An accomplished scholar of early Christianity, Ehrman religious studies, Univ. He sketches the development of New Testament literature, the gradual accumulation of errors therein through the accidental or intentional revisions of copyists, and attempts beginning with Erasmus in the 16th century to reconstruct the original text. Since mainstream study editions of the Bible have long drawn attention to the existence of alternate readings, the reasonably well-informed reader will not find much revolutionary analysis here. Recommended for all public libraries. 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.

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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Misquoting Jesus by Bart D. For almost 1, years, the New Testament manuscripts were copied by hand——and mistakes and intentional changes abound in the competing manuscript versions.

Religious and biblical scholar Bart Ehrman makes the provocative case that many of our widely held beliefs concerning the divinity of Jesus, the Trinity, and the divine origins of the Bible itself are the results of bo For almost 1, years, the New Testament manuscripts were copied by hand——and mistakes and intentional changes abound in the competing manuscript versions.

Religious and biblical scholar Bart Ehrman makes the provocative case that many of our widely held beliefs concerning the divinity of Jesus, the Trinity, and the divine origins of the Bible itself are the results of both intentional and accidental alterations by scribes.

In this compelling and fascinating book, Ehrman shows where and why changes were made in our earliest surviving manuscripts, explaining for the first time how the many variations of our cherished biblical stories came to be, and why only certain versions of the stories qualify for publication in the Bibles we read today. Ehrman frames his account with personal reflections on how his study of the Greek manuscripts made him abandon his once ultra—conservative views of the Bible.

Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published February 6th by HarperOne first published November More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Misquoting Jesus , please sign up. Fascinating but somewhat dry reading of the history of textual criticism of the bible. You can essentially get the gist of the book by listening to one of the interviews that Ehrman has done for radio, which can be found online.

A fascinating subject but the book is for people who want a greater level of details without going into a full academic dissertation. Thom This looks more like a review than a question Wikipedia says the man is an agnostic atheist if that is true? It just seems so sad that God couldn't manage to at least give us the truth in the Hebrew and Greek texts. I know the English is a terrible mess. Jessica The good news is, God did give us a reliable text, at least in every way that matters.

The errors and changes in the Bible are as simple as typos, not …more The good news is, God did give us a reliable text, at least in every way that matters. The errors and changes in the Bible are as simple as typos, nothing that changes the message.

See 2 questions about Misquoting Jesus…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Feb 08, Trevor rated it it was amazing Shelves: religion. This really is a fantastic book.

When Wendy recommended it I thought that it would be pretty much the same old stuff that one would expect when an Atheist recommends a book on Religion.

Firstly, it is written by someone who I assume still considers himself a Christian. Not in the w This really is a fantastic book. 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. He learns Ancient languages, including Greek, Latin and god knows what else.

He studies in various and, to a fundamentalist Christian, increasingly challenging universities and finally has his faith — the simple-minded faith he started with — rocked to the core by what he learns.

When someone is this engaged, this excited and this informed about what they are writing and obsessed in it is impossible not to feel your pulse race as you read. And this guy loves his stuff. I also really like it when someone says something that initially sounds paradoxical and then, once it is explained, makes complete sense. Take, for example, his maxim that if you have two versions of the same text and one version is easy to read and understand and the other is difficult, then the difficult one is most likely to be the original.

This sounds almost perverse, but really it is obvious. If you were a scribe and you came across a piece of text, you would be much more likely to change it so as to simplify it than to change it to make it more difficult to understand. Numerous examples are given of parts of the Bible being changed the last six verses of Mark being added is my favourite and a clear candidate for the most remarkable example so as to make them easier to understand.

The book ends with a wonderful explanation of the differences between the four Gospels and makes a compelling argument for why they cannot be read as if they were one book that need to be read to tell the one story, but rather four different tellings of the one story. It is not the similarities that are important in these stories, but their differences and what these differences mean is what is vitally important.

He spends much time addressing the differences between Mark and Luke — particularly the passion and the remarkably different portrayals of Jesus in these two Gospels. For this stuff alone the book is worth reading. He also quotes some terribly interesting material regarding the transcription and duplication of the early manuscripts.

To be honest, it is hard to imagine that this book survived its origins at all. He quotes one person who is charged with producing a copy of the New Testament who describes how he had to transcribe it letter by letter, given he could not read the language the New Testament he was transcribing was written in.

Repeatedly we are told that if you compare the earliest manuscripts of the New Testament you will find that there are more differences between them than there are words in the New Testament.

A nice line. Of course, like any evolutionary process, most of these differences are clearly errors and make little or not sense, are easily identified and are almost meaningless. He also describes, and makes compelling cases for, intentional changes to the text made by early groups of Christians and their possible motivations for making these changes. Part of the reason the author says it is important to get some idea of the original text of the New Testament — for Christians and Non-Christians alike — is that The Bible is a cornerstone of our culture and this alone makes it an important document to understand.

Even if one was able to prove that the original version of the New Testament stated that Jesus was not the Son of God, but just a man who lived and died — what would that matter? Two thousand years of Western religious tradition would hardly vanish as a result — no matter how good the proof. The history it explains is completely fascinating in itself. As someone who has spent the last seven years reading over what has been essentially the same document with very minor changes enterprise agreements all have maternity leave clauses and hours of work clauses — but all are potentially different I found this book utterly compelling.

I think I could have quite enjoyed a life as a Biblical scholar, tracking changes to texts and researching why those changes might not have been accidental.

There are many people in the world to whom this book really should be made compulsory reading — for the rest of us no compulsion is necessary — it really is a pleasure to read. View all 41 comments. The fundamentalist Christian appalled at the idea of someone doubting the infallibility of the Bible 3. The first aspect is readability. In this case, it is a short and entertaining book. The second aspect is in the delivery of the goods.

In several instances he mentions how the things that Jesus [supposedly] said were changed by scribes or even by the gospel authors yes Luke, you know what you did. This is because he tells us some of the more common reasons to make mistakes transcribing ancient texts reason 1: no Microsoft Word, heck! And sometimes they changed stuff to meet their beliefs just like some people overlook the fact that Rick Ankiel probably used HGH because they like him.

In this sense the book is revealing because he is not talking about conspiracy theories sorry DaVinci Code fans but about how incredibly human is this supposedly divine book. Finally it provides a little perspective into what was going on during those early days of Christianity. Just like there are many interpretations these days, there were many interpretations in those days and some way too odd. In a way the bible instead of being inspired, evolved for many many years until some loosely unified theology arose in which most could agree Jesus is God, God is Jesus, both are the Holy Ghost…and nobody thinks it is a little schizophrenic?

I also used the word evolved combined with bible to piss off the intelligent designers out there. Why I recommend this book? Also, because it is pissing off fundies everywhere. View all 12 comments. Please, if you're Christian, read this. If you're religious, read this. If you're atheist, read this.

I guess what I'm saying is read this. Misquoting Jesus reminds me of the game we played in elementary school. The teacher whispers a story in the ear of one child and it's whispered from one ear to the next until the last child tells the story out loud.


Accidental or Intentional Revisions of Copyists

Ehrman discusses a number of textual variants that resulted from intentional or accidental manuscript changes during the scriptorium era. Ehrman recounts his personal experience with the study of the Bible and textual criticism. He summarizes the history of textual criticism, from the works of Desiderius Erasmus to the present. The book describes an early Christian environment in which the books that would later compose the New Testament were copied by hand, mostly by Christian amateurs. Ehrman concludes that various early scribes altered the New Testament texts in order to de-emphasize the role of women in the early church, to unify and harmonize the different portrayals of Jesus in the four gospels, and to oppose certain heresies such as Adoptionism. Alex Beam of the Boston Globe , wrote that the book is "a series of dramatic revelations for the ignorant", and that "Ehrman notes that there have been a lot of changes to the Bible in the past 2, years. I don't want to come between Mr.


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I was suddenly transformed from being a competent scholar with whom others might disagree here or there to being a Major Public Enemy. Conservative scholars said all sorts of bizarre things about me in the wake of the book. My long-time acquaintance and occasional debate opponent, Craig Evans, wrote, in a book, that I had become an agnostic as soon as I realized that there were lots of textual differences among our manuscripts, and he pointed out how absurd that was. It was indeed absurd — but not because this was why I became an agnostic but because Craig assumed and informed his readers that it was. My realizing that there are differences among our manuscripts had precisely NOTHING to do with my becoming an agnostic, and Craig should have known that. Where did Craig get his information from on this one?

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