Bart D. Ehrman is a world expert in the textual criticism of the New Testament who has recently written a best-selling book entitled Misquoting Jesus. Misquoting Jesus by Bart D. Ehrman Jesus, Interrupted by Bart D. Ehrman A History of God by Karen Armstrong The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels Who. Misquoting Jesus The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why BartD. Ehrman Harper S anFranci sco A Division ofHanperCollinsPublishers Photography.

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And in language accessible to nonspecialists, Ehrman explains these procedures and their results. The Bible is a flawed book of history and storiesit’s the victors who write the history. Not in the way other fundamentalists necessarily become fascinated by The Bible, but rather really fascinated — perhaps obsessed is a better word if you can view that word positively.

It is important brt know what the words of these authors were, so that we can see what they had to say and judge, then, for ourselves what to think and how to live in light of those words. Paul is different from Acts. It’s a bit unfortunate most Christians aren’t aware of Biblical textual criticism. As we learned at Moody in one of the first courses in the curriculum, we don’t actu- ally have the original writings of the New Testament. Further, the doctrine of the Trinity does not rely on this text, but bary verified by many other passages not in question.

This was the bishop of Lyons in Gaul modern FranceIrenaeus, who wrote a five- volume work against heretics such as Marcion and the Gnostics, and who had very clear ideas about which books should be considered among the canonical Gospels.

Or at least something close! An insignificant variant has absolutely no bearing on our ability to reconstruct the original text.

Do the Differences in Our Manuscripts Matter? Surprising as it may seem, this Christian was writing in the second half of the fourth century, nearly three hundred years after the books of the New Dhrman had themselves been written.

The ones we find the the NT manuscripts don’t affect any significant doctrines. I thought perhaps one of the most interesting insights I gained is how rewriting, adding or editing was an accepted practice and not as so many today would imagine as sacrilidge and evil and not in keeping with the Biblical writings being “holy or sacred” texts.


Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why by Bart D. Ehrman

The popular perception of the Bible as a divinely perfect book receives scant support from Ehrman, who sees in Holy Writ ample evidence of human fallibility and ecclesiastical politics. Both mistakes and intentional changes abound in the surviving manuscriptsmaking the original words difficult to reconstruct.

Indeed, so extensive are these citations that if jess other sources for our knowledge of the text of the New Testament were destroyed, they would be sufficient alone for the reconstruction of practically the entire New Testament. Christian Martyrologies At about the same time that ehramn began to be written, Christians started producing accounts of their persecutions and the martyrdoms that happened as a result of them.

This is the shift in my own thinking that I ended up making, and to which I am now fully committed. Ehrman dhrman a good job of explaining textual criticism for the mizquoting person. Then when the author was finished with the book, he or she would have copies made for a few friends and acquaintances. Soon documents started being produced that indicated how the churches were to be ordered and structured. The manuscript evidence for the New Testament is stunning by comparison see also, F.

Accidental or Intentional Revisions of Copyists

Let me give an example of the difference my changed perspective could musquoting for understanding the Bible. It presents the history of documentation,translation and transmission of the New Testament in a critical way. Ehrman details with convincing clarity how earlier versions of the Bible vary greatly on such teachings as the role of women in the church and even the divinity of Christ himself.

They are bad, but you don’t make better Copying texts allowed for the possibilities of manual error; and batr problem was widely recognized throughout antiquity. It appears that Christians by and large were concerned to know which books to accept as authoritative so that they would 1 know which books should be read in their services of worship and, relatedly, 2 know which books could be trusted as reliable guides for what to be- lieve and how to behave.


Before this — starting with my born-again jess in high school, through my fundamentalist days at Moody, and on through my evangelical days at Wheaton — my faith had been based completely on a certain view of the Bible as the fully inspired, inerrant word of God. Instead, Mary Magdalene played a large role and, technically, was one of Jesus’ apostles. He evidently couldn’t read even the simple words he was putting on the page.

Want to Read Currently Reading Read. One that continues to this day in our bigotry. Ehrman raises an even more interesting point, historically anyway, about Christian persecution by pagans. Indeed, we have solid evidence that this was the case, as it 52 Misquoting Jesus was a matter of occasional complaint by Christians reading those texts and trying to uncover the original words of their authors. As we have seen, outside the Christian communities, in the Roman world ehrmzn large, texts were typically copied either by professional scribes or by literate slaves who were assigned to do such work within a house- hold.

That means, among other things, that the people reproducing texts throughout the empire were not, as a rule, the people who wanted the texts.

Are Bible texts authentic? Considering the huge numbers of religions practiced in that time period and the beliefs of mesus people then, why wouldn’t the vast majority see the Christians as shirking their duty?

Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why

Also, in the early years of Christianity, the literacy rates were very low, and a person might be considered literate if they could just write misquting name. Not only do we not have the originals, we don’t have the first copies of the originals. It takes hold of old manuscripts, compares them, applies certain principles and then each individual scholar doing this pronounces his learned opinion on something he can never prove.

The reason I only give two stars is because I learned pretty much everything he says in this book at a conservative evangelical seminary.