Bart’s Reflections

Why Was the World Created in 4004 BC? – The Bart Ehrman Blog – Christian Article

We appear to be living in an age where science no longer matters.  As you may know, the English word “science” comes from the Latin term “scientia,” which means “knowledge.:  People who reject “science,” well, what is it they’re rejecting?   We live in dangerous times. Apart from the more obvious examples of this rejection that you can find in the newspaper every day (involving a human-induced apocalypse of biblical proportions), there are still, of course, a large number of “creationists”…

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Is There a “Best” Bible Translation Out There? A Blast from the Past – The Bart Ehrman Blog – Christian Article

Here is one of the most frequently questions I have received over the years; I addressed it exactly seven years ago on the blog, as I have just discovered while rummaging through the archives.  And since it continually comes up, I thought it would be a good time to address it again.  Here’s what I said then (and what I still think now!).   ******************************************************************************** QUESTION: Dr. Ehrman, most of your readers doe not know the ancient languages thatthe Bible…

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Do My Biases Mean I *Have* to Find Contradictions? – The Bart Ehrman Blog – Christian Article

I have now had a week to reflect on my debate with Matthew Firth about whether there are contradictions in the Bible.  Now I’d like to give my personal reactions.  I don’t mean for this to be a continuation of the debate per se —  I won’t be adducing more evidence or counter-evidence.  But I thought it might be helpful to put some thoughts on paper (well, on screen) about what a debate like this can show or at least…

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Being Willing to Accept the Truth – The Bart Ehrman Blog – Christian Article

Here I’d like to add just a couple of more reflections on whether critical scholars *have* to claim there are contradictions in the Bible because of their beliefs.  As I tried to state as strongly as I could in my previous post, I think the answer is absolutely not. To begin with, let me stress that I started learning about serious contradictions when I was in a Christian theological seminary taking biblical studies courses with committed Christian teachers who were…

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Judging the Debate! – The Bart Ehrman Blog – Christian Article

Now that my debate with Matthew Firth over the contradictions in the Gospels has ended, I would like to know your reactions.   Any reactions are fine.   There is the obvious question of which side you found more convincing, but also the less obvious question of why that is.  What about the argument, or counter-argument, was compelling or not compelling? Part of the problem, of course, is that virtually everyone listening in on the debate already had a pretty firm idea…

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Early Christian Liars – The Bart Ehrman Blog – Christian Article

Yesterday I started explaining in some depth how forgers in early Christianity – that is, authors who falsely claimed to be, say, Peter or Paul or James (as in the case of the authors of 2 Peter, 1 Timothy, the Proto-Gospel of James, etc.) – could justify their lies.  I need to stress, the idea that they were lying is not just a modern one.  The ancients talk about forgery a good deal; they never approve of it and they…

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Could Christian Forgers Justifying Lying? – The Bart Ehrman Blog – Christian Article

Yesterday, in response to a question, I started to discuss the age-old problem of literary forgery (authors lying about their true identity), and specifically the question of why Christians would engage in it.  In my two books on the topic I spend considerable time trying to demonstrate that forgery was indeed understood – in antiquity – to involve lying, and that the authors who claimed (falsely) to be Plato or Galen or Peter or Paul knew they were lying.  But…

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A Blog Anniversary! Seven Years! – The Bart Ehrman Blog – Christian Article

Today is the seven anniversary of the blog.   My first post (which I reposted a few days ago) appeared on April 3, 2012.  I never thought it would last this long.  I figured I would run out of things to say in about six months.   Hasn’t happened yet!   There’s so much interesting material back in ancient Christianity, starting with Jesus and the New Testament, and going on up through the next three hundred years, that it seems inexhaustible.  And readers…

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The Dangers of Fundamentalism – The Bart Ehrman Blog – Christian Article

I’m out of town for a long weekend and so away from my books, and have decided to re-post some particularly intriguing (IMHO) posts from many years ago.  Here’s a hot one.   QUESTION: You note that fundamentalism is dangerous and harmful. How do you define fundamentalism and why do you think it’s dangerous?   RESPONSE: There are of course actual definitions of “fundamentalism” that you can find in scholarship on religion, but I sense that you’re asking more for…

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