How the Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important Question--Why We Suffer
On Sale: February 19, 2008
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In times of questioning and despair, people often quote the
Bible to provide answers. Surprisingly, though, the Bible
does not have one answer but many "answers" that often
contradict one another. Consider these competing
explanations for suffering put forth by various biblical
The prophets: suffering is a punishment for sin
The book of Job, which offers two different answers:
suffering is a test, and you will be rewarded later for
passing it; and suffering is beyond comprehension, since we
are just human beings and God, after all, is God
Ecclesiastes: suffering is the nature of things, so just
All apocalyptic texts in both the Hebrew Bible and the New
Testament: God will eventually make right all that is wrong
with the world
For renowned Bible scholar Bart Ehrman, the question of why
there is so much suffering in the world is more than a
haunting thought. Ehrman's inability to reconcile the claims
of faith with the facts of real life led the former pastor
of the Princeton Baptist Church to reject Christianity.
In God's Problem, Ehrman discusses his personal anguish upon
discovering the Bible's contradictory explanations for
suffering and invites all people of faith—or no faith—to
confront their deepest questions about how God engages the
world and each of us.
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