theory of a later Isaiah, even if it were established, disprove the genuineness of that prophecy; provided, in both cases, that the additions were made by men of the prophetic class. On the general subject of the genuineness of the Scripture documents, see Alexander, McIlvaine, Chalmers, Dodge, and Peabody, on the Evidences of Christianity; also Archibald, The Bible Verified.
We do not need to adduce proof of the existence of the books of the New Testament as far back as the third century, for we possess manuscripts of them which are at least fourteen hundred years old, and, since the third century, references to them have been in-woven into all history and literature. We begin our proof, therefore, by showing that these documents not only existed, but also were generally accepted as genuine, before the close of the second century.
Origen was born as early as 186 A. D.; yet Tregelles tells us that Origen?s works contain citations embracing two-thirds of the New Testament. Hatch, Hibbert Lectures, 12 ? ?The early years of Christianity were in some respects like the early years of our lives...Those early years are the most important in our education. We learn then, we hardly know how, through effort and struggle and innocent mistakes, to use our eyes and ears, to measure distance and direction, by a process which ascends by unconscious steps to the certainty which we feel in our maturity...It was in some such unconscious way that the Christian thought of the early centuries gradually acquired the form which we find when it emerges as it were into the developed manhood of the fourth century.?
A. All the books of the New Testament, with the single exception of 2 Peter, were not only received as genuine, but were used in more or less collected form, in the latter half of the second century. These collections of writings, so slowly transcribed and distributed, imply the long continued previous existence of the separate books, and forbid us to fix their origin later than the first half of the second century.
(a) Tertullian (160-230) appeals to the ?New Testament? as made up of the ?Gospels? and ?Apostles.? He vouches for the genuineness of the four gospels, the Acts, 1 Peter, 1 John, thirteen epistles of Paul, and the Apocalypse, in short, to twenty-one of the twenty-seven books of our Canon.
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