|Alan Garrow Didache|
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Apology to Bart Ehrman - revised
[This apology has been revised in the light of the further observations made by Deane (see comments section). All this is a salutary reminder of the unreliability of memory and the tendency of (at least) some human beings to conflate two sources together.]
In my most recent blog post, published last week, I made an error for which I must now apologise. I stated that, when Ehrman introduced Mark Goodacre’s criticism of the Matthew Conflator Hypothesis, he said that he found it: ‘completely compelling’. This was inaccurate. What Ehrman actually said was, on one occasion: 'I find Goodacre's argument completely convincing', and, on another: ‘I consider it compelling’. Absolutely accurate quotation is essential to fair and effective debate. I have revised the blog post in question - again!
20/4/2018 09:44:18 pm
Hi Alan. Bart Ehrman indeed described Mark Goodacre's response as merely "compelling" when he reproduced Goodacre's response on his blog ("Did Matthew Copy Luke? Mark Goodacre’s Rebuttal" https://ehrmanblog.org/did-matthew-copy-luke-mark-goodacres-rebuttal/).
21/4/2018 02:09:32 pm
Hi Deane. Thanks for pointing out my incompetence at dealing with my incompetence. I've attempted to reconfigure the apology and article to make them fully accurate.
2/5/2018 12:28:45 pm
The vagaries of memory... my main disagreement with "oral tradition" as a source of the Gospels (or any other dogma) is this all-too-human fact. JC was surrounded by scribes - his words would've been recorded as best as his hearers could record them. Speed-writing or 'short-hand' was a thing even in those days, thus written records of his words could have survived right from that time. That they were reworked and reordered no one can fairly deny, but word-for-word records could have come to us via his listeners. That the Gospellers chose to copy each other, yet included their own material, their own spin, makes the Synoptic Question so enthralling. It's like a detective story - why did Mark, Matthew and Luke produce material with so much in common and yet, via such distinct editorial choices, set themselves apart from each other?
13/5/2018 10:07:51 pm
Your humility is that of a true Scholar, Alan. Well handled. We all make mistakes. But being able to accept them with good grace is the mark of a true seeker after Truth.
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Alan Garrow is Vicar of St Peter's Harrogate and a member of SCIBS at the University of Sheffield.