This week’s podcast features Dr. Helen Bond, who is a New Testament professor at the University of Edinburgh and, as of recently, also the Head of School there. Her book The Historical Jesus: A Guide for the Perplexed was the textbook that I used in my course on the historical Jesus which I taught last semester. At one point, I thought it would be fantastic to try to give my students the opportunity to have her speak to them through a virtual visit to the classroom using Zoom. Unfortunately, due to the time difference, we were unable to make that work. But we were able to do the next best thing, which was to record a podcast episode that took my students’ questions after reading Bond’s book as the starting point. These are the topics and questions that the students mentioned in class and/or sent to me via email, that seemed worth pursuing in the podcast:
- What is it like to dive so deeply into research about Pilate, Caiaphas, etc. as a NT scholar? We noted in class discussions that few New Testament scholars research these key historical figures in their own right in the way that you have, and so the students were very interested to hear more about what that has been like, and how doing so has had an impact on your work on Jesus.
- John the Baptist: the students were fascinated by the idea that some thought John was the messiah, and that he may have been a more influential (and somewhat or perhaps significantly different) figure than we would suspect based on the NT accounts.
- Joseph’s influence on Jesus’ ministry
- Women in Jesus’ time
- Miracles and the historian
And so those are the things you can expect to hear us talk about in this week’s podcast episode.
Before ending the blog post, let me share the trailer for the Mary Magdalene movie that Helen and I talked about during our conversation. For those who may be wondering (whether already or because of our conversation) there are indeed ways of getting access to it even if you live in the United States, although alas not through Amazon.com or your local public library.