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Another home run for Ehrman!,
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This review is from: Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why (Hardcover)
In a little over 200 pages, Ehrman gets to the point of how the New Testament came to be what it is today. No, it didn't just appear leather-bound, shiny, and new after Jesus' resurrection; rather, it was painstakingly cobbled together decades after Jesus' crucifixion from copies of copies of copies of (you get the point) the original writings of the New Testament authors, which were slowly altered over time by scribes that handed them down (sometimes by accident or othertimes intentionally by those meaning to "correct" things in the scriptures that didn't make sense). All in all, Ehrman makes his case well, that even if the New Testament scriptures started out as the inspired word of God, we humans have certainly gotten our filthy little hands on it and have made it quite difficult to discern what the "original" writers (whose texts have been lost) actually wrote. Thus, we can only try to piece it together through the challenging art of textual criticism, which is what this book is largely about.
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Showing 1-10 of 25 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 17, 2006 9:41:00 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 16, 2008 1:15:00 PM PDT
David E. Blair says:
In this thread of book reviews is a PhD thesis on hermeneutics of reading waiting for some one to research and write it. Data mining in this thread and the Amazon database is quite feasible. These threads reflect intensely honest reader response reactions that can be quantified and case studied. Viva la the intent and urge of the human psyche to express itself.
Posted on Oct 17, 2006 9:43:53 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Mar 16, 2008 1:15:13 PM PDT]
Posted on Mar 17, 2007 12:08:24 AM PDT
If God is who he says he is, all powerful, shouldn't it be within his power to mold the bible into a text that faithfully and accurately reflects him, his will, and his provision? Even after 1000 years? It's not the "orignal" writers that Christians have faith in, nor those scribes who spent lifetimes recopying his word, it's God himself. If God is unable to insulate his word from our filthy little hands...and yes, they are filthy... then no one really has any business having faith in him at all.
In reply to an earlier post on Apr 5, 2007 3:32:13 AM PDT
A customer says:
But is it required that there be 100% insulation for God's person, will and provision to be accurately reflected? If, as is maintained by most textual critics, we have 98-99% accuracy with the NT, and that nothing of doctrinal significance is called into question by the 1-2% uncertainty - (contra Ehrman's exaggerated cliams) - it seems reasonable to believe that God has performed just such an insulation. Your conclusion seems not to hold: I still "have business" believing in God. (In fact, the more I study biblical studies, the more impresssed I am that we have been given an astonishingly good record about Jesus. (I write as a one-time atheist who was persuaded by a number of evidences.) I know you don't believe, but try reading, say, Craig A Evans' works before you judge finally on the reliability of the NT. Regards: J.
In reply to an earlier post on Apr 23, 2007 8:32:34 PM PDT
Susan Shafer says:
In reply to an earlier post on May 6, 2007 6:22:06 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 6, 2007 6:22:29 PM PDT
Belly Laugh says:
But what about free will? God gave free will so that He would not have to watch and move but to give his people choice. If God moved us all the time then we would be nothing but puppets. Therefore I conjecture that it would be possible for people to write what the want in the Bible and it is the students of and children of God to ascertain the truth.
In reply to an earlier post on May 12, 2007 8:05:08 PM PDT
L. Thomas Deaver says:
I couldn't agree more. We are given free will to question. Jesus never stated we should believe every word said about him: both from nonbelievers and the Bible (which didn't exist until hundreds of years later.)
I'm really curious about why Jesus choose apostles that were definitely not scholars. Matthew seems the most educated of them as a tax collector. I can totally understand picking men that were "common folk" because you don't want to be elitist. Sometimes "common folk" have greater wisdom than scholars. But I would have thought Jesus would have picked at least one or two scholars to record his actual words. Maybe he did and we just don't have copies of them.
Anyone know a book that focuses on reasons for Jesus to pick the Disciples he did? Also, I'm looking for a good book on the lives and the traditions associated with the original disciples. Know any good ones?
In reply to an earlier post on May 15, 2007 1:06:31 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on May 15, 2007 1:07:07 PM PDT]
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 20, 2007 2:41:07 PM PDT
There are two kinds of people who never question faith, either their's or anyone else's. They are:
1) People who are convinced that they already know everything and therefore have nothing to either question or learn about faith, and
2) People who don't care about God or faith, one way or another.
Between these two, I can't decide which is worse, can you?
Mr. Ehrman is not the servant of the devil you claim that he is. No one who honestly questions his (or her) faith, or even those who honestly question the idea of faith itself, are capable of being used by the devil. Since the devil is the father of lies, it is readily apparent that those who seek to tell the truth as they understand cannot ever be of any use to the devil. How can an honest person be of use to one who lies?
It seems obvious that one would not question God, or faith, or even the origins and reliability of scripture if one simply didn't care about God or faith. What is the point of questioning something one doesn't care about?
Further, it seems apparent that those who care enough to question, and also to struggle, with their faith, are much close to God than even they themselves may realize.
And no, questioning the Bible, or the existence of God, is not what causes people to stumble. It is the refusal to allow people the freedom to question that causes them to "stumble", or, put more specifically, refusing to allow people to question is the best motivator for rebellion there is.
I hope that I have given you some food for thought.
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 26, 2007 6:16:05 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 26, 2007 6:21:05 AM PDT
Gregory Lewis says:
Dr. J writes: "the more I study biblical studies, the more impresssed I am that we have been given an astonishingly good record about Jesus."
Far from being a good record, the best we can say is there is only some consistency to the record of a man for whom we have little-to-no evidence ever existed.
It would seem everything written about Jesus was done so posthumously. Why? Wouldn't a virign birth be big news in Bethlehem, worthy of being written down? Three wise men from the east visiting? A bright star? Yet, we have nothing from Jesus' actual lifetime. In contrast to the above poster, my own examination of the early Christian period seems to indicate that rather than four independent gospels, each was an embellishment of one that came before. Again, that doesn't qualify as a "good" record, but a necessarily consistent record. It's like the Los Angeles Times reporting on a story read in the Baltimore Sun that was reported by the Boston Globe that was first reported by the New York Times.
Put another way, "the stern Pilate grows more mellow from gospel to gospel...The more removed from history, the more sympathetic a character he becomes." - George Santayana