The Reliability of the New Testament

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“The evidence for our New Testament writings is ever so much greater than the evidence for many writings of classical authors, the authenticity of which no-one dreams of questioning. And if the New Testament were a collection of secular writings, their authenticity would generally be regarded as beyond all doubt. It is a curious fact that historians have often been much readier to trust the New Testament than have many theologians.” F.F. Bruce, The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? 1949, p. 15.

 

Author/Text Existing Copies Years between original and earliest surviving copies
Plato 7 1200
Pliny 7 750
Herodotus 8 1300
Thucydides 8 1300
Demosthenes 8 800
Suetonius 8 800
Euripides 9 1300
Aristophanes 10 1200
Caesar 10 1000
Tacitus 20 1000
Aristotle 49 1400
Sophocles 193 1400
Homer/Iliad 643 500
New Testament 24,000 40-70

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