Bart Ehrman, making a name for himself…

“Ehrman says that no one accepts everything in the Bible. Everyone picks and chooses . He cites some New Testament’s references to the role of women in church as an example.

In the first book of Corinthians, Ehrman says, the Apostle Paul insists that women should remain silent in church (1 Corinthians 14:35-36).

In the 16th chapter of the book of Romans, Paul’s attitude is that women could and should be church leaders — and he cites women who were serving as deacons and apostles in the early church, Ehrman says.” (http://www.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/05/15/bible.critic/index.html)

My Commentary:
Bart, like many others seems to have caught on to the fact that it is fashionable and even profitable to stir up controversy within the Christian camp since in today’s milieu, lies swiftly travel around the world setting up shop in the hearts of the imprudent before truth has had a chance to put its boots on.  Dan Brown made his millions using this technique; only time will tell how much Ehrman can muster.

The Facts:
Paul no where in Romans 16 identifies women as deacons or apostles or suggest that women should be “leaders” (over men). Indeed, the word deacon or apostle is not even used in Romans 16 nor does that chapter suggests that the women Paul’s salutations concern were apostles or deacons. If the conclusion that the female objects of Paul’s salutations were in fact church leaders is to be reached, Ehrman must look else where for the proof-text for that idea is not found Romans 16. Bart’s eisegesis should not astound anyone. It is unacceptable for anyone (let alone someone of his stature) to make claims without properly exegeting the text, yet his whole presentation relies upon misrepresenting biblical facts and propositions.

Lessons Learned:
I would never go as far as to suggest that there is a necessary correlation between apostasy and prestigious seminaries, however, the fact that there is anecdotal evidence disturbs me. If I had a dollar for every time an influential “believer” lost his/her way by attending these seminaries I would probably be counting the “benjamins.” Church leaders that have enabled this type of skepticism include Billy Graham, Charles Templeton, BB Warfield, Charles Hodge, etc. and this list of “Who’s Who” could unfortunately be multiplied.  Many if not all of these men will undoubtedly be in heaven but the damage that they have done in publicly doubting God’s inerrant word is in many cases irreparable. The irony in doubting God is that the skeptic puts himself in place of God as the arbiter of truth, but when told to defend the skepticism can usually only appeal to empiricism which is ultimately unreliable. Every person or institution that has erred from the faith has done so by  committing what is essentially the same mistake, namely, refusing to take Paul’s suggestion in Romans 3:4; Let God be true, but every man a liar!

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