Harvard course on the Bible has 22,000 students from 180 countries

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 22 2014 3:50 p.m. MST

A new Harvard class on the Bible has 22,000 students from 180 countries.

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It’s not everyday a college-level class has 22,000 students from 180 countries.

But that’s the case for Early Christianity, a class taught by Harvard professor Laura Nasrallah as a part of the universitiy's edX online program, which is a massive online open course recently started by the school, The Huffington Post reported.

The class, which began last week, has 22,000 students registered for the class, with 14,343 students accessing the software already, The Huffington Post reported. HuffPost has a map of the different countries represented in the class, including the United States, Canada, Brazil, India, China and Australia.

"The day the course launched was astonishing — like drinking from a fire hose,” said Nasrallah to The Huffington Post. “The edX discussion threads couldn't handle the amount of people who were commenting, and crashed and slowed down. More people participated on Poetry Genius that day than ever before — the apostle Paul beat out Beyonce!"

This new course looks at Paul’s letters throughout history, including their effects on the Roman Empire and today’s society, HuffPost reported.

"The letters of Paul are the earliest texts in the Christian scriptures, written by a Jew at a time when the word 'Christian' hadn’t yet been coined,” according the syllabus, The Huffington Post reported. “What is the religious and political context into which they emerged? How were they first interpreted? How and why do they make such an enormous impact in Christian communities and in politics today?" are topics of study.

Read the full article at HuffingtonPost.com.

Email: hscribner@deseretnews.com

Twitter: @hscribner

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