The author of this book is a sheer badass and a genius. His lectures, speeches, and debates are amazing and they have opened my mind over the years. I owe almost all of my understanding of New Testament history to Ehrman, and his views and opinions while quite controversial are certainly academic and not original. This work of his is world renowned and respected, and there are few of its kind. As the back cover of the book explains, his ideas and examples are not original nor unknown to academics of this field, but the public has absolutely no idea and little resources to know these ever important things.
Nevertheless, I hated this book. Quite frankly it was written poorly and organized in a jumbled hargle bargle. It must be remembered that this book is one of the first of its kind though, and I commend his iniative. The book first explains how Ehrman shifted his faith from a non practicing Christian to a born again to a Christian scholar to an agnostic. Now I don’t know numbers, but a large number of people in his profession are agnostic because of the blurred origins of the Christian bible (but certainly not all). He then explains how the complicated field of New Testament criticism and the history of searching for New Testament origins from various brave scholars of the past. The book devotes the rest of its time to various parts of the New Testament that he believes aren’t authentic. Some of these are well accepted fabrications by scholars, others are a bit more controversial (he thankfully tells us which is which).
Written poorly and shoddily organized, its difficult to follow through with what he is saying or even to remember it all, but he goes through events such as the Jesus’s encounter with the female adulterer and explains how this was a clear fabrication. Other more controversial include who wrote Peter (was it actually Peter?). Either way, simple internet searches can get you the results that Ehrman explains poorly in his book. One thing I should note though, is that while Ehrman’s views are scholarly legitimate, he is one of the most critical scholars and few share all of his views together. If you want to learn about New Testament criticism, I don’t recommend this book, and you’re time is better spent watching Ehrman’s lectures on YouTube(he is ridiculously entertaining when not not writing books) or reading some articles on the internet.