If you read my post yesterday, I’ve Been Tagged, (If you didn’t why not? Go read it now dammit!) One of the questions I was asked was “If you could befriend any author in real life, who would it be?”. I had several on my list, but number one with a bullet (sorry a throwback to my DJ days), is Dr. Bart D. Ehrman.
Dr. Ehrman is a professor at UNC-Chapel Hill, the college I wanted to go to when I graduated High School way back when. My SAT score was even #1 for the school that year, so I feel that despite my mediocre grades (I’m sure my grades would have been much better if I had only shown up for more classes than band – yes I was, and still am a band geek), I would have been accepted. No financial assistance or anything, but I could have gone. But my mom said it was out of the question since it was a “party school”. How the hell did she know? Did she read the Playboy Party School articles? I know that’s how I learned which were the biggest party schools (it was always some little college in San Diego that took top honors, I forget the name). My reason for going there was at the time, the Dean of the medical school was a Dr. Issac Taylor. Probably better known as the father of musical genius James Taylor. I was just hoping that James would make a spontaneous appearance or two while I was there. I didn’t know he and his father were not exactly on speaking terms. So I joined the military instead. That’ll show ’em I thought. Screw college.
So that was a long paragraph with very little about Dr. Ehrman. This is a link to his Amazon Author Page. I tend to buy Kindle books, simply because I don’t like killing trees. Although I admit, I do sometimes miss being able to just flip back to a section to quote something online. But you can highlight in the Kindle app, and that works for me.
Dr. Ehrman’s books are simply amazing. As a preeminent professor of the New Testament, despite not being a Christian, his views will quite often fall outside the “accepted norm”. But, many times his writings have become the “accepted norm”.
He has a blog. It’s not free, which at first disappointed me. I was like, “I’m already paying for your books, why do I need to pay to read your blog too?”. But after reading a little deeper, I found that all proceeds from the blog go straight to several charities in and around where he lives. That made all the difference to me. I immediately signed up and paid my “dues”.
One of the benefits of this blog is his almost daily postings on various biblical topics. They have covered topics such as “Paul’s View On Women”, “Were Cut & Paste Jobs Common In Antiquity” (which was actually a guest post). Along with “Is Paul Given Too Much Credit”, which is today’s post, asks some great questions about why the early church fathers don’t use Paul’s teachings. His series on “Was Jesus Given Special Treatment” (a series on whether or not Jesus was allowed to be taken down from the cross the day he was crucified or not). Is especially interesting (and I agree with Dr. Ehrman). It also has a quote that sums my belief in the person we call Jesus Christ;
He is important to us. For Christians, he is their Savior. For those of us who are not Christian – at least for me – he is the most important figure in the history of civilization. I spend my life thinking about him, reading about him, researching about him, teaching about him, and writing about him. I *do* give him special treatment. Did PILATE give him special treatment? I just can’t believe he did.
Another resource I’d like to pass along is called “The Great Courses“. They have courses in just about anything you can think of, from cooking to religion to photography to languages. They are currently running an 80% off special through February 8th, so check them out soon. I bought the combo set of the “Old Testament” taught by Dr. Amy-Jill Levine and the “New Testament” taught by none other than Dr. Ehrman. You can get DVD’s, video downloads (my choice – don’t even own a DVD player anymore). Also available are complete transcripts (in paperback dead tree versions) of the videos so you can follow along while watching the videos or for later reference, but there is an extra cost for these. I plan on watching the first Old Testament video today during lunch.
I realize this isn’t living up to my “goal of having a humorous blog” as I said yesterday, but I wanted to pass this along before I forgot about it.
Go check these resources out and let me know what you think!