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Misquoting Jesus By D. Ehrman


Bael
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I watched Mr. Ehrman on The Colbert Report (Colbert is extremely funny. He argues as if he is a very narrow minded fundamentalst, "The Bible says it is the word of God therefore it is the Word of God!" "What problem do you have with that reasoning?") the other night and picked up his book, "Misquoting Jesus" He points out that while attending Moody Bible Institute he learned about "Textual Criticism"Apparently this is a class that addresses the problems found with interpreting the manuscripts used to write the Bible. He states that 1. We don't have any original manuscripts of the letters (Bible). 2. The earliest copies of these letters contradict other copies, He shows that in many places words have been changed to "correct" these errors made by those who were copying the originals! These "corrections" reflect the cultural teachings held about Christianity at that particular time.Thus Moody Bible Institute (And Other Christian Colleges) have to teach students how to identify the errors made and what the "correct" words really were! He also points out that the vast majority of Christians (Myself at one time) don't even realize these issues exist.

 

When I was a Christian I always assumed that we had original copies of the Bible or we had undeniable scientific evidence that the Bible was proven inherent beyond a doubt! why? Because people said so! Has anyone read this book?

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I haven't read it, but I'll put it on my book-shopping list.

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Anything by Ehrman is a great read. He's an ex Christian and in Misquoting Jesus he gives his Extimony. He says he's a happy agnostic. I have most of his books. He's fluent in ancient Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, Latin, and the modern languages of French and German. The later because the best Biblical scholars spoke and wrote in those languages. When he gives Biblical texts in his books, they are his own translations. His books are objective and when he does give his opinoin, he says that it's his opinoin.

 

I've looked up criticisms of him and his books by Christians on the web and they say he's wrong, they don't agree with his opinoins, and they call him names. Although, they never say why he's wrong or refute any of his points.

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Yep. I've got it, and I've read it. Bart Ehrman is highly respected in every discussion I've seen by critical historians. (Although like Taph says - evangelicals have to try and discredit him)

 

"Misquoting Jesus" , as well as Robert Price's "The Incredible Shrinking Son of Man" are two really good resources that help a person to see for sure that the Bible is not a HOLY BOOK dictated personally by GOD ALMIGHTY. It takes the bible off of its throne and helps you to see it as just another book, or rather a collection of writings that are often uninspiring and unoriginal..

 

Both of these books point out so many things in the gospels that I never had any clue about - after reading the darn thing for 25 years.

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I just recently finished his Misquoting Jesus - excellent material! I'm slowly making my way through his Lost Christianities book now. All good stuff.

 

Remind me to post my Paige Patterson story tomorrow. It's bedtime and I'm reading a damn forum!

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My spouse has already finished it and I am working my way through. So far he has pointed out that the early/first churches were made up of uneducated poor peasants. Thus congregations had a very little chance of anyone being literate. The communities themselves had about 5 to 10% of what was considered literate. This is further complicated because literate in those days could mean simply the ability of writing ones name down. "Joshua is literate" "See he can copy letters!" Early church members are credited to copying the letters of the Apostles. Professional scribes were not used until the third century and these people did not have originals to copy from! Evidence shows that in attempts to correct errors perceived in earlier manuscripts scribes purposely made changes to their copies and made errors also. A question I have is When were the letters first considered to be God inspired? Did the early church members approach their tasks with the notions that they were copying down "God's Word"? It doesn't seem likely to me since this wasn't officially decided until the third century. If he has mentioned this I must have skipped over it. Does anyone know? Also I would like to correct my misspelling of Scholar? How?

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I've read the book. It's excellent! It really sheds insight into the development and the problems of the texts of the New Testament. I was particularily interested in the development of the earlier Bible's and the attempts early Christians made to compile the most accurate texts and make a once-and-for-all complete Bible. They were only working with a hand full of sources, much less than we have access to today.

 

I was going to review it on my blog, but it's hard to sum up. My blog is targeted to my Christian friends because I'm trying to show them what I've learned about Christianity. Basically I just say that if you read Misquoting Jesus, no one will ever read the Bible the same way again. Bart Ehrman still treads in Christian circles and his books are even available at some Christina book stores I've learned. (I was going to buy one for my mom.. yikes.. she's still Christian, not quite fundy, but pretty engrained.)

 

Another book I've been reading is Why the Jews Rejected Jesus by David Klinghoffer. This is a great book so far and it breaks down the setting with which Jesus came into in the Jewish/Roman setting. Basically it just describes how Jesus didn't seem to be anything special at the time, let alone heard of, so the Jews didn't find it hard to reject him. Interesting read.

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I posted my own summary of the book on a Christian B.B. The responses were pretty lame. They tried to attack Ehrman, "He's not Born Again"! or "The publishers just want to make money!" However none of them have yet to discredit what he is pointing out. One guy (an accountant for Franklin Graham) even admitted that Christians must proceed upon assumptions as to the validity of the Bible. He qualifies it by saying Ehrman makes assumptions as well. O.K. I'll give him that much.

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