The Great Courses: Christianity

31 books in series
4.5 out of 5 stars 8,468 ratings

The New Testament Publisher's Summary

Whether taken as a book of faith or a cultural artifact, the New Testament is among the most significant writings the world has ever known, its web of meaning relied upon by virtually every major writer in the last 2,000 years. Yet the New Testament is not only one of Western civilization’s most believed books, but also one of its most widely disputed, often maligned, and least clearly understood, with a vast number of people unaware of how it was written and transmitted.

But now a distinguished religious scholar is available to help you gain a carefully reasoned understanding of not only the New Testament itself, but of the individuals and communities who created its texts.

Drawing on modern biblical scholarship, recent archaeological discoveries, and careful literary analysis - and approaching his subject purely as a historian, with belief or disbelief suspended - Professor Ehrman has crafted a series of 24 fascinating lectures that trace the history of the New Testament and the early Christian faith community. He discusses not only the 27 books included in the New Testament, but also many of the significant texts that were excluded as he addresses key historical questions around the issues of authorship, circumstance, audience, content, meaning, and historical accuracy.

"Our ultimate goal," he notes, "is to come to a fuller appreciation and understanding of these books that have made such an enormous impact on the history of Western civilization and that continue to play such an important role for people today."

©2000 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2000 The Great Courses
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    • The New Testament

    • By: Bart D. Ehrman, The Great Courses
    • Narrated by: Bart D. Ehrman
    • Length: 12 hrs and 27 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 787
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 706
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 701

    Whether taken as a book of faith or a cultural artifact, the New Testament is among the most significant writings the world has ever known, its web of meaning relied upon by virtually every major writer in the last 2,000 years. Yet the New Testament is not only one of Western civilization’s most believed books, but also one of its most widely disputed, often maligned, and least clearly understood, with a vast number of people unaware of how it was written and transmitted.

    • 3 out of 5 stars
    • Should have a different title

    • By Kris Heap on 03-18-15

    Regular price: $34.95

    • The Old Testament

    • By: Amy-Jill Levine, The Great Courses
    • Narrated by: Amy-Jill Levine
    • Length: 12 hrs and 10 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 830
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 738
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 728

    The Old Testament - written in ancient Israel by many different authors over the course of a thousand years - has had more meaning to more people than any other book the world has known. In a series of 24 lively lectures, Professor Levine explores selected passages from the texts known as the Old Testament, the Hebrew Bible, and the Tanakh, revealing how fresh research and findings from scholars of archaeology, cross-cultural studies, and comparative religion can deepen your understanding.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • A critical but inspiring 'walk thru the' Bible

    • By Jacobus on 12-14-13

    Regular price: $34.95

    • The History of the Bible: The Making of the New Testament Canon

    • By: Bart D. Ehrman, The Great Courses
    • Narrated by: Bart D. Ehrman
    • Length: 6 hrs and 12 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 371
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 332
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 329

    What different kinds of books are in the New Testament? When, how, and why were they written? And why did some books, and not others, come to be collected into what Christians came to consider the canon of scripture that would define their belief for all time? With these 12 lectures, get a fast-moving yet thorough introduction to these and other key issues in the development of Christianity.

    • 3 out of 5 stars
    • An Abridged Version of "The New Testament" Course

    • By Justin Bailey on 09-03-15

    Regular price: $14.95

    • Lost Christianities: Christian Scriptures and the Battles over Authentication

    • By: Bart D. Ehrman, The Great Courses
    • Narrated by: Bart D. Ehrman
    • Length: 12 hrs and 29 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 235
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 211
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 210

    What did the "other" Scriptures early Christians followed say? Do they exist today? How could such outlandish ideas ever be considered Christian? If such beliefs were once common, why do they no longer exist? These are just a few of the many provocative questions that arise from these 24 thrilling lectures. Join the dramatic search for lost Christianities and learn why it's considered such an appealing subject to study.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Finally Understanding Bart Ehrman

    • By Michael on 08-16-13

    Regular price: $34.95

    • The Apostle Paul

    • By: Luke Timothy Johnson, The Great Courses
    • Narrated by: Luke Timothy Johnson
    • Length: 6 hrs and 8 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 224
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 192
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 195

    Luke Timothy Johnson, the best-selling author of The Real Jesus, offers a fresh and historically grounded assessment of the life and letters of Christianity's "apostle to the Gentiles" in this 12-lecture series. "One of the most fascinating, important, and controversial figures in the religious history of the West, Paul the Apostle continues to find champions and detractors, sometimes in surprising places," says Professor Johnson. Coming to grips with Christianity means coming to grips with Paul.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Good overview of Paul and his works.

    • By Justin H on 03-23-14

    Regular price: $14.95

    • From Jesus to Constantine: A History of Early Christianity

    • By: Bart D. Ehrman, The Great Courses
    • Narrated by: Bart D. Ehrman
    • Length: 12 hrs and 21 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 468
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 416
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 408

    Step back to Christianity's first three centuries to see how it transitioned from the religion of Jesus to a religion about Jesus. How did a single group from among many win the struggle for dominance to establish the beliefs central to the faith, rewrite the history of Christianity's internal conflicts, and produce a canon of sacred texts – the New Testament – that supported its own views?

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Wonderful survey of historical Christianity

    • By Carl D. Smith on 03-29-17

    Regular price: $34.95

    • Francis of Assisi

    • By: The Great Courses, Ronald B. Herzman, William R. Cook
    • Narrated by: Ronald B. Herzman, William R. Cook
    • Length: 6 hrs and 10 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 146
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 137
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 134

    These 12 lectures by Professors Cook and Herzman will give you a rounded, fully informed introduction to the luminous Francis of Assisi and will tell the intellectually and spiritually rewarding story of how his influence has glowed across the centuries.Just who was Assisi? Despite his continuing influence and the fairly ample writings about him that date from his own time, Francis remains somewhat elusive in history. Yet these lectures expertly unlock two sources that are the most revealing and plentiful-written narratives of Francis's life and the images created for Franciscan churches.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Loved it

    • By Jonathan Homrighausen on 08-15-13

    Regular price: $14.95

    • Philosophy and Religion in the West

    • By: Phillip Cary, The Great Courses
    • Narrated by: Phillip Cary
    • Length: 16 hrs and 36 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 114
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 104
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 97

    Professor Cary explores thousands of years of deep reflection and brilliant debate over the nature of God, the human self, and the world in these 32 lectures. It's a debate that serves as a vivid introduction to the rich and complex history shared by the West's central religious and philosophical traditions. Whether you're a believer, a seeker, or both, you'll find much to spark your deepest ponderings in these talks on the long and rich interplay between faith and reason.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • How Religion and Philosophy Impact Each Other

    • By Bror Erickson on 12-04-14

    Regular price: $41.95

    • The Historical Jesus

    • By: Bart D. Ehrman
    • Narrated by: Bart D. Ehrman
    • Length: 12 hrs and 21 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 355
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 319
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 320

    From the late Roman Empire all the way to our own time, no continuously existing institution or belief system has wielded as much influence as Christianity, no figure as much as Jesus. Worshipped around the globe by more than a billion people, he is undoubtedly the single most important figure in the story of Western civilization and one of the most significant in world history altogether.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Authoritative

    • By Tad Davis on 11-16-13

    Regular price: $34.95

    • Early Christianity: The Experience of the Divine

    • By: Luke Timothy Johnson, The Great Courses
    • Narrated by: Luke Timothy Johnson
    • Length: 12 hrs and 24 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 83
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 78
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 76

    After 2,000 years, Christianity is the world's largest religion and continues to prosper and grow. What accounts for its continued popularity? In these 24 lectures, Professor Johnson maintains that the most familiar aspects of Christianity-its myths, institutions, ideas and morality-are only its outer "husk." He takes you on a journey to find the "kernel" of Christianity's appeal: religious experience. You'll travel back to Christianity's origins during its first 300 years to identify the elements that first made it appealing and which still hold the secret to its ability to attract new followers.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Great professor, history of faith articulated

    • By MRD on 11-04-13

    Regular price: $34.95

    • The History of Christianity in the Reformation Era

    • By: Brad S. Gregory, The Great Courses
    • Narrated by: Brad S. Gregory
    • Length: 18 hrs and 27 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 179
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 159
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 157

    It still takes a major effort of historical imagination to enter the minds of those who lived during the Reformation Era; who were willing to suffer martyrdom or martyr others for what we would regard as minor doctrinal differences. These 36 lectures are designed to take you inside the minds of those who supported the Reformation and those who resisted it.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Very balanced and informative.

    • By Philip on 05-15-15

    Regular price: $41.95

    • American Religious History

    • By: Patrick N. Allitt, The Great Courses
    • Narrated by: Patrick N. Allitt
    • Length: 12 hrs and 14 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 182
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 162
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 160

    Have you ever wondered why America, unlike virtually any other industrial nation, continues to show so much religious vitality? Or why are the varieties of religion found in the United States are so numerous and diverse? In this vigorous series of 24 lectures, Professor Allitt argues that the best way to look for explanations of this truly remarkable vitality and diversity is to study the nation's religious history. That's a task, though, that involves more than simply examining religion from the directions you might expect....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • What a surprise. I loved it!

    • By Quaker on 11-03-13

    Regular price: $34.95

    • Great Figures of the New Testament

    • By: Amy-Jill Levine, The Great Courses
    • Narrated by: Amy-Jill Levine
    • Length: 12 hrs and 18 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 109
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 101
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 101

    Improve your biblical literacy with these 24 insightful lectures about the cast of vivid characters in the New Testament. From the well-known figures of Jesus, John the Baptist, and the disciples to important but lesser known figures, such as the Syro-Phoenician woman who must turn Jesus's own words back on him to gain the healing of her daughter, Professor Levine paints vivid portraits of Christianity's founding generation.You'll learn about such figures as. the elderly couple Elizabeth and Zechariah and their son, John the Baptist;. Jesus's friends, the contemplative Mary and the vocal Martha, as well as their brother, Lazarus;. the apostles Peter and Thomas, James and John, and Judas Iscariot;. Mary Magdalene, who becomes known as the apostle to the apostles;. Paul the apostle, as presented in Acts of the Apostles and what can be determined about him from his letters;. a number of strong and interesting women, including the unnamed Samaritan and a repentant sinner who anoints Jesus; and. Jesus's interlocutors, including the centurion with a paralyzed son and the desperate Canaanite mother with a demon-possessed daughter.Rather than promoting any particular religious worldview, this course seeks to read the ancient texts anew to discover what they really say and how they were interpreted by both the secular culture and the faithful church.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Deceptively Modest Theme Chock Full of Knowledge

    • By George R. Murray on 09-08-13

    Regular price: $34.95

    • The Book of Genesis

    • By: Gary A. Rendsburg, The Great Courses
    • Narrated by: Gary A. Rendsburg
    • Length: 12 hrs and 29 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 162
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 148
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 145

    Nearly everyone in the Western world is familiar with the stories in the book of Genesis. Its language is simple. Its powerful sentences are short. And its messages glisten with clarity. But is it possible that the understanding of the book of Genesis we've all grown up with isn't as complete as we'd like to believe? That its deceptively simple sentences and surface appearance hide from contemporary readers a purposeful and intricate structure designed to let its depth and detail and implication resonate with the readers and listeners of its own time?.

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • Clear, illuminating but without a PDF study guide

    • By Jacobus on 07-22-13

    Regular price: $34.95

    • Jesus and the Gospels

    • By: Luke Timothy Johnson, The Great Courses
    • Narrated by: Luke Timothy Johnson
    • Length: 18 hrs and 30 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 206
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 183
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 184

    For most of the last 2,000 years, questions about the figure of Jesus have begun with the Gospels, but the Gospels themselves raise puzzling questions about both Jesus and the religious movement within which these narratives were produced. Is it possible to shape a single picture from the various accounts of his life given us by these Gospels?

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Searching for truth

    • By Very Happy on 05-27-16

    Regular price: $41.95

    • The Story of the Bible

    • By: Luke Timothy Johnson, The Great Courses
    • Narrated by: Luke Timothy Johnson
    • Length: 12 hrs and 5 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 100
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 91
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 90

    Discover the story of the world's most consistently best-selling book, which came into being through a remarkable and complicated process. In 24 stimulating lectures, Professor Johnson investigates the many forms the Bible has taken and the ways history, scholarship, and technology have helped shape this great tradition, as well as the Bible's powerful influence on human history and culture.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • What a Wonderful Class

    • By Michael on 07-09-15

    Regular price: $34.95

    • Biblical Wisdom Literature

    • By: The Great Courses, Father Joseph Koterski S.J.
    • Narrated by: Father Joseph Koterski S.J.
    • Length: 18 hrs and 38 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 81
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 73
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 74

    In 36 thought-provoking lectures, you'll explore enlightening teachings that have inspired the world and that continue to speak to life's most important questions. Throughout, you'll benefit from Father Koterski's ecumenical perspective, as he presents these teachings within the Jewish and Christian traditions and compares the varying versions of these texts. What do these writings have to say about the great philosophical problems people seek to understand? You'll find out as you contend with the literal and figurative meanings behind some of the Bible's most essential books and parts (as well as some that many of us overlook).

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Insightful

    • By Ed Barnes on 03-24-16

    Regular price: $41.95

    • The History of Christian Theology

    • By: Phillip Cary, The Great Courses
    • Narrated by: Phillip Cary
    • Length: 18 hrs and 57 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 458
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 414
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 402

    In this 36-lecture course, you'll find an engaging way to explore profound religious questions and the many responses believers, scholars, and theologians have developed over more than 2,000 years. Through this series, Professor Cary reveals the enduring power of the Christian tradition-as both an intellectual discipline and a spiritual path.These lectures begin at the very dawn of Christianity, as you examine some of the earliest examples of scripture recorded by the first communities of the faithful.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Been Waiting for This

    • By Slinksterchic on 09-25-13

    Regular price: $41.95

    • The Lives of Great Christians

    • By: William R. Cook, The Great Courses
    • Narrated by: William R. Cook
    • Length: 12 hrs and 27 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 103
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 94
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 92

    Meet some of Christianity's luminary figures-the followers of Jesus who have practiced and preached their beliefs for centuries. Whether well known or obscure or even nameless, their actions and achievements, their abilities and energies have changed the course of history and the nature of belief. These 24 inspirational lectures will inspire you by the many ways these figures found to live lives of faith.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Cherish able information

    • By Pamela Rafdal on 01-06-15

    Regular price: $34.95

    • After the New Testament: The Writings of the Apostolic Fathers

    • By: Bart D. Ehrman, The Great Courses
    • Narrated by: Bart D. Ehrman
    • Length: 12 hrs and 24 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 133
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 123
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 124

    These 24 lectures introduce what is considered the most important collection of post-New Testament writings. Although largely unknown and unread, these writings provide a treasure trove of insights into Christianity, and they are crucial to understanding the development of a religion that was shaped largely outside the pages of the New Testament itself.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Intriguing and engaging

    • By Brandon on 11-11-15

    Regular price: $34.95

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