I am very pleased to announce a free, two-lecture course that I’ll be doing on March 30, 2-4pm EST, called Did Peter Hate Paul?  Check it out: bartehrman.com/peterandpaul

This is part of my now two-year-old venture, Bart Ehrman Courses Online, which is not directly connected with the Blog, though it is indirectly connected to it by virtue of the facts that (a) these online courses cover the kinds of things y’all are almost certainly interested in (since you are, after all, members of a blog that deals with them all the time) and (b) I do ’em both.   You can find a full list of all my courses at  Online Courses by Dr. Bart Ehrman – 10% Off First Course!   And note: you can get a discount on every course by using the code BLOG5

But no discount needed this time!  Unlike most of my online courses, though, this one is FREE.   Wanna come?  You can join me live, no cost, for the two lectures, to be followed by a live Q&A.  By coming, you’ll get a recording of the event at no additional cost for your life-time use, with no requirement that you use it for your entire life….

And if you want just the recording — not to show up live — go to the same site and make a request.  It’s all yours!

Here is a fuller description of the course and a partial list of some of the things I’ll be talking about.


Our earliest description of the opening decades of the Christian movement, the Acts of the Apostles, portrays Peter and Paul in complete harmony with one another, on the same page on every issue, up and down the line.  Other early Christian writings take the opposite view, showing the two most prominent apostles of early Christianity at loggerheads.  Which view is right?

Peter himself did not leave us any writings: 1 and 2 Peter were probably written in his name by later authors, and the Gospel of Peter, the two Apocalypses of Peter, and other writings in his name are later forgeries.  But we do have writings of Paul, and in one of them, the letter to the Galatians, he describes a vitriolic disagreement with Peter leading to a public confrontation.  Nowhere does he indicate that it was resolved.

Readers of Galatians today almost always misunderstand what the dispute was about.  More than that, those who assume that these two key figures of early Christianity must have worked closely in tandem sweep the controversy under the carpet; and on the other end of the spectrum, many more skeptical readers argue there was no common ground between the “Jewish” Christianity of Peter and the “Gentile” Christianity of Paul.

In this course we will be looking closely at all the key evidence for the relationship of Peter and Paul including scarcely-known early Christian writings not included in the New Testament.  We will explore what each text has to say about the matter, consider which ones suggest a “coverup,” and in the end wrestle the crucial historical question: “Did Peter Hate Paul?”

Check it out here:  bartehrman.com/peterandpaul

This course is completely free – both for those who choose to attend the live remote lectures and those who request a recording.  It will consist of two lectures of 30-40 minutes each, followed by a live Q&A.  The following are among the questions we will be addressing:

  • Did Peter insist that Gentile followers of the Jewish Jesus needed to become Jews? That men they had to be circumcised?  That both men and women needed to keep kosher food laws (no more ham!), observe sabbath, and follow the other laws of Moses?
  • Did Paul insist, on the contrary, that if Jews came to believe in Jesus they had to abandon the law of Moses?
  • When Paul described his public altercation with Peter, why did he not report that he succeeded in backing Peter down? Are we to assume that everyone (else) thought he lost?
  • Why does Acts go out of its way to show that Peter and Paul were in complete harmony? Does it seriously alter historical reality to make its point?
  • Is it possible that 1 and 2 Peter (in the New Testament) were forged by a later author claiming to be Peter precisely to show that he embraced Paul and his teaching?
  • Why do some later writings, written in the name of Peter, portray Paul as the arch-heretic whom Peter calls “my enemy”?
  • And finally, was the split between the two apostles described in Galatians, permanent?  Did Peter and Paul, until their dying days, embrace radically different views of what it meant to follow Jesus?


Again, it’s two lectures; March 30, 2-4 pm EST; more information and registration is here: bartehrman.com/peterandpaul