Peter J. Williams debates Bart Ehrman on his book “Misquoting Jesus”

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Dr. Peter J. Williams, an expert on New Testament reliability
Dr. Peter J. Williams, an professional on New Testament reliability

I have to re-post this debate involving Bart Ehrman and Peter J. Williams, since Dr. Williams just followed me on Twitter. I noticed that he had re-tweeted a single of the two senators I adhere to on Twitter, so I re-tweeted him. I like Tom Cotton and Josh Hawley, and he re-tweeted Senator Hawley speaking about absolutely free speech.

Bart Ehrman posted the debate audio on YouTube:

Specifics:

Bart Ehrman is the US author of the bestselling book “Misquoting Jesus” (In the UK “Whose word is it?”).  He calls into query the authority of the New Testament as scribal changes over time have changed the documents.

So can we trust the scripture? Bible scholar Peter Williams believes in the reliability of the New Testament and that Bart’s prognosis is far also pessimistic.

This post is a re-post from 2011. I have been listening to this lecture by Peter J. Williams on “Misquoting Jesus” this week, and it reminded me to re-post this debate. (I checked to make positive the MP3 hyperlink is nevertheless great, and it is)

Summary of the Williams-Ehrman debate:

Note: this summary is snarky. If you want an precise view of the debate, then listen to it. My summary is meant to be humorous.

Ehrman:

  • I had a mystical practical experience in childhood and became an evangelical Christian
  • I went to Moody Bible Institute, and they told me that the Bible was inerrant
  • For a whilst, I was committed to the view that there are no errors in the Bible
  • At Princeton, I was taught and graded by professors who did not accept inerrancy
  • By a strange coincidence, I started to see that the Bible did have errors soon after all!
  • We do not have the original documents written by the original authors, we only have thousands of copies
  • if the words of the Bible are not fully inerrant, then none of it is historical
  • if all of the words in all the copies of the Bible are not identical, then none of it is historical

Williams:

  • I would say the New and Old testaments are the Word of God
  • We do not need to have to have the original Greek writings in order to think in the authority of the Bible
  • I think in inerrancy, but does not imply there are no issues
  • the doctrine of inerrancy has constantly referred to the original Greek copies, not the translations

Moderator:

  • what are the principal points of Misquoting Jesus?

Ehrman:

  • we do not have the originals of any of the books of the New Testament
  • we have copies that are considerably later, often even centuries later!!1!
  • the copies we have all differ from a single a further – they have been changed by scribes!!1!
  • we have 5000 manuscripts in the original Greek language
  • there are hundreds of thousands of variations!!1!
  • most of the variations do not matter
  • some variations are considerable for which means or doctrine
  • errors are propagated since the subsequent scribe inherits the error of their supply copy
  • a big gap involving the time of writing and the initial extant copy signifies a lot more errors have crept in

Williams:

  • the cause we have so numerous variants is since the quantity of manuscripts is big

Angry Jesus or compassionate Jesus in Mark

Ehrman:

  • most manuscripts say that Jesus was compassionate when healing a leper, but a single says he was angry
  • it tends to make a enormous enormous enormous seriously seriously huge distinction if Jesus is compassionate or angry
  • the entire Bible requirements to be thrown out since of this a single word involving diverse in a single manuscript

Williams:

  • this variant is essential for understanding the passage, but it has no excellent which means
  • the alter is most likely just an accident – the two words are pretty comparable visually in Greek
  • it is just an accident – it emerged in a single manuscript, and it impacted a handful of a lot more
  • the tiny quantity of manuscripts that have the error are geographically isolated
  • I’m quite positive that WK prefers the angry Jesus anyway – so who cares?

Ehrman:

  • no! a person changed it deliberately! it is a conspiracy! you ought to get my book! it is a *huge deal*!!!!!1!!1!a single!!eleventy-a single!

The lady caught in adultery in John

Ehrman:

  • it is is not in any of the earliest manuscripts
  • this is an apocryphical story that some scribe deliberately inserted into the text
  • most individuals do not even know about this! it is a cover-up! you need to have to get my scandalous book!

Williams:

  • that is appropriate, it is a late addition by some overzealous scribe
  • and it is clearly marked as such in each contemporary Bible translation
  • the only individuals who do not know about this are individuals who do not study footnotes in their Bible
  • and in any case, this is not a loss of the original words of the New Testament – it is an addition

Grace of God or apart from God in Hebrews

Ehrman:

  • nicely this is just a a single word distinction, but it tends to make a enormous enormous seriously seriously huge distinction!
  • the words are pretty comparable, so it is could be an accident I guess
  • but it wasn’t! this was a deliberate alter! it is a conspiracy! it is a cover-up! scandal!
  • get my book! It is practically as great as Dan Brown!

Moderator:

  • hmmmn…. I type of like “apart from God” – why is this such a huge scandal once again?

Ehrman:

  • you do not care? how can you not care? it has to be inerrant! or the entire point is false!
  • Moody Bible Institute says!

Williams:

  • yeah Bart is constantly saying that each alter is deliberate but it is just an accident
  • the words are pretty comparable, just a handful of letters are diverse, this is clearly an accident
  • I have no trouble with apart from God, or by the Grace of God
  • please move on and cease screaming and operating about and knocking points more than

Moderator:

  • but what if pastors attempt to use this passage in a sermon?

Williams:

  • nicely, a single word does not make a huge diverse, the which means that seems is fine for preaching
  • it is only a trouble for individuals who treat the Bible as a magic book with magical incantations
  • they get mad since if a single word is out of location then the entire point does not operate for their spell
  • then they attempt to cast happiness spells but the spells do not operate and they practical experience suffering
  • the suffering surprises them due to the fact they believe that fundamentalism ought to assure them happiness
  • then they turn out to be apostates and get on Television exactly where they appear wide-eyed and speak crazy

Ehrman:

  • hey! are you speaking about me? a lot of individuals get my books! i am a huge results!
  • it is pretty essential that individuals do not really feel terrible about their sinning you know!

Is Misquoting Jesus an attack?

Williams:

  • it is rhetorically imbalanced and misleading
  • it tries to highlight alter and instability and ignore the majority of the text that is steady
  • he tends to make a huge deal out of five or so verses that are diverse from the mainstream text
  • he says that scribes deliberately changed the scriptures, but he does not prove that
  • it is just as probably that the variations are just scribal errors created by accident

Ehrman:

  • nicely, perhaps the variants are not a huge deal, but what about a single angel vs. two angels?
  • that is a considerable challenge! considerable sufficient for me to turn out to be an apostate – a wealthy apostate
  • if a single word is diverse since of an accident, then the entire Bible can not be trusted
  • it has to be fully inerrant, so a a single word distinction signifies the entire point is unreliable
  • we do not even know if Jesus was even named Jesus, since of a single angel vs two angels!!!1!
  • get my book! you do not have to study it, just place it on your shelf, then you will really feel much better about not getting a relationships with God – since who’s to say what God seriously desires from you? Not the Bible!

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