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Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium
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Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  409 ratings  ·  37 reviews
This text argues controversially that Jesus, like many of his later followers, proclaimed that God was soon to intervene in human affairs and bring all of history to a screeching halt. Through a careful evaluation of the New Testament Gospels and other surviving sources, including the more recently discovered Gospels of Thomas and Peter, the author attempts to show why Jes ...more
Hardcover, 1st edition, 274 pages
Published September 23rd 1999 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published January 1st 1999)
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Taylor
Turns out, Historical Jesus books become bestsellers the same way How to Care for Baby books do: by pushing some new, but eccentric and implausible line, against the familiar currents of common sense and expert opinion. Bart Ehrman performs a great service by informing us lay readers of the established scholarly consensus concerning the historical Jesus, notwithstanding the various idiosyncratic depictions in the bulk of the popular literature on the subject. Briefly, Jesus did not proclaim hims ...more
Huyen
I’ve always been semi-interested in religion. Interested enough to have many conversations and debates about it, but not enough to read any thorough book on it. Not even the Bible. And admit it, most of the time, books on religion are quite dry and intense, like you need to know lots of the details and stories before you can even make sense of what they’re trying to argue about. Or the other end of the spectrum is militant bastards like Richard Dawkins, who I’m totally fed up with or apologists ...more
Justin Evans
I can forgive biblical scholars for writing impenetrable prose. They have to know about 8000 languages. They study the most studied book of all time, and the temptation to split hairs must be overwhelming. On the other hand, biblical scholars write about *the bible*, so they've got an enormous in-built audience that other humanities people can only dream of. So maybe they should actually take advantage of that?
Well, Ehrman does. Kudos to him; he writes clearly and says exactly what he thinks. W
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Emily Fuentes
Please note before reading: Though this is a historical look at Jesus (and the author claims it is not theological), it is inadvertently going to touch on theology just in the very nature of the title (suggesting Jesus is a prophet rather than the Messiah/God). So know this before going into it- as a Christian myself, I like to either have my beliefs challenged or confirmed and read differing view points to be a more well-rounded and open-minded human. Just a bit of what to expect, so you know i ...more
David
It is important to be selective with Bart Ehrman books, since he has the tendency to write the same book over and over in different forms. However, this is an early one, and he does an excellent job in setting out his understanding of the historical Jesus. If you are a believing Christian, you should know going in that this is not written from a pro-Christian or anti-Christian point of view. Ehrman writes as a secular historian. In my view, it is not a threat to anyone's faith. If anything, he i ...more
Ben
Discovering the historical Jesus is pertinent to the development of one's faith. But is this really Him? Bart D. Ehrman argues that Jesus was no more than an apocalyptic prophet of the first century; no different than the several men who have claimed the imminent end of the current world order in our own time. His historical methodology is reasonably irrefutable. His logic and critical assessments of our available sources in reconstructing a reasonable image of Jesus is solid.

I have no illusions
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Don
For anyone interested in trying to distinguish the historical Jesus from the Christ of Faith, I'd highly recommend this book. Bart Ehrman is a wonderful writer. His ideas are expressed in a manner that makes them easy to understand.

Ehrman's whole book is built around a single thesis: we can best understand the historical Jesus as a failed, apocalypticist, whose every action and teaching were to wake people up to the immanent dawning of the kingdon of God.

Ehrman's view is not universally accepte
...more
Tori4
Professor Ehrman writes with characteristic wit and clarity. Within this book he presents a fascinating portrait of the historical Jesus, taking care to support his assertions with evidence drawn both from non Christian literary works, (the Dead Sea Scrolls, Tacitus’ Annals, Josephus’ Jewish Antiquities,) and, from the early Christian texts themselves. He concludes that Jesus is best understood as a Jewish apocalyptic prophet who fully expected that a cataclysmic final judgment, (brought by a th ...more
Arthur George
I found this book both very readable yet well grounded in the scholarship, and overall a fascinating read. It was well-focused, analyzing the important issues without going into unnecessary digressions, and about the right length. From my own standpoint as a historian, Ehrman's treatment of the subject from the perspective of the historian's craft was a breath of fresh air, as it was unburdened by theological (or atheistic) bias or agendas. I would have liked to see more about the apocalyptic in ...more
Khenpo Gurudas
The publisher calls this book "highly accessible", but I am afraid I would call it trite and baseless.

Ehrman lacks the scholarship, background and foundational appreciation of theological anthropology, which one might find in the books by contemporary scholars, including John Dominic Crossan, Marcus Borg and others.

It would seem that Professor Ehrman possesses little appreciation for, or knowledge of the Aramaic texts that preceded the horribly mistranslated Greek and Latin interpretations of
...more
Alford Wayman
If you read this book before you have read Ehrman's "Did Jesus Exist" then you are in for some what of a treat as to how the historical Jesus might have been viewed by his followers and the type of environment and world view he originated his theology from and those who may have influenced his teachings. Published in 2001 Bart uses many sections from this in other books he has written. This text was more about Jesus the person and his message and who hos followers later thought he was rather the ...more
Lage von Dissen
The majority of scholars believe that Jesus was an apocalypticist, that is, an apocalyptic prophet that was preaching about the imminent end to come within the generation of his followers. Jesus preached about the imminent coming of the Son of Man, the ultimate cosmic judge who would establish a new physical kingdom on Earth, making his twelve disciples the representatives of the twelve tribes of Israel (although one of these twelve, Judas Iscariot, killed himself shortly after these predictions ...more
Collin
I've officially read too many of Ehrman's books, which is a problem because there's significant overlap in each of them. I suspect that I would have liked this one more (say, 4 stars) if I hadn't already read 1/3 of the material several times before. Still, this is pretty solid.

Here he uses textual criticism methods to show what Jesus is likely to have actually said/done, and then he tries to show that these things make the most sense when viewed from the perspective of Jesus as an apocalyptic p
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Jacob Aitken
Despite being written by an apostate, it is not entirely worthless. Here is why it is annoying, though: Ehrman starts explaining concepts which NT studies have known for 30 years, yet he is acting like he just discovered them and that they are really dangerous to Christianity (they aren't). Further, he really does believe, or so how he writes, that anyone who disagrees with him is a total moron who thinks the Left Behind novels are real (he comes very close to saying that).

While Ehrman is correc
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Andrew
First off, this book isn't for anyone who is uncomfortable with having some important aspects of his or her Christian faith challenged. But, anyone curious about who Jesus was historically or how the Bible was written will be fascinated by Ehrman's orderly arguments and his clear and, often, amusing, writing style. The Gospels present us with a Jesus who believes that the Kingdom of God is soon to arrive, within a generation. This might sound shocking, but, in fact, I was recently grappling with ...more
Kate
This is a good and well organized outline, based on history and the criteria of historical scholarship, of who Jesus of Nazareth actually was and what he actually believed. Ehrman makes a strong case that Jesus was an apocalyptic Jewish prophet-hence the title-who did not himself claim to be divine and who imagined the end of the world as he knew it would happen in his lifetime, creating a new, just era on earth. In contrast, the Christ, based on mythological composites and archetypes, was merge ...more
Dave Schey
I enjoyed all of Ehrman's books and lectures. In this book, he proposes that Jesus can be best understood as an apocalyptic prophet--a man convinced that the world would end dramatically within the lifetime of his apostles and that a new kingdom would be created on earth.
Jared Mcnabb
Basically a regurgitation of past historical Jesus views. Nothing exciting or new here, and there are multiple inconsistencies in Erhman's method. If you want to read a good book on Jesus and apocalyptic, read NT Wright's "Jesus and the Victory of God.
Bworth
It's evident that the author has done his homework. While the conclusions he comes to may not be the most popular among the Christian community, that does not mean they should be ignored. This book should be read by anyone interested in Christianity.
Emily
I included this book in my Biography Project (reading lots of biographies in 2008) because I was wondering what it would be like to write a biography of a person who a)lived so long ago, and b)has come be so freighted in many peoples' minds. The answer, as it turns out, is that you can't really say anything for sure, and there has to be pages and pages of disclaimers for even the smallest assertion of fact. Which got a little tiresome, I must admit.

The book was pretty fascinating, though, for th
...more
Ashley
Ehrman is a great academic and scholar. He is also a wonderful writer. This book, although different than the one from borg I have also read, is just as good of a look into the historical jesus.
Holly
This was certainly an interesting read, although it wasn't quite what I'd expected.

As always, Ehrman writes in his clear-cut, highly educational style. I could tell this was one of his earlier books, as it didn't seem quite as polished as later works I've read. Also, and this is just a complaint about the publishing itself, it has TINY font. Really..much smaller than usual. Which just seemed odd to me.

I did find it to be an interesting read, particularly the sections devoted to analyzing the his
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Billie Pritchett
The basic argument of Bart Ehrman's Jesus is that he was a prophet who taught the endtimes were coming during his time--sometime during the first century. And according to Ehrman, that's what Paul the apostle thought and several other Christian groups have been claiming the same since. Ehrman thinks it is easy to see that Jesus preached a coming apocalypse by looking at his words in the gospels. Time after time, Jesus appears to be preaching the coming of a heavenly kingdom on Earth that his aud ...more
Fox
While this book was quite informative it got rather more repetitive than it needed to be. Bart D. Ehrman's hypothesis of Jesus of Nazareth being an apocalyptic prophet is one that is largely regarded as accurate in historical circles. Other books, notably Zealot did a better job of explaining this stance in an interesting and compelling way. So, while I enjoyed this book I feel it could have been more entertaining and less repetitive than it ended up being.
Michael
This book presents Jesus as a millennial prophet, based on his words in the New Testament and conditions in the Middle East during the first century. I recommend this book to anyone interested in understanding more about Jesus of Nazareth.
Wes Hunter
This is an interesting book. It gives you some good insight into the historical Jesus. My only complaint concerning it is that Jesus' apocalyptic nature or lack thereof is a matter of some considerable debate, and Ehrman doesn't really do the other side of the debate justice. I guess I expect that sort of thing from people writing from the religious side of the debate, not teh secular/scholarly. Still, it's interesting and informative, and worth a read for people who don't just believe everythin ...more
Kent
Perhaps the most influential book I've ever read regarding the life of the Jewish teacher living in first century Galilee. Dr. Ehrman clearly,rationally, and most importantly, persuasively builds the case that Jesus is best understood as a Jewish apocalyptic prophet that was convinced that the Kingdom of God was coming within his lifetime. In other words, the man that lived and died in the first century was not the one that was created by his followers as in the gospels, especially in the Gospel ...more
Benjamin Knoll
The first part of this book gave a clear, concise overview to the methodology of scholarly, Biblical-based textual analysis. The second part used this methodology to argue that the historical Jesus was an apocalyptic prophet who believed that the END was going to happen very, very soon (i.e. 30-35 AD) and that he would be the king of the Kingdom of God that would be ushered in.

It was a very good introduction to scholarly analysis of the Bible and how scholars view religious texts. It was also v
...more
Sean
Ehrman paints an incredibly informative portrait of what the historical Jesus was probably like. The enitre book is full of extremely convincing evidence that Jesus (like many other first century Jews) believed that the end of the world was coming very soon - possibly even in his own lifetime. I would recommend this book to anyone who would like to know more about what the historical Jesus was probably like, and what he probably believed.
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Bart D. Ehrman is the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill. He came to UNC in 1988, after four years of teaching at Rutgers University. At UNC he has served as both the Director of Graduate Studies and the Chair of the Department of Religious Studies.

A graduate of Wheaton College (Illinois), Professor Ehrman received both his Masters of Div
...more
More about Bart D. Ehrman...
Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (and Why We Don't Know About Them) Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew God's Problem: How the Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important Question - Why We Suffer Forged: Writing in the Name of God

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