.php lang="en"> The New Testament Documents (Free Bible Quotes)

Quotes About the Bible and History


Frederick G. Kenyon

The New Testament Documents

"In no other case is the interval of time between the composition of the book and the date of the earliest extant manuscripts so short as in that of the New Testament. The books of the New Testament were written in the latter part of the first century; the earliest extant manuscripts (trifling scraps excepted) are of the fourth century - say, from 250 to 300 years later. This may sound a considerable interval, but it is nothing to that which parts most of the great classical authors from their earliest manuscripts. 

We believe that we have in all essentials an accurate text of the seven extant plays of Sophocles; yet the earliest substantial manuscript upon which it based was written more than 1400 years after the poet's death. Aeschylus, Aristophanes, and Thucydides are in the same state; while with Euripides the interval is increased to 1600 years. For Plato it may be put at 1300 years; for Demosthenes as low as 1200."

Sir Frederick G. Kenyon, "Handbook to the Textual Criticism of the New Testament," 2nd ed. (London: Macmillan, 1912), p. 5.