Again, the facts speak otherwise, as Michael Holmes explains: “Occasionally the text was altered for doctrinal reasons. A few dozen variants have significance, though many can be resolved because we have so many copies of each book. The massive number of extant New Testament manuscripts (MSS) does not prove the accuracy of the content, nor is Geisler claiming that it does. " Recent Post by Page. To dismiss these areas of support would be self-defeating, for it would mean that every extrabiblical ancient work considered “reliable” by secular scholars—all of which are based on lesser evidence—would need to be brought into question. Speaking to His followers, Jesus said: “You are the salt of the earth … You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:13–14). Sometimes sceptics and christians alike give single dates at the end of the range that most suits their purposes. The charge that is often made, without qualification—especially by New Testament scholar Bart Ehrman—is that copyists radically changed the substance of the text. Don Stewart, MA is an internationally recognized Christian apologist and speaker. Find books Greater accuracy of the new testament manuscripts discovered in heaven, which has preserved his finger wrote his life in red. Some apologists claim that even if we had lost the entire set of manuscripts, we could reconstruct almost all of it from the writings of christians in the second and third centuries. Required fields are marked *. This leads to the repetition of a number of spurious or doubtful claims. If we insist on perfection or nothing, then we’ll end up with nothing. Your email address will not be published. It also seems that NT support for the doctrine of the Trinity is weakened slightly when spurious variants are weeded out. The amount of time that has passed between the original manuscripts and the earliest copies available is a crucial element of determining the accuracy of transmission. 15 Joseph M. Holden and Norman Geisler, The Popular Handbook of Archaeology and the Bible: Discoveries that Confirm the Reliability of Scripture (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 2013), 128. I find this one rather strange. 3) “When manuscripts began to show signs of wear, the Jewish scribes reverently disposed of them because they bore the sacred … Up until now, I tried to read both sides and then make a judgment. “The Old Test... ament in Hebrew (which was the native language of the people of God of old), and the New Testament in Greek (which, at … Most manuscripts of the New Testament are only manuscripts of part of the New Testament, and providing an exact count of them is a fool’s errand. There is simply no evidence of widespread altering of the text for doctrinal reasons. Bible Translation - Updated American Standard Version. He writes. The New Testament (NT) contains four biographies of Jesus (the Gospels), one history book of the early church (Acts), twenty-one letters (Romans to Jude), and an apocalypse (Revelation). I read FF Bruce’s old classic The New Testament Documents: are they reliable?and some of Dan Wallace’s reviews of Ehrman’s claims to get the response of christian scholars. It concludes that the canon lists are the best source of what the early church believed was inspired and authoritative, and these show that most of the present New Testament was widely accepted with little dispute, and a few popular works were widely considered useful but not canonical. That is an amazing accuracy. Joseph Holden, Ph.D. This means that our New Testament is 99.5% textually pure. 12 Maurice A. Robinson and William G. Pierpont, The New Testament In The Original Greek According To The Byzantine/Majority Text Form (Atlanta, GA: Original Word Publications, 1991), xvi -xvii. Thus, the intentional variations, for the most part, were the work of scribes attempting to make the text more readable, not change the meaning. 11 Benjamin B. Warfield, Introduction to the Textual Criticism of the New Testament, seventh edition (London, UK: Hodder and Stoughton, 1907), 14. This false assumption emerges from the notion that all New Testament copies produced through the centuries must be exact replicas of the original text. … Download books for free. You can also subscribe without commenting. 20 Bart Ehrman, Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why (New York, NY: Harper San Francisco, 2005), 55. Comments for robotsPlease remove this comment to prove you're human. Crucially, the editors right from the start lay out the sceptical and christian apologetic “extremes”, and make it clear that they will be avoiding both ends of the spectrum, and explain why. In other words, the books of the New Testament were written very soon after the events they describe, leaving no room for legend to creep in. When we try to conceptualize how to reconstruct an original after 2000 years of copying, translating, and copying some more, the task appears impossible. Despite these variants, scholars have recognized the great accuracy with which the New Testament manuscripts were copied. Rights Reserved | Sometimes a book is revelatory, answering questions I am concerned about and filling in important information I was missing. … These, however, are by no means equal in size or significance. What now becomes unbelievable is that nowhere in this article does Metzger estimate the New Testament accuracy to be 99.5%. Apologists say no, and this book agrees regarding major doctrines, but says some “non-core” teachings are affected. That is to say, the words (verba) may vary slightly, but the voice or meaning (vox) is the same. Whether one prefers to use the Byzantine text-type, which is found in the greatest number of manuscripts, or the Alexandrian text-type, which has fewer but older manuscripts, the final result will be more or less the same. It is instructive to plumb the dates of the original writings of revered ancients and examine what ancient manuscript evidence we have of them. However, they are still important witnesses to the text’s reliability and transmission. But the truth (apparently) is that most variants are so obvious they can be ignored. 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