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Learning to Teach at Moody

I will not be continuing this autobiographical thread (thread within a thread) for much longer (you may be glad to know), but I do want to get to the ultimate point (for the thread outside the thread), which is why by a couple of quirks/flukes I ended up better equipped to write books for general audiences than most of my colleagues in my PhD program.   The first has to do with what happened with me back in my days at Moody when I was learning tons about what was actually in the Bible (and the fundamentalist way of interpreting it all) (which, at the time, of course, I thought was the *only* correct way to interpret it). At Moody, every semester we were required to engage in some kind of formal ministry (“Practical Christian Experience”).  Everyone at Moody had to do one semester of “door-to-door evangelism,” where we were taken to one neighborhood or another somewhere in a suburb of Chicago, and literally knocked on doors to talk to people to try to convert them.  [...]

Final Exam for New Testament Class (2016)

Let’s see how you do on my Final Exam!   Yesterday I gave the final for my Introduction to the New Testament class.   Here it is.   My sense is that as for every course, unless you actually take it, even if you know a good bit about the subject matter, it would be very hard to do well on the final, since, well, the final is geared specifically to the course.   But some of this is more or less “common knowledge” for those well versed in the field. The exam had three sections that were equally weighted: the first is a string of identifications, the second and third were essays.   I allowed some choice in what to answer to provide some flexibility.   Students had three hours to complete the exam.  Some students finished in an hour and a half, a few stayed till the very end. So … how would you do?   ****************************************************************************** Reli 104 New Testament  Bart D. Ehrman Spring 2016   Final Exam   IDENTIFICATIONS Define ten of the following terms in fifty [...]

2017-11-13T21:00:38-05:00May 3rd, 2016|Public Forum, Teaching Christianity|

False Rumors (or lies?) About My Teaching

QUESTION: In my talks with my family I have referenced your work, and my family typically rolls their eyes and tells me that they hold no respect for your work. When pressed on why I have gotten different answers most of them I can dismiss easily but lately they have been sticking to a new story and it goes like this. “I have a friend from church who has a son and he as a faience who took one of Dr. Ehrman’s classes at UNC. The first day of class he walked in and asked if there were any Christians in the room. He then told them that if they were still Christians by the end of the course that they are idiots and would probably fail. “ So first off please let me know if you have ever said anything like this before and if so why or was it in jest?   RESPONSE: I find this comment about me (from the person’s family) to be deeply disturbing and really offensive.  It’s not their [...]

2017-12-09T11:07:11-05:00February 9th, 2015|Reader’s Questions, Teaching Christianity|

Teaching Religion in the South

So, as I was saying in the previous post, I love teaching undergraduate students at Carolina. My “bread-and-butter” course is an Introduction to the New Testament. I teach it every spring semester. Usually the enrollment is around 300; I’ve had it as large as 420, and as small as 180. As I indicated yesterday, the size depends on the number of graduate student teaching assistants available to co-teach it with me by running the weekly recitations sections. One reason I like teaching such large classes is simply that I enjoy being in front of a large crowd of people talking about important things. Another reason is related – with a big class it is possible to reach more people – and what can be more important for people in our culture than understanding the roots of our civilization and the history and literature lying behind the most important book in the Western world? (OK, there are probably things more important: but this is pretty important). If I had classes of, say, 25 students, then over [...]

Teaching at Carolina

It is always interesting for me to travel around the country giving lectures at different colleges and universities. This past week I have been struck with just now different institutions of higher education can be from one another. Let me preface my remarks by saying – in this post -- that I absolutely love my university. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is always ranked very near the top of state research universities in the country, and for very good reason. The faculty are on the whole absolutely stellar. Just within my own Department of Religious Studies we have eighteen full time tenured or tenure-track faculty, not counting adjuncts and emeriti, and every single one of them has a national reputation in his or her field, and several have international reputations. We all write books, articles, book reviews, essays, and so on. Many are absolutely at the top of their fields. It would be hard to assemble a more impressive faculty if you tried. I would stack us up against any faculty of [...]

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