Bart Ehrman is a representative of scholars who question aspects of the New Testament. They typify the work of the serpent, the devil, who asked Eve, ‘Did God really say?’ 1 The question they ask in this case is, are the writers of the New Testament letters really who we think they are? The Ehrman Inquisition group do not believe that, for example, the apostle Peter wrote 2 Peter.
# Should a scholar who teaches about the New Testament be filled with the Holy Spirit?
To answer it, we have to look at the Biblical example of New Testament scholars. Logically Jesus is the supreme Teacher. Was He filled with the Holy Spirit? Yes, according to Matthew 3:16; Mark 1:10; Luke 3:21-22; and John 1:33. What was the result? ‘The people were amazed at His teaching, because He taught as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law.’ 2
# What about Paul, was he filled with the Holy Spirit?
- Yes. Ananias said to him, ‘Brother Saul, the Lord – Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here – has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.’ 3 Was Paul’s ministry successful? Surely, ‘The whole assembly became silent as they listened to Barnabas and Paul telling about the miraculous signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them.’ 4 That is a telling sign of the Holy Spirit’s work in them.
- Just for the interest, look at Ananias’ reaction. He was so scared of Saul (Paul), that when God told him to go to pray for him, he answered, ‘Lord, I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem. And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.’ 5 Yet when God told him to go, he went and amazingly he addressed Saul as ‘Brother Saul.’ That is an example of obedience and faith in the Lord.
# Were the disciples of Jesus filled with the Holy Spirit?
When Jesus appeared among the disciples after His resurrection, He said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you. And with that He breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.'” 6 Later, after Jesus’ ascension, when they were gathered in Jerusalem in prayer, all 120 present, were filled with the Holy Spirit. 7
- Can a person like Bart Ehrman, who identifies himself as an agnostic, be filled with the Holy Spirit? Jesus said, ‘He who is not with me is against me, and who does not gather with me scatters.’ 8 Does Ehrman scatter or gather with Jesus?
- Are there verses in the Bible that clearly tell us, if the human writers of the 66 books are not identified, the books are suspect? If you find any, please let us know. Thanks!
In the next blog we will discuss James, Jude, and the writer of the book of Hebrews.
- Genesis 3:1
- Mark 1:22
- Acts 9:17
- Acts 15:12
- Acts 9:13-14
- John 20:21-22
- Acts 2:1-4
- Matthew 12:30