Jesus Interrupted By Bart Ehrman

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WinePusher

Jesus Interrupted By Bart Ehrman

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Post by WinePusher »

Chapter 1: A Historical Assult On Faith
Bart Ehrman wrote:The Bible is filled with discrepanies, many of them irreconcilable contradiction. Moses did not write the Pentateuch and Matthew, Mark Luke and John did not write the Gospels. It is hard to know whether Moses ever existed and what, exactly, the historical Jesus taught.
Major Points:

-Bart Ehrman begins his book by attempting to debunk many of the traditionally held beliefs of Christians and Biblical Fundamentalists by pointing out many "supposed" contradictions found in the Bible.
-He trys to draw a clear and distinct line between evanglical scholarship of biblical texts and his "historical-critical" method of the bible.

Questions for Debate:

In his first chapter, Bart Ehrman makes the following claims: The Exodus probably did not occur as described in the Hebrew Scriptures, the conquest of the promised land is based on legend, the teachings of the historical Jesus are misrepresented, and the Acts of the Apostles contains faulty information on the life of Paul.

1) Can the Bible be considered a historically, reliable document in light of Ehrman's claims?

2) Are Bart Ehrman's claims about scripture true, or are they simply wrong and a result of ignorance?

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Post #61

Post by Cathar1950 »

WinePusher wrote:
Cathar1950 wrote:I think the idea that somehow "secular scholars" are trying "to use these to disprove the biblical as valid" is a straw man.
It may not be directly germane to the topic, but it does bear some relevance. Although Ehrman is not an atheist, I would categorize him with "New Atheist Movement" with the goal of limited the reaches of religion, particularly Christianity.
I don’t see "secular scholars" trying to disprove the Bible any more then non-secular scholars, their goals are to understand or increase understanding, not disprove while you are trying to disprove any scholarship that doesn’t fit your Sunday school understanding of some 19th century vision of the Bible and its purposes. You are reactionary to 19th century Biblical scholarship and historical critical methods when they disagree with your presumptions about the Bible and what you want them to mean.
Although it isn’t germane to the topic it is germane to how you characterize those that disagree with your mischaracterizations of the gospels.
You have categorized Ehrman with "New Atheist Movement" and with some imagined “goal of limited the reaches of religion, particularly Christianity�..

New Atheism refers to a 21st century movement in atheism. The term, which first appeared in the November 2006 edition of Wired magazine,[1] is applied, sometimes pejoratively, to a series of six best-selling books by five authors that appeared in the period 2004–2008.[2] These authors are Sam Harris, Daniel C. Dennett, Richard Dawkins, Victor J. Stenger and Christopher Hitchens. The collective representation of Harris, Dawkins, Dennett and Hitchens has also been termed "The Four Horsemen", based on a discussion in 2007.[3] They and other supporters of the New Atheism movement are hard-line critics of religion. They state that atheism, backed by recent scientific advancement, has reached the point where it is time to take a far less accommodating attitude toward religion, superstition, and religion-based fanaticism than had been extended by moderate atheists, secularists, and some secular scientists. According to CNN, "What the New Atheists share is a belief that religion should not simply be tolerated but should be countered, criticized and exposed by rational argument wherever its influence arises
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Atheism

I find Ehrman to be rather conservative, and as I read him, he doesn’t question the existence of Jesus as a real historical person.
He seems to accept the idea that Jesus came from Nazareth while I tend to think it was another misunderstood use of the OT, meaning dedicated to God.
WinePusher wrote:
Cathar1950 wrote:How is the bible valid except for teaching, indoctrination and the like?
I consider it historically valid, with minor discrepencies here and there.
And if the Bible is historically valild, then
of course the events listed in the book actually happened. So the problem for these non-biblicist is that they seem to accept other ancient texts and stories of ancient events, yet they reject the Bible, and there is certainly more evidence for the Bible then most other ancient texts.
What kind of evidence for the Bible? How is the Bible historically valid?
Granted they are events in a story but that hardly makes the factual and given the nature of the writings there is no reason to assume they are factual.
It isn’t that they are rejecting the Bible as much as they are rejecting your claims about the nature of the stories where the scholarship shows us something else, they are written with purpose.
WinePusher wrote: 1) Source material. We generally have 1-5 source documents for ancient authors such as Catullus, Lucretius, Tacitus and Horace. When it comes to the scriptures, we have a wide range of sources spanning from the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi Library.

2) There is extra-biblical evidence to support biblical claims, that is a key factor.

We have independent archaeological evidence confirming major parts of the Old Testament, such as Sennacherib's Prisim and The Black Obelisk.

We also have non-biased historians attesting to the veracity of the New Testament.

In light of all this, I don't think it is honest to say the Bible is just a fancifal book of myths and legends that is banrupt in the area of objective evidence.
Where, and who?
I don’t think it is honest to claim just because some things might be factual that all of it is or that it even implies that of the whole or part is to be accepted as factual historical events.
WinePusher wrote:
Cathar1950 wrote:Tales of Baal are valid for Baal worshipers.
However, that would be based on faith alone. Christianity is not based on faith alone, there is evidence and events that can prove the truth of Christian claims. As William Lane Craig and Paul said, Christianity would be falsifiable if Jesus Christ did not resurrect. And if Jesus did resurrect, then Christianity is true. I'm not sure if the same methodology exists in Baal religions.
Cathar1950 wrote:It isn't just secular scholars as there are many non-secular and non-liberal scholars that understand these writings as product of diverse communities and not historical eyewitness accounts of any sort or fashion.
Not all of them are historical-eyewitness accounts. But the Gospels were, but we'll get into this more indepth in the next chapter. I'll probably post it up tomorrow and you can do the debate questions if you like. [/quote]
They are witnesses, not eyewitnesses, to the events surrounding the first Jewish war and an apology for their beliefs and reactions to their circumstances.
WinePusher wrote:
Cathar1950 wrote:Do you think it is fair to use the Bible to disprove what secular scholars find valid?
No, I'd rather use secular evidence to disprove the claims of secular scholars.
No, I'd rather use secular evidence to disprove the claims of secular scholars?
When are you going to do that? How does undermining secular research, not claims as it is you making the claims, make your claims more feasible?

Much like the Creationists tries to use biology against evolution and only showing their misunderstanding and lack of knowledge of both biology and their Bibles.

WinePusher

Post #62

Post by WinePusher »

Druijf wrote:I hope we can stick to the contents of the book and address related subjects in a different topic (a more indebt discussion about the "double standard" could be interesting I think).

Why you (WinePusher) continue to see Ehrman as an attacker of Christianity while he expressly states that that is not his intention is a mystery to me. That evangelical beliefs about the Bible are at odds on many points with mainstream biblical scholarship does not make him a New Atheist. I also hope we can drop the issue of the person and intentions of Ehrman and rather focus on what he has to say.
Fair enough, we can drop the debate of Ehrman's personality and focus on his ideas. But I never said he was a new atheist, I said he is part of that movement which is attacking religion.

WinePusher

Post #63

Post by WinePusher »

Alright, this should be an interesting chapter.

Chapter 4: Who Wrote The Bible?

Major Points: In this chapter, Ehrman devotes a large part to forgeries. He states that of the 27 books of the New Testament, 8 can be certainly atttributed to the claimed author. These eight books are: Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians and Philemon, and Revelations). The other 19 books fall into 3 categories.

-Misattributed Writings: Ehrman claims that the Gospels were probably misasttributed.
-Homonymous Writings: Ehrman claims that the epistle of James was probably written by a person named James, but not the actual disciple James.
-Pseudepigraphic Writings: These writings would be considered forgeries, as they were written under a false name. Ehrman does not list any specific examples.

His conclusion is that the New Testament contains books written under false names.

Questions For Debate:

1) What do you think about Ehrman's claim that forgeries make up a large percentage of New Testament Books.
2) Does this really matter to the truthfulness and accuracy of the Books themselves?
3) Who wrote the Gospels?

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Post #64

Post by Cathar1950 »

WinePusher wrote:Alright, this should be an interesting chapter.

Chapter 4: Who Wrote The Bible?

Major Points: In this chapter, Ehrman devotes a large part to forgeries. He states that of the 27 books of the New Testament, 8 can be certainly atttributed to the claimed author. These eight books are: Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians and Philemon, and Revelations). The other 19 books fall into 3 categories.

-Misattributed Writings: Ehrman claims that the Gospels were probably misasttributed.
-Homonymous Writings: Ehrman claims that the epistle of James was probably written by a person named James, but not the actual disciple James.
-Pseudepigraphic Writings: These writings would be considered forgeries, as they were written under a false name. Ehrman does not list any specific examples.

His conclusion is that the New Testament contains books written under false names.

Questions For Debate:

1) What do you think about Ehrman's claim that forgeries make up a large percentage of New Testament Books.
2) Does this really matter to the truthfulness and accuracy of the Books themselves?
3) Who wrote the Gospels?
We don't know who wrote the gospels, that is why they are called anonymous. 8-)
I don't think they are actually Erhman's claims but the findings of scholars both sacid and secular and we questionable even in the fourth century as we can see from Eusebius of Caesarea, c. 263–339 AD the father of church history and such.

http://www.csun.edu/~hcfll004/euseb_ch.html
III.25: It will be well at this point to classify the New Testament writings already referred to.
We must, of course, put first the holy quartet of the Gospels,
followed by the Acts of the Apostles
The next place in the list goes to Paul's Epistles
and after them we must recognize the epistle called I John
likewise I Peter
To these may be added (if thought proper) The Revelation of John
...These are classed as 'The Recognized Books'.

Those that are 'Disputed Books', yet familiar to most, include
the epistles known as James, Jude, and II Peter
and those called II John and III John
(the work either of the Evangelist John or of someone else with the same name).

Among the spurious books must be placed the 'Acts' of Paul, the 'Shepherd [of Hermas]' and the 'Revelation of Peter'; also the 'Epistle of Barnabas' and the 'Teachings of the Apostles', together with the 'Revelation of John' (if this seems the place for it; as I said before, some reject it, others include it among the Recognized Books). Moreover some have found a place in the list for the 'Gospel of the Hebrews', a book which has a special appeal for those Hebrews who have accepted Christ. These would all be classed with the Disputed Books, but I have been obliged to list the latter separately, distinguishing those writings which according to the tradition of the Church are true, genuine, and recognized, from those in a different category (not canonical, but disputed, yet familiar to most churchmen).

For we must not confuse these with the writings published by heretics under the names of the Apostles, as containing the gospels of Peter, Thomas, Mathias, and several others besides these, or Acts of Andrew, John, and other apostles. To none of these has any churchman of any generation ever seen fit to refer in his writings. Again, nothing could be farther from apostolic usage than the type of phraseology employed, while the ideas and implications of their contents are so irreconcilable with true orthodoxy that they stand revealed as the forgeries of heretics. It follows that so far from being classeven among 'The Spurious Books', they must be thrown out as impious and beyond the pale.

III.24: Of John's writings, besides the Gospel, the first of the epistles has been accepted as unquestionably his by scholars both of the present and of a much earlier period: the other two are disputed. As to the Revelation, the views of most people to this day are evenly divided.
2) Does this really matter to the truthfulness and accuracy of the Books themselves?
It all depends on what you are claiming about them.
They are late first century witnesses to the communities that produced them, not eyewitnesses to the events themselves.

They were not meant to be read, or more likely heard, together.
They were collected a century later and like apostolic authority and succession a generation later there were many claims just as there were many communities and groups such as Paul mentions.

If I like a hymn does it matter wrote wrote it?
Interesting enough there was a hymn I liked and after reading about the guy in church history I never could see it the same way.
All I can say is I sided with Abelard.

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Post #65

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WinePusher wrote:What do you think about Ehrman's claim that forgeries make up a large percentage of New Testament Books...
His use of the sensationalist term "forgery" is a case of Ehrman deliberately using provacative (but inaccurate and misleading) language in order to sell his books. Such language is intended for the emotions of his readers rather than their intellects.

WinePusher wrote:Does this really matter to the truthfulness and accuracy of the Books themselves?
If the NT books really were "forgeries" in the sense of being attempts at grabbing power or altering the dominant Christian traditions, then there would be reason to doubt their truthfullness and accuracy. But since there is no good evidence to suspect this sort of "forgery," then the question is moot.

WinePusher wrote:Who wrote the Gospels?
Luke wrote his gospel and also Acts; Luke does not claim to have been an eyewitness, though he does claim to have researched his topic and verified his matterial. Mark (a secretary or associate of Peter) wrote the Gospel of Mark, probably after Peter had died, using Peter's notes and sermons as source material. Matthew wrote the Gospel of Matthew, although this "Matthew" may or may not be one of the original twelve disciples. John the Elder (an eyewiteness, but not one of the original twelve) wrote the Gospel of John.

The real question is not, "Who wrote the gospels?" Rather, the question is, "Are the gospels accurate and truthful?" Ehrman's arguments regarding the "contradictions" of the gospels fail to take into account the complexities of reality, and the fact that the ancient authors were not even attempting to write the sort of detached, objective "factual history" that has proven to be problematic by today's postmodern philosophers.

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Post #66

Post by Cathar1950 »

EduChris wrote:
WinePusher wrote:What do you think about Ehrman's claim that forgeries make up a large percentage of New Testament Books...
His use of the sensationalist term "forgery" is a case of Ehrman deliberately using provacative (but inaccurate and misleading) language in order to sell his books. Such language is intended for the emotions of his readers rather than their intellects.
The only one here that is attempting to be “provacative�, I am assuming you mean provocative, is you as you project� inaccurate and misleading� motives and intentions as he Is being deliberately apologetic towards the writings as he explains the prevalence of forgeries in the ancient world with explanations. He shows a great deal of kindness towards the writings as he confronts the obvious forgeries. He asked if the writings are forgeries and explains how and why it happened.
Did you actually read the chapter or did you just read “forgeries� and see red?

EduChris wrote:
WinePusher wrote:Does this really matter to the truthfulness and accuracy of the Books themselves?
If the NT books really were "forgeries" in the sense of being attempts at grabbing power or altering the dominant Christian traditions, then there would be reason to doubt their truthfullness and accuracy. But since there is no good evidence to suspect this sort of "forgery," then the question is moot.
Here you are mixing the writings up. The gospels are not forgeries, even if your claims are fraudulent. The gospels would not be forgeries unless they were written to purposely attribute them to a false author. The gospels are anonymous and it is only claiming they are by some author, which is really unknown, that would make them forgeries. We have plenty of reasons to doubt truthfulness and accuracy as the unknown author of Mark is purposely hiding things, such as the Zealot connections and putting the family of Jesus, the disciples and Peter, and the Jews in a bad light presenting Jesus as innocent In the aftermath of the first Jewish war. They are not accurate factual, historical accounts; they are liturgy, polemics, rhetoric, and apologetics set in a historical narrative using a Greek/Roman biography of a hero.

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Post #67

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EduChris wrote: Luke wrote his gospel and also Acts; Luke does not claim to have been an eyewitness, though he does claim to have researched his topic and verified his matterial. Mark (a secretary or associate of Peter) wrote the Gospel of Mark, probably after Peter had died, using Peter's notes and sermons as source material. Matthew wrote the Gospel of Matthew, although this "Matthew" may or may not be one of the original twelve disciples. John the Elder (an eyewiteness, but not one of the original twelve) wrote the Gospel of John.
So what do you think about Ehrman's points about this issue (p. 104-112)?

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Post #68

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Is there any hope to resurrect this discussion?

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Post #69

Post by WinePusher »

Adamoriens wrote:Is there any hope to resurrect this discussion?
I had to return my book so I can't continue moderating it. Anyone who has the book can add questions or add topics as they wish. However, I do remember what the next chapter was about, so let me add a few questions pertaining to the next chapter.

Chapter 5: Jesus-Liar, Lunatic or Lord.

Questions:

1) Is Jesus Christ a historical figure, is their sufficient evidence to support the existence of Jesus.
2) Was Jesus a liar, was Jesus a lunatic, or was Jesus actually the Lord?

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Post #70

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WinePusher wrote:
Adamoriens wrote:Is there any hope to resurrect this discussion?
I had to return my book so I can't continue moderating it. Anyone who has the book can add questions or add topics as they wish. However, I do remember what the next chapter was about, so let me add a few questions pertaining to the next chapter.

Chapter 5: Jesus-Liar, Lunatic or Lord.

Questions:

1) Is Jesus Christ a historical figure, is their sufficient evidence to support the existence of Jesus.
2) Was Jesus a liar, was Jesus a lunatic, or was Jesus actually the Lord?
Darn. It was getting interesting. Oh well. As far as the Trilemma goes, Ehrman rejects it as simplistic and offers a fourth option: Jesus was mistaken.

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