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Byzantine Text prior to the 4th Century

One of the arguments against the Byzantine text is that there is no good proof of the text-type existing before the 4th century.

I started thinking about that line of logic, and am finding it wanting.

We can’t prove that something did not exist, and therefore should keep this out of the argument used against the Byzantine Text.

I can remember back a while when folks said that the Gospels were wrong because they spoke of Pilate. The argument was that since no artifacts have ever been found with his insignia, he was not a historical figure. Of course, years later they ended up finding coins with his insignia on them, and we never heard that argument again.

Besides all of this, it is not usually taken into consideration, even by pro-Byzantine folks, that there may be no manuscripts because the copies were considered superior to the originals as per the Hebrew custom. The Hebrews would take great pains in making a copy of an OT manuscript. After they made a copy, the copy was considered superior because it was the same as the original, but without the wear and tear. They would then put the old manuscript into storage, and when the storage filled up they would get rid of them with some type of ceremony. Perhaps the early Church took their lead from the Jewish scribes in this area.

Another argument that i think needs to be put aside is that none of the pre-4th century Church Fathers quoted from a Byzantine text-type. This is not a bad argument on the surface, but when you find out that none of those Church Fathers come from the Byzantine area you realize the hole in the argument.


About theologian

I'm a child of the King, my Father who is in Heaven, by the precious blood of His eternal Son, Jesus Christ. I am married with children and currently reside in Pennsylvania. I am a Pastor with the Association of Charismatic Reformed Churches (ACRC) working as an Urban Missionary in Chester, PA. Throughout my time in ministry God has also blessed me with opportunities for formal education by which I earned my terminal degree (Doctor of Theology) from New Geneva Theological Seminary in 2013.


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