Davies

is Professor Emeritus at Sheffield University in the UK. He taught in Ghana before he was appointed at Sheffield. He is an expert on the Dead Sea Scrolls, and has written four books on the subject.  His publications include 1QM: The War Scroll from Qumran, Qumran, The Damascus Covenant, Behind the Essenes, In Search of ‘Ancient Israel’ and The Old Testament World, co-authored with John Rogerson.  His research interests are Intertestamental and rabbinic literature and Persian and Hellenistic periods. He is Joint founder with Professor Clines of the Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, a Board member of the Supplement Series of monographs, Executive Officer of the European Association of Biblical Studies and Editor of Equinox Publishing.

David Trobisch

was born in Cameroon, West Africa, as the son of missionaries. He grew up in Austria and studied theology in Germany. He taught New Testament at the University of Heidelberg, Germany, Missouri State University, Yale Divinity School, and Bangor Theological Seminary.  As a scholar Dr. David Trobisch is internationally recognized for his work on the Letters of Paul, the Formation of the Christian Bible, and Biblical Manuscripts. He now lives and works in Springfield, Missouri, and Nussloch, Germany.  He has a wide range of affiliations and interests including  working with original manuscripts around the world from Heidelberg (Papyrologisches Institut), Ann Arbor (University of Michigan) to Cambridge, (UK Trinity College), Damascus (Greek Orthodox Patriarchate) and with microfilms at Washington D.C. (Library of Congress), Münster (Institut für neutestamentliche Textforschung). He is also a founding member of Interfaith Maine, an initiative seeking peace and justice through deepening interfaith understanding and relationships.

Bruce Chilton

is Bernard Iddings Bell Professor of Religion at Bard College, and Rector of the Church of St John the Evangelist. He is an expert on the New Testament and early Judaism, and has contributed fifty books and more than a hundred articles to those fields of study. His principal scholarship has been in the understanding of Jesus within Judaism and in the critical study of the Targumim, the Aramaic paraphrases of the Bible. Jesus appears clearly as a rabbinic teacher in Dr. Chilton’s analysis, on the basis of his study of the Targum of Isaiah, which he has edited and translated in the first commentary ever written on that book. Dr. Chilton has earned degrees at Bard College, the General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church, and Cambridge University. Previous to his chair at Bard College, he held positions at the University of Sheffield in England, at the University of Münster in Germany, and at Yale University (as the first Lillian Claus Professor of New Testament.) His books include Beginning New Testament Study (Eerdmans and SPCK), A Galilean Rabbi and His Bible (Glazier and SPCK), The Isaish Targum (Glazier and Clark),The Temple of Jesus (Penn State University Press), and A Feast of Meanings (Brill). With Jacob Neusner, he has written Judaism in the New Testament (Routledge), a trilogy entitled Judaism and Christianity—the Formative Categories (Trinity Press International), and Jewish-Christian Debates (Fortress).  He contributed the article on the high priest Caiaphas in the Anchor Bible Dictionary, and for that reason was consulted by academic, governmental, and journalistic reporters at the time of the discovery of the tomb of Caiaphas outside Jerusalem. His works also include Pure Kingdom: Jesus’ Vision of God(Eerdmans), the first in a series of books on Jesus, and Rabbi Jesus: An Intimate Biography, (Doubleday, 2000).

3 thoughts on “Jesus Process Members Announced

  1. I don’t care for the phrase “atheist fundamentalist” but there’s some fundamentalist type thinking going on among some mythicists and their followers. I signal out three blatantly obvious areas.

    1) A fellow that I have tangled with online states that since Christians have historically been pathological liars and/or delusional, everything in the Bible should be presumed false until proven true!! (The discussion was with reference to the autobiographical statements in Paul’s letters. I pointed out there were specific red flags to indicated some of the letters attributed to Paul were forgeries, and specific red flags to indicate fictionalization in the Gospels, but no specific red flags re Paul’s accounts of his missionary journeys.) One could not even suspend judgment- it should be presumed false.

    2) Discrediting the miracles of Jesus is not evidence that Jesus didn’t exist. This is clearly putting the cart before the horse. Yes, there are contradictions in the Resurrection and Virgin Birth stories, and counter-historical assertions in the latter, but that has no bearing on whether Jesus existed.

    3) Richard Dawkins is not really a mythicist, but he has more than once made the naive statement that the substitutionary atonement of Jesus is the “central point” of the New Testament. The New Testament does not have any clear explanation of why Jesus’ death is atoning, and at least two of the Synoptic Gospels (Mark and Matthew) never mention it at all. There are at least three or four competing theologies overlayed on each other in the New Testament. and IMO what emerged in Western Christianity is a mangled synthesis of these. Many don’t seem to realize the importance of this for discussing and analyzing the exact nature of Christian origins, other than a general glee that this helps to discredit Christianity.

  2. Pingback: An Odd Diatribe from Thomas L. Thompson

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