Book Reviews

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

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List Price: £9.99

 

Paperback: 320 Pages.

Published: 15 September 2005 by Oxford University Press, U.S.A.

Edition: New Ed

ISBN: 0195182499

EAN: 9780195182491

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. 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.

Reviews

3.0 Stars3.0 Stars3.0 Stars  by Anne

Too much detail and ideas

The difficulty which I found with this book is that the author tries to cover too much and in doing so he crams in too much content with not quite enough time to breathe between ideas.

The book deals with the time in Christian history before the books which we know as the new testament were agreed as definitive. At this time there were many other documents circulating, alternative gospels and letters many of which were forgeries and some of which represented a different view of Christian thought from what we now determine as orthodox. The author explains some of these alternative views and introduces us to some of the other writings of the time which have subsequently been discovered or which are known from references in surviving texts. He ends by showing us how the new testament was formed and suggesting how Christianity and our world might look today if other texts had been chosen.

The subject is fascinating and this book opens up lost texts and ideas for the reader. Some of his conclusions and assertions are very challenging and it would probably benefit anyone who finds this area interesting to read a few alternative books from other writers. Requires just a little too much attention from the reader and I found it too easy to put down but I am glad that I persevered.

 
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