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Who Changed the Bible and Why? Diane Rehm Show

When my book Misquoting Jesus came out, I had a number of radio and television interviews, including this — one of my favorites, on the The Diane Rehm Show (December 5, 2005).  The show is produced at WAMU 88.5 and distributed by National Public Radio, NPR Worldwide, and SIRIUS satellite radio. This episode was called “Who Changed the Bible and Why?”

In the interview I talk about how scribes copying the NT made both mistakes and intentional changes, and how some of these changes involve widely held beliefs about the divinity of Jesus, the Trinity, and the divine origins of the Bible itself.  Other issues were raised as well, including, for example, homosexuality as understood in Jesus’ time and the Christmas holiday.

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Discussion Forum (Please read to the end)
Why I’m To Be Pitied for Having Been the Wrong Kind of Fundamentalist



  1. Josephsluna
    Josephsluna  November 3, 2014

    What was the name of the guy who asked for jesus body ? Why him of all people ?

    • Bart
      Bart  November 3, 2014

      Joseph of Arimathea. I doubt if it’s a historical recollection.

    • acircharo
      acircharo  March 23, 2015

      Joseph of Arimathea has to be a later insertion. “Joseph” is the only person in the world from “Arimathea.” He has to be a later insertion. Under Pilate’s governorship Jesus’ body would never have been taken down. John Dominic Crossan has Jesus’ body eaten by dogs, no?

      • Bart
        Bart  March 23, 2015


        • acircharo
          acircharo  March 25, 2015

          There is another version of the female adulterer that you didn’t share with Diane Rehm. The elders bring a woman to Jesus and say “What shall we do with this woman who is an adulterer? Shall we stone her as Law of Moses requires?” Of course Jesus says “Let he among you who is without sin cast the first stone!” Suddenly a huge rock comes flying over the heads of the crowd hitting the woman and killing her. Jesus looks back to where the rock came from; “Goddamn it, Mom!”

  2. Avatar
    obiwan47  November 3, 2014

    This is one of my favorites as well. Diane Rehm is smart and prepared.

    I think my favorite of your media appearances was on Unbelievable, in conjunction with Mike Licona, where you discussed your personal journey and the evolution of your knowledge and belief. I also enjoy the edition of Milt Rosenberg with you and Elaine Pagels about the Gospel of Judas.

  3. Avatar
    Hank_Z  November 4, 2014

    Diane asked some excellent questions, especially follow-up questions. She also listened well. I thoroughly enjoyed this interview and the way Bart handled the questions fronm Diane and those who called in. Excellent job, Bart.

  4. Avatar
    nickgallagher  December 12, 2014

    I really enjoyed your interview with Diane Rehm. I’m interested in learning more about the 1st century view point of homosexuality which came up in the interview and you have discussed elsewhere on the blog. Do you have any recommended reading on the subject?

    • Bart
      Bart  December 13, 2014

      You might try Jeffrey Sikers collection of essays on Homosexuality and the Church or Dale martin’s Sex and the Single Savior. Or even better, maybe something not by a biblical scholar, like Thomas LaQueur’s Making Sex: Body and Gender from the Greeks to Freud.

  5. acircharo
    acircharo  March 25, 2015

    As far as I can discern, there’s only one person in the entire world that’s from Arimathea. So, did no one really ask for Jesus’ body? Did it, as Crossan would have it, basically rot off the cross as carrion for birds and animals? There are references to this result as being the point of crucifixion in the first place. Would Pilate of all people, recalled from Judea for his ruthlessness & brutality, actually have allowed the body to be taken down to observe an archaic Hebrew religious law? Seems unlikely to me.

    • Bart
      Bart  March 25, 2015

      I deal directly with this in my book How Jesus Became God.

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