Many Christians are satisfied with the claim that if all the Biblical manuscripts did not exist, they could rely on Church fathers to reconstruct the Bible.
Now we have already shown that even if we take the assertion that the Church fathers and their quotations can be trusted both as a source of knowledge,(and their authenticity) , we still wont be able to get a Bible until the fourth century
An upcoming post, will question the authenticity of the Church Fathers writings themselves, and can they rightly be attributed to their respective authors.
This post, however, will assume for the sake of argument that these writings are authentic to their respective author. But it will question whether we can rely on such authors to quote the Bible.
Many evangelical Christian apologists use an argument attributed to the Executive Director of the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts, which goes as follows:
We can almost completely restore the New Testament off of the early church fathers alone.
This argument posits that based on the writings of the early Church Fathers (Patristics), in their quotations, we can use those quotations of the New Testament to reconstruct the entire New Testament. However, as Dr. Dan Wallace clarifies, this is not a claim he makes, and he specifically qualifies that although such a reconstruction can be done, it cannot be done using the early Patristics:
As Dr. Ehrman points out, this cannot be done using the early Patristic writings (1st to 3rd centuries). Unfortunately, this is quite a popular argument used by Christian apologists, and it’s long overdue that either Dr. Wallace or Dr. Ehrman corrected lay…
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Taken from here: https://unveiling-christianity.net/2008/05/08/is-the-biblical-jesus-lucifer/
I’m sure you have heard Christians argue for Jesus’ divinity in light of “Before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58). What they do is that they try to link this statement purportedly uttered by Jesus to that uttered by God in Exodus 3:14, “God said to Moses,”I am who I am”. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am’ has sent me to you.’” I do not wish to get into a discussion and exegesis of these two verses. That is not the purpose of this article. What I will do in this case is apply “I agree with you for the sake of argument”. So let’s agree for a moment(for the sake of argument) that Jesus is God because he used the words “I am” which God used, that is, he equated himself with God. That is the logic which the Trinitarians use. Let us now apply the same logic with the following:
Exodus 8:19 New International Version (NIV)
19 the magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.” But Pharaoh’s heart was hard and he would not listen, just as the Lord had said.
Luke 11:20 New International Version (NIV)
20 But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.
Taken from Bart Ehrman’s “Jesus Interrupted”:
In response to the assertion, made by conservative evangelicals, that not a single important Christian doctrine is affected by any textual variant, I point out:
a. It simply isn’t true that important doctrines are not involved. As a key example: the only place in the entire New Testament where the doctrine of the Trinity is explicitly taught is in a passage that made it into the King James translation (1 John 5:7–8) but is not found in the vast majority of the Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. I would suggest that the Trinity is a rather important Christian doctrine. A typical response to this rebuttal is that the doctrine of the Trinity can be found in Scripture without appealing to 1 John 5:7–8. My reply is that this is true of every single Christian doctrine. In my experience, theologians do not hold to a doctrine because it is found in just one verse; you can take away just about any verse and still find just about any Christian doctrine somewhere else if you look hard enough.
Keeping aside the oral tradition of the Qur’an of which the Bible does not have in Greek , let alone in Aramaic ( the language which Jesus spoke); how does the textual integrity of the surviving manuscripts of each respective book compare?
Just considering the first hundred years of each respective calendar (the Islamic Calendar vs the Christian Calendar), we find that within the early first century the Muslims can boast a 91.7 % completion rate . As for the Christians they do not have a Biblical fragment until the second century, and even then it is the size of a credit card. Moreover just based on manuscripts, it would take more than 300 years to get a complete Bible.
Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture – [fight] until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled. [Quran 9:29]
New International Version (NIV)
10 When you march up to attack a city, make its people an offer of peace. 11 If they accept and open their gates, all the people in it shall be subject to forced labor and shall work for you. 12 If they refuse to make peace and they engage you in battle, lay siege to that city. 13 When the Lord your God delivers it into your hand, put to the sword all the men in it. 14 As for the women, the children, the livestock and everything else in the city, you may take these as plunder for yourselves. And you may use the plunder the Lord your God gives you from your enemies. 15 This is how you are to treat all the cities that are at a distance from you and do not belong to the nations nearby.