About Dr. Bart Ehrman, an agnostic, on his take on the Bible


#1

My brother, a baptized Catholic, is having a hard time believing the Bible is without error since reading this mans book on the Bible. Does anyone know anything about this man, book, philosophy, theology? Are there errors in the Bible, what about the writers?


#2

franciru

My brother, a baptized Catholic, is having a hard time believing the Bible is without error since reading this mans book on the Bible. Does anyone know anything about this man, book, philosophy, theology? Are there errors in the Bible, what about the writers?

Give your brother some good books on the subject. I don’t know which book by Ehrman he’s read, but Ehrman is not correct in any of his basic beliefs about the bible, and that’s pretty easy to prove.

Background: Ehrman was a teenage fundamentalist, but ended up in Princeton, where, of course, now that he was among the intellectual elect, he lost his faith. His early books are unrelentingly cruel and sneering toward Christianity; he seems to hate Christianity so much he practically foams at the mouth at the mere mention.

Erhman’s main arguments: 1) there were so many, many Christianities, so many Gnostics, so many other, better Christianities that it’s impossible to say what Jesus believed; 2) furthermore, the evil orthodox Christians forged many of the early documents so it’s impossible to say what Jesus believed; and, lately, 3) but nevertheless Ehrman can show that the early Christians thought Jesus was an angel/lesser god/not the same as the Father.

Which was the argument your brother bought? I can suggest titles to refute all of Ehrman’s idiot ideas.

God bless Annem


#3

Ehrman’s book, Did Jesus Exist?, is a scathing rebuke of mythicists who deny that Jesus ever lived.

For all his other faults, Ehrman got this right: Jesus was a real person, and the gospels are valuable historical records that attest to this fact.


#4

Randy

Ehrman’s book, Did Jesus Exist?, is a scathing rebuke of mythicists who deny that Jesus ever lived.

Hi. That was certainly the best book Ehrman ever wrote. Although I doubt many of the believers in the likes of Acharya S or Richard Carrier were convinced.

Of all his books, God’s Problem is by far the very, very worst. I couldn’t believe he actually put forward the laundry list of problems he has with God allowing suffering. Ehrman actually argued that if one four year old was ever killed by a speeding car that this was allowed by God and proved God was bad or something. Really. Silly. Arguments. Oh, and he also argued in that book that heaven wouldn’t make up for any suffering we had on earth. Really. Silly. Arguments.

God bless Annem


#5

=franciru;13435057]My brother, a baptized Catholic, is having a hard time believing the Bible is without error since reading this mans book on the Bible. Does anyone know anything about this man, book, philosophy, theology? Are there errors in the Bible, what about the writers?

I do not know the answer to you’re first two inquiries; but the Bible cannot be in error on FAITH beliefs and Moral Teachings; and these and these categories alone.

It can be in historical error, scientist error and be wrong interpreted. Because of the multiplicity of editorial FORMS used i the bible; it is very easy for one not trained in exegesis [a bible expert] to correctly translate the bible. What we CAN know with confidence is that any understanding NOT fully aligned with what the CC teaches is de-facto: In ERROR.

Google “Bible literature forms”

God Bless you,

Patrick


#6

Here’s Bart Ehrman in a nutshell.

Bart Ehrman was a former born-again Evangelical (he studied in Moody Bible Institute and Princeton Theological Seminary) who during his course of study became troubled by, well, many of the things in-depth students of the Bible encounter such as discrepancies between the biblical accounts and the textual variants in biblical manuscripts. As a result, Ehrman became liberal Christian for about 15 years before he finally became agnostic.

The good thing about Bart Ehrman is that he is a very good and rather charismatic public speaker. He can do something many scholars couldn’t do: he could convey his ideas into something the average joe who wouldn’t have the same context and the same background knowledge as a seasoned historian does.

The bad thing about Bart Ehrman is that he really has this tendency to doublespeak: in his scholarly works, he pretty much speaks like an average scholar - with all the ‘maybes’ and ‘probablys’. But when it comes to his popular works, he has this rather nasty habit of making it appear as if his view is the only correct one and making mountains out of molehills. (In fact, a number of scholars have called him out on this.)

The important thing to know is that whatever Bart Ehrman writes in his books are not ‘new’ or ‘earthshaking’ (and Ehrman is most certainly not the first guy to discover them). They have been pretty much standard stuff in biblical scholarship for years; Ehrman simply brought them out to a wider audience. But at the same time, take everything that he says with a grain of salt (especially in his popular books), because as I mentioned, he has a tendency to overstate and oversimplify.

In other words, don’t fear what he says, because he’s just exaggerating. My advice: don’t get carried away by the hype, read between the lines, do your own research.

Here’s a nice critique of his book Misquoting Jesus by Daniel Wallace. If you don’t know who he is, he’s the professor of New Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary and the founder of Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts. So in other words, he pretty much in the same specific field of study as Ehrman.


#7

Well, the problem of evil is essentially what turned him into an agnostic. He was probably making an emotional (rather than rational) argument there.

I think maybe the difficulty really comes from Ehrman’s religious background: he was a former born-again fundamentalist before his (probably rigid) worldview was shattered by studying the Bible and finding out that it isn’t what he was led to believe.

I mean, many people have the same problem: they have these preconceived notions in their heads that they can often get attached to, to the point that they’d break down whenever their notions get challenged. Many people have the idea that the Bible must be like this, should be like this; when they find out that the Bible doesn’t really conform to their picture of it, they get confused and worse, fall away outright. This may sound harsh, but I think the problem lies not in the Bible, but in their idea of it.


#8

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