One of the vital and until recently, more tedious, tasks in the work of textual criticism was that of collating every extant Greek manuscript or fragment of the New Testament. We may be overjoyed at the abundance of sources available to us, which include the papyri, the codices, and even citations in the fathers; without collation, however, we would have no practical way to access and use them.
Many modern-day historians and textual scholars claim that the early Christians did not view the New Testament books as inspired. Was the canonicity, authenticity, and the integrity of the 27 New Testament Bible Books built into Christianity right from the very start? What is the truth?
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?