Additionally, while we have the entire New Testament text, this is not the case with every ancient work. For instance, of the 142 books of Roman history written by Livy, 107 books have been lost! Only four and a half of Tacitus’ original fourteen books of Roman Historiesremain in existence and only ten full and two partial books remain from the sixteen books of Tacitus’ Annals. In contrast, each New Testament book is complete, which is also a factor in establishing the authenticity of these writings.^28

The fact that the New Testament is so well-attested is seldom even disputed by critics. In a two-volume work dedicated to his former teacher Rudolf Bultmann, Helmut Koester summarizes nicely the excellent state of the text: Classical authors are often represented by but one surviving manuscript; if there are half a dozen or more, one can speak of a rather advantageous situation for reconstructing the text. But there are nearly five thousand manuscripts of the NT in Greek, numerous translations that derive from an early stage of the textual development, and finally, beginning in II CE, an uncounted number of quotations in the writings of the church fathers. . . . the manuscript tradition of the NT begins as early as the end of II CE; it is therefore separated by only a century or so from the time at which the autographs were written. Thus it seems that NT textual criticism possesses a base which is far more advantageous than that for the textual criticism of classical authors.^29

Other critiques could be raised against Bultmann’s form-critical approach to the Gospels. For instance, some have noted his outdated, nineteenth century view of science that causes him to refer to anything which does not fit his system as “myth.”^30 Others note that he is also dated in his heavy reliance on Hellenistic influences for much of the New Testament teaching, instead of turning to the now demonstrated