Can We Trust the Bible?1
Celebrity skeptic Bart Ehrman of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill continues to produce books that he believes debunk the claims of evangelical believers concerning Jesus and the Bible. Continue reading . . .
Celebrity skeptic Bart Ehrman of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill continues to produce books that he believes debunk the claims of evangelical believers concerning Jesus and the Bible. The list of such books is almost endless, and it seems that each one immediately rushes to the top of many best-seller lists. Ehrman’s own website lists four books written in the last ten years that made it on The New York Times Best Sellers list (they are: Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why [Harper, 2005]; God’s Problem: How the Bible fails to Answer Our Most Important Question – Why We Suffer [HarperCollins, 2008]; Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don’t Know About Them) [HarperOne, 2009]; and Forged: Writing in the Name of God – Why the Bible’s Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are [HarperOne, 2001]).
Ehrman has published four more books in the past four years, each of which continues to sell at a rapid pace.
Simply put, skepticism sells.
My aim here isn’t to respond to Ehrman’s many volumes. That has been done by NT scholars who are far more qualified than I am to expose the fallacies in Ehrman’s arguments. My purpose is simply to direct your attention to two of the more helpful responses to Ehrman’s books. Both of these volumes are superb, not only in content but also in the manner or accessible style in which they are written.
The first book I strongly recommend is by Brant Pitre, Professor of Sacred Scripture at Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans. It is titled, The Case for Jesus: The Biblical and Historical Evidence for Christ (New York: Image, 2016), 241pp. Pitre addresses such issues as: Were the Gospels Anonymous? The Lost Gospels. Are the Gospels Biographies? The Dating of the Gospels. Did Jesus Think He Was God? and several more. He writes in a clear and engaging style and does an excellent job in refuting Ehrman’s misguided reasoning.
The second book is the collaborative effort of three authors: Andreas J. Kostenberger, Darrell L. Bock, and Josh D. Chatraw. It is titled, Truth in a Culture of Doubt: Engaging Skeptical Challenges to the Bible (Nashville: B & H Publishing Group, 2014), 194pp. This is a line upon line refutation of virtually every argument that Ehrman has put forth. When I finished reading it I realized once again that Bible-believing, Bible-trusting Christians have absolutely nothing to fear from so-called “scholarly skeptics” such as Ehrman.
I am more confident than ever that what we have in our Bibles is the inspired, historically accurate, inerrant, trustworthy, and therefore authoritative revelation of God to mankind. I strongly urge you to get both books and dig deeply into this issue. These authors will richly reward your efforts.