Alpha Cover (v1)

The Project's New Testament journal Alpha, like its Sinological counterpart, Warring States Papers, makes available in conveniently citable form some of the material developed and discussed in our own study group and in its wider acquaintance circle. The scope of Alpha is the early Christian texts and relevant contemporary materials. The first volume of Alpha, with cover date of 2017, will appear in that year, and will issue annually thereafter.

Like its older sister journal, Alpha seeks to apply standard philological methods to major unsolved textual problems: (a) to establish the nature and interrelations of the texts, including the recognition of interpolations and of text growth generally; (b) to date the texts or their constituent layers; and finally (c) to read the history of the period from that newly clarified source material. A distinctive feature of this work is the recovery of a pre-Pauline form of Christian belief and practice, not centered on the death and resurrection of Jesus, but on the ethical and eschatological teachings of Jesus in his lifetime. We have named this Alpha Christianity, in contrast to the Beta or Resurrection Christianity of Paul and later theologians.

To our surprise, these scholarly results have proved to be of interest, and indeed of comfort, to some Christians who have found themselves confused or repelled by many of the late theological doctrines embedded in modern Christianity. It is not our function to found new religions or reform old ones, but we are glad to think that these results may have a wider use. To encourage that use, articles in Alpha are written to make them available to any educated reader, and not only to specialists.

New contributions developing this methodologically fresh beginning are welcome; see the Call for Papers, below.

Information. Here is the basic background information for Alpha:

Volumes. Index pages, with further links to contents and some downloadable preprints, are here:

  • Alpha v1 (2017)
  • Alpha v2 (2018)
  • Alpha v3 (2019)
  • Alpha v4 (2020)

After the print run for each volume is exhausted, the full contents of that volume will be available in permanent free-access form at the University's ScholarWorks archive, and on some commercial databases.

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15 Nov 2014 / Contact Alpha / Exit to Project Home Page