Bart Ehrman, the bestselling world-class biblical scholar, is renowned for his collection of books examining Christianity and the life of Jesus Christ. Ehrman began his career when, while studying the first publications of the Bible in their original language, he discovered hundreds of intentional changes and mistakes that had been made throughout history by hundreds of different translators.
In Misquoting Jesus, Ehrman looks in particular at the alterations made by scholars to the New Testament throughout time. He frames his account and analysis with astute personal reflections on how his study of the Greek manuscripts made him abandon his once ultraconservative views of the Bible.
Many have argued (and still do) that the words they read in the New Testament are an exact copy of the words of Jesus or St. Paul, preserved perfectly over more than 2 millennia. However, this overlooks the reality, Ehrman argues, that each of these manuscripts changed hands dozens of times (and were changed just as often) throughout their lifespan. He attempts to reveal exactly where these alterations were made, what the original Bible said, and why those changes may have been written in.
Ehrman’s provocative case is that that many of our cherished biblical stories and widely held beliefs concerning the divinity of Jesus, the Trinity, and the divine origins of the Bible itself stem from both intentional and accidental alterations by scribes -- alterations that dramatically affected all subsequent versions of the Bible.
In Misquoting Jesus Ehrman reveals that:
- The favorite Bible story of Jesus forgiving the woman caught in adultery (John 8:3-11) doesn't belong in the Bible.
- Scribal errors were so common in antiquity that the author of the Book of Revelation threatened damnation to anyone who adds to or takes away words from the text.