HOW MANY DIFFERENCES ARE THERE BETWEEN THE RECEIVED TEXT UNDERLYING THE KJV AND THE WESTCOTT-HORT GREEK TEXT?
Updated November 24, 2004 (first published August 11, 2004) (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, firstname.lastname@example.org) -
There are many myths that are perpetuated today by the defenders of the modern versions, and one of those is that there is very little difference between the Received Text underlying the King James Bible and other ancient Protestant versions and the Westcott-Hort Greek text underlying most of the modern versions. Westcott and Hort themselves made this claim in their day, and it is widely repeated today.
Hort stated: “... the amount of what can in any sense be called substantial variation is but a small fraction of the whole residuary variation, and can hardly form more than a thousandth part of the entire text” (F. J. A. Hort, The New Testament in the Original Greek, 1882, vol. II, p. 2).
More recently, Mark Minnick, who is associated with Bob Jones University, stated: “To put this ‘thousandth part of the entire text’ into perspective, I am looking at the last page of my Greek New Testament. It is numbered 895. Hort’s estimate means that if all of the substantial variation between the families was grouped together in one place it would combine to occupy less than one page of my entire Testament” (Mark Minnick, “Let's Meet the Manuscripts,” From the Mind of God to the Mind of Man, edited by James B. Williams, 1999, pp. 85, 86).
The fact is that the differences are large and serious and a choice must be made.
The following is from Dr. Donald Waite’s book Defending the King James Bible:
“The Westcott and Hort Text changes the Textus Receptus in over 5,600 places.
“Do you know how many changes they made? My own personal count, as of August 2, 1984, using Scrivener's Greek New Testament referred to above, was 5,604 changes that Westcott and Hort made to the Textus Receptus in their own Greek New Testament text. Of these 5,604 alterations, I found 1,952 to be OMISSIONS (35%), 467 to be ADDITIONS (8%), and 3,185 to be CHANGES (57%). In these 5,604 places that were involved in these alterations, there were 4,366 more words included, making a total of 9,970 Greek words that were involved. This means that in a Greek Text of 647 pages (such as Scrivener's text), this would average 15.4 words per page that were CHANGED from the Received Text. Pastor Jack Moorman counted 140,521 words in the Textus Receptus. These changes would amount to 7% of the words; and 45.9 pages of the Greek New Testament if placed together in one place.
“Rev. Jack A. Moorman, in December 1988, wrote a book entitled: ‘Missing in Modern Bibles--Is The Full Story Being Told?’ It was published by The Bible For Today in April, 1989. Rev. Moorman counted every word of the Received Greek Text and also every word of the Nestle/Aland Greek Text and, on a chapter by chapter count, came up with the Nestle/Aland text being SHORTER than the Received Text by 2,886 words. This is 934 words more than were omitted from the Westcott and Hort text. (1,952 vs. 2,886). The omitting of 2,886 Greek words is the equivalent, in number of English words involved, of DROPPING OUT THE ENTIRE BOOKS OF 1 PETER AND 2 PETER! Pastor Moorman's book is eighty large pages.” [B.F.T. #1726] (Bible for Today, 900 Park Ave., Collingswood, NJ 08108)