Trusting the New Testament Manuscripts

The word apologetics comes from the Greek word ἀπολογία (apologia), which essentially means to make a reasoned defense or argument. (In this regard, an apology does not mean saying one is sorry.) We discuss the Bible internally and also use outside references. There are apologists for many things.

Biblical apologists strive to show that the Bible is true. Otherwise, it is simply an item of curiosity for stuffy intellectual types having parlor discussions with brandy and cigars. Our faith would be worthless, Question Evolution Day would have no relevance, we would be worthy of ridicule.

Section of P-45 Greek papyrus manuscript of the Gospel of Luke, via Wikimedia Commons
That is not the case. The Bible has been shown to be an important historical reference, and it is the Word of God, changing lives and bringing salvation. Interestingly, some of the technology that backfires on evolutionists has been used to examine extremely delicate biblical manuscripts that could not even be opened!

Some folks have the notion that the writing of the Bible was mechanical — that God took hold of the hands of the human authors, or that he dictated the words. No. Eyewitness accounts in the New Testament (Luke researched and apparently interviewed witnesses for his Gospel) have some variations. Those are not errors, but instead are the human authors showing their perspectives; some wanted to emphasize certain things more than others, for example. If you study on it, those variations actually add to its credibility.

Knowledgeable apologists know that there are answers, so they do not forbid or hide from honest questions.
When you ask Christians if they "believe the Bible", you will likely receive a universal and enthusiastic affirmative response. However, if you were to ask those same believers why they believe the Bible, you are more likely to get a puzzled look and a less-than-enthusiastic mumbled response.

Christians believe that the Bible is the Word of God, and it should be our authority in all areas of life. We believe that we can trust what we read in our Bibles today is the same message that God inspired. But most Christians could not explain how the original documents that God inspired came to be transmitted and translated into the bound leatherback volumes Christians carry today.

Many are intimidated when it comes to the manuscript evidence for the Bible, but an average Christian can understand the basic arguments without special training. Just like a scientist looks at evidence to determine the most likely cause and effect scenario, so we must examine the evidence and facts of manuscript evidence to determine the most logical historical process.

It would be in your best interests to read the rest by clicking on "Has the New Testament been corrupted?" Also of interest is "Trusting Bible Manuscripts."