1 John 5:7
His reasoning, appears to be based on some credible evidence which suggests that these verses were added at a much later date than other New Testament writings. Many modern translations like the NIV, NASB, and the ESV will put the above verses in italics or mark them with asterisks * and then reference the absence of them in certain manuscripts.
Unfortunately, Ehrman also claims that virtually half the New Testament was written by impostors taking on the names of apostles. He also claims that:
* At least 11 of the 27 New Testament books are forgeries.
* The New Testament books attributed to Jesus’ disciples could not have been written by them because they were illiterate.
* Many of the New Testament’s forgeries were manufactured by early Christian leaders trying to settle theological feuds.
These claims are outlined in Ehrman’s book “Forged: Writing in the Name of God–Why the Bible’s Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are.” Another New Testament scholar, Ben Witherington, calls Ehrman’s book “Gullible Travels,” for;
“It reveals over and over again the willingness of people to believe even outrageous things.” You can read Witherington’s discussion on this here and here.
These claims are by no means new. Many have questioned the trustworthiness of specific parts of the bible since ink stained paper. Luther objected to the books of Hebrews, James, Jude and Revelation and tried to remove them from Scripture for his own set of reasons. I do think that there are some ‘highly suspect’ verses like some of those mentioned above, but I believe that the New and Old Testaments, the 66 Books of the bible, have stood the test of time and scholarship to attest to their own authority and validity. But, that’s why I’m writing this post. Most of the arguments mentioned above are solely based manuscript evidence, that is, investigating the accurate transmission of biblical data across time. There are others who have long rejected certain parts of the bible based on moral objections, philosophical approaches, theological assumptions, hypocrisy, and incorrect interpretation/translation. Of these, my greatest concern is the interpretive integrity. I have little issue with calling out those passages that have been religiously usurped by malicious translation or inappropriately strung together by faulty logical argumentation. I am not saying that those passages don’t belong, but that they need further scrutiny. Ultimately, it’s intellectually dishonest and spiritually lazy to dismiss biblical texts because you ‘just don’t like them,’ or it ‘offends your sensibilities.’ If we’re going to willingly enter into a conversation about the bible, then let’s lay our cards on the table.
I wanted to provide a running list of questionable verses, passages, or books of the bible (according to others) for open discussion and respectful debate. This blog post will serve as a repository for these discussions. So, let’s get to it then…
What texts in the Bible, do you think, don’t belong? Why?