In my previous post, and a number of times elsewhere, I mentioned my mentor at Princeton Theological Seminary, Bruce Metzger.  Over the years I’ve been asked a number of times why, if he was my teacher, I don’t agree with him on so many things.  Usually this comes as an accusation more than as a genuine query.  Here’s a reworking of a response I gave to the issue about ten years ago.


Prof. Metzger was not just a brilliant scholar but also a deeply committed Christian, an ordained Presbyterian minister, who believed in the inspiration of the Bible and in the literal truth of the statements found in the Christian creeds, about the incarnation, the virgin birth, the resurrection of Jesus, and so on.

Behind the question are usually the unexpressed statements: he was more learned than you, he knew what you do, he was your teacher, but he disagreed with you.  What’s wrong with you that you would disagree with your own teacher??

It’s a good question and it deserves a straightforward answer.  The people who ask it are all, to my knowledge, conservative evangelical Christians who find two of my long-held views particularly unacceptable:

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