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Bart Ehrman - A Hero for Islam - By Keith Thompson

Bart Ehrman - A Hero for Islam - By Keith Thompson

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Published by Gilbert Hanz
The Quran teaches that Allah deceived everyone to think Jesus was crucified but that it didn’t actually happen historically speaking. This claim is very problematic and it flies in the face of 1st and 2nd century historical data.
The Quran teaches that Allah deceived everyone to think Jesus was crucified but that it didn’t actually happen historically speaking. This claim is very problematic and it flies in the face of 1st and 2nd century historical data.

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Published by: Gilbert Hanz on Jul 19, 2011
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Bart Ehrman: A Hero for Islam?
Keith Thompson
 Many Muslims adore the New Testament scholar Bart Ehrman because he is a former Christian who is now a critic of the New Testament. He has authored numerous booksattacking the validity of the New Testament including
 Misquoting Jesus
. In turn Ehrman¶sclaims have been challenged and addressed in subsequent articles and debates.
1
Muslimsoften exploit Ehrman¶s work and parade his anti-Christian rhetoric in videos and articles. Butis Ehrman really a hero for Islam? Or does he hold to historical views that are detrimental toIslam?The aim of this article is to do two things. 1. Show that Bart Ehrman grants four major andfundamental things concerning the life of Jesus and about Christianity that Islam denies. 2.To give reference material to those who are confronted with Muslims who appeal to BartEhrman as a hero for Islam. This article will demonstrate that many of Bart Ehrman¶swritings are useful tools against Islam.
Topic
1
: The Crucifixion of Jesus
 The vast majority of Muslims reject the Crucifixion of Christ because their Quran rejects thishistorical event. In the Quran we read:And because of their saying: We slew the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, Allah's messenger -
they slew him not nor crucified him
,
but it appeared so unto them
; and lo! those whodisagree concerning it are in doubt thereof; they have no knowledge thereof save pursuit of aconjecture;
they slew him not for certain
. (Quran 4:157, Pickthall)It is quite clear that this religion teaches its followers that Jesus¶ crucifixion was just an act of deception on the part of Allah. The Quran teaches that Allah deceived everyone to think Jesuswas crucified but that it didn¶t actually happen historically speaking. This claim is very problematic and it flies in the face of 1
st
and 2
nd
century historical data. For this reason thesupposed hero of Islam, Bart Ehrman rejects Islam¶s position that Jesus wasn¶t crucified andhe has openly stated that he believes Jesus was crucified according to the available data. Inhis work µThe New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings,¶ hestates:In any event, Tacitus's report
confirms what we know from other sources
,
that Jesus wasexecuted
by order of the Roman governor of Judea, Pontius Pilate.
2
 So it seems that the hero for Islam agrees with the Christians about Jesus being crucified.This is valuable information and is very useful to bring up to anyone who touts Ehrman as thehero of Islam.
 
Topic 2: Paul the Usurper or Real Apostle of Christ?
 Many modern Muslims hate Paul because Paul clearly taught Christ¶s divinity in his writings.Even though there is a strong case to be made that Paul was a true apostle according to theQuran and early Muslim sources (
*
), many Muslims do not hesitate to slander and even mocthe Apostle Paul. Many Muslims claim that Paul was not a true apostle. They claim that hesimply came in later and corrupted everything somehow.However, Bart Ehrman does not share this radical belief. In fact Bart Ehrman defendsApostle Paul as an early reliable source of information for the life of Jesus. Ehrman contendsthat, based on the evidence, the Apostle Paul knew the original disciples of Jesus and becameone of them.In a radio interview the Infidel Guy challenged the notion that Jesus even existed and claimedthat there is no real evidence for him existing. Ehrman, confused at the assertion becausevirtually no scholars hold this view, corrects the deceived radio host. They then debate andEhrman states the following:We have one author 
who actually knew Jesus¶ relatives and knew his disciples
«
 Paul 
«.
 I 
t¶s not an embellishment that Paul met with James in Jerusalem
.
3
 So what we have is Islam¶s hero Bart Ehrman destroying modern Muslim belief aboutApostle Paul. Ehrman, along with the majority of serious scholarship holds the view that Paulwas a true disciple of Jesus Christ who met with the leaders of the early church shortly after Jesus¶ crucifixion, not a usurper.
Topic
3
: Jesus was buried & His Apostles Reported Visions
 Muslims deny that Jesus was crucified. Islam teaches that Jesus was rescued from the cross by Allah and that someone was made to appear like Jesus on the cross. However the hero of Islam, Bart Ehrman, although he disputes the type of burial Jesus had, does concede thatJesus was most likely buried and that his disciples most likely did have visions where they believed they saw the risen Christ!Dr. Ehrman remarks:What I think we can say with some confidence is that
Jesus actually did die
,
he prob
a
b
ly
 w
as
b
u
ried 
, and that some of his disciples (all of them? some of them?)
claimed to have seenhim alive afterward
. Among those who made this claim, interestingly enough, was Jesus¶own brother James, who came to believe in Jesus and soon thereafter became one of the principle leaders of the early Christian church.
4
 Since Islam denies that Jesus died and was buried one can logically assume that they denythat Jesus¶ followers had multiple experiences in which they thought that they had seen therisen Christ. I am not aware of any Islamic text which states that the post resurrectionappearances were delusions from Allah. However the supposed hero of Islam grants all of this based on the early data. It looks like Bart Ehrman holds to historical views whichundermine Islam in a very strong way.
 
Topic 4: Does the Bible anywhere teach that Jesus is God?
 It is a common theme for Muslims to assert that nowhere in the Bible does it teach that Jesusis God. Many debates have been waged on this very subject. Muslims believe that it is shirk (unforgivable sin) to associate partners with Allah. This is why Muslims will try to make acase that the Bible doesn¶t teach that Jesus is God. Because they don¶t understand theTrinitarian doctrine they believe we are associating another being with God. However theTrinity doctrine teaches that there is one being of God existing in three persons, not three beings. One Muslim apologist Sami Zaatari has stated:I don¶t believe the first
four gospels of Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John
« I don¶t believe preach he is God at all. I believe they preach that he is the Messiah, a prophet and that¶s it.And he did mighty miracles and great works.
5
 This is a bold claim but does Islam¶s anti-Christian hero Bart Ehrman share the same view asZaatari? Or does Bart Ehrman admit that there are passages in the Gospels that teach Jesus¶deity?Bart Ehrman refutes Zaatari¶s distortion and states:The Gospel of John «
goes a long way toward identifying Jesus himself as divine
(seee.g., John 8:58; 10:30; 20:28).
6
 These are the verses which Ehrman believes attest to Jesus¶ divinity in the Gospel of John:Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am." (John 8:58, NASB)"I and the Father are one." (John 10:30, NASB)Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!" (John 20:28, NASB)Although Muslim apologists will claim that the Gospels don¶t teach that Jesus is God, Islam¶ssupposed hero Bart Ehrman lists three passages in the Gospel of John that he feels clearlyattest to Christ¶s divinity.
Conclusion
 In conclusion, we learn that Ehrman grants many things that Islam emphatically denies whichshould make people wonder why they hold this man in such a high view. We learn thatEhrman accepts four important historical facts that Islam rejects about Jesus and earlyChristianity. Ehrman grants Jesus¶ death on the cross, the reliability of Paul as an apostle andacquaintance of the disciples, Jesus¶ burial, that Jesus¶ followers had experiences in whichthey believe Jesus appeared to them, and that the Gospel of John teaches the deity of Christ.This information should be useful to anyone who is confronted by Muslims who tout BartEhrman as a hero for Islam. Bart Ehrman¶s views should in fact be used as a weapon againstIslam.Christ has risen, he is Lord.

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