Bart Ehrman: Caught in a Lie?

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So, I was scrolling through my Twitter feed this morning, and J. Warner Wallace had a link to a lengthy blog post over at Christ the Tao that seems worthy if consideration.

Something about Dr. Bart Ehrman, he’s the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and has written several popular level books including God’s Problem, Misquoting Jesus, and his most recent work How Jesus Became God.

Just a sample from the post:

Let the little children come unto me,” said Jesus, “For of such is the Kingdom of God.”

Bart Ehrman similarly accepts youth into his classrooms, but offers them a radically different message: The Kingdom of God, if there be a God, had nothing to do with Jesus.  In fact, Jesus was “not unique:” there were any number of sages very much like Jesus.  Take Apollonius of Tyana, for example!

But Ehrman seems compelled to tell numerous half-truths and out-right falsehoods, to invent some facts and obscure others, so as to trick his kids and readers into accepting this alleged parallel.  …

Read more here

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7 comments

  1. The fingerprints of human interaction is on every page of the Bible – from special revelation to it being written down, to it being copied, to it being translated; did you know that of the tens of thousands of manuscripts – bits and pieces of the story, a page here a paragraph there – none of them are identical? Some of them have the errors you’d expect to see, transposed letters and words, the same word twice, or a missing word; but there are whole sections of the story that are absent in one manuscript and present in others. Denying that humans wrote, copied, and translated the words seems to me to be more foolish than claiming special revelation explains away the inconsistencies as if God spoke the English and it fell out of the sky and onto our desks. The originals could very well have been inerrant, but those were lost to time centuries ago. Now all that is left is faith; to believe in the word anyway even when the evidence doesn’t go your way. Isn’t that more of the whole point? To understand that the Bible is a book thousands of years old with dozens of authors who lived hundreds of years apart from each other and yet still believe anyway that Jesus’ arms are open to the the strongest believers and the doubting Thomas’?

      • So how does that change the reality? The autographs, the original papyri, the ones that the authors penned and did not copy have decomposed and were disintegrated long ago. There’s no comparing the earliest manuscripts to the autographs to confirm inerrancy; at this point it’s just a belief with no evidence to support it. Besides, a document written and signed by a bunch of people doesn’t make it so. What proof is there is that these manuscripts have all the pieces of the original, inerrant autographs in them? How can we be sure that those guys weren’t making up this statement? What proof did they use to support it? You can put all of the manuscripts together and find pieces that are common to all of them that could be from the same source – but you’ll also find pieces that are common to none or few of them that probably aren’t from the original source. There’s no way to double-check and confirm what is and what isn’t from the autographs. If you ask me, when Jesus came it was give us a way to salvation, not to make the Bible the fourth person of the trinity whose authority cannot be challenged.

      • Actually I don’t know and I can’t, nobody can. In the ancient world, there was a lot of ambiguity when it comes to the hows and whys of spiritual things. The Greeks and Romans had a pantheon of gods that were mysterious in their own workings and relationships. I accept that the ancient world would have been okay with not knowing things. I just don’t think that I should put a lot of stock in inerrancy because it’s a document that does not originate with the Bible. You might as well link me to Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code and say it’s just as authoritative because it quotes the Bible. What really bothers me more is that my denomination used inerrancy to disfellowship churches who weren’t ideological clones of their ideas. That’s not the kingdom that Jesus wants us to create.

      • The problem is that you are asserting that authoritatively.
        When it comes to the New Testament, we have the earliest, most reliable, and most consistent stream of transmission of any ancient documents.
        See this debate:

        See this lecture:

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