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The reliability of these earliest complete copies of books is indicated by the fact that they closely correspond to earlier portions of books. We do not have the original manuscripts, but the earlier manuscripts from which our complete texts are descended have not perished without a trace. They correspond closely to our texts listed above, and it is a fair inference that the missing portions would show the same correspondence. From the 3rd century: two leaves of a codex with some of the text of chapters 1, 16 and 20 of John. In essence, he demonstrates that the Synoptic Gospels can only have taken shape in the Jewish culture of the first half of the 1st century A. Riesner, Jesus als Lehrer, Mohr, Tübingen 1988 The Birth of the Synoptic Gospels, Franciscan Herald Press, Chicago 1987, p.61 The Hebrew Christ. Blizzard, Understanding the Difficult Words of Jesus: New Insights from a Hebraic Perspective, Rev. We now have 76 manuscripts of portions of the New Testament going back to the 4th century or earlier. It is now regarded as practically established that the four Gospels as we know them were circulating in Egypt as separate books within the first half of the second century. Looking at the table below, we can see that the oldest manuscripts of certain major works of Plato, Caesar, Cicero and Horace date from the 9th century; of Thucydides, Herodotus, Sophocles and Aristotle from the 10th; of Tacitus from the 11th—yet no one doubts that these manuscripts, though ever so many centuries later than their authors’ day, are, substantially, the uncorrupted descendants of the originals. D., and thus they evince the authenticity of their content and origin. Language in the Age of the Gospels, Franciscan Herald Press, Chicago 1989, p.324 A Hebrew Translation of the Gospel of Mark, 2nd. ed., Center for Judaic-Christian Studies, Dayton, Ohio 1994 De Vir. Much will be uncertain; but this we will know; and this is what we need in order to continue our investigation of scripture and Christian history.Much of the information we have about the authors of the New Testament comes from the church fathers, the leaders of the church in the post-apostolic age.In 1935, a small fragment—four verses of St John’s Gospel, chapter 18—came to light; it is true to our text, and it is dated c. No one would ever have thought of questioning the integrity of the Gospel texts, but for the fact that they contain a Divine Law of belief and conduct, irksome to the irreligious. “In short, the latest dates that can be admitted are around 50 for Mark, …

ORDER OF EVENTS AND TIME OF HAPPENINGS IN THE SYNOPTIC GOSPELS 1. The oral Gospel took its essential form in Palestine, and written editions of it would by and by appear in more or less complete form (Luke 1:1). The teaching of the apostles, first given in Jerusalem, repeated in the catechetical schools (compare Luke 1:4, the Revised Version (British and American)), and entrusted to the trained memories of the Christian converts, is held to be sufficient to account for the phenomena of the 3 Gospels. (1) Oral Gospel: The hypothesis of oral tradition: This theory has rather fallen into disfavor among recent critics. Stanton, e.g., says, "The relations between the first 3 Gospels cannot be adequately explained simply by the influence of oral tradition" (Gospels as Historical Documents, II, 17; similarly Moffatt, in the work quoted 180). It assumes that each of the evangelists wrote independently of the others, and derived the substance of his writing, not from written sources, but from oral narratives of sayings and doings of Jesus, which, through dint of repetition, had assumed a relatively fixed form. (2) Mutual Use: As old as Augustine, this hypothesis, which assumes the use of one of the Gospels by the other two, has been frequently advocated by scholars of repute in the history of criticism. Each of the 3 Gospels has been put first, each second, and each third, and each in turn has been regarded as the source of the others. Proposed Solutions (1) Oral Gospel (2) Mutual Use (3) Hypothesis of Sources (4) Other Sources III. It was upheld in Britain by Alford and Westcott, and is today advocated, with modifications, by Dr. Wright in his Synopsis of the Gospels in Greek (2nd edition, 1908).

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