Bart D. Ehrman
|Bart D. Ehrman|
5 October 1955 |
Lawrence, Kansas, U.S.
|Education||BA (1978), MDiv (1981), PhD (1985)|
|Alma mater||Moody Bible Institute
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.|
|Children||Kelly and Derek|
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. Ehrman is a leading New Testament scholar, having written and edited over twenty-five books, including three college textbooks. He has also achieved acclaim at the popular level, authoring four New York Times bestsellers. Ehrman's work focuses on textual criticism of the New Testament, the Historical Jesus, and the evolution of early Christianity.
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 the Moody Bible Institute, where he earned their three-year diploma in 1976. 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.
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. 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 fifteen years but later became an agnostic after struggling with the philosophical problems of evil and suffering.
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.
He 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).
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.
Ehrman has written widely on issues of New Testament and early Christianity at both an academic and popular level, with over twenty five books including four New York Times bestsellers: Misquoting Jesus, Jesus, Interrupted, God's Problem, and Forged. Much of his work is on textual criticism and the New Testament. His books have been translated into twenty-seven 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."
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, 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.
In Misquoting Jesus he 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.
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.
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. 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.
In 2012, Ehrman published Did Jesus Exist? defending the thesis that Jesus of Nazareth existed in contrast to the mythicist theory that Jesus is an entirely mythical or fictitious being woven whole-cloth out of legendary material. He states he expects the book to be criticized both by some atheists as well as fundamentalist Christians. In response, Richard Carrier published a lengthy criticism of the book in April 2012, particularly questioning both Ehrman's facts and methodology. Ehrman replied to Carrier's criticisms on his website, primarily defending himself against Carrier's allegations of factual errors.
Several books have been written in response to Bart's works, including How God Became Jesus: The Real Origins of Belief in Jesus' Divine Nature---A Response to Bart D. Ehrman by Michael F. Bird, Craig A. Evans, Simon Gathercole and Charles E. Hill, Misquoting Truth: A Guide to the Fallacies of Bart Ehrman's Misquoting Jesus by Timothy Paul Jones; Misrepresenting Jesus: Debunking Bart D. Ehrman's Misquoting Jesus by Edward D. Andrews; Bart Ehrman and the Quest of the Historical Jesus of Nazareth: An Evaluation of Ehrman's Did Jesus Exist? by Richard Carrier, D.M. Murdock, Earl Doherty, René Salm, David Fitzgerald, Frank R. Zindler, and Robert M. Price; and The End of an Illusion: How Bart Ehrman's "Did Jesus Exist?" Has Laid the Case for an Historical Jesus to Rest by Earl Doherty. Dr. Richard Carrier, specialist in Ancient History, challenged Bart Ehrman's Did Jesus Exist? on numerous factual grounds, resulting in a dialogue between the two.
Others have defended Ehrman, stating that in his popular books he restates knowledge which is consensual among biblical scholars.
Bart Ehrman created the Bart Ehrman Foundation to raise money for alleviating the effects of poverty, hunger, and homelessness. He started his "Christianity in Antiquity (CIA)" blog in 2012 and all membership fees collected to join the blog are donated to several charities. In the blog Bart Ehrman provides his insights and opinions on important issues related to the New Testament and early Christianity, discusses his books and public debates, responds to criticisms from other scholars, and answers questions and concerns raised by readers. In its first year, the blog raised $37,000 for charity through blog membership fees. In 2013, the blog raised $61,000 for charity.
- Didymus the Blind and the Text of the Gospels (The New Testament in the Greek Fathers; No. 1). Society of Biblical Literature. 1987. ISBN 1-55540-084-1.
- The Text of the New Testament in Contemporary Research: Essays on the Status Quaestionis. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. 1995. ISBN 0-8028-4824-9.
- The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture: The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament. Oxford University Press, USA. 2011 . ISBN 0-19-973978-1.
- After the New Testament: A Reader in Early Christianity. Oxford University Press, USA. 1998. ISBN 0-19-511445-0.
- Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium. Oxford University Press, USA. 1999. ISBN 0-19-512474-X.
- Lost Scriptures: Books that Did Not Make It into the New Testament. Oxford University Press, USA. 2003. ISBN 0-19-514182-2.
- The New Testament and Other Early Christian Writings: A Reader. Oxford University Press, USA. 2003. ISBN 0-19-515464-9.
- The Apostolic Fathers: Volume I. I Clement. II Clement. Ignatius. Polycarp. Didache. Harvard University Press. 2003. ISBN 0-674-99607-0.
- The Apostolic Fathers: Volume II. Epistle of Barnabas. Papias and Quadratus. Epistle to Diognetus. The Shepherd of Hermas. Harvard University Press. 2003. ISBN 0-674-99608-9.
- Ehrman, Bart; Jacobs, Andrew S. (2003). Christianity in Late Antiquity, 300-450 C.E.: A Reader. Oxford University Press, USA. ISBN 0-19-515461-4.
- The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings. Oxford University Press, USA. 2003. ISBN 0-19-515462-2.
- Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew. Oxford University Press, USA. 2003. ISBN 0-19-514183-0.
- A Brief Introduction to the New Testament. Oxford University Press, USA. 2004. ISBN 0-19-516123-8.
- Truth and Fiction in The Da Vinci Code: A Historian Reveals What We Really Know about Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and Constantine. Oxford University Press, USA. 2004. ISBN 0-19-518140-9.
- Metzger, Bruce M.; Ehrman, Bart (2005). The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration. Oxford University Press, USA. ISBN 0-19-516667-1.
- Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why. HarperSanFrancisco. 2005. ISBN 0-06-073817-0.
- Peter, Paul, and Mary Magdalene: The Followers of Jesus in History and Legend. Oxford University Press, USA. 2006. ISBN 0-19-530013-0.
- The Lost Gospel of Judas Iscariot: A New Look at Betrayer and Betrayed. Oxford University Press, USA. 2006. ISBN 978-0-19-531460-1.
- God's Problem: How the Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important Question – Why We Suffer. HarperCollins, USA. 2008. ISBN 978-0-06-117397-4.
- Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don't Know About Them). HarperCollins, USA. 2009. ISBN 978-0-06-117394-3.
- Forged: Writing in the Name of God—Why the Bible's Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are. HarperCollins, USA. 2011. ISBN 978-0-06-201261-6.
- Ehrman, Bart; Pleše, Zlatko (2011). The Apocryphal Gospels: Texts and Translations. Oxford University Press, USA. ISBN 978-0-19-973210-4.
- Did Jesus Exist?:The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth. HarperCollins, USA. 2012. ISBN 978-0-06-220460-8.
- Forgery and Counterforgery: The Use of Literary Deceit in Early Christian Polemics. Oxford University Press, USA. 2012. ISBN 978-0-19-992803-3.
- The Bible: A Historical and Literary Introduction. Oxford University Press, USA. 2013. ISBN 978-0-19-530816-7.
- The Other Gospels: Accounts of Jesus from Outside the New Testament. Oxford University Press, USA. 2013. ISBN 978-0-19-933522-0.
- How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee. HarperOne, USA. 2014. ISBN 978-0-06-177818-6.
- John Blake "Former fundamentalist 'debunks' Bible", CNN, 2009
- Ehrman, Bart D.. Misquoting Jesus, HarperSanFrancisco. 2005. ISBN 0-06-073817-0
- Official website Bart Ehrman – Biography
- "Bart Ehrman". The Colbert Report. 20 June 2006. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
- "Bart Ehrman". The Colbert Report. 9 April 2009. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
- "Bart Ehrman". The Daily Show. 14 March 2006. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
- Dwight Garner (2 April 2006). "Inside the List: The Agnostic". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
- Jennifer Schuessler (19 March 2009). "Inside the List: Honest to Jesus". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
- "Best Sellers: Hardcover Nonfiction (March 9, 2008)". The New York Times. 9 March 2008. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
- "Best Sellers: Hardcover Nonfiction: Sunday, April 10th 2011". The New York Times. 10 April 2011. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
- Official website Bart Ehrman – Main Page
- Richard Carrier (19 April 2012). "Ehrman on Jesus: A Failure of Facts and Logic". Freethought Blogs. Retrieved 23 October 2013.
- Bart D. Ehrman (25 April 2012). "Fuller Reply to Carrier". CIA: The Bart Ehrman Blog. Retrieved 23 October 2013.
- Ehrman on Historicity Recap by Richard Carrier, retrieved Feb. 18, 2014.
- Cargill, Robert (2011-02-18). "i stand with bart ehrman: a review of the ‘ehrman project’". "since most of Ehrman’s textual arguments are essentially the well-established and long-accepted consensus views of just about every worthwhile critical biblical scholar not teaching at a Christian university, seminary, or school with the word “Evangelical” in the title... conservative scholars attempt to refute the biblical scholarship that is taught in every major university save the aforementioned conservative Christian schools."
- "Philanthropy". CIA: The Bart Ehrman Blog. Retrieved 23 October 2013.
- Bart D. Ehrman (20 April 2012). "What Charities Does The Blog Support?". CIA: The Bart Ehrman Blog. Retrieved 23 October 2013.
- Bart D. Ehrman (3 April 2012). "Our One-Year Anniversary!". CIA: The Bart Ehrman Blog. Retrieved 23 October 2013.
- Bart D. Ehrman (31 December 2013). "End of the Year Blog Reflection". CIA: The Bart Ehrman Blog. Retrieved 31 December 2013.
- Bart Ehrman's website
- Christianity in Antiquity (CIA): The Bart Ehrman Blog
- Faculty page, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
- Stanford lecture on "Misquoting Jesus" (YouTube video)
- A Q&A session with Ehrman
- Interview with Bart Ehrman on "God's Problem" by ReadTheSpirit.com
- Bart Ehrman's page at The Teaching Company