Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The Book of Bart

Misquoting Jesus is treated at length in Sunday's Washington Post.

Further links: Craig Blomberg, Denny Burk, Mark D. Roberts, Jim Snapp, Daniel Wallace, P.J. Williams


  1. Just a note there is a misquotation here. What I said was that there is no immediate resurrection tradition in Judaism.

    Darrell Bock

  2. Thanks. Good thing that the transmission of early Christian texts was not left to the press.

  3. I think Ehrman is definitely on the wrong track to step into Metzger's shoes. They are too large for him. His recycling of old material again and again is just silly.

  4. Dear anon,

    I have no objection to his recycling material. It does not seem inappropriate for him to present to a lay audience material that he has put before a scholarly audience. The most important question is whether his material stands up to scholarly scrutiny.

    We also need to be careful not to attribute aspirations to Ehrman for which we do not have clear evidence. I am not aware of any evidence that he is trying to step into anyone's shoes.

  5. There is an interesting contrast that can be made between the stance of Bock and Ehrman. Ehrman is quote certain about the non-historical nature of the scriptures. Bock states with reservation that the historicity of the Jesus narrative is not exhaustively provable (no photographs), but that it is a powerful explanation for the data present.

    Is it right for Ehrman to be so certain here (especially given the popular audience)? I believe that the original text is recoverable, and that the canonical works can be harmonized... but I would never want to state these as factually verifiable certainties.

  6. "Life after the loss of faith, even for the deeply religious, is not necessarily a terrible thing. He is, he says, a "happy agnostic." That emptiness he felt as a teenager is still there, but he fills it with family, friends, work and the finer things in life."

    No, it's not STILL there.
    It's back.

    I've read a lot of these articles now, and one thing that strikes me is the notion that Ehrman somehow "discovered" this lack of evidence for Christianity, once free of the stifling confines of Moody and Wheaton. Bart may correct me if I'm wrong, but based on the story given in the articles, he didn't "discover" anything--he merely fell in line with what he was already being taught.

  7. It's interesting to see how the Washington Post reporter uses the quotation from Dale Martin to put the requisite spin on this sad story. The "certainty" of the conservatives at Moody Bible Institute is at fault, of course, not the unbelief of Ehrman's teachers in places like Yale or Princeton, where he lost his faith. Conservatives are wrong and dangerous, but nice liberal people do no harm to anyone's faith--according to the "Book of Bart."

    Michael Marlowe