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

by Bart D. Ehrman

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3,4821002,734 (3.84)81
When Biblical scholar 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. For almost 1500 years these manuscripts were hand copied by scribes who were 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. 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. He makes the provocative case that many of our cherished biblical stories and beliefs stem from both intentional and accidental alterations by scribes--alterations that dramatically affected subsequent versions.--From publisher description.… (more)
  1. 31
    Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists by Dan Barker (Nickelini)
  2. 11
    Who Wrote the Gospels? by Randel McCraw Helms (ehines)
    ehines: Helms deals with the origins of the gospels; Ehrman with the transmission of them. Helms's book is better written and he's got an easier story to tell (the story of finding one origin vs describing a seemingly infinite number of textual variations).
  3. 00
    Holy Bible - Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) by Wartburg Project (lhungsbe)
  4. 01
    Gesù. L'invenzione del Dio cristiano by Paolo Flores d'Arcais (Panairjdde)
    Panairjdde: Il libro di Flores d'Arcais tratta dell'immagine di Gesù e del Cristianesimo delle origini come sorge dall'interpretazione dei testi neotestamentari, ricostruiti così come descritto da Ehrman.
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Showing 1-5 of 97 (next | show all)
While I don't agree with all his conclusions, this is a good introduction into what the New Testament is, where it came from, and why it's imperfect. ( )
  atari_guy | May 11, 2021 |
Textual criticism. That's what this book about. Factually speaking, the Bible we have is not perfect--there are a range of errors and deliberate changes. The book takes a layman's approach to explaining how scholars compare differences in ancient manuscripts of the books of the Bible, and try to decide which parts were original and which parts were added later, deleted or otherwise changed. The types of changes may include scribal errors, or at times premeditated attempts to harmonize then current Biblical books with beliefs of the time period, or otherwise alter them in a way to diminish the scriptural basis of "heretical" beliefs. What's fascinating to me is the number of problems that arise form trying to explain the creed of the Trinity. The book's title is a little bit of bait. Yes there are important passages concerning Christ which probably were not in the original Bible books, but the majority of the book is about textual criticism in general. ( )
  micahammon | Dec 19, 2020 |
Ehrman submits a good case for showing that the words we attribute to Jesus today are likely not his words. And the actions we think he performed likely weren't his actions. And that in fact we know very, very little about what Jesus said and did. And what little we know is questionable. ( )
  octoberdad | Dec 16, 2020 |
Bart D. Ehrman walks you through the complexities of textual criticism and the various ways that the New Testament Bible has been revised over thousands of years. This is a great to begin with when learning about textual criticism. Extensive knowledge of the Bible isn't necessary to appreciate this book, this is geared toward the layperson. ( )
  danjsmall | Oct 2, 2020 |
This is the best book I've found on this subject. Since it's a huge field of theological study, everything I've ever come across is incredibly dense and accademic. This book was accessible and succinct in presenting its ideas, but became a slog as the author got deeper into the methods used to resolve inconsistencies in the bible., ( )
  mitchtroutman | Jun 14, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 97 (next | show all)
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To Bruce M. Metzger
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More than almost anything I've ever written about, the subject of this book has been on my mind for the past thirty years, since I was in my late teens and just beginning my study of the New Testament.
To discuss the copies of the New Testament that we have, we need to start at the very beginning with one of the unusual features of Christianity in the Greco-Roman world: its bookish character.
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More than anyone else from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, it is to two Cambridge scholars, Brooke Foss Westcott (1825-1901) and Fenton John Anthony Hort (1828-1892), that modern textual critics owe a debt of gratitude for developing methods of analysis that help us deal with the manuscript tradition of the New Testament.
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When Biblical scholar 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. For almost 1500 years these manuscripts were hand copied by scribes who were 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. 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. He makes the provocative case that many of our cherished biblical stories and beliefs stem from both intentional and accidental alterations by scribes--alterations that dramatically affected subsequent versions.--From publisher description.

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