Tanho Monday Textual Study

Early Christian Texts Discussions
Presented by the Tanho Center

The Bible and Beyond Discussions

Monthly Monday Textual Study

Once a month, at 8:00–9:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday nights (generally the fourth of the month), Early Christian Texts hosts a presentation and discussion of one of the early Christian texts.  Dr. Hal Taussig, who leads the sessions, shares a well-framed overview of the particular text, and gives time for all participants to ask questions or share their own insights about the meanings and potential for these texts.

There is no charge, but people are invited to donate to Early Christian Texts.  One does not have to attend every session, and anyone is welcome any time.  We look forward to your joining these textual studies.

Folks who need a brief introduction to these rather surprising and deeply moving texts are invited to check out several short films on the Tanho website home page. People who would like a more in-depth introduction will enjoy the book, A New New Testament: A Bible for the Twenty-First Century Combining Traditional and Newly Discovered Textsedited by Hal Taussig and published by Houghton, Mifflin, and Harcourt.  

The Life of Polycarp’s Death

Monday, May 24, 2021
8:00 – 9:00 pm Eastern Time
Click here for the Zoom meeting link
Facebook  Event Page
Presenter: Dr. Hal Taussig

Perhaps the most evocative, and garbled martyr stories of early Christ people and/or early Christians are the ones about Polycarp.  We will throw ourselves into the several available versions of the “Martyrdom of Polycarp” in order to see how the stories elaborate themselves and their meanings of ‘his’ ‘martyrdom.’   Most stories of Polycarp have him being killed by Roman rulers in his old age, after having been a successful leader of a Christ group of the second century in Smyrna.  Although much of the literature has anchored his actual life as well as an alleged orthodoxy in the second century, many scholars now place the earliest stories about him no earlier than the third century.

We will delight in the contradictions and possibilities of meaning in the way this alleged life-long Christ leader takes on humor, grotesque pain, and revisions of what the death of Jesus might and might not mean. Authors refuse to let him be just one thing.  Join us in letting first-, second-, and third-century Polycarps claim an open-ended version of dying and living.  Enjoy too your choice of which versions to read in preparation. Look up “Martyrdom of Polycarp,” and we’ll compare our findings.

The Tanho Center is dedicated to the study and interpretation of the large range of early Christ movement texts discovered in the last 150 years. By incorporating recently discovered texts into contemporary practices, we hope to signify exactly what tanho means in Coptic: “to make or be alive.”

Early Christian Texts:  The Bible and Beyond

Exploring historical and spiritual questions about Jesus, women, salvation, healing, gender, and wholeness raised by extra-canonical books, forgotten scriptures, and so-called “gnostic” gospels.


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