How can Christians know the Manuscript Copies are accurate when they don’t have the Originals?

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.


8 thoughts on “How can Christians know the Manuscript Copies are accurate when they don’t have the Originals?

  1. I don't think you're stupid. I think you are a butt-head but hey, so am I. Only difference is people expect more from you than they would someone like me.


  2. Gary, I do not read all of your posts but it is nice to see a post here of you sharing your personal thoughts and argument on a topic.

    As for Papa Emeritus above, don't call Gary “fat headed” or a “butt head.” I think that is low that you make statements like that without a link to your own website or thoughts. Gary has courage to put his thoughts out here for others to read, wrestle with, or disagree with. Yet, you have done nothing but call him names.


  3. Chris, it is a joke, Gary knows pretty much every word out of my mouth on here is either:

    A. Stupid
    B. Joking
    C. Moronic
    E. Sarcastic

    I think Gary would admit he can be a butt head at times. I like Gary, if I didn't I wouldn't lurk on his blog. Things get very heated on here but I like Gary. I do not have a website or a blog simply because I do not know how and I have nothing to offer the internet that isn't already out there in mass quantities.


  4. Thanks for the support, Chris.

    Papa/Fred/Frank/Pat is my resident heckler. Most of the time he is funny and amusing, although sometimes he can be a real obnoxious ass.

    I don't delete his rude comments for the embarrassing fact that I am so desperate for comments on my posts that I will take whatever I can get…even if it is abusive.



  5. You're making me blush Gary, such kind words. Thank you and I will completely understand if you decide to block me or delete me once/if/should/when your comments section becomes ablaze with the deep provocative thinking of scholars both biblical and secular. Me and my multiple personality disorders thank you.


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