Short on time?

Get essay writing help

Ben Witherington Iii And Bart D. Ehrman's Views On The Bible

  • Words: 908
  • |
  • Pages: 2
  • This essay sample was donated by a student to help the academic community. Papers provided by EduBirdie writers usually outdo students' samples.
Download PDF

Ben Witherington III and Bart D. Ehrman have different views of the Bible. There are many differences and comparisons between the two authors. Witherington and Ehrman have different ways of summarizing the Bible and what they emphasize. The more challenging approach for me is Ehrman’s approach. We will look at why Ehrman’s approach is a more challenging one and how just looking at the facts can feel disheartening and sacreligious.

Ehrman focuses heavily on the structure of the Bible. He goes over the layout of the Hebrew Bible and the English Bible and the New Testament. Ehrman then goes on to tell a rough summary of the Bible and all its major events. He goes from the Creation, to the Garden of Eden, the Flood, Exodus, the Promised Land, the Judges and Kings, the exile and return, the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, the spread of the Christian church and the End of time. After this summary Ehrman then goes on to note that the stories and events that happened in the Bible did not really happen, or there is a lack of proof to be able to decide that this book is 100% truth.

Witherington immediately has a more devotional approach then Ehrman meaning he is looking at the Bible historically and literary through a faith based lense. For example Witherington talks of “A unity of the Bible” He means it isn’t just a bunch of random books and stories thrown into one. It is a connecting story with the same themes, ideas, and the same God from Genesis to Revelation. It is the same story of true salvation.

Witherington’s main view on how to read the Bible is to look at the Grand Narrative. The Grand Narrative is the grand story that is told from Genesis to Revelation. Witherington is looking at everything from top to bottom. If we have a better idea of the plot of the story entirely, we will be able to better understand what specific small things mean in the grand narrative.

Save your time!
We can take care of your essay
  • Proper editing and formatting
  • Free revision, title page, and bibliography
  • Flexible prices and money-back guarantee
Place Order

Witherington also gives a brief summary of the Bible and all its stories. Witherington brushes over many historical figures like Abraham, Joseph, and even Moses. This version also focuses greatly on the death and resurrection of Jesus and just what exactly that means. Witherington also makes a note of the importance of not to just look at something historically but to also look at it theologically. To look at the Bible theologically is meant to not just talk about the facts but to “bring out the fact’s deeper significance.”

When I am reading Ehrman’s view and Witherington’s view I am looking at it through a faith based lense. The Bible holds a lot of weight and importance to me. This is heavily related to my faith and my childhood. I believe that the Bible is God inspired but also written by man. I don’t believe that the Bible is “flawless” as it was written and translated by imperfect men but it is very important to me nonetheless. I am personally sitting more on Witherington’s side as he is a more “devotional writer” as he views the Bible as one true unified story of God’s love from beginning to end. I am less of a “skeptic” that I see Ehrman more to be.

Ehrman talks of the 10 different stages of creation, the emphasis on the sabbath and the fact of sin. Where as Witherington focuses on the greatness of God, and God’s almighty power. He focuses on God’s relationship with humankind. In comparison Ehrman talks of the Bible having mistakes and how different authors have different things to say, and how we need to read the books of the Bible individually. Witherington states the exact opposite, how we need to look at the Bible as a whole and as one story of love, forgiveness and God wanting a relationship with us. I prefer Witherington’s view because it connects with my faith in God on a significant level.

The part of Ehrman’s view that was the most challenging for me was when he talked of Genesis 1-11 as “myths” and though he touched on looking at the stories and about taking all the good insights about life that are in them. I found him using the word “myth” about the stories to be sacrilegious. I don’t necessarily disagree with his definition of the word which is “they are stories about God and his activities” and they are also stories that can not be proven real. Though I can not prove that these stories are real I still believe them to be real and that is a part of what faith is to me and the reason why I found his view the most challenging.

In conclusion even though both Ehrman and Witherington have very different views they are both important to look at it and at times wrestle with. Witherington’s idea of a grand narrative helps put every story in a bigger picture whereas Ehrman’s idea of looking at every book more individualistically can help bring more context to that exact situation. With all that being said there is so much more to uncover with the Bible and this is just a start to all that Ehrman and Witherington have to talk about.


  1. Ehrman, Bart D. The Bible: A Historical and Literary Introduction, 2nd ed. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018.
  2. Witherington, Ben III. Reading and Understanding The Bible. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015.

Make sure you submit a unique essay

Our writers will provide you with an essay sample written from scratch: any topic, any deadline, any instructions.

Cite this Page

Ben Witherington Iii And Bart D. Ehrman’s Views On The Bible. (2022, February 21). Edubirdie. Retrieved October 3, 2022, from
“Ben Witherington Iii And Bart D. Ehrman’s Views On The Bible.” Edubirdie, 21 Feb. 2022,
Ben Witherington Iii And Bart D. Ehrman’s Views On The Bible. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 3 Oct. 2022].
Ben Witherington Iii And Bart D. Ehrman’s Views On The Bible [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 21 [cited 2022 Oct 3]. Available from:
Join 100k satisfied students
  • Get original paper written according to your instructions
  • Save time for what matters most
hire writer

Fair Use Policy

EduBirdie considers academic integrity to be the essential part of the learning process and does not support any violation of the academic standards. Should you have any questions regarding our Fair Use Policy or become aware of any violations, please do not hesitate to contact us via

Check it out!
search Stuck on your essay?

We are here 24/7 to write your paper in as fast as 3 hours.