Responding to Bart Ehrman and how Muslims try to use him

Dr. Michael J. Kruger, Associate Professor of New Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary, has some very well done videos and a web-site called, “Canon Fodder” – Exploring the Origins of the New Testament Canon – and other Biblical and Theological Issues.

Watch this video and others at his “Canon Fodder” site, for his answer to Ehrman.

See Kruger’s full length book:

Canon Revisited: Establishing the Origins and Authority of the New Testament Books.  

This is a small response to how Muslims try to use Bart Ehrman’s books in their attacks upon the Bible and Christianity: Paul Bilal William’s book recommendation of Bart Ehrman, The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture.  (No longer available as Williams has changed his blog several times.)

Other Responses to Ehrman:

Dan Wallace, Editor, Revisiting the Corruption of the New Testament: Manuscript, Patristic, and Apocryphal Evidence (Text and Canon of the New Testament)

The Bible, the Qur’an, Bart Ehrman, and the words of God by Mark D. Roberts

Review of Bart Ehrman’s Mis-Quoting Jesus, by Peter J. Williams 

Identifying Anti-Adoptionistic Corruptions of Scripture by Rafael

Dan Wallace wrote: “Yet, the conclusions that Ehrman put forth in Orthodox Corruption of Scripture are still offered in Misquoting Jesus without recognition of some of the severe criticisms of his work the first go-around.” In, “The Gospel According to Bart” (critique of Misquoting Jesus) at –

Originally in The Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, June 2006, Volume 49, no. 2.

Dan Wallace footnotes some of the “severe criticism of his work” – (footnote 71)

Others who have provided detailed and scholarly critiques of Ehrman’s book, The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture.

See J. K. Elliott, review of The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture: The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament, by Bart D. Ehrman, in NovT 36.4 (1994): 405–06;

Michael W. Holmes, review of The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture: The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament, by Bart D. Ehrman, in RelSRev 20.3 (1994): 237;

Gordon D. Fee, review of The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture: The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament, by Bart D. Ehrman, in CRBR 8 (1995): 203–06;

Bruce M. Metzger, review of The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture: The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament, by Bart D. Ehrman, in PSB 15.2 (1994): 210–12;

David C. Parker, review of The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture: The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament, by Bart D. Ehrman, in JTS 45.2 (1994): 704–08;

J. N. Birdsall, Review of The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture: The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament, by Bart D. Ehrman, in Theology 97.780 (1994): 460-62;

Ivo Tamm, Theologisch-christologische Varianten in der frühen Überlieferung des Neuen Testaments? (Magisterschrift, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, n.d.);

Stratton Ladewig, “An Examination of the Orthodoxy of the Variants in Light of Bart Ehrman’s The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture” (Th.M. thesis, Dallas Seminary, 2000).

Other sources that have respond to Ehrman and other criticisms of the New Testament:

Re-Inventing Jesus, by Komoszewski, Sawyer, and Wallace.

The Heresy of Orthodoxy by Kostenberger and Kruger.

James White of Alpha and Omega Ministries – Debate with Bart Ehrman.

Ehrman on the Colbert Show and links to Ben Witherington’s critiques of Ehrman.  

About Ken Temple

I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I am a sinner who has been saved by the grace of God alone (Ephesians 2:8-9), through faith alone (Galatians 2:16; Romans 3:28; 4:1-16), in Christ alone (John 14:6). But a true faith does not stay alone, it should result in change, fruit, good works, and deeper levels of repentance and hatred of my own sins of selfishness and pride. I am not better than you! I still make mistakes and sin, but the Lord is working on me, conforming me to His character. (Romans 8:28-29; 2 Corinthians 3:16-18) When I do sin, I hate the sin as it is an affront to God, and seek His forgiveness in repentance. (Mark 1:15; 2 Corinthians 7:7-10; Colossians 3:5-16 ) Praise God for His love for sinners (Romans 5:8), shown by the voluntary coming of Christ and His freely laying down His life for us (John 10:18), becoming flesh/human (John 1:1-5; 1:14; Philippians 2:5-8), dying for sins of people from all nations, tribes, and cultures (Revelation 5:9), on the cross, in history, rising from the dead (Romans 10:9-10; Matthew 28, Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24; John 20-21; 1 Corinthians chapter 15). His resurrection from the dead proved that Jesus is the Messiah, the eternal Son of God, the word of God from eternity past; and that He was all the gospels say He was and that He is truth and the life and the way to salvation. (John 14:6)
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7 Responses to Responding to Bart Ehrman and how Muslims try to use him

  1. Sam Shamoun says:

    Hey brother, I just saw your recent comments on Williams’ post concerning Jesus’ encounter with the rich young ruler. Amazingly, Williams again misquotes Jesus’ words since he posts the following:

    “Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, ‘You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.’”

    Do you see what he deliberately omitted? The part where Jesus tells him to then follow Christ! Let me quote it in its entirety so you can see this for yourself:

    “Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, ‘You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; THEN COME, FOLLOW ME.'” Mark 10:21

    It is quite clear that the one thing that Jesus said the man had to do in order to obtain eternal life is to give up all his riches for the sake of Jesus. That this is how one obtains eternal life according to the very passage which Williams misquotes is further confirmed by what Peter says a little later on:

    “Then Peter spoke up, ‘We have left everything TO FOLLOW YOU!’ ‘Truly I tell you,’ Jesus replied, ‘no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields FOR ME AND THE GOSPEL will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life.’” Mark 10:26-29

    Peter says that the disciples and he have actually done the very thing which Jesus demanded from the rich man, namely, gave up everything to follow him. Jesus responds by saying whoever has given up everything for him and the Gospel will receive eternal life.

    How in the world could Williams misquote this way?

  2. Sam Shamoun says:

    To top it off, Jesus goes on to say in this very same chapter that he will offer up his life as a ransom to save many:

    “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many (kai dounai ten psychen autou lytron anti pollon).” Mark 10:45

    Moreover, in saying this Jesus is claiming to be able to do something which he himself says only God can do, namely, ransom men from death and destruction in order that they might live on forever:

    “At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth. Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, ‘How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!’ The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, ‘Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.’ The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, ‘Who then can be saved?’ Jesus looked at them and said, ‘WITH MAN THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE, but not with God; all things are possible with God.’” Mark 10:22-25

    The OT even agrees that this is something which God alone can do since no human being is capable of ransoming a single human life, let alone many lives:

    “Truly no man can ransom another, or give to God the price of his life, for the ransom of their life is costly and can never suffice, that he should live on forever and never see the pit… But God will ransom my soul from the power of Sheol, for he will receive me.” Psalm 49:7-9, 15

    And here is how the above Psalm reads according to the Greek version of the Hebrew Bible, commonly referred to as the Septuagint (LXX), so the readers can see the significance of Jesus’ claims more clearly:

    “A brother does not ransom (lytroutai); shall a man ransom (lytrosetai)? He shall not give to God a propitiation (exilasma) for himself, or the price of the redemption (lytroseos) of his soul (tes psyches autou), though he labor for ever, and live to the end, [so] that he should not see corruption… But God shall ransom my soul (ho theos lytrosetai ten psychen mou) from the power of Hades, when he shall receive me.” Psalm 48:8-10, 16 LXX

    Thus, Jesus does what this Psalm says no one can do except God, i.e. offer his own life as a ransom in order to save many lives from the power of death and hades!

    Doesn’t this prove that Jesus wasn’t denying to be absolutely good since he must be absolutely good in order to redeem anyone? And doesn’t this conclusive show that eternal life is obtained by the vicarious death of Christ which a person receives by following Jesus?

  3. Sam Shamoun says:

    I wanted to post these on Williams’ blog but it requires me to sign in with facebook to do so, and I don’t want to do that. So if you like, feel free to post these comments there. You even have my permission to take turn them into a blogpost if you so desire. Lord bless.

  4. Excellent! Thanks Sam! The references in Psalm 48 and 49 LXX are powerful and Paul Bilal Williams’ arguments are refuted indeed.

    I cannot wait to see how Dr. White demolishes his arguments further on the DL and blog articles!

    I hope to write some more articles on this when I get more time. I had to turn in the Dunn books I was working through to the library, but hope to check them out again later and eventually read more of his stuff. But he is very boring. Liberalism is very boring reading. He seems to be careful avoiding clear liberalism, but it is there, especially the way he quotes from others against the virgin birth of Christ.

  5. Sam,
    You have really hit on something here in Psalm 49 – the surrounding context talks about the rich and how they think they can “redeem” their souls by their wealth. The connection with Jesus encounter with the rich man in Mark 10 is unmistakable.

    Hear this, all peoples;
    Give ear, all inhabitants of the world,
    2 Both low and high,
    Rich and poor together.
    3 My mouth will speak wisdom,
    And the meditation of my heart will be understanding.
    4 I will incline my ear to a proverb;
    I will express my riddle on the harp.
    5 Why should I fear in days of adversity,
    When the iniquity of my foes surrounds me,
    6 Even those who trust in their wealth
    And boast in the abundance of their riches?

    7 No man can by any means redeem his brother
    Or give to God a ransom for him—
    8 For the redemption of his soul is costly,
    And he should cease trying forever—
    9 That he should live on eternally,
    That he should not undergo decay.
    10 For he sees that even wise men die;
    The stupid and the senseless alike perish
    And leave their wealth to others.
    11 Their inner thought is that their houses are forever
    And their dwelling places to all generations;
    They have called their lands after their own names.
    12 But man in his pomp will not endure;
    He is like the beasts that perish.
    13 This is the way of those who are foolish,
    And of those after them who approve their words. Selah.
    14 As sheep they are appointed for Sheol;
    Death shall be their shepherd;
    And the upright shall rule over them in the morning,
    And their form shall be for Sheol to consume
    So that they have no habitation.
    15 But God will redeem my soul from the power of Sheol,
    For He will receive me. Selah.
    16 Do not be afraid when a man becomes rich,
    When the glory of his house is increased;
    17 For when he dies he will carry nothing away;
    His glory will not descend after him.
    18 Though while he lives he congratulates himself—
    And though men praise you when you do well for yourself—
    19 He shall go to the generation of his fathers;
    They will never see the light.
    20 Man in his pomp, yet without understanding,
    Is like the beasts that perish.

  6. θ says:

    Even a man’s belly can be man’s God (Phil 3:19) without having to prove it with miracle. A man is free to call a thing “God”.
    In Unitarian definition, the proper or serious meaning of God is He whom Latreauo is rendered to.
    If Jesus is postulated as “God” but nobody bids Latreauo to him, he must be not God. From beginning to end of the Bible’s chapters, from cover to cover nobody serves Jesus, or the Word, or the Lamb, or the Son. Why?
    Where does Paul render his Latreauo to “he by whom the world was upheld”?
    Where does John render his Latreauo to “he by whom all things were made”?
    Where does Thomas render his Latreauo to “the Lord of me, and the God of me”?

  7. θ says:

    Evolution of Jesus’ divinity comes very late.
    Several facts that make the Trinity and Mary mediatrix unbelievable and very indefensible are:
    (i) A fact that nobody of disciples calls Jesus “God” after his resurrection, when he was still around with them awhile, even not after Thomas mistakenly calls him “the” God (the Father) in John 20:28.

    (ii) A fact that the Gospels – that were written after the time of Jesus’ ascension and under Spirit’s guidance – do not have audacity to ever call Jesus “God”.

    If Jesus were God, the Spirit would have guided four authors of Gospels and the book of Acts to call him so, at least once, but in fact he isn’t.

    (iii) A fact that nobody of disciples and Paul called the Holy Spirit “God”, even not after Peter mistakenly calls him “the” God (the Father) in Acts 5:4.

    (iv) A fact that nobody of disciples and Paul called Mary “Theotokos” or “Lady” when she is still alive, or prayed thru her name, even not after the Holy Spirit guided the disciples.

    Those facts prove how the so-called “evolution” to call Jesus a God doesn’t start from the days after the resurrection (when Jesus was supposed to still be around with people), nor from the years of disciples and Gospels (when the Spirit was supposed to be around with people), but it comes later, after much time following that.

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