"I believe the New Testament manuscripts have been corrupted over the centuries."
The New Testament was originally written in Greek and the earliest Greek New
Testament manuscripts discovered date to about two centuries after Christ. The number of ancient Greek New Testament manuscripts or fragments of
Greek New Testament manuscripts discovered so far exceed 5,600; 'manuscript'
means hand (manu) written (script) documents.
Two things can be said about these manuscripts.
Firstly, what we know about the history of
the Roman Empire is based largely on The Annals of the Roman Empire, written by the Roman historian Tacitus in 116 AD.
There are only two manuscripts in the world of that in the original
language. One of the two manuscripts dates from the 9th century and the other from the 11th
Therefore, the details of the
history of the Roman Empire stand on two manuscripts written about 1000
years after the original, while the New Testament
stands on 5600+ manuscripts that date from about 200 years after the originals. In other
words, there is far stronger written evidence for the New Testament than for the
history of the Roman Empire.
Secondly, these 5600+ manuscripts in the original
Greek were discovered over a vast area that stretches from the
Middle East to Ethiopia, Spain, Ireland and Germany. So what?
Imagine a kindergarten
class playing whisper telephone. The teacher whispers, "Bobby
pushed Laura on the swings," to two children, and they each
whisper to two other children, and so on. If after ten generations, the
one corner of the classroom reports, "Bobby kissed Laura by the swings,"
while a child at another corner reports, "Bobby hit Laura near the
the class won’t know what the teacher originally had whispered. But if
children at distant corners of the classroom repeat the same sentence, the original
can be deduced without having been heard by all. What's the point?
The original New Testament manuscripts
most likely disintegrated long ago from passing from hand to hand to be
read and copied. But almost all (95-99%) of the 5600+ manuscripts discovered say in effect,
"Bobby pushed Laura on the swings." So the original words can be
deduced from those 5600+ manuscripts without the original copy.