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Some Academic Good News

I’d like to take time out to do a post on what is happening in my personal academic life just now, which involves some good news.  First, some background.

As you probably know, the life of the professional academic is highly unusual – bizarre when you think about it.  Here I am, a 62-year old, who organizes his entire life around semesters.  Really?  Shouldn’t that have stopped, like, 40 years ago?  Yeah, well, for most of us.  But not us professorial scholar types.

In my experience lots of people outside the academy have a bit of trouble understanding what it means to be a research scholar-professor, especially at a major research university.  You get the entire summer off from teaching?  Your semesters are only 15 weeks long?   What do you do with the other 22 weeks?  And you teach only two courses a semester?  What’s that take, an hour a day?   Wish I had a job like that!

Right, well, I’ll admit it’s a fantastic job.  But it’s not because of all the time off.  Like many of you …

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How I Write a Trade Book for a General Audience
Is There a Time and Place for Heaven and Hell?



  1. Avatar
    Steve  April 19, 2018

    Timothy Keller’s, “The Reason for God; Belief in an Age of Skepticism” (pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC) writes, “An authoritative Bible is a precondition for a personal relationship with God.”

    Would you say to believe as a fundamentalist Christian today is to believe the Bible is equal to God? Early Christians may have believed it as “the word of God” or “God’s words to man” or “God inspired,” etc. But If belief in an authoritative Bible is a precondition, does that not make it EQUAL to God?

    And did your former Moody self believe God can exist without the Bible?
    Thank you and best wishes in these rewarding opportunities for you!

    • Bart
      Bart  April 20, 2018

      Yes, God could exist without the Bible; and the Bible is not God, but is God’s revelation of himself (in the conservative Christian view)

    • talmoore
      talmoore  April 20, 2018

      Sociologists and anthropologists would probably say that modern Evangelical Christians treat the Bible like a talisman or fetish. That is, the Bible is, for Evangelicals, an object that holds some kind of supernatural power (e.g. like the power to heal, or to survive a fire, or to stop a bullet, etc.) and it also doubles as a symbolic object, containing the sacred tenets of the group.

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    rivercrowman  April 19, 2018

    Bart, glad you’ll be stationed at you home study for the fellowship. Can you imagine hauling your personal library to Tahiti?

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    mannix  April 19, 2018

    ONLY 50-60 hours weekly? I had no illusions of a light workload when reading your trade books and textbooks. Right now I’m about 1/3 the way of slogging….I mean reading… “Forgery and Counterforgery”, and I’m blown away on how much time you must have put into that tome! ( I do wish I knew how to read Greek, though).

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    royerd  April 19, 2018

    Wow, that’s fantastic news. Congratulations! These are well-deserved awards, and no doubt you’ll put this time to good use. We all look forward to reading the results! –Dan

  5. Avatar
    Wilusa  April 19, 2018

    Congratulations! This proves how well you’re regarded among serious academics.

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    jimdomino@comcast.net  April 19, 2018

    Dear Professor Ehrman:

    Congratulation on the awarding of your fellowships and grants. I know you will put this all to very good use.

    Jim Domino

  7. webo112
    webo112  April 19, 2018

    Professor, maybe you can look at the partial teaching duties in your second year durring Guggenheim, as build up and ramp up the the following year, where you will return to full teaching duties…and it’s not a huge sudden change. Especially if you were completely off for two years straight.


  8. Avatar
    fishician  April 19, 2018

    Congrats! Glad you’re getting even more recognition for your contributions to the field.

  9. Avatar
    cyouland  April 19, 2018


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    Eric  April 19, 2018

    Congratulations, sounds like a crowning academic achievement.

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    drshrewsbury  April 19, 2018

    Bravo. Well deserved.

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    seahawk41  April 19, 2018

    That *is* good news. Congratulations!!

    I have a question re Christianity and the Roman world. I recently watched some videos re the architecture of Rome. One item mentioned was a major bath (I don’t recall which emperor built it), and there was discussion of the major social role the baths played in ancient Rome. My question is this: Was it basically the growth of Christianity that led to declining use and eventually abandonment of the baths or were there other factors involved? I can see Christians frowning on the use of the baths, what with their attitudes toward nudity, the body, etc., but I wonder if that is the entire story.

    • Bart
      Bart  April 20, 2018

      It’s a great question. I don’t know *what* Christains thought of the baths! I probably should though….

    • talmoore
      talmoore  April 20, 2018

      I’m guessing you’re refering to the Baths of Caracalla.

    • Avatar
      Eric  April 20, 2018

      I think Bath, in England, was used in Christian Romano-Britain until the Romans lost (yielded? let drift away?) control of the territory.

  13. Avatar
    chupacabra  April 20, 2018

    Congrats on your accomplishments. You say that most of your colleagues can’t juggle writing and teaching as well as you, which seems reasonable given your output. What do you do differently?

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    Hume42  April 20, 2018

    Bart, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I realize it my own ADHD on the past months, and officialy diagnosed on the pasts weeks. I had no job and do not studie and I´m stuck in my mom´s house at 23 years old. Sharing your schadule´s organization helps me to reastart my studies and achieve academic goals, probably about history of christianity, dispite to be an atheist myself. But I gonna still read your blog thou, and I promise no to be a mythicist haha.

    Thank you for that Bart, and I wish you all the luck of the world.

  15. Avatar
    Hildore  April 20, 2018

    How wonderful, congrats on being awarded both fellowships. You deserve it. Thanks for all that you do in helping us who are interested in learning more about the New Testament and its beginnings.

  16. Avatar
    1Graber  April 20, 2018

    Great news, Congrats! Well deserved!

  17. Avatar
    Ryan  April 20, 2018


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    Silver  April 21, 2018

    When I was a student at university we had three terms (Michaelmas, Lent and Easter – Cambridge UK). Subsequently, when I was a school teacher and then a university tutor we had three terms (Autumn, Spring and Summer). I did not become familiar with ‘semesters’ until my grandchildren went to university.
    Please can you explain how an academic year fits into two semesters and national holidays and festivals (e.g. Christmas and Easter) are catered for?

    • Bart
      Bart  April 22, 2018

      First semester typically goes from late August to mid-December (with a 2-3 day break for Thanksgiving). Then a Christmas-New Years break. Spring semester from early January to end of April, usually with a week “Spring Break,” which usually does not align with Easter.

  19. Avatar
    Rita Gomes  April 21, 2018


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    Duke12  April 23, 2018

    Belated congratulations!

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