Most readers with an interest in the mythicism debate are well aware that Paul never uses the term for “disciples” in any of his letters but only ever speaks of “apostles” — e.g. 1 Cor 9:1-5; 12:27, 29; 15:7, 9; 2 Cor 11:5; 12:11f; Gal 1.17, 19.
So what are we to make of the following exchange in the Ehrman/Price Post-Debate Show @ 22 min 30 sec . . . ?
|David Fitzgerald:||[Paul] never even uses the word disciple in any context ever in any of his [writing]. He never implies that Jesus had twelve of them. He never identifies the twelve. . . . .|
|James McGrath:||Are you thinking of apostle? Are you thinking of apostle?|
|David Fitzgerald:||He talks about apostles but when he describes what an apostle is it has nothing to do with being a disciple of Jesus who followed him around. . . .|
|Moderator:||[Attempts to intervene and redirect the discussion]|
|James McGrath:||It’s characteristic that mythicists don’t know the terminology that’s used in these sources. You have a superficial familiarity with it and then they’re confused by it and think that proves something. I think this actually illustrates an important point.|
|David Fitzgerald:||I don’t know why you’re here James, to be honest with you, because what else are you going to say besides shitting on mythicism?|
|Daniel Gullotta:||Because he’s an expert in [the New] Testament?|
|I’m going to point out you don’t know what the sources say. You don’t know the terminology. When a student in my class says the Bible is important and they talk about the Book of Revelations with an s at the end, I’m like, they haven’t even looked at the title carefully. I know there’s a [certain] familiarity; they’re paying lip service to the text. They don’t actually know it.|
|David Fitzgerald:||I’m not going to get into a pissing match about . . .|
|James McGrath:||No, this is not a pissing match. I’m talking about the evidence. I want you to talk about the evidence!|
(By the way, alone the above might read as if David is quick to express himself roughly with Professor McGrath but I suggest one might better appreciate the context by listening to the full discussion. Up to this point David had been interrupted and spoken over with polemic a few times.)
All this is understandable given the Professor’s earlier introductory remarks where he pointed out that the problem with engaging with mythicists was that such a process only advanced the mythicist cause. Hence, presumably, the interruption after a few words and latching on to a polemical response over only part of what was said and failing to even listen to the argument in full. This habit sadly explains why the same Professor can claim to have read mythicist books and even reviewed them while — as is obvious to anyone who has indeed read the books — completely failing to grasped their main point and flatly said they argue what they don’t, and don’t what they do, etc.
I might write more about the debate itself later. In brief, Ehrman simply repeated his arguments for a HJ explaining he was not going to address the mythicist case. And so the pretence continued …. even in to the post-debate circus as above.
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