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Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible & Why We Don't Know About Them

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  8,221 ratings  ·  653 reviews
Picking up where Bible expert Bart Ehrman's New York Times bestseller Misquoting Jesus left off, Jesus, Interrupted addresses the larger issue of what the New Testament actually teaches—& it's not what most people think. Here Ehrman reveals what scholars have unearthed:
•The authors of the New Testament have diverging views about who Jesus was & how salvation works
•The New
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published February 23rd 2009 by HarperCollins (NY) (first published February 20th 2009)
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Bonnie It is unfortunate that a "man of the clothe" - a Christian minister, would admit that he is so threatened by the authored writings of Dr. Ehrman, who …moreIt is unfortunate that a "man of the clothe" - a Christian minister, would admit that he is so threatened by the authored writings of Dr. Ehrman, who is perhaps one of the most renowned, and certainly most published "Doctors of the University" that he would not read what Dr. Ehrman has to say, and what he has discovered in his many years as a scholar. It is my belief that Jesus would, indeed, have read Dr. Ehrman's books, and with an open mind. (And if Jesus is as enlightened as the Church believes he was, then he would enjoy learning what is revealed in them.)(less)

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Mar 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
First off, I think it’s important to dismiss any of the common misunderstandings about Bart Ehrman and this book. The book is not a diatribe. It does not set out to debunk Christianity. Ehrman, in my opinion, is not angry, condescending, or uncaring in this book – quite the opposite, actually. Ehrman is not asking that you abandon your faith. I personally feel, having read the book, that Ehrman has served us up a wonderful tool, and has provided us with a great opportunity for discussion that co ...more
May 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
I have written elsewhere in angry fashion about a crisis of faith I experienced a couple of years ago. I have emerged from the crisis and entered something of a renaissance in my own faith. I haven’t given up on everything I once believed but I also won’t pretend that the faith I now hold is merely a stronger version of what I was taught to believe growing up. To be sure, my faith now is much stronger than what I was taught to believe, but it’s also much more thoughtful, intelligent, egalitarian ...more
Oct 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion, history
Here’s a question for you. How important is it that the Jesus of the Bible and the historical Jesus are more or less the same guy? Or even better, how important is it that the ideas Jesus was trying to spread by his ministry are the same ideas that have come to be followed in the various Christian churches?

There was a time when I would have thought that all Christians would have wanted to answer both of these questions by saying that it was fundamentally important to their faith that what they c
Stephanie *Extremely Stable Genius*
I’m going to catch Hell for this………..

The Bible is the most boring book ever written. Ever.

This book has some very interesting observations and conclusions, but the author admitted he was delving into the minutia of the Bible but that he just couldn’t help himself, he then stated “I’m going to stop that now.” Soon after a few cogent points, he was right back at it. God love him.

Bart D. Ehrman knows his stuff when it comes to religion and the Bible, in particular. The guy has more degrees on reli
Aug 21, 2013 rated it did not like it
I read the first half of this book with friends and then gave up on it. I felt like Erhman consistently took advantage of his credentials and readers' ignorance to make claims that would not stand up to rigorous inquiry. He completely dismisses centuries of scholarship and the entire discipline of hermeneutics when he claims all sorts of "contradictions" in the Bible. Does he really think devoted Christians who believe the Bible have not noticed these things before? That Calvin wrote his institu ...more
Jan Rice
I have read several of Bart Ehrman's books previously, or listened to his lecture series: The New Testament (Great Courses series), From Jesus to Constantine: A History of Early Christianity (Parts 1 and 2) (Great Courses), Lost Christianities, and now the present book. For some reason Goodreads isn't showing many of his books, and I'm not up for laboriously adding them tonight. This is surprising, for surely he has a wide readership. Bart Ehrman is one of those writers about whom it is said he ...more
Literary Chic
Sep 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely fantastic! I've read Bart Ehrman before, but I believe this is my favorite so far.

In Jesus Interrupted, the author looked at the Bible, specifically the life of Jesus from a historic view rather than a devotional one. He showed contradictions and fallacies in the New Testament. By his own account, he doesn't reveal anything that isn't already being taught in most seminaries. Unfortunately, the history rarely makes it to the believers.

I tend to agree with Dr. Ehrman's final remarks tha
K.D. Absolutely
Nov 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: religion, thematic, expose
An eye-opener. This book points out the inconsistencies in the Bible. But it is written positively or with no malice of putting down one's faith. It just makes the reader aware of those inconsistencies so one can search for truth be it in further research by reading more books or internet entries or, in my case, search from the bottom of my heart on those deep-seated beliefs that no matter how blunt and thought-provoking the exposes are, what prevails is that belief that I have since I was a lit ...more
Mar 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
Christians, here is what Dr. Ehrman will do for you. He'll pick you up at the airport on his own time and with his own car. He'll put your bags in the trunk, engage you with small talk, and show you around town so you're comfortable. He knows what's going through your head, but once the surroundings are more familiar, maybe you'll loosen up. Then he'll explain why we have the Procedure. He knows it's scary, but by now you'll know that a lot of people have been through it. As you arrive at the fa ...more
Jun 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
So when I bought this book on a whim who knows how long ago, I expected it to be a collection of interesting contradictions in Biblical statements. I thought that Ehrman might do something like contrast 1 Corinthians 14:33 ("For God is not a God of disorder but of peace") with Matthew 10:34 ("I come not to bring peace, but to bring a sword"). Then we'd all get a good laugh out of the ridiculous of it all.

Jesus, Interrupted is not a book about these surface level contradictions. In fact, it was f
Kevin Stilley
Dec 02, 2017 rated it did not like it
Miscellaneous thoughts I had while reading Ehrman’s book Jesus Interrupted:

1. I was disappointed, because I was expecting this book to make a challenging case against Jesus as the Christ that would require serious thought and reflection. Instead, I grew frustrated by Ehrman’s refusal to interact with the best answers to his conundrums or the writings of experts in the field that disagree with him. Instead, he parodies the ideas of the opposition and builds straw man arguments, but nowhere do I
Clif Hostetler
May 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
I recommend the review of this book by Trevor at the following link:

The following is my review written five months ago:
There is nothing new or revolutionary in this book for anyone who has studied bible in a mainline seminary or divinity school (or in my case, listened to Ehrman's lectures from the Teaching Company). The problem is that most ministers use the Bible only as a source of devotional material, and refrain from telling their parishioners about w
Aug 22, 2009 added it
Recommends it for: truth seekers
Once again Bart D. Ehrman has reminded me why I transferred out of Lancaster Bible College. "Jesus, Interrupted" is a summery of the Critical-Historical approach to the New Testament. This is opposed to the devotional studies approach espoused by nearly all evangelical churches. The Critical-Historical approach looks at the various books of the Bible as being historical documents existing separately, each written with a specific message for a specific audience. I.e. Paul's letter to the Church o ...more
Nov 04, 2011 rated it it was ok
Bart Ehrman, saddened by the misery in the world and deluged by factual discrepancies in the canon, succumbs to the "Historical Jesus" movement and sets out on a crusade to convert the unwashed masses to his newfound agnosticism. Previous reviewers of this book squabble about whether it's a diatribe or not; I'm not sure, but Ehrman doesn't score any points with his tone, style, or editing. I find his approach transparently pedantic: (1) point out differences between accounts in the Gospels, (2) ...more
Melissa Chung
Apr 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
I picked up this book because I was participating in a readathon that required Who, What, When, Where, Why and or How in the title. I literally typed in Why books into Goodreads and this one caught my eye from the list. One of my favorite classes in college was my Angels & Demons English class where we studied the sacred and the profane. I also had to watch Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ. Religion has always interested me in an academic way. I love learning the history about how religions we ...more
Aug 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
By far his best book.....until the last chapter. Before I explain why, I would like to put forward that I find Bart Ehrman by FAR the best of the newer agnostic authors. Much like myself, he know longer believes in the Christ or the bible, and yet he is not condescending or combative with those who are, unlike a Richard Dawkins who kills his own arguments for me when he attacks religions. However, This line in the last chapter killed it for me...

"Even now, as I type these words, I'm on a beach h
Apr 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I'm not an expert on the Bible, which is why I read this book, although I'd always been interested in the history of the Bible and early Christianity, which a lot of people also aren't very knowledgeable about. Many seem to think the Bible just dropped down from heaven in the form it is today and that the Christian religions of 2000 years ago were the same as today. Ehrman convinced me that he had quite a lot of expertise on the New Testament. I liked his delivery and was impressed with his rese ...more
Dec 22, 2009 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Terence by: Xmas gift from the Dad
Bart Ehrman is joining Jonathan Kirsch as a writer whose earlier books I admire and enjoyed but whose more recent works are largely rehashes and (worse) often poorly written and edited. Jesus, Interrupted doesnt' cover any territory not already covered in Ehrman's Misquoting Jesus or Lost Christianities. It also reads like Ehrman threw together his lecture notes - it's repetitive and slapdash. I could envision him using this to good effect in a lecture hall but as a book, the style has serious p ...more
Jacob Yates
Apr 25, 2020 rated it liked it
A lot to digest here, and a couple of disclaimers to start off... since I'm in no way an expert on the New Testament, I don't want to get into criticizing Ehrman's ideas, but more so how he presents them.
Ehrman also clarifies throughout the book is not to bring people away from their faith, but to present historical facts and give context to the forming of the New Testament (he says many of his professor friends agree with most of what is in this book and still consider themselves Christians).
Stephie Williams
Dec 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book is an assault on biblical inerrancy. The rationale for the book, given in its subtitle, is that churches do not generally offer their congregants the biblical-critical method of studying the Bible, and its results, which are well attested by the vast majority of biblical scholars of which Bart D. Ehrman is one. He also claims he has no intention of turning believers into nonbelievers and states that the results given in the book were not responsible for his agnosticism. It was the prob ...more
David S. T.
Jun 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion, favorites
Imagine if you tried to remove all of the later history of the bible, the views of inerrancy of scripture, the later theology, later tradition and then started to study the bible for the first time, looking for clues in the text, study the culture it was written in, treat it like any other surviving ancient document not the divine word of God, you'd probably come away with something like what is presented in this book. This book was a very good easy to read introduction to the historical critica ...more
Nov 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh man was this book good....

It's along the same vein as Misquoting Jesus, his previous book on the scribal mistakes of the NT. This book focuses more on the textual, political, and theological history of early Christianity and how these factors came to influence the orthodox views that we're familiar with today. Ehrman exposes a few very important issues and the impact they may have for us today.

A few of the issues that he brings up strike me particularly hard, and now that he's brought them u
Nov 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
I generally avoid the religion section of the bookstore, not for lack of interest but because of a general fear of accidentally picking something up that basically wants to preach one way or another. In that sense, it's not a lot different than the political aisle. Some years ago I stumbled into the work of Elaine Pagels and I liked several of her books. But with religion, most books are guilty until proven otherwise.

But I took a flyer on this one. I became familiar with Ehrman because he's one
Sep 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: novels, non-fiction
Had I read or been taught the bible from the perspective Bart D. Ehrman gives in Jesus Interrupted, I might still be a practicing Christian. But I was brought up a fundamentalist, a Northern Baptist. In that religion every word of the bible is inspired, the word of God himself, inerrant. So what does a smart kid do when he perceives contradictions and no religious leader can give him a good answer; chuck the religion. What sort of religion perpetrates such absolutism, but then contains such broa ...more
Jul 22, 2009 rated it liked it
This book explains to the general public some main points of the current consensus reached by modern scholarship on the New Testament, which approaches the subject historically and analyzes the texts and evidence with academic rigor. This historical-critical approach draws on 300 years of German and English-speaking Biblical scholarship, and it is taught in universities and in all but the most conservative seminaries and divinity schools in America and Western Europe. Virtually all pastors have ...more
Oct 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
Like many people, I had a vague picture of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John keeping journals of their everyday lives with Jesus and stapling them together to send them in to Random House for publication. Well, duh! Do you know who wrote the Bible? As it turns out, every seminary student learns in his first year of college that the 1st 4 books of the New Testament weren't written by MML&J at all, at least not the disciples, (though they could have been coincidentally 4 men with the same names.) And ...more
Trey Nowell
Jul 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book better than Misquoting Jesus actually. I like how Ehrman has respectable scholarship and reiterates other scholars would agree on the historical implications he has put forth. I reach the conclusions of many collegues he refers to often in his book, not to say his ideas for not believing are not resonable. This book points out many of the questions I have asked for years....did Nicea get it right with all the chosen books of the cannonical 27? What about other books like The ...more
John Martindale
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobook, religion
Seriously? I generally like Ehrman, but my gosh, he tried his utmost to ruin his credibility at the beginning of this book. Here we have a bible scholar, wanting to point out how after opening ones mind to the possibility of contradictions, they start popping up everywhere and an example he gave was:
JN 2:11 Water is turned into wine and called ‘the first sign’
JN 2:23 Tells us that many more signs followed this first sign
JN 4:54 Tells us that he later heals a centurion’s son and that this is th
Chungsoo J. Lee
May 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: all Christians
Recommended to Chungsoo by: NPR
Every Christians should read this book. “Have courage to read this book,” as Sartre said about Fanon's The Wretched Of The Earth. As Ehrman says, the book contains information which is nothing new. He only organized very lucidly the updated scholarly findings regarding the New Testament which are widely taught in the top 10 seminaries in the U.S.A. for the last 20 to 50 years. But American layman is completely in the dark due to pastors not teaching them in the Sunday schools about the historica ...more
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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

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“One of the most amazing and perplexing features of mainstream Christianity is that seminarians who learn the historical-critical method in their Bible classes appear to forget all about it when it comes time for them to be pastors. They are taught critical approaches to Scripture, they learn about the discrepancies and contradictions, they discover all sorts of historical errors and mistakes, they come to realize that it is difficult to know whether Moses existed or what Jesus actually said and did, they find that there are other books that were at one time considered canonical but that ultimately did not become part of Scripture (for example, other Gospels and Apocalypses), they come to recognize that a good number of the books of the Bible are pseudonymous (for example, written in the name of an apostle by someone else), that in fact we don't have the original copies of any of the biblical books but only copies made centuries later, all of which have been altered. They learn all of this, and yet when they enter church ministry they appear to put it back on the shelf. For reasons I will explore in the conclusion, pastors are, as a rule, reluctant to teach what they learned about the Bible in seminary.” 79 likes
“[P]eople need to use their intelligence to evaluate what they find to be true and untrue in the Bible. This is how we need to live life generally. Everything we hear and see we need to evaluate—whether the inspiring writings of the Bible or the inspiring writings of Shakespeare, Dostoevsky, or George Eliot, of Ghandi, Desmond Tutu, or the Dalai Lama.” 26 likes
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