Isn’t it Ironic…Ehrman attacked by Scholars on the Left

For most of his academic career, Bart Ehrman has busied himself with attacking the beliefs of evangelical Christians.  Having come out of an evangelical background, Ehrman seems bent on fixing what he sees as the major theological, historical and biblical problems in the evangelical world. I have reviewed some of his books, here, here, and here.  However, after the publication of his most recent book, Did Jesus Exist?, Ehrman has begun to experience something that I would imagine is entirely new to him—attacks from scholars on the left.  Indeed, Ehrman is now the recipient of scholarly attacks from those more radical than himself.   As Ehrman defends the historical existence of Jesus of Nazareth (see his recent post here ), he is being vigorously challenged by scholars who hold to Jesus as a mythical figure (see here).   While I am certainly pleased that Ehrman is defending the existence of the historical Jesus, it is a bit ironic to see him being attacked for holding a more conservative position.


Isn’t it Ironic…Ehrman attacked by Scholars on the Left — 4 Comments

  1. I think that your characterization of Richard Carrier, an individual who is not pursuing an academic career, as “scholars on the left” is incredibly misleading.

    • Thanks, James. Appreciate your comment. Although I must admit I am confused. Carrier has a Ph.D. from Columbia University and has written a number of books and academic articles. I suppose it depends on how we define “scholar,” but he certainly seems to fit the general definition. He doesn’t have a current teaching post, but I am not sure that is the only way to define the term (he refers to himself as an ‘independent scholar’ I think). Regardless, I linked to his article simply because it was one I had recently seen. Now this is not to say he is a ‘good’ scholar; but I see no reason not to use that term.

      • Well, Carrier is a mythicist who is criticized in Ehrman’s book, and so unsurprisingly responded as he did. But Carrier and mythicism do not in any way shape or form represent something that could be described as “scholars(hip) on the left.” My point is not so much about whether Carrier is a scholar, as whether he represents a viewpoint that represents what scholars think more generally.

        • Well, then I think we are agreed. By no means does Carrier represent mainstream scholarship. Most scholars on the left and right agree that Jesus existed. However, even though Carrier is vastly in the minority, he is still a scholar to the left of Ehrman that is critiquing Ehrman–and that was my only point.