Thinking Out Loud

May 15, 2011

Bart Ehrman Steps Up His Assault on Scripture

Move over Marcus Borg and Shelby Spong.  Bible “scholar” Bart Ehrman has upped the ante with his new release, a book with the brazen title, Forged, published by HarperCollins, ironically the parent company of Zondervan, publisher of the NIV Bible.  From Dan Brown to the Jesus Seminar, it seems like hardly a month goes by without another volley being fired on the Bible, even as the KJV anniversary attests to the book’s endurance.   Ben Witherington III responds:

…This book should not be confused with some of Bart’s previous efforts, in particular Misquoting Jesus, as Bart is not arguing in this book merely that [there] are errors or mistakes in the Bible.   No, in this book he takes the next step in arguing that there is deliberate fraud going on in the canon, deceitful practices undertaken to convince or bamboozle some audience into believing something, on the basis of the authority of some apostle or original disciple, who in fact did not write the book in question.      In other words,  Bart is taking on not merely the conservative view that the NT is written by those authors to whom it is attributed but also the widespread notion that pseudonymity was a regular and widely recognized literary practice in antiquity, and that no one was deceived, nor was there an intent to deceive by such a practice.   This book is likely to addle scholars and lay people all across the spectrum of belief, including quite liberal ones who have for a long time argued that pseudonymity was an accepted practice in antiquity.   To judge from the early reviews … those who are looking for an excuse to call the early Christians liars and deceivers are delighted with this book.

Continue reading Ben Witherton’s critique here,  as well as this news item on Forged at CNN’s Belief Blog.

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