Professor David Brakke, Ph.D., M.Div.

Professor David Brakke
  • The Ohio State University
  • Yale University
What the people we will study would want us to do is to read their texts, to consider with open minds what they teach us, and—just possibly—to pursue our own quests for the truth about God and ourselves—that is, to seek our own gnosis.

Professor David Brakke is the Joe R. Engle Chair in the History of Christianity and Professor of History at The Ohio State University. He received his B.A. in English from the University of Virginia, his M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and his Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Yale University. He taught for 19 years in the Department of Religious Studies at Indiana University.

Professor Brakke has published extensively on the history and literature of ancient Christianity, especially Egyptian Christianity, early monasticism, the formation of the biblical canon, and Gnosticism. His books include The Gnostics: Myth, Ritual, and Diversity in Early Christianity; Demons and the Making of the Monk: Spiritual Combat in Early Christianity; and Introduction to Christianity, with Mary Jo Weaver. He has co-edited six volumes of scholarly essays and contributed nearly 40 articles to professional journals and volumes. From 2005 to 2015, he served as editor of the Journal of Early Christian Studies.

At Indiana University, Professor Brakke received recognition for his teaching and research, including the Outstanding Junior Faculty Award. He has held several important fellowships, including ones from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. He is currently preparing a revised edition of Bentley Layton’s The Gnostic Scriptures.

Testimonials
"Dr. Brakke's lectures have done a masterful job educating me through his manner of clear and inclusive information provided by his method of presentation and as a result of his exemplary scholarship."

19 Courses and Sets

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19 Courses and Sets

  1. Understanding the New Testament Sale

    Understanding the New Testament

    David Brakke
    4.3 out of 5
    88% of reviewers would recommend this product
    (17)
    Save up to $190.00 Starting at $59.95 $269.95 $59.95$269.95
    Join Professor David Brakke, an award-winning Professor of History at The Ohio State University, for Understanding the New Testament. In these 24 eye-opening lectures, he takes you behind the scenes to study not only the text of the New Testament, but also the authors and the world in which it was created.
  2. The Apocryphal Jesus Sale

    The Apocryphal Jesus

    David Brakke
    4.6 out of 5
    92% of reviewers would recommend this product
    (67)
    Save up to $200.00 Starting at $29.95 $269.95 $29.95$269.95
    Much of what we know about Jesus today comes from apocryphal sources rather than the Bible. The Apocryphal Jesus is your chance to learn about the early Christian world from a variety of sources—many of which have been considered heretical. Over 24 revealing lectures, Professor Brakke explores the stories and ideas that shaped the foundations of early Christian thought—and continue to influence Christianity...
  3. Gnosticism: From Nag Hammadi to the Gospel of Judas Sale

    Gnosticism: From Nag Hammadi to the Gospel of Judas

    David Brakke
    4.8 out of 5
    94% of reviewers would recommend this product
    (69)
    Save up to $210.00 Starting at $24.95 $269.95 $24.95$269.95
    Gnosticism, one of the most fascinating phenomena in religious history, sparked ideologies that competed and conversed with other religions of the time, including Christianity. Follow Gnostic ideology and its impact on Western thought through the centuries, from its role in early religions and emergence in medieval spirituality to its remarkable traces in modern popular culture.
  4. (SET) Understanding the New Testament & Introduction to the Qur’an Set

    (SET) Understanding the New Testament & Introduction to the Qur’an

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $404.90 Starting at $404.90 $469.90 $404.90$469.90
    Enjoy two well-rounded introductions to spiritual texts that have changed the nature of faith—and the course of history. In Understanding the New Testament, examine the 27 books of the Christian Bible—and the authors and the world in which they were created—through a historian’s eye. And in Introduction to the Qur’an, follow the history of this remarkable book from its origins as a revelation to Muhammad...
  5. (Set) The Apocryphal Jesus & Lost Christianities Set

    (Set) The Apocryphal Jesus & Lost Christianities

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $279.90 Starting at $279.90 $524.90 $279.90$524.90
    Study non-canonical Christian literature to deepen your knowledge of Jesus, his family, and the apostles with this two-course set. Explore the wealth of early Christian literature with The Apocryphal Jesus. Then, discover the works that early Christians read and fervently followed with Lost Christianities: Christian Scriptures and the Battles over Authentication.
  6. (Set) Gnosticism & The Greatest Controversies of Early Christian History Set

    (Set) Gnosticism & The Greatest Controversies of Early Christian History

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $279.90 Starting at $279.90 $279.90 $279.90$279.90
    Explore controversies in Christianity with this set. In Gnosticism: From Nag Hammadi to the Gospel of Judas, fill in the gaps in your knowledge about gnosticism and its influences on Christianity. Then, in The Greatest Controversies in Early Christian History, get answers to some very thought-provoking questions.
  7. (SET) Understanding the New Testament & The Apocryphal Jesus Set

    (SET) Understanding the New Testament & The Apocryphal Jesus

    David Brakke
    Starting at $469.90 Starting at $469.90 $539.90 $469.90$539.90
    Make sense of the life and times of Jesus with this two-course set that places him in the context of both the canonical New Testament and Christian apocrypha. In Understanding the New Testament, examine the 27 books of the Christian Bible—and the authors and the world in which they were created—through a historian’s eye. Then, in The Apocryphal Jesus, use apocryphal texts to glean insights into the early...
  8. (Set) The Apocryphal Jesus & Jesus and His Jewish Influences Set

    (Set) The Apocryphal Jesus & Jesus and His Jewish Influences

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $299.90 Starting at $299.90 $539.90 $299.90$539.90
    Dive deeply into the story of Jesus with this two-course set. Gain a new perspective on early Christian life and history with The Apocryphal Jesus. Then, delve into ancient Judaism and the roots of Jesus’s ministry with Jesus and His Jewish Influences.
  9. (Set) Gnosticism & Sacred Texts of the World Set

    (Set) Gnosticism & Sacred Texts of the World

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $349.90 Starting at $349.90 $644.90 $349.90$644.90
    Deepen your understanding of religion with this set. In Gnosticism: From Nag Hammadi to the Gospel of Judas, fill in the gaps in your knowledge about gnosticism and its influences on Christianity. Then, in Sacred Texts of the World, explore the various works that inform and inspire religious people from all walks of life.
  10. (Set) Gnosticism & The World of Biblical Israel Set

    (Set) Gnosticism & The World of Biblical Israel

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $279.90 Starting at $279.90 $524.90 $279.90$524.90
    Take a new look at the oldest parts of Christianity with this two-course set. Start with an in-depth look at one of the most fascinating phenomena in religious history: Gnosticism: From Nag Hammadi to the Gospel of Judas. Then, look at the environment that gave birth to the Bible in The World of Biblical Israel.
  11. (Set) Gnosticism & Apocalypse Set

    (Set) Gnosticism & Apocalypse

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $279.90 Starting at $279.90 $524.90 $279.90$524.90
    Get to know Judas Iscariot with this set. In Gnosticism: From Nag Hammadi to the Gospel of Judas, fill in the gaps in your knowledge about gnosticism and its influences on Christianity. Then, delve deeper into the historical literature with The Gospel of Judas & Apocalypse.
  12. (SET) Understanding the New Testament & Gnosticism Set

    (SET) Understanding the New Testament & Gnosticism

    David Brakke
    Starting at $469.90 Starting at $469.90 $539.90 $469.90$539.90
    Make sense of the beliefs of early Christians and Gnostics with this pair of courses that uses literary works to lay bare the secrets of religious faith. Examine the 27 books of the Christian Bible—and the authors and the world in which they were created—through a historian’s eye in Understanding the New Testament. Then, immerse yourself in the writings, rituals, and outstanding figures of the Gnostic...
  13. (Set) The Apocryphal Jesus & How Jesus Became God Set

    (Set) The Apocryphal Jesus & How Jesus Became God

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $299.90 Starting at $299.90 $539.90 $299.90$539.90
    Deepen your understanding of Jesus with this two-course set. Explore the wealth of early Christian literature with The Apocryphal Jesus. Then, dive deeply into the process by which the divinity of Jesus was first conceived by his followers with How Jesus Became God.
  14. (Set) Gnosticism & How Jesus Became God Set

    (Set) Gnosticism & How Jesus Became God

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $299.90 Starting at $299.90 $539.90 $299.90$539.90
    Study the history of Christianity with this set. In Gnosticism: From Nag Hammadi to the Gospel of Judas, fill in the gaps in your knowledge about gnosticism and its influences on Christianity. Then, in How Jesus Became God, follow the historical documents about Jesus's life, his death, and his followers.
  15. (SET) Understanding the New Testament & Reading Biblical Literature Set

    (SET) Understanding the New Testament & Reading Biblical Literature

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $569.90 Starting at $569.90 $654.90 $569.90$654.90
    How does the written word help us better understand the nature of Christian teachings? Discover the answer in this course set that pairs Understanding the New Testament with Reading Biblical Literature: Genesis to Revelation. In the first course, examine the 27 books of the Christian Bible—and the authors and the world in which they were created—through a historian’s eye. In the second, approach the Bible as a...
  16. (Set) The Apocryphal Jesus & Holy Land Revealed Set

    (Set) The Apocryphal Jesus & Holy Land Revealed

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $554.90 Starting at $554.90 $644.90 $554.90$644.90
    Explore new perspectives of Christianity with this two-course set. Round out your understanding of Christianity’s origins by surveying the wealth of literature beyond the New Testament with The Apocryphal Jesus. Then, add new dimensions to your understanding of the millennia-long narrative of a dynamic place with Holy Land Revealed.
  17. (Set) Gnosticism & Lost Christianities Set

    (Set) Gnosticism & Lost Christianities

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $279.90 Starting at $279.90 $524.90 $279.90$524.90
    Dig deep into scripture with this set. In Gnosticism: From Nag Hammadi to the Gospel of Judas, fill in the gaps in your knowledge about gnosticism and its influences on Christianity. Then, in Lost Christianities, explore the various books that did not make the cut to be included in the Bible.
  18. (SET) Understanding the New Testament & Understanding the Old Testament Set on sale

    (SET) Understanding the New Testament & Understanding the Old Testament

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Save up to $397.00 Starting at $106.90 $539.90 $106.90$539.90
    Gain new levels of understanding into two of the most important spiritual texts in the history of human civilization with this illuminating two-course set. First, in Understanding the New Testament, examine the 27 books of the Christian Bible—and the authors and the world in which they were created—through a historian’s eye. Then, in Understanding the Old Testament, join a leading biblical scholar and...
  19. (Set) The Apocryphal Jesus & Gnosticism Set on sale

    (Set) The Apocryphal Jesus & Gnosticism

    David Brakke
    Save up to $424.00 Starting at $48.90 $539.90 $48.90$539.90
    Discover the true breadth and depth of the early Christian world with this two-course set. Study non-canonical Christian literature to deepen your knowledge of Jesus, his family, and the apostles with The Apocryphal Jesus. Then, immerse yourself in the theology, sacred writings, rituals, and outstanding human figures of the Gnostic movement with Gnosticism: From Nag Hammadi to the Gospel of Judas.