Bart D. Ehrman
See my review of 101 Myths of the Bible for both extended comments and a list of two DVDs and several books that capture my history of reading of about religion.
With so many other reviews, this one is primarily to highlight and summarize the book for those that use me as a surrogate browser of non-fiction.
What struck me most about this book and its learned “born again” Christian was that it deconstructed the Bible so ably, but strives to retain the immutability of the Bible.
The author excels at telling his personal story of discovery, and doess a better job than 101 Myths at capturing and explaining:
+ We have no originals
+ The Bible is copies of copies over centuries
+ The Bible is a human book, full of mistakes
+ The Bible has been consistently revised by generations inserting their own historical contexts and agendas
+ Radical (the aurhot's word) alterations abound.
This book is a scholarly work that respects the contributions of a number of key scholars, but strangely makes no reference I could find to 101 Myths.
I value the book for the above, but if you buy only one book, I recommend you consider The Complete Conversations with God (Boxed Set) and ideally also 101 Myths.
Religion has been fradulent and abusive. I agree with Rabbi Lerner, author of The Left Hand of God: Taking Back Our Country from the Religious Right, on the importance of reintegrating a culture of compassion back into our social and political lives, but I am now inclined to reject all organized religion as a form of organized crime, cult, and theater.