Friday, November 08, 2019

Ehrman v. Keener

Jaros is a frivolous, ineffectual moderator. No surprise.

I mostly listened to the Keener/Ehrman exchanges. Keener provided some useful pushback. Keener's views are well to the left of mine but well to the right of Bart's. 

The reason Ehrman generally dominates debates is because he's so pushy and aggressive, while everyone else is too polite to respond with the same forcefulness. Verbally, Ehrman is like a bully standing on the subway platform, who elbows his way onto the subway. 

Ehrman uses the idiotic comparison with oral poetry. Of course oral poetry is fluid because the point is to flaunt the bard's improvisational skills. That's not remotely analogous to the historical narrative genre. 


  1. I think Ehrman is effective because he has a condescending, know-it-all attitude but keeps it under control. It's hard for his opponents to put him on the defense.

  2. 1. The fact that Ehrman presumes one can know what the errors in the mss are defeats his entire point that one can't reliably know what the originals said inasmuch as one needs to know what the originals must have reliably said (at least in some cases) in order to be able to discern errors in the mss.

    2. Ehrman makes a huge deal about how unreliable memory is, but later he concedes we remember most things, but he downplays his concession. This is just one example, but Ehrman seems to frequently do this.

  3. As Dan Wallace pointed out, Ehrman says we can't trust the manuscripts, but he doesn't think Paul wrote the Pastorals because of different vocabulary from the consensus-7. Can't have it both ways,

  4. "Jaros is a frivolous, ineffectual moderator."

    At one point Jaros left the stage for a second or two. He came back wearing sunglasses. Was the light distracting him? Yet he later took off his sunglasses.

    At another point he had the scholars playing Bible trivia (and humming a song to indicate time is running out for the "contestants" to write their answers). It would've been better to have simply asked them directly how they think Judas died, for example.

    Jaros couldn't keep Ehrman at bay despite Ehrman being so pushy.

    And so on.