Harold Camping and Bart Ehrman
What do Harold Camping and Dr. Bart Ehrman have in common? They are both literalists when I comes to their view of the Bible. Here is what Camping was quoted on his view of the Bible.
Camping, 89, said of the rapture in a May 11 interview with New York magazine, “The Bible has every word in the original language … it was written by God. Incidentally, no churches believe that at all, they don’t hold the Bible in the high respect that it ought to be.”
Mr. Camping is wrong about “no churches believe that at all.” Quite a few churches and individual Christians believe that or adhere to that view of the Bible.
That is essentially the view of the Bible that Bart Ehrman had growing up– a view that got him into so much trouble with himself later in life. He had a very rigid view of his god and his god’s word. So rigid, in fact, that his view was zapped one day and he did not know how to come back from having a core belief destroyed. Now I must say that many sincere Christians are probably literalists and I am not saying it is necessarily a bad view of the Bible depending on your circle or the christian community you are a part of.
However, if you attempt to get a much deeper understanding of the Bible and how it came to us you will come to understand that portions of the Bible were not meant to be taken literally, just as other great works of history have portions where the right interpretation is not a literal interpretation.
So if a Christian is grounded in Bible interpretation and understands how to handle certain portions of these Scripture that are difficult, they have no problem supporting it’s authority and veracity.
Now there are voices out there just trying to trash the historicity of the Bible and specific data in the Bible. Dr. Bart Ehrman just keep hammering at Christians and the Bible. The difficulty of dealing with a guy like Dr. Ehrman is that, not only was he a literalist originally, he has written a great scholarly work with his mentor, Dr Bruce Metzger, on how to interpret the New Testament. He has since moved well past the scholarship into what sells in the pop culture. He is making so much money off drugging the pop culture with what many want to hear (or read) that we can refer to any of his later work as scholarly. He is far away from where he was when getting his Ph. D. and when he wrote that scholarly work. That was long ago. Now, he is focused totally on communicating to the pop culture.