The ancient Jews and the early Christians spread God's message by making copies of the original writings — and copies of copies. No one had a Xerox machine, of course, or a laser printer, so copies were made slowly and meticulously by devout scribes. These copyists were obsessed with accuracy. Every letter was carefully copied, every line checked and rechecked. Old Testament scribes counted every letter of every biblical book, and each new copy had to come out exactly right or they started over from scratch.
God in his watchfulness has allowed hundreds of these ancient copies to survive. We have fragments of copies made just a few years after the originals were written. But even with meticulous care, occasionally a word would be dropped or two letters mixed up. By comparing the manuscripts, however, we can easily determine the correct reading. Less than 1 percent of the text of the New Testament is even questioned — that's one word in 4,000! Furthermore, no major teaching of the Christian faith rests on a disputed or doubtful reading.
"Defend the Bible? I would just as soon defend a lion. Just turn the Bible loose. It will defend itself." — Charles Spurgeon
From Christianity for Blockheads: A User-Friendly Look at What Christians Believe
by Douglas Connelly and Martin Manser