Oh, oh! I started a new book before I wrote up my “review” (?) of the last one. This is a no-no because I’ll get all ahead of myself, or behind, one or the other. Anyway,
The Battles of Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew
by Bart Ehrman
Read by Matthew Kugler 13h 25m
Rating – 9.5
Lost Christianities is the story of how before the of Council of Nicea as well as for a long time later there were many groups of Christians believing and doing a wide variety of things. Nicea was where it was decided what “the church” believed and make a statement of that belief (they got it about half done). Then they started work on compiling the Bible as we know it with both Old and New Testaments. Finally they worked on some kind of organizational law. There was a LOT to do and it took much more than just this first Council.
So we can see what they put together for Christians to do and believe after that but the question now is what did we lose? What other ways did the early Christians see things? What other things did they do?
Ehrman’s book is not the story of the Council at Nicea but rather it’s an outline of the various beliefs and ideas which had to come together to do this. The representatives started with the question of “Who was Jesus? Was he divine or human? And they went from there.
I’ve read quite a number of Ehrman’s books and I was a bit wary of reading a repetition. This book was written in 2013 and more of what I’ve read has been since that time. As it turned out, I was pretty familiar with much of it due to prior reading but knew only a little about the main topic – the ways people believed before “orthodox Christianity” was set up.
As usual, Ehrman is well organized, he writes very nicely keeping the reader’s interest, and the book flow at a good pace. In this work he covers the “finds” of archeologists and others, he also discusses the many forgeries. He explores several belief systems including those of the Mancionites and Ebionites. All this as well as how St Paul fits in and what about Jews? One book obviously cannot cover it all but the Notes are excellent in themselves as well as staring points for further research.