Finally! Now We Know. The “First-Century Copy” of Mark

I have posted on and off over the past six or seven years about an allegedly first-century copy of the Gospel of Mark that some scholars claimed we had now in our possession.  This would be by far the earliest manuscript we have of any part of the New Testament, a matter of real importance and interest.  But it turns out NOT to be that, and it has involved a real academic farce.

Those of you who have followed this charade ...

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Feedback on the Blog?

I’m back from Greece and Turkey now, with two weeks with nothing to do but work like a  wild-person day and night on my book project on Christian tours of heaven and hell in relation to their Greek and Roman predecessors.   I’m madly into Virgil’s Aeneid just now.  Great stuff.  I’ll say more about it anon.

But it seems like a good time for me to pause for a day and take assessment of developments on the blog and get your ...

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How Do We know When Manuscripts Were Written? Guest Post by Brent Nongbri

Here is the second post by Brent Nongbri on his recent book God’s Library.    I mentioned in the first of his posts that the book is “ground-breaking.”  In part that’s because he challenges the widely accepted dates of a number of our earliest surviving manuscripts of the New Testament.   Here he talks about his further explorations of this problem.   The basic question: When scholars say “This manuscript dates from the fourth century” (or the second, etc.): how ...

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The Blog Podcast: A Milestone!

As you may know, there is a weekly Podcast connected with the blog, called, cleverly enough, The Bart Ehrman Blog Podcast.  The idea was hatched two years ago by blog member John Mueller, who has put a tremendous amount of effort into the whole affair every week since, producing and managing the podcast all himself, simply out of the goodness of his heart.  The podcasts appear in a variety of venues, most anywhere you typically go for such things (e.g., ...

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God’s Library Part 1: Finding Ancient Christian Manuscripts in Egypt. Guest Post by Brent Nongbri

Here is a post by Brent Nongbri, from whom we have heard before on the blog.  His recent book on early Christian manuscripts, especially those of the New Testament, is ground-breaking and insightful.  He will give us a couple of posts devoted to it.  Here’s the first.

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Bart suggested that a book I recently wrote might be of interest to readers of this blog, and he invited me to write a couple posts about it. The book is called ...

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Interview for “Letters & Politics” on The Triumph of Christianity

Here is an interview I did on my book The Triumph of Christianity, back on December 25th, 2018, with host Mitch Jeserich.  The program was called “Letters & Politics,” for FM 94.1 KPFA. The theme of my book, as you know, is how the Christians took over the religions of the Roman Empire to become the dominant religion of the west.  Mitch wanted to know about that.  Many years ago, when I started thinking about my book, so ...

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Judging the Debate!

Now that my debate with Matthew Firth over the contradictions in the Gospels has ended, I would like to know your reactions.   Any reactions are fine.   There is the obvious question of which side you found more convincing, but also the less obvious question of why that is.  What about the argument, or counter-argument, was compelling or not compelling?

Part of the problem, of course, is that virtually everyone listening in on the debate already had a pretty firm idea of ...

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Constantine and the Christian Faith: My Fourth Smithsonian Lecture

I have found over the years that lots of people have mistaken ideas about Constantine the Great, the early fourth century Roman Emperor who converted to Christianity.  I used to have mistaken ideas myself, until I started reading the sources and examining the scholarship.   For example, Constantine made Christianity the official religion of the empire, right?  (Wrong.)  Constantine is the reason Christianity took over the empire, right?  (Wrong again).  Constantine didn’t really convert to Christianity: it was a political move ...

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Why Did Christianity Take Over the World? Smithsonian Lecture 3.

Here is Lecture 3 (out of 4) that I came at the Smithsonian Associates in Washington DC on Feb. 10, 2018, based, again, on my book The Triumph of Christianity.   This lecture deals with the key aspects of the early Christian movement to try to explain its success.  What was it about Christianity that allowed it to take over the entire Christian empire?   People have all sorts of “common sense” answers to the question — as did I for many ...

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Who Were The “Pagans” Christians Were Converting?

PART TWO of FOUR: Pagan Converts and the Power of God

This is the second lecture I gave at the Smithsonian on Feb. 10, 2018, based on my book The Triumph of Christianity: How A Forbidden Religion Swept the World.  The premise behind the lecture: as Christianity spread throughout the Roman Empire, it converted almost entirely pagans (after the first couple of decades).   Who were these people, and what were they converting *from*?  And why?

Paganism is not and was ...

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