Contradictions of the New Testament


an Punnett was joined by Bible expert and author Bart Ehrman for a discussion on the apparent contradictions found in the New Testament. Many lay people are unaware of these discrepancies as well as the historical findings on the Bible, he said, because "scholars have done such terrible job of communicating with normal human beings." Ehrman believes that knowing more about troublesome passages can actually help people better understand the Scripture, and to that end he provided some specific examples of inconsistencies in the Bible.

On the question of when Jesus died, Ehrman pointed out that the Gospel of Mark (see Chapter 14) indicates it was the day after Passover, while John's account (in Chapter 19) records it as occurring the day before the Jewish holiday. According to Ehrman, John changed the historical date to make a theological point about Jesus being the Passover Lamb of God. Ehrman presented the different details surrounding the demise of Judas as well. Matthew (27:5) says Judas "went and hanged himself," while the Book of Acts (1:18) records, "he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out."

Ehrman spoke about the formation of the New Testament, noting how the collection was a result of theological conflict among different Christian groups and not a decision handed down by a Church council. Gnostic texts, such as the Gospel of Thomas, were not included in the Canon, though they provide information not found in the four Gospels, he added. Ehrman also mentioned the New Testament story about the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11). He said the account is not found in the earliest manuscripts and was likely inserted into the Gospel of John some centuries after the Canon had been closed. 

Biography:

A graduate of Wheaton College (Illinois), Professor Ehrman received both his Masters of Divinity and Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary, where his 1985 doctoral dissertation was awarded magna cum laude. Since then he has published extensively in the fields of New Testament and Early Christianity, having written or edited twenty-one books, numerous scholarly articles, and dozens of book reviews. 

Wikipedia
Bart D. Ehrman (born 1955) is an American New Testament scholar, currently the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While Ehrman is a leading New Testament scholar, he has also achieved acclaim at the popular level, authoring four New York Times bestsellers. His best-known works at the popular level are Misquoting Jesus and Jesus, Interrupted. Ehrman's work focuses on New Testament textual criticism and early Christianity.

Works

Ehrman has written widely on issues of New Testament and early Christianity at both an academic and popular level, with over twenty books including three New York Times bestsellers (Misquoting Jesus, God's Problem, and Jesus, Interrupted). Much of his work is on textual criticism and the New Testament. His first book was Didymus the Blind and the Text of the Gospels (1987) followed by several books published by the Oxford University Press, including The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture, and a new edition and translation of The Apostolic Fathers in the Loeb Classical Library series published by Harvard University Press. In God's Problem Ehrman discusses the problem of evil and suffering, the issue which he says led him to become agnostic. His book Jesus, Interrupted critically assesses the New Testament documents and early Christianity. In his book Forged which was released in 2011, he asserts that 11 or more books of the Christian New Testament were essentially politically expeditious forgeries, intended to advance various theological positions and were in fact not written by the authors traditionally ascribed to them.

In 1999 Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium was released as a study on the historical Jesus. Ehrman argues that the historical Jesus was an apocalyptic preacher, and that his apocalyptic beliefs are recorded in the earliest Christian documents: the Gospel of Mark and the authentic Pauline epistles. The earliest Christians believed Jesus would soon return, and their beliefs are echoed in the earliest Christian writings. In this, Ehrman follows the dominant scholarly consensus among secular scholars since Albert Schweitzer advanced a version of that thesis in 1905. In his foreword to the book, Ehrman notes that there are many popular books for the layman advancing various minority theories, such as Jesus as a wisdom-sage, shaman, magician, or even founder of a mushroom cult, but few popular books for laymen advancing the dominant scholarly consensus. This book was intended to correct that gap.

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