Leading Atheist Scholar Bart Ehrman Affirms The Gospels Present A Divine Jesus
This story isn’t exactly contemporary news given that Ehrman penned his piece nearly four years ago. However, having enjoyed and engaged some of Ehrman’s thoughts presented in his works before, I decided to bring to light the points he makes in this piece. I think a good first step would be to acknowledge Professor Ehrman’s beliefs, especially for readers who are largely unfamiliar with him. Ehrman, a New Testament/early Christianity historian and distinguished professor of Religious Studies, is an agnostic with atheist leanings. He openly states in a number of his books that he does not believe that Jesus was raised from the dead, and that Jesus was in no way or form God incarnate. Ehrman is thus arguably one of the leading informed critics of Christianity within the professional academy. He is also skeptical, much in the same way to David Hume, about miracles and whether or not we can even know if a miracle occurred in ancient history. So, it is quite apparent that with Ehrman we aren’t dealing with an ally to Christianity, or an individual who is open to agreeing with orthodox Christian views, in the sense that all four gospels present a divine Jesus. This backstory gives, in my view, some value to Ehrman’s blog article because it has been Christians who have always viewed the gospel accounts as presenting Jesus who is divine and God incarnate. Many skeptics, however, would disagree, and argue that the synoptics (Mark, Matthew, and Luke) do not present Jesus in this way. They will often argue that only John’s gospel portrays Jesus in such a way, and that we should expect it because John’s gospel is the latest, and due to it being latest it shouldn’t be a surprise to discover an increasing layer of embellishment.
By James Bishop