What do you guys think of Bart erhman? He’s supposedly over of the best NT scholars and an atheist. I don’t like the conclusions he comes to. Have any of you researched him or read any of his books?? I be listened to him a little.
Hi Josh! As you have picked up, Bart Erhman is not a fan of the truths declared in the gospels. He attacks the divinity of Jesus, crucifixion and resurrection accounts. Haven’t read any of his books but you can find responses to his accusations and claims in books by Gary Hapermas, historical jesus, jesus and the eye witnesses, Lee Strobel The case for Christ.
What did you listen to?
Greetings Josh, I appreciate the question you raise concerning Bart Ehrman, and I should like to offer some insight.
First, if you are familiar with John Piper, who is a brilliant Theologian, he has been described as God’s mad (not in an evil way, but in a way like Einstein) scientist.
Now Dr. Piper is the first Theologian to use the word, “Boggleable” I take it to mean mind boggling. He describes God as being so far greater (Psalm 50:21 & Isaiah 55:8,9) than we are and by comprehending this, I know there are going to be many, many things that I can not resolve about God, but this one thing I know, I trust His heart, He is good and that is all I need to know.
Now I state this because Bart Ehrman was a liberal Christian for 15 years, but he ran into one of the biggest problems the world faces, namely a Theodicy (the problem of evil and suffering). It was here that he could not get his head around and from there became an agnostic/atheist.
Now the problem of evil and suffering has been dealt with on many fronts, from C.S. Lewis (The Problem of Pain) to Norm Geisler (I don’t have enough faith to be an Atheist). I encourage you to read both.
What we need to take away is this: if we are familiar with a worldview and in that worldview certain truths (origin, meaning, morality, destiny) are resolved by Christ. If we throw this worldview away, we are left with either no worldview or a very, very dark and dangerous worldview ( Death, Isolation, Meaninglessness, Freedom).
I ask you, from a practical, pragmatic point of view, which side would your rather hold onto? One that is Christ centered rooted in love, hope, peace, joy or one that has often been describe as meaninglessness? Quite the dichotomy!
If you want to study someone of deep understanding, switch Bart Ehrman to A.W. Tozer, G.K. Chesteron, George MacDonald or many, many others who have great insight.
God bless my friend,
Praying for understanding, peace and graceJae
I haven’t read any of Bart’s books. I just see the videos if his speeches online. I generally don’t watch them. It just bothers me to know that they are there. And I have listened to him once and it bothers me to know that someone who knows that much about the Bible can reject Christ, but then again many rejected Him while he was on the earth… It makes sense that in the 21st century people would still reject him. It’s amazing how you can listen to apologists and they make it sound convincing and you can listen to a skeptic and they can sound convincing. Both are looking at the same facts and evidences, both accusing the other of skewing the evidence.
Hey @Josh_Stoltzfus! I soo understand how you feel. I used to be so scared when I heard someone making an argument against christianity. I knew in my heart that there’s an explanation but I just didn’t know it. So I avoided watching any atheists speaking against faith. But a little by little, I started watching debates of John Lennox, william lane craig and others. And it kind of made me feel safe that someone, out there, knows how to respond!! I am sure Josh, as you grow more into knowledge and as your understanding sharpens, you will feel more confident listening to opponents rather than your pastor! A while ago, I listened to a debate between Jordan peterson and Sam Harris, and he said something about Leviticus and Deuteronomy. I had just finished a research on it, so when I heard him make that comment, I shouted in my room, “Did you even read it???”
I couldn’t be more honest when I tell you this, every time I thought, “Oh, there is no way around that issue, or that part in the scripture, or that verse”, I ended up having deeper admiration and confidence in my faith. Collide with difficult parts. Struggle. Doubt. Atheism takes a leap of faith! You don’t need leaps in christianity, you have the Way. Our faith is not in mere facts, but in a Person. And even though we might not have the answers for everything, we have the answer of what is just enough to trust in the rest that we don’t know.
Be blessed dear Josh.
Ahhhh, rather like how we here in America are dealing with our political news, is it valid, is it true? I have yet to hear a skeptic that is convincing, I should appreciate it if you pass on to me any you would consider having a substantial argument. One of the classes I teach at my church is Apologetics, so I should enjoy reading or hearing their argument.
I thought it interesting that Ravi would state that during his studies, his professors, namely Norman Geisler, would make him read agnostic and atheist books, papers, reviews to ascertain their perspective/point of view. I think it is an excellent way to validate your own truth.
A notable theologian who just passed away recently, R C Sproul would say that one goal of Apologists is to “shut the mouths of the obstreperous” 1 Peter 3:16. Sounds rather curt, but the bible uses the phrase so that they might be ashamed.
. I haven’t read or studied Bart erhman very much. I only hear people talk about him. I have watched one of his YouTube videos. When I hear him speak he talks with authority and i hear a lot of people talk about him either apologists and atheists. I’ll admit I have some fear watching his videos because they will probably sound as convincing to me as the apologists that I listen too. I get intimidated by the fact that he is a reknown scholar and I don’t want to become an atheist… I am trying to learn apologetics, I’m just not very confident yet. He argues things like the gospels have unknown authors and I heard him say that the first gospels don’t include the ressurection story. Obviously anything I believe about early Christianity comes from scholars so I guess you can say I put faith in what scholars say whether Christian or secular. I am biased toward Christianity so I choose to believe the Christian apologists. Either way its faith I guess.
Thank you for the encouragement sarah
It’s hard to say if he is “one of the best NT scholars.” That he is an atheist, on the other hand, is much easier to verify.
I’d say this, much of Ehrman’s scholarship draws from other NT scholars (which is nothing inappropriate or wrongful) who themselves were 1) far more erudite than he, and 2) also atheists. When you look at the bibliographies and works cited in most of Ehrman’s books you will probably find a lot of German names, people like: Bultmann, Bauer, etc. So, one of the things we will have to confront is scholarship at a very high level, even higher than Ehrman, that is skeptical of the truth claims (or the metaphysical claims) of an historical Christian faith. But, fear not, this is just part and parcel of becoming a good Apologist.
I would suggest reading a few of Ehrman’s books. He is a reasonably good scholar, and also a pretty good textual critic. However, it is not like he is the alpha and omega of NT scholarship by any means. Let me suggest a good way to go about this. First read a book by someone like Michael Kruger or Andreas Kostenberger, or Mike Bird, or Dan Wallace. Here are some examples:
Then after you read one or two of these, try one or two of Ehrman’s books. This is a good method to go about your apologetics research. Get into the conversation between believing scholars and skeptical ones. There are always both kinds in the world. This way you can begin to weigh, evaluate and gauge arguments, and then even start coming up with your own.
Also, when it comes to watching debates, there are people who have done pretty well against Ehrman, especially William Lane Craig. Ehrman’s main contention against Christianity is the problem of evil, not so much the reliability of the Scriptures, even if he clearly has problems with that issue. Still, there is more going on in Ehrman than just his biblical criticism. There are philosophical presuppositions as well. These have to be exposed and assessed too.