Are Bible Translators Consistent? Readers’ Mailbag

In today’s Reader’s Mailbag I deal with a question that involves both the differences in the manuscripts of the New Testament AND the issue of English Bible translations.  As many of you know, almost all scholars agree that passages such as the “Woman Taken in Adultery,” in John 7:53-8:11 and the last twelve verses of Mark (Jesus’ appearances to his disciples after the resurrection) were not original to the New Testament.  (If you’re not familiar with this issue, see my ...

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Was There One Author Behind the Four Johannine Writings? A Community? Guest Post by Hugo Mendez

We continue now with the third of Hugo Mendez’s guest posts on the “community” allegedly behind the Gospel of John, 1, 2, and 3 John.   Here he shows why most critical scholars do NOT think (as most other interested human beings on the planet do!) that all four were written by the same person (let alone Jesus’ disciple, John the Son of Zebedee), and why they have argued that instead they all come from like-minded authors from the same community.

But ...

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Were the Gospels Generally Written for “Communities” of Christians: Guest Post by Hugo Mendez

Here now is Hugo Mendez’s second post in his thread (started yesterday, if you haven’t seen it yet), challenging whether the writings of John all emerge from a specific “community,” as I argued in my previous thread.  In this post he points out how scholars have called into question whether the idea of “communities” is helpful at all for understanding the early Gospels.

Hugo will be happy to address your questions!  Just post yours as a comment to the post.

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 Challenges to ...

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WAS there a Community behind the Gospel and Letters of John? Guest Post by Hugo Mendez

Here we begin a series of posts written by my colleague at UNC, Hugo Mendez.   Hugo has had an intriguing and impressive career.  He did an MA in Religion at University of Georgia, but then his PhD was in Linguistics, also at Georgia.  He went from there onto a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at Yale and “retooled” to become a New Testament scholar through some, well, incredibly intense study.  He came to UNC as a postdoctoral fellow in 2016 for two ...

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The More Scholarly Argument that Paul did Not Write Colossians

Every now and then I think it’s useful on the blog to shift gears away from explaining at a more popular level what scholars have come to think to showing how scholars make their arguments to one *another*.  I don’t want to do this a lot, but it seems that it can be helpful at times, just so blog readers can get a bit of a sense.

Right now I’m in them middle of a thread on whether the author of ...

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Final Tribute To Larry Hurtado

I am sorry to report that my colleague Larry Hurtado, a well-known scholar of the New Testament, author of several influential books, and prominent blogger, has died.    Back in July I indicated on the blog that he had become very ill.  At the time we thought he had only a few weeks to live.  But he soldiered on, and passed away last Monday, November 25.

There is a very nice tribute to him by one of his former students at:  ...

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Is the Bible Inerrant? Guest Post by Mike Licona

This now is the second of three posts by Mike Licona, Associate Professor of Theology at Houston Baptist University.  Mike has a PhD in New Testament studies and is a committed evangelical apologist, who has written a recent book, Why Are There Differences in the Gospels (Oxford University Press, 2016), and is also the author of Evidence for God. He does indeed admit there are differences in the Gospels, which ...

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How Many Books in the New Testament Were Forged?

In response to the lecture on ancient practices of pseudepigraphy (writing in the name of a famous person when, alas, you are actually someone else), I received this important question, getting to the very basics – the heart and soul of the issue for students of early Christianity.

 

QUESTION:

Dr Ehrman I know you have published and spoken on the topic, but would you mind sharing which NT books are pseudepigraphal?

 

RESPONSE

Yes indeed, one of the reasons I’m so interested in this topic ...

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My Lecture in Quebec: Did Ancient Authors Try To Deceive Their Readers?

I have decided to go ahead and post the address I gave last week to an academic conference in Quebec on “Pseudepigraphy” in the ancient world.  If you’re not familiar with the term (why would you be??) it refers to a book written by an author who falsely claims to be someone else (like if I wrote a book and claimed to be Stephen King) (which maybe I should do….).   Most scholars seem to think this was an acceptable practice ...

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Sad News From Larry Hurtado

Many readers on the blog will know of Larry Hurtado, a prominent New Testament scholar who has been influential as one of the most regular and reliable bloggers on issues of relevance to the study of early Christianity.   Larry has announced that he is very ill and will no longer be able to participate in either scholarship or the promotion of early Christians studies to a broader reading audience.  This is very sad, especially for us who know ...

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