Do you accept that there are more than 400,000 mistakes in the Bible?


I am thinking of going to this church, but I would like to know: do the churches of Christ accept that there are more than 400,000 mistakes in the documents and books of the Bible?


If there are that many mistakes, then how do these people know they are mistakes? In other words, what standard are they applying to know what is right and what is wrong?

And how is the counting made? Are the accurate copies of a spelling mistake in one document counted as one error or several errors. I suspect the latter was done to inflate the number of variations so high. I also note that you are not limiting yourself to biblical manuscripts.

What About All Those Mistakes in the Bible?
Can you explain some apparent contradictions in the Gospel accounts?
How can I be sure that the Bible is fully correct?
Can We Trust the Text of the Bible?


Thanks for the reply to my email.

What I have been thinking over is: When you have a text dating 1500 years ago and a newer text dating 400 years and the latter has information that the older texts don't have, i.e., words changed, added, taken out, stories added and forged text that has been made by people who claimed to someone from over 400 years, like the "book of Daniel;" can this be explained away or do we just have to take it on the chin that man has taken advantage of people who following religion? What do you think of the findings of John Mill 300 years ago?


Your statements don't match what can be found. For example, Bible Archaeology, which doesn't strongly support the idea that the Bible is inspired, published this on the book of Daniel and the Dead Sea Scrolls:

Dates for the Daniel scrolls, published in 1955, were given by John C. Trever as the Herodian period for 1QDana and late Herodian period for 1QDanb (1964-1966:323–36). In other words, these manuscripts could come from about 60 AD or earlier (Hartman and Di Lella 1978:72).

This date is still very significant because the Masoretic text (MT) from which our Bibles are translated comes from a major manuscript that is dated to 1008 AD (Wurthwein 1979:35). In other words, we are able to compare for the first time in history the Hebrew and Aramaic of the book of Daniel with manuscripts of the same book that are about 1,000 years older. A comparison between the MT and the earlier manuscripts contained in 1QDana, 1QDanb, and 6QDan, based upon a careful study of the variants and relationships with the MT, reveals that “the Daniel fragments from Caves 1 and 6 reveal, on the whole, that the later Masoretic text is preserved in a good, hardly changed form. They are thus a valuable witness to the great faithfulness with which the sacred text has been transmitted” (Mertens 1971:31).

These textual witnesses demonstrate that the MT was faithfully preserved and confirm that the Hebrew and Aramaic text of Daniel is reliable. 

The date for the three Daniel manuscripts published by 1989 is also of great importance, along with those of the earlier publications. Some of the recently published scrolls on Daniel are even older than the previously published ones. The date of 4QDana is assigned to about 60 BC and 4QDanb to about 60 AD (Ulrich 1987:17). The oldest manuscript of Daniel by far is 4QDanc, which Cross dated in 1961 to the “late second century BC” (Cross 1961:43).

[Gerhard Hasel, Ph.D., New Light on the Book of Daniel from the Dead Sea ScrollsAssociates for Biblical Research, 31 July 2012].

John Mill published a book in 1707 called the Novum Testamentum Graecum, cum lectionibus variantus MSS. It noted the variations in the Greek text between 82 manuscripts -- a very small portion of the currently over 5,000 known manuscripts in the world today. While he noted the variations, I don't believe he did much to resolve how the various copiest errors came to be in the text. Mr. Mill also wrote long before many significantly old manuscripts, such as those among the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. See The Development of the New Testament Text.

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