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Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don't Know About Them)

Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don't Know About Them) [Kindle Edition]

Bart D. Ehrman
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)

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Product Description


For both scholars and the masses who read about religion, Bart D. Ehrman needs no introduction . . . He adds the personal to the scholarly for some of his works, detailing how he went from a Moody Bible Institute-educated fundamentalist evangelical to an agnostic . --Durham Herald-Sun

Ehrman's ability to translate scholarship for a popular audience has made the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill a superstar in the publishing world --IndyWeek

Product Description

The problems with the Bible that New Testament scholar Bart Ehrman discussed in his bestseller Misquoting Jesus—and on The Daily Show with John Stewart, NPR, and Dateline NBC, among others—are expanded upon exponentially in his latest book: Jesus, Interrupted. This New York Times bestseller reveals how books in the Bible were actually forged by later authors, and that the New Testament itself is riddled with contradictory claims about Jesus—information that scholars know… but the general public does not. If you enjoy the work of Elaine Pagels, Marcus Borg, John Dominic Crossan, and John Shelby Spong, you’ll find much to ponder in Jesus, Interrupted.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 469 KB
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins e-books; 1 Reprint edition (3 Mar 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001TKD4XA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #146,311 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
157 of 168 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An agnostic's agenda? 20 Sep 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I recall a reviewer of one of Ehrman's books observing the author as merely pushing his agnostic agenda. Fair comment, but for tackling a profound subject such as this what are the alternatives?

Well, and to make a few generalisations, erudite atheists such as Dawkins seemingly want the believer to see sense and start living a secularly productive life away from the restrictions of dogma. Most other atheists categorise believers as deluded, scratch it and get on with their lives (history isn't exactly abundant with wars waged by atheists on countries of faith to 'de-convert' the masses to secularism). So if an atheist were the author how balanced would the book be? Conversely, a believer is compelled to convert the reader to the light and would nigh on find it impossible to remain objective in their interpretation of their book of faith.

So what we have from an agnostic is a thoroughly absorbing book on the origins of the Bible, its authors, its discrepancies and historical context. There is much overlap of topic and narrative with some of Ehrman's previous books so those who have read Misquoting Jesus for example, expect a sense of déjà-vu. But we do learn some new things as Ehrman invites the reader to look at the Bible from an observational stance free from the confines of doctrine, and view it and therefore understand it as a human creation.

The discrepancies in the Bible, both minor and consequential, are many and Ehrman picks some of the highlights for discussion.

Take the nativity story as one of many examples. The first problem is the two significantly differing accounts in Matthew and Luke, of Mary and Joseph's journey, the dates, its reasons and routes taken.
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132 of 145 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bible scholarship that doesn't pander to piety 23 April 2009
By Sphex
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The Gospels "were written thirty-five to sixty-five years after Jesus' death by people who did not know him, did not see anything he did or hear anything that he taught, people who spoke a different language from his and lived in a different country from him." They are not disinterested accounts of what "really" happened, an impartial record of an infallible oral tradition. The anonymous authors were often biased "in light of their own theological understandings". Nor are the Gospels independent - "Mark was used as a source for Matthew and Luke" - and for many of the stories about Jesus there is no "corroboration without collaboration". And yet they are still "widely inconsistent, with discrepancies filling their pages, both contradictions in details and divergent large-scale understandings of who Jesus was."

Such a description of the Gospels is, unsurprisingly, "virtually unknown among the population at large" despite being routinely taught in the seminaries that train future priests. Bart Ehrman, who has read the Bible both as a believer and as a biblical scholar - using both the "devotional" and the "historical-critical" approaches - is committed to narrowing this gap in knowledge, and this is his latest brilliant contribution. He constantly reassures the reader that these "are not my own idiosyncratic views" and, given the sensitivities of some religious people, you can see why. Does a believer want to hear that the New Testament contains "forgeries" or that "the doctrines of the divinity of Christ and the Trinity" were not present in the earliest traditions of the New Testament? Can it be true that the Bible approves of knocking out the brains of Babylonian babies or that a "Lake of Fire is stoked up and ready for everyone who is opposed to God"?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fabulous exposé of the New Testament 6 May 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you're a Christian, then you should read this book, but you'll probably wish that you hadn't! If you're a non-Christian, then this offers a fascinating insight into the origins of the biblical texts, revealing the many surprisingly contradictory elements - some of which are monumental - and the many instances of forgery. As an atheist, this book gave me a fairly comprehensive overview of the bibles content, without getting bogged down in religious ideology, though it does delve into this area. The book is not intended to completely debunk the bible's ideological message, but principally to question its religious value; it analyses its historical construction, demonstrates that "God" played little part (if any) in that construction or the textual content, while showing that Jesus (whoever he really was) did not invent Christianity and was certainly not divine.
My only criticism is that it is at times rambling, repetitive and lacking in eloquence. Nonetheless, I found it to be pretty addictive reading.
In conclusion, whatever your specific views of Christianity are, this book represents a fascinating revelation.
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35 of 40 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as new as it seems 11 Jan 2010
Ehrman has written a series of books, bringing to light the apocryphal works, the history of the formation of the New Testament, and now the contradictions in the biblical texts. For most readers this will be material that is new to them, and it is to some extent it is the Churches' fault that it is little known. (To some extent it is resistance from the "people in the pew" to having their preconceptions challenged, as when one explains from the pulpit that at Epiphany there were not three Kings but an unspecified number of magi or wise men, and promptly one gets complaints that you are upsetting people's faith.)
What Ehrman is less upfront about is that this knowledge is hardly new. Christians have been puzzling over these texts for hundreds of years - are we really expected to believe they've only just noticed the discrepancies? Similarly, are we really expected to think that the Jewish commentators on the Tanakh (the Hebrew Bible) never noticed these issues?
Actually, the Bible itself shows that some of the Old Testament writers were aware of the conflicts between the texts they were expanding. To take two just examples: in 1 Kings 15.5 there is a passage praising King David, but this is inconsistent with the story of his treatment of Uriah the Hittite, so a scribe added a qualification to 1 Kings 15 "except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite". Then Exodus and Deuteronomy disagree on how to cook the passover meal: Exodus 12.9 says it must be roasted, Deuteronomy 16.7 that it must be boiled. So the writer of 2 Chronicles tries to reconcile the two by talking of boiling the meat in fire - something rather difficult to do.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great - thanks.
Published 27 days ago by Sally Arnold
5.0 out of 5 stars Another pearl
Well, I've read everything Bart has turned out and there's no denying his credentials. One of my favourite writers on matters Old Testament, he really comes into his own when he... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Ivan
4.0 out of 5 stars Jesus`s words examined.
Did Jesus say all the words we read in the NT? It is doubtful that he did. When considered that the Gospels are written many years after the events supposed to have taken place... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Mike Mancott
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read for bible readers
It would be hard to approach the bible in the same way after understanding the points raised in this thoughtful and well-researched book.
Published 5 months ago by John Timperio
5.0 out of 5 stars Detailed and authoritative
This is just what you need when the bible-thumpers come knocking at your door. My only criticism would be that the title is a bit misleading, as the book is about the New Testament... Read more
Published 6 months ago by L. Rose
4.0 out of 5 stars a historical-critical reading of the New Testament, not a...
This is a very interesting popularization of current scholarship on the New Testament. Most importantly, Ehrman takes what he calls a historical-critical perspective, i.e. Read more
Published 7 months ago by rob crawford
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating
Ehrman gives us a popularisation of just what historical methods can tell us about the life of Jesus. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Mr. A. P. Lloyd
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read
I very much enjoyed reading this book. It was hard for me to put it down.Fully recomend it to any body interested in the bible.
Published 9 months ago by Frank Rea
5.0 out of 5 stars Concise and to the point
This is an excellent book and provides a very academic deconstruction of the bible. Unlike some other books where authors get carried away listing endless examples of... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Chard
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
This book is a very interesting account of some the differences in the Gospels. And not just to point out that they exist, no, Ehrman describes, in detail, why this discrepancies... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Victor Hvingelby
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