Imagine Learning the Bible from a Fact-Driven Teacher
Oct 12, 2009
In my hands as a cradle Catholic, comes Bart D. Ehrman's 4th Edition, complete with his magnifying glass analysis of the writings of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul and leading me on a new journey to literally dozens of other early Christian writings that did not make the cut to get into current Christian Bibles through the Apocrypha that can be found in Bibles with the Apocrypha..
First of all, the book's format is easy to read with boxes and clear ideas of what to expect, lots of color pictures and his brilliant glimpses into the past boxes. Ehrman makes going through the New Testament a journey that you enjoy, that you think about, that you look at with new eyes, that you hear with new ears, that makes you see Jesus in four very different lights. Each one of the evangelists gives you a different Jesus. Each one of the evangelists has a different agenda. And no one can really prove without a shadow of a doubt exactly who any of the four evangelists were, because not one of them actually identified himself or herself in the record left for posterity.
I found engaging and compelling Ehrman's comparisons, differences, pointing out what's missing, pointing out historical facts, stating the problems that he encountered when he tried to support what he read of the four evangelists.
Most importantly, Ehrman's writing is non-judgmental. He is first a scholar. He is second a rigorous historian. He is third someone who wants to make his readers think, so much so, that he actually has boxes that ask, What Do You Think?
As one who has been a liturgical minister for over 30 years teaching the Bible, I found Ehrman's study of the New Testament a huge eye-opener. He led me to think about and be curious about things that never entered my mind before. He led me into the mystery and out of the mystery and sometimes left me in the mystery to think myself out of it, because he didn't have the answer either. In fact, Ehrman is more about questions than answers.
Still, Ehrman gives you the necessary information to be more aware of the times in which the early Christian writers wrote, the times in which Jesus lived and the context of all the journeys back into the Old Testament that the New Testament contains.
Think you know your Bible? I challenge you to out-know Ehrman! If you do, please let me know.
When I am not writing or painting or teaching, I am reading, literally hundreds of non-fiction books every year. Why? Because I love learning from other people's journeys. Authors work hard to bring … more
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