Bart Ehrman is a scholar of The Bible and has published popular works at a rapid clip on the subjects of theodicy and the literary history of the books some refer to as “Scripture.” He was an evangelical who believed that The Episcopalian Church in which he was raised was too tame on the teachings of Jesus’ Word of Salvation. Dedicating himself to the study of the original Greek versions of the Gospels and New Testaments in order to better understand the word of God, he made the discovery that (Whoops!) the Bible couldn’t be an inerrant instruaction manual. There were too many inconsistencies, too many obvious copying errors in the translastions and too many differences in the theologies contained within the books we call the New Testament for it to be a coherent work of God. He has since become agnostic, strongly convinced that even if there be a Creator it is certainly not the one painted by our Christian religions.

Scott Lohman and Grant Steves bring their intellectual prowess to bear in discussing the books of Bart Ehrman for this program. Grant and Scott are both impressed by Ehrman’s writing, and they are entertaining thinkers and speakers on the subjecs of literature and theology. This is sure to be a fun show as they discuss Ehrman’s books.

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Comments

  1. #1 NewEnglandBob
    May 30, 2009

    I have read some of Ehrman’s works and he does not leave the impression of being agnostic. Too much arcane discussion where the vast inaneness of the bible is ignored. Who cares whether this particular sentence of a work of fiction is correct or not?

  2. #2 AK
    May 30, 2009

    Who cares whether this particular sentence of a work of fiction is correct or not?

    It’s not fiction, it’s religious writing. Ehrman is a biblical scholar, which means he studies the Bible as a work of literature, subject to the same issues and methods as, e.g. Homer. “Correct” in this vein means that what we see (in some Greek, Hebrew, or Aramaic text) is what the “author” actually wrote. Of course, “author” is, itself, a complex term: When we’re looking at a piece of Q in Luke, or a piece of one of the “we” sections in Acts, do we mean “Luke”, whoever wrote that book, using excerpts from earlier authors, or do we mean the earlier authors themselves?

    Considering the influence these books have had on human civilization (and bid fair to have for the foreseeable future), biblical studies are a perfectly valid field of sociological research. Indeed, it’s all for the best the more agnostics get involved in the research, rather than leaving it to people with a “Truth” agenda.

  3. #3 Dick
    May 30, 2009

    NewEngland Bob said:I have read some of Ehrman’s works and he does not leave the impression of being agnostic.

    In his latest book “Jesus, Interrupted” he talks about his being agnostic and it has to do with the suffering in that exists in the world.

  4. #4 Mike Aubrey
    May 30, 2009

    This view of Ehrman is nonsense. Ehrman didn’t become an agnostic because of anything related to textual criticism. He because an agnostic because of the problem of evil – something he’s said himself numerous times. The irony of this post is that the title, taken (probably) from Ehrman’s book, God’s Problem is specifically about the problem of evil, not textual criticism.

    Even after Ehrman rejected inerrancy, he continued as a Christian practicing textual criticism and knowing about all those manuscript errors for years – just like Christian text critics have known about those errors since at least 1502 when work on the Complutensian Polyglot began, which included the first printed edition of the Greek New Testament.

    For a science blog, you guys sure get your facts wrong…

  5. #5 Stephanie Z
    May 30, 2009

    Mike, for someone so quick to criticize, you’ve got an odd view of how many people blog here. Start with the title of the blog….

  6. #6 Greg Laden
    May 30, 2009

    Ah … Mike, Every week I post the information that some other guy named Mike sends me pointing to our local AM skeptical atheistic politically liberal talk show. In this case, I didn’t even read it, I just passed it on (note that it is in the block quote thingie … it’s a quote).

    I’m sure you have a valid point, though I have no idea what it is. I strongly urge you to call in !!!!! They (meaning whomever is on the radio tomorrow morning) would love to hear from you!

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