Misquoting Jesus by Bart D. Ehrman

Misquoting Jesus

By Bart D. Ehrman

  • Release Date: 2009-10-06
  • Genre: Christianity
Score: 4
From 64 Ratings
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When world-class biblical scholar Bart 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. In Misquoting Jesus, Ehrman tells the story behind the mistakes and changes that ancient scribes made to the New Testament and shows the great impact they had upon the Bible we use today. He frames his account with personal reflections on how his study of the Greek manuscripts made him abandon his once ultraconservative views of the Bible.

Since the advent of the printing press and the accurate reproduction of texts, most people have assumed that when they read the New Testament they are reading an exact copy of Jesus's words or Saint Paul's writings. And yet, for almost fifteen hundred years these manuscripts were hand copied by scribes who were deeply 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. For the first time, 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.

Ehrman makes the provocative case 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.


  • Tiresome and repetitious

    By sgulie
    The title is sensational, but the book doesn't live up to it. The author is a bible scholar who documents thousands of alterations in the text of the New Testament over several centuries, resulting in hundreds of conflicting versions and making it impossible to know with certainty what the original said. It's interesting, whether you're a Christian or not, but it's about 50 pages worth of information, padded out to 250 pages by repeating everything five times.
  • Thought Provoking

    By Matthew Reeves
    This is, in the truest sense, a truly thought provoking book. Well written and well researched, Dr. Ehrman presents an interesting look into the history of how the bible was copied and the many debates surrounding certain passages believed to have possibly been added later. It also delves into the many different early manuscripts and differences they contain versus our own. Overall, it's quite an intriguing and captivating read. Unlike his two other books that were published after this, he remains rather unbiased throughout the book, leaving readers to formulate conclusions on their own. There are of course a few times, including the last two pages, where he tries to insert his own opinion, but for the most part, he remains neutral. This was quite a welcomed change, as it felt like he was truly giving respect to the reader. I would not recommend this to young or new Christians, as they won't necessarily have enough background in Christian theology/NT History to figure out what to do with the information provided. But as for experienced Christians and obviously skeptics/inquiring minds, this is highly recommended. So in essence, this book is a great historical perspective on the Bible, it's composition, copying, edits and Early Christianity.
  • Against the Grain

    By Keo Zach
    This was the first piece of literature I read from Dr. Ehrman. VERY insightful and thought-provoking. I completely understand how such in-depth studies have compelled Dr. Ehrman to think outside the mainstream thought processes and present an unbiased perspective of the scriptures. This (book) is not an attempt to dissuade folk from their Christian faith, but to arouse the suspicions of those who find particular notes in scripture as inconsistent. This material is for folk who can absorb the potential truths about scripture and realize that (through time) the scriptures were liable to err (fallible). I've read two other pieces of material from this author and although I may not entirely agree with his perspective I respect his position and look forward to more of his research.
  • Great Input To Strengthen Faith

    By Rubesh
    The information is really usefull to strengthen our fsith to grow from child faith to be mature faith. Its always 2 sides story as yhousands years appart; it means there are still more for Mr. Ehrman to dig more. I believe; this is a very great information of Historical Bible perspective but its far away than enough in order to draw a conclussion. This book is highly recommand to the mature Christian to get better perspective about their believe.