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Interested in a Webinar? Topic: Do We Have the Original New Testament?

I will be holding a webinar on Sunday June 28 at 4:00 – 5:15 pm to raise money for the Bart Ehrman Blog.  Anyone is welcome to join; the minimum donation is $10, the maximum is … well, there is no maximum.  Every penny that the webinar brings in will go directly to two of the blog’s charities, The Food Bank of Central/Eastern North Carolina and Doctors without Borders, split equally between them.

The topic of the seminar is “Do We Have the Original New Testament?”  Among the issues to be covered are: How were the books of the New Testament copied in the years, decades and centuries after they were written?  Who were the copyists?  How many copies do we still have?  How old are they?  Why are there hundreds of thousands of differences among them?  Are many of the differences significant?  Is it possible we don’t know what the authors originally wrote?

In the webinar I will deliver a talk for about 40-45 minutes; the rest of the time I will entertain questions from participants, either emailed in advance or made during the webinar, via the chat function.  We will do the webinar on Zoom.

Space will be limited, since the system will only accommodate a finite number of human beings.  First come, first served.  So sign up as soon as you can.

IMPORTANT INSTRUCTIONS: To request a space, send a private email to me at behrman@email.unc.edu.  DO NOT reply here on the blog.  For the SUBJECT LINE simply say “Register for Webinar.”  In the text of the message, indicate that you would like to register and the amount you would like to donate.

We will then send you instructions for how to make the donation (donations must be received before the webinar) as well as further instructions about joining the webinar itself.

If you have any questions about the procedure, feel free to ask me on the blog or in a private email.

I hope we can raise a lot of money for worthy causes.  I’m looking forward to it!

Have You Written Something You Would Like To Advertise on the Blog?
Would It Matter If It HAD BEEN a First-century Copy of Mark? A Surprising Answer in the Readers’ Mailbag



  1. Avatar
    Nick  June 10, 2020

    I wonder if in the webinar or, indeed, on the blog, you could introduce the Coherence-Based Genealogical Method and what you think are its strengths and weaknesses. I know this is a rather specialised question, but I think it might be helpful to a good many people.

    • Bart
      Bart  June 12, 2020

      Yeah, that would be a tough one! It takes a full-length article simply to scratch the surface of how it works, let alone evaluate it — and that’s an article that would require a lot of background just to understand the preliminaries! One reality is that very, very few *experts* actually understand fully how it is supposed to work, let alone how to evaluate the claims made about it…. So my guess is that it won’t be happening on the blog any time soon. But I’ll certainly keep thinking about it as an option down the road.

  2. kt@rg.no
    kt@rg.no  June 10, 2020

    As the physicists say/claims, “This mind is the matrix of all matter”. Then, the mind (consiousness) is the builder in this pysical realm.

    So, as a partaker of a reality, and have a will to do something about the awareness of suffering going on in this world (a question you are occupied with), it seems with the right attunded mind, it is possible to sets this world in motion, and helping to do something about suffering.

    It is delightful, and a priviledge to be a partaker in this.

  3. Avatar
    fishician  June 10, 2020

    What a silly topic. We all know the apostle Paul went on his missionary journeys with his trusty King James Bible tucked under his arm.

  4. Avatar
    quadell  June 13, 2020

    Here is a question that I would love to have answered in your webinar if possible: “Given the artificially composite nature of 2 Corinthians, preserved in every known copy as a composite and not as the originally separate letters, what does that tell us about how Paul’s letters were preserved?” (And if that doesn’t fully make sense, I can try to reword the question…)

  5. Avatar
    -Randy-  June 18, 2020

    Great idea. I’m in. Looking forward to it!

    I’ve been spending a lot of time in quarantine watching your debates on YouTube, I’m learning and loving every moment of it.

  6. Avatar
    JeffreyFavot  June 30, 2020

    I’ve concluded that the question of “Do we have the original NT”, is solely a matter of faith. It’s entirely possible that we have 1,200 pieces to a 1,000 piece puzzle. Textual critics can spend a lifetime trying to figure out what was the original 1,000 pieces. Their conclusions are strictly a matter of an educated guess. All the skeptic can show is that “I don’t know for certain”. The fundamentalist is no different than the skeptic. Is it possible that we have every word off the original writer’s pen in every document? Absolutely! Is it possible that we have more than they wrote? Absolutely! This is a matter of faith. Do you believe that God was able to preserve his Word throughout history with man’s interference along the way? That’s the real question. It’s impossible to say for sure that he DID NOT.

    • Bart
      Bart  July 1, 2020

      Yes, I used to ask those questions a lot. But if we don’t have any manuscripts that have teh same wording, what would it mean to say he preserved his word? For whom? And where is it? And why didn’t he just make sure no mistakes were made in copying (as virtually happens, for example, in copies of the Hebrew Bible)?

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