Sunday, December 27, 2009

Jesus Interrupted

Jesus, Interrupted by Bart D Ehrman

Summary: Ehrman is a New Testament scholar who has published multiple books discussing things that are well-known among scholars of the Bible but are less known to lay people. This book discusses the irreconcilable differences, how the books of the NT were chosen, and what that means.

I didn't know much of what he presents as I've mostly had a devotional approach to the Bible rather than historical-critical, to use his terms. But actually this has provided new encouragement for studying the Bible next year as I take a more in depth look.

A point he mentioned that I was completely unaware of, is that the Bible is much less of a focus outside of America. The conservative evangelical community focuses on it, saying it is the inerrant word of God and everyone should read and study it but outside people are more focused on worshiping God through community and less through a book. Personally I like to meld the two as I always like to supplement things with books and I love reading.

Lastly I found the book very repetitive. He mentioned many of the same ideas multiple times. I may not be a Bible scholar but I'm not dumb and I don't need everything repeatedly spelled out for me. It also seemed as if he was promoting his other books with frequent references and footnotes to them. This may have been because he discussed the point he was making in this book more thoroughly there but it turned me off as if he expected me to shell out for another book (admittedly I checked this one out through the library as I probably would with any of his other books.) For example, he mentions that he became an agnostic (from a conservative evangelical) not because of these contradictions but because of the problem of suffering, which he just happened to write a book about.

Overall: 3.5/5 While the book is an easy read and may share new information, it may be more of a skimming book for you and not one I would recommend to buy.

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