Friday, June 13, 2008


I was told that a friend was reading Bart Ehrman's book Misquoting Jesus and so thought I would repost what I wrote about it last fall. It is just another in a list of very popular books attempting to refute Christianity. Like Richard Dawkins (in The God Delusion), Ehrman's main problem is that he doesn't think well, that his "arguments" are not persuasive because they involve logical fallacies and lack adequate support.

With regard to the reliability of the New Testament, Ehrman adopts a hermeneutic of suspicion (or skepticism) for a very silly--and self-centered--reason. In effect, his whole approach is based on the reasoning he describes here...
I came to realize that it would have been no more difficult for God to preserve the words of scripture than it would have been for him to inspire them in the first place... And if he didn't perform that miracle [of preserving the words], there seemed to be no reason to think that he performed the earlier miracle of inspiring those words.
It doesn't take a gifted logician to see that this is not a valid, cogent argument, but merely an arrogant opinion. He is saying, in effect, "If I were God, I would have done it this way. Since it was not done the way I think it should have been, it cannot have involved God."

This, of course, is just another case of the root of all sin, the pride by which we would put ourselves in the place of Almighty God. Unfortunately, many of Ehrman's readers will be either unequipped to see through this sort of sloppy thinking or willing to come to the same conclusion (and thus deny the claim of God upon their lives).

1 comment:

Steven Carr said...

How different Ehrman is from people like William Lane Craig who can tell us that God knew that children had to be killed...