Course Information

Understanding the Cultural Context of the Gospels: Why did Jesus use His spit in the mud to heal a blind man? Why did Jesus not reveal his true intentions to His family about going up to the feast in John 7?  Why did Jesus offensively insult people on a regular basis? These are but a few examples of the many things in the Gospels and the New Testament that are difficult, if not impossible, for us to understand if we do not understand the cultural context and values of the time of Christ.  In this course we will look at cultural rules governing social interactions, first-century commerce, economics, politics, Semitic cosmology, beliefs about healing, health and miracles, and much more.

How Courses Work

All of our courses are offered via online live attendance (using free webinar software, for which we provide a link). Each course is six weeks long, meeting online once a week on the same day at the same time. The weekly sessions run 90 minutes: 45 minutes for presentation and 45 minutes for Q&R. A maximum of 15 students will be randomly selected to participate in the Q&R sessions (system-generated). If a student misses a course session, the talk/lecture will still be available online for 60 days, but the live chat room interaction will not be available.

Live Class Dates

The course begins May 21, 2017 and runs weekly at 7PM EST. The live class dates are as follows:
  • May 21 – Session 1
  • May 28 – Session 2
  • Jun 4 – Session 3
  • Jun 11 – Session 4
  • Jun 18 – Session 5
  • Jun 25 – Session 6

Full course details, including session titles and attachments, are available upon registration.

Required Texts

Jesus Through Mediterranean Eyes
Kenneth Bailey

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Highly recommended, but not required reading:

  • The Social Science Commentaries of the Synoptics – Malina and Rohrbaugh
  • The Social Science Commentary of the Revelation – Malina and Pytches
  • The Social Science Commentary of the Gospel of John –Malina and Rohrbaush
  • Healing: Hope or Hype? Stephen Crosby

About The Instructor

Stephen R. Crosby received his undergraduate secular education at Corning Community College in Corning NY, and his BA, MA, and D. Min. through Christian International College and Graduate School at Santa Rosa Beach, FL.

Course Curriculum

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