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The Bible Delusion

Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why by Bart D. Ehrman

Reviewed by Doug Brown
Powells.com

Those who call the King James Version of the Bible the unerring word of God have a slight problem. The New Testament of the KJV (as the King James Version is usually referred) was translated into English from a version of the Greek New Testament that had been collected from twelfth-century copies by Erasmus. Where Erasmus couldn't find Greek manuscripts, he translated to Greek from the Latin Vulgate (which itself had been translated from Greek back in the fourth century). Here the problem splits into two problems. First, Jesus spoke Aramaic --- his actual words, never recorded, were only rendered in Greek in the original gospels. Thus, the KJV consists of Jesus' words twice refracted through the prism of translation. Second, Erasmus's Greek New Testament was based on handwritten copies of copies of copies of copies, etc., going back over a millennium, and today is considered one of the poorer Greek New Testaments. It is this second problem that Ehrman spends most time on in Misquoting Jesus, a fascinating account of New Testament textual criticism.

Many people have a vague notion that all the original biblical texts are preserved in vaults somewhere, and translators work from those original texts. Unfortunately, that isn't the case. The earliest surviving versions of the gospels are handwritten copies dating from centuries after the original texts were written. Also, we don't just have a single version of each gospel; we have many versions, and even more fragments. The trouble is, none of the versions agree with each other. As Ehrman puts it, there are more points of disagreement between manuscripts than there are words in the Gospels. So which one is right? How can one tell what the original authors intended?

One way is to try and establish which manuscript is the earliest, and call it closest to the author's intent. However, it may not be. Ehrman describes how the earliest copies of Christian texts were done by everyday folks, many of whom were barely literate; it is thus among the earliest copies that the greatest disagreements are found. In later times, professional scribes did most of the copying, resulting in fewer inter-copy disagreements. Also, we may have a document from the fourth century and one from the eighth; but the latter might have been copied from a second-century document, making it closer to the original. In general, though, if most early manuscripts have a given wording and later versions have another, scholars assume the early version is correct.

Another method of deciding which of two text versions is closer to the original is geographic comparison. If all the manuscripts from Alexandria have one version of text, but copies from everywhere else have another version, the Alexandria version is probably incorrect. Also, Ehrman controversially argues that if we have two passages, one with an easier interpretation and another with a harder, the latter is more likely correct. Scribes would often clean up passages that were hard to interpret, or that seemed to make Jesus hard to understand.

Then there is the issue of later scribes just plain adding in things that weren't there before. These additions often came from the verbal tradition of the early church, or to bring a given gospel in line with other gospels. One of the biggest apparent additions to the gospels is the last twelve verses of Mark (16:9-20). They are not present in early versions of the gospel, and include the famous passage that is the primary basis for Pentecostal and snake-handling churches, as well as for many a fly-by-night faith healer:

And these are the signs that will accompany those who believe: they will cast out demons in my name; they will speak in new tongues; and they will take up snakes in their hands; and if they drink any poison it will not harm them; they will place their hands upon the sick and heal them.

In addition to not being present in earlier versions, Ehrman states the writing style of these verses are different from the rest of Mark, and contain vocabulary not present in the rest of the gospel. Some later scribe possibly felt that the gospel ended too abruptly and added a more Messianic coda. And in doing so, condemned many an Appalachian pit viper to a life of abuse at the hands of people who think Jesus said something he likely didn't.

Alteration of texts by copyists was such a problem that many ancient scribes and authors would include warnings similar to today's anti-copying legal disclaimers. One figure in Misquoting Jesus is a page of a fourth-century manuscript on which a medieval scribe has scrawled a complaint in the margins about an earlier scribe altering the text: "Fool and knave, leave the old reading, don't change it." The book of Revelation contains one of the first copyright warnings, which Ehrman quotes: "I testify to everyone who hears to the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book; and if anyone removes any of the words of the book of this prophecy, God will remove his share from the tree of life...." The wording may have changed over the centuries, but the sentiment hasn't.

In many respects, the Bible was the world's first Wikipedia article. So many hands have altered and edited the now lost originals that we will never know for sure what those originals said. I find it amusing that the Christian Right in America spends its energy attacking evolution, arguing that teaching evolution is teaching atheism. For Ehrman, learning about the Bible is what caused his belief to change. He still believes in God, but no longer believes the Bible is an inerrant source of the Word. It would be interesting to know how many people became less religiously devout after learning science versus learning about Bible and church history. Instead of convincing believers not to read Dawkins and Darwin, the biblical literalists might better spend their energy keeping folks away from Ehrman (in fact, backlash books attacking Ehrman --- often personally --- and defending Biblical infallibility are already appearing). Ehrman isn't an atheist assaulting belief; he is just a scholarly believer saying he feels the evidence is clear that the gospels were written by men with personal agendas, and both accidentally and intentionally altered over the centuries by other men with agendas of their own. Then, from all the texts that existed, some other men with agendas selected the canon and deemed the other texts apocrypha. The main thrust of what Jesus said and did is undoubtedly in there, but that's all we can be sure of. For believer or atheist, I recommend Misquoting Jesus to anyone with an interest in where this ancient anthology that has helped shape our culture came from.




31 Responses to "The Bible Delusion"

  1.  
    Jan Priddy July 14th, 2007 at 5:56 am

    I haven't read this book, but I plan to. Translation is a tricky business with the best of intentions. As Ehrman points out through Brown's review, there is always a limitation imposed by the understanding of the translator... the agenda, the confusion, the desire for clarity that obscures intent. One great loss to modern readers in the American Standard translation is metaphor and the insistence that words be translated literally without allowing for context or symbolic meaning. ("House" always translated as house.) in any language words arrive with baggage. (House of God, house of prostitution, or house of cards?)

  2.  
    Su Tungpo July 14th, 2007 at 7:01 am

    The reviewer leaves out one great source of error, and there is no way of knowing from the review whether or not the writer recognizes this problem. The entire corpus of texts date from hundreds of years after the rise of those Great Interpreters in the Roman church. Even the earliest texts that we possess are filtered through the sand of a "Catholic" outlook. The Authorized Version is so recent, and so obviously taken from late, corrupt works, that to speak of this hodge-podge as inerrant becomes sheer farce. The late response, what today's new fundamentalist of "intellectual" pretensions would put forward, is the idea of "inspiration", the notion that the translators were told by God what each phrase or word meant.

    So, what we have is a set of works that were in the sole control of a very biased group of men for over 1000 years, and those men made MANY changes to bring the text into line with "papal" thinking. Side by side we have a group of moderns who will not recognize ANY sort of reasoning that questions the inanity of "the faith of our fathers". An unwinnable argument, a waste of good trees to put forth yet another version of a view that stands absolutely no chance of convincing it's opponents.

    Why bother?

  3.  
    Barry McKendree July 14th, 2007 at 7:02 pm

    I think it would be a great book. If the stories is about the bible and not fiction. a lot of people write about Jesus and the bible . Some of it is true and some of it is fiction and not about fact.

  4.  
    Barry larking July 15th, 2007 at 11:42 pm

    Is this review available in English?

  5.  
    cye johan July 15th, 2007 at 11:53 pm

    At Wikipedia you can see the original article and every version of it thereafter, with a few clicks. The reviewer has not looked beyond the most superficial layer of Wikipedia.

  6.  
    Ramesh Raghuvanshi July 16th, 2007 at 12:13 am

    Editing ancient books adding some new version you can find all over world. Iam from India, out great epics are edited and mix up so much version it is very difficult for scholars find of true version from this text, all great epics Mahabharta, Ramayan and lots of other . When there is not printing technology there all over world people did this business.

  7.  
    Richard Rosalion July 16th, 2007 at 3:20 am

    Fantastic book!

    Nice review, too. I hope more people see this review and decide to read the book.

  8.  
    Elizabeth July 16th, 2007 at 3:30 am

    Okay. I have many problems with this book. But for now, let's just focus on this one. This statement, right here, in fact:

    "In many respects, the Bible was the world's first Wikipedia article. So many hands have altered and edited the now lost originals that we will never know for sure what those originals said."


    When I was a child, I used to use an excuse pretty similar to that one (without the Wikipedia reference) in one of my long tirades on why I didn't believe and why I shouldn't have to go to church/Sunday school. But the telephone game excuse doesn't work on the Bible. And now that I'm all grownup and have read a few books and taken a few classes in theology, the Bible itself, and manuscript studies and paleolography, well, I know a few things.

    For those editors, translators, and redactors, changing the words would have been unthinkable. It was the Word of God and dude, you don't mess with that.

    Sure, in comparison to modern standards the men who copied the earliest Bibles in the Christian period were illiterate. But they knew what they were doing--copying. And the "differences" between these texts and their immediate predecessors are ones of scribal error. Not deliberate mistransmission. (And how you can say in one sentence that the copiers were illiterate and in the next that they could make deliberate changes--which is what I understand him to be saying--is beyond me.) Scribes didn't "clean up" the text. Especially not the text concerning what Christ said. And not just because they probably lacked the education to do so.

    Because to do so would be asking for a bolt of lightning to come down and strike them dead. Whether you (the author/the reviewer/or anyone else here) believe personally, that's your business. But the men copying the Bible? They were monastic scribes. Men who lived and breathed the Word of God. They believed.

  9.  
    Jim July 16th, 2007 at 6:02 am

    BROWN: "Also, Ehrman controversially argues that if we have two passages, one with an easier interpretation and another with a harder, the latter is more likely correct."

    The reviewer is incorrect that this is Ehrman's own proposition, or that it is even slightly controversial. It's one of the most basic principles of inference in textual criticism, whether the ancient text being considered is the gospel of Matthew or the plays of Aristophanes.

  10.  
    ironmike July 16th, 2007 at 7:19 am

    The author and reviewer err when they imply that the "authorized" version of scripture was not written until hundreds of years after the death of Christ. The oldest fragments of the gospels are carbon dated to about 65 AD and there is no substantive variation between that text and what we read in a Bible purchased today. And of course the Acts of the Apostles was written before the Gospels and reinforce the Scripture. What is amazing is the scrupulousness of transcription, thousands of words without error. And as archeologiests find more and more ancient text the finds support, not discredit, the consistancy of scripture. Those Gospels which seem to have been written later are the gnostic gospels, such as the Gospel of Judas that made a big splash a few years ago, then sank into nothing.

  11.  
    Pete July 16th, 2007 at 4:42 pm

    Jim, above, beat me to it: 'lectio difficilior' (as it's known) is basic text-editing practice. It is not "controversial."

  12.  
    Richard Rosalion July 16th, 2007 at 7:09 pm

    If you actually read the book, Ehrman provides a number of examples examples where:

    1. Transcribers (especially the earlier ones - who were not professional scribes) made mistakes

    OR

    2. Transcribers "correcting" errors (at least, what they THOUGHT were errors) - hence the "if we have two passages, one with an easier interpretation and another with a harder, the latter is more likely correct." - a scribe might think "that can't possibly be correct, so I'll just fix it up".

    Perhaps many of the texts discovered do back up the bulk of the text, but in a religion where EVERY WORD counts, it's just not enough to get "thousands of words without error".

  13.  
    TimeTraveller July 17th, 2007 at 8:15 am

    The problem is that people confuse historical fact with truth. They are not the same. The bible tells a story. It's the story, not the setting, that's important.
    When you read the Bible, you see the same story repeated over and over again; different times, different actors, different circumstances, but the story remains the same.
    In addition, the implicit assumption is that in this translating process, God is not a player...that He is outside the closed system of human intellectual endeavor, when in fact He is part of every stroke of the pen. In fact the translators efforts are definitely filtered, but by their knowledge ( or lack thereof ) of God. As well, inconistencies, far from undermining the Bible's credibility, actually enhance it. Instead of just one fallible persons judgement about a text being accepted, you have the collective judgement of the entire Christian community over for 2000 years affirming the integrity of the story, tested by successfully living out it implications to real, everyday life. The problem may be that modern Christians implicitly and unconsciously believe that the rationalistic tools they acquired in their secular education can be brought to bear to analyze a story that can never be aprehended or understood in that way. Bring on the Richard Dawkins and his like. I am not afraid to read his work, and I affirm much of what he says, but in 10 years no one will remember his name. He stands up, makes a lot of noise and then fades away...just like the Bible says, but somehow we are still talking about Jesus after 2000 years. I agree that the idea of the KJV being the innerrant version of God's word is absurd, but this is a view held by very few Christians...in fact I have met maybe 2 or 3 in my whole life..and they were certainly not influential in the church or society as a whole.

  14.  
    Rick Brinkman July 17th, 2007 at 4:46 pm

    Elizabeth writes:

    When I was a child, I used to use an excuse pretty similar to that one (without the Wikipedia reference) in one of my long tirades on why I didn't believe and why I shouldn't have to go to church/Sunday school. But the telephone game excuse doesn't work on the Bible. And now that I'm all grownup and have read a few books and taken a few classes in theology, the Bible itself, and manuscript studies and paleolography, well, I know a few things.


    And then she undercuts her statement with this:

    For those editors, translators, and redactors, changing the words would have been unthinkable. It was the Word of God and dude, you don't mess with that.


    Er, no. Actually, it was the word of humans who claimed they were conveying the word of God. Do we have proof that God actually said, "Hey Joshua, jot something down for me, will ya?"

    In other words, Elizabeth, you don't actually know anything. You just believe in it. Like how little kids "know" there's an Easter bunny. Hey... someone had to hide those eggs, right? And Mommy and Daddy were just following the Word of the Bunny.

  15.  
    Frank Willis July 20th, 2007 at 12:32 pm

    Ehrman and Brown do a good job of presenting the “Problem”, which is the questionable view of the Bible as the
    unerring Word of God. There are at least a thousand different published Bibles today that illustrate this problem of
    misquoting Jesus. They all claim to be correct and accurate. Forget scribal error. Consider the mindset, which
    produced a thousand different Bibles, with various religions, denominations, and dogma invented after the printing press was available. Then consider this same mindset that controlled interpretation, translation, scribes, and reproduction of Bible text over a much longer period of time before the printing press. What we get is not the unerring Word of God.

    “Misquoting Jesus” reveals the problem, but because there is no solution the reader is left with a nagging doubt for the accuracy of the Bible. Brown calls this the Bible Delusion. It is not a fallacy to say that doubt destroys faith like a sledgehammer. Ehrman does a disservice to Christianity by articulating the problem without
    providing a solution for the sake of selling a book. This is the bad news.

    The good news is that the Bible contains more than just words. Numbers as dates, date differences, and ordered lists can be counted. These numbers are not subject to misinterpretation,translation errors, paraphrasing, or obsolete meanings as Ehrman suggests, because a six in Hebrew is still a 6 in Aramaic, Greek, Latin, or English forever. One example of counting is in the beginning—Genesis I. A code has just been revealed for understanding these numbers. The basis of this RC666 Bible Code is a count for the body, soul, and spirit of man. According to this code on the 6th day, when the count for evening, morning, and day was 666, mankind was created and marked with this 666. Also according to this code, the foundation of the Bible and the psychological natures of man are subject to this 666 matrix. As the foundation of the Bible, it dictates the construction of Bible text, and reveals hidden meaning in scripture. It seems without understanding Biblical numbers, as defined by this code,Bible scholars like Ehrman must vainly search ancient manuscripts to try to find original intent.

    Ehrman claims, that in the field of Bible textual criticism, for three hundred years, there, “is scarcely a
    single book written about it for a lay audience”. He also claims his book is “the first of its kind”. I believe that Ehrman’s claim of a single book is no longer true. The good news is this RC666 code provides new insight into the Word of God, and overcomes the problems of misquoting Jesus.

  16.  
    Dr. Gandalf July 21st, 2007 at 1:31 pm

    The reviewer, Doug Brown, states:
    "Where Erasmus couldn't find Greek manuscripts, he translated to Greek from the Latin Vulgate (which itself had been translated from Greek back in the fourth century)."

    This is an important point. Most fundamentalists insist that the KJV was translated from the Greek, without mentioning the Erasmus and Vulgate connection.

    Frank Willis states: "“Misquoting Jesus” reveals the problem, but because there is no solution, the reader is left with a nagging doubt for the accuracy of the Bible."

    I agree. He further states: "The good news is that the Bible contains more than just words. Numbers as dates, date differences, and ordered lists can be counted. These numbers are not subject to misinterpretation,translation errors, paraphrasing, or obsolete meanings."

    I would like to know more about this.

  17.  
    Frank Willis July 22nd, 2007 at 11:18 am

    In response to Dr. Gandalf's request about numbers in the Bible:
    The numbers are the skeleton and the words are the flesh. Without the RC666 Bible Code to bring them together there can be nothing but speculation. Information about this code can be found at www.mark7publishing.com.

  18.  
    Brian Robertson July 22nd, 2007 at 9:00 pm

    The Bible -- and I like the Wikipedia analogy -- is nothing more than a scrapbook of the human reaction to the experience of God. It begins with God as an extension of our own worst traits -- tribalism, hatred, revenge, etc -- and continues to the loss of those projections in the person of Jesus. The judgmental punisher becomes "Abba" or "Dad" and the nature of God is not revenge but Love.

    Are there layers and editing? Yes. Does it often take isolated sayings of Jesus (as one sees in Gospel of Thomas, as an example) and puts them into narrative form, often distorting the spirit behind them? Without a doubt. Does it sometimes force the beliefs of a particular community into the mouth of Jesus? Quite often.

    Yet, when one reads both the 'official' and non-official sources, weighs one's experiences and more, one can come to this conclusion: You cannot know Jesus by the Bible, but you can know the Bible by Jesus.

    Brian Robertson
    christianmystics.com

  19.  
    Tom July 22nd, 2007 at 10:00 pm

    Elizabeth wrote:
    "Because to do so would be asking for a bolt of lightning to come down and strike them dead. Whether you (the author/the reviewer/or anyone else here) believe personally, that's your business. But the men copying the Bible? They were monastic scribes. Men who lived and breathed the Word of God. They believed."

    But what of all of the horrible monsters throughout history committing heinous acts in the name of god-murderous christians...they believed too...
    The scribes weren't monsters, just human and with the pressures that come with having a mission and a job to do...your argument that they would not think they were doing god's work by changing whatever they were told to change or felt was a better translation is silly...

  20.  
    Bob July 22nd, 2007 at 10:01 pm

    Listen to a few preachers from different religions quote the same scripture and then attempt to dissect and restate what god was saying and you will see that each will twist it and reword it to fit a particular interpretation. Each will do so not from maniacal tinkering, but because of a personal belief that it is what god was really saying. How many scribes attempted to restate and clarify what god was saying? How many words or phrases did not translate from one language to another? And how many simple 'typos' were made along the way? That leaves a lot of room for error without even considering the occasional personal agenda thrown in. I bet if you could trace back all the written gospels (bible, torah, Koran, etc..) and all the other oral mythologies, filtered out all the neglegable details, you would end up with the same basic stories all from the same root. That you would find all the major world religions shared the same ancestors and evolved over time into its own creation. And evolution was a hated word already....

  21.  
    Mr.X July 22nd, 2007 at 10:07 pm

    Most people have heard about the secret and restricted libraries of writings the Catholic church keeps. It really makes you wonder what alternate, and perhaps more true to the original versions of the bible they have stashed away.

  22.  
    eye-of-horus July 23rd, 2007 at 9:53 am

    ** Wholly myth taken**

    Let's get some perspective in space-time-value about world religions.

    Silly don't you think using an atavistic, ethnocentric, question begging designation -- Word of God -- as if the three so-called great monotheisms were all that counted.

    [Space] As collections of putative sacred writings are the Jewish Scriptures, the Koran, the Dhammapada, the Bhagavad-Gita inferior to a "New Testament".

    [Time] That incongruous pastiche of Xian canonical texts emerged from an urban underworld of heretical hellenized Jews and proto-xians in the eastern Roman Empire. Roughly 50-325 CE.

    As for inspiration: "Revelation" was penned by a native speaker of Syriac whose command of Koine (Greek) was not fluent.

    [Value] The almighty lords of dualism: Ahura Mazda, Yahweh, God, and Allah are ethical equivalents of comic book super-villains. Non-existent metaphysical "guilt" punished by a vengeful, abusive "Father." Xianity is a public (mental) health menace.

    And this pulp fiction enjoys fanatical cult followings.

    [Action] You can rationally work your way out of this horror. But, you can't believe your way out.

    [Start Here] Norman Cohn, Cosmos, Chaos and the World To Come: The Ancient Roots of Apocalyptic Faith. 2nd edition. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001.

    eye-of-horus
    copyright asserted 2007

  23.  
    Alan Wilding July 23rd, 2007 at 10:09 pm

    Thank you for this insightful review. It is a wonder that the faith in Christ stands the test of time and survived numerous assaults both inside and outside the Church including a multitude of Biblical translations. God's spirit moves where it will. To me the Bible is a guide to the truth and not the absolute truth claimed by some. There are parts which will always move and inspire me others I can not fathom.

  24.  
    SK July 27th, 2007 at 7:58 pm

    The reviewer is technically correct but obviously ignorant of the basic principles of textual criticism. It's true that we don't know precisely what the original Gospel writers wrote, but the same is true of nearly every ancient text--including many centerpieces of the western canon.

    In fact we are in a far better position to know what the Gospel writers originally said than is the case with almost any other classical text. The evidence for the NT texts comprises almost the richest manuscript tradition that has come down to us from antiquity, with hundreds of manuscripts from various families converging around a more or less certain text. It's true that these manuscripts often vary on small points, sometimes differing by a letter or a single word, but these variants almost never affect the meaning of a passage. In the few cases in which they do, the difference in meaning is rarely of any theological or doctrinal significance. My advice to the reviewer is to get a degree in classics or at least master the basics of textual criticism before foisting a shoddy article on a sincere readership.

    SK
    ABD Classical Philosophy
    Cornell University

  25.  
    Michael Meo July 29th, 2007 at 10:59 am

    In the review, Mr Brown says:

    " Erasmus's Greek New Testament was based on handwritten copies of copies of copies of copies, etc., going back over a millennium, and today is considered one of the poorer Greek New Testaments."

    In the book being reviewed, however, Mr Ehrman made it clear that the overwhelming majority of scriptural variations stem from before the time of the creation of the Christian Canon, and the subsequent creation of the Vulgate, that is, before the fourth century.

    Three hundred years separate a fairly fixed text from the founding of Christianity. Not "over a millennium."

    Mr Brown's "problem" is a misrepresentation, at the least, of the more informed presentation by Ehrman.

    In other words, I find the review inaccurate.

  26.  
    Robert November 29th, 2007 at 6:55 am

    Wow, I only have three comments to make after reading though everything others have mentioned.

    1) There seems to be a lumping together of translating and copying. I would image that most of your changes were introduced in translations and fewer if any were introduced by copying. If there were questions raised when copying I suspect that the would have referenced additional copies to make a determination as to the correct variation just as we do today.

    2) I doubt very much that anyone living today really knows what happened back more than about 80 years ago. It's all belief once you go back beyond your first hand knowledge and often it's only belief much earlier.

    3) There is much talk about what has changed but I think it is much more remarkable what has not changed. If you play the telephone game you very quickly get something that might not even resemble the original, the but bible translations for all their differences are pretty much the same bible, even if they choose different words.

  27.  
    Kim Antonell March 28th, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    confused? If you want to do the hard work of learning I recommend Misquoting Truth by Timothy Paul Jones. Ehrman takes words that are true, and spins them into untruths. Does it matter in a language in which order doesn't matter if we say Christ Jesus or Jesus Christ? Well in every case that something as simple as that occurs, that is considered a mistake or a "variant." Yes, there are "variants" in the New Testament, lots of them. When you have over 5,500 early extant manuscripts (not including the translations into Latin, Syrian etc...bringing the number up to almost 24,000) you have a lot of potential for error, but also lots of ability to surmise the truth. by the way, also way too many manuscripts for any church or small group of people to control what the content would later be. The faith spread early and fast. Mr. Jones book opens up the questionable texts so you can examine them for yourselves. No the New Testament didn't fall from the sky but to say that we cannot possible know what the intent of Jesus was, doesn't hold up well upon examination. Ironically, Ehrman is accusing the early scribes of having an agenda...hmmm...I see lots of agenda coming from Ehrman...but don't take my word for it. Read and learn for yourselves. I also recommend Reinventing Jesus by Komoszewski, Sawyer, and Wallace for a fuller education.

  28.  
    jimbo May 22nd, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    tell it to Dr, Gene Scott!

  29.  
    Steve Brown January 7th, 2009 at 8:20 am

    This reviewer has missed an mportant point here.
    Dr. Erhman seems to gloss over the fact that of the major Doctrines of Christianity,
    none are threatened by the minor variants in the texts.
    Not even the longer disputed readings have any effect on Christian teaching.
    For Dr. Erhman to infer so, is a greater leap of faith than most informed scholars are willing to make.

  30.  
    Meez February 18th, 2010 at 5:53 am

    For the poster who so innocently believes that the ancient bible translators would not alter the words of the bible for fear of a lightning bolt...it does not take long to find out that that lightning bolt won't strike. Just like the Egyptian grave robbers ignored the threat of horrible curses, I'm sure the ancient scribes were bribed by political entities (or even their own quest for recognition) to make alterations to a manuscript that controlled masses.

  31.  
    Frank Willis February 22nd, 2010 at 10:59 am

    Kim Antonell blogged the variant name of Jesus used by the Apostle Paul to be nothing but a simple and unimportant variant as follows:
    Does it matter in a language in which order doesn't matter if we say Christ Jesus or Jesus Christ? Well in every case that something as simple as that occurs, that is considered a mistake or a "variant."
    The Apostle Paul used "Jesus Christ" for (Jesus who is/was the Christ) and Christ Jesus" for (Christ who was Jesus), where the first is the Son of Man and the second was the Son of God. This knowledge is critical for understanding the meaning that Pa.
    The correct usage is in the Greek Tishendorf, which was reletively untampered with by men.

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