Classical Greek

From: Ron Rhoades (
Date: Tue Mar 10 1998 - 19:03:11 EST

Every one,

Is the following quote concerning the extent MSS of Greek writers
still up to date? I have a feeling there must have been more finds of
source material for some of these writers. Any body have an updated

"Many people say that because we have no original manuscripts of the
Old and New Testament Scriptures, we have no means of proving the
genuineness and authenticity of our Bible. But there are no original
manuscripts of the classical Greek and Latin writers, yet no one seems
to be disturbed about it. Twenty or even ten or less, manuscript
copies are considered sufficient to establish a genuine text. Some have
only 1 to 3 manuscripts. And these copies were made from 200 to 1600
years after the author's death. The 2 works of Tacitus (55-117 C.E.) are
represented by 1 manuscript each, written in the 11 century. The Greek
Anthology exists in but 1 manuscript. the work of Aeschylus (525-456
B.C.E.) and of Lysias (450-380 B.C.E.) have a few manuscripts written
1400 years after their death. There are but 3 independent manuscripts
of Catullus (84-54 B.C.E.), and they date from the 14th century, 1400
years after his death. There are about 100 manuscripts of Sophocles
(946-406 B.C.E.) dating from the 11th century, 1400 years after his
death, but only 7 are of any value. The Greek historian Herodotus
(480-425 B.C.E.) is represented by 15 manuscripts, none of which are
older than the 10th century. There are still fewer manuscripts of Plato
(427-347 B.C.E.), dating from the 9th century, and so on down. Virgil
(70-19 B.C.E.) has 1 manuscript of the 4th century and 2 of the 5th,
besides some fragments."=97H.S. Miller, "General Biblical Introduction";


Ron Rhoades

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