Question on Mistakes in Ancient Sources May 15, 2012 BDEhrman2020-04-03T19:43:15-04:00May 15th, 2012|Reader’s Questions| Share Bart’s Post on These Platforms FacebookTwitterRedditLinkedInTumblrPinterestEmail Click for the Previous Post Click for the Next Post 6 Comments Mikail78 May 16, 2012 at 2:38 amLog in to Reply Hey Bart, two days ago, I had a Christian apologist attempt to make the argument that the statements in the gospels about how many angels and/or men at the empty tomb really are not contradictions (two of the canonical gospels say there were two angels and/or men at the tomb, and the other two canonical gospels say there was one man and/or angel at the tomb). He tried to explain this contradiction away by saying that if there were two angels/men at the empty tomb, then there had to be at least one angel/man at the empty tomb, therefore there is no contradiction! Now, Bart, I’m certainly not very smart and I realize how stupid I am every day. But even and idiot like me could tell this guy’s explanation was full of you know what. The lengths that the faithful will go to preserve the inerrancy of their “holy books” can be quite amazing. BDEhrman May 16, 2012 at 10:13 pmLog in to Reply Yes, that is a standard explanation: if there were two angels, then Luke confused them as being two men, Matthew mentions one angel (without denying that there was a second), and Mark mentions one man (confusing the angel for a man and not mentioning the second one). The length to which some interpreters will go to avoid discrepancies! (Ask him, next time you see him, how he explains whether the disciples go to Galilee to see Jesus –as Matthew explicitly narrates — or whether they did not go anywhere but stayed in Jerusalem until after the ascension –as Luke explicitly states) AdamPanacci May 16, 2012 at 12:44 pmLog in to Reply This is not a question, just a comment. I’ve found that many who hold that the Bible is inerrent suggest that holding otherwise involves merely arbitrarily picking and choosing from the Bible what one wants to believe and discarding what one doesn’t like. However, in one of your books (Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet, I think) you show the historical criteria scholars use to “critically examine these sources to ferret out the information that can be accepted as historically reliable and to determine, to some degree at least, which stories are apocryphal, legendary, and exaggerated.” Yes, it is not a perfect system that produces perfect results (as there continues to be much debate!), but it is nonetheless a helpful one. fergmcb May 16, 2012 at 1:51 pmLog in to Reply Even if your uncle had participated in the battle of bulge, your mother would be unlikely to call him for corroboration before sharing one his stories with your niece. Imagine how much harder it would be for someone writing in, say, Rome to track down the beloved disciple to proof-read his Gospel even if the thought had occurred to him – or her in the case of “Luke” 😉 wawawa May 15, 2020 at 1:36 pmLog in to Reply OFF TOPICS: Dr. Ehrman: Are your familiar with Edmond Bordeaux Szekely writings ? Is he credible? Thanks BDEhrman May 17, 2020 at 11:01 amLog in to Reply I”m afraid I’m not. Leave A Comment Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.