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Reply with quote  #1 

I am hammering the atheists on http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2012/04/28/william-lane-craig-disses-stephen-law-cites-irrefutable-evidence-for-jesus/

by simply pointing out that Bart Ehrman is relaying what the scholarly consensus is on the historical evidence provided by the Gospels.


Reply with quote  #2 
But isn't Bart Ehrman a bumbling idiot that got laughed off the stage in his debate with WLC?
Reply with quote  #3 
Quote:
Originally Posted by alloneword

I am hammering the atheists on http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2012/04/28/william-lane-craig-disses-stephen-law-cites-irrefutable-evidence-for-jesus/

by simply pointing out that Bart Ehrman is relaying what the scholarly consensus is on the historical evidence provided by the Gospels.





Steve, I am not even sure what your point is. Perhaps, you can make it more clear for everyone here. thnks
Reply with quote  #4 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander
But isn't Bart Ehrman a bumbling idiot that got laughed off the stage in his debate with WLC?

A few months ago I  finally took the time to read the debate transcript between him and WLC (I never viewed the video) and found it fascinating. It was as if I was reading the box score of a nail biting baseball game...each column of runs scored per inning would climb over the other as you read through each inning and so you never knew who was going to pull out of the race and win the game. Everytime I would read Ehrman's arguments and rebuttals, I would get disheartened and wonder how WLC would refute it. Yet, WLC would respond to each rebuttal with facts and arguments that made lots of sense to me. Like a good baseball game, the debate went "extra innings" and, in my honest opinion, WLC won with a "walk off home-run" with his Bayes' Theorem argument on the resurrection. Dr. Ehrman played with a lot of heart (emotions and philosophy), but the end game that knocked him out was the fact that WLC is simply a well-rounded opponent with more skill and expertise (history, science, mathematics, theology, and philosophy).

If anyone has the time to read the debate transcript, please do! Critics often say that the reason WLC "wins" his debates is because he's a "slick" debater, often twisting the words of his opponents in a way that resonates with the audience. This is nonsense. When you read the debate transcripts you will see that there, too, the words are clear and make sense, often in WLC's favor. 

P.S> Recently, Dr. Daniel Wallace, a New Testament scholar, debated Dr. Ehrman and many consider that Ehrman's toughest opponent. Furthermore, Dr. Wallace has an "ace" in his cards with the discovery of a new manuscript that he considers the earliest manuscript ever found of the New Testament. He briefly used this in his debate against Ehrman. More on this later.
Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
Originally Posted by skunker
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander
But isn't Bart Ehrman a bumbling idiot that got laughed off the stage in his debate with WLC?

A few months ago I  finally took the time to read the debate transcript between him and WLC (I never viewed the video) and found it fascinating. It was as if I was reading the box score of a nail biting baseball game...each column of runs scored per inning would climb over the other as you read through each inning and so you never knew who was going to pull out of the race and win the game. Everytime I would read Ehrman's arguments and rebuttals, I would get disheartened and wonder how WLC would refute it. Yet, WLC would respond to each rebuttal with facts and arguments that made lots of sense to me. Like a good baseball game, the debate went "extra innings" and, in my honest opinion, WLC won with a "walk off home-run" with his Bayes' Theorem argument on the resurrection. 

If anyone has the time to read the debate transcript, please do! Critics often say that the reason WLC "wins" his debates is because he's a "slick" debater, often twisting the words of his opponents in a way that resonates with the audience. This is nonsense. When you read the debate transcripts you will see that there, too, the words are clear and make sense, often in WLC's favor. 

P.S> Recently, Dr. Daniel Wallace, a New Testament scholar, debated Dr. Ehrman and many consider that Ehrman's toughest opponent. Furthermore, Dr. Wallace has an "ace" in his cards with the discovery of a new manuscript that he considers the earliest manuscript ever found of the New Testament. He briefly used this in his debate against Ehrman. More on this later.



I would like to hear about that debate with Wallace. The new manuscript was brought up during the debate?
Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightfoot


I would like to hear about that debate with Wallace. The new manuscript was brought up during the debate?

Lightfoot, yes, this is actually when the world first found out about the discovery. It was February 2012 (I forget which day). Here's what Dr. Wallace said on his blog:

Quote:
He answered the second question by saying that we really don’t have any early manuscripts. But this again is a huge overstatement. We have as many as eighteen second-century manuscripts (six of which were recently discovered and not yet catalogued) and a first-century manuscript of Mark’s Gospel! Altogether, more than 43% of the 8000 or so verses in the NT are found in these papyri. Bart had explicitly said that our earliest copy of Mark was from c. 200 CE, but this is now incorrect. It’s from the first century. I mentioned these new manuscript finds and told the audience that a book will be published by E. J. Brill in about a year that gives all the data. (In the Q & A, Bart questioned the validity of the first-century Mark fragment. I noted that a world-class paleographer, whose qualifications are unimpeachable, was my source. Bart said that even so, we don’t have thousands of manuscripts from the first century! That kind of skepticism is incomprehensible to me.)

Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by skunker
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightfoot


I would like to hear about that debate with Wallace. The new manuscript was brought up during the debate?

Lightfoot, yes, this is actually when the world first found out about the discovery. It was February 2012 (I forget which day). Here's what Dr. Wallace said on his blog:

Quote:
He answered the second question by saying that we really don’t have any early manuscripts. But this again is a huge overstatement. We have as many as eighteen second-century manuscripts (six of which were recently discovered and not yet catalogued) and a first-century manuscript of Mark’s Gospel! Altogether, more than 43% of the 8000 or so verses in the NT are found in these papyri. Bart had explicitly said that our earliest copy of Mark was from c. 200 CE, but this is now incorrect. It’s from the first century. I mentioned these new manuscript finds and told the audience that a book will be published by E. J. Brill in about a year that gives all the data. (In the Q & A, Bart questioned the validity of the first-century Mark fragment. I noted that a world-class paleographer, whose qualifications are unimpeachable, was my source. Bart said that even so, we don’t have thousands of manuscripts from the first century! That kind of skepticism is incomprehensible to me.)





Obviously at that point Ehrman didn't know what else to say.

In fairness to Bart though, if he hasn't seen the document or seen the research on it, than it might be much to expect him to receive it just based on the words spoken during the debate.

Bart's point about there not being;
thousands of manuscripts from the first century--is rather extreme in my view
Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightfoot
Quote:
Originally Posted by skunker
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightfoot


I would like to hear about that debate with Wallace. The new manuscript was brought up during the debate?

Lightfoot, yes, this is actually when the world first found out about the discovery. It was February 2012 (I forget which day). Here's what Dr. Wallace said on his blog:

Quote:
He answered the second question by saying that we really don’t have any early manuscripts. But this again is a huge overstatement. We have as many as eighteen second-century manuscripts (six of which were recently discovered and not yet catalogued) and a first-century manuscript of Mark’s Gospel! Altogether, more than 43% of the 8000 or so verses in the NT are found in these papyri. Bart had explicitly said that our earliest copy of Mark was from c. 200 CE, but this is now incorrect. It’s from the first century. I mentioned these new manuscript finds and told the audience that a book will be published by E. J. Brill in about a year that gives all the data. (In the Q & A, Bart questioned the validity of the first-century Mark fragment. I noted that a world-class paleographer, whose qualifications are unimpeachable, was my source. Bart said that even so, we don’t have thousands of manuscripts from the first century! That kind of skepticism is incomprehensible to me.)





Obviously at that point Ehrman didn't know what else to say.

In fairness to Bart though, if he hasn't seen the document or seen the research on it, than it might be much to expect him to receive it just based on the words spoken during the debate.

Bart's point about there not being;
thousands of manuscripts from the first century--is rather extreme in my view

I agree. I would not hold this against Bart if he has not seen the manuscript in question. But, you must always be prepared with the fact that something can change overnight. This reminds me of a story that soemone told me about Albert Einstein when he was a professor at Oxford. He would give his students the same exam year after year. The same questions! Some students took the exam twice and still failed. One day a student asked him bluntly, "Dr. Einstein, why do you give the same test every year?" 

Dr. Einstein replied, "well, because the answers change."


Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by skunker
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightfoot
Quote:
Originally Posted by skunker
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightfoot


I would like to hear about that debate with Wallace. The new manuscript was brought up during the debate?

Lightfoot, yes, this is actually when the world first found out about the discovery. It was February 2012 (I forget which day). Here's what Dr. Wallace said on his blog:

Quote:
He answered the second question by saying that we really don’t have any early manuscripts. But this again is a huge overstatement. We have as many as eighteen second-century manuscripts (six of which were recently discovered and not yet catalogued) and a first-century manuscript of Mark’s Gospel! Altogether, more than 43% of the 8000 or so verses in the NT are found in these papyri. Bart had explicitly said that our earliest copy of Mark was from c. 200 CE, but this is now incorrect. It’s from the first century. I mentioned these new manuscript finds and told the audience that a book will be published by E. J. Brill in about a year that gives all the data. (In the Q & A, Bart questioned the validity of the first-century Mark fragment. I noted that a world-class paleographer, whose qualifications are unimpeachable, was my source. Bart said that even so, we don’t have thousands of manuscripts from the first century! That kind of skepticism is incomprehensible to me.)





Obviously at that point Ehrman didn't know what else to say.

In fairness to Bart though, if he hasn't seen the document or seen the research on it, than it might be much to expect him to receive it just based on the words spoken during the debate.

Bart's point about there not being;
thousands of manuscripts from the first century--is rather extreme in my view

I agree. I would not hold this against Bart if he has not seen the manuscript in question. But, you must always be prepared with the fact that something can change overnight. This reminds me of a story that soemone told me about Albert Einstein when he was a professor at Oxford. He would give his students the same exam year after year. The same questions! Some students took the exam twice and still failed. One day a student asked him bluntly, "Dr. Einstein, why do you give the same test every year?" 

Dr. Einstein replied, "well, because the answers change."






lol, that's funny!
Reply with quote  #10 
On page 78 of ‘Did Jesus Exist?’, Bart Ehrman says we have seven independent accounts of Jesus, some of them quite extensive.

Ehrman says ‘For a historian these provide a wealth of materials to work with….’

Both Craig and Ehrman agree on the basic facts – there is a lot of material for a historian to work with.

Craig looks at the Gospels and says – there is a lot of material for a historian here, what do these multiple, extensive independent reports say?

Ehrman looks at the Gospels and says – there is a lot of material for a historian here, I’m going to construct an alternative scenario and automatically discount anything they say which does not fit my worldview.

Who is following the evidence where it leads?

Because both agree on the evidence…
Reply with quote  #11 

Both agree on the evidence, but come to different conclusions.  But I don't think that is because Ehrman doesn't want to follow the evidence where it leads... I think it is rather that Ehrman isn't committed to the idea that everything in the Gospels has to literally be true.  Also, that's not even possible, because there are contradictory accounts for many particulars.  Was Jesus crucified the morning after Passover per Mark, or on the afternoon of the day before Passover per John?  Also, there are discrepancies in the birth and life of Jesus, the Passion narratives, how Judas died, the life and writings of Paul, etc. 

This is why it is impossible to construct a single Super-Gospel, a single account of the life of Jesus made from a combination of the four Gospels.  You would think, if these accounts were as accurate and true as many people would like to believe, that this would be possible -- because they would not contradict each other!  But they do, and often on very important features of the story.  If you tried to construct a Super-Gospel, you would find yourself having to "choose" from among alternate conflicting details and you would be footnoting the entire thing to highlight how the four Gospels used as source material differ from each other.

In Bart's own words from Jesus, Interrupted (p. 60): "The discrepancies that involve historical narratives -- what did Jesus or Paul actually say, do and experience? -- make it difficult to establish what really happened in the life of Jesus or the history of the early church.  You can't read these books as disinterested historical accounts.  None of them is that.  What would you do as a judge in a court trial in which you have conflicting testimony from eye witnesses?  One thing you would certainly not do is assume that each witness is 100 percent correct."

Reply with quote  #12 

I think Ehrman is also a philosophical naturalist and thinks the problem of evil defeats theism, or is at least leaning towards these views strongly. If you start with this, and then look at ancient texts reporting miracles and theistic revelation, then I'm not sure what ancient evidence would change your mind, if any.

Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GRWelsh

Both agree on the evidence, but come to different conclusions.  But I don't think that is because Ehrman doesn't want to follow the evidence where it leads... I think it is rather that Ehrman isn't committed to the idea that everything in the Gospels has to literally be true.  Also, that's not even possible, because there are contradictory accounts for many particulars.  Was Jesus crucified the morning after Passover per Mark, or on the afternoon of the day before Passover per John?  Also, there are discrepancies in the birth and life of Jesus, the Passion narratives, how Judas died, the life and writings of Paul, etc. 

This is why it is impossible to construct single Super-Gospel, a single account of the life of Jesus made from a combination of the four Gospels.  You would think, if these accounts were as accurate and true as many people would like to believe, that this would be possible -- because they would not contradict each other!  But they do, and often on very important features of the story.  If you tried to construct a Super-Gospel, you would find yourself having to "choose" from among alternate conflicting details and you would be footnoting the entire thing to highlight how the four Gospels used as source material differ from each other.

In Bart's own words from Jesus, Interrupted (p. 60): "The discrepancies that involve historical narratives -- what did Jesus or Paul actually say, do and experience? -- make it difficult to establish what really happened in the life of Jesus or the history of the early church.  You can't read these books as disinterested historical accounts.  None of them is that.  What would you do as a judge in a court trial in which you have conflicting testimony from eye witnesses?  One thing you would certainly not do is assume that each witness is 100 percent correct."


Well said.  The historical Jesus really isn't my area, so I don't comment much on these threads, but the idea that WLC is the one objectively appraising the evidence is just a little silly.
Reply with quote  #14 

Ehrman started studying the scriptures when he was still a self-described "born again" and "serious" Christian. 

Reply with quote  #15 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pinkey

I think Ehrman is also a philosophical naturalist and thinks the problem of evil defeats theism, or is at least leaning towards these views strongly. If you start with this, and then look at ancient texts reporting miracles and theistic revelation, then I'm not sure what ancient evidence would change your mind, if any.


Of course Ehrman has his biases, and so does Craig.
If you start from the assumption, as Craig odes, that it is almost certian that a God exists, then the accounts of the resurrection most certainly point in the direction of a miriacle by the Christian God.
However, if for other reasons one judges the prpbability of God's existence as very low, the accounts would only move the balance in the direction of a miraculous event by The Christian God if there wasn't  any reasonable doubt about the truth of these accounts.
Now, I do not think there is any serious historian who claims that there cannot be any reasonable doubt as to the truth of the resurrection accounts.
So, from the POV of Ehrman, he is justified in demanding much more evindence than is currently available.

As for me personally, since I know with 100% certainlty that the God of Christianity cannot possibly exist, even if Jesus were to appear in front of me right now, I would perhaps view this as evidence for something supernatural, but most certainly not as evidence for a mircale by the Christian God.
Is this a bias? Yes it is, but it is based on very good reasons.

Just a few words on the assumption of naturalism.
I believe when judging evidence for whatever event, we should always assume naturalism, as indeed, most of the time all of us do. That does not mean we should not be open to the idea that there might be something supernatural, but starting from an assumption of  supernaturalism just isn't workable. 
So, even if a naturalistic explanation is very imporbable, as long as it isn't impssible, it is to be preferred over a supernatural one. 
And in the case of the resurrection accounts, following the evidence where it leads, a naturalitic explanation is not even improbable.




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