Did Jesus Exist? Bart Ehrman Says Yes, But His Jesus Is Kind of Lame

Did Jesus Exist? Cover Art - Available on Hardcover Softcover Kindle Unabridged Audiobook MP3 CD

by Ryan on May 1, 2012

The search for the “Historical Jesus” has been ongoing from the structured quest of Albert Schweitzer on down to the scrutiny and analysis of the 1990s Jesus Seminar gurus to the conspiracy mythicists of today. New Testament scholar Bart Ehrman weighs in with Did Jesus Exist?: The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth, a book designed to bring an end to the wild theories while adding his own spin on the Jesus of history — most notably “Jesus did exist. He simply was not the person that most believers today think he was.”

For someone who gave up being a Christian long ago, Bart Ehrman knows the New Testament through and through and explains it in a captivating way. Although not quite the “historical detective story” that Ehrman trumps it up to be, his book is an easy read written (it seems) with study and discussion groups in mind. If you are planning to use this book in a group study you might want to tone down the expectations of readers expecting Dan Brown’ish revelations as Ehrman’s Jesus turns out to be rather ordinary.

The book is divided into three sections. Part One offers insight into “Evidence for the Historical Jesus” with Gospel/Christian and Non-Christian sources that offer data for the historicity of Jesus. It’s quickly apparent that Part Two is the true reason for Ehrman’s effort as he strikes down claim after claim of the current Jesus Did Not Exist conspirators, the mythicists. And finally, Ehrman ends the book with a section that answers the question: well, if Jesus did indeed exist, who was he? Get ready for a miracle-less, old material spouting, apocalyptic prophet who got the date of the End Times completely wrong. Again, Ehrman is not a Jesus freak, but his process and method of discovering his findings are fascinating and offer topics for wonderful discussion.

Bart Ehrman Interview with Homebrewed Christianity Podcast
More Bart Ehrman Interviews, Articles, and Book Reviews AND A FOUR HOUR DEBATE(!) on Whether the New Testament Offers a Reliable Portrait of the Historical Jesus.

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