In this post I continue to provide some more of the background necessary to understand what my book The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture was about.   So far I have indicated that since we do not have the originals of any of the books of the New Testament, we have to rely on later copies, all of which have mistakes in them.   We have far more copies of the NT than of any other book from antiquity –and as a result, far more differences among our copies (i.e. more mistakes).   In addition we have ancient translations of the NT (the early “versions”) and quotations of the NT in the writings of church fathers.   These also provide further pieces of evidence – as well as further variations in wording.

As a result, it is a very complicated business trying to establish what the authors of the NT originally wrote.   Scholars continue to debate the precise wording of this that or the other verse.  In some cases we simply will never know.

No one has been able to count all the differences that exist among our surviving textual witnesses.   The best guesses put the number in the hundreds of thousands – say 300,000 or (more commonly said) 400,000.   We really don’t know.

Two points are critically important when considering all these differences.  The first is one that I always state, even though my evangelical debate opponents frequently pretend that I never say it at all.   But, in fact, I always say it.

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