Kurt Eichenwald: Unrepentingly Ignorant, and Proud of it!

Last evening, just prior to my speaking (ironically) on New Testament Reliability, and, in particular, the portion where I work through some of the earliest papyri and their relevance to the field, such as P52, P72, P75, P66, etc., I had a brief exchange once again with Kurt Eichenwald, the author of the Christmas hit-piece on the Bible whose article I thoroughly dissected on two consecutive Dividing Line programs.  As in our previous encounter, Eichenwald defaulted to the “you are arrogant, it is all about you” meme, even when I was very focused on asking him when he was going to apologize for the many documented errors in his piece, and in particular, when he was going to admit the error of stating that Jesus was declared to be Father, Son, and Holy Spirit at the Council of Constantinople.  This obvious blunder shows how ignorant Eichenwald is of the fields he so confidently addressed in his article.  Of course, he never even acknowledged the challenge on my part, and completely ignored the glaring error.  He has no interest in being accurate in his statements and hence simply covers his ears when challenged.

After I had to get busy doing what I am supposed to be doing over here in Norway (teaching, specifically), the conversations continued on, and Eichenwald made some incredible statements in conversation with Micah, one of my admins in our chat channel, #prosapologian.  Look at what he said:

@HacimMb here is an example of completely wrong. KJV was translated from Latin version, which was translated from later Koine version….

Notice Eichenwald’s knowledge of the field is so second hand he has no idea what sources were used in the translation of the KJV (specifically, the 1525 Bomberg Hebrew text and the seven printed versions of the Greek New Testament then available, the five editions of Erasmus, Stephanus, and Beza’s 1598).  He clearly thinks the KJV is a translation of the Latin Vulgate rather than of the Greek and Hebrew texts.  This is, again, basic level, Bible 101 stuff—of which Eichenwald is obviously ignorant.  Of course, he considers being called ignorant “name calling” rather than the accurate identification of his current state of knowledge, but that is another issue.

@HacimMb @livingheart @DrOakley1689 there was no translation of earliest copies. For many reasons: We didn’t find them until years….

I challenged him on this (I was setting up my computer in the hall where I am lecturing and managed one last comment).  Again, these are the words of someone utterly ignorant of the topic he is pretending to address.  But keep something in mind: he wrote his article a month ago.  All sorts of rebuttals have appeared.  Has he listened?  Grown?  Learned?  Evidently not.  He remains as stubborn and obstinate in his ignorance as ever!  This is truly an insight into the liberal mind: even when faced with the facts, it is simply not possible that the “other side” could possibly have anything meaningful to say.

He then goes on with some ethereal, fantasy discussion of where the KJV came from, what sources were used, and what the KJV translators did (all based, obviously, on his misunderstanding of secondary sources), then he says,

@HacimMb We do NOT have the earliest versions. That would be the find of the millennium.

I wish we knew what he even thinks “earliest versions” means.  I am convinced even he does not know what he really means.  But he goes on to say,

@HacimMb u honestly believe that 2,000 year old papyrus survived, when no one knew preservation techniques for paper for centuries?

@HacimMb …that’s like saying the Declaration of Independence would have survived until the year 2100 if we left it lying around.

This one left me shaking my head in wonderment when I saw it after my lecture. The man that Newsweek to this day stands behind (as they noted at the beginning of Michael Brown’s rebuttal piece, which they only published electronically, and not on the same level as Eichenwald’s article) remains utterly, thoroughly, deeply ignorant of the history of the New Testament, papyrology, textual criticism, etc, and the worst part is, he seems absolutely intent upon staying in that condition.  In fact, he seems proud of it!  I tweeted pictures of P52 and P104 in response, but I do not expect any replies from Eichenwald.  Facts, documentation, research—all these things are irrelevant to someone on a crusade such as he is.

Surely what we see in Eichenwald’s refusal to accept correction is the mindset of the liberal left, and it is truly a sight to behold.

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