Please help us share God's truths and hope in Christ.

Two Manuscript Lines of New Testament

In 200 AD, an early church father named Tertullian wrote that the churches in Corinth, Ephesus, Phillipi, Thessalonica, and Rome still had original documents written by Paul and other disciples. At that time, many of the documents would have been more than 130 years old. That’s an indication of the importance the early church put upon preserving the writings of Paul and the disciples. However, they also knew that none of the documents would last forever. Therefore, they made copies, carefully copying every word from the originals, and distributing the copies among the churches.  The copies were also carefully preserved, being placed in book chests.

{Check out the Manuscript Lines Chart below. Downloadable to print.]

Along with the written copies of the original texts, there was also an oral tradition that accompanied them to ascribe the dates of the writing and the writer’s authority.  Today we have well over 5,000 Greek manuscript documents (or portions of the ancient documents). The earliest documents being circa 100 AD when some eyewitnesses of Jesus’ life, death, burial, and resurrection were still alive.

The Preserved Word

The copyists of the original manuscripts were dedicated and meticulous in their work.  We can be certain the Word of God is preserved because, first and foremost, God promised His Word would be preserved forever.

Isa 40:8 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand forever.
Mat 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
Luke 21:33 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.
1 Pet 1:25  the word of the Lord endureth forever.

Origins of the Manuscripts

The original Bible manuscripts came from two different sources.  One line is called the Antioch Line, having originated with the documents from Antioch, Syria.  The other line originated in Alexandria, Egypt, and is called the Alexandrian Line.  There are significant differences between the two lines, but no disagreement in the messages.  Different doesn’t necessarily mean wrong. However, the differences have caused people over the centuries to question which manuscript line is best, or at least which is more accurately copied from the original documents.

Our English  Bibles

The translations of the Bible that we have today are easily traceable to one of the two lines of manuscripts. From the Antioch manuscripts, we have the following English translations (not an all-inclusive list):

Wycliffe Bible (1388), Martin Luther Bible (1522), Tyndale Bible (1522), Coverdale Bible (1535), Matthews Bible (1537), Great Bible (1539), Geneva Bible (1560), Bishops Bible (1568), King James Bible (1611), and New King James Bible (1982)

From the Alexandrian manuscripts, we have the following English translations (not an all-inclusive list):

Rheims-Douay (1582), Revised Version (1881), American Standard Version (1901), RSV, NASV, LB, NSRB, JB, TEV, NEB, NIV, GNB, NRSV, NAB, NCV, NBV, HCSB, NLT, ISV, ESV.

This simple chart will help you see the transmission of the New Testament from the first century until today.

Click on the Image to Enlarge or Download

Reading and Studying the Bible

Take some time to understand the differences between the two manuscript lines and varying translations of our English Bibles.  It is important when studying the Bible because the difference in words can affect your understanding and your ability to cross-reference.  Cross-referencing is critically important for understanding God’s Word because cross-referencing lets the Bible explain the Bible.

It’s also important to understand the differences between word-for-word, literal translations and dynamic, thought-by though translations.  For more about this, read Which Bible Translation is Best?

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Jesus is the Reason this Ministry Exists

At  Reasons for Hope* Jesus, we are committed to equipping, encouraging, and empowering Christians to know Jesus better, love Him more, and share their faith. We also reach the lost through our Salvation Page. 

With your support, we can continue to provide valuable resources and engaging content.  Please join us in our mission by donating today. Your generous contribution helps us expand our outreach of sharing biblical truths and hope in Jesus.  Thank you for your kindness and for being an integral part of our mission.

 donate
Reasons for Hope*Jesus is a 501c3 Ministry
Use a Credit Card or PayPal for safe, secure giving.

*******
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***A Hidden Message in Psalm 23?***  

Hidden in the six verses of Psalm 23 are 11 names for Jesus.  When you subscribe to our newsletter, we’ll send you The Names of God in Psalm 23 PDF that reveals all 11 names and Scripture verses of comfort and hope (link will be sent in your confirmation email).

A Room with a View of Eternity—The Last Will & Testament of Jesus Christ   Take a seat at the Master's table. Learn about the riches He gives to all who are His. This book will bless and encourage you, give you hope, and help you live in the joy of your salvation and the riches of Christ that are yours.

The Top Ten Got Questions? in 2023 

  1. The Meaning of NUMBERS in the Bible?
  2. Was Jesus CRUCIFIED on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday?
  3. How was Jesus Like a Worm? What’s the CRIMSON (OR SCARLET) WORM in Psalm 22?
  4. How are the Shepherd’s ROD and STAFF Different?
  5. How long did JOB SUFFER?
  6. What is the Significance of the Wise Men's THREE GIFTS? And were they kings?
  7. Did The Wise Men Arrive 12 DAYS AFTER JESUS’ BIRTH? Or Was It Much Later?
  8. Jesus’ Last Days TIMELINE: the Cross and the Resurrection
  9. The Meaning of COLORS in the Bible?
  10. Did Jesus Fight Satan to Take Back the KEYS of Death and Hell?

There is much to be learned from those who have gone before us in the faith.  Check out our Cloud of Witnesses category that features the words of departed saints who are now with the Lord in glory.  Their words equip and encourage us even to this day.  Take a few minutes to hear...

  1. ONLY ONE LIFE, Twill Soon Be Past – by C.T. Studd (1860 – 1931)
  2. “The Love of God is Greater Far” by Frederick M. Lehman (1917)
  3. Prayers from Billy Graham
  4. Who Was Robert Robinson? What’s the Story Behind “Come Thou Fount”
  5. “Immanuel” — A Poem by Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892)
  6. Who Am I? A Poem by Deitrich Bonhoeffer (1905-1945)
  7. Understanding the Everlasting Arms of God, by J.R. Miller (1840–1912)
  8. 24 Reasons Why I Love America, by John Wayne (1907-1979)
  9. Give Me Perpetual Broken-heartedness (from The Valley of Vision)
  10. Abide with Me, by James Smith, 1859

This remains one of our most popular pages viewed.

Reasons for Hope* Jesus video banner

TOP TEN Videos from Reasons for Hope* Jesus
  1. Memorial Day BAGPIPES TRIBUTE: Amazing Grace 
  2. RISE AND SHINE and Give God the Glory, Glory!
  3. WERE YOU THERE When They Crucified My Lord?
  4. PAUL HARVEY: THE BIRDCAGE
  5. PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: A SOLDIER'S PLEDGE
  6. Hark! the Herald Angels Sing -- CHARLIE BROWN Christmas
  7. JOHN WAYNE ~ WHY I LOVE AMERICA
  8. Jimmy Stewart - Nativity Scene Prayer: Mr. Krueger's Christmas
  9. THE LEGEND OF THE CANDY CANE - A Christmas Story to Share 
  10. Not by Might, Not by Power, But BY MY SPIRIT says the Lord (Zechariah 4:6)

*****************

*******

Jesus is the Reason this Ministry Exists

At  Reasons for Hope* Jesus, we are committed to equipping, encouraging, and empowering Christians to know Jesus better, love Him more, and share their faith. We also reach the lost through our Salvation Page. 

With your support, we can continue to provide valuable resources and engaging content.  Please join us in our mission by donating today. Your generous contribution helps us expand our outreach of sharing biblical truths and hope in Jesus.  Thank you for your kindness and for being an integral part of our mission.

 donate
Reasons for Hope*Jesus is a 501c3 Ministry
Use a Credit Card or PayPal for safe, secure giving.

*******
*******

***A Hidden Message in Psalm 23?***  

Hidden in the six verses of Psalm 23 are 11 names for Jesus.  When you subscribe to our newsletter, we’ll send you The Names of God in Psalm 23 PDF that reveals all 11 names and Scripture verses of comfort and hope (link will be sent in your confirmation email).

A Room with a View of Eternity—The Last Will & Testament of Jesus Christ   Take a seat at the Master's table. Learn about the riches He gives to all who are His. This book will bless and encourage you, give you hope, and help you live in the joy of your salvation and the riches of Christ that are yours.

The Top Ten Got Questions? in 2023 

  1. The Meaning of NUMBERS in the Bible?
  2. Was Jesus CRUCIFIED on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday?
  3. How was Jesus Like a Worm? What’s the CRIMSON (OR SCARLET) WORM in Psalm 22?
  4. How are the Shepherd’s ROD and STAFF Different?
  5. How long did JOB SUFFER?
  6. What is the Significance of the Wise Men's THREE GIFTS? And were they kings?
  7. Did The Wise Men Arrive 12 DAYS AFTER JESUS’ BIRTH? Or Was It Much Later?
  8. Jesus’ Last Days TIMELINE: the Cross and the Resurrection
  9. The Meaning of COLORS in the Bible?
  10. Did Jesus Fight Satan to Take Back the KEYS of Death and Hell?

There is much to be learned from those who have gone before us in the faith.  Check out our Cloud of Witnesses category that features the words of departed saints who are now with the Lord in glory.  Their words equip and encourage us even to this day.  Take a few minutes to hear...

  1. ONLY ONE LIFE, Twill Soon Be Past – by C.T. Studd (1860 – 1931)
  2. “The Love of God is Greater Far” by Frederick M. Lehman (1917)
  3. Prayers from Billy Graham
  4. Who Was Robert Robinson? What’s the Story Behind “Come Thou Fount”
  5. “Immanuel” — A Poem by Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892)
  6. Who Am I? A Poem by Deitrich Bonhoeffer (1905-1945)
  7. Understanding the Everlasting Arms of God, by J.R. Miller (1840–1912)
  8. 24 Reasons Why I Love America, by John Wayne (1907-1979)
  9. Give Me Perpetual Broken-heartedness (from The Valley of Vision)
  10. Abide with Me, by James Smith, 1859

This remains one of our most popular pages viewed.

Reasons for Hope* Jesus video banner

TOP TEN Videos from Reasons for Hope* Jesus
  1. Memorial Day BAGPIPES TRIBUTE: Amazing Grace 
  2. RISE AND SHINE and Give God the Glory, Glory!
  3. WERE YOU THERE When They Crucified My Lord?
  4. PAUL HARVEY: THE BIRDCAGE
  5. PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: A SOLDIER'S PLEDGE
  6. Hark! the Herald Angels Sing -- CHARLIE BROWN Christmas
  7. JOHN WAYNE ~ WHY I LOVE AMERICA
  8. Jimmy Stewart - Nativity Scene Prayer: Mr. Krueger's Christmas
  9. THE LEGEND OF THE CANDY CANE - A Christmas Story to Share 
  10. Not by Might, Not by Power, But BY MY SPIRIT says the Lord (Zechariah 4:6)

*****************

Please help us share God's truths and hope in Christ.

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