Search Results for: Ehrman

Bart Ehrman on ‘Did Jesus Exist?’ Part Seven

Q. In both the past and the present, people have often drawn parallels between Jesus and Apollonius of Tyana, a real person who lived some 50 years after Jesus' day, and had a biography written about him by Philostratus which considerably post-dates our canonical Gospels. As you point out, even when we compare these two historical figures, or, for example compare Jesus to some of the lives of the Caesars, we have no stories in pagan literature about a virgin who becomes pregnant without sex … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

Ehrman vs. Bock— on 'Forged'

I was unable to do this dialogue which Justin Brierley asked me to do, as I am in the midst of an intensive doctoral seminar on Socio-Rhetorical analysis of the NT, so I am quite happy that Darrell Bock was willing to step in quickly from Germany to do this dialogue.  You will find this discussion interesting, if provocative.  BW3 … [Read more...]


Bart Ehrman’s new book,  Forged   (Harper, 2011, 307 pages) has hit the bookstalls  and has been hovering in the 300s in the list of top sellers,  eclipsed by another Harper book that came out at about the same juncture---- Rob Bell’s  Love Wins which has been reviewed in detail already, chapter by chapter on this blog.   Ehrman’s new book will receive the same sort of chapter by chapter analysis.This book should not be confused with some of Bart’s previous efforts, in particular Misquoting Jes … [Read more...]