Heaven and Hell with Bart Ehrman

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Hey welcome to stuff to blow your mind. My name is Robert Lamb and I'm Joe McCormick and this week. We are going to be featuring a couple of interviews. That I recorded last week because last week Robert, you were out of quote, the office you or at least you off work for a bit and so so I recorded conversations with authors of some books one book. That's already out this year in one book. That's coming up so on Thursday of this week. We're going to be airing a conversation that I had with the author of A. A fascinating upcoming book about the evolutionary biology of cancer, but today we're going to be exploring topic in the realm of ancient history and religion. If you've followed us for a while, I think you probably know this about us that one of our favorite kind of trails to go down his tracing the evolution of religious ideas through ancient history I mean I think I've outed myself on this podcast before. As a the kind of nonreligious person who loves the Bible. Can I love to read ancient religious texts and learn about them and see how the ideas from. From the ancient world of super filtered through to us today and shape to the societies we live in, and that's exactly the kind of thing. We're GONNA be diving into in this episode I'm talking with a secular Biblical historian named Bart Erman about his most recent book, which is called Heaven and hell a history of the afterlife. This book was released in March of this year by Simon. And Schuster, and it's all about the Christian ideas of life after death where they come from ancient history, what influence their development and how they changed over time so? So there was a part that cited in the intro of Bart's book where he talks about a pew research poll that was conducted a few years ago. I think. Maybe it was in two thousand fifteen. Where it found that seventy two percent of Americans believe in a literal heaven and fifty eight percent believe in literal hell, and yet I think most Americans would be deeply surprised, even shock to learn what historians can show about the origins of these beliefs in the strange thing. Is that like the historical conclusions that Bart's GonNa talk about in this episode? Are Not fringe or unusual among secular scholars of the Bible, in historians of the ancient Near East This is utterly mainstream, critical scholarship, and yet I think regular people are especially in the united. States, are going to find it very surprising. Yeah, absolutely, and I want to stress something here for everybody, so I just got back. To work this morning and I plugged into a pre production cut of this interview and it's really it's really excellent, so if you're even slightly scared away by the idea of an interview with a secular biblical scholar don't be because Barda is tremendous. He's he's funny. Very High Energy. I think you're really going to enjoy this chat. Joe Had with Bart here. Yeah, parts full of knowledge, good humor passion for his subject. I think you're really going to enjoy the episode, but before we can do it I'll just give a little bit of background on Bart's here's his biography Bart. D Ehrman is a leading authority on the New Testament and the history of early Christianity, and the author or editor of. Of more than thirty books, including the New York Times bestsellers misquoting Jesus, how Jesus became God, and the triumph of Christianity, and that last one's really interesting. It's about how Christianity took over the Roman Empire and went from a really small religion, too dominant religion of the empire, and just a matter of a few centuries anyway, so he is a distinguished professor of religious studies, the University of North Carolina Chapel, Hill and he. He has created eight popular audio and video courses for the great courses. He has been featured in time. The New Yorker The Washington Post and has appeared on NBC CNN and the daily show with Jon Stewart as well as the history channel National Geographic Channel BBC NPR, all the hits his most recent book is Heaven and Hell just one more thing before we get into it I. WanNa mention obviously we are dealing with. With the audio constraints of of remote recording in the age of Covid, nineteen, so for example around the twelve minute mark in the episode there is briefly some background noise that sounds like a fan was turned on or some rain. It only lasts for about a minute or so, and so please just put up with a little bit of background noise, and it's very brief I promise. It's not the sounds of hell right. Now audio recordings of the underworld leaking up through some sort of mining microphone right? The well to hell was not unleashed office. So yeah, I would say without any further ado. Let's jump right in. Bardem and welcome to the PODCAST. Thanks so much for joining us today. Yes, thanks for having me so your Book Heaven and Hell I just finished reading yesterday, and I I really really enjoyed it. and I want to say that I started reading this book. It very opportune time because though I didn't plan it this way. I'm also currently in the middle of rereading. Rereading the divine comedy, actually my wife and I are reading it together and of course, the divine comedy Dante his wonderful poetry, but it's also psychologically fascinating because when you go through the theology of Dante, you get the sense of somebody who is simultaneously ingenious and thoughtful, and in some ways very intellectually bold and open minded for his historical context, but in other ways. Dante's also very limited and provincial in a word medieval like the way you see him taking so much pleasure in designing horrific tortures for his enemies from these. Petty Thirteenth Century political struggles in Italy. Working with ancient religious texts do you find yourself encountering? This kind of irony embodied within the same author or traditional lot

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