David Bercot

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David W. Bercot (born April 13, 1950) is an attorney,[1] author, and international speaker.[2] He has written various books and magazine articles about early Christianity and Christian discipleship.[3] His two best-known works are Will the Real Heretics Please Stand Up?, and the Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs. Bercot is a conservative American Christian and lives in Pennsylvania, United States.[4] His name is pronounced like the French name "Berçot".


David Bercot was raised as a Jehovah's Witness.[5] After leaving Jehovah’s Witnesses in 1976, he began his university education. He graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University summa cum laude,[6] and he obtained his Doctor of Jurisprudence degree cum laude from Baylor University School of Law.[7]

In 1985, Bercot began an in-depth study of the early Christians who lived before the Council of Nicaea in A.D. 325. His studies started him on a spiritual pilgrimage.[8] In 1989, he wrote the book, Will the Real Heretics Please Stand Up, which sets forth some of the teachings and lifestyle of the early Christians.[9] That same year, he joined with an Assembly of God pastor to establish Scroll Publishing Company for the purpose of publishing various writings of the pre-Nicene Christians, as well as to publish other Christian books.[10]

Bercot’s studies of the early Christians brought him into contact and dialogue with three different branches of Christianity: the Anabaptists (Mennonites, Amish, Brethren),[11] the Anglican Church, and the churches of the Restoration Movement (Church of Christ, Disciples of Christ, International Church of Christ).[12] In 1985, after completing his religious studies through Cambridge University, Bercot was ordained as an Anglican priest.[13] However, he eventually left the Anglican Church and began fellowshipping with various Anabaptist churches.[14]

Today Bercot is a lecturer and author who emphasizes the simplicity of Biblical doctrine and early (ante-Nicene) Christian teaching over against what he would call the heavy and complex body of theological understandings that have built up over the centuries in churches and in academia and that have come to be thought of as orthodoxy. He is particularly notable for his deeply nonresistant understanding of Jesus's and New Testament teaching.


Bercot’s most widely read work is A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs, published in 1998.[15] It is a work that collects together over 7000 excerpts from the writings believed by many to be those of early Christians, arranged alphabetically by topic.[16] According to Bercot, before the publication of his work, the only practical way to determine what the early Christians believed about any given topic was to read the actual writings of the Ante-Nicene Fathers themselves. After the publication of A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs, the Evangelical Review of Theology stated: “David Bercot has done the church a great service in providing an accessible point of entry into the extant writings of the pre-Nicene church.”[17] The Conservative Theological Journal stated: “This is a must text for everyone interested in modern theological trends in general and especially historical studies.”[18]

Other popular books that Bercot has written are Will the Real Heretics Please Stand Up, published originally in 1989, and The Kingdom That Turned the World Upside Down (2003), and Will the Theologians Please Sit Down (2009).[19]


Bercot and his wife, Deborah, were married in 1972. They have three children.[20]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Martindale-Hubbell [1], accessed November 26, 2010.
  2. ^ Eglise de Mainson [2], accessed November 27, 2010.
  3. ^ Wilson, Dean [3], accessed November 26, 2010.
  4. ^ Martindale-Hubbell [4], accessed November 26, 2010.
  5. ^ Staten, Steve [5], accessed November 25, 2010.
  6. ^ Origen, The Pilgrim Road, Scroll Publishing Co., 1991, p. ix.
  7. ^ Hendrickson Publishers [6], accessed November 25, 2010.
  8. ^ davidbercot.com [7], accessed November 28, 2010.
  9. ^ Amazon.com [8], accessed November 26, 2010.
  10. ^ Scroll Publishing Co. [9], accessed November 24, 2010.
  11. ^ The Mennonite Encyclopedia, “Anabaptist,” Mennonite Brethren Publishing House, vol. A-C, pp. 111-116.
  12. ^ Restoration Movement [10], accessed November 16, 2010.
  13. ^ Hendrickson Publishers [11], accessed November 25, 2010.
  14. ^ Staten, Steve [12], accessed November 25, 2010.
  15. ^ The Library Thing [13], accessed November 10, 2010.
  16. ^ Ante-Nicene Fathers [14], accessed September 3, 2010.
  17. ^ Laird, Ray, Theological Commission Evangelical Review of Theology, January, 2000, Vol. 24 No. 1.
  18. ^ “The Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs,” in The Conservative Theological Journal, vol. 4 no. 16 (Fort Worth, TX: Tyndale Theological Seminary, December 2001), 334-362.
  19. ^ Amazon.com [15], accessed October 14, 2010.
  20. ^ Wilson, Dean [16], accessed October 4, 2010.

External links[edit]

Critiques of Will the Real Heretics Please Stand Up?