by Neil Godfrey
Until I can get time to do my own reading and comments on Bart Ehrman’s “new book”© I invite anyone who has not yet checked it out to visit the Freeratio discussion board and enjoy the discussion there. Bart Ehrman himself has made an appearance, though a none too auspicious one. He apparently attempted to declare Steven Carr something of a false prophet because he (Ehrman) really had discussed Doherty quite a bit in his “new book”. Unfortunately, the prophecy Carr made was that Ehrman would avoid addressing Doherty’s “top 20 silences” in Paul. Steven Carr’s prophecy came true. Ehrman did not address them if the results of my machine word-search are reliable. Ehrman also attempted to declare Carr a false prophet for predicting that the “new book” would make much of Galatians 1 where James is said to be “the brother of the Lord”. Half a point on that one. Ehrman certainly did make much of that very point in his Huffington Post article.
Earl Doherty also addresses the forum. One comment:
At this stage, one can only comment on the material that has been made available. And it isn’t looking good. The two weakest and most disreputable apologetic rejoinders seem to be offered front and center by Ehrman: the appeal to authority and the demonization of mythicists as horned antagonists with an agenda against Christianity, supported by that pivotal argument that “brother of the Lord” has to mean sibling, case closed. Those of us who tentatively anticipate from this that the book as a whole will not offer much better, and even be something of a joke and a nail in the coffin of historicism, are perhaps to be forgiven.
What actually gives me pause to be that dismissive is my natural reluctance to think that a reputable scholar like Ehrman *would* give us nothing better than that, and that all the investment by historicists in claims that mythicism has nothing to stand on and that the case for historicism is overwhelming should result in a long-awaited annihilation of mythicism which shows every sign of being a head-shaking disappointment.
I guess time will shortly tell.
That’s my assessment so far, too.
And having recently posted a series on Couchoud — who speaks with fulsome praise of Christianity as a religion and for all its contributions to our civilization — I was disappointed to see Bart Ehrman apparently knows nothing of Couchoud’s existence. This is despite the fact that he was addressed quite frequently, and in scholarly works, by the likes of such prominent lights as Loisy and Guignebert. But Ehrman indicates in his work that he only knows the history of mythicism from Albert Schweitzer’s book which, of course, predated Couchoud. So that period of which Ehrman is ignorant he calls “a relative hiatus” in mythicism. The reason this is a pity is because Couchoud is the strongest testimony I know to mythicism being anything but an anti-Christian vendetta or driven by some hostile anti-religious agenda, yet Ehrman repeatedly asserts mythicism is driven by an anti-Christian agenda and for this reason its advocates are not open to evidence to the contrary.
I fear it is going to be tiresome when I do get the time to address Ehrman’s “new book”. So far — I do hope I’m in for some pleasant surprises — it appears to contain nothing of substance that is new at all.
Anyway, there’s some enjoyable discussion of FRDB at the moment. I look forward to catching up with it myself as soon as work pressures ease up a bit: http://www.freeratio.org/showthread.php?t=312749