Books and Readers in the Early Church

Biblical Scroll on wooden table with information on upcoming Bible class at Bethlehem Lutheran Church.

Starting January 6th, Dr. Michael Thomas of Concordia University, Portland will teach a class entitled Books and Readers in the Early Church: Forming the Biblical Canon.  It will run for 6 weeks through February 10th. In the course you will learn the answers to the following questions:

1) How were books produced, transcribed, duplicated, circulated, and used in early Christianity?

2)  Why did Christians, against all norms, adopt the codex (book) over the scroll as there preferred media?

3)   Given the extremely low rate of literacy in antiquity, who read these books, under what circumstances, and for what purposes?  

4)  How did a text or letter (such as Paul’s private correspondence to individual churches) become Scripture in early Christianity?


— Dr. Thomas, Associate Professor of Classical Languages and Humanities, returned to his alma mater to join the faculty of the College of Theology, Arts & Sciences. His academic interest covers the History and Literature of Christianity and Judaism in Antiquity. In particular, his areas of specialization include: Old Testament/Hebrew Bible; New Testament; Patristics; Rabbinics; Greek and Roman History and Religions; Classical and Biblical Languages (Greek, Latin, and Hebrew). Michael teaches a variety of courses at Concordia ranging from Classics to Theology.

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