Why So Many Fewer Copies of the Classics Compared to the Bible? Christians and Muslims Burned Them!


Image result for image of christians burning pagan books
Christians in Ephesus burning “pagan” books (Is that Liam throwing the books in the flames?)

It is implied that an unspoken reason for the preservation of manuscripts [of the Bible] is supernatural over against the loss of non-inspired works, but it is a bit more involved.  Most classical works were in a region that could promise preservation on papyrus and were then recopied in Egypt and disseminated (not like the Christian monastic system).  These texts were systematically copied and studied at the library in Alexandria which burned partially in the first century BC, and then the texts were also systematically destroyed by Christians in the fourth century and Muslims in the seventh and eighth centuries. 

Christians are in part to blame for destroying around one million classical scrolls, and the fact that any classical texts survive in large numbers is remarkable.  Centuries later, [Christians] often use the dearth of evidence [for classical works] to show the superior preservation of the Bible. 

…Also keep in mind that classical works were copied, only if by chance, by [Christian] monks after the fifth century.  They were left in the hands of the “enemy” so to speak to preserve and perpetuate—which they did but not as aggressively.

–Christian Bible scholar, Scott Carroll, in correspondence with Josh McDowell, printed in McDowell’s book, Evidence That Demands a Verdict, pp. 56-57


3 thoughts on “Why So Many Fewer Copies of the Classics Compared to the Bible? Christians and Muslims Burned Them!

  1. For a serious look at this topic, A blog for atheists from an atheist:


    Quoting Edward Grant, with the emphasis from Tim O’Neil:

    “The handmaiden concept of Greek learning was widely adopted and became the standard Christian attitude toward secular learning. …. With the total triumph of Christianity at the end of the fourth century, the Church might have reacted against pagan learning in general, and Greek philosophy in particular, finding much in the latter that was unacceptable or perhaps even offensive. They might have launched a major effort to suppress pagan learning as a danger to the Church and its doctrines. But they did not.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The EVANGELICAL CHRISTIAN scholar I quoted never said that Christians destroyed the library in Alexandria only that they (with Muslims) destroyed over a million copies of classical texts.

      Liked by 1 person

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