Destroying the entire NT and reconstructing it with quotes?


#1

I've heard this often said; that one can destroy the entire New Testament and reconstruct almost all of it based on Church father quotes alone. Is this true or false?

However, if these 25,000 manuscripts were destroyed, we still would know what the New Testament writers actually wrote. We would then go to the writings of the Church Fathers. These early Church Fathers wrote numerous books and letters in which they made over 38,000 quotations from the New Testament. From their writings alone we could reconstruct the entire New Testament minus about 11 verses. carm.org/new-testament-corrupted

If this is true, what does the date go up to? Can we reconstruct the entire NT before the year 325 with quotes? Also, what are the 11 verses or so that would be left out?


#2

This has the ring of truth to it, but I would advise against relying on CARM for anything resembling advice or information, because they are very anti-Catholic and biased in their interpretation of Christian doctrine.


#3

[quote="dronald, post:1, topic:329680"]
I've heard this often said; that one can destroy the entire New Testament and reconstruct almost all of it based on Church father quotes alone. Is this true or false?

If this is true, what does the date go up to? Can we reconstruct the entire NT before the year 325 with quotes? Also, what are the 11 verses or so that would be left out?

[/quote]

Sounds entirely made up, particularly since undertaking such a study would be extremely time consuming. Ask for a copy of the research or for a reference at least.


#4

These would be the same early Church Fathers that the CARM folks don't believe when they say anything that agrees with Catholic teaching? :rolleyes:


#5

Sorry if I posted an anti-Catholic website. It wasn’t my intention, I just was googling around and found this.


#6

[quote="dronald, post:5, topic:329680"]
Sorry if I posted an anti-Catholic website. It wasn't my intention, I just was googling around and found this.

[/quote]

Oh, it's an interesting thesis. I'd like to see their back-up for it, should such exist.


#7

While they may be able to list all the quotes, it would be something else entirely to actually put them into an order that makes sense. The bible is often quoted out of context as it is. So while the words might be there, I think the real meanings would be lost. It's hard enough to understand certain passages even with surrounding context.


#8

There are many Church Father commentaries on Scripture as well as sermons, epistles, etc. Many of the commentaries would supply much of the passages. No doubt every verse of the New Testament would be covered by the Fathers, probaly multiple times. But some of the Old Testament such as Maccabees, Kings and Chronicles would be some areas that would be hard to find many citations. Origen, Theodoret, Jerome, and Bede has written commentaries and exegetical works on the Old Testament, and Augustine did a questions and answers on hexateuch, as well as Theodoret. If you add in Rabanus Maurus to the mix, who is not a Father but a little after, then one could probably provide all the Scriptures.


#9

[quote="spiderweb, post:7, topic:329680"]
While they may be able to list all the quotes, it would be something else entirely to actually put them into an order that makes sense. The bible is often quoted out of context as it is. So while the words might be there, I think the real meanings would be lost. It's hard enough to understand certain passages even with surrounding context.

[/quote]

The Church fathers up to what date do you think? It would be neat if someone attempted this up to the dating of the first codex.


#10

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