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Old 08-19-2016, 12:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thrillobyte View Post
As usual, Mike, the problem with your assertion is that you've got zero evidence to back the statement.

1. NOTHING outside the biased gospels and epistles mentions Jesus or the apostles or Paul within 60 years of Jesus' crucifixion. The historical record is blank. So there is zero evidence from secular scholars who were not Christian that any resurrection ever occurred or that a resurrected Jesus appeared to anybody. This fact cannot be avoided:

There is ZERO evidence in the secular historical record for a Jesus, a resurrected Jesus or him appearing to 12 apostles.

So we can put the hallucination hypothesis completely aside. Without corroboration outside the sacred biased texts the issue of mass hallucination doesn't even arise if you cannot prove a Jesus or 12 apostles even existed. Again, there's simply no secular historical record of him.

Overcome that one problem and we can talk reasonably about whether or not the apostles were seeing Jesus or an illusion.

You were the one who said that you believed that the disciples may have hallucinated that they saw the risen Jesus. It has been shown that the circumstances under which the disciples saw the risen Jesus doesn't allow for the hallucination hypothesis.


And the attempt to imply that Jesus and the apostles may not have existed fails to acknowledge that the apostolic church fathers were contemporaries of the apostles, and in some cases actually knew them.

Eusebius wrote that Irenaeus, who was a student of Polycarp said that Polycarp knew the apostle John and that he used to relate his discourses with John.
Ecclesiastical History, V. XX. (pp. 495-499)

In the letter to Florinus, wihch we have spoken of above, Irenaeus again mentions his intercourse with Polycarp, and says: 'These opinions, O Florinus, that I may speak sparingly, do not belong to sound doctrine. These opinions are inconsistent with the church, and bring those who believe in them into the greatest impiety. These opinions not even the heretics outside the church ever dared to proclaim. These opinions those who were presbyters before us, who accompanied the apostles, did not hand on to you. For while I was still a boy I knew you in lower Asia in Polycarp's house when you were a man of rank in the royal hall and endeavoring to stand well with him. I remember the events of those days more clearly than those which happened recently, for what we learn as children grows up with the soul and is united to it, so that I can speak even of the place in which the blessed Polycarp sat and disputed, how he came in and went out, the character of his life, the appearance of his body, the discourses which he made to people, how he reported his intercourse with John and with the others who had seen the Lord, how he remembered their words, and what were the things concerning the Lord which he had heard from them, and about their miracles, and about their teaching, and how Polycarp had received them from the eyewitnesses of the word of life, and reported all things in agreement with the Scriptures.

Fragments of Irenaeus in Eusebius
Irenaeus himself wrote that Polycarp was instructed by the apostles, and conversed with many who had seen Christ.
Against Heresies book 3, chapter 3, section 4

But Polycarp also was not only instructed by apostles, and conversed with many who had seen Christ, but was also, by apostles in Asia, appointed bishop of the Church in Smyrna, whom I also saw in my early youth, for he tarried [on earth] a very long time, and, when a very old man, gloriously and most nobly suffering martyrdom, departed this life, having always taught the things which he had learned from the apostles, and which the Church has handed down, and which alone are true.

Irenaeus of Lyons, Against Heresies / Adversus Haereses, Book 3 (Roberts-Donaldson translation)
Tertullian, wrote that it was recorded in church registers available in his time that Polycarp was placed by the apostle John in the church of Smyrna, and that Clement was ordained by Peter.
The Prescription Against Heretics, chapter XXXII.

But if there be any (heresies) which are bold enough to plant themselves in the midst Of the apostolic age, that they may thereby seem to have been handed down by the apostles, because they existed in the time of the apostles, we can say: Let them produce the original records of their churches; let them unfold the roll of their bishops, running down in due succession from the beginning in such a manner that [that first bishop of theirs] bishop shall be able to show for his ordainer and predecessor some one of the apostles or of apostolic men,--a man, moreover, who continued stedfast with the apostles. For this is the manner in which the apostolic churches transmit their registers: as the church of Smyrna, which records that Polycarp was placed therein by John; as also the church of Rome, which makes Clement to have been ordained in like manner by Peter.

Tertullian (Roberts-Donaldson)

Quote:
Just name one secular historian out of the roughly 300 present who were writing history of the time who were contemporary with Jesus or within 50 years after his death who mentions him.

Here's something a lot of Christians don't think about. Mark and Luke state that Jesus' fame spread all over the surrounding area. Tens of thousands of people were turning out to see him and yet not a single Roman record from the time mentions Jesus, not even his crucifixion.

Luke 7:17
Quote:
Mark 1:28
The Gospels are historical records. The assertion that what the New Testament writers wrote can't be trusted unless secular writers back it up is simply not true and is nothing but an excuse used by skeptics to avoid having to address a legitimate historical record by those who were eyewitnesses of Jesus.

Historians wrote about what interested them. The simple fact of the matter is that Jesus wouldn't have invoked the interest of Roman writers during His day.
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Old 08-19-2016, 12:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Mike555 View Post
The originals were not written 200 years after the death of Christ. At the end of the Gospel of John (21:20-24) the writer is identified as the beloved disciple who leaned upon the breast of Jesus at the last supper. The words, ''This is the disciple who is testifying to these things and wrote these things,'' in verse 24 refer to ''the disciple whom Jesus loved'' in verse 20. And the Gospel of John was one of the last of the New Testament letters to have been written, probably somewhere around A.D. 95.



F. F. Bruce, (1910-1990), Rylands Professor of Biblical Criticism and Exegesis at the University of Manchester, England comments,
Here we have a plain statement that the beloved disciple is the real author of the Gospel. Even if the words 'who wrote these things' do not mean that his hand held the pen, any more than the language of John 19:19 means that Pilate with his own hand wrote the inscription which was fixed to the cross, they do point to him as the guarantor of the record. 'These things' cannot be confined to the narrative of chapter 21; indeed, since chapter 21 has the nature of an epilogue, they may refer more directly to the preceding chapters than to this. The claim then, is that the witness to the truth of this Gospel is one who was in close touch with all that is described in it.

The Gospel of John, F. F. Bruce, p. 409

Dr. Edwin A. Blum writes,
The fourth Gospel ends with information about its composition. The beloved disciple is identified as the author (cf. comments on ''Authorship'' in the Introduction). The first sentence in verse 24 may have been someone other than John, but the wording sounds Johannine (cf. 19:35). These things most likely refer to the entire Gospel. The words, We know that his testimony is true, were probably written by someone other than John. They are an endorsement, perhaps by the Ephesian church, or a testimony from the early church as a whole. They were certainly in a position to know the facts better than any generation since then.

The Bible Knowledge Commentary, New Testament, An Exposition of the Scriptures by Dallas Seminary Faculty, p. 346

As for our current version of the Bible, New Testament textual critics state that what we have is around 99 percent accurate to the original text. You might ask how can we know that since we don't have the originals with which to compare them. If we had the originals there would be no need for textual criticism which by comparing all the extant manuscript copies can recover most of the original text by identifying and filtering out what was not in the originals. In other words, what was in the original text can be found among the many extant manuscript copies. The goal of textual criticism is to identify the original text by comparing the copies and identifying the variants thus leaving the original text. We will probably never have 100 percent accuracy, but again, textual critics say we have around 99 percent accuracy.


While New Testament textual criticism which deals with the issue of the degree of accuracy with which the original New Testament text has been transmitted down through the ages does not really concern the issue of whether what was originally written is true, before the issue of whether what was originally written is true can be addressed it must first be determined if we can know what was originally written. Though we don't have the original autographs, can we determine to what degree the original New Testament text has accurately been transmitted through the manuscript copies which are extant.

Regarding the issue of New Testament textual reliability (is what we have now what they wrote then), here is what the experts, the textual critics who have studied the matter say.

Gary Habermas comments;
The textual purity of the New Testament is rarely questioned in scholarship. It is well established and agreed among almost all who have ever seriously studied the ancient texts that the text is virtually the same as what was originally written. Even critical scholars question very few words in the New Testament, and those words do not affect doctrinal issues.

[Habermas, The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus, p.85]

Most New Testament textual critics (scholars who study and compare the New Testament documents) maintain that the New Testament text is extremely reliable. Though there are an estimated 300,000 to 400,000 textual variants, the vast majority are absolutely meaningless and affect nothing. Many of them are not even translatable from Greek into English. A textual variant is simply a lack of uniformity of wording among the manuscripts regarding a particular word, sentence, or paragraph. These variants fall into the following categories.

1.) Spelling differences and nonsense errors. This category is by far the majority of the variants.
For example, in Greek, the name John may be spelled Ἰωάννῃ (Ióannés) or Ἰωάνῃ (Ióanés). But in English, it is translated as John.

One of the most common textual variants involves the 'movable nu.' This is a nu - 'ν'. In English, it is the letter 'n.' In Greek the nu - 'ν' can occur at the end of certain words which precede a word that begins with a vowel. Whether a scribe used the nu or not is similar to saying 'a' or 'an'. 'An apple', or 'a apple.' Not using it when he should have just means the scribe was careless or couldn't spell. But it doesn't affect the meaning.

A nonsense error is a mistake on the part of a scribe which in context obviously makes no sense and when compared with other manuscripts can be easily seen to not be the original wording.
2.) Minor variations that have no affect on translations or that involve the use of synonyms. This category of variant does not involve spelling or nonsense readings, but which also don't affect translation. For example, The Greek may or may not use the definite article with a proper name, whereas the English does not. Luke 2:16 in Greek says 'the Mary' - τήν τε Μαριὰμ (both the Mary) καὶ τὸν Ἰωσὴφ (and the Joseph). So 'Mary' or 'the Mary' would be variants which affect nothing. And in English we simply translate it as 'Mary.'

Then there are variants among the Greek manuscripts resulting from the fact that Greek is an inflectional language which means that when writing something the same thing can be said using different word order since the subject is always in the nominative case and the direct object is always in the accusative case. In Greek, the subject and object are not determined by word order as in English, but by the case ending.

Variants are also the result of using synonyms. A scribe of a particular manuscript might use the noun 'Jesus' instead of the pronoun 'He.' For instance, in Matthew 4:18, 12:25; Mark 2:15, 10:52; and Luke 24:36 the Byzantine manuscript text type tends to use the name 'Jesus' while the Alexandrian manuscripts say 'He.' While this affects translation, whether 'Jesus' or 'He' is used, the referent is still Jesus.

Another variant might involve an addition such as a passage saying 'Christ Jesus' instead of 'Jesus'. In Acts 19:4, the Alexandrian manuscripts have 'Jesus' while the Byzantine manuscripts have 'Christ Jesus.' Obviously Jesus is the Christ, and so whether or not a particular passage says 'Christ Jesus' or simply 'Jesus' doesn't affect the meaning.

3.) Differences that affect the meaning, but are not viable (that is, there is no chance of them going back to the original autographs.) As an example, I quote Dan Wallace in an interview.
For example, in Luke 6:22, the ESV reads, “Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man!” But one manuscript from the 10th/11th century (codex 2882) lacks the words “on account of the Son of Man.” That’s a very meaningful variant since it seems to say that a person is blessed when he is persecuted, regardless of his allegiance to Christ. Yet it is only in one manuscript, and a relatively late one at that. It has no chance of reflecting the wording of the original text, since all the other manuscripts are against it, including quite a few that are much, much earlier.

An Interview with Daniel B. Wallace on the New Testament Manuscripts | TGC
4.) Differences that affect the meaning, and are viable. This last category involves only about 1 percent or less of the varients. These variants affect the meaning of the text to some degree, but not in any major way.

For instance, in Romans 5:1, did Paul write, ''We have peace'' (ἔχομεν - echomen), or did he write, ''let us have peace'' (ἔχωμεν - echōmen)? The difference in the two words is one letter. Regardless of which of the two reading is correct, they don't contradict what the Bible teaches. If Paul was saying that we have peace with God he was referring to the believer's positional status with God in Christ Jesus. If he was saying ''let us have peace with God'' then he was simply urging believers to realize that peace.

The largest textual variant in the New Testament involves Mark 16:9-20. Did Mark intend to end his gospel account at verse 8 or did the last part of that chapter get lost somehow? Scholars debate that question. But verses 9-20 are generally believed not to have been the original reading. Even so, that reading doesn't really affect any cardinal doctrine. The apostles did cast out demons, and did speak in tongues [v. 17]. As well, they did lay hands on the sick and heal them [v.18].

As for picking up snakes and drinking poison, while nowhere in the New Testament are these practices reported as happening, Eusebius tells of a tradition in which a man drank poison but was unharmed.
Church History Book 3.39.9

8. But it is fitting to subjoin to the words of Papias which have been quoted, other passages from his works in which he relates some other wonderful events which he claims to have received from tradition.

9. That Philip the apostle dwelt at Hierapolis with his daughters has been already stated. But it must be noted here that Papias, their contemporary, says that he heard a wonderful tale from the daughters of Philip. For he relates that in his time one rose from the dead. And he tells another wonderful story of Justus, surnamed Barsabbas: that he drank a deadly poison, and yet, by the grace of the Lord, suffered no harm.
CHURCH FATHERS: Church History, Book III (Eusebius)
As well, this could be referring to being compelled to pick up snakes and drink poison rather than to the voluntary practice of them. And it could be restricted to the apostolic period of the Church-age. Regardless, no cardinal doctrine of the Christian faith is affected by this variant.


So what do the textual critics say about the reliability of the New Testament?

F. F. Bruce (1910-1990) was Rylands Professor of Biblical Criticism and Exegesis at the University of Manchester, England. He stated...
Fortunately, if the great number of MSS increases the number of scribal errors, it increases proportionately the means of correcting such errors, so that the margin of doubt left in the process of recovering the exact original wording is not so large as might be feared; it is in truth remarkably small. The variant readings about which any doubt remains among textual critics of the New Testament affect no material question of historic fact or of Christian faith and practice. [The New Testament Documents; Are They Reliable?, F.F. Bruce, pgs. 14-15.]

Bruce Metzger (1914-2007) was one of the most highly regarded scholars of Greek, New Testament, and New Testament Textual Criticism. He served on the board of the American Bible Society and United Bible Societies and was a professor at Princeton Theological Seminary. He commented...
But the amount of evidence for the text of the New Testament , whether derived from manuscripts, early versions, or patristic quotations is so much greater than that available for any ancient classical author that the necessity of resorting to emendation is reduced to the smallest dimensions. [The Text of the New Testament, Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration, Fourth Edition, Bruce M. Metzger and Bart D. Ehrman, pg. 230]

Daniel B. Wallace (PhD, Dallas Theological Seminary) is professor of New Testament Studies. He is a member of the Society of New Testament Studies, the Institute for Biblical Research, and has consulted on several Bible translations. He made these comments...
To sum up the evidence on the number of variants, there are a lot of variants because there are a lot of manuscripts. Even in the early centuries, the text of the NT is found in a sufficient number of MSS, versions, and writings of the church fathers to give us the essentials of the original text. [Revisiting the Corruption of the New Testament, Daniel B. Wallace, pg. 40]

Even Bart D. Ehrman who puts a skeptical spin on things when writing for the general public made the following statement in a college textbook as quoted by Dan Wallace in 'Revisiting the Corruption of the New Testament' on pg. 24...
"In spite of these remarkable differences, scholars are convinced that we can reconstruct the original words of the New Testament with reasonable (although probably not 100 percent) accuracy."
Ehrman wrote that in a college textbook called 'The New Testament: A Historical Introduction To the Early Christian Writings', 3rd ed. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003), pg. 481.


In an article by Dan Wallace, he wrote...
'Though textual criticism cannot yet produce certainty about the exact wording of the original, this uncertainty affects only about two percent of the text. And in that two percent support always exists for what the original said--never is one left with mere conjecture. In other words it is not that only 90 percent of the original text exists in the extant Greek manuscripts--rather, 110 percent exists. Textual criticism is not involved in reinventing the original; it is involved in discarding the spurious, in burning the dross to get to the gold.' [The Majority Text and the Original Text: Are They Identical?
Study By: Daniel B. Wallace The Majority Text and the Original Text: Are They Identical? | Bible.org - Worlds Largest Bible Study Site

The following quotes are from the book 'Reinventing Jesus', 2006, by J. Ed Komoszewski, M. James Sawyer, and Daniel B. Wallace.
''Since the earliest texts that we have agree substantially with the later ones, if we were to project backward to the original, the changes from the original text to the earliest copies would be miniscule.'' [p. 55]

''The reality is that, although most of the text of the New Testament is not in dispute, some passages are.'' [p. 61]

''As we look at the materials and methods of textual criticism in the succeeding chapters, we will see that there are solid reasons for regarding the manuscripts of the New Testament as substantially correct in representing the original text.'' [p.70]

''As we saw in the last chapter, only a very small percentage of the New Testament is in doubt.'' [p. 73]

''For the vast majority of the textual variants, there is simply no difficulty determining the original wording.'' [p. 83]
New Testament textual criticism then is a very important endeavor as it demonstrates the reliability of our New Testament text.
Quote:
Originally Posted by zthatzmanz28 View Post
Most difficult to reconstruct the ORIGINAL text when NONE exists....

I believe what is meant is they are able to TRANSLATE the majority of ancient words correctly.

As for Bart, since he has said and written that the majority of the NT has been altered on some way, it is unlikely he would give it a stamp of approval and call it 95% AUTHENTIC.

Just shows that how one chooses to interpret the data will determine how skewed their understanding of it will be.

The very idea that the lack of ORIGINALS prove the copies are 99% accurate is just plain silly.

I might as well say the idea that I am missing all my teeth proves I my teeth are good.
It shouldn't be difficult to understand that by comparing the extant manuscript copies it is possible to identify the variants and get back to the original text.

As for Bart Ehrman, this is his statement concerning what scholars say about the issue.
"In spite of these remarkable differences, scholars are convinced that we can reconstruct the original words of the New Testament with reasonable (although probably not 100 percent) accuracy."
What is silly is your statement that what was said or implied is that ''the lack of ORIGINALS prove the copies are 99% accurate.''

What is said by the New Testament textual critics is that the original text can be mostly reconstructed by comparing the extant manuscripts and identifying and eliminating the variants, thus being able to determine what was originally written.

I provided the statements of the top textual critics, and I showed the kinds of variants that are present in the manuscripts.

The simple fact of the matter is that our present Bible is some 99 percent faithful to the original text. And you might try studying what is involved in New Testament textual criticism before dismissing it.
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Old 08-19-2016, 12:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zthatzmanz28 View Post
Manuscript COPIES......and I believe there are NO copies in their entirety?


The earliest manuscript of a New Testament text is a business-card-sized fragment from the Gospel of John, Rylands Library Papyrus P52, which may be as early as the first half of the 2nd century.


When we go out two centuries from the original writings (300 AD), there are at least 48 manuscripts


How old is that?
There is no need for full copies, as even a fragment shows the writing existed, it is a fragment of a ... whole and in fact for most "historical documents" virtually no copies exist from the time they were written, except for some Roman ones. Even Caesars War commentary exists only in parts from later dates. The Bible has more documentation than any other historical writing. There are some 5000 MS of the Bible.

AS to 1st century read a bit more: http://www.dts.edu/read/wallace-new-...first-century/
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Old 08-19-2016, 01:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike555 View Post


The Gospels are historical records. The assertion that what the New Testament writers wrote can't be trusted unless secular writers back it up is simply not true and is nothing but an excuse used by skeptics to avoid having to address a legitimate historical record by those who were eyewitnesses of Jesus.

Historians wrote about what interested them. The simple fact of the matter is that Jesus wouldn't have invoked the interest of Roman writers during His day.
Correct as that is one of the ways they use to diss it, even if the claims are historically meaningless from a scholarly perspective. Some people can't accept the truth.
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Old 08-19-2016, 01:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike555 View Post

The simple fact of the matter is that our present Bible is some 99 percent faithful to the original text. And you might try studying what is involved in New Testament textual criticism before dismissing it.
And the primary variations are in ... spelling.
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Old 08-19-2016, 01:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Rafius View Post
Oh stop it will you! All you are providing evidence for is that Christians existed. Nobody is doubting that.

The Talmud also says that Jesus
* learnt black magic in Egypt
* was a bastard son of Roman soldier
* was conceived during menstruation
* had 5 disciples
* was stoned to death in Lydda

It also says that Mary was a wh*re.


Indeed it is.

I have always been puzzled as to why, if Christianity is true, Christians have to tell so many lies.
They don't, the opposers do, like .... the ones you listed from the Talmud. They are opposers and sound like ... well many who post here.

Just a little knowledge would have eliminated you posting the above.
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Old 08-19-2016, 03:32 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike555 View Post
The Gospels are historical records. The assertion that what the New Testament writers wrote can't be trusted unless secular writers back it up is simply not true and is nothing but an excuse used by skeptics to avoid having to address a legitimate historical record by those who were eyewitnesses of Jesus.
Historians wrote about what interested them. The simple fact of the matter is that Jesus wouldn't have invoked the interest of Roman writers during His day.
Mike is correct!! The religious and secular distinction among the ancient writings is artificial and designed to denigrate and otherwise discredit those writings that were chosen to form a religious canon.
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Old 08-19-2016, 04:07 PM
Status: "More than chromosomes." (set 7 days ago)
 
Location: Anderson, IN
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Damn, y'all. Why so much animus, on both sides?

Lighten up, Francises.
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Old 08-19-2016, 05:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike555 View Post


The Gospels are historical records. The assertion that what the New Testament writers wrote can't be trusted unless secular writers back it up is simply not true and is nothing but an excuse used by skeptics to avoid having to address a legitimate historical record by those who were eyewitnesses of Jesus.

Historians wrote about what interested them. The simple fact of the matter is that Jesus wouldn't have invoked the interest of Roman writers during His day.
Bart Ehrman:

Quote:
"The unfortunate thing about Jesus is we have such scanty documentation about his life. Jesus is NEVER mentioned in any Greek or Roman non-Christian source until 80 years after his death. There is NO record of Jesus ever having lived in these sources. In the entire first Christian century Jesus is NOT mentioned by a single Greek or Roman historian, religion scholar, politician, philosopher or poet. His name never occurs in a single inscription and it is NEVER found in a single piece of private correspondence. Zero. Zip.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyi15_npTj8 (3-minute video clip Ehrman vs Evans)

That last one is big. Christians can argue Jesus wasn't important enough to be written about by the Romans although both Luke and Mark testify that his fame spread throughout all the region and into other countries. Yet not a single letter in the thousands of private correspondences uncovered in the period ever mentions a man from Galilee who works marvelous miracles and was crucified.

Last edited by thrillobyte; 08-19-2016 at 06:05 PM..
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Old 08-19-2016, 05:59 PM
 
Location: GOVERNMENT of TRAITORS & NAZIS
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Originally Posted by expatCA View Post
There is no need for full copies, as even a fragment shows the writing existed, it is a fragment of a ... whole and in fact for most "historical documents" virtually no copies exist from the time they were written, except for some Roman ones. Even Caesars War commentary exists only in parts from later dates. The Bible has more documentation than any other historical writing. There are some 5000 MS of the Bible.

AS to 1st century read a bit more: http://www.dts.edu/read/wallace-new-...first-century/
But a fragment with the word LOVE proves nothing as to what was written before and what came after.

So if you fund a piece of paper in my classroom with the word PRESIDENT, you could write a complete biography about Eisenhower based on that?
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