From the first Hebrew word "B'resh ith" (In the beginning) in Genesis 1:1 to the last word "Amen" in Revelation 22:21, scholars (and computer programs) have counted 443,114 words in the original languages — 304,901 words in the 22 letter alphabet Hebrew/Aramaic Old Testament, and 138,213 words in the 24 letter alphabet Greek New Testament latest NA28 edition.
The King James Authorized Bible has 783,137 words. How many words is that? If you can type at 60 words a minute, it would take you just over 217 and a half hours to retype the entire Bible. Can you imagine how long type-setting must have taken in the early days of printing? As for the number of letter characters in the Bible, the total count is a staggering 3,116,480. Small wonder that in the days of movable type a lot of printing errors were made. In the notorious “Wicked Bible” published in 1631, the word “not” was accidentally omitted from the commandment “Thou shalt not commit adultery” (alter your marriage vows). Three little letters can make a huge difference in meaning.
With the Hebrew Torah (the five books of Moses), since at least the days of Ezra (if not further back) the Jewish scribes not only counted the words but even the letters to ensure there would be no error in their transmission. The number of letters in the Torah is 304,805, and the number of words is 79,976. See Jesus's words
Hebrew Old Testament
And apparently minimal variations elsewhere. Most modern translations use the
According to this article the Leningrad Codex and the Aleppo Codex are two prominent and exemplary instances of the so-called Masoretic Text, the version that was proclaimed definitive by Jewish scribes around 100 AD. Originally comprising only consonants, this text was provided with vowel marks as of about 700 AD. In this form, it was handed down further with meticulous care by the so-called Masoretes.
The Leningrad Codex has been housed at the National Library of Russia in Saint Petersburg since 1863, and has been the basic text for the Biblia Hebraica (Hebrew Bible) since 1937.
The KJV used the
According to this page, there are 1,196,824 letters in the Hebrew Old Testament as it is published today.
Greek New Testament
Critical Text is followed in most modern New Testament translations. It uses the original Greek based mostly on the 4th century Codex Vaticanus and Sinaiticus as published by Westcott Hort in 1881 — and contrasts, to a small degree, with the KJV (King James Version) and NKJV (New King James Version) that were based on 12th and 15th century Greek texts in the Textus Receptus published by Erasmus in 1516.
With the Critical New Testament, word counts differ fractionally. According to this discussion, the Tyndale House edition has 138,015 words, a difference to the NA28 edition of 198 words, or about 0.143%.
The Greek text of the Textus Receptus used in the KJV has close to 140,521 words. It includes many verses e.g. Acts 8:37 in the KJV that are only included as Footnotes in later translations e.g. the NIV click here.
Click here for a list of these extra verses, appearing in modern translations as footnotes.
So although there is no single "perfect" manuscript of the original language of the Bible (apart from the Torah, the first five books of the Old Testament) the functional differences between the published editions are minimal.
One scholarly account, Strongs Concordance first published in 1890, counted 8,674 unique Hebrew/Aramaic words excluding prefixes and suffixes with 641 words accounting for 80% of the Hebrew text. There are 5,523 unique words in Biblical Greek of which 319 account for 80% of the Greek text. For students with minimal (or zero) knowledge of the original alphabets, his numbering system has enabled them to start studying any Biblical Greek or Hebrew word by simply entering its code.
Click here for a Strongs Dictionary that lists these codes with the words, their meanings, and close variations.
Click here for a flexible Bible search page.
Click here for a verse by verse lookup that displays the Strongs code and also provides assistance with prefixes, suffixes, gender, person, and tense associated with each word.
"And we hold more certain the prophetic word, to which you do well taking heed, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until this day shall have dawned, and the Lightbearer shall have arisen in your hearts.
First knowing this, that any prophecy of scripture does not come into being of its own private interpretation.
For the prophecy was not brought at any time by man's choice, but being brought of the Holy Spirit, men spoke from
Early New Testament Manuscripts: The Woman caught in adultery, and the Shorter ending of Mark.
The Woman Taken In Adultery (John 7:53-8:11)
Extract from www.purelypresbyterian.com
The story of the woman taken in adultery, called the pericope (section) de adultera has been rather harshly treated by the modern English versions. The RV (Revised Version). and the ASV (American Standard Version) put it in brackets, the RSV (Revised Standard Version) relegates it to the footnotes, the NEB (New English Bible) follows Westcott and Hort in removing it from its customary place altogether and printing it at the end of the Gospel of John as an independent fragment of unknown origin. The NEB even gives this familiar narrative a new name, to wit, An Incident In the Temple.
Jerome's statement (c. 415) is clear "in the Gospel according to John in many manuscripts, both Greek and Latin, is found the story of the adulterous woman who was accused before the Lord."
It is not surprising that the passage is omitted in Papyri 66 and 75, Aleph B W and L. For all these manuscripts are connected with the Alexandrian tradition which habitually favored omissions.
When once the Montanists or some other extreme group had begun to leave the story of the adulteress out of their copies of John’s Gospel, the ascetic tendencies of the early Church were such that the practice would spread rapidly, especially in Egypt. They reflected the tendency to omit a passage which had become offensive, and encouraged later scribes to also play the critic.
The short ending of Mark (Mark 16:1-8)
Extract from thegospelcoalition.org
A similar situation occurred with the shorter ending of Mark.
There are effectively just two Greek manuscripts that lack
When we look at the manuscripts of Mark’s Gospel that survive today, more than 99 percent contain these verses. This includes not only 1,600-plus Greek manuscripts, but most manuscripts of early translations of Mark as well. Apart from the Bible, around AD 180, Irenaeus unambiguously quoted Mark 16:19 as Scripture in Against Heresies (3.10.6). Justin Martyr and Tatian likely knew the verses earlier in the second century as well. Undeniably,
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