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Bart Ehrman, PhD

Author, Scholar, and Teacher

Lawrence High School




Bart Ehrman, Ph.D., is an American New Testament Scholar and textual critic of early

Christianity. He is the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor and chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is considered a leading authority on the New Testament and the history of Christianity.

He grew up in Lawrence, KS, graduated in the Lawrence High School class of 1973, and was on the state champion debate team that year. He began studying the Bible and ifs original languages at the Moody Bible Institute. At this time in his life, he recounts that he considered himself a born again, fundamentalist Christian who believed that God had inspired the wording of the Bible and protected its texts from error. He subsequently obtained a BA from Wheaton College in Illinois (1978) and graduated from the Princeton Theological Seminary with a M. Div. and Ph.D. in 1985. He received magna cum laude for both his BA and Ph.D. degrees. His professional awards have included the Student's Undergraduate Teaching Award, The Ruth and Philip Hettleman Prize for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement, the Bowman and Gordon Gray Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the 2009 J.W. Pope "Spirit of Inquiry" Teaching. He has served as president of the Society of Biblical Literature, Southeast Region; book review editor of the Journal of Biblical Literature; and editor of the Scholar's Press Monograph Series, The New Testament in the Greek Fathers.

He is the author of more than twenty books, including the following four New York Times bestsellers: "Misquoting Jesus", "God's Problem", "Jesus Interrupted", and "Forged". His books have been translated into twenty-seven languages and his works have been featured in Time, the New Yorker, and the Washington Post. He has appeared on NBC's Dateline, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Colbert Report, CNN, The History Channel, National Geographic, the Discovery Channel, the BBC, and NPR shows ('Fresh Air with Terry Gross" discussing his "Misquoting Jesus" and God's Problem" books).

His main scholarly interests have been New Testament authentication, Historical Jesus, Lost Gospels, and Early Christian Writings. He is often considered the pioneer in connecting the history of the early church to textural variants within biblical manuscripts and coining such terms as proto-orthodox Christianity.

Although he was an Evangelical Christian in his younger years, his desire to understand the original words of the Bible, his study of ancient languages and textual criticism resulted in the inspiration for an ongoing critical exploration of his own religious beliefs, which, in turn, gradually led to questioning his faith that the Bible represents the inerrant, unchanging word of God. In his book "God's Problem", for example, he discusses evil and suffering and how the Bible fails to answer the important question of why we suffer. Although he now considers himself to be an agnostic due to biblical discrepancies, the problem of suffering, etc., he has kept a professional ongoing dialogue with evangelicals.

He has explained why scholarship of the Bible caused him to change his religious views but continues to appreciate the Bible for the messages it contains. He has stated '"Whether you are a believer-fundamentalist, evangelical, moderate, liberal, or non-believer, the Bible is still the most significant book in the history of our civilization".

Bart Ehrman, PhD
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