Bart Ehrman has a magical time machine! How do I know? Well, he went back to the first century and he discovered that some biblical books were written with the intent to deceive their readers. In a recent NewsObserver.com article (see here) he says:
“The authors intended to deceive their readers, and their readers were all too easily deceived,” Ehrman writes. “The use of deception to promote the truth may well be considered one of the most unsettling ironies of the early Christian tradition.”
I don’t think there is any way other than a time machine for Ehrman to know this. How can discover the intent of the author to this degree without going to ask him/her?!How can a modern reader possibly recover that much data from the historical texts that we have available?
Or maybe he is just saying something absurd to get the spotlight because he likes it there so much. This makes more sense than a time machine! Jim West nails it with this response (see full post here):
“Here’s the problem, and here’s where Ehrman turns from academic researcher to publicity seeking deceiver: he cannot POSSIBLY know what intention was operative in the minds of the writers of those texts which eventually became the New Testament. To pretend that he does only demonstrates that he is more interested in saying absurd headline grabbing things than that he interested in and engaged in actual academic pursuits.”
This is what I find baffling about much of modern biblical scholarship. There is so much confidence in historical reconstruction. Historical reconstruction is fine and dandy as an interesting academic discipline full of possible hypotheses, but this deified historicism let’s them think they sit proudly over the church because they know the real meaning of Scripture compared to those ignorant, faith-based readers. Sorry(not really) to say this, but they too have faith in a god. The god of their own historical imaginations.
That or they have a time machine.