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Headlines 'Misquoting Jesus', how the Gospels made a Bible scholar a disbeliever

Jung

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"Sometimes Christian apologists say there are only three options to who Jesus was: a liar, a lunatic or the Lord," he tells a packed auditorium here at the University of North Carolina, where he chairs the department of religious studies. "But there could be a fourth option -- legend."

Ehrman's latest book, "Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why," has become one of the unlikeliest bestsellers of the year. A slender book of textual criticism, currently at No. 16 on the New York Times bestseller list, it casts doubt on any number of New Testament episodes that most Christians take as, well, gospel.

Example: A crowd readies itself to stone an adulterous woman to death. Jesus leans down, doodles in the dust. Says, let the one without sin cast the first stone. The crowd melts away. It's one of the most famous stories in the Bible.

And it's most likely fiction, says Ehrman, seconding other scholars who say scribes added the episode to the biblical canon centuries after the life of Christ.
The Book of Bart
In the Bestseller 'Misquoting Jesus,' Agnostic Author Bart Ehrman Picks Apart the Gospels That Made a Disbeliever Out of Him

By Neely Tucker
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, March 5, 2006; Page D01

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. Where does faith reside? In the soul? The mind, the marrow of the bones?

In the long hours of the night, the voices of the evangelical preachers on the AM dial seem to know. Believe, they say. Then daylight comes and the listeners' questions fade.

Bart Ehrman is a sermon, a parable, but of what? He's a best-selling author, a New Testament expert and perhaps a cautionary tale: the fundamentalist scholar who peered so hard into the origins of Christianity that he lost his faith altogether.

Once he was a seminarian and graduate of the Moody Bible Institute, a pillar of conservative Christianity. Its doctrine states that the Bible "is a divine revelation, the original autographs of which were verbally inspired by the Holy Spirit."

But after three decades of research into that divine revelation, Ehrman became an agnostic. What he found in the ancient papyri of the scriptorium was not the greatest story ever told, but the crumbling dust of his own faith.

There are dozens of other examples in "Misquoting Jesus," things that go to the heart of the faith, things that have puzzled scholars for centuries. What actually happened to Jesus of Nazareth, there on the sands of Judea? Was he a small-time Jewish revolutionary or the Son of God? Both? Neither?

These ancient questions have been the guideposts to Ehrman's life. His take on them -- first as devout believer in biblical inerrancy, then as a skeptic who rejects it all -- suggests a demand for black and white in an arena where others see faith, mystery and the far traces of the unknowable.

"I think Bart is writing about his personal journey, about legitimate things that bother him," says Darrell Bock, research professor of New Testament studies at the Dallas Theological Seminary. Like many Christian scholars who have studied the ancient scrolls, Bock says his faith was strengthened by the same process that destroyed Ehrman's.


Read the rest of the article here. (Washington Post)

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I think this is a good article, regardless of what you believe. It just goes to show how ridiculous it is to believe the bible to be 100% true and accurate. :thumbsup:
 

TheKillerDynamo

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nice to know there are people of coherence still available for comment here. I'm inclined to agree with you, and I am also a non-believer, if it matters.
 

HoneyImHome

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I agree with you on this Jung. I don't hold the bible with much regard. It's been interpreted, re-interpreted, twisted to fit the the doctine of certain churches until who knows what was originally within its text. The whole thing is that first person's interpretation that was then revamped again and again and again.

Anyway, I read it and decide what I want. Sometimes, I disagree with it. It's my own interpretation set by my own morals, so is my faith (yeah, the "f" word). :p

Edit: I feel the need to add, I can't remember the last time I picked up a bible. I don't think it's changed though since the last time I read it (in college).
 

xcountry

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I'm a Christian. Yes, I am a believer. I also agree that the Bible probably has changed since it was originally written some 2000 years ago. Although, just because scribes may have added something after Jesus's life, it doesn't mean that he is a total fake.
I believe that the Bible (mostly true, despite possible changes), especially the New Testament, should be interpreted. Also it should be personally interpreted. Proof of this would be, as the story that started this quote said, the way Ehrman lost his faith was the same way Bock's faith was strengthened.

This reply was all entirely my opninon, and I'm not trying to offend/convert any atheist/agnostic/non-believer. I now I probably will get picked and chewed at becuase of this, but thats how the game works.:rolleyes:
 

Jung

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xcountry said:
I'm a Christian. Yes, I am a believer. I also agree that the Bible probably has changed since it was originally written some 2000 years ago. Although, just because scribes may have added something after Jesus's life, it doesn't mean that he is a total fake.
And likewise, using the same logic, the biblical writings and scriptures don't mean that Jesus, or their other teachings, are true in any regard.

Not attacking your beliefs, just applying your own logic to the viewpoint of the non-believer.
 

xcountry

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junglizm said:
And likewise, using the same logic, the biblical writings and scriptures don't mean that Jesus, or their other teachings, are true in any regard.

Not attacking your beliefs, just applying your own logic to the viewpoint of the non-believer.
You've got a good point, and I thank you for saying that in a kind manner.
Although, I must point out, that the entire Bible does not focus on proving Jesus's existence -- its a given.
 

Jung

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xcountry said:
Although, I must point out, that the entire Bible does not focus on proving Jesus's existence -- its a given.
You're correct, but many believers take the bible as a basis of proof for Jesus and God. If one didn't already believe in god/jesus, then the point would be moot.
 

xcountry

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junglizm said:
You're correct, but many believers take the bible as a basis of proof for Jesus and God. If one didn't already believe in god/jesus, then the point would be moot.
Exactly.:rolleyes:
 

Darklight

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after over 2 thousand years.... it can only be assumed that the bible has been misquoted.. misinterpreted, and misread.. not to mention the writers of the bible are supposed to be seven sages who after weeks in the desert saw 'visions' of the history of religion that they wrote down to become the bible.. I tend not to have much faith in a book written by seven sun stroked, drunk old men who were in the desert for days without food or shelter..
 

joshcrack

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Mod edit: If you're going to post, make it something with some actual content, we can all go read scripture if we choose.
 

Acid_Corona

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It is about time somebody has found vauble evidence that the Bible belongs in the fiction section of Barnes & Nobles.
 

xcountry

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Acid_Corona said:
It is about time somebody has found vauble evidence that the Bible belongs in the fiction section of Barnes & Nobles.
I completely disagree with that. The Bible may have been misinterpreted, misread, misquoted, and what not, but the Bible isn't fiction. Many stories of the Bible re-enact and record many battles fought by the Israelites, all battles of which have been historically proven to have happened. Not only battles, but stories such as Nehemiah rebuilding the Wall of Jerusalem, the Israelites being captured by the Babylonians, for example, also have been historically proven true.

Stick that in the fiction section of Barnes and Nobles.:mfinger:
 

xcountry

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Darklight said:
I tend not to have much faith in a book written by seven sun stroked, drunk old men who were in the desert for days without food or shelter..
I disagree with this completely, also. Many of the visions of John the prophet (for example) have been proven true... well, eerily similar. A vision he had was the Euphrates River (now located in current day Iraq) would be dammed or blocked to send armies across it. He also said that their number would be 20,000. In the 1940's, I believe (this assumption of mine was made soley on the quality of footage shown), the communist Chinese Army dammed up the Euphrates River to spread communism. Their number was 20,000 (I saw this on the History channel one morning, look it up if you don't believe me).
Another prophecy of John was of the Wormwood star falling and destroying parts of the Earth.

Oh, and believe me, I can come up with more of these. I just need to find specific dates and times, thats all.

My point in all this is, the prophets who wrote in the Bible must've had or did something that allowed them to be able to know such information (and I don't see any evidence that they were drunk). Coincidence? A slim chance.
 

Jung

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xcountry said:
I completely disagree with that. The Bible may have been misinterpreted, misread, misquoted, and what not, but the Bible isn't fiction. Many stories of the Bible re-enact and record many battles fought by the Israelites, all battles of which have been historically proven to have happened. Not only battles, but stories such as Nehemiah rebuilding the Wall of Jerusalem, the Israelites being captured by the Babylonians, for example, also have been historically proven true.
Congratulations on sidestepping his post.

Look, we're all very happy that the parts of the bible that coincidentally have nothing to do with God, Jesus or even the Christian or Jewish faiths, are the ones that have supporting evidence. However, there is not one shred of evidence to the existence of BibleGod, Jesus the Messiah, a virgin birth, a talking snake, Biblical creation, a world wide 40-day flood, the resurrection, et al. Please note when I say "Jesus the Messiah" I mean that literally; I don't doubt that there was a man named Jesus who lived during the time, and he may very well have been a carpenter and even a self-proclaimed profit. (We have those even today, a la cultists.) However, proof to the claims I listed earlier, which is what the Christians are selling, are nonexistent. This is why people refer to the bible as a work of fiction.

I’m sorry but I have to question your motives when you intentionally omit mention of such things when proclaiming “the bible isn’t fictional”. I also find it funny that out of all the things in the bible that CAN be back up, not a single one of them have anything to do with religion or God/Jesus/Casper the Holy Ghost.
 

ghim

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The bible is a just a written 2000 year old game of telephone. Through mistranslation and the fact that it was written by monks (the people who were in charge of religion) just doesn't sit right with me. The Church was the most powerful thing in the world for a very long time and if you don't think they would do what it takes to keep that power then you're mistaken.
They would take the parts that were necessary to keep the masses enthralled. I have to agree with Marx that it is the opiate of the masses. junglizm also has a point.
I'm not saying that I don't believe the historical records that in the bible but to accept it as fact and not take it with a grain of salt is just ridiculous.
 

FireAngel

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Okay, most here know that I am a believer, but that started well before I even attempted to read the Bible. As far as the Bible's accuracy goes, I doubt it highly. To me that is not really the point, and this I think is where a lot of Christians (sp? I can't ever remember if it's ia or ai) get hung up. They, in general, believe it to be the truth down to the letter, or at least that their interpretation is the absolute truth. I believe the Bible to be mainly a guide of sorts. The morals Jesus taught and the basic guidelines it set down are what I try to follow, typically. There are a lot of holes in the Bible, and I think a lot of it was mainly just stories to support the morals it was trying to teach.
Just my two cents.
 

Jung

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ghim said:
Through mistranslation and the fact that it was written by monks (the people who were in charge of religion) just doesn't sit right with me.
You also have to take into account that the original passages, letters and scriptures were written to edify the religion; it was a sales pitch; a marketing scheme. You have a time where pagan religions were plentiful, and everyone believed something different depending on their location. When the religion first started to spread the ‘prophets’ needed something to make it enticing to the masses; this is where most the extravagant stores and “miracles” come from.

It should also be noted that virgin births, resurrections and sacrifices of offspring are NOT things that were specific to Christianity or Judaism; many pagan religions had professed these “miracles” for years prior.

That’s not to mention the many translations and add-ins that came later; anyone who claims to know anything about Christianity should know what the Biblical Canon is – it’s when the leaders of the church sat down and decided what would actually make it into the bible and what would be discarded. Well, a lot of literature got left out for being too unbelievable, and a lot of writing got revised before their additions. Even for years after the canon was finalized, revisions continued to be made. That alone speaks volumes about the veracity of the bible.

And before anyone speaks up out of ignorance, I suggest you do some research on theology.



Tiger86, I don’t ‘get’ moderate Christianity. You claim to be a believer, yet you doubt the very basis of the religion. How does one logically doubt only certain parts of the bible? How do you pick and choose pieces of your religion to follow and ignore? And at what point does that cease to be Christianity and start to become "tiger86ity?"

I can understand religious fundamentalists a hell of a lot more than I can moderates; at least the fundies are consistent in their irrationality. Moderates seem to be more about making a 'paint by numbers religion' to fit their own ideas than anything else.

No offense, of course.
 

Tostig

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Jung- i think the moderates are the ones who follow the morals set forth by their religious choice. the morals that seem to be common amongst almost all religions in the world: be a good person, don't kill anyone, be honest, etc etc etc. Moderates, like tiger, i think are more into the spirit of the law rather than the letter. Most fundamentalists believe anyone doesn't believe just as they do are going to hell. Most moderate or liberal religious people believe you can be a good person and still make it into heaven, even if you don't believe as they do.

At least, that's my take on it. I'm more fond of moderates and liberals than of fundamentalists. I don't like being told i'm not good enough just because i do'nt believe the same things they do.