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....Continua
Ehrman's has become a world-leading Biblical scholar and textual critic, but not before losing his faith in the Bible as the "inerrant Word of God" and being a divinely inspired rather than a thoroughly human endeavour.
His is the first book to explain to lay people why textual scholars may be confident in asserting the things they do, for example, that the Nativity Gospels were manufactured, and that the doctrine of a Virgin Birth is entirely founded on a mistranslation, perpetuated by the fact that Matthew relied on the faulty Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) because he could not read it in the original language. Ehrman has no such limitations and he gives it to us straight. He lets us know that there are more "differences" in the surviving texts of the New Testament than there are words in the New Testament. He also gives detailed examples of how these differences, while almost always trivial to the meaning and intention of the Gospels, are not always so. In fact, mistaken and deliberate changes to the Biblical text have, over the ages, contributed to or established major theological claims, like the divinity of Jesus, for one outstanding case.
Clear writing, impeccable credentials, respected by Bible Bashers and even evangelical scholars, loads of Bible-based corroborative evidence - Ehrman is yet another example of the surest way to doubt Biblical inerrancy: study the Bible....Continua