|This is Bob.|
“The thing is we do have an idea of when it (the Bible) was written, and due to textual criticism we are practically certain what the originals said (95% accuracy for OT, 99% for the NT). “
I see Christians make this argument frequently, but I believe that there is a big hole in this argument.
Let’s imagine that we have 1,000,000,000 copies/manuscripts about Story X, but we do not have the original. Even if all one billion copies agree with one another 100%, that does NOT guarantee that any of the copies correctly tell the original story. For instance, let’s say that Randy wrote the original story. But Randy did not widely share his work and eventually his story was lost or destroyed. However, Bob read Randy’s work, and since he couldn’t take Randy’s book down to Kinko’s in the first century and copy it, he borrowed Randy’s book and made a copy of it. However, when making a copy, Bob added new details to Randy’s original story, but decided to still call his book, “The Gospel of Randy”, because, Randy was an alleged eyewitness to the events and therefore Randy’s name on the book would carry more weight in authenticating Bob’s book.
Bob’s book becomes widely circulated and billions of copies are made of it over the next 1,500 years, and all these copies of the Gospel of Randy are consistent, containing no major discrepancies in these billions of copies.
Question: Do we have the original Gospel of Randy as written by RANDY?
Answer: No. We do not. We have billions of copies of BOB’S Gospel of Randy. We have no idea what the original gospel written by Randy said.