Jesus Before the Gospels: How the Earliest Christians Remembered, Changed, and Invented Their Stories of the Savior by Bart D. Ehrman

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Read Jesus Before the Gospels: How the Earliest Christians Remembered, Changed, and Invented Their Stories of the Savior Online Free - 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.

Title : Jesus Before the Gospels: How the Earliest Christians Remembered, Changed, and Invented Their Stories of the Savior
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 0062285203
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 336 pages


Clif rated it ★★★★☆

February 10, 2017

I was expecting this book to be a portrayal of the "historical Jesus" using the findings of human memory research. It was that, however I believe that a more descriptive title for this book would be "What we can know about the nature of the various communities that produced the multiple Gospels u...

Louise rated it ★★★★☆

July 02, 2016

What we know of Jesus was written 40 years and more after his death by people who did not know him, meaning our knowledge of Jesus comes from second and third (and/or more) hand oral tellings. There is some chance that there is a lost written source often called “Q” but the consensus is that the...

11811 (Eleven) rated it ★★★★★

March 08, 2016

I enjoyed this one more than the author's previous book, Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why. Instead of painting in broad strokes, he takes a look at the first centuries of Christianity through the prism of human memory and it's probable effects on the oral tradition...

Jill rated it ★★★★☆

December 24, 2016

Bart D. Ehrman, the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is an excellent writer who has popularized some of the historical research about early Christianity. His books, while tending to make similar points as more academic...

Mitchell rated it ★★★★★

April 23, 2017

Ehrman concludes this book with a chapter called "A Paean to Memory". I believe, in a way, this entire book is a paean to memory. There are many gems about memory in this book outside of his main thesis. Overall, this is a very good historical Jesus book. I have read Ehrman before, and he can be h...

Justin rated it ★★★☆☆

May 10, 2016

After finishing the book and giving myself some time to browse other readers thoughts, I'd have to say I come out somewhere in the middle. I think it's a great, yet easily readable book. It's not an academic exploration, even if at times it does attempt to use research outside of the realm of NT...

Phil rated it ★★★★☆

October 21, 2017

This completes my run of Ehrman's major works. This is different from 'Misquoting Jesus' 'Jesus Interrupted', and 'How Jesus Became God'. It is much less of the textual criticism of the previous works. Instead, Ehrman's focus is the oral tradition and its role in shaping the stories about Jesus t...

Andrew rated it ★☆☆☆☆

September 02, 2016

This is a deeply disappointing read. Ehrman mashes together some of the well worn (and roundly answered) issues raised in NT studies from the past 150yrs, presenting them as defeaters to belief in the integrity and authenticity of the gospels. There is no judicious engagement with scholarship fro...

Cindy O rated it ★★★★☆

January 02, 2016

Very intriguing take by a biblical scholar who used current research on memory to inform the words written about Jesus at varying times in history. Since none of the Gospels were written by people who actually knew the historical Jesus, they necessarily relied on oral tradition, making how memory...

Jane rated it ★★★☆☆

July 19, 2017

I have read most of Ehrman's books, I think my favorite is Misquoting Jesus. I didn't find this one to be as interesting a read as some of the others because it was necessary to spend quite a bit of ink on memory research - important in reaching conclusions but not a spellbinding read. The gospel...

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