A Radically Different View of Orthodoxy and Heresy

In my last post I started discussing the terms “orthodoxy” and “heresy,” pointing out that their traditional/etymological meanings are not very helpful for historians.   “Orthodoxy” literally means the “right belief” about God, Christ, the world and so.   That means it is a theological term about religious truth.   But historians are not theologians who can tell you what is theologically true; they are scholars who try to establish what happened in the past.  And so how can a historian, acting as ...

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What Are Orthodoxy and Heresy?

In my previous post I began to explain what I meant by the title of my 1993 book, The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture.   One of the terms of the title is non-problematic:  by “Scripture” I meant specifically the writings of the New Testament.  Another term, “corruption,” is a bit trickier, and as  I indicated I was using it both in a technical sense to refer to any kind of alteration of a text by a scribe who was ...

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What is An Orthodox Corruption of Scripture?

READER’S QUESTION:

Dr. Ehrman, I do not know if others would find this interesting, but I would love to know how you developed the idea for _The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture_. How did you go about researching it? How long did it take? Is it a once in a lifetime work?

 

MY RESPONSE:

Ah, this is a great question and it will take a number of posts to lay it all out, as it is a very complicated affair.   ...

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Tischendorf and the Discovery of Codex Sinaiticus

PLEASE NOTE: I am incommunicado for a few days on a gulet in the Aegean Sea on the west coast of Turkey. I have asked Steven, our blog support, to add some posts for me in my absence; I prepared these in advance knowing I would be out of reach. Here is one of them. I’m afraid I will not be able to respond to comments on the next few posts until I return to some ...

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Authors Who “Just Want to Sell Books”

Sometimes I hear someone criticize me, or another author, by saying “he just wants to sell books.”     That has always struck me as a very strange thing to say.   Of course I want to sell books.  Why else would I write books?   Would I want to write books so no one would read them?  Has there ever been an author on the face of the planet who wanted to write a book that would not be read?

What people actually *mean*by ...

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How I Moved into Trade Publishing

I have been explaining that I started to write books for a broader audience not because that was some kind of goal in my life – just the opposite! – but because I came to think it would be a good thing to try to communicate scholarship on the New Testament to 19-20 year olds in a college-level textbook.  A couple of readers have commented that when my former classmates from Moody have indicated that I wanted (and still want) ...

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On Writing for A College Audience

I have been dealing with some of the criticisms that classmates from my college days at Moody Bible Institute have leveled against me.   The reason this thread started is that I had decided to say a few words about my Moody experience here on the blog.  I didn’t really finish that, but word got out among my former peers (I’m on a listserv that some of them hang out on) and several people made remarks about it.  I’m not sure ...

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Writing to Become Famous?

I’ve been referring to the reactions that I received from my former classmates at Moody Bible Institute about some of my posts about what my experience was like there.  Some of them, as I indicated, warned me of future judgment.   Others made some a rather belittling comment:  that I have written my books simply because I have wanted to become famous.

My sense is that nothing I say would ever change someone’s mind if that’s what they are already inclined to ...

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Another Jewish Miracle Worker

One more post dealing with my memory book before moving on to other things.   I thought readers of the blog might be interested in the following passage, where I talk about a famous Jewish teacher who was known, on the basis of eyewitness reports, to heal the sick, cast out demons, and raise the dead.  No, I’m not talking about Jesus.  I’m talking about the an 18th century holy man, who founded Hasidic Judaism.  Here is what I have to ...

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Steps Toward Publishing the (a) Book

I am now nearly done with the draft of my book Jesus Before the Gospels (whatever it will eventually will be called), and want to say sundry things about the actual writing of the book here near the end.   (Before I do:  if any of you has any questions about the topic I’m covering or anything relevant you would like me to post on, let me know:  if I don’t have issues to address involving memory, the historical ...

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