Who is Bart Ehrman? And why am I making a post blog about this dude with the funny sounding last name.
Well he is the world-renowned distinguished New Testament Historian at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Ehrmans works are highly controversial, but he is not some radical far left wing-nut who has no idea of what he is talking about. He is highly educated and went to two of the most prestigious christian institutes in the United States, Moody Bible Institute and Wheaton College. At UNC he has served as both the Director of Graduate Studies and the Chair of the Department of Religious Studies. A graduate of Wheaton College (Illinois), Professor Ehrman received both his Masters of Divinity and PhD from Princeton Theological Seminary.
But the Burning Question is why does he deserve is own blog post? Why does he deserve entire post dedicate to who he is?
|“Given the circumstance that (God) didn’t preserve the words, the conclusion seemed inescapable to me that he hadn’t gone to the trouble of inspiring them.”|
|Bart Ehrman quote|
In the past few years his research of Early Christianity, The Bible and the historical Jesus, has greatly upset the Christian Community. Many scholars have reacted eagerly in countering him and his secular academic research of the Bible. This is what Bible Scholar Mike Liconia Said about him.
“Although Ehrman’s day likewise will fade, his attacks on traditional Christianity are more dangerous to evangelical Christianity than anything presented by the Jesus Seminar, The Da Vinci Code and other sensational hypotheses. Ehrman presents no original thoughts, but his positions are largely embraced by mainstream skeptical scholarship and he, too, has a talent for taking select academic positions and sharing them in sound-bites that shock readers. He is also an excellent public speaker.”Mike Licona response and answer to Dr. Bart Ehrman. —And this is not just simple quote about Bart Ehrman from Licona, this is a small paragraph to a five-part series rebuttal to the teachings of Ehrman.
Ehrman explains in his book how he lost his belief that the Bible was divinely inspired. At the center of his abandonment of biblical inspiration was his own self-realization and discovery that we do not have the original autobiographical manuscripts of the bible and very well may never have access to them. Moreover, Ehrman learned that the scribes who made copies of the biblical manuscripts sometimes changed the text, either intentionally or unintentionally, —(due to some theological agenda.) Hence we cannot be 100% sure that every word in our Bibles, in the original languages, is exactly the same as what was first written. In his own words Bart Ehrman, “…I just couldn’t believe there was a God in charge of this mess.” On this basis Ehrman decided to abandon his belief that God inspired the Bible and his faith in Christianity. Here’s his reasoning in his own words:
“For the only reason (I came to think) for God to inspire the bible would be so that his people would have his actual words; but if he really wanted people to have his actual words, surely he would have miraculously preserved those words, just as he had miraculously inspired them in the first place. Given the circumstance that he didn’t preserve the words, the conclusion seemed inescapable to me that he hadn’t gone to the trouble of inspiring them. “(Whose Word is it? By Dr. Bart Ehrman pg. 211)
In addition to writing books such as, Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible & Why We Don’t Know About Them he has gone on against many traditional views of the Bible. In Ehrman’s latest book, “Jesus, Interrupted,” he concludes:
“Doctrines such as the divinity of Jesus and heaven and hell are not based on anything Jesus or his earlier followers said. And at least 19 of the 27 books in the New Testament are forgeries.”
Well so what–He’s upset a few christians big deal–Well these few christians have started numerous blogs, youtube videos, websites, and projects in an attempt to debunk Ehrman.
Yes PROJECTS. It’s Called the Ehrman Project, I can’t ever recall of an entire project or community of christians ever gathered together for the single purpose to discredit any one skeptic, agnostic, or atheist. Even Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins never get this amount of negative reception from Christians. Now this is not the only one…Thrice Holy.Net has an entire section of its web page devoted to debunking Bart Ehrman. Even 4Truth.net also entire section of its webpage dedicated to answering Bart Ehrman questions. Check out the Welcome to Ehrman Project Video:
Welcome to the Ehrman Project:
Bible scholar Bart Ehrman began his studies at the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. Originally an evangelical Christian, Ehrman believed that the Bible was the inerrant word of God. At Seminary, Ehrman started reading the Bible with a more historical approach and analyzing alleged discrepancies in the Bible specifically speaking the synoptic Gospels. Ehrman’s work focuses on New Testament textual criticism and early Christianity with an emphasis on bible contradictions and discrepancies. He has appeared in numerous debates, CNN, NPR, and various other textual criticism. And has received international notaries on his two NY Times Bestsellers Misquoting Jesus and Jesus, Interrupted. In fact one could listen and read about him talking about Bible discrepancies and contradictions among the Gospels on NPR Radio.
Well, it seems the former evangelical christian now turned agnostic, has got the entirety of the christian community in an uproar on his study and opinion of New Testament christianity and early biblical textual criticism. All one must do is Google or YouTube is name, and you here him in speeches and debates talking about how there is no biblical jesus, that historians have no way to prove Jesus raised from the dead, the numerous contradictions in the bible, and the various discrepancies in the synoptic gospels. He has debated several high-ranking biblical scholars on issues similar to this:
(The Following List of People he has debated)
|Dinesh D’ Souza|
|James White and transcript|
He has debated several christian (apologetic) scholars, but my favorite debate is the one with William Lane Craig with Transcripts—(Dr. Bart Ehrman I can say is the only debater to make Dr. William Lane Craig sweat.) Just watch the debate and see how Craig gets defensive, unsettled, and even avoids questions in order not the to answer it. It was a great debate with good rhetoric and explanation of viewpoints. A must watch for anybody. The other debate I would recommend is the one with Daniel Wallace on the reliability of the textual criticism of the New Testament Gospels.
I’ve even found two critical reviews of his books, one by P. J. Williams and the other by Daniel Wallace. Both reviewers are experts in the field of biblical textual criticism, the core subject of Ehrman’s books. In addition there are two directly published books designed in answering and countering Dr. Bart Ehrman and his research:
*Misquoting Truth: A Guide to the Fallacies of Bart Ehrman’s “Misquoting Jesus” by Timothy Paul
*MISREPRESENTING JESUS Debunking Bart D. Ehrman’s Misquoting Jesus by Edward D. Andrew
It doesn’t end their; it seems like every time I do a search on the inerrancy of the bible or bible contradictions his name is constantly and consistently coming up on Google searches. When you do a YouTube search of his name, there is countless videos of other biblical scholars countering him and his research.
As can be evidently seen the Christian Community is very upset with Ehrman. In a two-part series Prof. Ben Witherington examines Ehrman’s arguments & research and concludes that he has failed to apply the requirements of historical criticism. Witherington has responded to Ehrman’s book in great detail here (part 1) and here (part 2) in his blog. But Witherington is not the only one, even the Reverend Dr. Mark D. Roberts evaluates Ehrman and the inspiration of the transmission of the Bible and Christian Teacher Jim Snapp Jr. provides lengthy review on Ehrman’s work.
In closing this is how Ehrman describes his de-conversion —“…I came to realize that it would have been no more difficult for God to preserve the words of scripture than it would have been for him to inspire them in the first place. If he wanted his people to have his words, surely he would have given them to them (and possibly even given them the words in a language they could understand, rather than Greek and Hebrew). The fact that we don’t have the words surely must show, I reasoned, that he did not preserve them for us. And if he didn’t perform that miracle, there seemed to be no reason to think that he performed the earlier miracle of inspiring those words.” (Bart Ehrman, ‘Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why,’ pg. 11)