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A New Box on Why A (Christian) Author Would Lie About Who He Was

This will be the last of my posts giving new “boxes” from the recently finished (and now sent to the publisher) edition of my textbook, The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings.   This box tries to explain how there could be “forgeries” in the NT, that is, books whose authors claimed to be a famous person, knowing full well they were someone else.  In the ancient world, these books were called “lies” (pseudoi) or “books inscribed with a lie” (pseudepigrapha).   But why would a Christian author lie about who he was?  How could he live with himself?  To set up the box, I will first quote a paragraph from my book Forged, about the author of Ephesians, who claimed to be Paul (lying about it), even though he placed such a premium on the “truth.” It is striking that in his instructions about the Christian “armor” the author of Ephesians also tells his readers to “fasten the belt of truth around your waist” (6:14).  Truth was important for this writer.  Early [...]

Who Changed the Bible and Why? Diane Rehm Show

When my book Misquoting Jesus came out, I had a number of radio and television interviews, including this -- one of my favorites, on the The Diane Rehm Show (December 5, 2005).  The show is produced at WAMU 88.5 and distributed by National Public Radio, NPR Worldwide, and SIRIUS satellite radio. This episode was called "Who Changed the Bible and Why?" In the interview I talk about how scribes copying the NT made both mistakes and intentional changes, and how some of these changes involve widely held beliefs about the divinity of Jesus, the Trinity, and the divine origins of the Bible itself.  Other issues were raised as well, including, for example, homosexuality as understood in Jesus' time and the Christmas holiday. Please adjust gear icon for 720p High-Definition:

2017-12-14T10:26:50-05:00November 2nd, 2014|Public Forum, Video Media|

Why I’m To Be Pitied for Having Been the Wrong Kind of Fundamentalist

Several readers of this blog have pointed me to an article in the conservative journal First Things;  the article (a review of a book by the  evangelical scholar Craig Blomberg) was written by Louis Markos, an English professor at Houston Baptist University.  The title is called “Ehrman Errant.”   I must say, that did not sound like a promising beginning. I had never heard of Louis Markos before – had certainly never met him, talked with him about myself or my life, shared with him my views of important topics, spent time to see how he ticked and to let him see how I do.   I don’t know the man, and he doesn’t me.  And so it was with some considerable surprise that I read the beginning of his article. “I feel great pity for Bart Ehrman.” So, from someone I don’t know, that’s a bit of a shocker.   I can understand why a friend of mine might feel some (but not great?) pity for me at some points of my life – when I had [...]

2020-04-03T16:28:08-04:00November 1st, 2014|Bart's Critics, Bart’s Biography, Public Forum|
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