Contradictions in the Gospels – Rev Matthew Firth’s Response

Thank-you very much, Bart, for your opening gambit. It has given me a most enjoyable afternoon of delving deeply into the Gospel texts, and I really appreciate the written format of this debate, which allows space for considered reflection, study and learning, rather than the rhetorical tennis of some other formats of debate which, while they produce spectacle, rarely achieve deep insight either for the proponents or the onlookers.

I will now take the cases in the order in which you ...

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Contradictions in the Gospels

This is the opening gambit in my debate with Rev. Matthew Firth on whether there are contradictions in the Gospels.  I believe there are many.  He believes there are none whatsoever.  So who is right?   I would strongly recommend that, if you are really interested in the matter, you actually look up the passages in question and see for yourself.

I will need to be brief on each one, since space is highly restricted.  I ended up requiring 1300 words, and ...

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What Is a Contradiction?

As many of you know, Rev. Matthew Firth, an Anglican rector trained in theology at Oxford, will soon be participating on the blog in a fund-raising event, for which many of you, bless your souls, have already donated.  This will entail a debate with me over whether there are contradictions in the Gospels.

The debate will start soon, but I thought I should lay a little bit of groundwork.  I hadn’t planned on doing this originally, and haven’t told Rev. Firth ...

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Fund Raising Event on the Blog: Contradictions in the Gospels??

We will be engaging in an unusual fund-raising event on the blog in a week or so.   A well-trained Anglican priest named Matthew Firth had issued a challenge that no one could point out any contradictions in the Gospels of the New Testament that could not be explained.  As I understand it, he offered an award of $1000.  OK then!  Someone on the blog contacted me to see if I’d be willing to take up the challenge.

Of course, there is ...

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Past and Present: One of My Debates with Dinesh D’Souza

As you all know, Dinesh D’Souza is in the national news again; he’s one controversial fellow!  As you may not know/remember, I had three public debates with Dinesh some years ago, not on campaign finance laws but on the problem of suffering, an issue he was long interested in as a committed evangelical Christian who believed he had (has) a reasonable answer or set of answers to the question of why there is so much pain and misery in the ...

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We Do *NOT* Have a First-Century Copy of the Gospel of Mark

As most of us have suspected for years now, there is in fact no first-century copy of the Gospel of Mark.  If fortune smiles upon us, maybe one will eventually be discovered.  But it hasn’t been yet.  Dan Wallace, our lone public source for the existence of such a thing (announced with some flair at a public debate I had with him in 2012) has finally provided the necessary information: his claim that such a copy existed was based on ...

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Ehrman & Licona: Are the Gospels Historically Reliable? Part 2

Here is Part 2 of my debate with Mike Licona on whether the Gospels are historically reliable.  You won’t necessarily have to have seen Part 1 to make sense of this one; a lot of it involves penetrating questions from the audience (trying to trip us up!) which one or the other of us addressed.   Enjoy!

Part 2: Please adjust gear icon for 720p High-Definition:

 

REMEMBER: if you were a member of the blog, you ...

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Ehrman & Licona: Are the Gospels Historically Reliable? Part 1

A month ago, on February 21 I had a public debate with Mike Licona at the Bailey Performance Center at Kennesaw State University on the topic: Are the Gospels Historically Reliable? Ratio Christi and KSU History Club hosted the event. Moderator was Dr. Brian Swain, a historian of Mediterranean antiquity on the faculty there.

You can probably guess the two sides we took in the debate.  The crowd was largely on his side, which made for a very interesting evening.  As ...

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Ehrman vs Licona Debate on the Resurrection

On April 16, 2011 I had a kind of radio debate with Mike Licona, a conservative Christian apologist and professor at Houston Baptist University.  The venue was the English radio broadcast, “Unbelievable,” hosted by moderator Justin Brierley, and the main question under discussion was whether there is “evidence” that Jesus was raised from the dead. Mike had just published his (large) book, called The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach and wanted to talk about it.   The ...

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Is Suffering Our Fault?

Some people have responded to my comments on suffering with the interesting observation that most suffering, in their view, is caused by humans against humans, so that there is no reason to “blame God” for it.   That is obviously true of some of the most horrific things that happen in our world:  murder, genocide, torture, war, refugee crises, and on and on and on.   And one could argue that it is true of even “natural” disasters, such as starvation: there ...

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