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” ...

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My Recitation Debates

Before I talk about the debate I had with myself in front of my class this week, on the topic Resolved: The New Testament Book of Acts is Historically Reliable, I need to do some considerable stage-setting.  First, in this post, let me explain how the class is set up (including the debates the students themselves do), to make sense of what I was trying to accomplish in my staged split-personality (affirmative and negative).

So the class is an Introduction to ...

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The Value (or Not) of Debates

As most readers of the blog know, I do a good number of public debates, almost always (I’m trying to think if there is an exception!) with conservative evangelical Christians or fundamentalists who think that my views are dangerous to the good Christians of their communities and to all those non-Christians they very much want to convert.   My view all along has been that my historical views are not a threat to Christian faith, but only to a particular (and ...

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Textual Criticism Syllabus

This semester I am teaching my PhD seminar in precisely the topic I’ve been discussing for the past number of weeks, New Testament textual criticism.  Here, for your reading pleasure, is the syllabus for the class.


  Reli 809: New Testament Textual Criticism

  Instructor:  Bart D. Ehrman

   University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

   Fall 2015


Course Description

This class focuses on one of the foundational disciplines of biblical studies.  New Testament textual criticism ...

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My Final Exam for NT

So, classes are officially over here at UNC, and we are in the Final Exam period.  Today I gave my final for the Introduction to the New Testament class.   As some of you may recall, back in January 2014 I posted on the blog the pop quiz I give the first day of class for this course.  It is here, in case you’re interested:   When I give this quiz on the first day, I tell the students ...

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False Rumors (or lies?) About My Teaching


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 ...

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Whom Do We Admit into our Graduate Program?

So, now finally to get to the question I was asked, which led me into a discussion of what our graduate program entails.    Here was the original question

QUESTION: Can you write something about the background of your PhD students, how you selected them, what makes a prospective doctoral candidate stand out against the pack, whether there is a huge academic gulf between knowledge and argumentative skills of your undergraduates and research students.

RESPONSE:   Like all good graduate ...

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New Testament Programs and Ancient Med.

Teaching graduate students in the field of Ancient Mediterranean Religions – even if one’s subfield is the New Testament and early Christianity – can be very different from teaching the same field in a divinity school, as I began to indicate last time.  At least it is very different from the field as it was taught at Princeton Theological Seminary, where I went.   New Testament faculty there principally taught courses on exegesis – that is the interpretation of Scripture.  These ...

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Ancient Mediterranean Religions?!?

Being trained in a PhD program in a seminary or divinity school is very different from being trained in a secular research university.   I know this full well, because my PhD was from Princeton Theological Seminary, but my graduate teaching has all been at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

I sometimes find it amusing that some of my critics attack my credentials for interpreting the New Testament because – they say – I was principally trained to be ...

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Departments of Religious Studies

In my previous post I began to address the question of what we look for when students apply to enter into our PhD program.   To make sense of what I have to say about that, I need to give yet more background into what our program *is*.   In my previous post I started discussing how programs of religious studies in secular colleges and universities began to appear after WWII.

My department has always claimed to be the first full-fledged Department of ...

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