In a recent article, we learned that there are different “types” of Greek manuscripts from which our New Testament is formed.
Why are there different “text-types?”
“We know that the apostles wrote and sent their letters to different churches in different geographical regions in the Roman Empire. Christians began copying these letters in other languages for missionary purposes or to give to their family and friends. Soon copies were circulating in a large number of languages. As time went by, many of these copies began to accumulate in certain geographical areas and came to be referred to in groups. Thus, when the people in the Western part of the Roman Empire began to turn away from Greek and spoke primarily Latin, many of their New Testament documents were translated and copied in Latin. Both the Greek and Latin documents from this geographical area are called “The Western Text” family. Another family of manuscripts comes from the geographical area of Alexandria, Egypt, and is called “The Alexandrian Text” family. The third family comes from the geographical area surrounding the city of Byzantium, later renamed Constantinople and known today as Istanbul, Turkey. Ninety percent of the manuscripts of the New Testament that have survived have come from this area and are known as “The Byzantine Family of Documents.” Out of this family has also come what is known as the Majority Text, so named because it adopts readings on the basis of numerical majority. It is believed that the reading found in most mss. is probably the original.” (Dr. John Ankerberg @ Dr. John Weldon, The Facts On The King James Only Debate, 464-477 (Kindle Edition); Eugene, Oregon; Harvest House)
In our next lesson, we will notice why there are differences in the different Greek manuscripts.