Picking up where Bible expert Bart Ehrman's New York Times bestseller "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... read more
“Christianity as we have come to know it did not, in any event, spring into being overnight”
“It emerged over a long period of time, through a period of struggles, debates, and conflicts over competing views, doctrines, perspectives, canons, and rules”
“Jesus is by all accounts the most significant person in the history of Western Civilization”
“In my opinion, people need to use their intelligence to evaluate what they find to be true and untrue in the Bible. This is how we need to live life generally. Everything we hear and see we need to evaluate.”Bart D. Ehrman
“And so, just as I came to see the Bible as a very human book, I came to see Christianity as a very human religion. It did not descend from on high. It was created, down here on earth, among the followers of Jesus in the decades and centuries after his death. But none of this made me an agnostic.”Bart D. Ehrman
“I have often wondered what would have happened if Paul and Matthew had been locked up in a room together and told they could not come out until they had hammered out a consensus statement on how followers of Jesus were to deal with the Jewish law. Would they ever have emerged, or would they still be there, two skeletons locked in a death grip?”
“Some readers will find it surprising that I do not see the material in the preceding chapters as an attack on Christianity or an agnostic's attempt to show that faith, even Christian faith, is meaningless or absurd.”
“My personal view is that a historical-critical approach to the Bible does not necessarily lead to agnosticism or atheism. It can in fact lead to a more intelligent and thoughtful faith--certainly more intelligent and thoughtful than an approach to the Bible that overlooks all of the problems that historical critics have discovered over the years.”
“It is true that historical criticism did more or less shatter my evangelical views of the Bible. But it did not lead me to become an agnostic. Something else was responsible for that...: my inability to understand how a good and loving God could be in control of this world given the miserable lives that most people--even believers--are forced to endure here.”
“I came to think of the Christian message about God, Christ, and the salvation he brings as a kind of religious 'myth', or group of myths--a set of stories, views, and perspectives that are both unproven and unprovable, but also un-disprovable--that could, and should inform and guide my life and thinking.”
“I beleived that his example of self-sacrifice made Christ a being worthy of worship, and I felt that his was an example for me to emulate. This was not because I could prove his self-sacrifice as a historical fact but because I could resonate with it personally.”
“My point here is that I came to think that the historical-critical approach to the New Testament had not destroyed my faith; it had deepened my faith and made me more sophisticated in the way I thought and talked about God, his world, his Christ, and his salvation. Yes, this way of thinking about the world is human-made. But what kind of thinking is not human-made? We are humans!”
“It is my firmly held view that a historical understanding of the Bible does not necessarily lead to the kind of agnosticism that I myself have adopted.”
“There are many views in the Bible. Each of these views was written in a specific historical and cultural context and was completely shaped by the context witih which it was written. ....But since there are so many different messages in the Bible, often about the same subject, the reader of the Bible can evaluate the appropriateness of this message or that, and see what relevance it may have for life in the present. ....I hope that everyone will agree that Jesus teaching as it relates to children ('Let the little children come unto me') provides a more useful guide than the teaching of Psalm 137 ('Blessed is he who takes your little ones and dashes them against the rocks').”
“My view is that everyone already picks and chooses what they want to accept in the Bible. The most egregious instances of this can be found among people who claim not to be picking and choosing.”
The authors of Job and Ecclesiastes explicitly state that there is no afterlife.Highlighted by 291 Kindle customers
Christianity, as has long been recognized by critical historians, is the religion about Jesus, not the religion of Jesus.Highlighted by 223 Kindle customers
The authors of the Gospels were highly educated, Greek-speaking Christians who probably lived outside Palestine.Highlighted by 207 Kindle customers
If Jesus is not a blood-relation to Joseph, why is it that Matthew and Luke trace Jesus’ bloodline precisely through Joseph? This is a question that neither author answers: both accounts give a genealogy that can’t be the genealogy of Jesus, since his only bloodline goes through Mary, yet neither author provides her genealogy.Highlighted by 187 Kindle customers
If the Gospels are right that Jesus’ birth occurred during Herod’s reign, then Luke cannot also be right that it happened when Quirinius was the governor of Syria. We know from a range of other historical sources, including the Roman historian Tacitus, the Jewish historian Josephus, and several ancient inscriptions, that Quirinius did not become governor of Syria until 6 CE, ten years after the death of Herod.Highlighted by 186 Kindle customers
Within three hundred years Jesus went from being a Jewish apocalyptic prophet to being God himself, a member of the Trinity. Early Christianity is nothing if not remarkable.Highlighted by 168 Kindle customers
In short, with the passing of time, the apocalyptic notion of the resurrection of the body becomes transformed into the doctrine of the immortality of the soul. What emerges is the belief in heaven and hell, a belief not found in the teachings of Jesus or Paul, but one invented in later times by Christians who realized that the kingdom of God never would come to this earth. This belief became a standard Christian teaching, world without end.Highlighted by 166 Kindle customers
The earliest Christians, starting with Jesus, did not believe in that sort of heaven and hell, as a place that your soul goes when you die. This, too, is a later Christian invention.Highlighted by 159 Kindle customers
And I began to see that many of the traditional Christian doctrines that I had long held to be beyond question, such as the doctrines of the divinity of Christ and of the Trinity, were not present in the earliest traditions of the New Testament but had developed over time and had moved away from the original teachings of Jesus and his apostles.Highlighted by 147 Kindle customers
Whereas the New Testament, consisting of twenty-seven books, was written by maybe sixteen or seventeen authors over a period of seventy years, the Old Testament, the Jewish Scriptures, consists of thirty-nine books written by dozens of authors over at least six hundred years.Highlighted by 133 Kindle customers
Two similar errors: On page 41 "In Mark's version Jairus comes to Jesus because his daughter has already died." should be "In Matthew's version...." and on page 71 "Luke and Mark begin with Jesus being born in Bethlehem to a virgin." should be "Luke and Matthew...."
How many books have errata in the blurbs on the back cover? "...readers might never read the gospels of Paul's letters in the same way again" should be "...the gospels or Paul's letters...."
On page 86, it says: "<Saul of Tarsus> saw faith in Christ as a blasphemy deserving of violent apposition." He saw himself as violently next to Christianity?
Oops, last full paragraph on page 59: last sentence in graph ends without a period.
Page 129: "...the problems that had arisen in it since the Paul's death." This looks like a classic case of trying to change "since the death of Paul" to "since Paul's death" but forgetting to delete the word "the" left over from the first version.
Page 153: "...it is thought to came from Q." Should be "...it is thought to come from Q." Or, perhaps, "...it is thought to have come from Q."
Page 199: The name of Epiphanius is misspelled "Ephiphanius."
On page 247 is a misquotation from Acts 13:32: "...that what God had promised to the our ancestors...." Should be "...that what God had promised to our ancestors...." <This could be a translation error: Ehrman usually translates Greek quotations in his own words, and in Greek, I believe, the literal wording in this verse might be "the our ancestors"; a quirk of Greek grammar.>
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