Jesus within Judaism: The Law of Moses in Early Judaism and the Gospels

2024 HCU Theology Conference

Apr 10-11, 2024 

Sponsored by Heights Church

Professor Yair Furstenberg,  Associate Professor of Talmud at Hebrew University (Jerusalem), will deliver the keynote on the topic of the interpretation of the Law in the New Testament Gospels. A panel discussion with Dr. Paul T. Sloan will follow. The conference will include breakout sessions with proposed papers. The keynote will be Wednesday, Apr 10, and the panel will be on Thursday.

Theology Conference 2024, Call for Papers

Jesus within Judaism: The Law and Its Interpretation in the Gospels and Early Judaism

We are pleased to announce our upcoming annual Theology Conference, which will be held in Houston, TX, on April 10-11, 2024. The focus of the conference will be on the interpretation of the Law as variously presented in the New Testament Gospels. Professor Yair Furstenburg (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) will offer the keynote lecture on “Jesus and the Law” and participate on a panel moderated by Dr. Paul T. Sloan (Houston Christian University). We also invite proposals for papers on the topic of the interpretation of the Mosaic Law in early Judaism, especially but not exclusively regarding matters that intersect with the legal debates present in the Gospels.

Scholars widely recognize the inevitable diversity of interpretation of the Mosaic commandments extant among various groups and their textual deposits (Pharisees, Essenes and/or Qumranites, Sadducees, Samaritans, John the Immerser, Jesus followers, emerging “schools” of various rabbis). Similarly, a growing number of readers recognize that the Gospels are squarely situated within this context of intramural debate over “proper” Law-keeping. This conference seeks to advance this conversation by hosting discussion of the legal controversies (broadly construed) recorded between Jesus and his contemporaries, on the one hand, and major legal controversies outside the Gospels, on the other. To that end, we are interested in papers that explore the different interpretations expressed among Jewish texts (HB/LXX, 2TJ, and early rabbinic) and how these intersect with the narrative and legal material of the Gospels, including inter alia matters of ritual purity (non-sacral food, tithes, hand-washing, vessels, lepra, bodily fluxes), criminal/civil law, sabbath, eschatology, sacrifice, etc.

Papers and the subsequent Q/A will be allotted a total of 45 minutes. Please submit proposals of no more than 500 words to Paul Sloan ( by Dec 31, 2023. Decisions will be conveyed in January 2024. Participation may be in-person or digital (Zoom). Registration is $30 in-person and $10 through Zoom.

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Going Further. . .

In case you would like to explore these issues beyond one weekend, we encourage you to consider the further options with Houston Theological Seminary.

Surveying. We offer several options for those interested to go further without starting up a formal degree program. A surveyor is someone who is taking a course in a not-for-credit capacity, simply for one’s own enjoyment and personal development. The cost to take a class as a surveyor is $180 if registered before the classes start. It is $200 after that. See the list of courses for surveying at our main Houston Theological Seminary page. You can register as a surveyor from here.

Pursuing a Degree. We offer a variety of graduate and undergraduate degrees that focus on biblical, theological, and ministerial studies. For more details, check out the links to our specific degrees through the Department of Theology.