It is often said, even by critical scholars who should know better, that “writing in the name of another” was widely accepted in antiquity. But New York Times best-selling author Bart D. Ehrman dares to call it what it was: literary forgery, a practice that was as scandalous then as itis today. In Forged, Ehrman’s fresh and original research takes readers back to the ancient world, where forgeries were used as weapons by unknown authors to fend off attacks to their faith and establish their church. So, if many of the books inthe Bible were not in fact written by Jesus’s inner circle - but by writers living decades later, with differing agendas in rival communities - what does that do to the authority of Scripture?
Ehrman investigates ancient sources to:
Ehrman’s fascinating story of fraud and deceit is essential reading for anyone interested in the truth about the Bible and the dubious origins of Christianity’s sacred texts.
©2010 Bart D. Ehrman (P)2011 HarperCollins Publishers
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 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.
I love to multi-task with Audible!
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.
Forged gives some insight into what we actually know about many of the ancient writings of the Bible and who the true writers were. The book was dry at times, when quoting many of the writings and become somewhat repetitious toward the end. The pattern became clear through the book and this might have worn on me as I made my way toward the end. I had to remind myself that the author's intent was to keep everything on a simple, understandable level without getting too deep into the technical side of things. I picked out some interesting facts that were presented and ended up forgetting some parts of the book entirely. Worth a listen if this type of stuff interests you otherwise you might find yourself getting bored less than halfway through.
I have bought all Bart Ehrman's books that I know of. And continue to re read them (well listen anyway - plus one on kindle) As a former Jehovah's Witness (fulltime pioneer) I also had a 'no fault' belief in the scriptures and if there was a question raised it was my fault or the Watchtower society hadn't given me the answer yet! Barts methodological process of highlighting biblical errors and why they are there have been helpful. He hits items I also found (that star over a building to identify where Jesus was - can you identify a specific country a star hovers over never mind a town or building). Context and historical background is essential and justified. There has been scholarly justification for some errors and forgeries but these excuses are rejected and clear arguments for that decision given. Bart's academy and erudition gives all you want if you haven't had the formal training. All his arguments he justifies and yet its at a lay level but adds to your personal knowledge and can test at the edge of your own education making it an interesting, challenging but educative read. Very well recommended.
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
"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.
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