The Formation of the New Testament
I. Judaism and Christianity as Bookish Religions.
A. Unique in a Pagan world.
B. Revelation from God in propositional phrases.
C. Timeless orthodoxy – set in place, doctrines, dogma.
D. God has spoken to us – John 1:18, Heb 1:2.
II. New Testament – 27 Books (letters).
III. Problems in Copying the New Testament.
A. Illiteracy – 85%
B. Hand copied, amateur volunteers, no publishing companies, no book stores, often under persecution.
C. Poor materials – papyrus.
D. No universal organization, no controls, much carelessness.
E. Greek language with no spaces separating words, no punctuation, used abbreviations, originals in cursive and copies in uncials.
IV. Attestation by Early Church.
A. Quotations – Polycarp, Didache, Clement, Patias, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus.
B. Lists of books used
C. Need for a “canon” – a defense against heresy, which books to die for.
D. Tests or qualifications of inspiration
E. Progression and finalization of canon
V. New Testament manuscripts (copies) in Greek 4500 – 5700.
A. Greek, Latin, Syriac, Coptic.
B. Problem of variants
1. Misspelling, grammar, omissions
C. Textual Criticism.
3. Family Trees.
D. Examples – Jn 8:1-11, Mark 16:9-20, Jn 5:3-4.
E. Superiority of ancient NT manuscripts over all other ancient literature.
1. As to dates and time between.
3. Geographic range.
VI. Doctrine of Inspiration.
B. Key passages
C. We view the N.T. just as Jesus viewed the translation copies of the O.T.
D. How did the N.T. authors view their writings?
B. What we have.
1. 95% are simple correctable mistakes … only about 50 matter.
2. No variants change the meaning or doctrine.