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Manuscript Evidence

By: Steve Shirley

     The Bible has more verifiable, surviving manuscript evidence supporting it than any book in history. No other historical book is even close, with the Bible having at least 10 times the surviving evidence than any other work. It continually amazes me that people seem to have no trouble believing in any other historical document, even though there is less proof they are accurate.

     At present, we have close to 5800 Greek manuscripts corroborating the New Testament apart from the Bible. Writers who confirm things found in the New Testament include: Josephus, Pliny, Tacitus, Eusebius, Lucian, Celsus, and Trajun, along with at least a dozen others. It is interesting to note that none of these writers ever denies the existence of Jesus as a historical figure.

     In 1947, one of the most important finds in history was the Dead Sea Scrolls. They were found in caves along the western shore of the Dead Sea near Qumran. They are now housed in Jerusalem. They contain about 100,000 fragments of every book in the Old Testament but Esther. These fragments date from app. 250 B.C. to 65 A.D. There is amazingly little difference in what is contained in the scrolls and what we have as our Old Testament today. God has preserved His word just as He promised in (Isa 40:8)(1 Pet 1:23,25)(Mt 5:18).

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