Monday, February 2, 2009

JAMES WHITE: Review of the "Did the Bible Misquote Jesus" Debate

MP3 Available Here

JAMES R. WHITE, founder & director of Alpha & Omega Ministries , a theologically Reformed Christian apologetics ministry based in Phoenix, AZ, will review his recent debate with BART D. EHRMAN on the theme: "DID THE BIBLE MISQUOTE JESUS?"

On January 21st, 2009, in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, our guest Dr. James R. White participated in a public, moderated debate with Bart D. Ehrman, the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor at the
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and author of "Misquoting Jesus" (an overview of the changes found in the surviving copies of the New Testament and of the scribes who produced them), on the above mentioned theme. Ehrman believes that if God had put forth the effort to inspire the words of the Bible, then he would have surely preserved those words. According to Ehrman, God simply would not have allowed any textual variation to exist in the transmission of the New Testament if He had inspired it in the first place.Dr. James R. White's goal in this recent debate was to do the following:

Demonstrate that one who holds to the highest view of Scripture and its inspiration can look at the very same data and still present a strong, compelling case for the preservation of the text of Scripture over time.

Expose the presuppositional nature of Ehrman’s insistence that we must possess the originals for inspiration to be true. This would include making sure it is clear that when Ehrman says “We don’t know what the NT said” he means “We do not have photographic reproductions of the originals.” I desired to make sure the listener would see that the NT manuscript tradition is more than sufficient to provide the original readings, even in the toughest of variants.

Reverse Ehrman’s “spin” on the state of the text, which involved putting a context to his constant repetition of the claim, “There are more variants than there are words in the New Testament.”

Present a strong case for the providential preservation of the text through the explosion of early manuscripts and the lack of editorial “control” in contrast with the Islamic theory of preservation. Given that the majority of attacks upon the NT today come from those alleging some kind of controlled editing of the text, this element is vital.

Finally, expose the radical skepticism of Bart Ehrman’s position, which leads to an abandonment of any meaningful knowledge of history itself. I needed to contrast Ehrman’s post-modernism with the viewpoints of the past, including contrasting his position with the great names in the field of the past like Tischendorf or Aland.

During today's broadcast, Dr. White will provide an assessment of how adequately he believes he succeeded in his mission.

In addition to his labors for the furtherance of the Kingdom of Christ with Alpha & Omega Ministries, Dr. James R. White is a professor, having taught Greek, Systematic Theology, and various topics in the field of apologetics. He has authored or contributed to more than twenty books, including "The King James Only Controversy", "The Forgotten Trinity", "The Potter's Freedom: A Defense of the Reformation & A Rebuttal of Norman Geisler's 'Chosen But Free'", "Dangerous Airwaves: Harold Camping Refuted & Christ's Church Defended" and "The God Who Justifies" (
see a complete list of Dr. White's books here ).He is an accomplished debater, having engaged in more than fifty moderated, public debates with leading proponents of Roman Catholicism, Liberal Protestantism, Homosexual Activism, Oneness Pentecostalism, Islam, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Mormonism, in addition to having collegial, "in-house" debates with friends & brothers in Christ over issues ranging from the biblical subjects of baptism to the doctrines of Calvinism.

He is an elder of the Phoenix
Reformed Baptist Church, has been married to Kelli for more than twenty-two years, and has two children, Joshua and Summer. Listen to Dr. White's live, call-in Internet program "The Dividing Line" at

The audio MP3 of the debate (including a Quicktime video that contains Dr. White's overhead presentation) may be purchased here:

Our co-host during today's interview with Dr. White is Pastor Jim Capo of the
Massapequa Church of God on Long Island, NY.

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