But one thing I did learn: Ehrman conceded that no essential belief of the NT
was compromised by the textual variants. That’s the main thing that I wanted to
press for at the Greer-Heard.
This is an important point that should not be missed: Many Muslims, atheists,
and anti-Christian groups have seen Ehrman as a champion for their views. But
regardless of how much doubt he may have about the wording of the original text,
or how much doubt those who believe they are following his lead have, no one can
claim Ehrman as an advocate of an original text that did not speak of the deity
of Christ or his bodily resurrection.
Let’s look at what Ehrman actually said on the subject:
My view of changing theology is that it’s very hard to change people’s
theology. I’ve found this over the last twenty-five years with Dan.
It doesn’t matter whether you interpret one passage one way, he’ll find
another passage that says what he wants it to say. If you argue about that
passage, there’s always another passage. You can get rid of three or four
passages and you can still come up with a doctrine.
Is the doctrine of the Trinity explicitly taught in the New Testament?
No! Does that stop people from believing it? No! Well what if you
take out the Great Commission in Matthew 28? People will still believe in
the Trinity. What if you take out some of the references in 1st
Thessalonians to the Father, Son and the Spirit? People will still believe
in the Trinity.
Doctrine is not affected by textual variants because generally doctrine
isn’t affected by these things. People have doctrines for other reasons
and it’s very hard to change people’s doctrines. So I agree that yes these
textual variants don’t effect doctrines for the most part. That’s not
though the criterion of what is significant and what is insignificant
Does anyone really think Ehrman and Wallace’s views are even remotely similar here? Nevertheless, Wallace brought up the fact that he and Ehrman “agreed” on this several times during his exchange with me. Moreover, I have no doubt that he will cite this admission for years to come in lectures, articles, interviews. Does it really help Wallace’s position?