HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Lost Christianities: The Battles for…
Loading...

Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never… (edition 2005)

by Bart D. Ehrman

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,407205,386 (3.89)23
Member:timspalding
Title:Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew
Authors:Bart D. Ehrman
Info:Oxford University Press, USA (2005), Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:None

Work details

Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew by Bart D. Ehrman

Recently added byprivate library, CharlesPadgett, Htom_Sirveaux, oceanview, mishahall, t29, ljwolfe, AndrewRPhillips
Legacy LibrariesTim Spalding
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 23 mentions

English (19)  Italian (1)  All (20)
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
I can unequivocally recommend this book for anyone who wants to learn about the early history of Christianity and How It Got The Way It Is.

Ehrman writes from the perspective of a historian, not a theologian, so he is not trying to push one particular view as "true" - his intent is to discuss what all these disparate people, who all called themselves Christians, actually believed. What we have nowadays, he makes plain, is the result of a sort of last-man-standing war of attrition.

There's probably something in this for anyone who hasn't already made a reasonably in-depth study of the period, and plenty for anyone who hasn't. I admit that the parade of different groups (Marcionites, Ebionites, etc) makes one feel a bit as though one's head has turned into Euston Station, with all these people milling around, pushing and shoving, but Ehrman's writing style makes this more than tolerable.

Bart Ehrman has the gift of writing in a very engaging way in a subject that might, in other hands, be dry. Reading this, I had the feeling that I was sitting in a warm study with him, with a log fire and probably also crumpets, listening to him chatting about the first four centuries or so of Christianity (yes, while my head felt like Euston Station). This is a book you can curl up with for relaxation, not something you have to tackle with trepidation. ( )
  T_K_Elliott | Mar 12, 2017 |
Ehrman is very good at speaking in plain and understandable language about topics that folks often try and make complex and hard to understand. Folks who want no part of asking hard questions about the modern western orthodoxy will not like this or others of his books. You can see this plainly in the reviews and comments folks leave regarding his books.

However, if you're someone who asks the hard questions and you're willing to evolve and grow your faith as you learn more, then you'll very likely enjoy his books.

In this one, he focuses on the different early forms that Christianity took, prior to the Romanization of the religion when it was melded with official Roman state authority in the 4th century. ( )
  bicyclewriter | Jan 8, 2016 |
One of Ehrman’s best, I think. Thought-provoking and speculative, yet grounded, this book explores alternative early Christianities before “Proto-Orthodox Christianity” won the battle and shoved the rest aside. You’ll read about the Ebionites, the Marcionites, Gnosticism, and the evolving orthodox church. Ehrman puts all on even ground so that each has an equal voice, because recent discoveries such as the Dead Sea Scrolls have proven just how diverse Christian practices really were back in the first and second centuries.

Ehrman doesn’t mince words when he discusses the “forgeries” both in and out of the Bible, so do be aware the topic gets plenty of ink. This does lead to some interesting conversation, though. The Secret Gospel of Mark, the Pastoral letters in Paul’s name, and the Gospel of Thomas come under scrutiny. Small wonder that in the battle for supremacy between the various Christian branches, the claim for apostolic succession played a central role. Quickly in orthodox church tradition, our 27 books of the New Testament are all tied directly to the apostles or companions, while other Christian writings are denounced as inauthentic.

So what are the repercussions of the victory of proto-orthodox Christianity? How has our world been shaped by this? Ehrman feels the significance of this victory can scarcely be overstated. Christianity would surely have no doctrine of Christ as both fully divine and human, and of course no Trinitarian doctrine. But the effects would have been felt far further than Christian debates, and the book’s final chapter left me with much to think about.

Definitely recommended.

Oxford University Press, © 2003, 294 pages

ISBN: 0-19-514183-0 ( )
  DubiousDisciple | Jul 23, 2014 |
This is an okay introduction to the history of the construction of the Christian canon, and a discussion of some of the theological ideas held by various ancient Christian sects which didn't survive antiquity. I did learn some things which were new to me—about the Marcionites and Ebionites—but never really got into the book otherwise.

Ehrman's not a particularly good writer on a technical level (I don't think it's necessary to be that repetitive even in a work of popular history on a sensitive topic), and I itched to go through the introductory chapter with a red pen and strip out all of the rhetorical questions. Some of the presentation also seems more designed for hooking readers than scholarly accuracy—I'm uneasy about how/when he uses the word "forgery" in an ancient context, and (admittedly working from my knowledge of comparable medieval religiously-motivated texts) think the array of motivations he provides for these "forgers" is incomplete. I also know just enough to know that his discussion of Christianity's gradual assumption of dominance within the Roman Empire is either outdated or so simplistic as to be inaccurate. ( )
  siriaeve | Jun 6, 2014 |
Dr. Ehrman is an historian, not a theologian, so he looks at ancient texts with the eye of an historian, factually, empirically. This may dismay biblical literalists who begin with a rock solid belief and then learn that the scriptures upon which they rely so heavily are the result of centuries of struggle, unknown authorship, forgeries and alterations by the hands through which they passed before they were found. Many interpretations and views were dominant at one time or another before being distilled into the current canon used by most Christian churches today. The present proliferation of Christian denominations shows that this interpretive struggle is still with us today, although somewhat more homogenized.

Dr. Ehrman has been called a heretic by a few fundamentalists, but he does not advance any religious view or belief. He simply presents the historical evidence of what we do know from study of ancient and recent finds (Dead Sea scrolls, Nag Hammadi, etc.) in comparison with the currently accepted canon and raises the questions of authenticity.

So read it at your own risk. If you want to know the historical origins of the bible with an open mind, this is a stunning introduction to the beginnings. If you are offended that anyone would consider a challenge to the bible on factual rather than spiritual grounds, you may be more comfortable keeping your blinders on. ( )
1 vote mldavis2 | May 27, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Please do not combine with Teaching Company Course Lost Christianities: Christian Scriptures and the Battles over Authentication
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language
Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0195182499, Paperback)

The early Christian Church was a chaos of contending beliefs. Some groups of Christians claimed that there was not one God but two or twelve or thirty. Some believed that the world had not been created by God but by a lesser, ignorant deity. Certain sects maintained that Jesus was human but not divine, while others said he was divine but not human.

In Lost Christianities, Bart D. Ehrman offers a fascinating look at these early forms of Christianity and shows how they came to be suppressed, reformed, or forgotten. All of these groups insisted that they upheld the teachings of Jesus and his apostles, and they all possessed writings that bore out their claims, books reputedly produced by Jesus's own followers. Modern archaeological work has recovered a number of key texts, and as Ehrman shows, these spectacular discoveries reveal religious diversity that says much about the ways in which history gets written by the winners. Ehrman's discussion ranges from considerations of various "lost scriptures"--including forged gospels supposedly written by Simon Peter, Jesus's closest disciple, and Judas Thomas, Jesus's alleged twin brother--to the disparate beliefs of such groups as the Jewish-Christian Ebionites, the anti-Jewish Marcionites, and various "Gnostic" sects. Ehrman examines in depth the battles that raged between "proto-orthodox Christians"--those who eventually compiled the canonical books of the New Testament and standardized Christian belief--and the groups they denounced as heretics and ultimately overcame.

Scrupulously researched and lucidly written, Lost Christianities is an eye-opening account of politics, power, and the clash of ideas among Christians in the decades before one group came to see its views prevail.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:58:05 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

"In Lost Christianities, Bart Ehrman offers a compelling look at the early forms of Christianity and shows how they came to be suppressed, reformed, or forgotten. Each of the early Christian groups insisted that they upheld the teachings of Jesus and his apostles, and they all possessed writings that bore out their claims, books reputedly produced by Jesus' own followers. Modern archaeological works has recovered a number of key texts, which reveal religious diversity that says much about the ways in which history gets written by the winners. Ehrman's discussion ranges from considerations of various "lost scriptures" to the disparate beliefs of such groups as the Jewish-Christian Ebionites, the anti-Jewish Marcionites, and various "Gnostic" sects. Ehrman examines in depth the battles that raged between "proto-orthodox Christians" - those who eventually compiled the canonical books of the New Testament and standardized Christian belief - and the groups they denounced as heretics and ultimately overcame."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
88 wanted

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.89)
0.5
1 4
1.5
2 6
2.5 1
3 37
3.5 11
4 71
4.5 3
5 46

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 118,649,798 books! | Top bar: Always visible