Wk 12: Assgnmt for Dec 14

Week 12:  Original Sin; The Secret Gospel of Mark

1. Jacobs, Original Sin, ch. 2, The African Bishop (link), pp.47-54 (link)

I tried hard to find a decent overview of Augustine and his views on original sin.  And this is the best I could do; sorry! There’s some useful information along the way but too much is off-point.  (The second selection starts on the right-hand page 47 and ends halfway down the left-hand page 54.)

2. Roman Catholic Catechism, The Fall (link) (original)

It’s useful to go to the source for the details!  The link is an abridged version of the current catechism which retains the doctrinal points and omits some of the rhetoric.  If you’d like to read the unabridged version, it’s only 8 pages long.

Here’s a well-written and well-argued presentation from the Catholic Encyclopedia, also short (link).

Please look closely at the catechism to answer the question whether, in describing the doctrine of original sin, the Roman Catholic Church provides evidence of cosmic dualism.  What statements argue in the affirmative?  (The Church has clearly declared that there is only one cosmic power.)

3. Mishnah on Sexual Duties of a Husband (link).

Hardly necessary to note that this contrasts with the mainstream Christian third century view.

4. Ehrman, Lost Christianities, ch. 4, The Secret Gospel of Mark (link).

This fascinating story will give you some insight into the (sometimes nasty) ways of biblical scholarship.  For additional details see the Wikipedia article (link); for a very thorough review as of 1995, see this article (link).  For amusement, you could read a short but lively 2007 NYTimes piece (link).