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When world-class biblical scholar Bart Ehrman first began to study the texts of the Bible in their original languages he was startled to discover the multitude of mistakes and intentional alterations that had been made by earlier translators. In Misquoting Jesus, Ehrman tells the story behind the mistakes and changes that ancient scribes made to the New Testament and shows the great impact they had upon the Bible we use today. He frames his account with personal reflections on how his study of the Greek manuscripts made him abandon his once ultraconservative views of the Bible.

Since the advent of the printing press and the accurate reproduction of texts, most people have assumed that when they read the New Testament they are reading an exact copy of Jesus's words or Saint Paul's writings. And yet, for almost fifteen hundred years these manuscripts were hand copied by scribes who were deeply influenced by the cultural, theological, and political disputes of their day. Both mistakes and intentional changes abound in the surviving manuscripts, making the original words difficult to reconstruct. For the first time, Ehrman reveals where and why these changes were made and how scholars go about reconstructing the original words of the New Testament as closely as possible.

Ehrman makes the provocative case that many of our cherished biblical stories and widely held beliefs concerning the divinity of Jesus, the Trinity, and the divine origins of the Bible itself stem from both intentional and accidental alterations by scribes—alterations that dramatically affected all subsequent versions of the Bible.

Topics: Ancient Times, Literary Criticism, 21st Century, Christianity, Jesus, New Testament Studies, Spirituality , Language, Literary Studies, and Politics

Published: HarperCollins on Oct 6, 2009
ISBN: 9780061977022
List price: $6.99
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Eye opening indeed
Very critical to analytical minds!!
Highly recommended to Christians like myself!!!!read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
If you are looking for the definitive book on why you no longer have to go to church with your parents/spouse, etc, this is not it. Like Spong, Ehrman is really giving us an overview of current academic scholarship concerning the New Testament. Much of what he writes here can be found in any seminary Bible survey course. But unlike Spong Ehrman a) does not claim that is a all new discovery, and therefore discredits Faith As We Know It, and b) handles his conclusions with care. Essentially this is a popular introduction to textual analysis, and a very good one. Ehrman does treat us to his original scholarship, and that is a treat in this book. No Grand Conspiracies, no Da Vinci Code type coverups, just good scholarship on the Bible, and in the end, that does both the Bible and those who want to use it properly a great service.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
A good general introduction to the ways scholars study the manuscripts of the New Testament to determine the earliest form of the texts available. Ehrman discusses some of the ways scribes altered the texts they copied, often accidentally, occasionally for ideological reasons. Some good discussions of individual instances of alteration, but this book is less strong explaining a unified theory of how to evaluate the readings. How, for example, to honor the earliest manuscripts available while realizing that later witness (sometimes small number of these) might represent earlier readings.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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Reviews

Eye opening indeed
Very critical to analytical minds!!
Highly recommended to Christians like myself!!!!
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
If you are looking for the definitive book on why you no longer have to go to church with your parents/spouse, etc, this is not it. Like Spong, Ehrman is really giving us an overview of current academic scholarship concerning the New Testament. Much of what he writes here can be found in any seminary Bible survey course. But unlike Spong Ehrman a) does not claim that is a all new discovery, and therefore discredits Faith As We Know It, and b) handles his conclusions with care. Essentially this is a popular introduction to textual analysis, and a very good one. Ehrman does treat us to his original scholarship, and that is a treat in this book. No Grand Conspiracies, no Da Vinci Code type coverups, just good scholarship on the Bible, and in the end, that does both the Bible and those who want to use it properly a great service.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
A good general introduction to the ways scholars study the manuscripts of the New Testament to determine the earliest form of the texts available. Ehrman discusses some of the ways scribes altered the texts they copied, often accidentally, occasionally for ideological reasons. Some good discussions of individual instances of alteration, but this book is less strong explaining a unified theory of how to evaluate the readings. How, for example, to honor the earliest manuscripts available while realizing that later witness (sometimes small number of these) might represent earlier readings.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
A scholarly treatise that is very readable.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This is an excellent book that does a great job of illuminating the types of textual criticism that are essential to understanding the Bible. Ehrman puts forth several excellent examples of places where there are differences in the text in the original Bible manuscripts and does so without putting forth a religious argument for one over the other. He doesn't try to show us every place in the Bible where there are multiple readings, nor does he claim that it is impossible to recreate the original texts. Instead, he shows us some of the inherent problems in this sort of work and gives some good examples of places where traditional readings are probably incorrect. Best of all, he writes with a lay audience in mind so that anyone can pick up this book and follow his examples without being a scholar in textual criticism. Well done!
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Great read. Laregly well researched and reasoned. Not entirely balanced, but has some good information.
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