Mike Licona vs. Bart Ehrman Debate

Tonight readers, we are going to break out of the regular Trinitarian studies routine and look at a recent event. This would be a debate that took place between Mike Licona and Bart Ehrman with the question being “Did Jesus Rise From The Dead?” Mike Licona has the website http://www.risenjesus.com and is the author of “Paul Meets Muhammad” and co-author of “The Case For The Resurrection of Jesus” along with Gary Habermas. I believe Licona is on his way to becoming the next great authority on the resurrection.  Ehrman is the James A. Gray distiniguished professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has written numerous books including most recently, “Misquoting Jesus” and “Jesus Interrupted.”

These two met to debate the question. I have chosen tonight to write on my thoughts on the debate.

I have no doubt that both of these men possess great knowledge in the area of history. Naturally, readers do know that I agree with the outcome that Licona was supporting. That’s part of what made this a problem. The case was there but these two men were talking past each other.

To begin with, let’s look at the question. The question was not a historical question. It was a question about the nature of history.  I ask that you keep this in mind as we go through the review of the debate.

Mike Licona made his argument from basic facts that are practically universal amongst New Testament Scholars. The first is that Jesus was crucified and thus, dead afterwards. The second was the appearances to the disciples. The third was the appearance to Paul. Licona argued that based on these and the problem of hallucination theories, the best case to be found is the resurrection. It’s not ad hoc, it explains all the evidence, and the only extra ingredient needed is that God exists. For a fuller explanation of this argument, see the book, “The Case For The Resurrection of Jesus.”

Ehrman did not dispute these and in fact, does not. However, he came with the arguments that the gospels contradict themselves, they’re anonymous, and they’re dated late. He also threw out as an argument that the disciples were fishermen and so they wouldn’t be educated to write the fine Greek of the New Testament. The first problem is that not all of them were fishermen. In fact, Peter, James, and John were the only ones who were writers that I can think of that we know were fishermen. Matthew was a tax collector. He would have known how to fill out records in the appropriate language. As for Mark, I do not know for sure what he did so we cannot assume he was a fisherman. Luke is believed to have been a doctor and would have been familiar with reading and writing. As for fishermen, John’s family owned a fishing business and as a result, he would have been trained in reading and writing as well.

Licona rightly pointed out that we can talk about contradictions all we want, but that won’t change the facts that were presented. Often, this turns into a debate on inerrancy. Now I believe in inerrancy, but that is not what is necessary to show the resurrection of Christ. You can have the gospels simply be historical documents with basic reliability. For information countering Ehrman’s claims, I recommend going to http://www.tektonics.org and looking under the E section for Bart Ehrman.

Ehrman also asked why is it that Mike Licona started off as a Christian and then investigated and remained a Christian. It’s amusing Ehrman asks is that any shock while at the same time he says that he started off as a Christian and left the fold. What’s that to teach us? I’d say it means that there are often other factors. Ehrman contributes a lot of doubt to the problem of evil, for instance. Keep in mind other writers started off skeptics and became believers, such as Simon Greenleaf, author of “The Testimony of the Evangelists”, which can be read online. 

Ehrman stated repeatedly that if you posit God to explain the resurrection, you’re not doing history then. You’re doing theology. Ehrman had a problem with the idea of miracles saying that they were automatically the least probable event.

Ehrman also said that Jesus was crucified didn’t matter. He could have been stoned instead. In fact, it did matter. This was seen as the most shameful death of the time which fit the Israelite idea of “Cursed is anyone who dies on a tree.” Since Jesus died that kind of death, he would have been seen as under God’s curse. Yet this was a benchmark of the Christian message. 

Ehrman also said the appearance were really one event, yet said Paul’s case was more difficult to explain than that of the disciples’. Seems to me like that’s two events. One kind of event was an appearance to believers. Another kind of event was an appearance to skeptics. One wonders also about Ehrman’s request of “How did Paul know it was Jesus?” and his desire to throw out the idea “Don’t tell me God told him.” What’s wrong with that is that that is what Acts 9 says. The voice answered and said “I am Jesus.” It’s like saying, “I want to know what really happened, but don’t suggest the explanation the text gives.”

While Licona had the good information, Ehrman was wanting to try to get Licona to not do theology or philosophy at all, which was the problem. The whole debate had to have a philosophical underpinning to it. I believe Licona should have said “Yes. I am doing theology as well, but my theology is based on the historical evidence.”

During Q&A, it was rightly pointed out to Ehrman that the writers could have used scribes which would have answered the question on the Greek. Kudos goes to Dr. Thomas Howe who spoke of how in one of his books, Ehrman said that when a reader reads a text, they change the text. If that’s the case, how could we know what Ehrman wrote. Ehrman replied saying “I’ll e-mail you” to which the reply was “I’ll be reading that text also.”

My personal part in this was after the debate going to Ehrman and asking about his claim that history can’t tell us about acts of God. I asked if he could historically prove that. The reply was that history can only tell you what humans can do. (In reality, that would be false even on naturalistic premises. History can tell us about non-human characters like comets, the bubonic plague, animals, etc.) I asked “Can you historically prove that?” The answer was “No.” To which I just said, “Okay.” I believed the point was established. Ehrman wasn’t doing purely history either. No one was and no one could and one wishes Licona had brought in the context of the resurrection. This would include reasons for believing God exists, the fulfillment of OT prophecy, the hope of a Messiah, the systematic theology built up around the atonement and the concept of resurrection, etc.

Overall, it was good of Ehrman to come to an environment where he was definitely in the minority, and it made me think that many who were uninitiated in apologetics would have left a presentation like Ehrman’s skeptical. In this case, I am thankful for him. I would like him to create more skeptics. I mean that in the sense of I want people who are asking hard questions about the resurrection instead of those who are not growing in their faith. I would rather have a small number committed to the facts and able to present them than a thousand with a simple idea faith that has no backing to it.

Maybe, just maybe then, we’ll see the revolution we need in the church.

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40 Responses to “Mike Licona vs. Bart Ehrman Debate”

  1. Kelp Says:

    “Ehrman stated repeatedly that if you posit God to explain the resurrection, you’re doing history then.” There should be a “not” there.

    Any idea why Licona left out the appearance to James? That’s the fourth undisputed fact in “The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus

    Thanks for the good review!

  2. Bill Pratt Says:

    Hi,
    Were you at the debate at SES the other day? By the way, the dates on your blog posts seem to be messed up, as it looks like everything was written in 2007.

    God bless,
    Bill Pratt

  3. religion=cult+150yrs Says:

    When you speak of Mark, Matthew, Luke and John, do you actually believe that the gospels, as labeled, were written by Jesus’ actual disciples who witnessed Jesus after the crucifixion? These were written decades later, by people likely not even born when Jesus died.

    How can you even begin to argue your point when the bible is so clearly flawed? Your analysis makes absolutely no sense. For example, “Luke is believed to have been a doctor and would have been familiar with reading and writing. As for fishermen, John’s family owned a fishing business and as a result, he would have been trained in reading and writing as well.”

    This comment is laughable; you really think that these people wrote the gospels? Your ignorance is mind boggling.

    • apologianick Says:

      Moosy: When you speak of Mark, Matthew, Luke and John, do you actually believe that the gospels, as labeled, were written by Jesus’ actual disciples who witnessed Jesus after the crucifixion?

      Me: If you mean as labeled, that they came with their names on them, no. If you mean as labeled, that the ones tradition identifies as the authors wrote them, yes. Aside from Luke, of course, who while he wrote the gospel as far as we know was not a witness who saw the risen Christ. Mark could have been.

      Moosy: These were written decades later, by people likely not even born when Jesus died.

      Me: Really? You want to back this assertion.

      Moosy: How can you even begin to argue your point when the bible is so clearly flawed?

      Me: Even if they were written later, which they were not, it does not follow that the Bible is clearly flawed.

      Moosy: Your analysis makes absolutely no sense. For example, “Luke is believed to have been a doctor and would have been familiar with reading and writing.

      Me: This might sound strange, but being a doctor meant one would have some form of education. Education usually included reading and writing…..

      Also, Luke is one of the most thorough writers in the New Testament checking every detail to the Nth degree. It’s doubtful he did not know how to read or write.

      Moosy: As for fishermen, John’s family owned a fishing business and as a result, he would have been trained in reading and writing as well.”

      Me: Why yes. This is just what some scholars are saying today about John the apostle if you checked the commentary written by Leon Morris on this topic. John’s family owned a boat for fishing and were the ones in charge of the business. They would have known how to read and write in order to process business transactions.

      Moosy: This comment is laughable; you really think that these people wrote the gospels? Your ignorance is mind boggling.

      Me: Challenge me and see how ignorant I am. Better yet, come to TheologyWeb and try me out. We’d particularly love you in the Tektonics section.

  4. J. P. Holding Says:

    Ha ha — you think that twit has any sort of epistemology for dating or authorizaing ancient documents??? 😀 Fer sure.

    Yeah, come on over to TWeb, moosy….I’ll take a bite out of your posterior too, while we’re at it.

  5. Resurrection Weekend Begins « Deeper Waters Says:

    […] Mike is a force to be reckoned with and will continue to be such. A link to that blog is here: https://deeperwaters.wordpress.com/2009/04/03/mike-licona-vs-bart-ehrman-debate/ As for Slipstream, a link to its ministry can be found at the side. Now it’s not my goal to […]

  6. religion=cult+150yrs Says:

    To JP, and what is your epistemology for dating or authorizing ancient documents? Do you agree that the original manuscripts don’t exist today? The fact is, you cannot prove they were written when you think they were, and there is as much evidence dating the gospels as late as the second century as there is even within several decades of jesus’ death (if, in fact, jesus even existed).

    Why is there no mention of him in any historical record outside of the bible?

    I bet you believe there was a global flood, too. A flood that covered Mt. Everest? And that we’re all the product of incest?

    Did jesus ride a dinosaur?

    Bring it…

    • apologianick Says:

      Moosy: To JP, and what is your epistemology for dating or authorizing ancient documents?

      Me: I’m not JP, but I’ll answer also.

      Oh Moosy. Remember? We’re the poor ignorant Christians and you’re the one that is so knowledgable that knows that these were written decades after the events. Please do tell us this method for dating manuscripts that we need to know.

      Moosy: Do you agree that the original manuscripts don’t exist today?

      Me: But oh Moosy. We’re the ignorant ones. Please do fill us in on your scholarly sources on textual criticism.

      Moosy: The fact is, you cannot prove they were written when you think they were, and there is as much evidence dating the gospels as late as the second century as there is even within several decades of jesus’ death (if, in fact, jesus even existed).

      Me: Obviously, we are in the presence of excellent wisdom who believes that we cannot prove when a document was written but is sure that they were written when he thinks they were. Please do enlighten us on this wisdom.

      And as for Jesus’s existence, oh great teacher, I happen to have Tacitus right here, who I have read, and Josephus, who I have started reading before but not finished. Both of them speak about Jesus. Do tell me what great insight you have in history that tells me to disavow their testimony.

      Moosy: Why is there no mention of him in any historical record outside of the bible?

      Me: Oh wise one. Do tell me about Seutonius and Mara Bar-Serapion and Lucian and Pliny the Younger. I need to know also why to say Jesus never existed is not accepted at all in mainstream scholarship. Please enlighten me with this great knowledge you have that the scholars don’t.

      Moosy: I bet you believe there was a global flood, too. A flood that covered Mt. Everest? And that we’re all the product of incest?

      Me: Oh please brilliant one. Can we not discuss one topic at a time?

      Moosy: Did jesus ride a dinosaur?

      Me: One topic at a time. After all, that’s all we slow Christians can take.

      Moosy: Bring it…

      Me: We told you where to come. Why have you not shown up?

  7. J. P. Holding Says:

    Moosebreath sayeth:

    >>>To JP, and what is your epistemology for dating or authorizing ancient documents?

    Well, dumbass, there are three things scholars normally look at, and despite what you may think, they are not “Moe, Larry and Curly”. They are:

    1) Internal evidence of attestation.
    2) External evidence of attestation.
    3) Internal evidence of content.

    I use these. What do you use? Do you wipe yourself on the toilet and then read the pattern that comes off of that to decide who authored what and when?

    >>Do you agree that the original manuscripts don’t exist today?

    Duhhhhhhhhh…yes. And before you reload that question, original mss. don’t exist for ANY ancient document intended for wide consumption — not Tacitus’ Annals, not the works of Livy or Cicero. Your point then is what? Precisely. You have none. You’ve just made up rules out of your arse for what is needed. It’s just as easy to say the same thing as you do re “you cannot prove, blah blah blah” about ANY ancient document — with just as much proof. Eg, NONE.

    >>>Why is there no mention of him in any historical record outside of the bible?

    Shall I slap you with Josephus and Tacitus a few times to start? Bring up all the standard canards; I’ve answered ALL of them. Repeatedly.

    >>>I bet you believe there was a global flood, too.

    It could have been local; I really don’t care.

    >>>And that we’re all the product of incest?

    In your case, I could believe that!

    >>>Did jesus ride a dinosaur?

    No, but you’re sure beating some dead horses.

  8. religion=cult+150yrs Says:

    please tell me when jesus is returning, so i can sit on my roof and watch the fireworks…

    is the bible the true, inerrant word of god? if so, your comment about a local flood would not hold true, and therefore the bible is errant. what is it? are you a fan of banana boy ray comfort?

    and don’t answer the tough questions, continue making statements about the fact that we’re all descended from Noah, there were dinosaurs on the ark…and how did the kangaroos get from australia to the ark, then back to australia? for that matter, koalas, emus, and golden web spiders, all of which can be found only in australia?

    does it bother you that if you had been born in saudi arabia you’d likely be a muslim?

    and what happened to people who lived before jesus? i’m sure you have a great, facutally based answer for that one?

    and why would god punish people like aborigines in australia? who created them to, only to put them in a place where they couldn’t learn about him?

    you can defend the bible all day long, acting smug and self-confident in your salvation, when you know that none of it makes any fucking sense. A supposed god who could create the universe and everything in it would not create such a cockamamie way to get to him…

    do you think it’s part of god’s plan for so many people in the world to lead lives of unbearable pain and suffering?

    how about the Jessica Lunsford, who was abducted, repeatedly raped, then put into a trash bag and buried alive by her attacker, John Couey? what a loving god…

    keep defending your faith, i’m glad it makes you sleep better at night. but think about jessica once in awhile, struggling to breathe, the weight of the soil crushing her chest as she struggled, slowly pressing the life out of her, and ask your god why he would allow her to suffer a death I would not wish on any human being, let alone a 9-year-old little girl.

    your god doesn’t exist.

  9. J. P. Holding Says:

    Moose Breath:

    >>>please tell me when jesus is returning, so i can sit on my roof and watch the fireworks…

    Too late! Nick and I put the “return” of Jesus in the first century, moron. I’d explain to you about things like this, but you’re so dumb you think a “parousia” is made by Chevrolet!

    >>>is the bible the true, inerrant word of god? if so, your comment about a local flood would not hold true,

    Only if that’s not what the Bible says, dumbass.

    >>>and don’t answer the tough questions, continue making statements about the fact that we’re all descended from Noah,

    I don’t make such statements anywhere, Moose Face. How abotu YOU answer some questions about the epistemology of document authorship?

    >>>does it bother you that if you had been born in saudi arabia you’d likely be a muslim?

    YAWN — that old canard???? If you’d been born in Cuba you’d be a Communist; what does that say about whether or not representative democracy is a better form of government, you twit?

    >>>and what happened to people who lived before jesus? i’m sure you have a great, facutally based answer for that one?

    Yep:

    The Bible makes two assertions which may be paired here for an application:

    1. The evidence for God is clear, so that men are without excuse (Ps. 19, Rom. 1-2). The heavens aleady declare God’s existence and majesty. Broken Vector of course would disagree with this, but within the context of the present discussion this is not relevant.
    2. He who seeks, finds (Matt. 7:7//Luke 11:9).

    My own answer to the question, “What about those who never hear the Gospel?” is, “Those who want to know it, will be given the knowledge needed for salvation. Those who seek God will have God sufficiently revealed to them.” There is also anecdotal evidence from the missionary field that may support this point; but such is currently beyond our discussion, and we may add it at a later date. Nevertheless, it is not lack of hearing the Gospel that causes condemnation; it is sin that causes condemnation, and it is not hard to arrive at a deduction that sin is offensive to whatever powers one may suppose to be at hand (indeed, the religious history of sacrifice and penance suggests a broad awareness of this!) and that there needs to be some connection or bridge in order to achieve a reconciliation. Even the Greeks knew that when Zeus said to jump, they were to ask how high if they didn’t want to end up turned into a donut. Signs in the moon and such are completely unnecessary; indeed, one may somewhat suggest that hearing the Gospel message isn’t strictly “necessary” — the Gospel message certainly adds clarity and improves disciple functionality, but under this paradigm, lack of hearing it is not a valid excuse for not turning to the Creator. In this context an event limited by spatio-temporal constraints is not an argument against the significance of the event.

    Old canard #547494….your aborigines are in no danger if they’re honest. Got any more stored in your sock drawer, Moose Face?

    >>>you can defend the bible all day long, acting smug and self-confident in your salvation, when you know that none of it makes any ***ing sense.

    Here’s a hint Moosey….it makes sense…you’re just STUPID! 😀

    >>>how about the Jessica Lunsford, who was abducted, repeatedly raped, then put into a trash bag and buried alive by her attacker, John Couey? what a loving god…

    Excuse me, but that happened in MY state, so I know a lot about that case. It never would have happened had multiple HUMANS done their jobs and done justice according to God’s instructions and principles — under which, Couey would have been executed long before he put his hands on that poor girl. It’s sorry whiners like YOU who cried for lighter sentences on perverts like Couey, so don’t blame God for your problems — especially if you’ve sinned today! In fact — blame YOURSELF first!

    >>>your god doesn’t exist.

    Your brain doesn’t exist….! 😀

    Did we forget about ancient documents there, Moosey? Too hard to deal with, huh?

    • sowsearsoup Says:

      I’m curious why christians think its Christlike and loving to call others dumbass, stupid, mooseface, perverts, twit. PRAISE JESUE, I HATE YOU!

  10. religion=cult+150yrs Says:

    The fact that it happened in YOUR state is about as relevant as Sarah Palin’s expansive foreign policy experience as a result of her physical proximity to Russia, dipshit.

    You must be a piece of work in person, loser; you know nothing about me but make the statement “whiners like you who cried for lighter sentences on perverts like Couey…blame yourself first.” Unbelievable. If I had my way, Couey would not be put to death, he would be subjected to repeated, daily, violent ass-raping for the rest of his life.

    The mental machinations you go though to attempt to prove your position is based in nothing more than fantasy. You completely ignored the god problem with evil and suffering vis-a-vis the Lunsford case and blamed it on humans. God created us, right? Then he could, and should, step in and stop the evil HE CREATED from harming that girl.

    As a non sequitur, my teenage son has Down syndrome, and two different xtians have said to me, worriedly, “doesn’t it bother you that he won’t go to heaven?”

    What a wasted life you lead, holding so closely to a fallacious belief system that professes to know the truth. I’ll throw in with the Aborigines and their belief in the Dreamtime long before I believe that your god, sent himself in human form, to live among us and die on the cross for the sins of man that, oh yeah, he himself created.

    WTF?

  11. religion=cult+150yrs Says:

    >>>1. The evidence for God is clear, so that men are without excuse (Ps. 19, Rom. 1-2). The heavens already declare God’s existence and majesty. Broken Vector of course would disagree with this, but within the context of the present discussion this is not relevant.

    You believe that the heaven’s declare god’s existence and majesty? Really? How? All I see is the sky, clouds, etc. Prove god did it.

    The fact that Jessica Lunsford’s murder happened in YOUR state is about as relevant as Sarah Palin’s foriegn policy experience due to her close proximity to Russia, dipshit. You know nothing about me and my position on jail sentences for rapists. If I had my way, Couey would not be put to death, he would be repeatedly, brutally ass-raped, daily for the rest of his life. Blame myself? No. I blame a “loving, all powerful god” who would allow this to happen. He could intervene, but chooses NOT to. Why? He either doesn’t care, or can’t do squat.

    Non sequitur here, my teenage son has Down syndrome, and two different xtians have said to me, paraphrased, “aren’t you worried that your son will not go to heaven since he cannot understand what jesus did for our sins?”

    I’ll throw in with the Aborigine’s and their belief in the Dreamtime before I throw in with a god who encourages slavery and requires slaves to be “obedient.” Are you gonna explain that one away too?

  12. religion=cult+150yrs Says:

    I double posted my last response – the first one didn’t show up initially and I thought I lost it. I’m sure you’ll make some dipshit comment about it…

  13. religion=cult+150yrs Says:

    I have no problem dealing with ancient documents – i don’t need need to be a biblical scholar to know that the bible was written by ancient men, not god.

  14. religion=cult+150yrs Says:

    Your biggest fear, Holding, is that by pulling a single thread the whole thing will unravel like the cheap suit it is. It is a book of faith only, not history, biology, biography, science, or even philosophy.

    Your entire worldview is challenged when people like me poke holes in your arguments, which is why you resort to name calling (I can hear the nervous laughter in your words).

  15. J. P. Holding Says:

    Moose Breath said:

    >>You believe that the heaven’s declare god’s existence and majesty? Really? How? All I see is the sky, clouds, etc. Prove god did it.

    First of all, moron, since your concern was the aborigines, and THEY believes that it was the work of a god, what YOU ask is beside the point.

    Second, I’ll just take it as obvious that you’re so dumb that your only answer to complex issues like the design argument is “duh ah prove it”. 😀

    >>>The fact that Jessica Lunsford’s murder happened in YOUR state is about as relevant as Sarah Palin’s foriegn policy experience due to her

    Wrong, moron. It’s VERY relevant because I know all about the liberal early release policies in this state that jerks like YOU instituted to show “mercy” to perverts like Couey.

    >>> Blame myself? No. I blame a “loving, all powerful god” who would allow this to happen. He could intervene, but chooses NOT to

    Wrong again! He did intervene — he gave us the brains to figure out what ought to be done with perverts like Couey, and He gave us clear moral laws telling us what to do with them. Blame YOU and people like YOU who go into wah wah mode and blame God for not doing what he equipped YOU to do. Y – O – U. Or spell it M – O- R- O -N. 😀

    >>>Non sequitur here, my teenage son has Down syndrome

    YAWN….sorry, but for intellgient Christians who know about things like accountability, that’s still a non sequitur. Deal with it. I get dumbass atheists like you; you get dumb Christians like them. Too bad.

    >>>I throw in with a god who encourages slavery and requires slaves to be “obedient.” Are you gonna explain that one away too?

    YAWN….

    http://www.christian-thinktank.com/qnoslave.html

    Got any new ones yet?

    >>I have no problem dealing with ancient documents – i don’t need need to be a biblical scholar to know that the bible was written by ancient men, not god.

    Translation: “Duhhhhh…external…evidence of…attestation? Duh ah…duh…duh….”

    >>>Your biggest fear, Holding, is that by pulling a single thread the whole thing will unravel like the cheap suit it is. It is a book of faith only, not history, biology, biography, science, or even philosophy.

    YAWN…..

    >>>Your entire worldview is challenged when people like me poke holes in your arguments, which is why you resort to name calling (I can hear the nervous laughter in your words).

    You can hear laughter, all right…. 😀 People like you are an endless source of amsuement…it’s like stepping on a bug that scurries this way and that as each of his arguments are flattened….YAWN…can you say, “Raaaaaaid!!!!”?

    • sowsearsoup Says:

      Moose breath’s biggest issue here is engaging with abusers like Holding. He is mean-spirited, egomaniacal and filled with hatred and disdain of those who challenge him. Moose Breath may be wrong, may be beligerent, may have facts wrong, but he’s not a Christian. But if the true view of a Christian is less concerning what they know, and more concerning how they behave, I guess neither is Holding. So this is just two joes flapping their gums.

  16. J. P. Holding Says:

    YAWN….Moose Breath, seein’ as how you’re too dippy to answer my arguments and so keep hauling out new ones, I’m hanging you out to dry on TheologyWeb in the thread at

    http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?t=126282

    so we can ALL laugh at you.

    Oh, and SO sorry to take away one of your indignant excuses for being a moron (viz., “aren’t you worried that your son will not go to heaven since he cannot understand what jesus did for our sins”) with an intelligent answer you can’t refute, but hey, that’s the price you pay for being stupid! 😀

  17. religion=cult+150yrs Says:

    Wow, you must be very tired…you’re yawning an awful lot. Get some sleep, bud. Why was god so involved in the past, actively talking to all kinds of people but is so silent now?

    And I am not an atheist, I’m agnostic. I don’t believe in any god(s) but I recognize I cannot prove they don’t exist so I say, “I don’t know.” However, I am very much an atheist when it comes to every god of every so-called revealed religion, including your xtian god. There is simply little to no convincing evidence that he or she ever existed (and your pathetic attempts have not convinced me in any way).

    And even if he or she was real, based on the doctrine attributed to him, I would not find him (or her) worthy of any respect, much less worship, so in that specific case, I reject that god as being legitimate. I cannot 100% prove he doesn’t exist, but I wouldn’t bet that he exists any more than I would bet that Xenu does.

    >>>Wrong again! He did intervene — he gave us the brains to figure out what ought to be done with perverts like Couey, and He gave us clear moral laws telling us what to do with them. Blame YOU and people like YOU who go into wah wah mode and blame God for not doing what he equipped YOU to do. Y – O – U. Or spell it M – O- R- O -N. 😀

    You’re hanging onto that one, huh? That living in the state that Couey lived in makes you some kind of expert about the case; Palin did the same thing and look what that did for her. The 10 Commandments say nothing of rape, especially not of a 9-year-old girl. What a weak argument – god gave us the “brains to figure out what ought to be done.” That’s the best you can do? Really? You disappoint me.

    I bet you think prayer works too; pray for my son to be cured of his Down syndrome. Please. Ask as many people as you can to pray for him. He will NEVER be cured. Why? Does god hate people with Down syndrome? Amputees? Polio? Dwarfism? He must hate them all!

    No. It’s because he is not there.

  18. Matthew Says:

    “The fact is, you cannot prove they were written when you think they were, and there is as much evidence dating the gospels as late as the second century as there is even within several decades of jesus’ death (if, in fact, jesus even existed).”

    As Ehrman admits in the debate, the latest date for the gospels is 65 years after the crucifixion, which is the first century.
    And as Ehrman admits, no sane person today doubts the historicity of Jesus.
    And as Ehrman admits, we don’t have the manuscripts from any work of antiquity.
    And as Ehrman admits, the New Testament is the BEST ATTESTED work of ancient history.

    See, I don’t even have to make a case on my own. Ehrman is sufficient to demonstrate your ignorance.

  19. J. P. Holding Says:

    http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showpost.php?p=2637772&postcount=417

  20. apologianick Says:

    Moosy. I see you have signed up on TheologyWeb. If you find me there, I will be glad to discuss the so-called problem of evil. Until that one gets worked out, I personally see no value in going after the other issues. However, if you wish to see this as an objection to Christian theism, rest assured I will have my own questions that need to be answered as well.

  21. HOney Says:

    Hey!!
    ive read enough of both sides and its seems like both of you cant get along lol i just want to straighten some things out… first of all for moosy, seems like you dont believe in God, thats ok..you asked alot of questions about Noah, incest, evolution etc..all the answers can be answered….If you heard of Kent Hovind, Get his DVDs or rent them..u should watch them ALL to understand everything, u will be amazed on wat he says and researched. Also for Apologianick…seems like you think you know everything, I was wondering if you are a Christian..?? a Christian should never call anybody bad names but instead be an example!!! Thats good if you kno the bible well… live by it! and WATCH YOUR WORDS.

  22. apologianick Says:

    So much to deal with here….

    Honey: Hey!!
    ive read enough of both sides and its seems like both of you cant get along lol i just want to straighten some things out… first of all for moosy, seems like you dont believe in God, thats ok..you asked alot of questions about Noah, incest, evolution etc..all the answers can be answered….If you heard of Kent Hovind, Get his DVDs or rent them..u should watch them ALL to understand everything, u will be amazed on wat he says and researched.

    Me: Okay. Let’s look at this. Where is Kent Hovind? What are his credentials? Do you know? Also, you speak about calling someone names. Does this mean Hovind isn’t a Christian since he in his debate with Hugh Ross on the Ankerberg show he constantly called Ross a cult leader and his followers cultists?

    Honey: Also for Apologianick…seems like you think you know everything,

    Me: No. But I do know when someone is speaking nonsense and I do know what I know because I also have done my own research.

    Honey: I was wondering if you are a Christian..?? a Christian should never call anybody bad names but instead be an example!!! Thats good if you kno the bible well… live by it! and WATCH YOUR WORDS.

    Me: Now this is where it gets amazing. Let’s look and see who wouldn’t be one who is a Christian and/or following the Bible well.

    Elijah wouldn’t. He mocked the prophets of Baal.

    Isaiah wouldn’t. He made fun of those who cooked meals and then set up idols from that which was left over.

    Amos wouldn’t. He called the women of Israel cows.

    Micah wouldn’t. He mocked all the cities that would be receiving judgment.

    John the Baptist wouldn’t. He referred to the Jewish leaders as broods of vipers.

    Paul wouldn’t. He spoke of dogs and called the high priest a white-washed wall and told the circumcision crowd that he wished they’d go the whole way and emasculate themselves.

    Tertullian wouldn’t. He referred to Marcion as having the brain of a pumpkin.

    In fact, most of the church leaders did the same.

    Jesus himself wouldn’t. He called his opponents sons of Hell and whitewashed tombs. He asked how long he’d have to put up with such a wicked generation.

    The truth is, this is the way the biblical worldview worked because truth mattered more than feelings. If someone was being foolish, they came out and told them. Today, we value feelings more than truth. It’s a demonstration of our culture that believes in Political Correctness above all.

    Perchance you should explain these biblical examples, since obviously you know it well, know it well enough to tell other people they don’t know it well and they think they know everything, but oh, let us not insult anyone…..

  23. sowsearsoup Says:

    Apologianak has a debate style that’s very easy to spot. Its the same one Glenn Beck uses. He turns the questions back on their questioners while never actually answering the question itself. You won’t ever get a straight answer because that’s not as important a eviscerating his opponents. He hopes to show that his opponents questions are idiotic to begin with. The fact that they’re being asked is grounds for dismissal of all future give and take as valid. Example (mine only) –

    Moosy: Did you eat the last piece of pie?

    Apologianak: You stupid retard. Only in your momma’s dreams are you anywhere near smart enough to question me on my eating habits. But since you were asking, why don’t answer this first? WHO ATE THE FIRST 5 PIECES OF PIE? Hmm? Thought so. Youre so concerned with the last piece you miss the question of the first 5 pieces. Now, come over to the website I and my friends and fellow pie eaters run and have control over and debate us there so I can do this some more to you.

  24. J. P. Holding Says:

    Precisely!

  25. SarahB Says:

    Nick,
    I didn’t see Mike Licona hurl any insults at Bart Ehrman. Do you think he should have? Was he being “pc”? Does your pastor hurl insults?

    • sowsearsoup Says:

      Don’t try to reason with him. He’s not interested in reason. I mean he worships the Bible instead of God. He isn’t interest in loving his neighbor as himself cause he’s the only one that matters, your feelings, salvation, and peace with Christ don’t. He’s not interested in turning the other cheek, but in making you turn yours. The idea of God ACTUALLY being love, is a foreign and confusing concept for him. He know it intillectually, but not internally. He can’t. If he did, he wouldn’t act this way. He’s not defending God, or preaching the good news, he’s not knocking the dust from his sandals and moving to the next town. He hates being wrong, and that’s all that matters.

      And that is, sadley, why he is in actuality, so wrong.

  26. sowsearsoup Says:

    It’s not about how much you know, it’s about what you do with that knowledge.

  27. J. P. Holding Says:

    Oh wow, now he’s making up exegesis and rules as he goes along! bMust be fun! 😀

    How much you wanna bet the dumbass won’t want to debate the REAL meaning of agape with me?

    http://www.tektonics.org/whatis/whatlove.html

    • sowsearsoup Says:

      Praise God!

    • sowsearsoup Says:

      I may be engaged in exegesis but I didn’t make it up. You seem to think that I am saying you can’t get fired up, or even angry with another person and I’m not. I’m just saying that that is ALL you have. It’s not based in disagreement, it’s based in hatred. If you don’t buy that Jesus preached to us to tell us to love one another, care for one another, treat the poor, hungry, meek, and downtroden with such love that we give of ourselves to them, there is nothing I can do or say to you that will convince you. And as you seem to think it’s OK to engage in ISEGESIS as is evidenced by your link, merely to help support you ministry of hate, all the while calling me a dumbass, accuse me of making stuff up because it’s a view contradictory to your own, well it’s beyond me to do anything about that. Luckily for me, my faith doesn’t hang by so precarious a thread, that I need I have to resort to verbal violence in order to sleep at night. I care about this subject, in this thread, not because I care about Bart Ehrman, or Mike Licona. I care because people like you give Jesus a bad name.

  28. J. P. Holding Says:

    The twit can’t even spell “eisegesis” correctly, yet he wants to be taken seriously! 😀

    Bottom line: You can’t answer the arguments, and you’re exactly the sort of loser who is causing Christianity in the Western world to die a slow death.

    We won’t miss you. 🙂

  29. B&q Says:

    Yo!! I always look forward to your thoughts. Thank you,
    keep up the great work.
    Just to let you know, your Facebook Like press button isn’t working.

  30. apologianick Says:

    I don’t know what to tell you about that.

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