Bart D. Ehrman

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"Ehrman" redirects here. For another historian, see John Ehrman.
Bart D. Ehrman
Bart D. Ehrman.JPG
Born (1955-10-05) 5 October 1955 (age 58)
Lawrence, Kansas, U.S.
Nationality American
Education BA (1978), MDiv (1981), PhD (1985)
Alma mater Moody Bible Institute
Wheaton College
Princeton Theological Seminary
Employer The Department of Religious Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Known for New Testament authentication and textual variants, historical Jesus, early Christian writings, orthodox corruption of scripture.
Religion None (Agnostic)[1]
Spouse(s) Sarah Beckwith
Children Kelly and Derek
Website
www.bartdehrman.com

Bart D. Ehrman (born 5 October 1955) is an American New Testament scholar, currently the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a leading scholar in his field, having written and edited over 25 books, including three college textbooks, and has also achieved acclaim at the popular level, authoring five New York Times bestsellers. Ehrman's work focuses on textual criticism of the New Testament, the historical Jesus, and the development of early Christianity.

Education[edit]

Ehrman grew up in Lawrence, Kansas, and attended Lawrence High School, where he was on the state champion debate team in 1973. He began studying the Bible and its original languages at Moody Bible Institute, where he earned their three-year diploma in 1976.[2] He is a 1978 graduate of Wheaton College in Illinois, where he received his bachelors degree. He received his PhD and M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary, where he studied under Bruce Metzger. He received magna cum laude for both his BA in 1978 and PhD in 1985.[3]

Career[edit]

Ehrman became an Evangelical Christian as a teenager. In his books, he recounts his youthful enthusiasm as a born-again, fundamentalist Christian, certain that God had inspired the wording of the Bible and protected its texts from all error.[2] His desire to understand the original words of the Bible led him to the study of ancient languages and to textual criticism. During his graduate studies, however, he became convinced that there are contradictions and discrepancies in the biblical manuscripts that could not be harmonized or reconciled. He remained a liberal Christian for 15 years but later became an agnostic after struggling with the philosophical problems of evil and suffering.[2]

Ehrman has taught at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill since 1988, after four years of teaching at Rutgers University. At UNC he has served as both the Director of Graduate Studies and the Chair of the Department of Religious Studies. He was the recipient of the 2009 J. W. Pope "Spirit of Inquiry" Teaching Award, the 1993 UNC Undergraduate Student Teaching Award, the 1994 Phillip and Ruth Hettleman Prize for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement, and the Bowman and Gordon Gray Award for excellence in teaching.[3]

Ehrman currently serves as co-editor of the series New Testament Tools, Studies, and Documents (E. J. Brill), co-editor-in-chief for the journal Vigiliae Christianae, and on several other editorial boards for journals and monographs. Ehrman formerly served as President of the Southeast Region of the Society of Biblical Literature, chair of the New Testament textual criticism section of the Society, book review editor of the Journal of Biblical Literature, and editor of the monograph series The New Testament in the Greek Fathers (Scholars Press).[3]

Ehrman speaks extensively throughout the United States and has participated in many public debates, including debates with William Lane Craig, Dinesh D'Souza, Mike Licona, Craig A. Evans, Daniel B. Wallace, Richard Swinburne, Peter J. Williams, James White, Darrell Bock and Michael L. Brown.

In 2006 and 2009 he appeared on The Colbert Report,[4][5] as well as The Daily Show,[6] to promote his books Misquoting Jesus, and Jesus, Interrupted (respectively).

Ehrman has appeared on the History Channel, the National Geographic Channel, Discovery Channel, A&E, Dateline NBC, CNN, and NPR's Fresh Air and his writings have been featured in TIME, Newsweek, The New York Times, The New Yorker, and The Washington Post.[7]

Works[edit]

Ehrman has written widely on issues of New Testament and early Christianity at both an academic and popular level, with over 25 books including three college textbooks and five New York Times bestsellers: Misquoting Jesus,[8] Jesus, Interrupted,[9] God's Problem,[10]Forged,[11][12] and How Jesus Became God.[13] Much of his work is on textual criticism and the New Testament. His books have been translated into 27 languages.

In The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture Ehrman argues that there was a close relationship between the social history of early Christianity and the textual tradition of the emerging New Testament. He examines how early struggles between Christian "heresy" and "orthodoxy" affected the transmission of the documents. Ehrman is often considered a pioneer in connecting the history of the early church to textual variants within biblical manuscripts and in coining such terms as "Proto-orthodox Christianity."[14]

In Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium Ehrman argues that the historical Jesus was an apocalyptic preacher, and that imminent apocalyptic beliefs are recorded first in the earliest Christian documents (the authentic Pauline epistles, 1st Thessalonians and 1st Corinthians) and then later in Jesus' preaching in the earliest Christian gospels: the Gospel of Mark and the Gospel of Matthew. Paul's epistles and Jesus' preaching indicate Jesus believed the Son of man would soon arrive, and all present powerful nations would fall and God's kingdom would be established on earth. The twelve disciples would each get a throne alongside the Son of Man and judge each of the twelve Jewish tribes. [Matt 19:28]. Jesus may have come to believe he was to be the Son of man, or else a gospel writer may have put those words and that idea in Jesus' mouth. The early Christians believed Jesus to be the returning Son of man. There are no "end times" predicted in the latest, and last gospel, the Gospel of John.[15][16]

In Misquoting Jesus Ehrman introduces New Testament textual criticism. He outlines the development of New Testament manuscripts and the process and cause of manuscript errors in the New Testament.[17][18]

In Jesus, Interrupted he describes the progress scholars have made in understanding the Bible over the past two hundred years and the results of their study, results which are often unknown among the population at large. In doing so, he highlights the diversity of views found in the New Testament, the existence of forged books in the New Testament which were written in the names of the apostles by Christian writers who lived decades later, and the later invention of Christian doctrines—such as the suffering messiah, the divinity of Jesus, and the Trinity.[19][20]

In Forged Ehrman posits some New Testament books are forgeries and shows how widely forgery was practiced by early Christian writers—and how it was condemned in the ancient world as fraudulent and illicit.[21] His scholarly book, Forgery and Counterforgery is an advanced look at the practice of forgery in the NT and early Christian literature. It makes a case for considering falsely attributed or pseudepigraphic books in the New Testament and early Christian literature "forgery," looks at why certain New Testament and early Christian works are considered forged, and the broader phenomenon in Greek and Roman world.[22]

In 2012, Ehrman published Did Jesus Exist?, The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth, defending the historical fact that Jesus of Nazareth existed in contrast to the mythicist theory that Jesus is an entirely mythical or fictitious being.[23]

2014 saw the publication of How Jesus Became God:The Exaltation Of A Jewish Preacher From Galilee which examines the historical Jesus, who according to Ehrman neither thought of himself as God nor claimed to be God, and how he came to be thought of as the incarnation of God himself.[24]

Bibliography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ John Blake "Former fundamentalist 'debunks' Bible", CNN, 2009
  2. ^ a b c Ehrman, Bart D.. Misquoting Jesus, HarperSanFrancisco. 2005. ISBN 0-06-073817-0
  3. ^ a b c Official website Bart Ehrman – Biography
  4. ^ "Bart Ehrman". The Colbert Report. 20 June 2006. Retrieved 19 October 2013. 
  5. ^ "Bart Ehrman". The Colbert Report. 9 April 2009. Retrieved 19 October 2013. 
  6. ^ "Bart Ehrman". The Daily Show. 14 March 2006. Retrieved 19 October 2013. 
  7. ^ http://www.bartdehrman.com/curriculum.htm
  8. ^ Dwight Garner (2 April 2006). "Inside the List: The Agnostic". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 October 2013. 
  9. ^ Jennifer Schuessler (19 March 2009). "Inside the List: Honest to Jesus". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 October 2013. 
  10. ^ "Best Sellers: Hardcover Nonfiction (March 9, 2008)". The New York Times. 9 March 2008. Retrieved 22 October 2013. 
  11. ^ "Best Sellers: Hardcover Nonfiction: Sunday, April 10th 2011". The New York Times. 10 April 2011. Retrieved 22 October 2013. 
  12. ^ Official website Bart Ehrman – Main Page
  13. ^ "Best Sellers: Hardcover Nonfiction (April 13, 2014)". The New York Times. 13 April 2014. Retrieved 17 July 2014. 
  14. ^ Collins, Raymond F. "The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture". Journal of Early Christian Studies. 
  15. ^ Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium by Bart D. Ehrman (Sep 23, 1999) ISBN 0195124731 Oxford Univ Press pages
  16. ^ "Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium". Publisher's Weekly. Retrieved 24 May 2104. 
  17. ^ Garner, Dwight. "Inside the List". New York Times. Retrieved 24 May 2014. 
  18. ^ Gross, Terry. "Bart Ehrman's 'Misquoting Jesus'". NPR. Retrieved 24 May 2014. 
  19. ^ Barlow, Rich (May 6, 2009). "Book review: Turning a critical eye to the Bible". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2010-10-01. 
  20. ^ Blake, John. "Former fundamentalist 'debunks' Bible". CNN. Retrieved 24 May 2014. 
  21. ^ "Half of New Testament forged, Bible scholar says". CNN. 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-17.  CNN book review article summarizing Ehrman's claim that much of the New Testament was written as a forgery.
  22. ^ "Forgery and Counterforgery The Use of Literary Deceit in Early Christian Polemics". Oxford University Press. Retrieved 24 May 2014. 
  23. ^ Ehrman, Bart D. (2013-03-20). "Did Jesus Exist?". huffingtonpost.com. The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2014-04-08. 
  24. ^ "How Jesus Became God". NPR.com. NPR. Retrieved 14 July 2014. 

External links[edit]