Modern Myth: Reconstructing The NT From The Early Church Fathers

Is it true that the entire New Testament minus 11 verses could be constructed from the writings of the early church fathers? Explaining the origin of this myth.

Theo-sophical Ruminations

Have you ever heard it said—or said it yourself—that if all the Bibles and Biblical manuscripts in the world were destroyed tomorrow, we could reconstruct all but 11 verses of the NT from the writings of the Ante-Nicene Church Fathers alone?  Recently, while listening to an interview featuring NT textual critic, Daniel Wallace, I learned that this claim is demonstrably false.[1]  Unfortunately this has been repeated in one form or another by many individuals, including prominent NT textual critics.

Apparently this misinformation began to circulate widely in 1841 with the publication of Robert Philip’s memoir of John Campbell titled The Life, Times, and Missionary Enterprises of the Rev. John CampbellThe Life contains a written anecdote of Campbell, who was rehearsing a story told to him by Reverend Dr. Walter Buchanan pertaining to the research David Dalrymple conducted into the church fathers’ citations of the NT.  According…

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