Christmas Reflection 2018

I have always loved Christmas.  But looking back over my life, it is interesting to think about what, exactly, I have loved about it.  Like every middle-class first-world child, I suppose, when I was very young I liked all the excitement around presents – the anticipation, the tree, the night before, the excitement of the morning, the happiness of the giving but especially – of course! – the receiving!

Starting about when I was in junior high I started really appreciating ...

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Last Minute Christmas Presents!!

I’m desperately searching for the final small but precious present for my beloved Sarah.  Today’s the day!  And it occurred to me: maybe you’re in the same boat.  What’s that final coup de grace?

Here’s an idea.  Why not give that loved one, or even friendly acquaintance — family member, friend, neighbor, co-worker, mail delivery person, dentist, vet, kid’s teacher, whomever! — a GIFT SUBSCRIPTION to the BART EHRMAN BLOG?  Surely you know someone who could benefit/would enjoy a free year ...

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Seriously. How Many People in Antiquity Could Write?

I have received some push-back from readers who object to my view that Simon Peter, Jesus’ disciple, a fisherman from rural Galilee whose native language was Aramaic, living among lower-class people who spoke Aramaic, almost certainly could not have written a highly stylized and sophisticated Greek treatise such as we find in the book of 1 Peter.   My sense is that I will never convince anyone who thinks that it is simply “common sense” that of course he could learn ...

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Thanksgiving Musings 2018

Some musings on this Thanksgiving, 2018.

To be honest, like so many others, I find it much easier to be thankful when I have a lot to be thankful for.  I suppose being a truly thankful person would entail being thankful even when most of life was very hard and difficult.   I’ve had times like that in my life, and at least as I recall, even then I found things to be thankful for – a loving family and the possibility, ...

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Question: How Do I Read Books?

    Here is a question I get asked regularly, and I”ve just now seen I answered it on the blog many years ago.  Worth answering it again!  How do I read books?  This is what I said in 2012 and it’s still true in 2018!

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QUESTION:

How do you go about reading books? Which methods do you use in order to read as much as possibile? How do make plans how much to read? ...

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A Very Perplexing Question

As many of you know I am on sabbatical this year at the National Humanities.   This gives me a year off from teaching duties in order to focus on my research for my next book.   I am not working on a trade book for a general audience, but a scholarly monograph meant for academics in the field of Early Christian studies.   I’ve talked about the book before on the blog, but want to say a few more things about it ...

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Thanksgiving and the Blog

If you are like me, you stand amazed at the even-more-increasing commercialization of Christmas.  How could it get *more*?!?  But it is.  Remember the good old days when commercials hit the day after Thanksgiving?  Instead of, well, before Halloween?  Sigh….

I’m impressed and thankful, though, that Thanksgiving hasn’t gotten that crazy yet.  It’s a bit strange that it hasn’t, almost as if there’s a sacred aura about it that keeps it from being capitalized.  Unlike one of the holiest days in ...

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Old and Ongoing Criticisms!

I was browsing through old posts from the blog and came across this one from almost exactly six years ago, about criticisms people make of my work.   They still make the same wretched criticisms!   But here I try to answer two of the most common ones I hear, based on a perceptive (and non-antagonistic) question about them.   I think the same thing today, as I’m demonstrably older and allegedly wiser.

QUESTION:

I want to ask your thoughts on something quickly because ...

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My Own Translation of the New Testament?

Here’s a question I get on occasion, which I addressed fully six years ago on the blog.

QUESTION:

Do you have any plans to publish your own “best” version of the NT in English? From reading several of your books, it does seem as though you probably already have a translation sitting in a drawer somewhere. I have not been able to find scholarly reconstruction that was produced in the last three and a half decades. Most of the newer ...

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Studying the Bible as Theology and/or History

 

Here is an old question that I received that continues to be pressing — something I think and talk about all the time!

QUESTION:

Would you please explain more on the differences between Biblical history and theology? Is it difficult as an historian to keep these separate in your personal beliefs?

RESPONSE:

I deal with this question in each of my three textbooks for undergraduates, since, for them, it is a confusing issue.  How can you study the Bible as a historian without ...

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