I did a post last week about Gary, Bart Ehrman and Jesus. I learned about Gary from Ruth . When Gary decided to stop visiting Atheist / De-convertee’s websites, I told Ruth, “I don’t think we have heard the last of Gary and I don’t think he will stay away from the Blogs he’s been visiting. IMHO”
How prophetic was that ! 🙂 Not hardly. When someone has been exposed to the truth and admits that they don’t want to hear anymore . They actually want to hear more. DagoodS and Bruce must receive 99% of the credit for challenging Gary to begin with. And, my hat is off to Gary for coming by and commenting. Though he said he wouldn’t debate here he did invite me to his blog if I wanted to challenge him. I will be most happy to do so. 🙂
Gary’s comment to me:
I made a public pledge a few days ago not to visit the websites of atheists, and here I am posting on yours! I’ve seen a couple of URL referrals on my blog from yours, so curiosity got the best of me.
Just so you aware I have read three of Ehrman’s books: Misquoting Jesus, Jesus Interrupted, and Did Jesus Exist. After reading the first two books I abandoned my fundamentalist Christian belief regarding the inerrancy of the Bible…and almost abandoned my Christian Faith altogether. We fundamentalists are like that. It is either all true… and I’m going to beat you over the head until you believe it too…or it is all a bunch of bullshit, and I’m going to toss it lock, stock, and barrel out the window!
Actually Ehrman’s third book helped to save my orthodox Christian faith. He makes a very good case for the historicity of Jesus and of Paul. Ehrman doesn’t believe that Paul really saw a resurrected dead guy, but Ehrman believes that Paul is a credible source regarding Jesus of Nazareth and that he was not a liar or fabricator of tall tales.
So how did Ehrman help me to keep my faith? This is what I learned from “Did Jesus Exist”:
1. Jesus did exist in the time and place that Christians say he did.
2. He was crucified by the Romans.
3. Paul says that the “saw” this resurrected dead man. No mention of having a dream or vision.
4. Paul says that he met and stayed for 15 days with two other persons who saw the same resurrected dead man, Peter, Jesus’ chief disciple, and James, his brother.
5. There was no such concept of a pacifist Messiah who would die and be resurrected in Jewish thinking. No Jew had ever heard of such a thing. Someone who claimed to be the messiah but was killed by the enemies of the Jews was automatically written off as a fraud. Previous messiah pretenders had been killed and written off. Why wasn’t Jesus written off?
6. Why would, at a minimum, several thousand Jews in Palestine and around the known world believe that a pacifist peasant from Galilee, crucified and killed by the hated Romans, was the Jewish messiah, unless…something really dramatic happened to convince them that he was no longer dead, and would one day be the Ruler of the Earth as OT prophecies said?
7. Pacifism and loving your enemy did not exist in the Greco-Roman world. Where did this illiterate peasant get such a concept? There is zero record of anyone else in history, prior to Jesus, preaching these concepts. A rich, upper class Roman preaching pacifism and peace makes sense, but a Jew under the boot of Rome? That makes no sense at all…unless he really was Divine.
So that is why I still believe.
I’m not interested in debating these points here. But you are always welcome to come to my blog and challenge me.