I have watched many debates and talks that discuss the New Testament alleged contradictions. This has been a topic that grabbed my special interest ever since I was living in India. The reliability of the text of the New Testament is something that is particularly attacked in the Muslim world.
I hope Dr. Licona’s lecture on Bible Contradictions will help people realize that the contradictions are not really so. Also, you might want to watch some of Dr. Licona’s debates with Barth Erhman regarding the Resurrection of Jesus. You can easily find those on YouTube.
If you ever decide to give Dr. Erhman a chance to mess with your mind, I can assure you he will. I have come to appreciate him – only by watching his debates – and he seems like a nice, funny guy. Bart Erhman has made a living by writing books that create doubt in the minds of Christians. But that is all there is. He is good at casting doubt, but he kinda has a double standard.
In one of his famous books Misquoting Jesus, Erhman concludes that you cannot really trust the manuscripts, and therefore, you cannot really know what the original manuscripts of the New Testament said. However, in the same year when he wrote Misquoting Jesus (2005), he also cowrote an academic book called The Text of the New Testament with Bruce Metzger – the greatest manuscript scholar of the last century.
In The Text of the New Testament, Metzger and Erhman conclude that the manuscripts of the New Testament have been accurately copied, and that we know what the original ones said. So when Erhman writes for a lay audience, he says you cannot trust the manuscripts. But when he writes for an academic audience, Erhman says you can actually trust them.
Why would a respected scholar do this? Same year, same texts, but two different conclusions. I think Erhman knows he cannot get away with these conclusions within an audience that knows what he is talking about. But he can get away with it with the popular audience. And these books that cast doubt into the Bible text – unfortunately – are very popular and sell a lot of copies.
Actually, many Muslims adore Erhman because he is a former Christian who is now a critic of the New Testament. Muslims often exploit Ehrman’s work and parade his anti-Christian rhetoric in videos and articles. It is important to note, tough, that Erhman, along with the majority of serious scholarship, holds the view that Paul was a true disciple of Jesus Christ who met with the leaders of the early church shortly after Jesus’ crucifixion – not a usurper.
Also, Dr. Ehrman remarks that we can say with confidence that Jesus actually did die, he probably was buried, and that some of his disciples (all of them or some of them?) claimed to have seen Him alive afterward. Erhman also says that NO scribe EVER changed the cardinal doctrines of Christianity i.e. Council of Nicea (on the divinity of Christ).
Now that you have the background on who Dr. Bart Erhman is, you can enjoy the lecture 🙂
If you have doubts about the Christian faith, have you put those doubts *themselves* to the test as much as you have Christianity?