Greek New Testament Manuscripts

The earliest extant manuscript copies of the complete New Testament date from the 5th century CE. A list of the presently available manuscripts from which modern translation is done is displayed in this case, and it can be seen how many fragments as well as complete texts are now known, some dating from the 4th century CE. The most famous are probably the Codex Alexandrinus and the Codex Sinaiticus, but scholars are often more interested in the textual variations than in the beauty of some of the versions. 

As may be supposed, with so many extant fragments, copied and re-copied over many centuries, differences of text have crept in and efforts have been made, and still continue, to determine which are the more correct versions. 

Efforts also are continuous to learn more about the language and the social mores of the time of Christ in order to make Bible translation more accurate. For example, the Greek  in the Lord's Prayer: does it mean "daily" as in the King James Version ("daily bread"), or does it mean rather "for the morrow" or "that which is coming soon"? All shades of meaning with differing nuances. The work of translation continues, and will always continue, as knowledge increases and as the English language itself changes. In the King James Version of 1611, Paul says (II Cor. 11): "Once was I stoned". That needs rephrasing today!

[click thumbnail for large view]

Book with text 
Greek New Testament 1824
Ancient and Modern Greek in parallel columns #6
Page of text
Greek New Testament,  Paris 1642 #F121
Page of text
Greek New Testament,  Paris 1642 #F121

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