A New New Testament
I am going to lead a study of a recently published book called The New New Testament by Hal Taussig. The book is made up of the New Testament that we know and love plus some other early Christian texts that were used by some of the early “Christ” movement.
Some of the additional material, like parts of the Gospel of Thomas, was available but not included when our bible was assembled. Most of it comes, however, from the Nag Hammadi discovery by some shepherds of an urn filled with texts. Nag Hammadi is on the Upper Nile, well south of the delta.
A group of contemporary biblical scholars, who believe that everyone should have the opportunity to become familiar with this material, met in New Orleans to put together this book.
They have provided introductory and explanatory essays to accompany every text. I have read quite a lot of the book and find it to be very worthwhile. My first impression is that the inclusion of these texts in the New Testament doesn’t change anything directly, but it does provide a shift in emphasis as they focus primarily on Jesus’ gospel of love. There is little prophetic or apocalyptic writing.
My reason for doing this is to learn more, of course, but also, through the study of these texts with friends, to re-invigorate my own faith.
I have spoken with Reverend Jim and some others who have been in different study groups, and several are very interested. So, I propose that we start our study on Wednesday, Feb. 19 at 7:00 pm on the conference room. The sessions should run for one hour, but I would be loathe to cut off a good discussion because of the clock.
I don’t know how long the study will run. Once we start, we can see what we want to look at more deeply and what to skim over. We may find that we want to look closely at some of the existing New Testament texts in addition to considering the added material. Since I am retired and am not going on any warm-weather holiday, I will be happy to follow where the Spirit leads us. PS: time and date are negotiable, but let’s start on the 19th and see how it works from there.
The book is A New New Testament: A Bible for the 21st Century Combining Traditional and Newly Discovered Texts by Hal Taussig. It is available from Amazon.ca for $11.12 for the Kindle ebook, or $23.79 in hard cover. I think Mary and Brenda found a better price for the printed book at Indigo, something around $15.00, I remember.