Biblical Criticism and Inerrancy

The Gutenberg Bible displayed by the United St... The Gutenberg Bible displayed by the United States Library of Congress, demonstrating printed pages as a storage medium. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What is biblical criticism

Biblical criticism is the academic or scholarly study of the Bible using various tools and methods. One website defined it this way, “biblical criticism simply refers to the scholarly approach of studying, evaluating and critically assessing the Bible as literature in order to understand it better.” Biblical criticism is often used interchangeably with the historical-critical method.

Biblical criticism does not start with whether or not the Bible is considered inspired or inerrant. It approaches the biblical text like any other text and begins asking questions such as who is the author? Who is the audience? What type of literature is this? What are the historical circumstances of the writing? How do modern audiences understand the text? What are our assumptions when approaching the text? Some of the tools and methods used include textual criticism, source criticism, redaction criticism, narrative criticism, social-science criticism, feminist criticism, reader-response criticism, postcolonial criticism, etc.

What is inerrancy

Inerrancy is the view that the Bible (in the original autographs) contains no errors of fact, not just in areas of faith and morality, but extends to matters of history and science.

Although biblical criticism does not preclude inerrancy it can help us to see whether or not the Bible contains errors of historical or scientific fact. I will argue that scholars have found by using these various methods and tools that indeed there are countless examples of such errors. For brevity’s sake I’ll briefly list two.

The historicity of the exodus

One of the crucial episodes recorded in the Pentateuch is the exodus. After 10 devastating plagues Moses, who was a prince in the royal Egyptian family, leads Israel out of slavery to the promised land. When biblical scholars began using the tools of historical research they found that there was no evidence whatsoever of the events surrounding the exodus. Nothing in the records of ancient Egypt of a Moses, 10 plagues, or a mass exodus of Hebrew slaves, nothing in the archaeological record. How do inerrantists respond? Most take it as a matter of faith that something had to have happened, some argue that at best some of the events could have happened or at least are historically plausible when considering the contemporary culture. Another tact is to claim that Egypt would not have memorialized such a event, but even so, we would expect something in the record, even if veiled, perhaps Egypt changing the defeat into a victory or claiming such a defeat to be punishment from their gods (see Sparks, God’s Word, pgs. 155-157). It actually makes better sense when you see this account as a “founding myth” of Israel where Yahweh delivers his people, placing them in his covenant.

The spherical earth

It is alleged by inerrantists that the Bible describes the earth as round or a circle (Isa. 40:21-22; Prov. 8:27; Job 26:10), and hence a sphere and that it is suspended in space (Job 26:7) just as science says. There are multiple problems with this thinking. First, we must be careful that we are not reading modern concepts of cosmology into the ancient texts. Second, the translation of “circle” is not the same as “sphere” and in fact it’s often translated as “horizon” and the word for “earth” often means “the land.” The real problem is one of history. In the 6th century BCE the Greeks first proposed that the earth was a sphere, but it was a matter of philosophical speculation and remained so until the third century BCE when Eratosthenes was able to estimate its circumference. It was gradually adopted from then on. The cosmology of the Ancient Near East (ANE) however sees the earth as a flat disc resting on pillars covered by a solid dome. The various biblical texts from the Hebrew scripture make better sense in the light of their surrounding culture of the ANE. Inerrantists will not be convinced by the evidence seen by the fact that they still claim falsely that the Bible prefigures modern science, when in fact the Bible reflects the surrounding culture during the time it was written.

Conclusion

The findings of biblical criticism have demonstrated that the idea of inerrancy cannot be supported by evidence. This does not tell us if the biblical texts are still in some sense inspired, that’s a matter of faith, but it does tell us that the Bible is a very human book and that we can get to a better understanding of it using the various tools that are at our disposal.

Sources for further reading

]]. The Nature of Biblical Criticism. Westminster John Knox, 2007.

]]. Biblical Criticism: A Guide for the Perplexed. Bloomsbury, 2013.

]]. Inspiration and Incarnation: Evangelicals and the Problem of the Old Testament. Baker Academic, 2005.

]]. The Historical-Critical Method: A Guide for the Perplexed. Bloomsbury, 2012.

Sparks, Kenton. God’s Word in Human Words: An Evangelical Appropriation of Critical Biblical Scholarship. Baker Academic, 2008.

Stark, Thom. The Human Faces of God: What Scripture Reveals when it Gets God Wrong (and Why Inerrancy Tries To Hide It). Wipf and Stock, 2011.

You Might Also Like

20 Replies to “Biblical Criticism and Inerrancy”

  1. Both biblical criticism and inerrancy have parallels in secular governance. One can easily find it in debates over The Constitution of the United States such as those found in Supreme Court decisions.

    At its core, innerrancy is a form of ancestor worship predicated on the notion that, somehow, thing were perfect in the past.

    One can also find it in that curiously perpetual search to reestablish the supposedly purified “New Testament church.”

    On the other hand, much like trendy social movements, biblical criticism can easily be rooted in hubris. Finding it impossible to make a name for one’s self by preserving a status quo, the rebel seeks to find flaws with the existing paradigm.

    When determined criticism meets hardcore inerrancy, the result is a decisive and destructive power struggle for supremacy that accomplishes little and undermines the whole system.

    1. There is a critical difference that I think undermines your last statement, and that’s inerrancy is an ideology, while biblical criticism is a toolbox of methods and tools, granted some of those tools may become outmoded, but they are tools nonetheless.

      1. While I would tend to agree in an academic setting that the comparison is apples and oranges, once one rejects inerrancy, criticism becomes an ideology argument. In particular, to trust criticism is to believe in a rational explanation. As a result, understanding become more fluid and less constrained by convention. In a political context, this would be called liberal.

        Nor is all criticism created equally, Most certanly psychological criticism is derived from a prespective rather than from conventional academic methodology. Likewise, feminist biblical criticism assumes a non-patrirchial textual origin. Even more interesting, a postmodern approach to biblical texts assumes no foregoing primary sources such as Q.

        In the real world, all of these alternatives to inerrancy carry ideological baggage. Moreover, proof of the above can easily be discovered by using biblical criticism in explaining a Bible text to a Sunday School class of middle aged men in a fundamentalist church!

        1. So, what is your overall point? I can grant that the various methods of biblical criticism can have ideological baggage, but is that a reason to dispense with them? Or are you saying that biblical criticism is essentially a waste of time?

          1. While certainly to be preferred over biblical inerrancy, biblical criticism is not a sacred cow. Neither is it self-defining. Like anything else, biblical criticism can be overused, misused, and abused.

  2. Anthony,

    I appreciate your reflection on the role critical scholarship has played over the years in helping readers with, among other things, a more cultural and historical context for understanding the Biblical texts, their origins, redaction, etc. And while examples of copyist errors seem to exist, it would be difficult to know for certain what the original autographs contained as we obviously don’t have any to evaluate. Textual criticism is helpful n reconstruction, but not definitive in all of these situations.

    However, I might suggest some caution in using such provocative and ill advised phrases as “countless examples of such errors” as further investigation over time has helped confirm the truthfulness of what was once seen by several higher critics as “obvious examples of error.” It hasn’t been that long ago that the Hittites were denounced as a non-existent nationality–an “obvious error”–but of course we now know through more careful investigation there was a nation with that name. You do recall, of course, that “King David” was thought by your critical friends to be a mythological character, unsubstantiated by outside sources, but now you know that his existence has recently been unearthed (pun intended) and acknowledged. Early NT critical scholarship railed against Luke’s inaccuracy of terminology when referring to the titles of officials in Asia Minor during Paul’s missionary journeys (i.e., “politarchs” in Acts 17:6), now also confirmed by archaeological digs in Thessalonica, Just because a Biblical story or term has not been able to be confirmed by outside sources to date does not by itself offer evidence of the untruthfulness of the story/term.

    Further, to suggest that the exodus is merely a “founding myth” of Israel reduces the significance of this monumental event to simply folk lore. I find that theologically indefensible in that the exodus is the most referenced event in the OT that defines the core nature of Israel’s God–a Redeemer and deliverer, a Savior par excellence (see the repeated references to this throughout Isaiah). The exodus is the template for new covenant redemption. Remove the actuality of the exodus, and you now gut the core concept and identity of the work of Jesus–unless, of course, his ‘exodus’ (Lk 9:31) is also mere mythology–a “founding myth” for Christianity. I doubt that the absence of any Egyptian reference (to date) to this is convincing proof that it never happened. (If you were an Egyptian historian, would you want to present that embarrassing defeat to the new Pharaoh to place in the annals of your country’s historical section of their national library??)

    So–perhaps I’m just requesting a bit of caution in your assured by perhaps overstated determination that there are “countless examples” of inaccuracies in the Text. I find many of these suggested examples as more a 21st century history issue than an ANE historiography issue. Perhaps as further investigations take place, a number of places that are now being touted as examples of errors will also be shown to be accurate. How one understands “inerrancy” is probably more dependent on the individual as this term is rather difficult to define in broad strokes across various belief groups, your definition notwithstanding. I guess my concern about your post ultimately is — are you simply wanting to highlight the challenges of confirming the accuracy of centuries old texts or in your examples, are you leaving open the unstated insinuation of an unreliable Text for a believer’s faith? That is a more serious issue for those of us in the pew; perhaps not so much for those in the academy.

    1. Steve, I appreciate the word of caution and grant your point that some events and individuals may indeed turn up as being to some extent historical. Let’s keep in mind though there is a reason why most archaeologists have abandoned the concept of “biblical archaeology.” But my point wasn’t so much about whether certain individuals or events are historically accurate, although that is part of my argument. There are examples where the biblical texts are contradicted by other, often better, lines of evidence. Nor do the issues lie exclusively in the area of history, there are many examples of contradictions that cannot be so easily dismissed (Sparks and Ehrman, Jesus Interrupted, catalog many examples). Nor did I hit on the moral problems with many biblical texts (Stark and Eric Seibert, Disturbing Divine Behavior, document many of these).

      As to your question “If you were an Egyptian historian, would you want to present that embarrassing defeat to the new Pharaoh to place in the annals of your country’s historical section of their national library?” I did briefly answer that,

      “Another tact is to claim that Egypt would not have memorialized such a event, but even so, we would expect something in the record, even if veiled, perhaps Egypt changing the defeat into a victory or claiming such a defeat to be punishment from their gods.”

      Here is an excerpt from Sparks about this line of argument:

      “Modern biblical scholars are savvy enough to recognize that the Egyptians would not have memorialized their defeat in a royal inscription. They ‘demand’ no such thing. Instead, scholars suspect that calamities like the Passover and exodus—if indeed these events happened—would have been remembered in Egypt in some kind of veiled form. The Egyptians would have interpreted these defeats as victories or, this failing, they would have explained them as acts of judgment from their own gods. These two interpretive strategies appear in the Bible. Judah remembered the nearly total annihilation of the nation by King Sennacherib of Assyria (see 2 Kings 18:13–16; Isa. 22:1–14) as a miraculous victory (2 Kings 18:17–19:37),52 and it interpreted an obvious military defeat at the hands of Babylon as an act of Yahweh (2 Kings 24–25). Given that these strategies for interpreting ‘defeat’ were common in the ancient world,53 critical scholars are on the lookout for two kinds of Egyptian evidence for the Passover and exodus. They expect either an inscription that recalls Pharaoh’s mighty expulsion of the Hebrews from Egypt, or some text that admits Egypt’s difficulties but attributes them to one of Egypt’s own gods, not to Yahweh. As it turns out, though the Egyptians have left us good evidence for two lesser ‘catastrophes’ in their history (the Hyksos and Sea Peoples),54 they have left us no evidence at all for the exodus or Passover.

      “Critical scholars anticipate that the Passover and exodus would have left behind Egyptian testimonies about these events if they had actually occurred. The silence of the Egyptian evidence on these matters is therefore an important argument against the historicity of these miracle reports. I must say, I quite agree with this expectation. While historians have no access to the supernatural miracles that would have caused the Passover, they should be able to find Egyptian evidence for this miracle’s effect: the death of a whole generation of New Kingdom Egyptians. Even if Harrison and Hoffmeier believe that the historicity of the exodus is essential for the health of the Jewish and Christian faiths, there is nothing untoward with admitting honestly that the usual historical evidence does not appear to support its historicity. Perhaps the original events were much less significant historically than the Bible now remembers. And, as we shall see, one does not always require historical-critical evidence to believe that some events are historical; theological evidence also counts in our assessments of history.” (Kenton Sparks, God’s Word in Human Words, pg. 156-157).

      I can understand your concern about the person in the pew and how this information will impact their faith. I won’t tell you how to reconcile that, what I can do is say that if you hide or gloss over these issues rather than dealing with them head on, you more than likely will make the situation worse for that person once they do find out these things. Why not be honest about them and let the chips fall where they may.

      1. Anthony:

        I likewise appreciate your enlargement on your earlier post. Permit a few responses:

        I often smile when the Biblical text comes under extraordinary scrutiny that (to use your phrase) we should give — not just consideration, but deference to “other, often better, lines of evidence” to show how contradictory the Bible really is. Really? What might those be– archaeology, which like the strata in which they work, changes in shape and interpretation with every new discovery and dig? That’s a more stable line of evidence than the enduring reliability of well attested, multiple manuscripts (e.g, the Dead Sea Scrolls affirmation of the Isaiah text a 1000 years earlier)? It’s helpful at times, but more authoritative??

        Should we defer to Dr. Ehrman as opposed to Dr. Bock or Dr. Witherington? I think we could both line up opposing viewpoints from well attested scholars without gaining a whole lot of headway here.

        Question: are not the presupposed moral problems proposed by Seibert and Stark based upon the presupposition that the text is accurate? Elsewhere, how could they make a case using the stories of the text if they are not reliable or historical? May I add–there are some very challenging presentations about human behavior and divine response that causes a reader to pause for sure–this is not kids’ stuff–it is life in our broken world and a God who is in some way Judge and ultimately responsible for his creation–and I don’t know about you, but when I see ‘scholars’ deciding that God has really messed up his moral code and we’ve got to either set him straight or ditch the Bible, I find that to be a bit reactionary, if not arrogant. I find the cross to be “morally repugnant” also–but that deep mystery is our only hope to deal forthrightly with the sin issue–and I’m thinking most folks think they’ve messed up royally–just don’t know whta to do about it.

        As to why there has not been a discovery yet to satisfy those looking for historical references to the exodus outside the Bible, I cannot answer. To say that these are the only options as to how history is recorded, therefore, it did not happen, is a stretch. As I mentioned in my first post, this to me is more of a theological issue as it is the antitype to the great exodus from sin provided by our Lord. Are we really saying that all of the OT references to this event are just mistaken, and that this foundational understanding of salvation fulfilled by Jesus just never really happened? If that is true, Paul’s honest conclusion (contextually–concerning the actuality of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead) is all we have left: a futile faith, dead in sin, no hope at death, and a pitiful lifestyle: that of course is Dr. Ehrman’s conclusion, isn’t it–if I’m not mistaken?

        Finally, I certainly agree that any attempt to “hide/gloss over” issues causes more problems than it solves–so, yes, honesty in scholarship and integrity in heart are essential in our ongoing investigations and reflections on faith issues. (Acts 17:11)

        PS…the link to the Hittites article was instructive–thanks. I guess I’ll have to start an investigative search for scholarly articles pre-1906 on this topic (to satisfy the author’s inquiry)…but I doubt I’ll be doing that anytime soon. 🙂

        1. The comment regarding “…any attempt to ‘hide/gloss over’ issues causes more problems than it solves….” is reminiscent of pre-electronic calculator physics lectures in which professors tended to obfuscate the fact that a precise solution was impossible with a slide rule.

          Likewise, it seems attempts to tease out one and only one possible global/universal meaning from all biblical scripture presents an immense, if not impossible, challenge given the limits of available texts and methodology.

        2. Steve, rather than repeating what I’ve said already let me just summarize my thoughts:

          Biblical criticism is like science they are, to a greater or lessor extent, socially constructed, so are not totally value free or without any ideological baggage. But with that said, they are still useful tools to review and evaluate the biblical texts. Inerrancy is a particular claim about the nature of the biblical text, one that can be tested, and the various tools of biblical criticism are useful for testing those claims. The conclusion that almost all biblical scholars (whether believer or nonbeliever) who have honestly investigated this issue have reached is that the biblical texts are not inerrant in everything that it says, whether it be historical, moral, or of a scientific nature. How that works out in a persons view of the Bible is a personal matter. I would certainly recommend engaging the arguments put forth by Sparks, Enns, Stark, and Seibert. Bock would probably want to nuance his views on inerrancy, although I think ultimately he is incorrect. Witherington also nuances his view and wants to get away from using such terminology as “inerrant” and “infallible,” but I doubt most would be satisfied with his position.

  3. ” Just because a Biblical story or term has not been able to be confirmed by outside sources to date does not by itself offer evidence of the untruthfulness of the story/term.”

    Thanks Steve for refuting arguments like the ones of a boy who saw the ocean for the first time and next morning he was at the sandbox teaching OCEANOGRAPHY to his buddies!

    Scholarship is great but I would leave it up to scholars. Most honest scholars will take the position that you took above. Random “opinionators” (of which I admit to be a part) will only consider what is in front of them, and voice and write that which only God knows motivates them to write.

    I appreciate Anthony Lawson for his new-found love for scholarship but he is not a scholar. Recent as a few years ago he was a Calvinist defending Calvinism and the very things he opposes today. This is great as a sign of progress, but all of a sudden writing as if he is some kind of expert and pontificating about issues is not so good. This article reminded me something I hear from attorneys all the time: the fact that there is no evidence does not mean that there is no evidence. As you pointed out many recent discoveries have rendered just as recently written books totally useless.

    My only hope is that the newbies in the field of theological and historical scholarship will be a bit more careful in stating facts as if the world started this morning and it would end in a few hours.

    As a preacher I try to stick to that which I know, and do use scholarship all the time and would be a fool if I’d refuse and reject to use it. But I do not ascribe to scholarship sacred attributes and make final statements about events, people and historical narratives; it wouldn’t be wise.

    Milt

  4. Milt,

    Rather than engaging your entire comment, I’ll just quote your last statement and reply to that.

    “As a preacher I try to stick to that which I know, and do use scholarship all the time and would be a fool if I’d refuse and reject to use it. But I do not ascribe to scholarship sacred attributes and make final statements about events, people and historical narratives; it wouldn’t be wise.”

    The problem here is that I have not appealed to my own knowledge of the subject, I appeal to scholarship. You simply reject that scholarship and use me as a proxy to reject and complain about it. Nothing I have stated is contrary to what scholarship has said, I try to nuance my statements for the express purpose of not being dogmatic about things.

    I’ll even forgo dealing with the underhanded insults thrown my way.

    1. The insults you forgo are not even remotely close to the way devalue people of faith. Check your statements and you may find that what you are saying is equal to what I hear from some of your favorite scholars on the Bible TV special: it is condescending to people who think their faith places a trust in God who will back up sooner or later that which we may see “through a glass darkly” at this stage of our eternity. Unless you are know as you are known and seen as you are seen, I renew my implied advice to you not to make final statements about things that may still be there to be discovered and do not totally count faith as something not to be considered. Take it or reject it.

      In another note, I don’t think you have knowledge of your own to which to appeal. At least I was appreciative for the fact that you are seeking some sort of scholarly support for your points of view. I consider this your personal progress.
      “The problem here is that I have not appealed to my own knowledge of the subject, I appeal to scholarship. ”
      That statement alone matches perfectly the “OCEANOGRAPHY overnight expert little kid” example since I don’t think that your exposure to scholarship exceeds time enough to make you quote it as if you are a professor thereof!
      To say that I deny scholarship because I check all sources therein is incorrect. I use scholarship when needed. In the end inerrancy is not that with which I am preoccupied since I believe that there is enough left in the Scriptures even after you take it all away by current and extant scholarship to grant me all that I need pertaining to life and Godliness. So, I am not afraid that Biblical inerrancy either way.

      Anyway, I pray God’s blessing in your pursuit of answers and commend you on your progress. Seek and ye shall find!

  5. “I don’t think that your exposure to scholarship exceeds time enough to make you quote it as if you are a professor thereof!”

    Well of course not, the only way that I would ever obtain that would be to pursue the required education, but seeing that I will be 50 next year, I’m getting a little late in years to do that. Nor does that not mean that I haven’t read enough to have a good idea of what the issues are. You act as though I only started reading critical scholarship yesterday. So the constantly belittling me is unjustified. But you have a history of doing this with me just has you like to call me a “low information voter” when it comes to politics. Par for the course when it comes from you Milt.

    “To say that I deny scholarship because I check all sources therein is incorrect. I use scholarship when needed.”

    It would be more correct to say that you use scholarship when it fits your purposes and ignore it when it doesn’t.

    1. Milt–I’ve read several of your posts–and appreciate your passion (and recent support) and perspective on a number of issues discussed at this site. Anthony–this is to my knowledge my first time to encounter your post/perspectives. Both of you gentlemen have encouraged me in reflection via our discussion.

      In my ongoing desire to grow in understanding and appreciation of God’s Word, it’s legacy–as well as its quandaries, I have discovered that I have much to learn, mostly in personal application. Rigorous valuation of the Bible has gone on for countless centuries. That an ancient Near Eastern/Greco-Roman publication of an obscure tribe of Yahweh-loving people continues to have the world-wide impact on today’s global societies–both academic and popular– is mind-boggling (especially when compared to comparable ANE/1st century literature).

      For me, I think the danger of such privileged discussions as we are enjoying is the potential seduction of living simply or primarily in the ever-expanding world of knowledge–which tends toward pride and exclusivity (1 Cor 8:1-2). I’ve been there–that is not helpful. To have the opportunity to dig deeply into the Text and supplemental material and make life-changing discoveries is indeed a most cherished blessing. But I need to remember that the “goal of our instruction is love–from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith”–as a scholar once reminded his protege (1 Tim. 1:5). To that end, I look forward to ongoing interaction with both of you men in days ahead as we endeavor to make a difference in the lives of people now as well as their destiny in eternity because of opportunities you and I will have to be capable ministers, students, and models of the Word.

      Respectfully,

  6. Thanks Steve for the kind response! I am right in there with you in the “much to learn” crowd, although I am sure that my learning space is a lot wider than yours! I need learning more than anyone else! I also follow the advice of the same scholar “not to be constantly debating” which is my own paraphrase to the advice he gave to Timothy. Sadly advice such as these are ignored by the same scholars cited in this thread as many reject the letter to Timothy as being written by Paul, but the advice is good and worthy of acceptance. Your suggestion citing 1 Tim 1:5 is timely and appropriate and I will humbly seek before God forgiveness for the many occasions in which I simply ignored such apostolic command, which is more than an advice.

    As much as I desire to be seen as a nice person, other than the Grace of God I am totally depraved in need of His Grace at every nano second of my existence. However I think that a sharp rebuke and the attempt to drawing a person to reflect on statements and affirmations is also Scriptural. I would hope that one would be that much loving towards me when I fail, which would be a perennial and uninterrupted love since I fail all the time.

    “Rigorous valuation of the Bible has gone on for countless centuries. That an ancient Near Eastern/Greco-Roman publication of an obscure tribe of Yahweh-loving people continues to have the world-wide impact on today’s global societies–both academic and popular– is mind-boggling (especially when compared to comparable ANE/1st century literature),”

    Allow me to make these words mine, although, in a very rough and rugged way, which is perhaps all I can offer, I would have said: The Scripture (my preferred way to refer to the Bible) has been scrutinized, attacked and disputed for centuries, but those who have risen against it have passed away as the “chaff which the wind driveth way”- Psalm 1:4 – but the Scripture has stood the test of time. Of course for many this is an “appeal to antiquity”, a known logical fallacy, but not less a logical fallacy than the “appeal to scholarship”. That’s why to this one pitiful (and pit-bull) servant of God declarations such as “if people of faith want to believe it even in the face of all these evidence – (gathered by finite beings, mind you) – then it is their problem, but we the smart ones will not go for it…” which, by my experience, is the essence some scoffers, I mean, scholars, mean when they pit scholarship against faith, regardless of the fact that there are genuinely very smart and brilliant people on the side of faith and against these evidences, (admittedly no one here openly denied that), have a tendency to make my flesh flare-up. It makes me doubly flare-up when it is hinted by a non-scholar!

    I thank you again for interacting with me bringing me your legitimate and undoubted wisdom!

    May we all learn together in Christ!

    Grace and Peace!

    Milt

  7. Allow me an attempt to humor ( a high risk of failure!) as I end my participation on this relevant thread:
    Anthony says about me: (…and of course, he knows!)

    “It would be more correct to say that you use scholarship when it fits your purposes and ignore it when it doesn’t.

    What a profound discovery of the general tendency of our human nature! Congratulations!

Leave a Reply, Please!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.