The Accuracy of the Manuscripts


The trustworthiness of God’s Word through all of history really is a miracle.

Every word of God is tested (Proverbs 30:5).

Bible scholar Norman Geisler explains why he trusts the accuracy of the Bible: “Compared to any other book from that period, the New Testament has more manuscripts, earlier manuscripts, and more accurately copied manuscripts.” He further explains:

  • More manuscripts: Although most ancient books survive with about a dozen copies, over fifty-seven hundred Greek manuscripts of the New Testament still exist.
  • Earlier manuscripts: Most ancient manuscripts were copied about a thousand years after the original composition. The earliest New Testament manuscripts are from 25 to 150 years after the original.
  • More accurately copied manuscripts: Surviving copies of the New Testament can be restored with about 99.5 percent accuracy. This is so accurate that not a single doctrine of the Bible is affected.

A further note: many seminary students compare copies of the ancient manuscripts, looking for differences. They are amazed by the fact that they just can’t find many. There’s a the in one copy where there’s an a in another. There’s an adjective that’s a little bit different from that found in a different text. But never is the theme different. The message is the same. Now that’s accuracy. The trustworthiness of God’s Word through all of history really is a miracle.

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