Bart Ehrman

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Bart D. Ehrman

James A. Gray Distinguished Professor


Ph.D., Princeton Theological Seminary, 1985
M.Div., Princeton Theological Seminary, 1981
B.A., Wheaton College, 1978


  • New Testament Studies
  • Early Christian Apocrypha
  • Apostolic Fathers
  • Historical Jesus
  • History of Early Christianity


My research focuses on the New Testament and the early Christian movement from Jesus to Constantine, from a historical perspective. Most of my scholarship during the first twenty years of my career was in textual criticism (the Greek manuscript tradition of the New Testament). Over the past fifteen years I have moved into the second and third centuries, with a special interest in the Apostolic Fathers, early Christian apocrypha and pseudepigrapha, ancient literary forgery, the Christianization of the Roman Empire, and most recently, ancient portrayals of the afterlife

In my writing I try to alternate between trade books for general audiences, textbooks for college students, and serious scholarship for the six people in the world who care. I have written or edited thirty-two books, six of which have been on the New York Times Bestseller list. My books, along with the lecture courses I have produced for The Great Courses, have sold two million copies, and have been translated into twenty-seven languages.

My most recent popular book is Heaven and Hell: A History of the Afterlife (Simon & Schuster, 2020). In it I explore the still widespread views of the afterlife, arguing that neither the Old Testament nor Jesus taught that at death a person’s soul goes to heaven or hell. The book explores why that became the standard Christian view, down till today.

I have also recently published the seventh edition of my textbook on the New Testament, the fifth edition of the briefer version of the book, and a second edition of my textbook on the entire Bible (Genesis to Revelation), all with Oxford University Press.

My next project will be a study tentatively called “Expecting Armageddon.” It will focus on the book of Revelation and its portrayal of the end of time. I will show how the common interpretation of the book as referring to events soon to transpire in our own day—an interpretation advanced for centuries, but becoming central to conservative Christian thinking at the end of the 19th century and most especially in recent decades—stands at odds with how historical scholars understand the book. Of even more interest, this expectation of the imminent end of the world has made a massive impact both on popular culture (I will be looking at novels and films dealing with global collapse, nuclear holocaust, and climate change) and American social and political policy (for example, involving support for Israel and, again, climate change).


Religious Liberty Award, American Humanist Association, 2011

Fellow, National Humanities Center, 2009-10

John William Pope Center Spirit of Inquiry Teaching Award, UNC Chapel Hill, 2008

Bowman and Gordon Gray Professorship (Awarded for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching), 1998-2001

Undergraduate Students’ Teaching Award, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1993



  • Introduction to the New Testament
  • Jesus in Scholarship and Film


  • Early Christian Apocrypha
  • Apostolic Fathers
  • Forgery in Early Christianity
  • New Testament Textual Criticism


Forgery and Counterforgery:The Use of Literary Deceit in Early Christian Polemics. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013.

Jesus Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (and Why We Don’t Know about Them. San Francisco: HarperOne, 2009.

God’s Problem: How the Bible Fails to Answer our Most Important Question –   Why We Suffer. San Francisco: HarperOne, 2008.

Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why.  San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 2005.

Lost Christianities:The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew.  New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.

The Apostolic Fathers. (Greek-English edition for the Loeb Classical Library)  2 vols. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2003.

The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997; Sixth edition, 2015.

The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture:The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.