Thursday, March 3, 2016

... to Bart D. Ehrman

1) somewhere else : Answering Barbara Smoker's Path from Rome, 2) Assorted retorts from yahoo boards and elsewhere : ... to Bart D. Ehrman, 3) somewhere else : Answering Barbara Smoker, Part II

Video commented on:
Top Bible scholar leaves Christianity
Islam Truth

OK, what exact mistakes?

Oh, they are later developments, divinity of Christ and Trinity of God ... wait, you aren't going to tell me they came about just in time for Nicea, are you?

So, what exact dates and what exact methods for ascertaining these dates do you have for that assertion?

Christian tradition says Gospel of St John was written by one of the original apostles, one of the twelve. Its textus receptus has a clear reference to Trinity, like in the first Gospel in Matth 28.

ALL known variants with some completeness, as far as I know (you could tell me if there is an exception) have "before Abraham was, I am".

So, suppose the doctrine was later "developed" and then carried out among Christians - how? It was certainly believed they had believed it from the first. How do you bamboozle ANY man into believing he had believed something yesterday on the very day you are making him believe it?

Pagan religions change, and ONE of the methods was "new revelations" - like that of the Sibyl of Odin or like that of Hesiod, for divinatory arts (lost, thank God) that given by a nymph to Numa Pompilius.

What I can't see is how the Theogony or the Valuspa /Voluspa could suddenly change text among Pagans even without them noticing a hundred to two hunded years after it was written.

Now, among Pagans, the text could still have been changed, because consensus would have approved of changes, but Christians were given a religion which clearly excluded later additions. Supposing the Gospels were written later and then handed out among Christians as originally older - how?

If Hesiod wrote Theogony, how could he have attempted to attribute it to Orpheus? If some Alexandrian wrote Theogony, how did he get all the world into believing it was already by Hesiod? But such a scenario is basically what you - Bart D. Ehrman - is buying about the Gospels.

Of course I know that scenario is current at universities - that is why I avoided taking Theology at Lund, I took Latin and Greek. But your swallowing it, isn't it just believing too much in your professors a bit like you overdid believing in your pastors before? As they were Protestant, they were certainly wrong on some things which you easily found out. (By "Protestant" I am here not referring to Modernist Protestant, I am referring to things like either Evangelical or Conservative Calvinist or Gnesio-Lutheran or "non-broad and non-Anglo-Catholic Anglican"). Or were you dropping belief in the Bible because continuing to believe it would have meant starting to believe the Catholic Tradition (by which I obviously don't mean Bergoglio or even Ratzinger) is reliable, which back as a Protestant you had been taught it wasn't?

"We Don't have the Original Bible" We don't have - most of us - the original manuscript of LotR, but were it lost (completely, even to editors), we would not start treating Tolkien as non-author, or novel as non-fiction, because we would still have the tradition. What criteria are you using to deny that certainty to these ancient authorships?

C. 3:00
and when scribes make intelligent mistakes, aren't they ore likely to be deliberate omissions of things thought spurious? Isn't the textus receptus likely to correct such mistakes?

To expound on previous, let me share sth by a wikia article along with my comments:

// Sensible people who understand History realize that older versions of the Bible that archaeologists have found are closer to the original texts. It's obvious isn't it? //

He basically agrees with Bart Ehrmann, and even if he says it in a naive way, I don't know if Bart Ehrmann saying it in sophisticated ways would have a better argument than this one. And here is my counterargument:

// But no, it is NOT obvious that a different text found in a very old copy is closer to the original. When people copy by hand (and that still happens, before any printing which isn't a reprint) one can fiddle with the text. But if very many different copies (made by different copiers!) are there, the odd one out can be corrected - or if it is too late, laid aside and not read. As you know, reading books will tear and wear them. With paper backs that have no binding, it happens very quickly, even, with such old books less quickly. BUT it certainly happened quicker with copies that were read than with copies that were laid aside. Which means that it is the odd one out which will be found more than thousand years later. The Sinaiticus was found in the Sinai monastery. The researchers asked "what is this?" and the monastics answered "we don't know". The researchers thought it meant they couldn't recognise a Bible as such. I think it meant they weren't sure whether to call it a Bible or not, considering it had been laid aside due to scribal errors. Some of which favour Watchtower Society and other sects denying the divinity of Christ - by missing one extra clear verse. They forget to mention that Arians also had Bibles and may have left out that verse on purpose. //

Liberapaedia article linked in within my response which I link to here, if you want to read it in full:

Creation vs. Evolution : A Pretty Vile Attack on "Christian Fundamentalists" - but a Parodic One

Note, I am not saying Bart Ehrmann is in any way attacking fundies in such vile or virulent or parodic a way. I am citing that article just because I think one argument is the same as Ehrmann's.

Bart Ehrman presumes the last twelve verses were added after one old manuscript, why could they not have been omitted in that one?

Obviously, if for instance a Jew got hold of a Gospel and wanted to tell other Jews about the content, he would probably pick out Mark AND in copying leave out the last 12 verses. If someone then reads this, converts, gets to Christians with this manuscript, he is also likely to hand it over and if they did not burn it, they would lay it aside and it would not wear as much as used copies and that is why it is preserved to this day. Relying on the Bible means relying on the tradition - including the one of all lost and worn out manuscripts through which we have a textus receptus.

  • deadly snakes - verified in St Paul on Malta
  • drink (non-aorist form, which may mean "begin to drink"?) poison - verified in St Benedict, who was "going to drink" from a poisoned cup, which burst when he made the sign of the cross over it
  • speak foreign tongues - most famously verified in St Francis Xaver, who also raised dead
  • casting out devils and curing sick - verified in very many over the centuries.

Matthew and Luke actually copied some of their stories from Mark?

From the Fourth Century, you have the other way round : Mark copying Matthew and Luke. YOUR version is a late perversion of this idea. St Matthew wrote first Gospel. St Luke wrote but didn't publish his Gospel. He offered it to St Peter, in presence of St Mark, in Rome. St Peter was impressed and made a speech which essentially was a cento of Matthean and Lucan Gospels - or more likely a series of speeches? - and St Mark took it down, published his Gospel which now had explicit Petrine authority, after which St Luke published his, which was what the Petrine authority was about. St John wrote his Gospel last, as last surving of the Twelve Disciples and explicitly against a sect denying Divinity of Christ while pretending to accept the Synoptics. THAT is the traditional solution.

Sorry, I gave the Stromatist solution, which is earlier. The one of St Augustine, fourth century, is that St Mark could copy St Matthew, and St Luke could copy both St Matthew and St Mark.

Yes, there are a variety of 5000 separate sects now, and there was a variety then. But ONE Church was there then and is there now : the Catholic Church (and I don't mean Bergoglio or Vatican II, which I consider attempts of taking over, resulting in foundation of sth subtly and sometimes not subtly at all different from it).

"There were battles about who would establish what the standard view would be"?

No, not really. Gnostics and Ebionites were not trying to influence the Catholic standard, the Catholics were not trying to influence their standards, there was a competition between confessions, not competing attempts to form the teaching of one of them. It was not like in Anglican Church, one communion but Dean Inge and C. S. Lewis competing with very different views. It was more like Catholics versus Mormons - separate views, but these in separate communions too. And Matthew 28:18-20 tells us the right view must come in the community which survived these competitions.

[Not trying to influence? Or, not for long, since Ehrman's "proto-Orthodox" that is simply the CHristian Church was not late in expelling them.]

I don't know why you consider the Orthodox had a period "before they went out". What is your argument there was ever even a decade in which the "proto-Orthodox" had obliged themselves to communion with either Ebionites or Gnostics? You can talk of a period before they gained the upper hand over these two, but that is like talking about a period before Catholicism had safely won over Huguenots in France. You cannot say there were "proto-Catholics" who had pledged communion with Protestants and later bailed out of it. Protestants are claimed and even claim themselves to have gone out from Catholics. And "proto-Orthodox" claimed other groups had gone out from them (in the Bible, notably, Epistles of St John).

I disagree about what manuscripts were destroyed. If a heretic made up a Gospel beside the canonical ones, yes, that manuscript was very likely to be destroyed. But if a heretic copied St John and left out a few verses, I think what happened is that the manuscript was laid aside as too dangerous to use, but too pure in what it had to be burned. Hence Sinaiticus.

You are referring to debates between the Christian Church vs Ebionites and Gnostics as if they were debates within one communion. No, when a Catholic and a 7 th Day Adventist debate, that is NOT like when Bishop Robertson / Dean Inge on the one hand debate with Bishop Gore / C. S. Lewis on the other hand within the Anglicans. You are misconstruing the relation between the debating parties.

It turns out the passage where Christ sweats blood was not originally in the Gospel of Luke? How could a physician NOT write about such a thing if it happened? Textus receptus argues the passage was originally there. The early manuscripts which leave it out are probably written either by Gnostics/Manichaeans or other Docetistic sects OR left out individually by a doctrinally weak scribe who is tempted by Docetism. THEN they were laid aside by more competent superiors, THEN found. By often enough less competent, both doctrinally and logically so, researchers.

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