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End of the Year Blog Reflection

 

Here at the end of the year, on this New Year’s Eve, I’m reflecting on the blog and how it has gone over the past 12 months.   I’d say this has been a fantastic year.   Every now and then (like, every ten minutes) I wonder if it is really worth all the time and effort.  I’ve continued to post five or six times a week (usually six), and each post is about 1000 words long.   But in addition, I need to approve all the comments that come in, and respond to the ones that have asked for a response.  Altogether it takes about an hour of my day.  On one hand, that doesn’t seem like much – hey, it’s only an hour!   On the other hand, I already don’t have enough hours in the day.   We need longer days and more days in the week!  I’ve often wished there could be some kind of trade-off system, where people who are bored with nothing to do, for whom the hours and days drag on and on (a lot are like that, I know) could trade some of their hours with those who need them.   It would make everyone happier.

In any event, as you all know, I do the blog not only because I want to disseminate knowledge about the New Testament, the historical Jesus, the history and literature of early Christianity, and so on but even more important because I want to use it as a tool to raise money for charities dealing with hunger and homelessness.  I’m completely committed to this ideal, and it’s what keeps driving me.

And it has been paying off in a serious way.   The blog began in April 2012, and for the first twelve months we – all of us – raised $37,000.  I thought that was very good.  But it keeps getting better.  This past calendar year, starting exactly a year ago from now, we have raised $61,000.   That’s a lot of money.   And I see the potential as being more and more and more.

That will only happen if you help, by telling your family, friends, associates, lovers, despisers, next door neighbors, pets, colleagues, hairdressers, and random people you see on the street about the blog.   Word of mouth is what does it, especially, I suppose, if your mouth is electronic.   I know for a lot of people $24.95 is a lot of money for a year’s subscription.   But it works out, obviously, to little more than $2/month.   And for the value, I’d say it’s amazingly good.    It’s a lot more bang for the buck than you get by buying a non-fiction book on religion once a year (or a fiction one) (if you’re thinking O’Reilly, there’s nothing I can do to stop you).   So please, tell everyone you know and everyone you don’t know.

I’d like to conclude the year by thanking my computer guru who keeps this show running, Steven Ray.   He’s a genius for all things computer, and if you need a webpage, or a website, or anything else that involves keyboards and electronics, he is definitely your guy.   He designed the whole blog, he keeps it up, he answers all questions, he solves all problems.   Among many other things he has reorganized the categories so you can see more readily what has been posted on and when; he has  updated the search function on the site (that magnifying glass in the upper right hand corner; it’s a pretty good searcher!); he has added a print function, so you can print off all those comments you heartily disagree with and use them to light your fire; and he has moved us to a special dedicated server.  You probably noticed – and if you didn’t, you should have – that the site has speeded up *significantly* starting a couple of months ago.  This is why.  We anticipate no more crashes and ongoing real speed, in perpetuity, world without end.

So thanks to Steve.  And thanks to all of you: for your decision to join the blog; for your commitment to it; for your comments; for your patience; for your donations.   I’m looking forward to a great year ahead.

And now it’s party-time.  Happy New Year!

 


Looking Ahead to 2014 on the Blog
Free Memberships All Claimed

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Comments

  1. RonaldTaska  January 1, 2014

    $61,000 is a lot of money. Wow! Please do not wear yourself out. You could take a break now and then and all would still go well. I have seen a few people in my medical career who are as productive as you, but not many. Happy new year and thanks. I have learned so much and it is such a blessing to have some critical evaluation of crucial questions rather than antagonism to such critical evaluation!

  2. newswriter  January 1, 2014

    I’m late to the blog and so I spend some time catching up with previous posts.

    Why not allow a member to click on a button at the end of the nonmember post to continue to the actual member post?

    Instead of “FOR THE REST OF THIS POST, go to the members site” why not a button to LET ME continue? This would be helpful for any time I land on the nonmembers” posts.

    And really helpful in continuing on to the members’ post for a previous month that is no longer listed at the upright column?

    • Bart Ehrman
      Bart Ehrman  January 2, 2014

      I’m a bit handicapped by not having what you have when you get to your landing page. But why are you reading a non-member post at all, that you would need to go to the member post? Why not just read the member post (on the same topic) to start with?

      • ottomobile  January 3, 2014

        The blog lists both sets of posts (member/public) one after the other so it is very easy to click on the wrong one, especially if you’ve searched for something and come upon a long list. I realize some posts are open to the public, but would it be possible to exclude the ‘teaser’ editions from the member pages and searches?

        While I’ve got your ear, another related feature that would be useful would be buttons at the bottom for next/previous posts. It is particularly frustrating when I’ve opened an entry from search and it refers to ‘yesterday/tomorrow’s post’ and you have to dig around a bit to find it.

        • Bart Ehrman
          Bart Ehrman  January 4, 2014

          I’d suggest that you simply click on the posts that say “For members.” The others are for anyone. That would save you all the trouble you mention. Wouldn’t that work?

      • newswriter  January 4, 2014

        I was not clear on my starting point. I always go to the Public Forum because it gives me a brief topic overview of the last few topics under the Archive for Public Forum. Today it lists topics (in brief) from Jan. 3 to Dec. 23. I can scroll down till I find a post that looks interesting. I can read the lede, and if I like the lede, I open the post and start to read. I read until I get to the Jump to Members Page. Then I have to search down Bart’s Recent Posts to find the members’ version.

        I would like to click on a button to get to the members page of the same post while I am in the Archive. Since the blog knows I am a member, it would allow me entry. If I were not a member, I would be blocked out. The button would be grey.

        I am not deliberately going to the non-member page. I am deliberately going to the Archive for the Public Forum.

        The only reason I am reading non-member posts is that only non-member posts are offered under the Archive for Public Forum. There is no Archive for Members Forum or similarly Archive for Public Forum for Members.

        Now If I scan down the Bart’s Recent Posts at the upper right side all I get is individual topics. When I open the topics — “Jesus and the Temple (for members)” — I open the post and all I get is that topic and comments.

        The only reason I am reading non-member posts is that only non-member posts are offered under Public Forum and Archive for Public Forum offers a quick reference.

        Looking at the Public Forum and Archive for Public Forum is faster and easier than opening each topic one-by one under Bart’s Recent Posts until I find one I want to read.

        As I mentioned at the top, looking at the Archive for Public Forum gives a quick overview of all the posts from Jan. 3 back to Dec. 23.

        If I go to Bart’s Recent Posts I have to open, close, move back and open the next for about 10 individual posts to see enough content to realize whether I have read that post or not. ALSO, none of the headlines for the posts under Bart’s Recent Posts include dates — so I can’t even look at the dates for a prompt about which one’s I might have already read.

        Don’t misunderstand me. I think the Archive for Public Forum is the best part of your blog. I just don’t think it goes far enough.

        Sorry for such a long post; I didn’t have time to write a short one.

  3. asahagian  January 1, 2014

    Thanks Bart…and Happy New Year to you too!

  4. judaswasjames  January 1, 2014

    Happy New Year, Bart. I hope for you it is the year you find what I found back in 1975 — that James is more important than Jesus, and in a big way. He points the way forward to an appreciation of living Masters, and true ‘salvation’, not the counterfeit doctrine that the gospel authors foisted on a gullible world so long ago.

  5. TracyCramer
    TracyCramer  January 1, 2014

    Dear All,
    I tip my glass of sake to all the posters for their questions and comments as I always learn something, to Steve as he has helped me navigate the site, and to Bart for his generous sharing of his time, knowledge and humor.

    FYI: Steve directed me to an important site feature. Click on the W in the upper left corner of the screen. Click on Profile, and then Your Profile. There you can add your picture and Biographical Info if you like.

    Also useful is this. Go back to Profile and under that you will see Membership Contents. Click on that and you will see a complete archive in chronological order (but only the titles show in the list, not the dates) with the most recent at the top.

    Today I read in a New Yorker article about the new Pope Francis that St. Francis of Assisi is said to have declared `Preach the Gospel, and if necessary use words.` I hope that means something positive for all of us. Happy New Year!

    Tracy, Osaka, Japan

    PS: If you have ever wished to visit the Kyoto/Nara/Kobe/Osaka area, but don`t know anyone here, don`t hesitate to contact me.

    • Steefen  January 13, 2014

      Tracy Cramer:
      Click on Profile, and then Your Profile. There you can add your picture and Biographical Info if you like.

      Also useful is this. Go back to Profile and under that you will see Membership Contents. Click on that and you will see a complete archive in chronological order (but only the titles show in the list, not the dates) with the most recent at the top.

      Steefen:

      For more than three months I’ve been wondering how people get their picture. After reading your comment above, I still do not know how they get their picture.

      When I go to Edit Profile, I don’t see anything about that.

      I also do not see Member Comments.

      Steve, what is she doing that I can do?

      Thank you.
      Steefen

  6. gabilaranjeira  January 1, 2014

    This blog is amazing!
    Happy New Year!

  7. z8000783  January 1, 2014

    Happy New Year Bart, looking forward to another year of your writings.

    BTW
    “Among many other things he has reorganized the categories so you can see more readily what has been posted on and when; he has updated the search function on the site (that magnifying glass in the upper right hand corner; it’s a pretty good searcher!)”

    I think I may be going crazy but I can’t see anything like that. All I have in the top right is the orange news feed icon and the blue link to Facebook.

    Also, how do I look at the older, archived members items as I mentioned? They don’t all give a link to the members version.

    • Sylvicolus
      Sylvicolus  January 3, 2014

      The Search icon is on the right end of the black bar on top of page ONLY when you are logged into the blog.

      • z8000783  January 4, 2014

        All sorted now. The admin bar wasn’t visible and I couldn’t see how to switch it on.

        Many thanks Bart and Steven.

        This blog has really turned into a valuable resource now especially when you do a series of posts covering one subject in a little more depth such a Paul.

        Other ideas I would love to see explored:
        More background to the Roman occupation
        The Jewish culture of the time and their views on the Torah
        A more detailed look at the oral tradition before the Gospels

  8. donmax  January 1, 2014

    Congratulations to you (and Steve) for a job well done. As I see attrition is the greatest danger, followed by a weakening of body and mind on your part. You might want to follow the example of Direct TV and similar business models with a choice of membership options at reduced prices, at least within limited perimeters. What I think you need is attractive discounts to entice greater numbers of newcomers, something that tips the scales in your favor, besides the usual reliance on *word of mouth*.

    Good Luck. It’s a great life, if you don’t weaken! 🙂

  9. doc1966  January 1, 2014

    Bart, just wanted to say how much I enjoy your blog and your knowledge. I’ve read several of your books, all more than once, and thoroughly enjoyed them. I’m glad to see the blog is doing well and admire your decision to donate all the proceeds to charity. I love studying about the Bible, the New Testament and ancient Israel. Like you I was once a born again believer but am now an agnostic. Yet, I find the Bible a very fascinating study and read as much I can from various viewpoints about how it was formed over many years and after many revisions. Wishing you and the blog a great new year!

  10. dhjones1  January 1, 2014

    Thank you Professor Ehrman! If you are traveling in the New York area, especially at Rutgers where I teach, I would love to come to your talk.

  11. Steefen  January 4, 2014

    Bart D. Ehrman:
    I do the blog not only because I want to disseminate knowledge about the New Testament, the historical Jesus, the history and literature of early Christianity.

    Steefen:
    It goes without saying, you like the extended comments and Q&A with your lecture and debate audiences, video watchers, and book readers?

    Second, I guess I’ll never forget what a teacher said about writing at NYU School of Continuing Ed more than two decades ago: Write to discover.

    In an Edith Wharton book, Lilly Bart saw how she was in the laboratory where Seldon’s thoughts were being formed. House of Mirth is the book. At least one of the blog readers, me, is interested in how new concepts of the New Testament, the historical Jesus, the history and literature of early Christianity, and so on are formed. Really, is 90% of the work already done? In some fields, I’d say yes. For example, haven’t 90% of New Testament works been translated and made public? How much more do our thoughts about the Jewish God of Jesus need to change? Jesus left this Earth in 36 C.E. His successful legacy is his healing not heavenly salvation because the Kingdom of Heaven did not manifest greater than the Roman Empire. When Jesus went into the spiritual world, the Kingdom of Heaven did not dress him as the Son of Man for his return from either a Near Death Experience, a Lazarus Syndrome resurrection, or a buried alive incident. The Temple was destroyed. Bar Kokhbah failed as well.

    Joseph (Latinized to Titus Flavius Josephus), Yohannan ben Zakkai and Hellenists resurrected Jesus to a Gentile Jesus Christ as opposed to a Hebrew Jesus Messiah harbinger to a spiritual Son of Man.

    So, I now have a post-Hebrew-Jesus-Messiah mindset. Will I soon have a completely Post-Christian mindset?

    What will fill an informed person’s astrological ninth house of religion?

    The Ninth House
    The ninth house covers long journeys and religion (the longest journey of all). Here is what remains of the purification that takes place in the eighth house — the seed, or essence, of an entire cycle of experience. Religion comes from a Latin word that means to bind back, and thus refers to all things that last or endure, such as the truth. Essential ideas, philosophy, and all that is the very heart of things belong here. (http://www.astrology.com.tr/houses.asp)

    What solar system object will fill an informed person’s house of religion or for another house, the 12th house of sacrifice for what is really important?

    (Apparently, the Son of Man and Jesus’ concept of the Kingdom of God/Heaven is not really important since IT DID NOT DELIVER and has yet to deliver. How can you go from a crucified Jesus to a destroyed temple to the Inquisitions and have anything left for the historical Jesus and his apocalypse?)

    I have read scholarly books and this blog to inform my thoughts about, no longer Noah’s God, no longer Moses’ God, and no longer Jesus’ God, now.

    Wheh!

    It is, as called in Vedic Astrology, the “planetary deity” of Neptune. The astrological principle of Neptune is Transcendent freedom; unification; freedom from ego-self. What’s beyond the material world(?): Quantum mechanics, the non-locality principle, the paranormal, and heavens yearned for and created.

    We know something is beyond our Local God, the Sun Invincible with his planetary deity Cabinet Members because we know of other planets with Moons, we know other stars with planets, we know there are other galaxies, we have theorized mathematically other dimensions of existence (Brian Greene, Theoretical Physicist).

    My thoughts about Neptune (God) is life on this Earth will not become heavenly, we can only have moments of escape and bliss. Neptune reports to the Sun. Totalitarian human will power cannot hold a heaven together here on Earth over long timespans and distances–let alone a thousand years (Jesus, I’m talking to you and your believers).

    At some point, I’ll read your content plans for the 2014 blog. As you can tell, what will be important to me is what happened at Edessa, what happened at Yavne with Josephus and Johannan ben Zakkai giving testimony to a Christ and Messiah.

    Although there now is much Post-Christianity world view, I still honor the principles of St. Michael and St. Jude. The former cares that souls not be ruined and the latter cares that we live through despair as best as possible.

  12. webattorney  January 4, 2014

    How do you renew your membership? Will there be a reminder? I joined last year.

  13. shakespeare66  January 5, 2014

    My goal this year is to tell as many people as I can about Bart Erhman’s blog. I hope I can get a bunch of people to join. I know that since it is for a good cause, they will do so. Looking forward to reading more of this amazing blog!

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