Forged: Writing in the Name of God--Why the Bible's Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are

Forged: Writing in the Name of God--Why the Bible's Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are

3.5 35
by Bart D. Ehrman
     
 

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Bart D. Ehrman, the New York Times bestselling author of Jesus, Interrupted and God’s Problem reveals which books in the Bible’s New Testament were not passed down by Jesus’s disciples, but were instead forged by other hands—and why this centuries-hidden scandal is far more significant than many scholars are

Overview

Bart D. Ehrman, the New York Times bestselling author of Jesus, Interrupted and God’s Problem reveals which books in the Bible’s New Testament were not passed down by Jesus’s disciples, but were instead forged by other hands—and why this centuries-hidden scandal is far more significant than many scholars are willing to admit. A controversial work of historical reporting in the tradition of Elaine Pagels, Marcus Borg, and John Dominic Crossan, Ehrman’s Forged delivers a stunning explication of one of the most substantial—yet least discussed—problems confronting the world of biblical scholarship.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The evocative title tells it all and hints at the tone of sensationalism that pervades this book. Those familiar with the earlier work of Ehrman, a distinguished professor of religious studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and author of more than 20 books including Misquoting Jesus, will not be surprised at the content of this one. Written in a manner accessible to nonspecialists, Ehrman argues that many books of the New Testament are not simply written by people other than the ones to whom they are attributed, but that they are deliberate forgeries. The word itself connotes scandal and crime, andit appears on nearly every page. Indeed, this book takes on an idea widely accepted by biblical scholars: that writing in someone else's name was common practice and perfectly okay in ancient times. Ehrman argues that it was not even thenconsidered acceptable—hence, a forgery. While many readers may wish for more evidence ofthe charge, Ehrman's introduction to the arguments and debates among different religious communities during the first few centuries and amongthe early Christians themselves, though not the book's main point, is especially valuable. (Apr.)
Library Journal
Ehrman (religious studies, Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Misquoting Jesus) provides evidence here that the ancient world, in fact, generally condemned forgeries as much as the modern world does. He then goes on to discuss works that were wrongly claimed to have been written by Peter or by Paul as well as other forgeries, including some in the last two centuries. He distinguishes between the use of a pen name to hide the writer's identity and a forgery that claims to be the work of someone else. Most of the forgeries Ehrman discusses served Christian anti-Jewish propaganda, although some were antipagan, while the so-called Gospel of Nicodemus was an attempt to correct the very anti-Christian Acts of Pilate. Ehrman uses other forgeries as well to support his conclusion that "Christians intent on establishing what was right to believe did so by telling lies." VERDICT Ehrman reveals for ordinary readers what most mainstream biblical scholars accept, but he then attributes motives to the writers, which are more speculative, ending his book with a discussion of a few justifiable lies or forgeries and those not justified (all the rest). Recommended for sophisticated readers who will come to their own conclusions about Ehrman's opinions.—Carolyn M. Craft, emerita, Longwood Univ., Farmville, VA

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062078636
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
03/22/2011
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
236,821
File size:
788 KB

Meet the Author

Bart D. Ehrman is one of the most renowned and controversial Bible scholars in the world today. He is the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and is the author of more than twenty books, including the New York Times bestsellers How Jesus Became God; Misquoting Jesus; God’s Problem; Jesus, Interrupted; and Forged. He has appeared on Dateline NBC, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, CNN, History, and top NPR programs, as well as been featured in TIME, the New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Yorker, and other publications. He lives in Durham, North Carolina. Visit the author online at www.bartdehrman.com.

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Forged 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 35 reviews.
M_L_Gooch_SPHR More than 1 year ago
As a dyed in the wool believer in a creator, I have read all of Bart Ehrman's books. I find them fascinating and enlightening. This creation of his called Forged is one of his best. Not only it is a great `connect the dots' tome, the reasoning behind is theories is very compelling. To believe that authorities would lie to us and try to spin the truth so we adhere to a certain view continues to this day. Politics is the latest and greatest example. Why so many people believe that every single word in the NT is directly from God is astounding. This thinking not only belittles the scholars and believers that adhere to the belief that the NT came directly from God, but more importantly it belittles our creator. Ehrman does a fantastic job of writing of producing work that is several things rolled into one. For a beginning, it is historical, that is, a history lesson in and of itself. As a scholarly work I find it very well researched. Finally I find it an excellent example of critical thinking. The funny thing is that Ehrman has created his own cottage industry of publications that attempt to dispel his writings. While I can't say I have read all of them, I have read a good many. They do a good job of countering each of Ehrman's assessments. Taken together, the reader comes out at the end a much more knowledgeable person. I highly recommend this book. I think it would serve the reader well to look at some of the other books that counter his claims. A well-rounded reader is always a benefit to society at large. Michael L. Gooch, Author of Wingtips with Spurs
PrairieBison More than 1 year ago
I thought this was an excellent depiction of the struggling Church at the beginning of the Christian era. If you've ever wondered why there seemed to be so many conflicting statements between verses of books ostensibly by the same author then this book helps explain how that could have happened. Those who still believe of the infallibility of scripture will have a difficult time reading that Paul only authored about half the books that are generally ascribed to him of that there were no works by the actual disciples in the New Testament. So, who really wrote the books in which are the words so many try to live by? The answer may surprise you. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book uncovers the contradictions, errors, and plain old lies found in the bible with devastating logic and accuracy. A must read for anyone who wants to know the truth about religion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent book. It paints a good picture of the literary climate during the times when the gospels were written. It offers a fair and balanced view of the bible's authors for the general reader, with copious notes for those desiring further study. I have already ordered three more of Ehrman's books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of several books by the author on the subject of the accuracy, consistency and writing of the New Testament. I generally enjoy them though I don't agree with all of his interpretations. What I like is that he gives facts that let the reader interpret things differently. In this book the part I liked best was the part about the epistles since it had more new information for me than the stuff about the gospels.
ShoshannaNC More than 1 year ago
Interesting, with some information worth following up on. I don't just 'believe' stuff like this - have to check it out for myself. But the author offers some good places to look and some thought-provoking things to think about. I've read some of his other works and have found that he tends to think along a straight line, so he misses some things. But he seems to be well-intentioned and not trying to dissuade people from their faith.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a Christian i was really impressed with the book. It was an eye opener. I remember finding questionable scriptures and interpretations when in my teens. I was a ardent researcher and saw many contradictions. I will now read his next book on the subject.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very repetitive, a little boring
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Gale_Tenney More than 1 year ago
What I liked about the book was it gave me facts I could use in talking with my "the Bible is innerrant" friends to show that the Bible does indeed have errors and it does indeed contrdict itself. That is what makes the Bible believable. If it had no errors, then it would not be an authentic book. That is why I believe the Bible to contain the word of God. Inerrantists must not allow the Bible to be a human book, because then they would not know where the errors began and where they ended, and then they trully would be in a hell of a mess. Gale Tenney
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