"Forged" by Bart Ehrman

by Dagney 133 Replies latest jw friends

  • PSacramento
    Reliable in terms of what? Being more or less theologically consistent with each other (which they should be since the NT was compiled to support a specific declaration of faith)? In that case they are. In terms of knowing which ones are what Jesus really said? No way to know. In terms knowing which copies are the closest to the original? No way to know. In terms of knowing which NT docs are more or less historically reliable that other books rejected for the NT? Can kind of sort of tell sometimes, but this is the world of miracles and insivible people in the sky that said they would be right back and disappeared for the past 2000 years. Define "reliable" and then we can talk.
    I will not read material by people with an agenda to prove. You keep linking to books by people interesting in proving the bible true, not in determining whether or not it is true. Why not send me a Watchtower link?

    You read Bart, he has NO AGENDA to prove? really?

    Those books I linked are all by scholars comparable to Bart and Metzger is one of THE if not THE scholar of NT history.

    Your questions are dealt with in those books and NONE of them claim the beible to be inerrant by the way.

  • EntirelyPossible

    You read Bart, he has NO AGENDA to prove? really?

    PSac, no need to rebutt what I didn't claim. I never said he has an agenda to prove or not. Since you want to go down that road, what do you think his agenda is? I know what I think it is, specifically in publishing his books (to sell them). Beyond that, I can only speculate beyond what he said it was in multiple books (to show the mass lay people what most graduates of seminary and theological schools know but don't tell their flocks).

    From what I can tell based on his writings, he isn't telling anyone to NOT be a christian. He is laying out some facts, some conclusions the general community shares, some of his own conclusions and some speculation. Let the reader use discernment.

    Those books I linked are all by scholars comparable to Bart and Metzger is one of THE if not THE scholar of NT history.

    I have no issue with reading Metzger, but reading books by some of the people you link to is like me reading a study paid for by IBM that tellsme how awesome IBM products are. Most of these people write on their blog how they want to show the bible is true or work for places and write under the auspices of that goal. Slanted material with an agenda out of the gate.

    Your questions are dealt with in those books and NONE of them claim the beible to be inerrant by the way.

    What questions are you referring to?

    For me, it's not the Bible being inerrant, it's more a question of, given the lack of autographs, the competing early factions, the obvious discrepancies, the twisted logic that has to be brought to make sense of it, the obvious theological and political climate the NT and Bible were compiled under, the lack of any real true way to determine what's real and what's not, why would I trust ANY of it?

  • VM44

    If anyone wants to read the book...


    ^-- Click on the dot!

  • VM44

    Bart D. Ehrman, "Forged: Writing in the Name of God--Why the Bible's Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are"
    2011, ISBN: 0062012614, 320 pages

    It is often said, even by critical scholars who should know better, that “writing in the name of another” was widely accepted in antiquity. But New York Times bestselling author Bart D. Ehrman dares to call it what it was: literary forgery, a practice that was as scandalous then as it is today. In Forged, Ehrman’s fresh and original research takes readers back to the ancient world, where forgeries were used as weapons by unknown authors to fend off attacks to their faith and establish their church. So, if many of the books in the Bible were not in fact written by Jesus’s inner circle—but by writers living decades later, with differing agendas in rival communities—what does that do to the authority of Scripture?

    Ehrman investigates ancient sources to:

    Reveal which New Testament books were outright forgeries.

    Explain how widely forgery was practiced by early Christian writers—and how strongly it was condemned in the ancient world as fraudulent and illicit.

    Expose the deception in the history of the Christian religion.

    Ehrman’s fascinating story of fraud and deceit is essential reading for anyone interested in the truth about the Bible and the dubious origins of Christianity’s sacred texts.

  • RayPublisher


  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    Forgery is incorrect. The books were not written by the claimed authors. These books were written in different genres during a time period far from our own and very different from our own. I can believe him 5/8 of the way. He loses credibility in the dramatization. On the other hand, his overblown style may attract many readers that traditional academics do not attract. His readers may learn much that they would never otherwise encounter.

    I've noticed this with law review articles. When I was in school, the titles were descriptive but boring as hell. Now they are sexed up and provocative. The problem is the content is not sexed up - only the title.

  • Dagney

    Thanks for posts!!! I'll catch up with them later.

  • Joey Jo-Jo
    Joey Jo-Jo

    PS I think that we all have an agenda or a target audience, that's why there are many different interpretations of scripture, also the 4 apostles had different agendas, and we dont know if matthew wrote matthew or luke wrote luke etc. We dont have Q, most scholars agree on the beliefe we have copies of copies, that most people of that time were illiterate and printing presses did not exist so everything had to be hand writen, but that makes logical sense and it does not mean that scripture is not inspired by God but we can not 100% certain that it is as well.

    I have not read forged myself but I posted a video on page 1 or 2 of this thread which he explains a bit about his book, it sounds like he tries to prove how common forgery was back then. What he wrote in his past books was nothing new but this book should be interesting and as all Bart Ehrman debates on youtube I hope to see one about forged in the future.

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    What strikes me about this thread has nothing to do with Ehrman's merits. This thread strikes me as powerful evidence that many former Witnesses are now free and most have read the NT academic discussions. Indeed, the books and articles have been read, the culture studied rather than wikipedia summaries. It is amazing freedom given our common handicap. I would expect this literacy from a seminary crowd but not former Witnesses.

    The WT never taught us how to critique works. It is a blessing.

  • Terry

    Let's take a completely fresh approach.

    Take out your eraser and wipe the blackboard clean.


    Now, start over...

    We can't go outside with a telescope and search the skies for a location for god or heaven.

    There is a SOURCE for god ideas.

    Depending on what your national and racial origin is the SOURCE may be some holy writings.

    In the West, due to accident of birth (on our part) we have the BIBLE or scriptures.

    This is a RECEIVED TEXT, so we are told.

    Take it or leave it---you cannot go around it.

    Can we all agree on one thing? There are possibilities:

    1.Our particular holy writings are THE only true ones.

    2.Our particular holy writings are only part of a group of true ones.

    3.Our particular holy writings are not true ones/or/partially true.

    4.There are no holy writings; all are false.

    Does that not cover it? I think so.

    If we can agree on the above possibilities can we agree on one more thing?

    The more evidence we have about those holy writings, the closer we get to a fair choice ABOUT which of the 4 is true.

    What constitutes genuine evidence?

    a.Comparison to the original autograph documents

    b.Chain of custody (provenance) of said documents

    c. Internal and external harmony of text

    d.A method of distinguishing between competing spurious texts and any actual pristine holy writings

    Can we agree on this, too?

    Okay. Let's stop and face some horrifying FACTS and see what we must honestly conclude without any bullshit, shall we?

    1.Not one original autograph text remains in existence. Nobody preserved them. Nada.

    2.Even 1st generation "copies" no longer exist. None whatsoever.

    3.The only copies, of copies of purported originals exist as postage-stamp sized shreds dug out of rotting landfills.

    4.Such writings as currently exist have internal disharmony calling for apologetic explanations to diffuse contradictions.

    STOP! Can we honestly assert that a Supreme Being PRESERVED such holy writings?

    If your answer is "NO", what remains for us to examine? How confident do we deserve to be that our own holy writings are AUTHENTIC?

    This is what Bart Ehrman is writing about.

    An honesty inquiry into evidence is not an agenda.

    Making false assertions of authority that God "must have" preserved "His holy word" is presumption without a foundational evidence.

    That's all. Class dismissed.

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