Home » Posts tagged 'Ehrman'
Tag Archives: Ehrman
Taken from Bart Ehrman’s THE NEW TESTAMENT: A HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION
TO THE EARLY CHRISTIAN WRITINGS, page 47-48:
(CNN) – A frail man sits in chains inside a dank, cold prison cell. He has escaped death before but now realizes that his execution is drawing near.
“I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come,” the man –the Apostle Paul – says in the Bible’s 2 Timothy. “I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith.”
The passage is one of the most dramatic scenes in the New Testament. Paul, the most prolific New Testament author, is saying goodbye from a Roman prison cell before being beheaded. His goodbye veers from loneliness to defiance and, finally, to joy.
There’s one just one problem – Paul didn’t write those words. In fact, virtually half the New Testament was written by impostors taking on the names of apostles like Paul. At least according to Bart D. Ehrman, a renowned biblical scholar, who makes the charges in his new book “Forged.”
Daniel B.Wallace announced ( 22 MARCH 2012) in a debate with Bart Ehrman, that he had access to a fragment of Mark from the first-century; making it even older than P52 from the second century (which is the size of a credit-card). This announcement even made it’s way into Forbes magazine.
It is interesting to note that in that article, Wallace claims that :
…..radiocarbon dating has not been employed for Greek manuscripts to any significant degree, “largely because until recently it would necessarily destroy part of the manuscript.”
We have already examined this issue of radiocarbon-dating vs paleography. How is it possible for a manuscript of the Qur’an to be radiocarbon dated, and not the Bible?
But keeping all that aside, lets get back to the main question: WHERE IS THIS FIRST CENTURY MARK?
Several significant studies of literacy have appeared in recent years showing just how low literacy rates were in antiquity. The most frequently cited study is by Columbia professor William Harris in a book titled Ancient Literacy. By thoroughly examining all the surviving evidence, Harris draws the compelling though surprising conclusion that in the very best of times in the ancient world, only about 10 percent of the population could read at all and possibly copy out writing on a page. Far fewer than this, of course, could compose a sentence, let alone a story, let alone an entire book. And who were the people in this 10 percent? They were the upper-class elite who had the time, money, and leisure to afford an education. This is not an apt description of Jesus’s disciples. They were not upper-crust aristocrats.
In Roman Palestine the situation was even bleaker. The most thorough examination of literacy in Palestine is by a professor of Jewish studies at the University of London, Catherine Hezser, who shows that in the days of Jesus probably only 3 percent of Jews in Palestine were literate. Once again, these would be the people who could read and maybe write their names and copy words. Far fewer could compose sentences, paragraphs, chapters, and books. And once again, these would have been the urban elites.
Source: Ehrman, Bart D. (2012-03-20). Did Jesus Exist?: The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth (Kindle Locations 702-712). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
Taken from Bart Ehrman’s “Jesus Interrupted”:
In response to the assertion, made by conservative evangelicals, that not a single important Christian doctrine is affected by any textual variant, I point out:
a. It simply isn’t true that important doctrines are not involved. As a key example: the only place in the entire New Testament where the doctrine of the Trinity is explicitly taught is in a passage that made it into the King James translation (1 John 5:7–8) but is not found in the vast majority of the Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. I would suggest that the Trinity is a rather important Christian doctrine. A typical response to this rebuttal is that the doctrine of the Trinity can be found in Scripture without appealing to 1 John 5:7–8. My reply is that this is true of every single Christian doctrine. In my experience, theologians do not hold to a doctrine because it is found in just one verse; you can take away just about any verse and still find just about any Christian doctrine somewhere else if you look hard enough.
ad Taken from here: https://ehrmanblog.org/do-textual-variants-really-matter-for-anything/
Before explaining that, let me deal head on with the objection that no variants threaten any “significant Christian doctrine.” I’m not sure that’s *entirely* true – depending on what one means by the term “threaten.” For example, there is only one verse in the entire New Testament that explicitly teaches the Christian doctrine of the Trinity, 1 John 5:7-8 – “There are three in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one.” That’s the Trinity – three persons who are all one. The doctrine is explicitly stated nowhere else. But this verse was not originally in the New Testament. It is a later addition.
Taken from Bart Ehrman’s Misquoting Jesus, page 10:
“This kind of realization coincided with the problems I was encountering the more closely I studied the surviving Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. It is one thing to say that the originals were inspired, but the reality is that we don’t have the originals—so saying they were inspired doesn’t help me much, unless I can reconstruct the originals. Moreover, the vast majority of Christians for the entire history of the church have not had access to the originals, making their inspiration something of a moot point. Not only do we not have the originals, we don’t have the first copies of the originals. We don’t even have copies of the copies of the originals, or copies of the copies of the copies of the originals. What we have are copies made later—much later. In most instances, they are copies made many centuries later. And these copies all differ from one another, in many thousands of places. As we will see later in this book, these copies differ from one another in so many places that we don’t even know how many differences there are. Possibly it is easiest to put it in comparative terms: there are more differences among our manuscripts than there are words in the New Testament.”