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72 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars scholarly, detailed, and convincing
This work should not be confused with "Forged: Writing in the Name of God." Unlike "Forged," "Forgery and Counterforgery" is a scholarly, academic, and advanced look at the practice of forgery in the NT and early Christian literature. The style is very different than Ehrman's NY Time's bestsellers (Forged: Writing in the Name of God; Misquoting Jesus; God's Problem;...
Published 19 months ago by Adam

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This one is a tough read!
This is a tough read - unlike the many other Ehrman books in my library. I'm only part way into it but it seems a much more intensive knowledge of ancient writing and authors would be beneficial to the reader. The unusual names alone is sufficient to slow you down considerably. I'll keep plugging along and hope it becomes worthwhile. In some ways it reminds me of the...
Published 7 months ago by Veryle L. Cox


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72 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars scholarly, detailed, and convincing, November 30, 2012
By 
Adam (Toronto, Ontario) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Forgery and Counterforgery: The Use of Literary Deceit in Early Christian Polemics (Hardcover)
This work should not be confused with "Forged: Writing in the Name of God." Unlike "Forged," "Forgery and Counterforgery" is a scholarly, academic, and advanced look at the practice of forgery in the NT and early Christian literature. The style is very different than Ehrman's NY Time's bestsellers (Forged: Writing in the Name of God; Misquoting Jesus; God's Problem; Jesus, Interrupted). It assumes an advanced knowledge of New Testament scholarship and issues. It's extremely comphrensive and makes a convincing case for calling falsely attributed/pseudepigraphic books in the NT and early Christian literature "forgery," looks at why certain NT and early Christian works are considered forged, and the broader phenomenon in Greek and Roman world. Strong engagement with scholarship with extensive footnotes. Yet it is very readable. Advances scholarly conversation regarding the practice of forgery in an original way. It is well-argued and detailed (over 600 pages). If you are looking for an introductory treatment look at his trade book "Forged: Writing in the Name of God."

Forged: Writing in the Name of God--Why the Bible's Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fairly readable scholarly account, March 27, 2013
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This review is from: Forgery and Counterforgery: The Use of Literary Deceit in Early Christian Polemics (Hardcover)
Bart Ehrman has written a number of interesting books on the New Testament and early Christianity. I've found these books to be enlightening even if I don't always agree with his conclusions. Those of Ehrman's books that I have read to his point have been aimed at the average reader -- successfully aimed, because they have sold very well and made Ehrman perhaps the best-known writer on these topics. This book summarizes his scholarly research on a topic that he has also discussed at length in his popular books: The New Testament books that claim to be written by someone other than their actual authors (in this book he expands the discussion to include other early Christian writings in addition to those that appear in the New Testament). Ehrman has been forthright in labeling these books forgeries because he argues -- correctly, I think -- that the authors were trying to deceive their readers by claiming to be the Apostle Paul, the Apostle Peter, or another revered person. Other scholars have been reluctant to use the word "forgery" for these documents, but I think Ehrman is justified in doing so.

This book is aimed at a scholarly audience, so I assume that Ehrman expects most readers to be academics or graduate students. Although the result is a more densely written book, I didn't find it to be any more difficult to understand than his popular books. Ehrman notes that he was talked out of reproducing quotes in the documents' original languages. Had he done so, he would have lost at least this reader! Ehrman's arguments make for interesting reading and I found them to be convincing. I particularly profited by his discussion of the reasons for the "I/we" passages in Acts. So, although the book is definitely a harder and somewhat dryer read than his popular books, anyone with a strong interest in the subject matter should be able to get through it.

I do have one serious issue with the book: The binding is terrible. You would think that Oxford University Press when publishing a book aimed at a scholarly audience would use a sewn binding that would enable the book to lie flat. Unfortunately, they didn't; the binding is glued, making the book very difficult to open completely without cracking the binding. As leisure reading, the shoddy construction of the book was annoying but no more than that. But if I was a professor or grad student carefully studying the book and perhaps copying out passages from it, I would be upset that the book will not lie flat. No real excuse for a major university press to produce a book with this glaring shortcoming.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This one is a tough read!, December 8, 2013
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This review is from: Forgery and Counterforgery: The Use of Literary Deceit in Early Christian Polemics (Hardcover)
This is a tough read - unlike the many other Ehrman books in my library. I'm only part way into it but it seems a much more intensive knowledge of ancient writing and authors would be beneficial to the reader. The unusual names alone is sufficient to slow you down considerably. I'll keep plugging along and hope it becomes worthwhile. In some ways it reminds me of the difficulty I had with reading The Quest of the Historical Jusus by Albert Schweitzer - also a tough read. I admire Dr. Ehrman's work and approach to understanding the Bible and Christianity.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A major work concerning Christian Origins, not light reading, but not to be ignored, May 5, 2013
By 
D. Peter Humphrys (Peterborough Ontario) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Forgery and Counterforgery: The Use of Literary Deceit in Early Christian Polemics (Hardcover)
This is the scholarly version which he promised to deliver in his earlier book, Forged, and for me it does not disappoint, it was well worth the wait. In fact, I wish that I had been able to read such a book years ago so that I would have engaged the issues raised much earlier in life.

Though this book is directed at scholars, I predict that it will be useful to and appreciated by non-scholars who have some familiarity with the issues concenring Early Christian Origins, espeically the development of the "Christian canon" which took place during, at least, the first four centuries of Christianity, hence the reader will have to engage many non-canonical and some non-Christian works.

When Ehrman quotes foreign language materials, mostly German, with some French and Latin, he gives the English translation in the main text, and the original in a footnote, while most ancient texts are in English translation with the original language to be looked up elsewhere. However, there are times when he does not translate minor bits of Greek which those readers without Greek will have to pass over and so some readers may find that frustrating, but I doubt very much that it will detract from their understanding of his argument.

The bibliography, and indicies (ancient sources and subjects) meet expectations, and as noted above he uses footnotes rather than endnotes which makes the reading of the text so much easier when following his references.

It is difficult to read this book straight through, requiring a major investment of time and reflection, and I suspect that some of the (annoying?) minor repetition of key points points is due to an editorial assumption that most people will read this book in bits and pieces.

I will leave off engaging in any technical arguments for scholarly reviews elsewhere, but I think that the careful reader would do well to think about potential logical fallacies as she reads, in particular the fallacies of arguing from the part to the whole, and its reverse from the whole to the part.

Also, I predict that some readers will be very upset with what he has to say, while some others will absolutely love his overall arguments and agree with the assertion that forgery, that is lying, is part and parcel of the Christian canon and that this has significant implications for the Christian faith.

Hence, if one already thinks that Ehrman "is out to push the buttons of evangelicals and fundamentalists" - however, I think that a larger group of Christians will be unsettled by his arguments - then I do not think that too much in here will surprize a person, but can an effective counter to his charges of forgery, lying and deceit built right into the New Testament be made by those arguing for an essentially orthodox position??!!
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exhaustive Investigation, April 24, 2013
Such an incredible and exhaustive report from ancient practice of forgery. I did not know that christianity literature was full of so many forgeries in the name of important persons. Another hit from Bart Ehrman research.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, January 20, 2014
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This review is from: Forgery and Counterforgery: The Use of Literary Deceit in Early Christian Polemics (Hardcover)
Bart Ehrman is a great writer who explains a lot of NT in a way that is clear and concise. This volume is far more technical but very well documented. I would recommend the book after you have read the other Bart Ehrman books, as this may be a bit overwhelming. The other books are great preludes to this very educational book and Ehrman makes a great case that many of the NT texts are forged.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding scholarship, July 11, 2013
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Not a book for the casual reader. A knowledge of Hellenistic Greek will be a plus, but not required. Well annotated, this is a serious effort to explore pseudo-authorship of canonical New Testament and other contemporaneous Christian literature.
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read for anbody interested in Christianity, September 10, 2013
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This review is from: Forgery and Counterforgery: The Use of Literary Deceit in Early Christian Polemics (Hardcover)
The book is extremely well researched, scholarly (550 pages) yet readable.
It covers the same material as his book "Forged" ( which is for a
general audience and is a kind of easy to read much shorter version
of the book in question). I read "Forged" first and then felt well
prepared to read this book.
It is absolutely fascinating to see how the documents which many
regard as inspired by God are actually forgeries in furtherance of a agenda.
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2 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forgery and Counterforgery. The Use of Literary Deceit in Early Christianity., January 21, 2013
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This review is from: Forgery and Counterforgery: The Use of Literary Deceit in Early Christian Polemics (Hardcover)
The subject of the book was a surprise for me. I'm accustomed to study assessements on the accuracy of the New Testament regarding principally to the books on the Canon and the other sources available for comparison. This time Bart Ehrman touch on a large variety of Christian literature of the first centuries. The Author's observations with regard to conflicts within an with outside of the Christian Curch make clear that an unified Church never existed. That doesn't imply in accepting or not Jesus message. It's possible to have a good approch of the message Jesus proclaimed, not tied to the words in themselves, but regarding to the aimi and meaning of that message.
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2 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars forgery and couterforgery, January 17, 2013
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This review is from: Forgery and Counterforgery: The Use of Literary Deceit in Early Christian Polemics (Hardcover)
I have read everything Ehrman has written and this was one that I hadn't so I ordered it as well
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Forgery and Counterforgery: The Use of Literary Deceit in Early Christian Polemics
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