Without the presence of Christianity, our world would be considerably different. Whether we view it in religious, social, or political terms, Christianity has deeply and integrally influenced the Western worldview and way of life. Yet, throughout Christian history, compelling controversies have existed surrounding the faith's first three centuries, when it grew from a persecuted sect into a powerful religion. These controversies bring into question many commonly accepted beliefs about Christianity.
In this course, an award-winning professor and New York Times best-selling author offers a penetrating investigation of the 24 most pivotal controversies, shedding light on fallacies that obscure an accurate view of the religion and how it evolved into what it is today. In each lecture, you'll delve into a key issue in Christianity's early development:
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.
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Ehrman is an erudite scholar of Biblical history, especially as it pertains to early Christian history. This course was so interesting and informative that when I finished it, I started it again. If you are interested in the topics in the above description, listen to this course.
Note: This is not a devotional course. It covers the topics from the perspective of a historian, not from a theologian.
What I enjoyed a lot was how he pointed out a lot of "facts" that didn't turned out to be facts at all, without disrespecting those who believe.
I truly believe he is not out to prove the bible wrong, but to straighten facts out.
I found it vey interesting, but a bit too long ( happens to me with most courses, so that might just be me....)
Learn, understand, then decide whether you accept or reject.
This series of lectures explores some of the biggest controversies of early Christianity, ranging from the serious questions (do we still have the original New Testament?) to the borderline crazy (did Jesus have a twin brother?)
If you take it with a grain of salt, it's an interesting journey through some of the most hotly debated issues of the faith.
Ehrman begins by presenting clear contradictions in the Bible and assessing them in terms of what possible truths might lay behind such inconsistencies. His lecture unfortunately degrades from this sort of analysis of the fractures within biblical canon into a survey and consideration of post-biblical Christian legends and what amounts to fan-fiction. He is overtly selective about what material he presents and analyzes in his treatment of each topic so as to present only the material that supports his presupposed conclusions. His lecture comes across as partisan and dishonest--more fitting to be read from a pulpit rather than a classroom.
The course had the potential to be something interesting and worthwhile if it had avoided the assumptions and biases of faith in favor of evidence-based historical analysis focused around fact rather than opinion.
Attempts were made to acknowledge when opinions were being presented early in the series, but as the series progressed opinions were presented with increased frequency, and their acknowledgement as such became weaker and weaker. The overall tone was one of a sermon, often repeating ideas being presented as key points multiple times almost as if to convince the listener by means of insistence rather than reason.
• The bookend approach of focusing on one controversy/question per lecture was an excellent presentation technique
• Caused one to ponder Christianity and Jesus’ divinity with an open-mind
• The convalescing of Christianity doctrine/theology in the early days of the religion was covered well
• While it was good to view Christianity from an open-minded perspective, I got the sense the professor slanted a little too much to the other side and sounded pessimistic at times in faith with almost a hint of a Christian who became disillusioned/disgruntled over time
Audible has changed my life! Dry , itchy eyes were destroying one of my greatest pleasures - reading. Now I am experiencing books again!
The Great Courses offers several lecture series by Bart Ehrman and I have enjoyed each one I've encountered. He has great command of the subjects of early Christianity, and his approach is clear and understandable.
Ehrman begins the course with an explanation of his purpose. Not a religious interpretation, this is an attempt to explore the historical realities and the context in which early Christians lived, told their stories, and advanced their faith.
So the controversies include not only the questions Ehrman confronts about the historical probabilities of the Christian Bible and beliefs, but also about how listeners will react to the approach itself. As a scholar, the Professor challenges areas which most of us have encountered only in a religious context. If the listener's mind is not open to different ways of looking at Christianity, he/she will most likely not appreciate this course.
Anyone willing to listen will learn a lot.
The New Testament has always fascinated me and I have always appreciated Bart Ehrman's insights.
The presenter is very knowledgable in this area. He is clear when speaking from a position of most scholars in the area versus his own learned position on s subject. I wish I had written material to study that would go along with this course.
Read this at the risk of weakening of your faith. If you are already godless, no worries. This book will not risk a relationship with God.
"Thank one of the gods for Bart Ehrman"
For me, Bart Ehrman makes very deep subjects easy to understand and this set of lectures is very well broken down so the various topics are easy to access and replay as required.
It's not a story as such. As an atheist myself I liked the wealth of knowledge obtained from this to discuss with my Christian friends.
I've several books by him...they're always wonderfully narrated and clear to understand. This is certainly one of my favourites.
A film to hopefully make Christians actually read their books and think
If you are religious or an atheist like me, I recommend everything by Bart Ehrman.This is maybe not the best starter though.
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