Archive for the ‘Book Review’ Category

Misquoting Jesus – Book Review

April 23, 2007

Recommendation: Read this book. Now.

Bart D. Ehrman’s book “Misquoting Jesus – The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why” is an enthralling read. Ehrman’s chronicle is a powerful story of his deeply personal search for biblical truth.

Let me say up front that I didn’t expect to be especially impressed by this book. While I do enjoy reading about the history of bibles and the myths they contain (read “The Making of the King James Bible” for an example that I didn’t like), I expected something necessarily filtered through the lens of rabid Christianity. Boy, was I wrong.

Ehrman, starts out describing how he came to find himself on a path searching for truth. He wandered into fundamental, evangelical Christianity at an early age and it was all “downhill” from there.  After studying at the Moody Bible Institute, Ehrman became increasingly enthralled by the problems of biblical inaccuracies. At one point he boils it down to the following quote:

For me, though, this was a compelling problem. It was the words of scripture themselves that God had inspired. Surely we have to know what those words were if we want to know how he had communicated to us, since the very words were his words, and having some other words (those inadvertently or intentionally created by scribes) didn’t help us much if we wanted to know His words.

This stunned me for a minute. I couldn’t get my mind around the question “Why do Christians other than Ehrman not care about the inspired word of god?”

The rest of the book records Ehrman’s investigation into the fallibility of the bible predominantly introduced during the manual copying of documents in the early history of Christianity. It is an absolutely fascinating read and taught me a great deal.

You’ll have to read the book yourself to find the juiciest bits of bible manipulation (there are some impressive one).  I don’t want to spoil it for you.

Books and other things

March 30, 2007

This is more of a note to myself, a public commitment as it were. I’m shortly going to be posting a review of Sean B. Carroll’s “The Making of the Fittest”. I also intend to post my thoughts about Bart D. Ehrman’s “Misquoting Jesus”, although I haven’t quite finished that one. Finally, I may post a review of AG Cairns-Smith’s “Seven Clues to the Origins of Life”. I haven’t decided on that one yet.

I’m also hoping to do a little investigation and post some thoughts about the process by which genetic information can be increased. There’s been a lot of discussion of this lately around the place, so I thought I’d try to get a better grip on it myself. It’s quite an interesting topic to learn about. I often find writing about something helps me to understand it better.