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Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why Paperback – February 6, 2007
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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. Though himself schooled in evangelical literalism, Ehrman has come to regard his earlier faith in the inerrant inspiration of the Bible as misguided, given that the original texts have disappeared and that the extant texts available do not agree with one another. Most of the textual discrepancies, Ehrman acknowledges, matter little, but some do profoundly affect religious doctrine. To assess how ignorant or theologically manipulative scribes may have changed the biblical text, modern scholars have developed procedures for comparing diverging texts. And in language accessible to nonspecialists, Ehrman explains these procedures and their results. He further explains why textual criticism has frequently sparked intense controversy, especially among scripture-alone Protestants. In discounting not only the authenticity of existing manuscripts but also the inspiration of the original writers, Ehrman will deeply divide his readers. Although he addresses a popular audience, he undercuts the very religious attitudes that have made the Bible a popular book. Still, this is a useful overview for biblical history collections. Bryce Christensen
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
“Offers a fascinating look into the field of textual criticism and evidence that Scriptures have been altered.” (Charleston Post & Courier)
“Whichever side you sit on regarding Biblical inerrancy, this is a rewarding read.” (Dallas Morning News)
“One of the unlikeliest bestsellers of the year.” (Washington Post)
“Misquoting Jesus is a godsend.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)
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Top Customer Reviews
I do think Ehrman paints a worse picture than what is truly the case. In reading the book, it seems like he is trying to build the case that the Bible can't be trusted at all. I fear that will be the conclusion many of his readers will reach after reading the book. I don't think Ehrman is trying to shatter anyone's faith, but I'm afraid that will be the result for at least a few.
There is no doubt in my eyes that much of what he writes is factual. For instance there are thousands of textural variants and some of those variants were intentional intentional. However, I don't believe the biblical text should be disregarded as a complete fabrication either. Even though there are many variants, there are few significant ones, and I believe Ehrman has highlighted all the significant ones that I know about it.
I also believe those who turn to the biblical text as the authority for their faith need to face some obvious facts. First of all, the way in which the New Testament was canonized leaves a lot of room for human error. It is pretty far from miraculous. There is merit in recognizing the fact that we can all be wrong. This shouldn't lead us to the conclusion that seeking God's will is a futile task. I think God wants us to seek him and I still maintain the biblical text is the most reliable way of learning about God and Jesus.
There were those that condemned Jesus at his trial and those that did not. Even today I find the same crowd differences. Anyone who thinks they have the perfect religious answer and condemn anyone who is different on the wrong side of that CROWD, IMHO I consider them pseudo Christians who have lost their way and only love can save them with the insights that it can offer.
I have noticed all the differences between accounts of the witnesses, in fact by reading the bibles have found much more doubts about it's divine inspiration than this book could or did. This is an enlightening book to say the least! There really are truth seekers that will seek a purer form of truth til the day they die.
Jesus claimed to be Christ, NOT God! And he encouraged that kind of mindset until found. And you may differ in opinion, but I am still a Christian!
He (Jesus) also did not abandon his Jewishness, and in spirit is (I imagine) outraged at all of the evil done in his name through the ages over textual errors and personal political belief injected into the bible, or in it's day recorded accounts of witnesses & the apostles, (what started out to be and I'm sure in someplace's still is the Inspired works of God), when the more political leanings of the particular scribe or church leaders decided to sway public opinion against the Jews, women, people who remembered Jesus slightly differently on & on. And they were and still can be very 'un-Christian' when the scriptures are taken literally and ultra Conservative by fundamentalists and political evangelicals.
Think about it!