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Online Articles

Is the New Testament Trustworthy?

No one questions the authenticity of Plato, Aristotle, or Homer, but the manuscript evidence for each of these is far less than that of the Bible. We can be assured that the Bible text we have today is the text of the first century.

The Iliad and the Odyssey
Written: around 900 B.C.
Earliest available manuscript: 400 B.C. (500 years later)
Total manuscripts: 643

Works of Plato
Written: 427-347 B.C.
Earliest available manuscript: A.D. 900 (1200 years later)
(There is one fragment from 3rd century B.C.)
Total manuscripts: 7

Works of Aristotle
Written: 384-322 B.C.
Earliest available manuscript: A.D. 1100 (1400 years later)
Total manuscripts: 49

Works of Julius Caesar
Written: 100-44 B.C.
Earliest available manuscript: A.D. 900 (1000 years later)
Total manuscripts: 10

Works of Pliny
Written: A.D. 61-113
Earliest available manuscript: A.D. 850 (750 years later)
Total manuscripts: 7

The New Testament
Written: 1st Century A.D.
Earliest available manuscript: 1st Century (within 30-40 years)
Total manuscripts: 5,686

As you can see, there are thousands more New Testament Greek manuscripts than any other ancient writing! The internal consistency of the New Testament documents is about 99.5% textually pure. That is an amazing accuracy. In addition, there are over 19,000 copies in the Syriac, Latin, Coptic, and Aramaic languages, many dating back to the 1st and 2nd century A.D. The total supporting New Testament manuscript base is over 24,000.

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