New Testament Manuscripts: the Right Stuff

This article comes second in a four-part series on New Testament textual criticism. It answers questions about the material and process of making the pages of a document, along with the scribal art of writing. What were the scribe's utensils? How was a papyrus sheet or page made? What is parchment? Why wouldn't God protect his Word from such complications? Should I trust the New Testament?The entire series assumes the basic Christian doctrine of inspiration. The original authors of the New Testament were inspired. But we no longer have their very original manuscripts. (Incidentally, no original manuscripts of any books survive from the Greco-Roman era, either.) Rather, they were transmitted by scribes and copiests who took their work seriously, but were not inspired as the original authors were. They made typical errors that all scribes and copyists do before the age of copy machines, word processors, and spell checks.Textual criticism attempts to recover the originals,...(Read Full Article)