The Reliability of the New Testament Emergence Winter
The Reliability of the New Testament Emergence Winter Sessions Apologetics Session 3 The Text of the New Testament or How close are the books in our Bibles to the books as they were written? or Is what we have now what they wrote then? Why it matters: This is a primary objection to biblical Christianity.
Since we believe that the Bible is the Word of God, it should matter to us if we have the correct words. Some misleading claims: The orthodox church deliberately corrupted the Scriptures to reflect their own theological views. There are more New Testament variants than there are words in the New Testament. Autograph: An original document, as it left its authors hands. Manuscript: A copy of a document, written by hand.
Textual criticism: The study of the manuscripts of a writing whose autograph is lost, for the purpose of determining the original text. How variants enter into the textual tradition: By accident. On purpose. A (possibly) troubling observation: There are approximately 138,000 words in the New Testament. There are approximately 400,000 known textual variants in our extant New
Testament manuscripts. Why this isnt surprising (or very troubling): We have 5,824 manuscripts of the Greek New Testament. Work Composition Earliest Manuscript Number of Manuscripts
Homer, Iliad 8th7th century BC ca. 415 BC 1,900+ Herodotus, Histories ca. 440 BC 15050 BC ca. 106
Sophocles Plays d. 406/405 BC 3rd century BC ca. 226 Plato, Tetralogies d. 348/47 BC 3rd century BC
238 Caesar, Gallic Wars 5850 BC 9th century AD 251 Livy, History of Rome 279 BC 4th century AD
ca. 473 Tacitus, Annals ca. 116 AD 1st half: 850 AD 2nd half: 1050 AD 36 Pliny the Elder, Natural 7779 AD History
5th century AD 200+ Thucydides, History d. ca. 400 BC 3rd century BC 188 Demosthenes Speeches
d. 322 BC 1st century BC, possibly earlier 444 TOTAL 4,062+ dapted, with some additions, from Josh McDSowell and Sean McDSowell, Evidence That Demands a Verdict e-Changing Truth for a Skeptical World (New York: HarperCollins, 2017), 55. P52, 100150 AD
John 18:3133 P66, ca. 200 AD Gospel of John P46, 180200 AD Pauls letters (-2 Thess, 1 & 2 Tim, Phlm) Codex Sinaiticus, 330360 AD Entire New Testament, much of the Old Testament, some early fathers Codex Vaticanus, 300325 AD Complete New Testament (-1 & 2 Tim, Tit,
Different kinds of textual variants: Meaningful: A variant that impacts the meaning of the text. John 9 14 . 17 , ; . 21 , , , . 26 ; ;
Different kinds of textual variants: Meaningful: A variant that impacts the meaning of the text. Viable: A variant that has some reasonable chance of reflecting the original wording. Only 1,5002,000 variants are both meaningful and viable. No major (or even minor) doctrine of the Christian faith is called into question because of a textual variant. The position I argue for in Misquoting Jesus does not actually stand at odds with Prof. Metzgers position that the essential Christian beliefs are not affected by textual variants in
the manuscript tradition of the New Testament. No major (or even minor) doctrine of the Christian faith is called into question because of a textual variant. The difference in meaning may not touch doctrine. The difference in meaning may teach something that is taught elsewhere. Weighing textual variants. External evidence. Internal evidence.
Weighing internal evidence. The basic principle: The reading from which the other readings most likely arose is probably original. In parallel passages, the reading which is less verbally identical to the parallel is generally preferable. A reading with words and forms foreign to The three most significant textual variants in the New Testament. 1.The story of the woman caught in adultery (John 7:538:11). The three most significant textual variants in
the New Testament. 11. The longer ending of Mark (Mark 16:920). The three most significant textual variants in the New Testament. 111.The Comma Johanneum (1 John 5:78). KJV: For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. ESV: For there are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree.
The Reliability of the Gospels Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught (Luke 1:14). A historically-reliable Gospel would be a Gospel that accurately portrays the words and deeds of Jesus.
Matthew One of the twelve. A tax collector from Capernaum (Matt 9:9; 10:3) His profession may have equipped him with skills for record taking. Mark Not one of the twelve. Peters interpreter in Rome. If he is John Mark, he was from Cyrpus (Acts 4:36), his mother had property in Jerusalem (Acts 12:12), and he was the cousin of Barnabas (Col 4:10). Luke Not one of the twelve. A medical doctor (Col 4:14) Possibly a Gentile.
John One of the twelve. A fisherman from Capernaum. Son of Zebedee, younger brother of James. Typical (liberal) Gospel dates: Matthew: 8090 Mark: 6570 Luke: 8085 John: 90100
Gennesaret MtML Jericho MtML Jerusalem/Zion MtMLJ Magadan Mt Nain L Nazareth MtMLJ Rama Mt Salim J Sidon MtML Sychar J Tiberias J Tyre MtML Charts from Peter J. Williams, Can We Trust the Gospels
(Wheaton: Crossway, 2018), 5254. Regions Abilene L Decapolis MtM Egypt Mt Galilee MtMLJ Idumaea M Ituraea L Judaea MtMLJ Naphtali Mt Samaria LJ Sidonia L Syria MtL Trachonitis L
Zebulun Mt Frequency of Geographical References Matthew Mark Luke John Total Greek words 18,347
11,103 19,463 15,445 Towns 43 33 62
39 Regions 32 16 29 25 Bodies of Water 9 6
3 8 Other places 6 5 5 4
Total places 90 60 99 76 Locations per 1000 words 4.905
5.404 5.087 4.921 The Gospel of Thomas (2nd cent.): Judea The Gospel of Philip (3rd cent.): Jerusalem (4), Nazara (sic), the Jordan The Gospel of Judas (late 2nd cent.): No locations
Most Popular Jewish Names in Palestine Name All sources NT individuals Simon 243 8 Joseph
218 6 Ezeazar (Lazarus) 166 1 Judah 164
5 Yohanan (John) 122 5 Joshua 99 2 Tables from Richard Bauckham, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness
Testimony (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2006). Palestinian Name Percentage by Category Palestinian Jews Gospels and Acts 15.6% 18.2% Men with one of the nine 41.5% most popular names (largest data set)
40.3% Women with the two most popular names, Mary or Salome 28.6% 38.9% Women with one of the nine most popular names 49.7%
61.1% Men with two most popular names, Simon and Joseph Most Popular Jewish Names in Egypt vs. Name Rank in Egypt Rank in Palestine Palestine Eleazar (Lazarus) 1 3 Sabbataius
2 68 Joseph 3 2 Dositheus 4
16 Pappus 4 (tied with Dositheus) 39 Ptolemaius 6 50 Samuel
6 23 The names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon (1), who is called Peter, and Andrew (>99) his brother; James (11) the son of Zebedee, and John (5) his brother; Philip (61) and Bartholomew (50); Thomas (>99) and Matthew (9) the tax collector; James (11) the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus (39=); Simon (1) the Zealot, and Judas (4) Iscariot, who betrayed him (Matt 10:24).
At that time Herod the tetrarch heard about the fame of Jesus, and he said to his servants, This is John the Baptist. He has been raised from the dead; that is why these miraculous powers are at work in him. For Herod had seized John and bound him and put him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife, because John had been saying to him, It is not lawful for you to have her. And though he wanted to put him to death, he feared the people, because they held him to be a prophet. But when Herod's birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced before the company and pleased Herod, so that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she might ask. Prompted by her mother, she said, Give me the head of John the Baptist here on a platter. And the king was sorry, but because of his oaths and his guests he commanded it to be given. He sent and had John beheaded in the prison, and his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl,
and she brought it to her mother. And his disciples came and took The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them. Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest! And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, Who is this? And the crowds said, This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee (Matt 21:611).
But to some of the Jews the destruction of Herods army seemed to be divine vengeance, and certainly a just vengeance, for his treatment of John, surnamed the Baptist. For Herod had put him to death, though he was a good man and had exhorted the Jews to lead righteous lives, to practice justice towards their fellows and piety towards God, and so doing to join in baptism. In his view this was a necessary preliminary if baptism was to be acceptable to God. They must not employ it to gain pardon for whatever sins they committed, but as a consecration of the body implying that the soul was already thoroughly cleansed by right behavior. When others too joined the crowds about him, because they were aroused to the highest degree by his sermons, Herod became alarmed. Eloquence that had so great an effect on mankind might lead to some form of sedition, for it looked as if they would be guided by John in everything that they did. Herod decided therefore that it would be much better to strike first and be rid of him before his work led to an uprising, than to wait for an upheaval,
get involved in a difficult situation and see his mistake. Though John, because of Herods suspicions, was brought in chains to Machaerus, the stronghold that we have previously mentioned, and there put to death, yet
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