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Forged: Writing in the Name of God--Why the Bible's Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are Hardcover – Mar 14 2011


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Forged: Writing in the Name of God--Why the Bible's Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are + Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why + Jesus Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don't Know About Them)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Harperone (March 14 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062012614
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062012616
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16.2 x 2.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 544 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #110,240 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Pletko TOP 50 REVIEWER on May 31 2011
Format: Hardcover
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"Let me conclude this introduction simply by saying that I have spent the past five years studying forgery in the ancient Greek and Roman worlds, especially but not exclusively within Christianity. My goal all along has been to write a detailed scholarly monograph that deals with the matter at length. The book you're reading now is NOT that scholarly monograph.

What I try to do in the present book is to discuss the issue [of forgery] at a layperson's level, pointing out the really interesting aspects of the problem by highlighting the results of my own research and showing what scholars have long said about the writings of the New Testament and pseudonymous Christian writings from outside the New Testament...The present book...is not intended for my fellow scholars...It is...intended for you, the general reader, who on some level is...interested in THE TRUTH."

The above comes this informative and readable book by Bart Ehrman. He is a Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and is a leading authority on the Bible and the life of Jesus. Ehrman is also the author of more than twenty books.

Ehrman's interest in this book is with forgeries of the early Christian Church. He discusses many Gospels, letters, treatises, and apocalypses that claim to be written by people who did not write them. Such authors who called themselves Peter, Paul, John, James, Philip, etc., etc., were fully aware that they were not these people.

Ehrman debunks many popular myths about the Bible's forged books and letters, including the idea that "writing in the name of another" was a common accepted practise in antiquity.

At the end of most of the chapters of this book is a conclusion.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Helen Love on May 24 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
well researched information leaving me wondering if what I learned in the past was a cover up,ignorance or indifference to the truth. It sure woke me up!
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Pieter Uys HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on April 9 2011
Format: Hardcover
Faith is a profoundly emotional issue with its own dynamics as Eric Hoffer makes clear in The True Believer, a seminal study on the nature of belief and mass movements. Another valid insight is that of the metaphysician Ernest Holmes who warned against destroying or undermining a person's faith if it gives them comfort and helps them seek what is good and right: "Every person's religion is an answer to the cry of the soul for something which is real, something which may be relied upon - a resting place for which everyone instinctively feels a need."

Thus, the pursuit of truth may be a perilous enterprise that leads to painful places. Giving up certainties takes courage. In this investigation, Ehrman approaches the subject with empathy. Both non-canonical works and those eventually included in the New Testament are subjected to scrutiny. That is appropriate since when these were written, no canon existed.

It is no secret to most scholars in the field: Many of the books of the New Testament were composed by authors who lied about their identities, deliberately impersonating famous characters such as Peter, Paul and James. That is deception; a book written by someone who lies about his identity is a forgery.

In order to avoid this harsh reality, most Christian theologians employ the word "pseudepigrapha" when referring to these forgeries. Yet the word literally means "writing inscribed with a lie." Scholars may claim that it was an acceptable practice in the ancient world to write a book in someone else's name. Not so: the author cites Polybius, Martial and Diogenes Laertius in this regard.

Only 7 of the 13 letters of Paul of Tarsus were written by him. In the ancient world, books like that were called "pseudoi" (lies).
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