God's Problem: How the Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important Question--Why We Suffer Hardcover – 1 Mar 2008
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"Ehrman's clarity, simplicity, and congeniality help make this a superb introduction to its subject."--Booklist
"Ehrman, a prolific and popular author, has put his journey into words in a new book "God's Problem. ...Ehrman actually ends "God's Problem" on an upbeat note, a kind of call to arms for people to be good--to themselves and to others..."--San Diego Tribune
"[An] entrapped invocation of a God who is not believed in, but is nonetheless despised, is what gives the book a rough power. ...[Ehrman] is a lucid expositor..."--The New Yorker --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
Bart D. Ehrman is one of the most renowned and controversial Bible scholars in the world today. He is the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and is the author of more than twenty books, including the New York Times bestsellers How Jesus Became God; Misquoting Jesus; God s Problem; Jesus, Interrupted; and Forged. He has appeared on Dateline NBC, The Daily Showwith Jon Stewart, CNN, History, and top NPR programs, as well as been featured in TIME, the New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Yorker, and other publications. He lives in Durham, North Carolina. Visit the author online at www.bartdehrman.com. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Even if it worked, this standard explanation "plays only a very minor role in the biblical tradition." The classical view is that "people suffer because God wants them to suffer", because "they have disobeyed him and he is punishing them." Most Christians today (as a result of secular morality) are a little embarrassed when a priest declares that catastrophes like Hurricane Katrina or the AIDS epidemic are actually God's way of telling us what he thinks of the gay lifestyle. Repulsive as such views are, the Bible backs them up. "On every level, disobedience brings punishment.Read more ›
Why do bad things happen to good and innocent people if an Omniscient, Omnipotent, and Omni-benevolent deity is on the throne of justice?
I have seen terrible calamities befall good innocent Christian brothers and sisters so it is a question that I have asked personally many times.
In this book, Professor Ehrman dealt with this issue admirably. He looked at all the angles, all the biblical examples and all the explanations that have been offered by various people over the years. He dealt with them one by one and offered us an excellent, lucid assessment and his very informed and well researched views and opinions.
This is a fantastic book, whatever your Christian belief or lack thereof. In the usual Ehrman style, it is well written, well thought out, and contributes substantially to knowledge.
I will recommend this book to anyone who wants to go beyond the dogmas and take a good objective look at what Christianity has to say about one of the most fundamental questions of our time.
So when this new book came up on the upcoming list, I pre-ordered it, and it was delivered earlier this week. For me it was one of those books that you just can't put down, and I've devoured it already and am on the second reading at the moment.
The way he covers the topic is great - not too much information for the lay person, but also not lacking in clarity and detail for those who want it. It was almost like being back at university again, just brilliant. It is also refreshing to have him doing his own translation of the Greek for his New Testament quotations, which once again reminded me of doing exactly that at university, and once again re-emphasised for me how inaccurate the English translations are. As he mentions on one of the chapters, the pathos you get when reading the account of the passion in Mark in the original Greek is just not there in the English translation. So in summary, the coverage of the material is sufficient without being laboured.
His approach is to look at various biblical interpretations of suffering, and analyse their validity. He does this masterfully and the reader is left in no doubt at all what his opinions on the matter are and why he has come to the conclusions he has.
I can't recommend this book enough, both for those of us that have already de-converted and for those wondering about god in the light of the appalling suffering we see around us in the world.
As always Bart Ehrman writes in an accessible and authoritative way.
Although he makes it clear that he is not a believer (although once was) this is not an attack on belief but an exploration of the different interpretations within the bible of why suffering.
Of all the books by Prof Ehrman i have read this seems to be the most personal and i think it gains from that. It would, i feel, be wrong to be dispassionate about suffering.
Whether a believer or not how to interpret suffering and our response to it is an issue for us all. This book is an excellent way of delving into this issue.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
First of all I should say that in reading this book I received a lot of confirmation bias. Many of the arguments reminded me of the development of my own atheistic views in my late... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Euclidean Norm
Totally understand where the author is coming from. I have often struggled with this problem about suffering and God. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Bookworm
A great book for anyone who is concerned about the suffering in this world.Published 16 months ago by D.Gwillim
Fantastic, A long-waited insights into the big question "Why there is suffering?" I love it, it has profoundly changed the my old way about thinking of the christian bible.Published 18 months ago by Eduardo Antonio Paula Martinez
Bart does tend to rehash the same stuff - well, similar stuff - in most of his books these days but I still enjoy them immensely. Read morePublished on 11 Jun. 2014 by Ivan
The writer certainly has the qualifications to write this given his academic post, religious background and ability to translate the new testament. Read morePublished on 31 May 2014 by Captain Kirk
An amazing book, which shows how the problem of why a 'loving' God allows suffering in this world destroys strikes at the heart of Christian credibility. Read morePublished on 7 Jan. 2014 by D. Preston
A really excellent review of an age-old but very important issue. The parts on apocalypticism are really eye-opening, and make a lot of sense. Read morePublished on 4 Dec. 2013 by Jeremy Ledger