nt_reliability1

 

It amazes me how frequently the argument is used by atheists and agnostics that “the Bible has been translated so many times from different languages over three millennia that it is virtually unrecognizable today.”  That argument is a result of the constant blind propagation of misinformation, like the multiple times Bill Nye used it in his debate with Ken Ham.

It’s a dismissive assumption with no basis in reality. Anyone who seriously studies the texts knows it is simply not true. For instance, as the infographic above illustrates, it is remarkable how carefully the Bible has been preserved over thousands of years. There are somewhere around 24,000 existing manuscripts for the New Testament, dating to as close as 40 years from the original source, and the vast majority of those manuscripts are in agreement. Even the variants are clearly minor and unintentional (e.g. spelling or punctuation errors).

The Old Testament is even more close to perfect, due to the fanatical copying techniques used by the Hebrew scribes.  They knew the exact count of the words on every page, and counted backwards to the middle of the page and checked whether the middle word was the correct word.  If they found even one error in checking, they would destroy the entire document.  Talk about motivation for accurate transmission!

For more a more detailed discussion of the textual reliability of the Bible, here is a free-to-download audio interview of a recognized scholar, Daniel B. Wallace.