There's an old saying in jounalism, to the effect that you should believe nothing of what you hear and only half of what you read. And it's probably the belief in the written word that has led human beings to stray from healthy skepticism into revealed religion for all of recorded history. No one would have remembered nor even known about the inane mutterings of a tribe of Bronze age desert wanderers had they not had the temerity to write down stories about their imaginary friend.
Bart Ehrman has it right, I think, at least partly right. We humans are credulous beings. Once people had written documents, the forging could commence, perpetrated by people who wanted control over the minds of other people. "This is what happened, see, it's all here for you to read!" Let the revelations begin.
Bart started life as a fundamentalist christian, but as this book proves, his inquisitive and logical mind could hardly sustain that. This book is a great read, and I'm sure even Bart would say it's worthy of a healthy dose of informed skepticism.
This is a book that needs an open-minded reading (or hearing) from every Christian who claims that those who disagree with their views have simply failed to open their heart and mind to the Holy Spirit.
Although certain of books of the Bible claim to report divine revelations, the Bible makes no overall claim of its own inerrancy. Most people agree that the Bible was written by many authors at many different times. Decisions about which writings qualify as scripture was made long after the lifetimes of the authors. This is true of the Old Testament as well as the New; though this book focuses on the later.
Bart Erhman presents a clear and compelling case for the proposition that traditional understanding of who wrote the books of the New Testament is incorrect and that many of them include false authorship claims (which makes them forgeries). Use of this highly pejorative (though entirely accurate) descriptor serves to pull the reader out of the complacency with which the uncertain authorship of the text is often approached. Acknowledging that we do not have original texts of any of these writings, Ehrman points to the oldest of the surviving copies to conclude that they were well educated in Greek, not the Aramaic-speaking disciples with first-hand knowledge of Jesus that they claimed to be. Additionally, they address theological issues that arose decades, if not centuries, after the death of their purported authors.
Ehrman does not limit his analysis to those books included in the New Testament canon; he also reviews writings that were rejected expressly because they were thought to be forgeries. His conclusion is unavoidable: applying the same standards of veracity to biblical texts as we would to any other work, we cannot accept the teachings of much (but not all) of the New Testament.
Highly recommended. Expertly read, this book is a real eye opener. If you are at all interested in the truth behind Christianity's turbulent origins this one is for you.
The book has some interesting information, however rambles on with detail not suited to an audible book. The author appears to know his subject well, however does a mediocre job of explaining what really went on during the early Christian period. I think the material could have been presented in a more orderly fashion that would have conveyed his message much more clearly
I think the author should find a good editor and re-do the book with some additions
Overbearing and no nuance at all. Experienced the same with his narration of The Ravenous Brain. I will definitely check future buys and forego them if Dixon is reading.
Far too tedious to get past the first part.
The content in this book is very reliable so I certainly would recommend it to anybody. Bart Ehrman is a very intelligent person what studied the content of all the books we have available and is very clear to how he comes to his conclusions. I do disagree with him on one item and that is the existence of Jesus. He believes in him and I don't.
The facts and information in this book was interesting and in many ways fascinating. It was not always completely clear where the book was heading, until I reached the very end.
Then I understood: "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John, 8:32.
When reading the script about Philemon, the reader said chapter 24. When in fact, it shoud have been verse 24, as Philemon only has one chapter.
Very informative and confirming my gut feeling about religion as a whole. Mr. Ehrman's last comments about lying are very well put.
All are well portraied. The diction is excellent.
Please have Harper Audio redo the sement about Philemon. Otherwise the book is perfect.
"Forged", like Ehmrans other books, is well researched and written in a style that is easy to follow. Easily a worthwhile listen. Most of the material was also included in his other books "Misquoting Jesus" and "Jesus, Interrupted." I was also surprised that much of the book is about forgeries that are NOT in the Bible. Books that have been found. This was very interesting but I was expecting more time spent on the forgeries he believes made it into the Bible and more time spent on why scholars believe that a given writing is a forgery, and then, for intellectual honesty, also points made by those who do not believe that the text is forged.
Overall, a good book, certainly not a waste of time, but not as good as I had hoped.
It was interesting for awhile, but... I didn't finish the book. About 1/2 way through I found it repetitious.
Yes, I thought the narration was nicely done. The volumn was constant, and that's a big issue for me. Watler Dixon speaks clearly, passionately, and easily understood.