Reading-Just Finished *Misquoting Jesus-The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why*Somervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


Reading-Just Finished *Misquoting Jesus-The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why*

30 July 2008 at 10:56:55 AM

I've never really believed that the Bible is inerrant. The argument goes that the Holy Spirit is the source of what one reads therein and if there's error, it would mean that the Holy Spirit passed on error. The problem is that there are many errors in the Bible, some inconsequential and some more substantial. (One, for example, that I think most people know about is the one at Mark 16:18 that talks about drinking poison and handling serpents-scholars question whether this is actually a true ending that Mark wrote.) At any rate, the book cited above, by Bart Ehrman, is about how mistakes and changes shaped the Bible that people read today. It's fascinating reading. Ehrman makes the point that the Jewish religion, and then Christianity, were the first religions to actually have books or scrolls that people could read-however, given that the majority of the population wasn't literate, the letters from Paul, for example, were read TO the congregations. In order to get the letters to everyone, somebody (or somebodies), the scribes, had to copy them. And when they did, errors crept in.

As it says on the book jacket "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 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. ...

Another example re: the King James Bible from page 209.

How do these millions of people know what is in the New Testament? They *know* because scholars with unknown names, identities, backgrounds, qualifications, predilictions, theologies, and personal opinions have told them what is in the New Testament . But what if the translators have translated the wrong text? It has happened before. The King James Version is filled with places in which the translators rendered a Greek text derived ultimately from Erasmus' edition, which was based on a single twelfth-century manuscript that is one of hte worst of the manuscripts that we now have available to us. It's no wonder that modern translations often differ from the King James, and no wonder that some Bible-believing Christians prefer to pretend there has never been a problem, since God inspired the King James Bible instead of the original Greek!... Reality is never that neat, however, and in this case we need to face up to the facts. The King James was not given by God but was a translation by a group of scholars in the early seventeenth centurty who based their renditions on a faulty Greek text. Later translatros based their translations on Greek texts that were better but not perfect. Even the translation you hold in your hands is affected by these textual problems we have been discussing, whether you are a reader of the New International Version, the Revised Standard Edition, the New Revised Standard Edition, the New American Standard Version, the New King James, the Jerusalem Bible, the Good News Bible or something lese. They are ALL based on texts that have been changed in places. ....

Anyway, highly recommended.

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