Non-Christian lecture series on the historical setting of OT

A couple of years back, I participated in “Grill-a-Christian” during the Skeptics Week in Trondheim. The Christian student union threw a barbecue party with Christians as grill-meat. During the session, I remember I got questions about the Old Testament. Actually my notes read “I don’t know” on the issues concerning the Old Testament. If somebody asked me how I could believe it, I had prepared only to say that if Jesus used the Old testament, then, as long as I could be sure Jesus is the Son of God, I could also trust and use the Old Testament as he did. He ensured its validity. That line of thought is coherent and good, I believe, and it increases the stakes put on the point that Jesus actually was whom he claimed to be. If that falls, then my faith in the Old Testament would fall, too. Now — that is exactly how it should be, if you asked me. Why would I at all be interested in the Bible — and thus the Old Testament — if Jesus was a liar? That being said, however, I promised the congregation of agnostics, atheists and Christians in front of me that noon now two and a half years ago that I had some homework to do: Scrutinizing of the Old Testament’s historicity and meaning. A good friend of mine tipped me off about a lecture series at Open Yale:

Link: The Old Testament

It is always an idea to learn more, and I think these lectures are not bad. At least as a Christian. If you are not, I might suggest to start somewhere else. The lecturer is talking about the lectures from a historical point of view. Whether the content of the Old Testament is true or not, is said not to be the issue of the course. However, I think it shines through, by the methods applied to analyze it, that the object under inspection is looked upon as tales more than history (according to modern standards). Well — that was my personal anecdote on the material. Put on your most mindful mindset, lean forward and scrutinize. Leave the popcorn for a pen and a notebook.

 

Lecture series on the Tabernacle

So many people have so much to say, and often with so little content. David Gooding is not one of them. In this 10 part lecture series on the Tabernacle — a topic that in itself sounds like the very definition of “dull” — he lays out its extreme relevance for Christians of today. in his mid 80s, he is like one of those of whom it is written

They bear fruit even when they are old;
they are filled with vitality and have many leaves.

(Psalm 92). This series has been of enormous value to me personally, and I encourage you to see it. Through references to the New Testament in general, and to the Hebrews in particular, he lays out eternal truths with authority and life.

Link: The Tabernacle