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Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don't Know About Them) Paperback – Feb 2 2010

4.4 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; 1 Reprint edition (Feb. 2 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061173940
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061173943
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.7 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 159 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #106,163 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


“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)

“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)

“There’s something delicious (for nonbelievers, anyway) about the implacable, dispassionate way that Ehrman reveals how the supposedly “divine truth” of Christianity was historically constructed.” (Salon.com)

From the Back Cover

The Human Story Behind the Divine Book

In this New York Times bestseller, leading Bible expert Bart Ehrman skillfully demonstrates that the New Testament is riddled with contradictory views about who Jesus was and the significance of his life. Ehrman reveals that many of the books were written in the names of the apostles by Christians living decades later, and that central Christian doctrines were the inventions of still later theologians. Although this has been the standard and widespread view of scholars for two centuries, most people have never learned of it.

Jesus, Interrupted is a clear and compelling account of the central challenges we have when attempting to reconstruct the life and meaning of Jesus.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This work of non fiction stuck a cord with me. I too was (and to a degree am) a conservative Evangelical Christian. I grew up in the church and could easily cite a lot of scripture by heart. As I began university I felt ready to challenge anyone who argued against a strict literalist interpretation of the bible. I may have been able to quote scripture, but I had no idea how this scripture came to be, or how it developed over hundreds of years. I guess I always took for granted that God simply entered into the biblical writer's body and made them spew out God's word onto paper. As I continued my schooling however, (and took textual criticism), I realized that if I didn't critically investigate whether the book I called Sacred was really the word of God, then I was not treating God with the respect he deserves. As I learned about the actual composition of the bible, and of some of its inherent contradictions, it was devastating to my faith at first (although it gradually came back). Part of my struggle was that when I started studying the bible's composition, I felt I had been tricked all my life. Thus as I review this book, I cannot overemphasize how important it is to expose the population to the ubiquitous ignorance of the composition of the bible. I think it is fear of what we will find that discourages us from seriously studying, but it is only by confronting this fear that we can truly know God.

Now, why I like this book: At publicizing textual criticism, honest reflection, and understanding of the bible, there may be none better than Bart Ehrman. He writes well and fluently, and he convincingly brings up important issues that bible readers should be aware of. For this reason, I believe that Jesus, Interrupted is a very important book to read.
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Format: Hardcover
In this fascinating book, the author critically examines (i.e., the historical-critical approach) the New Testament in order to illustrate the many discrepancies, inconsistencies and contradictions that it contains. The information presented, he asserts, is standard fare in seminary courses on the Bible. As a result, these various problems are all well-known by priests, ministers, pastors, biblical scholars, etc., but are not likely known by Christians in general. The author also recounts the captivating history of Christian thought from its very beginnings though its many metamorphoses and on to what it is today. On the way, he discusses such topics as: who wrote the New Testament, how it got to be what it is today and why, what the historian can say about the historical Jesus and who really invented Christianity. As a bonus, the author briefly summarizes his rationale for switching from being a young evangelical Christian to eventually becoming an agnostic. The writing style is authoritative, very clear, friendly, quite engaging, occasionally humorous and accessible to a broad readership. Consequently, this excellent book can be enjoyed by anyone; however, biblical history enthusiasts will likely appreciate it the most.
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Format: Hardcover
This book takes a very historical-critical look at the Bible. There's little personal influence used in this book, just simple logic. Ehrman clearly shows his findings as he studied the Bible through his scholarly career. Most of the focus is on issues, specifically contradictions and modifications that have taken place in the Bible. Often irreconcilable contradictions. The author does not attack Christians, in fact it's really best for Christians to read. Ehrman shows that the Bible is not perfect, but he doesn't say not to believe in Christianity. Highly recommended for readers of all levels.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A decade or so ago I began to realize that the definition of the word "faith" was quite different from how I was taught. It no longer was the definition from my childhood in that there were things that were so mysterious and wonderful that they could only be understood by God and that our consciousness was too finite to ever understand them. It had become the realization that 'faith' is the simplistic belief in something that probably is not (nor ever was) true. Why do we believe things that down deep inside we know are false? It is my conjecture, and that of the author, that we do so because we are too afraid to examine what the truth actually is. Bart Ehrman does exactly that and, by doing so, encourages us, the shadow watchers of the Socrates cave, to turn around and gaze fully into the brilliant sunshine.

No, Jesus never saw himself as being divine. The Jewish messiah maybe, but never divine. No, there is no 'holy trinity' which was created for no other reason than to override the multiple-god philosophers of the time. Yes, Jesus in all probability did exist, did die from crucifixion and did so as a total selfless act for those around him. But lastly, no, God is not the Nazi terrorist that is written about in the Old Testament. This was simply the way that a simple tribe of illiterate story tellers used to describe what they felt was happening around them.

To give up the thought that the Bible is inerrant is not the beginning of the pathway to hell (for that doesn't exist either!). Instead it can be the start of an honest, thoughtful and compassionate view of the major questions that we all face in our lifetimes. I highly recommend 'Jesus, Interrupted' to help you begin seeing life for what it is rather than for what we were told (and wished) that it was.
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