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Bible Preservation - Early Preservation of the Pure Text

    1. The Papyrus Manuscripts
      1. Written on paper made from the papyrus plant
      2. Written on scrolls
      3. Very oldusually before 300ADsome as old as 100AD
      4. Only around 100 or so exist
      5. All come from Egypt where the dry climate makes survival possible
      6. The texts are very short, surviving in tiny fragments
      7. Initially said to support the Alexandrian Text.  However, as more copies have been found, more and more readings of the Received Text have been found.  These are often readings that the scholars thought were invented 200-300 years after the age of the papyrus manuscripts themselves.
    2. Uncial Manuscripts
      1. Written in rounded, capital letters which were in use from 300-900AD
      2. Written on velluman expensive and durable parchment made of animal skin
      3. Bound in codex (i.e., book) form
      4. Around 200 uncial manuscripts of the New Testament have been discovered
      5. Most agree with the Received Text
      6. The most famous uncials (Sinaiticus and Vaticanus) are used as the basis for the Alexandrian Text
    3. Minuscule Manuscripts
      1. Written in lower case, cursive style letters
      2. Used from about 700AD
      3. Minuscule manuscripts are written both on vellum and on paper (as imported from China around 1000AD)
      4. Around 3,000 minuscule manuscripts have been discovered
      5. Almost all of the minuscules agree with the Received Text
    1. Old Latin Vulgate
      1. The Italic Version
        1. One of the oldest versions of the New Testament
        2. Translated in 157AD
        3. Used in Northern Italy by the early Waldenses
      2. Old Latin Versions followed two forms
        1. The Traditional or Received Text
        2. The corrupted texts
      3. The Old Latin Versions were revised and standardized by Jerome in 382 when he translated what became the official Catholic New Testament which became known as Jeromes Latin Vulgate
    2. The Syriac Bible
      1. Translated into the Syrian language about 150AD
      2. Called the Queen of Versions
      3. Major version called the Peshitta which means simple
      4. Very important because Syria and adjoining Asia Minor were the location of the majority of the New Testament autographs
      5. Although corruptions entered the text around the middle of the third century, most of the Syrian manuscripts agree with the Received Text
    3. Gallic Bible
      1. The early French translation
      2. Agrees with the Received Text
    4. Coptic Bible
      1. An Egyptian translation
      2. Usually agrees with the Alexandrian Text
    5. Gothic Bible
      1. Translated about 330AD by Ulfilas, a missionary to the Goths
      2. Agrees with the Received Text
    1. Volumes containing the Gospels and Epistles appointed to be read throughout the year
    2. Most are of the ninth century and later
    3.  Around 2,000 have been discovered
    4. They overwhelmingly agree with the Received Text
    1. Early church history (to 600AD) witnessed many volumes of books by Christian authors.  Many copies of these works exist.
    2. These books did not claim to be scripture and were not accepted as such.  However, these early authors often quoted New Testament scripture and therefore give testimony to the form of scripture at the time they wrote.
    3. These early quotations support the readings of the Received Text in thousands of places.