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Neustadt Lectures 2017

February 9, 2017

Jewish and Christian Scriptural Traditions: Canonicity - Considering Dead Sea Scrolls and Other Discoveries

February 9, 2017


2501 N. Blackwelder

Oklahoma City University

1 PM: Bishop Angie Smith Chapel

Psalm 11 in Jewish and Christian Tradition

Different Religious Perspectives

Rabbi Vered L. Harris, Rabbi Abby Jacobson, Rev. Dr. Marty Alan Michelson, Rev. Dr. Lisa M. Wolfe

2:30 PM: Watson-Lounge Chapel

Dead Sea Scrolls Research in Oklahoma

An Unknown Fragment and a Psalm 11 Fragment

Dr. Marty Alan Michelson and Dr. Lisa M. Wolfe

7:00 PM: Temple B'nai Israel

What Constitutes Scripture in Judaism and Christianity?

Rabbi Vered L. Harris, Rabbi Abby Jacobson, Rev. Dr. Marty Alan Michelson, Rev. Dr. Lisa M. Wolfe

In the Fall of 2013, Drs. Lisa Wolfe at OCU and Marty Michelson at SNU began working with their students to research previously unpublished Dead Sea Scroll fragments from the Museum of the Bible collection. They discovered new insights as they examined these scrolls, but how do those insights affect the way scripture is viewed? Representatives from the Jewish and Christian communities will share and engage in discussion as they examine how such discoveries affect their own understanding of canon.


Rabbi Vered L. Harris, RJE, has served Temple B’nai Israel in Oklahoma City since July 2012. Her Master of Arts degrees in Hebrew Letters and Jewish Education are from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, and her undergraduate degree in Liberal Studies is from California State University Northridge. Rabbi Harris’ professional interests include teaching, building bridges between the Temple and other communities in Oklahoma City, and intentionally applying religious values to daily living. Prior to moving to Oklahoma, Rabbi Harris was the Education Rabbi at Congregation Beth Torah in Overland Park, KS, 2000-2012. Rabbi Harris and her husband Benjamin married in 1996, and live in Edmond with their three daughters.

Abby Jacobson is Rabbi at Emanuel Synagogue, and has been there since 2009. Abby was born on a cattle ranch in central Florida, outside a small town called Davenport, where she and her family belonged to the only synagogue in the county. She attended high school in Richmond, Virginia, and graduated with a degree in International Affairs the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. She then moved to Jerusalem to attend the Conservative Yeshiva, where she devoted two years to learning Jewish texts – not for a degree, but for the pure joy of Jewish learning. She was also fortunate enough to meet her husband, Juan Mejía, on the first day of Talmud class. By then, Abby had decided to become a rabbi. Her early experiences with a small Jewish community convinced her of the importance of serving small communities, bringing Torah and Jewish tradition to the Jewish world outside the major metropolitan areas. Both Abby and her husband, Juan, were ordained from the Jewish Theological Seminary in May 2009. Juan runs an online Jewish learning center, teaching classes in both Spanish and English, translating Jewish resources into Spanish, and helping people with Crypto-Jewish heritage to return to Judaism if they wish.

Marty Alan Michelson maintains an active academic and advocacy profile engaging: Peacemaking, Human Personhood, Biblical Interpretation, Religious and Church Identity, Jewish History, Global Stewardship, Public Policy, and Political Advocacy. Marty has earned professional certification in Peace and Conflict Resolution and in Leadership Education. Marty holds three earned Masters Degrees (in Religion and Marriage & Family Therapy) and the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D. Manchester, U.K.). Marty speaks to civic and faith based groups and engages politicians & humanitarian agencies on issues of peacemaking. As a scholar and as a person, Marty is committed to research that engages real human persons, effecting positive social change for the good of the world. Marty is Founder and Director of the Eupan Global Initiative ( working to advance "the good for the all." Marty is the author of many articles and books including; Reconciling Violence and Kingship and The Greatest commandment: The LORD’s Invitation to Love. Marty's wife, Robyn, contributes to his life in myriad ways and they keep up with three active late teenage children. Select lectures, sermons & thoughts are available at:

The Rev. Dr. Lisa M. Wolfe is Professor in the Endowed Chair of Hebrew Bible at Oklahoma City University, and affiliate faculty for Saint Paul School of Theology at OCU. She received her Ph.D. from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary and Northwestern University in 2003, was ordained in the United Church of Christ in 2000, and received her M.Div. from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, OH in 1996. In 2010, Living the Questions released Lisa's Bible Study DVDs "Uppity Women of the Bible: Ruth, Song of Songs, Esther, and Judith." Cascade Books published the companion book to that series, Ruth, Esther, Song of Songs and Judith in 2011. From 2013-‘16, Lisa worked with her Hebrew students researching a Dead Sea Scroll fragment from the Museum of the Bible Collection; their collaborative work was published by Brill in 2016. Lisa is currently working on a book project on Ecclesiastes. She lives in Oklahoma City with her husband Fred Mischler, and their two children.

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