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Author Topic: The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture by Bart D. Ehrman?  (Read 4108 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: January 04, 2007, 06:01:38 PM »

The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture: The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament (Paperback) by Bart D. Ehrman

Is this book about Eastern Orthodoxy?
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« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2007, 08:44:48 PM »

Well, it's about the early Church, though it's not written from anything approaching an Orthodox perspective.
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« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2007, 09:25:45 PM »

Ehrman, what a snooze.
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« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2007, 09:28:38 PM »

I dunno, maybe his sensationalistic tone and subject material is cliche and (ironically) boring, but from what I've read by him he isn't that dry. Certainly he is less dry than, say, Pelikan, though obviously he isn't in anywhere near the same class in terms of scholarship.
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« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2007, 09:41:23 PM »

I dunno, maybe his sensationalistic tone and subject material is cliche and (ironically) boring, but from what I've read by him he isn't that dry. Certainly he is less dry than, say, Pelikan, though obviously he isn't in anywhere near the same class in terms of scholarship.

Sorry, I didn't mean snooze in the sense of dry but snooze in the sense of sensationalistic people who actually think they are innovative.  I find that boring.

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« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2007, 09:44:15 PM »

Ah, Bart Ehrman. I have little respect for him and his scholarship. The "methodology" of his last book, Misquoting Jesus, was most unworthy of a department chair at a university like UNC-Chapel Hill. Any respected pre-modern historian or New Testament textual scholar would tell you that his conclusions do not reflect objective standards of manuscript interpretation. His ideology seems to unduly diminish his intellectual rigor and scholarly integrity. He's also an insufferable attention-whore.
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« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2007, 09:45:14 PM »

The impression I've always gotten is that Ehrman gets press because he produces controversialist quotes, but that hardly anyone in the field agrees with him.
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« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2007, 09:46:09 PM »

Quote
Sorry, I didn't mean snooze in the sense of dry but snooze in the sense of sensationalistic people who actually think they are innovative.  I find that boring

Yeah, I should have figured that out, lol Smiley
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« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2007, 10:01:02 PM »

The impression I've always gotten is that Ehrman gets press because he produces controversialist quotes, but that hardly anyone in the field agrees with him.


No. He seems to think that a large number of surviving manuscripts means that we can only be less certain about the accounts. He fails to realize that there are no "original" manuscripts to speak of from antiquity. All documentation is found in later copies, usually centuries later. That is the name of the game in the discipline of ancient history. When there are no original manuscripts, the more copies you have, the better.

The reason why there remains no consensus for the date of the original composition of Beowulf is that only one 11th-century manuscript survives. More manuscripts allows for more comparison, and textual scholars and pre-modern historians have the comparison of manuscripts down to a science. Things can be reconstructed. It's like having many newspaper accounts of the same event.

There are literally thousands of extant New Testament manuscripts and fragments. In other words, the events of the New Testament are better documented than almost anything of antiquity. With numerous documents, you're going to have discrepancies. Copyists make mistakes. Ehrman seems to think that makes us less certain about what Jesus actually said and did. But the work of comparison allows scholars to work out the source.

A single manuscript doesn't have any discrepancies, so to speak, because there is nothing to compare it to! Thus scholars are in the dark about how close it is to the original text.

The life of Jesus is extraordinarily well documented compared to other lives and events in antiquity, and the discrepancies are far less pronounced and widespread in most of what survives than Ehrman lets on.

However, Ehrman knows that the general public for which he wrote Misquoting Jesus is less likely to see through his illogical, naive argument.
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« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2007, 12:25:24 AM »

I personally feel sorry for Ehrman growing up in an environment (fundamentalist Protestant Baptist background) that harbored very strongly the idea that the Bible is inerrant in all things, including historical and scientific accuracy.  Thus, the foundation of this branch of Protestantism that is the Biblical inerrancy was broken when he did honest research.  Thus, Christianity to him is false because of Biblical inerrancy.

I feel sorry for him for not discovering that even some ancient Christian fathers differentiated between spiritual infallibility and textual errancy and that some churches today, Catholic and Orthodox, recognize this.

God bless.
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« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2007, 04:18:40 AM »

MISQUOTING JESUS is a layman-level edition of some of the arguments Ehrman sets forth in THE ORTHODOX CORRUPTION OF SCRIPTURE, and also includes Ehrman's story of how he lost his fundamentalist faith.

At the Evangelical Theological Society conference in November 2005, the representative from Oxford Press told me that Ehrman is in line to succeed Bruce M. Metzger as one of today's leading NT textual critics. Indeed, the fourth edition of Metzger's classic book on the NT text, THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT: Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration, is co-authored with Ehrman.
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« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2007, 10:37:27 AM »

I feel sorry for him for not discovering that even some ancient Christian fathers differentiated between spiritual infallibility and textual errancy and that some churches today, Catholic and Orthodox, recognize this.

God bless.

Sorry I am just now catching up with this thread - I would love it if you could give me some examples of the ECF distinctions between spiritual infallibility and textual errancy if you can think of some!

Thanks!
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« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2007, 06:40:21 PM »

Sorry I am just now catching up with this thread - I would love it if you could give me some examples of the ECF distinctions between spiritual infallibility and textual errancy if you can think of some!

Thanks!

Sure.  One the most famous examples is Origen's "Philocalia," where he writes very clearly that there are contradictions and absurdities in the Bible written for men to interpret allegorically, that everything was written with a spiritual purpose.  If the whole Bible was taken by the letter, either you will believe in unChristian beliefs or you will easily disbelieve Christianity.

I encourage you to read it:

http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/origen_philocalia_02_text.htm

But allow me to jump right ahead and quote for you two huge parts so that you can see such a belief was an ancient Christian belief and not something recent:

Quote
17. Anyway, will any man of sense suppose that there was a first day, and a second, and a third, evening and morning, without sun and moon and stars? and the first, as it were, even without a heaven? And who is so silly as to imagine that God, like a husbandman, planted a garden in Eden eastward, and put in it a tree of life, which could be seen and felt, so that whoever tasted of the fruit with his bodily teeth received the gift of life, and further that any one as he masticated the fruit of this tree partook of good and evil? And if God is also said to walk in the garden in the evening, and Adam to hide himself under the tree, I do not suppose that any one will doubt that these passages by means of seeming history, though the incidents never occurred, figuratively reveal certain mysteries. Moreover, Cain's comning out from the presence of God, if we give heed, is a distinct inducement to inquire what is meant by "the presence of God," and by a man's "coming out from" it. Why say more? They who are not quite blind can collect countless similar instances of things recorded as actual occurrences, though not literally true. Why, even the Gospels abound in incidents of the same kind. We read of the Devil taking Jesus into a lofty mountain, that from thence he might shew Him the kingdoms of the whole world and their glory. Who but a careless reader of these things would not condemn the supposition that with the bodily eye, which required a lofty height if the parts down below at the foot were to be seen, Jesus beheld the kingdoms of Persia, Scythia, India, and Parthia, and the glory of their rulers among men? And, similarly, the careful student may observe countless other instances in the Gospels, and may thus be convinced that with the historical events, literally true, different ones are interwoven which never occurred.

18. And if we come also to the Mosaic code, many of the laws, so far as regards their bare observance, seem unreasonable, and others impossible. The prohibition of kites, for instance, as food is unreasonable, for no one in the direst famines would be driven to this creature. Children eight days old if not circumcised are ordered to be cut off from their people. If an express enactment respecting those children was indispensable, it is their fathers who should be ordered to be put to death; whereas the Scripture says, "Every uncircumcised male, who shall not be circumcised on the eighth day, shall be cut off from his people." If you wish to see some impossible enactments, let us consider that the goat-stag is a fabulous creature. And yet Moses commands us to offer it as a clean animal; on the other hand, there is no instance of the griffin having been tamed by man, but the lawgiver, nevertheless, forbids it to be eaten. If we closely examine the famous ordinance of the Sabbath, "Ye shall sit every man in his house: let no man go out of his place on the seventh day," we shall see that it cannot be literally kept; for no living creature can sit the whole day without stirring from his seat. And therefore in some cases they of the Circumcision, and as many as desire no more light than that of the mere letter, do not go to the root of things, and, for example, search for the meaning of what is said about the goat-stag, the griffin, and the kite; while in other cases they sophistically trifle with the words, and confront you with frigid traditions; as regards the Sabbath, for instance, they maintain that every man's "place" is 2000 cubits. Others, among them Dositheus the Samaritan, condemning such an interpretation, think the person is to remain until the evening in the posture in which he was found on the Sabbath day. Nor can the command to carry no burden on the Sabbath be observed; and the Jewish teachers have accordingly gone very great lengths, pretending that a sandal of one kind is a "burden," but not a sandal of another kind, the one being nailed, the other without nails; and, the same way, what is carried upon one shoulder is a "burden," but by no means what is carried upon both.

And he goes on and on to make the point that not everything has to be taken literally, otherwise, it would be illogical.  He mentions how these things are written for a spiritual purpose, not just mere story-telling, and not everything done was true as well, as he contends.

And this is not something that Origen came up on his own.  This was a standard Alexandrian thought that probably spanned way back before Christ was crucified.  A Jewish man by the name of Philo who lived in Alexandria was pivotal in understanding how Greek Jews in Alexandria interpreted the Scriptures, leaving us many writings filled with how he would not take books like Genesis literally, but spiritually, and leaves us with an interesting description of the "Logos" of God.

Therefore, this was a product of even at the time of Christ.  This is not to disregard the literal.  Not everything is a tale in the Bible, for we do believe in the existence of figures like Noah, Moses, and Abraham, but we don't quite take every story to the extreme letter.

To take everything literally was partially a product of the School of Antioch formed later around the second or third century, but not as strict as say the Protestant Reformation ages, where because of the lack of ancient Christian tradition, all these Christians had were the Bible, and depended solely on it as if some dictated word of God.  The Bible is mostly an inspiration, not a dictation (with the exception of prophecies).

God bless.
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« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2007, 06:49:47 PM »

I like these two parts also:

Quote
20. We have said all this for the sake of showing that the aim of the Divine power which gives us the sacred Scriptures, is not to select such things only as are presented in a literal sense, for sometimes the things selected taken literally are not true, but are even unreasonable and impossible; and further, that certain things are woven into the web of actual history and of the Law, which in its literal sense has its uses. But that no one may suppose us to make a sweeping statement and maintain that no history is real, because some is unreal; and that no part of the Law is to be literally observed, because a particular enactment in its wording happens to be unreasonable or impossible; or that what is recorded of the Saviour is true only in a spiritual sense; or that we are not to keep any law or commandments of His: that we may not incur such an imputation, we must add that we are quite convinced of the historical truth of certain passages; for instance, that Abraham was buried in the double cave in Hebron, as also Isaac and Jacob, and one wife of each of these; and that Sichem was given to Joseph for his portion, and that Jerusalem is the capital of Judea, wherein God's temple was built by Solomon, and countless other statements. For those things which are true historically are many more than those connected with them which contain merely a spiritual sense. Again, take the commandment, "Honour thy father and thy mother that it may be well with thee." Would not any one allow its usefulness apart from any anagogical interpretation, and support its observance, seeing that even the Apostle Paul uses the express words? And what are we to say about the commands, "Thou shalt not kill," "Thou shalt not commit adultery," "Thou shalt not steal," "Thou shalt not bear false witness?" Further, there are commands in the Gospel about which there is no doubt as to whether they are to be literally observed or not; for instance, that which says, "But I say to you, whosoever shall be angry with his brother," and so on; and, "But I say to you, Swear not at all." And we must keep to the letter of the Apostle's words, "Admonish the disorderly, encourage the fainthearted, support the weak, be long-suffering towards all"; though among more eager students it is possible to treasure every detail as the deep wisdom of God, without rejecting the literal meaning of the command.

21. Still, there are places where the careful reader will be distracted because he cannot without much labour decide whether he is dealing with history in the ordinary sense, or not, and whether a given commandment is to be literally observed, or not. The reader must therefore, following the Saviour's injunction to search the Scriptures, carefully examine where the literal meaning is true, and where it cannot possibly be so; and he must, to the best of his ability, by comparing parallel passages scattered up and down Scripture, trace out the prevalent sense of what is literally impossible. Since, then, as will be clear to readers, the literal connection is impossible, while the main connection is not impossible but even true, we must strive to grasp the general sense which intelligibly connects things literally impossible with such things as are not only not impossible, but are historically true, and capable of allegorical interpretation, no less than those which never literally occurred. For, regarding the whole of Divine Scripture, we hold that every portion has the spiritual meaning, but not every portion the "corporeal"; for the "corporeal" meaning is often proved to be impossible. The cautious reader must therefore very carefully bear in mind that the Divine books are Divine writings, and that there appears to be a peculiar way of understanding them, which I will now describe.

I think with all those parts I've quote for you from Origen's Philocalia, this explains perfectly what it means for true Orthodox scriptural interpretation.

God bless.

PS  Some great resources on Philo of Alexandria:
http://www.earlyjewishwritings.com/philo.html
http://www.torreys.org/bible/philopag.html
http://www.earlychurch.org.uk/philo.php
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« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2007, 09:50:53 PM »

Thank you very much for the links - very informative!
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« Reply #15 on: February 16, 2012, 05:34:20 AM »

What is our Orthodox answer to those who accuse the authors of the New Testament books of being dishonest by attributing their own writings to a disciple or an apostle? Forgive my ignorance.


Selam 
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« Reply #16 on: February 16, 2012, 09:12:22 AM »

What is our Orthodox answer to those who accuse the authors of the New Testament books of being dishonest by attributing their own writings to a disciple or an apostle? Forgive my ignorance.


Selam 

Early Christian witness by disciples of the apostles that verify their authorship.
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« Reply #17 on: February 16, 2012, 11:28:43 AM »

What is our Orthodox answer to those who accuse the authors of the New Testament books of being dishonest by attributing their own writings to a disciple or an apostle? Forgive my ignorance.


Selam 
To us, it doesn't really matter who really wrote the scriptures. They aren't inspired because of who wrote them, but because the Church recognized them as such.
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« Reply #18 on: February 16, 2012, 02:59:08 PM »

One example is that a lot of HH Pope Shenouda's writings for instance aren't really "his writings" but his disciples who jot down his sermons and collect it together in one subject.  I'm sure similar things happened in the past.  The idea is this, that perhaps some of the Apostles might have not directly wrote them down, but that their disciples did.  I don't see anything dishonest about that.
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« Reply #19 on: February 16, 2012, 04:19:04 PM »

One example is that a lot of HH Pope Shenouda's writings for instance aren't really "his writings" but his disciples who jot down his sermons and collect it together in one subject.  I'm sure similar things happened in the past.  The idea is this, that perhaps some of the Apostles might have not directly wrote them down, but that their disciples did.  I don't see anything dishonest about that.
It's especially NOT dishonest if the Apostles instructed their disciples to do so.
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« Reply #20 on: February 16, 2012, 04:58:31 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

I dunno, maybe his sensationalistic tone and subject material is cliche and (ironically) boring, but from what I've read by him he isn't that dry. Certainly he is less dry than, say, Pelikan, though obviously he isn't in anywhere near the same class in terms of scholarship.

Sorry, I didn't mean snooze in the sense of dry but snooze in the sense of sensationalistic people who actually think they are innovative.  I find that boring.

Anastasios

Exactly! What I have always found even bitterly ironic is that Protestant criticisms over the centuries are not new to the Church, neither are the epiphanies of any kind.  They are generally regurgitated versions of precious discussions, dialogues, heresies, and doctrinal disputes.  These guys honestly think they make miraculous discoveries of what is realistically mostly old news.  Controversies about the Scriptural Canon is soooo FIFTH CENTURY Wink

stay blessed,
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« Reply #21 on: February 16, 2012, 06:32:19 PM »

One example is that a lot of HH Pope Shenouda's writings for instance aren't really "his writings" but his disciples who jot down his sermons and collect it together in one subject.  I'm sure similar things happened in the past.  The idea is this, that perhaps some of the Apostles might have not directly wrote them down, but that their disciples did.  I don't see anything dishonest about that.
It's especially NOT dishonest if the Apostles instructed their disciples to do so.

But why didn't they simply state that they were writing on behalf of the particular Apostle? I'm not bothered by this, but I know that the opponents of Christianity will accuse these scribes of dishonestly passing off their own interpretations and opinions as those of the apostles. They will also say that we can't be sure that this is really what the apostle believed since the apostle didn't actually write it. So, how do we answer such accusations?


Selam
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« Reply #22 on: February 16, 2012, 06:38:15 PM »

One example is that a lot of HH Pope Shenouda's writings for instance aren't really "his writings" but his disciples who jot down his sermons and collect it together in one subject.  I'm sure similar things happened in the past.  The idea is this, that perhaps some of the Apostles might have not directly wrote them down, but that their disciples did.  I don't see anything dishonest about that.
It's especially NOT dishonest if the Apostles instructed their disciples to do so.

But why didn't they simply state that they were writing on behalf of the particular Apostle? I'm not bothered by this, but I know that the opponents of Christianity will accuse these scribes of dishonestly passing off their own interpretations and opinions as those of the apostles. They will also say that we can't be sure that this is really what the apostle believed since the apostle didn't actually write it. So, how do we answer such accusations?
Selam

Personally I don't pay them any attention, they claim to be willing to listen, but they aren't. Any "excuse" you give them, they will explain away. Bart Ehrman's books are designed to do one thing... Destroy people's faith... He knows there are people out there who misunderstand the true nature of the Bible (because he was one before he abandoned Christ) and he seeks to take advantage of that and destroy people's faith while also attempting to destroy the reputation the Bible has. He's a terribly dishonest man, even if he is a respected scholar.

Check out this website: http://ehrmanproject.com/
Also listen to Dr. Jeannie Constantinou's "Introduction to the Bible" on her "Search the Scriptures" podcast. She has hundreds of episodes now going through the Bible book by book. She begins the study with giving you background to the study of the Bible, and addresses common charges made against the Bible.
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« Reply #23 on: February 16, 2012, 06:47:42 PM »

One example is that a lot of HH Pope Shenouda's writings for instance aren't really "his writings" but his disciples who jot down his sermons and collect it together in one subject.  I'm sure similar things happened in the past.  The idea is this, that perhaps some of the Apostles might have not directly wrote them down, but that their disciples did.  I don't see anything dishonest about that.
It's especially NOT dishonest if the Apostles instructed their disciples to do so.

But why didn't they simply state that they were writing on behalf of the particular Apostle? I'm not bothered by this, but I know that the opponents of Christianity will accuse these scribes of dishonestly passing off their own interpretations and opinions as those of the apostles. They will also say that we can't be sure that this is really what the apostle believed since the apostle didn't actually write it. So, how do we answer such accusations?


Selam

Does anyone level this charge against Plato?
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« Reply #24 on: February 16, 2012, 08:30:30 PM »

One example is that a lot of HH Pope Shenouda's writings for instance aren't really "his writings" but his disciples who jot down his sermons and collect it together in one subject.  I'm sure similar things happened in the past.  The idea is this, that perhaps some of the Apostles might have not directly wrote them down, but that their disciples did.  I don't see anything dishonest about that.
It's especially NOT dishonest if the Apostles instructed their disciples to do so.

But why didn't they simply state that they were writing on behalf of the particular Apostle? I'm not bothered by this, but I know that the opponents of Christianity will accuse these scribes of dishonestly passing off their own interpretations and opinions as those of the apostles. They will also say that we can't be sure that this is really what the apostle believed since the apostle didn't actually write it. So, how do we answer such accusations?


Selam

Does anyone level this charge against Plato?

Exactly, it was a common practice.  No one thought of being a "secondary" author, so to speak, or claiming to write on behalf of another.
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« Reply #25 on: February 20, 2012, 01:46:59 AM »

IIRC Ehrman claims to be atheist because of the "problem of evil."
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« Reply #26 on: February 20, 2012, 02:13:31 AM »

IIRC Ehrman claims to be atheist because of the "problem of evil."
That's silly. Why not just believe in a god who is evil? Shocked
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« Reply #27 on: February 20, 2012, 02:14:53 AM »

IIRC Ehrman claims to be atheist because of the "problem of evil."
That's silly. Why not just believe in a god who is evil? Shocked
That's what atheism is, isn't it?  Wink
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« Reply #28 on: February 21, 2012, 09:47:37 PM »

Guys, I’m really mad at you right know and disappointed. Sorry for my English, I’m still learning, but I had to response to those claims of you. It’s so sad because I regularly visit this forum and I know that you are well educated in early Christian writing (at least Orthodox side) .

Father Anastasion is probably right, that Ehrman just repeat what was said earlier. But it is because of his purpose. He ain’t only write academic books but also those for regularly audience. Most of his book is just the entrance to scientific studies. But it is just an opinion, not an argument. Everybody has a right to say so. Lubeltri is Catholic, so he typically for Catholics offended Ehrman and said he is a whore. Ok, pretty understandable. Have no problem with that, just a matter of ethics.

Keble said that hardly anyone in the field agree with Ehrman. You probably meant that anyone who is also a hard believer and early Christian historian agree with Ehrman (so called confessional researcher). Most of secular historian who work on the textual criticism in fact agrees with Ehrman. Remember that he took some of the claims of other authors and serve them in more simple way for normal people to understand.  Did you ever watch a debate between Ehrman and Craig Evans? It is on YT, you should check it, because it will show you the difference.

“He fails to realize that there are no "original" manuscripts to speak of from antiquity”. Could you provide me any quotation? I think quite opposite.

“I feel sorry for him for not discovering that even some ancient Christian fathers differentiated between spiritual infallibility and textual errancy and that some churches today, Catholic and Orthodox, recognize this.” Because he is historian, not theologian.  He ain’t using categories like spiritual infallibility. And don’t say he do not know works of Origen (in fact you did not say that, I know, but some might get that wrong conclusion reading your whole post).

“To us, it doesn't really matter who really wrote the scriptures. They aren't inspired because of who wrote them, but because the Church recognized them as such.” Really like this kind of answer.

“One example is that a lot of HH Pope Shenouda's writings for instance aren't really "his writings" but his disciples who jot down his sermons and collect it together in one subject.  I'm sure similar things happened in the past.” But Pope Shenouda wrote those things. Luke, Matthew, Mark and John did not. They did not dictate it to copy writers. And don’t say it is a common practice for students to write in the name of teacher in antiquity. Please read the “ Forged: Writing in the Name of God--Why the Bible's Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are” first, then find an opposite argument and I will have no problem to say you were right.

“It's especially NOT dishonest if the Apostles instructed their disciples to do so.” It is not possible, same as above. Read first and give me an argument. Of course, remember it is a historian book, using historian methodology, you just can’t say it was because God suddenly make Peter or any other apostle to speak foreign languages and compose letter in Greek. No, my friend. It is a theological view, don’t have with problem with that, as far as you are in good terms with it.

Books written by Ehrman ain’t no for destroying peoples faith. His wife is a devout Episcopalian and she do not pay attention to his arguments, because those are historical fact. And she take her strength to believe from her faith.

What is contradiction for me is that people here use a lot of scientific book when those thesis in them fit to their claims. It is not a problem to find a scientific book that try to demonstrate that Peter could not die in Rome. Everybody happily jump on it and quote it, but when they find that some other thesis, contrary to those religious beliefs, appear they say it is all because of bad methodology.
Please, give me more.

I 100% agree with Paul Ricoeur that we can’t avoid paradigm, our theories are always in paradigm, so let secular historian be in their area. Maybe they give us something that might help our faith grow? You doubt? So stop read those books, and if you do that, don’t debate about them. You might give an opinion, but at least you are not familiar with them you can’t have any arguments. 

P.S. In Plato case, he used Socrates name, but he never ever claimed that he is writing in the name of Plato. That is big difference. He used him as a figure but he did not claim he actually wrote any of those words.

“That's what atheism is, isn't it? “
For real?
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« Reply #29 on: February 21, 2012, 09:54:26 PM »


“That's what atheism is, isn't it? “
For real?

Yes, do you claim something else?
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« Reply #30 on: February 21, 2012, 10:01:48 PM »

Sorry with Plato case. My bad English appeared. I meant that Plato never wrote a book and sign it with Socrates name. He ain't even quote Socrates in the way we quotes someone. He made fictional dialogues where he used Socrates opinion, none of NT writers did that. Moreover some of them directly lied. Take for example letter written by Peter. Author says directly, that he is the Apostle Peter, witness of Transfiguration, but in fact, he was 100% not.  

Atheism deny existence of God, how can people who are atheists decide whatever something/someone who/which don't exist is bad or god?
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« Reply #31 on: February 21, 2012, 10:21:34 PM »

Atheism deny existence of God, how can people who are atheists decide whatever something/someone who/which don't exist is bad or god?
Atheists take materialism as their god. Materialism is evil. Ergo, atheists believe in a god who is evil.
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« Reply #32 on: February 21, 2012, 11:26:49 PM »

One example is that a lot of HH Pope Shenouda's writings for instance aren't really "his writings" but his disciples who jot down his sermons and collect it together in one subject.  I'm sure similar things happened in the past.  The idea is this, that perhaps some of the Apostles might have not directly wrote them down, but that their disciples did.  I don't see anything dishonest about that.
It's especially NOT dishonest if the Apostles instructed their disciples to do so.

But why didn't they simply state that they were writing on behalf of the particular Apostle? I'm not bothered by this, but I know that the opponents of Christianity will accuse these scribes of dishonestly passing off their own interpretations and opinions as those of the apostles. They will also say that we can't be sure that this is really what the apostle believed since the apostle didn't actually write it. So, how do we answer such accusations?


Selam

For the same reason a secretary taking dictation might not necessarily sign his name, instead typing the name of the CEO and connected lines for his signature. The message is no less the CEO's for his not having written it down himself, and it is no more the secretary's for his having typed it.

Guys, I’m really mad at you right know and disappointed.
Ummm, okay.

Quote

Keble said that hardly anyone in the field agree with Ehrman. You probably meant that anyone who is also a hard believer and early Christian historian agree with Ehrman (so called confessional researcher). Most of secular historian who work on the textual criticism in fact agrees with Ehrman.
So a secular historian is supposed to be less biased than a Christian? Pretty much everyone in the field of biblical studies is seeking to either prove/disprove the authenticity of this/that/or the other text. Given the quality of "accurate Gospel passages" taken from the liberal and secular historians of the Jesus Seminar there has been a lot of putting the cart before the horse in textual criticism.

Quote
Remember that he took some of the claims of other authors and serve them in more simple way for normal people to understand.  Did you ever watch a debate between Ehrman and Craig Evans? It is on YT, you should check it, because it will show you the difference.
If I take Stephen Hawking's theories, simplify them, and present them as fact to others I am making them my own.

Quote
“He fails to realize that there are no "original" manuscripts to speak of from antiquity”. Could you provide me any quotation? I think quite opposite.

If you mean "quotation" one cannot quote something an author has failed to realize, one can only infer that the author has failed to realize by the absence. If what you want is a "citation" from some outside source as to the fact that there are no "original manuscripts" from antiquity, that is a tall order- not because it is not true, but because there is no single source (outside of Christian researchers) on the original manuscripts  for all the great ancient manuscripts of Western civilization. A google search of the top ten, starting with say Homer, Plato, and Julius Ceaser, will quickly provide 10 different citations.

Quote

“One example is that a lot of HH Pope Shenouda's writings for instance aren't really "his writings" but his disciples who jot down his sermons and collect it together in one subject.  I'm sure similar things happened in the past.” But Pope Shenouda wrote those things. Luke, Matthew, Mark and John did not. They did not dictate it to copy writers. And don’t say it is a common practice for students to write in the name of teacher in antiquity. Please read the “ Forged: Writing in the Name of God--Why the Bible's Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are” first, then find an opposite argument and I will have no problem to say you were right.
The bulk of scholarship sides with St Mark's authorship of St Mark and is starting to slide toward a Lucan authorship of St Luke. St John's Gospel never claims to have been written by St John (though given the early date of the claim by others- being just a few years after St John's death- this seems likelier than "historians" are willing to admit).
Sorry with Plato case. My bad English appeared. I meant that Plato never wrote a book and sign it with Socrates name. He ain't even quote Socrates in the way we quotes someone. He made fictional dialogues where he used Socrates opinion, none of NT writers did that. Moreover some of them directly lied. Take for example letter written by Peter. Author says directly, that he is the Apostle Peter, witness of Transfiguration, but in fact, he was 100% not.  

I've never bought the claims of 2nd Peter being written by a different author. The differences between I and II Peter are not so large as to make the theory of different scribes unlikely.
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« Reply #33 on: February 22, 2012, 01:42:45 AM »

I just have a few comments. My mother, for about a decade worked at a property management company.  While there, she wrote literally thousands of e-mails and letters to owners, tenants, contractors, etc. and signed them as being from her boss, the broker.  If - and I do mean IF - the books of the New Testament were written by scribes or students of the Apostles, I fail to see what would be so bad about that.  I mean, my mom certainly never indicated in those e-mails and letters that she was the real author of them, nor did she quote her boss word for word.  Rather, her boss would tell her "Tell them x and y" and she would then craft a message to them, going off of those directions.  Or, sometimes, I know that she would send out e-mails - as though they were from her boss - without actually telling her boss until afterwards, because she'd already know what they need to be told.  Why would it be so wrong for people to craft messages on behalf of their teacher, and to not inform the world it was really them writing it? 

Also, generally, I fail to be convinced by the scholarship that claims "This and that in the Gospel of Matthew means it can't have been written by St. Matthew because he would already have been dead because we know it was written in x year."  It seems to me that, in many instances, there are prophecies in books of the New Testament, chiefly the Gospels, that scholars assume must already have been fulfilled before they were written down.  That, to me, is quite an unfounded assumption.  It essentially assumes that Christianity must be false, from the get-go.  And, in other instances, it seems to be that scholars don't really have legitimate reason (generally) to assume a given book must not have been written by the Apostle to whom it is attributed.
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« Reply #34 on: February 22, 2012, 05:26:56 AM »

Thank you very much James and FormerReformer. Those explanations are very helpful!


Selam
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« Reply #35 on: February 22, 2012, 05:35:27 AM »

I just have a few comments. My mother, for about a decade worked at a property management company.  While there, she wrote literally thousands of e-mails and letters to owners, tenants, contractors, etc. and signed them as being from her boss, the broker.  If - and I do mean IF - the books of the New Testament were written by scribes or students of the Apostles, I fail to see what would be so bad about that.  I mean, my mom certainly never indicated in those e-mails and letters that she was the real author of them, nor did she quote her boss word for word.  Rather, her boss would tell her "Tell them x and y" and she would then craft a message to them, going off of those directions.  Or, sometimes, I know that she would send out e-mails - as though they were from her boss - without actually telling her boss until afterwards, because she'd already know what they need to be told.  Why would it be so wrong for people to craft messages on behalf of their teacher, and to not inform the world it was really them writing it?  

Also, generally, I fail to be convinced by the scholarship that claims "This and that in the Gospel of Matthew means it can't have been written by St. Matthew because he would already have been dead because we know it was written in x year."  It seems to me that, in many instances, there are prophecies in books of the New Testament, chiefly the Gospels, that scholars assume must already have been fulfilled before they were written down.  That, to me, is quite an unfounded assumption.  It essentially assumes that Christianity must be false, from the get-go.  And, in other instances, it seems to be that scholars don't really have legitimate reason (generally) to assume a given book must not have been written by the Apostle to whom it is attributed.

If the biblical scholar is exclusively following methodological naturalism and Philosophical naturalism then any view in where God is in the picture must immediately be ruled out. Thus any answer that brings up the super-natural must be ruled out.

And so yes, they automatically must assume that Christianity is false. Alot of people don't know this about Biblical scholarship from the 19th century on up to our day, but if the only answer one can have is a naturalistic one then what do we expect?


Now there is a way to make naturalism on our side, but it takes much work. The way to do this is to hide your super-natural beliefs as being the guiding grid for your naturalistic answers so that those answers don't conflict with the faith. And so it can be done, it's just harder to do for the field has been dominated by too many nay sayers who only use naturalism as a puppet to hide their anti-christian views, and so they use it as a tool to say things against the faith.



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« Reply #36 on: February 22, 2012, 05:58:17 AM »

It seems to me that, in many instances, there are prophecies in books of the New Testament, chiefly the Gospels, that scholars assume must already have been fulfilled before they were written down.  That, to me, is quite an unfounded assumption.
Methodological naturalism. Prophecy ex eventu (written after the event) is stock and trade. Such assumptions have predominated in the field for a very long time.

You do, however, always find great scholars, like Ehrman's own mentor Bruce Manning Metzger of Princeton University, who firmly believed Jesus really was the Son of God, that miracles in the NT were actually historical realities, that the NT we have today is on the main textually secure after all the data regarding the variants are duly considered, and so on (albeit he was no dyed in the wool conservative on all points by any means). Metzger was often considered "moderate to liberal" during his tenure by more conservative Evangelical Protestants who adhere to the "Chicago Statement"; it is interesting, though, to contrast Ehrman's views -which always seem to *struggle* to make the more radical point even when it involves a real stretch- with the often significantly more conservative conclusions of his far academically superior mentor (for which see, for example, Metzger, The New Testament: Its Background, Growth, and Content (2000), Metzger, The Text of the New Testament (Oxford), Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (UBS) etc.) who -agreeing or disagreeing- no one can ever claim was not a commensurate scholar's scholar.
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« Reply #37 on: February 22, 2012, 12:03:01 PM »

I have heard also that there are certain portions of scripture whose intention and purpose is to draw us away from a literal interpretation...just following up on the quotes from Origen.
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« Reply #38 on: February 24, 2012, 03:49:27 AM »

I have heard also that there are certain portions of scripture whose intention and purpose is to draw us away from a literal interpretation...just following up on the quotes from Origen.

The same passage of Scripture has multiple senses and so there is no reason to choose sides between literal vs allegorical. Why not believe in both?
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« Reply #39 on: February 24, 2012, 06:31:27 PM »

I have heard also that there are certain portions of scripture whose intention and purpose is to draw us away from a literal interpretation...just following up on the quotes from Origen.

The same passage of Scripture has multiple senses and so there is no reason to choose sides between literal vs allegorical. Why not believe in both?

I think in Origen's case, the irrationality and impracticality of some passages tend to make it more non-literal and solely allegorical/moral.
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