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The Nature Of The Evidence Available For Reconstructuring The Text Of The New Testament In The Second Century

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Chapter Summary

For those engaged on the New Testament manuscript tradition the challenge for our new century is to try to understand better the influences on the church, its texts and its traditions in the period before the canon was fixedspecifically in the period of the 2nd century. Outside the manuscripts on papyrus we could add 0189, possibly a 2nd century fragment of Acts. Helmut Koester was too gloomy in stating in 1988 that there is virtually no 2nd century evidence. The important thing to note is that all manuscripts which are listed in the chapter came to light only in the 20th century. One often hears that the 2nd century is a comparative dark age for our knowledge of Christianity, and a dark age for the history of the text. But, in addition to a number of early witnesses that are outlined in this chapter, other evidence is available to us.

Keywords: 2nd century evidence; New Testament



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