"Forged" by Bart Ehrman

by Dagney 133 Replies latest jw friends

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run


    I understand your point. Certainly I am only Christian b/c my family was Christian in a country and larger culture dominated by Christianity. All I believe is that Christianity works for me. I am not as familiar with Ehrman as with other writers. I see a much wider range of options. Also, I am struck when early Christian fathers at how portions of scripture in differing geographic locales agree with each other. I'd prefer the precanonization scriptures. The Gnostics and other heretical scriptures were lost for many centuries. Even when I read Gnostic texts, though, they reference a story or saying of Jesus that is so familiar. It exists in western orthodoxy. The interpretation of the saying will be different but the saying will be the same.

    Homer's Iliad and Odyssey were part of an oral tradition long before they were committed to text. Oral tradition was much stronger when people had few texts. Augustine had few texts compared to modern writers. Anthropologists studying such cultures report that there is little variance in the story over centuries.

    Ultimately, I do not know. Pagels kept telling us that the Holy Spirit was not responsible for canon selection. Something I accepted at the time. Social and political forces were at work. We received a form of Christianity was served as politcal fusion and could be passed down generation after genernations through large masses of people. Gnosticism attracted the elite. Mysticism was exciting but like the 60s communes was not sustainable generation after generation.

    It doesn't bother me that the Bible may have mistakes in it or that the authors had different agendas. Culture flows that way. Personally, I find the basics of Christianity or C.S. Lewis Mere Christianity more vibrant and so much more likely to have happened in real life. My Witness self would be appalled and horrified by New Testament scholarship. Shades of grey are possible.

  • designs

    A fine Scholar like Bruce Metzger can never overcome the internal problems of the NT he can only offer apparatus for understanding the Text and some solis for the Believer.

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run


    Good point. Reading Augustine's bio and listening to Ehrman, it was abundantly clear to early Christians that contradictions existed.

  • Terry

    The first 3 centuries there was nothing but one argument or brawl after another. Things got violent.

    The Romans pulled the Jews out of the fray by shutting them down and scaring them off.

    Afraid to be associated in any way with the dangerous Jews, nascent Christianity began blaming them for everything connected with what went wrong

    with the Jesus ministry.

    Had Judaism remained viable (vis a vis Jerusalem) christianity would never have become the solo flight we all now know with a demigod for leader.

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    Who is the demigod? We don't know how Christianity would have evolved. Too many "ifs" are involved. The transition from Jewish sect to enemy occurred quickly. Personally, I believe the Christian concept of Jesus as God was way too much for Jewish culture. It went against every creature. I don't see Christianity as monotheistic in the same sense as Judaism. Erhman claims that Christianity used Judaism b/c ancient religions were respected.

    Christ is God to me. He is not a demigod. No matter how many times I read the Witness description of Jesus I remain confused. An angel? Not very thrilling or dramatic.

    I believe I have some savvy and yet I am a fool for Christ.

  • VM44

    Did anyone check out the "dot" link in my post above?

  • PSacramento

    Different opinions and POV do NOT equal contridictions.

    That is like saying that when two atheists disagree on how to counter certain arguments that they are contridicting themselves.

    You are focusing on the borders and neglecting the core.

    The bible is and always has been ONLY ONE part of the equation, only ONE of the many ways God has revealed himself to Us.

    Now, as for how legitimiate the writings of the NT are the fact is, in terms of Historicity, they are as legit as amny other document that WE accept from those times.

    Do we have the originals?

    Nope, and we don't have those of any ancient writings either.

    Are they copies? Yes, just like every ancient writing.

    Are they ( the copies) dated to within a typical time frame ancient writings?

    Better, fragments from the GOJ are dated less than 50 years from when the original was probably written and COMPLETE manuscripts are dated to 300 years of when the events actuall took place, which is VERY GOOD in terms of historocity, for ancient writings.

    So I ask this, is there ANY REASON to doubt the historcial writings of Plato, Socrates, Artstole and others based on the SAME Criteria?

    No and there is NO reason to doubt that the NT docments are, in terms of historical guidelines, any less legit.

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run


    Excellent point!

  • botchtowersociety

    Did anyone check out the "dot" link in my post above?

    I downloaded it, but the file is reported as damaged. I did so again, but had the same result.

  • Dagney

    So I ask this, is there ANY REASON to doubt the historcial writings of Plato, Socrates, Artstole and others based on the SAME Criteria?

    No and there is NO reason to doubt that the NT docments are, in terms of historical guidelines, any less legit.

    What is different between the writings of almost anybody else and the NT is how they are used. Through the ages and continuing as fervently today, wars are started, people are judged/condemned, families torn apart, women abused etc. by the words contained in the NT. Did you see my link on the new "Apostolic Reformation!?"

    I doubt all historical writings, of course! But pondering words and philosophies, whether exact or not, from ancient philosophers is quite different than using the words and phrasing contained in the NT to determine life and death for people. And that is what it is used for. I see it on here everyday.

    That is why the who, when, where and why should be questioned and tested. My life has been greatly affected by people's use of the NT.

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