Lecture 22 – The New Testament Era – The Historicity of the life of Jesus

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    Great discussion going here, friends!

    I am glad to find a forum with rational dialogue, so thank you to everyone participating.

    When squam said ” It’s a very unbiased look at the gospels (and much of the New Testament) ” about Bart Ehrman’s writings, I wanted to comment.

    Ehrman has been able to study under Dr. Bruce Metzger, a strong Christian.

    Ehrman seems to prey on the uninformed masses with his books that cast doubt, or incertitude upon the New Testament. He writes what he can profit from, so I can’t blame him. The problem I have is that his academic work seems to portray the exact opposite conclusion.

    In “Misquoting Jesus,” Ehrman states in the appendix that “The position I argue for in ‘Misquoting Jesus’ does not actually stand at odds with Prof. Metzger’s position that the essential Christian beliefs are not affected by textual variants in the manuscript tradition of the New Testament.”

    He openly admits [in the appendix] that all of the textual variants of the NT documents have no bearing on Christian theology/beliefs.

    Ehrman seems to be hypocritical, but I think he realizes that books that cast doubt on the NT to the uneducated masses make him money, while he could not get away with these same conclusions in the academic world, or at least not unchallenged.

    Penner on Stand to Reason stated:

    “Ehrman and Metzger state in that book [The Text of the New Testament] that we can have a high degree of confidence that we can reconstruct the original text of the New Testament, the text that is in the Bibles we use, because of the abundance of textual evidence we have to compare. The variations are largely minor and don’t obscure our ability to construct an accurate text. The 4th edition of this work was published in 2005 – the same year Ehrman published Misquoting Jesus, which relies on the same body of information and offers no new or different evidence to state the opposite conclusion.”

    This presentation also does a good job explaining New Testament textual criticism and that the case is strong for textual integrity.


    Secondly, I would recommend a good “starter” debate on “Does God Exist” would be Frank Turek and Christopher Hitchens on that exact topic.


    Dinesh D? Really?

    These questions are nothing new. The eminent Christian theologian Origen wrote about them as early as the third century, and the pagans raised them almost from the start. For the latter, see Robert Wilken’s THE CHRISTIANS AS THE ROMANS SAW THEM. Wilken, who was then an ordained Lutheran minister, but who later became a Catholic (despite publicly stating that he agreed with the Orthodox about the filioque, Vatican I, etc.), is one of the most prominent historians of Christianity in the last half-century, and that book is outstanding.

    The questions posed in this thread all assume that one becomes a Christian as a result of receiving acceptable answers to a series of questions. The first Christians, on the other hand, became Christian because they saw Christ risen, and then they re-read the Old Testament in light of that fact. See, for example, Eusebius’s THE HISTORY OF THE CHURCH, or Kallistos Ware’s THE ORTHODOX CHURCH.

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