Misquoting Jesus by Bart D. Ehrman

Misquoting Jesus

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...

Details Misquoting Jesus

TitleMisquoting Jesus
Release DateFeb 6th, 2007
GenreReligion, Nonfiction, History, Christianity, Theology, Philosophy

Reviews Misquoting Jesus

  • Trevor
    This really is a fantastic book. When Wendy recommended it I thought that it would be pretty much the same old stuff that one would expect when an Atheist recommends a book on Religion. Let me explain why this isn’t what you might expect.Firstly, it is written by someone who I assume still considers himself a Christian. He begins this book by telling the reader his ‘life story’ – how he became a born again Christian at fifteen and how thi...
  • Juhem Navarro
    If you read the reviews written in the Barnes and Noble website, you’ll probably see three types of review: 1. The smart ass academic or pseudoacademic who says the book isn’t that good anyway 2. The fundamentalist Christian appalled at the idea of someone doubting the infallibility of the Bible 3. Your average Joe that finds the book quite interestingIn my case, I could be a #1 considering that I’m both a smart ass and an academic (or so I...
  • Jeffrey
    Please, if you're Christian, read this. If you're religious, read this. If you're atheist, read this. I guess what I'm saying is read this. Misquoting Jesus reminds me of the game we played in elementary school. The teacher whispers a story in the ear of one child and it's whispered from one ear to the next until the last child tells the story out loud. And guess what? It's considerably different from the original. No dah! Well, imagine this . . ...
  • Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~
    Before I write my review, I must emphasize that this book is not making a case against Christianity. It in no way seeks to destroy the your faith, your system of belief, or convert you to atheism/agnosticism. I feel this is an important disclaimer.Something about me, I always feel very lost when it comes to selecting educational books on my own. I don't like to perpetuate false information, and it's overwhelming to select literature that mainta...
  • Skylar Burris
    While I found it interesting to see what differed in various manuscripts, I did not find any of these changes as sensational, apparently, as the back cover blurb writers did. Ehrman's subject and thesis are interesting, but, unfortunately, he is quite repetitive and his arguments are poorly organized. The introduction and conclusion are the clearest, most arresting portions of the book. The introduction is an intriguing spiritual autobiography, b...
  • Wendy
    As a biblical scholar, the author wanted to read the Bible in the languages in which it was first written and so studied them and went deeper into the texts. His decision to go deeper, to fully appreciate it, led him to find out as the old saying goes more than he bargained for. It led him to reevaluate his faith which had been based on a belief in the literal truth of what he had been taught it said and in the inerrancy of it as brought down thr...
  • Shaun
    This was pretty good for what it was, a textual criticism of the Bible. Sure it's a little repetitive at times, but I think this is the result of the author trying to simplify and explain a complex topic to an ignorant (at least relatively ignorant) audience.Bart Ehrman attended Moody Bible College and finished his Bachelors degree at Wheaton College. He then received his PhD and M.Div from Princeton Theological Seminary. A born-again Christian, ...
  • Lena
    Ehrman was just a teenager when he had a born-again experience that led him to devote his life to the study of Christianity. Hoping to help defend the Bible as the true word of God, he focused his studies on the origins of the Bible, only to discover that the history of a book whose words many faithful take as infallible truth is nowhere near as clear as most people would like to believe. It seems that God suffered the same fate as many great wri...
  • Nat
    A must for anyone who wants to know WHY the Bible isn't inerrant. A wonderful work by a biblical scholar who was motivated by his deep faith and only wanted to find the truth. One of the most interesting aspects is that the reader will come to understand how biblical scholars work and the methods they use to decide which text represents an older tradition than another text. Also, those new to the study of comparative religion will probably be ama...
  • Emily Ann Meyer
    I wish there were a 1/2 star method, because I didn't quite like this up to 4 stars, but I liked it more than 3.The book was not quite what I expected, inasmuch as it focused a lot more on the individual motivations of scribes and/or transcription errors rather than the major political and theological debates that also contributed to changes in the text. There is much of this that I already knew - changes are made and mistakes happen. What was ne...
  • Eric_W
    There was no New Testament until the fourth century. Until that time assorted factions warred over all sorts of different beliefs about Jesus. Some thought he was all human, others he was all God. Some believed there were many gods, others there must be only a few. Their assorted beliefs were transcribed by the individual congregations themselves, obviously representing their own particular view of reality. What happened to those oral and written...
  • Stephanie
    As a believer in "verbal plenary inspiration", which this author once cherished but came to see as ridiculous, I am curious to hear his experience and case. I want to admit up front that I already find myself distrusting his conclusions because of an assumption/leap-in-logic that he made back on page 11 about God's motives and choices. But, that said, he still holds my interest on a number of points.Update: I am kind of disappointed in this autho...
  • 11811 (Eleven)
    The repetition in this book was ridiculous. I don't know how many times the author mentioned that the gospels are copies of copies of copies but it was more than a few. Probably more than a dozen. Eventually, he gets to examples which made it interesting but I'm hoping the book he released todayJesus Before the Gospels: How the Earliest Christians Remembered, Changed, and Invented Their Stories of the Savior, has fewer redundancies. I'm about to ...
  • Literary Chic
    You had me at "reformed fundamentalist author."Very interesting and the author was fascinating. Definitely read the prologue if you get to this book. The author's education arc adds a lot to the books perspective.Ultimately if you're a believer, this probably won't change your mind. If you find yourself firmly on the fence or a dyed in the wool atheist, you'll find great information.
  • Becky
    I originally started my review with a big long rant about why even though I still believe in God I no longer go to church or even believe in organized religion. I’m truncating it down to this: the unexamined faith, just like the unexamined life, is not worth living. I feel that if more people understood that modern day Christianity is a product of its times but also the product of what was once a very diverse systems of beliefs and understandin...
  • Ojo
    A real eye opener. I'm familiar with the point the author was trying to make in this book. For a couple of years now, I've known the Bible isn't as infallible as most Christians make it look. I've know that the book is littered with errors by its writers throughout history. But I haven't had time to do a proper research on the forms these errors took. Reading this book has saved me a lot of time. It's a bit unfortunate most Christians aren't awar...
  • David
    Ehrman did a good job of explaining textual criticism for the average person. The reason I only give two stars is because I learned pretty much everything he says in this book at a conservative evangelical seminary. In other words, he writes as if these things are a shocking secret to Christians when most Christians, even the most evangelical ones, learned this ages ago and are fine with it. This book should encourage Christian teachers and pasto...
  • David Withun
    To be completely honest, reading this book was a waste of my time. I generally enjoy Ehrman's work, in spite of his sensationalist style, but I was very disappointed with this one. Misquoting Jesus was filled with page after page of Ehrman's typical version of "shock and awe," none of which is very often shocking or awing, but with none of the redeeming information and interesting facts that his other books usually contain.Rather than a scholarly...
  • Stephanie *Very Stable Genius*
    I found this book interesting. A biblical scholar, who was a born again Christian as a teen, decides to not only study the bible but other more secular studies. He does this to be able to prove to none believers that the bible is without error. But finds out he has been very, very, wrong about this fact. He says at one point that "there are more errors in the new testament then there are words in it". Most of the errors where honest mistakes by t...
  • Jon
    An explanation from a noted textual scholar, as to why literal interpretation of the bible is simply not possible. His question is "where is the actual bible you're taking literally?" The one we have is an amalgam of manuscripts, few of them complete, many of them fragments no bigger than a matchbook, copied, recopied over millennia, with many mistakes, many intentional changes on the part of scribes, and thousands of differences, all regularized...
  • Martin Pierce
    There were minor variations in the New Testament manuscripts. This is old news. Unfortunately, Ehrman, a former fundamentalist Christian, thinks it's such a big deal that it casts doubt on the veracity of the Christian faith. Practically nobody agrees, except for people like atheists who already have a bone to pick with Christians. The truth is that no other ancient text is as well supported as the New Testament. Minor variations are to be expect...
  • Aaron Jordan
    I listened to this book as an audiobook. I generally enjoyed much of this book and found it to be very interesting. On the other hand, I also sensed that the author was writing with an agenda that missed the mark. He seemed to be relishing the prideful pleasure of iconoclasm as he set himself up as the smartest man in the room to enlighten us poor simpletons who actually believe in the Bible. I suppose I should also blame the narrator for the smu...
  • آدم زمین زاد
    This book is fascinating and deep. It presents the history of documentation,translation and transmission of the New Testament in a critical way. There are more variations among the 16000 old manuscripts available than the words in the New Testament. The reasons for these variations were illiteracy of scribers , mistakes, theological differences, worldviews etc. In short the inspired words of God were altered by humans. The question is if God didn...
  • Erik Graff
    Ehrman claims that this, his overview of the formulations of what have come down to us as the texts of the Christian Scriptures, is a work that hadn't been done before. That is a bit of an overstatement. Any work of textual criticism applied to this corpus must needs cover such ground. Such originality as there is to Jesus Misquoted is in its engagingly accessible style.Usually I find self-reference off-putting when used in scholarship. In this c...
  • Heather
    i really wanted more from this book; it felt like the introduction to a more in-depth exploration. as such, there certainly were things new to me, but as someone with mild exposure to exegesis, much of this was known territory, and i repeatedly felt frustrated at the cursory descriptions (and terse! footnotes).that said, i am glad i read this, and i highly recommend this to *anyone* who takes the bible to be the inerrant word of god. ehrman's wri...
  • Kathy Davie
    A non-fictional account of how and why the Bible is NOT the direct word of God.My TakeThis was an excellent, very scholarly account using scientific and textual inquiry to present the manner in which people have for centuries been changing the words that make up the New Testament. The work involved in determining which copy is the more original was and is tremendous. It gives me a headache just thinking of how to keep track and organize the mass ...
  • Katie
    When I first started nosing through the Bible about twenty years ago, I noticed that nearly every page had footnotes saying something like "other ancient texts read..." and "according to Hebrew texts; Syriac reads..." Like many American Protestants (or proto-Protestants, which is what I was), I had absorbed the idea that the Bible was somehow, mysteriously produced directly by God. Without really thinking about it, I assumed that I was holding a ...
  • Rickey
    I read this after reading Jesus, Interrupted, also by Bart D. Ehrman. This book is slightly more technical than the other, and I would recommend reading Jesus, Interrupted first, then this one.Ehrman begins this book by describing how he was raised as a Christian and was so fascinated by the Bible that he began intently studying it, and I do mean intently. He was so interested in it that he learned Greek, Latin, and some of the ancient languages ...
  • T Fool
    Devout Christians should pay attention to this. Not just those strongly adhering to The Word, but those also who fashion a faith on broader foundations that include any writings. People write, take dictation, transcribe, copy, and pass-on traditions that become more and more mistake-prone with each production.It's not just that we in America are reading English versions which rely on translating notions and cultural contexts almost certainly to v...
  • Xysea
    I enjoyed this book from many perspectives.I enjoyed reading about a fundamentalist who actually saw the light and understood the Bible, like the Constitution, was intended to be a living document - not a frozen one.And that the whole purpose of Christianity, in Jesus, was to foment change in how people viewed the things they previously believed were absolutes as well (Laws of Moses).As an aside, I had been down this road before. I took a course ...