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The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture: The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament
Bart D. Ehrman
From The Publisher:
The victors not only write the history, they also reproduce the texts. In a study that explores the close relationship between the social history of early Christianity and the textual tradition of the emerging New Testament, Ehrman examines how early struggles between Christian "heresy" and "orthodoxy" affected the transmission of the documents over which, in part, the debates were waged. His thesis is that proto-orthodox scribes of the second and third centuries occasionally altered their sacred texts for polemical reasons--for example, to oppose adoptionists like the Ebionites, who claimed that Christ was a man but not God, or docetists like Marcion, who claimed that he was God but not a man, or Gnostics like the Ptolemaeans, who claimed that he was two beings, one divine and one human. Ehrman's thorough and incisive analysis makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the social and intellectual history of early Christianity and raises intriguing questions about the relationship of readers to their texts, especially in an age when scribes could transform the documents they reproduced to make them say what they were already thought to mean, effecting thereby the orthodox corruption of Scripture.
"This detailed, carefully argued, and thoroughly documented study should be purchased for collections serving faculty and graduate students in New Testament studies and church history."
"Written in a clear and interesting style."
The Princeton Seminary Bulletin
"Ehrman's study is well written....This book will be useful for senior seminars and beginning graduate students."
The Journal of Religion
"Ehrman's is a good book, and one which deserves the attention of scholars"
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About the Author
Bart D. Erhman is Bowman and Gordon and Gordon Gray Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Widely recognized for his expertise in the textual criticism of the New Testament, he has published numerous books and articles on the literature and history of early Christianity including The New Testament and Other Early Christian Writings: A Reader, After the New Testament: A Reader in Early Christianity, and Jesus, Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium.
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