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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 I think you’ll see, even though Mike and I disagree on most things, we have a good, friendly relationship.

It was a long evening — lots of back and forth, with a Q & A with the audience to follow.  At times it got, well, animated.  Here is part 1.  I’ll post the second part next week.


Part 1: Please adjust gear icon for 720p High-Definition:

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  1. Spencer Black
    Spencer Black  October 26, 2019

    In the recently broadcast debate with you and Peter Williams he says the gospels “don’t come with dates on but they come with names on… there are no old manuscripts without those names on…”

    I thought the gospels were originally written without the names on the manuscripts, and they weren’t added to the texts until c. 200ce. During the debate you made no counter to his claim which surprised me. Do I have something wrong here? Was Peter correct?

    • Bart
      Bart  October 27, 2019

      No, I don’t think he’s correct that htey started out with names on them. But he is correct that our oldest manuscripts, from hundreds of years later, do have names on them. That’s because at *some* point copyists had to indicate which of the many Gospels this anonymous one was. This is the one that is “According to Mark” or “According to John,” etc. But obvioulsy the autohr of the Fourth Gospel did not *entitle* it “According to John” (that’s the actual title in the early manuscripts)

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