Post on Bart Ehrman’s Misquoting Jesus is open for more comments

February 4, 2009 | By | 6 Replies More

About two years ago, I read a terrific book by Bart Ehrman:  Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why. Ehrman is a bible scholar who concluded that in the past 2,000 years, the New Testament has been changed in thousands of minor ways and dozens of major ways.  He therefore put up a caution sign to all of those believers who claim that the Bible is inerrant.   “Which version of the Bible?” is always an important clarifying question.

Here’s the link to my post, which I titled:  “Who changed the Bible and why? Bart Ehrman’s startling answers.” More than 540 comments were quickly contributed to this post, making this page too long to download and display. The phenomenon of the passionate flood of comments confounded me.   Many of the comments were irrational, in that the writers had clearly not even read my post (or the book).  They argued about things that Ehrman (and I) did not claim and they failed to address Ehrman’s meticulous scholarship.

For technical reasons I closed off new comments back in March 2007. Last night, I discovered a WordPress plugin that allows me to paginate comments, thereby protecting this website from the sudden and repeated load of 540 comments displayed on one page.

Here’s the good news, then.   Anyone who has not yet had his or her chance to comment on Bart Ehrman’s book may now jump in at the original post and post a comment.   That’s right!  If the 540 comments that came before you didn’t address an important aspect of Bart Ehrman’s book, you may now remedy that omission in the comments to the original post.



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Category: Religion

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (6)

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  1. Dan Klarmann says:

    There is a small glitch in the pagination plug-in: Recent Comments don't get the comment page number info. Clicking on a recent comment from any page but the first just drops you at the top of the post. Then you have to scroll down to the bottom of the comments, and click on the last page number to find it.

    Let us know when this gets fixed.

  2. Erich Vieth says:

    Dan: I'm not inclined to mess any further with the plugin on comment pagination. Rather, I've heard that WordPress 2.7 includes comment pagination as a standard feature. When I get up the courage to switch over to 2.7 the feature will hopefully work flawlessly.

  3. grumpypilgrim says:

    For interested readers, I've also posted about the many versions of the Bible:

  4. jer says:

    I have often wondered how bible scholars learn what they write about. it can obviously be on the writings of those from the past who have written their version and then come the scholars who somehow are

    gifted enough to go back in time to dispute many of these writings that they have never witnessed and then are able to make judgements about ….amazing…..!!!

  5. Erich Vieth says:

    Jer: You are not the first person to criticize Ehrman's painstaking work without having the integrity of reading his book first. I'd recommend that you go read Ehrman's book (or at least read my original post on Ehrman) before rolling your eyes at his conclusions.

  6. The New Testament contains enough inconsistencies to have spawned a dizzying variety of interpretations, beliefs and religions, all allegedly Bible-based. Why such variance in viewpoints? To begin with, different theological camps disagree on which books should be included in the Bible. One camp’s apocrypha is another’s scripture. Secondly, even among those books that have been canonized, the many variant source texts lack uniformity. This lack of uniformity is so ubiquitous that The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible states, “It is safe to say that there is not one sentence in the NT in which the MS [manuscript] tradition is wholly uniform.” Not one sentence? We can’t trust a single sentence of the Bible? Hard to believe. The fact is that there are over 5700 Greek manuscripts of all or part of the New Testament. Furthermore, “no two of these manuscripts are exactly alike in all their particulars…. And some of these differences are significant.” Factor in roughly ten thousand manuscripts of the Latin Vulgate, add the many other ancient variants (i.e., Syriac, Coptic, Armenian, Georgian, Ethiopic, Nubian, Gothic, Slavonic), and what do we have?

    Read the complete article at:

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