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Re: Misquoting Jesus - Some Notes About Chapter 6

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  • James M. Leonard
    I suckered myself into buying the book, deluded into thinking it was fodder for further scholarly reflection. After reading a few pages, I saw it for what it
    Message 1 of 5 , Jan 6, 2006
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      I suckered myself into buying the book, deluded into thinking it was fodder for further scholarly reflection.  After reading a few pages, I saw it for what it was, and felt that I could not invest the time in reading it at this time, especially after having read Orthodox Corruption.

      It seems that the book was targeted to a particular audience which would be impacted by his personal testimony about getting sucked into the emotionalistic, pseudo-intellectualism of a Christianity which gets propagated by paid, cool youth ministers.  The title and other aspects of his book will serve him well in selling the book to this crowd.  All this disappoints.

      Thank you, Bro. Snapp for the analysis.

       

      Jim Leonard

      Southwestern Pennsylvania

       


      --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, "voxverax" <snapp@p...> wrote:
      >
      > The sixth chapter of "Misquoting Jesus" (the partly-new book by Dr.
      > Bart Ehrman) focuses on ten variants which the author claims are
      > doctrinally motivated alterations. They are I Tim. 3:16, Luke
      > 2:33ff., Mark 1:11/Lk. 3:22, John 1:18, Luke 22:43-44, Luke 22:19-20,
      > Luke 24:12, Luke 24:51-52, Heb. 2:9, and First John 4:3.
      >
      > Are these ten variants definitely cases of doctrinally motivated
      > changes? Let's see:
      >
      > I Tim. 3:16 - With n.s. contraction taken into consideration, the
      > difference between the readings = a theta-bar. I don't think we have
      > the telepathic powers required to discern whether the unoriginal
      > reading began as an innocent misreading or as a deliberate shift.
      >
      > Luke 2:33ff. - Sure looks like a deliberate change to me. But the
      > result is simplification, not falsification. The Gospel of Luke is
      > pretty clear about the teaching that Joseph was Jesus' legal, but not
      > literal, father.
      >
      > Luke 3:22 - Ehrman's appraisal of the evidence is incorrect. The
      > variant in D is a gloss from Psalm 2:7.
      >
      > Luke 22:19-20 - Again Ehrman leans almost altogether on D. On the
      > premise that D is right and P75, A, B, Aleph, W, Arm, Sah, etc., are
      > wrong, this would be a /liturgically/ motivated addition, not a
      > doctrinally motivated one.
      >
      > John 1:18 - A n.s.-related change. One ends up with a high
      > Christology whichever variant is original.
      >
      > Luke 22:43-44 - On the premise that this passage is not original, it
      > looks more like material that was added simply because it was
      > interesting, rather than because it conveyed some doctrinal point.
      >
      > Luke 24:12 - Again Ehrman relies on D. On the assumption that D is
      > right and P75 and just about everything else are wrong, 24:12 would
      > be a /harmonistic/ addition based on events in John 20.
      >
      > Luke 24:51 - The copyists can't win here. If "and was carried up
      > into heaven" is original, then copyists deleted it so as to avoid
      > risking readers' impression of a discrepancy regarding the timing of
      > the ascension. If the phrase is unoriginal, then copyists added it
      > so as to augment the Gospels' attestation for the Ascension.
      >
      > Hebrews 2:9 - The explanation that Metzger gives in Text. Comm. (p.
      > 664) makes sense to me ~ the reading "without God" is unoriginal, and
      > its originator intended it to be a scholium about 2:8.
      >
      > First John 4:3 - Ehrman admits that the "looses" variant "'probably
      > cannot be accepted as the 'original' text." So, while this is an
      > example of a doctrinally motivated change, it is a doctrinally
      > motivated change which was repulsed by Christian scribes even though
      > it agreed with their doctrine and disagreed with the doctrine of
      > their heretical opponents. Doesn't this work against Ehrman's theme
      > more than for it?
      >
      > Out of these 10 variants, a doctrinal impetus (rather than an impetus
      > of harmonistic concerns, liturgical convenience, or copyists'
      > incompetence) seems certain in the case of Luke 2:33ff. and First
      > John 4:3. But the doctrinal impact of those two changes is
      > practically nil.
      >
      > (Also, on p. 160, Dr. Ehrman refers twice to Acts 2:38 ~ where he
      > writes that "In another passage Luke states that Jesus became the
      > Christ at his resurrection (Acts 2:38)" and where he says "Acts 2:38
      > indicates that he became the Lord at his resurrection." I think Acts
      > 2:36 is meant in both instances.)
      >
      > Yours in Christ,
      >
      > James Snapp, Jr.
      > Minister, Curtisville Christian Church
      > www.curtisvillechristian.org
      >

    • Bart Ehrman
      I d suggest you look at the full discussion in my book Orthodox Corruption of Scripture, which was written for scholars, rather than the brief overview in
      Message 2 of 5 , Jan 6, 2006
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        I'd suggest you look at the full discussion in my book Orthodox
        Corruption of Scripture, which was written for scholars, rather than the
        brief overview in Misquoting Jesus, which is written for lay folk. I
        discuss all of these variants at length there. And I deal with the
        problem of "intention" and explain what I mean by it (in the first
        chapter).

        Best to all,

        -- Bart Ehrman



        On Fri, 6 Jan 2006, voxverax wrote:

        > The sixth chapter of "Misquoting Jesus" (the partly-new book by Dr.
        > Bart Ehrman) focuses on ten variants which the author claims are
        > doctrinally motivated alterations. They are I Tim. 3:16, Luke
        > 2:33ff., Mark 1:11/Lk. 3:22, John 1:18, Luke 22:43-44, Luke 22:19-20,
        > Luke 24:12, Luke 24:51-52, Heb. 2:9, and First John 4:3.
        >
        > Are these ten variants definitely cases of doctrinally motivated
        > changes? Let's see:
        >
        > I Tim. 3:16 - With n.s. contraction taken into consideration, the
        > difference between the readings = a theta-bar. I don't think we have
        > the telepathic powers required to discern whether the unoriginal
        > reading began as an innocent misreading or as a deliberate shift.
        >
        > Luke 2:33ff. - Sure looks like a deliberate change to me. But the
        > result is simplification, not falsification. The Gospel of Luke is
        > pretty clear about the teaching that Joseph was Jesus' legal, but not
        > literal, father.
        >
        > Luke 3:22 - Ehrman's appraisal of the evidence is incorrect. The
        > variant in D is a gloss from Psalm 2:7.
        >
        > Luke 22:19-20 - Again Ehrman leans almost altogether on D. On the
        > premise that D is right and P75, A, B, Aleph, W, Arm, Sah, etc., are
        > wrong, this would be a /liturgically/ motivated addition, not a
        > doctrinally motivated one.
        >
        > John 1:18 - A n.s.-related change. One ends up with a high
        > Christology whichever variant is original.
        >
        > Luke 22:43-44 - On the premise that this passage is not original, it
        > looks more like material that was added simply because it was
        > interesting, rather than because it conveyed some doctrinal point.
        >
        > Luke 24:12 - Again Ehrman relies on D. On the assumption that D is
        > right and P75 and just about everything else are wrong, 24:12 would
        > be a /harmonistic/ addition based on events in John 20.
        >
        > Luke 24:51 - The copyists can't win here. If "and was carried up
        > into heaven" is original, then copyists deleted it so as to avoid
        > risking readers' impression of a discrepancy regarding the timing of
        > the ascension. If the phrase is unoriginal, then copyists added it
        > so as to augment the Gospels' attestation for the Ascension.
        >
        > Hebrews 2:9 - The explanation that Metzger gives in Text. Comm. (p.
        > 664) makes sense to me ~ the reading "without God" is unoriginal, and
        > its originator intended it to be a scholium about 2:8.
        >
        > First John 4:3 - Ehrman admits that the "looses" variant "'probably
        > cannot be accepted as the 'original' text." So, while this is an
        > example of a doctrinally motivated change, it is a doctrinally
        > motivated change which was repulsed by Christian scribes even though
        > it agreed with their doctrine and disagreed with the doctrine of
        > their heretical opponents. Doesn't this work against Ehrman's theme
        > more than for it?
        >
        > Out of these 10 variants, a doctrinal impetus (rather than an impetus
        > of harmonistic concerns, liturgical convenience, or copyists'
        > incompetence) seems certain in the case of Luke 2:33ff. and First
        > John 4:3. But the doctrinal impact of those two changes is
        > practically nil.
        >
        > (Also, on p. 160, Dr. Ehrman refers twice to Acts 2:38 ~ where he
        > writes that "In another passage Luke states that Jesus became the
        > Christ at his resurrection (Acts 2:38)" and where he says "Acts 2:38
        > indicates that he became the Lord at his resurrection." I think Acts
        > 2:36 is meant in both instances.)
        >
        > Yours in Christ,
        >
        > James Snapp, Jr.
        > Minister, Curtisville Christian Church
        > www.curtisvillechristian.org
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
      • Bart Ehrman
        Never judge a book by its ... first few pages. There s actually a lot of historical (as well as textual, of course) information in the book -- Richard Simon,
        Message 3 of 5 , Jan 6, 2006
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          Never judge a book by its ... first few pages.

          There's actually a lot of historical (as well as textual, of course)
          information in the book -- Richard Simon, Wettstein, Bengel, Bentley,
          Westcott, Hort, and so on, which I'd be surprised if the average lay
          person would be all that interested in. But if you already have mastered
          the history of the discipline (not easy to do, actually; I don't know very
          many people who have), you won't find much that's new.

          The title, btw, wasn't at all my idea. In fact, I was strongly against
          it. I wanted to call the book "Lost in Transmission." But the publisher
          was afraid that people in the Barnes & Noble crowd would think it was
          about stock car racing....

          -- Bart Ehrman



          On Fri, 6 Jan 2006, James M. Leonard wrote:

          >
          > I suckered myself into buying the book, deluded into thinking it was
          > fodder for further scholarly reflection. After reading a few pages, I
          > saw it for what it was, and felt that I could not invest the time in
          > reading it at this time, especially after having read Orthodox
          > Corruption.
          >
          > It seems that the book was targeted to a particular audience which would
          > be impacted by his personal testimony about getting sucked into the
          > emotionalistic, pseudo-intellectualism of a Christianity which gets
          > propagated by paid, cool youth ministers. The title and other aspects
          > of his book will serve him well in selling the book to this crowd. All
          > this disappoints.
          >
          > Thank you, Bro. Snapp for the analysis.
          >
          >
          >
          > Jim Leonard
          >
          > Southwestern Pennsylvania
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, "voxverax" <snapp@p...> wrote:
          >>
          >> The sixth chapter of "Misquoting Jesus" (the partly-new book by Dr.
          >> Bart Ehrman) focuses on ten variants which the author claims are
          >> doctrinally motivated alterations. They are I Tim. 3:16, Luke
          >> 2:33ff., Mark 1:11/Lk. 3:22, John 1:18, Luke 22:43-44, Luke 22:19-20,
          >> Luke 24:12, Luke 24:51-52, Heb. 2:9, and First John 4:3.
          >>
          >> Are these ten variants definitely cases of doctrinally motivated
          >> changes? Let's see:
          >>
          >> I Tim. 3:16 - With n.s. contraction taken into consideration, the
          >> difference between the readings = a theta-bar. I don't think we have
          >> the telepathic powers required to discern whether the unoriginal
          >> reading began as an innocent misreading or as a deliberate shift.
          >>
          >> Luke 2:33ff. - Sure looks like a deliberate change to me. But the
          >> result is simplification, not falsification. The Gospel of Luke is
          >> pretty clear about the teaching that Joseph was Jesus' legal, but not
          >> literal, father.
          >>
          >> Luke 3:22 - Ehrman's appraisal of the evidence is incorrect. The
          >> variant in D is a gloss from Psalm 2:7.
          >>
          >> Luke 22:19-20 - Again Ehrman leans almost altogether on D. On the
          >> premise that D is right and P75, A, B, Aleph, W, Arm, Sah, etc., are
          >> wrong, this would be a /liturgically/ motivated addition, not a
          >> doctrinally motivated one.
          >>
          >> John 1:18 - A n.s.-related change. One ends up with a high
          >> Christology whichever variant is original.
          >>
          >> Luke 22:43-44 - On the premise that this passage is not original, it
          >> looks more like material that was added simply because it was
          >> interesting, rather than because it conveyed some doctrinal point.
          >>
          >> Luke 24:12 - Again Ehrman relies on D. On the assumption that D is
          >> right and P75 and just about everything else are wrong, 24:12 would
          >> be a /harmonistic/ addition based on events in John 20.
          >>
          >> Luke 24:51 - The copyists can't win here. If "and was carried up
          >> into heaven" is original, then copyists deleted it so as to avoid
          >> risking readers' impression of a discrepancy regarding the timing of
          >> the ascension. If the phrase is unoriginal, then copyists added it
          >> so as to augment the Gospels' attestation for the Ascension.
          >>
          >> Hebrews 2:9 - The explanation that Metzger gives in Text. Comm. (p.
          >> 664) makes sense to me ~ the reading "without God" is unoriginal, and
          >> its originator intended it to be a scholium about 2:8.
          >>
          >> First John 4:3 - Ehrman admits that the "looses" variant "'probably
          >> cannot be accepted as the 'original' text." So, while this is an
          >> example of a doctrinally motivated change, it is a doctrinally
          >> motivated change which was repulsed by Christian scribes even though
          >> it agreed with their doctrine and disagreed with the doctrine of
          >> their heretical opponents. Doesn't this work against Ehrman's theme
          >> more than for it?
          >>
          >> Out of these 10 variants, a doctrinal impetus (rather than an impetus
          >> of harmonistic concerns, liturgical convenience, or copyists'
          >> incompetence) seems certain in the case of Luke 2:33ff. and First
          >> John 4:3. But the doctrinal impact of those two changes is
          >> practically nil.
          >>
          >> (Also, on p. 160, Dr. Ehrman refers twice to Acts 2:38 ~ where he
          >> writes that "In another passage Luke states that Jesus became the
          >> Christ at his resurrection (Acts 2:38)" and where he says "Acts 2:38
          >> indicates that he became the Lord at his resurrection." I think Acts
          >> 2:36 is meant in both instances.)
          >>
          >> Yours in Christ,
          >>
          >> James Snapp, Jr.
          >> Minister, Curtisville Christian Church
          >> www.curtisvillechristian.org
          >>
          >
          >
          >
        • James M. Leonard
          I was deeply captivated by Orthodox Corruption, obviously an important book, especially since we are so desperate to determine the legitimacy of the biblical
          Message 4 of 5 , Jan 6, 2006
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            I was deeply captivated by Orthodox Corruption, obviously an important book, especially since we are so desperate to determine the legitimacy of the biblical text prior to 180 CE.

            Martin Hengel, in his The Four Gospels, however, writes, "It would be completely misleading on the basis of this fact [i.e., either our ability to get behind the Western text, or more generally] to want to claim that we may no longer speak of an 'original text' in the New Testament generally...[or] of an almost 'chaotic' diversity to which order was first brought in an 'orthodox' way, i.e. a violent way, by the process of canonization in the mainstream church" (30).

            To this, he attaches the following footnote, "This tendency can sometimes be found in Anglo-Saxon textual crticism, see Ehrman, Corruption....  Here I miss a clear definition of 'orthodox' or 'proto-orthodox'.  From the later post-Nicene standpoint, all the christologies of the second century were 'heterodox'" (228-229, n.127).

            That they were all "heterodox" is completely understandable.  A Church Historian (Donald Lewis, Regent)taught me that there were five fundamentals that the early church was absolutely assured of:  1) monotheism; 2) this one God had in the past interevened in human history (through Israel); 3) that God had now, with finality, intervened in human history through the incarnation; and that 4) this incarnation was in the person of Jesus Christ his "son;" and 5) God continues to be manifest in the churches through his Spirit.  These five fundaments gave shape to NT theology, and whatever you believed in Christ, you had recognize these claims.

            Along these lines, Gordon Fee argues persuasively that Pauline language was essentially Trinitarian (God's Empowering Presence):   God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  I suspect Fee's Pauline Christology (which has gone to the publishers) will argue the same.

            If all this is true, then to what extent should we expect to see manuscriptional evidence play.

             

             

            Jim Leonard

            Southwest Pennsylvania

             


            --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, Bart Ehrman <behrman@e...> wrote:
            >
            > Never judge a book by its ... first few pages.
            >
            > There's actually a lot of historical (as well as textual, of course)
            > information in the book -- Richard Simon, Wettstein, Bengel, Bentley,
            > Westcott, Hort, and so on, which I'd be surprised if the average lay
            > person would be all that interested in. But if you already have mastered
            > the history of the discipline (not easy to do, actually; I don't know very
            > many people who have), you won't find much that's new.
            >
            > The title, btw, wasn't at all my idea. In fact, I was strongly against
            > it. I wanted to call the book "Lost in Transmission." But the publisher
            > was afraid that people in the Barnes & Noble crowd would think it was
            > about stock car racing....
            >
            > -- Bart Ehrman
            >
            >
            >
            > On Fri, 6 Jan 2006, James M. Leonard wrote:
            >
            > >
            > > I suckered myself into buying the book, deluded into thinking it was
            > > fodder for further scholarly reflection. After reading a few pages, I
            > > saw it for what it was, and felt that I could not invest the time in
            > > reading it at this time, especially after having read Orthodox
            > > Corruption.
            > >
            > > It seems that the book was targeted to a particular audience which would
            > > be impacted by his personal testimony about getting sucked into the
            > > emotionalistic, pseudo-intellectualism of a Christianity which gets
            > > propagated by paid, cool youth ministers. The title and other aspects
            > > of his book will serve him well in selling the book to this crowd. All
            > > this disappoints.
            > >
            > > Thank you, Bro. Snapp for the analysis.
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > Jim Leonard
            > >
            > > Southwestern Pennsylvania
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, "voxverax" snapp@p... wrote:
            > >>
            > >> The sixth chapter of "Misquoting Jesus" (the partly-new book by Dr.
            > >> Bart Ehrman) focuses on ten variants which the author claims are
            > >> doctrinally motivated alterations. They are I Tim. 3:16, Luke
            > >> 2:33ff., Mark 1:11/Lk. 3:22, John 1:18, Luke 22:43-44, Luke 22:19-20,
            > >> Luke 24:12, Luke 24:51-52, Heb. 2:9, and First John 4:3.
            > >>
            > >> Are these ten variants definitely cases of doctrinally motivated
            > >> changes? Let's see:
            > >>
            > >> I Tim. 3:16 - With n.s. contraction taken into consideration, the
            > >> difference between the readings = a theta-bar. I don't think we have
            > >> the telepathic powers required to discern whether the unoriginal
            > >> reading began as an innocent misreading or as a deliberate shift.
            > >>
            > >> Luke 2:33ff. - Sure looks like a deliberate change to me. But the
            > >> result is simplification, not falsification. The Gospel of Luke is
            > >> pretty clear about the teaching that Joseph was Jesus' legal, but not
            > >> literal, father.
            > >>
            > >> Luke 3:22 - Ehrman's appraisal of the evidence is incorrect. The
            > >> variant in D is a gloss from Psalm 2:7.
            > >>
            > >> Luke 22:19-20 - Again Ehrman leans almost altogether on D. On the
            > >> premise that D is right and P75, A, B, Aleph, W, Arm, Sah, etc., are
            > >> wrong, this would be a /liturgically/ motivated addition, not a
            > >> doctrinally motivated one.
            > >>
            > >> John 1:18 - A n.s.-related change. One ends up with a high
            > >> Christology whichever variant is original.
            > >>
            > >> Luke 22:43-44 - On the premise that this passage is not original, it
            > >> looks more like material that was added simply because it was
            > >> interesting, rather than because it conveyed some doctrinal point.
            > >>
            > >> Luke 24:12 - Again Ehrman relies on D. On the assumption that D is
            > >> right and P75 and just about everything else are wrong, 24:12 would
            > >> be a /harmonistic/ addition based on events in John 20.
            > >>
            > >> Luke 24:51 - The copyists can't win here. If "and was carried up
            > >> into heaven" is original, then copyists deleted it so as to avoid
            > >> risking readers' impression of a discrepancy regarding the timing of
            > >> the ascension. If the phrase is unoriginal, then copyists added it
            > >> so as to augment the Gospels' attestation for the Ascension.
            > >>
            > >> Hebrews 2:9 - The explanation that Metzger gives in Text. Comm. (p.
            > >> 664) makes sense to me ~ the reading "without God" is unoriginal, and
            > >> its originator intended it to be a scholium about 2:8.
            > >>
            > >> First John 4:3 - Ehrman admits that the "looses" variant "'probably
            > >> cannot be accepted as the 'original' text." So, while this is an
            > >> example of a doctrinally motivated change, it is a doctrinally
            > >> motivated change which was repulsed by Christian scribes even though
            > >> it agreed with their doctrine and disagreed with the doctrine of
            > >> their heretical opponents. Doesn't this work against Ehrman's theme
            > >> more than for it?
            > >>
            > >> Out of these 10 variants, a doctrinal impetus (rather than an impetus
            > >> of harmonistic concerns, liturgical convenience, or copyists'
            > >> incompetence) seems certain in the case of Luke 2:33ff. and First
            > >> John 4:3. But the doctrinal impact of those two changes is
            > >> practically nil.
            > >>
            > >> (Also, on p. 160, Dr. Ehrman refers twice to Acts 2:38 ~ where he
            > >> writes that "In another passage Luke states that Jesus became the
            > >> Christ at his resurrection (Acts 2:38)" and where he says "Acts 2:38
            > >> indicates that he became the Lord at his resurrection." I think Acts
            > >> 2:36 is meant in both instances.)
            > >>
            > >> Yours in Christ,
            > >>
            > >> James Snapp, Jr.
            > >> Minister, Curtisville Christian Church
            > >> www.curtisvillechristian.org
            > >>
            > >
            > >
            > >
            >

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