Which Greek?


By Moses LemuelRaj


And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto BEREA: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were MORE NOBLE than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and SEARCHED THE SCRIPTURES daily, WHETHER THOSE THINGS WERE SO” (Acts 17:10-11).


Time and again we see many preachers and writers who quote the Greek in their Bible studies and expositions, and correct the God-honored and time-tested Authorized King James Version (AV) of the Holy Scriptures. Some one says, “that verse is not there in THE ORIGINAL.” Another will say, “the actual meaning of THE ORIGINAL Greek is…” etc. In making such statements before the people of God, the preachers and teachers of the Bible give an impression to the audience that they have access to THE ORIGINAL TEXT of the New Testament in Greek, and the CORRECT TRANSLATION of the said Greek word. Not one of them is bothered to give their audience or readers a chance to search and see “whether those things were so.”


We must say here that every instance of quoting the Greek, there is some lack of honesty, though not intentional in some cases. Let us take an example. I once heard a preacher say, “It is NOT ‘Come and see’ (in Rev 6:1), but ‘Come’. The words “and see” are NOT there in the Original.” Let me tell you the truth brethren. The man is IGNORANT, or he is LYING. That is how it is, in most cases. When he said those words were not there in THE ORIGINAL, does he mean to say he possesses THE original? WHICH GREEK ORIGINAL was he referring to? The Textus Receptus HAS the words, “ercou kai blepe.” The bold words there correspond to “and see.”


God gave the New Testament (a collection of 27 books) in Koine Greek originally, to be the part of the “holy scriptures.” But no one has the Original Autographs (the first papers on which Peter, Paul, John etc., wrote) now. What we have now are 1000’s of copies made at different points of time. As a matter of fact, there are many Greek sources for every verse in the Bible, and THEY DO NOT AGREE WITH EACH OTHER in every place!!! Unfortunately, MOST of the gullible audience does not know this basic fact. Let me illustrate this with FOUR of the well known Greek editions of the Bible. I have ALL of them in the electronic form, and can provide if requested by email. And I have TWO of them as PRINTED editions purchased from standard book stores. These are the FOUR:


  1. The Greek New Testament underlying (according to F.H.A. Scrivener) the Authorized Version, Trinitarian Bible Society, ISBN: 0907861873. We will call this TR-1894 (Scrivener’s edition of 1894).


  1. Stephen’s Greek New Testament – Textus Receptus 1550. Let’s call it TR-1550.


  1. Novum Testamentum Graece, Nestle-Aland 26th and 27th editions, virtually identical to the United Bible Society’s “The Greek New Testament,” 4th revised edition, 1993. We will call this NA-26/27.


  1.  The New Testament in the Original Greek, B.F. Westcott, F.J.A. Hort, 1881. We will call this WH-1881. 

Most of the modern English translations like NASB, NIV, etc., and most Indian vernacular translations follow closely NA-26/27 or WH-1881. The TR-1894 closely represents the AV. The subscripts of the 14 Pauline epistles are excluded in this study.


The New Testament is a collection of 27 Books, with 260 chapters, and 7,957 verses. This is true with the Greek Textus Receptus, and the King James Bible. Let us examine some statistics of the various Greek Texts we mentioned. We will make all comparisons with the TR-1894 which underlies the Authorized King James Bible.


1. Number of words


TR-1894 contains 140,608 Greek words.


TR-1550 contains 140,537 Greek words.


NA-26/27 contains 137,986 Greek words.


WH-1881 contains 137,678 Greek words.


The minimum number of words is in WH-1881, which has 2,930 Greek words LESS when compared to TR-1894.


It means the WH-1881 Greek text is about 5.4 chapters SHORT, or 166 verses SHORT, when compared to the TR-1894 Greek text! Also, 2,930 words are equivalent to 56% of an average sized New Testament Book. So, the WH-1881 lacks about 56% of an average sized New Testament book from its text!! Think about it!!!


And if any man shall TAKE AWAY from the WORDS of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the BOOK of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book” (Rev 22:19).


2. Number of VERSES that agree VERBATIM with the TR-1894


TR-1894 contains 7,957 verses in total.


TR-1550 contains 7,742 verses that agree verbatim with TR-1894.


NA-26/27 contains 3,121 verses that agree verbatim with TR-1894.


WH-1881 contains 2,955 verses that agree verbatim with TR-1894.


The WH-1881 text has only 37% of its VERSES agreeing VERBATIM with TR-1894.


3. Number of VERSES that have the same WORD-COUNT with the TR-1894


Let us illustrate this using Mat 23:13. TR-1894 has 23 Greek words, TR-1550 has 22 words, both NA-26/27 and WH-1881 have 25 words. Thus none of the three Greek versions has the same WORD-COUNT when compared to TR-1894.


TR-1894 contains 7,957 verses in total.


TR-1550 contains 7,860 verses that have the same WORD-COUNT as in TR-1894.


NA-26/27 contains 5,448 verses that have the same WORD-COUNT as in TR-1894.


WH-1881 contains 5,312 verses that have the same WORD-COUNT as in TR-1894.


The WH-1881 text has only 67% of its VERSES having the same WORD-COUNT as the TR-1894.


4. Missing verses


The New Testament has 7,957 verses. The King James Bible has the same number of verses, and the TR-1894 has the same number of verses. An average chapter has 31 verses in the New Testament.


The TR-1550 has one verse missing from its text. It is Luke 17:36.


The NA-26/27 has sixteen verses missing from its text. They are, Mat 17:21; 18:11; 23:14; Mark 7:16; 9:44,46; 11:26; 15:28; Luke 17:36; 23:17; John 5:4; Acts 8:37; 15:34; 24:7; 28:29; Rom 16:24.


The WH-1881 has seventeen verses missing from its text. They are, Mat 12:47; 17:21; 18:11; 23:14; Mark 7:16; 9:44,46; 11:26; 15:28; Luke 17:36; 23:17; John 5:4; Acts 8:37; 15:34; 24:7; 28:29; Rom 16:24.


The extra missing verse in WH-1881 when compared to NA-26/27 is Mat 12:47.


The following are these 17 verses for reference.


  1. Mat 12:47 Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee.
  2. Mat 17:21 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.
  3. Mat 18:11 For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.
  4. Mat 23:14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.
  5. Mark 7:16 If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.
  6. Mark 9:44 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
  7. Mark 9:46 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
  8. Mark 11:26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.
  9. Mark 15:28 And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was numbered with the transgressors.
  10. Luke 17:36 Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
  11. Luke 23:17 (For of necessity he must release one unto them at the feast.)
  12. John 5:4 For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.
  13. Acts 8:37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
  14. Acts 15:34 Notwithstanding it pleased Silas to abide there still.
  15. Acts 24:7 But the chief captain Lysias came upon us, and with great violence took him away out of our hands,
  16. Acts 28:29 And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, and had great reasoning among themselves.
  17. Rom 16:24 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.


May the Lord use this study for the benefit of His people. “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen” (Romans 16:24).