RE: The PA: "It Isn't Found In Our Ancient MSS"?? [Thread closed]
- [This is the last post in this thread. Continue off-list, please. ---Wie]
As I mentioned before, I intentionally moved the subject of the inaccuracies in Dr. Ehrman’s Manifold Greatness lecture to a different venue altogether – specifically, to YouTube, in the form of a counter-lecture at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZPM4sF990c . And that was that, in this group, until Larry’s recent response.
Regarding the idea that I’m “seeking to attack the credibility of a person” – considering that the person (Dr. Ehrman) is issuing claims about text-critical subjects, is it not a valid exercise to test and evaluate his claims? Or do you think that Dr. Ehrman’s influence is so small that his lectures do not merit our attention?
The issue, as you said, is indeed about what is right, not who is right. And the inaccurate statements that I have addressed would deserve correction and clarification if they had come from a dozen sources in a dozen books, instead of from just one person in one lecture. But as it turns out, they /did/ come from one person in one lecture, didn’t they. That’s not my fault, is it?
You asked about what point I wish to debate. Setting aside the points I addressed in the counter-lecture, I have three points to submit to you here. First: evidence (specifically, the testimony of Codex Bezae) should not be manipulated so as to be exalted as one of our most ancient witnesses in one case (Mk. 1:41), and then treated as if it does not exist in another case (John 8:53-8:11). The inclusion or non-inclusion of the PA is not the issue, Gary; the issue involves the legitimacy of a presentation-method in which the evidence is described selectively, and important facts are avoided, depending on whether or not they support the speaker’s/writer’s argument, instead of whether or not they are important facts.
Second, there is the point that a lot of inaccurate evidence-descriptions and half-truths are emanating from Dr. Ehrman’s books and lectures. Considered individually, each might be minor (although some of his claims, like the repeated claim that Mark 16:9-20 is medieval, I would consider major mistakes); nevertheless, little by little, it becomes quite a bundle which many of his readers and listeners are bound to absorb, recycle, and inflate. So I ask you the same question I ask myself: if you do not object when inaccurate statements are spread around (whether from Dr. Ehrman, or from someone else), are you not an accomplice? (I know that we can't patrol the whole seashore, but that doesn't mean we mustn't guard any of it.)
Third, if we figure that Dr. Ehrman does not want to perpetuate false information, then he should welcome corrections and clarifications that reach the same audience that his mistakes reached, in the same venues. We’ve already seen that it is very ineffective to issue small, quiet corrections; just look at Metzger’s correction of the fictitious story about Erasmus and the CJ: here we are 33 years after Henk de Jonge’s article, and 20 years after Metzger’s retraction, and Dr. Ehrman still spreads the “rash promise” fiction on YouTube to this very day. Whatever peer review is supposed to do, it obviously is not doing it fast enough or loud enough. Just as we should not want to wait 20 years before other people’s mistakes are corrected, we should not want to wait 20 years to have our own mistakes corrected. Would you want to teach something false for 20 years, only to be eventually corrected by someone who could have straightened you out 20 years ago, if he had not felt that it would have been impolite? Certainly not, I hope. So if politeness and consideration is your concern, I suggest contemplating how polite and considerate it would be to silently and politely allow a person to continue to labor under a misconception, and share it with his readers and students, while he – as an honest human being who does not want to be misled nor to mislead others – would welcome a course-correction, and would immediately stop spreading false information, if only someone told him, loud and clear, that it was false.
With which of these three points do you disagree, Greg?
Yours in Christ,
James Snapp, Jr.
--- In email@example.com, wrote:
Larry Swain: you seemed to say that the PA "isn't found in our ancient manuscripts."
Yet the PA is in Codex Bezae, which Bart Ehrman described as "one of our oldest witnesses" (on page 134 of Misquoting Jesus).
Larry, why is it not as obvious to you as it is to me that it is deceptive and inconsistent to mold the evidence so as to depict Codex Bezae as one of our oldest witnesses regarding the reading in Mark 1:41, and then saying that our ancient manuscripts do not have the PA, while knowing very well that Codex Bezae *does* have the PA?
Also, in your response, if you respond, could you grant me a small favor: no imaginary-world scenarios, please, like the imaginary world in which /if/ "nusings" is replaced by "neesings," /then/ it would be a valid point-for-bart. Please avoid the imaginary worlds in which other such specious scorekeeping occurs. No one needs to be told that a foul ball would be fair, if it had been hit into fair territory. Real-world answers only, please.
Yours in Christ,
James Snapp, Jr.