I never quite got around to reviewing Bart Ehrman’s talk at Rhodes from two weeks ago – so here it is.
I was a little disappointed in it because I was familiar with everything he talked about – namely, forgery in the NT (though I had forgotten the manner of the discovery of the Gospel of Peter). But as Rhodes is an undergraduate college, I can understand why it wasn’t a ‘this is what I’ve been working on lately” kind of presentation that I erroneously expected. He’s a very reasonable presenter, with a spare and lean PP that he’s probably used countless times, and a voice that rises and becomes louder, excited, and filled with gravel if he goes beyond a paragraph without breathing. So I’d call his presenting style “breathless,” almost racing at times.
The questions afterward were far more interesting than the presentation, I thought. Someone two seats ahead of me queried him on the mythicist position, and he shot it down quickly with a bandwagon argument (I know of hundreds of NT scholars who don’t think that!) and an appeal to Paul’s fixation on a historical crucifixion. This would have been more compelling to me if he hadn’t reversed the bandwagon, shall we say, twice before during the presentation by poo-pahing a scholarly consensus. Then again, I’ve done the same thing on occasion.