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Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don't Know About Them) [Format Kindle]

Bart D. Ehrman
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Revue de presse

“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)

Présentation de l'éditeur

The problems with the Bible that New Testament scholar Bart Ehrman discussed in his bestseller Misquoting Jesus—and on The Daily Show with John Stewart, NPR, and Dateline NBC, among others—are expanded upon exponentially in his latest book: Jesus, Interrupted. This New York Times bestseller reveals how books in the Bible were actually forged by later authors, and that the New Testament itself is riddled with contradictory claims about Jesus—information that scholars know… but the general public does not. If you enjoy the work of Elaine Pagels, Marcus Borg, John Dominic Crossan, and John Shelby Spong, you’ll find much to ponder in Jesus, Interrupted.

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  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 838 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 306 pages
  • Editeur : HarperCollins e-books; Édition : 1 Reprint (20 février 2009)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B001TKD4XA
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  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Extraordianaire 5 juin 2010
Par Dutilleul
the book inside the Bible: for everyone. like a sherlock holmes a fascinating inquiry witch shade a light and reveal hiden information about what's happen who did that and who write.
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392 internautes sur 413 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The best, most concise discussion of the historical Jesus I've come across 18 mai 2009
Par J. Norburn - Publié sur Amazon.com
I've read quite a few books on early Christianity (including others by Ehrman), so I can't say that I found an abundance of new information in this book, but I can say that this is easily the best, most concise and well presented discussion of the historical Jesus and historical/critical view of the New Testament I've come across.

One thing that always strikes me when I am reading Ehrman's work is how respectful he is of religion and people of faith. I've read a few books by atheist authors who (while I often find their work interesting and entertaining), do have a tendency to be a little smarmy about religion. Ehrman is a former fundamentalist Christian, who describes himself now as agnostic, but unlike some authors in this genre, he isn't trying to convince people to give up their faith, he really wants readers to understand the origins of the Christian faith and how it has evolved over centuries.

Jesus Interrupted is very readable (Ehrman's writing style is accessible for `non scholars') and each chapter builds on the others very effectively. Ehrman is clearly an expert on this topic and is an excellent teacher, and this is conveyed throughout Jesus Interrupted.

If this subject matter interests you - Jesus Interrupted is a must read. Highly recommended.
855 internautes sur 917 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Clarity, Integrity, Xenotheology 2 avril 2009
Par Smith's Rock - Publié sur Amazon.com
Full disclosure: the author of this review is a former Catholic altar boy (unmolested), was briefly enrolled in a Franciscan seminary, had eight years of Jesuit college/graduate school education, and is now what President Obama referred to as a "non-believer" in his inaugural address. In his own full disclosure, author Bart Ehrman relates that he attended a fundamentalist Bible college, furthered his theological education at Princeton, and is currently a professor specializing in New Testament studies at the University of North Carolina. He also states that he is agnostic, though specifically stating that it was not his study of the Bible that led him from evangelical Christianity to this alternate state of conviction.

This is a special book. It is not a rant, nor a screed. It is a careful, scholarly, and considerate review of what is either known, or reasonably conjectured, about the amazing book called the Bible. How was this book put together in the first place? The first listing of the 27 canonical books that are generally accepted as part of the New Testament today was in 367 CE. How did the 27 canonical books get chosen over many other candidate letters, Acts, and Gospels that existed (and still exist)? What, one wonders, did early Christians do in church without a Bible to read from? Ehrman has some thoughts on the subject. The earliest possible date that a church could have been "Bible-based" was more than 300 years after Christ's death (in reality, extremely low literacy rates and the lack of the invention of the printing press made "Bible-based" churches not feasible for another millennium). How did Christians come to agree on what they believed in without a canon of Sacred Scripture? What to do with the very clear evidence that some of the currently accepted gospels have been tampered with over time, with later versions of the gospels inserting whole passages that are absent from the earliest texts of the canonical books that have been recovered? What to do with some Pauline letters clearly not written by Paul (they contain references to events that didn't happen until after Paul had died)? Professor Ehrman has some cogent thoughts on the matter.

Grant an old sci-fi buff a bit of latitude here: If an alien theologian visited Earth with a mission of identifying and studying the books that Homo sapiens had declared sacred (e.g. the Bible, the Quran, the Bhagavad Gita), using the advanced linguistic and archeological tools at his/her/its disposal, Jesus, Interrupted is the book that he/she/it would have written.

Whether you are a believer in an inerrant and coherent Bible, or are more interested in the Bible's literary and symbolic value, take a gander at Jesus, Interrupted. If you're a true believer, read it so that you know what you're up against. My pops was a dyed-in-the-wool arch conservative who told me to read the books of "the enemy" so that I could understand their arguments. So I read Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto. It was informative (I didn't convert, but you know, the guy had some interesting ideas). If you're of the literary/symbolic tribe, but lack coherent scaffolding on which to hang your approach to the New Testament, read it: you'll hear all kinds of mental "ka-chunks" as concepts fall into place. Your time will not be wasted.
855 internautes sur 962 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Finally, a Book that Educates the Masses About Biblical Scholarship 8 mars 2009
Par John W. Loftus - Publié sur Amazon.com
If you are a fan of Bart D. Ehrman like I am, there are four books essential to understanding his work. The first is Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium; the second, The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture (popularized in his book Misquoting Jesus); the third is God's Problem where he argues that the problem of evil is what caused him to lose his faith; and this one, "Jesus Interrupted."

In a way I like "Jesus Interrupted" the best, probably because its aim is to reach the masses with solid Biblical scholarship. I've long thought that scholars mostly talk to themselves in hopes for a nice pat on the back from other scholars. Don't get me wrong here. We need scholars, and Ehrman is one who writes good scholarly material too. It's just that Ehrman also wants to inform the masses about what Biblical scholars have known a long time, but which pastors and ministers aren't telling their parishioners for fear that they might be troubled to learn about it. And Ehrman is a master communicator of it when it concerns the New Testament, which is his specialty.

According to Ehrman this book is about how "certain kinds of faith--particularly the faith in the Bible as the historical inerrant and inspired word of God--cannot be sustained in light of what we as historians know about the Bible." (p. 18). He begins by describing the difference between a vertical reading of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) with a horizontal reading of them. A vertical reading is simply taking one Gospel at a time and reading through it. A horizontal reading, however, is where we place the gospels side by side and read them together to see the differences in the accounts. When we read the Gospels horizontally we find discrepancies, irresolvable differences, and even contradictions, not only in the small details, but also when it comes to major ideas presented by the authors.

Some of the minor discrepancies are as follows: Mark differs with John on which day Jesus died (of this Ehrman writes, "I do not think this is a difference that can be reconciled." p. 27); there are significant differences between Matthew and Luke concerning various aspects of the birth of Jesus, as well as the irreconcilable genealogies found in their stories. Other discrepancies concern things like what the voice from heaven said at Jesus's baptism, what Jesus did the day after his baptism, whether or not Jarius's daughter was already dead when her father approached Jesus; who is for and against Jesus; how long Jesus's ministry lasted; why Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus along with how he died, and the irreconcilable differences in the resurrection accounts of Jesus.

Ehrman also asks us to read Paul's writings horizontally with the book of Acts to compare them. When we do there are even more problems: after Paul's conversion did Paul go directly to Jerusalem?; Did the churches in Judea know Paul?; Did Paul go to Athens alone?; How many trips did Paul make to Jerusalem?; Were the congregations Paul established made up of both Jews and gentiles?

There are major discrepancies as well, like the depictions of Jesus's death in Mark, where Jesus dies in agony and despair, from Luke where Jesus seems oddly in control of the situation. There are differences in the Gospel of John from the other Gospels with regard to Jesus's teaching content (long discourses versus proverbs and parables), emphasis, eschatology (which is emphasized in Mark but deemphasized in John) and the purpose of miracles (which in contrast to the other Gospels in John they're meant to convince people who don't believe).

Ehrman informs us there are also key differences between the apostle Paul and the Gospel writers: concerning the purpose of the Law; why Jesus died; when Jesus became the Son of God; whether God overlooked the ignorance of idolaters; and whether the Roman state is a force of good or evil.

To keep this review of mine short let me briefly summarize the rest of the chapters. In chapter four Ehrman tells us scholars really do not know who wrote the New Testament, except a few letters from Paul for the most part. In chapter five Ehrman discusses what we can actually know about the real Jesus and what he may have said, which isn't much given the criteria historians use to figure out such things. At best Ehrman argues that Jesus as an apocalyptic prophet. And he thinks that as a historian he cannot conclude Jesus arose from the dead because such a conclusion is beyond what tools the historian has at his disposal. Chapter six discusses how we got the Bible. It was a lengthy process from oral tradition to translations, to texts, to canonization among wildly divergent early Christianities all vying to be considered the inheritors of the original Jesus movement. Who invented Christianity then, which is the subject of chapter seven? Christians did, based upon misinterpretations of such texts as the Suffering Servant in Isaiah 53. Christianity subsequently moved in the direction of a distinct anti-Jewish movement in the hands of Gentile Christians.

In the final chapter Ehrman disarms the believer, which I think is a very helpful thing to do. He thinks it's still possible to believe despite the problems in the New Testament. And he's right. Although he says that what he's learned about the Bible makes it look like nothing more than a human, not a divine book, and that Christianity is a human, not a divine religion.

Ehrman concludes his book with these words: "It would be impossible...to argue that the Bible is a unified whole, inerrant in all its parts, inspired by God in every way. It can't be that. There are too many divergences, discrepancies, contradictions; too many alternative ways of looking at the same issue, alternatives that often are at odds with one another. The Bible is not a unity, it is a massive plurality. God did not write the Bible, people did." (p. 279).

While this conclusion of his will be disputed, what Ehrman has written must be taken seriously by all Christian believers. The arguments are now out in an easily accessible book. As such, the people in the pew can now understand what Biblical scholars in most seminaries already know but are too timid to teach it in the churches or preach it from the pulpits.


I'm the author of "Why I Became an Atheist," and the edited book, "The Christian Delusion."
119 internautes sur 134 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Ehrman's best book yet, finishes what "Misquoting Jesus" started 14 mars 2009
Par Malcolm - Publié sur Amazon.com
Bart Ehrman, a distinguished professor of religious studies at the Univ. of North Carolina, is one of the foremost popularizers of New Testament (NT) research today. His latest book, "Jesus Interrupted," continues along the path he followed in his previous and more technical work, Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why, but is superior in that he now is dealing with fundamental issues of the Bible and Christianity that are of more interest and relevance to the average layperson. While being a more provocative book than MJ, it is still not nearly as controversial as one would think from the inappropriate subtitle, which, like the subtitle for MJ, appears to have been chosen for marketing purposes. In fact, no new ground is broken here, as he once again devotes a lot of space to material he has covered thoroughly in other books, and people who are well-versed in NT research are unlikely to encounter anything that they haven't seen before.

Prof. Ehrman's motivation in writing this book is to introduce the results of 200 years of critical NT scholarship to the masses. He laments the poor level of knowledge of the Bible, even among students entering seminaries, so here he gives an overview of what has been determined through historical-critical methods, focusing generally only on the most widely agreed (among critical scholars) conclusions. Even though this material has been a standard part of the education of ministers and priests for decades, little of it has been passed on to their congregations, a deficiency that the author hopes to address.

However, he also appears to have a second, implicit motive, namely, he argues against a literalist understanding of the Bible. Prof. Ehrman was an evangelist and Christian apologist when he entered Princeton Theological Seminary, but what he learned there convinced him that his beliefs in the inerrancy of the Bible were unsupportable. After much resistance, he adopted a more liberal view of Christianity, one that is very common among his peers in theology departments, but eventually he lost even that faith through his inability to reconcile his beliefs with the suffering present in the world, which is the subject of his book God's Problem, not this one. But he still holds a very positive view of liberal Christianity, although no longer of fundamentalism. By no stretch is this book anti-Christian, and he even complains about atheists using his research uncritically to support their views. He repeatedly emphasizes that he is not out to weaken anyone's faith - he just wants people to think about their religious views.

Since he intends to counter literalism, he devotes a couple of chapters to a discussion of contradictions in the NT. This is only a small subset of all the contradictions that have been claimed to exist, as he is not attempting to be comprehensive (contrary to what the subtitle seems to suggest, this book is NOT unduly focused on contradictions in the Bible). He treats a few major contradictions among and in the Gospels (Was Jesus crucified before or after Passover dinner? What happened immediately after his birth? Who saw the resurrection and when?) and some minor ones, which may be more familiar (e.g., Judas's death). Even while going into some of these in depth, he still abbreviates the discussion (e.g., giving only a partial explanation of the discrepancies in the genealogies of Jesus), presenting only enough material to make his point without belaboring it. After discussing counterfactuals he moves on to differences in the points of view between the different authors of the books in the Bible, differences of opinion on such important questions as, Who was Jesus? What did he teach? Why did he have to die?. Again, he treats only a few cases, such as Paul's and Matthew's differences over whether Christians should follow Jewish customs. His point is that the authors of the different books, who were separated from each other in time and space, didn't all agree on every issue, and each should be allowed to have his own say, without conflating one author's opinion with another.

The next chapter goes through the NT, book by book, presenting scholarly consensus on who wrote each book and when. Ehrman gives an explanation for the majority belief that only 8 books (7 of Paul's letters and Revelation) were written by the people claimed, while the rest were misattributed or pseudepigraphic (i.e., forged). He discusses the widespread practice of forgery in ancient times, and why it was so common. He doesn't justify so much his dates for the Gospels, which are perhaps slightly more conservative than that for the average critical scholar.

Unfortunately, the rest of the book largely regurgitates material from his other books. He spends a chapter speculating on the historical Jesus, and concludes that Jesus was an apocalyptic preacher (as he expounds more fully in his book Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium). He briefly touches on the evidence for the existence for Jesus, but his discussion of Josephus and Tacticus is very superficial. He also presents his theory about why Jesus was executed and Judas's involvement, which can be found in Ehrman's The Lost Gospel of Judas Iscariot. He fails to acknowledge, however, that some of the views expressed in this chapter, unlike those in previous ones, are more particular to him and not as widely accepted. Moreover, he barely addresses the wide disagreement among scholars about what Jesus actually said and did.

The next few chapters cover textual criticism, the main topic of his Misquoting Jesus, and the development of the canon. He talks briefly about variations in the text of ancient NT manuscripts and why we don't know what was originally written in some cases. Here he defends himself well against some conservative criticism of MJ, and to his credit he even lists 3 books and 2 websites that oppose him, although he doesn't present much detail on their objections. He also explains how the books of the NT were selected from among all the competing early Christian literature, and then peruses that literature and describes the wide diversity of early Christian groups that wrote and used it. His conclusion is that the final version of Christianity that won out was not the same as the original religion of Jesus or Paul. Again, his treatment is a summary of the material is his other books, in particular, Lost Christianities and The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture.

He ends with defense of the notion that faith is possible even given the knowledge we have of the Bible as a product of humans; in fact, he feels that this knowledge can enhance one's faith. While repeating his reasons why literalism is in his opinion unsustainable, he argues that it is impossible to prove or disprove the resurrection historically, and that one should be able to build a personal Christianity that uses only selective parts of the Bible. He concludes with an explanation of why Bible study remains relevant, even if it is not the inerrant Word of God ("inspiring even if not inspired"), as it is after all "the most important book in the history of Western civilization."

Overall, this is an excellent summation of basic NT criticism, Ehrman's best book yet. He succeeds in presenting knowledge that every believer should have in a thought-provoking but non-threatening way that seeks to challenge not faith, but rather the reader's assumptions. It may even inspire a more open discussion of the Bible by the clergy, as I'm sure this will generate many questions from their congregations.

On the other hand, I do have a few criticisms of this book: None of the material is original, with even the author himself having covered most of it in earlier and fuller books. There is no index and the meager bibliography is scattered among the end notes, although in his defense, this is after all not an academic work but a popularization. He also doesn't carefully distinguish the few places where he is presenting his own opinions that are not as widely held. I also think he should've presented more evidence to support his assertions, even though this material may be well known among scholars. Finally, he hardly addresses at all the conspiratorial-sounding question of why the contradictions in the Bible are not more widely known, but instead spends only one page saying that pastors don't discuss the knowledge gained from historical-critical analysis because either they don't know how, they're afraid it may weaken faith, or they think it's irrelevant. (BTW, there's a bad typo on pages 41 and 71: On both pages, the name Matthew has been replaced by Mark on the right-hand margin in roughly the middle of the page.)

If you are interested in learning what scholars have concluded about the Bible through centuries of research, and you're not already an expert, then I highly recommend this book.
28 internautes sur 30 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Very challenging 7 décembre 2010
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur Amazon.com
I must give credit to Ehrman for writing a very irenic and scholarly book about the contradictions found in the Bible. His exposee did not shock me or affect my faith. As a matter of fact, I believe that the only people whose faith would be shaken after reading Ehrman's book are hard core fundamentalists, but not evangelicals who subscribe to the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy (1978) or Roman Catholics who uphold the Vatican II's dogmatic constitution Dei Verbum (1965).
Ehrman , after a few autobiographical pages, in which he explains to his readers his conservative evangelical background, his rejection of biblical inerrancy and finally, after wrestling with the problem of evil, his abandoning the Christian faith and embracing agnosticism, goes into detail about the following points:
* There are un-resolvable discrepancies, inconsistencies and contradictions in the biblical texts, which he claims cannot be reconciled without doing violence to the text.
* The Bible is not a unity, but a massive plurality (p. 279).
* Some variants in the manuscripts make a world of difference, theologically and exegetically speaking.
* Lots of texts are pseudo-graphical, which is to say, sheer forgeries (ex: some of Paul's letters): how can they be God's Word?
* The Bible is not the divine, inspired, revealed Word of God, but a very human book.
* Biblical canon was formulated way too late (IV century) to be credible.
* Some doctrines of the Christian faith are not found in the earliest NT tradition but were developed over time and super-imposed the Christian faith.
* Rejection of Lewis' view of Jesus as "Liar, Lunatic or Lord" based on the fact that the sayings of Jesus are authentic: they are not, since they are nothing but a legend (i.e, jesus never taught he was divine).
* Jesus does not fit Jewish expectations of the Messiah.
* Christianity and some NT texts are anti-semitic.
* Doctrines like the Trinity, Jesus' divinity and Heaven and Hell are not found in earliest manuscripts.
* The way orthodox Christianity emerged is way too human: it has no trace of divine origin and/or support: The wild diversity of Christian churches and the struggle of the orthodox party to assert itself do not suggest a divine intervention.
* Christianity is NOT the religion of Jesus, but the religion about Jesus: it's a human invention.
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