Summary: Do we have what was originally written? How Close was the writing to the events recorded? Are there copying errors in what was written? Our faith rests on a FIRM FOUNDATION!
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2 Peter 1:16 We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
17 For he received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased."
18 We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.
19 And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.
20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation.
21 For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
To examine this we must look at these things:
1. Do we have what was originally ______________________?
2. How ________________ was the writing to the events recorded?
3. Are there __________________________ in what was written?
Do we have what was originally written?
We know this about ancient books primarily by comparing old copies, since we never have found an original of any book of ancient history.
Let’s compare the New Testament (NT) to other ancient writings:
The best supported ancient Greek classic is Homer’s Iliad, with _________ copies still in existence, and only a __________ year time gap between the writing and the copies we have.
How does the New Testament compare? It has over ______________ Greek manuscripts still in existence.
How Close was the writing to the events recorded?
Jesus was crucified in about ___________.
The Gospel of John (the last of the Gospels) was written about _________________.
The John Ryland Papyrus is a fragment of John that dates to _________ ______________.
A major witness to the New Testament are “church fathers” (pastors & missionaries) who wrote books and letters and quoted the New Testament.
• _________________ NT quotations in writings by the Early Church Fathers from 2nd to 4th century
• These quotes alone capture the entire NT except for _______ verses
• Ignatius and Clement quote from Matthew, Mark, Luke and John – ABOUT ______________________!
Other facts that push the date even closer to the original events:
• The Destruction of the Temple by Titus happened in ________ AD. No New Testament book mentions this fulfilled prophecy of Jesus, which argues that they were written before that.
• Paul (the main character of Acts) is still alive at the end of the Book of Acts. Paul was beheaded by Caesar Nero in about 68AD.