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My Debate with Richard Bauckham – Round 2

Here is round two (two out of two) of my debate with Richard J. Bauckham join on the radio show "Unbelievable," a weekly program aired on UK Premier Christian Radio and hosted by Justin Brierley.  Richard was in the station's London studio, I was on the phone.   Here we pursue other issues related to whether the Gospels of the NT represent distorted memories or if, for the most part, they can be trusted to be reliable because they are based on eyewitness testimony.  Richard and I disagree about the matter, as about oh so many other things! Richard J. Bauckham is a prominent New Testament scholar and professor emeritus of New Testament studies at St. Mary's College, University of St. Andrews, Scotland. He retired from teaching in 2007 to pursue his research and writing. Please adjust gear icon for 1080p High-Definition:

2017-11-13T21:00:57-05:00May 1st, 2016|Bart's Debates, Public Forum, Video Media|

Bart Ehrman vs Tim McGrew – Round 2

Here is the second part of my on-radio debate with Christian apologist Timothy J. McGrew, which aired on the Unbelievable," a weekly program aired on UK Premier Christian Radio.  I recorded the interview from the station's London studio; McGrew was on the telephone.  In the discussion we address the question Do Undesigned Coincidences Confirm the Gospels?" We also debated whether historical research can ever validate miraculous conclusions, as we express differ views over accounts in the book of Acts. For McGrew's views on what he calls these Un-designed Coincidences, see He's also the author of The Foundations of Knowledge and Internalism and Epistemology. Please adjust gear icon for 1080p High-Definition:

2020-05-27T15:50:56-04:00March 26th, 2016|Acts of the Apostles, Bart's Debates, Video Media|

Upcoming Debate!

This coming weekend, Feb. 12-13, I will be holding a debate at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary on the topic "How Did Jesus Become God?"   They are calling it a "Dialogue," but that's just because they're being nice.  It's actually a great group of people, even though, as you might imagine, we agree on very little when it comes to matters of faith.   My worthy opponent is Michael Bird. You may have heard of him. He is the author of The New Testament in Its World, and Introducing Paul: The Man, His Mission and His Message, among other books.  Back when I published How Jesus Became God, he was the one who edited the response book that came out the same day, How God Became Jesus.  He wrote one of the articles in the book.  We will both be staking out our claims on Friday night.  The next day are papers delivered by scholars we have hand-chosen for the event, two each: mine are my good friends Jennifer Knust (Boston University) and Dale Martin [...]

Ehrman Licona Debate – Prove Jesus Rose from Dead

On February 28, 2008 I flew back to (near) my home turf, Kansas City, Missouri where I debated Christian apologist Mike R. Licona on the topic, "Can Historians Prove that Jesus Rose from the Dead?" The event took place on at 7 p.m. held at the Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.  You can guess whose side the crowd was on! Mike is one person I've debated over the years with whom I have a very good relationship.  When we're not going at it verbally, we get along well and have a chummy relationship.  Even if each of us thinks the other is completely dead wrong about things -- including the important topic of this debate. Mike Licona is author of Why Are There Differences in the Gospels and Evidence for God: 50 Arguments For Faith From The Bible, History, Philosophy, And Science, among others. The debate is discussed in the book "Come Let Us Reason: New Essays in Christian Apologetics" edited by Paul Copan, William Lane Craig. Chapter 9 is written by Michael Licona, which reviews this debate [...]

2020-05-05T13:01:53-04:00October 3rd, 2015|Bart's Debates, Video Media|

Debate in Dallas on Friday

For anyone in the Dallas area:  On Friday (two days!  Sept. 18) I will be having a public debate with Justin Bass, a Christian apologist and pastor with a PhD from Dallas Theological, on the question "Did the Historical Jesus Claim To Be Divine?"   Dr. Bass thinks the answer is YES.  I think the answer is NO. It should be an interesting back and forth.   If you want to hear the arguments, come and see it.  Free admission.  And my arguments will be worth every dime you pay to hear them.  (It will be at Collin College at 6:30 pm) Here's all the information you need:    

2017-11-27T20:38:05-05:00September 17th, 2015|Historical Jesus, Public Forum|

Kickstarting a Debate

I periodically get asked to have a public debate with a mythicist on the question of their real concern:  Did Jesus Exist?   I have regularly declined these offers, for a variety of reasons: The question is not really a matter of dispute among experts, even though mythicists as a rule would like it to be and sometimes even insist it is. But the reality is this:  if you were to look at the program of the annual meeting of (the many thousands of English-speaking) professors of Biblical Studies, the Society of Biblical Literature meeting (this year in Atlanta), you will not find a session (out of thousands) devoted to arguing both sides of this issue.   That’s because there is no debate. There is debate generated by the mythicists themselves, of course, and in recent years there have been two bona fide scholars in relevant fields (out of the tens of thousands of scholars in relevant fields) who have become outspoken in support of a mythicist view.  But like it or not (most mythicists don’t) (quite [...]

2017-11-29T21:34:43-05:00June 26th, 2015|Bart's Debates, Mythicism, Public Forum|

How Accurate Are our Earliest NT Manuscripts?

QUESTIONS I have received the following three, interrelated, questions from an inquiring mind that wants to know, all of them involving the potential accuracy of the manuscript tradition of the NT based on what we can deduce from the early papyri.   My responses will follow. In your last debate with Dr. Wallace, he seemed to argue, in part, for the relative integrity of the early NT manuscript tradition. He referred to p75 as being representative of other early NT MSS in that, while obviously the product of non-professionals, it yielded variants that were easy to correct, in the nature of "onion instead of union". Is this a fair characterization on his part of these early texts? What portion of these variants would indeed fall into the category of "easy to correct"? Citing Dr. Metzger, Dr. Wallace also claimed that Alexandria was one place where uncontrolled early scribal practices was not the norm. You countered with the letters of Clement of Alexandria as evidence against this conclusion. Could you please elaborate on this point & mention [...]

2020-04-03T14:08:21-04:00January 25th, 2015|New Testament Manuscripts, Reader’s Questions|

Media: How Jesus became God – Ehrman vs Gathercole Pt 2

Here is the second part of my radio "debate" (rather, exchange of views) with Simon Gathercole. To refresh your memory (or in case you didn't see the earlier post with the first part), Simon is a Senior Lecturer in New Testament at Cambridge University. He is a serious and well-known scholar, and also happens to be an evangelical Christian. We disagree on a lot of things, but we are civil about our disagreements, and I respect his opinions even though I disagree heartily with many of them -- especially on the topic at hand! This part of the program focuses more on Paul than on the Gospels. Again, this was recorded for, played on, the program called "Unbelievable" for Christian Premier Radio in the UK (headquarters in London), hosted and moderated by Justin Brierley.   Brought to you in association with Please adjust gear icon for 720p High-Definition:

Radio Debate on How Jesus became God: Part 1

As is my wont, I was in England for Spring Break, and while there I was invited to participate in a radio program devoted to my book How Jesus Became God (as I've indicated before on the blog).   The program was set up to be a radio "debate," or, well, "friendly exchange of ideas" (it was the latter more than the former) between me and Simon J. Gathercole, who is a Senior Lecturer in New Testament at Cambridge University.  Simon is one of the five contributors to the response book How God Became Jesus.   He is a bona fide and serious New Testament scholar, whom I respect and with whom I heartily disagree on many many issues!  :-)   The program was "Unbelievable," a weekly program on UK Premier Christian Radio hosted by moderator Justin Brierley, a bright and interesting fellow, not a scholar but well acquainted with scholarship.  He, like Simon, is a reasonably, but reasonable, conservative Christian.  The "debate" involved two segments, both taped on March 29th, 2014.   The following is the first of [...]

2009 Debate With Mike Licona: Can Historians Prove the Resurrection of Jesus?

I've decided to take a day or so off from my discussions of Reza Aslan's Zealot, both for my sanity and yours.  Here, for a bit of variety, is a video of a debate that I had a few years ago with Mike Licona on the topic or whether historians can *prove* that Jesus was raised from the dead.  Mike thinks the answer is "yes"; I think the answer is "no way."  It's important to note: the debate was *not* about whether Jesus was raised from the dead.  The debate was about whether historians can *prove* that he did (if he did). Mike Licona has burst onto the scene as a conservative Christian apologist.   He did a master's degree at Liberty University (that's Jerry Falwell's place) and then a PhD in New Testament at the University of Pretoria in South Africa.  Someone may be able to correct me on this, but I *think* that is the kind of degree where instead of taking PhD seminars and so on, as at an American university, it [...]

2021-02-13T01:10:41-05:00December 26th, 2013|Bart's Debates, Historical Jesus, Public Forum, Video Media|

Video: Ehrman & Evans 2012 Debate – Part 2

A couple of weeks ago I posted a debate that I had with Craig Evans, an evangelical Christian New Testament scholar.   That debate was held at Saint Mary's University in Nova Scotia.   The next night we had a second debate -- on the same topic (!) but in a different location, at Acadia University, where Craig currently teaches in the Acadia Divinity College.   The topic, again, was "Does the New Testament Present a Historically Reliable Portrait of Jesus." I was hesitant to post this debate on the blog, since it's on the same topic as the other one.   But I watched it and saw that I actually make my case differently this time, as does he.   So, what the heck -- you can start watching it and if it sounds like old hat, you can stop!  But in a way it's interesting how we changed our presentations, in no small measure because we had heard the night before what they other guy was going to argue.... Please adjust gear icon for 720p High-Definition: See first video [...]

2017-09-16T22:16:57-04:00December 5th, 2013|Bart's Debates, Historical Jesus, Public Forum, Video Media|
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