Read Jesus Before the Gospels: How the Earliest Christians Remembered, Changed, and Invented Their Stories of the Savior by Bart D. Ehrman Free Online
Book Title: Jesus Before the Gospels: How the Earliest Christians Remembered, Changed, and Invented Their Stories of the Savior|
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The author of the book: Bart D. Ehrman
Date of issue: March 1st 2016
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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. Ehrman 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.
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Read information about the authorBart 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 Divinity and PhD from Princeton Theological Seminary, where his 1985 doctoral dissertation was awarded magna cum laude. Since then he has published extensively in the fields of New Testament and Early Christianity, having written or edited 21 books, numerous scholarly articles, and dozens of book reviews. Among his most recent books are a Greek-English edition of The Apostolic Fathers for the Loeb Classical Library (Harvard University Press), an assessment of the newly discovered Gospel of Judas (Oxford University Press), and two New York Times bestsellers: God’s Problem (an assessment of the biblical views of suffering) and Misquoting Jesus (an overview of the changes found in the surviving copies of the New Testament and of the scribes who produced them).
Among his fields of scholarly expertise are the historical Jesus, the early Christian apocrypha, the apostolic fathers, and the manuscript tradition of the New Testament.
Professor Ehrman has served as President of the Southeast Region of the Society of Biblical literature, chair of the New Testament textual criticism section of the Society, book review editor of the Journal of Biblical Literature, and editor of the monograph series The New Testament in the Greek Fathers (Scholars Press). He currently serves as coeditor of the series New Testament Tools, Studies, and Documents (E.J. Brill), coeditor in chief for the journal Vigiliae Christianae, and on several other editorial boards for journals and monographs in the field.
Winner of numerous university awards and grants, Professor Ehrman is the recipient of the 1993 UNC Undergraduate Student Teaching Award, the 1994 Phillip and Ruth Hettleman Prize for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement, and the Bowman and Gordon Gray Award for excellence in teaching.
Professor Ehrman has two children, a daughter, Kelly, and a son, Derek. He is married to Sarah Beckwith (PhD, King's College London), Marcello Lotti Professor of English at Duke University. He lives in Durham, North Carolina.