Jesus Interrupted By Bart Ehrman

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WinePusher

Jesus Interrupted By Bart Ehrman

Post #1

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?

WinePusher

Post #81

Post by WinePusher »

Druijf wrote:Well, it must be clear by now that these or not all options we have. Lewis presents a false trillema.
I think that the options are fine the way they are. Jesus was either who he claimed to be, or he was lying about his nature, or he really believed believed he was God but was actually just insane. Those are the three most logical options we have, and the legend option is dismissed because we have pretty good evidence pertaining to Jesus' life and ministry.
Admoriens wrote:History is not divided up into legend and fact. There may be a mixture: history with a little something I call legendary embellishment thrown in.
Do you think this Applies to the Gospels? Which parts of the Gospels would you consider legend?

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Post #82

Post by Adamoriens »

WinePusher wrote:
McCulloch wrote:You leave out the option that little can be confirmed about what the real historical Jesus said about himself. That he was put to death by the Romans is widely held. That people claiming to be his followers wrote lots of stuff about him, decades later is well accepted fact. So one option left out of the famous C. S. Lewis trilema is that what was written about him by the writers of the New Testament may not have been literally accurate.
That's certainly a possibility, but whether that possibility holds any credence is another story. The Gospels tend to converge at a point where they support the positive claim that Jesus Christ was the Lord, and there hasn't been presented anything to show that this is literally inaccurate.
Most historians wouldn't accept that all ancient narratives are true and accurate simply by virtue of being written down. I'm afraid to say you've shown a lack of knowledge (and interest in, it would seem) of basic New Testament scholarship. I have challenged elsewhere your strange claims that the gospels are eyewitness accounts. You've yet to respond.
WinePusher wrote:Do you think this Applies to the Gospels? Which parts of the Gospels would you consider legend?
Others here may have better examples, but I would point to the mass resurrection found in Matthew. And consider the entire Gospel of John. There's a reason it's not part of the Synoptics.
WinePusher wrote:I think that the options are fine the way they are. Jesus was either who he claimed to be, or he was lying about his nature, or he really believed believed he was God but was actually just insane. Those are the three most logical options we have, and the legend option is dismissed because we have pretty good evidence pertaining to Jesus' life and ministry.
Oh? Statements assuming the veracity of the Bible are not good enough in this forum. Back it up. Also, literal inaccuracy does not equal legend.

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Post #83

Post by Druijf »


I think that the options are fine the way they are. Jesus was either who he claimed to be, or he was lying about his nature, or he really believed believed he was God but was actually just insane. Those are the three most logical options we have, and the legend option is dismissed because we have pretty good evidence pertaining to Jesus' life and ministry.

The gospels do not give us immediate access to what Jesus said. They reflect a developing tradition. The discourses in the gospel of John are not very likely to go back to the historical Jesus.
Last edited by Druijf on Thu Nov 04, 2010 4:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post #84

Post by Cathar1950 »

WinePusher wrote:
I think that the options are fine the way they are. Jesus was either who he claimed to be, or he was lying about his nature, or he really believed believed he was God but was actually just insane. Those are the three most logical options we have, and the legend option is dismissed because we have pretty good evidence pertaining to Jesus' life and ministry.
There were a number of people killed that were anointed and killed such as Judas the Galilean and I don't think they were liars or lunatics. Jesus was most likely some kind of religious/political Zealot which makes him none of them.
Maybe just his followers were crazy.
You can't just dismiss everything that doesn't make him your Lord and then claim he must be Lord because I don't accept any other explanations.

Which parts of the Gospels would you consider legend?
Maybe the name but we could be wrong.
Wat part of "George Washington cut down a cherry tree and didn't lie is legend?
I am sure there was at least once he didn't lie and a number of trees he cut down.

WinePusher

Post #85

Post by WinePusher »

McCulloch wrote:You leave out the option that little can be confirmed about what the real historical Jesus said about himself. That he was put to death by the Romans is widely held. That people claiming to be his followers wrote lots of stuff about him, decades later is well accepted fact. So one option left out of the famous C. S. Lewis trilema is that what was written about him by the writers of the New Testament may not have been literally accurate.
WinePusher wrote:That's certainly a possibility, but whether that possibility holds any credence is another story. The Gospels tend to converge at a point where they support the positive claim that Jesus Christ was the Lord, and there hasn't been presented anything to show that this is literally inaccurate.
Adamoriens wrote:Most historians wouldn't accept that all ancient narratives are true and accurate simply by virtue of being written down.
I never suggested this. If you think that the New Testament is literally inaccurate then please give reasons to support that view rather then trying to shift the burden.
Adamoriens wrote:I have challenged elsewhere your strange claims that the gospels are eyewitness accounts. You've yet to respond.
I said that the fact that the Gospels were written only a few decades after the alleged events gives a more credence to the belief that they were written by eye-witnesses. Do you take issue with that claim?
WinePusher wrote:Do you think this Applies to the Gospels? Which parts of the Gospels would you consider legend?
Adamoriens wrote:Others here may have better examples, but I would point to the mass resurrection found in Matthew. And consider the entire Gospel of John. There's a reason it's not part of the Synoptics.
What do you mean by "mass" resurrection?

The reason why John is different from the others is because John copy from Mark. If John did use Mark as a source, and still was drastically different, then you might have an argument. However, John is thought to have developed indepently of the Synoptics, so there is no contradiction.

Point A: John did not use the other Synoptic Gospels as a source.
Point B: John's Gospel is significantly different from the Synoptics in areas such as style, emphasis and demeanor, but agrees with the synoptics on major events in Christ's ministry.
Point C: Since John did not copy from the Synoptics, but lists many events of Jesus' life that agree with the Synoptics (such as the passion narratives), it is reasonable to assume that John wrote from the perspective as an eye-witness.
WinePusher wrote:I think that the options are fine the way they are. Jesus was either who he claimed to be, or he was lying about his nature, or he really believed believed he was God but was actually just insane. Those are the three most logical options we have, and the legend option is dismissed because we have pretty good evidence pertaining to Jesus' life and ministry.
Adamoriens wrote:Oh? Statements assuming the veracity of the Bible are not good enough in this forum. Back it up. Also, literal inaccuracy does not equal legend.
You've been arguing with alot of straw men recently. Where did I assume the veracity of the Bible in my above statement, please quote verbatim.

WinePusher

Post #86

Post by WinePusher »

WinePusher wrote:I think that the options are fine the way they are. Jesus was either who he claimed to be, or he was lying about his nature, or he really believed believed he was God but was actually just insane. Those are the three most logical options we have, and the legend option is dismissed because we have pretty good evidence pertaining to Jesus' life and ministry.
Druijf wrote:The gospels do not give us immediate access to what Jesus said. They reflect a developing tradition. The discourses in the gospel of John are not very likely to go back to the historical Jesus.
Gospel of Mark: Approximate Date Written-AD 70
Gospel of Matthew: Approximate Date Written-AD 85
Gospel of Luke: Approximate Date Written-AD 85
Gospel of John: Approximate Date Writte-AD 90

Are you suggesting that the oral tradition between 33AD-70AD leave room for error? Do you consider those dates to be to far back, automatically making the Gospels unreliable?

WinePusher

Post #87

Post by WinePusher »

Cathar1950 wrote:There were a number of people killed that were anointed and killed such as Judas the Galilean and I don't think they were liars or lunatics.
You don't think that the "liar" and "lunatic" option are good explanations for the many self proclaimed messiah figures back then? My only objection is to your suggestion that a legend explanation might work, it's certainly an option but it's not as tenable as the others. There is good historical evidence for the historical existence of Jesus and his death by crucifixion.
Cathar1950 wrote:You can't just dismiss everything that doesn't make him your Lord and then claim he must be Lord because I don't accept any other explanations.
I'm not dismissing anything, I'm simply saying that the option that Jesus was actually who he claimed to be best accounts for all the facts then the other options Bart Ehrman presents.

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Post #88

Post by Druijf »

Winepusher wrote:What do you mean by "mass" resurrection?
Matthew 27:52-53 (NRSV) "The tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised. After his resurrection they came out of the tombs and entered the holy city and appeared to many."
The reason why John is different from the others is because John copy from Mark. If John did use Mark as a source, and still was drastically different, then you might have an argument. However, John is thought to have developed indepently of the Synoptics, so there is no contradiction.

Point A: John did not use the other Synoptic Gospels as a source.
Point B: John's Gospel is significantly different from the Synoptics in areas such as style, emphasis and demeanor, but agrees with the synoptics on major events in Christ's ministry.
Point C: Since John did not copy from the Synoptics, but lists many events of Jesus' life that agree with the Synoptics (such as the passion narratives), it is reasonable to assume that John wrote from the perspective as an eye-witness.
The point that is of importance is, that in John the focus of Jesus preaching is upon himself, whereas in the Synoptics it is the kingdom of God. In order for Lewis argument to work, the gospel of John needs to give a historical accurate account of Jesus preaching. But this preaching, since it has a clear christological focus, is more likely to be grounded in post-Easter theological convictions.

I don't see why point C is reasonable. Similarities can more easily be explained by a common tradition. If you really want to argue that John is based on eyewitness accounts than you need to address the issues that Jesus dies on another day, and the Temple is cleansed at the beginning of Jesus ministry instead and explain the contradiction between the secrecy theme in the gospel of Mark and the public preaching in the gospel John about Jesus´ own identity.

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Post #89

Post by Cathar1950 »

John 20:24-29 (English Standard Version)
Jesus and Thomas
24Now(A) Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin,[a] was not with them when Jesus came. 25So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them,(B) "Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe."
26Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them.(C) Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you." 27Then he said to Thomas, (D) "Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe." 28Thomas answered him,(E) "My Lord and my God!" 29Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen me?(F) Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."
All I can say is the way some of you put the gospels you all have better evidence then poor old Thomas.
What the gospel of John does show us is that there was more then one way to retell a story and change its meanings. It is also the gospel the Bible-Believer and Evangelical like minded us to interpret the other gospels because of its high Chrstology.
WinePusher wrote:
Cathar1950 wrote:There were a number of people killed that were anointed and killed such as Judas the Galilean and I don't think they were liars or lunatics.
You don't think that the "liar" and "lunatic" option are good explanations for the many self proclaimed messiah figures back then? My only objection is to your suggestion that a legend explanation might work, it's certainly an option but it's not as tenable as the others. There is good historical evidence for the historical existence of Jesus and his death by crucifixion.
Cathar1950 wrote:You can't just dismiss everything that doesn't make him your Lord and then claim he must be Lord because I don't accept any other explanations.
I'm not dismissing anything, I'm simply saying that the option that Jesus was actually who he claimed to be best accounts for all the facts then the other options Bart Ehrman presents.
Ehrman presents his option in the context of historical facts and possibility and all of explanation are more possible then the supernatural by definition.
There is very little �good historical evidence for the historical existence of Jesus and his death by crucifixion�. While given the number f Jews crucified by Romans there is a good possibility the same thing could have happened to Jesus. The death and or crucifixion are not the issue and you know it.

Adamoriens wrote:
Most historians wouldn't accept that all ancient narratives are true and accurate simply by virtue of being written down.
WinePusher wrote: I never suggested this. If you think that the New Testament is literally inaccurate then please give reasons to support that view rather then trying to shift the burden.
He is not shifting the burden of proof, he is placing it back in your lap where it belongs as it is you that is making a specific claim about the writings that do not measure up to the facts. There is no reason to take them literally and I doubt the writers did either or those that listen to them being read to them.
Adamoriens wrote:
I have challenged elsewhere your strange claims that the gospels are eyewitness accounts. You've yet to respond.
WinePusher wrote: I said that the fact that the Gospels were written only a few decades after the alleged events gives a more credence to the belief that they were written by eye-witnesses. Do you take issue with that claim?
The day after hearsay is still hearsay and there is nothing in the writings that suggest ay eye-witnesses which includes the writers.
The fact that they are anonymous is enough to dismiss them as eyewitness accounts.
WinePusher wrote: The reason why John is different from the others is because John copy from Mark. If John did use Mark as a source, and still was drastically different, then you might have an argument. However, John is thought to have developed indepently of the Synoptics, so there is no contradiction.

Point A: John did not use the other Synoptic Gospels as a source.
Point B: John's Gospel is significantly different from the Synoptics in areas such as style, emphasis and demeanor, but agrees with the synoptics on major events in Christ's ministry.
Point C: Since John did not copy from the Synoptics, but lists many events of Jesus' life that agree with the Synoptics (such as the passion narratives), it is reasonable to assume that John wrote from the perspective as an eye-witness.
I think you meant “John didn’t copy Mark�.
Given the words and tone of John I think he still has a point.
The scholarship sees the author of John as having Mark available as he actually writes against it or points the writer made which is itself a contradiction. The author of Matthew even corrects points where the author of Mark gets it wrong which is another contradiction. The day Jesus dies is also a contradiction between the Synoptic and John.
John and Mark share Mark’s outline, innocents’ defense and the Passion Narrative.
WinePusher wrote:
WinePusher wrote:I think that the options are fine the way they are. Jesus was either who he claimed to be, or he was lying about his nature, or he really believed believed he was God but was actually just insane. Those are the three most logical options we have, and the legend option is dismissed because we have pretty good evidence pertaining to Jesus' life and ministry.
Druijf wrote:The gospels do not give us immediate access to what Jesus said. They reflect a developing tradition. The discourses in the gospel of John are not very likely to go back to the historical Jesus.
Gospel of Mark: Approximate Date Written-AD 70
Gospel of Matthew: Approximate Date Written-AD 85
Gospel of Luke: Approximate Date Written-AD 85
Gospel of John: Approximate Date Writte-AD 90

Are you suggesting that the oral tradition between 33AD-70AD leave room for error? Do you consider those dates to be to far back, automatically making the Gospels unreliable?
Sometimes the author in John has Jesus doing puns in Greek and even the “I Am� stories are invention where the Hebrew is better translated as “I will be� Or “I will become that which I will become�. I always thought that fit the more Process ideas of God.
John 21:24-25 (English Standard Version)
24This is the disciple(A) who is bearing witness about these things, and who has written these things, and(B) we know(C) that his testimony is true.
25Now(D) there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that(E) the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.

WinePusher

Post #90

Post by WinePusher »

Winepusher wrote:The reason why John is different from the others is because John copy from Mark. If John did use Mark as a source, and still was drastically different, then you might have an argument. However, John is thought to have developed indepently of the Synoptics, so there is no contradiction.

Point A: John did not use the other Synoptic Gospels as a source.
Point B: John's Gospel is significantly different from the Synoptics in areas such as style, emphasis and demeanor, but agrees with the synoptics on major events in Christ's ministry.
Point C: Since John did not copy from the Synoptics, but lists many events of Jesus' life that agree with the Synoptics (such as the passion narratives), it is reasonable to assume that John wrote from the perspective as an eye-witness.
Druijf wrote:I don't see why point C is reasonable. Similarities can more easily be explained by a common tradition.
A good point, but it would then be your burden to show the sources for the Gospel of John and even the other 3 Gospels. If the Gospel Writers were not Eye-Witnesses, then you would have to provide explanations as to how they got their information.
Druijf wrote:If you really want to argue that John is based on eyewitness accounts than you need to address the issues that Jesus dies on another day, and the Temple is cleansed at the beginning of Jesus ministry instead and explain the contradiction between the secrecy theme in the gospel of Mark and the public preaching in the gospel John about Jesus´ own identity.
1) I think this source by my old professor sums it up. The Gospels agree that Jesus died on a friday, they are in harmony when it coems to the day Jesus died. What they are not in harmony on is the exact date of Passover.

2) Could you please extrapolate on the temple being cleansed at the beginning of Jesus ministry, it is to vague for me to respond to.

3) I think your view of Mark portraying Jesus to be secretive in regards to his divine nature is an opinion. The consensus amoung New Testament scholarship is that Mark focuses on the miracle ministry of Jesus. That is in conflict with your claim that Mark has some sort of secrecy theme about Jesus' divinity.
Last edited by WinePusher on Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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