Two prominent New Testament scholars, Melanie Johnson-DeBaufre, Th.D., of Drew University Theological School in New Jersey, and Robert J. Miller, Ph.D., of Juniata College in Pennsylvania will lead a Jesus Seminar on the Road (JSOR) at the Chestnut Hill United Church, 8812 Germantown Ave., on April 19 and 20 on the topic “Jesus in the First and Twenty-First Centuries.”

Westar Institute Fellows Johnson-DeBaufre and Miller will provide their insights and engage participants in a discussion about the relationship of Christianity to contemporary politics, economics, and global power. Westar Institute is a member-supported, nonprofit research and educational institute founded in 1986 and dedicated to the advancement of religious literacy.

Hal Taussig, Ph.D., co-pastor of Chestnut Hill United Church and visiting professor at New York’s Union Theological Seminary, will wrap up the two-day seminar with a presentation that addresses his newest research and 12th publication on Christian origins.

Taussig convened 19 spiritual leaders and religious scholars from across America who selected 10 often-overlooked gospels, letters, and prayers to add to the New Testament, resulting in his newly-released book “A New New Testament: A Bible for the 21st Century Combining Traditional and Newly Discovered Texts.”

Like many other New Testament scholars, Taussig concludes that this unorthodox collection of texts could shed as much light on the origins of Christianity as do the formal books of the New Testament.

All sessions will take place at Chestnut Hill United Church and are open to the public. Attendees who register by April 5 will receive a 20 percent discount. Registrations can be submitted online at or by calling Westar Institute at 503-375-5323.

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