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Taking the Temperature of the Blog October 2017

It is useful on occasion to step back and take the temperature of the blog, to see how things are going and to consider how they might improve.  Do you have suggestions for how to make the blog better and more attractive?   What I’m especially interested in are ways to attract more people to join.   If you have bright ideas, let me know.

I’d say the blog is going extremely well on the whole.  What do you think?   There seems to be a lot of interaction – I’m getting tons of comments on posts – and membership is staying at a steady state.

In terms of numbers, since starting in April 2012, I have made 1616 posts.  Now *that* seems like a lot!  Because of these large reserves, I am able, about once a week, to post a “blast from the past.”  That seems useful to me.  Most members now were not reading posts back in 2012 or 2013, and even those who were probably don’t remember these particular posts.  Or at least I would assume so, since in most cases I myself don’t remember them!!

Also since that time I have approved 58,120 comments.  Wow.

So let me say a word about the recent trends on comments.  I’m noticing that comments are starting to get longer and longer.   That’s absolutely fine – if you want to state at length your views on something, feel free to do so.  BUT, you need to recognize that most people are less inclined to read long comments than short ones, so if you want more readers, I’d suggest keeping comments short and to the point.

I myself have trouble getting through all the comments.  I try to do all my blog work on any given day to an hour.   That’s getting harder to do.   Well, impossible on some days.   I have to write a post, proof it, post it, put it over on Facebook, then answer comments.  And, as I said, comments are getting longer and longer.   One problem is that a number of comments involve questions that I need to address.  That obviously takes time.  (On Friday I had 71 comments to get through – many of them very long, and many of them requiring a response.  I move as quickly as I can but … it takes time!)

I would suggest that if you want me to respond to a question, you ask it succinctly in a short comment.   I would prefer that you not make a very long comment of many paragraphs and then ask me what I think.   Direct questions are the best!

Several members have wanted to have extensive backs and forths with me on a particular topic.  It would be great if I could devote more time to these.   Most of the time it involves a different way of reading the evidence, and after two or three back-and-forths, it’s pretty clear that we simply aren’t going to see eye-to-eye.  That’s fine: different people evaluate evidence differently.  But at a point the discussion no longer is producing any light, just a lot of heat, and then it’s probably best to bring it to an end.

As everyone on the blog probably knows, the main reason I have done the blog for these years is to raise money for charity.   I certainly like other aspects of the blog.  I like presenting the results of scholarship to a broader reading public, especially to those deeply interested in the same things I’m interested in; I enjoy taking something complicated and making it accessible to a non-scholar; I enjoy the interactions via comments; and so on.   But the main reason I do this is for the charities.   If this takes me 7-8 hours a week, each and every week, that means I’m devoting 350-400 hours a year to it.  That’s nearly ten 40-hour work weeks I could be using otherwise, e.g., doing my own research!  (Let alone watching more football and reading more novels and taking more walks in the woods!)   As much as I love all of you – and I do – without the charities I simply wouldn’t be doing all this.

So how are we doing on the charity front?  Very well indeed.  I had hoped we would keep doing better and better, year after year, but we’ve hit a plateau it seems.  That’s too bad on one hand, but on the other hand, it’s a very high plateau!   We started out rather slow but we’ve climbed to about $115,000 to $120,000 a year.  That’s some serious change.  And more impressive, we are just $31,000 short, as of this week, of $500,000 since the blog began.  That’s half a million dollars going to help people in need.  I’d say that’s pretty fantastic.

If you have bright ideas about how to increase our revenues, please do let me know.  If you are interested in helping out, please consider seriously the following:

  • Why not give “Gift Subscriptions” to people you think would enjoy the blog? Surely you have family members, friends, colleagues at work, and others who would be interested.  A Gift membership is very easy to give, not very expensive, a great gift, and it would help us all out.  So why not?
  • Please tell others about the blog – people in your church or synagogue, people at work, friends you run around with, family, etc, and encourage them to join.
  • And please consider making either a one-time or a regularly-monthly donation to the blog. All donations are completely tax deductible, and are extremely welcome.

Thanks to all of you for joining the blog and participating.  May we continue to do interesting and good things!

 

 


The Apostolic Fathers: Serendipity Strikes
Translating the Apostolic Fathers: A Blast from the Past

76

Comments

  1. Todd  October 29, 2017

    I have two thoughts on this.

    1. I realize that the purpose of this blog is to understand the biblical documents from a textual and historical perspective only, but I would like to find a way to connect all that you are sharing with us to our lives in our present time…how the Jesus event affects our lives in the here and now.

    2. I make a contribution once a year, but I think it would be good if I made a monthly contribution as well. I am not wealthy, but even $10 A month would help your charitable work. I need to check into your site to see if I can do that as an auto-pay every month.

    I have learned more here than I did in seminary. I so appreciate your blog. Good work.

    • Bart
      Bart  October 30, 2017

      Yes you can! Many thanks!

      • llamensdor  November 1, 2017

        A dumb question (sorry) Do you read comments on your blog that come in daily, even if they relate to your posting, say, 2 weeks ago? I might comment today (11-1-17) on a posting of yours from 10-2-17. Will you read that and if appropriate respond? I think I’ve found current comments by you on my “old” posts, but I’m not sure.

        • Bart
          Bart  November 1, 2017

          Yes, all the comments come to me as a group — not connected to the posts that are being commented on. So I read and answer all of them, every day.

  2. rivercrowman  October 29, 2017

    Bart, my new policy is to only read your replies to comments, especially the long comments. People sure love to talk.

    • SidDhartha1953  November 1, 2017

      I do the same. I scan for comments you have answered, read the comment and your reply, then continue. I also save my questions until I have read all your replies so I don’t make you read the same question twice. Finally, I try to remember you do email and use that for more detailed questions.
      If I could have one wish granted concerning the blog, it would be to have a notice that pops up when you or anyone has replied to one of my comments. I think there is a box to check for email notifications, but it doesn’t seem to work. Thanks for all you do for the less fortunate! Even though there is probably no eternal reward, many people hold you in high esteem. I hope that counts for something.

  3. rburos  October 29, 2017

    I love this blog–especially how you have catalogued each of the sections. I sometimes eschew the daily post in favor of going through a section (it’s because I’m reading about something that matches up).
    You’re right. I never ever read someone’s post after two small paragraphs, and would recommend you never ever answer one as a way of norming our behavior.

  4. caseyjunior  October 29, 2017

    I have been with you almost two years now and continue to find your blog to be very interesting. I try to read all the comments and my personal opinion is that many of the longer comments are being made by people who have a particular interpretive position they want to hammer home. I feel that these positions were stated clearly the first time and continued long elaborations just aren’t necessary. Therefore, I tend to check out on them early. Thanks again for helping to keep us informed on so many important topics.

  5. Jana  October 29, 2017

    My first concern is always your health and there was an impasse some time ago. Next I think your blogs are terrific and I feel more competent discussing with others. In short I keep learning and improving my views. My only criticism would be about me. I have trouble keeping up ! 🙂 It takes me a while to absorb new unfamiliar points and adjust accordingly. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed with a new idea and I am doing the best I can. Thank you Dr. Ehrman.

  6. ardeare  October 29, 2017

    Okay, here’s an idea! I suggest writing a book called, “Ehrman answers his bloggers” or something like that. Much of the material has already been written by us and you. I predict it would be a great success and draw thousands to the blog.

  7. Judith  October 29, 2017

    Love the blog, Dr. Ehrman. Just sent donation to say thank you.

    • Bart
      Bart  October 30, 2017

      Bless you!

      • gwayersdds  October 30, 2017

        Who is doing the blessing. “Bless you” implies (God) bless you. But as an agnostic/atheist, are you “legally” allowed to bless someone? Just thought I’d ask.

        • Bart
          Bart  October 31, 2017

          Yup, I checked into the powers that be, and I am fully authorized to bless at will.

  8. John Uzoigwe  October 29, 2017

    I will suggest you create a system where people could get one free subscription if they could get 2-5 people to join the blog within a month or so
    create Ads and create more awareness about the blog.(emphasise more on charity) am sure there are people out there who will love to be part but don’t know your blog exist

  9. doug  October 29, 2017

    I think your blog is great. My biggest concern is that I don’t want you to wear yourself out.

  10. Robert  October 29, 2017

    Great work with the charitable giving!

  11. davitako  October 29, 2017

    Hi Bart,

    I have two (possible) suggestions for the blog:

    1. How about setting up Google Hangout calls once a month (or something) with those blog members who asked most interesting questions, or donated most for a given period of time? Details would need to be worked out. Maybe people would be more attracted to the blog when they know they have a chance to discuss things with you in a call!

    2. I personally only care about the content, but I showed the blog to several of my friends (some of whom are also web developers and others, web designers) and every one of them pointed out that the blog needs a more appealing design to attract even more people.

    Bart, if it’s not a secret, I just want to know how we are doing in this respect too; how many members are there on the blog?

  12. Jon1  October 29, 2017

    Bart,

    Sorry, but unless you want your blog readers to fall asleep as they nod their heads in agreement with you, you need to take some of the blame for the long posts. A good example of something that can lead to long queries about your work is your demonstrably false statement: “The passage [Digesta 48.24.1] is absolutely explicit: the release of bodies to be buried DOES NOT APPLY to those who have been convicted of high treason” (https://ehrmanblog.org/decent-burials-for-crucified-victims-a-blast-from-the-past/). I had to push you hard to get you say, “I agree it can be read in two ways”. But even then you conclude, “I think one of those two ways makes best sense of what it is saying.” Nowhere in your works that I can find do you explain why your way of reading Digesta 48.24.1 “makes best sense of what it is saying”…and I still don’t know. I suggested, and I suggest again, that you dedicate a post to explaining this. To be honest, it looks a whole lot like you are interpreting Digesta 48.24.1 in the way you do for the simple reason that it is favorable to your position, and then you seem to exaggerate how much it supports your position as some kind of persuasion tactic. I wish I could conclude differently, but that is how it looks to me. On the upside, I am grateful for the exchange we had and I wish more scholars would do what you are doing.

    • Bart
      Bart  October 30, 2017

      I believe my responses to those comments have all been very brief!

      • Jon1  October 30, 2017

        The length of your posts was not what I was talking about. I was explaining to you why some people make long queries in response to your work.

  13. Pattycake1974
    Pattycake1974  October 29, 2017

    I get carried away with the length of my comments sometimes. It’s probably something that may need to be addressed intermittently anyway if only for the reason of newcomers on the blog.

    • Bart
      Bart  October 30, 2017

      No, I haven’t noticed that your posts are particularly long!

  14. Durkan23  October 29, 2017

    You provide a premium service that consumes a lot of your time and intellectual capital and I think everyone on here would be willing to pay more for this sort of high quality content as we are loyal and passionate about the topics!

    • DestinationReign
      DestinationReign  October 30, 2017

      It is quite unique for someone of such repute to offer interaction on a forum in this way.

  15. The Agnostic Christian
    The Agnostic Christian  October 29, 2017

    How about starting a kind of store where you sell t-shirts and mugs etc., with cool nerdy early Church graphics and whatnot on them. Those kinds of things are really popular. One example might be a picture of Jesus with “Jesus was misquoted” underneath it. The profits going to charity of course. More work I know, but just an idea.

  16. dschmidt01
    dschmidt01  October 29, 2017

    Hi Dr Ehrman
    My suggestions:
    1. You are too nice. Limit the comments text area to 75 or 100 words so folks can’t write such lengthy comments. Personally I skip reading the comments that are not asking you specific questions. I joined your blog to learn from you, not someone of whom I have no knowledge.
    2. Assign members you know and trust to approve comments. Then you can read and answer questions without devoting valuable time to vet them. Out of curiosity what content causes you to not approve a comment?
    3. Don’t answer questions if you don’t know the answer off the top of your head. Save questions that require research and maybe someday they will be inspiration for a new book. Continue to point readers to your published works as an answer to their question.
    4. Find a corporate sponsor or trust willing to match donations and membership fees to increase funding for charities. There are many that support public broadcasting so pehaps one of them might be interested in sponsoring a blog on new testament historical studies.
    5. I like the blasts from the past. I’m a newbie so I appreciate being served up content from the past you find relevant and interesting.
    6. Do you ask your students to consider supporting your charities by joining your blog? Perhaps the university has guidelines for that.

    Thanx for the blog!!

    • Bart
      Bart  October 30, 2017

      I have no experience with finding a corporate sponsor — but if anyone on the blog does, let me know!

  17. Boltonian  October 30, 2017

    Points:
    1) Not sure how typical I am but only ever read lengthy posts (longer than two shortish paragraphs) when you have responded, which is to say, seldom ; and
    2) I have a particular friend in mind to give a Christmas present (rather ironic) of a subscription to the blog.

  18. DestinationReign
    DestinationReign  October 30, 2017

    It is not known if posts from this particular source are implied in the summation about lengthy posts, however, posts in this form are merely seeds being scattered. Whether ignored or addressed, retorts about the “craziness” of Gospel/Timeline templates and other unfamiliar propositions will continue in a good-natured manner. This, in the hopes that transformative Truth will be victorious so that we may rest, and reign.

    Having said all of that, the interactivity of the blog is much appreciated. And most certainly, the proposal to donate 1,000 dollars to the blog still stands, in return for contemplating and addressing what is presented in STS.

  19. nbraith1975  October 30, 2017

    Several ideas:

    1. Limit the number of characters on comments. Keep it under 3-4 average sentences.

    2. Host a monthly or quarterly LIVE YouTube Q&A chat session to answer pre-submitted questions by Blog members. Blog members can interact with each other during the live chat feed during the session. You can personally ask non-member viewers during the session to sign up and donate to the charity you sponsor. Advertise the sessions on your facebook and other social media outlets.

    3. Enlist someone with experience to curate and maintain your blog. They can connect with members to get feedback and ideas and run all your social media outlets. (They would have written this post today.)

    4. Host an annual meet and greet in Chapel Hill for Blog members. This will help you personally connect with members and provide some picture and video content to the blog.

    Hope this helps.

    • Bart
      Bart  October 30, 2017

      Interesting idea. I’m thinking about the Chapel Hill idea.

  20. godspell  October 30, 2017

    My only critique would be that it’s hard to know if somebody responded to a post you made on an earlier thread, without taking a lot of time to search through them. And you start a lot of threads. Maybe there’s some toggle I’ve failed to notice that will help in this regard?

    I certainly get that you need to approve responses here, which leads to delays in people responding to each other. My own blog (not about religion) only has a few people responding in the comments section, most of them old friends by now, so conversations can be a lot more open and free-wheeling. The price of success, I suppose. 😉

  21. HenriettePeterson  October 30, 2017

    I think you could get more attention by writing blogs on controversial interdenominational topics from historical perspective. I’ve read your blog on Jesus’ brothers – that’s a good example. Since you are an agnostic, you have no agenda to prove the case of your denomination, so you could just stand as a neutral voice. You could get attention from both camps on any topic you choose. In your latest post you wrote about “the beginnings of church structure”. So was Peter the first pope or it was the later institution that needed him to be who made him look like one? When and how did Mary come in? Is there any evidence on early marianic worship? You know, just take these spicy topics and write from purely historical perspective, drive everybody nuts and crazy and jealous and …. get more attention!! That will of course mean more comments to answer 😛

  22. modelthry  October 30, 2017

    As a new member, my suggestion is to promote the blog a bit more. I was aware of you and listening to your Great Courses lectures / reading your books for about a year before I discovered the blog. So whatever promotion you’re already doing wasn’t a strong enough signal to penetrate that level of casual familiarity. For what it’s worth, a pitch that would work for someone like me would be this: “if you to stay up to date with the latest in Bart’s thinking and related scholarship, and also are interested in supporting these charities, here’s an inexpensive way to accomplish both.” And then emphasize that 100% of the money goes to charity (or whatever the right statement is, maybe some goes to hosting costs etc.)

    • Bart
      Bart  October 30, 2017

      Thanks. If you have ideas about *how* to promote it more, I’d be interested in hearing them.

      • SidDhartha1953  November 1, 2017

        Something I do, that I hope others also think to do, is post links to your occasional freebies on FB. I remind my followers that they can subscribe to your charitable blog for 7c a day and see all your posts, not just the free ones.

  23. modelthry  October 30, 2017

    One other thought: since your time is limited, perhaps you could encourage some of your colleagues or students to donate their time to guest posts, Q&A, etc. Altruistic motivations aside, it would clearly be a good way for a student or colleague to get their name out to a non technical audience.

  24. Lev
    Lev  October 30, 2017

    “I would suggest that if you want me to respond to a question, you ask it succinctly in a short comment. I would prefer that you not make a very long comment of many paragraphs and then ask me what I think. Direct questions are the best!”

    I confess I am guilty of this at times. Sometimes it’s difficult to keep it snappy when quoting another authority or scholar. Apologies if I’ve taken up too much of your time – I shall try to keep it more succinct!

    Have you considered putting a word / character limit on the comments – perhaps 500 characters, so around the length of four tweets?

    Also, I’m not sure what the etiquette is, but how do you prefer your readers to address you? Dr / Proffessor Ehrman, or just Bart?

  25. tompicard
    tompicard  October 30, 2017

    I appreciate your effort

    $120,000 /yr for 400 hours work/yr -> $300/hr

    not bad, i suppose that is better return on investment that your day job.
    you can figure out the rate of return for writing a books. and then make a purely economic decision how to best support these charities

    I hope you keep the blog

    • Bart
      Bart  October 30, 2017

      Wow. Good point. I hadn’t thought of it like that. Now I just want a raise!

  26. RonaldTaska  October 30, 2017

    1. Half a million dollars is quite an accomplishment and quite a service.

    2. Your more personal blogs are always your best ones.

    3. I still think an autobiography of your religious journey would make a terrific book because I think most of us are probably most interested in how to put it all together into some kind of meaningful conclusions about life.

    4, You have a gift for making complicated stuff “accessible.”

    5.. Thanks

  27. webo112
    webo112  October 30, 2017

    What about adding a “like” or voting rank to comments, so that others can show they agree or disagree with comments.
    Perhaps you can have readers vote on your blog posts too? so each post shows a percentage ranking.

    Also perhaps you can have blog posts that are trending or are hot topics right now…

    I think more reader interaction would get potential subscribers.

    • Bart
      Bart  October 31, 2017

      THere is already an option for ranking blog posts. But it’s an interesting idea to extend it to comments as well. My guess, though, is that not many would participate (even for the blog posts only a handful of readers normally do)

  28. webo112
    webo112  October 30, 2017

    Also, maybe subscribers can vote on what topic/post you should write on (once a week?) from your list of potential blog posts or ones in your readers mail bag.

    So you will end up writing about a post with the most votes or starting a blog thread on, based on subscribers direct voting/input..

    …again, interaction being the key element.

  29. jdub3125  October 30, 2017

    To those on the blog who are able to do so, I suggest giving one or two gift subscriptions before the end of the year, and of course including a cheerful seasonal greeting, “Merry Christmas, Professor!”

  30. gbsinkers  October 30, 2017

    As a new subscriber I am trying to go back and read all 1616 posts from the beginning, in order, except to pop up and read the current posts too. It’s all very good but thus far my favorite posts are the ones that gives us more insight to you and your colleagues. The “Me and Metzger” posts from 2012 were absolutely wonderful. Also understanding your theological transformation has been significant for me. I haven’t yet completed 2012 so this suggestion may be in subsequent years but I think getting guest posts, particularly from colleagues who have kept their Christian faith, would be very interesting. I remember you writing that the faith topic just never comes up with colleagues when dealing with the scholarly side but it would be great if it did in the blog. Loving your blog and the good works it accomplishes! Thank you for doing this!

  31. seahawk41  October 30, 2017

    For whatever reason, my computer would not update the blog over the weekend so I’m reading three posts this evening. My oldest daughter was married Saturday, so other than missing the blog, it was a great weekend!!

    First, I have to say that I am not the ordinary man on the street re early Christianity. I was even reading this stuff in the 1960s when I was supposed to be concentrating on physics, working for my PhD. I think that has to do with my own journey away from “conservative evangelicalism” to very liberal Christianity. Similar to yours, but not the same.

    Second, it is fascinating to me to read your posts, readers’ comments, replies, etc. I thank you *profusely* for taking the time to do this!! I am very into charitable stuff, so I’m going to add a new contribution to the blog.

    Third, I don’t know a whole lot of people who would be interested in the blog, other than the current (interim) pastor of my church. So I’m not sure how the gift membership thing would play out in my case. I have three adult children who have varying interests in religion, but I don’t think any of them would read the blog regularly if I gifted it to them.

    Being nasty, I could gift a membership to the pastor we got rid of a year ago, largely due to the fact that he was trying to make a UCC church into a fundamentalist church. I doubt that he would log into the blog, given what I know of his theology. Example, preaching re Noah “And if it weren’t for Noah, we wouldn’t be here!”

    I’ve not given you much in the way of positive suggestions. I’ll keep thinking about it. And don’t bother to respond unless there is something that piques your interest!!!!

    Chuck

    • Bart
      Bart  October 31, 2017

      You had a higher calling last weekend. Congratulations!

  32. gwayersdds  October 30, 2017

    I truly enjoy reading the blog but with so many excellent and erudite readers responding, sometimes I feel that I don’t even know enough to ask an intelligent question, much less make a comment that really reveals my ignorance. Thus I would rather, as someone once said “keep my mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt”.

    • Bart
      Bart  October 31, 2017

      There is no such thing as a dumb question on this blog — so ask away! WHat matters is dealing with what you’re interested in!

    • Pattycake1974
      Pattycake1974  October 31, 2017

      I agree. Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks.

  33. DestinationReign
    DestinationReign  October 31, 2017

    Now, as the paradigm continues to rapidly change, we have come across this. At the 43:00 minute mark, the question is asked to the divining rods – “Is Bart Ehrman seeking truth?” The question is answered here at about 43:08:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0c3QAYmo7_o&t=6s

  34. cestmarrant  October 31, 2017

    1. Do you plug your blog whenever you do debates? Even if it’s a room-full of evangelical Christians, someone’s interest might get sparked, especially since the money goes to charity.
    2. When you write a book for us lay-people, could the blog be mentioned in some prominent way (like at the beginning of the first chapter)?
    3. (off topic) Did you ever end up doing a debate with Mike Licona on whether Jesus and the Apostles would recognize today’s Evangelical Christian as a Christian? [This came up in your April 16, 2011 debate with him on the Justin Brierley show: at 48:45 “My view is that Jesus and the Apostles would not recognize today’s Evangelical Christian as a Christian. Because Evangelical Christianity is so far removed from anything Jesus ever preached.”]

    • Bart
      Bart  November 1, 2017

      Yes, I plug my blog whenever I can in my speaking engagements; and nope, I’ve never had that debate.

  35. 4Erudite  November 1, 2017

    Concerning your blog ‘input’ request…first, I am relatively new to the Blog. I didn’t join the Blog to challenge what is presented, but instead to learn new information and the point-of-view from a scholarly source on matters/subjects/topics that I have long questioned. When I research religious matters, I always have more questions than answers…but that is why we research…and you have filled many of the ‘potholes’ in my road-of-life as it relates to religious teachings fed to me since birth and told not to question…which I naturally questioned.

    Suggestions/Comments:
    1) Don’t know how much programing it would take, but it would be nice to receive your daily blog via ‘group’ e-mail…I just don’t have time daily to pull-up and access your website and thus rush reading what I can when I can…I have slow internet provider and have to access your site using Internet Explorer, which I don’t normally use…e-mail would be quicker and easier for me…but that’s just me.
    2) I like the idea of an annual meeting in Chapel Hill, which, of course, is good for those of us near-by…but would consider traveling to other locations accordingly.
    3) I want to know more about your charity work, other than what I have read…an annual meeting would be a great place to ‘learn’ want I need to know for making contributions.
    4) FYI, I rarely read long winded comment posts…unless your reply strikes my interest.
    5) I know that there are some that might want to challenge you for being an agnostic…but unless I don’t fully understand (and that is very possible) what an agnostic is (to me, someone who says they don’t “know” if there is a God or afterlife), it seems to be that all Christians (myself included) who based their believes on ‘faith’ and not ‘facts’, are all really agnostics in denial…they just ‘believe’ (faith), they don’t ‘know’….being an agnostic doesn’t say there isn’t a God/Afterlife, it just says, well, maybe, I don’t ‘know’.

  36. John4
    John4  November 1, 2017

    What do I think?

    I *love* your blog with a heart that’s true, Bart.

    What do I recommend?

    1) Charge a buck per comment.

    Or, two bucks. An extra $50K for your charities, easy.

    2) Quit reading and approving every comment.

    Instead, groom a couple of volunteers to read and approve comments. They could forward to you comments with questions, and succinctly state the question for you on the wordier comments.

    Being able to ask you questions is *wonderful* Bart. Don’t, though, let yourself get needlessly bogged down in that part. You have readers, I should think, who would be delighted to help you lighten your load on that.

    You make a difference in my life, Bart. Thank you! 🙂

    • Bart
      Bart  November 1, 2017

      Well, that would certainly cut down on the number of comments, and make my life easier! 🙂 Thank *you*!

  37. Hank_Z  November 2, 2017

    To increase revenues, putting more emphasis on asking members to give small monthly donations will raise even more money than buying gift subscriptions. Both are great.

    Most members could probably donate $5 or $10 a month and barely notice it. Yet only $10 per month is the equivalent of about five gift subscriptions per year. Five bucks a month is better than two gift subscriptions per year.

    I personally am donating $100 per month even though I live on Social Security and part-time work. That equals giving 48 gift subscriptions each year.

    Also, it’s easier for many of us to just check the box to make a small monthly donation than it is to think of two to five people who will want to read about this subject.

    I recommend setting a goal for total members’ monthly donations and briefly reporting the results once a month…like some other fund-raisers do. This would keep this effort visible and would attract more monthly donations. And this would help move us above the annual revenue amount at which we’ve plateaued.

    • Bart
      Bart  November 3, 2017

      Many thanks for your donations! May your tribe increase!

  38. The Agnostic Christian
    The Agnostic Christian  November 3, 2017

    I made this point last year. I would like if comment notifications were automatically set to new replies. I’d like to know when someone replies to the comment I make and sometimes I forget to set it to the correct setting.

    • Bart
      Bart  November 5, 2017

      The problem is that lots of members of the blog don’t want additional emails indicating that new responses have come to their comments. (I would rather appreciate that myself, but can’t keep everyone happy all the time!)

  39. Sdibra  November 3, 2017

    To attract potential customers: You may want to add more frequent content on YouTube with shorter videos. That’s where I came to know your work and the blog. To attract paying customers: Adding extra content through the blog is a big plus, like the podcast. I love it! What do you think about maybe doing some debates or talks with colleagues? I enjoy the debates with the evangelicals but maybe having more scholarly debates would prove more educational. This can be a premium service if you join the blog. Also in your talks that you post in YouTube, sell the blog more! Speak about the podcast. It’s the new big thing!! Cheers and good luck!

  40. RJKinNYC  November 7, 2017

    Bart, I’d like to see a blog post by you about the communion of saints. Specifically, why does this article of faith appear in the Apostles Creed and not in the Nicene Creed? My understanding is that the Apostles Creed emerged early as part of the rite of Baptism. I also understand that it was part of the source material for the Nicene Creed. Are my understandings in this regard correct? If so, it would seem that the communion of saints was deliberately omitted from the Nicene Creed. If so, then why?

    • Bart
      Bart  November 8, 2017

      I think your understanding of the Apostles Creed is right, but I’m afraid I don’t know about the communion of the saints!

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