Is Bart Ehrman right when he says Ephesians and Colossians were Forged?

Out of the 13 letters of Paul found in the New Testament, skeptical critics like Bart Ehrman will only grant that 7 of them are genuine. (Those would be Romans, 1&2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, and Philemon, in case you were wondering) That leaves Christians in a precarious situation — either throw out six books in their Bible or acknowledge that the New Testament contains some pious lies. Whoever wrote these letters passed themselves off as Paul.  They didn’t practice what they preached when they admonished believers to “put away falsehood”. (Eph. 4:25) But if Ehrman’s arguments turn out to be weak and there’s good evidence that Paul wrote all of the letters, then … Read more

Episode 4 – 18 Passages That Prove Bart Ehrman Wrong: Mark Believes Jesus is God

Bart Ehrman says that Mark has a much lower Christology than John does. Since Mark is the first gospel to be written, there’s some obvious legendary development that happened. But is that really true? Here I go over 18 different passages that show that Mark had just as high of a Christology as John. NOTES: Does the Gospel of Mark Present Jesus as God? – Michael J. Kruger 18 Passages From Mark’s Gospel That Prove That Mark Had a High Christology Bart Ehrman Stumbles Upon the Deity of Christ – Brant Pitre asks Erhman about the deity of Christ in Mark The Case for Jesus (book) – Brant Pitre Erik ManningErik is a Reasonable Faith … Read more

John Douglas’ Criterion: A Common Sense Guide for Judging Historical Miracle Claims For People Who Want to Avoid Being Totally Closed-Minded

Christian doctrine is predicated on Jesus’ miracles. This is especially true concerning the resurrection. But don’t other religions make miracle claims too? With so many miracle claims in so many other faiths, how can anyone use miracles as evidence for a particular religion? This was one of the famous 18th-century Scottish philosopher David Hume’s favorite arguments against Christianity. His essay Of Miracles is still considered by many to be the death-knell to anyone who would try and argue for signs and wonders as an evidential basis for their faith. Hume wrote: “…that there is no testimony for any, even those which have not been expressly detected, that is not opposed by an infinite number of … Read more

Is Bart Ehrman Right When He Says That 2 Thessalonians is a Forgery?

When Christians read Paul’s letters, they don’t treat them like any old letter. Paul’s epistles are part of God’s inspired word. But out of the 13 letters of Paul, skeptical critics like Bart Ehrman say that only 7 of them were truly written by the apostle. That would be 1 Thessalonians, Galatians, 1+2 Corinthians, Philippians, Philemon, and Romans, in case you were wondering. The rest are forgeries. If true, this is corrosive for the believer’s trust in the Bible. Ehrman lays down some unwelcome practical application for the faithful regarding forgery in the Bible: “…the authors of these lies were no doubt like nearly everyone else in the world, ancient and modern; they too probably … Read more

Podcast Episode 2 – Answering Ehrman: Why We Won’t Abuse Our Free Will in Heaven

Noted agnostic and Biblical scholar says that the free-will defense doesn’t get God off the hook for allowing evil, mainly because Christians are committed to the doctrine of heaven. If God can have a perfect world where people don’t abuse their free will, why not just create us in that world? This is a common objection that Ehrman says the Bible doesn’t adequately answer. Here I hope to show that the Bible actually does have a lot to say in answering this tough objection. Recommended links: Unbelievable? 10 Jan 2009 The problem of suffering – Ehrman & Swinburne Blog post by myself on the topic Blog post by Dr. Clay Jones – Ehrman’s Problem 4: … Read more

Forgery in the Bible: Were 1 and 2 Timothy really forged? (Part 2)

In his letter to the Romans, we learn that Paul was accused of lying in order to bring more glory to God. Some slanderously claimed that Paul would say “let us do evil that good may result”. Paul, not known to mince words, responded tersely: “their condemnation is just!” (Romans 3:4-8) For Paul, lying in the name of God was definitely not OK, even if it was for a good cause. But that is precisely what the Pastoral epistles do, according to critical scholars like Bart Ehrman. Allegedly someone wanted to borrow Paul’s gravitas and so used his name to address some in-house church issues, particularly in 1 and 2 Timothy.  In my first post, … Read more

Forgery in the Bible: Were 1 and 2 Timothy really forged in Paul’s name? (Part One)

2 Timothy 3:16 says that all Scripture is “God-breathed.” Of course for Christians, this would include 2 Timothy, as well as the rest of the pastoral epistles. Skeptics find this verse to be ironic because many biblical critics think that the pastoral epistles were forgeries.  These letters claim to be written by the Apostle Paul, but they allegedly were really written sometime in the early 2nd-century, long after Paul was dead. Apparently the forger wanted to address some doctrinal issues and their own name wasn’t authoritative enough, so they borrowed Paul’s. So the “God-breathed” New Testament apparently contains some pious lies.  But are the critical arguments against the Pauline authorship of the Pastoral Epistles really … Read more

Did Jesus cleanse the temple twice? Was he throwing a temper tantrum?

Noted biblical scholar and critic Bart Ehrman says that the gospels have hopelessly irreconcilable differences. Therefore they can’t be trusted as reliable documents. One big difference would be the story of the cleansing of the Temple when you compare John and Mark (and the other synoptic gospels). Here’s Bart:  The Gospel of Mark indicates that it was in the last week of his life that Jesus “cleansed the Temple” by overturning the tables of the money changers and saying, “This is to be a house of prayer…but you have made it a den of thieves” (Mark 11), whereas according to John this happened at the very beginning of Jesus’ ministry (John 2). Some readers have … Read more

Does Mark make a historical blunder regarding the ritual of Jewish handwashing?

Critics love to say the gospels aren’t trustworthy because they’re full of historical blunders. One such alleged error that often gets brought up is that Mark goofs regarding ritual purification, namely the Jewish custom of handwashing. Here’s biblical critic Bart Ehrman: “Their ignorance of Palestinian geography and Jewish customs suggests they composed their works somewhere else in the empire…Mark 7:3 indicates that the Pharisees ‘and all the Jews’ washed their hands before eating, so as to observe ‘the tradition of the elders.’ This is not true: most Jews did not engage in this ritual.” Jesus, Interrupted p 287 Bart has a point. If you read the Mosaic law, this was to be practiced by the … Read more

84 reasons why we know Luke was a traveling companion and eyewitness of the miraculous life of the Apostle Paul

Bart Ehrman claims that Luke wasn’t really a traveling companion of Paul. In his book Forged, Bart writes: “(The author of Acts) is simply claiming to be a traveling companion of Paul’s and therefore unusually well suited to give a “true” account of Paul’s message and mission. But he almost certainly was not a companion of Paul’s. On the one hand, he was writing long after Paul and his companions were dead. Scholars usually date Acts to around 85 CE or so, over two decades after Paul’s death. On the other hand, he seems to be far too poorly informed about Paul’s theology and missionary activities to have been someone with firsthand knowledge.”  (Forged: Writing in … Read more