Post copied from my old blog (1/13/10)-
I first used his textbook on the New Testament in a religious studies class I took and found his perspective so interesting I had to go grab another book of his. Misquoting Jesus is a book about changes made in the Bible and theories on why. He looks at changes that were simply mistakes, and changes to the text that were made for other purposes, usually theological reasons.
He first examines the scriptures before there was a canon, and discusses how that canon was formed. (The first canon was actually made by Marcion who was later declared a heretic) He then looks at the problems encountered when the old scriptures would be copied. Next, he goes through specific examples of changes and errors providing evidence for how scholars can determine this.
Here are a few topics to pull you in! -
- Ehrman examines the King James Bible and the many translation changes that King James made, speculating on how these changes transformed the way the Bible was read and interpreted.
- He looks at the famous story of Jesus forgiving the woman caught in adultery in John and shows evidence that the story was added by later scribes.
- There is an interesting chapter on women in the Bible and the changes made in that area.
No matter where you stand on the Bible’s inerrancy, the language and possibility for translational errors are fascinating to study. Ehrman looks at who wrote a piece of scripture, why they wrote it, and who copied it in later years. Studying the texts and its many translations is very beneficial historically and theologically.
This book was so fascinating! If you have any interest at all in history, especially biblical history, I recommend reading this.