Miscellaneous Notes on Bart Ehrman

In short, there were long, protracted, and often heated debates in the early church over forged documents. Early Christians realized that there were numerous forgeries in circulation, and they wanted to know which books were written by their alleged authors and which were not.

This is found on p. 22 of Forged: Writing in the Name of God – Why the Bible’s Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are (2011) by Bart D. Ehrman.  Oddly, Ehrman does not go on to explain in this book why he thinks the ancients’ vetting process failed, nor what makes his vetting process superior to theirs.

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Daniel B. Wallace Audio Interview with Brian Auten

Interviewed by Brian Auten of Apologetics 315.

Here is a list of other Scholars with an Appreciation of Textual Criticism for Classical as well as Biblical Literature

Craig A. Evans

Interviewed by Brian Auten of Apologetics 315.

Transcript of that interview.

During the interview, Brian asked Craig about how textual evidence for the Bible stacked up against textual evidence for other ancient documents:

Well, since you referred to the number and quality of the manuscripts, their reliability and so on, I think that right there is something that impresses me. As a history major, of course, I was aware of documents that we have from the past. Without those documents we could hardly be in a position today to write history. And so, we look at other historians, the writings of others from antiquity, and we have four or five manuscripts for this great author, we have ten or twelve for someone else. And yet with the biblical writings, we have a huge number, with the New Testament alone, prior to the invention of the printing press in the fifteenth century, we have today about five thousand eight hundred manuscripts. Now that’s an unparalleled record, now that’s just in Greek. We’ve got about ten thousand Latin translations of the New Testament, again, before Gutenberg, and before the invention of the printing press. We have another five thousand copies of the New Testament that are in other languages, well this is unprecedented. So one of the things that impresses me about the biblical manuscripts is just how many there are, and about two hundred of them predate the year 300. And so, in some of them, two, or three, or four, some of them get right back into the second century itself, and so we get within a hundred or so years of when the originals were written, and that compared to the other manuscripts that historians use, is a phenomenal record of preservations, and that impresses me a lot.

Here is a list of other Scholars with an Appreciation of Textual Criticism for Classical as well as Biblical Literature

Paul L. Maier

Interviewed by Brian Auten of Apologetics 315.

Transcript of that interview.

Regarding those who question the historicity of Jesus, Maier says this during the interview:

Well anybody who is using that argument is simply flaunting his ignorance. I hate to say it but it’s about that bad. We have more documentation on Jesus Christ than anybody in the ancient world as far as that’s concerned. There is no question whatever in the mind of any serious scholar, anywhere in the world that there certainly was a historical personality named Jesus of Nazareth.

Here is a list of other Scholars with an Appreciation of Textual Criticism for Classical as well as Biblical Literature

Scholars with an Appreciation of Textual Criticism for Classical as well as Biblical Literature

Bart Ehrman has sold a lot of books by spreading doubt about the textual reliability of the New Testament.  Many Christian scholars – such as Daniel B. Wallace and Craig A. Evans – have refuted his arguments.  Perhaps the most powerful refutations of Ehrman’s arguments have to do with comparing how textual criticism is practiced with regard not just to the Bible but to all documents from antiquity.  These have been employed by Wallace and Evans, but also by a number of others.  In the list below, I’m including scholars who have spoken directly, and sometimes extensively, to this point.

Craig A. Evans

Timothy J. McGrew

Paul L. Maier

John Warwick Montgomery

Daniel B. Wallace

Peter J. Williams

Timothy J. McGrew Interviewed by Brian Auten

Tim McGrew is interviewed by Brian Auten of Apologetics 315

In this interview, Tim gives numerous examples of the double standards of textual criticism which Bart Ehrman and others employ when assessing the textual reliability of the New Testament.

Tim manages the website www.historicalapologetics.org.

Here is a list of other Scholars with an Appreciation of Textual Criticism for Classical as well as Biblical Literature, and here is more on the double standards employed regarding ancient historical texts.

John Warwick Montgomery

Interviewed by Brian Auten of Apologetics 315

Transcript of that interview

Quote from the interview, in response to Bart Ehrman:

[H]is logic is ghastly; for example, he continually argues that since we don’t have any autographs of the New Testament material that this stuff is unreliable. Listen, we don’t have any autographs of 99% of all the literary works in history. We don’t have a single autograph of a Shakespeare play, for example, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t rely on the earliest texts we do have.

Here is a list of other Scholars with an Appreciation of Textual Criticism for Classical as well as Biblical Literature

Nick Peters Interviews Andrew Pitts About Authorship of New Testament Books

Andrew Pitts (Ph.D., McMaster Divinity College) is the guest for two hours on Nick Peter’s Deeper Waters podcast.  The host and guest are primarily reacting against Bart Ehrman’s book Forged: Writing in the Name of God–Why the Bible’s Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are.

Pitts says that he accepts Paul as author of all 13 of the New Testament letters ascribed to him, and does so not based on a confessional commitment but based on the sociolinguistic and other relevant evidence.  For the same set of reasons, he also accepts that Peter wrote both of the letters which bear his name.  Pitts just does not believe that the arguments against traditionally-ascribed authorship are strong.

Deeper Waters – Are There Forgeries In The New Testament? 08/24/13 by Grok Radio | Religion Podcasts.

Related link:  Clifford Kvidahl blog interviews Andrew Pitts

 

Larry Hurtado on Bart Ehrman’s “How Jesus became God”

(7 min read; 1,601 words)

How Jesus became “God,” per Ehrman | Larry Hurtado’s Blog.

Profile of “The New Atheist” – William Lane Craig – from The Chronicle of Higher Education

The Chronicle of Higher Education profiles philosopher and debater Dr. William Lane Craig.

(20 min read; 5,054 words)

The New Theist – The Chronicle Review – The Chronicle of Higher Education

(HT: The Poached Egg from Ratio Christi)