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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 142.
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Rated 1 out of 5 by from Disappointing The title is deliberately misleading: it is designed to attract believing Christians only to smack them with a course that is merely written to attack the Bible's inspiration and accuracy. The teacher went as far as misquoting Bible verses on a respectable service like The Great Courses. Waste of money.
Date published: 2022-05-28
Rated 1 out of 5 by from A religious class taught by an atheist. To say I feel cheated is an understatement. To actually have an atheist teach religious classes is like a faith healer teaching surgery. You should be more than ashamed.
Date published: 2022-05-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sine qua non to understand the new testament Although I knew the vague historical outlines such as the Gospels were written around the 90's CE and Paul's epistles a few decades earlier I have always approached reading the Bible in a very pietistic way which is not necessarily bad but having some fundamentals is extremely helpful and does not take away any reverence for the Scriptures. Delving into context and historicity has been invaluable and I wish that the contents of this course in one form or another were obligatory preparatory material for everyone with even the remotest interest in the Scriptures and certainly all Church groups doing Bible studies.
Date published: 2022-04-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Biblical "fact check" Religion requires faith. Dr. Ehrman's lectures are fact oriented. The facts are well presented by an excellent lecturer. This overlay of facts on a subject of faith, such as whether or not the New Testament is the "word of God" at a minimum tells me where my faith must step in to fill the void. Dr. Ehrman lays out the parchment upon which the Christian faith is written. This particular lecture series ended rather abruptly. but that did not affect the value of the product.
Date published: 2022-02-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very Informative I learned many things that I did not realize had occurred.
Date published: 2022-01-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from perhaps more detail than some conservative seminar I Highly recommend this lecture. Really great course, perhaps more detail than some conservative seminary courses would want their students to investigate. With so many open questions as to authorship and interpretation of the New Testament, it really leaves me wanting to go deeper into early Christian history to find out more of the hidden truth of Christian belief. Of course, this level of inquiry will in no way blemish my firm belief that there is a God, but it does cause me to question many dogmatic teachings in the Christian church today, and even how the church managed to develop to where it is today with so many viable variations that could have been followed. I understand why the professor changed his mind about his Christian faith and decided to call himself an agnostic and no longer a Christian. I guess he will have to pray to the unknown God. Jay
Date published: 2021-10-18
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
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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

After his crucifixion, Jesus' disciples came to believe he'd been raised from the dead and made a divine being. What had seemed like defeat became for them the ultimate cosmic victory.

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 Triumph of Christianity
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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