Bart Ehrman Says He Cherishes the Bible. Mistake?

Ethnic cleansing in the Bible (I Samuel 15)

 

Bart Ehrman, agnostic NT scholar, ex-fundamentalist Christian:

The Bible is obviously a large and extraordinarily multi-faceted book.  It is a book worth reading and reflecting on, whether or not one is personally a believer.  I myself am not, but I cherish the Bible and am deeply moved by parts of it.  And no part of it is more important in situations like this than those that reflect on the meaning of life.   In particular there are the books in the Hebrew Bible that scholars have called “Wisdom” literature, the books of Proverbs, Job, and Ecclesiastes, the last of which is my favorite, not just of the Wisdom books but of all the books of the Old Testament.

Source:  here

Gary, atheist counter-apologist, ex-fundamentalist Christian:

The Bible has been the cause of massive persecution, suffering, and mass murder. It may contain some fascinating stories and even a few pearls of wisdom, but for a recovering ex-fundamentalist Christian like yourself to say that he “cherishes it” is disturbing to say the least.

I see no difference between someone “cherishing” the Bible and someone cherishing Mein Kampf. Both books preach hate. Both books preach fanaticism (follow me and abandon all else, even your family), sectarianism and elitism (“the chosen ones”, “the righteous”, the Aryans), anti-Semitism (New Testament), racial purity and ethnic cleansing (Old Testament), both concepts found or implied in Mein Kampf, of course.

Please choose your words carefully, Dr. Ehrman. Every time you say something like this, my Christian relatives and their pastor proclaim that “Bart Ehrman is coming back to Jesus”.

 

 

 

End of post.

11 thoughts on “Bart Ehrman Says He Cherishes the Bible. Mistake?

  1. Cherish? Sure. Everyone is entitled to their own personal opinion and experiences. Truth? Certainty? No. Only an arrogant fool claims otherwise. Those humans around the world in ancient eras errantly spoke and scribed tales and myths for social effect, story-telling. Both ancient or modern humans often learn(ed) best by our mistakes, our trials, and our failures, some of them disastrous. And all human literature is and always will be plagued with some/many errors and biased distortions, as well as brilliant creativity, pragmatism, and imagination. And we humans are suckers for a tragedy and heroic suffering. Always have, always will. 😉

    “The Bible™,” whatever version or “approved Canon” you reference in a time-period and culture, language, and dialect, is NEVER a piece of 100% certainty or atomic precision. No human or human culture/religion can prove supreme authority or self-identified Monism outside of time. Never.

    Gary, your point and warning to Dr. Ehrman is definitely justified. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think you have to separate the Bible from religion. It was never intended to be what it has become. Read through a different lens the Bible has many connections to eastern philosophy and actual connections to the great non faith religions. I agree with Dr Ehman, really. Lighten up Gary and read it for it’s truthful connections to enlightenment that its religion falls short of at faith.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “great non faith religions”??

      To which religions are you referring?

      I hope you are not referring to Judaism (whose holy book encourages ethnic cleansing), Islam (whose holy book condones killing infidels), or Hindusim (whose holy book encourages treating a cow with more respect than your wife).

      Obviously, my view of Christianity is no better. The number of people murdered in the name of Jesus is probably in the hundreds of thousands if not millions.

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      1. Of course you can hammer away at those parts all you want. I have no problem with that. But someone who wrote the New Testament was also made aware of the of the eastern philosophies and the meditative arts. The Bible is full of them but Christians are generally unaware of that since it is not part of the religion to attain a rite of passage or enlightenment. It stops at the mindgame of Faith, which the eastern religions lack. You are being a bit pissy Gary, because you see the Bible as the religious text it was never meant to be. Whoever wrote the red writing of the Bible encoded these philosophies into it, but put Jesus on an untouchable pedestal over a claim that we all have a right to. ie; “I and the father are one”. The use of father, shows this person was still obsessed with his Hebrew roots, and I AM as another example. These are Buddhist/Hindu/Zen experiences when they see the whole game for what it is. We are it! All of it. Like deconstructing a hologram reveals that each pixel contains the total image. So it is when you realize “I AM” and the universe as a whole. The problem is when those attain this experience without the proper preparation take on the Jehovah effect© of self importance and start religions and bossing people around.
        So yes Gary, the Bible is an interesting text and contains many hidden truths the Christian is unaware of. You too, it appears.

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        1. I never denied that the Bible is an interesting text. I personally find some of its stories fascinating. Who can beat “Adam, Eve, and the Talking Snake”, “Noah and the Ark”, “Jonah and the Great Fish”, and “Jesus Walking on Water”. I also agree that one can find many wonderful philosophical principles in the Bible. The Beatitudes as a collection of humanistic principles is hard to beat. But as for its underlying theme—the worship of vindictive, capricious, invisible spirits—it is appalling. Taken as a whole it is a book of superstition, sectarianianism, and hate for those who dare to think and behave differently.

          Yes, the Bible is a fascinating book. And as a collection of ancient middle eastern writings, it is a masterpiece. But a book to “cherish”? Hardly.

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          1. I think you’re special pleading the key points of my reply. There are many non Christians that “cherish” parts of the Bible because they know what it’s alluding to while the Christian keeps his faith and goes nowhere.

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        2. I never denied that the Bible is an interesting text. I personally find some of its stories fascinating. Who can beat “Adam, Eve, and the Talking Snake”, “Noah and the Ark”, “Jonah and the Great Fish”, and “Jesus Walking on Water”. I also agree that one can find many wonderful philosophical principles in the Bible. The Beatitudes as a collection of humanistic principles is hard to beat. But as for its underlying theme—the worship of vindictive, capricious, invisible spirits—it is appalling. Taken as a whole it is a book of superstition, sectarianianism, and hate for those who dare to think and behave differently.

          Yes, the Bible is a fascinating book. And as a collection of ancient middle eastern writings, it is a masterpiece. But a book to “cherish”? Hardly.

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    1. No. I know he wants to maintain a non-biased reputation as a Bible scholar (to avoid being labeled an “angry atheist” and therefore someone Christians should ignore) but claiming to “cherish” a book that has spawned so much suffering and persecution is inexcusable in my opinion.

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  3. Hi, Gary, here I am again. Your prediction came true. LOL Seriously, I won’t hang around. Also, Gary hope you and your family are safe and well. There are very difficult times.

    Dr. Ehrman is at a different place than you, Gary. Your deconversion was very much centered in an altered view of Scripture, and you came to believe that many of these atrocities committed in the world are primarily caused by people following the Bible.

    I could be wrong about this but I think Dr. Ehrman’s deconversion was more centered in the reality of human suffering, and not based in his Biblical scholarship.

    The truth is most moderate and progressive Biblical scholars would agree with much of his scholarship, although, perhaps not all his conclusions. Many, if not all, are committed Christian believers. He is well respected by many people in the mainline churches.

    I think Dr. Ehrman is a Biblical scholar, not an anti-theist. As far as I can tell, he has zero interest in seeing people deconvert from Christian faith.

    Probably, he thinks as I do that overall the Scripture can be used for either good or evil purposes, depending on the motive and heart of the person.

    To give an example, I don’t think for one second that an authoritarian, abusive, controlling type man who is able to find justification for his ways and temperment toward his spouse from the interpretation of select verses in the Bible is about to abruptly change his ways because he deconverts and becomes non-religious.

    As a matter of fact, his latter state could actually become worse than the first.

    I can tell you that out of all the abuses I observed while working in the human service field, I don’t think a single one of them occurred because people where humbly and sincerely following Jesus Christ. If anything, I observed just the opposite. There were people who came to faith in Christ, whose lives were dramatically transformed for the good.

    Also, I don’t think any of these foolish people out protesting, not social distancing, or wearing masks are doing so because they read the Bible. No, they are civil libertarians, whose political views and concern for civil liberties have overtaken their good sense.

    There is another way of looking at all this, Gary. People are complex.

    I plan to read the Bible this morning, and then I’m putting on my mask, practicing social distancing and heading out to the grocery store. 🙂

    Pax.

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