Jon's Reviews > Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why

Misquoting Jesus by Bart D. Ehrman
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's review
Aug 25, 11

An explanation from a noted textual scholar, as to why literal interpretation of the bible is simply not possible. His question is "where is the actual bible you're taking literally?" The one we have is an amalgam of manuscripts, few of them complete, many of them fragments no bigger than a matchbook, copied, recopied over millennia, with many mistakes, many intentional changes on the part of scribes, and thousands of differences, all regularized and heavily edited by scholars of varying stripes over the centuries. He claims (and I'm sure it's true) that there are more differences among early manuscripts of the New Testament than there are words in the New Testament. He admits that 99% of these are careless, obvious, and easily regularized or corrected. But some are significant. I have no problem with any of this--but I do have a problem with his moving from this to agnosticism or atheism (he admits that he does not believe in God). Just because, for example, the story of the woman taken in adultery is not in ANY of the earliest manuscripts of the Gospel of John, that it was apparently a free-floating story that only got attached (in varying places) to John later, and that in at least one instance it was attached to the Gospel of Luke--just because this is true, doesn't mean the incident never actually took place, or that we can't learn something of value from it. Ehrman seems to be in very serious rebellion against is early southern Baptist upbringing.
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Kenny Bell PLEASE READ* Does Bart Erhman provide the resources or evidence to where he claims "We don't have the original bible" and "we dont know who wrote the bible"? He just says this thing without pointing readers where to look this up. And it was also weird to me that if we dont have the original bible then what did they use to translate to English?

message 2: by Jon (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jon I've got a Greek New Testament along with an English translation, and here's what it says in the introduction: "The New Testament has come down to us in various manuscripts, some of which are more important than others.The study of the various manuscript copies, and the assessment of their individual value in attempting to reconstruct an original as nearly as possible, constitutes the science of textual criticism. The Greek text used in this book is based on the study and critical research of generations of scholars." We have to remember that for 1500 years all the copies of the Bible were written by hand, and tired scribes made lots of mistakes. Trying to correct them and come up with some completely correct "original" is a problem that will never be solved to everybody's satisfaction.

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