Shocking news: Biblical scholars are mostly Christians

In his debate with Bart Ehrman, William Lane Craig – as he usually does – stated that there are four "facts" about the Resurrection:
  • Jesus' burial
  • the discovery of his empty tomb
  • his post-mortem appearances
  • the origin of the disciples' belief in his resurrection
Ehrman, however, didn't take the bait; instead he challenged Craig on whether those "four facts" have been sufficiently established as facts. After taking a pounding in that debate, Craig has devised an ingenious dodge to circumvent similar arguments in the future: he simply states that most Biblical scholars agree on these historical facts. Well, of course they do: they are almost all Christians! In other news, the vast majority of Muslim scholars affirm the historicity of the Koran.

The Ehrmanator
There are a handful of non-Christian Biblical scholars, but as you might imagine, work can be slim pickings for these folks. Most Biblical scholarship is done at theological seminaries, and what seminary wants to hire an outspoken atheist? Someone who thinks all the students are being taught a bunch of bullshit? Moreover, as Chris Hallquist notes, several of the more well-known non-Christian Biblical scholars, like Bart Ehrman and Robert Price, were originally fundies who got into scholarship because of their religious devotion.

So, Craig's 'four facts'? They're not actually facts. The rational thing to do is question the reliability of the Biblical account in the first place, and it's pretty shoddy. The earliest epistle was written two decades after Christ purportedly lived. The earliest gospel, four decades. All are supposedly (so we're told) based on eye-witness accounts and passed meticulously through oral tradition for all those years. Except there's no reason to believe anything in the New Testament is eye-witness testimony, and even if there were, modern research has shown it to be notoriously unreliable. And that meticulous oral tradition? Yeah, that was a Rabbinic tradition, not a Greek one, and no oral tradition is that competent at preserving details – which is further evidenced by the fact that the only manuscripts we have of these ancient books (which are not the originals, but much later copies) are riddled with errors, omissions, additions, and contradictions.

*Whew* Then there are the historical errors, the mythology, the flat-Earth cosmology, etc. I don't know what a divinely inspired book looks like, but I'm pretty sure I know a man-made book when I see one.


Popular Posts