Selective Manuscript Agnosticism

27 Jan


In about 1996 as an undergraduate Political Science student, I listened to a lecture in my International Conflict course.  The professor (one of my favorites) explained how much of what we know regarding the science of international relations and even war strategy has been developed upon analysis of the ancient Peloponnesian War (431 to 401 bc).  The account of the war comes to us almost exclusively from an ancient Greek author and soldier in the war named Thucydides in his A History of the Peloponnesian War.  Tons of information about the war is contained in that document and is treated as basically reliable in college classrooms everywhere (see the wikipedia artcle on it, for example).

A few years ago, when I came across the writings of Bart Ehrman, a New Testament textual critic who claims that we can’t know if the words in our bibles correspond to the words…

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