Bart Ehrman discusses the Apocalypticist

This is a very strange video!  One of the strangest I’ve ever been in.  To begin with, the title doesn’t make any sense (I’m not sure who called it this).  The word “apocalypticist” means “a person who holds to an apocalyptic world view.”  So who or what is “The apocalypticist”?  I’ve never heard someone being given that title (“THE” apocalypticist; as if there were just one??).  Maybe it means Jesus the Apocalypticist?  Maybe, but that’s not really what the clip ...

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Violent Opposition to the Romans in the Days of Jesus (or Brian)?

This will be my last post on the conference dealing with the Life of Brian and the historical Jesus.   Here I would like to summarize one paper that I thought was unusually insightful, to give you an idea of the kind of thing that could be done on a topic like this.  As it turns out, it was the opening paper of the conference, and it was delivered by Martin Goodman, professor of Jewish Studies at Oxford.

I should begin by ...

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Brian and the Apocalyptic Jesus Part 3

Here is the third and final section of the paper that I read at the Life of Brian conference.  The entire paper tried to argue that parody can be an effective historical method.  By providing a caricature of a narrative or an alleged historical event, the film was able to highlight some very important historical realia that otherwise are too easy to miss, or that have not been given enough prominence by biblical scholars and historians.

This third part of my ...

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Brian and the Apocalyptic Jesus Part 2

Here I give the second of three installments of the paper I read at the Life of Brian and the Historical Jesus conference.  In this portion I deal with an issue that I have been spending a lot of time reading and thinking about over the past couple of months: the value of eyewitness testimony for establishing what really happened in the past.   The reflections here are inspired by the first episode of Brian’s adulthood in the film, where ...

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Brian and the Apocalyptic Jesus Parts 1

I have decided to give, in three installments, the paper that I read for the  Life of Brian conference.   It was written for a general audience, even though scholars were in the crowd as well.   It includes some short clips from the movie, which I showed by way of Power point, and which my computer assistant on the Blog, Steve Ray, managed to load up here for us.  What I have to say makes better sense with the ...

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Day Two of Jesus and Brian

I continue this coverage of the Life of Brian and the Historical Jesus conference with the second-day post by Mark Goodacre.

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Jesus and Brian Conference, Day 2

After a wonderful first day, the Jesus and Brian conference began again on Saturday morning with a paper from one of the real gurus of Jesus films, William Telford. He had a superb series of reflections on the ways in which the Life of Brian parodies the Jesus films, and his paper was superbly performed.  He ...

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Day One of Jesus and Brian

As indicated yesterday, I will now give a couple of play-by-play accounts of the Life of Brian Conference held this past weekend in London.  Luckily, I do not need to write up an account myself.  My friend and colleague from Duke, Mark Goodacre, also attended the conference and produced a very useful two-part account, the first of which I give here.  I have taken this from Mark’s blog, with his permission:  http://ntweblog.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/jesus-and-brian-conference-day-1.html   So, these are his words:

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It’s ...

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The Life of Brian Conference

I need to take a hiatus from my thread on textual alterations of the NT (you may be relieved to know!) in order to make some posts on the Life of Brian Conference, called “Jesus and Brian” that was held this past weekend at Kings College London.   I will not be giving my personal blow-by-blow account.  One of the attendees, Mark Goodacre, a friend and colleague who teaches New Testament at cross-town rival Duke, who has been a huge fan ...

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Jesus Final Exam

I have just finished grading my final exams for my undergraduate first-year seminar, Reli 070, “Jesus in Scholarship and Film.” I don’t ever recall teaching an undergraduate class that I enjoyed more. This was an amazingly bright and engaged group of twenty-one first-year students. The exams were superb – the best bunch I’ve ever seen. Some of them were stunningly good. (A few of the students are on the blog: you done good!)

For the exam, I gave the students the ...

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Jesus and Brian!!!

I am pleased to be able to announce that a conference will be held this summer that looks to be outrageously fun and interesting.   It will be at King’s College, London.   And it will be on the Life of Brian and the Historical Jesus.   I have been asked to give one of the papers, and how could I refuse!   I’m going to have to cut short a family vacation in France, but there’s no way I’m ...

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