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A Hiatus

This week I need to take a break from my current thread on the development of early Christology. It’s not because I’ve run out of things to say, although that will happen eventually. It’s because I’m completely tied up with something else this week that will be sucking up most of my time and virtually all of my energy.

This week I’m recording a new course for the Teaching Company (now called The Great Courses). If you don’t know about the Great Courses, you should! It’s an amazing outfit. The provide courses on CD or DVD on an enormous number of academic subjects, from astronomy to philosophy to history to classics to music to physics to … well, to you name it. And they do a lot of courses in religion/religious studies.

I buy courses myself to watch. Probably their bestselling professor is Robert Greenberg, a brilliant lecturer and master of all things musical. His course “How to Listen to and Appreciate Great Music” is absolutely fabulous – 48 lectures on the history of Western music (uh, not country-western 🙂 ) from the early Greeks to the early 20th century, with greatest focus, as you would expect, on the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic eras. Now I’m onto something else: my daughter is homeschooling her kids and wants to get “up” on Roman history, and so I’m watching Garrett Fagan’s History of Rome 48-lecture series to see if I can recommend it. I can. Really interesting stuff.

Anyway, I’ve done six courses over the years – but it’s been a long time since the last one. My first two were an Introduction to the New Testament and The Historical Jesus. I really, really thought that the historical Jesus would outsell the NT course; the experts at the company really, really thought it would not; and, as it turns out, they were really, really right. Along with my NT course my best selling one is Lost Christianities. I also have courses on From Jesus to Constantine (a history or earliest Christianity), After the New Testament (largely on the Apostolic Fathers); and a shorter twelve-lecture course (the others are all 24-lectures) on History of the Bible.

So, the course I’m doing now, this week, is The Greatest Controversies in Early Christianity. It too is a 24-lecture course, and deals with issues that have been controversial in modern times about Jesus, the New Testament, and the early Christian church. It includes lectures (all of these are 30 minutes in length) on:

• Was Jesus born in Bethlehem?
• Was Jesus’ mother a virgin?
• Was Jesus married?
• Is Jesus in the Dead Sea Scrolls?
• Is Paul the Founder of Christianity?
• Were the Jews expecting a Suffering Messiah?
• Did the Disciples Write the Gospels?
• Does the Book of Revelation Predictour Future?
• Did the Early Christians Believe in the Trinity?
• Is the Old Testament a Christian Book?
• Who Decided Which Books Should be in the New Testament?

And, well, a bunch of others – 24 altogether. As I think I mentioned in an earlier blog, this course (unlike my others) will be audio-only. And I’m recording six lectures a day for four days in a row. I’m planning on being completely exhausted at the end, and Friday night, I’m having a big cigar and a big martini!


Why The Gospels Are Anonymous
From Jeff Siker: A Response to Comments

11

Comments

  1. Avatar
    dallaswolf  February 26, 2013

    Break a leg, Bart!

  2. Avatar
    bamurray  February 26, 2013

    Agree about Robert Greenberg’s courses! In fact, I think I first heard of you by seeing the listings for your courses in the Teaching Company catalog while listening to “How to Listen To and Appreciate Great Music.” That led me to your books, and ultimately to this blog.

  3. Avatar
    toejam  February 26, 2013

    Fantastic. I just recently finished watching the NT and Lost Christianities lecture DVDs. Looking forward to hearing this one!

  4. Avatar
    seeker_of_truth  February 26, 2013

    Thank you for the pointer to Robert Greenberg.

  5. Avatar
    RonaldTaska  February 26, 2013

    I have studied all six of your previous courses and highly recommend them, especially for their clarity. Some of the other religious and philosophy courses offered by the Teaching Company are difficult to follow. This new course looks quite good and I wish you luck with the task. To those readers who may not know this, most of the courses periodically go on sale dramatically lowering the cost.

  6. Avatar
    Adam0685  February 26, 2013

    I very much enjoy Great Courses…and https://www.coursera.org/ (which is free courses)

  7. Avatar
    wisemenwatch  February 26, 2013

    Hope you have a little fun on your working vacation, Dr. Ehrman. I’ll use this time to catch up on some of the reading here.

    Arrivederci!

  8. Avatar
    Scott F  February 27, 2013

    Give ’em hell! And enjoy!

  9. Avatar
    Wilusa  February 28, 2013

    Just had the thought that since the NT lectures were released first, some people who’d purchased them may have thought nothing much could be added in lectures on the Historical Jesus. (I didn’t make that mistake!) Perhaps all they really wanted to know was whether there was scholarly agreement on a certain few points, and whichever lecture series was released first would have given them their answers.

  10. Avatar
    mark  February 28, 2013

    The Great Courses has many superb art history, ancient history, science, etc. courses, there are simply too many to list. But besides picking up Bart’s six courses, which are all excellent, I’d also recommend (when it goes on sale) a 36 lecture course titled “Holy Land Revealed” by Prof. Jodi Magness. I guess it is sort of like an OT and NT biblical archaeology course, it was certainly very interesting.

  11. Avatar
    eyesopening  March 2, 2013

    I believe it was around late December when I ran across one of your lectures (Lost Christianities) on YouTube. Wow!!! After a few days YouTube yanked them down (I had only watched two lectures prior to this). After some Googling I ran across The Great Courses and purchased two of your series. They were on sale at the time of 70% off. I should have purchased your entire lecture series back then.

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