Fugitives from Fundamentalism

The Musings of Adult Missionary Kids (MKs) & Former Born-Again Believers

Dr. Bart Ehrman’s Latest Book

Posted by Clamence/The Chaplain on June 18, 2009

jesusYesterday I purchased a copy of Dr. Bart Ehrman’s book Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (and Why We Don’t Know About Them). I am excited to read it, especially the chapter titled “Who Invented Christianity?” I will try to write a brief review of the book once I’ve finished it.

The following passages from chapter one of the book, ties into its main goal: to inform laypeople of what scholars have known about the Bible for a long time,

One of the most amazing and perplexing features of mainstream Christianity is that seminarians who learn the historical-critical method in their Bible classes appear to forget all about it when it comes time for them to be pastors. They are taught critical approaches to Scripture, they learn about the discrepancies and contradictions, they discover all sorts of historical errors and mistakes, they come to realize that it is difficult to know whether Moses existed or what Jesus actually said and did, they find that there are other books that were at one time considered canonical but that ultimately did not become part of Scripture (for example, other Gospels and Apocalypses), they come to recognize that a good number of the books of the Bible are pseudonymous (for example, written in the name of an apostle by someone else), that in fact we don’t have the original copies of any of the biblical books but only copies made centuries later, all of which have been altered. They learn all this, and yet when they enter church ministry they appear to put it back on the shelf. For reasons I will explore in the conclusion, pastors are, as a rule, reluctant to teach what they learned about the Bible in seminary . . . [This book] is, however, about how certain kinds of faith–particularly the faith in the Bible as the historically inerrant and inspired Word of God–cannot be sustained in light of what we as historians know about the Bible. The views I set out in this book are standard fare among scholars. I don’t know a single Bible scholar who will learn a single thing from this book, although they will disagree with conclusions here and there. In theory, pastors should not learn much from it either, as this material is widely taught in seminaries and divinity schools. But most people in the street, and in the pew, have heard none of this before. That is a real shame, and it is time that something is done to correct the problem.

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