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.
In the absence of any original manuscripts of the books of the New Testament, how can we be sure that we're getting the intended words and meaning? Ehrman, professor of religion at UNC Chapel Hill, has devoted his life to the study of such questions and here offers an engaging and fascinating look at the way scholars try to answer them. Part memoir, part history and part critical study, he traces the development of the academic discipline called textual criticism, which uses external and internal evidence to evaluate and compare ancient manuscripts in order to find the best readings. Ehrman points out that scribes altered almost all of the manuscripts we now have. In the early days of the Christian movement, scribal error often arose simply from unintentional omissions of words or lines. As Christianity evolved into an official religion under Constantine, however, scribes often added material to existing manuscripts or altered them to provide scriptural support for Christian doctrine or to enforce specific views about women, Jews or pagans. Ehrman's absorbing story, fresh and lively prose and seasoned insights into the challenges of recreating the texts of the New Testament ensure that readers might never read the Gospels or Paul's letters the same way again.
Great Input To Strengthen Faith
The information is really usefull to strengthen our fsith to grow from child faith to be mature faith. Its always 2 sides story as yhousands years appart; it means there are still more for Mr. Ehrman to dig more. I believe; this is a very great information of Historical Bible perspective but its far away than enough in order to draw a conclussion. This book is highly recommand to the mature Christian to get better perspective about their believe.
Playing on fears for profit
The author is using a very common misconception/assumption to play on people’s fears - and of course, sell books. Most people assume that every time a new translation is made, they start with the last one. The reality is that virtually all modern Bible translations start with the oldest and most reliable original language texts. And since older manuscripts have been discovered over the years, (eg. the Dead Sea Scrolls) translators have been able to compare copies of the scriptures that are sometimes separated by thousands of years and assure that no changes have been made. As a result, there is abundant proof that modern translations are - in as far as the original Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic can be translated into English - exactly the same words the writers were inspired by God to pen. And while it’s true that attempts have been made by some religions to “bend” the scriptures to their erroneous beliefs, those manipulations have long since been discovered and corrected.
Against the Grain
This was the first piece of literature I read from Dr. Ehrman. VERY insightful and thought-provoking. I completely understand how such in-depth studies have compelled Dr. Ehrman to think outside the mainstream thought processes and present an unbiased perspective of the scriptures. This (book) is not an attempt to dissuade folk from their Christian faith, but to arouse the suspicions of those who find particular notes in scripture as inconsistent. This material is for folk who can absorb the potential truths about scripture and realize that (through time) the scriptures were liable to err (fallible). I've read two other pieces of material from this author and although I may not entirely agree with his perspective I respect his position and look forward to more of his research.