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After the New Testament: The Writings of the Apostolic Fathers

Learn about the impact of the Apostolic Fathers—early church leaders who developed many of the institutions of Christianity—in this interesting course by Professor and best-selling author Bart D. Ehrman.
After the New Testament: The Writings of the Apostolic Fathers is rated 4.1 out of 5 by 68.
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Rated 4 out of 5 by from After the New Testament: The Writings of the Apost Great works however the video does not function. Fortunately I purchased the DVD set so I am able to view the lectures. Disappointing regarding the video as I usually watch on my iPad or phone during breaks.
Date published: 2023-01-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very good professor This is a topic that could become boring, too factual, very easily. But the prof picks out a couple salient points or themes and ties them together across lectures. He comes across as extremely knowledgeable without being full of himself. I would buy another Course by him.
Date published: 2022-09-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Outstandingly Informative Bart Ehman pulls together all the ancient texts after the New Testament texts in a way that gives insight into how Christianity developed in the early periods after the date of the New Testament texts. I wish i had had access to this many years ago. Many thanks to Bart for his clear analysis
Date published: 2022-09-09
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Disappointing This course filled a gap in my knowledge, but it was not as good as I expected. The lecturer's delivery was not as smooth as that of others whose courses I have heard and seen, and he often repeated things as though he were lecturing to a class taking notes. If he had repeated himself less, he could have quoted more from the texts he was considering.
Date published: 2022-07-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An overlooked era I got this course to fill a gap in my church history knowledge and found it did so nicely — the first century of Christianity. It would work fine as audio only, but I did not get too distracted by the lecture with few illustrations.
Date published: 2022-07-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great presentation. The instructor is very knowledgeable about this subject. He keeps the lectures interesting. At times, as a historian, he interjects his own opinions into the material, and one should keep an open mind about the material.
Date published: 2022-07-12
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Cannot Stream Not sure how to rate this. My DVD are fine but unlike my other courses I cannot stream it online.
Date published: 2022-07-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good objective narrative I like the method that professor Ehrman presents his narrative. Contrary to most thought, I believe that the manner in which the material is objective as well as thought provoking. I personally have obtained a better insight into the construction of our modern day sacred writings. I do recommend this course for persons who want to learn more about the founding of scripture.
Date published: 2022-03-29
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Overview

Who exactly were the Apostolic Fathers? Why were they given that name? Most important

About

Bart D. Ehrman

After his crucifixion, Jesus' disciples came to believe he'd been raised from the dead and made a divine being. What had seemed like defeat became for them the ultimate cosmic victory.

INSTITUTION

The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Dr. Bart D. Ehrman is the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He completed his undergraduate work at Wheaton College and earned his M.Div. and Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary. Professor Ehrman has written or edited 27 books, including four best sellers on The New York Times list: Misquoting Jesus: The Story behind Who Changed the Bible and Why; God's Problem: How the Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important Question-Why We Suffer; Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (and Why We Don't Know about Them);and Forged: Writing in the Name of God-Why the Bible's Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are. Professor Ehrman also served as president of the Society of Biblical Literature, Southeastern Region; book review editor of the Journal of Biblical Literature; editor of the Scholars' Press monograph series The New Testament in the Greek Fathers;and coeditor-in-chief for the journal Vigiliae Christianae. Professor Ehrman received the John William Pope Center Spirit of Inquiry Award, the UNC Students' Undergraduate Teaching Award, the Phillip and Ruth Hettleman Prize for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement by Young Faculty, and the Bowman and Gordon Gray Professorship (awarded for excellence in undergraduate teaching).

By This Professor

How Jesus Became God
854
The New Testament
854
Lost Christianities: Christian Scriptures and the Battles over Authentication
854
The Triumph of Christianity
854
Introduction to the Apostolic Fathers

01: Introduction to the Apostolic Fathers

The lecture introduces a set of works from the decades after the writing of the books of the New Testament that give us important insights into how Christianity was developing in its earliest stages.

33 min
The Letter of 1 Clement

02: The Letter of 1 Clement

Though written anonymously, this letter, supposedly written by a bishop, is clearly written by someone in the Christian Church of Rome to the church in Corinth to solve a major problem in that community.

31 min
Church Structures in Early Christianity

03: Church Structures in Early Christianity

The lecture discusses the obvious changes in church structure implied by 1 Clement when it is compared to earlier mentions of the community of Corinth in the letters of Paul.

31 min
The Letters of Ignatius

04: The Letters of Ignatius

The letters of this early 2nd-century bishop of Antioch make interesting reading - they hold the final words of a Christian anticipating his death and imminent martyrdom.

31 min
Doctrinal Problems in the Early Church

05: Doctrinal Problems in the Early Church

This lecture examines "Judaizing" forms of Christianity in the early church forms that came to be labeled heretical because they insisted that being fully Christian required becoming a Jew.

31 min
Still Other Doctrinal Disputes

06: Still Other Doctrinal Disputes

We look at the problems raised by "docetic" views, which maintained that Jesus was so fully divine that he could not be a human with real flesh and blood, but only seemed human.

31 min
The Letter of Polycarp to the Philippians

07: The Letter of Polycarp to the Philippians

One of Ignatius's letters mentions a possible act of embezzlement by a church leader. Ignatius appeals extensively to the Scriptures and argues that the love of money leads to evil.

31 min
The Use of Authorities in the Early Church

08: The Use of Authorities in the Early Church

Polycarp's letter to the Philippians is significant for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the extensive use it makes of earlier Christian writings as authorities.

31 min
The First Martyrology—Polycarp

09: The First Martyrology—Polycarp

Polycarp of Smyrna is arguably the best known of the Apostolic Fathers. This detailed account of his arrest, trial, and execution as a martyr, evidently written by an eyewitness, is our first surviving example of Christian "martyrology" (account of a Christian's execution).

31 min
The Persecution of the Christians

10: The Persecution of the Christians

The account of Polycarp's martyrdom introduces a broader consideration of the persecution and occasional martyrdom of early Christians, and discusses the accuracy of several commonly held beliefs, including whether Christians were, in fact, widely persecuted.

31 min
A Church Manual—The Didache of the Apostles

11: A Church Manual—The Didache of the Apostles

One of the most historically influential writings of the Apostolic Fathers, the Didache (teaching) of the apostles (a work written at about the time of the New Testament writings) gave Christians ethical instructions for how to live and practice their faith.

31 min
Ritual in the Early Church

12: Ritual in the Early Church

This lecture considers the early Christian rituals described in the Didache, examining how they developed in the preceding decades, starting with the life of Jesus himself, and how they came to be fixed features in the life of the early Christian community.

31 min
Barnabas and the Opposition to the Jews

13: Barnabas and the Opposition to the Jews

We examine this long and intriguing letter which was allegedly written by Paul's traveling companion from the early 2nd century and consider whether it is fair to describe it as an early instance of Christian anti-Semitism.

31 min
The Rise of Christian Anti-Semitism

14: The Rise of Christian Anti-Semitism

This lecture traces the roots of anti-Jewish attitudes among some of Jesus' early followers in considering the reasons why Christianity was so quickly transformed from a sect within Judaism to an anti-Jewish religion.

31 min
2 Clement—An Early Sermon

15: 2 Clement—An Early Sermon

Not a letter and not by Clement, this work is, instead, an anonymous sermon - the first surviving sermon outside of the New Testament to come down to us from early Christianity.

31 min
The Use of Scripture in the Early Church

16: The Use of Scripture in the Early Church

This lecture examines how Scripture functioned for the early Christian communities, which, rather than taking a literal approach to text, often read it in figurative ways.

31 min
Papias—An Early Christian Interpreter

17: Papias—An Early Christian Interpreter

Questions of interpretation discussed in the previous lecture make a natural segue into the fragmentary writings of another Apostolic Father, Papias, including a number of legendary details about Jesus and his followers.

31 min
Oral Tradition in Early Christianity

18: Oral Tradition in Early Christianity

This lecture considers the issue of oral tradition versus written text, including the problem of the oral circulation of traditions, as stories tend to be changed and embellished in the process of retelling.

31 min
The Shepherd of Hermas—An Apocalypse

19: The Shepherd of Hermas—An Apocalypse

This lecture focuses on one of the most popular writings among the Apostolic Fathers, particularly its persistent theme of whether a Christian can have a "second" chance with God if he or she sins after being baptized.

31 min
Apocalypses in Early Christianity

20: Apocalypses in Early Christianity

The Shepherd of Hermas is thoroughly imbued in apocalyptic thought; this gives us an opportunity to consider the major tenets of apocalypticism in both Jewish and Christian sources and the importance of apocalypticism for the early Christian movement.

31 min
The Letter to Diognetus—An Apology

21: The Letter to Diognetus—An Apology

The final writing of the Apostolic Fathers to be considered represents one of the earliest surviving instances we have of a Christian "apology," or reasoned defense of Christianity, aimed at the faith's despisers.

31 min
Apologetics in Early Christianity

22: Apologetics in Early Christianity

This lecture considers some of the charges leveled against Christianity and explores how Christians not only defended themselves, but went even further, maintaining that only followers of Christ could inherit eternal life with God in heaven.

31 min
The Apostolic Fathers as a Collection

23: The Apostolic Fathers as a Collection

We consider several of the key issues that have emerged, with particular focus on what the Apostolic Fathers can tell us about the three pillars of the emerging church: Christianity's canon, creed, and clerical hierarchy.

31 min
The Apostolic Fathers and Proto-orthodoxy

24: The Apostolic Fathers and Proto-orthodoxy

This final lecture considers the historical significance of the Apostolic Fathers, whose writings reflected views that would ultimately win out in the struggle over what the Christian religion would eventually become.

31 min