Thursday, June 16, 2011

Forged By Bart Ehrman

I have read a book by Bart Ehrman, professor of New Testament at University of North Carolina in Charlotte. He was a evangelical christian, but has become agnostic. He knows Greek and Aramaic. He argues that all the books in the New Testament are forgeries except for 6 we know were actually written by Paul. He goes into the argument very well, bringing up ancient sources and the scholarship of other people over the last 200 years. He points out that knowing the above does not negate your faith, but should give one pause to know that the bible is a work of human beings in the context of the culture and time. I was very much impressed and have read another book of his and ordered another. He also points out there is difference in reading the bible in a devotional way versus a historical critical way. Most fundamentalist Christians only read the bible in a devotional way and believe the bible is the word of God. But if you take the bible and read it "horizontally" according to Ehrman you find many mistakes, changes etc. Horizontal reading means take the same story in two different gospels and read them side by side. You will find they do not match up. In forged he argues that people used apostles names to write a book to gain traction with their intended audience. The problem the book was probably written long after the apostle had died and therefore could not have been written by him. That is to say it was forged. I recommend his books highly. Oh by the way he did not become an agnostic by his study of the bible but by viewing suffering in the world and realizing that a truly compassionate God would not have allowed it. Chance and the working of nature more fully explains such occurrence than a God "working in his own way."
Skeptical DoDo

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