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on 11 December 2013
I've always belived the Bible to be the word of God, as long as it correcly translated. This book contains an educative and interesting exposition on the initial formation of the bible and the manuscripts were used to create it. I do not think that one will necessarily loose their faith in God from reading this book, but it does lead us to look at the current Bible with a more critical eye. Yes, the original manuscripts for the books of the new testament did not even exist when the Bible was first compiled, and the manuscripts that were used may have been somewhat distorted by the time they were used to integrate the Bible, but that does not prove that the originals were lies and that the gist of the message therein is incorrect. Revelation was the basis for the original manuscripts of the bible, and revelation should still be what we base our testimony and understanding on. The church that Christ organized on the earth did not have the bible to guide it's decisions and doctrine. It was guided by revelation during and after the mortal ministry of Christ.
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on 12 November 2010
This was a subject that I basically knew nothing about. I found this book to be fascinating.
In particular I found the history of the subject to be unexpectedly interesting and also interesting how attitudes have changed. The author was a Fundamentalist and until he started his theology studies he had no idea that other branches of Christianity don't see the Bible as the inerrant word of God.
It went into just the right amount of depth, though sometimes the writing can be a little stilted.
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on 26 June 2012
This book looks at the changes that have occurred in the bible and the reasons for these changes. I enjoyed reading this book. The author has clearly researched the subject thoroughly. The overarching conclusion (i.e. that the bible has changed a great deal) is perhaps not all that surprising since it was copied by hand and is a book written by humans. The book provides compelling evidence of these changes. However, this book gives much more. It provides a fascinating history of the how the bible developed, the context behind the changes that occurred and an insight to the purpose of these changes. This is an interesting book and well worth the read whether you are religious or not (I am not).
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on 22 October 2014
A fascinating book outlining the origins of the New Testament . If you're a 'born again' type of Christian I'd avoid this book as it'll undermine your world outlook and present you with a problem for your beliefs.
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on 3 December 2007
Bart Ehrman is a biblical historian who posits that scribes' alterations to New Testament manuscripts reflect both human error and the influence of theology, culture, and politics. He explores the development of written scripture from the Greco-Roman era, the effect of inconsistencies on doctrine and later versions, and attempts to reconstruct original text. This was written with lay readers in mind rather than academics. And I would have rated it four stars if the author would stayed away from adding his own speculation. But it is a serious work that will open discussion on textual error again.
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on 6 September 2011
Bart D. Ehrman has made a great contribution towards our understanding of the New Testament, who wrote it and what it really means. Sadly, these words of truth are still ignored by many of the world's ignorant, but the fact that a man like Ehrman, a true seeker of truth, was able to change his old restricted views of the bible when confronted with the truth that it was written entirely by fallible man, gives me hope that other closed-minded people may also benefit from this book. To anyone who really wants to know how the New Testament was written, I couldn't recommend this book more. Its fascinating information is presented in a very readable style. To those who want to continue living in a blinkered world, where truth and facts are discarded in favour of dogma and doctrine, stay well away, for this book is packed with just that - truth and facts.
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on 18 May 2015
The most basic good sense seems conclusively obliged to recognise the perplexing affects - from day one - of human intersession in an element as fundamental as scripture. Mr Ehrman explains with straightforward succinctness much of how these affects occurred and the changes that were caused and much of the moment attached to many of these issues, theologically and academically. The book, I feel, is a rewarding read but one could dive into the subject and seldom, if ever, read much else ever again. That however, is specifically not, my intention. Which does not mean that I am not humbly grateful to the author for his enlightening work.
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on 28 October 2014
I'm about 2/3rds of the way through and the book is becoming quite boring and laboured (with him quoting endless examples of changes). I get it and totally with you okay, the bible today isn't as it was originally written. However, the questions I want answered though are: where can I therefore find an "accurate" bible without these errors? And then, given that we have this "accurate" bible, can we trust it as the infallible truth?

After all, it's completely useless to do all the analysis as to where and how exactly the bible was changed, if it was just made up and inaccurate (i.e. not the infallible truth) to begin with! I really hope he get's to the point soon...
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Bart Ehrman has written what many believe to be a thought-provoking analysis of the formation of The New Testament. I concur with this opinion, it is indeed intriguing.

The over-riding assumption according to Christian fundamentalist is that The New Testament is inerrant. And, in this state of perfection, there's a unified story amongst the authors on what appears to have happened in 1st century Palestine, the correction of Jewish philosophy and the way to eternal salvation.

These precepts have always been contested, by Jewish scholars, by Christian academics and, as Dr. Ehrman points out, by agnostics, atheists and polytheists of those eras. This book is an attempt to examine the environment in which the later writers (i.e., the scribes) who inherited these oftentimes contradictory stories.

I came to know of this book by way of PBS' The Diane Rhems Show. In that lively hour, Dr. Ehrman discussed his fundamentalist upbringing through his academic disillusionment years. There were many things discussed during that show that is not in the book.

The book spends a disproportionately long time discussing how the traditions were adapted by intentional "corrections", accidental, interpretive or just missing material.

Only sparsely does Mr. Ehrman actually deal with etymology. But, when he does it reveals much. I was also impressed with his addressing certain assumptions that the early Christian community was disproportionately discriminated against by the so-called unbelievers and the Roman community.

The book is very interesting and I recommend it only to those who've read other books that deal specifically with historicity.
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on 20 April 2015
Bart brings the evidence to justify what I have always thought about the inadequacy of religious teaching. That it is based on mythology in patent; but that the mythology has to be redacted to make it seem less mythological is an eye-opener. A good book especially as it comes from someone who was brought up to believe every word in the gospels.
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