Sunday, June 21, 2015

Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why

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Rating: 2 Stars

Review:

It's always kind of funny when an author plagiarizes himself. Having read several of Ehrman's books (recently), there are numerous times in this text where I could skim, because I had already read the EXACT SAME passage in any of the previous books of his that I have just read. Makes it hard to want to keep reading, when it just seems like he is taking bits from other books and making a 'new' book. Basically, he presents the same information in every single book, same ideas, themes, and theories, and just focuses on a different aspect in each of his books. So, the groundwork, the background is already there. He has to do minimal work to come up with the 'new' part to make this book different from that book.

Also! What! Is! With! All! The! Exclamation! Marks!

Seriously, it comes across as kind of condescending, as if Ehrman is saying, "Look here lay reader, you won't understand how important this idea is that I just stated for you unless I follow it up with a !! You need to understand and you won't if I don't point it out for you!!" Of course, I have added a second exclamation mark, so YOU can understand how important my statement is with the initial exclamation mark. Annoying, isn't it? But that is Ehrman, and to get through his books you either have to ignore it, or quit reading. He sometimes writes as though he thinks his readers won't understand. He ACTUALLY makes a point to say that there were no plans or cars or electronic printing options in the ancient world. Seriously? That was a point that needed to be made? Ehrman talks down to his readers a lot, so be prepared for that.

The title is a bit misleading, as it is not JUST misquoting things Jesus said during his ministry. Instead, this book looks at all the different ways and reasons that the Bible has been changed throughout the centuries. This in itself is interesting, and sometimes disheartening, because we will never know the REAL words, as scribes took it upon themselves to change the text - whether accidentally or on purpose.

I guess this book might be 'fascinating' for people who have never read any other work by Ehrman. To me, however, it was just a different focus on many recycled thoughts from his other books.

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