Attention, fellow Bible nerds. The audio above features two big-hitters debating the authorship of the Gospels. Bart Ehrman, a well-known skeptic, squares-off against Richard Bauckham. I think Bauckham powerfully and decisively refutes Ehrman in this one. Here’s a description of the show from the “Unbelievable” website:
Bart Ehrman’s new book “Jesus Before the Gospels” makes the case that the stories about Jesus would have changed and evolved before they were written down as the Gospels.
Richard Bauckham, author of “Jesus and the Eyewitnesses”, defends the view that the Gospels were written by those with access to eyewitness testimony of Jesus’ first followers. They debate who wrote Mark, whether the Gospels came from anonymous traditions and how they received their titles.
You can listen to the audio above or download it here.
Between markers 30 and 32, it is interesting to hear Richard Bauckham mention Papias in support of the Gospel of Mark’s connection to St. Peter’s eyewitness . . . I found a quote that is related to what Bauckman is mentioning, this:
” . . . tradition does link the saints to their Gospels. St. Mark, identified with the Mark of Acts 12:12 and the Mark of I Peter 5:13, is mentioned in a quote contained in a letter from Papias (c. 130), Bishop of Hierapolis: “When Mark became Peter’s interpreter, he wrote down accurately, although not in order, all that he remembered of what the Lord had said or done.” St. Irenaeus (d. 203) and Clement of Alexandria (d. 215) support this identification. The Gospel of Mark is commonly dated about the year 65-70 in conjunction with the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem.”
I think one of the reasons Ehrman has had so much success deceiving so many is not that his arguments are incredibly sound–but rather because he is such a good communicator. His ability to simplify his arguments to common speech–with added emotion–adds a degree of plausibility to his arguments that frankly are not that strong to begin with. It is sad.
There are a lot of sources supporting the traditional authorship attributions of the gospels prior to Irenaeus, and many of those weren’t mentioned by Ehrman or Bauckham. And Ehrman’s comments on Irenaeus are misleading. There are a lot of problems with Ehrman’s position, and Bauckham should have made more of an effort to explain those problems: