The Historical Jesus and Early Christian Origins (Crosstalk2)

Homepage of the Moderated Internet Discussion Group for the Academic Study of
the Historical Jesus and the Rise of Christianity

abbreviated e-mail prefix [xtalk]


List Description
 Subscribing | Sending Messages | Archives | Subject Matter | Transliteration and Abbreviations | Protocol | Resources | Articles for Review  | Managers | Top
XTalk: The Historical Jesus and early Christian Origins is a, moderated, academic e-List dedicated to the scholarly investigation and discussion of the critical questions and issues surrounding the study of the Jesus of History and the rise of  Christianity. The List's purpose is to provide an on-line platform for queries, debate, and  proposals relating to the reconstruction of
  • the life, career,  and aims of Jesus of Nazareth
  • the social, political, and religious world in which he lived, and
  • the nature and  development of the social/religious movement which arose in his name.

    Additionally, XTalk is intended to be a venue in which those working professionally in the field of  Historical Jesus studies and Christian origins may post and receive critical responses to papers or ideas that are in the process of development.

    This moderated list is intended primarily for professional scholars engaged in Historical Jesus research. But graduate students, members of the clergy, and others interested in the serious academic study of the Historical Jesus and early Christian origins are also welcome to participate, as long as they respect the academic focus of the List. Contributors who are not professional scholars are expected to be, or to become, familiar and conversant  not only with the sources, tools, and methods used in the critical study and exegesis of the New Testament and other ancient writings but also with the history and contours of Historical Jesus studies, both classical and recent.

    All subscribers agree to abide by the published  Protocol  for XTalk.

    Anyone interested in an open discussion of the Historical Jesus and early Christian origins is invited to join one of the unmoderated lists available elsewhere on the Web such as Historical Jesus 101.

    List Description
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    Subscribing to XTalk

    In order to prevent people from misusing this mailing list and to keep the discussions focused on its subject matter, participation in XTalk is restricted to professional scholars, graduate students, pastors, and others interested in serious academic study of the the Historical Jesus and early Christian origins.
    Note: By applying for membership, all subscribers agree to abide by the published Protocol for the XTalk discussion group.

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    Sending and Receiving Messages

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    XTalk Archives

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    Subject Matter for Discussion

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    Transliteration and Abbreviations

    Many of the regular posts to XTalk, let alone the longer submissions to the "Articles for Review" venue, will involve discussion of, or reference to, Greek and Hebrew texts. However, since most e-mail programs cannot handle actual Greek or Hebrew characters, we ask that all such texts be transliterated. Although no particular way of representing Greek and Hebrew lettering is stipulated, we make the following recommendations:

    For Greek the convention of the B-Greek discussion group is recommended, using upper case transliteration as follows (chart by Jonathan Robie):

    For Hebrew, the following adaptation (by Jack Kilmon) of the Michigan-Claremont-Westminster scheme is recommended:
    It is also recommended that participants who submit postings with references to Biblical, Apocryphal, Pseudepigraphical and Early Patristic writings, the Dead Sea Scrolls,  Targummic Material, Orders and Tractates in Mishnaic and related literature, Rabbinic exegetical and liturgical writings, the New Testament Apocrypha, and the Nag Hammadi corpus, should use a standard scholarly method of citation such as that found either in the Society of Biblical Literature's 1991 edition of the printed Membership Directory and Handbook or online at the SBL Web site (http://www.sbl-site.org/Publications/handbook/SBL-pubs-JBL-inst.html).

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    For the efficient and beneficial operation of this list, subscribers are asked to abide by the following procedures:

    1. Keep your contributions relevant to the List's focus as stated above under the heading Subject Matter. Before posting, consider whether what you wish to send to XTalk might be more appropriate on another E-List.  (For these, see The New Testament Gateway: Academic E-Lists).

    2.  When arguing a point, adhere to standard scholarly methodologies for doing so. This means not only that claims made should always be supported in some fashion (i.e., argumentation by assertion is not acceptable), but that exegesis of texts should always be grounded in (though not exclusively limited to) the historical critical approach.

    Contributors who are not professional scholars should note that the academic nature of XTalk demands that exegesis and discussion of the meaning of any ancient text that is adduced as evidence for a given argument on issues or points under discussion must always be based on that text's original language and wording and not on a, or any particular,  translation of  that text.

    Postings that attempt to make claims about the meaning or import of an ancient text solely on the basis of a translation of that text are not acceptable.

    3.  Please identify yourself at the end of each message by giving your full name as well as your institutional affiliation (if any), your homepage (if applicable), and some indication of your social location. You may wish to ensure that your signature is an automated part of any message you send to XTalk. This can easily be done through the "preferences/options" button available in most e-mail programs.

    Unsigned messages or pseudonyms in signatures are not acceptable.

    If you wish to be addressed by a name other than that under which you are subscribed, indicate this in your signature.

    4. Please be courteous to all others. You may feel free to disagree with someone, and to note where your disagreement lies. But do not be disagreeable. Never stoop to attacking someone personally. Always keep your comments objective and courteous.

    5.  Please participate with restraint.  You are in a discussion with many other informed participants. Post when you can make a useful contribution but refrain from dominating the conversation. Avoid chatter and clutter. And refrain from sending messages which are essentially no more than statements of agreement with a point or points made in a previous post. Messages should be considered and concise.

    6.  Never post messages with enclosures (attachments). If you have something you need to attach to your message, convert the attachment to plain text and included it in regular e-mail or offer to send the enclosure (attachment) privately to individuals who request it.

    N.B. Participants who wish to submit papers in statu nascendi for responses and review should not post them directly to the List. Rather, they should be sent to the List Owner, Jeffrey Gibson, who will make them accessible to the List through our "Articles for Review" link.

    7.  If you are spring boarding from another post or replying to a message from an XTalk contributor, quote only the relevant parts of messages to which you are responding and/or which form the basis of your post. Recipients will better understand your point if you do not quote items that are not directly relevant to your response.

    8. Please proof read your messages before sending them. Show consideration for your readers by observing ordinary conventions of spelling, capitalization, sentence construction, paragraphing, and transliteration.

    9.  If you want to forward to the list a message that was sent to you privately, please first obtain permission from the original sender.

    10.  Please include in each post a subject heading that is relevant to the content of your message. If you are responding to a topic that was a minor aspect of a previous message, please change the subject heading to reflect what you are now addressing.

    11.  Non-academic contributions of any kind are not appropriate on XTalk. Thus, posts that intend to advance or discuss personal religious experiences or modern sectarian or political agendas are completely inappropriate -- as are personal messages and commercial advertisements -- and will not be permitted.

    12.  Please do not send Virus Warnings to the List without first checking their legitimacy. Virus Warnings are usually hoaxes, and they perpetuate themselves by making themselves look urgent enough to pass on to others without independent confirmation. Resist the temptation. If you are concerned about a virus warning, check one of the standard locations (e.g. Symantec AntiVirus Response: Hoax Page) to see whether the message is a hoax or not. Don't let the message's urgent manner fool you into passing it on.

    Those who fail to observe these protocols will be alerted to this fact and warned against doing so. They will be placed on "probation" and lose automatic posting privileges. Persistent violators of XTalk protocols will be unsubscribed from the List.

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    On-Line Resources for the Study of the Historical Jesus and early Christian Origins

    Among the many resources available on-line, the following are highly recommended:

    Jesus of Nazareth in Early Christian Gospels (formerly titled: "The Quest of the Historical Jesus") by Andrew Bernhard.  An annotated bibliography with links to the texts of all extant Gospels written before the end of the second century.

    New Testament Gateway: Historical Jesus by Mark Goodacre: a page devoted to the Historical Jesus from the annotated directory of on-line academic materials on the New Testament. This page features links to articles, books, course materials and web sites on the Historical Jesus.

    The Five Gospels Parallels edited by John W. Marshall. 1996, 1997, 1998  Ph.D., Princeton University, Department of Religion

    The Synoptic Problem Home Page by Stephen Carlson: the starting-point for internet research on the Synoptic Problem

    The Gospel of Thomas Home Page by Stevan Davies: the starting-point for internet research on Thomas

    Jesus Seminar Principles of Evidence reproduced at the Gospel of Thomas Home Page.

    From Jesus to Christ A professionally designed web site accompanying the American PBS television programme of the same name.

    The Jesus Seminar Homepage by Mahlon Smith: the web site for information on the famous 'Jesus Seminar'. This site is a useful resource and features links to material  written by both the fellows of the Jesus Seminar and its critics.

    Westar Institute and Jesus Seminar Home: the slick,  official page of the Westar Institute, the home of the  Jesus Seminar.

    Into His Own: Perspective on the World of Jesus by Mahlon Smith: A first class site exploring the world in which  Jesus lived by means of well-organised, newly translated primary texts and other material.

    A Portrait of Jesus: From Galilean Jew to the Face of God  by Cam Howard: a splendid looking, useful web site based on the work of Marcus Borg.

    Ancient Jewish Accounts of Jesus by Alan Humm: a site with information on Jesus from Josephus and other Jewish sources, including  the  Mishnah, Babylonian Talmud & Toldoth Yeshu.

    The Flavius Josephus Home Page by G. J. Goldberg: featuring a discussion of the Testimonius Flavium, extracts from Josephus with Commentary - Organized by subject, with revised translations, and a comprehensive collection of passages showing the relationship between the works of Josephus and the New Testament.

    Divine Mediator Figures in the Biblical World: J.R. Davila's course on the cultural matrix that gave rise to NT Christology & the veneration of Jesus,  presents lectures & on-line discussion.

    Flavius Josephus by Peter Kirby: a detailed review of references to Jesus in the works of the 1st c. Jewish historian & the critical debate regarding their authenticity.

    Jesus at 2000: The archive of the e-mail debate generated by the cyber-symposium celebrating the 2nd millennium of Jesus' birth (Feb/March 1996). Questions & answers regarding the historical Jesus posed to/by Marcus Borg, Dominic Crossan & Luke Timothy Johnson.

    Jesus at 2000: the Conversation Continues: follow-up teleconference with Marcus Borg, Luke Timothy Johnson, Deirdre Good, N.T. Wright, and John Dominic Crossan.

    The Jesus of History & the Future of Faith:  R.W. Kropf's review of the philosophical issues involved  in the renewed quest of the historical figure of Jesus &  its potential for renewing the faith of (rather than in) Jesus, with responses (from Dialogos 6).

    The Life of Jesus by Ernest Renan: an English translation of the full text of the 1863 book that shook the Catholic world and cost the author his chair at the U of Paris. This is the first complete naturalistic biography of Jesus as a Jewish carpenter who was "not a founder of dogmas or a maker of creeds" but who "infused into the world a new spirit" and contains A.D. Howell Smith's biographical preface to the 1935 edition and an appendix on Renan & his critics.

    List Description
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    Articles for Review

    As is noted above in the List Description, XTalk serves as a venue in which those working professionally in the field of Historical Jesus studies may post and receive critical responses to papers or ideas that are in the process of development. Articles that have been submitted for review, comment, and criticism may be found here.

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    The List Managers of XTalk  are

    Jeffrey B. Gibson, D. Phil.
    Instructor in Humanities, City Colleges of Chicago
    Lecturer in New Testament, The Institute for Pastoral Studies,
    Loyola University, Chicago, U.S.A.

    Jack Kilmon
    Owner and List Manager of "The Scriptorium"

    Robert Schacht, Ph.D.
    Adjunct Assistant Professor Department of Anthropology
    Research Associate American Indian Rehabilitation
    Research & Training Center, Institute for Human Development
    Northern Arizona University
    Flagstaff, AZ

    Staff Advisors

    Mark Goodacre, D.Phil.
    Senior Lecturer in New Testament
    Graduate Institute for Theology and Religion
    Dept of Theology
    University of Birmingham
    Elmfield House, Bristol Road
    Birmingham B29 6LQ UK

    Mahlon H. Smith, Ph.D.
    Associate Professor
    Department of Religion
    Rutgers University
    New Brunswick NJ

    Felix Just, S.J., Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor - New Testament
    Department of Theological Studies
    College of Liberal Arts
    Loyola Marymount University
    7900 Loyola Blvd.
    Los Angeles, CA 90045

    Stephen C. Carlson, J.D.
    Synoptic Gospels Researcher
    Springfield, VA
    Creator and Maintainer of  The Synoptic Problem Home Page

    If you have any difficulties with this list, please contact the managers at
    [email protected]

    The XTalk Discussion Group was started in May 1999, as a successor to the now defunct Crosstalk Discussion List -- an unmoderated e-List originating in response to a series of on-line exchanges between John Dominic Crossan, Luke Timothy Johnson, and Marcus Borg, which was originally dedicated to the critical discussion of questions concerning the  historical Jesus and the origins of early Christianity -- information on which may be found at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/crosstalk

    XTalk is hosted by YahooGroups.com, which also provides an information page for XTalk: The Historical Jesus and early Christian origins

    Special thanks to Mark Goodacre and to Felix Just for providing the templates from which this page was created.
    This page is hosted at The New Testament Gateway and is maintained by Jeffrey Gibson and was last updated on 07 February 2005 .