Monday, 29 August 2011

Sceptic Sees Forgeries in the Bible

An American sceptic does not believe that Paul wrote all of Paul’s letters. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Joel Kontinen

To say that sceptics and atheists are interested in the Bible would be an understatement. Judging by the volume of words they have written, few themes intrigue them as much as Christianity. (Darwinian evolution might be a rare exception.)

Recently, Tim Callahan, the religion editor of Skeptic magazine reviewed – or advertised might be a more apt word - Bart Ehrman’s book Forged. The thesis that Callahan and Ehrman present is typical liberal theology stuff and relies more on basic assumptions than on actual research.

They argue that the evangelists Matthew, Mark, Luke and John did not write the gospels traditionally ascribed to them and that the apostle Paul did not author the pastoral letters (1 and 2 Timothy, Titus) or some other letters they assume were written by other early church leaders.

Callahan and Ehrman compare Paul’s letters to non-canonical writings and see forgeries, discrepancies and conspiracies where serious scholars do not. They for instant think that Paul’s teaching on marriage is inconsistent. This flimsy argument obviously allows them to conclude that Paul could not have written the pastoral letters.

Their basic motive seems to be to weaken the authority of the Bible. However, their pseudo scholarly approach fails to do so.

The unbelief of sceptics cannot make the Bible’s truth crumble.


Callahan, Tim. 2011. By Any Other Name. E-Skeptic. (24 August).