Did Jesus Have a Short Attention Span?
by Hank Hanegraaff
I want to discuss something I’ve been focused on for a couple of days, which is Bart Erhman. He has made it clear from his perspective that the Bible is filled with discrepancies, many of them irreconcilable contradictions. He says that scholars have known this for hundreds of years, but the sad thing is that the general public is yet in the dark. Now through his books and media appearances, he is trying to enlighten those who have darkened minds. He wants them to know that Moses did not write the Pentateuch; Matthew, Mark, Luke and John did not write the Gospels; the exodus probably did not happen; the conquest of the Promised Land is probably based on legend and on and on it goes. He says of his students, “the more conservative students–– resist for a long time, secure in their knowledge that God would not allow any falsehoods into a sacred book. But before long as students see more and more of the evidence many of them find that their faith in the inerrant and absolute historical truthfulness of the Bible begins to waver.”
Bart Ehrman says that one of his favorite discrepancies is that Jesus evidently had a painfully short attention span. This discrepancy would be easy to resolve had not Bart Ehrman been hopelessly lost in a wooden literal labyrinth of his own making. Here how’s he cites the problem, “In John 13:36, Peter says to Jesus, ‘Lord where are you going?’ A few verses later Thomas says, ‘Lord we do not know where you are going’ (John 14:5). And then a few minutes later at the same meal Jesus upbraids his disciples saying, ‘Now I am going to the one who sent me, yet none of you ask me where are you going?’”That leaves only two possibilities according to Ehrman, “either Jesus had a very short attention span or there is something strange going on for the sources for these chapters…”
How does one respond to that? The first thing I would say to Professor Ehrman, and those who he is proud of causing to waver in their faith, that it’s instructive to note is that, if I were to take Professor Bart in a woodenly literal sense, in that same sense he takes the Bible, I’d be doing him a grave injustice. It would hardly be fair to suppose that he really thinks it possible that Jesus really had a short attention span. Anyone who reads his book in context knows full well that Ehrman is convinced that…
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