Bart Ehrman delivered the 2007 Heyns Lecture, “Misquoting Jesus: Scribes Who Altered Scripture and the Readers Who May Never Know“, at Stanford University, April 25, 2007. The lecture provides a general introduction to some of the central issues in New Testament textual criticism.
The lecture’s title is taken from Ehrman’s popular introduction to textual criticism for general readers, Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why (2005), a book that Craig Blomberg of Denver Seminary describes as being, mostly:
a very readable, accurate distillation of many of the most important facts about the nature and history of textual criticism, presented in a lively and interesting narrative that will keep scholarly and lay interest alike.
– Craig Blomberg, review of Misquoting Jesus (2006)
The lecture is followed by a Q&A session, in which Ehrman fields questions from the audience. Watch out for his witty rhetorical question on why the “therefore” is in the middle of Jesus’s saying in Mark 2:27-28 (“what is the ‘therefore’ there for?”), which precedes his explanation that the verse only makes sense when retroverted into its Aramaic Vorlage.
Bart Ehrman is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.