Bible Difficulty #9
There are well over 5000 NT manuscripts. In many languages, but mostly in Greek and Latin. And the earliest of Manuscripts are in Greek. However, not one is in the natural language of Jesus and his disciples….Hebrew/Aramaic. This is one I have been researching to some degree lately; but the problem is that I can’t find any scholarly answers. Even the theological answers seem to be lacking.
To put it in context. Imagine a story of a great & wise person who is performing all these miracles in Tampa, FL. This person has turned water into wine. They have healed the sick, raised the dead, walked on water, and has a following counting anywhere between 6,000 to 10,000 people.
This unique story of this miracle worker has caught the attention of the people in Honduras. And the Honduran people who have been hearing this wonderful story of this miraculous person doing all these miracles; -have become deeply committed converts following in the teachings of this Floridian miracle worker. Reading and studying the miracle workers teachings in Spanish. And even setting up churches and devoting their lives to the teachings of this miracle worker.
After much time had passed; several Hondurans noticed that all the articles and works about this person who is from America, are all published and written in Spanish. Not one is in the native language of this miracle worker. In fact, when they go back to Tampa, FL, to find his original writings in his native language they can’t find any. They don’t exist. In addition to that his so-called thousands of followers, are also nowhere to be found. There is no evidence of a following in Tampa. In point, when they begin to question people from that region; they can barely find information on this miracle worker. Even the famous Floridian historians from that region can’t give an account to the miracle worker.
On the other hand back in Mexico they can find over 5000 manuscripts and articles about this miracle worker in Spanish, but nothing in his natural tongue English. (With the earliest of these spanish manuscripts dating to about 150 years after the death of this miracle worker.) Not only that, when they we go back to check the court records for trials and executions, the evidence is lacking in that area also. And we know through our historical research the Floridians kept good records.
So, What is wrong with this picture?
Final Opinion and Thoughts: I really couldn’t find a good scholarly, academic or sufficient theological answer to this question and/or bible difficulty. Really to get another illustration on this claim of discrepant accuracy of the early N.T. manuscripts, check out the GrandFather Gospel Challenge.
- Why are the Ancient Historians Silent about Jesus? by Richard Smith
- Examining the Extra-Biblical Evidence for Jesus by Freethought Kampala
- Ehrman’s Dubious Replies on FreeThought Blogs by Richard Carrier
- Fuller Reply to Richard Carrier by Dr. Bart Ehrman
- Historical Jesus and Josephus