The Reliability of the Bible
Were "many plain and precious things" removed from the Scriptures?
By Everett Shropshire and John W. Morehead
In June of this year, we were in southern California
teaching a seminar on witnessing to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints (LDS or Mormons).
Afterward, a young man gave us some material he downloaded from the
Internet. It came from a site defending
Mormonism, maintained by a man named Kerry Shirts. The most objectionable part of this material was an attack on the
reliability of the Bible's preservation through the centuries: "The Bible, Unfortunately, Has Not Been Perfectly
Preserved Through the Centuries" at <http://www.cyberhighway.net/~shirtail/scriptur.htm>
At the outset, we note that it is curious why Mormons attack
the Bible. The LDS church even gives
free Bibles away through expensive TV advertising. In fact the eighth of the LDS "Articles of Faith" states: "We believe the Bible to be the word of God
as far as it is translated correctly..."
Perhaps Shirts is trying to prove that the founder of the LDS church,
Joseph Smith, Jr., was right when he claimed that "there are many plain and
precious things taken away from the book."
We decided it was important enough to respond to the data
presented by Mr. Shirts, because his site made what appeared to be a convincing
case for the unreliability of God's
Word. Mormons and others might read
this material and conclude that they could not believe the Bible. What follows is a refutation of those
First, in general, our observation was that the quotations
used by Mr. Shirts were either taken out of context, exaggerated, or they
misrepresented the views of the authors he cited. In every instance we were able to check, his research was faulty. Here is our response to his presentation. Shirts' propositions are indented and
numbered, and in each case our response follows. Shirts' words appear exactly as we found them on the Internet. The only changes we have made are
corrections to mistakes in his use of quotation marks in order to avoid
confusion, and explanatory notes which we placed in brackets [ ].
1) Raymond Brown in his nifty book Responses to 101 Questions on the Bible
notes that the Gospels, the first 4 books of the New Testament were: "edited
and *RESHAPED* by an evangelist in the last third of the first century in order
to address the spiritual needs of Christian readers he envisaged." (p. 58, my
emphasis). In other words, the Gospels are ***NOT PERFECT***, nor are they
original, but have been REWRITTEN to match an already preconceived end."
Our response: Here, the author's meaning has clearly been
twisted. Brown was not saying that the
Gospels were all rewritten by a
single person, but that the original
authors used some previously-existing material in the creation of the first
Gospels. Shirts made it sound like
someone tampered with the original text.
While this idea might be consistent with LDS thinking, but it was not
what Brown wrote.
2) James H. Charlesworth's fine
article "From the Philopedia of Jesus to the Misopedia of the Acts of Thomas"
in By Study and Also By Faith: Essays in
Honor of Hugh Nibley, Vol. 1, notes that "Jesus' philopedia was SO ALTERED
by some second-century Christian groups that it became misopedia. JESUS' OWN
TEACHINGS WERE SOMETIMES CHANGED OR EVEN ABANDONED BY THOSE WHO CALLED HIM
LORD." (p. 46, my emphasis). This clearly and obviously refutes Dirks silly
wishes concerning the Bible, and confirms Joseph Smith and the Mormon view of
the Bible in many ways.
Our response: If this is supposed to be a non-LDS source,
as Shirts implied (He wrote, "Consider the NON-LDS aspects of the Bible, from
some of the finest Bible scholars in the world."), it is curious that it comes
from a work honoring Hugh Nibley, who is a long-time professor at Mormon-owned
Brigham Young University. That aside,
the title of the article indicates that the author was commenting on a book
called the Acts of Thomas which was
never regarded as being inspired by orthodox Christians. In fact, Eusebius classed it as being heretical. This can hardly be used to cast aspersions
on the text of the New Testament!
3) Bruce M. Metzger, The Text of the New Testament: Its
Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration notes that "a group of correctors
working at Caesarea entered a large number of alterations into the text of both
Old and New Testaments." (p. 46).
Our response: First, please note that the title of Dr.
Metzger's book is The Text of the New
Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration. If the text were irretrievably lost, it
could not have been restored, as Metzger indicates in his title.
And again, Shirts has taken the author out of context. He makes it sound as though these
"correctors" changed the Bible.
However, Metzger is discussing only one
manuscript, Codex Sinaiticus. The context
of the quotation is significant because the partial quotation given by Shirts
leaves the reader with the impression that a group of scribes working at
Caesarea made a number of changes in the text of the Old and New Testaments. And once more, how would we know
alterations had been made unless we had the unaltered text?
4) [Quoting Metzger] "The whole of
Matthew's Gospel as far as xxv, 6 is lost, as well as the leaves which
originally contained John 6:50-58, 52, and 2 Cor. 4:13-xii, 6." (p. 46).
Our response: Here, again, Metzger is referring to only one manuscript, Codex Sinaiticus, not
the entire Bible!
5) [Quoting Metzger] "Unfortunately
the beauty of the original writing has been spoiled by a later corrector..."
Our response: At the risk of being redundant, here,
Metzger is referring to only one
manuscript, Codex Vaticanus. And, as
above, how would we know the "beauty of the original writing" unless we knew
what it was?
6) [Quoting Metzger] "All known witnesses
of the New Testament are to a greater or less extent mixed texts, and even the
earliest manuscripts are not free from egregious errors..." (p. 246)
Our response: The task of textual criticism is to take the
various manuscripts and use them to reconstruct the original text. Even though New Testament manuscripts
contain scribal errors, it is not impossible to recover the original, which Dr.
Metzger's title indicates. The next
sentence after Shirts' citation reads, "Although in very many cases the textual
critic is able to ascertain without residual doubt which reading must have
stood in the original."
7) Eldon Jay Epp and Gordon D. Fee, Studies in the Theory and Method of New
Testament Textual Criticism, notes that "There are places where the original
text is not so certain..." (p. 16).
Our response: Here is another citation taken out of
context. Fee was writing about minor variations. One of his examples was "whether the
original text says that Jesus 'did not wish' to go about in Galilee or 'did not
have the authority' to do so. But
textual criticism is the methodology by which we can determine the original
text with a high degree of confidence.
What Shirts does not tell us is that Dr. Fee, in the preceding paragraph
said that textual criticism "provides one with confidence that for the most
part the text...truly represents what the biblical author actually wrote."
8) [Quoting Epp] WITHOUT EXCEPTION,
"all of the oldest Greek MSS had been corrupted by interpolation..." (p. 149).
Our response: This quotation was from Epp, and it, too was
out of context. The author's point was
that a man by the name of J. J. Wettstein in the 18th century
subscribed to a view called latinization.
According to this view, "all the oldest Greek MSS [manuscripts] had been
corrupted by interpolation from Latin MSS; consequently, [Wettstein] said, the
textual critic must move several centuries beyond the oldest Greek MSS to more
recent ones if a pure text is to be found."
But this view was never commonly held among biblical scholars. In fact, Epp said that Wettstein pushed
"further than anyone else the theory of the latinization of the oldest Greek
MSS of the NT [New Testament]." In other words, this was not the view of Dr.
Epp, but that of an eighteenth century extremist. The words, "WITHOUT EXCEPTION" are not from
Dr. Epp, but are Shirts' own invention.
9) [Quoting Fee] "The great fault of
contemporary NT textual criticism is that IT CANNOT offer us TOTAL CERTAINTY as
to the ORIGINAL NT text." (p. 189, my emphasis).
Our response: In this citation, Shirts again seems to be
quoting the author, when the author was actually quoting the views of another
person, with whom he does not agree at all!
Here, Fee is actually quoting Wilbur Pickering. Fee says Pickering's work, "suffers
throughout from misrepresentations of scholarly research, the use of rhetoric
in the place of argument, and an apparent lack of first-hand acquaintance with
many of the primary data."
10) [Quoting Fee] Even after scribal
errors have been eliminated, "there remains a text of outstanding (though not
absolute) purity." (p. 128).
Our response: In his final misuse of Fee's work, Shirts seems to be quoting the author who seems to be commenting on the entirety
of the New Testament. The truth is that
Fee was quoting Günther Zuntz who was actually writing about one New Testament papyrus manuscript,
designated "P46." Even so,
this papyrus is recognized for its "outstanding purity" by Zuntz!
11) [Quoting Bart D. Ehrman from The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture]
"scribes occassionally [sic] altered
the words of their sacred texts to make them more patently orthodox and to
prevent their misuse by Christians who espoused aberrant views." (p. xi).
12) [Quoting Ehrman] "there scribes
corrupted their texts for theological reasons..." (p. xii).
Our response: Dr. Ehrman also wrote, ".scribes sometimes
changed their scriptural texts to say
what they were already known to mean"
(emphasis in the original). 
13) [Quoting Ehrman] Scripture was
changed to refute antiDocetic tendencies in early Christian circles (p. 217).
Our response: Note that this is not a quotation from Dr.
Ehrman. His point was that certain manuscripts were altered for
this purpose, not that all of them
reality, scribal errors are easily identified by textual scholars, and the
errors affect a small part of the whole of New Testament manuscripts.
14) Stanley R. Maveety, "The Glossary
in the Rheims New Testament of 1582", in the Journal of English and Germanic Philology, Vol. 61, 1962, "Tyndale
was guilty of DELIBERATELY ***MISTRANSLATING*** the Bible in order to conform
to Luther [sic] doctrine..." (p.
15) [Paraphrasing Maveety] The
Protestants were guilty of adding words to the scriptures [sic] in order to condemn Catholic doctrines (p. 572)
Our response: In this article, the author is commenting on
William Tyndale's English translation of the Bible. This translation was first printed in 1525. But no translation is infallible. Tyndale's was the first English version of
the Bible based on the Greek and Hebrew manuscripts, but it is not
inspired. In order for Shirts to make
his case, he would have to prove major corruption of the Greek and Hebrew
texts. Of course, all the evidence is
This points out a common mistake made by Mormons. The
Mormon argument is that the Bible has been translated so many times through
history, and over this period of time many accidental and purposeful errors,
additions and omissions have crept into the biblical text, to the point where
it is unreliable. Thus, Mormons make an
important qualification in accepting the Bible as a revelation from God ("as
far as it is translated correctly"). They assume changes or errors in
translations constitute changes or errors in the Bible. In fact the manuscripts upon which Bibles
are based, the original, inspired revelation in the original languages, has not changed. Christians do not claim our translations are inspired, only that
the original manuscripts were.
16) [Paraphrasing] Emanuel Tov, Textual Criticsm [sic] of the Hebrew Bible,
The Masoretes had preserved a text in the Hebrew Bible, which had already been
corrupted! (p. 9, 28ff).
17) [Paraphrasing Tov] Samaritans
added their own theological biases to the scriptures [sic] (p. 19).
18) [Paraphrasing Tov] words were
added that change the meaning of biblical passages (pp. 57, 63, 65, 60).
19) [Paraphrasing Tov] Theological
concepts of God were ADDED to the scriptures (p. 127f).
20) [Paraphrasing Tov] There is a
LARGE SCALE differences [sic] between
the manuscript witnesses, not minor mere variations (p. 177).
21) [Paraphrasing Tov] Scribes took
the liberty of changing the manuscripts as they felt suited to (p. 189)
22) [Paraphrasing Tov] Scribes
deliberately altered the contents of the manuscripts and scriptures [sic] (pp. 258, 262, 306, 269, 290)
23) [Paraphrasing Tov] EVERY CHAPTER
in the Bible has CHANGES! (p. 293f)
Our response: Shirts produced eight quotations from
Tov's book. They were all similar, so
we will restrict our comments to a more general nature.
In looking at the first four citations (numbers 16-19
above), it would appear that Tov believed that "many plain and precious things"
from the Old Testament were taken away.
However, in the beginning of the book, the author said, "It should be
remembered that the number of differences between the various editions is very
small. Moreover, all of them concern
minimal, even minute details of the text, and most affect the meaning of the
text in only a very limited way."
In the fifth and eighth citations (numbers 20 and 23 above),
please note that Shirts is not quoting, but offering his own paraphrase of the
author. Further, in citation number
five (number 20 above), "not mere minor variations" is Shirts' own invention,
not Dr. Tov's. In fact, this is a gross
distortion of the author's point. Tov
is not commenting on the text of the Bible itself, but on the textual witnesses. Tov explains that these witnesses are
manuscripts "in Hebrew and other languages from the Middle Ages and ancient
times as well as fragments of leather and papyrus scrolls two thousand years
old or more. These sources shed light
on and witness to the biblical text, hence their name, 'textual witnesses.'"
In the eighth citation (number 23 above), Shirts is again
not quoting Tov. Here is the actual
quotation: "In almost every chapter of the Bible scholars are confronted with a
large number of different readings,
in both major and minor details" (emphasis added). Note two things. Tov uses
the qualifier "almost" which Shirts takes away. Further, Tov is discussing variant readings, not "changes." Shirts misses the point of Dr. Tov's book
entirely: Textual criticism is the
scientific art of comparing variant readings in order to determine the original
24) James A. Sanders article
"Understanding the Development of the Biblical Text" in The Dead Sea Scrolls After Forty Years, says that we ought to start
acknowledging the differences in the Bible and quit pretending there are none,
and that we ought to realize that there have been differences from the very
start of the Bible! (p. 71).
25) Emanuel Tov, "The Corrections in
the Biblical Texts" in The Dead Sea
Scrolls: Forty Years of Research, says there have been many different systems
of scribal intervention and changing of the scripture! (pp. 300ff).
Our response: To respond specifically would be
redundant. Simply put, here, Shirts
does not quote the authors, but summarizes them in his own unique fashion. He has exaggerated the importance of variant
readings, and often fudges important details to try to make his non-existent
26) P. Kyle McCarter, Jr., Textual Criticism: Recovering the Text of
the Hebrew Bible, "parablepsis...frequently resulted in an EXTENSIVE loss
of material..." (p. 40ff).
Our response: McCarter defines parablepsis as "when a
scribe overlooked part of his text.
This happened when his eye skipped from the sequence of letters he was
copying to an identical or similar sequence farther on in the text." But then the author shows how the original
wording, missing from the Masoretic Text is recovered using the
Septuagint! If we simply think for a
moment, how could we know any material was omitted unless we had the "missing"
text? In other words, the text is all
there, it just exists in different manuscripts.
27) Ronald S. Hendel, "When the Sons
of God Cavorted With the Daughters of Men", in Understanding the Dead Sea Scrolls, shows how men have deliberately
changed and tampered with the scripture [sic]
text, altering its historical as well as theological ideas (pp. 170fff)
Our response: On the page Shirts cited, the author is
explaining a variant reading of Deuteronomy 32:8. The Masoretic Text reads, "the sons of Israel," while the
Septuagint reads "the Sons of God."
Hendel frankly states, "Apparently, somewhere along the line in the
transmission of the rabbinic Bible, someone felt the need to clean up the text
by literally rewriting it and substituting 'sons of Israel' for the original
'Sons of God'..." But we pose the question: Is this a substantive change? Does it affect Christian belief or
practice? More importantly, however,
the original reading was never lost.
Hendel then stated, "Now that we have established the correct text of
28) Frank Moore Cross, "The Text
Behind the Text of the Hebrew Bible," "Ibid." notes how "the history of the
text of the Hebrew Bible has been confused and obscured by an assumption, or
rather a dogma, that the Hebrew text was unchanged and unchanging." (p. 143).
Our response: Modern biblical scholars no longer
accept the notion of an absolutely unchanging Hebrew text. However, that fact does not mean that
anything has been taken out of the Bible!
James White warns us that we must never substitute the pursuit of
certainty to detract us from the pursuit of truth.
29) Leon Vaganay/Christian
Bernard-Amphoux, An Introduction to New
Testament Textual Criticism, "corrections were made boldly, things were
added and things omitted..." (p. 57, 80, 81 - scribes felt free to modify texts
to fit their own views of the scriptures [sic]!)
Our response: Shirts cites this book in a final
attempt to prove that the Bible is unreliable.
However, immediately after the quotation, the author gives examples of
what he means: "So they change the
spelling of proper names ( kapernao¨m
[kapernaoum] replaces kafarnao¨m,
[kapharnaoum]); or they alter the dialectical forms of verbs (the Hellenistic
endings of Ðlqan [elthan], eÁpan [eipan] are
replaced by classical ones: Ðlqon
[elthon], eÁpon [eipon])." This hardly supports the view that
substantive changes have been made in the Bible!
Further, as we noted above, how would we know any changes
had been made at all unless we had the
original text with which to compare it?
Shirts concludes by saying, "Now there are at least 12 major
witnesses as to the corruptions in the Bible."
He has attempted to portray the Bible as a hodge-podge of competing
texts which are incomplete, unreliable and inauthentic. We have shown that his research is seriously
flawed. In fact, what Mr. Shirts has
done is not really research at all. He
has simply assembled strings of out-of-context quotations, many of which are
blatant misrepresentations of the author's views. What we have evaluated of his work appears to have been
carelessly done. While we cannot accuse
him of deliberate distortions, what
he has produced are distortions none the less.
As a matter of fact, this
entire approach is surely self-defeating.
If Mormons claim that the Book of Mormon is a second testimony to Jesus
Christ, and that the Bible is another (and one presumes the first witness), how
is the case for Jesus Christ buttressed by attacking the first witness (the
Bible)? Mormon apologists frequently
list various biblical passages which they believe are contradictions. This method of attacking biblical
reliability is also used by atheists and other skeptics. If the Bible truly were as unreliable as the
Mormons (and atheists) say why should we reach the conclusion that the message
of the Latter-day Saints is to be preferred over agnosticism or atheism? If the Mormons were correct at this point
that the Bible is indeed unreliable, then the conclusion must be that we should
jettison it and biblical faith along with it.
Their apologetic strategy does not lead to Joseph Smith and an alleged
Restoration of the one true church. It
leads to atheism. Thus, the Mormon
apologetic of attacking the Bible is in the final analysis self-defeating. In the interests of consistency, the Mormons
should join with evangelicals in arguing for the Bible's reliability. They must then attempt other apologetic
methods in explaining the contradictions between biblical teaching and that of
the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price.
In any event, while it
is generally acknowledged that there are errors in biblical manuscripts,
scholars of textual criticism know where they are and can, with confidence,
reconstruct, with a high degree of accuracy, the original texts. There are about 150,000 New Testament
variants, but only about fifty have any significance at all. Of those fifty, "no doctrine of the
Christian faith or any moral commandment is affected..."
Yet even with the
scribal errors removed, the case for Mormonism is not improved. Whether one corrects the biblical manuscripts
to remove scribal errors, or leaves the affected passages with the errors in
place, they do not in any way teach or support Mormonism's unique theology of
multiple deities, God as an exalted man, human deification or salvation by
This is our refutation of some of Mr. Shirts' Internet
material. However, there is a positive
case to present as well. What follows
is a more accurate view of the preservation of the Bible.
As a point in fact,
after applying standard scholarly tests for reliability to the New Testament
documents, the same standards one would apply to any ancient document, the New
Testament demonstrates itself to be historically reliable. Yet religious and philosophical prejudices
often color the interpretation of the evidence. As A. N. Sherwin-White, the
noted Roman historian stated, "It is astonishing that while Graeco-Roman
historians have been growing in confidence, the twentieth-century study of the
Gospel narratives, starting from no less
promising material, has taken so gloomy a turn"
In summarizing the
evidence for the historicity of Jesus, New Testament scholar R. T. France
further describes the impact of bias in interpretation when he stated:
All this, and much more, comes
to us from the gospels as a compelling portrait of a real man in the real world
of first-century Palestine, and yet one who so far transcended his environment
that his followers soon learned to see him as more than a man. It is a portrait which we have, in strictly
historical terms, no reason to doubt; it is the philosophical and theological
implications which cause many to question whether things can really have been
as the gospels present them. But we
have seen above sufficient reason to be confident that the gospels not only
claim to be presenting fact rather than fiction, but also, where they can be
checked, carry conviction as the work of responsible and well-informed
writers. The basic divide among
interpreters of the gospels is not between those who are or are not open to the
results of historical investigation so much as between those whose
philosophical/theological viewpoint allows them to accept the testimony of the
gospels, together with the factuality of the records in which it is enshrined,
and those for whom no amount of historical testimony could be allowed to
substantiate what is antecedently labeled as a 'mythical' account of events.
It is important to note that some New Testament manuscripts
date to within a generation of the time of they were originally composed. Further, there are over 24,000 New Testament
manuscripts and fragments. This kind of
manuscript attestation would make it virtually impossible for major revisions
to be made to the text without detection.
The reliability of the Old Testament is just as good. Generally, the Masoretic Text (MT) is
considered the most reliable of the Old Testament manuscripts. Critics have often challenged the MT because
it can scarcely be dated before the ninth century ad. However, in the
late 1940s, the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. They are dated before the destruction of Jerusalem in ad 70.
These ancient scrolls contained at least portions of almost every Old
Testament book. The remarkable thing
was that even though they were as much as 1000 years older than the best Old
Testament manuscripts available at the time, they contained no substantial
changes in the biblical texts.
The vast majority of biblical scholars (including those who
do not come from an evangelical Christian viewpoint) agree that the text of Scripture
has been wonderfully preserved thorough the centuries. Here is a sampling of scholarly views of
this preservation process, taken in
ü F. F. Bruce,
Rylands Professor of Biblical Criticism and Exegesis in the University of
Manchester said this: "The variant
readings about which any doubt remains among textual critics of the New
Testament affect no material question of historic fact or of Christian faith
ü The Christian
historical scholar Phillip Schaff said that none of the variant readings
changed "an article of faith or a precept of duty which is not abundantly
sustained by other and undoubted passages..."
scholar Norman Geisler wrote that "only about one-eighth of all the variants
had any weight...only about one-sixtieth rise above
'trivialities'....Mathematically this would compute to a text that is 98.33
ü Further, Dr.
Geisler said that "there is a great deal of evidence that suggests that the
Bibles we read are extremely close to the original, inspired manuscripts that
the prophets and apostles wrote. The
evidence is seen in the accuracy of the copies that we
have. Such reliability helps support
our claim that the Bible is valuable as a historical account as well as a
revelation from God."
ü New Testament
scholar Benjamin Warfield wrote of the New Testament that "even the most
corrupt form in which it has ever appeared, to use the oft-quoted words of
Richard Bentley, 'the real text of the sacred writers is completely exact...'"
ü Old Testament
scholar Gleason Archer wrote, "The system of spiritual truth contained n the
standard Hebrew text of the Old Testament is not in the slightest altered or
compromised by any of the variant readings....It is very evident that the vast
majority of them are so inconsequential as to leave the meaning of each clause
We could go on and on.
For more, see Josh McDowell's book, Evidence
That Demands a Verdict, Vol. 1. For
an accurate view of the reliability of the Bible and its preservation, see Ron
Rhodes' "Manuscript Support for the Bible's Reliability" at
<http://home.earthlink.net/~ronrhodes/Manuscript.html>. For a an in-depth study, the reader may wish
to begin with F. F. Bruce's classic book, The
Canon of Scripture (InterVarsity Press).
Yet as good as scholarly witness is, the testimony that
counts most of all is the testimony of God Himself. Here is what He has said about the preservation and continuing
accuracy of His Word:
"The grass withers and the flowers
fall, but the word of our God stands forever."
"Heaven and earth will pass away,
but my words will never pass away."
If His Word was corrupted, if the truth has been lost for
centuries, waiting for a latter-day "saint" to restore it, then God lied. He promised us that His Word is true, and
that it will endure. Joseph Smith, Jr.
was wrong. No "plain" or "precious" truth
has ever been taken out of the Bible.
Intellectual honesty demands that we conclude that for all its
detractors, religious and irreligious, the Bible has been preserved with great
precision. None of God's truth has ever
been lost due to human error, zealous editing or maliciousness.
 1 Nephi
13:28 in the Book of Mormon.
Schaff, The History of the Christian
Church, Vol. 2 (Grand
Rapids: Eerdmans, 1980), 523.
 Bruce M.
Metzger, The Text of the New
Testament: Its Transmission,
Corruption, and Restoration (New York:
Oxford University Press, 1992), 246.
 Eldon J. Epp
and Gordon D. Fee, Studies in the Theory
and Method of New Testament Textual Criticism (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1993), 16.
 Bart D.
Ehrman, The Orthodox Corruption of
Scripture (New York: Oxford
University Press, 1993), xii.
 Emanuel Tov,
Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1992), 3.
 P. Kyle
McCarter, Jr., Textual Criticism: Recovering the Text of the Hebrew Bible (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1986), 39.
 Ronald S.
Hendel, "When the Sons of God Cavorted with the Daughters of Men" in Understanding the Dead Sea Scrolls (New
York: Vintage Books, 1993), 170.
Vaganay and Christian-Bernard Amphoux, An
Introduction to New Testament textual criticism (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1991), 57.
 Ron Rhodes,
"Manuscript Support for the Bible's Reliability" at
 A. N. Sherwin-White, Roman Society and Roman Law in the New
Testament (Oxford: Clarendon,
1963), 187, as quoted in Craig Blomberg, The
Historical Reliability of the Gospels (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1987), 254.
 R. T. France, The Evidence for Jesus (Downers Grove,
Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1986), 138.
The Eerdmans' Handbook to the History of
Christianity (Grand Rapids:
Eerdmans, 1977), 93.
Schaff, Companion to the Greek Testament
and the English Version (New York:
Harper Brothers, 1883), 177, quoted in Josh McDowell, Evidence That Demands a Verdict, Vol. 1
(San Bernardino, Calif.: Here's Life
Publishers, 1989), 44.
Geisler and William Nix, A General
Introduction to the Bible (Chicago: Moody Press, 1968), 365, quoted in
Geisler and Ron Brooks, When Skeptics Ask
(Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1990),
Warfield, Introduction to Textual
Criticism of the New Testament (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1907), 14,
quoted in McDowell, 44.
Archer, A Survey of the Old testament
(Chicago: Moody Press, 1964), 25, quoted
in McDowell, 44.