Based on the description of this book I was expecting a look into the politics of why the bible has been changed. While the author did talk about this somewhat in the context of the earliest Christians, the book is much more of a scholarly attempt to help the layman understand how specific passages have changed rather than the social ramifications of those changes. This is not the author's fault--he lays out his plan quite clearly--but rather a lack of clarity in the description of the book.
I was expecting a riveting work that topples traditional biblical views. Instead, this book was hours and hours of rambling about WHO could have changed the bible. The author is clearly very learned and his educational background is impressive, but that doesn't make this book interesting. The title is very misleading.
I am absolutely impressed and revolutionalized.
For any person that considers the writings of the New Testament important to their life, this is an emergency highest alert book! The author does what every good historical author should do and every good student of history should want - puts things into perspective.
Without debunking the divinity of God in any of God's revealed forms, this author sensibly and scientifically reveals the irrefutable information that exposes the sense and the nonsense of the various cultures of Christianity, incredibly relevant to our modern time.
Anyone who considers the New Testament important should stop cold, not have 1 more Bible study, not pay 1 more homage to the "shrink to fit" doctrines of practiced church, not take 1 more doctrinal discussion until reading/listening to this essential book!
As a historical reference it opens the the discourse to the lay man, as a starting point, a great listen, and the non-biased look at who may and how possibly the shape of the bible has come to us.
Love this book because it gives me more reasons to back up why religion is such a waste of time. Would have given a 5 star, only giving 4 for the Audible version because the reader Richard Davidson is so painful to listen to. I know if I was reading the physical book I would have enjoyed the read better. His voice is rough and he speaks so harshly. It's clear that he is reading rather than just talking to an audience. Other than that, I'm very grateful Dr. Ehrman chose to write this book.
The title says it all. A+ facts to help you destroy any high and mighty fanatic christian.....if you can make it through 3 chapters of the most boring narrator ever.
I wasn't sure what to expect, but felt this was very respectfully written, especially since the author goes to great detail to explain the research he's done & how he has (really) dedicated his life asking the same questions all Christians ask. Very good for someone who is confused about their committment to Christianity.
Ehrman sets things up in the first few chapters in an, "OMG! the New Testament has errors!!!1!!" kind of way. But it is not as big of a deal as he makes it out to be. He uses two major (and well known) changes, as examples of the "thousands of changes" in the manuscripts, as if to say that many of those thousands of changes are of the same major significance, even though they are not.
He does get into a more reasoned study after that though, and this book could serve as a decent introduction to textual criticism. Although like he himself said, some matters of textual criticism are not straight forward, and many scholars disagree on the original readings--so too here, the reader should not take Ehrman's opinions as the final word on any of the specific passages he examines. Some of the manuscript changes he mentions are not even in modern translations, but he includes them in a way that suggests they are still significant errors in our Bibles (maybe they are for those who still hold to the KJV).
A very good resource is the NET Bible which includes a wealth of text critical notes where the translators clearly explain why they chose the readings they did (they do deal with many of the passages Ehrman mentions, except for Hebrews 2:9).
Ehrman concludes that the NT is "not well preserved", but fails to mention that compared to other ancient writings (Homer, Plato, et cetera), the books of the NT are incredibly well preserved.