Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
Bart Ehrman on Writing on the Qur'an
01/21/2012 - James White
We have noted this before, and when the guys at Acts 17 reposted it just now, I thought I would comment again. There is something deeply disrespectful in Ehrman's comments here. Oh, I'm sure he was just trying to be funny, in a way. But remember when I asked him serious questions about his methodology and his conclusions as they would bear upon the Qur'an? He took serious offense! So isn't it odd that in this context he responds in such a light-hearted manner?
There is no question, of course, that if Ehrman were to be consistent, he would reject the Qur'an as a divine revelation. Its a-historical assertions (esp. regarding the crucifixion) and the presence of textual variation (which he indicates precludes the possibility of inspiration) would require him, if he is consistent, to reject the authority of the Qur'an just as he has the New Testament. And despite his claim to ignorance regarding the Qur'an, I somehow think Ehrman well knows that he would have to criticize the Muslim holy book.
And, clearly, he is unwilling to follow his own principles to their logical conclusion. But in the process it seems like he really shows disrespect for the Muslim community at large. Evidently he seems to know that the Christians are not going to bomb him or attack him for all he has said in opposition to the Bible and Christianity. But his comments show a fear of Islam. While there are surely Muslims who would condemn him if he ever spoke openly about his views of the Qur'an, they would represent a small minority of the entire Muslim population of the world. Doesn't he think the matter worth the danger for the sake of the millions of other Muslims who would be helped by coming to realize the Qur'an isn't what they thought it was? He surely seems to think it is worth all the time and effort to write popular level books like MisQuoting Jesus and Forged that, he assures us, are not attacks on Christianity as a whole, but only upon a particular type of Christianity (the type that actually believes the Bible to be a divine revelation). I wonder why he won't make the same kind of distinction amongst Muslims?
Remember, all Muslims who think Bart Ehrman is your friend and hero: his historical and scriptural hyper-skepticism is not only unwarranted, it would, of necessity, require you to abandon your belief in the Qur'an as well. Every time you flaunt his great scholarship and quote some anti-Christian conclusion, you are proving once again that you care nothing for the consistency of your arguments or sources. Think about it!