The prophets: suffering is a punishment for sin.
The book of Job, which offers two different answers: suffering is a test, and you will be rewarded later for passing it; and suffering is beyond comprehension, since we are just human beings, and God, after all, is God.
Ecclesiastes: suffering is the nature of things, so just accept it.
All apocalyptic texts in both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament: God will eventually make right all that is wrong with the world.
For renowned Bible scholar Bart Ehrman, the question of why there is so much suffering in the world is more than a haunting thought. Ehrman's inability to reconcile the claims of faith with the facts of real life led the former pastor of the Princeton Baptist Church to reject Christianity.
In God's Problem, Ehrman discusses his personal anguish upon discovering the Bible's contradictory explanations for suffering and invites all people of faith - or no faith - to confront their deepest questions about how God engages the world and each of us.
©2008 Bart D. Ehrman; (P)2008 HarperCollins Publishers
If a plane goes down, killing 400 and one survives unscathed against all odds: Hallelujah, it's a miracle! Right? Right?
After failing to find any good answers myself, I have wondered what the Bible really says about why bad things happen. Now I know, and it is fascinating (especially his take on the stories of Abraham and Job.)
As Ehrman says, most people develop their own comforting set of views about why bad things happen, and what God's role is in this. Ehrman pretty much knocks these props away by very carefully reading exactly what the Bible says.
So, I would recommend this book to someone who is actively wondering about this, but not to any old unsuspecting civilian.
deep thought provoking questions asked and answered, I'll read Bart's analysis of the phone book. amazing intellect...
I love books, and cannot wait to get my PhD in Philosophy!
I loved the book! It took the problem of evil and explained it on a biblical level. Even if one has philosophical training with theodicies, I would recommend reading this.
One of my favorite books for Dr. Ehrman, deals with a very the debatable issue of SUFFERING in the bible and how Christianity deals with it! I still call myself Christian so that's not exactly an easy book to read or for the faint of faith ;)
I Enjoyed this book very much. The way the Author presented his arguments and developments made it so easy to capture the ideas.
The Audio version is awesome. L. J. Ganzer , he did a tremendous contribution in reading so clearly and pleasantly.
Great narrating. I think that Bart brings up some valid points and I like his added humor.
It made me think!
I'm looking forward to more of his books
It is a good overview of answers given for the problem of evil, giving most time to those found in the bible. You learn about the Old Testament and the prophets, the apoctalyptycists (sic) of the New Testament, and popular contemporary answers. It has a focus on the bible, and I learned a lot about many of the books of the bible and their history.
The book does not have strong anti-religion feel, and Bart Ehrman is not one of the "New Atheists", who write most of the modern books criticizing religion. However, this book is a needed addition to the nonreligious literature.
This book will resonate with anyone who has ever unflinchingly looked at the suffering of the present world and who was appalled by the atrocities of history. The question of an ultimate meaning for human suffering has never been adequately answered and the reader should not expect any new insights on the matter. But the book does carefully examine the different answers given in the Bible which demonstrates that Biblical authors were concerned with the same questions that confront humanity today.
Reviews and opinions are my own.
The most interesting aspects for me were the discussions of the book of Job and Jesus and his disciples as apocryphal Jews.
Not for me, it was better to break it up into different chapters which allowed me the ability to consider the information presented
I haven't read much of Ehrman's early works but I was somewhat disappointed that the book focused a great deal on the writings of the Old Testament. The view of God in the Old Testament has always been presented to me as a more vengeful being than the one that followed the crucifixion of Jesus. There was some great stuff on the New Testament as well and an argument against looking at Revelations as an impending doom, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Overall, the book was very good but slightly short of great. I will go back to some of Ehrman's earlier works to see if those better help provide a more complete view of the scriptures in conjunction with this work.
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