Book Assailing Bible as ‘Forged’ Promotes Fakery
By Jerry Newcombe
A new book by a major New Testament scholar is sure to make mincemeat of many people’s faith. Needlessly. The scholar is the iconoclastic Bart Ehrman, who teaches religion at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Ehrman, whose book is titled “Forged: Why the Bible’s Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are,” said on a radio broadcast that about 75 percent of the New Testament documents are supposedly forged. They’re frauds.
Sam Lamerson, a conservative New Testament scholar who teaches at Knox Seminary in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., heard Ehrman on a radio broadcast say words to this effect: “I want to be the scholar that uses the F-word about the Bible. I want people to know that these books were forged.” (By way of full disclosure, I’ll note that I earned a theology degree at Knox.)
“Forged” is a strong word. Several of the New Testament books claim no authorship at all. Church tradition has attributed them to various writers, but the biblical text itself does not claim authorship for these particular books. For instance, none of the four Gospels (of which tradition names the writers as Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) actually has the names of the authors at the beginning of their documents.
But if a document is anonymous, how could it be a forgery?