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Finishing my Work on the Afterlife

I am now virtually finished with all my research for my book on the afterlife, and after mopping up a few loose ends, I should be able to start writing next week.  It’s been a two-year adventure so far.

I always find it amazing how much you can learn in two years of intense research on a topic that you already know (or think you know) a good deal about.   The way I can check on how much I’ve progressed is by looking at my early notes on the topic.   Almost always, when I decide I’m going to write a book, I jot down all my initial ideas of what I want the book to contain, what kinds of insights I want to discuss in it, what direction I want it to go, how I’m viewing the topic at the time.   Then, at the end (now!) I look back at what I wrote at the beginning, and I think – this happens every time – Oh my God!   I was *so* ignorant and unaware!!

That’s kind of scary in its way, since the reason I wanted to write the book in the first place was …

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Comments

  1. Avatar
    godspell  July 24, 2018

    “I have made this longer than usual because I have not had time to make it shorter.”

    This quote has been attributed variously, in various forms, but seems the earliest known version is the above, from Blaise Pascal. Some say it’s Mark Twain. Care to make a wager? 😉

    1
  2. tompicard
    tompicard  July 24, 2018

    “The AfterLife”

    It can be an interesting book.

    What does “after-life” mean? Before anyone can understand “after-life” they better have a pretty clear meaning of the word “life”. If you take for granted every instance and everyone used the word “life” in the exact same sense today, in Greek world, in first century Judea, and earlier biblical times, I’m afraid you may be prone to creating some big misunderstandings.

    There was a tree known as the “Tree of Life” in one of the first chapters of the bible What does that mean? Does it refer to the tree’s “life”, to a human physical “life”, or something else.

    You may also find it instructive and helpful to look at how “death” the opposite of the word “life” is used. Is it used only in the bible to refer to the end of physical life when people “sleep with their ancestors”, are assumed up to heaven like Enoch, or put in a grave? No, Jesus advised that the “dead should bury the dead”, If you understand how he used the first referent “dead” it will help us understand the word “life”

    If can recognize how the words “life” and “death” are use, then you may recognize what “resurrection” means. Because “resurrection” is certainly referring to transitioning from “death” to “life”

    You have written on the blog about Ezekiel’s story of “dead” bones “resurrecting” becoming “alive”. In that story you do recognize the terms “dead”, “alive”, “resurrection” are not literal.That is the allegory of a people distant from God (i.e “dead”) transitioning (i.e. “resurrecting”) to being close and loved by God (i.e. “alive”) .

    And yet the entire bible is a description of a people attempting to get “close to God”. it is not a book merely about physical “life” much less about a hope for some kind of immortal life on this planet.

    So please consider explaining in the book in depth the meaning of the words “life” “death” and “resurrection”, at some point rather than just taking for granted a literal meaning of the word “afterlife”.

  3. Avatar
    ericbianciotto  July 24, 2018

    been waiting for this book since you briefly mentioned it on your last fresh air appearance. i find the topic very intriguing and the opportunity to understand it better is quite compelling. I had no idea you were so close. looking forward to learn a lot again. and enjoy the reading of course. I greatly appreciate all your work. thank you

  4. Avatar
    prestonp  July 24, 2018

    “If he and I were put in a room and asked to hammer out a consensus statement on what we think the original text of the New Testament probably looked like, there would be very few points of disagreement – maybe one or two dozen places out of many thousands. The position I argue for in ‘Misquoting Jesus’ does not actually stand at odds with Prof. Metzger’s position that the essential Christian beliefs are not affected by textual variants in the manuscript tradition of the New Testament”

    Did Metzger expect to wake up in heaven? Could something as wonderful and as important as human life simply die and not exist any longer? What does a person lose if he believes in an after life, as promised in the N.T. for example, follows its instructions on what to do to attain it, if he ends up being wrong? Can mankind really know anything about an afterlife? Has anyone, reliable that is, ventured into the realm of the afterlife and returned to inform the world what she learned? Is that even a conceivable experience?

    What is the purpose of this life, if any, and does the answer itself reflect what we should expect of the next life? What is life itself? We do wonder about what’s next when we leave this world of 4 dimensions. Throughout the history of modern civilization, we have an established record of seeking answers for what’s to come when we die. Animals don’t wonder about such things, yet they are unquestionably alive. Why do we?
    What if hell exists? What if it really is? Why do we consider such a possibility in the first place? Who would choose to go there? What can we discern about such a place, if indeed it is a “place?? What if our consciousness never dies, the true essence of who we are? Why do we care? What is it that makes us be concerned about life after death? Shouldn’t we remind ourselves with total indifference that soon we will no longer exist, and neither will our loved ones? That’s all there is to it. Who cares? Just accept it and be content! Why do so many of us run away from thinking about what it will be like in 30 years when we are not in existence?

    4
    • Bart
      Bart  July 26, 2018

      Are you ever interested in interacting with the historical content of any of these posts? That might be more interesting for you.

      13
      • Avatar
        prestonp  July 26, 2018

        ”I’m inclined to think that Jesus predicted the destruction of the temple (just as people today are predicting the collapse of the economy: it doesn’t make them a Son of God!)”

        No one promises to rebuild a collapsed modern economy in 3 days, though. Also, He understood that He was in fact the Temple of the living God, even as we, His followers, would also become the place wherein God dwells. “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?”

        “Bart July 26, 2018
        Are you ever interested in interacting with the historical content of any of these posts? That might be more interesting for you.”

        The historical content is my life’s focus and has been for many decades. Unfortunately, your definition omits the miraculous and deprives you of so much valuable information, it is a tragedy. I can prove His miracles took place in part because they still do. You believe your born from above experience was something a lot of people have? Many folks experience various kinds of wonderful, “spiritual” sensations at different times in their lives. It was great that you found Jesus but it had nothing to do with the resurrection of the Son of God, if I am paraphrasing you correctly.
        Since you don’t believe in God any more, you could not experience the Presence of God again. God cannot make Himself real to you because now you know better; you have thought through the issues about the possibility that God exists and He just isn’t there.
        So, even if He could reveal Himself to you, personally, (which He cannot do of course), you wouldn’t believe in Him because He simply isn’t. End of story, period.

        You are a scientist of sorts, doing tons of research, examining evidence and trends and comparing theories. Experiment with Him, as a researcher! And I will guarantee you, without hesitation, that He can and will reveal Himself to you. Test Him. Bart, if you said, “I don’t believe you are real, but if you are show me. I’m open minded. Show me in a convincing way, please, I really want to know one way or another for sure.” He will make sure you know. I’m discussing history here bro. This is a way to examine the validity of the historian’s approach.

        1
        • dschmidt01
          dschmidt01  August 1, 2018

          Prestonp wrote “So, even if He could reveal Himself to you, personally, (which He cannot do of course), you wouldn’t believe in Him because He simply isn’t. End of story, period.”

          If God is all powerful why couldn’t he reveal himself to me personally? By definition God should be able to do anything because he’s….well … God. I think you just proved Dr. Ehrman’s case that God is not historical.

          • Avatar
            prestonp  August 4, 2018

            What I was trying to say is this: I understand that Bart doesn’t believe in God. He says at one time he did believe in God, that Jesus, God’s Son had manifest His presence to him and that that experience was very powerful. Despite that, (people have all kinds of experiences like his, so it wasn’t really real or substantive or however he wants to dismiss it as being a genuine conversion to Christ) he absolutely believes that God does not exist anymore. I get it. I got it.

            However, what I know beyond a shadow of doubt is Jesus is the same today as He was when Bart was 15, 18, 21, and 25 and that He would gladly, happily, delightedly, eagerly, gratefully engage in a new relationship with him. There’s no question about it. That’s the business God is in. He wants to have fellowship/friendship/intimacy with us so strongly that He did everything He could to make it possible.

            It doesn’t matter if Bart stopped believing in God. God loves him deeply. He believes in Bart. The only barrier is Bart’s lack of belief/desire in and for Him. But, God can be just as convincing now or even more so than when he was a young man–and He’s died for that very purpose. He can prove to him He is God with one touch, in less than an instant. We are commanded to love Him. How can we love Him if we don’t know Him and can’t experience the love that He is and has for us individually? Godspell said “faith” isn’t something found on a page of a book. She’s right. Neither is love just a line or two written down. He is love and we can know Him.

            I am not a prophet nor a miracle worker or a healer. I have been given the gift of discernment. All I can say is Bart is going to renew his relationship with Jesus. He is going to lead the greatest, the most widespread, the most massive, impressive revival in the history of the world.

      • JulieGraff
        JulieGraff  July 27, 2018

        Mr. Ehrman, the historical content you are observing as an historian is about people asking and speaking of those questions… why would it be more interesting to interact about the observance of the asking than to be asking those questions?… Do you think it is more interesting to write the history of hockey than to be on the ice playing hockey?

        I imagine that at some point hockey players mingled with the historians of hockey, and I’m pretty shure both got their fare share out of the mingelling! 😉

        1
        • Bart
          Bart  July 29, 2018

          Good question! No, actually, I don’t think it’s more interesting. But if a magazine is devoted to the history of hockey, it wouldn’t make sense for letters to the editor to insist that he stop writing about the history and get out on the ice! He’s interested in the history, and that’s what the magazine is about!

          3
          • JulieGraff
            JulieGraff  July 29, 2018

            I agree, I would not for shure ask the historian or the magazine to stop writing about history. That would make no sens.

            But the history of hockey magazine needs to be aware that it is also catching the intereset of the hockey players, and the hockey players need to respect the fact that the historians like to talk about history.

            Can they both talk about their related interest (but from a different perspective) in the same magazine, I think so, in the respect of the magazine’s mission: basically dont try to make something out of something that it is not.

          • Avatar
            prestonp  July 29, 2018

            ”I’m inclined to think that Jesus predicted the destruction of the temple (just as people today are predicting the collapse of the economy: it doesn’t make them a Son of God!)” B

            Aren’t you interpreting history? You say that Christ predicting the destruction of the temple compares to people predicting the collapse of an economy. It doesn’t make them divine. That would be the end of the discussion except for one thing. He said He would rebuild the temple in three days. If He could do that He would be God’s Son?

          • Bart
            Bart  July 30, 2018

            Are you talking about the historical Jesus? I don’t think he said that. It doesn’t pass any of our criteria for historicity. (It’s only in John; it is not “dissimilar” or “contextually credible” etc.)

            1
          • talmoore
            talmoore  July 30, 2018

            There were Jews in Jesus’s time who believed the Second Temple would be replaced by a new third Temple, possibly the Temple in heaven that came down to earth, during the Messianic Age. And for that third Temple to take its place, the Second Temple would obviously need to be destroyed. So Jesus “predicting” the destruction of the Second Temple wasn’t really that exceptional. In fact, when the Zealots had control of the Temple during the siege of Jerusalem (during the Jewish rebellion against Rome), they basically treated it like it was a temporary Temple, a placeholder until God’s final, unsullied Temple was put in its place. Their reasons for believing this are many. They believed the current Temple was tainted by Herod’s hands and by the hands of a corrupt priesthood, and, especially, by the presence of the Romans and other “Kittim” within and around it. So, in a way, Jesus was simply echoing a sentiment that many apocalyptic Jews of his day were already expecting.

  5. Avatar
    HenriettePeterson  July 24, 2018

    Why didn’t Peter aim at Judas instead of the innocent Malchus?

    • Bart
      Bart  July 26, 2018

      Presumably he was trying to get Jesus away from the people who had come to arrest him.

  6. epicurus
    epicurus  July 24, 2018

    I’m guessing publishers don’t like very short books, based on the number of books from many different genres (photography, social and political commentary etc) I’ve read that were much longer than they needed to be. Some would have been better as a long essay, some better at 80 pages than the 200 they had. Some feel like the author is just repeating and adding fluff. Did the publisher tell him the book is too short and they couldn’t charge enough so make it longer so they can charge more?

    • Bart
      Bart  July 26, 2018

      Some very short books do *extremely* well. But they are hard to write well.

  7. Avatar
    snf7893  July 24, 2018

    So excited for this book!!

    3
  8. Avatar
    fishician  July 24, 2018

    Based on your previous books I’d say you have a pretty good feel for the right amount of information. And I don’t see how an author can ever satisfy both those who want a quick read and those who want all the gritty details.

  9. Robert
    Robert  July 24, 2018

    “I always find it amazing how much you can learn in two years of intense research on a topic that you already know (or think you know) a good deal about.”

    Have your views changed in any way in your research for this popular audience book? If I remember correctly, you are also continuing to work on a scholarly book on the same topic. What if your more scholarly research (which I presume you are still continuing to do) prompts you to change your mind in the course of writing the scholarly book? To what extent could one research and then write both books simultaneously? If that is not possible, did you consider completing the more intensive scholarly research and writing first so that the general audience could benefit from your increased expertise in this area? Or are the popular audience books just too simplistic for the continuing, more scholarly research to have much of any real effect?

    1
    • Bart
      Bart  July 26, 2018

      Yes indeed. I no longer think that Sheol was usually imagined as a “place,” e.g.; and I now don’t think Jesus believed in eternal torment for the wicked, but their absolute annihilation (as two rather important points!). But my scholarly book will have nothing to do with either topic, or with the general topic of the trade book. The trade book is about where the ideas of heaven and hell came from. The scholarly book will be on the cultural and religious functions of ancient katabasis traditions.

      5
      • talmoore
        talmoore  July 26, 2018

        You’ve piqued my curiosity, Dr. Ehrman. Since you’re putting place in quotes, I’m hoping you’re not going down the road of “Sheol is just a state of mind” or something like that. From what I can tell from reading the TaNaKh, Sheol is absolutely a “place” of some kind. Whether that place is the archetypal chthonic realm of the dead (e.g. Hades, Tartarus, Hel, Duat, etc.) or simply the grave, Sheol is certainly talked about as if it’s a location to which a person goes after they have died. If you have evidence to the contrary, I’m certainly interested to read it.

        And as for Jesus’s preaching about Gehenna and the afterlife that awaits the wicked, well, what you’re saying seems to me half correct. I feel pretty confident in saying that Jesus’s ideas about the fate of the wicked were far more nuanced and elaborate than most people seem to think. That is to say, I don’t think Jesus was preaching a completely binary soteriology: all the saved spend an eternity in paradise and all the rest are tormented for an eternity in hell. The sense I get is that Jesus preached certain levels or gradations of salvation and damnation — in a similar vain to, but not nearly as complex as, Dante’s concept. The gospel writers themselves regularly show such nuance in the teachings they attribute to Jesus. For example, in the parable of the sower, where Jesus outright says there well be six levels of judgment: three bad to worse, and three good to better. (Cf. also, the metaphor of the tower in the Shepard of Hermes, which also conveys a multi-tiered afterlife.)

        In fact, the sense I get from not just Jesus, but most apocalypticists of that time and place (including Paul and other Jews), was that there were essentially four possibilities. 1) For the more righteous than flawed, there will be a paradise on earth. 2) For the holy righteous (i.e. the Saints), an eternity with God (in “heaven”). 3) For the wicked but redeemable, a limited tenure in Gehenna, where their sins are “burned away” (similar to how the impurities are “burned away” when assaying gold), after which they go to number one (Cf. purgatory). And 4) the unredeemable wicked who are, as you say, annihilated. No chance of salvation.

        Anyway, how close are my thoughts to your thoughts on this, Dr. Ehrman?

        • Bart
          Bart  July 27, 2018

          My view is that for most authors “Sheol” simply means “the grave” — i.e. the place where the lifeless corpse is placed.

          5
          • talmoore
            talmoore  July 27, 2018

            “My view is that for most authors ‘Sheol’ simply means ‘the grave’ — i.e. the place where the lifeless corpse is placed.”

            Fair enough, but still, it’s tough to say how much the use of Sheol by the ancient Israelites was literal and how much was metaphorical. They could have meant both a grave into which the dead body was interred and the realm of the dead into which their shade descended. Sheol also seemed to function like a synecdoche, meaning that it refered to death in general.

            Compare, for example, 2 Samuel 22:6
            חֶבְלֵי שְׁאוֹל, סַבֻּנִי
            קִדְּמֻנִי, מֹקְשֵׁי-מָוֶת

            “Sheol’s ropes are around me. Before me are death’s snares.”

            Clearly, this is a characteristic chiastic parallelism one finds in the TaNaKh. “Sheol’s ropes” is A. “Death’s snares” is A prime. “Around me” is B, and “before me” is B prime. That would mean the author is equating Sheol with death in general. It looks like Sheol is a synecdoche for death itself. So, in that sense, you are right that — at least in this passage — Sheol is not a “place,” but it gets tricky when we start taking figurative language as literal. The author could still think that Sheol is a literal place, even while using the word figuratively, which is, in fact, the whole point of a synecdoche.

            2
          • Bart
            Bart  July 29, 2018

            Yes, I think the synonymous parallelisms with “pit” “grave” and “death” are all significant.

            2
      • Avatar
        Tricia  August 5, 2018

        Since what you now think about Sheol’s not being a place and Jesus’ not believing in eternal torment is actually what I agree with and would write myself….Rats! I had vowed never to read another one of your books. But I’m probably going to have to buy this afterlife one– if for no other reason than that I can get mad at you all over again.

  10. Avatar
    bamurray  July 24, 2018

    How often (if ever) does the preparation you do for your trade books lead to a scholarly work as well? (Is that what happened with Forgery and Counterforgery?)

    • Bart
      Bart  July 26, 2018

      It’s happened twice before now, with textual criticism (Misquoting Jesus based on research for a number of my earlier books, including Orthodox Corruptio nof Scripture) and forgery (Forged based on research done for Forgery and Counterforgery). The current two-book project will be the third instance, assuming both books get written!

      • NulliusInVerba
        NulliusInVerba  July 26, 2018

        I appreciate your willingness to write for those who are NOT steeped.

        2
  11. Avatar
    RonaldTaska  July 24, 2018

    Amazing! I think it says something good about you that your views and your books change as you learn and study more stuff. No Dunning-Kruger Effect here.

    3
  12. Avatar
    Apocryphile  July 24, 2018

    Really looking forward to this one! Archaeology gives us evidence that ideas about an afterlife extend far back into prehistory, even to other human species like the Neanderthals. I know you’re not going this far back with it, but will be excited to see the finished product!

  13. Avatar
    stevenpounders  July 24, 2018

    Will there be scholarly articles or books that come out of your research on the afterlife?

    You make the point that you are preparing a trade book, rather than a book for scholars; and yet you are also attaining new insights through your preparation from the source material. Are some of these insights important for scholars as well?

    • Bart
      Bart  July 26, 2018

      Yes, I’ll be spending the next year or so working on a scholarly book about ancient texts that describe visits to the realms of the afterlife, related to my tradebook on where the ideas of heaven and hell came from.

  14. Avatar
    forthfading  July 24, 2018

    Dr. Ehrman,

    Do you know if there will be an audio book format available for this new book? This is my preferred method since I can listen on my hour commute to work. I have most of you books on CD, but I can’t find Misquoting Jesus nor Jesus Interrupted. Are these two available on CD to your knowledge? If so, do you know where I can get them?

    I know I’ve asked several questions…sorry.

    Thanks a million!

    • Bart
      Bart  July 26, 2018

      Yes, I believe there will be. And yes, I believe there are audio versions of both other books. They should be easy to find online with a search.

      • Avatar
        testacey  July 26, 2018

        Speaking of audio books, I wish all of your titles were read by you (as was the case with “Truth and Fiction in The DaVinci Code”). Nothing against the narrators I’ve listened to, but it’s just not the same hearing your words in someone else’s voice. Any chance of you doing the narration again for one of your audio books?

        1
        • Bart
          Bart  July 27, 2018

          Not really. I did it once for my book on the Da Vinci Code, and it was hard and boring! Hour after hour of slowly reading my own prose. Ugh. Decided that that’s probably not going to happen again…

          3
  15. Avatar
    Hon Wai  July 24, 2018

    Isn’t it potentially misleading to extrapolate from Homer’s Odyssey the religious beliefs of the classical Greeks? There are a lot of question marks over whether the Greeks read the classical stories of the gods as literary entertainment. For example, it would be misleading to infer from Shakespeare’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream” that himself or Elizabethian populace especially the religious authorities literally believed in fairies with magical powers.

    • Bart
      Bart  July 26, 2018

      Yes, that would be highly misleading. All you can talk about is a “Homeric” view.

      2
      • Avatar
        Hon Wai  July 26, 2018

        Can we even say the Odyssey tells us anything about Homer’s understanding of the afterlife, any more than “Midsummer Night’s Dream” tells us about Shakespeare’s religious worldview or the Chronicles of Narnia tell us about C.S.Lewis’ religious beliefs? It is erroneous to think Lewis believed in talking animals, magical wardrobe as portal to another world, there are real witches with magical powers. As it turns out, the Narnia novels do carry hidden Christian messages e.g. Aslan the Lion is a Christ figure, the lion’s sacrifice on the altar in exchange for Edmund’s life is symbolic of Christ’s atoning death. But contemporary readers can unravel the hidden Christian themes only because we already know a lot about Lewis’ Christian worldview from his apologetical works, and we can thereby tease out the Christian themes embedded in the literary devices. In contrast, we lack the background knowledge of Homer and limited knowledge of the religious worldview of his classical contemporary. Hence we can’t distinguish literary fiction from authentic religious views.

        • Bart
          Bart  July 27, 2018

          Yes, I think Narnia *does* give clear indications of Lewis’s beliefs, absolutely. But it has to be read correctly to show what these beliefs are. (the symbolism is not particularly hidden, I think; it’s pretty obvious what’s going on with the sacrifice of Aslan, e.g.)

    • Avatar
      stevenpounders  July 26, 2018

      On the other hand, Hamlet’s “To be or not to be” speech (Hamlet, 3.1) and Claudio’s “Ay, but to die, and go we know not where” speech (Measure for Measure, 3.1) clearly deal with afterlife questions that were shared with Shakespeare’s audience.

  16. Avatar
    Stephen  July 24, 2018

    I’m reading Rowan Greer and Margaret Mitchell’s The “Belly-Myther” of Endor, about controversies of interpretation of I Samuel 28 in the early Church, focusing on the divergent views held by Origen and Eustathius. I find the discussion as to whether or not “Samuel” was “real” or whether or not he was a demon, and the implications this had for the different views of the status of the pre-Christian dead completely absorbing. (I Sam 28 is one of my favorite episodes in the OT.)

    I was just wondering how far down the line you were going to go with your new book? Are you going to get into post New Testament views/controversies or focus strictly on the NT?

    Thanks!

    1
    • Bart
      Bart  July 26, 2018

      I won’t be dealing with the history of exegesis of key passages, but the book will go from Gilgamesh up to the Apocalypse of Paul (i.e., paganism, Judaism, and Christianity up to the fourth century CE)

  17. Liam Foley
    Liam Foley  July 24, 2018

    Personally I like the more scholarly approach but I understand that you have to gear your work to a more generalized audience. I also think this that the question of there being life after death is a question everyone ponders, and it impacts us all, so I do this book will have mass appeal. My question is, because of of the potential wide appeal of the topic, do you fear that there may be more backlash than normal if you suggest the afterlife is a human invention?

    I’m also curious to what the final title will be!

    • Bart
      Bart  July 26, 2018

      I’ve never yet been afraid of backlash. If I were, I would simply be writing to tell people what they already know or think. There’s almost no point in writing such a book.

      5
  18. Avatar
    Steefen  July 24, 2018

    Jesus’ statements of glorification and exaltation include: you will see the Son of Man at the right hand of Power and at John 12: 23 The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Mark 14: 41 and Matthew 26: 45 also have Jesus claiming he is the Son of Man, being betrayed into the hands of sinners. And at Mark 14: 62 Jesus admits he is the son of the Blessed One, the Hebrew God.

    I have heard of spirits rising to higher and higher levels of holiness and godliness where at the final stage they lose their identity at the final stage of going into God. If this is a principle, the Trinity betrays this principle because there are three identities in the Trinity. Cabala gets around loss of identity via manifestations.

    In your book, How Jesus Became God, it is not enough to to be the son of God or to sit next to God. Jesus is God, not just a person sucked into a God blob or a God Black Hole but once sucked in he becomes all the blob is, all the black hole is, retaining his identity.

    Do you see a principle violation in that?

    How do we know the Holy Spirit of the Pentecost isn’t a comforting angel like a protective St. Michael or Raphael who has a comforting prayer card for loneliness? Why is a God-triplet being created when an archangel can do?

    • Bart
      Bart  July 26, 2018

      The question, as I repeatedly stress in the book, is what it *means* to say Jesus is God. It meant very different things to different Christians in antiquity. Your view is one of the options. There were many others.

      8
  19. JulieGraff
    JulieGraff  July 24, 2018

    Mr. Ehrman, as I felt incline to write a comment recently about my findings of who I was in an other lifetime the topic of your post cought my attention. I’m happy that you chose this kind of subject for your next book.

    Reading your post some things came up to my mind:

    When you talk about what your first intentions where at the beginning of the adventure and what you realize it will be when you get to the end, it made me think of the circular way the Torah is studied. When a Paracha is read each year, even though it’s the same Paracha that was read the year before, and the year before, and the century before, there is always something new, it is new!

    On how to make the book interesting, it made me think of what the Rav I’m styding the teaching with is alway saying . He always says that studying the Torah only for knowledge is worhtless… If you dont teach it and study it in order to apply it to your day to day life, your just putting stuff in your head… so the thing it make me thinks is: what your writting, how can It have a meaning in my life now, how can I apply it in my life now so that it helps me to be alive and thriving now?

    On feeling stupid at the end of taking the notes and realizing what you had intended at the beginning… and speaking of afterlife… I will tell you something I have lived in the past year… I ordered a book on amazon that I have, it seems, written in an other life… I dont know if you can imagine the fealing of going to the post office to pick up the book… but I really felt like two worlds, and lifetimes where being connected… .and then at some point at home I opened the book, and then I thought exacty what you sead: O my God, I was so ignorant and unaware!!! :S oh well! 🙂

    Sharing these thoughts as I’m looking forward to your next book! 🙂

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  20. JulieGraff
    JulieGraff  July 24, 2018

    On a side note of how what you are writting can help us in our life… I know that this would not be a historical book (or maby it can also be) …. but then again authors can vary their fields of writtings (i.e: addaptations to childrend’s book) … and I know that you will be aware of what i’m talking about… but as an afterlife (as in after that life psychotherapist) I feel the push of bringing this up for maybe a next book: THE GRIEF OF FONDAMENTAL BELIEFS.

    I know you went through it, I’m going trough it, and I’m shure many of your students and readers are too…

    Just saying! 🙂

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