Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The 3rd Ehrman-Wallace debate

As many probably already know, a third debate between Dr. Bart Ehrman and Dr. Daniel Wallace concerning the text of the New Testament took place on February 1, 2012. Two excellent summations of the debate have been posted (one by Dr. Wallace himself), and both include some pretty high-level dialogue (for the internet) in the respective comboxes.

Link to Dr. Wallace's summation (with 82 comments)

Link to Dr. Köstenberger's summation (with 37 comments)


Now, I would like to 'spice-up' the debate a bit, by introducing a third perspective on this issue (the first being the conservative minority text presupposition [i.e. Wallace's]; the second being the agnostic/atheist presupposition [i.e Ehrman's]): the conservative, majority text presupposition.

Back in 2009, Kent Brandenburg delved into the epistemology of textual criticism in the following posts:

Part one

Part two

Part three

Part four

Additional reflections

And a bit earlier, Kent provided reflections on the related debate between Dr. Ehrman and James White:

First Impressions of the Ehrman-White Debate


A lot to take in and reflect upon...


Grace and peace,

David

11 comments:

thegrandverbalizer19 said...

With the name of Allah, Peace be unto those who follow the guidance from their Lord.

Looks interesting indeed.

David, I hope that you are in the best of health and faith.

I wanted to know your personal thoughts on the theory of 'Q' if possible and/or any good book recommendations on 'Q'.

In particular the best book(s) resources that support 'Q' and/or the best book(s) resources that seek to show the 'Q' hypothesis is totally incorrect.

Much thanks and appreciation.

Drake Shelton said...

Thanks David.

Ken said...

Sorry I put these under the post about Surah 4:157, but they should have here, regarding GV19's question about "Q".
_______
GV19,
David will certainly give his view and recommendation and you can take what you want.

"Q" is just a theory - short for "Quelle" - the German word for "source". It is a hypothetical thing. No "Q" has ever been found. It is trying to explain the material in Matthew and Luke that is common but not found in Mark, and assumes that Mark and some unknown "Q" are the oldest "sources" for the Synoptic gospels.

different theories of what "Q" might be depend on what view one takes - there are many.

One is the "Two Source theory" - another theory can use "Q" and other hypothetical documents or oral traditions that can be a "Four Source Theory", etc.

In the larger issue of the NT and gospels, etc. - that address "Q" within the books -

Some good books from a conservative Evangelical point of view are:

1. Introduction to the New Testament, by D. A. Carson and Douglas J. Moo

2. A Harmony of the Gospels, (NASB) by Robert L. Thomas and Stanley Gundry. Has a good appendix that explains "Q" and the "Synoptic Problem" and harmonization and interacts with Form Criticism, Source Criticism, and Redaction Criticism.

3. Reinventing Jesus by J. Ed Komoszewski, M. James Sawyer, and Daniel B. Wallace.

4. The Heresy of Orthodoxy, by Andreas Kostenberger (he was in my seminary class in 1987-1988 at CIU, Columbia, SC - always made perfect 100s in Hebrew and Greek - amazing. Very cool to see him go on to Phd and become one of the leading Evangelical scholars of today.)

5. Jesus Under Fire, edited by Michael Wilkins and J. P. Moreland. (has chapters by William L. Craig, Craig Blomberg, Craig Evans, Edwin Yamauchi, Darrell Bock, Gary Habermas.)

Eta Linneman is another interesting person.

She was a higher critic liberal scholar who was converted and changed her view about the Synoptics and Mark for a more conservative view.

From the Wikipedia article on her:

Linnemann caused a stir in 1978 when, due to a conversion experience in November 1977 according to her own statement, she renounced the historical-critical method, and asked readers destroy her previous publications.[2] From 1983, at the age of 60, she departed Germany for Indonesia to train pastors at the Theological University of the Indonesian Mission community in Batu. In her book "What is credible - the Bible or the Bible criticism" Linnemann claimed in 2007, citing an unnamed ear witness, that Rudolf Bultmann on his death bed had recanted his critical views. A real proof of that assertion, however, so far (as of 2009) remains only an echo in Bultmann's research.
. . .
Linnemann rejected Markan priority and favored the Independence View of the synoptic gospels. One of Linnemann's views to find support among conservative English speaking scholarship, notably F. David Farnell, was her rejection of a Q (source) for the synoptic Gospels in favour of an explanation following the Jewish requirement of Deuteronomy 19:5 that "on the evidence of two or three witnesses a matter shall be confirmed".[3]


See also:
http://www.tms.edu/tmsj/tmsj8h.pdf

Other good books are:
D. A. Carson's commentaries on

1. Matthew (in Volume 8 of the Expostiors Bible Commentary; also has a commentary by Mark and Luke by other authors. they all discuss "Q" also.

2. John (not related to "Q" theories, but a good scholarly commentary by a very well respected Evangelical.)

Ken said...

GV19,
David will certainly give his view and recommendation and you can take what you want.

"Q" is just a theory - short for "Quelle" - the German word for "source". It is a hypothetical thing. No "Q" has ever been found. It is trying to explain the material in Matthew and Luke that is common but not found in Mark, and assumes that Mark and some unknown "Q" are the oldest "sources" for the Synoptic gospels.

different theories of what "Q" might be depend on what view one takes - there are many.

One is the "Two Source theory" - another theory can use "Q" and other hypothetical documents or oral traditions that can be a "Four Source Theory", etc.

In the larger issue of the NT and gospels, etc. - that address "Q" within the books -

Some good books from a conservative Evangelical point of view are:

1. Introduction to the New Testament, by D. A. Carson and Douglas J. Moo

2. A Harmony of the Gospels, (NASB) by Robert L. Thomas and Stanley Gundry. Has a good appendix that explains "Q" and the "Synoptic Problem" and harmonization and interacts with Form Criticism, Source Criticism, and Redaction Criticism.

3. Reinventing Jesus by J. Ed Komoszewski, M. James Sawyer, and Daniel B. Wallace.

4. The Heresy of Orthodoxy, by Andreas Kostenberger (he was in my seminary class in 1987-1988 at CIU, Columbia, SC - always made perfect 100s in Hebrew and Greek - amazing. Very cool to see him go on to Phd and become one of the leading Evangelical scholars of today.)

5. Jesus Under Fire, edited by Michael Wilkins and J. P. Moreland. (has chapters by William L. Craig, Craig Blomberg, Craig Evans, Edwin Yamauchi, Darrell Bock, Gary Habermas.)

Eta Linneman is another interesting person.

She was a higher critic liberal scholar who was converted and changed her view about the Synoptics and Mark for a more conservative view.

From the Wikipedia article on her:

Linnemann caused a stir in 1978 when, due to a conversion experience in November 1977 according to her own statement, she renounced the historical-critical method, and asked readers destroy her previous publications.[2] From 1983, at the age of 60, she departed Germany for Indonesia to train pastors at the Theological University of the Indonesian Mission community in Batu. In her book "What is credible - the Bible or the Bible criticism" Linnemann claimed in 2007, citing an unnamed ear witness, that Rudolf Bultmann on his death bed had recanted his critical views. A real proof of that assertion, however, so far (as of 2009) remains only an echo in Bultmann's research.
. . .
Linnemann rejected Markan priority and favored the Independence View of the synoptic gospels. One of Linnemann's views to find support among conservative English speaking scholarship, notably F. David Farnell, was her rejection of a Q (source) for the synoptic Gospels in favour of an explanation following the Jewish requirement of Deuteronomy 19:5 that "on the evidence of two or three witnesses a matter shall be confirmed".[3]


See also:
http://www.tms.edu/tmsj/tmsj8h.pdf

Other good books are:
D. A. Carson's commentaries on

1. Matthew (in Volume 8 of the Expostiors Bible Commentary; also has a commentary by Mark and Luke by other authors. they all discuss "Q" also.

2. John (not related to "Q" theories, but a good scholarly commentary by a very well respected Evangelical.)

Ken said...

It is interesting to get the Majority Text view - but the "King James Only - ism" is the radical arm of the Majority Text view.

"majority" meaning the most number of manuscripts, but they are all later of the Byzantine family.

The "minority text" view means the oldest manuscript evidence.

The Muslims would seem to trust the oldest manuscript evidence more, because their view is that the original gospel was corrupted between Jesus' death (alleged to them) and the writings of the NT - somewhere between 30-48 AD.

Dr. White's book The King James Only Controversy really helps lay out all the issues.

Ken said...

Also, if you are willing to read this series, by Colin Smith at James White's site, an Introduction to Textual Criticism.

this is part 1:
http://aomin.org/aoblog/index.php?itemid=2580

I think it goes up to part 12.

search to get the links to all 12 articles.

David Waltz said...

Hi GV19,

Thanks for taking the time to participate in this thread, and your kind interest in my health; I am doing good, just got back from a great run on the beach. It feels much more like a spring, rather than a winter day—mostly sunny, with just a slight breeze...

==I wanted to know your personal thoughts on the theory of 'Q' if possible and/or any good book recommendations on 'Q'.

In particular the best book(s) resources that support 'Q' and/or the best book(s) resources that seek to show the 'Q' hypothesis is totally incorrect.==

As Ken has mentioned, the so-called 'Q' document is short for "Quelle" - the German word for "source". Ken is also spot-on with the following that he penned:

==It is a hypothetical thing. No "Q" has ever been found. It is trying to explain the material in Matthew and Luke that is common but not found in Mark, and assumes that Mark and some unknown "Q" are the oldest "sources" for the Synoptic gospels.== [An excellent summation Ken.]

There are probably dozens of variations concerning the details of the theory, but all share, as a presupposition, the above that Ken provided.

I am anything but an expert on higher criticism, which lies behind the 'Q' theory (more specifically source and redaction criticism). There are literally hundreds (if not thousands) of books and essays on this subject. Two books I have personally found to be quite informative are: New Testament Criticism & Interpretation, edited by Black and Dockery - Zondervan Publishing House, 1991; and Scripture and Truth, edited by Carson and Woodbridge - Baker Book House, 1992. (Both of these books contain essays by authors from diverse backgrounds and positions.)

The following site is an excellent online resource, with information on a number of important books and essays (some of the essays are free):

http://www.biblicalstudies.org.uk/nt.php

Sincerely wish I could be of more assistance, but I just don't feel qualified enough in the higher critical field to do so.


Grace and peace,

David

P.S. Say hi to your wife for me.

David Waltz said...

Hello Ken,

Thanks much for your contributions, they are much appreciated. I found the info on Linnemann quite useful, especially Yarbrough's essay (which I just finished).

== Linnemann rejected Markan priority and favored the Independence View of the synoptic gospels.==

This has been my own position for a number of years now.

== It is interesting to get the Majority Text view - but the "King James Only - ism" is the radical arm of the Majority Text view.==

I think there are some very important differences among the 'KJV-Only' folk, and unfortunately, many (almost all) of the 'KJV-Only' critics have misrepresented and/or misunderstood what the brighter 'KJV-Only' folk (e.g. Robert L. Dabney, Edward Hills, Jeffrey Khoo, and especially Theodore P. Letis) actual hold to. (Perhaps I should type up a post in the near future to deal with this issue.)


Grace and peace,

David

Ken said...

[An excellent summation Ken.]

David,

I greatly appreciate it when we agree so GV19 can see I have no hidden agenda and trying to be totally open and honest about these issues.

thanks for a good discussion here; I sincerely hope all of this info helps the GV19 learn about the issues and properly see the 27 books of the NT as God-breathed.

thegrandverbalizer19 said...

With the name of Allah,

Peace be unto those who follow the guidance from their Lord.

Ken I would submit to you and David's superior knowledge of this subject area.

The reason I was interested in Q is because for me it was the last best chance to see Jesus as a historical person (which without my presuppostional belief in the Qur'an as a supernatural revelation) I would not believe in as even existing.

Q was my last best chance to see that perhaps underneath the Gospel service there really was a real person (outside of my belief in the Qur'an which mentions him).

This is why I was keenly interested in the subject.

As far as seeing the New Testament as God breathed I do not want to go and revisit 2 Timothy 3:16 all over again.

However, I am greatly appreciative of the resources.

The sources provided actually would work contrary to my hopes. That some where underneath the New Testament manuscripts I might be able to find the 'historical' Jesus.

Ken said...

The reason I was interested in Q is because for me it was the last best chance to see Jesus as a historical person (which without my presuppostional belief in the Qur'an as a supernatural revelation) I would not believe in as even existing.

GV19, you seem to have a radical skepticism toward ALL the NT and only accept the stuff outside the NT - as your recent articles show - you say, basically, "without the Qur'an, I would not believe that Jesus even existed". You dismissed Suetonius, Pliny the Younger, and Thallos (Parts 1-3); and I don’t know what you are going to do with Tacitus and Josephus, and other historical evidences.

It seems you just don’t trust anything Paul or John or Matthew or Peter wrote – all Jews and all disciples / apostles of Jesus. I wonder if you will dismiss Ignatius (about 107-117 AD) and Clement of Rome (96 AD) and the Didache (70-120 AD) and Polycarp (died around 165 AD) and Justin Martyr (died around 156 AD) and Tertullian and Irenaeus (200 AD) Amazing you seem to think they all died for a lie started by this guy named Paul and by the writer of the fourth gospel. Luke investigated everything thoroughly; and he was a very accurate historian.

The amount of complete and utter distrust and skepticism is amazing. Suddenly, 600 years later, Muhammad gives you all the correct info on Jesus. Amazing.