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Bible Scholar Leaves Christianity...

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posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 06:52 PM
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Some of you may know who Bart Ehrman is, but for those like me who don't (didn't):


Bart D. Ehrman is an American New Testament scholar and textual critic of early Christianity. He is the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has written about how the original New Testament texts were frequently altered by scribes for a variety of reasons, and argues that these alterations affect the interpretation of the texts


I found this clip quite interesting, considering my own background and experience as a Christian who studied the bible for many years, and finally concluded it wasn't something I could believe any longer. I'm no scholar like this man, but it's good to hear someone like him speak on the topic, and what changed his mind, considering his own background. He does believe in the existence of a historical Jesus, but not as god, or the son of god. Worth a listen IMO.



This vid is short, and more to the point. There are other much longer vids for those interested.

Disclaimer: This clip was evidently posted by an Islamist for obvious reasons, so you may want to disregard the reference to "thedeenshow.com" in it.

(Thanks to member ParasuvO for bringing this guy to my attention).
edit on 12/18/2012 by Klassified because: eta




posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 07:02 PM
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This happened a while ago.

His seminal work "Misquoting Jesus" came out years and years ago ... 2005 I believe.

He has scores of books at this point all attempting to debunk the biblical Christ in favor of a more naturalist view.

There is a brilliant, insightful book written in response to "Misquoting Jesus", btw.

Cheers.



posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 07:10 PM
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This basic point of view is not at all unusual for Christian scholars. Indeed, a very common view in seminaries is that Jesus was a very charismatic man with a message--and that's all. They will speak of the difference in demeanor from the Old Testament God compared to the New Testament God as, "The New Testament, in which God was in a much better mood." Of course these folks are not likely to express such sentiments during a sermon to the people in a neighborhood church, but if you talk to them one on one in a serious manner, you will often get them to suggest that the divinity of Jesus and how many angels fit on the head of a pin are not the real issue; leading a virtuous life is.

Indeed, a very prevalent and long-standing scholarly view is that not only do we not know the real life of Jesus, we cannot know the real life of Jesus because it is forever scattered by revisions and losses in the Gospels. Albert Schweizer, for example, held this view in the very early twentieth century in his "Quest for the Historical jesus" (1906). One of his conclusions: "The Jesus of Nazareth who came forward publicly as the Messiah, who preached the ethic of the kingdom of God, who founded the kingdom of heaven upon earth and died to give his work its final consecration never existed."

Shocking to the congregation, perhaps, but not to Christian scholars.



posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 07:16 PM
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So is this a credible source? Does this guy know what he's talking about? And how prevalent is this school of thought? Has it been debunked, or discredited to the point of ludicrousness?
edit on 18-12-2012 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 07:51 PM
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reply to post by Klassified
 


Star and flag! I'm a BIG fan of this guy!

I was just using his quotes to argue the validity of taking the Bible word for word, when I discovered that "The Adulteress" "Let him who without sin cast the first stone." story wasn't originally in the Bible, and was added about 1000 years later, that Jesus could not ever have had that "born again" convo with Nicodemus, as it doesn't translate into Aramaic, and that the trinity was contrived and coerced into the Bible, among many other things.

The more we learn the less we are trapped by preconceived "beliefs."






edit on 18-12-2012 by windword because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 07:51 PM
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reply to post by schuyler
 

Indeed. I once had a Phd tell me it's hard for anyone to make it through seminary, and still believe the bible afterward. That says a lot.



posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 07:53 PM
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reply to post by AfterInfinity
 

So far, everything I've looked up on him comes back legit. He IS a legitimate bible scholar.



posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 07:54 PM
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reply to post by windword
 

I listened to one of his long lectures. It was quite interesting, and worth the time I thought.



posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 08:01 PM
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reply to post by Klassified
 



Indeed. I once had a Phd tell me it's hard for anyone to make it through seminary, and still believe the bible afterward. That says a lot.


Then why do they still believe it?


So far, everything I've looked up on him comes back legit. He IS a legitimate bible scholar.


So his rejection is legitimate and presumably well-grounded?



posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 08:14 PM
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reply to post by AfterInfinity
 



Then why do they still believe it?


I obviously can't speak for all Christians, but in my case, I was so entrenched in my beliefs, no one could have convinced me otherwise, no matter how scholarly they were. I had to come to that place on my own.



So his rejection is legitimate and presumably well-grounded?

Listen to one of his lectures, and do a little digging. He comes up clean as far as I can tell. But ultimately, that is something you'll have to decide.



posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 08:22 PM
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reply to post by Klassified
 



Listen to one of his lectures, and do a little digging. He comes up clean as far as I can tell. But ultimately, that is something you'll have to decide.


It doesn't really matter to me. Even if the Bible is completely accurate (which I deeply doubt), I would still hate "God". My posts in all of these religious threads thus far provide a clear explanation for that.
edit on 18-12-2012 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 08:25 PM
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Originally posted by AfterInfinity
So is this a credible source? Does this guy know what he's talking about? And how prevalent is this school of thought? Has it been debunked, or discredited to the point of ludicrousness?


Ehrman? Yeah, he's a good guy, though he relies too heavily on textual criticism, in my opinion. The expectation that people in the First Century wrote in the same manner and for the same reasons that we do in the 21st is an invalid assumption, but it's impossible to not have some of that slip in when you're an academic using that technique. I once heard a speaker say that The Acts of the Apostles was completely fabricated and Paul never knew any other Apostle, solely based on one line of one of Paul's letters.

Him being an agnostic, though, isn't really news -- from what I can recall he's been that way for at least a decade.



posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 08:32 PM
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reply to post by adjensen
 



Ehrman? Yeah, he's a good guy, though he relies too heavily on textual criticism, in my opinion. The expectation that people in the First Century wrote in the same manner and for the same reasons that we do in the 21st is an invalid assumption, but it's impossible to not have some of that slip in when you're an academic using that technique.


Are you talking about the various translation errors? Such things cannot be ignored, because one error can change an entire sentence. Just because you feel it means one thing, does not mean it doesn't mean something completely different. You are relying upon what the scriptures say, not what you feel they should say. Translation errors provide temptation for depending more and more upon your personal sway in interpreting the contents, which can be dangerous.


Him being an agnostic, though, isn't really news -- from what I can recall he's been that way for at least a decade.


Truly, this is the most honest position one can take.



posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 08:35 PM
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Originally posted by AfterInfinity
reply to post by Klassified
 



Indeed. I once had a Phd tell me it's hard for anyone to make it through seminary, and still believe the bible afterward. That says a lot.


Then why do they still believe it?


The point is that they don't. They're just not telling you about it--not that you would be a willing listener anyway. (Psst: That's a compliment.) Your average thoughtful Christian scholar is not a Bible Thumper; that's for amateurs who have never been through a rigorous academic program.



posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 08:46 PM
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reply to post by AfterInfinity
 


No, it's essentially the process of believing that something can't say what people think it says, and analyzing the text critically to come up with a different view of what it "really" says. In the case of someone like Ehrman, who doesn't believe that Jesus could have anything supernatural attached to him, said criticism would start with the belief that Jesus would never say or do anything that would be seen as supernatural.

The fallacy, as I said, is that if you read Ehrman's books (I'd recommend Lost Christianities highly) and look at what he's saying critically, you can see where he's drawing inferences to support his point of view, some of which rely on the application of 21st century textual analysis on these 2,000 year old documents.



posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 09:16 PM
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reply to post by adjensen
 


Was that written before or after he decided the Bible was worthless?



posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 09:41 PM
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reply to post by AfterInfinity
 


Here, he kinda addresses your question. In the first few minutes.

It's a question of devotional or historical emphasis. It's a good listen about what pastors are thinking and going through, in light of conflicting information.

It's just sound, but a good listen.



edit on 18-12-2012 by windword because: linky



posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 09:50 PM
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Originally posted by AfterInfinity
reply to post by adjensen
 


Was that written before or after he decided the Bible was worthless?

Ehrman would probably slap you in the face for saying that the Bible was worthless, lol.

He may be an agnostic, but he's a fairly strong defender on the Bible as an historical document, in large measure. Bart Ehrman: Fuller Reply to Richard Carrier.

Don't project your own personal feelings on everyone else who doesn't sign onto the Christian bandwagon.



posted on Dec, 19 2012 @ 12:08 AM
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The King James Bible is the preserved Word of God in the English language as the translators read countless Greek and Hebrew texts painstakingly to keep the authenticity intact. However, you'd be right to say that the Catholic version is altered and flawed. Secondly, I'd like to say that this man was not a Christian in the first place so he certainly did not renounce his faith. True Christianity is something Western people couldn't recognize because Western culture waters everything down. Christianity means you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. If that was indeed the case with this fellow, there would be nothing in the world that could shake his faith.



posted on Dec, 19 2012 @ 08:09 AM
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reply to post by hxc408
 

There's a lot I could say to what you have written. But I won't, because I know you won't hear it. You remind me of myself some years ago. I would have made very similar statements. So I'll just one thing, and I say it with all due respect to you.

You don't know what you think you know.



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