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(Birthday) Gifts and (Speaking) Gigs

Two brief blog-related issues, one involving a birthday and the other my speaking gigs.

The birthday – well, it kind-s involves the blog.   This Thursday (October 5) is my birthday.  62.  Who would-a thought?   And who cares?  (Apart from me…)

Well … I bet you’re wondering what you should get me for my birthday.  Here’s an idea, suggested by two blog members already:  How bout you get me a donation to the blog?

None of the money would come to me, of course.  But it would make me SO happy.  I’d love to be able to gather a chunk of change for the charities we all support.   They’d be happy, I’d be happy – everyone would be happy.

It’s very, very easy to donate: just hit the Donate button on the landing page and BINGO: you’re in.   I hope you can do it!

The speaking gigs.  I’ve had a number of requests to post my speaking schedule for this academic year.  OK, I’ll do that soon.   The reason I haven’t posted the schedule is that for the most part I decided to take the semester off.  I have a couple of things this term (one local that’s already over with; the one in Boston I’ve already mentioned).  But basically, I thought I would back off this semester.

And it’s been *fantastic*.  I’ve actually had some weekends!  Wow, aren’t *those* amazing phenomena?  Haven’t seen them for a very long time.

But next semester I start having some gigs here and there, mainly east coast.   Some are up in the air for now.  But soon I’ll post what I’ve got and update as soon as I’ve gotten more.

In the meantime, I’ll keep slugging away on the Blog.  If you have any suggestions for it – whether for setting it up and improving how it’s done, or for topics for me to cover, or for whatever strikes your fancy, let me know, as we plow onward here in our sixth year!

Jesus’ Miracles in John and the Synoptics
Differences Between John and the Synoptics



  1. Avatar
    tskorick  October 2, 2017

    Hey happy birthday Dr. Ehrman! If you had a gig in Colorado it would be great to see you live, but I do agree that weekends are essential.

  2. Avatar
    Pattycake1974  October 2, 2017

    I’d like to know more about the topic of whether Cephas and Peter are two people or the same person.

  3. Avatar
    Lawyerskeptic  October 2, 2017

    Completely off-topic. I thought you might be interested that online Christian bookseller http://www.christianbook.com does not sell Misquoting Jesus or How Jesus Became God. However, it sells the evangelical rebuttals to those books: Misquoting Truth: A Guide to the Fallacies of Bart Ehrman’s Misquoting Jesus and How God Became Jesus: The Real Origins Of Belief in Jesus’ Divine Nature to Response to Bart Ehrman.

  4. Avatar
    Carl  October 2, 2017

    Some wonderful charities and a great way to share some love with the world. Happy birthday!

  5. Avatar
    Franz Liszt  October 3, 2017

    Happy birthday Bart! Love the content as always. I’d be interested in hearing more about early Gnosticism, if that’s something that you felt interested in having on the blog. I think it would also be cool to get your take on certain theological opinions people have today from a non-apologetic, objective standpoint: e.g. Did Paul believe in an idea of “limited atonement” etc…

    Also, I was wondering just as a personal aside: Have you ever read The Brothers Karamazov? If not, that might be a worthwhile self-gift this year. I think someone like you would greatly enjoy it.

    • Bart
      Bart  October 3, 2017

      Yup, I’ve read it maybe three or four times. I use the most compelling episode in my book God’s Problem. Very powerful.

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    zipzom  October 3, 2017

    It is a pleasure to give you the birthday gift you have asked for. I encourage everyone on the Blog to join in supporting the charities and make a difference.

  7. Avatar
    SidDhartha1953  October 3, 2017

    I was thinking of giving someone a gift subscription — a Bartmas present, if you will. How do I do that? I don’t see an option for gift subscriptions.

    • Bart
      Bart  October 3, 2017

      It’s right on the landing page, bright red: “Gift Subscriptions” Try that!

  8. Avatar
    godspell  October 3, 2017

    Prime o’ life. Enjoy it.

    And I’ll see what I can manage for the birthday gift, but I’ve three nieces and a nephew, and Christmas is coming up fast. And I really should get something for Puerto Rico……

  9. Avatar
    RonaldTaska  October 3, 2017

    Happy birthday and thanks for all of your work with this blog and your books. It all has been really helpful.

  10. Avatar
    Wilusa  October 3, 2017

    I’m guessing many of us have contributed so much to agencies like the Red Cross recently that we may not be prepared to donate to other causes. I made a donation to the Red Cross earmarked for Hurricane Harvey, then felt I had to gve as much for Hurricane Irma, *and* for a category that includes Hurricane Maria.

  11. John4
    John4  October 3, 2017

    Happy Birthday, wonderful Bart! 🙂

  12. Avatar
    GregLogan  October 3, 2017

    Hey Bart

    Already donated and member – AND donating to the organizations you have suggested as well. Happy Birthday!

    As to an item I would like you to address –

    Your theory re Gospel of John identifying Jesus as divine due to 8:58, 10:30 and maybe one or two other texts. I seem to hear you primarily support this – but seem to have heard you take issue with this as well. I would like to take significant issue at this exegesis with the very simple examples below –

    Jn10:30 – Please simply read Jn17:22 – obviously the “oneness” is NOT in any sense ontological since we are to have the SAME “oneness”.

    Jn8:58 – “ego eimi” has nothing to do with Yah – the blind man uses the same language in Jn9:9 as does Paul in 1Cor15. In contrast – Ex3:14 use “o wn” – NOT ego eimi – as Yah’s name – AND this same language is picked up throughout Revelation, e.g. 1:4 – which shows that “o wn” is the identifying name of Yah – NOT ego eim.

    As to the prin Abraham thing – Jesus is messing with them – sort of like – you must eat my body and drink my blood, etc. Of course Jesus was before Abraham – He was foreknown (1Pet1:20) – and slain before the foundation of the world (Rev13:8)…. even as the elect are known before Abraham (Eph1:4 – and Jer 1 – re known before conceived or some such).

    John is the ONLY place that Jesus actually makes an ontological statement – 8:40 – He claims to be a “man” DISTINCT from God.

    Love and appreciate your work – don’t let coddling evangelical apologists off the hook… even for a breath!!


    • Bart
      Bart  October 4, 2017

      If what he said did not involve claiming divinity for himself, you’d have to explain why his Jewish opponents took up stones to execute him for blasphemy.

      • Avatar
        llamensdor  October 7, 2017

        You’ve said before that you don’t think Jesus claimed to be God, sowhy are the Jews (allegedly) throwing stones at him?

        • Bart
          Bart  October 8, 2017

          I’m saying that *historically* Jesus didn’t say that; and historically, also, no one did threaten to stone him.

      • Avatar
        GregLogan  October 23, 2017


        Apparently I never followed up on answering your point here – rats…. Hopefully this subject is still relatively fresh – I know that you make a lot of hay with this reading in your model of Christological development…. (which, based on the below, I obviously am taking issue in regard to the use of the Gospel of John – NOT the concept in general).


        Thanks for the follow-up.

        Whatever the Jews thought – or did not think – is essentially irrelevant – to whatever Jesus Himself was claiming (in John especially). The fact is – as John presents it – the Jews were complete theological clowns (much like “theologians” through the centuries – hence, transubstantiation, marioloatry, hypostatic union and the like). The examples are so numerous as to essentially represent the core theme of the book of John which could just as easily be entitled “The Theological Clowns that Never Understood Jesus”.

        Ch2 – Misunderstanding Jesus “raising up this temple”.

        Ch 3 – Misunderstanding “Born from above”

        Ch 4 – Misunderstanding the “living waters”

        Ch 5 – Misunderstanding Jesus calling God his father

        Ch 6 – Misunderstanding Jesus claim to be the bread of life (v41), and
        Misunderstand eating of his flesh and drinking blood

        Ch 7 – Literally the whole chapter is a misunderstanding of Jesus without a specific reference

        Ch 8 – The chapter at hand

        Ch 9 – Simply an extension of Ch 8

        Ch 10 – Misunderstanding of Jesus claim “I and my Father, we are one”


        It is apparent that, in fact, at NO POINT do the Jews EVER correctly understand what Jesus means!! At certain points (Jn5 and Jn10) – Jesus made some effort to correct – whereas in other texts he does not (according to the data given). In fact, in both Jn6 and Jn 8 Jesus, despite their puzzlement regarding an initial saying, does not seek to clarify but rather pushes them even harder – “you think that is tough – here try chewing on me (as bread) and as being before Abraham….”. This whole model corresponds to “He spake to them in parables…” in the Synoptics.

        As a second point – despite the self-serving evangelical meme that the Jews functioned in a rigorously legal manner with a detail set of clearly known and understand strictures – very careful to follow the details of the law – is the actual fact the Jews were ready to toss stones at a moment’s notice. The stoning of Stephen is a great example in Acts 7 – Stephen had not done anything worthy of stoning. Of course the efforts to execute Jesus by the High Priests – as I believe you have noted – Jesus had done nothing worthy of execution. Most of these Jews were simply illiterate, uneducated peasants – easily inflamed by whatever triggered their values – much like the neo-fascists who currently run our country behave whenever their messiah is criticized, the word “liberal” is screamed – a bunch of “stones” come hurling towards those who criticize without even being able to provide clarification….

        More important, why in God’s name would we create our theology – our exegesis – based on theologically bankrupt sinners whose inability to understand Jesus is standard??? How about if we create our theology – our exegesis – based on Jesus’ words Himself?? Jesus would seem to be a much better source for exegeting His own words than those who were bankrupt and would turn on him at a moment’s notice.

        In fact, this is exactly what I have done in the above – Jn10:30 with Jn17:22 being a prime example. My resultant exegesis then perfectly fits with Jesus own self-identification as a man (the only gospel to provide such an ontological statement) – who is distinct from God – and in the very context of the “before Abraham statement” (Jn8:40). My exegesis likewise fits with Jesus formal statement regarding the Father as “the one true God” in Jn17:3 a few chapters later.

        May I also suggest that we least give the author credence for a basic level of consistency in his own writing? My above exegesis perfectly fulfills that consistency.

        OK – I look forward to your response.

        PS. I believe at some point you do recognize that Jesus is NOT claiming to be Yah in Jn8:58 – but at many other places you DO assert that Jesus is claiming to be Yah. Cannot recall the place in which you claim the latter – I have listened to so many debates they all sort of run together…:-).

        • Bart
          Bart  October 23, 2017

          No, I don’t think Jesus ever claimed to be Yahweh. I’ve never said he did, to my knowledge. I certainly never meant to say so!

          • Avatar
            GregLogan  October 23, 2017


            OK – I understand you are making some distinction between Jesus “claiming divinity” which you assert (or, at least the author of John using this word) and Jesus claiming to be Yahweh.

            Just curious – when you say Jesus DID claim divinity but did NOT claim to be Yahweh – what sort of divinity are you perceiving Jesus is claiming? Obviously trinitarians are seeing Jesus as claiming to be Yahweh due to the “Ego Eimi” in Jn8:58 which they hearken back to Ex3:14 (they are seeing Yahweh as a tri-personal entity).


          • Bart
            Bart  October 24, 2017

            Yup, big difference. Another big difference, I don’t think Jesus himself claimed to be divine, but he *does* claim to be divine in the Gospel of John. Here he is a secondary divinity, subservient to but in some sense at one with God himself.

          • Avatar
            GregLogan  October 24, 2017

            So you are suggesting that the earliest sense Christians had of Jesus divinity was that he was some kind of created divine being – not altogether different than the angels – ontologically distinct from the Yah (the Father/God)? Essentially a sort of popular Arianism (not sure that Arius actually believed this but that is typically how it is referenced)

            Do you ever get the sense the actual EARLIEST – most primitive form of Christianity – was that Jesus was simply a man – a mortal – who was attested to by God with signs – and then – as an ontological man – given the position of Lord and Christ (Acts2:22, 36, 1Tim2:5 etc., etc.).

            Regardless of all this – I would continue to assert that Jesus was NOT seen as divine by the author of John – as the only ontological statement made in John is that Jesus is a man – Jn8:40 – and He claims a GREAT distinction between Himself – and the ONLY True God (His Father). I see no basis for finding John at odds with any other text – as I demonstrated above – the Jews’ reactions were not relevant to what Jesus was actually claiming – they were, with respect, complete idiots…:-).

          • Bart
            Bart  October 25, 2017

            Yes, I deal with all of this in my book How Jesus Became God (it’s the topic of the entire book)

          • Avatar
            GregLogan  October 25, 2017


            Thanks for the follow-up.

            OK – I have never heard you get into this level of distinction – well known among those of us who travel in these realms – in your debates on the subject. In fact what I usually hear is that you and your trinitarian opponent are talking over/around one another because – well, you are using terms different than they are – and none of the terms are being specified by either of you. Thus we get – “Yes it is” and “No it isn’t” back and forth on this one. I have always been a bit dismayed that neither of you nor your debate partner did not push below this to be extremely clear on the definition of terms such as “divine” and the like.

            More important – I do not see John as claiming any sort of “divinity” of Christ – in an ONTOLOGICAL sense – as you seem to claim (I have long thought that a few of your evangelical exegetical grave-clothes may remain here…:-) ). John is simply identifying the man Christ Jesus as the perfect manifestation of the Logos of God – with no ontological element- which is really the whole issue – is Jesus ONTOLOGICALLY God – or is He simply positionally God – as Jesus identifies of the Judges in Jn 10 – “does not the scripture say – “Ye are gods” – and the scripture cannot be broken”. With respect to all the great work you have, I think the inclusion of John in this evolution is incorrect based on what I have presented above – AND Jesus clear ontological distinction between Himself and God in Jn8:40 “why do you seek to kill me A MAN who has told you the truth that He heard from GOD” Pretty clear….

          • Bart
            Bart  October 27, 2017

            I don’t think I would use the category of “ontology” for the views of any of the authors of the New Testament; they simply didn’t not think in Greek philosophical terms.

          • Avatar
            GregLogan  October 27, 2017


            Absolutely agree!! Likewise Jews never dichotomized an entity into “person” and “nature”, etc. BUT this dichotomization is the basis of is the majority Christological and Theological formulations that has ruled the professing church since Nicea….

            My use of the concept of ontology solely relates to the dominate Christological tradition which is being read back into John – where Jesus supposed claims to divinity ARE specifically understood to confirm his ontological unity with Yah – otherwise known as Trinitarian theology….

            That is why I see you and your debate partners speaking at odds with one another – when they use the term divinity they are ultimately presenting the term within the traditional framework – that Jesus is fundamentally ontologically God – simply a distinct person with the tri-personal Yahweh.. You on the other hand seem to present a much more vague meaning (presumably spelled out in your book re Jesus Becoming God…:-) ).

            I am certain you understand that traditional model – and, likely, actually believed it at one point (though I remain at loss how anyone could come away from the Bible with such a conception).



  13. Avatar
    madmargie  October 5, 2017

    Happy Birthday! My eldest son is 62 but his birthday was in August. Have a great one! I would make a donation if I could.

  14. Avatar
    Patajones  October 5, 2017

    Happy Birthday Dr. Ehrman!

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