with tons of variant readings,
Most of which can be easily ferreted out by comparing the mss’s to each other. And none of the variants have any affect on the doctrines of Christianity.
held among various groups and tribes is what one finds as to how the bible came around.
Which makes it even more impressive that 24,000 + mss’s agree in substance.
Again, in the end, those with a political agenda created the Holy Roman Empire, with the Church now the official mouthpiece of the Empire. How is that NOT political?
The Holy Roman Empire was not founded until 962 by Otto I.
1. Assumptions are no substitute for evidence.
2. The Church did not have near the power that it had later.
3. Shifting the burden of proof does not answer my question.
Here is what this is beginning to sound like to me... which unfortunately is a bit too familiar.
Some Christian apologists: You only need to accept Jesus as your lord as found in the traditional gospels. There is no need to investigate what other scholars and historians have to say regarding the bible, its history, or how the canon was put together. That will only destroy your faith.
Actually, understanding the history of the Bible will increase one’s confidence in it. One should read different takes on it – not just those that wish to shred it like Bart.
Some, like Bart Ehrman, have a totally biased agenda and only write what they do to destroy your faith.
Remember, if its true for JW's, its true for ALL religions: If its the truth, it will stand up to critical scrutiny.
Agree 100%. That is why the fathers rejected the gnostics as heretics
Often, the issue of the canon IS PORTRAYED AS a group of official religious leaders, with a pile of possible 'candidate' books in front of them at some big meeting/council, trying to decide which ones they should say are 'inspired' and which ones they should 'condemn' or 'censor'. Such a portrayal is a substantial misunderstanding/misrepresentation of the historical process.