This is a well narrated, well cited audiobook pointing to the problems with taking the Bible literally, including historical and anthropological points made about the accuracy of third person accounts, text copying, transations from Greek, Aramaic, and Latin into other tongues, and agendae by different persons. Perfect for those studying religion, or for Christians who doubt the Bible's literal meaning, but tends to be over the head of lay persons. For those of us who believe even one error found "throws the baby out with the bath water," the citations becomes superfluous.
I am well into my second listen of this excellent little piece, and am delighted that it came to me in an Audible sale event. I have gotten everything that I bargained for and much more. I appreciate that the author treats the subject objectively, and is definitely not a "bible-basher". I agree with the other Audible reviewers regarding the depth and clarity of the author's work, and found it very compelling to hear.
I, however, think that Mr. Davidson's narration is terrific. He stresses words, pauses, and phrases exactly like he is speaking to me in normal conversation. On of my biggest problems with some spoken books is that the narrator can severely delimit the enjoyment of the read just by their matter-of-fact monotone. I love when authors read their own work. Although Mr. Davidson did not write the book, he conveyed the author's passion quite genuinely. Here is a man who speaks as if he knows intimately about the subject matter. I happily anticipate more from this narrator.
I really appreciate this book. I did not appreciate the format, however. It is rather scholarly and has many quotations from scripture and citations from other works. This makes it a better read for the eye, not the ear. Content great, format not so much. The narrator does the best he can.
Anyone with any interest in Christianity and/or the bible must read/listen to this book. Bart Ehrman has undertaken a mind boggling analysis of the data, and I am stunned by what his research has revealed. And grateful for his hard work!
No student of religion should be without this gem.
At first i thought this was going to be a bashing of Christianity and the Bible. I decided to read it to see what critics of the bible had to say.
I was glad to see that this WAS NOT a bible bashing book! This book gave me a nice understanding of how the bible has been translated over time. Every time i see a little subscript explaining the different translations of a particular passage while reading the bible i immediately think of this book and have a better understanding of why/how these different translations could occur. I came away with the understanding that yes there are many different mistakes and version of the bible manuscripts, but it is amazing how many similarities there are too. Learning how they try to find the Original text from the various discovered translations was very interesting too.
Based on the description of this book I was expecting a look into the politics of why the bible has been changed. While the author did talk about this somewhat in the context of the earliest Christians, the book is much more of a scholarly attempt to help the layman understand how specific passages have changed rather than the social ramifications of those changes. This is not the author's fault--he lays out his plan quite clearly--but rather a lack of clarity in the description of the book.
I was expecting a riveting work that topples traditional biblical views. Instead, this book was hours and hours of rambling about WHO could have changed the bible. The author is clearly very learned and his educational background is impressive, but that doesn't make this book interesting. The title is very misleading.
I am absolutely impressed and revolutionalized.
For any person that considers the writings of the New Testament important to their life, this is an emergency highest alert book! The author does what every good historical author should do and every good student of history should want - puts things into perspective.
Without debunking the divinity of God in any of God's revealed forms, this author sensibly and scientifically reveals the irrefutable information that exposes the sense and the nonsense of the various cultures of Christianity, incredibly relevant to our modern time.
Anyone who considers the New Testament important should stop cold, not have 1 more Bible study, not pay 1 more homage to the "shrink to fit" doctrines of practiced church, not take 1 more doctrinal discussion until reading/listening to this essential book!
As a historical reference it opens the the discourse to the lay man, as a starting point, a great listen, and the non-biased look at who may and how possibly the shape of the bible has come to us.
Love this book because it gives me more reasons to back up why religion is such a waste of time. Would have given a 5 star, only giving 4 for the Audible version because the reader Richard Davidson is so painful to listen to. I know if I was reading the physical book I would have enjoyed the read better. His voice is rough and he speaks so harshly. It's clear that he is reading rather than just talking to an audience. Other than that, I'm very grateful Dr. Ehrman chose to write this book.