textual criticism

Textual Reliability of the New Testament

Last week, we looked at the reliability of the Old Testament text that we have; this week, we’ll look at the New Testament, and especially the Gospels. I’ll present the following measures by which we can make a determination of the reliability of the text:

1. The age and number of the available manuscripts
2. The amount of time between the original writing and the earliest known manuscripts.
3. The number and type of differences between available manuscripts
4. Citations or quotations of the NT from other early writers

While none of these alone may provide definitive evidence of the reliability of the text, I believe that the cumulative evidence is more than sufficient to give us reasonable proof that what we have is an accurate text. Continue reading