Pay To Hear Bart Ehrman and Robert Price Debate

Pay To Hear Bart Ehrman and Robert Price Debate June 16, 2015

Daniel Gulotta drew to my attention that a Kickstarter campaign has been started to raise money to pay Bart Ehrman and Robert M. Price’s fees to appear together and debate whether there was a historical Jesus. If you think that would be money well spent, then feel free to contribute to it!

Jesus said

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  • Gary

    I like Bart Ehrman. But all things considered, I prefer (actual, already have), checked out his book “Did Jesus Exist”, for free from the library. The below link seems to imply the mythicists are the ones pushing this, including atheists/agnostics student group at Wichita State, Kansas:

    Even though the fees go to Ehrman’s charities, I dislike paying to promote something that I view as fringe, when the mythicists are the ones promoting it. I’d say, let the mythicists pay for it. I wouldn’t particularly like seeing this debate anyway.

    • Scott Paeth

      This is sort of like Bill Nye the Science Guy debating Ken Hamm, with Price in the Ken Hamm role.

  • Kris Rhodes

    It’ll be fun, and as we all know, fun is the chief value to be pursued in New Testament History.

    • ccws

      It is fun, isn’t it? Hee hee

  • ccws

    Oooooooohhhhhhh, what WOULDN’T I pay to see that? Assuming that I HAD anything to pay, that is…alas, I’m so broke, I can’t even pay attention…buying Elnes’s book on the Phoenix Principles for $4 was my Big Splurge of the Month…

    p.s. I’m stealing that meme!

  • Pseudonym

    Everyone knows that the debate format is optimal for finding consensus on any topic.

    • Gary

      It is kind of like having Trump participate in the Republican candidate debates. Comic relief.

  • John MacDonald

    Price says he finds it interesting for the mythicist position that Paul says Jesus only received the name “Jesus” after he died:
    “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though
    being in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but
    emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of
    men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto
    death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and
    bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee
    should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess the Lord
    Jesus Christ to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:5-11 ———————————————-
    I personally don’t have any problem thinking of Jesus as a mythical figure with miraculous stories written about his adventures on earth (like Hercules).

    • This is yet another example of Price claiming something implausible. Paul nowhere suggests that Jesus had another name prior to his exaltation; he regularly uses the name “Jesus” in reference to him in connection with pre-exaltation events; and there is no way that he or anyone else thought that the name “Joshua” was above the name of Yahweh.

      • John MacDonald

        Then what does Paul mean in Philippians when he says after Jesus died that God “bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess the Lord Jesus Christ to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:5-11)?”

        • That he had the divine name bestowed upon him – as was said of figures like Metatron and Yahoel in Judaism, and Moses in Samaritanism (and of course Jesus not only in Philippians but in the Gospel of John).

          • John MacDonald

            What divine name did Jesus have bestowed on him after he died in Philippians and John?

          • There is only one divine name in Judaism, that denoted by the tetragrammaton.

          • John MacDonald

            The passage in Philippians doesn’t say “Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the NAME OF THE TETRAGRAMMATON every knee should bow …” Rather, Philippians says “Therefore God has highly exalted him and
            bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the NAME OF JESUS every knee should bow …” The most direct reading of the text in Philippians seems to be that the name “JESUS” is what was bestowed on him at his death.

          • Well obviously Paul was not going to use that term. Was that an attempt at humor?

            Most if not all Jews refrained from uttering and writing the divine name. They often substituted “LORD” in its place.

            If one fails to read ancient texts against the background of their time and world of thought, one is bound to understand them in ways that are historically implausible.

            The bestowal of the divine name is what leads to Jesus being proclaimed LORD in the Philippians passage. There is, I will repeat myself, simply no way that any Jew thought that the common human name Joshua was “the name above every name.”

          • John MacDonald

            As you know, “Joshua” comes from the Hebrew name יְהוֹשֻׁעַ (Yehoshu’a) meaning “YAHWEH is salvation.” It is interesting Jesus would have this name, since Jesus’ main purpose is to offer a “path of salvation to the world.” You could see how this would be a name above all names. It’s almost as if Jesus was given the perfect name to describe his mission.

          • Most Jewish names have a theophoric element, and if ts particular person had had any of them, they would have been found just as appropriate. You are once again missing the fact that most names have some meaning, and they are still just human names, in this case human names which reflect the religious culture that coined them. This kind of fundamentalist treatment of Biblical languages as though they were mystical codes is inappropriate within the framework of a historical discussion.

          • John MacDonald

            I don’t think it’s unreasonable to think Paul had a coded, esoteric view of Jesus’ name, as well as an exoteric one. Paul’s writing is overflowing with the mystical, such 2 Corinthians 12:2 which says: “I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago – whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows – such a man was caught up to the third heaven.”

          • Jim

            In your assessment, would this section in Philippians imply that Paul and/or whoever composed the hymn(?) held what can be considered to be a subordinationist view of Jesus, or is this view not that clear from this portion of text?

          • Yes, Jesus clearly remains subordinate to the one who highly exalted him and bestowed his name upon him.

  • Andrew Dowling

    I like Price (he’s a hell lot more qualified than Carrier) but it’s pretty clear he has a lot of resentment and anger towards his former fundamentalist life and that clouds his scholarship. His views also seem to have gotten more extreme as he’s gotten older.

    • John MacDonald

      Price has a new documentary coming out called “The Gospel According to Price.” I guess it will be something like “The God Who Wasn’t There.”

      • Pseudonym

        I’m not a fan of Price, but he isn’t that bad.