Friday, May 02, 2008

Dan Wallace vs. Bart Ehrman: Is the New Testament Reliable?

Recently, best selling author of "Misquoting Jesus," Bart Ehrman, debated Greek scholar, Dan Wallace, on the textual reliability of the New Testament. Everyone needs to obtain this debate. This is indeed one of those debates where the best from each side go head-to-head on this issue. Why should you pay $10 for this? Because the question of our day is, "Why should I trust the New Testament?" With Islam, Atheism, and skepticism at its highest point in our culture, it is imperative that all Christians be equipped to defend the Bible. You can download the mp3 here.


Brian said...

Dude, you beat me to it. I was going to post the same link.

Let me just say that today I finished listening to the multiple mp3's that were supplied from the site for the $10. It is worth it.

Wallace vs. Ehrman was a classic debate. Two heavy-weights duking it out in a professional, scholarly exchange. Definitely worth the listen.

Thanks for posting this.

Anonymous said...

I just finished listening to every lecture in the series, and I must confess that I am rather impressed with Bart's position. He was a the only one defending his point of view in a room full of people who more or less agreed with Wallace (judging by the laughter). Bart does not budge, whereas (is it just me?) Wallace tip-toes around Bart's questions and spends more time attacking Ehrman rather than dealing with the text. This bothers me. If Wallace has a good point, why doesn't he just make it?

Vinny said...

The Wallace-Ehrman debate is probably worth the price of admission, but the Q&A's plus the sessions with Warren, Martin, Holmes and Parker make it a terrific value. I am an agnostic, but I have to give Wallace the nod in the opening statements. I do think that Ehrman did very well in the responses and I think both Holmes and Warren confirmed some of Ehrman's key points.

I give Wallace credit for what Josh may have perceived as tip-toeing. Unlike some debaters (e.g., James White), Wallace acknowledges the uncertainty in the evidence rather than blithely claiming that it overwhelmingly favors his position.

Mike Felker said...

Thanks for your comment Vinny. I'd just like to point out that certainty is the entire basis for James White's faith, so he defends his position accordingly. This is one prime difference between the presuppositionalist vs. evidentialist approach.

I'm sure if you cornered Wallace and asked him if he is certain enough of his core belief in the Bible to die for it, he would probably concede.

I'd also like to point out that Ehrman is the most certain of them all in insisting that in order for the Bible to be inspired, it has to be done with photographic certainty, or else its not inspired. In other words, no inspired text could contain textual variants according to Ehrman. And he is quite certain about his point.

The bottom line is I don't think it is a problem for one to claim certainty. The question is, is the position true or not?

Anonymous said...

When dealing with ancient texts, it is important to distinguish between absolute certainty and reasonable certainty. (Frankly, there are few things of which we can be absolutely certain.) Dr. Ehrman demands absolute certainty of the text. He seems to believe and preach that if you don’t have absolute certainty, then what the autographs said is completely up for grabs. This is extremely radical to say the least. I think it is fair to say we are reasonably certain what the autographs said.