I have decided to do a three-part lecture series as a fundraiser to help defray the expenses of the blog. As the blog continues to grow, it becomes more expensive and I simply refuse to take any money from Membership Fees or Regular Donations to pay for any of the expenses. Every penny you pay to join goes directly to the charities the blog supports (see https://ehrmanblog.org/charities-we-support/). This lecture series will help pay some of the overhead costs so that we don’t have to take a dime out of the fees for overhead. (BTW, in terms of overhead, for what it’s worth: I don’t take a penny from the blog myself.) (But if you want to mail me a number of small unmarked bills, that would be fine.)
The lectures will occur over three consecutive Saturdays, starting this week, May 29, and continuing then on June 5 and 12. They will all be at 3:00 pm. On each occasion I will lecture for 45-50 minutes and then take questions for 15 -20 minutes. There will also be an opportunity to bid for a chance to have a one-on-one with me after each lecture, and another opportunity to bid to have a full 50 minutes with me at a later time. Details below!
First, the lectures. I’ve decided to devote the series to stories involving Jesus that are not widely known to the world at large. Or at least I can say, I never learned any of *this* in my Protestant Sunday School!
May 29 (3:00 pm Eastern) Lecture One. Jesus and the Other Divine Men
Jesus may be the only miracle-working Son of God people know about today, but in antiquity there were others – “Divine men” who were miraculously born, who could do miracles, and then, at the end of life, ascended to heaven to live with the gods. How could anyone think such things of mere mortals? And is there anything that makes Jesus unique? Was he just one of many?
June 5 (3:00 pm Eastern) Lecture Two. Jesus the Wunderkind. The Divine Child in Christian Legend:
The New Testament Gospels provide us with precious little information about Jesus as a boy. But what was he like? What did he do? Did he already have supernatural powers? Was he mature enough to control them? Later Christians told stories that still survive, both entertaining and instructive, intriguing accounts of Jesus the Wunderkind.
June 12 (3:00 Eastern) Lecture Three. The Missing Days: Where was Jesus Between His Death and Resurrection?
In the Gospels Jesus was crucified and buried on a Friday afternoon but was not raised from the dead until Sunday morning. Where was he in the meantime? Did he simply cease to exist? Did he go down to Hades like everyone else? If so, what was he doing there? Later Christians described those fateful days in books that did not make it into the New Testament, but that were highly influential on Christian thinking for centuries. Ever hear of the Harrowing of Hell? You will in *this* lecture!
Are you interested in one or more of the lectures? We are asking for donations of this amount: $10 for one lecture; $19 for two of them; $27 for the whole shooting match. PLEASE feel free to donate more than the requested amount.
I will be giving the lectures on Zoom. To get the link to join us, it is very simple:
- Make the appropriate donation (for one, two, or three lectures). To do so is very simple. Go to the blog site and at the bottom of the landing page and you will find two donation options: PayPal or Stripe (the latter is for credit cards).
- Send an email to [email protected] indicating the amount you have paid.
- Diane Pittman, our head of operations, will then send you the link for the lectures.
Easy schmeazy. We’re obviously on the honors system here. But since we are talking about the NT , you know what happens to those who cheat. If you don’t, read Acts 5:1-11. 😉
IN ADDITION: Would you like to have a 30-minute one-on-one with me after the lectures? That opportunity will go to the highest bidder. We will ask for bids each week. SO, for this week, would you like the chance? Bidding starts at $200. Send your bid to [email protected]
AND IN ADDITION: Would you like a full hour with me, one-one-one, on Zoom? The winner and I would simply set the time between us. We will take bids from now until June 4 midnight. Bidding for this one starts at $500. Again, send your bid to [email protected]
I very much hope you can come to the lectures. If you know others who might be interested — family, friends, neighbors, acquaintances — please let them know as well. I will try to make the talks as informative and interesting as I can.