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on 7 May 2014
It would be hard to approach the bible in the same way after understanding the points raised in this thoughtful and well-researched book.
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on 13 October 2012
This book should be essential reading for any one athiest, liberal, or fundamentalist. In devasting terms it summarises the essence of New Testament scholarship from the past 200 years. It proves definitively that the New Testament is not the inerrant word of God as most Christians would have us believe.

This of course has been well known in Academic Circles for 250 years. Anyone reading this book would have to seriously question the stance of say the Catholic Church in not allowing women to take positions of leadership in the church. Or the obnoxious fundamentalism so prevalent in those who call themselves evangelical Christians.

The tragedy of course is that those people have prevailed in the churches and as such the church has become an obnoxious institution whos only rationale seems to be to enhance bigotry against Gays, women and ethnic minorities.

Had say people taken the concerns of the writers of Essays and Reviews seriously then it would have all been so much different. The Bible is a piece of literature nothing more nothing less Just as say the Works of Plato or Shakespeare . Bart Ehrman has done a really good job of summarising why the Bible should be treated as such. Unfortunately I fear his attempt will fall on deaf ears as far as the institutional church is concerned as it seems it wants to claim a bogus authority based on it's belief that the Bible is the inerrant word of God as such the institutional church will just stick its head in the sand. The tragedy is that the instutional church still has an undue influence on our society today.

I really wish every one who is a practicing Christian would read this book it is a small step in challenging their ideology and to making official Christianity much more reasonable than the Pope or a typical fundamentailist christian in America or even Evangelical churches in Britain would allow.

But given such arguments have failed to gain a hold in the church (despite the fact that most vicars, priests or ministers are taught this stuff when they attend theological college or seminary) then I feel it is destined to fall on deaf ears.
As such anyone who still persists in their fundamentalism deserves all the ridicule they get.
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on 25 February 2013
I have just finished reading this excellent book. Ehrmann describes how his original view
that the Bible is the inspired word of God was changed by studying the New Testament
not from a devotional but from a historic-critical point of view.

As he repeatedly stresses, what he learned as a student, and what he now teaches at University
and presents in his book has been known for a hundred years or more, a fact
that some of the reviewers just do not want to acknowledge.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It made me aware that both a horizontal reading of the Bible
which reveals numerous inconsistencies, and the vertical reading of each gospel, which will
explain these discrepancies, is required.

Most of the highlights of the book have been described in detail by a number of ***** reviewers.
It is a shame that reviewers who rate Ehrman's book * or **, are unable to understand the
cogent arguments put forward, and simply refute them by saying "Ehrmann is wrong, because the
Bible tells us differently, and after all, the Bible is the word of God". I am convinced that
they would not change their minds, even if Jesus himself told them that some (most?) stories
about him reported in the gospels are not true.
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on 28 March 2011
The book is interesting in itself, with a lot of information and comparisons.
My problem is manyfold.
- The author gives a lot of details comparisons (Luke says this,but John says this,...) But not enough did I find a historical, sociological, or other reason for the discrepancies. I suppose there must be.
- The bibliography is almost non - existent. This kind of material and comparisons, without almost any bibliography for further research.
- the limited books that are cited as sources are almost his own othe books.
- the book misses an index, which would be very useful.
- Goin through the bibliographies of other books on Christianity and Bibelstudies, the books by Ehrman are very often lacking. What does that tell us?
I will gladly read some of his other books, because the questions he raises are very interesting, but the answers are lacking.
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on 26 June 2016
Bart Ehrman writes in a very engaging and entertaining style, while explaining mountains of otherwise dry biblical scholarship. I strongly recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand the historical basis of christianity and the early church.
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on 13 October 2015
A highly readable review of what is believable in the bible, informed by wider reading than just the canon. I find it hard to dispute what Bart Ehrman has to say, and what he says is informative.
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on 13 August 2015
This is typical of Ehrman. A fluent writer who makes many good points. But I find it insufficiently critical and penetrating on the historical Jesus.
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on 30 December 2013
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.
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on 16 April 2014
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 not the whole Bible, as Ehrman is well known as a specialist on the former. For me the most revealing material was the explanation of why the errors and forgeries occurred. It's all totally logical and intelligible. What amazes me is that the evangelists that I have met have not the slightest clue about the most obviously untenable of the claims made on behalf of the Bible. Ehrman of course skewers all these effectively, but goes much deeper, conveying an understanding of the methods used by scholars to work out why authors were saying what they did. For example why John's gospel is so different from the others (clue - everybody Jesus spoke to had died by then).

Ehrman is at pains to point out that his transition from evangelist to agnostic was not connected to his biblical scholarship, but to scepticism that a loving god could allow so much suffering. I'm sceptical about that - I'd suggest that his eventual understanding that the Bible is not the word of any god led to a questioning attitude about suffering. But that takes nothing away from a tour de force in literature, history and religious criticism.
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on 24 November 2015
Read and find out the truth, we all need to know what has happened in the past as its very important for todays living.
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