The original text of the NT is the “published” text—that is, the text as it was in its final edited form and released for circulation in the Christian community.
An interview with Dr. Mark House and a question and answer with Dr. Ted Hildebrandt by Christian Publishing House (CPH). Mostly Biblical Greek will be discussed but the same principles apply to Biblical Hebrew.
Before printing from movable type became common (from the 15th century C.E. onward), the original Bible writings and also copies of them were handwritten. Therefore, they are called manuscripts (Latin, manu scriptus, “written by hand”). This is an Account of the history of the Greek text up to the time of the Printed Text of the Greek New Testament. It, of course, covers Desiderius Erasmus, his life and the Greek Text he produced that attained wide acceptance for centuries until 1881.
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 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).
Scroll down if you are only interested in the book recommendations at the end of this article. However, it is better to have read the article, and it will offer you the one sure, objective, trusted approach at getting at the original words of the original texts.
What are the churchgoers, the Bible college students, and seminary students to do when one Bible scholar says one thing and another Bible scholar says something quite different, or worse still, as is the case with P52, several Bible scholars are saying different dates for the time when the Greek New Testament fragment P52 was written? P = Papyrus (a plant in Egypt), the material that was used to make sheets of papyrus paper that were written on by scribes to make copies of Bible books. 52 = the number assigned to that discovered manuscript. What makes it even more unnerving is when one is not an expert in the field of study, only having basic knowledge. How can they possibly know who is correct? Worse still, the Christian is put in the embarrassing position on social media of telling an atheist that P52 is dated to 100-150 C.E., and then the atheist responds to the Christian with, ‘no your evidence from 1935 is outdated, as recent research points to a date of 200 C.E. or later.’ What is the Christian to do?
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?