We have six-thousand manuscripts, or portions of manuscripts, just to the New Testament alone. If we pull in the Old Testament, we’d push over the twenty-thousand mark, but let’s just talk about the New Testament, because that’s what everybody’s attacking.

Six-thousand manuscripts, or portions of manuscripts, of the New Testament alone. Six-thousand. Now, you may not be impressed by that number. But, let me share with you: Julius Caesar’s Gallic Wars. We’ve got less than a dozen copies of Julius Caesar’s Gallic Wars. How do we know what we know about Julius Caesar? Through Julius Caesar’s Gallic Wars. We’ve got less than a dozen copies.

New Testament? Six-thousand. Julius Caesar’s Gallic Wars, less than a dozen.

How about Aristotle’s poetics? Aristotle’s poetics; that’s how we know about the writings of Aristotle! We’ve got less than ten copies of Aristotle’s poetics.

New Testament? Six-thousand manuscripts or portions of manuscripts. Aristotle’s poetics, less than ten.

How about the writings of Socrates? How many manuscripts do we have of the writings of Socrates? Answer: Zero. The only thing we know about Socrates is that which was written by Plato. There are no surviving writings of Socrates. None. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

New Testament? Six-thousand manuscripts or portions of manuscripts. The writings of Socrates, none.

‘Yes, but I heard we don’t have any of the originals.’ You’re right, we don’t have any of the originals. You’re right. As a matter of fact, the earliest thing we can put our hands on was written down probably about A.D. 120. Which is around two and a half decades of the writings of the originals.

‘Ha! Gotcha!’ Yeah, you got me.

Julius Caesar’s Gallic Wars; earliest thing we can touch: a thousand years after the original.

Aristotle’s poetics; earliest thing we can touch: fourteen hundred years after the originals.

Socrates; got nothing!

Homer’s Iliad; the earliest thing we can put our hands on: two-thousand one hundred years after the original.

New Testament? Within two and a half decades.

Voddie Baucham

Almost all biblical scholars agree that the New Testament documents were all written before the close of the First Century.  If Jesus was crucified in 30 A.D., then that means that the entire New Testament was completed within 70 years.  This is important because it means there were plenty of people around when the New Testament documents were penned who could have contested the writings.  In other words, those who wrote the documents knew that if they were inaccurate, plenty of people would have pointed it out.  But, we have absolutely no ancient documents contemporary with the First Century that contest the New Testament texts. (Christian Apologetics and Research Center)

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