Happy Slip, Kabayans!

Hi there!

I hope you all had an enjoyable holiday. I had a fun and refreshing week, with Christmas services, parties, blessed times for prayer and meditation with my wife, and family reunions with aunts, uncles, and cousins, and with my wife’s family. It’s not over yet. We have another family reunion with my brother and sister tomorrow the 31st, which will last until January 1.

Just wanted to visit the blog today and post a notice about a very talented and funny Filipina—Christine of Happy Slip. Her YouTube channel is now #5 in terms of subscriptions, and I believe she deserves all her success. She’s hilarious, and actually plays all the roles for her family members in her videos, a la Eddie Murphy—her lola, her mother, her father (!), her sister, her auntie and her cousin. She’s even among the 15 nominees for Balitang America’s Newsmaker of the Year by ABS-CBN’s The Filipino Channel.

Her videos showcase not only Filipino humor, but also the high value that we place on the family. Below are samples of her videos:

A Christmas jingle with a catchy (and hard-to-imitate 😦 )
backbeat on a plastic cup (!)


Thanksgiving—> Thanksliving
(she’s got a good point on this video)


And, kabayans, you’ll LOL when you learn where she got the “Happy Slip” tag 🙂 .

BTW, I’d like to thank Pastor Eyriche for pointing me to Happy Slip. Thanks, brother!


MERRY CHRISTMAS! (Did the First Christmas Really Happen?)


Lee Strobel, investigative reporter, former award-winning editor of The Chicago Tribune, and former atheist, presents his case for Christmas (in admittedly greatly summarized form):


The Case for Christmas From Eyewitness Testimony


The Case for Christmas from Early Records


The Case for Christmas from Historical plus Embarrassing Records


May we all have a special experience of the love of Jesus Christ this Christmas! God bless you!


Are the New Testament Documents Reliable? What About the Differences in the Manuscripts?

(continued from  Are the New Testament Documents Reliable?)


To recap the previous post on the topic: the amount of New Testament manuscripts available to scholars dwarfs the number of manuscripts of any other ancient literature.

Not only Greek manuscripts are available, but also thousands of manuscripts in several other languages, including Latin, Syriac, Coptic, Armenian, Ethiopic, etc. [1]

It is inevitable, of course, that there would be variations among these thousands of manuscripts. There would be spelling errors, transpositions of words, etc. After all, there were no photocopiers during those times, no eyeglasses to correct for myopia, presbyopia, or astigmatism, no bright electric lights, etc., and the sources of the copies would many times be faded manuscripts. This is the subject of the second important question of manuscript analysis—how much do the manuscripts differ from one another?

If the differences are too big, then they would greatly compound the difficulty of deciding which manuscripts are reliable copies of the originals and which are not, and what the original documents really said.

But if the differences can be attributed to scribal errors (such as misspellings and word transpositions), then it would be easier to ascertain the contents of the original documents.

And our confidence that we have the original message of the original documents would be greatly enhanced if we also have manuscripts in other languages coming from different places. As renowned scholar Dr. Bruce Metzger explains, “The more often you have copies that agree with each other, especially if they emerge from different geographical areas, the more you can cross-check them to figure out what the original document was like. The only way they’d agree would be where they went back genealogically in a family tree that represents the descent of the manuscripts”[2].

Dr. Metzger himself made a study comparing the extents of differences in the manuscripts of three famous ancient literary works: the Iliad, the Mahabharata, and the New Testament. Don Bierle, in citing Metzger’s study, says “The works varied in length from 15,600 lines for the Iliad, 20,000 for the New Testament, and 250,000 for the Mahabharata[3]. All variations which did not affect the meaning of the line (such as misspellings and word transpositions) were ignored. Only those variations which affected the meaning of the text were counted.

The result of the study?

According to Dr. Metzger, the Iliad had about a 5% distortion rate—764 lines out of about 15,600 were corrupted or led to readings or interpretations that were either uncertain or differed among the different manuscripts. The 5% distortion rate means that the meaning of roughly one out of every twenty lines is uncertain. Yet, as Dr. Bierle points out, this fact is very rarely, if ever, pointed out in literature classes where the Iliad is assigned as a reading. “Its integrity is assumed without question”[4].

The Mahabharata fared much worse, with a distortion rate of about 10%. This meant that “One out every ten lines of this religious book was ‘up for grabs’, so to speak”[5].

How about the New Testament? The data, according to Dr. Bierle, is “incredible. Only 40 of 20,000 lines, or 1/5 of 1% (0.2%), are distorted. This is 1/25th of the distortion found in the Iliad, which itself has a low distortion rate among ancient writings”[6].

The following chart summarizes the findings of Dr. Metzger’s landmark study:

Distorion rate of New Testament documents vs. other ancient literature

(This chart is copyrighted by FaithSearch International. Used with permission.)

Drs. William Nix and Norman Geisler have this to say: “The New Testament, then, has not only survived in more manuscripts than any other book from antiquity, but it has survived in a purer form than any other great book”[7]. Pure indeed. Following Dr. Metzger’s findings, the New Testament documents can even be said to be 99.8% pure.

Further, Metzger explains that the variations tend to be minor rather than substantive. That is, “The more significant variations do not overthrow any doctrine of the church. Any good Bible will have notes that will alert the reader to variant readings of any consequence”[8].

Another renowned Biblical scholar, Dr. F.F. Bruce, concurs: “the variant readings about which any doubt remain among textual critics of the New Testament affect no material question of historic fact or of Christian faith and practice”[9].

So the reliability of the New Testament documents is demonstrated by the results of answering the first two questions of manuscript analysis: (1) how many manuscripts are there, and (2) how much do they differ?

The answers: (1) New Testament manuscripts far outnumber the manuscripts of other ancient literature; and (2) these thousands of manuscripts differ much, much less from each other than the fewer manuscripts of other ancient literature. So our assurance is greatly increased that what we have in our present Bibles correspond quite substantially to the original writings.

But how do we know that what the original writings said were true? Even if what we have now are 100% faithful copies of the originals, if those originals were only made up of legends, then it does not do us much good, does it?


To be continued…..


Related posts:

Are the New Testament Documents Reliable?

Was Jesus Christ a Real Person?


[A very sad note: Dr. Bruce Metzger, greatly esteemed for his scholarship and much admired for his character, died early this year, on Feb. 13, 2007. A tribute at Christianity Today can be found here, and a tribute from another widely respected scholar, Dr. Ben Witherington III, can be found here.]


[1] Lee Strobel, The Case for Christ,p. 76* and Don Bierle, Surprised by Faith, p. 30.
[2] The Case for Christ, p. 76.
[3] Surprised by Faith, p. 35.
[4] Ibid.
[5] Ibid.
[6] Ibid.
[7] As quoted by Lee Strobel in The Case for Christ, p. 85. Quoted from the book General Introduction to the Bibleby Norman Geisler and William Nix.

[8] As quoted by Lee Strobel in The Case for Christ, p. 85. From a one-on-one interview between Strobel and Metzger.
[9] Surprised by Faith, p. 35.

(*page numbers for the book The Case for Christ refer to the Philippine edition, published locally by OMFLit.)


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Beautiful Ballet Between a Man Without a Leg and a Woman Without an Arm

A good friend* sent me this link, and I just HAD to post it today. It’s so beautiful and moving!

What an inspiring tribute to the human spirit, dignity, and will!




*Thanks, pastor Eyriche!


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Theistic Evolution?

A visitor posted the following comments:

I do wonder why people don’t even consider that there might be a God who created everything through evolution


I do try to be tolerant of people, but thus far, I have seen nobody make a powerful argument for ID or creationism being an empirical science

I was about to respond to him that there are actually Christians who believe in what is called “theistic evolution”. Before I could do that,  I came across a favorable review in Christianity Today of a new book (2007) by Francis Collins, head of the Human Genome project. It’s called The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief, and it argues for—guess what?—theistic evolution!

Soon as I could, I plan to get a copy of the book and read it, and I would also like to invite the original commentor to check it out, too, if he has time.

In the meantime, if anybody has already read the book, I would be VERY grateful for your comments. I think this idea is worth investigating, with the end of “following the evidence wherever it leads”. Thanks!

I am not yet for or against this position, as I have not yet had time to study it. But I think it is worth investigating and discussing, by Christians and non-Christians alike.