Here is a page from Paul's letter to the Romans from the Chester Beatty museum:
The New Testament were written on Papyrus scrolls.
Matthew 5:22, NIV (using a corrupted version of ancient text)
Matthew 5:22, King James (using the "Received Text"):
2 Chronicle 36:9
2 Kings 24:8
It is also be interesting to compare it with documents written outside the above period - also for comparison reasons.
|Earliest Copy||Approximate Time Span between original & copy||
Number of Copies
|Accuracy of Copies|
|Lucretius||died 55 or 53 B.C.||1100 yrs||2||----|
|Pliny||61-113 A.D.||850 A.D.||750 yrs||7||----|
|Plato||427-347 B.C.||900 A.D.||1200 yrs||7||----|
|Demosthenes||4th Cent. B.C.||1100 A.D.||800 yrs||8||----|
|Herodotus||480-425 B.C.||900 A.D.||1300 yrs||8||----|
|Suetonius||75-160 A.D.||950 A.D.||800 yrs||8||----|
|Thucydides||460-400 B.C.||900 A.D.||1300 yrs||8||----|
|Euripides||480-406 B.C.||1100 A.D.||1300 yrs||9||----|
|Aristophanes||450-385 B.C.||900 A.D.||1200||10||----|
|Caesar||100-44 B.C.||900 A.D.||1000||10||----|
|Livy||59 BC-AD 17||----||???||20||----|
|Tacitus||circa 100 A.D.||1100 A.D.||1000 yrs||20||----|
|Aristotle||384-322 B.C.||1100 A.D.||1400||49||----|
|Sophocles||496-406 B.C.||1000 A.D.||1400 yrs||193||----|
|Homer (Iliad)||900 B.C.||400 B.C.||500 yrs||643||95%|
|1st Cent. A.D. (50-100 A.D.||2nd Cent. A.D.
(c. 130 A.D. f.)
|less than 100 years||5600||99.5%|
New Testament texts
|Work||Author's Lifespan||Date of Events||Earliest surviving fragment||Time between fragment and event|
|Matthew||0-70?||0 - 30 A.D.||~150 A.D.||< 130 years|
|Mark||15-90?||27 - 30 A.D.||~50 A.D.||< 20 years !!!|
|Luke||10-80?||0 - 30 A.D.||~400 A.D.||< 400 years|
|John||10-100?||27 - 30 A.D.||~130 A.D.||< 100 years|
Non-New Testament Contempory texts
|Work||Author's Lifespan||Date of Events||Earliest surviving copy||Time between copy and event|
|Josephus (War)||37-100||200 BC - 70 A.D.||~1050 A.D.||> 1000 years|
|Jesephus (Antiquities)||37-100||200 BC - 65 A.D.||~1050 A.D.||> 1000 years|
|Pliny's letters||60-115||97 - 112 A.D.||~850 A.D.||> 700 years|
In other words, if anyone would conclude that the NT text that we have right now cannot be trusted, that person MUST - by the virtual of logic - ALSO REJECT everything that is taught about Romans and Greeks --- because the documents used in teaching Roman and Greek cilivization are less trustworthy than the New Testament text.
They even developed a system to check errors by recording the frequency of many things along with the text - e.g., word count, letter count, etc.
Think about it: after 1000 years of copying, the content of the book of Isaiah is virtually unchanged - so the copiers must have paid very special attention to copying the text accurately.
Some copist made a mistake when he wrote 2 Chronicles.
The disciples were busy preaching the gospel (good news) and escaping Jewish and Roman persecution; most of them don't have the time to write book (but only letters)
These Apocryphal writing have been excluded from the Bible.... why ?
I have in fact talked about one of them before: the Gospel of Thomas ( click here ). The reason is this "gospel" was not included because the Church Fathers in those days believe that this writing is not "correct"...
Let us look at this decision process more closely and see if it was fair or not
Some of these "less nobel people" have very different ideas that what the Bible preaches.... (you can see them nowadays too - gay bishops for example).
The principles on which they based their decisions:
Note: take some time to examine this table. It shows that the Church leaders were very careful in deciding what material to admit. They only admitted material that were - at that time - used by the a large number of churches. Obscure materials are excluded.
|The New Testament has not only survived in more manuscripts than any other book from antiquity (i.e., there are many more copies of the New Testament from ancient times in the world today), but the New Testament has also survived in a purer form than any other book - a form that is 99.5% pure (i.e., 99.5% of the New Testament that we read today is exactly the same as the orignal copy that was written almost 2000 years ago !!!)|