Bart Ehrman on ‘Did Jesus Exist?’ Part Six


Q. On p. 180 you say that because the pericope about the woman caught in adultery is likely not an original part of the Gospel of John, that therefore it probably didn't happen. Really? Why does that follow? Weren't there many other things Jesus actually said and did that don't make the cut of being included in this or that Gospel? Aren't canonicity and historicity two separate issues?A. Yes, good point. At that stage of my argument I was using a kind of short hand. The story of … [Read more...]

Bart Ehrman on ‘Did Jesus Exist?’ Part Five


Q. Two of the real linch pins in your argument that Jesus existed is the evidence from Paul that he knew both the brother of Jesus and Peter, the most important early disciple of Jesus, and secondly, the omnipresent evidence that the earliest Christians all admitted that Jesus whom they followed had been crucified. Why is this evidence so telling, and the attempts by mythicists to dismiss so unconvincing?A. I dealt a bit with the evidence from Paul in an earlier answer. The … [Read more...]

Bart Ehrman on ‘Did Jesus Exist? Part Four


Q. Much weight is often placed on the testimony of Josephus about Jesus and his brother. You argue in the book that at least in an edited form, the Josephus evidence is quite important first century evidence in establishing the existence of Jesus, and presumably also establishing something of when he lived and what he did. Do you see Josephus as a generally reliable historian or put another way a more objective witness since he was not a follower of Jesus?A. Josephus is an important … [Read more...]

New Hobbit Production Video!Here's another tease for you to whet your appetite. My crack spies (all Orcs they are) tell me that Peter Jackson is only days away from finishing up the Hobbit. Can't Wait. … [Read more...]

Bart Ehrman on ‘Did Jesus Exist?’ Part Three


Q. You spend most of the first third of the book laying out the evidence that in fact Jesus did exist, both Biblical and extra-Biblical, both Christian and non-Christian evidence. In your judgment, is there any of this evidence that you find much more compelling than other evidence, or is it simply that we have a wide variety of independent testimonies, and so the cumulative evidence is what is decisive for you?A. It is obviously important for a historian to look at all the evidence. … [Read more...]

Bart Ehrman on Did Jesus Exist? Part Two


Q. Why do you think it is that some atheists are so adamant about trying to eradicate Jesus entirely from the historical record, by claiming he never existed? It seems they protest too much. Wouldn't it be just as congenial to their views to argue that yes he existed but: 1) he wasn't God, and 2) he wasn't nearly as important as Christianity made him out to be, in particular they might simply deny he was the world's savior? Why do you think they insist on such an extreme position? It's … [Read more...]

Bart Ehrman’s on Did Jesus Exist? Part One


In the next few posts we will have a Q and A time with Professor Bart Ehrman about his new Harper book, Did Jesus Exist? which (not surprisingly) has sparked considerable interest. A special thanks to Bart for taking considerable time to answer the questions I sent him. ----Q. What prompted you to not merely write Did Jesus Exist? but prioritize it?A. I had wanted to write the book for some time, for a simple reason. A few years ago I started getting emails from people asking … [Read more...]

Having the Devil of a Time….


It's an old tension or conundrum, but still one worth pondering. On the one hand, it's a mistake for the Christian to give Satan too much credit for what is going on. Some Christians find demons under every rock in the NT, and even talk about a demon giving them a cold etc. Of this sort of demonizing of everything that goes wrong in life, the NT shows no hint.Indeed, it is worth noticing that Paul never even uses the word demon, save once ('you cannot share in the table of demons and … [Read more...]

Humanities vs. the Sciences– Who Wins the Prize?

(Here's another interesting piece by my friend and colleague, Larry Hurtado) Recognizing Achievements in the Humanities by larry hurtadoAttending yesterday the installation of my colleague, Prof. Jane Dawson, as a new Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and the installation of several Honorary and Corresponding Fellows as well, I was struck by two things: (1) the impressive achievements and contributions to research of all of them, and (2) the fact that overwhelmingly they were … [Read more...]