The integrity of the New Testament is an area of research that is often sought out and questioned then dropped and left without further studying due to its ability to arouse deep spiritual questions concerning the integrity of ones faith. As we venture into the world of Biblical Criticism to seek out the legitimacy of The Holy Bible, we first must conceive a solid background and understanding of the topic. When Studying the integrity, thee biggest issue brought to examination is that of biblical manuscripts.
Popular sources on these topics are in plenty. Why? Because these topics are so renowned among scholars and even among the common people around the world. Among the three subcategories— legitimacy of manuscripts, the wellness of translations, and the canonicity of the New Testament— the most popular tends to be the issue of translation. As in, can we trust the manuscripts the New Testament is being translated from? If the New Testament writings were passed on for over a thousand years with one copy being made from other copies by hand, can we really trust the integrity of our english translations that they are reflecting what the New Testament authors originally wrote in greek?
Thankfully, the answer is yes! thousands of discoveries of manuscripts have been found and all greatly carry their message in accordance with the others. As Walter A. Elwell, professor of Bible and Theology at Wheaton College, states it: “The New Testament is by far the best-attested writing of antiquity. Close to six thousand Manuscripts containing at least a fragment of the New Testament have been cataloged.” (Elwell, Walter A. Encountering the New Testament.) This is a bold statement in making such a claim, but has truth in itself. With almost six thousand cataloged manuscripts of the New Testament, it makes it harder to mis-translate than it would be to translate correctly.
Is it really reliable? Online author Greg Koukl is well known for his work and study in this field of study. when posed with the same question concerning the integrity of the New Testament he put it this way.
“The argument against the reliability of the New Testament texts can be stated very simply. How can we know that the documents we have in our possession accurately reflect originals destroyed almost two millennia ago? Communication is never perfect; people make mistakes. Errors are compounded with each successive generation, just like the message in the telephone game. By the time 2000 years pass, it's anyone's guess what the original said.” (Koukl)
Asking questions such as these often seem to make their self seem compelling and have no hope in finding justification among scholars. Thats where it seems to also contradict itself due to the fact that most people who ask this question are those of common place and knowledge rather than those of scholarly expertise. Koukl goes on to say it this way:
"Usually the complaint is raised by people who have little understanding of...