Fundamentalist Arguments Against Fundamentalism

Fundamentalist Arguments Against Fundamentalism

The all-or-nothing approach to the Bible used by skeptics and fundamentalists alike is flawed.

by Craig A. Evans

Here is a snip of it

In Misquoting Jesus, Ehrman argues that today’s text of the Bible (and he mostly speaks in reference to the Greek New Testament) does not exactly match that of the original writings and that some of the changes in the text were deliberate, at times motivated by theological dogmas. Therefore, we really don’t know what the evangelists originally wrote. In Jesus, Interrupted, Ehrman shows why the Gospel narratives cannot be harmonized, nor their histories trusted. In Forged: Writing in the Name of God, he argues that several books of the Bible were not written by their ascribed authors. Most recently, in How Jesus Became God, Ehrman argues that the early church’s belief that Jesus was divine was not what Jesus claimed, nor what his original disciples believed.

Some of what Ehrman claims is not controversial in mainstream scholarship. All scholars of the Bible, including conservative evangelicals, know that there are some textual uncertainties. All, including most conservative scholars, know that oftentimes we cannot harmonize discrepant details. And all know that there was development in theological thinking about Jesus, especially after the resurrection.

The problem is that, in his popular books, Ehrman is frequently guilty of the logical fallacy of the excluded middle, the idea that there are only two options — either we have every word of the original text or we do not; either we have harmonious accounts of the teaching and activities of Jesus or we don’t.

Bart Ehrman is arguing like a fundamentalist. It is an all-or-nothing approach. If the Bible is truly inspired (and therefore trustworthy), it must be free from discrepancies. But this is not how most seasoned scholars think, including evangelicals. Nor was it the way early Christians thought.  Read more here