Atheists: What Question Would You Ask a Catholic Biblical Scholar?
by Brandon Vogt
Filed under AMA, The Bible
In a few days, Dr. Brant Pitre, one of today's premier Catholic biblical scholars, will release a new book titled The Case for Jesus: The Biblical and Historical Evidence for Christ (Random House, 2016). It seeks to debunk many skeptical attitudes toward the Gospels put forward today by scholars such as Bart Ehrman.
Here's a brief summary:
For well over a hundred years now, many scholars have questioned the historical truth of the Gospels, claiming that they were originally anonymous. Others have even argued that Jesus of Nazareth did not think he was God and never claimed to be divine.
In The Case for Jesus, Dr. Brant Pitre, the bestselling author of Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist, goes back to the sources—the biblical and historical evidence for Christ—in order to answer several key questions, including:
- Were the four Gospels really anonymous?
- Are the Gospels folklore? Or are they biographies?
- Were the four Gospels written too late to be reliable?
- What about the so-called “Lost Gospels,” such as “Q” and the Gospel of Thomas?
- Did Jesus claim to be God?
- Is Jesus divine in all four Gospels? Or only in John?
- Did Jesus fulfill the Jewish prophecies of the Messiah?
- Why was Jesus crucified?
- What is the evidence for the Resurrection?
As The Case for Jesus will show, recent discoveries in New Testament scholarship, as well as neglected evidence from ancient manuscripts and the early church fathers, together have the potential to pull the rug out from under a century of skepticism toward the traditional Gospels. Above all, Pitre shows how the divine claims of Jesus of Nazareth can only be understood by putting them in their ancient Jewish context.
Since these are all questions we discuss and debate regularly here on Strange Notions, I reached out to Brant and asked if he'd be willing to do an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on our site, answering whatever questions we threw at him. Thankfully, he accepted!
He's particularly interested in hearing from skeptics and atheists. So whether you doubt Jesus was a real historical person, or that the New Testament offers reliable testimony, or whether the earliest Christians really believed that Jesus rose from the dead, we want to hear from you!
What question would you ask a Catholic Biblical scholar?
What makes you most skeptical about Jesus or the Bible? What's that query you've posed to Christians and never received a good answer?
Again, we're particular interested in questions from skeptics or atheists, but everyone is welcome to submit questions. And they don't have to be challenges or "gotcha" questions. We're interested in plain old curiosity questions, too.
(It should go without saying, but if your question is disrespectful or snarky, it won't be chosen.)
Just type your question below in the comment box, and over the next few days we'll select a handful. Brant will then share his answers here within the next 1-2 weeks. Thanks!
Note: Our goal is to cultivate serious and respectful dialogue. While it's OK to disagree—even encouraged!—any snarky, offensive, or off-topic comments will be deleted. Before commenting please read the Commenting Rules and Tips. If you're having trouble commenting, read the Commenting Instructions.