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Manuscript Evidence

Discussion in 'Christianity DIR' started by true blood, Jun 9, 2004.

  1. true blood

    true blood Active Member

    May 10, 2004
    Because the Bible is a book, it was initially made up of manuscripts. Also it is well known in historical circles that the closer a document can be found to the event it describes the more credible it is. Criticism concerns whether the copies possess are credible. Since we do not possess the originals, people ask, how can we be sure they are identical to them? The answer is that we will never be completely certain, for there is no means at our disposal to reproduce the originals. This has always been a problem with all known ancient documents. Yet this same question is rarely asked of other historical manuscripts which we refer to constantly. Check out these secular documents that are quite popular.

    Herodotus (History) 480 - 425 BC (date written) 900 AD (earliest copy) 1,300 yrs (time span)
    Thucydides (History) 460 - 400 BC (date written) 900 AD (earliest copy)1,300 years
    Aristotle (Philosopher) 384 - 322 BC (date written) 1,100 AD (earliest copy) 1,400 years
    Caesar (History) 100 - 44 BC (date written) 900 AD (earliest copy) 1,000 years
    Pliny (History) 61 - 113 AD (date written) 850 AD (earliest copy) 750 years
    Suetonius (Roman History) 70 - 140 AD(date written) 950 AD (earliest copy) 800 years
    Tacitus (Greek History) 100 AD (date written) 1,100 AD (earliest copy)1,000 years

    Now check out Biblical Manuscripts:
    Magdalene Ms (Matthew 26) 1st century (date written) 50-60 AD (earliest copy)
    John Rylands (John) 90 AD (date written) 130 AD (earliest copy)
    Bodmer Papyrus II (John) 90 AD (date written) 150-200 AD (earliest copy)
    Chester Beatty Papyri (N.T.) 1st century (date written) 200 AD (earliest copy) 150 years (time span)
    Diatessaron by Tatian (Gospels) 1st century (date written) 200 AD (earliest copy) 150 years
    Codex Vaticanus (Bible) 1st century (date written) 325-350 AD (earliest copy) 275-300 years
    Codex Sinaiticus (Bible) 1st century (date written) 350 AD (earliest copy) 300 years
    Codex Alexandrinus (Bible) 1st century (date written) 400 AD (earliest copy) 350 years

    Total New Testament manuscripts = 5,300 Greek MSS, 10,000 Latin Vulgates, 9,300 others = 24,000 copies
    Total MSS compiled prior to 600 AD = 230

    The time span for the biblical manuscript copies listed above are all within 350 years of the originals. This indeed gives enormous authority to the biblical manuscript copies, as no other ancient piece of literature can make such close time comparisons. New research which has now been uncovered mentions a fragment from the book of Mark found among the Qumran scrolls showing that it was written sometime before 68 AD.

    As for the New Testement, Christianity was a missionary faith from its very inception (Matthew 28:19-20), the scriptures were immediately translated into the known languages of that period. . For that reason other written translations appeared soon after, such as Coptic translations (early 3rd and 4th centuries), Armenian (400 A.D.), Gothic (4th century), Georgian (5th century), Ethiopic (6th century), and Nubian (6th century). The practice of reading passages from the New Testament books at worship services began from the 6th century, so that today we have 2,135 lectionaries which have been catalogued from this period. If there had been a forgery, they all would have to of been changed. There are 32,000 quotations from the New Testament found in writings from before the council of Nicea in 325 A.D. The quotations of the scripture in the works of the early church writers are so extensive that the New Testament could virtually be reconstructed from them without the use of New Testament manuscripts. Sir David Dalrymple sought to do this, and from the second and third century writings of the church fathers he found the entire New Testament quoted except for eleven verses.
    Clement (30- 95 A.D.), Ignatius (70-110 A.D.), Polycarp (70-156 A.D.)

    Indeed substantial evidence.
  2. martha dodge

    martha dodge Member

    Jun 4, 2004
    Although I may not understand all your theology, I can certainly ask Father God to bless you for your zeal and your adamant search for truth.