Misquoting Jesus

Have you ever heard of the book “Misquoting Jesus” by Bart D. Ehrman? He is a liberal historian who has investigated the Gospels and the life of Christ.  He says this about liberal scholarship in his book “Did Jesus Exist?”

“Their [liberal scholars] agenda is religious, and they are complicit in a religious ideology.  They are not doing history; they are doing theology. 


“To be sure, they are doing their theology in order to oppose traditional religion.  But opposition is driven not by historical concerns but by religious ones…


“They look at our society and see what incredible damage religion has done to human lives: from sponsorship of slavery to the refusal to grant women reproductive rights to the denial of the possibility of gay love and marriage. They look at the political scene and see what awful political power the religious right yields: from imposing certain sets of religious beliefs on our society or in our schools to electing only those political figures who support certain religious agendas…


“I have to admit that I have a good deal of sympathy with these concerns.  But I am also a historian who thinks that it is important not to promote revisionist versions of the past for ideological reasons rooted in nonhistorical agendas.  The writing of history should be done by following strict historical protocols.  It is not simply a means of promoting a set of personal likes and dislikes…


“But neither issue – the good done in the name of Christ or the evil – is of any relevance to me as a historian when I try to reconstruct what actually happened in the past.  I refuse to sacrifice the past in order to promote the worthy cause of my own social and political agendas.  No one else should either.  Jesus did exist, whether we like it or not.”

Bert D. Ehrman, Did Jesus Exist? Pp. 338-339


This is food for thought!



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