The Historical Jesus : The Great Courses: Christianity

  • by The Great Courses, Bart D. Ehrman
  • Narrated by Professor Bart D. Ehrman
  • Series: The Great Courses: Christianity
  • 12 hrs and 21 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

From the late Roman Empire all the way to our own time, no continuously existing institution or belief system has wielded as much influence as Christianity, no figure as much as Jesus. Worshipped around the globe by more than a billion people, he is undoubtedly the single most important figure in the story of Western civilization and one of the most significant in world history altogether. Yet who was Jesus of Nazareth? What was he like? It's a question that's been pondered by people and groups of varying convictions for more than 2,000 years. And everyone with even the faintest knowledge, says Professor Ehrman, has an opinion - with those opinions differing not only among laypeople but even among professional scholars who have devoted their lives to the task of reconstructing what the historical Jesus was probably like and what he most likely said and did.
This series of 24 lectures from an award-winning teacher and scholar approaches the subject from a purely historical perspective, with no intention of affirming or denying any particular theological beliefs. He explains why it has proven so difficult to know about the "Jesus of history" and reveals the kinds of conclusions modern scholars have drawn about him.
He begins with a discussion of the four New Testament Gospels - our principle source of knowledge about Jesus - and other sources, explaining what they are, how they came to be written, and how biblical scholars plumb them for historical understanding, before integrating them into the historical context of Jesus' life and a scholarly reconstruction of Jesus' words and deeds in light of the best available historical methods and evidence.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

An interesting concept, needs the visual element

What did you like most about The Historical Jesus?

This was a very interesting lecture, with lots of intriguing concepts. It was very balanced and for such a sensitive topic the author/reader managed to keep most of his personal bias out it, which for such a topic is a monumental achievement.

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Professor Bart D. Ehrman?

Unfortunately the problem with the reader is that he is presenting in a visual medium and this is an audio recording. Irregardless the whole thing has ended up as a smooth finished product.

Any additional comments?

There is one or two chapters where the author/reader feels a little 'preachy' I urge listeners to try and cope with his presentation and push past these; it is well worth it in the end.

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- Sam

Needed to Push Myself to Stick With It

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I would recommend it as it was interesting but it took a while to get there as the author spends an awful lot of time discussing methods of historical research in terms of what is reliable and what sorts of parameters are used to decide the reliability of documents. This does become quite tedious at times

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The information regarding other people involved in the story was interesting. The least interesting part although relevant, was the constant discussion of the historical method

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

The narration was repetitive to reiterate points which was alright but again sometimes a little irritating

Do you think The Historical Jesus needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No, I think the author covered everything I anticipated based on the title and description

Any additional comments?

Good overall and glad I listened to it but at times I thought of fast forwarding or giving up entirely

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- Ellie

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-07-2013
  • Publisher: The Great Courses