47 of 60 people found the following review helpful
Textual Criticism For Beginners,
This review is from: Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why (Hardcover)
This book offered a fascinating and thought-provoking insight into how the Bible became bastardised thoughout history; how Jesus message was lost or perverted; and how scholars have sought to reconstruct the original wordings & meanings of Biblical document - through the field of Textual Criticsm. (Dating documents through analysis of the words themselves - enabling the 'critic' to date them accurately.)
That is what the book 'offered'. What it delivered was a fascinating & thought provoking insight into Textual Criticism - followed by the same points being belaboured, to the point of becoming almost patronising; where the reader themselves comes away feeling fully equipt & qualified to undertake textual criticism themselves. (Not all that surprising when you consider the writer is a lecturer.)
The actual 'findings' of the Textual Criticisms, are few and far between, and thier implications almost glossed over; in order to 'pogo' chronologically back and forth between millenia, sometimes confussingly, in order to further underscore how 'big & clever' Textual Criticism is.
Quite a feat, when it's a point they're trying to establish is as fundamental and 'enormous' as Jesus' entire (alleged) divinity.
If you are looking for the actual 'findings' of textual criticism applied to the Bible, then this probably isn't the book for you - as of the (estimated) 200 - 300,000 changes noted within the bible, this book makes mention of (at most) a dozen examples. If however, you are looking for an insight into the history & techniques involved in textual criticism (as it 'applies' to Biblical documents) then you very much could not go wrong.
A very interesting read, despite its basic premise getting somewhat side-tracked.