Monday, June 27, 2011
[Book Review] FORGED by Bart D. Ehrman
Philip reviews FORGED: WRITING IN THE NAME OF GOD: WHY THE BIBLE'S AUTHORS ARE NOT WHO WE THINK THEY ARE, by Bart D. Ehrman (HarperOne, 2011)
In Forged, noted New Testament scholar Bart D. Ehrman presents some seemingly convincing and compelling arguments that explain why some of the books of the New Testament are falsely attributed to authors who did not write them. Ehrman rejects the claim by some scholars that an author writing in the name of another author was a common and accepted practice in ancient times. On the contrary, he says that this was a practice condemned in antiquity and that an author making a false authorial claim was thought to be deceitful and his work was considered a “lie.” Ehrman thinks it is important that people know that many of the books in the New Testament were, in his words, “forged.”
Many conservative and fundamentalist Christians would undoubtedly take issue with Ehrman’s views and contentions. In this book, Ehrman also discusses gospels, letters and other writings that were rejected by the early Church and did not become a part of the canon of the New Testament. Many readers may not know that many of these writings still exist. While rejecting his main arguments, even conservative and fundamentalist Christians could find Ehrman’s discussions of these non-canonical writings fascinating. This is a thought-provoking, controversial book, to say the least, but one lucidly written and very interesting to read.
Philip Williams, Cordova Branch