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Was the Bible forged? Author claims some New Testament books were written by 'people pretending to be apostles'
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 4:34 AM on 27th March 2011
A work of fiction? Bart D Ehrman claims several New Testament books were actually written by people pretending to be apostles
Parts of the Bible were written by people who lied about their identity, an author has claimed.
Bart D Ehrman claims many books of the New Testament were forged by people pretending to be the apostles Peter, Paul or James.
Writing in the Huffington Post, Professor Ehrman, best selling author of 'Misquoting Jesus' and 'Jesus, Interrupted', said religious scholars were well aware of the 'lies' of the Bible.
While some were happy to acknowledge them others refer to them as 'pseudepigrapha' - meaning a falsely attributed work -, he wrote.
In his new book , Why the Bible's Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are, Professor Ehrman claims The Second Epistle of Peter - or 2 Peter - was forged.
'...scholars everywhere - except for our friends among the fundamentalists - will tell you that there is no way on God's green earth that Peter wrote the book.
'Someone else wrote it claiming to be Peter,' he writes.
He then suggests scholars who say it was acceptable in the ancient world for someone to write a book in the name of someone else, are wrong.
'If you look at what ancient people actually said about the practice, you'll see that they invariably called it lying and condemned it as a deceitful practice, even in Christian circles,' Professor Ehrman writes.
Many scholars think six of the 13 letters allegedly written by Paul were actually authored by somebody else claiming to be Paul, Professor Ehrman claims.
Assumed identity: Professor Ehrman claims someone posing as St Peter, right, wrote 2 Peter, and another posing as St Paul, left, wrote six of his 13 letters
'In the ancient world, books like that were labelled as pseudoi - lies,' he writes.
Professor Ehrman also claims the author of the book of 1 Timothy claimed to be Paul but in actual fact was someone living after Paul had died.
The author then used the apostle's name to address a problem he saw in church, according to Professor Ehrman.
'Women were speaking out, exercising authority and teaching men. That had to stop,' he writes.
Agenda: Professor Erhman claims whoever wrote 1 Timothy was trying to put women in their place by citing the garden of Eden as an example of what can happen when women are in charge
'The author told women to be silent and submissive, and reminded his readers about what happened the first time a woman was allowed to exercise authority over a man, in that little incident in the garden of Eden.
'No, the author argued, if women wanted to be saved, they were to have babies (1 Tim. 2:11-15).'
Paul is known as one of history's great misogynists, largely based on this passage from the Bible.
But Professor Ehrman argues this label is not necessarily justified because he wasn't the one to write it.
'And why does it matter? Because the passage is still used by church leaders today to oppress and silence women,' writes Professor Ehrman.
'Why are there no women priests in the Catholic Church? Why are women not allowed to preach in conservative evangelical churches? Why are there churches today that do not allow women even to speak?
'In no small measure it is because Paul allegedly taught that women had to be silent, submissive and pregnant.
'Except that the person who taught this was not Paul, but someone lying about his identity so that his readers would think he was Paul.'
Professor Ehrman then goes on to write how the Bible is actually filled with the need for 'truth' but many of its writers were telling a lie.
'It appears that some of the New Testament writers, such as the authors of 2 Peter, 1 Timothy and Ephesians, felt they were perfectly justified to lie in order to tell the truth,' he writes.
'But we today can at least evaluate their claims and realise just how human, and fallible, they were.'
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1370206/Bart-D-Ehrman-Parts-Bibles-New-Testament-written-pretend-apostles.html#ixzz1I7BwPzAF