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David Trobisch and David Parker on the Origin of the New Testament the Historical Jesus, and How Manuscripts Can Reveal What Texts Conceal

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David Trobisch and David Parker on the Origin of the New Testament, the Historical Jesus, and How Manuscripts Can Reveal What Texts Conceal
Tom Dykstra
I grew up with a picture of Paul traveling through Asia and Europe, founding congregations, counseling and teaching the men and women who had given their life to Jesus. If he could not visit them, he sent letters. When Paul died, his letters were kept as treasures. Each church that had received one of his letters saved it, had it read during worship services, and exchanged copies of the letter with other congregations close by. Later the congregations tried to complete their collection. But this view does not match the uniformity of manuscript evidence. --David Trobisch
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It is even more remarkable that attempts to reconstruct the supposed document 'Q' (the lost collection used by both Matthew and Luke postulated by those who argue that Matthew and Luke are independent) use text-critical terminology to describe their activities. However, since all they are doing is making selections from a twentieth-century printed text, which does not even presume to provide confidently the text of the four-Gospel collection, never mind that of the independent first-century texts, this use of language must be dismissed as illusory. --David Parker
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Modern scholarship has produced detailed biographies of Paul, massive multi-volume inquiries into “the historical Jesus,” and mountains of exegetical literature that claims to extract the author’s meaning from each word of each New Testament book. Typically, this literature analyzes the scriptural texts with little reference to actual manuscripts. Exegetes and even historians typically allude to manuscripts only briefly when they encounter variant readings that they deem particularly significant, such as the longer endings of Mark, the story of the adulterous woman in John 7:53-8:11, or...

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