Is Not Having the Original Writings a Serious Problem?

by Terry Wane Benton

Torah Scribe by Ephraim Moshe Lilien

It is not a problem at all. Unless all the copies and quotes are so contradictory and diverse that we need the original documents to settle the matter, the numerous quotes and copies of the Bible provide enough certainty that we do not require the original autographs. In comparing what you do have, you see a consistency of the testimony that reduces the need for the originals. Jesus did not find it disturbing that Moses’ handwritten copies had worn out and been replaced with copies. Such was very much expected. The importance of the originals being copied, worn out, and copied over and over demonstrates that no one saw a different testimony coming forth as new copies were made. That means there was carefulness in accurately copying lest your new copy get exposed as fraudulent.

Given the numerous copies and quotes of the US Constitution, would it matter one iota if someone destroyed the original autograph penned by the original writers and signed witnesses? Would the absence of the original matter at all and cause us to lose all confidence in our remaining copies? I would venture to say that it would not matter at all! It would only matter if every copy told an entirely different story from the others. Since all copies are the same and tell the same story, there is no alarm at all in not possessing the original autograph.

However, turning the argument around on the Bible skeptic, where is even one original witness that can verify that the apostles of Jesus all colluded in making up a lie about Jesus being a miracle worker who was raised from the dead? I’d venture to say there were never any valid witnesses who could stand the tests of early and later scrutiny. The apostle’s testimony not only survived Jerusalem but flourished from there into the whole world. The narrative of testimony never even slowed down in 2000 years. That is worth taking note of!

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