Bible Studies/manuscripts


QUESTION: If we dont have the original bible manuscripts because they were written on papyrus and disintigrated - why do we have over 26,000 copies of those original manuscripts written in the first century...why didnt THEY disintigrate?

ANSWER: Hi Pete,

There are not 26,000 original  manuscript copies from the first century. That is an erroneous statement.

If you are interested in manuscript archaeology, you might want to read works by Adolph Deissmann. He is credited with recognizing the  linguistic similarity between manuscripts/fragments found in the Egyptian desert and the Bible. "Light from the Ancient East" and "Bible Studies" are two books he wrote.

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QUESTION: Josh McDowell gave the info on the 26,000 copies. None the less my question still stands - why do we have "Many" 2nd generation copies on and no 1st generation copies???? Im very puzzled

Pete, It appears that you have misunderstood the material you have read. There are no second generation manuscripts of the Bible. Perhaps a few fragments exist from that early period. The earliest complete collection of the New Testament is found in the Codex Sinaiaticus, dated ~350 A.D. Other major manuscript collections, such as the Vaticanus and Alexandrinus are dated ~ 100 years on either side of the Sinaiaticus

One good book I read on the subject of Bible manuscripts was written by Frederick Kenyon. It was/is called "Our Bible and the Ancient Manuscripts." It's a good introduction to the subject even though it may be a bit dated now.

The history of the Bible is an interesting subject. Carefully read some good books, such as the ones I have mentioned.

In the second generation after Christ, the Bible did [ correction: NOT] exist in the form we know it today.

Correction: The Bible did not exist in the form we know it today

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Glenn Hansen


I will gladly respond to questions on perfection, sanctification, justification, the seal of God, and the nature of Christ. I can also help people understand issues related to the ceremonial law and Decalogue in the New Testament. As an SDA, I read more than fifty of Ellen G. White's books in their entirety. I can answer questions about Adventism, from the perspective of a well read member for more than thirty years. Martin Luther's treatise, "The Freedom of a Christian Man" is one of my favorite Christian writings. If I am not comfortable answering a specific question, I will try to refer you to a good resource.


I was a Seventh day Adventist for more than thirty years.I have a special interest in the doctrines of justification, perfection, and the nature of Christ. I have spent the last several years in China and continue to live there.


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I studied theology as an undergraduate and briefly attended seminary. I discovered, as a seminary student, that the most important learning takes place outside of the classroom.

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