How do we know that the Bible in our hands is actually what was originally written? Was it changed from the original? Why do scholars say the Bible is the most reliable ancient book? Find out in this episode!
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0:00 – INTRO
1:23 – CHRISTIANITY DEPENDS ENTIRELY ON JESUS. THE NT IS THE PRIMARY SOURCE OF JESUS.
2:03 – THE MANUSCRIPTS WERE ACCURATELY COPIED. WE CAN TRUST THE AUTHORS
3:00 – 3 TESTS: 1. BIBLIOGRAPHIC TEST: If we have accurate copies of the original first-century books of the NT. “Was the Bible handed down accurately?”
NEXT EPISODE: 2. INTERNAL TEST: looks “inside” the book to see if errors/contradictions. 3. EXTERNAL TEST: looks outside the documents to see if any other contemporary writings/archeological findings support what is written in the NT manuscripts.
4:37 – BIBLIOGRAPHIC TEST: 1 – HOW MANY manuscript copies exist; 2 – HOW EARLY (earliest surviving manuscripts); 3 – HOW ACCURATELY have they been transmitted
5:58 – 1 – HOW MANY MANUSCRIPT COPIES EXIST? 5,800 HAND-COPIED GREEK MANUSCRIPTS of the NT! By far the most copies of any ancient work. 9,000 early translations. Could reconstruct the entire NT except 11 verses from quotations by the Early Church Fathers.
9:34 – 2 – HOW EARLY ARE THESE MANUSCRIPT COPIES? 88 UNDISPUTED MANUSCRIPTS from 25-200 years after written. John Rylands fragment of John (found in Egypt 25 years after it was written); Bodmer Papyri (oldest surviving complete manuscript copies of NT books surviving just a little over 100 years after NT completed; Chester-Beatty Papyri (most of NT, 50 years after NT completed). No other ancient book has such a small time gap between composition & earliest manuscript copies as the NT!
11:46 – 3 – HOW ACCURATELY HAS IT BEEN TRANSMITTED? Bruce Metzger: 99.5% OF THE NT HAS BEEN ACCURATELY TRANSMITTED. THE 0.5% IS NOT MISSING TEXT BUT TOO MUCH TEXT.
13:08 – SO WHAT? OVERWHELMING EVIDENCE TO TRUST THE NT. THE BEST-ATTESTED ANCIENT TEXT. HAS BEEN ACCURATELY TRANSMITTED.
14:50 – WHAT’S YOUR NEXT STEP? TELL SOMEONE ABOUT THIS.
16:17 – THANK YOU & WRAP UP
- Geisler, Norman L. “New Testament, Historicity of.” In Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics (1999). (Updated as The Big Book of Christian Apologetics: An A to Z Guide (2012))
- Bock, Darrel L. “Is the New Testament Trustworthy?” In The Apologetics Study Bible.