He doesn't just believe scripture isn't infallible, he believes it was manipulated, revised, misinterpreted, made up, etc.,
The textual evidence is perfectly clear, the Scriptures have been revised. He doesn't "believe" this, it simply is a fact. Our own lectionary texts do not even match. These are simply facts one cannot ignore. All he does is point these variations out.
Again, I disagree and don't think that this is all he does. I believe he tries to make it seem ridiculous to hold this "mess" as a coherent collection of scripture. To me (and others), he's intentionally hostile and occasionally misleading.
Many of the people reading his books aren't reading scripture, so when he writes or says that Christ is not identified as divine in the Synoptics, then people believe that. If people actually read these books, of course, they know what a ludicrous claim he makes. This is dangerous, and many people I know are content to read books like his, which say to them that the Bible, along with Christian interpretations, are thoroughly flawed and ultimately silly.
to the point where it is no longer reliable, if it ever was, hence why he no longer follows it.
Maybe that's the problem; he was "following it" (ie the Bible). We do not follow the Bible, we follow Christ. Every Bible on earth could vanish tomorrow, I would still be an Orthodox Christian because the text points to him, not him to the text.
Understood, but Orthodox do cover the Gospels in fine metals, jewels, etc. and view the teachings contained as the teachings of Christ. Yes, Orthodox follow Christ, but part of that is respecting and trying to adhere to what is in scripture. I thought it was Scripture and
Tradition, not just Tradition.
As for his deconversion, actually he has addressed why he no longer believes, on dozens of programs, he remained a Christian for 15+ years even after becoming a critical scholar what pushed him to non belief was "the problem of evil", not the Bible. See his book "God's problem" for him addressing this issue in length. Now you can just say you don't believe him, but that's a different issue altogether.
If you think that his deconversion story is actually sympathetic and helpful to the faith, then I really don't know how to argue with that.
“The idea in this gospel is that Jesus, like all of us, is a trapped spirit, who is trapped in a material body. And salvation comes when we escape the materiality of our existence, and Judas is the one who makes it possible for him to escape by allowing for his body to be killed.”
Found at: http://thinkexist.com/quotes/bart_ehrman/
That sounds like what every scholar says about the Gnostic Gospels. What's the problem? That IS what the Gnostic Gospels teach. It appears he is addressing the Gospel of Judas, which he believes is a VERY late work. This is a problem for Christianity, how? You certainly don't think the Gospel of Judas is Orthodox, do you? Of course not. It is possible for a person to say "such and such believes/teaches this" and actually not believe it themselves. If I say "the Gospel of Thomas says this" that doesn't mean anything more than I'm saying what it says. It doesn't mean I believe it or am pushing for other to believe it.
I think you're right and that is what he must've been referring to; my mistake.
While I persist, I have to admit that I'm somewhat uncomfortable launching this attack on Bart, because I am not in a good position to do so. Not having read his works in full places me in a ridiculous position for debate. I have, however, frequently seen the negative consequences of his work. I may overstate how harmful he has been, but I think that you may underestimate his influence and the subsequent results.
I know what you're saying, yes someone I'm sure has lost their faith due to this stuff. I don't think he is to blame though, he's just a scholar
No, he's not. This isn't just my opinion though. As Keble pointed out in a previous posting, there are many that believe this, scholars included. This difference of opinion is the basis of my original question to you though. I think we, in addition to furthering our quest for carpel tunnel, have worked that out, and I've got my answer.
Don't shoot the messenger as they say. Yes a popularizer but what's wrong with that? NT Wright is also a popularizer for conservative, yet still critical scholarship, I just don't see the problem.
I know. That's where we differ in opinion.
His popularizing the topic has brought his highly readable, perhaps over-the-top, harsh criticism to many who have no intention of researching the topic seriously.
I know some Creationists lose their faith when they find out the earth is NOT 6000 years old, does that mean the guy who taught them science is to be blamed for that? I don't think so. I'm sure people lost faith when we rediscovered the earth was round, and not flat...I am SURE this shook people's faith to it's very core, does that mean we should teach the earth is round? Or that the sun goes around us just to protect people's faith? I realize some of Ehrman's work is shocking, but it's not inaccurate. Maybe some of his interpretations could be inaccurate, and I think they are, but I don't think people have issue with his interpretation they have issue with him pointing out that the Gospels don't match, and he puts these differences side by side, and Christians seem ill prepared to deal with this because they've been taught the Bible is infallible, perfect and contains no errors. After all no one is forcing anyone to buy his books, or listen to him on radio shows, or listen to his lectures.
You're right, but people who are openly hostile to Christianity love his stuff. Ask yourself why that is? More importantly, his works turn countless people away from Christianity. As I mentioned, I was kept away for years due to people similar to him.
If someone begins to doubt because of his work, so what? I don't think doubt is this evil enemy that we must constantly fight against else we "fall away". Doubt is a part of faith, not in contradiction to it. It's okay to doubt, it's okay to question, God is not afraid our doubts, even if we are. That's why people lose faith, not because of Ehrman, or Crossan but because they've been taught doubt is our greatest enemy, if you doubt you cannot have faith and doubt cannot be part of a life of faith. I don't buy that for one second. Yes I could be wrong. That's just how I see it.
If you believe Christianity saves the souls of humans and brings them closer to God, then when doubt causes people to lose their faith or avoid the religion entirely, it is a very big deal. Just because doubt hasn't caused you to lose your faith and way doesn't mean that is the case for others.
I completely agree that doubt plays a part in our faith, and I sometimes wonder about those who don't have it. Still, it can be a significant barrier to some and have serious consequences on people whose faith is less developed. Many people who read and are convinced of Ehrman's works will never get the chance to be guided into Orthodoxy. This is due to a myriad of factors, but I think it's somewhat naive to assume that Bart's simply the messenger, presenting scholarly analysis of his observations. I think you might defend the man if he were to come out with a book with an Ehrmanesque title of Christianity is a Crock!
, claiming that he only meant that from a certain scholarly perspective of analyzing early manuscripts in relation to church development and doctrinal formulation.
I don't think we should ignore issues that he brings up, I just think he brings them up in a way that is particularly destructive. I guess we will just have to agree to disagree on the latter point.
You're going to force me to read his stuff, dern you!