Review: “Did Jesus Exist?” by Bart D. Ehrman

11543839I wanted to like this book, really. A couple years ago I read Ehrman’s Misquoting Jesus and it was truly eye-opening, especially to someone who grew up in a Christian school, and so I have a good deal of respect for Ehrman. I picked up this book because I’ve been curious about the question of Jesus as a historical figure, whether there actually was a man that the New Testament is based off of (regardless of whether he was a holy man or not). Ehrman, a staunch and vocal agnostic, makes the argument that of course there was a historical man named Jesus, and sets out to explain why he’s right and “mythicists” (those who argue that Jesus is only a myth) are wrong.

Unfortunately, I came across this article, written by one of the scholars Ehrman slams in his book, just as I was getting into the book. It’s an in-depth critique of the problems with the book that I decided not to read  until after I had finished the book, but knowing that the book received great criticism for being inaccurate made me really slog through it. It took me probably at least six weeks to read because I kept putting it down in favor of something else. I noticed myself that there are parts in the book when he contradicts things he said in the other book of his that I read.

And so I’ll have to look elsewhere for a solid book about the historicity of Jesus, *le sigh*.

Instead of this book, check out Misquoting Jesus.

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3 thoughts on “Review: “Did Jesus Exist?” by Bart D. Ehrman

  1. Tell you what there are people who really didn’t care for Jesus that actually admit he was real. You take Jesus away and you take God away from the Christians. For a man to go around claiming he was God was either a lunatic or he claimed to be who he said he was. There is too much proving Jesus was real. That is why you see an attack on him on a constant basis. Nobody ever questions if Plato was real or not. If I am not mistaken the first mentioned of plato was like 200 to 300 years after his life. I forget which gospel it is but we have Jesus mentioned 30 years after his death. Not enough time for a lie to be created by these men ho died for their faith. Good luck searching what you seek

    • Thanks for your comment, Joe. I grew up with no doubt in my mind that there was a historical figure named Jesus, and it was only a few years ago that I learned that not everyone is in agreement about that. I think it’s important to hear every side of the argument in order to better form my own opinion and defend that opinion once it’s made.

  2. I’ve been on the fence about the historicity of Jesus for awhile. Since Ehrman was the one who showed me just how problematic the historical sources for Jesus are, I thought he might be able to push me off the fence, but this book didn’t do it.

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