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The testimony of witnesses in a court of law is usually oral, but documents may be introduced as well. If the prosecution should discover that one of the documents entered by the defense is a copy of the original, they have every right to question whether that copy is a reliable facsimile of the original, for the defense could have altered the document from testifying against them to testifying for them.

Some of the witnesses who have met God face to face wrote down their testimonies in a series of documents which have been collected into a library which we call the New Testament. The problem is that they wrote on vellum or parchment, materials which quickly decay. Before these documents completely decayed, scribes made copies of them by hand. As those copies began to decay, other scribes made copies of those copies by hand. This scene played itself out over and over again, so that we now have copies of copies of copies of copies. Copying by hand, of course, can cause mistakes, which would only be compounded by further copying. A scribe, not knowing that his decaying copy contains several mistakes, would reproduce those mistakes and possibly add some of his own. In the meantime, the originals have become lost. How, then, are we to know that the copies we have today are a reliable facsimile of what these witnesses originally wrote? How can we know whether changes, accidental or otherwise, have not been made to the originals?

The New Testament is not the only ancient literary work to undergo this process…

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