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Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium [Paperback]

Our Price $ 22.19  
Item Number 160227  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   288
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 5.5" Height: 8"
Weight:   0.55 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 31, 2001
Publisher   Oxford University Press
ISBN  019512474X  
EAN  9780195124743  

Availability  143 units.
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Item Description...
Jesus is one of the few people whose biographies have the ability to spark intense passion and heated controversy. Now, in this highly accessible exploration into Jesus' life, Bart Ehrman reviews the latest textual and archeological research as well as the history of first-century Palestine, drawing a fascinating portrait of the man and his teachings. In this sharply written and persuasive book, Ehrman suggests that the apocalyptic fervor that perpetually grips large segments of society is nothing new. Indeed, history's many doomsayers, including those today who are frantic about the new millennium, are close in spirit and thinking to Jesus, who waited in vain for the imminent arrival of a new, peaceful kingdom.

Publishers Description
In this highly accessible discussion, Bart Ehrman examines the most recent textual and archaeological sources for the life of Jesus, along with the history of first-century Palestine, drawing a fascinating portrait of the man and his teachings.
Ehrman shows us what historians have long known about the Gospels and the man who stands behind them. Through a careful evaluation of the New Testament (and other surviving sources, including the more recently discovered Gospels of Thomas and Peter), Ehrman proposes that Jesus can be best understood as an apocalyptic prophet--a man convinced that the world would end dramatically within the lifetime of his apostles and that a new kingdom would be created on earth. According to Ehrman, Jesus' belief in a coming apocalypse and his expectation of an utter reversal in the world's social organization not only underscores the radicalism of his teachings but also sheds light on both the appeal of his message to society's outcasts and the threat he posed to Jerusalem's established leadership.

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More About Bart D. Ehrman

Bart D. Ehrman Bart D. Ehrman is the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He came to UNC in 1988, after four years of teaching at Rutgers University. At UNC he has served as both the Director of Graduate Studies and the Chair of the Department of Religious Studies.

A graduate of Wheaton College (Illinois), Professor Ehrman received both his Masters of Divinity and Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary, where his 1985 doctoral dissertation was awarded magna cum laude. Since then he has published extensively in the fields of New Testament and Early Christianity, having written or edited twenty-four books, numerous scholarly articles, and dozens of book reviews.

Among his most recent books are a Greek-English edition of the Apostolic Fathers for the Loeb Classical Library (Harvard University Press), an assessment of the newly discovered Gospel of Judas (Oxford University Press), and four New York Times Bestsellers: Jesus Interrupted (an account of scholarly views of the New Testament), God’s Problem (an assessment of the biblical views of suffering), Misquoting Jesus (an overview of the changes found in the surviving copies of the New Testament and of the scribes who produced them) and Forged (discusses why some books in the New Testament are deliberate forgeries). His books have been translated into twenty-seven languages.

Among his fields of scholarly expertise are the historical Jesus, the early Christian apocrypha, the apostolic fathers, and the manuscript tradition of the New Testament.

Professor Ehrman has served as President of the Southeast Region of the Society of Biblical literature, chair of the New Testament textual criticism section of the Society, book review editor of the Journal of Biblical Literature, and editor of the monograph series The New Testament in the Greek Fathers (Scholars Press). He currently serves as co-editor of the series New Testament Tools, Studies, and Documents (E. J. Brill), co-editor-in-chief for the journal Vigiliae Christianae, and on several other editorial boards for journals and monographs in the field.

Professor Ehrman lectures extensively throughout the country. Winner of numerous university awards and grants, he is the recipient of the 2009 J. W. Pope “Spirit of Inquiry” Teaching Award, the 1993 UNC Undergraduate Student Teaching Award, the 1994 Phillip and Ruth Hettleman Prize for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement, and the Bowman and Gordon Gray Award for excellence in teaching.

Professor Ehrman has two children, a daughter, Kelly, and a son, Derek. He is married to Sarah Beckwith (Ph.D., King's College London), Marcello Lotti Professor of English at Duke University. He lives in Durham, North Carolina.

Bart D. Ehrman currently resides in Chapel Hill, in the state of North Carolina. Bart D. Ehrman has an academic affiliation as follows - Department of Religious Studies, The University of North Carolina, Cha.

Bart D. Ehrman has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Loeb Classical Library
  2. New Testament in the Greek Fathers
  3. Studies & Documents (Paperback)

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
If nothing else, this book will give you something to think about...  May 31, 2008
Ehrman's book is a no-nonsense examination of what we might be able to learn historically about the man at the center of Christianity.

But let's stop for a moment and think about Jesus of Nazareth truly at the center of Christianity? Or did the religion evolve out of the ideal of such a life while glossing over the less savory aspects of the reality behind the myth? Did Jesus see himself through the same lenses his followers later employed? What was the message at the root of Jesus' ministry?

The book tackles these and other questions with an eye to what we can discern historically, without leaning into the realm of theology. Ehrman doesn't prop his ideas up on over-the-top conjecture, as some have done over the years. Rather, he goes to the primary sources...or at least, as close to the "primary" sources as a modern historian can get. We're reminded that not only are the majority of our sources theologically motivated, they also appear to have been derived from earlier documents not extant (such as the "Q", "M", and "L" sources).

As the book moves along from a general casting of the die with regard to first century Judaism against the backdrop of the Roman Empire, an important contextual awareness is developed for the reader. Situating Jesus outside of the milieu of the high tension "Holy Land" that produced many apocalypticists proclaiming coming judgments and kingdoms of God is to ignore what is all too clearly preserved in the books of the New Testament.

Without going into too many details, it becomes very clear from the evidence of Jesus' proclamations and disputes over Torah that an apocalyptic thread weaves through from start to finish. Among many perplexing statements put on the lips of Jesus in the gospels, there is the clear statement of the imminence of the end days and the establishment of God's kingdom:

"Truly I tell you, some of those who are standing here will not taste death before they see that the Kingdom of God has come in power." (Mark 9:1)

"Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place." (Mark 13:30)

There may be a clever way to explain these verses theologically, but if you read them without a bias, you may find some questions bubbling to the surface. If Jesus was divine, how could he have missed the mark so badly on his predictions? Not only did his generation pass away...but centuries have passed away and the world is still spinning along. Even if we fall back on Jesus' statement two verses later:

"But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." (Mark 13:32)

He still drew a circle around his generation. So although he could not state the day and hour, he nonetheless saw the end as something that would happen very soon. So what do we make of this?

The above is a very brief summary of only one of the challenges put forward in this book. Several additional points are made that cannot be easily dismissed. Regardless of one's beliefs concerning Jesus, it seems to me that a good understanding of the many points of view can be beneficial. We could simply accept without question those doctrines developed by men living centuries ago...or we can do our own homework and ask if their conclusions really hold up to scrutiny. In my opinion, Ehrman does his homework and asks some tough questions here.
Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millenium  Feb 15, 2008
Ehrman provides a compelling case for arguing that Jesus was truly and apocalyptic prophet, citing many sources and not just those included in the Bible.
God in the Flesh or Leader of a Lunatic Fringe?  Feb 8, 2008
In sophisticated rhetoric that asks us to make our own inferences rather than pounding us over the head with strident prose, Bart Ehrman's Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium paints Jesus as a doomsday prophet who, according to the Gospels, proclaimed the end would come before his disciples' lifetime and that he was wrong. Like many doomsday prophets of his age and those to come, even today, Jesus mistakenly thought the world was to come to an end and this error causes other lapses in judgment--a severe asceticism that asked us to reject worldly pleasures, an extreme loyalty that asked us to despise our own family, mothers, fathers, and children to follow him. In fact, Ehrman argues, Jesus' own family rejected his apocalyptic vision and this resulted in a rift between them.

In assured prose, Ehrman provides us the historical context to see that Jesus was not as so much a unique figure but a common type of prophet who emerged out of Palestine's occupied condition. The Israelites hungered for deliverance from the Romans who occupied Palestine and Jerusalem for centuries and what they wanted was a Messiah who would free them. Jesus was one such Messiah. According to Ehrman, there were at the time many such "Messiahs."

While C.S. Lewis would reject this book's central thesis, that Jesus was a misguided doomsday prophet, he would approve of Ehrman's decision to not patronize what Jesus said in the Gospels. To paraphrase Lewis, either Jesus was God or a madman but not some "wise man." Ehrman does not patronize Jesus; instead, he argues in very readable, sometimes suspenseful, exposition, that Jesus could not deliver the promise to his disciples that they would not taste death because they would be raptured before the world as they knew it vanished forever.

Want to be closer to true Jesus?  Jan 21, 2008
Oh Jesus! What they did to you!
Not Romans or Jews. Christians! They corrupted Your teachings, used them for their own purposes. Good one to be honest, but extremly different from what taught The Teacher himself.
This is one evening read which will open your eyes.
Despite the disagreement  Jan 8, 2008
Despite disagreeing with many of Dr. Ehrman's conclusions, I cannot help but enjoy his books and lectures. In this work he shares his belief, along with a crowd that went before him in the early 20th century, that Jesus is best understood as an apocalyptic prophet. He also asserts that the belief in Jesus' divinity developed over time and was not claimed by Jesus or his earliest followers while Jesus was alive. This too is no new theory. But, both theories, in my opinion, seem to fly in the face of the new testament and early church fathers.

Of course, the response of Dr. Ehrman's persuasion will be that the references to Jesus' divinity were added to the Biblical accounts. But what evidence is offered for this assertion? Only the evidence that we "know" that Jesus did not claim to be God. It is circular reasoning based on questionable presuppositions at best.

Despite these disagreements, Dr. Ehrman's scholarship is well respected and that respect is certainly deserved. His works have made the theories of others accessible to a general audience and that alone makes his contributions important to us. His writing style is enjoyable and challenging without being offensive to those with whom he disagrees.

But, for a better understanding of Jesus in the context of history, I have found that Pope Benedict XVI provides a much more likely view in Jesus of Nazareth. The holy father's approach gives us a much more believable and less 2-dimensional view of Jesus than do the skeptics. Do not make the mistake of buying into the hype of the historical Jesus crowd with only the Dr. Ehrman understanding. As much as I respect Dr. Ehrman, his conclusions seem forced and simplistic.

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