The New Testament Compared to other Ancient Writings

In our modern mindset, it is hard to comprehend the significance of the fact that ancient writings were copied by hand. When some come to understand that we do not have the original manuscripts of the Bible, they wonder if our modern copies are accurate. The historicity of Jesus Christ and the reliability of the New Testament we have today may be illustrated by comparison to other ancient writings. No one questions the existence of Plato, Homer, Aristotle, or Julius Caesar. But the manuscript support for their writings cannot compare with what we have for the New Testament. While we have many thousands of copies of the New Testament, we have less than a dozen copies of Caesar’s works, less than 10 copies of Plato’s writings, and fewer than 1,000 copies from Homer. A helpful illustration of the comparison has been posted by Josh Walker here.


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One response to “The New Testament Compared to other Ancient Writings

  1. Carl

    Its difficult to comprehend sometimes that this amount of evidence is overlooked or disregarded to the extent that it is in our society today (a society that that takes great pride in being right). However, apart from the Holy Spirit even the truth remains foolishness.

    I stand amazed daily when I see the Spirit’s work, melting the hard hearts of man and removing the scales from their eyes; when they first see what has been hidden from them because of sin.
    What a joy it is to hear how Christ transforms lives if we only believe and fully trust in Him. I rejoice daily that He chose to open my eyes to the truth of His word.

    With all the physical manuscript evidence in existence today (and there is a lot), it seems to pale in comparison to the work Christ has done in the hearts of man.

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