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Bibliology - Manuscript Evidence for God's Word

    1. In Acceptance of Gods Authority
      1. Man needs an absolute source of truth (John 8:31-32)
      2. Our salvation depends on the pure words of God (1 Peter 1:18-25)
      3. Our service must be based on the pure words of God (John 17:17)
      4. Our doctrine must be based on the pure words of God (2 Timothy 2:15; 2 Timothy 3:16-17)  NOTE:  All scripture is profitable for doctrine.  If any word, verse or passage cannot be the basis of Bible doctrine, then that word, verse or passage is not scripture.
    2. In Obedience to Gods Commands
      1. Many of Gods commands assume that we have the pure word of God (Colossians 3:16; 1 Thessalonians 2:13)
      2. We cannot use the word of God effectively unless we have complete confidence in its value (Ephesians 6:17; Hebrews 4:12)
      3. We are commanded to be ready to give an answer for our beliefs (1 Peter 3:15)
    3. In Belief of Gods Promises
      1. God has promised to preserve His words in purity (Psalm 12:6-7)
      2. Infallible inspiration with infallible preservation is self-defeating
      3. Inspiration of the whole without inspiration of each part is impossible
    1. Definition: the study of the doctrinal, textual and historical facts which prove both the inspiration and the preservation of the Bible
    2. Four Kinds of Manuscript Evidence
      1. Doctrinal (2 Timothy 3:16)
      2. Textual (Nehemiah 8:8)
      3. Historical (Ecclesiastes 3:14)
      4. Spiritual (Romans 8:16)
    3. Four Levels of Belief in Preservation
      1. Disbelief that even the originals had mistakes in them
      2. Belief in the complete inspiration of the originals but acknowledgement that much has been lost in transmission
      3. Belief in the perfect preservation of the Greek Received Text but acknowledgement that something is lost in any translation
      4. Belief in the infallible preservation of Gods word even in the translation usually in reference to the King James Bible of 1611
      5. NOTE: there are people in each of these four levels.  The battle in the Southern Baptist Denomination has been at the second level.  There are also many who initially sound like perfect Bible-believers but are really at level three.  You must recognize these distinctions.
    1. Manuscripts: ancient copies of Bible passages in the original languages.  There are now over 5,000 manuscripts of the New Testament in existence.  Almost none of are of the entire New Testament and many of them are of very small portions of scripture.
      1. Papyrus short passages of scripture copied on cheap paper
        1. Mostly from Egypt where the dry climate makes survival possible
        2. Identified by scholars with Arabic numerals prefaced with P
      2. Vellum longer passages of scripture copied on leather and able to survive in wetter climates.  Only wealthy people could afford these.
        1. Classified as to form
          1. Scroll rolled up
          2. Codex in pages like a book
        2. Classified as to type of letters
          1. Uncial manuscripts
            1. Written in block capital Greek letters
            2. Includes Vaticanus (B), Sinaiticus (Aleph) and Alexandrinus (A)
            3. Identified by scholars with capital letters from English, Latin and Greek and, having run out of letters, by boldfaced numbers
          2. Cursive manuscripts
            1. Written in lower case Greek letters
            2. Sometimes called minuscules
            3. Identified by scholars by numbers in ordinary type
    2. Originals or Autographs
      1. The manuscripts on which the books of the Bible were originally written
      2. Never all together in one Bible
      3. None are presently available
    3. Original Languages
      1. Hebrew in the Old Testament (Aramaic in small portions of Ezra and Daniel)
      2. Greek in the New Testament
    4. Periods of Greek
      1. Classical Greek
        1. The language of Plato and Aristotle
        2. The language of literature and education until the fall of the Roman Empire
      2. Koine Greek
        1. The language of the common people (koine means common)
        2. The language of the New Testament
          1. Slightly different from regular Koine
          2. Sometimes called Biblical Koine
      3. Modern Greek
    5. Versions
      1. Translations from the Greek New Testament into other languages
      2. Early translations were made into:
        1. Syriac
        2. Latin
        3. Gothic
        4. Coptic
    6. Texts (different meanings make this word confusing)
      1. The words of a book or manuscript
      2. A putting together (reconstruction) of a complete Greek New Testament from several different sources.  For example, Eramus Greek Text; Westcott and Horts Text; Nestles Greek Text
      3. A general term used for a certain grouping or stream of manuscripts.  For example, Received Text (Textus Receptus); Majority Text; Alexandrian Text.  The identity of these texts is often a matter of disagreement.
    7. Families of Manuscripts
      1. Definition a man-made grouping of manuscripts according to their readings
      2. Generally divided into four families (although other groupings are also used)
        1. Syrian Family - called Received or Byzantine Text
        2. Egyptian or Alexandrian Family
        3. Western Family
        4. Caesarian Family
    8. Textual Criticism the method of comparing manuscripts in order to find the text of the originals.  Most textual criticism of the last 150 years has been destructive being built on Bible-denying principles taken from German philosophers.
    9. In the Originals an obscure phrase often used in a deceptive manner since no one alive has ever seen the originals.  Although we have existing manuscripts in the original languages, there are no known surviving original autographs.