Ehrman brilliantly exposed in Craig what I've heard Robert Price refer to as "Kettle Logic." That is, it doesn't matter if the arguments are consistent with one another. All that matters is that they are pointed at the same target. It would go like this. Suppose I'd borrowed your kettle and I had broken it. When you ask me about it I say "It was broken when I borrowed it, plus it was too weak to hold anything and broke on its own when I filled it, and besides I never borrowed your kettle in the first place." Clearly I'm responsible and will grab any argument to extract myself even if one argument is not consistent with another.
Ehrman exposed this well when he said the following:
But in his own writings he indicates that Mark has a sparse narrative of Jesus being buried and since it's an unembellished narrative, as he calls it, it's more likely then to be historical. I want to know if he still thinks that; that an unembellished tradition is more likely to be historical. Because if that is true, then I want him to tell us whether he thinks that Matthew's more embellished tradition is unhistorical. This is comparable to his comment a few minutes ago that the earliest traditions all agree on something, so we don't have to worry about the later ones. Well, then, tell us, do you think that the later ones are unhistorical?
The Markan passion narrative is more reliable because it is unembellished. That's because unembellished accounts are more reliable and embellished accounts are less reliable. That's a great argument for Craig when it is useful for proving the reliability of Mark. Unfortunately it's not so great for Craig when the same argument is applied to Matthew. But it doesn't matter that this argument is inconsistent with Craig's other opinions. What matters is that it serves Craig's purpose at the moment.
Here is how Craig answered this question in his following rebuttal.
Dr. Ehrman also says, "Is it true that unembellished narratives are more likely to be historical?" I would say yes. This is what his own wish list included, that the earlier the narrative the better. Similarly, the less embellished has a better claim to historical credibility.
This response is pure smokescreen. He's entirely altered the question so that he can defend what is not in dispute. In my mind this was a big score for Ehrman and helped push him to a near draw in the overall debate, or perhaps a close victory.
But Craig scored a rhetorical victory during the debate by once again embracing kettle logic. This time he temporarily embraced a mathematicians tool, only to abandon it when it didn't suit him. That will be the subject of my next post.