THE BIBLE: ERRORS! CONTRADICTIONS! MISTAKES! Critics claim the Bible is filled with errors, mistakes, and contradictions. Some even speak of thousands of mistakes. The truth is there is ...
The Greek New Testament was copied and recopied by hand for 1,500 years. Regardless of those scribes who had worked very hard to be faithful in their copying, errors crept into the text. How can we be confident that what we have today is the Word of God?
If we are to be able to evaluate the readings of the manuscripts that we have, we must be familiar with the manuscripts themselves. Moreover, we must understand how they are connected by their likenesses and differences. Westcott and Hort wrote in relation to internal manuscript evidence, “The first step toward obtaining a sure foundation…
“THIS is big. A lot of people are going to be upset.” “This changes the history of early Christianity.” (Andrew Cockburn, “The Judas Gospel,” National Geographic, May 2006, p. 91) These overly dramatic in the extreme statements came from scholars who, with open arms, welcomed, the publication of the “Gospel of Judas.” Did these predictions come true?
Was there really an epistle to the Laodiceans, and, if so, why is it not in our Bibles? Some scholars maintain that the letter to the Ephesians was not specifically to those at Ephesus but rather it was a general letter to the Ephesians and the Laodiceans, mentioned at Colossians 4:16. In addition, they say, is that the words “which are at Ephesus” found in most translations of Ephesians 1:1 are an addition to the text. They argue the letter that we know as Ephesians was a general epistle sent to the churches in Asia. Are they correct?
As Christian apologetic evangelists, who must reason, explain, prove, persuade, and defend, Christians show that Jesus Christ did live by using sources other than the Bible and the writing of the early Church Fathers. For those who question Christian the authority of the New Testament documents, examine carefully what the secular historians and other writers have written that, in fact, corroborates the testimony of the Bible.
The Double Standard from Skeptics When we are looking at secular history, historians come across balanced, fair, reasonable but when it comes to the gospels, there is a tremendous double standard. The Gospels, for example, are presumed to be guilty of being frauds, authors unknowable until they are proven innocent, and the bar is raised when it comes to the level of evidence needed. The normal way of investigating historical events, peoples, and places ostensibly are thrown out the window.
The reliability of the Gospels has long been questioned because of pseudo-scholarship. Were the Gospel writers plagiarists? Did the synoptic Gospel (Matthew, Mark & Luke) writers merely copy from one another? Is there a document called Q? Was the Gospel of Mark written first? Are the Gospels authentic and reliable?
There is much in-depth information in this article: The Synoptic Gospels in the Ancient Church: The Testimony to the Priority of the Gospel of Matthew. We have a brief introduction to papyrus from Tyndale Bible Dictionary. We have a lengthy apologetic article on Papias and the arguments from higher critics by F. David Farnell. This is followed by Papias' writings from two leading scholars on the Apostolic Fathers, Michael W. Holmes, and J. B. Lightfoot.
The Egerton Gospel (British Library Egerton Papyrus 2) refers to a collection of three papyrus fragments of a codex of a previously unknown gospel, found in Egypt and sold to the British Museum in 1934; the physical fragments are to be dated to about 150 C.E. What does the nomina sacra tell us? And how has a simple hooked apostrophe impacted two of our earliest manuscripts for many new textual scholars?