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  #41  
Old 31st March 2012, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by ebia View Post
It fails to address things like the questionable originality of the Josephus quotes.
Indeed.

I doubt that a strict Orthodox Jew would write that quote as Josephus is supposed to have done. That aside, it seems too formulaic and full of 'buzzwords', and also fits awkwardly into the document's ordering.
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  #42  
Old 31st March 2012, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by OzSpen View Post
Bart Ehrman is a promoter of the false doctrine of Walter Bauer, that early Christianity (in the first few centuries) consisted of many gospels, i.e. that heterodoxy dominated orthodoxy.

This is plainly a false assumption that has been refuted over and over. Bart Ehrman promotes false religion. This has been exposed recently by Andreas J Kostenberger and Michael J Kruger 2010. The Heresy of Orthodoxy. Wheaton, Illinois: Crossay.

Oz
Bart Ehrman does not promote any religion - he is a historian.
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  #43  
Old 31st March 2012, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by jlmagee View Post
I was curious if anyone had read to see what Ehrman uses as evidence.
I have a read a number of his books which I find well researched. Remember, Ehrman is a historian, not a theologian.

The reason he attracts a lot of hostility is that he orientates his books towards the sensational - more a marketing ploy as anything else I suspect.

His methodology is the same as any historian - his focus is on the written word. In this way he remains segregated from church doctrine and dogma so that the texts are not ripped out of their contextual setting.

As a result, his work is sound and he is well respected by his peers.
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  #44  
Old 31st March 2012, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by OzSpen View Post
Wayseer,

I noted from your icon that the cross indicates you are non-denominational. Are you no longer attending Maryborough Anglican Church?

Oz
Indeed. I can no longer go on pretending. But it's a long story and more about me than about them.
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  #45  
Old 31st March 2012, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by OzSpen View Post
Are you familiar with this blog that contains a link to an interview with Bart Ehrman by The Infidel Guy? This gives some info on Ehrman's view of the existence of Jesus.

Oz
Thanks, Oz

Listened to the link. I liked the fact that Ehrman confounded the interviewer by being so adamant about his position. This is why I would like to read his latest book. The table of contents is available on amazon. I am just wondering if there is anything that isn't already on the table.

I do not like most of Ehrman's conclusions on other topics but feel that his scholarship and notoriety among skeptics make his testimony valuable on the historicity of Jesus.
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  #46  
Old 2nd April 2012, 09:26 AM
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Seems silly to try and 'prove' Jesus without the Bible. Why wouldn't you use a primary source? That's like trying to 'prove' Homer without the Iliad/Oddysey.
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  #47  
Old 2nd April 2012, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Walter Kovacs View Post
Seems silly to try and 'prove' Jesus without the Bible. Why wouldn't you use a primary source? That's like trying to 'prove' Homer without the Iliad/Oddysey.
Agreed.

The argument is that because there is some contradictions in the biblical accounts that other sources are deemed more 'reliable'.

The real problem is, and I accept the difficulty, the perception that the biblical texts can used used as history or as narrative, but not both. In attempting to identify which bits of the narrative are history is difficult and dangerous - just how far does one go in the process? For many, it seems safer not to make the attempt.
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  #48  
Old 2nd April 2012, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by wayseer View Post
Bart Ehrman does not promote any religion - he is a historian.
You must be reading Bart Ehrman blindfolded with regard to his worldview. He's a former evangelical who has turned theological liberal.

Oz
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  #49  
Old 2nd April 2012, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by wayseer View Post
I suggest your statement too much of a generalization. The purpose of higher criticism is not to deny the Bible but to gain a better understanding of just what is God's 'truth' by cutting through the smoke and mirrors.
You are building a straw man logical fallacy. You must be living blind-folded to the presuppositional bias against the supernatural of Scripture. The purpose and outcome of much of higher criticism has been to deny the authenticity and reliability of the Bible. You have to be blind to what historical critics are doing to make your kind of statement.

Eta Linnemann was a student of the radical demythologiser, Rudolf Bultmann, as well as Ernst Fuchs, Friedrich Gogarten and Gerhard Ebeling. She was baptised, immersed, convinced, indoctrinated in historical criticism. Since she rejected that worldview and its sceptical premises, she has written, Historical Criticism of the Bible: Methodology or Ideology (Baker Book House 1990). She knows historical criticism from the inside out and these are some of her statements about that discipline of liberal theological scepticism:

  1. In her chapter 6, "The Study of the Historical-Critical Theology", she stated that 'research is conducted ut si Deus non daretur ("as if there were no God"). That means the reality of God is excluded from consideration from the start.... The standard by which all is assessed is not God's Word but scientific principle' (p. 84).
  2. 'Underlying the historical-critical approach is a series of prejudgments which are not themselves the result of scientific investigation. They are rather dogmatic premises, statements of faith, whose foundation is the absolutizing of human reason as a controlling apparatus' (p. 111).
  3. 'Whoever maintains that the Bible can only be made understandable with the methods of critical historiography is putting a thoroughly atheistically conceived science in charge of the treasures of divine revelation.... This atheistic, anti-Christian science is recognized by historical-critical theology as furnishing the only proper access to God's Word, so everyone who wishes to be regarded as theologically educated should endorse this outlook' (p. 116).
  4. Kummel's historical-critical statement is that 'the Bible must be historically investigated as the work of human authors in order to understand its actual meaning'. Linnemann's assessment of this statement is: 'That is not first demonstrated; it is, rather, presupposed from the outset. And that is not the private opinion of Kummel; it is, rather, the common assumption of historical-critical theology.... They are not permitted to cross-examine in any meaningful way the assumptions of historical-critical theology' (pp. 118, 119).
  5. Kummel, using his historical-critical theology, stated, 'It is easy to see that it is basically impossible to confront the writings of the New Testament as a man making judgments in research and at the same time as one who hears in faith' (in Linnemann, p. 122).
  6. 'Since the inspiration of Scripture is not accepted, neither can it be assumed that the individual books of Scripture complement each other' (p. 86).
  7. 'Since the content of biblical writings is seen as merely the creations of theological writers, any given verse is nothing more than a non-binding, human theological utterance' (p. 86).
  8. 'The undeclared yet working basic principle of Old Testament and New Testament science is: What the text clearly states can, by no means, be true' (p. 87).
  9. 'For historical-critical theology, critical reason decides what is reality in the Bible and what cannot be reality; and this decision is made on the basis of the everyday experience accessible to every person. Nothing is accepted as fact unless it is generally held to be possible. That which is spiritual is judged using fleshly criteria. Experiences of God's children are totally disregarded. Due to the presuppositions that are adopted, critical reason loses sight of the fact that the Lord, our God, the Almighty, reigns'. As for miracles, 'the theologians write them off as popular religious drivel' (pp. 88, 89).
  10. 'In its own eyes, historical-critical theology wants to lend assistance to the proclamation of the gospel through an interpretation of the Bible that is scientifically reliable and objective. There is, however, a monstrous contradiction between what it says it wants to do, on the one hand, and what it actually does on the other. In the light of all I have already said, it should be patently obvious that the manner in which historical critical theology handles the Bible does not further the proclamation of the gospel, but rather hinders it - in fact, it even prevents it' (p. 89).
  11. 'But worse yet, it is by no means clear that we are dealing here with an approach that yields objective and scientifically reliable interpretation of the Scripture as it claims. It is simply not true that historical-critical theology has replaced subjective impressions with a well-grounded discovery of the truth through careful weighing of arguments' (p. 89).
  12. 'If one assumes that the parable of the ten virgins (Matt. 25:1-13) was not spoken by Jesus himself, but rather that it arose in the early church, then one places it in a different context. It gives information, not about Jesus, but about the early church. To analyze it one compares it to what is known of the early church, not to what is known about Jesus' (p. 93).
  13. 'If one assumes, on the basis of the differences between John's Gospel and the three other Gospels, that the author of John is not John the disciple of Jesus, then a series of inferences naturally flows: In this case the author himself did not personally experience what he asserts about Jesus. He must have modeled his presentation on earlier sources. This raises the questions about the nature of these earlier documents. And this in turn raises the further question of how John's Gospel is distinct from the sources it is based upon' (p. 93).
  14. 'Basic assumptions are placed on the same level as fact, not theory, of course, but certainly in practical application. That is, one makes use of them as if they were facts. Anyone who incorporates these basic assumptions into his thinking is influenced and ultimately changed by them' (p. 96).
  15. For these historical-critical scholars, 'Christian literature from Bible-believing authors is practically taboo. The productions of some publishers are not taken seriously and cannot be listed in the bibliography of a formal term paper, unless one is prepared to get a lower grade for doing so. The professor is not really familiar with these works either' (p. 97).
  16. As for the prophetic future, for historical-critical scholars, 'there is no such thing as a knowledge of future things given by God' (p. 110).
  17. Linnemann's assessment, based on her many years of indoctrination by the historical-critical method, is that Kummel's compromise solutions do not justify 'his groundless contention that it is a fact that believing reception of the New Testament message can occur only through the hearing aid of historical-critical theology.... But Kummel subsequently sets forth the thesis once more: "Hence there is no other access to the understanding of the New Testament writings than the method of historical research, which is valid for all antiquity"' (p. 122).
  18. Linnemann's assessment of her genuine Christian conversion from the historical-critical liberalism is: 'I am so grateful that Jesus' blood has washed away my errors! I was no better; in fact I was worse, and I likewise made such irresponsible statements. And whoever gets involved in historical-critical theology will end up in a similar situation. One can no more be a little historical-critical than a little pregnant' (p. 123).
In the midst of this kind of evidence from one who was involved deeply with the historical-critical method, you have the audacity to state:
The purpose of higher criticism is not to deny the Bible....
That is a plainly false statement as any examination of the historical-critical writers will demonstrate. You have a sub-standard understanding of the historical-critical method to conclude that its purpose is not to deny the Bible. Its purpose is to deny the authority and integrity of the Bible, BIG TIME.

I'm in the midst of working my way through the unproven presuppositions of the historical-critical ideology of John Dominic Crossan in a doctoral dissertation (so I can't share them with the Forum at this stage) but Crossan is but another example of the desire to denigrate the Bible, whether that be by modernistic or postmodernistic presuppositions .

Theological liberalism is inundated with historical-critical presuppositions, thus creating an ideology that tries to destroy the integrity of the Bible.

And have a guess what? When it is promoted in any denomination, it destroys that denomination as a Gospel-presenting church. We see that with much of the Anglican church in Australia (except for the Sydney diocese, some of the Melbourne diocese, and the occasional other evangelical Anglican churches like the one near me in Petrie, Qld).

The <<cutting through the smoke and mirrors>> (your language) of historical-critical methodology, is really the imposing of a secular worldview on the biblical text and making it mean what the critic wants it to mean, and that is generally contrary to the intent of the biblical text.

On the popular level, the theological liberalism promoted by John Shelby Spong, is an example of of how he sets about to destroy the Bible - and losing 40,000 people in the Episcopal church diocese when he was bishop of Newark, NJ. See 'Spong's deadly Christianity'.

Oz

Last edited by OzSpen; 2nd April 2012 at 10:21 PM.
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  #50  
Old 2nd April 2012, 11:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Walter Kovacs View Post
Seems silly to try and 'prove' Jesus without the Bible. Why wouldn't you use a primary source? That's like trying to 'prove' Homer without the Iliad/Oddysey.
Walter,

I agree. But as I've stated in another post immediately above, there are presupposition of the historical-critical method that force them to seek sources outside of the Bible. This often means a downgrading of the historicity of the NT.

One of the criteria for historicity that these historical scholars like to use is multiple attestation and not single attestation. If it is attested (stated) once only in the NT, that is not good enough. What I'm finding in assessing the methodology of John Dominic Crossan is that he does not maintain this criterion of multiple attestation with complete consistency. There are times when one record of a Jesus' action is accepted by him.

However, most scholars using a a framework of historical criticism that I have assessed, denigrate the Bible and elevate their own (or another scholar's) human reason as more authoritative than the Bible.

Robert Funk (Honest to Jesus, Hodder & Stoughton 1996:300) stated:
The aim of the quest [for the historical Jesus] is to set Jesus free. Its purpose is to liberate Jesus from the scriptural and creedal and experiential prisons in which we have incarcerated him.
That's what we are dealing with when we see historical-critical study inflicted on the Scriptures. Funk's and the Jesus Seminar's views are more important than the scriptural version of Jesus.

Oz
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