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Dee Dee and Lao discuss Bart Ehrman and the Koran

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  • Dee Dee and Lao discuss Bart Ehrman and the Koran

    Originally posted by Dee Dee Warren
    The same reason comfortable and rich Bart Ehrman won't be consistent in his application of his hyperskepticalism on textual issues to the Koran. He said it quite plainly, he values his life.
    *ahem*

    Now, Deeds, you know that's over the top. The "values his life" bit was a joke, in the graveyard humor genre. The real reason he doesn't engage on the Qur'an the way he does on the Bible is because he hasn't spent his entire academic career studying the Qur'an, learning the languages relevant to its creation, and working with relevant texts from contemporary societies, not that there's anything like the same richness of material associated with the Qur'an.

    And he's hardly a hyperskepticalist. If you're going to pin that label on him, whatever are you going to do with Robert Price? Besides, as any number of apologists have been quick to point out, as Ehrman himself has confessed directly, the major critical themes he presents in his popular books are both well-known and uncontroversial in scholarly settings. In fact, he's barely a skeptic at all. His claim to fame amongst evangelicals is solely that he's brought the scholarship into the pews from out of the ivory towers.

    Moreover, until the breakup of the Catholic Church, anyone engaged in textual criticism, by, say, arguing against Mosaic authorship, had best be doing so from somewhere outside the reach of the Catholic Church. There's nothing the Muslims do with Qur'anic critics today that wasn't once done by Christians to Biblical critics prior to the Protestant Reformation. It was all too easy to get burned at the stake, with a spike through your tongue back then.

    The "Why don't you go after the Muslims?" thing is achingly close to a plea to Christians to return to that kind of atrocity.

    As ever, Jesse

  • #2
    No jerk, I listened to that debate in context and it wasn't solely humour. I think I need to find it and extract the whole context here as you are flot wrong on this, as you were in the past. He doesn't need to have studied the Koranic history- he flat out refuses to concede that IF such and such WERE true about the Koran THEN similar conclusions would follow. When he was pressed he flew into a ridiculous tizzy claiming White accused him if being a Muslim! Nothing rationally in the context even hinted at that, it was desperate deflection. He is a COWARD.

    Claiming that Ehrman isn't really a skeptic at all is absolutely ridiculous. He is hyperskeptic to the utmost. His standard is basically requiring a photocopier within a few years of the original and even then he might not be sure.

    Over the top is your statement that my question is asking for a return to those days. Nope I condemn the actions of fundamentalist Islam. My question is quite obviously rhetorical to show that the activists are not going after the religious people who disagree with them equally - just the group that isn't likely to blow them up.
    Last edited by Darth Xena; 03-07-2014, 11:29 AM.
    The State. Ideas so good they have to be mandatory.

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    • #3
      Now, Deeds, you know that's over the top. The "values his life" bit was a joke, in the graveyard humor genre. The real reason he doesn't engage on the Qur'an the way he does on the Bible is because he hasn't spent his entire academic career studying the Qur'an, learning the languages relevant to its creation, and working with relevant texts from contemporary societies, not that there's anything like the same richness of material associated with the Qur'an.
      As promised (part one) I dug up the clip, and from a skeptical blog at that (ArchayaS is the author,ugh)….. Here is the exact quote:

      Question: “How about working on the Koran?” Ehrman’s answer: “When I stop valuing my life, that’s what I’ll do.”
      http://freethoughtnation.com/bible-c...n-islamophobe/

      He wasn't asked in that clip to answer something about the Koran and beg off because he hasn't done the study as the Jerk,[™] least implied, but he explained WHY he will not do the work at all even though his general principles that he brings to Biblical textual criticism can be applied to the Koran. I seem to recall (but I need to find) where he had no problem applying the general principles to other nonvolatile works (Greek and Roman authors) and state that we don't really know what the originals said. By his own arguments, absolutely we CANNOT know what the original Koran said, but he will NEVER say that. I understand why, but to try to pretend that oh well, he just hasn't studied it, is hopelessly unrealistic. His arguments again, require basically a photocopier right after the original. In fact the arguments he makes apply pretty directly to the Koran which doesn't have the wild and free disbursement and multi-focality that the Bible has-- at least not after the Uthmanic Recension which froze the text and buried the past textual history. He can make money and be quite safe and comfy taking shots at Christianity. Sure, it was also funny, but the funniest things are often TRUE but usually unsaid-- and when someone actually utters the bare truth, it is funny.

      If Ehrman did to the Koran what he does with the Bible, he would have a price on his head. That is quite simply true.

      Next up (will likely be longer as I might have to listen to several hours to find it and don't have time right now) will be the clip where White challenged him on this and he throws petulant foot stomping accusing White of calling him a Muslim. There is no drug-free reality in which that kind of comment was ever implied by White. It was so clearly a distraction, much the way when sexual sins are discussed, homosexual activists say that Christians are truly to say they commit incest, or rape, or bestiality. No. And Ehrman is smarter than that. He knew precisely what he was doing.

      And perhaps I was too hasty to simply label him a coward as opposed to what "most" people would do. I do think he whores himself out with some really silly ideas, but also, doing something purposefully to make oneself a death target is not something I would be eager to do either, nor would many. It is the hypocrisy I was trying to point out, not the cowardice, as I am probably just as big of one.
      The State. Ideas so good they have to be mandatory.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Dee Dee Warren View Post
        As promised (part one) I dug up the clip, and from a skeptical blog at that (ArchayaS is the author,ugh)….. Here is the exact quote:

        http://freethoughtnation.com/bible-c...n-islamophobe/

        He wasn't asked in that clip to answer something about the Koran and beg off because he hasn't done the study as the Jerk,[™] least implied, but he explained WHY he will not do the work at all even though his general principles that he brings to Biblical textual criticism can be applied to the Koran.
        The Cannibal's so far off her feed she's forgotten how to use her Mac.

        It's option-2 for ™, Deeds.



        If you've watched any video with Bart Ehrman, you know he often enough begins a response with a joke, and that he almost always goes on to a more considered answer. This was different, but a 13-second clip is far less an exact quote than 13 seconds ripped out of their context. You didn't dig. You didn't even try. For instance, did you notice the "bible-critic-dr-bart-ehrman-an-islamophobe" in your link? Let's not pretend this is a sympathetic source.

        Your video has a banner behind the speakers. Give you any ideas?

        Here, let me google that for you.

        Your skeptical source is Achaya S's clip of a video in which Ehrman debunks Achaya S's pet cow, eliciting this gem from Achaya S in response. It's not a skeptical source. Being a skeptic isn't a set of beliefs defined by their opposition to other beliefs; it's a practice of checking things out, especially with a willingness to change your beliefs, and most especially when you don't like the answers.

        I seem to recall (but I need to find) where he had no problem applying the general principles to other nonvolatile works (Greek and Roman authors) and state that we don't really know what the originals said. By his own arguments, absolutely we CANNOT know what the original Koran said, but he will NEVER say that. I understand why, but to try to pretend that oh well, he just hasn't studied it, is hopelessly unrealistic.
        So what if he did. "We can't know what the original Qur'an said" is not a book. It's not even a pamphlet. It's a single frame in a pamphlet. By Chick.

        Here's what makes a book. Ehrman believes eleven of the 27 New Testament books are forged, and wrote a book by that name presenting detailed arguments. As part of the publicity for that book, in March, 2011, he spent an hour on stage at the Commonwealth Club discussing some of those details and answering questions selected by the moderator, one of which was, "How about a new book? How about working on the Qur'an?" It was asked as a joke, and it got a joke in response. It was irrelevant to the discussion.

        The focus on that exchange is a distraction from a discussion of Forged.

        His arguments again, require basically a photocopier right after the original.
        Either you've never studied his arguments, or you expect I haven't, and quite possibly both. In charity, I'll assume the former. No scholar needs a photocopy to see the inconsistency between the elegant Greek of the gospel of Peter and Peter's description as agrammatos in the canonical gospels. Similarly, within the canon, the clear changes in style between the first and second epistles of Peter mark them as written by different authors. Without appeal to a photocopier, merely by mathematical necessity, no more than one of those authors could be Peter.

        This isn't hyper-skeptical. It's the majority of biblical scholarship. If you look at the texts they're looking at, their conclusions are obvious. The methods apply as readily to canonical texts as they do to the non-canonical.

        That is what upsets evangelicals.

        In response, they whine about the messenger and look for distractions to smother the news they don't want to hear: It is well known within academia that better than a third of the New Testament is pseudepigraphical.

        Ehrman will never be popular with folks who need a different history to be true. If they make it easy to tell who they are by asking questions about why he doesn't publish on Islamic writings, so much the better for the rest of us.

        In fact the arguments he makes apply pretty directly to the Koran which doesn't have the wild and free disbursement and multi-focality that the Bible has-- at least not after the Uthmanic Recension which froze the text and buried the past textual history. He can make money and be quite safe and comfy taking shots at Christianity. Sure, it was also funny, but the funniest things are often TRUE but usually unsaid-- and when someone actually utters the bare truth, it is funny.

        If Ehrman did to the Koran what he does with the Bible, he would have a price on his head. That is quite simply true.
        The Uthmanic Rescension wasn't complete. There is a palimpsest fragment from Yemen showing substantive difference from an earlier version. Found in 1972 with other early manuscripts and fragments, it's a subject of current scholarship into early Islam that parallels scholarship into early Christianity. But it's no more Ehrman's field than the Qur'an is the Bible or that sixth century Arabia is first century Palestine.

        These sacred texts don't share the same associated manuscripts and literature and more, they don't have the same depth. Unlike most of the individual books of the Bible, you can recite the Qur'an in an hour. Their respective audiences didn't speak the same languages; they shared few of the same religious traditions, and what they did share was passed down into Islam severely abridged and heavily distorted, befitting transmission from a literate to an oral culture. Scholarship in the one does not translate to scholarship in the other.

        Next up (will likely be longer as I might have to listen to several hours to find it and don't have time right now) will be the clip where White challenged him on this and he throws petulant foot stomping accusing White of calling him a Muslim.
        By all means, spend several hours looking for James White, PhD cum Jorge, to trot out the same distraction from Misquoting Jesus. White was getting whipped on the scholarship his chosen academic path so studiously allowed him to avoid. He was more in dire need of a distraction than any White man in history. James is a hair-do, as fake as his PhD.

        There is no drug-free reality in which that kind of comment was ever implied by White. It was so clearly a distraction, much the way when sexual sins are discussed, homosexual activists say that Christians are truly to say they commit incest, or rape, or bestiality. No. And Ehrman is smarter than that. He knew precisely what he was doing.

        And perhaps I was too hasty to simply label him a coward as opposed to what "most" people would do. I do think he whores himself out with some really silly ideas, but also, doing something purposefully to make oneself a death target is not something I would be eager to do either, nor would many. It is the hypocrisy I was trying to point out, not the cowardice, as I am probably just as big of one.
        The question itself was a distraction from a discussion of Misquoting Jesus. And since you put it out there, a distraction by a whore whose much-regarded panties Ehrman could never hope to drop.

        You've figured out the answer isn't cowardice, or at least cowardice that amounts to a meaningful accusation. It's not hypocrisy either. He's a scholar writing in his own field. He's spreading before the general public what he and his fellow scholars have known for decades about Jesus, early Christianity, and the sacred texts of Christians. That is not an attack, let alone an attack that needs balancing with a similar attack on Islam and the Qur'an.

        "What about the Qur'an" is a "don't look at me, look at them" response. It's a child's finger covered with fudge pointing at a sibling, saying "Susie did it, too." It's a flight from the adult responsibility to answer adult questions.

        Ehrman writes about what's known about the New Testament as a book and about Jesus as a man, popularizing themes around which the dust has long settled. When he writes in Newsweek, What Do We Really Know About Jesus, he's not making this up.
        Just to belabor the point, these views are those of every biblical scholar teaching at every major research university in North America that I’m aware of. Just take your pick. Ivy League schools: Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Cornell, etc. Other outstanding private colleges and universities: Mount Holyoke to Stanford to … choose any geographically between these two. And all the major state research universities (at least the ones I know of), whether West Coast – UC Berkeley, University of Washington, University of Oregon; Midwest – Kansas, Texas, Nebraska, Ohio State, Michigan; East Coast – North Carolina State, Florida State, Florida, Virginia. And on and on and on. I don’t know of a biblical scholar teaching at a major research university in the country that thinks the Gospel narratives – or the infancy narratives, to be more specific – are free of discrepancies and historically accurate.

        Is he misrepresenting these institutions? I don't think so. Academics speak out loudly when their institutions are misrepresented, and if that's an argument from silence, it's silence in a filled and very public auditorium.

        As ever, Jesse

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        • #5
          I will respond to these points later as I have time.

          One point at a time.

          For instance, did you notice the "bible-critic-dr-bart-ehrman-an-islamophobe" in your link? Let's not pretend this is a sympathetic source.
          Of course I did. I thought it a hilarious way to show how ridiculous the "if you say anything bad about anyone you are a ----phobe." I purposefully chose that source as they are not sympathetic to the Bible and have every reason to support Ehrman. I don't think he is an Islamaphobe, he is rightfully scared to say anything.

          Actually reading your frothing against White and arguing points that are irrelevant, I will stick to this point:

          The Uthmanic Rescension wasn't complete.
          I know that. No one can completely wipe out any text's history, but it damaged it enough that we cannot know what the original said and Ehrman's arguments vis a vis the Bible would lead clearly to that conclusion but he won't say it. He has no problem saying it about other texts that aren't his field. Why not the Koran? Oh yeah, that's right, he told us why. He values his life.

          I will still though find that clip from the White debate. Ehrman's ridiculous claim later that White tried to say he was a Mulsim is indefensible. And I think others will like that link, your statement that White was getting beat in his field of study is ludicrous. Some may not think he won (obviously I do), but no fair-minded person think it was as you represented whatsoever…. inveterate bias is showing.
          Last edited by Darth Xena; 03-08-2014, 07:02 PM.
          The State. Ideas so good they have to be mandatory.

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          • #6
            Here is a quote from White that some may find interesting:

            "I was especially interested in his tremendous fear to even talk about the Qur'an and Islam. I thought Dr. Ehrman is a professor of religious studies? The chair of that department, in fact? Yet he professed utter ignorance of Islam last night, once even accusing me of trying to "liken" him to a Muslim! He simply refused to comment on the Qur'an whatsoever, not even theoretically answering the question that if the Qur'an has textual variants, would this not mean that the Qur'an is misquoting Muhammad? His unwillingness to apply his own hyper-skepticism to anything other than Christianity betrays his deep bias and prejudice. He knew that to be consistent he would have to say the Qur'an misquotes Muhammad, but Dr. Ehrman is a good post-modernist liberal, and quite politically correct. He avoided that like the plague, though, obviously, he would have to say that very thing, if he was consistent."

            http://www.aomin.org/aoblog/index.ph...e-head-to-sea/

            And that article gives me a date for the Dividing Line episode I was seeking that has the clips.

            Asking someone to be consistent isn't off topic for the debate. It is the same principles.

            And this shows that the "joke" had truth behind it. The funniest ones do. Ehrman will NEVER say a thing against the Koran, even a hypothetical. He knows that could put a price on his head.
            Last edited by Darth Xena; 03-08-2014, 07:10 PM.
            The State. Ideas so good they have to be mandatory.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Dee Dee Warren View Post
              Here is a quote from White that some may find interesting:

              And this shows that the "joke" had truth behind it. The funniest ones do. Ehrman will NEVER say a thing against the Koran, even a hypothetical. He knows that could put a price on his head.
              So if you are, let's say, one of the world's recognized authorities on the Roman Empire, and someone challenges you to provide full detail on the rise of Shinto in Japan on the grounds that you are a historian and therefore ought to know all there is about everything in history, you'd regard this as a legitimate criticism?

              And if you said "I have never studied Shinto, I can't speak ancient Japanese or read it, and this isn't my area of expertise at all", how would you like it if your critic said "see, you're just afraid of the ninjas coming to chop your head off, so you're too cowardly to speak." Would you regard THAT as valid criticism?

              Ehrman is a specialist on the history of a small part of the world during a brief period of time. Most people would regard him as wise not to start pontificating about other times and places and languages he knows nothing about, on the grounds that his attacker falsely claims he SHOULD know all about it.

              How many different kinds of doctors specialize on the human body from the neck up? How legitimate would it be to badmouth them for not knowing everything the others know?

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              • #8
                Phank as said on the other thread, having to work all weekend, but I believe the response was already in the quote by White so nothing further needed.
                The State. Ideas so good they have to be mandatory.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by phank View Post
                  So if you are, let's say, one of the world's recognized authorities on the Roman Empire, and someone challenges you to provide full detail on the rise of Shinto in Japan on the grounds that you are a historian and therefore ought to know all there is about everything in history, you'd regard this as a legitimate criticism?

                  And if you said "I have never studied Shinto, I can't speak ancient Japanese or read it, and this isn't my area of expertise at all", how would you like it if your critic said "see, you're just afraid of the ninjas coming to chop your head off, so you're too cowardly to speak." Would you regard THAT as valid criticism?

                  Ehrman is a specialist on the history of a small part of the world during a brief period of time. Most people would regard him as wise not to start pontificating about other times and places and languages he knows nothing about, on the grounds that his attacker falsely claims he SHOULD know all about it.

                  How many different kinds of doctors specialize on the human body from the neck up? How legitimate would it be to badmouth them for not knowing everything the others know?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Dee Dee Warren View Post
                    I will respond to these points later as I have time.
                    Please do.

                    One point at a time.
                    Dismissing the points unanswered isn't a response, Deeds.

                    Of course I did. I thought it a hilarious way to show how ridiculous the "if you say anything bad about anyone you are a ----phobe." I purposefully chose that source as they are not sympathetic to the Bible and have every reason to support Ehrman. I don't think he is an Islamaphobe, he is rightfully scared to say anything.
                    "Every reason to support Ehrman." What is that supposed to mean? It's directly contradicted at the link I shared above in which Ehrman grinds Murdock's mythicist position into the proverbial dust. The girl's got an axe to grind on him, and everybody knows it. So do Carrier, Doherty, and the rest of the gang. They wrote a book together, doing just that:

                    Bart Ehrman and the Quest of the Historical Jesus of Nazareth
                    Richard Carrier Ph.D. (Author), D.M. Murdock (Author), René Salm (Author), Earl Doherty (Author), David Fitzgerald (Author), Robert M. Price Ph.D. (Editor), Frank R. Zindler (Editor)

                    Actually reading your frothing against White and arguing points that are irrelevant
                    This is why you can't have nice things. The guy's a spokesman for conservative Christianity, with a fake ThM, ThD and DMin. Do you get up in arms about it, forcing him out of his position, which is exactly what would happen to a secular pundit? Oh hell no! That's ignored. It's "irrelevant." The guy's a fraud and you look the other way. Anybody mentioning his pellucid raiments is "frothing."

                    You don't get it. Okay. Let me be clear. I would lose both of my current jobs for doing what White's done. No other questions asked. That's a fact. Because I don't live in the protected bubble of evangelical punditry that lets folks get away with this.

                    Evangelical punditry is a laughingstock, and it will never earn respect outside of Christianity until you impose some standards, and stick to them.

                    No one can completely wipe out any text's history, but it damaged it enough that we cannot know what the original said and Ehrman's arguments vis a vis the Bible would lead clearly to that conclusion but he won't say it. He has no problem saying it about other texts that aren't his field.
                    Here, again, is an Ehrman argument: Read 1 Peter in the Greek. Read 2 Peter in the Greek. It's not the same author. Hence, at least one is a pseudepigraph. Please, do tell me how that argument leads to the same conclusion about anything in the Arabic Qur'an.

                    You're caricaturing his arguments, even after they've been displayed in front of you, forcing them to be repeated. Is it fear or just laziness?

                    Why not the Koran? Oh yeah, that's right, he told us why. He values his life.

                    I will still though find that clip from the White debate. Ehrman's ridiculous claim later that White tried to say he was a Mulsim is indefensible. And I think others will like that link, your statement that White was getting beat in his field of study is ludicrous. Some may not think he won (obviously I do), but no fair-minded person think it was as you represented whatsoever…. inveterate bias is showing.
                    White doesn't have a field. Outside conservative Christian campuses, he could never get a job in front of a class. Diploma mill degrees speak for themselves, and they say all that's needed about the institutions that allow them.

                    Originally posted by Dee Dee Warren View Post
                    Here is a quote from White that some may find interesting:
                    "I was especially interested in his tremendous fear to even talk about the Qur'an and Islam. I thought Dr. Ehrman is a professor of religious studies? The chair of that department, in fact? Yet he professed utter ignorance of Islam last night, once even accusing me of trying to "liken" him to a Muslim! He simply refused to comment on the Qur'an whatsoever, not even theoretically answering the question that if the Qur'an has textual variants, would this not mean that the Qur'an is misquoting Muhammad? His unwillingness to apply his own hyper-skepticism to anything other than Christianity betrays his deep bias and prejudice. He knew that to be consistent he would have to say the Qur'an misquotes Muhammad, but Dr. Ehrman is a good post-modernist liberal, and quite politically correct. He avoided that like the plague, though, obviously, he would have to say that very thing, if he was consistent."

                    http://www.aomin.org/aoblog/index.ph...e-head-to-sea/

                    And that article gives me a date for the Dividing Line episode I was seeking that has the clips.

                    Asking someone to be consistent isn't off topic for the debate. It is the same principles.
                    White can afford to hand-wave around the Qur'an or the Book of Mormon, or any other topic he wishes to examine, because he has no academic reputation to lose, and lacks the academic training that would tell him otherwise. This is what he learned from his correspondence degrees: You don't have to submit your work to a committee of experts to have it picked apart, and you don't have to make corrections. Expecting those who do have an academic reputation to follow the same standards is what makes White a joke.

                    Hand-waving about things he knows little about is entirely consistent for White. For Ehrman, not so much. Speaking outside your field is the most commonly discovered mine field in academia. An academic chair is even more constrained, because he's riding herd on subject matter experts who could wipe the floor with him if he strays outside his own area of expertise into theirs.

                    Last year, I saw a candidate for adjunct professor, the lowest of the low, in Physics do a full-take down on the Dean of Academic Affairs, the top academic boss on campus, during her interview when he made that mistake.

                    He hired her.

                    White will never understand that, or if he does, it won't matter, because he knows no one will ever hold his feet to the fire the same way.

                    And this shows that the "joke" had truth behind it. The funniest ones do. Ehrman will NEVER say a thing against the Koran, even a hypothetical. He knows that could put a price on his head.
                    That's over the top, too. Folks do study this, and write about it, making the study into a full, life-long academic career without anyone calling for their heads. The real fear here is White's. He knows better than to look closely at the arguments for errancy in the Bible, which is why he's so desperate to change the subject.

                    "More in dire need of a distraction ..." Admit it, that was good.

                    As ever, Jesse

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by lao tzu View Post
                      Here, again, is an Ehrman argument: Read 1 Peter in the Greek. Read 2 Peter in the Greek. It's not the same author. Hence, at least one is a pseudepigraph.
                      As a side note, there's a growing trend in scholarship that's moving away from the view of deceptive forgery in canonical works like 1 and 2 Peter, and towards a view of communal authorship based on apostolic schools. See for instance, Pseudepigraphy and the Petrine school: Spirit and tradition in 1 and 2 Peter and Jude (Counet 2006) http://www.hts.org.za/index.php/HTS/...ewFile/367/265

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by lao tzu View Post

                        "Every reason to support Ehrman." What is that supposed to mean? It's directly contradicted at the link I shared above in which Ehrman grinds Murdock's mythicist position into the proverbial dust. The girl's got an axe to grind on him, and everybody knows it. So do Carrier, Doherty, and the rest of the gang. They wrote a book together, doing just that:

                        Bart Ehrman and the Quest of the Historical Jesus of Nazareth
                        Richard Carrier Ph.D. (Author), D.M. Murdock (Author), René Salm (Author), Earl Doherty (Author), David Fitzgerald (Author), Robert M. Price Ph.D. (Editor), Frank R. Zindler (Editor)
                        I've started to read some of this material, and I think the above "conspiracy theory" approach to scholarship is not helpful. I'm trying to understand the arguments all of these people are making, which is difficult given that, unlike the people listed, I am unable to read the original Aramaic or Greek dialects, nor am I intimately familiar with the cultures, idioms, and detailed histories of the times. Nor with individual personalities where applicable. I find much of what Ehrman says to be persuasive, but some of what the others say is also persuasive. Certainly, given the paucity of surviving original source material, there is legitimate room for different interpretations.

                        Ehrman and the mythicists construct both solid arguments and "fit the facts to the foregone conclusion" arguments, and neither one has a slam-dunk here.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by phank View Post
                          I've started to read some of this material, and I think the above "conspiracy theory" approach to scholarship is not helpful. I'm trying to understand the arguments all of these people are making, which is difficult given that, unlike the people listed, I am unable to read the original Aramaic or Greek dialects, nor am I intimately familiar with the cultures, idioms, and detailed histories of the times. Nor with individual personalities where applicable. I find much of what Ehrman says to be persuasive, but some of what the others say is also persuasive. Certainly, given the paucity of surviving original source material, there is legitimate room for different interpretations.

                          Ehrman and the mythicists construct both solid arguments and "fit the facts to the foregone conclusion" arguments, and neither one has a slam-dunk here.
                          For every Bart Ehrman there's a hundred Acharya Ses and a thousand phanks. Anyone who thinks a liberal atheist future is a bright one will be in for one major league surprise.
                          "As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths." Isaiah 3:12

                          There is no such thing as innocence, only degrees of guilt.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hola Jerk.

                            Originally posted by lao tzu View Post
                            Please do.
                            This will likely be my last post on this -- reasons forthcoming.

                            Dismissing the points unanswered isn't a response, Deeds.
                            LOL, Pot. Kettle. Black. As will be discussed below.


                            "Every reason to support Ehrman." What is that supposed to mean? It's directly contradicted at the link I shared above in which Ehrman grinds Murdock's mythicist position into the proverbial dust. The girl's got an axe to grind on him, and everybody knows it. So do Carrier, Doherty, and the rest of the gang. They wrote a book together, doing just that
                            It means that they have every reason to support his position on the Bible. That is the context. However, you are completely going off on a rabbit trial. I provided that link for the video clip and the transcript NOTHING ELSE, unless you are suggesting that the very presence of people that disagree with Ehrman on the historicity of Jesus has tainted the clip and the transcript of the one sentence. Was the transcript wrong? No…. this is simply a red herring. I didn't agree with or care about their commentary. I don't think what he said was Islamophobic…. why? BECAUSE IT IS TRUE. If it isn't true, as you claim, then Ehrman was bigoted and smearing people. Let me give an outrageous example. Let's say an army dad was asked why he opposed homosexuals in the military and he "joked" "Because I want my son to come home an ass-virgin." That would be unfunny and homophobic. Homosexuals do not go around routinely raping people. There is no element of truth to that. If what Ehrman said didn't have the substantial backing of truth, it would be NO BETTER.

                            But next is where you go off the rails, and show two things.

                            1. You loath White for no supportable reason other than he is a conservative Christian
                            2. You argue in circles that liberalism is right because liberals think liberalism is right.

                            I will spend very little time on this because it is a formal ad hominen fallacy (not simply saying bad things about someone, but saying bad things that even if true, have no bearing to the specific point at hand--- White could routinely rape puppies and then cut up their tails and fry them with favre beans and liver and still be right)

                            This is why you can't have nice things. The guy's a spokesman for conservative Christianity, with a fake ThM, ThD and DMin. Do you get up in arms about it, forcing him out of his position, which is exactly what would happen to a secular pundit? Oh hell no! That's ignored. It's "irrelevant." The guy's a fraud and you look the other way. Anybody mentioning his pellucid raiments is "frothing."
                            That is ridiculous. But more on this…. (and no, in similar circumstances, I would not have any issue with a secular pundit)

                            You don't get it. Okay. Let me be clear. I would lose both of my current jobs for doing what White's done. No other questions asked. That's a fact. Because I don't live in the protected bubble of evangelical punditry that lets folks get away with this.
                            What precisely did he do that you would be fired for? Be open and upfront about the fact that he had very specific reasons for choosing the schooling he did?

                            Evangelical punditry is a laughingstock, and it will never earn respect outside of Christianity until you impose some standards, and stick to them.
                            Yeah, I believe that…. wait, no I don't. Sorry his scholarship is top notch. Rather than simply hurling mud, you could give specific examples of gross errors in his numerous public debates and written works. Your next comment I took out of turn:

                            White doesn't have a field. Outside conservative Christian campuses, he could never get a job in front of a class. Diploma mill degrees speak for themselves, and they say all that's needed about the institutions that allow them.
                            That is just sheer nonsense. Here is White himself speaking about his degree, sorry Jesse, and I don't think I have ever said this to you, but saying it is a diploma mill is a complete fabrication. Please prove that. That phrase has specific connotations. In this link, he describes what he had to do, and in no realm of reality is that a diploma mill:

                            http://www.aomin.org/aoblog/index.ph...olumbia-river/

                            Here is a good Wiki article on diploma mills: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diploma_mill

                            The major characteristics do not apply here, and certainly do not apply to the impression you were trying to give, that he paid for a degree and did not do any substantive work, basically just bought a doctorate. The biggest legitimate complaint there is about his doctorate is that there wasn't a dissertation committee. That is true. Then stick to that. His coursework was heavy and extensive. His undergraduate degree was from Fuller. I understand that some people simply dismiss all unaccredited institutions. I thought the point of a degree was to get competence and provide legitimate work. White has done that. I disagree with him on a host of things, but that doesn't mean he doesn't know his subject. Using the term diploma mill is simply to poison the well. If all you meant is that it is unaccredited and distance learning… fine, but I think you meant more than that, you meant to say that his schooling is bogus and didn't qualify him for anything. I don't think anyone can read his description of his coursework and honestly say that. I simply don't.

                            For example this:

                            "Instead of "hard sciences", where competence is easier to verify, the subjects offered by a diploma mill are often esoteric and may be based on a pseudoscience like astrology or natural healing. Such subjects are only vaguely defined, making external verification of educational standards difficult."

                            What part of theology is he incompetent in? Does he not have expertise in Greek? Please point out his Greek errors? His competence in these areas CAN be measured. You simply think because he has classic conservative beliefs that the liberals don't agree with then he is incompetent. That is not an argument. Give a specific incompetence please. Not a disagreement, not a slip up, an area of gross incompetence show an utter lack of education…. degree on paper only. You can't do it.

                            You may have issues with the school, fine. But it is not a diploma mill. And his work speaks for itself…. you made the claim prove errors other than "liberal mainstream skeptics" don't agree. Basically all that would prove is that you think all conservatives are boneheaded incompetents, but then that is not White himself. He has always been very open about his background. There is a show (which I would find the link for if I thought you really cared) where he lays out his theology of Christian education and speaks further on his choice…. believing that the primary goal of Christian education is firstly not to pay for things you don't need, not to get into huge debt, and to be primarily to benefit the Body of Christ, not engage in academic navel-gazing.
                            Last edited by Darth Xena; 03-09-2014, 10:12 PM.
                            The State. Ideas so good they have to be mandatory.

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                            • #15

                              Here, again, is an Ehrman argument: Read 1 Peter in the Greek. Read 2 Peter in the Greek. It's not the same author. Hence, at least one is a pseudepigraph. Please, do tell me how that argument leads to the same conclusion about anything in the Arabic Qur'an.
                              One thing is obvious. You have no idea of the debate I am talking about. You never tried to find it or listen to it. If you did, you would realize that the topic was not about that argument of Ehrman so asking what that has to do with White's question about the Koran is completely irrelevant. The debate was on certain arguments in Misquoting Jesus. It was not whatsoever about Forged. At. All.

                              Here is the debate.

                              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P35zWvmkHBo

                              Listen to the opening statements if you really care about accurately getting the context. For reference of this discussion I HIGHLY ENCOURAGE ANY READER to listen to these clips, and sorry Jesse, it will show how completely off base you are here: 2:00-2:02 and 2:07-2:13, it is in the cross-examination section. I have thirty minutes more to listen to as I believe there is another relevant section, but this is enough to prove my point here.



                              You're caricaturing his arguments, even after they've been displayed in front of you, forcing them to be repeated. Is it fear or just laziness?
                              Silly debate trick Jesse, listen to the clips above, and I am not misrepresenting his arguments. The second clip is where he makes the "likening to a Muslim" comment, please DO try to defend that comment by Ehrman. It makes NO SENSE. And listening to both clips, he expounds ON ALL KINDS OF MANUSCRIPTS THAT HE IS NOT AN EXPERT ONE SUCH AS SEUTONIUS, TACTITUS ETC. He only clams up when it gets the Koran, won't even answer a hypothetical. When it is painfully obvious that the arguments he just breezily made would apply to the Koran.


                              White can afford to hand-wave around the Qur'an or the Book of Mormon, or any other topic he wishes to examine, because he has no academic reputation to lose, and lacks the academic training that would tell him otherwise. This is what he learned from his correspondence degrees: You don't have to submit your work to a committee of experts to have it picked apart, and you don't have to make corrections. Expecting those who do have an academic reputation to follow the same standards is what makes White a joke.
                              I am sorry you idolize committees, but that is not by problem. I am sure you can present errors that show he is an ignorant buffoon rather than someone you just disagree with, though on this topic, it is apparent to me that the standard is one and the same. I challenge ANYONE to listen to that debate and argue that White is an ignorant man with no training or knowledge in the field, even if you think Ehrman won. This is just silly.

                              Hand-waving about things he knows little about is entirely consistent for White. For Ehrman, not so much. Speaking outside your field is the most commonly discovered mine field in academia. An academic chair is even more constrained, because he's riding herd on subject matter experts who could wipe the floor with him if he strays outside his own area of expertise into theirs.
                              Already addressed above.


                              Last year, I saw a candidate for adjunct professor, the lowest of the low, in Physics do a full-take down on the Dean of Academic Affairs, the top academic boss on campus, during her interview when he made that mistake.

                              He hired her.
                              Irrelevant.


                              White will never understand that, or if he does, it won't matter, because he knows no one will ever hold his feet to the fire the same way.
                              Derp. Sure… that is why he has over a hundred formal moderated debates that are open to public scrutiny and numerous published works. Please do tell me the gross errors in his published works that aren't simply your blanket critique of people who dare to believe the Bible is inspired and inerrant…. which then of course shows your argument against White is a smokescreen.

                              Ehrman quite happily talked about the classics, not knowing what they originally said… is he an expert on the Classics? No? He was willing to make a general application to his comment THAT UNLESS WE HAVE THE ORIGINALS OR PERFECT COPIES WE CANNOT KNOW WHAT THEY ORIGINALLY SAID!


                              That's over the top, too. Folks do study this, and write about it, making the study into a full, life-long academic career without anyone calling for their heads. The real fear here is White's. He knows better than to look closely at the arguments for errancy in the Bible, which is why he's so desperate to change the subject.
                              Smokescreen, and you are actually claiming that people who would make such a claim wouldn't have a price on their head? Well then, you are saying Ehrman made a bigoted joke. I do not care to spend the time doing the research for you on fatwas against people who make such claims against the Koran.
                              Last edited by Darth Xena; 03-12-2014, 07:21 AM.
                              The State. Ideas so good they have to be mandatory.

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