Bart Ehrman on The Arrest of Jesus

  • Bart D. Ehrman is the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Author and lecturer, agnostic-atheist.

Prof Ehrman has a new blog post out today about Were Jesus Followers Really Armed and Dangerous in the Garden of Gethsemane?

For regular readers here I tend to think the disciples did clash with the arresting party, whether they were armed or not, because it fits in with the general problem of Mark having to invent stories about Jesus predicting his death and resurrection, but the disciples not understanding. For if the crucifixion and resurrection were the central point, why would the disciples clash with the arresting party and run away?

There is an overarching literary theme that renders such discussions unnecessary. Jesus is the specially beloved (agapetos) of God who is conspired against by the evil Jewish Supreme Council, turned on by the crowd, denied Justice by Pilate, abandoned, denied, and has his message of non-resistance/violence perverted by his disciples (getting violent), and so the idea is that Jesus was sent into a dystopian world to redeem it. But how was this accomplished? It is with this we come to the central question of Penal Substitution vs Moral Influence cross theology. Paul famously said if Christ is not raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins, whereas in Mark Jesus transfigures the soldier at the cross without the need of resurrection appearances. As they say: “curiouser and curiouser,” lol.

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