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

de Bart D. Ehrman

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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.… (més)
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    Who Wrote the Gospels? de Randel McCraw Helms (ehines)
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    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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Quoting Wikipedia, "Bart D. Ehrman is an American New Testament scholar focusing on textual criticism of the New Testament, the historical Jesus, and the origins and development of early Christianity. He has written and edited 30 books, including three college textbooks. He has also authored six New York Times bestsellers. He is the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. According to a starred Publisher's Weekly review, "[Misquoting Jesus. . .] [is an] engaging, fascinating and absorbing story. [It uses] fresh and lively prose. . .[with] insights into the challenges of recreating the texts of the New Testament. . .[R]eaders might never read the Gospels or Paul's letters the same way again." This work includes a conclusion, notes and is well indexed.
  uufnn | Oct 10, 2022 |
The title is click-bait and now that it’s got your attention you can ignore it. This is a layman’s introduction to the textual criticism of the New Testament. What it will do is allow you to get through a conversation without looking like a total fool when the subject comes up at parties, as it invariably does.

You don’t need any Greek. Ehrman has a couple of clever tricks to get around that problem. He never let’s a technical term slip by without glossing it. You could probably still follow the book if you had only the vaguest idea of what the New Testament actually was. He uses very interesting examples. A good teacher. It’s far more enjoyable that any book on the subject really deserves to be. The style is readable and somehow friendly. Very fast paced. Reminded me a bit of The Da Vinci Code. ( )
  Lukerik | Aug 21, 2022 |
The first thing to know about Bart Ehrman is that you should ignore the titles of his books. I don't know if he comes up with him or if it is his publishers, but I do know that the titles are meant to grab eyeballs. The books are much less sensationalistic than the titles or the publisher's blurbs -- Ehrman mostly covers academically mainstream, vanilla views of the Biblical as a historical and literary text. These books, like pretty much anything that looks at the Bible as a historical and literary work, are going to be unpleasant for literalists.

The second thing to know about Ehrman is that he is one of those authors whose books cover the same topic repeatedly from different perspectives. Thus, you probably only need to read one Ehrman book to get the general gist of what he has to say. The other books give more depth for those interested in that.

Misquoting Jesus covers how a disparate set of writing came to be the Christian scriptures. It discusses the canonization of the books of the New Testament and how those texts have been altered through the years. Contrary to what it might seem, these alterations, mostly unintentional scribal errors or attempts to "fix" a text that was believed to have been corrupted by an earlier scribe, are extremely valuable. Like genetic variations within and across species, textual variants can be used to determine what the original text was most likely like. The downside of this book, for me, is that it went into a lot of depth of the story of the analysis itself -- how different variant texts were found and dated, who did the foundational work in this area, etc. This is not bad, but it was more depth than I felt I needed on the single aspect of textual variants.

It was not a bad book, but one of Ehrman's other books, Jesus, Interrupted is strictly better. I would strongly recommend that book to anyone interested in gaining more background on the Bible. ( )
  eri_kars | Jul 10, 2022 |
Professor Ehrman discusses the various ways scribal errors and purposeful editing have altered the New Testament over the centuries. He also shows how scholars can reconstruct earlier writings and determine as closely as possible the earliest meaning of the text. A bit dry at times but well done. Dr. Ehrman explains terms and writes in a manner that a person without a graduate education can follow. ( )
  MMc009 | Jan 30, 2022 |
explanation of scribal errors and changes and impossibility of knowing original words of Bible
  ritaer | Aug 26, 2021 |
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Introduction
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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