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For years Bart Ehrman has been routinely bombarded with one question: Did Jesus Exist? As a leading Bible expert, fans and critics alike have sent letters, emails, posted blogs, and questioned Ehrman during interviews wanting his opinion about this nagging question that has become a conspiracy theorist cottage industry the world over. The idea that the character of Jesus was an invention of the early church-and later a tool of control employed by the Roman Catholic Church-is a widely held belief and Ehrman has decided it's time to put the issue to rest. Yes, the historical Jesus of Nazareth did exist. Known as a master explainer with deep knowledge of the field, Ehrman methodically demolishes both the scholarly and popular "mythicist" arguments against the existence of Jesus. Marshaling evidence from within the Bible and the wider historical record of the ancient world, Ehrman tackles the key issues that surround the popular mythologies associated with Jesus and the early Christian movement. Throughout Did Jesus Exist? Ehrman establishes the criterion for any genuine historical investigation and provides a robust defense of the methods required to discover the Jesus of history. Those committed to the "non-existence" theory will need to read this formidable scholar's counter argument while the more traditionally minded will enthusiastically support Ehrman's definitive answer to the question. Perfect for the vigorous online debating community, this eBook original will be a must read for anyone interested in Jesus, the Bible, and the birth of Christianity.
It is often said, even by critical scholars who should know better, that "writing in the name of another" was widely accepted in antiquity. But New York Times bestselling author Bart D. Ehrman dares to call it what it was: literary forgery, a practice that was as scandalous then as it is today. In Forged, Ehrman's fresh and original research takes readers back to the ancient world, where forgeries were used as weapons by unknown authors to fend off attacks to their faith and establish their church. So, if many of the books in the Bible were not in fact written by Jesus's inner circle-but by writers living decades later, with differing agendas in rival communities-what does that do to the authority of Scripture? Ehrman investigates ancient sources to: Reveal which New Testament books were outright forgeries. Explain how widely forgery was practiced by early Christian writers-and how strongly it was condemned in the ancient world as fraudulent and illicit. Expose the deception in the history of the Christian religion. Ehrman's fascinating story of fraud and deceit is essential reading for anyone interested in the truth about the Bible and the dubious origins of Christianity's sacred texts.
One Bible, Many Answers In God's Problem, the New York Times bestselling author of Misquoting Jesus challenges the contradictory biblical explanations for why an all-powerful God allows us to suffer.
In a book that took eight years to research and write, leading Bible scholar Bart D. Ehrman explores how an apocalyptic prophet from the backwaters of rural Galilee crucified for crimes against the state came to be thought of as equal with the one God Almighty Creator of all things. Ehrman sketches Jesus's transformation from a human prophet to the Son of God exalted to divine status at his resurrection. Only when some of Jesus's followers had visions of him after his death--alive again--did anyone come to think that he, the prophet from Galilee, had become God. And what they meant by that was not at all what people mean today.As a historian--not a believer--Ehrman answers the questions: How did this transformation of Jesus occur? How did he move from being a Jewish prophet to being God? The dramatic shifts throughout history reveal not only why Jesus's followers began to claim he was God, but also how they came to understand this claim in so many different ways.Written for secular historians of religion and believers alike, How Jesus Became God will engage anyone interested in the historical developments that led to the affirmation at the heart of Christianity: Jesus was, and is, God.
Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don't Know About Them)by Bart D. Ehrman
Picking up where Bible expert Bart Ehrman's New York Times bestseller Misquoting Jesus left off, Jesus, Interrupted addresses the larger issue of what the New Testament actually teaches--and it's not what most people think. Here Ehrman reveals what scholars have unearthed: The authors of the New Testament have diverging views about who Jesus was and how salvation works The New Testament contains books that were forged in the names of the apostles by Christian writers who lived decades later Jesus, Paul, Matthew, and John all represented fundamentally different religions Established Christian doctrines--such as the suffering messiah, the divinity of Jesus, and the trinity--were the inventions of still later theologians These are not idiosyncratic perspectives of just one modern scholar. As Ehrman skillfully demonstrates, they have been the standard and widespread views of critical scholars across a full spectrum of denominations and traditions. Why is it most people have never heard such things? This is the book that pastors, educators, and anyone interested in the Bible have been waiting for--a clear and compelling account of the central challenges we face when attempting to reconstruct the life and message of Jesus.
Judas Iscariot.He's been hated and reviled through the ages as Jesus Christ's betrayer- the close friend who sells him out for 30 pieces of silver.But history also records other information about Judas Iscariot. One such reference was written in 180 by an influential Church Father named St. Irenaeus who railed against the Gospel of Judas for depicting the last days of Jesus from the perspective of the disgraced apostle. In its pages, Judas is Christ's favorite. It's a startlingly different story than the one handed down through the ages. Once it was denounced as heresy, the Gospel of Judas faded from sight. It became one of history's forgotten manuscripts. Until now.In this compelling and exhaustively researched account, Herbert Krosney unravels how the Gospel of Judas was found and its meaning painstakingly teased from the ancient Coptic script that had hid its message for centuries. With all the skills of an investigative journalist and master storyteller, Krosney traces the forgotten gospel's improbable journey across three continents, a trek that would take it through the netherworld of the international antiquities trade, until the crumbling papyrus is finally made to give up its secrets. The race to discover the Gospel of Judas will go down as one of the great detective stories of biblical archaeology.
When world-class biblical scholar Bart Ehrman first began to study the texts of the Bible in their original languages he was startled to discover the multitude of mistakes and intentional alterations that had been made by earlier translators. In Misquoting Jesus, Ehrman tells the story behind the mistakes and changes that ancient scribes made to the New Testament and shows the great impact they had upon the Bible we use today. He frames his account with personal reflections on how his study of the Greek manuscripts made him abandon his once ultraconservative views of the Bible. Since the advent of the printing press and the accurate reproduction of texts, most people have assumed that when they read the New Testament they are reading an exact copy of Jesus's words or Saint Paul's writings. And yet, for almost fifteen hundred years these manuscripts were hand copied by scribes who were deeply influenced by the cultural, theological, and political disputes of their day. Both mistakes and intentional changes abound in the surviving manuscripts, making the original words difficult to reconstruct. For the first time, Ehrman reveals where and why these changes were made and how scholars go about reconstructing the original words of the New Testament as closely as possible. Ehrman makes the provocative case that many of our cherished biblical stories and widely held beliefs concerning the divinity of Jesus, the Trinity, and the divine origins of the Bible itself stem from both intentional and accidental alterations by scribes -- alterations that dramatically affected all subsequent versions of the Bible.
The fifth edition of Bart D. Ehrman's highly successful introduction approaches the New Testament from a consistently historical and comparative perspective, emphasizing the rich diversity of the earliest Christian literature. Distinctive to this study is its unique focus on the historical, literary, and religious milieux of the Greco-Roman world, including early Judaism. As part of its historical orientation, the book also discusses other Christian writings that were roughly contemporary with the New Testament, such as the Gospel of Thomas, the Apocalypse of Peter, and the letters of Ignatius.
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