The Gospel of Matthew is the most deeply Jewish book of the New Testament. It portrays Jesus in terms of Jewish Symbols. It relates Jesus to the Hebrew Scriptures. It interprets Jesus against the background of the liturgical rhythm of the synagogue. It draws on images that are familiar only to Jews. Yet, since about the year 150 CE there have been few Jews in the Christian movement, which means that these essentially Jewish writings have been read and interpreted primarily by Gentiles. Not understanding this gospel’s basic Jewishness, Gentile interpreters forced upon this text a literalism that no Jewish person would ever have understood. Biblical fundamentalism was born in the Gentile ignorance of things Jewish. In this conference, as in the book by the same title, I will seek to recreate the original Christ experience that opens us to walk into a New Christianity, one that sees biblical fundamentalism as a Gentile heresy.
Individual titles will be:
1) Isolating Matthew from the other Gospels
2) Identifying the Liturgical Principle against which this Gospel was written.
3) Discovering the Interpretive Envelope that surrounds the Gospel.
4) Examining Yom Kippur and how Christianity misinterpreted Judaism to create the Doctrine of the Atonement.
5) Jesus the Jewish Messiah – The Revealer of God – the Binder of Humanity
Bishop John Spong has published more than 20 books that have sold over a million copies. He averages 200 lectures a year all over the world. A deeply commited Christian, he insists that he must also speak as an informed citizen of the 21st century. He has equipped himself for his task by studying at major centers of Christian scholarship: Union theological Seminary in New Yorkm Yale Divinity School, Harvard Divinity School and the storied universities of Cambridge, Oxford and Edinburgh.
Cost $400 includes double occupancy room, board and tuition.