Ehrman–Licona Dialogue on the Historical Reliability of the New Testament

Bart D. Ehrman and Michael R. Licona

If you want to see an online written debate on the reliability of the New Testament, this is an excellent resource.  According to Greg Monette, he says this may be the first time I can say definitively that Bart Ehrman has lost a debate. Why? Because he never defines anywhere what he means when he says the New Testament Gospels are “unreliable.” It’s as though he thinks all he needs to do is point out a few contradictions in these writings and their credibility vaporizes and that somehow proves that the Gospels are unreliable (whatever that means…he never explains)

In contrast, Licona explains what he means by “reliable” and shows that even though the Gospels are not historically reliable in a modern sense of 21st century history writing (they sometimes move events around chronologically; put the words of one person in the mouth of another; compress the narrative; and add elements to the story to make it more dramatic) their historical reliability is not in jeopardy when we understand how ancient authors composed their biographies.