I am so pleased that we have now launched the new Bart Ehrman Blog site. It was many, many months in the making, and many thanks to my assistant Steven Ray who conceived, designed, and implemented it. I hope you agree that it has a great new look.

There are several features that you may find very useful.

As you will see, many of the old features are the same. You will still receive five posts a week and you will still be able to access archives going back to April 2012. There is a lot of information buried away in there! You can also still search for posts you are interested in, either by doing a simple word search (e.g., “Authorship of the Gospels,” “Judas Iscariot,” or “Persecution” etc.); or by clicking on any category (under Recent Posts) and getting a full chronological listing; or even by going to the archives and browsing through the titles, day by day, arranged chronologically, month by month, for all these years (go to the bottom of the left column of Recent Posts to Post Archives)

There are new features as well, with more to come. Among them: we will be sending to you notifications every time a post appears, if – and only if – you want to receive them And we will have a feature that will allow you to save your Favorite Posts for easy future reference.

Most noticeably, you will see that there are different benefits for different membership tiers. The Bronze level allows you to read everything, past, present, and future; for lots of folks, that’s all they want. The Silver allows you to make comments on posts; more interactive! The Gold level provides you with an audio version every day a post comes out; a serious improvement for lots of people. And Platinum? Ah, Platinum. Platinum guarantees a lifetime of joy and sunshine basking on the beaches of Bermuda without a worry in the world. Well, OK, not exactly, but still: there are some serious perks there. Go to JOIN and you will see how to get a fuller description of each membership level.

Everyone who was already a (current) member on the old blog has been brought into the new blog on the Bronze Level. BUT, as you will notice: (a) For the rest of this year, until Dec. 31, all Bronze members will be given Silver benefits (and at that point you can upgrade if you like – as I’ll explain in a minute); (b) for those later renewing or joining at the Bronze level (again until Dec. 31) the fees will be set at the pre-new-blog-site level ($24.95 instead of $29.95).

That brings us to membership fees. You will see that the basic fee (Bronze) has gone up $5.00 for the year. We have not changed the membership price since we started in April 2012. Given the time span since then, that little business of inflation, AND, most especially, the fact that membership provides far, far more now than it did then, we decided to raise the price. What more is available now? Well, among other things, over 2440 posts in archives, and over 100,000 comments and responses.
Plus, the increase is $5.00 more for charity, each and every time someone joins or renews. The fees for higher levels are meant to be commensurate with the additional benefits. I hope you think so too! As always, we will try to find ways to help people acquire a membership if they cannot afford it.

NOW, we come to one of the most important new features of the blog that may require some explaining. Suppose you’re at one level and want to UPGRADE to a higher level – not in eight months when your current subscription expires but NOW! It’s easy to do. When you enter the blog *and* log in, you will see on the top right of the landing page an option to “Upgrade.” Click that. And go from there.

Your fee for the upgrade will be prorated, depending on how many days are left on your subscription. Suppose you are Silver and want to become Gold. Hey, who doesn’t want to become gold? The Gold tier is $10 more per year. You, let us say, are exactly half way through your membership period (whatever exactly half of 365 is; so let’s say it’s a leap year). When you indicate you want to be upgraded to buy Gold for a year, you will be told that the fee is $5.00 for the prorated period (half of the additional cost from Silver to Gold), and after that it will be $49.95 / year. And it will include a reminder that for your convenience (OK, and ours) memberships renew automatically, until you tell us to stop. But please don’t tell us to stop.

NOTE as well: in the new system you can join by the month instead of by the year. Some people very much prefer that. I understand! Now it’s now an option.

You will discover other important features of the new site. Please, in particular, check out the FAQ’s. They include such things as how to get notifications that a post has appeared; how to search the archives; what various payment options are; how to use an avatar, the obligatory “how to reset your password,” and so on.

I’m pumped about the new site and our future. Let me say three things in conclusion.

• First and most important. I really very much appreciate your interest and support of the blog. I am keenly interested in disseminating knowledge about the New Testament, Early Christianity, and other related fields of scholarship, and I genuinely enjoy engaging with all of you, and hope you find the posts and interactions useful. I also am deeply committed to raising funds for charity. As you know, we hit the $1,000,000 mark just this month. We want to do more, and hope we can grow the blog and improve it significantly as we continue to move forward.

• To that end: if you have any suggestions that can help us improve your experience, please let us know. Simply give it as a comment on a post (you can make a comment and raise a question of any kind on any post—whether it’s related or not!) and I will take it to heart. Most of the best improvements on the blog have come from members with ideas.

• And on the flipside: if you have problems, let us know. We are realistic enough to suspect there will be bumps in our transition to this new site. We hope we have worked out the major bugs, but we will certainly be discovering “issues.” And we will just as certainly be working to get on top of them to solve them. But apart from that – any difficulties you have, let us know. We want your blog experience to be as easy and enjoyable as possible.

And so, for now, welcome as we move onward!