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This stream of evidence is, of course, in addition to the various manuscript copies in Greek (to say nothing of early translations) of the New Testament documents.

Among these are the John Rylands papyri (p52), the earliest undisputed manuscript of a New Testament book, dated from 117 to 138AD.

Indeed, as has often been noted by many who have spent their lives pondering ancient evidence pertaining to the Scripture, No work from Graeco-Roman antiquity is so well attested by manuscript tradition as the New Testament.

There are many more manuscripts of the New Testament than there are of any classical author, and the oldest extensive remains of it date only about two centuries after their original composition (Albright 1971, 238).

For example, every New Testament book is quoted by the Apostolic Fathers (as the early Christian writers down to 150AD are commonly known).

It is beyond dispute that no other book from the ancient world has as small a time span between composition and earliest manuscript copies, as does the New Testament. This is especially so given the climate of society today and its attitudes toward the Bible. Almost a half-century ago, when I first began to think seriously about various controversies over the dating and authorship of New Testament documents, one of the first things I encountered was this then-newly-minted comment by one of the worlds leading archaeologists, William F. While that comment was made a few years before his death in an interview in the evangelical magazine, Christianity Today, it was by no means a spur-of-the moment interjection common in interviews. What I have learned since encountering Albrights comment has only caused me to see more clearly why this accomplished archaeologist said what he did.The New Testament is not the stuff of mythology or fiction, as the early and wide accessibility of the documents attest.5060AD for Pauls genuine letters (i.e., Romans, 12 Corinthians, Galatians) to about 170AD for the Gospel and letters of John.Baurs proposal was remained influential for later attempts to date and identify authorship of the New Testament documents (Harris, 237, 24862; Ellis, Appendix VI).

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