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Professor offers lectures on the Old and New Testaments

September 9, 2003

An Austin Peay professor is offering three public lectures on the origins and development of the Tanakh (Old Testament) and the Greek New Testament.

Dr. Albert Randall, professor of philosophy and religion, will offer his talks from 6-7 p.m., every Wednesday from Sept. 17 to Oct. 1, at The Cumberland Presbyterian Church, 1410 Golf Club Lane, Clarksville.
September 9, 2003

An Austin Peay professor is offering three public lectures on the origins and development of the Tanakh (Old Testament) and the Greek New Testament.

Dr. Albert Randall, professor of philosophy and religion, will offer his talks from 6-7 p.m., every Wednesday from Sept. 17 to Oct. 1, at The Cumberland Presbyterian Church, 1410 Golf Club Lane, Clarksville.

The series begins with a discussion on the three stages of development that the Tanakh, or Hebrew Bible, and the New Testament scripture underwent to become two of the three most influential collections of revealed scripture in the history of the Western world.

The three stages: the oral tradition, a writing period and the process of canonization, will be examined as background for future sessions focusing on the Tanakh and the New Testament. Comparisons also will be made to the Muslim Qur'an, the third most influential scripture in the West, and the Hindu Bhagavad Gita.

The second session “The Tanakh, the Septuagint, the Apocrypha, the Pseudepigrapha and the Dead Sea Scrolls” examines the significance of the Babylonian Captivity (586 to 539 BCE) for the writing of those books included in the Tanakh. Each book is studied for its significance and influence on Christianity. The interpretive difference between the Tanakh and Old Testament also will be discussed.

Randall's last session “The New Testament, the Sayings Gospel, the Gospel of Signs and the Gospel of Thomas” examines these gospels for their influence on the writing of the SynopticsMatthew, Mark, Luke and John. Randall examines the Nag Hammadi Biblical Scrolls, the Gospel of Thomas and the differing interpretations concerning Jesus' preachings about the “Kingdom of God.” Translation issues regarding the teachings of Jesus also will be discussed.

Randall holds a master's degree in theology from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and master's and doctoral degrees in philosophy from The University of Oklahoma. He has taught 31 years at Austin Peay and has given 50 presentations to professional societies as well as numerous talks to education, civic, community and religious groups.

He is the author of 26 journal articles and two books including “Theologies of War and Peace Among Jews, Christians and Muslims.”

The sessions are free and open to the public. For further information, telephone Randall at 7479.