Bart Ehrman is a New Testament scholar; according to Answering Muslims, “Muslims love to quote Bart Ehrman, because Ehrman criticizes the New Testament….he holds that it hasn’t been perfectly preserved, that it contains contradictions, and that it isn’t the inspired Word of God…”
But in the video above (via Answering Muslims, with thanks to The Religion of Peace), he offers a very brief and simple explanation of why he doesn’t undertake similar study of the Qur’an: he doesn’t want to get murdered.
Well, no one wants to get murdered, but people who have not feared to go wherever the truth may take them are more worthy of emulation than those who cower before violent intimidation. It is true that there has been less critical study of the Qur’an and the origins of Islam than there has of the New Testament and the origins of Christianity, and this can largely be attributed to fear of violence.
But a small group of courageous scholars are pursuing such investigations of Islam, and in my next book, I discuss their discoveries. Yesterday I turned in the completed manuscript of my new book, Did Muhammad Exist? An Inquiry Into Islam’s Obscure Origins, to its publisher, the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI). It will be out in the spring. In it, I discuss the surprisingly shaky historical foundations of Islam, including in-depth examinations of the earliest records of Muhammad’s life, and the little-known story of the origins of the Qur’an.
I expect that the book will be…controversial. But to those who might be moved by it to violence, I say, unlike Ehrman, that I will never, ever bow to violent intimidation. And also: Why are you so afraid of the truth?