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Forged

Writing in the Name of God—Why the Bible's Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are
Forged: Writing in the Name of God—Why the Bible's Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are. HarperOne: HarperCollins. Apr. 2011. c.320p. index. ISBN 9780062012616. $25.99. REL
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Ehrman (religious studies, Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Misquoting Jesus) provides evidence here that the ancient world, in fact, generally condemned forgeries as much as the modern world does. He then goes on to discuss works that were wrongly claimed to have been written by Peter or by Paul as well as other forgeries, including some in the last two centuries. He distinguishes between the use of a pen name to hide the writer's identity and a forgery that claims to be the work of someone else. Most of the forgeries Ehrman discusses served Christian anti-Jewish propaganda, although some were antipagan, while the so-called Gospel of Nicodemus was an attempt to correct the very anti-Christian Acts of Pilate. Ehrman uses other forgeries as well to support his conclusion that "Christians intent on establishing what was right to believe did so by telling lies."
VERDICT Ehrman reveals for ordinary readers what most mainstream biblical scholars accept, but he then attributes motives to the writers, which are more speculative, ending his book with a discussion of a few justifiable lies or forgeries and those not justified (all the rest). Recommended for sophisticated readers who will come to their own conclusions about Ehrman's opinions.

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