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Publisher's Summary

Picking up where Bible expert Bart Ehrman's New York Times best seller, Misquoting Jesus, left off, Jesus, Interrupted addresses the larger issue of what the New Testament actually teaches...and it's not what most people think. Here Ehrman reveals what scholars have unearthed:

  • The authors of the New Testament have diverging views about who Jesus was and how salvation works.
  • The New Testament contains books that were forged in the names of the apostles by Christian writers who lived decades later.
  • Jesus, Paul, Matthew, and John all represented fundamentally different religions.
  • Established Christian doctrines, such as the suffering messiah, the divinity of Jesus, and the trinity were the inventions of still later theologians.

    These are not idiosyncratic perspectives of just one modern scholar. As Ehrman skillfully demonstrates, they have been the standard and widespread views of critical scholars across a full spectrum of denominations and traditions. Why is it most people have never heard such things?

    This is the book that pastors, educators, and anyone interested in the Bible have been waiting for, a clear and compelling account of the central challenges we face when attempting to reconstruct the life and message of Jesus.

  • ©2009 Bart D. Ehrman (P)2009 HarperCollins Publishers

    What members say

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    • Overall
    • Paul
    • Charlotte, NC, USA
    • 06-27-10

    Excellent book

    As a Christian believer (albeit open minded) I found this book fascinating. It certainly has caused me to look differently and more deeply and the new testament gospels that we all tend to accept blindly. It has actually deepened (not threatened) my faith. Thank you Prof. Ehrman, I only wish I had taken your classes while at UNC.

    16 of 16 people found this review helpful

    • Overall

    Take a college course in New Testament in a book

    I teach "Introduction to the New Testament" in a Public University in North Carolina. This is without a doubt the best introduction to the New Testament that is currently available. The book is accessible but always scholarly. I assume Ehrman has taken his notes from his New Testament class and expanded them into a book, because this is precisely the material one would get in a New Testament class at a University. Evangelicals will find the material challenging, but Ehrman (a former evangelical himself) works hard to show the evidence and answer the objections he knows are coming. I cannot say enough good about this book. Buy it, listen to it, and your understanding of the New Testament will be enhance and possible transformed.

    47 of 54 people found this review helpful

    • Overall

    Perfect balance of plain language and scholarship

    This is the most approachable critical historical look at Jesus and the New Testament that I've yet read. This book should be mandatory reading for everyone, both believers and non-believers, who holds a strong opinion regarding Christianity. It certainly won't turn a non-believer into a believer. It's unlikely to turn a believer into a non-believer. But it is likely to make both sides take less extreme stances regarding the role of Christianity (especially those of the American Evangelical persuasion) in todays society.

    24 of 28 people found this review helpful

    • Overall

    A Seminary in a Book

    An incredible book that will let you see what is taught in mainline Seminaries and Divinity schools throughout the western world... much of it you'll probably never learn about in church, even though your pastor knows many of these facts... It's like a seminary in a book and will add a whole new dimension to your reading of the most significant book in the western world. It teaches a critical historic review of the New Testament rather then what most people know which is just a devotional read of the Bible. I first listened to on audible and like it so well bought a couple copies here for me and other more progressive friends.

    23 of 27 people found this review helpful

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    • Darwin8u
    • Mesa, AZ, United States
    • 06-11-12

    Ehrman = Engaging/Challenging + a Tad Pedantic

    This book seems to fit in between 'Misquoting Jesus' and 'God's Problem'. I didn't find it as intellectually satisfying as 'Misquoting Jesus' and I didn't find it as doctrinally challenging as 'God's Problem'. While I appreciate Ehrman's desire to translate Biblical scholarship for the lay reader, 'Jesus, Interrupted' just seemed over-organized but also underwrought. At his best Ehrman is engaging and challenging. At his worst, Ehrman's prose jumps between pedantic and overly simplistic. His central premise on the need to read the Bible from a historical perspective and not just a doctrinal perspective already had significant purchase in me, so perhaps, I was just hoping 'Jesus, Interrupted' would wow me just a little more.

    19 of 23 people found this review helpful

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    • G-Man
    • Eugene, Orygun
    • 03-07-09


    Less academic than Misquoting Jesus, therefore more listenable, this is another Bart D. Ehrman look into the early Christian Faith/Jesus Movement. I learned nothing about the bible from Christian evangelical radio, so I am glad to get another audiobook that is very well informed.
    If you want to learn about early Christianity without the proselytizing this book presents an explanation/examination of the famed discrepancies of the gospels; very intriguing.

    43 of 55 people found this review helpful

    • Overall

    Good info. but hard to get through

    The book really does have some good information on the historical New Testament. I am taking on faith that Mr. Ehrman is truly the scholar he says he is, and that his historical data does, in fact, reflect the information one would receive at a university when studying the topic. My problem with the material is that the dissemination of this historical information is only about half of the book. The other half is repeating, ad nauseam, the information presented, combined with a rather self-aggrandizing account of the author, his life, and his beliefs (which are also repeated many times). I kept finding myself wanting to shout "you said that already, at least twice, move on!" every 10 minutes or so. He really needed a better editor to cut out all the noise and help him stick to the topic, which would in turn have alleviated some of the need for him to constantly mention that he didn't have the space to go into each topic in more detail.

    28 of 37 people found this review helpful

    • Overall


    I debated whether to give this book 4 or 5 stars, I love and admire his work, this volume should really be read as a supplement to Misquoting Jesus, however compared to Misquoting Jesus, this book is less subject focused, i.e it went from a book about textual discripency to biblical history to religious ethics to personal experience. I agree with the sentiment and historical approach to religion, I still wish this volume provide more scholarly and academic information than it does, maybe I am too greedy. I remain the author's most loyal fan and disciple.

    8 of 11 people found this review helpful

    • Overall
    • Blake
    • Annapolis, MD, United States
    • 03-26-10

    An Objective Examination of the New Testament

    Since Christianity is based entirely on the Bible, and the Bible is supposedly the word of God as preached by Christians everywhere, it's about time people take an objective look at the what the Bible actually says. Bart Ehrman, a Bible scholar and seminarian and former self-described believer shows how authors of different books in the New Testament differ on such fundamental issues as the birth and death of Christ that should lead anyone with an open mind to wonder how any such irreconcilable differences could be divinely inspired. The author points out he is not trying to persuade or dissuade anyone regarding Christianity and he does not advocate any view. He merely points out numerous differences between biblical depictions of events and intentions within a historical framework including the authentication of gospel authorship and the politics of the church and followers at the time. This edition is well narrated by Jason Culp who provides just the right emphasis without risk of partiality to one view or another. The only criticism I have with this work is the author's repeating the same examples over and over throughout the book. The book could have been 20% shorter without all the repeated information.

    10 of 14 people found this review helpful

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    • Matthew
    • Nicholasville, KY, United States
    • 09-18-09

    Ehrman is Back

    After Ehrman's last book, God's Problem, I was worried that his work had lost its usual rigor and objectivity. I am happy to say that Ehrman is back in Jesus, Interrupted. This is a concise, objective view of how different authors of the New Testament differ on fundamental issues and how we are left to decide for ourselves how to reconcile these discrepancies. I highly recommend this book to anyone that has read the Bible and thinks they really know it well. This book will open your eyes to how little you actually know.

    12 of 17 people found this review helpful

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    • Dawn
    • 01-24-15

    Should be a "must listen to" for every adult!

    I always feel like an uninformed idiot after reading Bart Ehrman. Yet I am an educated, open minded and well traveled adult. I guess I am almost angry that I've allowed myself to be so easily brainwashed... His easy to read style and depth of information never disappoints.
    While listening with my headsets on my partner had to deal with sudden explosions of "What!", laughter and slaps to the forehead. It just gets to you that strongly.
    If you are at all worried about it damaging your faith then listen to the last chapter first. It certainly won't unless you want it to!
    The reader is perfect. A great voice that one never tires of. I fear if I ever got to meet Mr. Ehrman I'd be shocked to hear his voice!
    Now that my 15 hours are over I must immediately download another!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    • ChrisR
    • 04-07-13

    An interesting perspective on an old story

    Erhman is a man of great intellect, a scholar of the highest credentials.

    The contents if this book he claims not to be controversial among academics in the field of biblical scholarship, but are certainly controversial to the layman.

    His conclusions are certainly controversial - but given the weight if evidence he gives in support they clearly shouldn't be.

    A good run-through the work of New Testament history; detailed enough to provide clarity but not in-depth enough for me in some places.

    A book that will make you think, maybe not fought to shake the faith of the masses but it will certainly leave you with many questions.

    A good audiobook but for me it would have been much better if read by the author.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    • P. Hopwood
    • 06-21-16

    Phew! Should be read in every church

    Hard to argue with Prof. Ehrman's reasoned and carefully presented scholarship. Beautifully clear; a shame that the deeply indoctrinated won't ever appreciate or even consider the questions raised by this

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    • Anonymous User
    • 01-27-18

    Excellent book

    Excellent content and narration. Very enlightening and informative. As with all of Prof. Ehrmans books and lectures, could not stop listening.

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    • Thomas H Pryor
    • 04-27-17

    Simply Outstanding

    I am not good at expressing my thoughts into words. this book has done an exceptional job for me.