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Thread: Sam Harris interviews Bart Ehriman

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    Quote Originally Posted by carolus magnus View Post
    Heh, yeah, I pop in from time to time. When I first discovered this site back in 2006 it was a revelation. A place to discuss Christianity, Evolution/Creation, and Politics honestly and openly. An elegant forum for a more civilized age. That was before the dark times.


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    Quote Originally Posted by ok doser View Post




    phew - thought you meant me


    i still miss bob b
    Do you remember One-Eyed Jack? I liked his pithy comments that got right to the point of a discussion.
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    OEJ - another great former poster

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    Quote Originally Posted by carolus magnus View Post
    "Essential Christian beliefs are not affected by textual variants in the manuscript tradition of the New Testament."

    That is a remarkable statement. We can, despite textual variation (mostly spelling differences and what not), trust that the New Testament we have now is remarkably close to its original written version.
    Whether to believe what it says or not is up to you.
    First of all, on your last sentence, I completely agree - people can choose to believe whatever they wish. On the essential Christian beliefs not being affected by textual variants....I also agree, for the cause of religious tradition and indoctrination. This accompanies the first point... people choose to believe what they wish.

    On the point that the New Testament is remarkably close to it's original version....that is a belief people choose to accept as real or factual, based on ZERO evidence. Since there are no original manuscripts available for examination, it would be foolish to attempt to make any claims in their regard. You may hope to extrapolate from the earliest known and available writings of church fathers....but even that would provide a shadow of what actually was. What was originally written, and many case by whom, is unknown as it pertains to the bible.

    On the work of Bart Ehrman, specifically Misquoting Jesus....what his work does demonstrate is that the New Testament as we know it is and has been a "work in progress" for thousands of years. He has shown that the text of the bible has been edited at will, by unnamed editors for hundreds and thousands of years. These editions include many changes to the text in many ways. These are facts that a person can research from themselves if they wish to, without even reading Bart Ehrman. Bible scholars have known this from quite some time.

    The bible as it is commonly considered now, by Protestants is lacking some 14 books that used to be in the bible, and are still in some. Luther wanted to reduce it even further so that it would have less than the 66 books it has now.

    The Catholics, and the Jehovah Witnesses, and probably more sects than I even know of have changed the text at will to suit their own church doctrines.

    Modern translations of the bible, which come in some form each year, all make subtle changes to the text by word or phrase replacement. In some cases, these additions or edits have rendered the passage the exact opposite meaning of the original intent.

    These are things that are known in the fields of biblical research and textual analysis, but not known by average Joe Q. Christian churchgoer. FWIW.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guyver View Post
    On the point that the New Testament is remarkably close to it's original version....that is a belief people choose to accept as real or factual, based on ZERO evidence.
    You've just revealed that you have no understanding of the science of textual criticism. I suggest you watch Dr. Daniel Wallace, a scholar just as respected as Bart Erhman in the field (they are colleagues and friends and clearly respect each other's work when you see them together). Here is a good start where he is being very magnanimous and conservative for the skeptics. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZ5cgQUJnrI

    Quote Originally Posted by Guyver View Post
    These are things that are known in the fields of biblical research and textual analysis, but not known by average Joe Q. Christian churchgoer. FWIW.
    I think you underestimate the education of the average church goer. Particularly those who participate in regular bible studies. I've been a Christian for over 30 years and been in many bible study groups. This is a regular topic. The average christian also knows that the variants have little to no impact on core doctrines (let's call that the Nicene Creed for sake of simplicity, which is just an updated more specific version of the earlier Apostle's Creed).

    Besides, we can construct the gospel from the Old Testament. It's even found in the first genealogy in Genesis!
    "For those who believe, no explanation is necessary; for those who do not believe, no explanation will suffice." - Thomas Aquinas

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    Quote Originally Posted by carolus magnus View Post
    You've just revealed that you have no understanding of the science of textual criticism. I suggest you watch Dr. Daniel Wallace, a scholar just as respected as Bart Erhman in the field (they are colleagues and friends and clearly respect each other's work when you see them together). Here is a good start where he is being very magnanimous and conservative for the skeptics. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZ5cgQUJnrI

    !
    You could say that. But, if you wanted to be more factually correct, what you should say is that some books of the modern bible, or more specifically the Book of Isaiah closely matches the oldest known version of the Bible which is the works of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
    Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Guyver View Post
    You could say that. But, if you wanted to be more factually correct, what you should say is that some books of the modern bible, or more specifically the Book of Isaiah closely matches the oldest known version of the Bible which is the works of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
    oookaaay. sooo, we're in agreement??
    "For those who believe, no explanation is necessary; for those who do not believe, no explanation will suffice." - Thomas Aquinas

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    Quote Originally Posted by carolus magnus View Post
    oookaaay. sooo, we're in agreement??
    I don't believe so. If I understand you correctly, you're attempting to assert that the New Testament has been preserved faithfully, to the original autographs, as some of the works from the Dead Sea Scrolls appear to. Yet, there are no New Testament writings preserved in the Dead Sea Scrolls for examination, so that claim can't be made.

    What does exist is earlier manuscripts of the New Testament, which have been discovered since the time of the writing of the King James bible, which demonstrate that the New Testament has been changed over time, and these edits have made their way into modern bibles.
    Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Guyver View Post
    I don't believe so. If I understand you correctly, you're attempting to assert that the New Testament has been preserved faithfully, to the original autographs, as some of the works from the Dead Sea Scrolls appear to. Yet, there are no New Testament writings preserved in the Dead Sea Scrolls for examination, so that claim can't be made.
    Woah, not even close. I had to reread my posts to see how you came to that conclusion and cannot figure out where you got the idea I was saying that. YOU mentioned the Dead Sea scrolls, not me! If we were having a discussion about the Old Testament then I'd be talking about them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guyver View Post
    What does exist is earlier manuscripts of the New Testament, which have been discovered since the time of the writing of the King James bible, which demonstrate that the New Testament has been changed over time, and these edits have made their way into modern bibles.
    This is much closer to what I've been saying, but I was emphasizing that the Bible we have today is the most accurate to the original autographs that we've ever had. And it has shown the differences are largely spelling and word order, and very little that affects doctrine, and nothing that affects the core doctrines and claims of Christianity (those that hold to the Nicene Creed).
    "For those who believe, no explanation is necessary; for those who do not believe, no explanation will suffice." - Thomas Aquinas

    "Some things have to be believed to be seen." -R Hodgson

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    Quote Originally Posted by Guyver View Post
    First of all, his name is Bart Ehrman.

    Second of all, he once was just as you are now, except for one thing. He is actually a world class bible scholar, with a first rate education who happens to know what he's talking about.
    I'm a little late, but a few scriptures for consideration:
    To the second: 1 John 2:19 "...could not..."
    What does the verse say, if they 'were?'

    What does 1 Corinthians 2:14 say about Bart's knowledge? 1 Corinthians 1:27?
    My New Years Resolution: 1 Peter 3:15
    Omniscient without man's qualification. John 1:3 "Nothing"
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    Mighty, ALL mighty (omnipotent). Revelation 1:8
    No possible limitation Isaiah 40:25 Joshua 24:15
    Infinite (Omnipresent) Psalm 145:3 Hebrews 4:13

    Is Calvinism okay? Yep

    Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think... Amen. -Ephesians 3:20 & 21

    1Co 13:11 ... when I became an adult, I set aside childish ways. Titus 3:10 Ephesians 4:29-32; 5:11

    Separation of church and State is not atheism "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights..."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lon View Post
    What does 1 Corinthians 2:14 say about Bart's knowledge? 1 Corinthians 1:27?
    Nothing, in my book. He's a scholar. What I have read by him is his professional opinion of points based on facts. Facts can be checked and verified, confirmed by others. If such were not the case, then he would just be offering his opinions. And, I'm sure that it would be no problem to find statements of his opinions, just as it is no problem finding statements of your opinion or my own.
    Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same.

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    Quote Originally Posted by carolus magnus View Post
    Woah, not even close. I had to reread my posts to see how you came to that conclusion and cannot figure out where you got the idea I was saying that. YOU mentioned the Dead Sea scrolls, not me! If we were having a discussion about the Old Testament then I'd be talking about them.
    I used the Dead Sea Scrolls because they are the oldest known form of the bible that exists at this time. It may be that there will be other discoveries in the future, but for now...the Dead Sea Scrolls are the oldest bible writings.


    This is much closer to what I've been saying, but I was emphasizing that the Bible we have today is the most accurate to the original autographs that we've ever had. And it has shown the differences are largely spelling and word order, and very little that affects doctrine, and nothing that affects the core doctrines and claims of Christianity (those that hold to the Nicene Creed).
    It is impossible to know if the bible we have today is the most accurate to the original autographs, because there is no such thing as an original autograph. They didn't survive. What did survive are copies of copies of original autographs. And what those copies show is variance within text over time, and it's not just spelling and word order. There are passages found in bibles now, that were not in the oldest copies of manuscripts.
    Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Guyver View Post
    Nothing, in my book. He's a scholar.
    He 'thinks' he's a scholar. I listened to the interview and didn't hear much but "Bart's Opinions." Take a look:
    "Feeling of elation"( is not conversion).


    English, BA


    Greek Hebrew Greek, English MA and PhD


    Doubt came from other scholars' doubts (laughs uncontrollably at every Christian doctrine). Look at the ARROGANCE at the standard Christian belief that I get to go to heaven while my neighbor goes to hell. It isn't what Jesus taught.




    Every claim of Christianity 'probably didn't happen.' (In other words, Bart is a sensory blind man. A man, truly, "without the Spirit." What caused his doubt? A lack of being 'able' to see spiritual things. I'm sorry the Bible isn't your book).


    Critical scholars don't believe the texts were written by the Apostles.


    Bart says believers tell him he "has an 'anti-supernatural' bias keeping you from believing."


    "No christian hold the right line, all are in disagreement."


    1 Corinthians 15:14


    "I know lots and lots of ' sophisticated Christians' that don't believe Christ rose from the dead." -Bart Ehrman

    He was this smart guy who was able to read the languages, and then he started missing the easy stuff. He literally asks questions and says things, that are answered in the Bible and he seems completely oblivious to having read them.
    Quote Originally Posted by Guyver View Post
    What I have read by him is his professional opinion of points based on facts. Facts can be checked and verified, confirmed by others. If such were not the case, then he would just be offering his opinions. And, I'm sure that it would be no problem to find statements of his opinions, just as it is no problem finding statements of your opinion or my own.
    I've always had reservations about Ehrman, both pre and post. He was able to report what he was reading and what was affecting his thinking, but he has no way of acknowledging Christ barring His Spirit in Him. I've told you the same thing. There is absolutely NO way an unbeliever can grasp God, if He does not abide in them. It is actually insane and disreputable for him to doubt the gospels and the letters of Paul. Sorry, it needs to be stated this blatantly. I truly believe Ehrman is insane (and enjoying his agnosticism and fame). He's a sad story.

    What the Apostle Paul stated so long ago 1 Corinthians 15:14 stands as firm today. Bart can doubt all he likes. I too have read many of the problems having gone through seminary myself. It, frankly, is the foolish that go this route. Psalm 14:1 He just isn't THAT great of a scholar. Can he run circles around me in Greek? Sure. It doesn't mean anything when he rejects what they say, clearly. He is a lost man and has my pity. Like many 'ex's 1 John 2:19 He simply never met the living God. Have you? Jeremiah 29:18 "God," Bart. God is the one who can tell you the standard of who is a Christian or who is not. You obviously don't know your bible as well as you think. Mark 7:22 (and sadly, Bart laughed ).
    Last edited by Lon; June 16th, 2019 at 12:04 AM.
    My New Years Resolution: 1 Peter 3:15
    Omniscient without man's qualification. John 1:3 "Nothing"
    Colossians 1:17 "Nothing" John 15:5 "Nothing"
    Mighty, ALL mighty (omnipotent). Revelation 1:8
    No possible limitation Isaiah 40:25 Joshua 24:15
    Infinite (Omnipresent) Psalm 145:3 Hebrews 4:13

    Is Calvinism okay? Yep

    Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think... Amen. -Ephesians 3:20 & 21

    1Co 13:11 ... when I became an adult, I set aside childish ways. Titus 3:10 Ephesians 4:29-32; 5:11

    Separation of church and State is not atheism "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights..."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lon View Post
    He 'thinks' he's a scholar. I listened to the interview and didn't hear much but "Bart's Opinions." Take a look.
    Lon, he doesn’t have to think he’s a bible scholar, he knows he is because he has the PhD credentials hanging on his wall.

    That you would even suggest otherwise demonstrates your bias in this topic. To not even acknowledge his credentials is a poor choice on your part.

    That you differ in opinion with his exegesis is irrelevant. And I think you’d be hard pressed to find ANY other human who interprets the Bible exactly the way you do. He is a bible scholar who is expert in textual criticism. To deny that means you don’t have the ability to view this topic with the lens of truth.
    Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Guyver View Post
    Lon, he doesn’t have to think he’s a bible scholar, he knows he is because he has the PhD credentials hanging on his wall.
    I have an MA, just a couple more years....

    Quote Originally Posted by Guyver View Post
    That you would even suggest otherwise demonstrates your bias in this topic.
    Had I heard of Ehrman when I was in seminary? Yes. Had I quoted or read him? Not really. He is one of many many fish in the theological sea.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guyver View Post
    To not even acknowledge his credentials is a poor choice on your part.
    He doesn't acknowledge mine, doesn't even know me. It isn't a matter of 'acknowledging.' I already said he can translate circles around me. What I rather said, was that he gets some of the hard stuff, but then doesn't really KNOW his bible, and definitely doesn't know his God. Sorry, Guy. It is true. I'm not mean or wrong. Did you hear him laughing and chuckling? Definitely not the sentiments of a scholar, he doesn't even value his own education at that point, just trying to toss off his 'wasted' years. Sorry about that too. He is ruining his own credibility.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guyver View Post
    That you differ in opinion with his exegesis is irrelevant.
    Only if you happen to have a doctorate or masters as we do, right? When does it count? When is it relevant?

    Quote Originally Posted by Guyver View Post
    And I think you’d be hard pressed to find ANY other human who interprets the Bible exactly the way you do.
    Incredibly easy. They are called doctrinal statements and most of us 'scholars' have signed off on them. Do we have to be exact? The larger evangelical and orthodox circles are what most of us agree to. It really isn't that hard. What separates us is practicum rather than doctrine. Ehrman used to hold to the same exact doctrinal statement that most of us adhere to.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guyver View Post
    He is a bible scholar who is expert in textual criticism.
    Every degree has a direction. Some are concerned with the variants. Some are concerned with the languages and translations. The PhD is narrow and select. Erhman was mostly concerned with translation work. One guy? No way is he THE authority. He is a voice in a large sea. Many of my professors worked on the NASB and the NIV. Their names are better known than Ehrman because of the association with ISB and other well-known publishers.
    Quote Originally Posted by Guyver View Post
    To deny that means you don’t have the ability to view this topic with the lens of truth.
    Ah, there you go. YOUR bias is showing. BA? MA? PhD?
    My New Years Resolution: 1 Peter 3:15
    Omniscient without man's qualification. John 1:3 "Nothing"
    Colossians 1:17 "Nothing" John 15:5 "Nothing"
    Mighty, ALL mighty (omnipotent). Revelation 1:8
    No possible limitation Isaiah 40:25 Joshua 24:15
    Infinite (Omnipresent) Psalm 145:3 Hebrews 4:13

    Is Calvinism okay? Yep

    Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think... Amen. -Ephesians 3:20 & 21

    1Co 13:11 ... when I became an adult, I set aside childish ways. Titus 3:10 Ephesians 4:29-32; 5:11

    Separation of church and State is not atheism "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights..."

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