Bible manuscript evidence

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According to Josh McDowell in More Than a Carpenter (1977), the Bible, and particularly the New Testament, are the best-evidenced documents by manuscript evidence in antiquity. According to McDowell,

"When it comes to the manuscript authority of the New Testament, the abundance of material is almost embarrassing in contrast. After the early papyri manuscript discoveries that bridged the gap between the times of Christ and the second century, an abundance of other MSS came to light. Over 20,000 copies of New Testament manuscripts are in existence today. The Iliad has 643 MSS and is second in manuscript authority after the New Testament."[1]

Contents

Old Testament

List of Old Testament manuscripts

The following is a list of major Old Testament manuscripts older than 200 A.D.:

KEY:

Name Date Content Type Institution
Khirbet Qeiyafa Pottery[2] 1000 B.C. lines similar to Isaiah 1:17, Psalms 72:3, and Exodus 23:3 Inscription
KH1 & KH2 [Ketef Hinnom Amulets][3] 650 B.C. Numbers 6:24-26, Deuteronomy 7:9 Inscription Israel Museum, Jerusalem
1QIsa(b) [Great Isaiah Scroll][4] 350-100 B.C. Book of Isaiah DSS
1QIsa(a) [Great Isaiah Scroll] 335-100 B.C. Book of Isaiah DSS
Dead Sea Scrolls (Other)[5] 250 B.C.-65 A.D. entire Old Testament DSS
Nash Papyrus[6] 150 B.C. Exodus 20:2; Deuteronomy 5:6; 6:4-9 DSS
Papyrus Fouad 266 125 B.C. Deuteronomy 23:24(26)–24:3; 25:1–3; 26:12; 26:17–19; 28:31–33; 27:15; 28:2 Uncial
11Q1 [Leviticus Scroll] 100 B.C. Leviticus 4, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18-22 DSS
11Q5/11QPs-a) [Qumran Psalms Scroll][7] 40 A.D. Psalms 93, 101-105, 109-110, 113-151, 154-155 DSS
P.Oxy.L 3522[8] 50 A.D. Job 42:11-12 Papyrus
P.Oxy.LXV 4443[9] 100 A.D. Esther 6-7 Papyrus
Greek John Rylands Papyrus 458 125 A.D. Deuteronomy 23:24(26)–24:3; 25:1–3; 26:12; 26:17–19; 28:31–33; 27:15; 28:2 Uncial
P.Oxy.IV 656 150 A.D. Gen 14:21–23; 15:5–9; 19:32–20:11; 24:28–47; 27:32–33, 40–41 Uncial
Wadi Murabba'at Scrolls[10] 165 A.D. Minor Prophets (all books) & fragments of Genesis, Deuteronomy, and Isaiah. DSS
l
Sources:
* Papyri.info, Oxyrhynchus , Columbia University[11]
* Stephen Rives, Old Testament Manuscripts and 18 Tiqqune Sepherim and Looking Under the Hood: Origins of the Bible Slideshow[12]
* Library of Congress. Scrolls from the Dead Sea: The Ancient Library of Qumran and Modern Scholarship[13]
* John Rylands University Library, Image Collections, Bible Greek or Hebrew[14]
* Israel Museum, The Digital Dead Sea Scrolls[15]
* Papyrology Websites, Oxyrhynchus Online[16]
* Wikipedia, Dead Sea Scrolls[17]
* Martinez, F.G. & Tigchelaar, E.J.C., "The Dea Sea Scrolls Study Edition, Vol. 2.[18]
* Wikipedia, Oxyrhynchus Papyri[19]

Dead Sea Scrolls

In 1947, in the midst of the War for the Independence of the Republic of Israel, came the discovery, at Qumran, of the first 7 Dead Sea scrolls by a Bedouin shepherd boy looking for his straying goat.[20] Bedouin of the Ta'amra tribe discovered 7 scrolls in a cave now named "Cave 1" Khirbet Qumran on the Northwest shore of the Dead Sea. Three of these scrolls were then purchased by archaeologist Eliezer Lipa Sukenik for the Hebrew University and others were bought by Mar Athanasius Samuel for the Metropolitan of the Syrian Orthodox Church in Jerusalem. From 1949-1954, additional fragments of more than 950 different scrolls were found in 10 nearby caves by Bedouins and a joint archaeological expedition led by Professor Father Roland de Vaux for the École Biblique et Archéologique Française and the Rockefeller Museum.[21]

The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, most of which dated from 200 B.C. to 68 A.D., drastically increased our assurance that the Old Testament we have today has been faithfully transmitted through the centuries.[22] Some even date to 300 B.C. or older[23], like the Great Isaiah Scroll which was carbon-dated as old as 335 B.C.[5][24] These scrolls have largely backed up the Masoretic Text, with rare exception.

The most manuscript fragments were found in Cave 4, over 15,000. The final cave, Cave 11, was discovered in 1956. The first 7 scrolls remain in the property of the Israel Museum, while most of the fragments are owned by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA).[25] There were actually five sites in all discovered contributing Dead Sea Scrolls. The first, at Qumran, consisted of 11 caves with over 15,000 fragments (according to the Dead Sea Scrolls Foundation there are over 100,000 fragments[21] from 800 or 900 original manuscripts, typically dating from the 3rd to 1st centuries B.C. The second site, Wadi Al-Murabba'at - 11 miles south of Qumran, contained documents from army fugitives in the Second Jewish Revolt against Rome (A.D. 132-135) and included a well-preserved scroll of the Minor Prophets. The third site south of 'En Gedi included a Greek translation of the Minor Prophets from the 1st Century A.D. and some Biblical fragments. The fourth site, 8.5 miles north of Jericho, contained legal documents from Samarians massacred by soldiers of Alexander the Great in 331 B.C. The fifth site at Masada contained a copy of Ecclesiastes (75 B.C.) and fragments of Genesis, Leviticus, and Psalms.[26]

New Testament

There are 127 papyri,[27] 318 and 2882 Majuscule and Miniscule MSS, and 2436 Lectionary MSS that make up the at least 5,762 manuscripts of the Greek New Testament (current as of 2008).[28][29] There are at least 24,000 manuscripts for the New Testament in all, including at least 8,000 in the Latin Vulgate and 1,000 in Syrian, Coptic, Armenian, Gothic, and Ethiopic,[30] with 99.5% internal consistency.[31][22] More manuscripts are being discovered and translated all the time.[32]

List of New Testament codexes

The following are largely complete New Testament documents, as opposed to papyri which tend to be fragmentary, prior to 500 A.D.

Name Date Content Type Institution
copSA (Sahidic Coptic) 250 A.D. entire New Testament except Revelation Version
syrS (Sinaitic Syriac) 300 A.D. much of the Gospels Version
syrC (Curetonian Syriac) 300 A.D. Matthew 1:1-8:22; 10:32-23:25; Mark 16:17-20; John 1:1-42; 3:6-7:37; 14:10-29; Luke 2:48-3:16; 7:33-15:21; 17:24-24:44 Version
GA01 (Codex Sinaiticus) 350 A.D. entire New Testament Uncial British Library
GA03 (Codex Vaticanus) 350 A.D. entire New Testament except I Tim. through Phlm. & Heb 9:14 through Rev.; entire Old Testament except Gen. 1:1-46:28 & Ps. 105:27-137:6 Uncial Vatican Library
GA032 (Codex Washingtonianus) 400 A.D. all 4 Gospels except Mark 15:13-38 & John 14:26-16:7 Uncial
GA 04 (Codex Ephraemi) 425 A.D. most of New Testament, parts of Old Testament Uncial Bibliothèque nationale de France
GA 02 (Codex Alexandrinus) 450 A.D. virtually complete Old and New Testaments Uncial British Library
GA 05 (Codex Bezae) 450 A.D. Gospels except Mt. 1:1-20; 6:20-9:2; 27:2-12 & John 1:16- 3:26; Acts except 8:29-10:14 & 21:2-10,16-18; 22:10-20,29-end; James through Jude Uncial British Library
GA 16 (Codex Freerianus) 450 A.D. most of Paul's epistles & most of Hebrews Uncial Cambridge University Library

List of New Testament manuscripts

The following is a list of early New Testament manuscripts, by date, prior to 300 A.D.

KEY:

  • A. Date means "Accepted Date", the typical consensus for the document.
  • C. Date means "Controversial Date", newer dates viewed as controversial.
Name A. Date Content Type Institution C. Date
P52 125 A.D. John 18:31-33; 18:37-38 Papyrus John Rylands University Library 100 A.D.
P104, also P.Oxy.LXIV 4404[33] 150 A.D. Matthew 21:34-37,43,45 Papyrus Ashmolean Museum
P90 163 A.D. John 18:36-19:7 Papyrus Ashmolean Museum
P64+67 163 A.D. Mt. 3:9,15; 5:20-22,25-28; 26:7-8,10,14-15,22-23,31-33 Papyrus Magdalen College 60 A.D.
P98 175 A.D. Revelation 1:13-2:1 Papyrus Institut Français d'Archéologie Orientale
GA 0189 200 A.D. Acts 5:3-21 Uncial Berlin
P46[34] 200 A.D. most of Pauline epistles, Hebrews Papyrus Chester Beatty Library; University of Michigan 85 A.D.
P4 200 A.D. Lk. 1:58-59,62-80; 2:1,6,7; 3:8-38; 4:1,2,29-32,34,35; 5:3-8,30-39; 6:1-16 Papyrus Bibliotheque Nationale de France 100 A.D.
P32 200 A.D. Titus 1:11-15; 2:3-8 Papyrus John Rylands University Library 175 A.D.
P66 200 A.D. most of John Papyrus Institut für Altertumskunde 125 A.D.
P77 200 A.D. Matthew 23:30-39 Papyrus Ashmolean Museum 150 A.D.
P103, also P.Oxy.LXIV 4403[35] 200 A.D. Matthew 13:55-56; 14:3-5 Papyrus Ashmolean Museum
P23 225 A.D. James 1:10-12, 15-18 Papyrus University of Illinois, Urbana
GA 0220 250 A.D. Romans 4:23-5:3; 5:8-13 Uncial London/Oslo
P1 250 A.D. Matthew 1:1-9,12-20 Papyrus Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
P5 250 A.D. John 1:23-31,33-41; 16:14-30; 20:11-17,19,20,22-25, 20:19-25 Papyrus British Library
P9 250 A.D. I John 4:11-12,14-17 Papyrus Houghton Library
P12 250 A.D. Hebrews 1:1 Papyrus Pierpont Morgan Library
P15 250 A.D. I Corinthians 7:18-40; 7:40-8:1-4 Papyrus Egyptian Museum
P20 250 A.D. James 2:19-25; 2:26-3:9 Papyrus Princeton University Library
P22[36] 250 A.D. John 15:25-27; 16:1-2,21-32 Papyrus Glasgow University Library
P27[37] 250 A.D. Romans 8:12-22,24-27,33-39, 9:1-3,5-9 Papyrus Cambridge University Library
P28 250 A.D. John 6:8-12, 17-22 Papyrus Pacific School of Religion
P29 250 A.D. Acts 26:7-8, 20 Papyrus The Bodleian Library
P30 250 A.D. I Thessalonians 4:12-13,16-17; 5:3,8-10,12-18,25-28; II Thess 1:1-2 Papyrus Ghent University Library
P39 250 A.D. John 8:14-22 Papyrus Ambrose Swasey Library
P40 250 A.D. Romans 1:24-27,31-32; 2:1-3; 3:21-31; 4:1-8; 6:4-5,16; 9:16-17,27 Papyrus Institut fur Papyrologie der Univ.
P45[38] 250 A.D. much of Mark, Luke, John, & Mt. 20:24-32; 21:13-19; 25:41-46; 26:1-39 Papyrus Österreichische Nationalbibliothek 150 A.D.
P47[39] 250 A.D. Revelation 9:10-11; 13:11, 14-16; 15:16,17-17:2:2 Papyrus Chester Beatty Library
P49[40] 250 A.D. Ephesians 4:16-29,31-32, 5:1-13 Papyrus Yale U. Library
P53 250 A.D. Matthew 26:29-40; Acts 9:33-43;10:1 Papyrus Ashmolean Museum
P65 250 A.D. I Thessalonians 1:3-2:1,6-13 Papyrus Ashmolean Museum
P69 250 A.D. Luke 22:41,45-48,58-61 Papyrus Ashmolean Museum
P70 250 A.D. Matt 2:13-16,22-3:1; 11:26-27; 12:4-5; 24:3-6,12-15 Papyrus Ashmolean Museum
P75[41] 250 A.D. much of Luke & half of John Papyrus
P80 250 A.D. John 3:34 Papyrus Barcelona
P87[42] 250 A.D. Philemon 1:13-15,24-25 Papyrus Institut für Altertumskunde 125 A.D.
P91[43] 250 A.D. Acts 2:30-37,46-47; 3:1-2 Papyrus North Ryde, Australia
P95 250 A.D. John 5:26-29, 36-38 Papyrus Florence
P101, also P.Oxy.LXIV 4401[44] 250 A.D. Matthew 3:10-12,16-4:3 Papyrus Ashmolean Museum
P106 250 A.D. John 1:29-35,40-46 Papyrus Ashmolean Museum
P107[45] 250 A.D. John 17:1-2,11 Papyrus Ashmolean Museum
P108[46] 250 A.D. John 17:23-24, 18:1-5 Papyrus Ashmolean Museum
P109[47] 250 A.D. John 21:18-20, 23-25 Papyrus Ashmolean Museum
P111[48] 250 A.D. Luke 17:11-13, 22-23 Papyrus Ashmolean Museum
P113[49] 250 A.D. Romans 2:12-13, 29 Papyrus Ashmolean Museum
P114[50] 250 A.D. Hebrews 1:7-12 Papyrus Ashmolean Museum
P118 250 A.D. Romans 15:26-27,32-33; 16:1,4-7,11-12 Papyrus Univ., Seminar für Ägyptologie
P119 250 A.D. John 1:21-28,38-44 Papyrus Ashmolean Museum
P121 250 A.D. John 19:17-18; 25-26 Papyrus Ashmolean Museum
P48 275 A.D. Acts 23:11-17, 24-29 Papyrus Bibl. Medicea Laurenziana
GA 0171 300 A.D. Matt 10:17-23, 25-32; Luke 22:44-56, 61-64 Uncial Staatl. Mus.
P38 300 A.D. Acts 18:27-28; 19:1-6,12-16 Papyrus University of Michigan
P7 300 A.D. Luke 4:1-3 Papyrus Centr. Nauch. Bibl.
P13 300 A.D. Hebrews 2:14-18; 3:1-19; 4:1-16; 5:1-5; 10:8-22,29-39; 11:1-13,28-40; 12:1-17 Papyrus British Library
P16 300 A.D. Philemon 3:9-17; 4:2-8 Papyrus Egyptian Mus.
P18 300 A.D. Revelation 1:4-7 Papyrus British Library
P37[51] 300 A.D. Matthew 26:19-52 Papyrus University of Michigan
P72 300 A.D. 1 Peter 1:1-25; 2:1-25; 3:1-22; 4:1-19; 5:1-14; 2 Peter 1:1-21; 2:1-22; 3:1-18; Jude 1-25 Papyrus Bibl. Bodmeriana, Vatican Library
P78 300 A.D. Jude 4-5,7-8 Papyrus Ashmolean Museum
P92 300 A.D. Ephesians 1:11-13,19-21; II Thessalonians 1:4-5,11-12 Papyrus Egyptian Mus.
P100[52] 300 A.D. James 3:13-4:4, 4:9-5:1 Papyrus Ashmolean Museum
P102, also P.Oxy.LXIV 4402[53] 300 A.D. Matthew 4:11-12,22-23 Papyrus Ashmolean Museum
P115[54] 300 A.D. much of Revelation Papyrus Ashmolean Museum
P125 300 A.D. 1 Peter 1:23-2:5; 2:7-12 Papyrus Ashmolean Museum
GA 0162 300 A.D. John 2:11-22 Uncial New York
GA 0312 300 A.D. Luke 5:23-24,30-31; 7:9,17-18 Uncial Corpus Christi College
l
Sources:
* David Palmer, Table of NT Greek Manuscripts BibleTranslation.ws[55]
* CSNTM, Manuscripts (Includes hundreds of manuscripts for public viewing archived with high-res. digital photography)[56]
* INTF, Continuation of the Manuscript List[57]
* Matt Baker, Oldest New Testament Manuscripts, UsefulCharts.com[58]
* Timothy Seid, A Table of Greek Manuscripts. Interpreting Ancient Manuscripts.[59]
* Wieland Willker, Complete List of Greek NT Papyri[60]
* Peter M. Head, Early Greek Bible Manuscript Project: NT Mss. on Papyrus[61]
* Wikipedia. List of New Testament Papyri[62]

References

  1. McDowell, Josh (1977). More Than a Carpenter, p. 48. Tyndale House Publishers.
  2. CNN (2008, October 30). "Archeologist Finds 3,000-Year Old Hebrew Text.
    Deem, R. (2010, January 12). "10th Century Hebrew Inscription on Pottery from Khirbet Qeiyafa, Israel Confirms Biblical Claims." GodandScience.org.
  3. Caesar, S. (2010, January 6). "The Blessing of the Silver Scrolls." BibleArchaeology.org. Published in Bible and Spade, Spring 2006.
    Barkay, G., Vaughan, A.G., Lundberg, M.J., & Zuckerman, B. (2004). "The Amulets from Ketef Hinnom: A New Edition and Evaluation." The American Schools of Oriental Research.
    Bible History Daily. "The Greatest Finds in Biblical Archaeology." Biblical Archaeological Society.
  4. The Digital Dead Sea Scrolls. "The Great Isaiah Scroll."
  5. 5.0 5.1 Bonani, G., Ivy, S., et. al. (1992). "Radiocarbon Dating of Fourteen Dead Sea Scrolls." Radiocarbon, Vol. 34, No. 3, pp. 843-849.
  6. Burkitt, F.C. "The Hebrew Papyrus of the Ten Commandments." The Jewish Quarterly Review, 15(1903), 392-408.
  7. Williams, Tyler F. (2009, July 15). "Qumran Psalms Scroll (11Q5/11QPs-a)." BiblicalStudies.ca.
  8. P.J. Parsons (1983). P.Oxy.L 3522 LXX Job 42:11-12." Oxyrhynchus Online. Papyrology Websites.
  9. K. Luchner (1998). P.Oxy.LXV 4443 LXX, Esther E16-9.3." Oxyrhynchus Online. Papyrology Websites.
  10. Walch, Stephen (2011, September 28). "Dead Sea Scrolls." The Way to Yahuweh.
  11. Papyri.info. Oxyrhynchus. Columbia University. Accessed July 15, 2012.
  12. Rives, Stephen (2011, September 27). Old Testament Manuscripts and 18 Tiqqune Sepherim EastSide Church of the Cross. Also Looking Under the Hood: Origins of the Bible Slideshow.
  13. Library of Congress. Scrolls from the Dead Sea: The Ancient Library of Qumran and Modern Scholarship. www.Loc.gov.
  14. John Rylands University Library. Bible Greek or Hebrew. Image Collections.
  15. Israel Museum The Digital Dead Sea Scrolls.
  16. Papyrology Websites, Oxyrhynchus Online. Browse By Date.
  17. Wikipedia. Dead Sea Scrolls Accessed April 17, 2012.
  18. Martinez, F.G. & Tigchelaar, E.J.C. (1998). "The Dea Sea Scrolls Study Edition." Vol. 2. Index (contains listing of Dead Sea Scrolls). Wm. B. Eerdman's Publishing Company.
  19. Wikipedia. Oxyrhynchus Papyri Accessed July 15, 2012.
  20. Sussman, Ayala & Peled, Ruth (1993). "The Dead Sea Scrolls." Jewish Virtual Library.
  21. 21.0 21.1 Dead Sea Scrolls Foundation. "About the Scrolls."
  22. 22.0 22.1 Boa, Kenneth. "How Accurate is the Bible?" Bible.org.
  23. Lawler, Andrew (2010, January). "Who Wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls?," pg. 2. Smithsonian Magazine.
  24. Kent, Donna. "RadioCarbon Dating of Dead Sea Scrolls." Retrieved from David W. Brooks, University of Nebraska website.
  25. The Israel Museum. "The Digital Dead Sea Scrolls: Discovery." Jerusalem. Accessed April 17, 2012.
  26. Davies, Philip R. (2009). "Dead Sea Scrolls." Encyclopaedia Britannica, History.
  27. Wallace, Daniel B. (2012, February 10). "Earliest Manuscript of the New Testament Discovered?." The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts.
  28. Welte, Michael (2008). "Kurzgefasste Liste der Griechischen Handschriften des NT." Quoted by Wieland Willker in "Update-list of Greek NT Uncials."
  29. Wallace, Daniel B. (2007). "Greek New Testament Manuscripts Discovered in Albania." Bible.org.
  30. Williams, Jimmy (1995). "Are the Biblical Documents Reliable?" Probe Ministries.
  31. Slick, Matt. "Manuscript Evidence for Superior New Testament Readability." Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.
  32. Bruce Metzger and Bart Ehrman, The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption and Restoration (Oxford University Press, Fourth Edition 2005), pg. 50
  33. J. David Thomas. "P.Oxy. LXIV 4404." POxy Papyrus Web. The Center for Study of Ancient Documents. Stelios Ioannou School for Research in Classical and Byzantine Studies, Oxford.
    The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts. "Manuscript P104."
  34. The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts. "Manuscript P46."
  35. J. David Thomas. "P.Oxy. LXIV 4403." POxy Papyrus Web. The Center for Study of Ancient Documents. Stelios Ioannou School for Research in Classical and Byzantine Studies, Oxford.
    The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts. "Manuscript P103."
  36. The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts. "Manuscript P22."
  37. The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts. "Manuscript P27."
  38. The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts. "Manuscript P45."
  39. The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts. "Manuscript P47."
  40. The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts. "Manuscript P49."
  41. The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts. "Manuscript P75."
  42. The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts. "Manuscript P87."
  43. The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts. "Manuscript P91."
  44. J. David Thomas. "P.Oxy. LXIV 4401." POxy Papyrus Web. The Center for Study of Ancient Documents. Stelios Ioannou School for Research in Classical and Byzantine Studies, Oxford.
    The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts. "Manuscript P101."
  45. The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts. "Manuscript P107."
  46. The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts. "Manuscript P108."
  47. The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts. "Manuscript P109."
  48. The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts. "Manuscript P111."
  49. The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts. "Manuscript P113."
  50. The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts. "Manuscript P114."
  51. The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts. "Manuscript P37."
  52. The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts. "Manuscript P100."
  53. J. David Thomas. "P.Oxy. LXIV 4402." POxy Papyrus Web. The Center for Study of Ancient Documents. Stelios Ioannou School for Research in Classical and Byzantine Studies, Oxford.
    The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts. "Manuscript P102."
  54. The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts. "Manuscript P115."
  55. Palmer, David. Table of NT Greek Manuscripts BibleTranslation.ws
  56. The Center for Study of New Testament Manuscripts. "Manuscripts."
  57. INTF. "Continuation of the Manuscript List." University of Münster.
  58. Baker, Matt (2011, December 15). "Oldest New Testament Manuscripts." UsefulCharts.com.
  59. Seid, Timothy. A Table of Greek Manuscripts. Interpreting Ancient Manuscripts.
  60. Willker, Wieland. "Complete List of Greek NT Papyri."
  61. Head, Peter M. "Early Greek Bible Manuscript Project: NT Mss. on Papyrus."
  62. Wikipedia. List of New Testament Papyri Accessed April 17, 2012.

See also

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