Since the advent of the printing press and the accurate reproduction of texts, most people have assumed that when they read the New Testament they are reading an exact copy of Jesus's words or Saint Paul's writings. And yet, for almost fifteen hundred years these manuscripts were hand copied by scribes who were deeply influenced by the cultural, theological, and political disputes of their day. Both mistakes and intentional changes abound in the surviving manuscripts, making the original words difficult to reconstruct. For the first time, Ehrman reveals where and why these changes were made and how scholars go about reconstructing the original words of the New Testament as closely as possible.
Ehrman makes the provocative case that many of our cherished biblical stories and widely held beliefs concerning the divinity of Jesus, the Trinity, and the divine origins of the Bible itself stem from both intentional and accidental alterations by scribes -- alterations that dramatically affected all subsequent versions of the Bible.
Introduction to Biblical Interpretation:Defines and describes hermeneutics, the science of biblical interpretationSuggests effective methods to understand the meaning of the biblical textSurveys the literary, cultural, social, and historical issues that impact any textEvaluates both traditional and modern approaches to Bible interpretationExamines the reader’s role as an interpreter of the text and helps identify what the reader brings to the text that could distort its messageTackles the problem of how to apply the Bible in valid and significant ways todayProvides an extensive and revised annotated list of books that readers will find helpful in the practice of biblical interpretation
Used in college and seminary classrooms around the world, this volume is a trusted and valuable tool for students and other readers who desire to understand and apply the Bible.