Bart Ehrman’s Millions and Millions of Variants,
Mariano Grinbank at “True Free Thinker” writes:
Considering that his book “Misquoting Jesus” explored the issue of variant readings in New Testament manuscripts it may be surprising to some that Bart Ehrman’s book itself contains millions and millions of variants.
Following are some examples of the variants:
On p. 13 reference is made to “Timothy LeHaye and Philip Jenkins” as the authors of the Left Behind series of novels. However, the authors of the series are Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. Thus, error 1. Tim has never published as “Timothy,” error 2. his last name is not LeHaye but LaHaye and error 3. Jenkins’s first name is not Philip but Jerry.
On p. 110 error 4. “Timothy” is used as LaHaye’s last name.
In the index Timothy’s name is error 5. again spelled as “LeHaye.”
On p. 110 Hal Lindsey’s name is error 6. misspelled as “Hal Lindsay.”
On p. 70 Desiderius Erasmus is error 7. misspelled as “Desiderus Erasmus.”
Now, if you are paying attention—or are you like me and simply cannot afford to pay attention? :o)—you may be thinking 1) that is only 16 errors, 2) they are mostly merely misspellings, 3) they do not affect the contents of the text and certainly do not affect any major point which the book seeks to make.
As for 2) and 3); thank you for noticing as this is precisely, word for word, how many of us feel about Bart Ehrman’s criticisms of the New Testament manuscripts.
As for 1) how do 16 equal my assertion of there being millions and millions of variants? Well, let us learn some methodology, the sort that allows Ehrman claim, “Put it this way: There are more variances among our manuscripts than there are words in the New Testament.”
I do not know how many copies Misquoting Jesus has sold but it is reported that “Within the first three months, more than 100,000 copies were sold.”
The way it works is as simple as it is deceptive: you multiply the 16 variants by how many times they have been reproduced. As the 16 have been reproduced 100,000 (in three months alone) you multiply these and so the total of variants in Misquoting Jesus equals: 1,600,000.
And that, boys and girls, is how Bart Ehrman manages to make sensational claims that gain him notoriety and quite a few shekels.