Good reply Cathar, hopefully this debate picks up some speed and doesn't remain between the two of us.
Cathar1950 wrote:No he doesnâ€™t. He begins his book with established problems and an introduction to the historical assault upon faith as well as his own background, he isnâ€™t trying to debunk anything; he is giving us a summery of the problems you obviously either donâ€™t understand or are avoiding.
I addressed his problems in on of my first posts in this thread. The issues Ehrman is addressing, such as the Exodus and the historicity of the Acts are historical claims made by the Bible. Ehrman thinks these claims are flawed and does try to debunk them, he written many books trying to debunk Christianity and the Bible so to say he's approaching these issues with absolutly no bias, with absolutly no personal agenda is a little misguided.
Cathar1950 wrote:His purpose is not to debunk whatever it is you think he is debunking, but a serious scholar dealing with the ancient writings.
Some of Ehrman's books are very scholarly and objective, such as his New Testament textbook. However, this book (Jesus Interrupted) is hardly an objective study of biblical issues.
Cathar1950 wrote:His faith was confronted and he faced it while sharing it with the reader. If anything meaningful survives of Christianity I imagine one of the best hopes it going to come from those that do confront their traditions head on and still have something to say to the world besides the old time religion and a 19th century Biblical view.
While I agree with some parts of Ehrman's approach to studying the Bible, I think he goes to far when he says that the Gospels are misrepresentations of Jesus' teachings and that the Acts don't record an accurate account of Paul's life.
But I will agree with Ehrman when he says that Moses did not write the Pentateuch. Only Biblical Fundamentalists, a train of thought I oppose, believe Moses wrote the Pentateuch and such literalism does a diservice to the intended message of the Bible, IMO.
Cathar1950 wrote:They are not supposed contradictions. He was not debunking anything or making any attempt to do so. He was explaining the rude awaking seminary students have when confronted with the â€œhard-core Bible Scholarship in Mainline seminaries. If you are going to give major points you should get them right before you move on to the content, which you seem to have missed too.
Yea, they are "supposed" contradictions. It's Ehrman's opinion is that they are contradictions, and I'd like to point out he doesn't substantiate his lengthy list of claims at the beginning. Some of the contradictions he lists are valid, but he goes a little gung ho when trying to address the Gospels and their representation of Jesus.
Cathar1950 wrote:I tend to think many of the contradiction in the Bible are a creation or problem of the Bible Believer and apologists that make claims about the Bible that are simply not true or less significant.. It is when they take devotional literature and try to make it historical, factual and what ever other claims they feel they must make to defend their faith where any passage can be looked at as having the same import as some Newtonian law of nature used to support anything Jesus.
Contradictions will arise when a person takes the Bible as something it was not intended to be. I don't think the Bible was intended for us 21st century christians to use as a science book and as a astronomy book. In that area of science, the Bible is fallible. However, when it comes to our faith and dogma I think its fair to say that the Bible is infallible. Btw, may I ask you about your beliefs? You're a skeptical Christian, agnostic and a Jew. How's that work?
WinePusher wrote:-He trys to draw a clear and distinct line between evanglical scholarship of biblical texts and his "historical-critical" method of the bible.
Cathar1950 wrote:I tend to see that it is evangelicals such as yourself that are drawing the distinction, he was giving an introduction to the â€œhistorical-critical" and the growth on his views. It takes nothing from the methods and you have not manage to take anything from his scholarship or the book..
First of all, I agree with Ehrman on this point. A historical-critical method (higher criticism) should be used when studying the Bible. I am an evangelical but don't adhere to the evangelical train of thought when it comes to Biblical Studies.
Second of all, I do think some aspects of this book are scholarly but it's my opinion that Ehrman (as a scholar) is not very reliable when it comes to objective information. I don't appreciate it when he tells Christians what they believe (or can't believe) as he does here
WinePusher wrote:1) Can the Bible be considered a historically, reliable document in light of Ehrman's claims?
Cathar1950 wrote:No, and it doesnâ€™t seem that it was ever intended to be.
They weren't intended to be historically reliable? I don't think they were meant to be used as a science textbook, but I do think they were meant to relay accurate historical information.