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Book Jesus Before the Gospels: How the Earliest Christians Remembered, Changed, and Invented Their Stories of the Savior

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Jesus Before the Gospels: How the Earliest Christians Remembered, Changed, and Invented Their Stories of the Savior

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Jesus Before the Gospels: How the Earliest Christians Remembered, Changed, and Invented Their Stories of the Savior.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    James a Gray Professor and Chair of Religious Studies Bart D Ehrman(Author)

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The bestselling author of Misquoting Jesus, one of the most renowned and controversial Bible scholars in the world today examines oral tradition and its role in shaping the stories about Jesus we encounter in the New Testament and ultimately in our understanding of Christianity.

Throughout much of human history, our most important stories were passed down orally including the stories about Jesus before they became written down in the Gospels. In this fascinating and deeply researched work, leading Bible scholar Bart D. Erhman investigates the role oral history has played in the New Testament how the telling of these stories not only spread Jesus message but helped shape it.

A master explainer of Christian history, texts, and traditions, Ehrman draws on a range of disciplines, including psychology and anthropology, to examine the role of memory in the creation of the Gospels. Explaining how oral tradition evolves based on the latest scientific research, he demonstrates how the act of telling and retelling impacts the story, the storyteller, and the listener crucial insights that challenge our typical historical understanding of the silent period between when Jesus lived and died and when his stories began to be written down.

As he did in his previous books on religious scholarship, debates on New Testament authorship, and the existence of Jesus of Nazareth, Ehrman combines his deep knowledge and meticulous scholarship in a compelling and eye-opening narrative that will change the way we read and think about these sacred texts."

Ehrman provides an intriguing overview of memory studies and introduces readers to a variety of important pioneers and studies. . . . Ehrman concludes that the historical Jesus did not make history; the remembered Jesus did. An intriguing new angle on the well-worn field of historical Jesus studies. --Kirkus Review"An intriguing and entertaining take on the formation of the Gospels. --Library Journal"With his typical humor, passion, and vivacity, Ehrman explores the ways that memory shapes, distorts, changes, and preserves the stories of Jesus passed along by the Christian community. Ehrman s provocative book raises engaging questions that drive readers back to the sources of our information about Jesus. --"Publishers Weekly""One can see why Ehrman is so widely known and respected by so many people. Here Ehrman takes a completely different approach from his previous books. This book is a new approach to the study of the beginnings of Christianity. --"Association for Mormon Letters""" Jesus Before the Gospels" is a scholarly yet readable study of Jesus and the Gospels. Ehrman s scholarship remains unmatched. Ehrman unveils several unexplored aspects of the life of Jesus and the Gospels. Everybody with an interest in Christianity and religion in general will find this fascinating book useful. --"Washington Book Review""With "Jesus Before the Gospels," Bart D. Ehrman has written a thought-provoking book prompted by his interest as a historian in the various traditions about Jesus. Enjoyable to read --"America" Magazine"Our secular culture continues to be profoundly impacted by biblical influences - including fundamentalist biblical influences - and this controversial book raises some important questions. --"State of Belief" Radio"Why buy this book if you ve already got lots of volumes about Jesus? This book is something new. You ll discover people in this book that you would never encounter in other religious books. There s nothing like this 300-page exploration of our earliest human memories of Jesus. --Read The Spirit"Ehrman is one of the foremost voices in the historical Jesus debates. In this, the latest of a long list of influential books, he combines his ideas about Jesus with cutting-edge research from cognitive psychology, cultural anthropology, and sociology. He more than succeeds in achieving his goal. Highly recommended. --Spirit Connection NY"Author Bart Ehrman tackles a central question for scholars of the New Testament-- the accuracy of the text. --NPR's Interfaith Voices"In his latest book, controversial New Testament scholar Bart Ehrman applies new scientific understanding of how memory works to the gospels. --WYPR"Were the authors of the gospels who told fanciful stories about Jesus making stuff up, or did they have faulty memories, or both? Bart Ehrman, one the most renowned and controversial religious scholars in the world, tackles the issue of Jesus and memory. --Progressive Spirit Podcast"Ehrman is known to his legion of readers as a scholar who has spent his academic career debunking long-held assumptions of traditional Christian belief. "Jesus Before the Gospels" applies contemporary memory science to the oral traditions of the early Christians. --Religion News Service"A fascinating look at how memory affects the stories we tell and even our recollection of history. --"Arkansas Democrat-Gazette""No one makes it easier to study the Bible than Ehrman. "Jesus Before the Gospels" is essential. Ehrman presents a much needed, brilliant argument-one that challenges unsubstantiated assumptions about the reliability of the Gospels. --David Kyle Johnson, PsychologyToday.com's 'A Logical Take' blog""Ehrman provides an intriguing overview of memory studies and introduces readers to a variety of important pioneers and studies. . . . Ehrman concludes that 'the historical Jesus did not make history; the remembered Jesus did.' An intriguing new angle on the well-worn field of 'historical Jesus' studies."--Kirkus Review"An intriguing and entertaining take on the formation of the Gospels."--Library Journal"With his typical humor, passion, and vivacity, Ehrman explores the ways that memory shapes, distorts, changes, and preserves the stories of Jesus passed along by the Christian community. Ehrman's provocative book raises engaging questions that drive readers back to the sources of our information about Jesus."--Publishers Weekly"One can see why Ehrman is so widely known and respected by so many people. Here Ehrman takes a completely different approach from his previous books. This book is a new approach to the study of the beginnings of Christianity."--Association for Mormon Letters"Jesus Before the Gospels is a scholarly yet readable study of Jesus and the Gospels. Ehrman's scholarship remains unmatched. Ehrman unveils several unexplored aspects of the life of Jesus and the Gospels. Everybody with an interest in Christianity and religion in general will find this fascinating book useful."--Washington Book Review"With Jesus Before the Gospels, Bart D. Ehrman has written a thought-provoking book prompted by his interest as a historian in the various traditions about Jesus. Enjoyable to read "--America Magazine"Our secular culture continues to be profoundly impacted by biblical influences - including fundamentalist biblical influences - and this controversial book raises some important questions."--State of Belief Radio"Why buy this book if you've already got lots of volumes about Jesus? This book is something new. You'll discover people in this book that you would never encounter in other religious books. There's nothing like this 300-page exploration of our earliest human memories of Jesus."--Read The Spirit"Ehrman is one of the foremost voices in the historical Jesus debates. In this, the latest of a long list of influential books, he combines his ideas about Jesus with cutting-edge research from cognitive psychology, cultural anthropology, and sociology. He more than succeeds in achieving his goal. Highly recommended."--Spirit Connection NY"Author Bart Ehrman tackles a central question for scholars of the New Testament-- the accuracy of the text."--NPR's Interfaith Voices"In his latest book, controversial New Testament scholar Bart Ehrman applies new scientific understanding of how memory works to the gospels."--WYPR"Were the authors of the gospels who told fanciful stories about Jesus making stuff up, or did they have faulty memories, or both? Bart Ehrman, one the most renowned and controversial religious scholars in the world, tackles the issue of Jesus and memory."--Progressive Spirit Podcast"Ehrman is known to his legion of readers as a scholar who has spent his academic career debunking long-held assumptions of traditional Christian belief. Jesus Before the Gospels applies contemporary memory science to the oral traditions of the early Christians."--Religion News Service"A fascinating look at how memory affects the stories we tell and even our recollection of history."--Arkansas Democrat-Gazette"No one makes it easier to study the Bible than Ehrman. Jesus Before the Gospels is essential. Ehrman presents a much needed, brilliant argument-one that challenges unsubstantiated assumptions about the reliability of the Gospels."--David Kyle Johnson, PsychologyToday.com's 'A Logical Take' blog

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Review Text

  • By A A Johnson on 9 November 2016

    Very good. This book combines a psychological approach to the study of memory with a consideration of how the gospel stories may have been passed on during the 40 years between the death of Jesus and the writing of the first gospel, Mark. I am interested in this topic and I enjoyed the book but if you believe the gospels are literally true and written by first hand eye-witnesses who actually knew Jesus then you will find much to disagree with and probably not enjoy it as much as I did.

  • By Stephane on 9 May 2016

    This is Ehrman’s latest book challenging the historical reliability of the Gospels and the sub-title sums up the main thesis of the book. Ehrman's arguments are interesting but he he always tends to overstate his claim and to underplay the evidence againt his case. He also tends to have a "Da Vinci code" approach, i.e. "they are hiding this to you but I'm telling you that true scholars know this...". He is usually more balanced in his more scholarly works (like his revision of Metzger's "The Text of the New Testament").In this particular book Ehrman explores some new areas like cognitive psychology or memory theory but his central claim is that Christianity was an uncontrolled (and therefore unreliable) "oral culture", a claim he doesn't and cannot prove. I suppose that people who take it for granted that the Gospels are not historically accurate will find what they want here. Evangelical Christians will stick with Richard Bauckham and simply ignore this book.What puzzles me about Ehrmann is that he has basically been writing the same kind of book since 2005. Each book is written from a slightly different angle but tells the same story: I was once an evangelical christian but I've now discovered that the Gospels are not a reliable account of the historical Jesus and true scholars agree with me. I just wonder how many more books Ehrman will have to write on this before he can let that whole issue to rest. But maybe this kind of books sell well, especially at Easter time...

  • By Roy J Squires on 30 January 2017

    How can Ehrman know how people's memory empirically functioned back in the late centuries BCE and early centuries CE ?

  • By Guest on 14 April 2016

    Good book

  • By C. N. Robinson on 11 May 2016

    A terrific read. Makes you wonder how anyone can believe the gospels or anything in the Bible given the unreliability of the much-vaunted oral tradition - on which the reports of Jesus relied for their first forty years. As Ehrman demonstrates, word of mouth produced only 'distorted memories' and unadulterated make-believe. And this is (still) the foundation of the Christian faith! Readable, engaging and persuasive, this is Ehrman back on form.Note to publisher: this title needs to be more widely available; when I ordered it (in April 2016) it was available only as an import in the UK.


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