The Weird Reason Bart Ehrman Thinks 2 Thessalonians Is Forged

For almost 1800 years, there was solid consensus on the authorship of 2 Thessalonians. It made its way into Marcion’s canon around AD 140 and secured a place in the Muratorian Canon between 180 and 200. Esteemed figures like Polycarp, Ignatius, Justin Martyr alluded to it, and even Irenaeus directly referred to it. But, in today’s scholarly arena, doubts surface. Some scholars, like Bart Ehrman, vehemently contest Paul’s authorship, presenting a multitude of rather peculiar reasons. Ehrman writes: “What seems relatively certain is that someone after the time of Paul decided that he had to intervene in a situation where people were so eagerly anticipating the end, so eagerly, he suggests, that they were neglecting … Read more

The Case for Paul: Investigating Ephesians and Colossians’ True Authorship

In the world of Paul’s New Testament letters, most modern scholars only accept 7 out of the 13 attributed to him. This leaves a tough choice for believers: either discard six letters from the Bible or grapple with the notion of possible deceit within the New Testament. The writers of these disputed letters posed as Paul, urging honesty while deceiving others. (Eph. 4:25) But if modern scholarship’s arguments falter and evidence confirms Paul as the true author of all these letters, it’s their credibility that suffers, not the New Testament’s. Let’s now examine Ephesians and Colossians, often bundled together due to their resemblances, and explore their authorship. Different writing styles? In his book “Forged: Writing … Read more

Authorship Questions in 2 Peter: Debunking the Forgery Claim

The authenticity of the second letter of Peter has sparked debates since ancient times. While the early church embraced it as genuine, most modern scholars firmly label it as a forgery. On this point, New Testament scholar Bart Ehrman is quite emphatic: “There is less debate among scholars of the New Testament about the authorship of 2 Peter than for any of the other books sometimes considered forgeries. Whoever wrote 2 Peter, it was not Simon Peter.” (Forged: Writing in the Name of God, pg.80) The issues stem from several reasons: first, it lacks significant references from early church fathers, unlike many other books. Second, its writing style differs notably from Peter’s first epistle and … Read more

Unraveling the Genealogical Mystery: Resolving the Alleged Contradiction in the Gospels

The Gospels provide us with valuable teachings, history, and inspiration. However, they also contain parts that can be confusing, with apparent contradictions. One such challenge involves the family history of Jesus in Matthew and Luke. It seems like these genealogies don’t match up much at all, which can be puzzling. As noted biblical critic Bart Ehrman points out: “The real problem they pose, however, is that the two genealogies are actually quite different” (Jesus Interrupted, p. 37). But if we dig deeper and consider the historical context, we can find the real story behind this supposed contradiction. Matthew 1:16—“…and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is … Read more

Are The Doctrines of Christianity Effected By Textual Variants? Even Bart Ehrman Says No

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Bruce Metzger, a big shot in New Testament studies, is renowned for his meticulous research and comprehensive grasp of early Christian manuscripts. His work in textual criticism has significantly influenced the study of the Bible, earning him immense respect among his colleagues and students. Enter Bart Ehrman, an impressive scholar in his own right, who had the privilege of being Metzger’s student. Ehrman absorbed his mentor’s expertise and adopted his meticulous approach to biblical research. However, as he embarked on his own scholarly journey, Ehrman started questioning the fundamental beliefs he grew up with, leading to a shift in his religious perspective that diverged from Metzger’s. Ehrman’s bestseller, “Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed … Read more

What You Might’ve Missed About the Mount of Transfiguration

Does John’s Gospel give us a much higher view of Jesus than what we find in Matthew, Mark and Luke? Bart Ehrman certainly thinks so. He says:  If Jesus went around Galilee proclaiming himself to be a divine being sent from God…could anything else that he might say be so breath-taking and thunderously important? And yet none of these earlier sources says any such thing about him. Did they (all of them!) just decide not to mention the one thing that was most significant about Jesus? Almost certainly the divine self-claims in John are not historical. How Jesus Became God p 125 In other places, Ehrman admits that the Synoptic Gospels don’t depict Jesus as … Read more

Bart Ehrman’s Worst Argument Against John’s Christology

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Bart Ehrman is fond of saying that if Jesus really said “Before Abraham was, I am” and “I and my Father are one” the Synoptic Gospels would’ve surely reported it. Since they don’t report it, Ehrman infers that it didn’t happen. The author of John’s Gospel made it up. He writes: “If Jesus went around Galilee proclaiming himself to be a divine being sent from God . . . could anything else that he might say be so breathtaking and thunderously important? And yet none of these earlier sources [Matthew, Mark, and Luke] says any such thing about him. Did they (all of them!) just decide not to mention the one thing that was most significant … Read more

Is John’s Jesus Different Than The Synoptics?

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New Testament scholars often treat the Gospel of John like a red-headed stepchild. We’re often told that John presents a Jesus who is fundamentally different from the Synoptics. For example, here is the well-known NT critic Bart Ehrman:  …if Matthew and John were both written by earthly disciples of Jesus, why are they so very different, on all sorts of levels? … Why do they have such fundamentally different views of who Jesus was?… (interview with NPR 12/14/05) Ehrman certainly isn’t alone in his opinion here. Even Craig Evans, an evangelical New Testament scholar, concedes this point to Bart. He says: I suspect we (Ehrman and I) don’t have too much difference on John. My … Read more

Why Was Paul and Mark Silent About the Virgin Birth?

It’s Christmas time, and I can already hear the choruses. No, I’m not talking about Christmas carolers. I’m referring to the chorus of biblical critics and skeptics poo-pooing the Christmas narratives found in the Bible. A favorite argument of skeptics is that there’s scant mention of the virgin birth in the New Testament. It’s Matthew and Luke against the world.  For example, here’s an older quote from NT scholar Geza Vermes: “Considering the importance of the Virgin Mary in Christianity, the historian is struck by the scarcity of supporting evidence in the New Testament. St Paul never speaks of the virginal conception. All we learn from him is that Jesus had a Jewish mother.” And … Read more

Why Minimal Facts Isn’t Enough

Unpopular opinion time: I’m not a fan of the minimal facts argument for the  resurrection. I don’t think it works, and it might even do more harm than good. I know this is a rather spicy take. And I understand people who absolutely love minimal facts might want to click away. But hang on a second! I used to love this argument, too. So put down your torch and pitchforks for just a moment. Hear me out for a few minutes!   When I first got into apologetics, I came across Gary Habermas’ popular talk “The resurrection argument that changed a generation of scholars.” I was blown away. I bought Habermas and Licona’s popular level book … Read more

Is Jesus Alive?