August 5, 2020

William Lane Craig-Bart Ehrman Debate on the Resurrection of Jesus

craig.jpgI don’t usually pass along single links as posts, but I am sure that many of the IM audience will want to read, save and/or print this transcript of the William Lane Craig- Bart Ehrman Debate. It’s impressive in many ways: scope, depth, congeniality, candor and readability.

The debate was in March of this year and was held at Holy Cross College in Worcester, Massachusetts.

It’s a 38 page PDF document, and is available here.


  1. Hi Michael.
    I wonder who transcribed the debate? Did the person have the speakers’ notes? If so, does this mean Bart can’t spell “canon?”

    Thanks for posting the debate. Haven’t finished reading it yet, but so far, both speakers are acquitting themselves very well.

  2. m11green says

    I was able to attend this debate in person, and it was very interested. I had heard Dr. Craig debate at Harvard years earlier, but I did not realize until after the debate what an accomplished and respected author Dr. Ehrman is. Both debaters did an excellent job, but Dr. Craig certainly presented his case more clearly.

    The debate completely and totally hinged on Dr. Ehrman’s contention that a historian must employ methodological naturalism, making it impossible for miracles to be historically validated.

    I think it’s interesting that the Intelligent Design debate hinges on precisely the same question.

  3. This is the second place I’ve seen Erhman diss oral culture as being completely unreliable. An interesting position to take as a historian, especially of ancient culture.

    Craig’s reliance on a formula for the reliability of the resurrection seemed odd. His snarky “Bart’s Blunders” and “Ehrman’s Egregious Error” seemed out of place in this kind of presentation. NT Wright does a better job of telling the story of why the resurrection makes sense, from a historical standpoint–epecially when he compares the early church to the follows of other alleged messianic leaders in first century palestine. Of course, he takes more than 700 pages to discuss the resurrecion in his book, so he’s not as concise as James.

  4. Greeting,
    In response to David McKay, I am certain that the debators have very little to do with the creation of the transcript and that whoever had written it initially spelled canon corectly and then subsequently mis-spelled it.

    In response to m11green, I would liked to have seen or heard this debate, as words on paper can easily misconstrue meaning. For example, with David McKay’s question about whether or not Professor Ehrman knows the definition, spelling and usage of the word Canon or Cannon. I believe that Mr. McKay has discovered a perfect example of “misquoting Ehrman…”

    I agree with bob smietana that Craig’s Crude and Childish Confabulation was not very Considerable. He also lost me on his faith-based Algebra.

    For me, I wanted to hear facts to believe in and not to hear references to other people. It is clear to me that Dr. Craig is unqualified and Dr. Ehrman hopes that the memory of this episode disappears quickly.



  5. NTHistorian says

    After reading the transcript, it is clear that though Professor Ehrman is extremely well read, his philosophical reasoning is unacceptable. Take for example the most salient fallacy of his case: Presupposing atheism. Methodological naturalism is assumed for all historians from the outset. Prof. Ehrman offers no justification. Moreover, consider his self-referentially incoherent statement that historians can make no judgements about God, then he himself, as a historian, makes assertions about God. Professor Ehrman solidifies the point that though one may know much about New Testament History, having a sub-standard philosophy can undermine and manipulate rational conclusions.