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
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.
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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.
Excellent opinion by a credible author who clearly presents his arguments against god who allows some of his worshipers to suffer. The examples are clear, particularly those from passages in the bible. Very thought-provoking and highly recommended.
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