The paper copied below, with permission, is authored by Ellis Skolfield, of Fish House Ministries.

Manuscript Errors? - May, 2006

Hello Brethren;

Liberal scholars of many groups, Islamic scholars and the leaders of many other religious organizations question whether the Bible has been accurately handed down to us. It's been over 50 years since I studied textual criticism so this little synopsis may not be in keeping with the latest science, but it's the best I can do from memory.

Undoubtedly some friendly Greek -- Hebrew scholar or conservative textual critic will bring any additions or corrections to my attention via e-mail.

Some believe the Bible has been corrupted over time. It isn't true and here is how we know it isn't.

The last books of the New Testament were written by about 100 A.D. by the apostle John who was still alive at that time. We have over 5300 partial or complete manuscripts of the New Testament penned prior to fourth century A.D. Though not assembled into what we now know as the New Testament until 300 A.D., those canonical writings of Jesus' apostles were being read all over the known world. Though it is disputed by some Messianic Jews, the New Testament manuscripts were originally written in Koine` Greek and then copied by early Christians into every language known to the world. Our major manuscripts are in Greek, yes, but we also have important early manuscripts in Latin, Syriac, Aramaic, Hebrew, and several other lesser-known languages. We have one small piece of the Gospel of John, found on the Egyptian island of Elephantine, that is early enough to be a piece of the original.

It is impossible to support any kind of later corrupting when we have those 5300 early manuscripts that prove otherwise. In fact, because of this breadth of early manuscript support, textual scholars have concluded -- that for all practical purposes -- we have the original documents themselves. For a claim of tampering to be seriously considered, one would have to show that scribes from Syria, Babylonia, Galatia, Asia, India, Rome, Egypt, Greece, Carthage, Tarshish and Macedonia -- to name a few -- all made the same mistake, at the same time, for the same doctrinal purpose. An utterly ridiculous idea.

We have similar textual support for the authenticity of the Old Testament. Until a few years ago, the earliest documents we had for the Old Testament were later copies of a 70 B.C. Septuigent in Greek and a Massoretic Text in Hebrew that could be positively dated to the ninth century A.D.. However, with manuscript discoveries at Qumran made in the late 1940's (the Isaiah scroll, the book of Daniel, the book of Jubilees, the Temple scrolls, etc. etc.), some of which could be dated to the third century B.C.. Internal evidence within one Daniel scroll dates it at 350 B.C. As a result, we can now state with some certainty that there has been no tampering with the canonical Old Testament manuscripts between 300 B.C. and 900 A.D..

Despite the span of over a thousand years, the canonical manuscripts are virtually identical !!!!

To suggest there was tampering to the Old Testament documents prior to 300 B.C. shows a misunderstanding of Israelite scribal methodology and of their reverence for the Scriptures. First of all, biblical scrolls were written on the inside only to prevent any smudging or smearing that might lead to a misreading of the text. When being copied -- besides many parallel readings -- the copy was compared with the original in every way humanly possible.

The words in each column were counted and then the letters. The first, last, and middle letter and word in each column had to be identical to the original. If the number of words or the number of letters of the copy differed from the original, the copy was destroyed. Then they counted the words and letters in the whole document. They divided the document into quarters and into eighths. The first, last and middle letter in each section had to be the same. The number of words and the number of letters in each section had to be the same.  The middle word and the middle letter in each section had to be the same, and they had to be the same for the whole document. If not, the copy was destroyed. Not corrected, but destroyed!

Since there is absolutely no textual or historic evidence that the Old Testament was ever corrupted, any claim of editing must have been made by those religious authorities who didn't like what the Old Testament taught. There are some who claim late-dating for Old Testament prophets, but that claim is unfounded, as well. The books of Moses, originally penned in the 15th century B.C. contain Egyptian words and idioms that fell out of usage a few centuries later. When the Hebrews entered Canaan, Canaanite words appeared in Scripture, when in contact with the Assyrians, Assyrian words appeared in Scripture. During the Babylonian captivity, when Daniel and Ezekiel were written, Babylonian words and Babylonian idioms appeared in Scripture. So rest assured, these canonical books were contemporary books, written when the prophets claimed they were, and they remain unchanged to this day.

Ellis Skolfield

Please visit Ellis Skolfield's site for much more, particularly in regard to Islam in bible prophecy.

The following is not a part of the above paper.


Let's take a look at the textual integrity of the Quran, by comparison, as bequeathed to us by the Quran and Hadith themselves.

Though the Quran has a short 23 year history, it is so self-contradictory that a whopping 71, out of only 114 suras, require abrogation.

In stark contrast the bible spans a period from Moses in about 1446 BC, to the book of Revelation, written around the end of the first century. Over that period mankind developed from desert dwelling nomads, to advanced nations that could follow religious law, as well as secular laws of kings and emperors.

It is important to note that parts of the Old Testament are purely historical record, that in no way imply God's tacit approval, of what was recorded of those events. These portions simply chronicle events that took place.

In spite of it's near 1600 year history, and the large volume of prophets, and legions of witnesses, God's Word requires no abrogation.

It should be apparent that the Quran’s voluminous abrogation, required for a record of recitations of an illiterate, that were collected over the brief span of just 23 years, demonstrates not divine revelation, but the changing whims of it's author. A good example is the convenient "revelation" that allowed Muhammad to take his stepson's wife (Sura 33:37).

The Al-Nasikh wal-Mansoukh - the abrogator and the abrogated - is the Arabic language book that details what is abrogated by what.

Good video at this address:

According to Muhammad:

Quran 2:106 None of Our revelations do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, but We substitute something better or similar: Knowest thou not that Allah Hath power over all things?

Not abrogated..... just........ substituted....... for something better!

Later suras abrogate those that occur earlier.

Suras like:

8:12 I will instill terror into the hearts of the unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them

Comprise the "better" "substitute" for the verses waaaay back in sura 2:

2:256 Let there be no compulsion in religion:...

It would seem Muhammad knew what a mess it was:

Surah 16:101 When We substitute one revelation for another, and Allah knows best what He reveals (in stages), they say, "Thou art but a forger": but most of them understand not.

It also seems Muhammad suspected he would be viewed as a fraud.

Please visit for more on abrogation.

Another video on abrogation:
A video detailing some specific verses:
More on "Naskh"

For much more on the textual history of the Quran please read "Islam Reviewed" by former Muslim M. Ali, published by Fish House Ministries, and available in PDF at, or in HTML at

It wasn't until after 632 that a standardized text began to be compiled from inscriptions on palm leaves, stones, and memories of reciters that survived the battle of Aqraba. Once compiled, the Quran was subsequently collected up, and all but a preferred version burned, on two separate occasions. Once under Abu Bakr and again under Khalif Uthman.

Islam is the inevitable result of a tangled web of deception. Please visit The Quran could never be made "better", whether through abrogation or otherwise. In fact it is a terminally repetitive, and self-contradicting record, of recitations of an illiterate 7th century false prophet, that is THE EXACT OPPOSITE of the revelation of God through Jesus Christ.

Perhaps the most violent thing Jesus did was overturn the tables of the moneychangers. The polar opposite of the way Muhammad is revealed through the Quran and the Hadith.

Muhammad rejected ALL of the New Testament disciples and apostles, that walked and talked with Jesus, and he rejected the WHOLE SUBJECT of the New Testament, which is the new covenant that we are given through Jesus Christ.

2Corinthians 13:1 This [is] the third [time] I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.

No surprise that Muhammad was alone.

Islam is the only anti-another-religion religion.
Islam is antichrist.

1 John 2:22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. 23 Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: [(but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also].

The full text of the First Epistle of John, from the same version the famous Islamic sophist Ahmed Deedat used (KJV), is available at Why not read it for yourself and see if you agree with Deedat about it "confirming Muhammad"?