Monday, April 21, 2014

The Ehrman - Carrier Spat - Round 2?

Ehrman seems to be revisiting the "ill-tempered Richard Carrier's review".

Ehrman revisits his point about not having any Roman references to Pontius Pilate. Here is what Ehrman actually wrote (on Huffington Post):
"It is true that Jesus is not mentioned in any Roman sources of his day. That should hardly count against his existence, however, since these same sources mention scarcely anyone from his time and place. Not even the famous Jewish historian, Josephus, or even more notably, the most powerful and important figure of his day, Pontius Pilate."
However, in Ehrman's latest retelling of this spat, 'Roman sources" become "any (non-Christian/non-Jewish) pagan sources". He seems to be forgetting that Carrier referenced this point when reviewing his Huffington Post article, not his book.[See update below.] Ehrman writes:
"The following is in reference to my point that we do not have any references to Pontius Pilate in any (non-Christian/non-Jewish) pagan sources of the first century".
I am getting some popcorn!

Update: It looks like Ehrman does clarify in his blogpost that he is aware that Carrier was reviewing his Huffington Post article. As mentioned on the Biblical Criticism & History Forum, here is what he wrote:
Now to be fair to Carrier, his comment was posted on his blog about a short piece that I wrote for the Huffington Post. In that (very!) condensed version of my views, I pointed out that Pontius Pilate is not mentioned in any “Roman sources of his day.” This sent Carrier ballistic: we have the inscription! We have Philo! We have Josephus! Ehrman is an idiot! But if he had simply waited to read my book before blasting off at me, he would have seen what I meant
Ehrman seems to be agreeing that he made a mistake (without calling it one). Perhaps, Carrier should have pointed that out with a smile! :)

[Disclaimer: I am not a subscriber of Ehrman's blog. So, I have only read the teaser.]

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