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The Manuscript Evidence of the New Testament

Windmill Ministries
Published by in Think About It. ·
The New Testament is by far the most reliable ancient writing known today. There exist as many as an astounding 25,000 ancient manuscripts that contain all or portions of the New Testament.

Counting Greek copies alone, the texts are preserved in over 5,600 partial and complete manuscripts hand copied from the second through the fifteenth century. A few New Testament fragments are very early, dating from the second century. At least 362 New Testament manuscripts and 245 lectionaries (collections of Scripture texts grouped together for reading in public worship services) date from the second through the tenth centuries, constituting nearly 11% of all New Testament and lectionary manuscripts. Such early manuscripts are valuable in establishing the original text of the New Testament. The other 89% of manuscripts are minuscule, dating between the ninth and fifteenth centuries.

Add to these Greek manuscripts the more than 10,000 Latin Vulgate and at least 9,300 early translations, and we approach the earlier mentioned number of 25,000.

By contrast, the manuscripts for most other ancient books date from about a thousand years after their original composition. To compare this to the other ancient writings: Homer’s Iliad is in “second place” behind the New Testament with no more than 643 copies.
And of Plato’sTetralogies only seven copies are known.
Also the earliest copy of Plato’s work is dated about 1,200 years after he produced the original. The oldest copy of the Iliad dates about 500 years after the original. This is a dramatic contrast to the oldest papyrus text of the New Testament, a part of chapter 18 of the Gospel of John, dated at near 125 AD.

The importance of the vast number of manuscripts copies cannot be overstated. This abundance of manuscripts makes it possible to reconstruct the original with virtually complete accuracy.

Most other ancient books are not so well authenticated. New Testament scholar Bruce Metzger estimated that the Mahabharata of Hinduism has been copied with only about 90% accuracy and Homer’s Iliad with about 95%. By comparison, he estimated the New Testament is about 99.5% accurate.

It is safe to summarize that less than one percent of the New Testament text as we know it today is under competent dispute. No doctrine taught in the Bible depends on the turn of any of these disputes.





5 Reasons to Embrace Christianity

Windmill Ministries
Published by in Prove it. ·
The movement that Jesus created died with His humiliating death on a Roman cross in Jerusalem around 30 AD. The resurrection alone explains, grounds, begins, and justifies what happened next.

How the Beginnings of Space and Time Point to the Divine Creator

Windmill Ministries
Published by in Prove it. ·
The question of why anything at all exists is one of the most profound questions to ask. At some point in our lives we all wonder where everything came from. Logically there are only two options: either the universe always existed or the universe came into existence. If the universe always existed it does not need any cause for its existence – as it always was. But if the universe came into existence then there must have been something – a cause – that caused it to come into existence...

A Boxer Finds Meaning in God

Windmill Ministries
Published by in Live It. ·
As the 1970s came to a close, Phil Fernandes was a Marine, a boxer, and a skeptic. Today, he is a Christian scholar, apologist, and pastor. What changed? In his own words...

The Bible Isn't Just a Book

Windmill Ministries
Published by in Think About It. ·
Tags: BibleSchemeofRedemption

Suzy's World

Windmill Ministries
Published by in Live It. ·
What My Three-year-old, Amazon Prime, and a Sexual Predator Named Eric Aniva Tell Us About What it Means to Be Human

3 Reasons Why Yahweh Is Nothing Like The Flying Spaghetti Monster

Windmill Ministries
Published by in Think About It. ·
Tags: FlyingSpaghettiMonster
It is a common caricature of Christianity to compare our soul’s most powerful and sacred commitment to beliefs that deserve disdain: the belief in a flying spaghetti monster, a teacup orbiting Jupiter, or an imaginary friend to comfort us. Why is this so wrong? And frankly, so stupid and insulting. Here are three reasons.

Does the Problem of Evil Support Atheism?

Windmill Ministries
Published by in Think About It. ·
Tags: theProblemofEvil
Why does a good God allow suffering? Why is there so much evil? It is a commonly mentioned problem, but it isn't a logical problem for theism; on a deeper level, it is actually a confirmation of it.

What Our DNA Tells Us About Our Creator

Windmill Ministries
Published by in Prove it. ·
All information comes from an intelligent source. DNA in the first living cell contains extensive information. Therefore the information in the DNA of the first living cell came from an intelligent source whose intelligence and power is beyond anything ever discovered in the natural world.

4 Reasons to Believe Jesus Rose from the Dead

Windmill Ministries
Published by in Prove it. ·
The Jesus movement died with Jesus on a cross in Jerusalem around 30 CE. The resurrection alone explains, grounds, begins, and justifies what happened next. 4 Reasons to believe it as fact.
As a windmill depends on the wind, so mankind depends on God
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