Monday, October 17, 2011

Bart Ehrman Explains Why He Doesn't Criticize the Qur'an

Muslims love to quote Bart Ehrman, because Ehrman criticizes the New Testament. Of course, if Muslims would pay more careful attention to what Ehrman says about the New Testament, they'd realize that his claims refute Islam in two important ways.

First, Ehrman believes that the New Testament is extremely reliable. While he holds that it hasn't been perfectly preserved, that it contains contradictions, and that it isn't the inspired Word of God, Ehrman maintains that we can gather a ton of information about Jesus and early Christianity from the New Testament. Significantly for Muslims, Ehrman says that Jesus' death by crucifixion is indisputable, which thoroughly undermines Muhammad's position.

Second, if Muslims were to apply Ehrman's standards to the Qur'an, they would realize that the Qur'an fails miserably. The Qur'an hasn't been perfectly preserved, it contains numerous contradictions (by Ehrman's standards), and it is far less valuable as a historical source than is the New Testament.

Why, then, doesn't Ehrman criticize the Qur'an and silence the Muslims who appeal to his works? As he admits in the following clip, he doesn't criticize the Qur'an because he's worried that Muslims will kill him if he does. In other words, just as Trey Parker and Matt Stone will gladly mock Christianity on South Park, but won't dare mock Muhammad, so also Bart Ehrman will happily criticize the Bible, while remaining silent on the Qur'an. Why? Because Muslims slaughter people over the Qur'an, cartoons, etc., while Christians don't. Having the most violent religion in history has its privileges.


MalbecMemoirs said...

David! I've wondered about this for over 3 years! I can't believe you found this clip! Passing this to every Muslim I know.

Neil said...

What a coward. This is why Islam is growing, not because of it's validity, but because people are too afraid and not committed enough to what is right to stand up to evil.

Kneel said...

What a coward. The only reason Islam gains a foothold in the world is because people are more committed to self-preservation than they are to what is right and true.

andy bell said...

This is nothing new. The south park guys, monty python, penn & teller, hell I even heard Lawrence O'donnell of Msnbc refuse to criticize islam for fear of their lives. Those are just off the top of my head.

Dk said...

South Park creators/producers have several times NOT backed down despite threats of certain groups.

Tychicus said...

Ehrman's critique is based on the inherent contradiction between the "restoration of the NT Text" and the evangelical doctrine of inerrancy. The Christian community needs to reject this concept that anything in the NT text was "restored". As with all liberal critiques he rejects all external evidence and bases his critique on the subjective use of internal evidence only.
Those of us that adhere to the Majority text are unmoved by his nonsense.
I have reviewed a lot of evidence concerning Mark 16. Here is a web site that
has two very good pages on the issues at hand.
Courage and Godspeed,

Pierre said...

Fear is the force that drives Islam. Bart Ehrman is afraid that some unknown, unseen, devout Muslim will come from out of nowhere and kill him.

He is right.

You can read my thesis on exactly how fear controls Islam at:

Here is the beginning.

Would you wear a T-shirt with a Mohammad cartoon printed on it?

You might in Montana. Don’t try it in Mecca.


Because, Islam trains a small number of its most devout believers it’s OK to kill. And Islamic killers have been trained to kill anyone who insults Allah and/or Mohammad.

In Montana you’d have a good chance none of these Islamic killers would see you.

In Mecca you wouldn’t last five minutes. One of Islam’s killers would come from out of nowhere and kill you. It is that simple.

You don’t believe me? Ask any Muslim!

Tom said...

Hah! Ehrman's unwillingness to criticize the unholy GRRRRAN because of the violence of the adherents of Islamic ideology sort of sez everything we need to know about the "Religion of Peace", now doesn't it?


Imraan said...

What a load of bull.I'm a devouted Muslim and proud Muslim.There is no God exept Allah and Mohammad is his Final Phrophet.Islam is increasing through the mercy of Allah on humanity.Christians will do anything to bring Islam to its knees ,which is impossible .Christian are misleaded through man made religion.

donna60 said...

The battle against Islam is the LORD's, and the battle has been won.

Africa is already leaving Islam at the tune of 6 million souls every year. 75% of all American converts leave Islam within five years of conversion.

Translated, that means that 75% of the Muslim converts on youtube, have left the religion already. Americans who felt empty under denominational Christianity, are not getting spiritually fed with Islam--only more hunger.

Alex Humphrey said...

I agree with you except for the South Park guys. They have repeatedly tried to mock Muhammad and the network has repeatedly shut them down.

Ahmed Khan said...

Bart Erhman is New Testament Scholar who has studied Greek extensively to know the inherent contradictions between the Greek and the English translations. He has the education to make an academic comparison. He is not an Arabic scholar nor a Qur'anic one and he never claimed to be. If he said that he is not going to reveal Qur'anic contradictions because of fear, that is legitimate in the current state of affairs of the world. Unfortunately. It is however incorrect to pin the violence on Islam itself. Islam does not condone this behavior but politics does. In order to be classified as a legitimate scholar of the Qur'an, you must know scholarly Arabic and extensive history of Islam. Neither of which he has claimed to be a scholar of. He is as about as good as Wikikpedia. This whole issue with him is very lame and a waste of time on your part.

David Wood said...


One doesn't need to be an Arabic scholar to know that the Qur'an has been changed numerous times and that Islam calls for the violence against critics. Just click on the "Quran" and "Jihad" tabs on this site to see what your own sources plainly declare. If you're going to say that no one can understand anything about Islam without being an Arabic scholar, then you're telling us that Islam is absolutely useless to most people.

zitouni said...

You have to be scholar of koran in order to do scholarly work on Koran. Tis is what christians apologist failed or do not want to accept .

Used to consider myself Christian said...

Really guys? Bart Ehrman is saying "jokingly" that he doesn't want to stir up anything about Islam given the way radicals tend to respond to such criticism. And, the Qur'an debunks the resurrection accounts (as added) to the NT Bible, not the crucifixion. Read Surah 2:154...The Qur'an is simply stating that the Crucifixion is NOT THE POINT...Jesus was not humiliated, or Killed...The point is, Jesus' message was that this physical life should not be our God, and the only way to conquer death is to die...Come on guys, lets at least pretend we understand these Spiritual teachings!

David Wood said...

Wow! Muhammad was convinced that Allah put one of Jesus' disciples in Jesus' place on the cross, so even Muhammad thought that this verse was denying Jesus' crucifixion.

Tell me, how did you come to understand the Qur'an better than Muhammad did? Are you an even greater prophet than he?

Here's Muhammad's view of 4:157:

Abdelaziz Philippe Hana said...

I furnish here only two opinions of important non-Muslim scholars about the Quran:

Goethe: 'However often we turn to it (the Quran) at first revolting us each time afresh, it soon attracts, astounds, and in the end enforces our reverence... Its style, in accordance with its contents and aim is stern, grand, terrible - ever and anon truly sublime - thus this book will go an exercising through all ages a most potent influence.”
Quoted in T.P. Hughes' Dictionary of Islam, p-526.

Maurice Buccaille: 'The above observation makes the hypothesis advanced by those who see Muhammad as the author of the Quran untenable. How could a man, from being illiterate, become the most important “author”, in terms of literary merits, in the whole of Arabic literature? How could he then pronounce truths of a scientific nature that no other human being could possibly have developed at that time, and all this without once making the slightest error in his pronouncement on the subject? ”
The Bible, the Quran and Science, 1978, p. 125.
My email:

Abdulaziz said...

Most of you here do not know what you talking about, just go to google scholar, type the word Islam or Quran and see the tons and tons of articles and books criticising every aspect of it, are those scholars all dead, maybe they are, but for some reason it did not make it to the news, maybe you all should watch for your lives because oh boy you are criticising the Quran! maybe I m danger too because I just revealed this lethal secret!!

Abdulaziz said...

What you people here can not grasp is that there is a huge difference between scholarly work and mocking, and also there is a huge difference between when someone else mocks you or if you mock yourself, take for example Mr.Bush one of the main reasons for him to invade Iraq was that his father picture was being mocked and trample upon in one of the hotels there. Second issue that you do not seem to grasp is that if you go now to a place like Google scholar and typed the word Quran or Islam you will get tons and tons of articles and books criticising Islam and the Quran in all the sort of ways, what happened to those scholar, have they been shut or stabbed, maybe! but it has not made it to the news yet for some reason, and mind you this is by no means a new practice, your beloved poet Dante had placed Mohamed in the seven circle of hell, and if it is true that Muslims are really on the look you should all fear of your lives for you have said some bad things about Islam, and I maybe should be carful too because I have just revealed this secret about where you can find this stuff, lets just all hide from those mad torrrrrrriests, they are out their like zombies trying to eat your brains, gnaw at your magnifies civilisation!!

musa3 said...

Ooo Yes, please point out the error/s or mistakes in the quran. Is there any?.. Baseless claim. Not because afraid of being killed, No.

merc mesgen said...

Hey musa3. "The sun sets in pool of murky water".

mohamad adjie pratignyo said...

I think it would fair enough if Bart have a debate with moslem scholar like dr Zakir Naik....if he had agut

Joe Aaron said...

Al-Qur'an4:48 ''Verily, Allah does not forgive those who association with Him partner in worship , but He forgives what is less than that for whom He wills. And he who associates others with Allah has certainly fabricated a tremendous sin.
Muslim didn't worship Prophet Muhammad and Muslim didn't worship any Prophets of God . May peace and mercy of God (Allah ) be with them all . Muslim worship only One true God (Allah)

mike lonergan said...

I can be born a muslim or become a muslim.However if I want to leave islam the penalty is death.Anything that I can enter but never leave is the worst kind of prison.I can be sent to prison and later leave after serving my sentence.Islam is the world largest and worst prison because its always a life sentence and death is only way out.