What different kinds of books are in the New Testament? When, how, and why were they written? And why did some books, and not others, come to be collected into what Christians came to consider the canon of scripture that would define their belief for all time? With these 12 lectures, get a fast-moving yet thorough introduction to these and other key issues in the development of Christianity. Designed to deepen the understanding of both Christians and non-Christians alike, this lecture series takes as its perspective the historical, rather than the theological, issues behind the development of the Bible. And it's an illuminating perspective, indeed, ranging across issues of language, oral history, the physical limitations of spreading the written word at a time when the printing press lay far in the future, and, of course, the theological forces that were shaping Christianity, molding a commonly accepted canon from the various expressions of the faith spreading across the ancient world. Professor Ehrman recreates the context of the times in which the canon was being assembled so that you can understand what the message of each written work would have meant to ancient Christians. You'll come to see how the diverse books of the New Testament were gathered together into the form we now know, whether it's the four canonical Gospels (whose authorship was only attributed by later Christians), the book of Acts, the 21 Epistles, or the book of Revelation (sometimes called the Apocalypse of John).
These lectures are a compelling introduction not only to the development of the Christian canon, but to all of the forces that would play a role in early Christian history.
Disclaimer: Please note that this recording may include references to supplemental texts or print references that are not essential to the program and not supplied with your purchase.
©2005 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2005 The Great Courses
I disagree a bit with the previous reviewer in that although there are iTunes U courses that are excellent, Prof. Ehrman is the top of his field. I very much enjoyed the lecture series, Prof. Ehrman is an excellent lecturer and presents information in a clear and interesting way. I enjoyed this course more than the books, but I prefer to hear history and science in lecture form.
I highly recommend this lecture series if you are interested in the subject. I feel prof. Ehrman presents the subject in a fair and objective light, he is only presenting his academic studies and is not teaching a sermon or ranting against religion.
I liked the historical context of the lectures and how they detailed the writing of the books in the New Testament.
What I didn't like was that there seemed to be an undertone of doubt about the validity of any of the books. Prof. Ehrman began the lectures by stating that any two texts that were virtually identical in subject, writing style, or account could almost certainly be considered copies of eachother. (he went into a very convincing example in his lecture) He references several corresponding accounts in the gospels that he supposes had to be copied from other resources. Later, though, Ehrman references discrepancies in accounts of the same events in different gospels and uses this as reason to doubt the validity of scripture. I think a reasonable doubt is healthy when digesting any information, but you can't have it both ways. Ehrman is suggesting that similarities in scripture are reason to doubt their validity, and again later suggesting that discrepancies are reason to discredit.
These lectures are written from a historical perspective, not a theologic one. That said, it still seems that the goal of the lectures isn't only to educate about the writing, assembly, and preservation of the New Testament.
Knowledgable, Informative, Biased
I would like to see a point by point rebuttal from a biblical historical perspective. After independently researching many points made in the lectures and finding that they weren't entirely based in fact, I would love to listen to lectures that are based on biblical explanations.
A scholarly and historical (not devotional) perspective on how the New testament came to exist in its present form. The course is a lecture series given by premier Bible Scholar Bartrand Ehrman. If you're looking for an objective view into the history of the Bible and Christianity, I highly recommend this series.
Bart D. Ehrman is an interesting author and speaker. He talks from another perspective (agnostic) than others which makes it interesting.
The audiobook about Paul the apostle is also great and is in the same series.
It's just as good as his other performances.
I have avoided more of these courses, not because of the wonderful information contained within, but that accursed APPLAUSE at the end of each lecture. Occasionally, I cruise through the titles, almost give in and buy another one...then I remember how painful it was to dread the end of a lecture and have to listen to the clapping.
Some of the anthers I enjoy are Billy Graham, John Grisham, James Herriot.
Atheists would probably enjoy the author's sarcasm. Example, as a proposed joke the author puts a spin on to a saying of The Lord' s. "I am Divine and you are the branches" whereas the true reading is "I am The vine and you are the branches". Total unneeded sarcasm !!! This type of sarcasm is not flattering and runs somewhat rampart throughout. The author has potential to make the new Christian listener start to doubt. It should be noted that the author/narrator attended Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, as well as simular places of academia. From my understanding he was once a "believer" but now calls himself an agnostic, but for all practical purposes he is probably closer to being an atheist. My understanding is that he us married to a true BELIVER in Christ. Please pray for her as well as the author Mr. Bart Ehrman.
I would not consider listening to an other titles by Bart Erhman, not unless he becomes a true follower of Christ.
For the most part the narration was ok, it was the content that had the issues.
While initially, Bart Erhman's narration enlightened my mind as to how old history such as the Bible (in a physical sense) came about. It leaves a very deep void, the faith component.
Prof. Ehrman is a respected scholar, and the lectures are very interesting. Only thing is, iTunes U has very similar material for free. Right now I'm listening to a course on the NT from Yale University. Audible / Amazon should give these away or at least dramatically reduce the prices.
Go to iTunes U and get lots of great courses for nothing!
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