Tag Archives: Daniel B. Wallace

Sabbatum Excerpt: Daniel Wallace Thanking Bart Ehrman for Wake-up Call

The excerpt is taken from a journal review by Daniel B. Wallace on Dr. Bart D. Ehrman’s : Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why.


Letting the public in on scholarly secrets about the text of the Bible is not new. Edward Gibbon, in his six-volume bestseller, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, noted that the Comma Johanneum, or Trinitarian formula of 1 John 5.7–8, was not authentic. This scandalized the British public of the eighteenth century, for their only Bible was the Authorized Version, which contained the formula. “Others had done [this] before him, but only in academic and learned circles. Gibbon did so before the general public, in language designed to offend.” Yet by the time the Revised Version appeared in 1885, no trace of the Comma was to be found in it. Today the text is not printed in modern translations, and it hardly raises an eyebrow.

Ehrman has followed in Gibbon’s train by exposing the public to the inauthenticity of Mark 16.9-20 and John 7.53-8.11. The problem here, though, is a bit different. Strong emotional baggage is especially attached to the latter text. For years, it was my favorite passage that was not in the Bible. I would even preach on it as true historical narrative, even after I rejected its literary/canonical authenticity. And we all know of preachers who can’t quite give it up, even though they, too, have doubts about it. But there are two problems with this approach. First, in terms of popularity between these two texts, John 8 is the overwhelming favorite, yet its external credentials are significantly worse than Mark 16’s. The same preacher who declares the Markan passage to be inauthentic extols the virtues of John 8. This inconsistency is appalling. Something is amiss in our theological seminaries when one’s feelings are allowed to be the arbiter of textual problems. Second, the pericope adulterae is most likely not even historically true. It was probably a story conflated from two different accounts. Thus, the excuse that one can proclaim it because the story really happened is apparently not valid.

In retrospect, keeping these two pericopae in our Bibles rather than relegating them to the footnotes seems to have been a bomb just waiting to explode. All Ehrman did was to light the fuse. One lesson we must learn from Misquoting Jesus is that those in ministry need to close the gap between the church and the academy. We have to educate believers. Instead of trying to isolate laypeople from critical scholarship, we need to insulate them. They need to be ready for the barrage, because it is coming. The intentional dumbing down of the church for the sake of filling more pews will ultimately lead to defection from Christ. Ehrman is to be thanked for giving us a wake-up call.

Source: The Gospel According to Bart



Jesus’ Wife Fragment Turned to be FAKE

I wonder if all those media who reported as loudly and as widely as they could have on Jesus’s Wife fragment take time to do again about the fragment now proved to be fake. For last two weeks, where not this so-called Jesus’ Wife fragment was talked and what not being said! Some people did not take a minute to think before they undoubtedly received this Sahidic Coptic fragment as an authentic fragment. And their verdict? “Ah, the historical Jesus is a married man.” Then comes this news that this papyrus is a FAKE!

I am pretty sure by now that the hoopla surrounding this fake fragment is sniffing for some. At the same time, some might be wondering how to come up with new fabricated story to disprove Christian belief that for all its history believed Jesus never married. From the beginning of this saga, most prominent scholarships on Coptic had doubted its authenticity for some critical reasons. This is what Daniel B. Wallace and Dr. James White had to say on this issue.

“News flash: Harvard Theological Review has decided not to publish Karen King¹s paper on the Coptic papyrus fragment on the grounds that the fragment is probably a fake.” This from an email Dr. Craig Evans, the Payzant Distinguished Professor of New Testament at Acadia University and Divinity College, sent to me earlier today. He said that Helmut Koester (Harvard University), Bentley Layton (Yale University), Stephen Emmel (University of Münster), and Gesine Robinson (Claremont Graduate School)–all first-rate scholars in Coptic studies–have weighed in and have found the fragment wanting. No doubt Francis Watson’s comprehensive work showing the fragment’s dependence on the Gospel of Thomas was a contributing factor for this judgment, as well as the rather odd look of the Coptic that already raised several questions as to its authenticity.

Dr. James White, the Director of Alfa & Omega Ministries, writes, “Now, that doesn’t mean the saga is over for two reasons: 1) the fragment could be rehabilitated by the release of further relevant information concerning its provenance, and 2) the MSM (main stream media) is far more interested in posting stuff that is against Christianity than corrections and retractions.”

Saturday Quote: Daniel B. Wallace on Authenticity of the Bible

“If God became man in time, space, and history, then he’s inviting us to examine the historical evidence for the life of Jesus, the miracles of Jesus, the prophecies of Jesus, the death of Jesus, the resurrection of Jesus…. The Bible claims to be rigorously investigated because the Bible claims to be a historical document. We have to ask the Bible tough questions because that’s what Christ not only invites us to do, but requires of us to do.” [1]


[1] Lee Strobel, The Case for the Real Jesus (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2007), 77-78.