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Forged: Writing in the Name of God--Why the Bible's Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are
 
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Forged: Writing in the Name of God--Why the Bible's Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are [Format Kindle]

Bart D. Ehrman

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Présentation de l'éditeur

Bart D. Ehrman, the New York Times bestselling author of Jesus, Interrupted and God’s Problem reveals which books in the Bible’s New Testament were not passed down by Jesus’s disciples, but were instead forged by other hands—and why this centuries-hidden scandal is far more significant than many scholars are willing to admit. A controversial work of historical reporting in the tradition of Elaine Pagels, Marcus Borg, and John Dominic Crossan, Ehrman’s Forged delivers a stunning explication of one of the most substantial—yet least discussed—problems confronting the world of biblical scholarship.

Quatrième de couverture

The Untold Story of Forgery in the Bible

In Forged, leading Bible authority Bart D. Ehrman exposes one of the most unsettling ironies of the early Christian tradition: the use of deception to establish the truth. With the scholarly expertise and provocative claims for which he's known, Ehrman reveals which texts were forged in the name of Jesus's disciples and considers how the deceptions of an unnamed few have prevailed for centuries. The untold story of widespread forgery in the ancient world sheds new light on how documents of scandalous origin became part of the Bible we have today.


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Amazon.com: 4.1 étoiles sur 5  153 commentaires
642 internautes sur 701 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Erhman does it again, bringing decades-old scholarship to public. 23 mars 2011
Par Greg - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
If Ehrman's previous books, especially Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why (Plus) and Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don't Know About Them), are any guide, "Forged" will be dismissed in one of two ways. The more progressive Christians will say that Ehrman is not saying anything new, that they have known forever that several of the books in the New Testament were not written by who they claim to be written by. The more conservative Christian will simply dismiss the scholarship as the desperate attempt of a person who hates Christianity and God to find some way of dismissing his message. This second group will also have a mountain of shop-worn workarounds that they think plausibly answer academic scholarship.

"Forged" was not written for scholarly progressive Christians or obscurantist conservative Christians. It was written for the large number of people who more or less accept Christianity as true, or at least a pleasant and socially useful belief system, but who have some questions, perhaps some doubts, and are curious to learn more about their scriptures. Secondarily it is written for people like Erhman himself (and incidentally, me) who were evangelical Christians with a religiously inspired commitment to truth, who find that our dedication to the truth is leading us away from the religion itself. This is how Erhman starts "Forged," with another brief take on his "testimony"--a move from devout evangelical at Moody, to a skeptic at Wheaton, to a critic at Princeton. I think it's an effective reminder that sometimes, contrary to what some Christians think, it is virtue (in the form of truth-loving) rather than some vice that brings us to the point of rejecting Christianity.

Because of his history (not in spite of it), Ehrman writes with understanding and sympathy about what believers take as true about the New Testament, while pulling no punches in taking on the nature of ancient forgery, how it was viewed by scholars and the public during the ancient period, the motivations and intents that might lead to forgery, and so forth. He sets the stage with an historical perspective, then launches into punchy, popularly oriented chapters on why it is widely held that several of the books claimed to be written by an apostolic figure almost certainly were not. Selecting the most interesting and compelling bits of information for such likely forgeries as 1 and 2 Peter, the pastorals of Paul, and others, he makes a breezy but forceful case that the view of many conservative Christians is too simplistic to reflect reality.

And of course he is well-aware of how evangelical scholars have responded to the kind of case he's making (the progressives who say this is old hat are not entirely wrong--the argument has been around in one form or another for many years, but what has been largely missing is lay accessibility), and gently picks apart their apologia. He ends the book with a section that is not on forgery per se, but on the way scribal interpolations amount to sort of further dishonesty within the New Testament pages. This is followed by a reiteration of the theme that begins "Forged"--the importance and virtue of truth. It's hard not to read between Ehrman's lines the disappointment and pique of someone who for many years had been hoodwinked by pious fraud. I attended a Bible college not dissimilar to Ehrman's Moody Bible Institute, and in the course of learning about the Bible were made only dimly aware of critical scholarship--that it existed, not what it said. We were taught that criticism could only be for one reason: people were uncomfortable with the rigors and demands of submitting to Jesus and scriptural authority, and were seeking loopholes. How shocking to discover that people who should have known better, who had an avowed and radical allegiance to truth, would work so hard to distract us from a thorough search for truth and hide from us the works of those seekers who came before us. We can be grateful that Ehrman is putting this digested, reader-friendly scholarship into the hands of so many people who care enough about what's true that they're willing to challenge their own comfortable assumptions.
261 internautes sur 294 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The Fantastic Forged! 26 mars 2011
Par Zachary A. Kroger - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
I don't often write reviews, but seeing how basically everyone who has reviewed it so far hasn't even read it, I thought I would help out people who were actually interested in purchasing it.

As usual, Ehrman takes a topic that could potentially bore one to tears and makes it accessible and fascinating. Like all of his popular works, this book was engaging, enlightening and very easy to read. After reading for awhile, I was always surprised how much progress I had made.

As for the content of the book, it is just what you would expect. While he does touch on forgeries a bit in other books (Jesus Interrupted, for example), he really goes into a lot of depth on what went on in the early Christian church, and how people would go about trying to get their views heard, the tricks they used, and how modern scholars work to see through the lies.

It truly is fascinating to learn about how many different viewpoints were being thrown around at that time. Apparently, forgery was so rampant, that some authors would develop little tricks to catch and dissuade forgers. But then forgers would turn around and condemn forging texts, just so people wouldn't get suspicious of their own forgeries!!

One thing that I always appreciated with Ehrman's work, is that he touches on early Christian texts that most people have never heard of. He discusses Gnostic forgeries, anti-Gnostic forgeries, as well as gospels I have never heard of. I was very amused to learn that there exists a "Gospel of Pilate" (forged of course). And it is always amusing to hear that scholars agree that some books of the Bible are forgeries, such as first and second Timothy.

Anyway, the book is filled with fascinating bits, such as ones I just mentioned, and it really helps to see just how fascinating Biblical history really is. I learned a lot, and I am very happy that Ehrman continues to write for non experts like myself. Lastly, I thank Ehrman for including an index. Jesus, Interrupted didn't have one, and it drove me nuts.
65 internautes sur 74 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Could have been much better, disappointing for an Ehrman book. 17 juin 2012
Par David T. - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
This was the first of six Ehrman books that I read (or am reading) back to back, and reading them in this rapid way has led to mixed feelings on on this book. I should point out that I have no problem accepting the idea that many of the books of the bible were forged, anyone who reads non-pop christian books will quickly come across these ideas from both conservative and more liberal scholars (although they're rarely called forged). Overall this book wasn't bad, in fact I found it pretty interesting (I originally gave it 4 stars), it covers a wide range of early christian books, gives a pretty decent idea of the variety of early christian beliefs and gives some reasons why scholars debate over some of the books being forged.

While reading this, I had a few problems, the first was just how little of this book actually dealt with forgeries in the new testament canon. Later while reading Jesus, Interrupted, I was surprised to find that it covered many of the same arguments presented here, surely with a book almost 10x the size of that section, you'd find far more detailed arguments but sadly that's not the case. Further he seems to try so hard to prove that books of the new testament are forgeries that he seems to contradict himself, for example in Misquoting Jesus (p.59) while talking about Paul dictating his letters to a scribe, he (Ehrman) throws out the idea that maybe Paul just listed a few points and then the scribe filled in the rest (with his own writing style and perhaps got some of the ideas wrong), in Forged that idea is thrown out. I mean Ehrman goes on for a decent section talking about the different vocabulary and sentence length between Ephesians and the accepted Pauline letters but if you take his points from his previous book wouldn't these differences be easy to explain, Ehrman himself gave us a great explanation already. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to defend the Pauline authorship of Ephesians, but I have to ask, which is it, did a scribe write the letter in his own writing style or didn't he, obviously we don't know but it frustrates me that he emphasizes one point when it helps his case and ignores it when it hurts it. In another section he talks about a scholarly study over three Roman officials which looked in detail at every one of their surviving works only to conclude that none of them had someone write in their name.....well none except for Cicero, which leads me to naturally think, wait so your saying that in this exhaustive study it happened 1/3 of the time? Doesn't this really hurt your point not help it? Once again, I'm not saying that Ehrman is wrong, but I fail to see why he continues to set up his own easily refuted strawmen, I don't get why he takes the opinion of being objective in his other works only to easily dismiss the arguments which hurt him in this one. So with all of this being said, I walked away thinking his sections on canonical forgeries just wasn't worth the time it took me to read this book, if anyone wants to read an Ehrman book on canonical forgeries, I'd recommend to first read Jesus, Interrupted, it contains most of the best arguments presented here, yet contains far more and is a far better book.

While, I was pretty disappointed the sections covering canonical forgeries (which from the subtitle 'Why the bible's authors are not who we think they are', I assumed would be more of a focus than it was), I was at first at least partially pleased with his discussions of other non-canonical forgeries. The bulk of this book covered these books and I at least thought that was pretty interesting. At the time I thought his reasons for doing this was its easier to attack a non-canonical book for being a forgery, later when the reader is offended at someone writing a gospel of Peter, they'll realize just how they should feel about the forgery of Second Peter. I removed a star from my rating though when I started to read other Ehrman books. To my disappointment, he seems to cover the same non-canonical books over and over again (The Gospel of Peter, The Acts of Thecla, etc.), I mean he mentions there are "dozens" of other non-canonical gospels, why does he rehash the same ones over and over again. Almost every forged book he covers in detail, he already did the same in Lost Christianities. To me this was very disappointing, I fail to see why he doesn't expand his discussions to books which he hasn't already covered twice in Jesus, Interrupted and Lost Christianities? After reading the same stuff two other times in his previous books, I decided that three stars is the highest I can rate this duplicate material.

Don't get me wrong this book isn't a bad book and if you take it by itself its a decent one, the problem is, with everything Ehrman has already written this book just wasn't needed. It presents very little that is new, contradicts his other writings and I fail to see why he wrote it. For anyone interested in Forgeries in the new testament canon, please read the far superior Jesus, Interrupted and if you want to read some good discussions of non-canonical forgeries, see the superior Lost Christianities.
26 internautes sur 33 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Tabloid Approach to Reliable Scholarship 23 mai 2011
Par B. Marold - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
"Forged" by Bart Ehrman, head of Religious Studies at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill is another of Dr. Ehrman's long string of books which use sensational titles and cover art to catch your attention and seduce you into laying out the cash for the book. That may be the worst thing one can say about this book, which may garner wrong reactions from people on both sides of the Christian fence.

I suggest that both a sense of glee from the athiests and a cry of blasphemy from the Christians is totally misplaced. The main reason, as Dr. Ehrman pointed out when he presented this material last year at Moravian Theological Seminary, is that all of his results regarding books in the Bible and in post-biblical works has not only been known and believed for over a century, it is actively taught in Seminaries around the world, to people in training to be pastors and priests. Dr. Ehrman's audience at Moravian was filled with these professors and students, and not a single person raised any objections to the findings he presented. The problem Dr. Ehrman addresses is that very few of these new pastors (or old ones either) mention these facts to their congregants. This provides the reason why, as a theology student at Moravian, I'm not even annoyed at the tabloid tactics.

The very first question to Dr. Ehrman was, in stort "So what?" His answer is that as far as Christian faith goes, this forgery is simply irrelevant. "Paul"'s letter to the Ephesians, was quite probably written by a disciple of Paul, and not by Paul himself. The letter was one of John Calvin's favorite scriptures, and much of his notions of predestination may have been based on the letter (and Romans, which is a genuine Pauline letter). But is divine inspiration any less value it it is written by one hand rather than another. As Dr. Ehrman points out, in the ancient world, among Christians, there was very little economic motive to forge documents. It was largely done for educating all those new Christians and possibly to fill some gaps which raised questions in new converts minds. The fact of the forgery has no relevance to faith. There are 27 books in the New Testament, and we can be certain of the author, Paul, for only seven of those. We have no clue who wrote any of the books of the OT; however David may have written some of the 150 Psalms.

For the people who take pleasure in discomfiting believers with evidence of their foolishness, I point out the same thing. Dr. Ehrman says this matter, which he has known since his Ph.D study at Princeton Theological Seminary, had nothing to do with his losing his faith of a firm fundamentalist believer in the Bible. What did it was the theological problem of evil (See his book, "God's Problem"). I also might say that many good Christians know their belief is foolish (St. Paul says as much.) long before the anti-Christian sensationalists said so. All this is true of virtuall all of Dr. Ehrman's books (except for "God's Problem".)

What makes this book especially interesting is the information Dr. Ehrman provides on the general practice of forgery in the ancient world. Apparently it was widely done, and it was widely damned by the victims of the forgeries. Galen, the ancient Roman physican, who saw a forged book written in his name, even wrote a book on how to detect books forged in his name. Apparently, this was far more prevelant in the ancient world, because it was easy. Since all book copies had to be hand-written, it was virtually as easy to write a new, phony work as it was to copy a genuine work. And, forgery was just as roundly condemned then as it is today. It was lying.

One almost welcomes the fact (if not the morality) of all those forged documents. One of the most famous, and most popular, ancient works was "The Acts of Paul" which includes a long, rather melodramatic story of Paul with a bride who renounces her engagement, becomes ascetic, and follows Paul, much as a groupie might follow a rock star today. This work was very, very popular. So popular that the probably fictional character of Thecla was declared a saint, and its physical description of Paul is the basis of virtually all mosaics, paintings, and drawings of the apostle.

Dr. Ehrman is the real thing. He is a protege of Bruce Metzger and literally a world class scholar on Greek Christian documents from the first three centuries after Christ. One of my few complaint is that the biographical blurb claims he is a leading authority on the life of Christ. He is not a specialist in that area, and I believe he would be the first to agree with that.

In the end, agnostic Ehrman is doing a job which his colleagues among the faithful seem reluctant to do, to our advantage when we wish to be informed in our faith.
139 internautes sur 188 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Another excellent read from Ehrman... 25 mars 2011
Par CAOIMHGHIN ANSGAR - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
I see Ehrman has been successful at getting the Christians to post some one star reviews. Not surprising.

I have read several of Ehrman's books and have found them all to be excellent attempts at unearthing the truth. The fact that he was a devout Christian himself at one time only offers credibility to his work. If you believe the Christian Bible is the infallible and unerring word of god then Ehrman is probably not your author. Perhaps you would be better to stick with comic books and horoscopes. If, on the other hand, you are a seeker of evidence and a rational thinker then Ehrman is a great resource.

Pay no attention to the single star reviews. Believers (i.e. "make-believers") will always attempt to burn books and quell reason. If you are a make-believer and your mind is seeking some intellectual freedom and reason then buy this book. I would bet 100:1 odds that the single star reviewers never even read the book.

Keeping writing Bart and I'll keep buying your books and enlightening my mind.
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