Talk:Bart D. Ehrman

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Reception and controversy (criticism)[edit]

Is this section really necessary? It focuses primarily on the fundamentalist scholars with whom Ehrman's views are at odds rather than trying to include a wider range of scholarly receptions of his work. Let's clear this up and make it less biased, shall we? 174.39.156.188 (talk) 13:56, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

A user removed the entire section. I think this is going too far, so I restored it. I agree that the scholars quoted are all critical of Ehrman, but I think it`s better to let the section stand (with an appropriate tag) and hope that views on the other side will eventually be represented. Rodney Boyd (talk) 00:55, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

It seemed to me that no one was giving the section so much as a thought before, so I removed it to (hopefully) force the issue. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 98.135.27.237 (talk) 15:29, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Clearly there's a WP:WEIGHT issue here. His popular books have been bestsellers, while others are standard introductory textbooks. So "reception" shouldn't simply be criticism. Secondly, it's called "controversy", when it mentions none. Finally, we can't have unsourced "controversy" in a WP:BLP. Guettarda (talk) 16:45, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

Edits by Rosylyn Grock[edit]

Some points to note:

1) The edit implied that by disputing Ehrman's work on factual grounds, Carrier had proven Ehrman's work is factually inaccurate. As any reasonable person would have noted on actually reading the dialogue, all Carrier's substantive points were actually refuted. The only one that stood was an error over labelling a citation from Pliny. Therefore Rosylyn Grock's edits fail the neutrality test. This is of course exceptionally high as this is a BLP.

2) It is also worth noting that Carrier's blog is at best doubtful as a reliable source, given Carrier's known penchant for exaggeration (not to mention his rather brutal ad hominem style). As Ehrman is known to monitor this site, however, and seems happy to leave it in, that doesn't seem to be much of an issue as long as the whole issue is explained in a neutral manner.

If Rosylyn Grock wishes to make such contentious edits, I would suggest she(?) discuss them on the talk pages first in accordance with Wikipedia protocol and looks to establish a consensus.86.181.139.204 (talk) 18:07, 10 March 2014 (UTC)

This user claims to be a "professional historian" and yet keeps inserting a new criticism section full of Christian apologetics. Similarly on the Richard Carrier talk page, he makes various unsubstantiated assertions, trying to undermine Carrier.......P.S. If you are confused why a Christian would partially defend Ehrman against Carrier, as the user sometimes does, its because Ehrman still believes Jesus existed, something Richard Carrier doesn't. RosylynGrock (talk) 01:21, 11 March 2014 (UTC)

Rosylyn Grock, merely copying and pasting abuse from one talk page to another is not 'engaging in debate'. I have made these points because I am concerned at your edits. They indicate a strong bias in favour of Carrier. Therefore they are not neutral. That doesn't mean that you can't edit Wikipedia, merely that you need to recognise your own prejudices and shortcomings and engage with them constructively. At the moment I am afraid you are not doing that. Your edits on Ehrman and on Carrier reveal a straightforward unwillingness to present information in a neutral manner and that is a serious problem. Please bear in mind that content for BLP must be of a high standard. Your edits are unfortunately not.86.181.139.204 (talk) 17:11, 11 March 2014 (UTC)

You are the one introducing a section full of Christian nonsense in violation of WP:BLP. Stop pretending my edits are the issue. RosylynGrock (talk) 19:48, 11 March 2014 (UTC)

Personal blogs are not reliable sources. Fails WP:RS. Carrier is an obscure academic at best. Would be an example of WP:Undue to even cite him.

Similarly, Christian Apologists are not historians. They are creating popular works, and are not publishing in historical journals. It is WP:UNDUE to cite them. --Harizotoh9 (talk) 07:09, 12 March 2014 (UTC)

Thank you for sorting that out. This now looks fine. 86.181.139.204 (talk) 16:41, 12 March 2014 (UTC)

Personal blogs are sometimes reliable sources, actually. See WP:ABOUTSELF. 86, welcome to wikipedia, please call me 74.  :-)   Can you give me the two-sentence overview of what changes you are trying to make here? RosylynGrock, I'd also appreciate your two-sentence summary. Please focus on what the sources say, in these summaries, rather than what we might logically conclude therefrom; see WP:SYNTH, wikipedians should not be drawing conclusions, we should just reflect what the sources actually say, and if they don't say, neither should we. 74.192.84.101 (talk) 16:51, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
That's easy 74. None. I was just reverting RG's edits because they failed neutrality. With hindsight as Harizotoh suggested maybe I should just have removed the whole lot. However, Ehrman does monitor this page and he had seemed happy with the rest, so I just left it.
At Carrier's page on the other hand....86.181.139.204 (talk) 16:58, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
"@74.192.84.101: "Personal blogs are sometimes reliable sources, actually. See WP:ABOUTSELF."
This does not have any relation to this page at all. We are not citing Ehrman's personal site/blog. Carrier would have to publish in a journal first to be accepted as a WP:RS.
@86.181.139.204: "However, Ehrman does monitor this page and he had seemed happy with the rest, so I just left it."
Irrelevant. People do not write their own Wikipedia pages, and they are too related to the subject to give an unbiased opinion on it.
--Harizotoh9 (talk) 17:26, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
Note that per WP:BLPCOMPLAINT we actually *do* very much care what Erhman's view of his own BLP is... but of course, that is distinct from 86's assumption about Erhman's view.  :-)   See also WP:BLPFIGHT, which might be applicable here. 74.192.84.101 (talk) 17:47, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
Note to 86, I've added some colons into your reply, to indent it. I was just there at the other page, actually.  :-)   I've done the work to see what the dispute is about... it seems to be the following points. Harizotoh9, note that in point#7, there is a dispute over whether we can use Ehrman's blogpost; methinks we can, right? Using Carrier's blogpost in the Ehrman article (as opposed to the Carrier article), is something else, and prolly needs a source the proves Carrier's blogpost was WP:NOTEWORTHY.
  1. whether to have a "criticism" section. (Per the essay WP:NOCRIT, this is usually frowned upon, especially for BLPs. Plus, one of the book-titles didn't sound critical.)
  2. whether to call Carrier an Ivy League trained specialist in Ancient History, or just the latter bit. (Per other page, we should probably call him a "historian")
  3. whether to include this book in the list of responses to Ehrman: How God Became Jesus: The Real Origins of Belief in Jesus' Divine Nature---A Response to Bart D. Ehrman by Michael F. Bird, Craig A. Evans, Simon Gathercole and Charles E. Hill,
  4. whether to include this boringly-factual-looking sentence: "In 2012, Ehrman published Did Jesus Exist? defending the thesis that Jesus of Nazareth existed in contrast to the mythicist theory that Jesus is an entirely mythical or fictitious being woven whole-cloth out of legendary material."
  5. whether to include this unsourced sentence: "Erhman states he expects the book to be criticized both by some atheists as well as fundamentalist Christians."
  6. whether to include mention of this blogpost by Carrier. "In response, Richard Carrier published a lengthy criticism of the book in April 2012, particularly questioning both Ehrman's facts and methodology.[1]"
  7. whether to include this counter-blogpost by Ehrman. "Ehrman replied to Carrier's criticisms on his website, primarily defending himself against Carrier's allegations of factual errors.[2]"
RosylynGrock and 86, can you both please tell me which of the numbered-portions you currently believe we should keep, and which we should remove? We can (different from "must") use Ehrman's blog per WP:ABOUTSELF, with care, for documenting his own views. The other stuff, some of it is non-controversial, but other bit prolly need sourcing if we want to keep them. Hope this helps. 74.192.84.101 (talk) 17:47, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
Number 6 must be included, with probably number 2 since Ehrman himself mentions it. Number 6 is noteworthy, because Ehrman responded to it. The rest can be discarded. RosylynGrock (talk) 19:32, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
I'm an Ivy Leaguer but we don't normally see graduates from Ivy League schools mentioned as such in our bibliographies. And what academic historians call Carrier a historian? We have a brief mention in the LA Times[1] that does but the LA Times isn't a source that can determine that, and probably just picked it up from him or his website. It's a bit 'argument from authority' in any case. Even if he were an academic, our guidelines say we wouldn't call him 'Professor Carrier'. If we mention him, just give him a link. We are having the same discussion over at [{Talk:Richard Carrier]]. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dougweller (talkcontribs) 15:12, 13 March 2014 (UTC)
Of those numbered points, the only one I think should be included in this article is #4, and to say ""In 2012, Ehrman published Did Jesus Exist? defending the thesis that Jesus of Nazareth existed in contrast to the mythicist theory that Jesus is an entirely mythical or fictitious being", omitting "woven whole-cloth out of legendary material" as not all "mythicists" say that. Richard Carrier should not be mentioned in this article at all. The stub article Did Jesus Exist? (Ehrman) could be linked to and expanded to mention the debate between Ehrman and his "mythicist" critics including but not limited to Carrier.Smeat75 (talk) 13:07, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
I'd agree with Smeat75. If there are disputes about the others it's probably best to leave them out. With the disclaimer that I know absolutely nothing about New Testament studies, I would have said however that including a recent book he published in his specialist field probably is important. The others are froth or as Dougweller points out, more or less irrelevant (we all know Columbia is Ivy League! Should we refer to everyone with a PhD from York as a Russell Grouper?)!86.181.139.204 (talk) 11:50, 15 March 2014 (UTC)
I have made that addition, any criticism of that book should be added to the article on the book, not to the article on Ehrman.Smeat75 (talk) 15:24, 15 March 2014 (UTC)

Let's look at WP:ABOUTSELF:

*the material is neither unduly self-serving nor an exceptional claim;

  • it does not involve claims about third parties;
  • it does not involve claims about events not directly related to the source;

My interpretation is that this policy is about straightforward simple claims, such as date of birth, or hometown. Not so that we can document the blog debates they get into. There has to be some kind of third party source documenting this to establish it's notability. So that is why there should be no mention of any blogposts, or blog debates or whatever. Those would violate the above rules (many claims about third parties and events not directly related to the source). --Harizotoh9 (talk) 16:49, 15 March 2014 (UTC)

I thought that the Ehrman blog could be used to show Ehrman's opinion upon some scholarly subject, the Cargill blog to show Cargill's opinion about Ehrman and we already know that Ehrman is a top scholar, Cargill is a mainstream scholar (albeit lower on the food chain than Ehrman), so we have trustworthy scholars voicing their opinions upon scholarly issues through blogs. The quote I offered from Cargill's blog was meant to show only what Cargill thinks, i.e. that he supports Ehrman and Ehrman's claim to make public the consensus among Bible scholars, I made no claim that it would be a reliable source for adding historical facts to Wikipedia. It only showed that a scholar defended another scholar, and this information isn't controversial, i.e. there are no reasons to doubt that Cargill has defended Ehrman. Tgeorgescu (talk) 02:16, 16 March 2014 (UTC)

First two sentences are redundant[edit]

I'm not going to argue about the content of the sentences, but it still stands that the first two sentences repeat themselves. Anyone want to try rearranging some of it? 24.192.101.162 (talk) 16:48, 25 April 2014 (UTC)

" Ehrman is a leading New Testament scholar, having written and edited over twenty-five books, including three college textbooks." - not a logical statement. The more books you write the more you become a leading scholar? It's obviously not about numbers, but the sentence says it is - 'having' here means 'because'. Dougweller (talk) 17:44, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
How's this? Evan (talk|contribs) 17:56, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
Writing college textbooks does make one a leading scholar. Universities with which he has no direct association like Yale still use his textbooks to train their undergraduate students. What's illogical about that? 182.249.240.10 (talk) 07:16, 24 May 2014 (UTC)
Very true, publishing is often a very important part of being a scholar since scholarship is directly related to original research, and original research is tied to publications. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 141.117.217.34 (talk) 22:11, 9 July 2014 (UTC)

Entire "Works" section in WP:OR[edit]

Per No original research, "Do not analyze, synthesize, interpret, or evaluate material found in a primary source yourself; instead, refer to reliable secondary sources that do so." This entire section is such analysis, interpretation, synthesis and evaluation by WP editors. It cites sources only for his works being best sellers. There must be published reviews, analyses and commentaries, those are the only appropriate sources for this kind of content. I have placed the tag rather than cutting the material to allow interested editors a chance to change this section. I will shortly cut the massive unsourced OR. - - MrBill3 (talk) 16:40, 24 May 2014 (UTC)

Agreed. See also Talk:Richard C. Hoagland. Dougweller (talk) 21:07, 24 May 2014 (UTC)
I am in the process of fixing that.Smeat75 (talk) 21:26, 24 May 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for your work on the article Smeat75. I know sourcing and paraphrasing takes some work. The section is much better now. BTW, I think the article still has issues related to WP:DUE. - - MrBill3 (talk) 11:49, 27 May 2014 (UTC)

Philanthropy self-sourcing[edit]

I think this section should be removed, unless there are 3rd party sources. We're stating things as fact, based on what the subject says about themselves, when the claims are make the subject look good. I don't doubt the claim, but we should independently verify before having it.. --Rob (talk) 09:57, 1 June 2014 (UTC)

Agreed. Dougweller (talk) 12:36, 1 June 2014 (UTC)

One example I could find is the Bart Ehrman Foundation is listed as a $10,000+ donor is on page 9 of http://umdurham.org/assets/files/UMD%20NL-AR%20Oct%20'12%20WEB.pdf (2012) Also, there is another example at http://www.umdurham.org/assets/files/UMD_2012-13AnnualReport_Digital.pdf (2013). Is this a sufficient 3rd party source? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 141.117.217.34 (talk) 21:55, 9 July 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^ Richard Carrier (19 April 2012). "Ehrman on Jesus: A Failure of Facts and Logic". Freethought Blogs. Retrieved 23 October 2013. 
  2. ^ Bart D. Ehrman (25 April 2012). "Fuller Reply to Carrier". CIA: The Bart Ehrman Blog. Retrieved 23 October 2013.