Jesus, Interrupted by Bart Ehrman

The 4 Gospels are anonymous - the names Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were attached to the books by the early Church.

Of the 13 Pauline Epistles, 6 of them are thought to be forged.

We do not have any of the original manuscripts of the New Testaments - what we have are copies of copies of copies made much later (decades after Jesus' death).

Mark, Luke and John's portrayal of Jesus are very different from one another, each making different theological points, and cannot be reconciled.

These are just 4 summary points explained in detail in Bart D Ehrman's book Jesus, Interrupted. The book goes into what scholars know about textual variants and authors of the New Testament, how the Bible was put together, the radically different forms of early Christianity, the birth of antisemitism and Christian doctrines.

I think that any Christians who still give a damn about the Bible should read this book for starters.

There are 8 chapters:
  1. A Historical Assault of Faith
  2. A World of Contradictions
  3. A Mass of Variant Views
  4. Who Wrote the Bible?
  5. Liar, Lunatic or Lord? Finding the Historical Jesus
  6. How We Got the Bible
  7. Who Invented Christianity?
  8. Is Faith Possible?

The book is an excellent read - very interesting and informative. I would also highly recommend the audio book version for people who don't want to read books.