What Does the Name Judas “Iscariot” Mean?

I received a number of questions about Judas Iscariot from my recent post.   I had dealt with many of these within living memory on the blog, but given their frequency, I think I should deal with them again.  Here is one of the most frequent:

QUESTION:

I read somewhere that “Iscariot” was a version of “Judas the Sicarii” which as it was handed down orally got altered. Is there any truth to this?

RESPONSE:

Behind this question is a bit ...

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Can My Undergraduate Students Continue Believing the Bible is Inerrant?

Since my conference in Chicago last weekend I’ve been thinking a lot about the theologically conservative folk who really believe there can be no mistakes in the Bible.  And just now browsing through some posts five years ago, I see someone raised a very interesting question about it, in relationship to my teaching at UNC.  Here’s the question and my response.  I would still answer the same way today!

 

QUESTION:

Do you ever get a student in your class who doggedly insists ...

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Why Would Jesus’ Disciples Doubt the Resurrection?

I was just now browsing through posts from seven years ago, and came across this one, which is related to questions I get from time to time.  It is an absolutely fundamental issue for Christian faith, but I almost *never* see anyone talk about it.  Surprising!  Here’s the interesting question and my response (back when I was starting just to do work on the resurrection stories for my book How Jesus Became God).

 

QUESTION:

Are we to understand from this that ...

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How Did We Get *These* 27 Books in the New Testament?

I often receive questions about how we got the canon of the New Testament.   We have twenty-seven books in it.  Who decided?  On what grounds?  And when?  Here is a recent question on the matter.

 

QUESTION

I have always wondered about the men (only men!) who decided “this one’s in . . . that one’s out!” back in 325 (was it 325?) at Trullan, Rome, Trent and where else? Nicea?

 

RESPONSE:

The first thing to emphasize is that the most common answer one hears ...

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How Many Books in the New Testament Were Forged?

In response to the lecture on ancient practices of pseudepigraphy (writing in the name of a famous person when, alas, you are actually someone else), I received this important question, getting to the very basics – the heart and soul of the issue for students of early Christianity.

 

QUESTION:

Dr Ehrman I know you have published and spoken on the topic, but would you mind sharing which NT books are pseudepigraphal?

 

RESPONSE

Yes indeed, one of the reasons I’m so interested in this topic ...

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What About the Original *Old* Testament?

Recently several readers have asked me about the manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible; I talk a lot about the New Testament on the blog, but what about the Old Testament?  Are there problems there too?

Short answer, yes indeed.  I’d say!   Here’s how I dealt with this in a post long ago, back in the days of my youth.  Only one thing is different.  I don’t read from the Hebrew Bible every morning any more.  I’ve gotten obsessed with classical Latin!  ...

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Some Pitfalls of Writing for a General Audience

As I was pointing out, scholars in most fields often have problems with colleagues who write trade books.  It may seem weird to outsiders, but I explained one of the major reasons in the last post.  Another is related:  it is widely known that some scholars who start writing trade books never ned up doing anything else.  That is, they become popularizers of knowledge rather than producers of knowledge, putting all their efforts into reaching the masses instead of doing ...

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Why Don’t More Scholars Write Trade Books?

This post is free for all readers.  It can give you an idea of *one* kind of post you find on the blog, five days a week.  Usually the posts are actually discussing what scholars say about the New Testament or the early years of Christianity; some are more like this.  If you joined the blog you, could get all of them, each and every week, going back seven years.  And comment on them.  And hear me respond ...

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How Did We Get Chapters and Verses?

Here’s a question I get on occasion, about where the Bible’s chapters and verses came from (did the original authors write that way???).   I’ve drawn my answer from my textbook on the NT, and since the answer is so brief, I’ll attach another couple of paragraphs drawn from a nearby page in the book, dealing with another somewhat related and even more important (for many people) problem: when did scholars start to think that the differences in our manuscripts were ...

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Can We Reconstruct the Entire New Testament from Quotations of the Church Fathers?

I am making this post free to everyone, so that, if you’re not a member of the blog, you can see what you’re missing.  Every week I make five posts on everything connected to the New Testament and  Christianity of the first four centuries.  Members can read it all, for a small fee.  Every penny of the fee goes to support worthy charities. So why not join?

QUESTION:

Recently you mentioned that your early work involved analysing patristic citations of ...

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