Monday, January 05, 2015

"Misquoting Manuscripts? The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture Revisited"

Since I noted that someone had scanned an old essay of mine, “Misquoting Manuscripts? The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture Revisited“ which appeared in The Making of Christianity: Conflicts, Contacts, and Constructions: Essays in Honor of Bengt Holmberg (ed. M. Zetterholm and S. Byrskog; CBNTS 47; Eisenbrauns, 2012), and made it available on the internet without my permission, I thought I might just upload it to my own page on

 To whet your appetite, here is a paragraph from the introduction:
Space does not permit me to go through all of Ehrman’s examples of orthodox corruption in a systematic fashion. In the following I will therefore restrict myself to a selection of examples treated by Ehrman in one of the largest chapters of his monograph, those passages that, according to his claims, reflect anti-adoptionistic corruption. Nevertheless, I believe that the result of this survey, based on a relatively large number of passages is quite representative. I will demonstrate that Ehrman’s interpretation of the textual evidence in these passages is seriously defective. I should emphasize that my aim is not to prove that the New Testament textual tradition is unaffected by “orthodox corruption,” although I think this factor plays a minor role. Instead I attempt to prove that, on a closer inspection, many of Ehrman’s examples do not apply to the issue at all, and that often there are other, more plausibe explanations for the textual variation.
The essay will soon appear on the resource page of this blog, which you should check out here.


  1. Thanks Tommy. Interesting about the scanned bootleg. I too noticed, not too long after it was published, that someone had scanned and made available for free download a copy of my NTTSD volume. That struck me as really odd. I mean, your essay here, given the subject matter, would at least be interesting to most NT scholars, but even that's a small field. My subject, however, is arcane enough that it wouldn't even interest most of that small pool! I guess what I'm saying is, I could understand why they would pirate more popular books, but our work seems an odd choice for someone hoping to realise a lot of profit.

  2. Ryan, the people who uploaded my essay are Christian apologists, so I can see that they are interested in my essay. However, I am not denying "orthodox corruption" although I think it is not so widespread, and I criticize Ehrman's method of detecting it.

  3. Apologists giving apologetics a bad name. It is unfortunate that some are so bold as to post your work without your permission.

  4. who were they Tommy? name and shame