View Full Version : Manuscript Evidence Unparalleled

09-02-2014, 11:13 PM
Of the 12 papyri for the NT in the 2nd century, none of them make major changes to the 124 Greek Manuscripts in the first 3 centuries. The only question then becomes what is a naturalistic explanation to explain away the eyewitness testimony of the Apostles in various group settings seeing Jesus alive from the dead.

The first century copy of Mark was Matthew and Luke. 90% of Mark is in Matthew. Also, Matthew used an earlier copy of Mark for Mark was not the earliest copy of the original Mark.

Early new fragments have just been found in the last couple of months and will be published. It shows 18 papyri for the NT exist today from 2nd century, up from the previously know 12 papyri. One of them is from Luke from the early 2nd century which rivals P52.

It is official now, the oldest fragment is from Mark's gospel that is from the 1st century.

You can quote the entire NT except for 11 verses from early church fathers in the late 1st and the 2nd century.

Non-Christians that adhere to radical skepticism go too far which is doomed for failure. Radical skepticism teaches that all views are created equal, none have more weight of evidence. But is that really how reality works? Such an attitude flies in the face of reason and empirical evidence. Such an extreme results in disaster. The reasonable course of action is moderation.

For example, most scholars today who do peer review journal or accredited work on the resurrection admit Paul really wrote 1 Cor. 15, Gal. 1 & 2 of all the chapters in the Bible and that the Apostles genuinely and truly believed they had seen Jesus alive from the dead in various group settings.

Amazingly in the past 10 years, 70 ancient manuscripts have been found with 18,000 pages of text.

In watching this debate, Daniel B. Wallace got me to thinking that our best estimate of the original is good enough. He didn't say that, but I think he meant that. I would agree.

The reason why Bart Ehrman gets all petty about the "original text" vs. the "best available form of the text" is because for the Bible to be inerrant he assumes there must be the original text preserved or retrievable. I disagree. You can still have an inerrant text from our best estimate because God knows our best estimate is our very best which we can use for edification and to lead people to Christ.

Bottom line: there are no major differences in all the Greek Manuscripts in the first three centuries, nor from the quotes of the NT by the early church fathers.

Bart Ehrman is definitely a radical skeptic. He is basically saying from those 124 or so manuscripts from the first 3 centuries and quotes of the NT from the early church fathers in the late 1st and 2nd centuries that we can't glean any truths from the NT. That is what it is to be a radical skeptic. Yet Bart doesn't treat classical works that way and throw everything out. He is dishonest with himself. He is a radical skeptic in his car on a road along the side of a cliff and goes off the cliff be cause he says there is no guard rail. Moderation is needed.

Moderation says, I am trying to get back to the original and doing my best to do that. That's good enough.


If you were to ask Bart what would be good enough evidence for the original or close to the original text, I think if we found a full manuscript dated 95 AD when the last book of the NT was written that would still not be good enough. Even if we found a manuscript for each book that was just a few years after their events that would not be good enough. So that tells me why should God worry about providing text that close to the events. It's good enough to have a copy of a copy of a copy within 50 years even 150 years later is fine.


Bart Ehrman admits Paul wrote 1 Cor. 15, Gal. 1 & 2.