History of the Bible: The Making of the New Testament Canon

Delve into a thorough introduction to key issues in the development of Christianity in this course designed by an award-winning professor.
History of the Bible: The Making of the New Testament Canon is rated 4.0 out of 5 by 136.
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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Authoritative and Informative Dr. Ehrman is a very good presenter for this material. He emphases important points and repeats them for emphasis and clarity. He provides examples where appropriate and compares and contrasts the differences between the New Testament authors.
Date published: 2021-10-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fascinating and Scholarly Speaker First, I found the presentation by Professor Ehrman fascinating because he speaks with authority, facts, historical and language evidence. If you are looking for theological perspective based on blind faith, then this course is NOT for you. Please attend a church and let the clergy preach at you so you can listen to what you like to hear! If you do not like what Professor Ehrman says, please do not blame him and accuse him of being bias. He is not telling you his opinion. As a true scholar of religious studies at research/PhD granting academic institution, he is presenting you with historical facts with both direct and indirect references mostly with SPECIFIC chapters, verses, different perspectives even among Christians. I learned tremendous amount of new information about the history of the development of the Bible , differences between Old and New Testaments. I also learned a lot about the differences of these two religions and ancient pagan religions…Absolutely fascinating and eye opening! I highly recommend the course and the instructor for an outstanding presentation!
Date published: 2021-09-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very Good Overview This series provides a good introductory level overview of the development of the New Testament Canon. Dr. Ehrman moves through the material at a good pace but does pause to discuss some issues in more depth - primarily areas where historical context is needed or issues that are problematic in our attempt to understand what happened two thousand years ago. As you can tell from my last sentence, this is a HISTORY course and not a theological study. In that context, I fully recommend this course to anyone wanting to better understand the origins of the New Testament.
Date published: 2021-08-15
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Careful..... Before watching his courses be aware that Bert Erhman has been a self-proclaimed agnostic/atheist since the mid 1980’s. Inevitably his courses are taught from this perspective as his approach to the subjects he teaches ultimately reflect his own beliefs concerning them. Frequently during his courses it is hard to distinguish actual facts presented from his own personal conclusions. He is a very engaging instructor as he deftly leads you in the direction he has chosen to take you. If you are looking for everything that can be picked apart in the ancient manuscripts that make up the records of the Christian church this might be for you. However, if you are looking for courses to deepen your understanding of material presented in the Bible don’t be misled by the course titles, these are probably not for you.
Date published: 2021-05-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I find Prof. Ehrmans work sublime. He has a clear, erudite way that I could listen to for hours at a time. I cannot express my gratitude enough for his honest and informative teaching.
Date published: 2021-04-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Extremely Scholarly This is the clearest history of the formulation of the New Testament and how and when the various books were written and included.
Date published: 2020-06-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Well done. I'm still on my first course but I"m sure there will be more to follow. Well taught. Clear and informative. Also a great value.
Date published: 2020-03-28
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Mixed review The professor is good at explaining the differences between various books of the New Testament and the struggle to determine what should be considered an "orthodox" interpretation of those books . However in talking about the "historical inaccuracies" of the texts he seems to have forgotten that ancient historians were not concerned with setting down events exactly as they happened. That is a very modern goal of historians. Ancient historians used their accounts to teach what they considered to be important lessons. Biblical texts like the Gospels should be studied in that light. I can only recommend this course with that very strong caveat.
Date published: 2019-07-19
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Overview

The History of the Bible: The Making of the New Testament Canon offers you a fast-moving yet thorough introduction to key issues in the development of the New Testament. These include: its different kinds of books, the conditions in which they were composed, what they teach, who actually wrote them, and-perhaps most important of all-why and how some books and not others became part of the canon of scripture that would define Christianity for all time. With their scholarly approach, these insightful lectures provide a deeper understanding of the New Testament for both Christians and non-Christians alike.

About

Bart D. Ehrman
Bart D. Ehrman

Anyone who’s interested in understanding what the words of Jesus might mean in the modern world cannot take them at face value and apply them to the present situation without seeing how that situation is different from his own.

INSTITUTION

The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Dr. Bart D. Ehrman is the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He completed his undergraduate work at Wheaton College and earned his M.Div. and Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary. Professor Ehrman has written or edited 27 books, including four best sellers on The New York Times list: Misquoting Jesus: The Story behind Who Changed the Bible and Why; God's Problem: How the Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important Question-Why We Suffer; Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (and Why We Don't Know about Them);and Forged: Writing in the Name of God-Why the Bible's Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are. Professor Ehrman also served as president of the Society of Biblical Literature, Southeastern Region; book review editor of the Journal of Biblical Literature; editor of the Scholars' Press monograph series The New Testament in the Greek Fathers;and coeditor-in-chief for the journal Vigiliae Christianae. Professor Ehrman received the John William Pope Center Spirit of Inquiry Award, the UNC Students' Undergraduate Teaching Award, the Phillip and Ruth Hettleman Prize for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement by Young Faculty, and the Bowman and Gordon Gray Professorship (awarded for excellence in undergraduate teaching).

By This Professor

How Jesus Became God
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The New Testament
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Lost Christianities: Christian Scriptures and the Battles over Authentication
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The New Testament-An Overview

01: The New Testament-An Overview

The course begins by addressing some of the basic facts about the New Testament: which books it contains, when they were written, in what language, and by whom....

32 min
Paul-Our Earliest Christian Author

02: Paul-Our Earliest Christian Author

The Epistles of Paul are the earliest books of the New Testament, predating even the Gospels. In considering the realities of writing a letter in the ancient world, we discover some interesting issues that affect how we understand Paul's Epistles and the other writings of the New Testament....

31 min
The Pauline Epistles

03: The Pauline Epistles

This lecture looks at some of the major teachings of Paul's Epistles and shows how he shaped his theological and ethical views in light of the problems that had emerged in his burgeoning Christian communities....

30 min
The Problem of Pseudonymity

04: The Problem of Pseudonymity

This lecture considers the broad problem of pseudonymity, or forgery, in the ancient world, and applies our findings to the Pauline letters of the New Testament to see if any, in fact, were written by Paul's followers rather than Paul himself....

31 min
The Beginnings of the Gospel Traditions

05: The Beginnings of the Gospel Traditions

This lecture looks at the roots of the Gospel narratives in the oral traditions that were spread throughout the Mediterranean in the years after Jesus' death, examining how they might have been modified and what we can know about their historical accuracy....

31 min
The Earliest Gospels

06: The Earliest Gospels

This lecture examines the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, considering what sources of information were available to their anonymous authors, their overarching messages, possible discrepancies among these accounts, and whether they can be trusted as reliable historical documents....

30 min
The Other Gospels

07: The Other Gospels

There were many additional accounts of Jesus' words, deeds, death, and resurrection that were not included in the New Testament. This lecture discusses the reasons why they were excluded, and examines two of the most important of them in greater detail....

31 min
Apocalypticism and the Apocalypse of John

08: Apocalypticism and the Apocalypse of John

This lecture examines the Apocalypse of John, otherwise known as the Book of Revelation, explaining both the religious view known as apocalypticism and the way the book's symbolic descriptions would have been understood in the context of the times....

31 min
The Copyists Who Gave Us Scripture

09: The Copyists Who Gave Us Scripture

Why were the books of the New Testament circulated? What made Christians eager to read them? This lecture explores the rarity of a book-based religion in the Roman world and the significance to early Christianity of the decisions about which books to accept as authoritative....

31 min
Authority in the Early Church

10: Authority in the Early Church

The need to have written authorities for faith and practice is ultimately what drove Christians to construct a distinctively Christian canon of Scripture to add to the existing Old Testament. This lecture explores how Christian leaders decided which books to include in this canon....

31 min
The Importance of Interpretation

11: The Importance of Interpretation

Even as Christians began to agree on which books were to be accepted, they were confronted with the dilemma caused by differing interpretations. This lecture examines the ways early Christians interpreted these texts, with special note on the problems raised by "figurative," and not simply literal, readings....

30 min
When Did the Canon Get Finalized?

12: When Did the Canon Get Finalized?

The lecture examines how, why, and when the canon of 27 books was finalized, and includes a look at some that almost made it in, such as the Apocalypse of Peter-and some that almost did not, such as the Apocalypse of John....

31 min