s/t: The Story Behind Who Changed the New Testament & Why...
|Title||:||Whose Word Is It?|
|Number of Pages||:||256 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Whose Word Is It? Reviews
Reprinted as "Misquoting Jesus: The Story of Who Changed the Bible and Why"
It might seem a little odd to review a book of Bible scholarship as a popular science author, but bear with me. This is no normal religious book - and I came to it because it was recommended by Richard Dawkins.I have to say I found this book, which looks at the way the copying of the New Testament of the Bible introduced errors into it over the years, fascinating. This was for three reasons. First because as a writer, it's remarkable to see such a study of how a series of manuscripts going back a couple of thousand years have accumulated errors and changes. Secondly it really makes you wonder about people who think the Bible is an inerrant source of certainty (Dawkins' main point) and thirdly it shows how some of Christianity's less popular aspects are probably not original.Because the book is quite thorough in detail, it helps to really be interested in language and also to have a mild familiarity with the Bible - otherwise it could be a bit of an uphill struggle.What Ehrman reveals is the way that our translations of the New Testament of the Bible are based on various copied manuscripts and how errors in copying (both accidental and intentional to change the meaning) made various versions drift away from the originals. The detective story of piecing this together is really interesting, especially bearing in mind we don't actually know exactly what the originals said, so textual analysis has to be used to try to pin down what are the changes and what was the earliest version.This is clearly a body blow for any intelligent person who believes the Bible is the absolute word of God containing no errors. Such people often take the King James (AV) Bible as their 'absolute truth' version - yet it turns out that the New Testament of this was taken from a single, pretty dubious, late Greek source. It gets lots of things wrong.I won't go through all the interesting stuff, but one result of reading this is that St Paul has gone up in my estimation. Some of his letters in the Bible make him come across as seriously misogynistic. He appears to say that women shouldn't speak in church and should only do what they are told by their husbands. But it turns out this stuff was added later by a tinkering scribe who clearly wanted to assert the place of men in society. The original has quite a lot that puts forward women as equals, including naming a female apostle, a female priest and eminent female members of the congregation. So, sorry St Paul - I got you wrong.All in all an interesting read for anyone into the way the written word changes with time and an absolute must for anyone who takes the Bible seriously.Review first published on http://brianclegg.blogspot.com and reproduced with permission.
Note: This book has been republished as "Misquoting Jesus: The Story of Who Changed the Bible and Why"In the introduction to this 2006 book, the author reveals himself to have been in his youth of the opinion that I once espoused. That is, that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God and that it is complete and unchanged. He was devoted to his faith and to the Bible and so dedicated his life to the study of it. But in the course of these studies, he came to the conclusion that the Bible has changed. And not only by insignificant copy errors, but also by deliberate change.Much of what Ehrman discusses, especially early in the book, is consistent with what I have already studied, but it is a succinct summary without the technical detail that makes reading some books about the Bible trying. It's written in an approachable, clear style best suited for students but not inaccessible to people in general. This is the book I want to recommend to my family.The author provides examples and then reasons over what the implications are. For instance, the verses wherein a woman should not be suffered to speak in the assembly were probably not, according to scholars, originally written by Paul. Why don't they think so? Because 1) the verses often don't show up in the same place which indicates that they were originally a marginal note that got incorporated into the text at a later date, 2) the verses are out of sync with topic of prophecy that surrounds them (that is, if you remove the doubtful verses, the rest of the chapter flows more smoothly and makes more sense), and 3) there were social pressures in the church contemporary with the manuscripts to minimize the previously strong role of women in the church.This book isn't hysterical. It isn't judgmental. It is a presentation of the facts as we know and, more importantly, how we know them.
I really enjoyed this book. It gives a whole new meaning to the bible and is a must read for all believers and non believers alike
Fascinating but drier than the Atacama Desert
Disappointed that Ehrman has given up his Christianity. So, it was okay, but He didn't really say anything he hadn't said in his other books.