What Can You Tell Me About The Bart Ehrman Blog?
I started this blog endeavor all the way back in April 2012, with the help of my administrative assistant and expert-in-all-things-technological Steven Ray. Since the beginning I’ve had two major goals for the blog.
- The first is to disseminate scholarly knowledge of the New Testament and the earliest periods of the Christian church to a non-scholarly audience, to normal people instead of abnormal scholars. Every post is rooted in scholarship – not just my own but that of thousands of scholars who have worked for centuries on understanding the historical Jesus, the New Testament, and the origins of Christianity. Even today there are thousands who work in this field, who have devoted their lives to scholarship, who know what other scholars around the world have said based on their analysis, and who have the requisite training to do analysis themselves, for example, by reading the requisite ancient languages (all established New Testament scholars can read ancient Greek; most can read several other ancient tongues: Hebrew, Latin, Coptic, Syriac, Aramaic, and … and well, even some most people have never heard of).The problem is that many of the most brilliant scholars on the planet are not skilled or capable of communicating their knowledge with non-scholars. That’s where this blog comes in. I not only do research in the field, I also work hard at making it accessible to the non-scholar. Read some of the blog posts and you’ll see.
- The second goal of the blog is to raise money for charity. For me, this is what keeps me going, the major raison d’être for the blog. We do charge a membership fee. But it is not much, and every penny of it goes to charities helping those in desperate need. So when you join the blog, you not only benefit yourself by increasing your knowledge and understanding of the important topics we cover, you also help others in doing so. What could be better? To see what charities the blog covers, go here: Charities Supported
What Do I Get With My Membership?
I post five times a week, normally 1200-1400 words per posts – with posts going back every week (without fail) to April 2012. That’s a lot of posts! And all on interesting and important topics connected with the historical study of Jesus, the New Testament, and the Origins of Christianity, up to the age of the emperor Constantine.
Interesting in knowing more about the Christian religion in its beginnings? From a historical perspective? No matter what your religious perspective or beliefs? We have members of the blog who are Baptist, Catholic, Jewish, Methodist, Muslim, Episcopalian, Orthodox, and range of others. We have committed evangelicals and stout atheists. We have people who don’t know what they are but would like to find out. Since the approach is historical, rather than religious, devotional, or confessional, the blog communicates to people from all sorts of backgrounds who can discuss their views with one another in a safe, respectful environment, with very few rules, apart from my insistence that we keep the discussion civil, with no demeaning or snarky comments. How refreshing on the internet!
We have four levels of blog membership, tailored to different individual needs and desires:
- Bronze Level: This is the most important level, designed for those who simply want to read my daily posts on important topics. At this level you have access to all posts, past and present – so thousands of them – with the ability to search them to find earlier discussions of relevance to your interests. You also can join the Members’ Forum to have a back-and-forth on topics of mutual interest with other blog members. The fee for this level is $2.99/month; or if you want a discounted annual fee, it is $29.00/year. That comes to about 58 cents a week, an unbelievable value. Coronavirus Special! During the crisis Bronze members will be granted all the additional benefits of Silver as well, at current Bronze prices ($2.49 per month or $24.95 per year).
- Silver Level: If you want more interaction with me personally and with other blog members, you can join the silver level. At this level you will be able to make comments on the posts and ask questions. I will post the comments for other silver and gold members to read, and will answer the questions I get. The fee for this level is $3.99/month, or $39.95/year. Another amazing value!
- Gold Level: This higher-yet level has still more benefits. If you are a gold member, in addition to the five-a-week posts on the blog itself, you will be given access to audio versions of the posts, every week. The access will be password protected and for gold members only. Carefully chosen volunteers read each post for you to listen to at your leisure, in the car, in the gym, in the shower – the options are limitless. In addition, Gold-level members will be given first access to all Blog events (e.g., fund-raising dinners) and will have a special hour-long audio provided once-a-month, where I respond to a number of questions gold-level members have asked me, one after the other. The fee for this level is $4.99/month, or an annual discounted rate of $49.95.
- Platinum Level: This level is as high as it goes for those who want to give extra support to the work of the blog and the charities it supports. At this level you will receive all of the benefits of Gold, and other significant ones. Platinum members will be able to participate in a group internet meeting with me and other Platinum members once every three months, a specially designed webinar where we discuss issues of mutual interest and I answer questions. Moreover, Platinum members will have the opportunity to submit potential posts for the blog. I will publish one Platinum blog post each week (assuming there are enough of sufficient quality and relevant to the interests of the blog) to Platinum members. And once a month I will choose one Platinum guest post for the entire blog, that is, for all members at every level.Platinum members will be allowed to submit one potential post per month. In additional, Platinum members will receive first-priority for all blog events, and will be awarded three Bronze level gift memberships to give out to whomever they choose. As a final benefit I promise to hold all Platinum members near and dear to my heart. Membership at the Platinum level is annual only, $200.
How Do I Pay My Fee?
You can pay one of two ways, both of them simple.
- Probably easiest: just click on the “Join Now!” button and use the PayPal option. No need to do anything else – your account will automatically renew, either every month or every year (depending on which option you choose) unless you decide to cancel the subscription. To cancel your subscription, click the “Account” button top right and choose “unsubscribe.”
- If you prefer not to use Paypal, the second option is also dead easy: just pay with a credit card. Again, simply click “Join Now!” and use the credit card option. We do not process the payments ourselves, so we will have no access to your credit card information; we have, instead, a reliable and professional processor, Stripe. Stripe fully complies with industry standards for privacy and safety, maintaining your credit card information behind at least three layers of security.
Is My Account Information Shared or Secure?
As long as you are the only one who knows your password, you will be the only one who can access your membership details. We will not share your information with a third party, advertiser, or any shady characters of any kind, on pain of death. Feel free to review the Privacy and GDRP policies.