by Bart Ehrman
Winona Ryder and Angelina Jolie have not approved the message of this book – and nor, I’m guessing, will your evangelical friends. And yet Bart Ehrman has hit a nerve – as author of the most-used New Testament introductory textbook in America, the Chapel Hill bible scholar seeks to make the fruits of historical-critical biblical scholarship accessible to the average reader in a series of books including the New York Times best-selling Misquoting Jesus, the book that set the blogosphere a-buzz and actually incited three major-release books in response.
Now, in Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don’t Know About Them), Ehrman goes even further, suggesting not only that the Bible is riddled with inconsistencies and outright forgeries, but that many of Christianity’s fundamental stories and doctrines don’t actually exist within its pages-they were later inventions by people trying to make sense of a disconnected collection of texts. The Scriptures did not come down to us through the ages in one, harmonious, unbroken version. The story of Jesus was, in fact, interrupted.
Based on years of scholarship, and just in time for your Easter blogging, TheOOZE offers you Ehrman’s most important work-to-date. Jesus, Interrupted argues:
Only 8 of the 27 books of the New Testament were actually written by the authors to whom they’re attributed. Others are likely forgeries.
The gospels provide remarkably divergent portrayals of Jesus. As an example, the crucifixion story varies greatly between the gospels of Mark and Luke. Mark’s account depicts a suffering Jesus crying out “My God, my God, why have your forsaken me?” as he dies. Luke, however, portrays a calm Jesus who simply says “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.”
The message of the Apostle Paul and the message of gospel writer Matthew are completely at odds over the question of whether a follower of Jesus also had to observe the Jewish law.
The Nicene Creed and the Trinity were constructs of the later church and are not found in the Bible.
Traditional doctrines such as the suffering Messiah, the divinity of Christ, and the notion of heaven and hell are not based on the teachings of the historical Jesus.
Sure to influence conversations about the Bible among faithful, skeptics, and emergent types alike, Ehrman’s Jesus, Interrupted is sure to be talked about this Lenten season. Like every book we offer, we’re neither endorsing it nor expecting you to – we only ask for your honest and sustained feedback.