• Bart Erhman

    by Published on 08-12-2015 03:55 PM     Number of Views: 349 
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    2. Bart Erhman

    There are no contemporary sources for Jesus outside of the gospels. How necessary is it for history to be written during their lifetime? If history is written after Jesus' life does that mean we have to reject it as untrustworthy? Was the NT written intentionally to make it appear as though Jesus rose for the dead? Does a person's biography have to be written while they are alive?

    Not even in the modern world let alone in the first century. In the first century, just prior or after, most of the major works were not written contemporary of a person. Earliest sources for Alexander were written 350 years after his death. The two best known sources for Alexander (Plutarch and Arian) are +425 to +450. John Dominic Crossan and Bart Ehrman when they are responding to whether we know if Jesus is a historical figure, both of them say Josephus and Tacitus are probably our very best non-Christian sources. Bart Ehrman lists a dozen independent sources for the crucifixion of Jesus. 4 of them are non-New Testament, two of them are historians. Josephus is approximately 60 years after Jesus died. And Tacitus is as much as 80 years after the cross. Two critical sources consider these fine sources. Crossan says these two sources alone would cause me to think Jesus really lived and those holding the Jesus myth are wrong. They don't have an issue with 60 or 80 years after Jesus.

    Does it pose a problem if the 4 gospels were not written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John?

    Not in the slightest. Whomever they were written by and the input given to them by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John is not important. What is important is they are our earliest sources within a decade after Jesus died on the cross. Historians highly value earliest sources. Even if you place these sources in the second half of the first century, they still make up sources that are closer to their events than for any writings in antiquity, thus, holding to the highest of standards.

    Early creedal texts such as in 1 Cor. 15 that take us back to what Christians reported in the early 30s AD makes so much sense compared to what Tacitus may have said.
    by Published on 04-24-2015 06:16 PM     Number of Views: 427 
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    2. Hell,
    3. Atheist, Agnostic, Agtheist,
    4. Bart Erhman

    The reason why I am a theist is because I can't get atheism to make sense. Atheism is false to me because the universe can't start up from nothing for that which does not exist can't cause anything. And the universe can't always have existed because if it did, by that definition, you would have had an eternity to come into being before now, so you should have already happened. More contradiction: you should never have existed, because an alleged past eternity would continue to go on for eternity by its definition, so it would never reach this point of your existence. The idea of a past eternity is a construct of man's imagination having no basis in reality.

    Since atheism is false and theism is true, which theism is the correct one? The correct theism has one uncreated Creator (more than one is self-contradictory) and this uncreated Creator is personal and accessible because He can't be less than us whom He created. Therefore, there are only 3 choices, because there are only 3 accessible faiths: Christianity, Islam and Hinduism.

    But Islam is false because you can't come along six centuries later in a cave all by yourself without any evidence and claim Jesus didn't die on the cross. Jesus' death on the cross is one of the most attested and proven facts of antiquity with scores of both Christian and non-Christian sources in the 1st and 2nd centuries. Hinduism is false because it would be unfair if due to your sin you become a frog and your destiny is determined by giving you a frog brain to decide how to behave. Furthermore, the God of Hinduism is Brahma who is said to be amoral, but how can God have morals below our own? So you get this one life to decide.

    That leaves Christianity. To this day nobody has been able to find a naturalistic explanation to account for the eyewitness testimony of the Apostles in various group settings. The 4 most famous atheists in the past century Anthony Flew (later turned deist), John Dominic Crossan, Marcus Borg and Bart Ehrman agreed on certain facts: (1) the Apostles truly believed they saw Jesus alive from the dead, (2) group hallucinations are impossible, (3) the first churches were set up on the resurrection of Jesus, and (4) the Apostles did not willingly die for what they knew was a lie. People do not allow themselves to cease to exist based on something they don't believe.

    Therefore, the only solution is Jesus is God, salvation is in Him alone, and those who reject what He did on the cross are going to Hell.
    by Published on 09-28-2010 09:02 AM     Number of Views: 1283 
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    2. Bart Erhman

    Bart Erhman is more honest than most atheists, but the facts he concedes still necessitates the resurrection of Jesus.