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Quotes of the day: Bart Ehrman

Published Sunday, October 04, 2015 @ 2:13 PM EDT
Oct 04 2015

Bart D. Ehrman (b. October 5, 1955) is an American New Testament scholar, currently the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a leading scholar in his field, having written and edited over 25 books, including three college textbooks, and has also achieved acclaim at the popular level, authoring five New York Times bestsellers. Ehrman's work focuses on textual criticism of the New Testament, the historical Jesus, and the development of early Christianity. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A fundamentalist is no fun, too much damn, and not enough mental.

Faith is not historical knowledge, and historical knowledge is not faith.

For most people, the Bible is a non-problematic book. What people don't realize is that they're reading translations of texts, and we don't have the originals.

Henotheism is the view that there are other gods, but there is only one God who is to be worshipped. The Ten Commandments express a henotheistic view, as does the majority of the Hebrew Bible.

If Jesus had not been declared to be God, his followers would have remained a sect within Judaism.

Jesus was a first-century Jew, and when we try to make him into a twenty-first century American we distort everything he was and everything he stood for.

One of the most amazing and perplexing features of mainstream Christianity is that seminarians who learn the historical-critical method in their Bible classes appear to forget all about it when it comes time for them to be pastors.

Orthodoxy is my doxy and heterodoxy is your doxy.

Precisely those conservative evangelical scholars who claim that mass hallucinations don't happen are the ones who deny that the Blessed Virgin Mary has appeared to hundreds or thousands of people at once, even though we have modern, verified eyewitness testimony that she has.

Scholars sometimes use technical terms for no good reason, other than the fact that they are the technical terms scholars use.

The problem then with Jesus is that he cannot be removed from his time and transplanted into our own without simply creating him anew.

The search for truth takes you where the evidence leads you, even if, at first, you don't want to go there.

There are few things more dangerous than inbred religious certainty.

What you can control are your attitudes about the things in your life. And so it is your inner self, your attitudes, that you should be concerned about.

You can't believe something just because someone else desperately wants you to.


(October 5 is also the birthday of Denis Diderot and Neil deGrasse Tyson.)

Categories: Bart Ehrman, Quotes of the day


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