Why Intentional Changes of the Text Might Matter

In doing the research that led up to my book The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture, I came to see that the variations of our manuscripts were important not only because they could tell us what the original writers said in the books that later became the New Testament, but also because they could tell us about what was influencing the anonymous and otherwise unknown scribes who produced the copies of these books in later times.

As I pointed out in a ...

Continue Reading →
22

My Focus on Christology in The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture

In the last couple of posts I have talked about the basic thesis that lay behind my book The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture.   After doing my dissertation I became interested in seeing how theological disputes in early Christianity may have affected the scribes who were copying the texts that later came to be collected into the canon of the New Testament.  Rarely had a study of this sort been pursued before, and never thoroughly and rigorously.

Here let me provide a ...

Continue Reading →
16

The Unusual Thesis of The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture

As I started to point out in my previous post, the overarching idea behind my book The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture was that scribes copying their sacred texts in the early centuries of Christianity were not immune from the theological controversies raging in their day, but that they were, in some sense, participants in those disputes.   In pursuing that idea, I had to bring together two fields of academic inquiry that were almost always kept distinct from each other – ...

Continue Reading →
17

Back to the Question: The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture

This is by far the most unusual thread I have had in the three and a half years of doing the blog.   It started with a question that I began to address on June 30.  It is now September 11.   I have had a few brief interludes dealing with other things, but almost all the posts in the intervening weeks (months!) have been background that I needed to lay out to answer the question.  And in fact the background has ...

Continue Reading →
20

Did Scribes Add the Passage of the Bloody Sweat?

In my previous posts I’ve been puzzling over the textual problem of Luke 22:43-44, the so-called “bloody sweat” passage, where Jesus, before his arrest, is said to have been in such deep agony that he sweat drops “as if of blood,” so that an angel came down from heaven to minister to him.  These verses are found in some manuscripts of Luke, but not others.    So which text is “original”?  The version of Luke with the verses or the version ...

Continue Reading →
48

The Bloody Sweat and the Scribes Who Changed It

I have been talking about the famous passage in Luke 22:43-44, the account of the so-called “bloody sweat,” where we are told that prior to his arrest, Jesus went into deep agony and began to sweat great drops “as if of blood,” and to be so deeply disturbed that an angel had to come down from heaven to support him.

These verses can be found in a lot of manuscripts, including those used by the translators of the King James Bible, ...

Continue Reading →
24

Orthodoxy and Proto-Orthodoxy

The current thread on the diversity of early Christianity actually began as a response to a question raised by a reader, which was the following:

Dr. Ehrman, I do not know if others would find this interesting, but I would love to know how you developed the idea for The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture. How did you go about researching it? How long did it take? Is it a once in a lifetime work?

My initial thought was ...

Continue Reading →
16

Earliest Christian Diversity

In keeping with the current topic of the diversity of early Christianity, I thought I could say something about a book that I just read that I found to be unusually interesting and enlightening.   It is by two Italian scholars, married to each other, who teach at the Università di Bologna, Adriana Destro, an anthropologist, and Mauro Pesce, a New Testament specialist whose teaching position is in the History of Christianity.

Their book is called Il racconto e la ...

Continue Reading →
65

Orthodoxy and Heresy in the New Testament Itself

I am now getting back to the question of early Christian diversity – all in the context of setting up the answer to the question I got about what I had in mind when I decided to write my book The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture.   I have been discussing the views of Walter Bauer, in his classic work, Orthodoxy and Heresy in Earliest Christianity, who maintained that from the earliest of times, so far as we ...

Continue Reading →
50

Doesn’t the New Testament Show that Christianity Was Originally Unified?

In my discussions so far of orthodoxy and heresy in early Christianity I have been talking about Walter Bauer and his classic work, which argued that as far back as we can trace the Christian movement in numerous regions of Christendom, we find forms of the Christian faith that were later deemed heretical.   “Heresy” is not necessarily, therefore, a later corruption of the orthodox truth.  In some places it was the “original” form of the religion.

Some readers have objected that ...

Continue Reading →
20
Page 4 of 9 «...23456...»