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Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why (Plus) [Paperback]

By Bart D. Ehrman (Author)
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Item description for Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why (Plus) by Bart D. Ehrman...

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.

Publishers Description

For almost 1,500 years, the New Testament manuscripts were copied by hand--and mistakes and intentional changes abound in the competing manuscript versions. Religious and biblical scholar Bart Ehrman makes the provocative case that many of our widely held beliefs concerning the divinity of Jesus, the Trinity, and the divine origins of the Bible itself are the results of both intentional and accidental alterations by scribes.

In this compelling and fascinating book, Ehrman shows where and why changes were made in our earliest surviving manuscripts, explaining for the first time how the many variations of our cherished biblical stories came to be, and why only certain versions of the stories qualify for publication in the Bibles we read today. Ehrman frames his account with personal reflections on how his study of the Greek manuscripts made him abandon his once ultra-conservative views of the Bible.

Citations And Professional Reviews
Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why (Plus) by Bart D. Ehrman has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -

  • Time - 06/22/2009 page 107

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Item Specifications...

Studio: HarperOne
Pages   266
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8" Width: 5.3" Height: 0.9"
Weight:   0.45 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 6, 2007
Publisher   Harper Collins Publishers
ISBN  0060859512  
ISBN13  9780060859510  

Availability  8539 units.
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More About Bart D. Ehrman

Bart D. Ehrman Bart D. Ehrman is the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He came to UNC in 1988, after four years of teaching at Rutgers University. At UNC he has served as both the Director of Graduate Studies and the Chair of the Department of Religious Studies.

A graduate of Wheaton College (Illinois), Professor Ehrman received both his Masters of Divinity and Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary, where his 1985 doctoral dissertation was awarded magna cum laude. Since then he has published extensively in the fields of New Testament and Early Christianity, having written or edited twenty-four books, numerous scholarly articles, and dozens of book reviews.

Among his most recent books are a Greek-English edition of the Apostolic Fathers for the Loeb Classical Library (Harvard University Press), an assessment of the newly discovered Gospel of Judas (Oxford University Press), and four New York Times Bestsellers: Jesus Interrupted (an account of scholarly views of the New Testament), God’s Problem (an assessment of the biblical views of suffering), Misquoting Jesus (an overview of the changes found in the surviving copies of the New Testament and of the scribes who produced them) and Forged (discusses why some books in the New Testament are deliberate forgeries). His books have been translated into twenty-seven languages.

Among his fields of scholarly expertise are the historical Jesus, the early Christian apocrypha, the apostolic fathers, and the manuscript tradition of the New Testament.

Professor Ehrman has served as President of the Southeast Region of the Society of Biblical literature, chair of the New Testament textual criticism section of the Society, book review editor of the Journal of Biblical Literature, and editor of the monograph series The New Testament in the Greek Fathers (Scholars Press). He currently serves as co-editor of the series New Testament Tools, Studies, and Documents (E. J. Brill), co-editor-in-chief for the journal Vigiliae Christianae, and on several other editorial boards for journals and monographs in the field.

Professor Ehrman lectures extensively throughout the country. Winner of numerous university awards and grants, he is the recipient of the 2009 J. W. Pope “Spirit of Inquiry” Teaching Award, the 1993 UNC Undergraduate Student Teaching Award, the 1994 Phillip and Ruth Hettleman Prize for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement, and the Bowman and Gordon Gray Award for excellence in teaching.

Professor Ehrman has two children, a daughter, Kelly, and a son, Derek. He is married to Sarah Beckwith (Ph.D., King's College London), Marcello Lotti Professor of English at Duke University. He lives in Durham, North Carolina.

Bart D. Ehrman currently resides in Chapel Hill, in the state of North Carolina. Bart D. Ehrman has an academic affiliation as follows - Department of Religious Studies, The University of North Carolina, Cha.

Bart D. Ehrman has published or released items in the following series...
  1. New Testament in the Greek Fathers
  2. Studies & Documents (Paperback)

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Reviews - What do customers think about Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why (Plus)?

understanding the bible  Mar 23, 2007
I found this to be a readable and understandable discussion by a real expert (Dr. Erhman reads the text in the original language. He explains,in clear language, the problems of making sense out of a difficult subject, the meaning and origin of the text of the bible we now possess. No one can deny that the bible is of utmost importance to human history for its impact on that history. Dr. Ehrman sheds light on a problem few of us even knew existed: that determining what the actual orgiinal text was is no simple matter.
Bible-Think Evolution  Mar 21, 2007
Based upon contemporary and most credible evidence available to scholars, "Misquoting Jesus" provides insight for all who regard the Bible with interest or curiosity of any variety or perspective. Dr. Ehrman transforms tediously esoteric scholarship into logically connected and flowing, easily read and assimilated plain English. With Ehrman's guidance, a reader can follow evolution of the many translations now available -- from ancient texts to currently published editions. Although emphasis resides with New Testament translations and transitions, I find it difficult to imagine any layman not completing this book without experiencing a sense of new-found discovery and comprehension for the whole Bible.

After completing this reading and thinking "What else can he say?" I was tempted skip the short afterword that had ben appended to the original edition. I'm thankful that I did not succumb to that impulse. The afterword contains a Q & A with the author, a section of readers' responses, notes upon some famous New Testament manuscripts that impacted current translations and understandings, and significantly, "Top Ten Verses That Were Not Originally in the New Testament." The latter provides clear insight into why it is that one can authoritatively refer to "evolution" of the New Testament!

Indeed, Ehrman makes it quite clear that when one asserts, "The Bible says...," the next logical question might well be, "Which Bible?" That observation illuminates in stark relief any claim of so-called "Bible inerrancy."
Enlightening  Mar 13, 2007
I giv this book 4 stars instead of 5 because in places the author gives his opinion instead of sticking to facts. But there are also plenty of facts in the book to satisfy. A very eye opening book.
Biblical academics for the masses  Mar 11, 2007
This was a very interesting read. I prefer researchers, academics, writers to put personality--their personality--upfront in their works; it seems more honest to me.

As for the substance of Misquoting Jesus: There is plenty of meat in there. Ehrman's discussion about the scribes copying and copying and re-copying the books of the bible is a very good point to present. It's nothing new to say, but Misquoting Jesus puts it to a popular audience well. I didn't catch anything I would out-and-out disagree with, though religionists will probably take severe issue with its overtly and implied undermining of Christian theology, at least anything most Christians would think of as Christian theology.

So, if you use religion for comfort, you probably will be offended by this work, but I'm sure it will still be interesting; if you're a secular human being, it will probably be an interesting read (though you should already know the stuff in this book if you're such a person!); if you're the technocratic type of religious person, you'll probably, paradoxically, get more out of Misquoting Jesus than anybody else. (Disagree with my stereotypes?)

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