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Scholars target 'errors' in Bible editions as 'world's most accurate' Greek New Testament goes on sale

Scholars target 'errors' in Bible editions as 'world's most accurate' Greek New Testament goes on sale

Dr Dirk Jongkind is vice principal of Tyndale House and editor of the latest Greek New Testament

Dr Dirk Jongkind and his team spent a decade researching for the project

The Greek New Testament by Tyndale House aims to update the most commonly used edition with the latest techniques and evidence

By Harry Farley
Nov. 15, 2017

A new copy of the Greek New Testament aims to be the most accurate ever after a decade's graft by experts to remove errors from previous attempts.

Most English Bible translations today use a Greek text published in 1975 and compiled from manuscripts available at the time. But Tyndale House, an academic institution in Cambridge whose latest edition is published on Wednesday, says several original ancient fragments have been found since then and their work includes this new evidence.

The hope is the result will be the 'world's most accurate' Greek New Testament and includes what Tyndale House describes as 'pioneering new techniques' to identify and remove errors from scribes who copied ancient manuscripts hundreds of years ago.

The edition's editor, Dr Dirk Jongkind, vice principal of Tyndale House, said that even with all the latest evidence and techniques, there is no evidence of any large changes to the text being made since Jesus' time.

'When we copy a text we are always bound to make small mistakes, and the New Testament is no exception,' he said. 'The great thing is that now we have so much evidence at our fingertips, we can study the types of errors the New Testament scribes made and come to more informed conclusions about what the text being copied would have said.

'Our 10-year study of the most important manuscripts shows that while errors are part and parcel of the copying process, there is no evidence whatsoever of systematic revision of the text. So while a scribe might accidentally change "Jesus Christ" to "Christ Jesus", we don't encounter textual differences between the manuscripts that materially change the meaning.'

Tyndale's Greek New Testament is compiled for ancient fragments of the earliest available texts and put together to make the complete New Testament.

One of the earliest copies of the complete New Testament is found in a manuscript known to scholars as Codex Sinaiticus which contains the whole Bible in Greek and dates back to the fourth century. The handwritten text is heavily annotated by a series of early correctors and multiple efforts have been made since then to compile Greek New Testaments that are the most accurate to the original New Testament books, many of which date back to the first century.

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