Sunday, April 30, 2006

Recommended Reading: Misquoting Jesus

My enlightened friend, Tiel suggested this fascinating book: Misquoting Jesus (a New York Times best seller) for all of us. May this book guide us to discover Jesus (peace be upon him), in his true teachings. Amen.

About the Book:

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.


From Barnes & Noble i also got a good reader's review (some excerpt):
This book is a huge benefit to the lay reader who is not inclined to go through other more scholarly works to find the same message. It is organized and informative. I would highly recommend it to other religious individuals who are curious about things as well as firmly grounded in their faith so as not be shaken up by some translation errors from the past, serious errors which still haunt our Bibles of today. You know you have a great book in your hands when you find at the end of the book you have many pages of underlined and highlighted references which you plan to return to in the future for further review and exploration. This is such a book. Enjoy reading it as I did.

The reviewer also recommends: Beyond Belief, Elaine Pagels, The Dark Side of Christian History, Helin Ellerbe, Wide as the Waters: The Story of the English Bible and the Revolution It Inspired, Benson Bobrick, The Unauthorized Version: Truth and Fiction in the Bible, Robin Lane Fox
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