Textual Reliability

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    Bruce, F.F.

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    "The New Testament Documents: Their Date and Attestation", Chapter 2 of The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable?

    "When we have documents like our New Testament writings copied and recopied thousands of times, the scope for copyists' errors is so enormously increased that it is surprising there are no more than there actually are. Fortunately, if the great number of MSS increases the number of scribal errors, it increases proportionately the means of correcting such errors, so that the margin of doubt left in the process of recovering the exact original wording is not so large as might be feared; it is in truth remarkably small. The variant readings about which any doubt remain' among textual critics of the New Testament affect no material question of historic fact or of Christian faith and practice."
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    Holding, James P.

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    Textual Trysts: The Textual Reliability of the New Testament

    "The reliability of the text of the NT...is a necessary prerequisite for accepting the historicity of the NT - for of course, how can one be sure that the history is correct unless the text is correct? In this matter, the evidence is fairly clear, and there is plenty of it available...The popular idea is that textual criticism has been able to recover the NT text with 99% accuracy. That's a total of three pages in your average Bible without study notes being in question...Is any matter of the Christian faith affected by any variant reading? This is the most important issue for the average believer, and the good news is this: No doctrine of Christianity is in the least dependent on ANY textual variant."
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    Köstenberger, Andreas J.

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    Is the Bible Today What Was Originally Written?

    "The Bible was originally written in Hebrew, Aramaic (the Old Testament [OT]), and Greek (the New Testament [NT]). The Bibles we use today are translations from the original languages into English (or other languages). Jesus most likely taught in Aramaic (though he probably also knew Hebrew and Greek), so that the Greek NT itself represents a translation of Jesus' teaching from the Aramaic into Greek. The question, 'Is the Bible today what was originally written?' involves two important questions: (1) Are the available manuscripts (mss.) of the Bible accurate representations of the original mss. of the respective books of the Bible (the autographs of Scripture)? This is an issue of textual transmission. (2) Are the available translations faithful renderings of the Bible in the original languages? This is an issue of translation."
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    Wallace, Daniel B.

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    The Gospel According to Bart: A Review of Bart D. Ehrman’s Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why

    "...Jesus sells. But not the Jesus of the Bible. The Jesus that sells is the one that is palatable to postmodern man. And with a book entitled Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why, a ready audience was created via the hope that there would be fresh evidence that the biblical Jesus is a figment. Ironically, almost none of the variants that Ehrman discusses involve sayings of Jesus. The book simply doesn’t deliver what the title promises...[T]his book sells because it appeals to the skeptic who wants reasons not to believe, who considers the Bible a book of myths. It’s one thing to say that the stories in the Bible are legend; it’s quite another to say that many of them were added centuries later. Although Ehrman does not quite say this, he leaves the impression that the original form of the NT was rather different from what the manuscripts now read."