Ehrman presuppositional approach - the early church was adoptionist and ebionite

Steven Avery

Administrator
PBF threads on Ebionite, Adoptionist late beliefs (non-Apostolic), denial of Virgin Birth and snipping the Bible


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[TC-Alternate-list] Bart Ehrman's adoptionist-ebionite 1st c. Christian presupposition -- core of his textual corruption theory
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/TC-Alternate-list/conversations/topics/5164


Dear List, Does anyone here follow Dr. Ehrman and contend or grant the possibility that the reading "the only begotten God" may reflect an early orthodox corruption against the Adoptionists? See Bart Ehrman, The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture (New York: OUP, 1993), pp. 78-82.

Steven
This is the false Bart Ehrman presupposition of the early adoptionist and ebionite Christian movement having written the scriptures, which is at the core of his textual theory. It was actually pretty easy to expose and disassemble. And when I ran into the Tony Costa paper, that was a nice confirmation and help.


[textualcriticism] Bart Ehrman's textual theory foundational presupposition - adoptionism is the early Christianity - least orthodox reading
Steven Avery - Nov 10, 2011
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/textualcriticism/message/6730


You can follow the thread from that point, and my follow-up is here:

[textualcriticism] Bart Ehrman's textual theory foundational presupposition - adoptionism is the early Christianity
Steven Avery - Nov 13, 2011
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/textualcriticism/message/6736
[textualcriticism] Bart Ehrman's textual theory foundational presupposition - adoptionism is the early Christianity
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/textualcriticism/conversations/topics/6730

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With a lot of interest in the last years, we have seen a lot of discussion of Bart Ehrman's nouveau approach to textual theory:


The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture (1996) - Bart Ehrman

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This book has created a lot of chatter, and yet one basic point was often missed.
I have only seen these basics touched on in one resource:

Tony Costa paper

The American Journal of Biblical Theology Vol.8 Issue 28.
Was Adoptionism the Earliest Christology? A Response to Bart Ehrman
Tony Costa
http://www.biblicaltheology.com/Research/CostaT01.pdf

"...Ehrman argues that the view of the adoptionists was probably the original of Jesus held by the earliest Christians" (p.2)

The problem here is that Ehrman is driven by his theological presupposition, not the textual evidence, that adoptionism was the earliest Christology and on this score, Ehrman is grossly in error. (p. 9)

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The Ehrman Presupposition of Adoptionism as the Original Christianity

The paper shows how much of the Bart Ehrman construct is really a type of textual special pleading in order to support his presupposition that the early Christians were adoptionists. And with adoptionists Ehrman specifically emphasizes the ebionites, who deny the virgin birth, as the main element of adoptionalism.

Ehrman touches on the adoptionists in a few ways, e.g. by continually saying that the NT text was tampered away by those meanie proto-orthodox scribes, away from adoptionist ideas. Clearly that means that the original NT had those adoptionist/ebionite ideas. (The question of precisely who were these proto-orthodox who wielded so much pen power to uproot the original adoptionist faith we will leave aside for now.)

On p. 48 Bart Ehrman specifically places the adoptionism groups and beliefs, that they :

predate the books of the New Testament
preliterary traditions
Jesus' earliest followers

In other words, those who walked with Jesus, even before the New Testament was written, were those who we would consider adoptionists/ebionites, per Ehrman.
And Bart Ehrman does not place any other group in that period.

Note also (quote below) that
Bart Ehrman says that the adoptionists/ebionites did not "originate" their views ... which is this context can only mean that their views were directly received from Jesus, and "Jesus' earliest followers".

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Consistency, the Jewel

In order to support this theory, Bart Ehrman ends up supporting :

variants with virtually no support
redaction theories of the text that are special pleading
the Byzantine Text over the Alexandrian when it is convenient for Ehrmans' theories.

The third one is the great heresy for Hortianism, Bart Ehrman even ends up supporting "Son" over "God" in John 1:18 ! Thus becoming a momentary Burgonite, jumping ship from all his normal textual theory. This was covered a bit earlier on this forum at:

[textualcriticism] John 1:18 - translation errors --> rewriting church history --> textual theory (Bart Ehrman presentation)
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/textualcriticism/message/6424 - Steven Avery - May 4, 2011
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/textualcriticism/message/6428 - Steven Avery - May 7, 2011

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Doctrinal Analysis Drives Ehrman Textual Theories

In other words, what drives Ehrman's concepts is not textual analysis, but doctrinal analysis. And Bart Ehrman tries to wedge in the Bible text to match his preferred doctrines. He sees the early Jesus movement as a low Christology belief, very low.

We could do a side discussion here of why atheists, skeptics and mythicists would naturally prefer adoptionist and ebionite Christianity to be original, as they always reject high Christology understandings. However, not in this post, we will simply mention that point en passant.

And we could also mention that if the Ehrman adoptionist presupposition is rejected as unfounded, then the theories of Orthodox Corruption basically all go out the window. The book Orthodox Corruption would then be seen to be designed for the fringe mythicist-atheist market, who find those original ebionite Christian idea reasonably compatible with their beliefs. Or the book may be meant to "inform" the popular market in a special direction, to work as a bit of agiprop for those who are unaware of the issues and the approach.

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Scholarship Support For the Ehrman Adoptionist/Ebionite Postulate

I wondered how Bart Ehrman supported his view that the early Christians were adoptionist/ebionite. Surely that is a very hard position from the BIble text, which is why Ehrman has to take flights of fancy on wild variants and redactions and unusual historical/textual theories.

In my experience, few scholars take that view that the original Christians were adoptionist/ebionite. There are fascinating writings by gentlemen like Richard Bauckham, Larry Hurtado, N. T. Wright, Alan Segal, Alister McGrath, James McGrath, Alan R. Millard and dozens of scholars you could name. So what about the Ehrman adoptionism as early Christianity position ?

First, here are three sections that form his adoptionist discussion:

Adoptionism explained by Ehrman: Other Christians, however, rejected this claim and argued that Christ was a flesh and blood human being without remainder, a man who had been adopted by God to be his Son and to bring about the salvation of the world. To be sure, these representatives of adoptionism constituted no monolith; they differed among themselves, for example, concerning the moment at which Jesus' adoption had taken place. But by the second century, most believed that it had occurred at his baptism, when the Spirit of God descended upon him and a voice called out from heaven, "You are my Son, today I have begotten you." (p. 47)

The Earliest Adoptionists
Christians of the second and third centuries generally--regardless of theological persuasion--claimed to espouse the views of Jesus' earliest followers. With regard at least to the adoptionists, modern scholarship has by and large conceded the claim. These Christians did not originate their views of Christ; adoptionistic Christologies can be traced to sources that predate the books of the New Testament.

The business of reconstructing the preliterary sources or the New Testament is a highly complex affair, and a discussion of the attendant difficulties lies beyond the purview of the present investigation. It is enough to observe that form-critical analyses of the New Testament creedal, hymnic, and sermonic materials have consistently demonstrated earlier strata of tradition that were theologically modified when incorporated into their present literary contexts. Many of these preliterary traditions evidence adoptionistic views. (p. 48)

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So apparently Bart Ehrman appeals to:

Professor By and Doctor Large.

Christians of the second and third centuries generally--regardless of theological persuasion--claimed to espouse the views of Jesus' earliest followers. With regard at least to the adoptionists, modern scholarship has by and large conceded the claim. These Christians did not originate their views of Christ; adoptionistic Christologies can be traced to sources that predate the books of the New Testament.

Interestingly, there was no footnote identifying the "by and large" scholarship that is at the base of his textual exposition.

Would anybody like to fill in the gap and either support the Ehrman claim with the specific groupings of scholars ?
And clear the field of those like Richard Bauckham who might respectfully disagree.

Or perhaps take the position that Bart Ehrman was grossly oversimplifying the critical underlying claim of his exposition in the blithe assertions above.

At least .. we could help Bart Ehrman have a real footnote in the next edition.

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Bart Ehrman

> the question of whether adoptionism was the earliest form of Christology ... I certainly do think it was,

Steven
Thanks for the acknowledgement, which is your position as given in the Tony Costa paper.

We are discussing the theory of text tampering by the "proto-orthodox". This malleable group of doctrinalists, per Bart Ehrman in Orthodox Corruption, falsely presented themselves, as apostolic.

Orthodox Corruption:
These forebears came to be quoted as authoritative sources for deciding theological issues, and were presented as true heirs of the apostolic tradition, as reliable tradents who passed along the doctrines of the faith from apostolic to Nicene times. ~ Chief among these were such figures as Ignatius of Antioch, Polycarp, Justin, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Hippolytus, and even Clement of Alexandria and Origen the writers whose works were preserved by the victorious party and who continue today to influence students concerning "the" nature of Christianity after the New Testament period. (Orthodox Corruptoin p. 12)

Yet in Bart' Ehrmans economy, as acknowledged above, the real true heirs were the adoptionists. And these were primarily or largely ebionites, disbelievers in the virgin birth. The proto-orthodox may have been sincere, but their purported apostolic lineage was mistaken. And these writers, and their supporters, are seen as the tamperers, corrupters, of the original NT text (maybe not always consciously and deliberately, however corruption was their bottom line). They are also seen as foisting the canon as well, but that is not our concern teoday.


PROTO-ORTHODOX

Ignatius of Antioch
Justin,
Polycarp
Irenaeus
Origen
Clement of Alexandria
Tertullian,
Hippolytus

Rather an impressive list. And based on the way the term is defined and used, I would say most or all of the following dozen writers and church figures also fit into Bart Ehrman's grouping of the proto-orthodox.

Clement of Rome
Barnabas
Aristedes,
Shepherd of Hermas
Mathetes,
Melito of Sardis
Athenagoras,
Theophilus of Antioch
Cyprian.
Dionysius of Alexandria
Julius Africanus
Gregory Thaumaturgus

Also the Council of Carthage of 256 AD (Cyprian) and the Antiochan Councils of the 260s (Dionysius of Alexandria) contra Paul of Samasoata. I would be interested in knowing if Bart Ehrman agrees that this is a proper augmenting of his "Chief among these" group of proto-orthodox, the first list.

One of the points of the book that I found most fascinating is that this group of proto-orthodox is seen as :


Tampering the New Testament text in two opposite directions !

In addition to scribal alterations that serve to prevent an absolute identification of Christ with God the Father ... others (scribal alterations) that work to "subordinate" him to God within the divine economy. These variants are also to be construed as the remnants of proto-orthodoxy, even though the explicit claim that Christ was not fully equal with God would at a later date be condemned as heretical. To be sure, even for the proto-orthodox, Christ was in one sense equal with God (although not identical with him). But this involved an equality of substance, not of function within the divine economy; with respect to the latter, the Father was, to use the words of the Fourth Gospel, "greater" than Christ. Not so for the Patripassianists, who saw Christ as God himself. Certain changes within the New Testament manuscript tradition work to dissociate the text from such a view by clarifying the relationship between Christ and God. (Orthodox Corruption p. 268)

So the proto-orthodox were often making textual adjustments contra the adoptionists for the "complete Deity of Christ" (p. 78).
On the other hand, they frequently made adjustments against the Sabellian full Deity of Christ concepts !

This two-sided coin, the jewel of inconsistency, clearly is wonderfully efficient for flexibility in argumentation ! :)

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THE TWO-SIDED TEXTUAL COIN OF ORTHODOX CORRUPTION

To give an example .. if today you want to argue that the following phrase has a deliberate corruption:
(Or accidental corruption deliberately maintained.)

1 Timothy 3:16 - "God was manifest in the flesh ..."
It can be an orthodox corruption, contra the original adoptionist which/who/he, , the low Christology reading. .

Or, if you prerer to argue that "God was manifest in the flesh ..." , high Christology, was original, it could be tampered by the proto-orthodox to avoid the Sabellian heresy of full Deity and identification of Jesus as God !

Which one is more "natural" ?
Depends as much on whether the moon is full or waning than any other markers .

(Sidenote: which/who has, in other contexts, been considered a grammatically awkward gnostic corruption, due to linking grammatically with the mystery.)

Bart Ehrman

Steven
Respectfully disagree. I believe the full-orbed range of Bart Ehrman contributions to textual theory in Orthodox Corruption involves the adoptionist originality presupposition. This is the primary lens.

Either way, there is a base of Hortianism, and you even stay with Hort on the Western non-interpolations. Now, if you remove the theory of adoptionism as original, if you allow the 20 writers above not to be doctrinal text tamperers, I simply do not see what you have left that is different or somewhat unusual or unique. Most of the unique arguments go poof in the night. Except perhaps a higher view of the quirks of Codex Bezae than is commonly accepted today. Which is your position arguing occasionally for readings with almost no Greek Byzantine or Alexandrian support, and minor Latin support.

> Bart Ehrman
> Interesting observations. ...Thanks for passing this along,

Steven
Thanks. My pleasure. Always like to look closely at textual theories.
The original post is archived at:

[textualcriticism] Bart Ehrman's textual theory foundational presupposition - adoptionism is the early Christianity
Steven Avery November 10, 2011
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/textualcriticism/message/6730

And I especially want to thank Tony Costa for his paper, which is not widely known.

Bart Ehrman


as do most of the scholars who have worked extensively on Christology, outside the ranks, I suppose, of very conservative evangelicals and fundamentalists.

Steven
Well it is understandable that unbelievers in the Bible would naturally drift towards theories that make the New Testament events not miraculous (virgin birth, resurrection, etc). In a Jesus Seminar type fashion. And I believe your theories in Orthodox Corruption should have a native appeal there.

While thoughtful evangelicals would be more likely to see the events like the virgin birth, the temple prophecy of Jesus, the resurrection and appearances to the disciples, as historical as written in their Bibles. They will have more closeness to the historical theories of gentlemen like Richard Bauckham and Larry Hurtado. (Perhaps these are your "very conservative", although I do not see them in that way at all. They are conservative compared to the Jesus seminar.)

Anyway, in Orthodox Corruption I was surprised by the lack of a footnote saying what scholars you specifically follow for the adoptionist-ebionite as original early Christians perspective. Since so many renown scholars do not have that view, it seemed like it might be a vacancy of embarrassment.

Shalom,
Steven Avery
 
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Steven Avery

Administrator
Facebook - July 10, 2015
https://www.facebook.com/groups/purebible/permalink/830816260343598/

(Carm sections no longer up), removed urls.)


On CARM the claim was being made that Bart Ehrman is a "neutral" scholar. This is totally bogus, as Ehrman carries, along with his atheism, a boatload of dubious presuppositions about the earliest church that match his atheism. Specifically that the earliest believers did not really believe in Jesus as God manifest in the flesh, they were only ebionites (who do not even believe in the virgin birth) and other various groups of adoptionists.

This is only a reactive issue, something I usually avoid .. to a pure Bible believer the theories of Bart Ehrman are a big zero. However it can be helpful to show his baggage. Thus I will extract from a couple of recent posts on CARM (where the posts vanish in a year or two).
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On this I will simply put in my comments. The cornfuseniks and contras don't really say anything at all. Some of the context was the confusion around Ehrman supporting the pure Bible text (but not translation) in John 1:18.
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Please allow that this is not formatted as a paper, it is simply meant more to be a series of sharing and resources.
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** Also it reads better at the CARM urls, due to the color coding and occasional bold and italics **
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(However, I may add a couple of urls here, CARM has restrictions, like 2 urls per post, and don't link to your own stuff.)
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"The strangest part of your comment is saying that Ehrman has no axe to grind. His whole system of orthodox corruption is built on a false presupposition that the original church was adoptionist and ebionite. He grinds those axes away page after page."


"The orthodox corruption viewpoint he propounds is intrinsically connected with his rejection of a high Christology. Tony Costa did a paper on this, and I pointed out this non-neutrality on the textualcriticism yahoogroups forum. .. [Ehrman] had an orthodox corruption (adoptionist/ebionite as early Christianity, consistent with his atheism) ax to grind.

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Then I gave some examples of how his John 1:18 support of the Byz/TR text was doctrinally motivated, and inconsistent.

Ehrman - historical/doctrinal presuppositions are first
http://forums.carm.org/vbb/showthread.php…

John 1:18
No man hath seen God at any time;
the only begotten Son,
which is in the bosom of the Father,
he hath declared him.


Here, Ehrman emphasizes:
"ὁ μονογενής υἱός ... its predominance in the Greek, Latin, and Syriac traditions, not to mention its occurrence in fathers such as Irenaeus, Clement, and Tertullian"
Yet when you go to other variants:

Luke 22:43-44
And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.
And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly:
and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

Mark 1:41
And Jesus, moved with compassion,
put forth his hand, and touched him,
and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean.

Luke 1:35
And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee,
and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee:
therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

Luke 23:42
And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.

Luke 23:44
And it was about the sixth hour,
and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour.


In general, similar, or greater, predominances mean diddles, they get rolled over like a Mack truck.
Ehrman is guided most of all by his doctrinal presuppositions. I'm not saying he understands the early centuries well, or gives the proper text in translation, but he is always guided by his historical/doctrinal presupposition, that the early church was adoptionist and ebionite, and later, after the writing of the NT, moved to a higher Christology. Plus there was the desire to come up with crafty arguments matching those presuppositions. The actual massive textual evidences will be followed (John 1:18) or ignored (dozens of verses) simply dependent on what is convenient for his attempted argumentation. Tony Costa actually wrote a paper that emphasized this doctrinal pilot that guides Ehrman's analysis. Thus Ehrman is far from a disinterested scholar, evaluating evidences. His historical/doctrinal presuppositions are the key to any Ehrman position. Caveat emptor.
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(continues)

>"Why do you use EBIONITE instead of Nazarene?"

A reasonable question, which I then addressed:
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Bart Ehrman and the Ebionites


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Bart Ehrman himself consistently refers to the Ebionites, not the Nazarenes. And Ehrman makes it clear, if you read carefully, that he believes the early church did not espouse the virgin birth, which to Ehrman was a doctrine supported by orthodox alteration.

In a sense, Ehrman is a more sophisticated version of Joseph Priestley. Except that he is folding in his view as that of the early church, while maintaining his own personal atheism. Note how he handles the Ebionites (quotes around heretics) and the orthodox (altered scripture.)
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The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture (1996)
Bart Ehrman
https://books.google.com/books?id=NHIBM3p83UcC&pg=PA54
http://ebionite.tripod.com/orthoadopt.pdf

For these "heretics," Jesus Christ was a flesh and blood human being without remainder. Several such persons flatly denied that his birth had been miraculous: he had human parents and his mother was not a virgin. (p. 54)

"the orthodox ... altered passages that might suggest that Jesus had a human father ... They changed other passages to accentuate their own views that ... his mother was a virgin." (p. 54)

On p. 51 Ehrman is giving the Ebionite place within his early adoptionism.

On p. 55 he is defending the Ebionite position.

> Ehrman
What have survived are manuscripts produced by the winners of the conflict, Christians who at times went out of their way to guarantee the "correct" (i.e., their) understanding of Jesus' birth in the face of the claims made by adoptionists such as the Ebionites mentioned by Irenaeus, who maintained that Christ "was begotten by Joseph" (Adv. Haer. III, 21, 1).

SA
To Ehrman, the manuscripts that survived with the virgin birth are in our hand not because they are the original text, but because the "winners" made sure they were copied. This view of the early church has no preserved Bible. And it has to see God as a failure with his word. And then each one proclaims what is right in their own eyes.

On p. 48 Bart Ehrman specifically speaks of "The Earliest Adoptionists" (which clearly include Ebionites), and asserts that they :

predate the books of the New Testament
preliterary traditions
Jesus' earliest followers


For more detail see from Nov, 2011.


[textualcriticism] Bart Ehrman's textual theory foundational presupposition - adoptionism is the early Christianity

https://groups.yahoo.com/.../conversations/messages/6736

(This is likely in my email archives._)
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Doctrinal Analysis Drives Ehrman Textual Theories

In other words, what drives Ehrman's concepts is not textual analysis, but doctrinal analysis. And Bart Ehrman tries to wedge in the Bible text to match his preferred doctrines. He sees the early Jesus movement as a low Christology belief, very low.

We could do a side discussion here of why atheists, skeptics and mythicists would naturally prefer adoptionist and ebionite Christianity to be original, as they always reject high Christology understandings. However, not in this post, we will simply mention that point en passant.

And we could also mention that if the Ehrman adoptionist presupposition is rejected as unfounded, then:
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** the theories of Orthodox Corruption basically all go out the window. **"

The book Orthodox Corruption would then be seen to be designed for the fringe mythicist-atheist market, who find those original ebionite Christian idea reasonably compatible with their beliefs. Or the book may be meant to "inform" the popular market in a special direction, to work as a bit of agiprop for those who are unaware of the issues and the approach.
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From Thomas Wasserman
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Ehrman ... has harvested the entire textual tradition in order to find data to support his preconceived thesis ... Whenever there is textual variation in a passage that somehow relates to Christology, Ehrman too easily identifies one reading as the original and another as “orthodox corruption.” -
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Misquoting Manuscripts? The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture Revisited
Thomas Wasserman
http://www.difa3iat.com/wp.../uploads/2014/08/Eharman.pdf
https://www.academia.edu/.../Misquoting_Manuscripts_The...
(Some discussion)
http://evangelicaltextualcriticism.blogspot.com/.../misqu...

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The American Journal of Biblical Theology Vol.8 Issue 28.
Was Adoptionism the Earliest Christology? A Response to Bart Ehrman
Tony Costa
http://www.biblicaltheology.com/Research/CostaT01.pdf

"While Ehrman argues that the view of the adoptionists was probably the original view of Jesus held by the earliest Christians, this argument however fails on a number of points ... (p.2)

The problem here is that Ehrman is driven by his theological presupposition, not the textual evidence, that adoptionism was the earliest Christology and on this score, Ehrman is grossly in error. (p. 9)

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My point here is not to argue Christology, especially with those who have no readable, tangible pure Bible as the plumbline. It is simply to show that the ideas of Ehrman as neutral are bogus. Overall, he is far more doctrinaire than other Bible text writers.

Ehrman acknowledge that his view is that the early church was adoptionist. In the textualcriticism discussion (you have to use google, if I put in a url, it can be seen as self-promotion, since it is a post that I wrote) Ehrman made a vapid disclaimer that "Very little in the book, Orthodox Corruption, hinges on the question of whether adoptionism was the earliest form of Christology." Which is transparently false. This can be easily seen by simply reading his book, which is chuck full of adoptionist presuppositionalism. Alsofrom Ehrman "I don’t think any 'textual theory' rests on the question". In a sense this is true, since Orthodox Corruption is not a textual theory, it is a weak and unsubstantiated analysis, one that especially appeals to those who really do not want there to be a pure Bible, with authority.

Ehrman also made unsupported claims that this adoptionist position, that the early followers of Jesus were adoptionists, is that of "most of the scholars". No source was given for the claim. And, to be fair, scholars who are anti-Christian will naturally drift to low Christology origins of the Christian movement. So if most of the scholars who are being vaguely referenced in this appeal to authority are atheist and agnostic, the claim might be true. We have a similar situation with other Bible and early church claims, such as the belief that four or more books of the New Testament are forgeries. This is held by "most of the scholars", based on unbelieving presuppositions and weak logic, and how attractive such a view is to those who are adverse to Bible authority.
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(finished - that may help with Ehrman resources.)
 
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Steven Avery

Administrator
A heretical tale about heresy or when words do matter (2019)

Kristof K.P. Vanhoutte
https://www.academia.edu/38399060/A_heretical_tale_about_heresy_or_when_words_do_matter

If Pagels thus seems to represent nothing more than the new ‘classical’ understanding of early Christianity, this is not the case with Bart D. Ehrman who not only has taken up Bauer’s thesis – for Ehrman, Bauer’s book Orthodoxy & Heresy was ‘arguably the most important book on the history of early Christianity to appear in the twentieth century’ (Ehrman 2003:173) – but has even radicalised it – ‘If anything, early Christianity was even less tidy and more diversified than he [Bauer] realized’ (Ehrman 2003:176). We can thus read, for example, that according to Ehrman ‘virtually all forms of modern Christianity, …, go back to one form of Christianity that emerged as victorious from the conflicts of the second and third centuries’ (Ehrman 2003, [italics in the original]). And, as he continuous some lines further:

… this victorious party rewrote the history of the controversy, making it appear that there had not been much of a conflict at all, claiming that its own views had always been those of the majority of Christians at all times, back to the times of Jesus and his apostles, that its perspective, in effect, had always been ‘orthodox’ (…) and that its opponents in the conflict, with their other scriptural texts, had always represented small splinter groups invested in deceiving people into ‘heresy’ (…). (p. 4)

And even if Ehrman does not say it literally, at times it truly seems that were it not for the proto-orthodox Roman community who bought its influence economically (cf. Ehrman 2003:175) 7 heresy preceded orthodoxy almost everywhere. 8

Considering, firstly, Pagels’, but especially Ehrman’s fame and, secondly, his rather radical thesis (which could explain the fame), it should not surprise that he has had a number of detractors. As we already stated, the elements that made up Bauer’s thesis have all been confuted. Even the majority of his arguments from silence have been shown as being highly questionable. In most of the works that attempt to counter Ehrman, these refutations are thus repeated almost ad infinitum. Both Bock (2006:46ff.) and Köstenberger and Kruger (2010:41ff.), for example, disprove the Bauerian and Ehrmanian claims that from the very beginning there were heresies that were dominant in some regions, and that orthodoxy developed because of Rome’s squashing power of heresies. Also, the topic of diversity present in the earliest forms of Christianity has become a hotly debated topic. And for as much as the ‘anti-Bauerian/Ehrmanian’ camp

7.It has to be .acknowledged tlut ur.i.’ Bc, here merely repeating, although slightly emphasising, Bauer. For Bauer:' Rome viewed rt as altogether legitimate practice in religious controversy to tip the scales with goklen weights' (Bauer 1996:123).

8. Ehrman does not seem to be a big fan of the early form Of Christianity that would eventually win the battle lor orthodoxy - he calls this form of Christianity 'proto-orthodoxy' -. If anything, his scales tip in favour of the highly exclusivist and elitarian Gnosticism (cf. .^Tf.'T-T.12003:128-131).


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Steven Avery

Administrator
This is from the Nov 2011 textualcriticism forum on Yahoogroups.

> Bart Ehrman
> Very little in the book, Orthodox Corruption, hinges on the question of whether adoptionism was the earliest form of Christology.
But I certainly do think it was as do most of the scholars who have worked extensively on Christology, outside the ranks, I suppose, of very conservative evangelicals and fundamentalists.

Hi Folks,

> Bart Ehrman
> Very little in the book, Orthodox Corruption, hinges on the question of whether adoptionism was the earliest form of Christology.

This is obviously false. (A bit self-serving deflective.) As pointed out originally by Tony Costa. The proposed corruptions are generally based on the low Christology adoptionism-ebionite presupposition.

The significant exception is, ironically, the opposite type of corruptions away from full Deity, away from Sabellianism. Thus Ehrman can take opposite positions, depending on mood, on the same variant, due to the way he rigged his game.

I answered Bart on this here:

[textualcriticism] Bart Ehrman's textual theory foundational presupposition - adoptionism is the early Christianity
Steven Avery - November 13, 2011
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/textualcriticism/message/6736
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/textualcriticism/message/6736
And I would suggest it is a good read for anyone wanting to understand the issues involved. From this forum, it appears that Bart appeals to those who are unable to think through textual issues, who want an unbeliever's perspective on Christian church history.

> Ehrman
> But I certainly do think it was

This ended the original big hot air concern of Mr. Milton, supposed misrepresentation, since John Milton could not see this, even though it was obvious in p. 48.

> Ehrman
> as do most of the scholars who have worked extensively on Christology, outside the ranks, I suppose, of very conservative evangelicals and fundamentalists.

James Snapp asked him for the documentation of this assertion, which is like in his book, undocumented.

[textualcriticism] Bart Ehrman's textual theory foundational presupposition - adoptionism is the early Christianity
James Snapp - Nov 12, 2011
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/textualcriticism/message/6735
... could you list a dozen or so English-speaking scholars who have written something to the effect of, "I believe that Adoptionism was the earliest Christology," and point to where the statement can be found?

So far, Ehrman has been silent in non-response.
In fact, that is one theme of this thread.

> Ehrman
> I don't think any "textual theory" rests on the question, however.

Steven
Here Ehrman is reversing the logical issue. (I missed pointing this out in the post above.) The very point is that he is not following any consistent textual theory. He is starting with the adoptionist-ebionite presupposition and throwing out ideas variant-by-variant to match the presupposition. The very point is that Ehrman writes the book without any consistent textual theory, (to "rest on the question") .. but with the adoptionist-ebionite idea controlling the analysis.

Then the irony is that he takes the opposite full Deity (Sabellian) position as the other non-orthodox position, playing both ends against the middle, and giving him complete flexibility in coming up with explanations on either side of the equation.

Nobody can really defend the Ehrman shenanigans, leading to the humorous stuff of John Milton ! :)

Shalom,
Steven Avery
 
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Steven Avery

Administrator
Tony Costa
https://www.biblicaltheology.com/Research/CostaT01.pdf
https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http://www.biblicaltheology.com/Research/CostaT01.pdf


Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/groups/467217787457422/permalink/889508098561720/
"And the textual theories of Ehrman are based on the 1st century church being ebionite and adoptionist."
Actually, that is not true.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/467217787457422/permalink/889715445207652/
We can end the Bart Ehrman and Adoptionism and Ebionite thread with one quote from Bart, written on the Yahoogroups textualcriticism forum in Nov. 2011.

============================================

https://ebionite.tripod.com/orthoadopt.pdf

https://books.google.com/books?id=HGpL9x19GaEC&pg=PA47
https://books.google.com/books?id=NHIBM3p83UcC&pg=PA160
https://books.google.com/books?id=NHIBM3p83UcC&pg=PA173
https://books.google.com/books?id=NHIBM3p83UcC&pg=PA234


Amazon
https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0199739781/ref=nosim/librarythin06-20

==============================================================

Quoting Ehrman about the victorious party

Misquoting Truth: A Guide to the Fallacies of Bart Ehrman's Misquoting Jesus
Timothy Paul Jones
https://silo.pub/misquoting-truth-a-guide-to-the-fallacies-of-bart-ehrmans-misquoting-jesus.html
http://www.jmm.org.au/articles/13480.htm
This victorious party rewrote the history of the controversy, making it appear that there had not been much of a conflict at all, claiming that its own views had always been those of the majority of Christians at all times, back to the time of jesus and his apostles, that its perspective, in effect, had always been "orthodox" (i.e . , the "right belief') . 6
https://books.google.com/books?id=kmll_AehOhwC&pg=RA1-PA79
 
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Steven Avery

Administrator
Facebook - TRA
https://www.facebook.com/groups/467...k/891533041692559/?comment_id=892022124976984

===================

Bart Ehrman does attack the two chapters of Luke as non-authentic, just like Edward Evanson and his ebionite approach.

Ehrman just keeps it a bit hush-hush, on his blog rather than more visible spots.

The reason - his whole theory falls apart otherwise.

===================

lbehrendt
So ... are the first two chapters of Luke an "orthodox corruption"?

BD Ehrman Dec 24, 2012
Yup, that's the basic idea! I don't deal with them in my book on Orthodox Corruption because there is no manuscript support, and for that study I was principally interested in the manuscripts, not in earlier editions.

https://ehrmanblog.org/lukes-genealogy/

1621413714017.png

===================

More here:

Luke’s First Edition
https://ehrmanblog.org/lukes-first-edition-for-members/

And here:

Did Luke Originally Have Chapters 1-2?
https://ehrmanblog.org/did-luke-originally-have-chapters-1-2/
 
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Steven Avery

Administrator
https://www.facebook.com/groups/467217787457422/permalink/891533041692559/

The Bart Ehrman idea that the Adoptionist and Ebionite doctrines were the earliest Christologies, the Apostolic beliefs, the original New Testament, has ZERO EVIDENCE in support.

The NT clearly contradicts this, which is why Ebionites have to try to snip the Luke and Matthew accounts.

We do not know when these ideas gained some traction, very possibly 50 years and more after the New Testament was written (40-70 AD are the approximate NT boundaries.)

Tony Costa says correctly:
"The problem here is that Ehrman is driven by his theological presupposition, not the textual evidence, that adoptionism was the earliest Christology and on this score, Ehrman is grossly in error. "

John Gresham Machem, Glenn Miller and James Orr can be seen here. They have their strengths and weaknesses, you can see that there is no evidence for the Ehrman-Grantley claims.

Adoptionist and Ebionite notes
https://www.purebibleforum.com/index.php?threads/ebionite-notes.1862/

Ehrman presuppositional approach - the early church was adoptionist and ebionite
https://www.purebibleforum.com/inde...arly-church-was-adoptionist-and-ebionite.969/

A post was needed on this because the anti-Christian view of no virgin birth, adoptionist and ebionite pseudo-apostolic groups, has been getting a lot of play. This also relates to snipping Matthew, and or Luke.

The Ebionites like Matthew, Edward Evanson c. 1780 liked Luke. Ironically they both snipped the virgin birth accounts out of the book they kept in their canon.
 
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