Bart Ehrman, Bestselling Religious Author and Scholar, to Give the 2017 Phi Beta Kappa Lecture at TU

Feb 2, 2017

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we speak with Bart Ehrman, the Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at UNC Chapel Hill. Prof. Ehrman is also a bestselling nonfiction author whose many books include "How Jesus Became God," "Jesus Interrupted," and "God's Problem: How the Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important Question: Why We Suffer." He'll give a free-to-the-public lecture tonight (the 2nd) on the TU campus; it's the 2017 Phi Beta Kappa Lecture, beginning at 7pm in the Tyrell Hall Auditorium. Prof. Ehrman will offer an address based on one of his most popular books, and that book is "Misquoting Jesus: Scribes Who Changed the Scriptures and Readers Who May Never Know." As was noted of this volume by Booklist: "The popular perception of the Bible as a divinely perfect book receives scant support from Ehrman, who sees in Holy Writ ample evidence of human fallibility and ecclesiastical politics. Though himself schooled in evangelical literalism, Ehrman has come to regard his earlier faith in the inerrant inspiration of the Bible as misguided, given that the original texts have disappeared and that the extant texts available do not agree with one another. Most of the textual discrepancies, Ehrman acknowledges, matter little, but some do profoundly affect religious doctrine. To assess how ignorant or theologically manipulative scribes may have changed the biblical text, modern scholars have developed procedures for comparing diverging texts. And in language accessible to nonspecialists, Ehrman explains these procedures and their results. He further explains why textual criticism has frequently sparked intense controversy, especially among scripture-alone Protestants. In discounting not only the authenticity of existing manuscripts but also the inspiration of the original writers, Ehrman will deeply divide his readers. Although he addresses a popular audience, he undercuts the very religious attitudes that have made the Bible a popular book."