Should the Bible be Copied Like Links in a Chain?

My last article was Was the Bible Copied Like Links in a Chain or a Tangled Ball of String?. Here's a joke I found showing the dangers of the links-in-a-chain method of copying. There are several versions of this joke on the Internet, so I don't know who at attribute it to.

A new monk arrives at the monastery. He is assigned to help the other monks in copying the old texts by hand. He notices, however, that they are copying...

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In Theaters Tuesday, Feb 18 – Patterns of Evidence: The Red Sea Miracle (Part 1)

Red Sea Miracle - Poster

The documentary Patterns of Evidence: The Red Sea Miracle (Part 1) will be in theaters tomorrow night (Tuesday, February 18, 2020), for a one-night-only showing. Theaters and show times are available at Fathom Events. 

Please show your support for Christian films, whether they’re documentaries or dramas, by seeing them when they’re in the theaters.

My wife and I saw the premier of...

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Was the Bible Copied Like Links in a Chain or a Tangled Ball of String?

Chain or String

A common complaint against the Bible is that it's been copied, re-copied and corrupted so many times that it's impossible to know what was originally written. Behind this complaint is the assumption that scribes frequently made errors while copying the Bible, and that later scribes simply copied the errors rather than correcting them.

Many people believe the Bible was copied like links in a chain, with each copy made from the last one that was...

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Documentary Review: Patterns of Evidence: The Red Sea Miracle (Part 1)

Red Sea Miracle - Screen

Update: I didn't mention in the original version of this article that I'll likely see the documentary again when it's in the theater, and buy it when it's available in stores and online. The filmmaking industry measures the success of a film by how much money it makes, particularly when it's first released in the theaters. Please show your support for Christian films, whether they're documentaries or dramas, by seeing them when they're...

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What are Diglots and Polyglots?

New Testament, Matthew 1: NRSV, Greek and NIV

The words diglot and polyglot are linguistic terms that come from Greek words meaning "two-tongued" and "many-tongued", respectively; they can also mean "language" rather than "tongued". When used as adjectives, they refer to people who speak more than one language. In this article, I'll be using them as nouns and refer to manuscripts and books which have more than one language. Most of the time, I'll use polyglot to refer to two or more...

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What Symbols has the Church Used to Refer to Christianity?

Christian symbols used by the church

I've been working on the series What are New Testament Manuscripts?, and my last article,  What are Nomina Sacra?, described how names and titles for God were contracted to show a special reverence for them. The other articles in the series were about Biblical Manuscripts, but this one focuses on Christian symbols used by the church, sometimes in copies of the New Testament, but also in commentaries, prayers, letters and even on...

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What are Nomina Sacra?

Nomina Sacra, Matthew 1:1, Papyrus 1 (A.D. 200-299)

Nomina Sacra is a method early scribes used to contract Sacred Names when copying the New Testament. Although the term nomina sacra (plural; singular: nomen sacrum) is Latin, it has a modern origin in Ludwig Traube's 1907 book Nomina sacra: Versuch einer Geschichte der christlichen Kürzung (Essay on the history of Christian abbreviations). In my last article, What is Scriptio Continua?, I indicated...

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What is Scriptio Continua?

The written word has evolved significantly over the millennia. Many of the evolutions have made writing easier for the sender, and reading easier for the recipient. The media that has been used for writing is one example: some of the oldest knowing writings (or drawings) are on cave walls, and sometimes clay tablets were used. Papyrus (made from the papyrus plant, common along the Nile river) was used for well over 2,000 years, then parchment (made from animal...

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Why Didn’t God Preserve the Autographs of the Bible?

My last two articles have been What’s the Difference Between an Autograph and an Original? and How Long did the Autograph or Original New Testament Manuscripts Last?. Now I want to address a common question: Why Didn't God Preserve the the original Bible?

In my last article, I showed that some of the autographs lasted over 200 years, according to Peter, Bishop of Alexandria (martyred in A.D. 311). Since God is...

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How Long did the Autograph or Original New Testament Manuscripts Last?

My last article was What is the Difference Between an Autograph and an Original?. Now I want to research how long the autographs by the Apostles may have lasted. I own a few books which are nearly 100 years old (I collected The Hardy Boys series for many years, and have some of the originals printed in the 1920's), and some of the books are pretty good condition. If a few of my unimportant The Hardy Boys books have lasted nearly 100...

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