When one looks at the extant manuscripts of the Greek New Testament and compares them with each other, there are a lot of differences. We call these differences “discrepancies.” In fact, when the nearly 6,000 manuscripts we have are put side-by-side, there are anywhere from 300,000 to 400,000 differences. This amounts to nearly 3 discrepancies per word in the New Testament alone. If one did not know better, this is enough to shake the faith of the most committed Christian.

However, while skeptics such as Bart Ehrman use this in their attempts to undermine Christianity, this is not the whole story. How important are these variants and what do they prove?

Here is a free session of Dan Wallace’s Textual Criticism Credo Course where he explains what type of discrepancies are represented and how the vast majority of them don’t change the meaning of the text at all. Enjoy.

You can purchase the entire course here: http://www.credocourses.com/product/textual-criticism/

Weighing the Discrepancies (4 of 37) from Credo House on Vimeo.

C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo House Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. He can be contacted at [email protected]

    3 replies to "How Important are the Differences in the New Testament Manuscripts"

    • Lois Morgan

      Thank you SO much for being an agent for God to take away blindness in this area!
      Our home fellowship (local to OKC area) has delightfully been enjoying Dr. Wallace’s lectures, and we shared them with some colleagues in Washington state, and I hear they are now sharing, and encouraging the purchase.
      Check out their “plug” here:

      I know your ministry has gone through some difficult times, but be assured there are “Aarons and Hurs” upholding you in prayer. In fact, I’d love the opportunity to meet you again, and we could pray together. Where are you “hanging out” nowadays?

    • Brother Stumblefoot

      Hello Michael–Just a note to say I am glad to have found you again after all this time. Hopefully you remember Brother Stumblefoot, the Universal Reconciliationist who used to clutter up your comment pages. Goodness, I have missed your blogs, and the ability to respond without getting the Riot Act. Hope you are doing well, and that we can communicate again on the Net.
      Brother Stumblefoot

    • Brother Stumblefoot

      I forgot to check the “Notify me of follow-up comments by email” box so will do that with this comment. Btw, I am still a Universalist, and I Imagine you are still a Calvinist. Grace to you.
      Brother Stumblefoot

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