Columns Culture Faith Jana Riess: Flunking Sainthood Opinion

Will Mormons’ departure from the Boy Scouts open the door for girls’ equality?

Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles participates in the groundbreaking of the Thomas S. Monson Leadership Excellence Complex with local Boy Scouts in Glen Jean, W.Va., on June 15, 2016. Photo courtesy of Intellectual Reserve, Inc./Mark Romesser

(RNS) — Miranda was a teenager when she first learned of a very basic inequality between boys and girls in her ward (as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints calls its local congregations). The amount budgeted for the boys’ Scouting activities was significantly higher than what was reserved for the Mormons’ program for girls ages 12 to 18, known as Young Women.

“I was upset about that,” says Miranda, now in her mid-30s. “It was like, ‘Here’s a dollar figure attached to how much less I am valued than the Young Men in the ward.’”

It’s often said that budgets are moral documents, a point the teen Miranda seemed to recognize instinctively. Budgets reveal what we’re willing to invest our resources in.

And for much of Mormon history, that has not been girls.

For over a hundred years, the LDS Church has partnered with the Boy Scouts of America to provide activities for tween and teen boys, as a vital part of the church’s Young Men program. Most Mormon congregations have at least one Boy Scout troop. Boys are encouraged to work toward the rank of Eagle Scout, an achievement celebrated by the local ward and marked in Mormon Sunday church meetings. 

The Young Women, by contrast, have felt more like an afterthought. They have a Personal Progress program, but their accomplishments are largely invisible, except to their parents and leaders. Those who complete the requirements aren’t heralded in nearly the same public way the Boy Scouts are, with their Eagle Court of Honor.

Mormon boys have enjoyed High Adventure camps and important responsibilities at church. Until very recently, girls have made crafts and learned to bake cookies.

This week (May 8), the LDS Church announced that it is severing its century-long relationship with the Boy Scoutsa decision that, as I’ve written previously, likely reflects church elders’ worries about retaining young people more than any fears about LGBT Scouts or other cultural changes.

The Church has announced that in the place of Boy Scouts and the various programs previously used for girls, a new “children and youth development initiative” will be implemented in 2020 throughout the worldwide church.

Is it possible that with this new program, Mormon boys and girls might now get the best of all possible worlds?

That everyone will get to go on whitewater rafting adventures, and everyone will learn to cook and prepare for adult living?

Because these activities are important for everyone. The skills that girls have traditionally learned at church — things like baking and making freezer jam and discovering relational intelligence — are strong foundations for living on one’s own. So are the survival and leadership skills that Scouting has emphasized for boys.

Details of the program have not been released, so we don’t know what this initiative will look like. That hasn’t stopped me from dreaming of a world in which …

  • Mormon boys and girls will be ministered to based on their needs and interests, not pigeonholed into certain activities based solely on their gender.
  • The gender segregation that begins at age 8 will not continue, or at least will be severely curtailed.
  • Boys and girls will learn to serve and make decisions together as equals.
  • Girls will join boys in having leadership responsibilities that are more than just window dressing.

Some of this is already happening, at least in a limited fashion. Earlier this year, for example, the Church quietly rolled out a simplified program for Young Women camp. The streamlined manual stressed the importance of girls’ leadership in every aspect of planning camp.

And last month in the LDS General Conference, an outgoing general leader of the Young Women organization pleaded for girls to have important responsibilities in church. “They want to be of service,” said Bonnie Oscarson. “They need to know they are valued and essential in the work of salvation.” (For a full report of General Conference, see here.) The Church’s new “ministering” program may be an avenue for this greater involvement of Young Women in the mission of the Church.

The bottom line is that after more than a century of attention to boys and their development, it’s past time to direct our time and money to LDS girls the world over. If we want to keep them active and engaged, we can’t continue belittling them in our budgets and limiting their contributions to our communities.

(Jana Riess is a senior columnist for RNS, where she writes the “Flunking Sainthood” column.)


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About the author

Jana Riess

Senior columnist Jana Riess is the author of many books, including "The Prayer Wheel" (2018) and "The Next Mormons: How Millennials Are Changing the LDS Church," which will be published by Oxford University Press in March 2019. She has a PhD in American religious history from Columbia University.

52 Comments

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  • Even though I know that more money was spent on me, when I compare my experience as a teenager in scouting to my wife’s experience in young women’s, I feel like I got the short end of the stick. As an adult, she’s much better at planning, goal setting, and perseverance in difficult tasks. Although I guess it’s possible (maybe probable) I would still have the same weaknesses regardless of program, I feel like scouting didn’t really help me with those skills even though I earned the rank of Eagle.

  • When I looked at the fun my brother had at the scouting jamborees, camping, hiking, canoing, archery, etc.along with the Courts of Honor he enjoyed; then added to that the opportunities he had at church on Sundays, I wondered why females were so little valued.

    What activities did I enjoy in the Young Women’s program? Well, we cut out wedding dresses from magazines. I compare my experience in young womens with Eloise Bell’s comical essay called “The Meeting,” (http://signaturebookslibrary.org/only-when-i-laugh-04/) where she compares kayaking down the Green River, with helping to fold and stamp the ward newsletter.

    The excuse for this shameful lack of parity came from President Hinckley when he said, speaking of the brethren, “We are prone to put empasise on programs for the boys.” Isn’t that the understatement of the century. But this is what you can expect from a patriarchal institution!

  • Did your brother continue camping with the young men after he turned 14? I think I went on only two more campouts after I turned 14.

  • He loved scouting, fully participated in whatever was offered, and earned his Eagle.

  • I earned my Eagle, too, but that didn’t stop scouting from basically ending for me before I turned 15. I’m just trying to gauge if my experience was atypical.

  • More than they expect from an Internet troll who never contributes more than the same tired line.

  • An interesting thing to note in the reactions to this news is how much commentary coming from men centers on how glad they are to see the program go because it didn’t work for them, and how many women are glad to see it go because they want their program to be more like scouting.

    I also think it’s interesting that much of the budget disparity came from the fact that scouting requires such a big budget for a bloated and inefficient program, but did not necessarily have better outcomes than the leaner young women’s program. I hope (and believe) that the replacement program will have have more achievement opportunities than Personal Progress (more awards, more specific skill goals), but fewer financial and time demands than scouting. I also hope (and believe) that the replacement program will put girls and boys on parallel and intersecting paths toward some significant achievement (like Eagle) that recognizes that girls and boys are different in some significant ways, but face many of the same challenges becoming adults.

    From a financial perspective, I think the Church will get better outcomes (spiritually, socially, and intellectually stronger youth who become stronger adults) by taking the money it’s been putting toward scouting and reallocating it for a comprehensive youth program.

  • Those are also things that young adult men & young adult women learn with the experience of serving a mission for the Church. Even those of us who were converts to the Church in our late teens and didn’t actually have the benefit of the Young Men’s & Young Women’s Programs.

  • This move by the Church was designed to maintain the status quo. It also comes about because of fear based prejudices against girls and gays by the elderly men who work in the great and spacious building in Salt Lake.

  • I also served a mission. Interestingly, my wife didn’t. I’m sensing the common thread in my weaknesses is me.

  • Please don’t head for the nearest cliff thinking you’re a failure in life! Not everyone learns the same way and what may be a learning experience for many may not register on the radar of others. I hope that both of your skill sets compliment one another in your partnership.

  • Some boys also get involved in the Boy Scouts above and beyond the elementary involvement at the ward/branch level. I know a set of twins which both achieved Eagle, but one was much more involved outside of what the Church offered during his teenage years then his brother. I remember he was involved in the Order of the Arrow and went on activities that his brother didn’t.

  • As we put the final nails into Christianity’s beliefs and those of related business cults’ like the LDS.

  • Christianity will always exist my brother; because it’s mission is to proclaim the gospel and to lead you to Christ.

  • I’m in the solidly “don’t hold your breath” camp. The church says that the new boys and girls programs will be, in essence, “separate but equal.” But given the continued importance to the church of boys’ advancement in the priesthood, they will still unavoidably receive more time, attention, and resources than the girls, until and unless the fundamental inequality gets addressed — and for this point in particular, “don’t hold your breath,” alas.

    (As ever, too, some units will be better than others, à la “leader roulette.”)

  • As we put the final nails into Christianity’s beliefs and those of related business cults’ like the Mormons.

  • I think this might be a good thing for the Boy Scouts. That organization is beginning to make changes–accepting homosexual youth and now leaders, accepting girls into their programs, which I think will bring on greater rolls for women in programs. They are beginning to face transgender issues.

    The Boy Scouts have made compromises to their main beliefs in order to accomodate different church groups, sacrificing the integrity of their programs, for the financial support of church groups.

    I suspect the girls in the Mormon church groups won’t see many changes. AND I suspect isolating their youth from interactions with other youth (this interaction happened with Boy Scout events such as treks at high adventure camps and their jamborees) will cause them problems in the long run.

  • “The Boy Scouts have made compromises to their main beliefs in order to accomodate different church groups, sacrificing the integrity of their programs, for the financial support of church groups.”

    The idea of Boy Scout troops being religiously affiliated represented a huge departure from its intention as a non sectarian organization to teach future soldiers outdoors skills. (The military affiliation was always explicit in Scouting)

    I suspect the change towards including women will be seen more clearly in female scoutmasters and troop officers than girls participating as scouts.

  • Not true because, despite facts, belief will persist. Your arguments will not work well against faith.

  • The arguments will continue and yes will be difficult to win not because of beliefs and faith but because of the mighty dollar which dictates the actions of business cults such as the LDS.

    Let the hammering however continue:

    The Apostles’ Creed 2018: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of
    historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

    Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
    Jerusalem.

    Said Jesus’ story was embellished and “mythicized” by
    many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
    and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar deity myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    Amen

    (references used are available upon request)

  • Since the Boy Scouts discriminate against atheists, where does that leave atheist ad agnostic girls?

  • His “arguments” don’t work because they come across as the same, old, tired, cut-and-paste spam.

  • His facts are fine but don’t work against the irrationality and faith of most religious types. It’s his presentation that puts off people.

  • The dollar amount designated for budgets has no bearing whatsoever on the value of a person or gender. That is a very juvenile way to look at life. The high priests, for example have zero budget, and never have had. Girls have always been of equal value to any other group in the LDS Church. To assume otherwise is shortsighted. I am looking forward to the new program the Church will come out with, and it doesn’t matter what the budgets are for any group.

  • The Boy Scouts are non-sectarian, but not secular. In 1908, Scouting founder Robert Baden-Powell wrote in the first Scout handbook that, “No man is much good unless he believes in God and obeys His laws.” Since then belief in God has been required of all adult leaders. I was once selected as a leader, but then dropped. because I would not claim belief in God.

  • Interestingly enough the original UK Scouting organization has no such prohibition on atheists. It is definitely a church influence thing in the BSA.

  • In years to come, people will look back on this and say, “Wait… you were okay with mixed-gender music programs and dance classes and soccer games and robotics workshops… but somebody said ‘OH NO, camping and hiking have to be for boys only’? And you took them seriously?”

  • A deep search in the bowels of non-believers will no doubt result in the conclusion there is not enough agreement to organize a movement.

    But if it turns out that there is, it can call itself the bowel movement.

  • There are two kinds of people who have been through Scouting—–those who liked (or still like) the first half of the Scout Law better than the second half, vs. those who like the second half better.

    Trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind

    or

    Obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.

    It’s not really all or none. It’s not really a total package. “Kind” rules in people’s minds or it does not.

  • Some 21st century reality and thanks for the reminder:

    The Apostles’ Creed 2018: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of
    historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

    Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    Hewas buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
    Jerusalem.

    Said Jesus’ story was embellished and “mythicized” by
    many semi-fiction writers. A descent
    into Hell, a bodily resurrection
    andascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    Amen

    (references used are available upon request)

  • What is proof really? You say you believe in a 1st century preacher-man, etc., but not because of your first-hand knowledge of him. You believe you have reliable sources. I imagine I would find them reliable as well, but why do you? (Find them reliable, that is.) There are some today who claim first-hand knowledge of the existence of God as described in the New Testament. Doubtless you consider them unreliable, but why?

  • Reliable sources require excellent research by the authors doing the studies as noted by the bibliographies of said studies. My update of the Apostles Creed and the development of the Great Kibosh of All Religions are based on said studies. Below are some of the resources used:

    From Professors Crossan and Watts’ book,
    Who is Jesus.

    “That Jesus was crucified under Pontius Pilate, as the Creed states,
    is as certain as anything historical can ever be. “ The Jewish historian, Josephusand the pagan historian Tacitus both agree that Jesus was executed by order of the Roman governor of Judea. And is very hard to imagine that Jesus’ followers would have invented such a story unless
    it indeed happened.

    “While the brute fact that of Jesus’ death by crucifixion is historically
    certain, however, those detailed narratives in our present gospels are much
    more problematic. ”

    “My best historical reconstruction would be something like this. Jesus was
    arrested during the Passover festival, most likely in response to his action in
    the Temple. Those who were closest to him ran away for their own safety.

    I do not presume that there were any high-level confrontations between Caiaphas and Pilate and Herod Antipas
    either about Jesus or with Jesus. No doubt they would have agreed before the
    festival that fast action was to be taken against any disturbance and that a
    few examples by crucifixion might be especially useful at the outset. And I doubt very much if Jewish police or
    Roman soldiers needed to go too far up the chain of command in handling a
    Galilean peasant like Jesus. It is hard for us to imagine the casual brutality
    with which Jesus was probably taken and executed. All those “last
    week” details in our gospels, as distinct from the brute facts just
    mentioned, are prophecy turned into history, rather than history
    remembered.”

    See also Professor Crossan’s reviews of the existence of Jesus in his
    other books especially, The Historical Jesus and also Excavating Jesus (with
    Professor Jonathan Reed doing the archeology discussion) .

    Other NT exegetes to include members of the Jesus Seminar have published
    similar books with appropriate supporting references.

    Part of Crossan’s The Historical Jesus has been published online at
    books.google.com/books.

    There is also a search engine for this book on the right side of the
    opening page. e.g. Search Josephus

    See also Wikipedia’s review on the historical Jesus to include the
    Tacitus’ reference to the crucifixion of Jesus.

    From ask.com,

    “One of the greatest historians of ancient Rome, Cornelius Tacitus is
    a primary source for much of what is known about life the first and second
    centuries after the life of Jesus. His most famous works, Histories and Annals,
    exist in fragmentary form, though many of his earlier writings were lost to
    time. Tacitus is known for being generally reliable (if somewhat biased toward
    what he saw as Roman immorality) and for having a uniquely direct (if not
    blunt) writing style.

    Then there are these scriptural references:

    Crucifixion of Jesus:(1) 1 Cor 15:3b; (2a) Gos. Pet. 4:10-5:16,18-20; 6:22;
    (2b) Mark 15:22-38 = Matt 27:33-51a = Luke 23:32-46; (2c) John
    19:17b-25a,28-36; (3) Barn. 7:3-5; (4a) 1 Clem. 16:3-4 (=Isaiah 53:1-12); (4b)
    1 Clem. 16.15-16 (=Psalm 22:6-8); (5a) Ign. Mag. 11; (5b) Ign. Trall. 9:1b;
    (5c) Ign. Smyrn. 1.2.- (read them all at wiki.faithfutures. Crucifixion
    org/index.php/005_Crucifixion_Of_Jesus )

    Added suggested readings:

    1. Historical Jesus Theories,
    earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html – the names of many of the
    contemporary historical Jesus scholars and the ti-tles of their over 100 books
    on the subject.

    Early Christian Writings,
    earlychristianwritings.com/

    – a list of early Christian doc-uments to include the year of publication–

    30-60 CE Passion Narrative

    40-80 Lost Sayings Gospel Q

    50-60 1 Thessalonians

    50-60 Philippians

    50-60 Galatians

    50-60 1 Corinthians

    50-60 2 Corinthians

    50-60 Romans

    50-60 Philemon

    50-80 Colossians

    50-90 Signs Gospel

    50-95 Book of Hebrews

    50-120 Didache

    50-140 Gospel of Thomas

    50-140 Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel

    50-200 Sophia of Jesus Christ

    65-80 Gospel of Mark

    70-100 Epistle of James

    70-120 Egerton Gospel

    70-160 Gospel of Peter

    70-160 Secret Mark

    70-200 Fayyum Fragment

    70-200 Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs

    73-200 Mara Bar Serapion

    80-100 2 Thessalonians

    80-100 Ephesians

    80-100 Gospel of Matthew

    80-110 1 Peter

    80-120 Epistle of Barnabas

    80-130 Gospel of Luke

    80-130 Acts of the Apostles

    80-140 1 Clement

    80-150 Gospel of the Egyptians

    80-150 Gospel of the Hebrews

    80-250 Christian Sibyllines

    90-95 Apocalypse of John

    90-120 Gospel of John

    90-120 1 John

    90-120 2 John

    90-120 3 John

    90-120 Epistle of Jude

    93 Flavius Josephus

    100-150 1 Timothy

    100-150 2 Timothy

    100-150 T-itus

    100-150 Apocalypse of Peter

    100-150 Secret Book of James

    100-150 Preaching of Peter

    100-160 Gospel of the Ebionites

    100-160 Gospel of the Nazoreans

    100-160 Shepherd of Hermas

    100-160 2 Peter

    4. Jesus Database,
    http://www.faithfutures.org/JDB/intro.html –”The JESUS DATABASE is an
    online a-nnotated inventory of the traditions concerning the life and teachings
    of Jesus that have survived from the first three centuries of the Common Era.
    It includes both canonical and extra-canonical materials, and is not limited to
    the traditions found within the Christian New Testament.”

    5. Josephus on Jesus mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm

    6. The Jesus Seminar, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_Seminar

    7.
    http://www.biblicalartifacts.com/items/785509/item785509biblicalartifacts.html
    – books on the health and illness during the time of the NT

    8. Economics in First Century Palestine, K.C. Hanson and D. E. Oakman,
    Palestine in the Time of Jesus, Fortress Press, 1998.

    9.The Gnostic Jesus

    (Part One in a Two-Part Series on Ancient and Modern G-nosticism)

    by Douglas Groothuis:
    http://www.equip.org/articles/gnosticism-and-the-gnostic-jesus/10. The
    interpretation of the Bible in the Church, Pontifical Biblical Commission

    Presented on March 18, 1994

    ewtn.com/library/CURIA/PBCINTER.HTM#2

    11. The Jesus Database- newer site:

    wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?title=Jesus_Database

    12. Jesus Database with the example of Supper and Eucharist:

    faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb016.html

    13. Josephus on Jesus by Paul Maier:

    mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm

    13. http://www.textweek.com/mtlk/jesus.htmm- Historical Jesus Studies

    14. The Greek New Testament: laparola.net/greco/

    15. D-iseases in the Bible:

    http://books.google.com/books/about/The_diseases_of_the_Bible.html?id=C1YZAAAAYAAJ

    16. Religion on- Line (6000 articles on the
    h-story of religion, churches, theologies,theologians, ethics, etc. religion-online.org/

    17.
    The New Testament Gateway – Internet NT ntgate-way.com/

    18
    Writing the New Testament- existing copies, oral tradition etc.

    ntgat-eway.com/

    19. JD Crossan’s c-onclusions about the authencity
    of most of the NT based on the above plus the c-onclusions of other NT exegetes
    in the last 200 years:

    http://wiki.faithfutures.o-rg/index.p-hp?title=Crossan_Inventory

    20. Early Jewish Writings- Josephus and his books
    by title with the complete translated work in English
    :earlyjewishwritings.com/josephus.html

    21. Luke and Josephus- was there a c-onnection?

    in-fidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/lukeandjosephus.html

    22. NT and beyond time line:

    pbs.org/empires/peterandpaul/history/timeline/

    23. St. Paul’s Time line with discussion of
    important events:

    harvardhouse.com/prophetictech/new/pauls_life.htm

    24. See http://www.amazon.com for a list of JD
    Crossan’s books and those of the other Jesus Seminarians: Reviews of said books
    are included and selected pages can now be viewed on Amazon. Some books can be
    found on-line at Google Books.

    25. Father Edward Schillebeeckx’s words of wisdom
    as found in his books.

    27. The books of the following : Professors Gerd
    Ludemann, Marcus Borg, Paula Fredriksen, Elaine Pagels, Karen Armstrong and
    Bishop NT Wright.

    28. Father Raymond Brown’s An Introduction to the New Testament, Doubleday, NY,
    1977, 878 pages, with Nihil obstat and Imprimatur.

    29. Luke Timothy Johnson’s book The Real Jesus

    “Did Jesus Exist?: The
    Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth [Hardcover]

    Bart D. Ehrman (Author)

    Large numbers of atheists, humanists, and conspiracy
    theorists are raising one of the most pressing questions in the history of
    religion: “Did Jesus exist at all?” Was he invented out of whole
    cloth for nefarious purposes by those seeking to control the masses? Or was Jesus such a shadowy figure—far removed from any credible historical evidence—that he bears no meaningful resemblance to the person described in the Bible?

    In Did Jesus Exist? historian and Bible
    expert Bart Ehrman confronts these questions, vigorously defends the
    historicity of Jesus, and provides a compelling portrait of the man from
    Nazareth. The Jesus you discover here may not be the Jesus you had hoped to
    meet—but he did exist, whether we like it or not.

    Show less

  • My first answer was scrubbed. Maybe it was too long. Reliable sources are those who do the required research on a subject as normally indicated by extensive bibliographies. Some of the studies that qualify:

    o 1. Historical Jesus Theories, earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html – the names of many of the contemporary historical Jesus scholars and the titles of their over 100 books on the subject.
    2. Early Christian Writings, earlychristianwritings.com/

     4. Jesus Database, http://www.faithfutures.org/JDB/intro.html –”The JESUS DATABASE is an online a-nnotated inventory of the traditions concerning the life and teachings of Jesus that have survived from the first three centuries of the Common Era. It includes both canonical and extra-canonical materials, and is not limited to the traditions found within the Christian New Testament.”
    5. Josephus on Jesus mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm
    6. The Jesus Seminar, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_Seminar
    7. http://www.biblicalartifacts.com/items/785509/item785509biblicalartifacts.html – books on the health and illness during the time of the NT
    8. Economics in First Century Palestine, K.C. Hanson and D. E. Oakman, Palestine in the Time of Jesus, Fortress Press, 1998.
    9.The Gnostic Jesus
    (Part One in a Two-Part Series on A-ncient and Modern G-nosticism)
    by Douglas Groothuis: http://www.equip.o-rg/articles/gnosticism-and-the-gnostic-jesus/10. The interpretation of the Bible in the Church, Pontifical Biblical Commission
    Presented on March 18, 1994
    ewtn.com/library/CURIA/PBCINTER.HTM#2
    11. The Jesus Database- newer site:
    wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?title=Jesus_Database
    12. Jesus Database with the example of Supper and Eucharist:
    faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb016.html
    13. Josephus on Jesus by Paul Maier:
    mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm
    13. http://www.textweek.com/mtlk/jesus.htmm- Historical Jesus Studies
    14. The Greek New Testament: laparola.net/greco/
    15. D-iseases in the Bible:
    http://books.google.com/books/about/The_d-iseases_of_the_Bible.html?id=C1YZAAAAYAAJ

    16. Religion on- Line (6000 articles on the h-story of religion, churches, theologies,
    theologians, ethics, etc. religion-online.org/
    17. The New Testament Gateway – Internet NT ntgate-way.com/
    18 Writing the New Testament- existing copies, oral tradition etc.
    ntgat-eway.com/
    19. JD Crossan’s c-onclusions about the authencity of most of the NT based on the above plus the c-onclusions of other NT exegetes in the last 200 years:
    http://wiki.faithfutures.o-rg/index.p-hp?title=Crossan_Inventory
    20. Early Jewish Writings- Josephus and his books by title with the complete translated work in English :earlyjewishwritings.com/josephus.html
    21. Luke and Josephus- was there a c-onnection?
    in-fidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/lukeandjosephus.html
    22. NT and beyond time line:
    pbs.org/empires/peterandpaul/history/timeline/
    23. St. Paul’s Time line with discussion of important events:
    harvardhouse.com/prophetictech/new/pauls_life.htm
    24. See http://www.amazon.com for a list of JD Crossan’s books and those of the other Jesus Seminarians: Reviews of said books are included and selected pages can now be viewed on Amazon. Some books can be found on-line at Google Books.
    25. Father Edward Schillebeeckx’s words of wisdom as found in his books.
    27. The books of the following : Professors Gerd Ludemann, Marcus Borg, Paula Fredriksen, Elaine Pagels, Karen Armstrong and Bishop NT Wright.
    28. Father Raymond Brown’s An Introduction to the New Testament, Doubleday, NY, 1977, 878 pages, with Nihil obstat and Imprimatur.
    29. Luke Timothy Johnson’s book The Real Jesus

    “Did Jesus Exist?: The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth [Hardcover]
    Bart D. Ehrman (Author)

    Large numbers of atheists, humanists, and conspiracy theorists are raising one of the most pressing questions in the history of religion: “Did Jesus exist at all?” Was he invented out of whole cloth for nefarious purposes by those seeking to control the masses? Or was Jesus such a shadowy figure—far removed from any credible historical evidence—that he bears no meaningful resemblance to the person described in the Bible?
    In Did Jesus Exist? historian and Bible expert Bart Ehrman confronts these questions, vigorously defends the historicity of Jesus, and provides a compelling portrait of the man from Nazareth. The Jesus you discover here may not be the Jesus you had hoped to meet—but he did exist, whether we like it or not.

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