|Papyrus 46 (200 CE)|
And therein lies a debate. Can we, through the study of copies of copies, reconstruct the New Testament? Can we get even close? Some are confident that we can, others say no.
There are, of course, good people on both sides of the debate. Two people who have been debating this issue publicly recently are Bart Ehrman and Dan Wallace. Erhman is a prolific New Testament scholar and text critic who says "no." Dan Wallace is also a New Testament scholar and text critic who says "yes."
I had not yet had the chance to hear the two of them debate until Brian Leport over at Near Emmaus posted the below video. It is about 2 hours long, but is worth listening to and is interesting no matter which side of the debate you fall. Both of these gentlemen make some valid points.
Incidentally, it was during one of these debates that Dan Wallace announced that the discovery of a first century copy of Mark's Gospel.