Boy am I tired of getting questions on Bart Ehrman’s stuff. Put simply, Bart is a fundamentalist, someone for whom his pet subjects only have two answers: his and the one he wants to caricature. Bart sees no gray areas; tolerates no nuancing of questions and responses to those questions. It’s just fundamentalism with a PhD and, sadly, a damaged heart due to personal tragedy (which is what really drives all this).
I got another “what about Bart?” question tonight, so I decided to blog my response. The question was “What should I think about Bart Ehrman’s book, Jesus Interrupted?” Fortunately, New Testament scholar Ben Witherington has been on this book (and other Bart Ehrman material) for some time. Here is his response to Jesus Interrupted: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5.
A helpful way to put it. People need to be reminded that there are different degrees of fundamentalism, including the PhD kind.
I’m so glad that you posted this. I listened to him on C2C the other night with Punnett (at least for as long as I could stand it) and wondered if some type of personal tragedy/frustration did not drive him, as he seemed intent on driving home so many negative points, which if studied even briefly, can be otherwise resolved. It was heart-breaking. It only proves that knowledge and faith are two totally different things. Too often we think of men of great learning as also having great faith, that is not always the case. We really to ‘test the spirit’ (even human ones) to know IF it is of G-D. TY
Hi Mike, I can understand why you get so many enquiries about his work. Bible believers sometimes dont get the answers they need from the scripture, so they get easily lured by this line of work and turn to someone like you to get an experts opinion.
Instead of getting tired, I think you should take the opportunity to realize that there is an ocean of people trying to make sense of the words written in the Bible, and you have shown great talent in explaining some of difficult concepts like the Divine Council and the Elohim, that give the reader a different perspective that contributes to a better understanding of the original meaning. And Im sure there are lots of other mistranslations and misinterpretations still waiting to be clarified.
Ehrman is a great example how even a PhD Bible scholar can become agnostic due to his inability to find answers to his experience with suffering.
Just wanted to share my thoughts with you and I really look forward to your new book.
Ben Witherington is well versed in his writings and knows his area of study. He rebuttals Bart very eloquently.
Thanks for the posts.