Review: Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible & Why We Don’t Know About Them by Bart D. Ehrman

Published by HarperOne
Released March 1, 2009
292 pages
Where I got it: The academic library where I work
Rating: 4 stars

This isn’t my first exposure to Ehrman’s work.  I previously listened to his Great Courses cds entitled “The Historical Jesus,” where some of the issues raised in this book were also brought up.  I should also be upfront by saying that I was not raised in a religious household–quite the opposite.  I enjoy learning about religion and the Bible from a historical and literary perspective.  This book would be a good introduction for people like me: it isn’t too heavy, is written in easy going prose, and touches on a variety of historical and literary aspects of the Bible, enabling an interested person to continue to seek further information.

I can see why a deeply fundamental Christian would not like this book.  Ehrman calls into question much of what is now considered to be the orthodoxy Christian viewpoint, and tries to dissect why so many of those who attend seminary and learn about the Bible’s contradictions go to their parishioners and say nothing of it.  He shows that the Bible isn’t the word of God, straight from His mouth to the page, but a document that was written after the fact, over a long period of time, by differing Christian sects with differing ideas of what it actually means to be a Christian.

I really appreciated that Ehrman writes as an expert for the non-expert general reader class.  His arguments are clear, even if they sometimes gloss over the fine details, in order to deliver the big picture to readers.  The Bible is one of the most important works ever written, so I recommend this book to anybody who would like a better understanding of it, whether Christian or not.

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