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January 11, 2016: Understanding the Historical Jesus

 “Suppose that a Catholic, a Protestant, a Jew, and an agnostic…were locked up in the bowels of the Harvard Divinity School library, put on a Spartan diet, and not allowed to emerge until they had hammered out a consensus document on who Jesus of Nazareth was and what he intended in his own time and place.  An essential requirement of this document would be that it be based on purely historical sources and arguments.”  What would such a document conclude?


That is the question asked by Father John Meyer, a Catholic priest and professor of the New Testament at Notre Dame, in his series of books entitled “A Marginal Jew:  Rethinking the Historical Jesus.”  Meyer’s study seeks to uncover the Jesus of history using rigorous modern historical research methods and will be the basis of a “study group” at St. Luke’s starting in January (several copies of vol. 1 of the “Marginal Jew” series are available at the Fairfax County Public Library or can be ordered online).  Please note that this is an academic study and as such there are likely to be topics and discussions that challenge how we currently understand our faith.  Nonetheless, we encourage interested people to bring their questions, curiosity, and an open mind to take a rigorous look at the “marginal Jew” Jesus, his times, his ministry, and his impact in Roman Palestine.


Our introductory meeting will be held on Monday, January 11 at 6:30PM at Chris Koppen’s house, 2003 Paul Spring Road, Alexandria, VA 22307, and on the second Monday of the month thereafter.  If you are interested in participating or if you have any questions, please contact Chris Koppen at

Later Event: January 17
Annual Meeting - Jan 17