105 internautes sur 116 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
- Publié sur Amazon.com
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.
30 internautes sur 37 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
- Publié sur Amazon.com
"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.