Lost Christianities: Christian Scriptures and the Battles over Authentication [TTC Video]

Lost Christianities: Christian Scriptures and the Battles over Authentication [TTC Video]
Lost Christianities: Christian Scriptures and the Battles over Authentication [TTC Video] by Bart D Ehrman
Course No 6593 | MKV, AVC, 710x480 | AAC, 64 kbps, 2 Ch | 24x30 mins | 7.33GB

In the first centuries after Christ, there was no "official" New Testament. Instead, early Christians read and fervently followed a wide variety of Scriptures—many more than we have today.

Relying on these writings, Christians held beliefs that today would be considered bizarre. Some believed that there were two, 12, or as many as 30 gods. Some thought that a malicious deity, rather than the true God, created the world. Some maintained that Christ's death and resurrection had nothing to do with salvation while others insisted that Christ never really died at all.

What did these "other" Scriptures say? Do they exist today? How could such outlandish ideas ever be considered Christian? If such beliefs were once common, why do they no longer exist? These are just a few of the many provocative questions that arise from Lost Christianities: Christian Scriptures and the Battles over Authentication.

The Struggle Within Christianity

"This is a highly educational trip into the confusion that often existed in the early church and how the church moved from there to the point of a consistent creed," writes Harold McFarland, editor of Midwest Book Review. Professor Bart D. Ehrman, who has recorded The Historical Jesus and The New Testament for The Teaching Company, returns to lend his expert guidance as you follow scholars' efforts to recover knowledge of early Christian groups that lost the struggle for converts, and simply disappeared.

This course focuses on the remarkable fact that many of the struggles of early Christians were not against pagans or other nonbelievers but against other Christians. Professor Ehrman will introduce you to these groups.

The Ebionites were Jewish Christians who followed Jewish laws but accepted Jesus as the Messiah without believing he was divine.

The Marcionites rejected Judaism completely to the extent that they believed that the God of the Old Testament and the God of Jesus were two separate Gods.

And the Gnostics believed that there was one true God but that there were also many other deities. In addition, they thought salvation came not from Christ's death and resurrection but from secret knowledge, or gnosis, of who one really was, where one came from, and how one could return to the heavenly home.

Surprising "Other" Gospels, and a Remarkable Archaeological Find

The fascinating heart of this course is its exploration of the Scriptures that were read and considered authoritative by these Christian sects. Many now are either known or believed to be "pseudepigrapha"—forgeries written in the names of famous apostles.

Whatever their origins, these documents can be viewed as lost versions of the New Testament. They provide a fascinating opportunity to study little known and sometimes controversial Scriptures that might have become part of the Bible.

The Gnostic Gospel of Truth is one of the most powerful and moving expositions of the joy of salvation to survive from Christian antiquity. Ironically, its views are diametrically opposed to those that dominate Christian belief today.

The Infancy Gospels, such as the Proto-Gospel of James and the Infancy Gospel of Thomas, describe events leading up to Jesus' birth and during his young childhood. Scholars are unsure whether they were meant to be taken seriously or merely served as entertaining fictions about a period of Christ's life for which other Scriptures provide little or no information.

The Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles, unlike the book of Acts that is in the New Testament, focus on the lives and exploits of individual apostles. They provide legendary, imaginative, and entertaining accounts of the activities of Jesus' closest followers.

Among the Scriptures you will study are two that have gained a measure of notoriety. The Coptic Gospel of Thomas is the one Gospel outside the New Testament that has caused the greatest stir among scholars and public alike. Purporting to be written by the twin brother of Jesus, it consists of 114 secret sayings of Jesus that are the keys to eternal life.

Could this be related to the sources from which the Gospels of Matthew and Luke were written? Or is it a Gnostic Scripture that was drafted later? Professor Ehrman weighs in with his and other scholars' best guesses.

Even more tantalizing, perhaps, is The Secret Gospel of Mark. Evidence for this remarkable document—a possible second Gospel by Mark, written specifically for the spiritual elite—was discovered by a highly respected authority on Christian antiquity, Morton Smith.

Smith's discovery may truly be an astonishing find. Then again, it may be an amazing feat of forgery. Adding to the mystery is the fact that the letter has been locked away in a library in Jerusalem and is unavailable for analysis by other scholars.

In these lectures you will also hear about a remarkable archaeological event: the discovery in 1945 of a treasure trove of missing Gnostic Scriptures at Nag Hammadi, an Egyptian village near the city of Luxor.

Consisting of 13 leather-bound volumes unearthed in an ancient grave by Bedouin camel drivers (the full story, which you will hear, resembles the plot of a bestselling adventure novel), the Nag Hammadi Library, as it came to be known, was a watershed event in the search for lost Christianities.

It proved to be an invaluable collection of original writings by Gnostic Christians. Scholars had known many of these only through references in written attacks against the Gnostics by such church fathers as Tertullian of Carthage (A.D. 200) and Hippolytus of Rome (c. A.D. 200). As you will discover, the library verified much that had been known about Gnosticism but also revealed significant misconceptions.

Are There Forgeries in the New Testament?

But: If all of these Christian Scriptures existed, how was the New Testament we now know put together and approved?

Who decided which books should be included? On what grounds?

How do we know that those who selected the final books got it right? If many of these writings were forgeries, how can we be sure that forgeries weren't included in the New Testament?

These are questions that naturally arise from the search for lost Christianities, and which make it such a new and appealing subject to study.

Lost Christianities: Christian Scriptures and the Battles over Authentication [TTC Video]

@War: The Rise of the Military-Internet Complex [Audiobook]

@War: The Rise of the Military-Internet Complex [Audiobook]
@War: The Rise of the Military-Internet Complex [Audiobook] by Shane Harris, read by
2014 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 9 hrs 43 mins | 268.14MB

A surprising, pause-resistant account of how the wars of the future are already being fought today

The United States military currently views cyberspace as the "fifth domain" of warfare - alongside land, sea, air, and space - and the Department of Defense, National Security Agency, and CIA all field teams of hackers who can - and do - launch computer virus strikes against enemy targets. In fact, as @War shows, US hackers were crucial to our victory in Iraq.

Shane Harris delves into the front lines of America's new cyberwar. As recent revelations have shown, government agencies are joining with tech giants like Google and Facebook to collect vast amounts of information. The military has also formed a new alliance with tech and finance companies to patrol cyberspace, and Harris offers a deeper glimpse into this partnership than we have ever seen before. Finally, Harris explains what the new cybersecurity regime means for all of us who spend our daily lives bound to the Internet - and are vulnerable to its dangers.

Battlefield America: The War on the American People [Audiobook]

Battlefield America: The War on the American People [Audiobook]
Battlefield America: The War on the American People [Audiobook] by John W Whitehead, read by Eric G Dove
2015 | MP3@64 kbps | 8 hrs 1 min | 222.45MB

In Battlefield America: The War on the American People, the follow-up to his award-winning book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead paints a terrifying portrait of a nation at war with itself and which is on the verge of undermining the basic freedoms guaranteed to the citizenry in the Constitution. Indeed, police have been transformed into extensions of the military, towns and cities have become battlefields, and the American people have been turned into enemy combatants, to be spied on, tracked, scanned, frisked, searched, subjected to all manner of intrusions, intimidated, invaded, raided, manhandled, censored, silenced, shot at, locked up, and denied due process.

Yet this police state did not come about overnight. As Whitehead notes, this shift into totalitarianism cannot be traced back to a single individual or event. Rather, the evolution has been so subtle that most American citizens were hardly even aware of it taking place. Yet little by little, police authority expanded, one weapon after another was added to the police arsenal, and one exception after another was made to the standards that have historically restrained police authority. Add to this mix the merger of Internet megacorporations with government intelligence agencies, and you have the making of an electronic concentration camp that not only sees the citizenry as databits but will attempt to control every aspect of their lives. And if someone dares to step out of line, they will most likely find an armed SWAT team at their door.

Bloody Ridge and Beyond: A World War II Marine's Memoir of Edson's Raiders in the Pacific [Audiobook]

Bloody Ridge and Beyond: A World War II Marine's Memoir of Edson's Raiders in the Pacific [Audiobook]
Bloody Ridge and Beyond: A World War II Marine's Memoir of Edson's Raiders in the Pacific [Audiobook] by Marlin Groft, Larry Alexander, read by Joe Barrett
2014 | MP3@64 kbps | 12 hrs 13 mins | 335.86MB

A story of sacrifice and defiance at Guadalcanal, from the New York Times best-selling coauthor of A Higher Call and Biggest Brother.

On the killing ground that was the island of Guadalcanal, a 2,000-yard-long ridge rose from the jungle canopy. Behind it lay the all-important air base of Henderson Field. And if Henderson Field fell, it would mean the almost certain death or capture of all 12,500 marines on the island.

But the marines positioned on the ridge were no normal fighters - they were the hard-fighting men of Edson's Raiders, an elite fighting unit within an already elite Marine Corps. Handpicked for their toughness and submitted to a rigorous training program to weed out those less fit, they were the best of the best.

For two hellish nights in September 1942, about 840 marines - commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Merritt Austin "Red Mike" Edson - fought one of the most pivotal battles of World War II in the Pacific, clinging desperately to their position on what would soon be known as Bloody Ridge.

Wave after wave of attacking Japanese soldiers were repelled by the Raiders, who knew that defeat and retreat were simply not options. In the end, and - against all odds, - the defenders prevailed.

Bloody Ridge and Beyond is the story of the First Marine Raider Battalion, which showed courage and valor in the face of overwhelming numbers, as told by Marlin Groft, a man who was a member of this incredible fighting force.

Paris at the End of the World: The City of Light During the Great War [EPUB]

Paris at the End of the World: The City of Light During the Great War [EPUB]
Paris at the End of the World: The City of Light During the Great War, 1914-1918 by John Baxter
2014 | EPUB | 7.32MB

A preeminent writer on Paris, John Baxter brilliantly brings to life one of the most dramatic and fascinating periods in the city’s history.

From 1914 through 1918 the terrifying sounds of World War I could be heard from inside the French capital. For four years, Paris lived under constant threat of destruction. And yet in its darkest hour, the City of Light blazed more brightly than ever. It’s taxis shuttled troops to the front; its great railway stations received reinforcements from across the world; the grandest museums and cathedrals housed the wounded, and the Eiffel Tower hummed at all hours relaying messages to and from the front.

At night, Parisians lived with urgency and without inhibition. Artists like Pablo Picasso achieved new creative heights. And the war brought a wave of foreigners to the city for the first time, including Ernest Hemingway and Baxter’s own grandfather, Archie, whose diaries he used to reconstruct a soldier’s-eye view of the war years. A revelatory achievement, Paris at the End of the World shows how this extraordinary period was essential in forging the spirit of the city beloved today.

The Most Beautiful Walk in the World: A Pedestrian in Paris [EPUB]

The Most Beautiful Walk in the World: A Pedestrian in Paris [EPUB]
The Most Beautiful Walk in the World: A Pedestrian in Paris by John Baxter
2011 | EPUB | 10.23MB

Thrust into the unlikely role of professional "literary walking tour" guide, an expat writer provides the most irresistibly witty and revealing tour of Paris in years.

In this enchanting memoir, acclaimed author and long- time Paris resident John Baxter remembers his yearlong experience of giving "literary walking tours" through the city. Baxter sets off with unsuspecting tourists in tow on the trail of Paris's legendary artists and writers of the past. Along the way, he tells the history of Paris through a brilliant cast of characters: the favorite cafés of Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and James Joyce; Pablo Picasso's underground Montmartre haunts; the bustling boulevards of the late-nineteenth-century flâneurs; the secluded "Little Luxembourg" gardens beloved by Gertrude Stein; the alleys where revolutionaries plotted; and finally Baxter's own favorite walk near his home in Saint-Germain-des-Prés.

War at the End of the World: Douglas MacArthur and the Forgotten Fight for New Guinea [Audiobook]

War at the End of the World: Douglas MacArthur and the Forgotten Fight for New Guinea [Audiobook]
War at the End of the World: Douglas MacArthur and the Forgotten Fight for New Guinea 1942-1945 [Audiobook] by James P Duffy, read by
2016 | M4B@64 kbps | 14 hrs 6 mins | 385.74MB

One American soldier called it "a green hell on Earth". Monsoon-soaked wilderness, debilitating heat, impassable mountains, torrential rivers, and disease-infested swamps - New Guinea was a battleground far more deadly than the most fanatical of enemy troops. Japanese forces numbering some 600,000 men began landing in January 1942, determined to seize the island as a cornerstone of the empire's strategy to knock Australia out of the war. Allied commander-in-chief General Douglas MacArthur committed 340,000 Americans, in addition to tens of thousands of Australian, Dutch, and New Guinean troops, to retake New Guinea at all costs.

In this gripping narrative, historian James P. Duffy chronicles the most ruthless combat of the Pacific War, a fight complicated by rampant tropical disease, violent rainstorms, and unforgiving terrain that punished both Axis and Allied forces alike. Drawing on primary sources, War at the End of the World fills in a crucial gap in the history of World War II while offering listeners a narrative of the first rank.

The War State: The Cold War Origins Of The Military-Industrial Complex And The Power Elite [Audiobook]

The War State: The Cold War Origins Of The Military-Industrial Complex And The Power Elite [Audiobook]
The War State: The Cold War Origins Of The Military-Industrial Complex And The Power Elite, 1945-1963 [Audiobook] by Michael Swanson, read by Larry Wayne
2014 | M4B@64 kbps | 8 hrs 37 mins | 235.39MB

Today when you factor in the interest on the national debt from past wars and total defense expenditures the United States spends almost 40% of its federal budget on the military. It accounts for over 46% of total world arms spending.

Before World War II it spent almost nothing on defense and hardly anyone paid any income taxes. You can't have big wars without big government. Such big expenditures are now threatening to harm the national economy. How did this situation come to be?

In this book you'll learn how in the critical 20 years after World War II the United States changed from being a continental democratic republic to a global imperial superpower. Since then nothing has ever been the same again. In this book you will discover this secret history of the United States that formed the basis of the world we live in today.

You will discover:

  • How the end of European colonialism created a power vacuum that the United States used to create a new type of world empire backed by the most powerful military force in human history.
  • Why the Central Intelligence Agency was created and used to interfere in the internal affairs of other nations when the United States Constitution had no mechanism for such imperial activities.
  • How national security bureaucrats got President Harry Truman to approve of a new wild budget busting arms race after World War II that is still going on to this day.
  • Why President Eisenhower really gave his famous warning against the "military-industrial complex."
  • Why during the Kennedy administration the nuclear arms race almost led to the end of the world during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
  • How President Kennedy tried to deal with what had grown into a "permanent government" of power elite national security bureaucrats in the executive branch of the federal government that had become more powerful than the individual president himself.

In this audiobook you will discover this secret history of the United States that formed the basis of the world we live in today.

Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War [Audiobook]

Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War [Audiobook]
Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War [Audiobook] by Michael Isikoff, David Corn, read by Stefan Rudnicki
2006 | M4B@64 kbps + EPUB | 18 hrs 56 mins | 524.0MB

What was really behind the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq? As George W. Bush steered the nation to war, who spoke the truth and who tried to hide it?

This fast-paced, behind-the-scenes narrative tells the inside story of how the Bush administration used bad intelligence to sell and then justify the Iraq war. Veteran reporters Michael Isikoff and David Corn take the reader behind the scenes at the White House, the CIA, the Pentagon, the State Department, and in Congress, where controversial decisions and turf battles were fought in and with the highest circles of the Bush administration.

Hubris connects the dots between George W. Bush's determination to get rid of Saddam Hussein, the role of neoconservatives in pushing the case for war, and the outing of a CIA officer, which led to the indictment of a top White House official. It's a news-making account of conspiracy, backstabbing, ineptitude, and, perhaps most especially, arrogance.

A Symphony in the Brain: The Evolution of the New Brain Wave Biofeedback [Audiobook]

A Symphony in the Brain: The Evolution of the New Brain Wave Biofeedback [Audiobook]
A Symphony in the Brain: The Evolution of the New Brain Wave Biofeedback [Audiobook] by Jim Robbins, read by Victor Bevine
2015 | M4B@64 kbps + EPUB | 9 hrs 53 mins | 270.31MB

A Newly Revised and Expanded Edition

In the decade since Jim Robbins's A Symphony in the Brain was first published, the control of our bodies, brains, and minds has taken remarkable leaps. From neurofeedback with functional magnetic resonance imaging equipment, to the use of radio waves, to biofeedback of the heart and breath, and coverage of biofeedback by health insurance plans, the numerous advances have driven the need for a revised edition to this groundbreaking book that traces the fascinating, untold story of the development of biofeedback.

Discovered by a small corps of research scientists, this alternative treatment allows a patient to see real-time measurements of their bodily processes. Its advocates claim biofeedback can treat epilepsy, autism, attention deficit disorder, addictions, and depression with no drugs or side effects; bring patients out of vegetative states, even improve golf scores or an opera singer's voice. But biofeedback has faced battles for acceptance in the conservative medical world despite positive signs that it could revolutionize the way an incredibly diverse range of medical and psychological problems are treated.

Offering a wealth of powerful case studies, accessible scientific explanations, and dramatic personal accounts, Robbins remarkable history develops our understanding of this important field.

United States of Jihad: Investigating America's Homegrown Terrorists [Audiobook]

United States of Jihad: Investigating America's Homegrown Terrorists [Audiobook]
United States of Jihad: Investigating America's Homegrown Terrorists [Audiobook] by Peter Bergen, read by Nicholas Guy Smith
2016 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 12 hrs 16 mins | 337.81MB

A riveting, panoramic look at "homegrown" Islamist terrorism from 9/11 to the present.

Since 9/11, more than 300 Americans - born and raised in Minnesota, Alabama, New Jersey, and elsewhere - have been indicted or convicted of terrorism charges. Some have taken the fight abroad: An American was among those who planned the attacks in Mumbai, and more than 80 US citizens have been charged with ISIS-related crimes. Others have acted on American soil, as with the attacks at Fort Hood, at the Boston Marathon, and in San Bernardino. What motivates them, how are they trained, and what do we sacrifice in our efforts to track them?

Paced like a detective story, United States of Jihad tells the entwined stories of the key actors on the American front. Among the perpetrators are Anwar al-Awlaki, the New Mexico-born radical cleric who became the first American citizen killed by a CIA drone and who mentored the Charlie Hebdo shooters; Samir Khan, whose Inspire webzine has rallied terrorists around the world, including the Tsarnaev brothers; and Omar Hammami, an Alabama native and hip-hop fan who became a fixture in al Shabaab's propaganda videos until fatally displeasing his superiors.

Drawing on his extensive network of intelligence contacts, from the National Counterterrorism Center and the FBI to the NYPD, Peter Bergen also offers an inside look at the controversial tactics of the agencies tracking potential terrorists, from infiltrating mosques to massive surveillance; at the bias experienced by innocent observant Muslims at the hands of law enforcement; at the critics and defenders of US policies on terrorism; and at how social media has revolutionized terrorism.

Lucid and rigorously researched, United States of Jihad is an essential new analysis of the Americans who have embraced militant Islam both here and abroad.

The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted [Audiobook]

The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted [Audiobook]
The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted [Audiobook] by Mike Lofgren, read by Mel Foster
2012 | M4B@64 kbps + EPUB | 7 hrs 53 mins | 213.72MB

There was a time, not so very long ago, when perfectly rational people ran the Republican Party. So how did the party of Lincoln become the party of lunatics? That is what this book aims to answer. Fear not, the Dems come in for their share of tough talk - they are zombies, a party of the living dead.

Mike Lofgren came to Washington in the early eighties - those halcyon, post-Nixonian glory days - for what he imagined would be a short stint on Capitol Hill. He has witnessed quite a few low points in his 28 years on the Hill - but none quite so pitiful as the antics of the current crop of legislators whom we appear to have elected.

Based on the explosive article Lofgren wrote when he resigned in disgust after the debt ceiling crisis, The Party Is Over is a funny and impassioned exposé of everything that is wrong with Washington. Obama and his tired cohorts are no angels, but they have nothing on the Republicans, whose wily strategists are bankrupting the country one craven vote at a time. Be prepared for some fireworks.

Aristotle's Children: How Christian, Muslims and Jews Rediscovered Ancient Wisdom [Audiobook]

Aristotle's Children: How Christian, Muslims and Jews Rediscovered Ancient Wisdom [Audiobook]
Aristotle's Children: How Christian, Muslims and Jews Rediscovered Ancient Wisdom [Audiobook] by Richard E. Rubenstein, read by Nelson Runger
2004 | M4B@64 kbps + EPUB | 13 hrs 17 mins | 371.09MB

Europe was in the long slumber of the Middle Ages, the Roman Empire was in tatters, and the Greek language was all but forgotten, until a group of twelfth-century scholars rediscovered and translated the works of Aristotle. His ideas spread like wildfire across Europe, offering the scientific view that the natural world, including the soul of man, was a proper subject of study. The rediscovery of these ancient ideas sparked riots and heresy trials, caused major upheavals in the Catholic Church, and also set the stage for today's rift between reason and religion.

In Aristotle's Children, Richard Rubenstein transports us back in history, rendering the controversies of the Middle Ages lively and accessible-and allowing us to understand the philosophical ideas that are fundamental to modern thought.