Misquoting Jesus – Bart D. Ehrman

Title: Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why
Author: Bart D. Ehrman
ISBN: 9780060859510
Pages: 242
Release Date: October 31, 2005
Publisher: HarperOne
Genre: Non-Fiction, History
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 4 out of 5

Summary:

Misquoting Jesus is part memoir, but mostly history – specifically, the history behind the actual text of the Bible.  Ehrman takes the reader through the centuries, focusing in on specific textual criticisms in order to understand who changed the Bible and why.  The result is a fascinating and unique look at the most famous book in the world.

Review:

Having attended Catholic school, I’ve always had a fascination with the history of Christianity from a secular point of view.  I think it’s incredibly interesting to look at religions in general through non-religious eyes, whether those lenses are archaeological or historical.  In Misquoting Jesus, Ehrman shows the reader the Bible through the eyes of a textual critic, giving new depth to each individual word in the book.

Ehrman’s personal history, discussed in Misquoting Jesus, is very interesting.  He was an evangelical whose views on Christianity were derailed by his study of the Bible’s text.  After all, he asked himself, how can a work be divinely inspired if we don’t have the originals and the current text is riddled with deliberate and accidental errors?  He has since become an agnostic.

This is a book that would probably be difficult to read and somewhat dry if you don’t have a secular interest in the history of the Bible.  I imagine Ehrman’s journey to agnosticism, as well as his emotionless dissection of the Bible’s text, would likely be difficult for someone with extremely conservative religious views, but if you have an open mind, you might find this book as fascinating as I did. 

Misquoting Jesus was a satisfying read that really opened my eyes to textual criticism of the Bible.  I didn’t know much about it before, so I’m really glad I read this book.  This is a great look at the Bible and the evolution of Christianity through history.  Ehrman does a wonderful job explaining the nuances of textual criticism to those who are unfamiliar with its specifics.  This book definitely isn’t for everyone, but if you find the subject matter intriguing, I think you should give it a try!

Comments

  1. This book is on my reading list for the World Religions Challenge. I’ve read another one by Ehrman (God’s Problem) which I found to be most interesting and thought-provoking. Excellent review.

  2. This book is on my reading list for the World Religions Challenge. I’ve read another one by Ehrman (God’s Problem) which I found to be most interesting and thought-provoking. Excellent review.

  3. Thanks for the review! I think my husband would really appreciate this book!

  4. Thanks for the review! I think my husband would really appreciate this book!

  5. This sounds fascinating. My middle son, a vocal atheist, tries all of the time to use the Bible to knock down my beliefs. But I’m always reminding him that the Bible is merely the writings of men and I tend not to take most of it at face value. I’m going to have to get this for both of us.

  6. This sounds fascinating. My middle son, a vocal atheist, tries all of the time to use the Bible to knock down my beliefs. But I’m always reminding him that the Bible is merely the writings of men and I tend not to take most of it at face value. I’m going to have to get this for both of us.

  7. I’m curious about these deliberate errors in the Bible’s text.

  8. I’m curious about these deliberate errors in the Bible’s text.

  9. This sounds like it would be very informative. I am fascinated with the origins of religions and am interested in the history of the Bible, in particular how it was put together. I will have to add this one to my wish list. Thanks for the great review, Swapna.

  10. This sounds like it would be very informative. I am fascinated with the origins of religions and am interested in the history of the Bible, in particular how it was put together. I will have to add this one to my wish list. Thanks for the great review, Swapna.

  11. This sounds interesting. I’m always interested in how vastly different the human experience is and how we understand and approach things differently. I might give this a read someday. 🙂

  12. This sounds interesting. I’m always interested in how vastly different the human experience is and how we understand and approach things differently. I might give this a read someday. 🙂

  13. These books always intrigue me. I’ll have to check it out!

  14. These books always intrigue me. I’ll have to check it out!

  15. Thank you for that review. I am putting that on my reading list.

    Another book that is similar but looks at mostly the old testament but from Archeology’s discoveries and what that means. The book is called “The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology’s New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of its Sacred Texts” by Israel Finkelstien.

    I found it very interesting and the actual archaeology record paints a different picture and a compelling drama of the origins of the nation of Israel.

    Thank you again – loved it.

    AF Heart
    http://mysterysuspence.blogspot.com

  16. Thank you for that review. I am putting that on my reading list.

    Another book that is similar but looks at mostly the old testament but from Archeology’s discoveries and what that means. The book is called “The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology’s New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of its Sacred Texts” by Israel Finkelstien.

    I found it very interesting and the actual archaeology record paints a different picture and a compelling drama of the origins of the nation of Israel.

    Thank you again – loved it.

    AF Heart
    http://mysterysuspence.blogspot.com

  17. This looks fascinating. And I love the style of this review. Very well done — informative, sensitive, and well written.

  18. This looks fascinating. And I love the style of this review. Very well done — informative, sensitive, and well written.

  19. This one’s been on my bookshelf for awhile now. Your review may be just what I needed to remind me to get to it soon.

  20. This one’s been on my bookshelf for awhile now. Your review may be just what I needed to remind me to get to it soon.

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