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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Christianity’s Most Important Convert: Lecture at the Smithsonian

PART ONE of FOUR: Christianity’s Most Important Convert: The Apostle Paul

In February 2018 I gave a series of four lectures for the Smithsonian Associates in Washington DC, based on my book The Triumph of Christianity.   It was a bit tricky, as these things always are, figuring out which parts of the book to focus on, since each lecture could really be only on one thing, not lots of things.  I decided to give the first lecture on the most important ...

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My Pod Cast Interview with Sam Harris

On May 1, 2018 I was interviewed by Sam Harris for his podcast “Waking Up.”  Ostensibly the interview was to be about my book “The Triumph of Christianity: How A Forbidden Religion Swept the World” but we covered a wide range of topics, from my autobiography to numerous substantive issues, including the nature of miracles, the composition of the New Testament, the resurrection of Jesus, the question of heaven and hell, the book of Revelation, the End Times, contradictions in the ...

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Q&A with Bart on The Heretic Happy Hour

I joined the Heretic Happy Hour Podcast as a call in guest for twenty-five minutes on March 6th, 2018. I was asked a lot of questions on a range of issues (including, but not at all limited to, my book “The Triumph of Christianity: How A Forbidden Religion Swept the World”).  It’s an interesting podcast in general, and this was a fun one to do.

The full program can be heard here: https://heretichappyhour.podbean.com/e/016-is-jesus-god-hotw-bart-ehrman/

Please adjust gear icon for 720p ...

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Ehrman & Licona: Are the Gospels Historically Reliable? Part 2

Here is Part 2 of my debate with Mike Licona on whether the Gospels are historically reliable.  You won’t necessarily have to have seen Part 1 to make sense of this one; a lot of it involves penetrating questions from the audience (trying to trip us up!) which one or the other of us addressed.   Enjoy!

Part 2: Please adjust gear icon for 720p High-Definition:

 

REMEMBER: if you were a member of the blog, you ...

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Ehrman & Licona: Are the Gospels Historically Reliable? Part 1

A month ago, on February 21 I had a public debate with Mike Licona at the Bailey Performance Center at Kennesaw State University on the topic: Are the Gospels Historically Reliable? Ratio Christi and KSU History Club hosted the event. Moderator was Dr. Brian Swain, a historian of Mediterranean antiquity on the faculty there.

You can probably guess the two sides we took in the debate.  The crowd was largely on his side, which made for a very interesting evening.  As ...

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A Personal Transition

A week ago today I finally sent off the very last and final version of The Triumph of Christianity to my editor.  It is done, as good as I can make it.  Now it will go to a copy-editor who will go over it line by line, word by word to make sure the grammar, punctuation, and even spelling is all correct, and to make suggestions for writing style as needed.   Depending on the copy-editor, sometimes there are tons of ...

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Constantine’s Vision(s): What Did He Really See and When?

OK, I am ready now to finish up my thread on the conversion of Constantine, based on the vision or visions that he had.  So far I have narrated the three relevant accounts.  If you haven’t read those posts, you should do so to make the very best sense of this one.

The differences among the three accounts, and one can readily see why various scholars have suggested different ways of reconciling them.  Some think he had just one vision, two ...

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