Wallace Reviews Bart Ehrman's "Misquoting Jesus"

Wallace Reviews Bart Ehrman's "Misquoting Jesus"

I first heard Bart Ehrman on Fresh Air with Terri Gross on NPR. (Listen here.) I was disappointed in his critiques, not because they were critiques, but because they were hollow reasons to put no confidence in the Scriptures.
        Ehrman studied at Moody, Wheaton, and Princeton and is a premier text critic. He is writing for the main stream now – trying to get folks to question the validity of the Scriptures. Thankfully, Dan Wallace has critiqued Ehrman’s new book, Misquoting Jesus. More will need to be said from Christians as we respond to this eloquent, witty, and smart man who does not have a firm foundation for his critiques.

The review can be found here. May we read and re-read it so as to have a good answer why we can trust the Scriptures.

In sum, Ehrman’s latest book does not disappoint on the provocative scale. But it comes up short on genuine substance about his primary contention. Scholars bear a sacred duty not to alarm lay readers on issues that they have little understanding of. Unfortunately, the average layperson will leave this book with far greater doubts about the wording and teachings of the NT than any textual critic would ever entertain. A good teacher doesn’t hold back on telling his students what’s what, but he also knows how to package the material so they don’t let emotion get in the way of reason. A good teacher does not create Chicken Littles.

[HT: Ben Witherington] By the way, Witherington also posts some comments on the review and the book. Click on the link to go there.

  • goodwillhiking
    Posted at 13:43h, 17 March Reply

    Bart Ehrman was my undergrad prof for Intro to the New Testament at UNC-Chapel Hill. He was a great teacher and I enjoyed the class. He didn’t talk down to Christians or dismiss them as naive and ignorant. However, much of what was presented to us was very one-sided. We didn’t get to hear competing views on the topics he addressed.

    One thing I remember was that he seemed to dismiss the supernatural out of hand. He reasoned to us that the miracles in the Bible didn’t really happen because “miracles just don’t happen”. His response was: look around and tell me how many miracles you see. I don’t see any, therefore they couldn’t have happened in the Bible. Not a very sound argument to say the least.

    He also shared with us that he used to be a Christian but he renounced his faith after college and seminary because he decided he couldn’t believe that Jesus said the things recorded in the Bible (the topic of this new book i suppose). It was really rather sad to hear him tell his story. I wonder what his intentions are with this new book. Could it be he thinks he has the well-being of Christians in mind and wants to expose to them the hoax they are believing in? I don’t know.

  • Jeremy
    Posted at 18:42h, 24 March Reply

    Matthew, thanks for your comments. Yes, we should understand Ehrman’s arguments so we can explain his “minority” sort of view. I really didn’t know Ehrman had been agnostic until I read the Washington Post article. I’ve used his material in the past enthusiastically and enjoyed reading his textual research and studies, but now I’m troubled that someone I respected had already left his faith years ago. I just keep thinking that there are many more people who study the same field but have their faith strengthened instead of shattered (as the WP article reads).

  • Matthew Wireman
    Posted at 14:18h, 25 March Reply

    What material of his did you use?

  • misa
    Posted at 23:52h, 15 September Reply

    I think Ehrman is trying to cherry pick items out of the bible so he can support his own arrogance of not believing in another god besides himself.

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