AskMeAnything on Early Christianity (and Judaism), on Reddit!

AskMeAnything on Early Christianity (and Judaism), on Reddit! April 12, 2016

I just started an AMA on the fantastic /r/HistoryOfIdeas subreddit, the link to which can be found here. Just to copy over what I wrote from there, I feel comfortable taking most questions on

  • virtually anything related to the New Testament and historical Jesus, and their background and socio-historical context
  • most things about the Hebrew Bible, though I have a few weak spots here (for example, I hardly ever do much with the Former Prophets)
  • the wider world of Jewish extrabiblical literature, including the Dead Sea Scrolls, the book(s) of Enoch, etc.; the writings of Philo and Josephus, et al.; rabbinic literature (the Targumim, Mishnah and Talmud)
  • early patristicinterpretation and some of the major issues and controversies in the early Church (canon formation, Christology, etc.) leading up to, say, the 5th century — though not too far beyond this. Of course, if there’s a question about the late antique or early/late modern interpretation of something in early antiquity, I can try to answer that as best I can. (I’ll certainly let you know if it’s beyond my range of expertise.)
  • areas I’m most familiar with: the composition and redaction of the Biblical texts; ancient Near Eastern and Greco-Roman backgrounds to early Judaism and Christianity; afterlife beliefs and eschatology/apocalypse/apocalyptic; sexuality; Biblical Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek linguistics and translation; sacrifice and soteriology.

So feel free to pop on over and ask anything you’ve been curious about!

(Hell, I’m feeling generous today; so if you don’t want to take the time to post your question there, you can just ask it here, too.)


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