Center for the Study of Ancient Religious Texts

The Ancient-Future Bible

The Word of God is living and active, and it has been so for millennia. The rich heritage we have from our predecessors in the faith, from manuscripts to art and from reflection to action, can be a profound source of spiritual strength today. This track, hosted by Curt Niccum, empowers Christians to engage God and his creation in new ways by going back to the future. The track will meet Monday in BSB 129.  

Wendell Willis

Jonah: Interpreted, Reinterpreted, and Interred. (9:00)

When you think of death and the afterlife, what stories and images come to mind? Is your first thought about Jonah? This visual presentation explores the second most popular image found in early Christian art. Come see how the earliest believers communicated their most fundamental hopes with art in the Roman catacombs and elsewhere.

Jeff Childers

Recovering the Words of Jesus: Deciphering an Ancient Aramaic Manuscript of the Bible (10:00)

Discovered in 1895 and offered for auction in 2009, the manuscript Codex Climaci Rescriptus has many layers of text, including parts of the Bible in a rare dialect of Palestinian Aramaic very near to Jesus’ own dialect. Students and scholars at ACU and around the world are applying their skill with ancient languages and digital humanities, along with the technology of multispectral imaging to decipher the mysteries of this ancient Christian book.

Glenn Pemberton

Goliath Was Only Six Feet Tall? Who Has Been Messing with My Bible?: How the Oldest Hebrew Manuscripts are Shaping the Newest English Versions (1:30)

Some manuscripts read, “Come to this Lecture.” Although this note cannot be found in your Old Testament, similar notes like it can. Indeed, they now clutter the bottom of many pages of the Bible. At this session, find out why your Bibles have changed so much over the last fifty years and how they will change in the next fifty.

David Kneip

Ancient-Future Reading: Encountering Scripture with the Church Fathers (2:30)

When you read the Bible, does it sometimes feel like your eyes are just moving over the page or screen, but you aren't really engaging the Scriptures at any depth?  This session will offer you some ancient tools to renew and deepen your time in the Word, courtesy of our mothers and fathers in the faith.

Curt Niccum

Chromosomally Challenged Bibles: The War over Women in the Word (3:30)

Feminism! Gender neutral! The last ten years has seen radical rewording of our Bibles and reactionary responses to it, even resulting in one version being pulled from bookstore shelves. What is going on and why is it such a big deal?