Here I pick up from my previous post about evangelicals misunderstanding my journey of faith, first by repeating its final paragraph:
My sense is that there is a simple reason that a lot of evangelical apologists think I “threw the baby out with the bathwater” (the baby of faith with the bathwater of fundamentalism). I might be wrong about this, but my sense is that taking this view allows them to explain why I left the faith without compelling them to address the ACTUAL reasons I did for themselves. It is easier to caricature me and what happened and to point out my “mistake.” I do not think that’s true of Kurt Jaros (see my previous post). I think he has simply misread what I said. And I can see how that misunderstanding is understandable, so to say. Here’s why:
In Misquoting Jesus, I say the following:
This kind of realization coincided with the problems I was encountering the more closely I studied the surviving Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. It is one thing to say that the originals were inspired. But the reality is that we don’t have the originals – so saying they were inspired doesn’t help me much, unless I can reconstruct the originals. But the vast majority of Christians for the entire history of the church have not had access to the originals, making their inspiration something of a moot point. Not only do we not have the originals – we don’t have the first copies of the originals. Or the copies of the copies of the originals. Or copies of the copies of the copies of the originals. What we have are copies made later – much later. In most instances, copies made many centuries later. And these copies all differ from one another, in many thousands of places. As we will see later in this study, these copies differ from each other in so many places that we don’t even know how many differences there are. Possibly it is easiest to put it in comparative terms: there are more differences among our manuscripts than there are words in the New Testament.
Most of these differences are
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