Their Authentic Writings

Tertullian, c.180AD:

“Come now, you who would indulge a better curiosity, if you would apply it to the business of your salvation, run over the apostolic churches, in which the very thrones of the apostles are still pre-eminent in their places, in which their own authentic writings are read, uttering the voice and representing the face of each of them severally.”

Rev. Matthew Winzer on this quote: “There is a question as to whether “authentic writings” refers to the autographs or accurate copies of them.”

Source:, Comment 2


No Total Corruption of Original Texts

Turretin, Institutes, pp 106ff:

The question is not, are the sources so pure that no fault has crept into the many sacred manuscripts, either through the waste of time, the carelessness of copyists or the malice of the Jews or of heretics? For this is acknowledged on both sides and the various readings which Beza and Robert Stephanus have carefully observed in the Greek (and the Jews in the Hebrew) clearly prove it. Rather the question is have the original texts (or the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts) been so corrupted either by copyists through carelessness, or by the Jews or heretics through malice, that they can no longer be regarded as the judge of controversies and the rule to which all the versions must be applied? The papists affirm, we deny it.

Source:, Comment #43 (Logan)

Integrity of Versions and Sources

Richard A. Muller, Post Reformation Reformed Dogmatics, Volume 2, Holy Scripture: The Cognitive Foundation of Theology, page 437:

The Reformed orthodox insisted on the providential preservation of Scripture in its integrity and the consistent care taken by the church throughout history to care for the text. This assumption of integrity refers, moreover, not to the versions but to the Hebrew and Greek sources on which all versions must be based.

Source:, Comment #39 (Kent Brandenburg via Jerusalem Blade)

No High Court of Appeal

Edward Leigh (1602–1671), English Puritan and theologian:

If the authority of the authentical copies in Hebrew, Chaldee and Greek fall, then there is no pure Scripture in the Church of God, there is no high court of appeal where controversies (rising upon the diversity of translations, or otherwise) may be ended. The exhortations of having recourse unto the Law and to the Prophets, and of our Saviour Christ asking “How it is written,” and “How readest thou,” is now either of none effect, or not sufficient.”

~Treatise, (London, 1656), Vol I, vi. 102-3

Source:, Comment #39 (Jerusalem Blade)

Creating Doubt Over What God Said

Alexander Smith:

“To follow the reasoning of people like White is to doubt the Bible you hold in your hands. These men are saying whole portions of Scripture shouldn’t even be there and every time a different translation comes out they’re preaching verses which don’t say the same thing they said the last time they preached on them. I think this is connected with a movement to always go to the original languages, which you see with a lot of Reformed people. Of course knowledge of the original languages is valuable and important, but if one has to refer to the original language to “really” know what Scripture is saying then you’re effectively saying the vast majority of Christians can’t truly know what God is saying to them in Scripture: they need a small group of learned men to tell them. That’s why the divine preservation of the text of Scripture is an essential element of the doctrine of the inspiration of Scripture. We have a faithful translation, based on a text which was divinely preserved. We can trust what we’re reading, if reading the KJV.”

Source:, Comment #28


Who Held the Autographs?

Dr. Wilbur Pickering, chapter 5, “The History of the Text”, in  The Identity of the New Testament Text II:

“So who held the Autographs? Speaking in terms of regions, Asia Minor may be safely said to have had twelve (John, Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Timothy, Philemon, 1 Peter, 1 and 2 and 3 John, and Revelation), Greece may be safely said to have had six (1 and 2 Corinthians, Philippians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, and Titus in Crete), Rome may be safely said to have had two (Mark and Romans)—as to the rest, Luke, Acts, and 2 Peter were probably held by either Asia Minor or Rome; Matthew and James by either Asia Minor or Palestine; Hebrews by Rome or Palestine; while it is hard to state even a probability for Jude it was quite possibly held by Asia Minor. Taking Asia Minor and Greece together, the Aegean area held the Autographs of at least eighteen (two-thirds of the total) and possibly as many as twenty-four of the twenty-seven New Testament books; Rome held at least two and possibly up to seven; Palestine may have held up to three (but in A.D. 70 they would have been sent away for safe keeping, quite possibly to Antioch); Alexandria (Egypt) held none. The Aegean region clearly had the best start, and Alexandria the worst—the text in Egypt could only be second hand, at best. On the face of it, we may reasonably assume that in the earliest period of the transmission of the N.T. Text the most reliable copies would be circulating in the region that held the Autographs. Recalling the discussion of Tertullian above, I believe we may reasonably extend this conclusion to A.D. 200 and beyond. So, in the year 200 someone looking for the best text of the N.T. would presumably go to the Aegean area; certainly not to Egypt.”

Source:, Comment #45