www.christdeaf.org/bible
Christ Lutheran Church of the Deaf
Silver Spring, Maryland

New Testament Manuscript Evidence
compared with other classical ancient literature

AUTHOR BOOK DATE WRITTEN TIME GAP to Earliest Copies NUMBER OF COPIES
Homer Iliad 800 BC    400 years 643
Heroditus History 480-425 BC 1,350 years 8
Thucydides History 460-400 BC 1,300 years 8
Plato Philosophy 400 BC 1,300 years 7
Julius Caesar Gallic Wars 100-44 BC 1,000 years 10
Tacitus Annals AD 100 1,000 years 20
Pliny Secundus Nature AD 61-113    750 years 7
  New Testament AD 50-100   50 yrs (fragments)
100 yrs (complete books)
150 yrs (most NT)
225 yrs (complete NT)
5,366

Time gap between original composition and earliest existing manuscripts
New Testament

 50 years
Pliny Secundus
    750 years 
Tacitus
 1,000 years 
Julius Caesar
 1,000 years 
Plato
 1,300 years 
Thucydides
 1,300 years 
Heroditus
 1,350 years 
Homer
    400 years 




Number of existing early manuscript copies

5,368

 
New
Testament
7

Pliny
Secundus
20

Tacitus

10

Julius
Caesar
7

Plato

8

Thucydides

8

Heroditus

643

Homer


Source:  The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict, by Josh McDowell,
(c) 1999, Thomas Nelson Publishers; p.38