Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Why Trust the Bible? Manuscripts

If you have a lot of early copies of some documents, and those copies match up with each other, you can know with a lot of certainty what the original documents said.

Put it this way: We have less than 700 copies of Homer's Iliad and they were from an era about 400 years after he first wrote this famous work.  This is considered good in historical literature, but the New Testament is far better.

The New Testament of the Bible has over 5000 manuscripts that were from less than 100 years of the originals.

Check out the table from carm.org for more info on this.

This puts to an end any foolish notion that the manuscripts of the New Testament were corrupted (as Islam claims).  To ensure this corruption you would have had to gather up all of these 5000+ documents and change them.  If you missed just one it would be obvious what had happened.


  1. Codex Vaticanus written in Egypt (Alexandria) at the 4th century. The text of Codex Vaticanus collected from one region of Alexandria's Egypt.

    Codex Sinaiticus written in Egypt (Alexandria) at the 4th century. Constantin Tischendorf discovered 1844 the Codex Sinaiticus from Mount Sinai, St. Catherine's monastery.

    Manuscripts of Codex Vaticanus and the Codex Sinaiticus are not as reliable as the Byzantine text. The Byzantine text had been assembled in Greece, Constantinople, Asia Minor, Africa, Alexandria, Gaul, southern Italy, Sicily, England and Ireland.

    The Bible tells us that the apostles traveled in Israel, Syria, Greece, Turkey, Italy and Asia Minor. These churches were certainly kept the original letters of the apostles Peter and Paul and the Gospels in the original form when they copied them forward. Discoveries of the Byzantine texts from the many same places where the Early Church preached the gospel is the evidence that Byzantine text corresponds in the best way the message of the New Testament original texts.

    Dutchman Erasmus of Rotterdam was a Catholic monk and priest. Erasmus translated first the Latin New Testament directly from the Greek. Erasmus' Latin New Testament diverged very much from the Catholic Church's official Vulgate translation. Catholic theologians opposed to Erasmus' Latin New Testament. Therefore, he 1516 published new edition of the Greek New Testament (Novum Instrumentum) and also new Latin translation. Erasmus' New Testament Greek text, and its significant difference compared to the Catholic Church's official Vulgate translation proves that Vulgate has not been faithful to the original Greek texts. Vulgate has been translated from Alexandrain texts (the Codex Vaticanus, Codex Sinaiticus). This means that texts of the Codex Sinaiticus and Vaticanus are very different from the Byzantine text. Byzantine texts are consistent with each other in almost 95%. This evidence proves beyond doubt that the Alexandrian texts are not reliable texts.

    Erasmus of Rotterdam is considered to be the man who was completely on the leash of the Catholic Church. However, this is not true. The Roman Catholic Church strongly criticized Erasmus because he refused for translating his text compatible with the Vulgate text. Erasmus kept translations based on Alexrandian texts as Vulgate corrupted that he doesn't want to use it. Erasmus translated the text of Textus Receptus to differ from the texts of the Roman Church. This means that the text of Textus Receptus diverges very much from teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. This is the reason why Catholics have attacked fiercely against the Textus Receptus. Text of Textus Receptus destroys prestige and authority of Alexandrian texts and teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. Therefore, Catholics are bashing Textus Receptus.

    Erasmus wasn't on the leash of the Roman Catholic Church completely. His works of Textus Receptus proves this, which fully diverged from Vulgate (Jerome 405 A.D.), because Textus Receptus has been translated much more according to Byzantine text. If Erasmus was been completely on the leash of Roman Catholic Church, so text of Textus Receptus would resemble Vulgate's text, but it doesn't resemble, but fully diverge from it. We should always remember that the text of Textus Receptus resemble much more the Byzantine text than text of Vulgate. Vulgate's text has been made from the ground of Alexandrian texts and thus not resemble the text of Byzantine.

    We can in safety mind read the Bibles that based on Byzantine text. Therefore, His original gospel is in the Byzantine text and Bibles, which are based on Byzantine text. I recommend for you to read King James Version 1611 and J.P. Green's Literal Translation, which both based on the Byzantine text.

    Site reference: http://koti.phnet.fi/petripaavola/Biblemanuscripts.html

  2. Thank you for that info. Are you opposed to modern translations such as the ESV then?