"Misquoting Jesus" (Bart Ehrman). I remembered Ehrman's name from the "Judas Gospel" event a year or two ago. He said, "The reappearance of the Gospel of Judas will rank among the greatest finds from Christian antiquity." This is probably the stupidest thing I've ever heard in my entire life. But I wasn't going to hold it against him as I read this book.
The title of this book is an excellent example of how titles are chosen for books. Often authors actually have little say, and the title is often chosen to be controversial (and increase sales). In this case, Ehrman never argues that anyone is misquoting Jesus.
The book is actually a layman's introduction to textual criticism (the art and science behind determining the original words of the Bible). In telling this story, Ehrman does an excellent job (although I'm no expert on the history). He makes what could be a very dry topic, lively and interesting. He also verified that the ideas I've had on the subject were covered three hundred years ago.
Ehrman also presents a laundry list of "intentional changes" and the possible motivations behind them. The tone is rather scandalous, and some might be shocked and dismayed. Only problem is, my pocket Bible is called, "New Believer's Bible" New Living Translation Tyndale HousePublishers 1996. Ehrman's book was published in 2005. My Bible has a star next to nearly every verse Ehrman cites. So Christianity has survived at least 9 years of Bibles published with the changes Ehrman recommends!
There is a sadder story behind this book. On page 3 (in the introduction), Ehrman gives his "conversion story". It reads like most of the stories on web sites like "Debunking Christianity". It is clear Ehrman is part of the reaping we are now seeing in response to the sowing of a "puny-fied" Gospel message. Well meaning people talking about love, and a "God-shaped hole in your heart", and not talking about sin and judgment. Seeds sown into rocky ground (Matthew 13:20), at first putting up impressive growth, only to come crashing down. And they will not turn back easily: 2 Peter 2:21 "For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known [it], to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them."
Please pray for Mr. Ehrman.