So I'm thinking that when I have kids, I would really like to teach them about Jesus, not as the Messiah or as the Son of God, but as a moral teacher who taught lessons that I cherish such as pacifism, charity, compassion, and love. Of course, I would probably not teach them to worship or pray to him(I'd have to discuss it with my other half), but I think that Jesus ranks up there when talking about virtuous figures for children to model themselves after.

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JstN - Did you copy this from a website or is this your own research? Do you have links?

Matt VDB - Yes, {Ehrman is} a very distinguished historian and possibly the best scholar on this subject of our time.

Which is great. His work should not be taken lightly. It should also not be taken as a closed door. Most breakthroughs in research come at the expense of the best scholar on the subject at the time.

And you tried to claim this man was a theologian who couldn't be trusted on the matter of Jesus' existence. Yet your bibliography alone proves that that is not true;

How? Where in JstN's bibliography does he say Ehrman is an Atheist or specifically not a theologian? Not elsewhere, specifically in JstN's bibliography, since you are using that as your 'proof.' On the issue of trust, that is a subjective opinion of JstN's. If he doesn't trust a source, he doesn't trust a source. A person's personal trust can not be proven or disproven. For example...

and even if it was, the fact that he's a Jew blows the idea that he's not objective on this topic out of the water: if anything he would be biased against Christianity.

Christianity, maybe. Historicity of Jesus, not necessarily. I can imagine any number of reasons a Jew would have good reason to want Jesus to be a real historical figure.

Plus, if a scholar is a Theist, all that education and they still believe in a sky-daddy, it makes me wonder what else they'll take on faith.

This is what I mean about the difference between evidence and subjective opinion/interpretation of the evidence.

*** Not to excuse JstN's initial personal attacks on you. He should have started with this bibliography and a link to wherever he grabbed it from.
"Which is great. His work should not be taken lightly. It should also not be taken as a closed door. Most breakthroughs in research come at the expense of the best scholar on the subject at the time."

We were actually talking about Vermes, not Ehrman. And if you're seriously expecting modern scholarship to suddenly come out and say that they only just noticed (after decades of rigorous research) that there's actually not enough evidence to conclude that Jesus existed at all, then... I don't know what to say.

"How? Where in JstN's bibliography does he say Ehrman is an Atheist or specifically not a theologian? Not elsewhere, specifically in JstN's bibliography, since you are using that as your 'proof.'"

If you're going to try to play referee, is it too much to ask for that you even understand what we are discussing? Jstn made the monumentally ignorant assertion that "Every non theologian scholar has come to the conclusion that this jesus charter did not exsist.". I then quickly named Ehrman and Vermes (I could name many more but I'm too lazy and he quite frankly isn't worth my time) to disprove that statement: they are both non-theologians, yet they have come to the conclusion that Jesus did exist. Which means I win, and he loses. Again, as usual.

He's now trying desperately to prove that Ehrman and Vermes are theologians (despite one being an atheist and one being a deist) to salvage his original statement. And failing miserably at it. Try to keep up.

"Christianity, maybe. Historicity of Jesus, not necessarily. I can imagine any number of reasons a Jew would have good reason to want Jesus to be a real historical figure."

Yes Jo, I'm sure you're very creative and you could. We all have our biases. But a deist Jew has a hell of a lot less biases than any kind of Christian, or than any kind of atheist.
We were actually talking about Vermes, not Ehrman.

Oops, sorry, misread JstN's post. Confused the two names. They get lumped together often enough I sometimes forget which rock-star scholar we're talking about.

But, this is why I asked you where in JstN's post he identifies the scholar as theologian or atheist, rather than just telling you it's not there. For we are all human. If I missed that bit in JstN's post, as well, let me know. If not, I'm sure you'll apologize to JstN for misreading his post as I have.

Sorry JstN!
"But, this is why I asked you where in JstN's post he identifies the scholar as theologian or atheist, rather than just telling you it's not there. For we are all human. If I missed that bit in JstN's post, as well, let me know. If not, I'm sure you'll apologize to JstN for misreading his post as I have."

But Jo, that's what this conversation is about. It's about whether or not every "non-theologian scholar" accepts Jesus Mythicism. That's why JstN has posted Ehrman's and Vermes' credentials; he's trying to prove that they are theologians (which is hard considering that they are not).

That's the context of this discussion: he tried to post their credentials with no further comment, hoping that it would prove that these people are theologians. He doesn't have to spell that out for us to understand that.
--- Matt VDB - If you're going to try to play referee, is it too much to ask for that you even understand what we are discussing? ... He's now trying desperately to prove that Ehrman and Vermes are theologians (despite one being an atheist and one being a deist) to salvage his original statement. And failing miserably at it. Try to keep up.

--- JstN Earthling - If this is not a theologian you do not understand the definition, period.

Theologian (n) \ˌthē-ə-ˈlō-jən\

From Miriam-Webster - "One who specializes in Theology."

From Dictionary.com - "A person versed in theology, esp. Christian theology; divine."

From Oxford Dictionary - "A student of theology."

Erhman and Vermes seem to me to fit the definition. I agree with JstN that they are theologians.

And one person's "referee" is another person's "joining the discussion on a free forum." I don't see anything in the site rules about it being off-limits to step in and say "Dude has a point."
"Erhman and Vermes seem to me to fit the definition. I agree with JstN that they are theologians."

They do? How? How are scholars investigating the New Testament and its First Century context theologians?
And people who study Yanomami religious rites are, of necessity Yanomami theologians? C'mon. Can you not distinguish between theology and religious studies?
DO YOU EVEN READ WHAT YOU POST? EHRMAN IS AN ATHEIST.
It says right there in the article that Ehrman shows that the Bible is riddled with inconsistencies. And in one of his latest books, Ehrman argues that the problem of evil is a decisive argument against Christianity.

How the fuck can that guy be a theologian?

Please at least do an effort to check your facts.
Matt asks JstN: DO YOU EVEN READ WHAT YOU POST? EHRMAN IS AN ATHEIST.

I just read JstN's Ehrman biography (Yes, Ehrman, not Vermes, hoo-boy, won't make that mistake again!). And like the previous one, I fail to see where JstN identifies the man as either Theologian or Atheist. If I've missed it, please tell me.

Unless you're inferring that from...

It says right there in the article that Ehrman shows that the Bible is riddled with inconsistencies. And in one of his latest books, Ehrman argues that the problem of evil is a decisive argument against Christianity.

Neither of those statements automatically equal Atheism. They often do, but not always.

I grew up in an entire denomination (low church Episcopal) that openly admits the inconsistencies and inerrancy of the bible.

I have known many Theists who argue against the religion of Christianity; either non-Christians, or people who say they believe in God, Jesus, and the bible, but not the religion of Christianity.

JstN: Did you run across any biographies of Ehrman that specifically state his religious beliefs or Atheism? It should also be noted JstN that "Theologian" can simply refer to someone who is a scholar on the subject of theology. It does not necessarily mean that person is a Theist. But I take it that is what you mean when you use the term?
I know you don't like when I say that things are correct and incorrect, but this time it is directed at Matt.

Bart Ehrman does not identify as an atheist. He grew up fundamentalist and identifies as an agnostic. To quote, from a blog post by him on human suffering. "As it turns out, my various wrestlings with the problem have led me, even as an agnostic, back to the Bible, to see how different biblical authors wrestle with this, the greatest of all human questions. The result is my latest book: God's Problem: How the Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important Question--Why We Suffer."

In the same blog post he says, "It would be a view that I would still hold on to, if I were still a Christian. But I'm not."

It's a minor quibble. He is certainly not a Christian. He looked to the Bible as a collection of writings by ancient teachers who tackled some of the same problems we still do today, including human suffering. It is only natural, since that is his field of expertise. It does not mean that he holds them authoritative. In fact, they failed to answer his question.
Al-KADIM,

Yeah, I know. He identifies as an agnostic. But what I tend to find is that by the definitions most commonly used on this site, he is an atheist. He does not believe in a God: for me and most people on this site that means he's an atheist, regardless of whatever label he wants to put on that.
So I'm going to be naughty and still count him in with us ;)

Jo,

"Neither of those statements automatically equal Atheism. They often do, but not always."

They do equal being a non-theologian though. Unless this is a new breed of theologians that tries to find arguments against Christianity.
For the third time: this is what the conversation is about: whether or not every historian who rejects Jesus Mythicism is a theologian.

And Ehrman really is an atheist (or agnostic atheist or whatever you want to call it: he does not believe in a God), you can find that easily enough online: he regularly states it.
I can accept that.

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