Rome was a complex society. Levels of literacy were fluid because of the conditions of the day being as culturally and ethnically diverse as it was. The Roman Empire from the first century to the fourth century was as culturally and ethnically diverse as New York City and its five boroughs: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island. "Jesus was born in such a literate, well-documented period." - Paul Barnett, Is the New Testament Reliable? (2003, 20).
If you are only interested in the book recommendations at the end of this article, simply scroll down. However, it is better to have read the article. it will offer you the one sure objective, trusted approach at getting at the original words of the original texts.
What has happened to our modern-day evangelical Bible scholars? Daniel B. Wallace wrote, "The new generation of evangelical scholars is far more comfortable with ambiguity and uncertainty than previous generations." This is pessimistic, not optimistic. It has a tone of excitement about telling the Christian readers that they cannot really have confidence in anything textual scholars do, i.e., cannot have confidence in the trustworthiness of their New Testament.
Colwell states: “the overwhelming majority of readings were created before the year 200.” Kilpatrick says, “almost all variants can be presumed to have been created by A.D. 200.” The Alands, say, “practically all the substantive variants in the text of the New Testament are from the second century ...” Is this true?
The papyri are documents written on papyrus, material prepared in ancient Egypt from the pithy stem of a water plant, used in sheets throughout the ancient Mediterranean world for writing. The early papyri of about 66 manuscripts that date from 110-350 C.E. are said to be of the most important for establishing the original. Are... Continue Reading →
Textual scholars pretty much mocked Westcott and Hort (WH) believing that they were overzealousness, seeing it as bias too, at least until the 1950s. WH released their critical text in 1881, Hort said that Vaticanus preserved “not only a very ancient text but a very pure line of a very ancient text.” (Westcott and Hort 1882, 251) Later scholars argued that Vaticanus was a scholarly recension: a critical revision or edited text. However, ...
Rome was a complex society. Levels of literacy were fluid because of the conditions of the day being as culturally and ethnically diverse as it was. The Roman Empire from the first century to the fourth century was as culturally and ethnically diverse as New York City and its five boroughs: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island. A person’s literacy level to carry out different job functions and skills for daily living and employment would not be the same in Nazareth as would have been the case in Rome. The need or desire for literacy would not be as important in Nazareth as it would have been in Rome. As we will see, the need or desire for literacy was likely ...
It is true that the first three centuries of copying New Testament Greek manuscripts were “free,” in that scribes often took liberties with the manuscript they were copying from, chaotic copying of the texts, a period of copying that was in a state of flux by scribes who did not value what they were copying? Herein lies the truth.
The survival of the Bible through the ages is very difficult to explain if it is not in truth the Word of God. Books are like men—dying creatures. A very small percentage of books survive more than twenty years, a yet smaller percentage last a hundred years and only a very insignificant fraction represent those... Continue Reading →
The book of Enoch is non-Biblical and pseudepigraphical (what we have today is not written by Enoch). The oldest portions of the text are estimated to date from about 300 B.C.E. The book of Jude was penned by Jesus’ half-brother some 365 years later in about 65 C.E., written in Palestine. The Book of Enoch:... Continue Reading →