Reddit Reddit reviews Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why

We found 51 Reddit comments about Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

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Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why
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51 Reddit comments about Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why:

u/Irish_Whiskey · 101 pointsr/DebateAnAtheist

> By "historical relevance" I simply mean that the four gospels were written by four different men and that each writing was independent of the other one.


Written by different people or groups? Sure. Independent of each other? Not even close. They were written by people over the span of decades who were quite familiar with the earlier sources of oral and written gospels, and included the same sorts of mistakes you'd expect people who were inventing and adding details to early stories to make.

Wiki is a good start, and there are a number of books on the topic that detail what we know of who wrote them, and how they were written.

> Yet, if history suggests that well intending men wrote the four gospels and there are four different stories that are all essentially the same then what am I to believe?

First, whoever said they were well-intending other than themselves? Second, these gospels definitely weren't written by the actual apostles themselves. Except for Paul's letters, all evidence is to the contrary. John, Matthew and others were written decades later by Greeks who made all sorts of mistakes about Hebrew culture, and some parts are written in Greek language not attributable to poor farmers and fisherman. Third, let's not forget there aren't four gospels, but forty, most of which the church left out and the remainders rewritten and selected to conform, which they still fail to do. The other gospels, which includes stories of Jesus not being the son of God, and his playing with dragons and killing people, were used to form some other religions, which weren't lucky enough to take over the Roman Empire and use it's power to spread a centralized message from Rome with a sword.

Finally, what are you to believe? The same thing you might believe about even better sources and 'reliable' books such as the Quran and Book of Mormon. That people wrote these stories based in part on some real events, but included all sorts of supernatural claims for obvious political/religious reasons in addition to the mistakes humans regularly make in attributing supernatural powers to events and people.

That's the thing. We have people in large numbers today claiming that such magical events occur, such as yogi's with millions of followers in India swearing to their miracles, and we don't take them seriously. There was no more reason to believe the gospels then, than there is to believe L. Ron Hubbard now. It's not even necessary to show all the evidence that large parts of the gospels were invented, none except parts of Paul were written by the person themselves, and most of the rest likely wasn't based on original oral testimony. All that's needed is to point out that confirming every piece of testimony as authentic still leaves it in a far worse evidentiary position than cults we laugh at regularly.


Someone comes up to you, and says that a dozen people started a group promising that their leader is the son of God, he's here to bring a few chosen people to paradise, and all you need to do is accept him as master and symbolically eat his flesh and blood and live with him on his communistical compound giving up all your possessions while cutting off ties to any doubting family members, and if you doubt him, you get an eternal torture chamber he just invented. Oh, and the leader died a while ago and so have his followers even though he promised the end of the world would happen in their lifetime. What you have doubts? Well four of these people are confirmed to exist and we know their stories! Surely that should remove any doubts as to them making things up! What you noticed that they contradict history books and each other regularly? Err... ignore that, all the stuff involving zombies, water-walking and demons jumping into pigs is still totally reliable.

u/vfr · 77 pointsr/atheism

That search is what made me atheist. The truth is that there is no true history of the bible. It's long lost, a mystery. For instance, we have no idea who wrote the gospels.. .totally anonymous. We don't know who wrote the OT... At best we know Paul's letters and a few other books, and we know when certain things were added or changed (for instance the famous John 3:16 was added by a monk later on).

If you want some insight into the history of Christianity, here are some links. It's a messy world filled with 2000 years of apologetics muddying the waters. (specifically this one: Examining the Existence of a Historical Jesus: ) (responsible for converting most of Europe... by the sword. Dealth penalty for having any pagan items, sacked whole villages, etc). more:

Now, if you want some good books... I recommend:

Any other questions?

u/shadowboxer47 · 67 pointsr/atheism

This is a rather long story, but I will try to make it short and sweet.

It started when I was, without warning and explanation, kicked out of my Church. I received a call the day after my first child was born telling me I was no longer welcome. To this day I do not know the reason, but I suspect personal vendettas. I found myself without a job and entered a crises of faith. This emotional blow started my path on what I would consider an intellectual journey.

After a few months, my wife and new child eventually found a few new churches to attend. I was looking for a new preaching job. I eventually moved several states away and decided to take a break for a bit and get a job in the "real" world. I still taught classes, preached occasionally, and even door-knocked, but it was the last time I was on church payroll. (God, you should hear the audio of my teachings. Talk about FUBAR.)

Eventually, my views became more and more "liberal' as I did more reading on scriptural interpretation. I began looking into Messianic Judaism and eventually came to realize that Jesus' supposed purpose was redundant. The forgiveness of sins were possible to the Jews even without sacrifice, and to Gentiles by living noble lives. What, then, was the purpose of the Christ? It seemed to me to make salvation infinitely more difficult... doesn't sound like something a loving god would do.

I started to search the Old Testament much closer and discovered several things. There are actually very, very few prophesies that can be ascribed to Jesus, and most of these are clear forgeries. For instance, the death of Jesus is never actually prophesied in the Old Testament. Something was amiss, and I started deep studies in textual criticism. I began to suspect the New Testament wasn't inspired and starting studying actual Judaism.

Around this time, I started reading the book, Misquoting Jesus and my eyes were opened. I was dumbfounded and started doing much deeper study. I concluded that the New Testament (and later the whole Bible) was simply a set of old documents. Certainly not inspired and certainly not perfect.

What was even more confusing is that many Christian professors/scholars knew this, but were still believers. This was completely nonsensical to me. In my mind, the inspiration of the scriptures were a critical corner stone of Christianity. If the witness wasn't infallible, than the entire religion fell apart like a house of cards. If god could raise Jesus from the dead, how much easier would it be to protect the evidence? If god couldn't perform that simple feat, then... well... FAIL.

At this point, I still believed in a god, and was very, very confused. I started studying other religions in depth. I bought dozens and dozens of books. The more I read, the more I realized a very profound, albeit simple, truth: virtually all religious people, deep in their heart, really believe they're right. How was I supposed to know which god to follow?

I then decided to go even further out of my box, and study evolution, from an "insiders" perspective. I probably have every single creationist / anti-evolutionist book in existence, but I figured if I had gotten Christianity wrong, and I was deceived, it could very well be possible that I didn't know jack shit about evolution--which turned out to be the case.

As soon as I understood the "miracle" of evolution, I instantly realized god was a fabrication; a lie. Reading The God Delusion put the final nail on the coffin. (Dawkins is my hero. I wish I could shake that man's hand. I felt he has saved my life. This man truly does great work. Whereas before I had a complete disdain for science, mathematics, etc., I now became eager to learn everything I could. Whole new worlds were opened up, and I wanted to know how everything worked. I mean, who knew nature was so cool?!)

TL;DR Damn, nature; you're awesome.

u/Diabolico · 9 pointsr/atheism

Allow me to spam you with a link:

Good read for everyone, atheist and theist alike, so long as you aren't a literalist (or especially if you are).

u/desu_desu · 7 pointsr/politics


When you trace that history back, you see it starts about 400 years after Christ. It was passed on as (many conflicting) oral histories until it was finally written down, then it was mutated further through countless transcription errors and arbitrary edits according to various agendas, and then.......

You know, just read this:

Even if you get down to the reality of what anyone REALLY said, that proves absolutely zero about its supernatural quality. They're still just words and stories. A 2,000 year heritage makes it no more legitimate, in terms of being "the word of god" than a 150 year heritage. Sorry to burst your bubble, but being really, really old does not make it any kind of authority.

u/I_Skullfuck_Children · 5 pointsr/atheism

Oh don't act like you don't do it too! ;)

If you have a bit of trouble accepting the bible as mythology, I also recommend this video series. It's about one christian guy's deconversion process over a few years. It is quite good as it's from a christian perspective (it resonated with me for that reason).

Deconversion Series

And this book.

There really is a "click" in your brain at some point where you realize that the bible can't possibly be true and you feel really stupid for ever believing it... but then you realize that just because the bible is totally and utterly an idea gone mad, that there still might be "something" out there in this universe... and that's fine. I have no problem with deists, it's really the only honest theistic position.

u/chimchar66 · 5 pointsr/dankchristianmemes

[Misquoting Jesus]( Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why by Bart Ehrman is a great place to start. It's a great introduction to the field of studying the changes of the Bible throughout the centuries (I don't remember the concise Greek name). It's a fascinating read.

u/tldr · 4 pointsr/atheism

Definitely Bart Ehrman. "Misquoting Jesus" is his most popular work:

u/XandarsMeteor · 3 pointsr/exchristian

I'm in the process of finishing up the final pages of Bart Ehrman's "Misquoting Jesus".

Depending on what sort of "evidence" your gf is open to, this is a great book for pointing out the fallacy of a divinely-inspired New Testament. It's not a giant list of verses that have been altered, omitted, added, etc (like I had sort of wished), but it's a great smack-in-the-face book without being loaded with "religion is horrible" statements (which I feel turn a lot of people off to being open to the rest of the message).

Good luck!

u/Petey · 3 pointsr/

Actually it's beyond dispute.

u/tripleatheist · 3 pointsr/DebateAChristian

> Where's this evidence of it being edited?

If you would do some research as opposed to simply asserting the Christian party line, you'd find that the Bible has a marked tendency to change over time along with the political and theological pressures of the time. Ehrman, who you've referenced elsewhere, spends some time in Misquoting Jesus considering the Comma Johanneum, for example.

tl;dr - the Bible isn't some monolithic, unbiased source of truth. It's just as much a part of the game of telephone that is Christianity as are the testimonies of personal experience and anecdotal miracle accounts.

u/Glaxnor · 3 pointsr/

>I find it strange that John, probably the most famous of the four gospels, would be considered apocryphal by anyone.

If you're interested, I suggest reading Misquoting Jesus, by Bart Ehrman. Meanwhile, I'll give you his brief summary of this particular item:

>Despite the brilliance of this story, its captivating quality, and its inherent intrigue, there is one other enormous problem that it poses. As it turns out, it was not originally in the Gospel of John. In fact, it was not originally part of any of the Gospels. It was added later by scribes.

>How do we know this? In fact, scholars who work on the manuscript tradition have no doubts about this particular case. Later in this book we will be examining in greater depth the kinds of evidence that scholars adduce for making judgments of this sort. Here I can simply point out a few basic facts that have proved convincing to nearly all scholars of every persuasion: the story is not found in our oldest and best manuscripts of the Gospel of John; its writing style is very different from what we find in the rest of John (including the stories immediately before and after); and it includes a large number of words and phrases that are otherwise alien to the Gospel. The conclusion is unavoidable: this passage was not originally part of the Gospel.

u/guyanonymous · 3 pointsr/skeptic

This is a fairly interesting book that examines the 'errors' in the bible from the mistranslations to the purposeful changes.

u/darksmiles22 · 3 pointsr/atheism

Bart Ehrman's Misquoting Jesus, Karen Armstrong's A History of God abbreviated in part of Evid3nc3's youtube deconversion series though with a few unfounded theological assumptions according to this guy, and Wikipedia articles on the documentary hypothesis and historical Jesus are all good.

P.S. It looks like I am late to the Ehrman and Armstrong parade :(

u/joejance · 2 pointsr/atheism

If I recall, at least 3 of the books are believed to be based on 1 original work, which itself probably post-dated the supposed existence of Jesus by many years. It has been a while since I read it, but I believe Misquoting Jesus by Bart Ehrman discusses this.

I found this article on Wikipeida while trying to remember which books:

Sometimes it's difficult to keep track of all of this nonsense while living your life.

u/BearnardOg · 2 pointsr/atheism

Mom needs to read "The Greatest Show on Earth" by Dawkins. If she has actually unhitched her reasoning from the yoke of religion, then there is no way that she can make it through that book and still doubt that evolution is a fact - which it is.

Dad is trickier. He seems to be at the stage where he thinks "church is bad, but god is good." I was there for a long time myself. If he is a reader, maybe you could turn him on to the works of Bart Ehrman, especially "Misquoting Jesus". If you can get him in front of a computer for 90 minutes, the YouTube series "Why I am no Longer a Christian" by evid3nc3 is mind-blowingly good.

But better still, you read and watch these things and master their content. Then present the arguments to your folks because it sounds like they want to listen to you.

u/harassed · 2 pointsr/atheism

I'd go get yourself a copy of "Misquoting Jesus" by Bart D. Ehrman which I think is probably the most damning indictment of the bible as "literal truth" there is. Basically, it describes the fact that there are more DIFFERENCES between different known versions and translations of the bible than there are actually words within the whole New Testament. By showing how many scholars, scribes and others have changed, reworded or added their own beliefs to the various versions of the texts over the centuries, it pretty much proves that the bible is most certainly not the inspired word of god but the flawed work of of man.

Here's a link to a talk Mr Ehrman gave:

And here's an interview on NPR:

And here's the Amazon link (which has a look inside thingy):

u/ifihadasister · 2 pointsr/atheism

Misquoting Jesus by Bart Ehrman.

u/iamazreal · 2 pointsr/IAmA

>However even when humans transcribed the Bible (Paul, Moses, Matthew, David, Solomon etc.) wouldn't that simply be inspired by God through humans?

First of all these humans typically were not the ones writing the Bible. They were orally transmitting the words to scribes. With that said, If (and I say if not really believing this to be possible) we say that these original speakers had the exact words inspired from God we are still dealing with about 1000 layers of abstraction. Firstly the scribes may have written the original words incorrectly (ok no big deal a few words were out of place or slightly different). The period for about 200-300 years directly following the death of Christ (supposedly the period when all of the books were written although we don't have hardly any fragments from these years bigger than a business card) Christians were heavily persecuted and their writings were destroyed frequently. Under this type of pressure, a huge amount of changes were likely made. So let's just say (completely implausibly at this point) that some fairly error free versions made it past all of this then the Bible as we currently know it begins to get formed. Half of the books/letters that people have been using for the past 200+ years are thrown right out of the window because they do not fall in line with the beliefs of the decision makers. Ok, let's assume that the people making the decisions about which books make it into canon are completely correct. Then they decide to translate these into latin. When they do this, they decide to use the more common newer versions of the texts rather than the older (closer the original events) versions. This is where it really starts to get rough. We currently have machines and that old adage copy of a copy. Well they had scribes and monks copying text over and over again. Not only were these scribes responsible for this, they were also life-devoted theologians. All of them having differing opinions about the meaning of some of the text. With this said many of the ancients copies read more like commentaries. I could go on and on, but it should suffice to say that the origin of the Bible is suspect at best I find it hard to believe that these processes could be inspired. This is especially troublesome for those that teach that the word for word English translation of the Bible is absolute truth

>I'm curious as to which theological courses (or articles) in particularyou studied that would put the falliability of the Bible into light?

No courses in particular. It was the books that I read that surrounded the courses that really brought it all to light. The biggest influence was learning greek and studying the origins of the gospel of John. If you want a super light summary reading that will at least give a you a glimpse into what I'm saying you may want to read misquoting Jesus

EDIT: Note that everything I said only applies to the new testament. The Old Testament is even worse in this regard, but most protestants don't care much for that half of the Bible anyway :).

u/Independent · 2 pointsr/history

I really like history books that don't at first seem to be history books, but are explorations of societies sometimes seen through the lens of a single important concept or product. For instance, Mark Kurlansky has several books such as Salt; A World History, Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World, The Basque History of the World, Nonviolence: 25 Lessons from the History of a Dangerous Idea that teach more history, and more important history than is usually taught in US public schools.

History need not be rote memorization of dates and figures. It can, and should be a fun exploration of ideas and how those ideas shaped civilizations. It can also be an exploration of what did not make it into the history books as Bart Ehrman's Lost Scriptures: Books that Did Not Make It into the New Testament or his Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why and Elaine Pagels' The Gnostic Gospels attest.

I don't wish to come across as too glib about this, but I feel like the average person might well retain more useful knowledge reading a book like A History of the World in 6 Glasses than if they sat through a semester of freshman history as taught by most boring, lame generic high schools. I feel like often the best way to understand history is to come at it tangentially. Want to understand the US Constitution? Study the Iroquois confederacy. Want to understand the French? Study cuisine and wine. Want to understand China? Study international trade. And so it goes. Sometimes the best history lessons come about from just following another interest such as astronomy or math or cooking. Follow the path until curiosity is sated. Knowledge will accumulate that way. ;-)

u/kent_eh · 2 pointsr/atheism

>The new testament on the other hand is more or less unchanged since it was written.

Sort of.

Also, on a similar topic (and by the same author).

A list of Bible verses not found in modern translations that are present in historical versions of the bible.

u/mavaddat · 2 pointsr/atheism

Funny you should ask, since that is the subject of his latest book.

In short, yes, Ehrman believes that there was a first-century Jewish man named "Yeshua" (the proper English transliteration of the Aramaic ישוע, which we incorrectly call "Jesus") who made messianic claims, garnered a sizable following among his fellow Jews, and was probably crucified.

However, Ehrman has made a career out of demonstrating exactly how the New Testament is unreliable as a source of historical information (see for example, Misquoting Jesus or Jesus Interrupted).

If you're interested to learn more about his new book, here is a brief reading he did for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

For more on Ehrman's opinion on the reliability of the Gospels, see his debate with fellow New Testament scholar Craig Evans.

Hope that helps!

u/[deleted] · 2 pointsr/atheism

"I keep the entire Bible. It is God-breathed."

Have you read Misquoting Jesus?

You agree that creation happened in 7 days... When Joshua says "The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down for about a full day," could you explain to me exactly, using our modern understanding of the solar system, what you think happened?

I personally think taking the Bible literally is intellectually lazy.

I heard a great phrase from a Catholic that I challenge other Christians to really try to internalize: "The Bible is true, and some of it really happened."

u/KlueBat · 2 pointsr/atheism

I'm convinced his photocopier is broken.

You have no idea how dead on you are here. I'm just finishing up with a reading of Misquoting Jesus and I can say that the book we call the Bible today bares only a passing resemblance to the letters the original disciples wrote to early Christians.

So many things were changed over the years due to typos, transcription errors, good intention corrections, as well as flat out changes to match the agenda of a scribe who happened to be copying.

Read this book and you will never look at the Bible the same way again. This goes for the those who are religious as well as those whom are not.

u/saltedwyfe · 2 pointsr/atheism

I highly recommend Bart Ehrman's Misquoting Jesus.

The author is a biblical scholar who started off as an evangelical christian, but realized he was an agnostic during his graduate studies.

u/BloodSoakedDoilies · 2 pointsr/politics

WHAT??? Changing the Bible to suit the environment??? Say it ain't so!


I HIGHLY recommend the book Misquoting Jesus. After reading this scholarly analysis of the origins of the books of the Bible, you will be shocked that anyone still believes anything in that book.

u/Omegastar19 · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

Misquoting Jesus, by professor Bart D. Erhman. Its a wonderful book that gives a solid introduction to New Testament historiography, specifically written for people who do not know a lot about it. I recommend reading it.

u/dichosa · 2 pointsr/atheism

Does she believe in a literal bible? I really like this one: Misquoting Jesus You don't need the hardback but I was too lazy to look further.

u/HawkMage42 · 1 pointr/islam

u/petermal67 · 1 pointr/ChristopherHitchens

Great read. I purchased this after reading the conversation:

u/HoneyBaked · 1 pointr/atheism

Read this...

It is a nice intro to biblical inerrancy as it always helps to know as much about the source work as possible.

u/hedgeson119 · 1 pointr/atheism

This is mostly true, the exact answer is a little more in depth. Jesus (if he existed, there are many mythicists on /r/atheism) died on or about 31 - 33 AD, this is widely accepted by scholars. The 1st gospel as I remember, is Mark written not before 70 AD, some place it later, up to 40+ years later. No complete manuscripts were found until about slightly later than 300 AD. There is a considerable gap there, so we cannot compare later documents to early ones for accuracy.

All of the other gospels (at least the ones the church decided to keep in the bible) are held to merely be plagiarisms to Mark, or at least the basis of them. Scholars also widely accept that the gospels are not eyewitness accounts. This is pretty much a given since say if you were 20 years old in 30 AD, and "Mark" came to look for an eyewitness in 70 AD, chances are good, you'd be dead.

I can expand on this more, but this is mostly from memory, and not my intention to spread a miss-remembered fact or date. Most of these came from a New Testament Scholar named Bart Ehrman. I'd suggest reading his books. Here is a video of him. None of his views are radical by any stretch, he usually delivers lectures on the consensus of what what actual Biblical Scholars find accurate, believer or non-believer. There are a ton of videos of him on youtube, just search for his name.

EDIT: Here are a couple of his books: Misquoting Jesus & Jesus, Interrupted. He has a lot of books out, and some of his books he has condensed lectures of on youtube.

u/TeamOomiZoomi · 1 pointr/atheism
u/Cyhawk · 1 pointr/atheism

Everyone knows the story about Jesus and the woman about to be stoned by the mob. This account is only found in John 7:53-8:12. The mob asked Jesus whether they should stone the woman (the punishment required by the Old Testament) or show her mercy. Jesus doesn’t fall for this trap. Jesus allegedly states “Let the one who is without sin among you be the first to cast a stone at her.” The crowd dissipates out of shame. Ehrman states that this brilliant story was not originally in the Gospel of John or in any of the Gospels. “It was added by later scribes.” The story is not found in “our oldest and best manuscripts of the Gospel of John. Nor does its writing style comport with the rest of John. Most serious textual critics state that this story should not be considered part of the Bible.

Thats just a quote from:

Quick review of this book:

Yes, the bible has been manipulated, entire passages are fabricated, and meanings of Joshua's Parables have been changes to fit other peoples views.

For further evidence, read about the tenants of Buddahism. The teaching of Joshua (also called at the time, The Way) are VERY similar, however subtle meanings have been changed, and changed again over the years. Be it through poor translation (have you ever seen a movie/game translated from Japanese? Yeah... those go so well) or malicious/good intent.

u/zyle · 1 pointr/atheism

> I want to be more educated myself of the bible and it's testaments and chapters

I would very very strongly recommend you check out "Misquoting Jesus" from your local lib and quickly get up to speed with the blatant holes in the development of the bible. Succinct talking points like:

  • The original scribes and copiers of the NT were uneducated; they could copy and write, but did not really know how to read; hence, a whole bunch of copy errors and inconsistencies arose.

  • The original text copies of the NT were in Greek, in all caps with no punctuation or even spaces between the words! So later scribes often got confused with words like "GODISNOWHERE." Does that read "God is now here," or "God is nowhere?"

  • The "let he without sin cast the first stone" parable in John? Not there in the oldest surviving manuscripts; it was added in by scribes later on.

  • The last 12 verses in Mark where Jesus is resurrected and pays a visit to Mary and the disciples? Not there in the oldest surviving manuscripts; it was added in by scribes later on.

  • A whole bunch of errors/translations quips when translating from Greek->Latin->English over the centuries.

    The book has a lot more details. I only read the first half actually; it started to get a little too pedantic later on.
u/aedelias · 1 pointr/atheism

First of all, it is not up to you to 'disprove' the bible, though it would be child's work to find numerous contradictions and many many flaws. HE is the one that is saying the bible is true. How does he know that it is true? Because the bible says so? This is clearly circular reasoning. You could as easily say the Qu'ran is true because the Qu'ran say it is true. The only reason he isn't saying that is because (presumably) he was brought up on Christianity and not Islam. Had he grown up in Saudi Arabia, there's a pretty damn good chance he would be a Muslim.

Now, as for disproving the bible, you could point out numerous contradictions between the bible itself, point out claims the bible makes about how the world works that are clearly flawed, or point out the great many immoral actions god takes in the bible. Now, depending on his brand of Christianity, he might come back with different arguments.

Examples: That's supposed to be interpreted differently. That verse is anecdotal. This is not meant to be taken literally. The Old Testament is to be ignored(if he does this, you can point out Matthew 5:17-20). God is mysterious and the paragon of morality, therefore everything he does is automatically moral.

It is amazing the different ways people can dismiss the gaping holes in their beliefs.

I think the most efficient way to 'disprove' the bible is to simply point out how it has changed throughout history. Remember, we didn't always have the printing press, it is a relatively new technology. The bible was copied through through humans copying it by hand... humans who of course, made a mistake here and there... and this has happened since the conception of the bible. HUNDREDS of generations, each one hand-copying the bible, making mistakes... adding things that were originally not there, or taking away some things. Not to mention translations, which created a slew of new flaws. If you want to go into detail on the history of the bible and how it has changed throughout history, read Misquoting Jesus: The story of who changed the bible and why.

In the end though, the strongest argument is that there is no reason to believe there is a god, MUCH LESS a personal god who is interested in what we do, answers prayers, sent a 'son' to sacrifice himself for humanity and demands worship.

u/iam2bz2p · 1 pointr/atheism

Bart Ehrman is a respected historian. He believes Jesus existed. But he is very critical of the claims of the Bible.


u/BigTimeBT · 1 pointr/atheism

Misquoting Jesus, by Bart Ehrman
If they are christian.

u/howars · 1 pointr/

I'm way late to this party, but you'll probably find this book useful:

It discusses the technique of textual criticism and how they have unearthed changes, additions and deletions in the Bible.

u/rpeg · 1 pointr/atheism

If you're so upset about this, go read the book of which I got this information. Again, I don't cite it as gospel but it's the information I currently understand on the topic -

u/roadkill6 · 1 pointr/atheism

I recall reading something once about a census that was taken around 6 AD but it was an informal headcount of all of the people under the control of Augustus with the sole purpose of telling him how many people he ruled over in honor of his birthday. No taxes, no traveling, no Bethlehem. Anybody know of a source for that?

6 BC during the reign of Herod not AD during Quirinus (although the first official Roman tax census of the area was held under Quirinus) Herod did his own taxes of the Judean people and paid a tribute out of his profits to Rome. So, until Quirinus took over, the Romans had never done a tax census in Judea. There was, however, a head-count census of the whole Roman Empire conducted around 6 BC (or so I recall). It was in honor of the Emperor Augustus' birthday and had the sole purpose of showing Augustus how many people were in his empire and, therefore, how awesome he was.

I think I remembered the source. I believe that it was mentioned in the book "Misquoting Jesus". I'll have to look it up later to be sure.

u/SpecialKRJ · 1 pointr/Christianity

Exactly, and even one fuckup of a single character would mean they had to scrap the whole thing and start over.

This DID NOT carry on for long, though. You should definitely read this as it's pretty enlightening. Also never forget that Constantine basically went through it with an x-acto and played editor.

u/AcceleratedDragon · 1 pointr/atheism

Elvis is alive! People have seen him!
Kenneth Lay is alive. He faked his death to avoid a prison sentence. He wanted his body "cremated". So they used a substitute body...riiiigt.
Do these sound stories sound logical or made up?

Coming back from the dead is the only logical explanation? I beg to differ.
Here's a few explanations.

  1. There was never any Jesus, so it never happened.
    No Roman record of his death by cruxifiction. Should be easy, look up all executions, orders of death around Passover during the reign of Pontius Pilate. 26 CE to 36 CE. Ten years, 30 days to search. Nothing found.
    How about the census that took place during Jesus' birth in Bethlehem? (During the reign of King Herod). Nothing. King Herod did a lot of crazy things (violent murderous crazy). But murdering all the young children in a town would have made the history books. It's in the bible but not in any other contemporary history (Josephus) of the time.
  2. A person named Jesus died. Someone made up the story about him rising.
  3. A person named Jesus died. Someone faked an empty tomb to make it look like came back from the dead.

    Ask your bible expert: How did Judas die? (the bible gives two different answers)
    Was Jesus born in a cave or manger?
    The accuracy argument fails under scrutiny.

    Let me guess, he thinks the King James Version of the Bible is the best version? Written in English, the same language (probably the only language) your friend speaks. Truly tis a miracle! What are the odds of all the languages on earth that existed, God hast chosen his favorite and bestest version of the bible to be the one and only bible your friend grew up reading.

    And this book should shoot holes in the "translated very precisely"

    The "and they died for what they believed in" argument is b.s. also.
    Cathars (a heretical christian sect) also died for what they believed in. In fact ALL of them died for what they believed in, no Cathars exist today. So does that make their scriptures "more accurate"? No fair weather zealots there.
u/xcthulhu · 1 pointr/DebateAnAtheist

The bible has been revised numerous times over history.

You might consider reading Ehrman's Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why

u/lymn · 0 pointsr/DebateReligion


No, I'm not Muslim. I would probably call myself a Christian Deist.
Well, I don't think they Bible is the inerrent word of God, here is a good series of video's that shows why:

Bart Ehrman, Misquoting Jesus 1/10

Bart Ehrman, Misquoting Jesus 2/10

Bart Ehrman, Misquoting Jesus 3/10

Bart Ehrman, Misquoting Jesus 4/10

Bart Ehrman, Misquoting Jesus 5/10

Bart Ehrman, Misquoting Jesus 6/10

The remaining for videos are on youtube, but they are just Q&A. Also, he has a very good book that talks about the problem of determining what the Bible originally says, you can get it here:, I mean here! Here, here, here! The book is a balanced account of how the modern Bible came to be, without trying to push you theologically.

So I cant' take the Bible's word on Jesus's divinity. It has also always been my position that God doesn't suspend the laws of nature even in the performance of miracles. So if God parted the Red Sea, for instance, it was via the gravity of the moon. And if God wanted to come visit us he would cause a physical person to exist in the natural course of history to say and do the things he would. A person that is causally determined by the universe cannot be God because God determined the course of the universe based on it's initial conditions. However it is at least possible for someone to be an agent of God. I suppose you would back up such a claim of agency by performing miracles that world require knowledge that only such an agent would have (but the Bible alone can't be relied on to show that Jesus did that either). Also there were early Christians that did not believe in the divinity of Jesus, but they were snuffed out by the proto-orthodoxy of the church.

The question then is did the resurrection at least occur? Well, we can't take the Bible on it's word on it, so how could we at least make it more probable to have happened? I would say that if we could find extra biblical historical evidence that people who claimed to be eye witnesses of the risen Christ were willing to die for that belief, it would at least be at bit likely. The one piece of evidence along those lines is this, by Josephus except the "who was called Christ was probably and addition, and the passage makes more sense if James was the brother of Jesus, the son of Damneus. So basically, beyond the Bible I can't find any proof that there really were martyrs of the risen Christ.

I have no problem with the Bible as evidence, but look at it this way. If your friend sends you a postcard that says he went to Jerusalem and saw a teacher give a lecture series, I'll believe him. If I receive an anonymous letter (since the gospels are all anonymous) that says the writer heard that a teacher rose from the dead at the end of his lectures--I'm gonna need a little more corroboration. Extraordinary claims need more than paltry evidence.

u/BloodyThorn · -2 pointsr/todayilearned

While you're at it, know that there are more transcription errors between known bible manuscripts than there are words in the bible themselves.

Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why