Notes on Early New Testament Manuscripts

Related posts:

From Encountering the Manuscripts: An Introduction to New Testament Paleography & New Testament by Philip W. Comfort (see Annotated Bibliography on New Testament Text and Canon).

Given a twenty-five year lifespan for a church codex, whether of Paul’s epistles or of the four Gospels, it could be guessed that there would be about two hundred copies by the beginning of the second century. There would be an additional 250–300 church copies by the end of second century.  [Kindle location 1376]

J. Duplacy estimated that the total number of manuscripts of the Greek New Testament produced in the fourth century was between fifteen hundred and two thousand.  This allows for about four or five copies produced by each church (or diocese) during this century.  There were about four hundred dioceses towards AD 400.  [Kindle location 1525]

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Notes on Early Christian Churches

Related posts:

From Encountering the Manuscripts: An Introduction to New Testament Paleography & New Testament by Philip W. Comfort (see Annotated Bibliography on New Testament Text and Canon).

By the end of the second century, there was a church in almost every major city [in the Greco-Roman world].  [Kindle location 1353]

There were, of course, other churches in villages and the countryside. But these city churches totaled forty-three in the first century and another fifty-four in the second. Roughly, one hundred local churches were in existence by the year 200.  [Kindle location 1369]

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The Historicity of Jesus’ Resurrection | William Lane Craig

This video last 34:05 and is William Lane Craig’s standard presentation on the historicity of the resurrection.  He gave the talk in April 2016 at Grace Presbyterian Church in Peoria, Illinois.  Craig was originally from Peoria.

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Where There Is Faith – 4Him

The lyrics are not included in the video, but the words are enunciated very clearly by the singers and quite distinct above the music.

The quartet 4Him was an outgrowth of the group Truth, directed by Roger Breland.

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A Man You Would Write About – 4Him

The lyrics are included in the video.

From the 4Him album “Face the Nation” (1991).  4Him was a quartet formed from individuals who had performed together as part of the much larger group Truth, which was directed by Roger Breland.

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New Evidence on When Bible Was Written: Ancient Shopping Lists 

Excerpt:

…a new analysis of the handwriting suggests that literacy may have been far more widespread than previously known in the Holy Land around 600 B.C., toward the end of the First Temple period. The findings, according to the researchers from Tel Aviv University, could have some bearing on a century-old debate about when the main body of biblical texts was composed.

(a 5-minute read; 1,142 words)

Source: New Evidence on When Bible Was Written: Ancient Shopping Lists – The New York Times (April 11, 2016)

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Did the Apostles Die as Martyrs? – A short video from Sean McDowell

The video lasts only 2:37.

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An Illustrated Introduction to Leviticus

This video clip (length: 8:16) gives an overview of the third book of Moses:  Leviticus.

Source:  The Bible Project

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Posts on the Means of Determining Authorship of Ancient Texts

The following posts give information on how the authorship of New Testament texts was originally determined…and that it is the same method by which authorship is determined for all ancient texts.

Notes on Tregelles re: Authorship of the New Testament Books

Notes on Augustine re: Authorship of the New Testament Books (Contra Faustum 33:6)

Notes on Archibald Alexander re: Authorship of the New Testament Books

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Notes on Archibald Alexander re: Authorship of the New Testament Books

Alexander, Archibald (1772-1851).  The Canon of the Old and New Testaments Ascertained; or, The Bible, Complete, without the Apocrypha and Unwritten Traditions.  Presbyterian Board of Education, 1851.  Alexander was one of the founders, and the first principal, of Princeton Theological Seminary.  Alexander, B. B. Warfield, Charles Hodge, and A. A. Hodge (named after Alexander) became known as the “Princeton theologians” and left a distinctive mark on the history of American Christianity.  (This information copied and pasted from Annotated Bibliography on New Testament Text and Canon.)

It is necessary, therefore, to proceed to our destined point in a more circuitous way. We must be at the pains to examine into the history of the Canon, and, as was before said, to ascertain what books were esteemed canonical by all those who had the best opportunity of judging of this matter; and when the internal evidence is found corroborating the external, the two, combined, may produce a degree of conviction which leaves no room to desire any stronger evidence.

The question to be decided is a matter of fact. It is an inquiry respecting the real authors of the books of the New Testament, whether they were written by the persons whose names they bear, or by others under their names. The inspiration of these books, though closely allied to this subject, is not now the object of inquiry. The proper method of determining a matter of fact, evidently is to have recourse to those persons who were witnesses of it, or who received their information from others who were witnesses. It is only in this way that we know that Homer, Horace, Virgil, Livy, and Tully [i.e., Cicero], wrote the books which now go under their names.  [Emphasis added]

The early Christians pursued this method of determining what books were canonical.  They searched into the records of the church, before their time, and from these ascertained what books should be received, as belonging to the sacred volume. They appeal to that certain and universal tradition, which attested the genuineness of these books. Irenæus, Tertullian,
Eusebius, Cyril, and Augustine, have all made use of this argument, in establishing the Canon of the New Testament. (p. 117-118; p. 69 on the pdf I am using, downloaded from the Internet Archive)

Parenthetically, while Alexander was making this point in America, Samuel P. Tregelles was making it in England.  See Notes on Tregelles re: Authorship of the New Testament Books.  (Tregelles wrote an entire book on the subject, and these notes recount its logic.)

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For other posts on this subject, see Posts on the Means of Determining Authorship of Ancient Texts.

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