Bible manuscript

I recently visited the Museum of the Bible in Washington DC. I was excited to go there, because I thought I would view a lot of evidence for the faith of Christianity. While that was true, I was disappointed to leave the museum more confused than when I had arrived. The history of the Bible section showed that there have been many changes, corrections and translations made of the Holy Bible. How do we know that the Christian faith is the one true thing, and how do we know that the Bible has been translated/passed down correctly (and without error) during all those times of translations?

The great news is that we have a crazy HUGE number of manuscript copies of the New Testament, that allows us to know with amazing accuracy which are the most accurate copies (because we can identify where the copy mistakes are). I just checked with the world experts at the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (; there are 5500 copies of the Greek New Testament, and 15,000 copies total of the various languages from before the printing press was invented.

I just used these numbers to update one of my favorite answers to email on our website:

And here is the link to one of our best articles on the Bible:

One other article that is, I believe, super powerful for building your confidence that Christianity is true:

I hope this encourages you!


Sue Bohlin
Probe Ministries Webmistress

Posted March 2019
© 2019 Probe Ministries

Sue Bohlin is an associate speaker/writer and webmistress for Probe Ministries. She attended the University of Illinois, and has been a Bible teacher and conference speaker for over 40 years. She is a speaker for MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) and Stonecroft Ministries (Christian Women's Connections), and serves on the board of Living Hope Ministries, a Christ-centered outreach to those dealing with unwanted homosexuality. Sue is on the Women's Leadership Team and is a regular contributor to's Engage Blog. In addition to being a professional calligrapher, she is the wife of Probe's Dr. Ray Bohlin and the mother of their two grown sons. Her personal website is

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  1. Geraldine Kelly 5 years ago

    Early in my marriage I was reading the Bible, I don’t recall which book , but it said that “it was better for a man to put his seed in the belly of a hoer than to spill it on the ground. I was hesitant to show it to show it to him, but I did, and we had a short discussion. We moved a lot and that Bible was one of the things that got lost. Years later I tried to find that verse in a different Bible but I couldn’t. I guessed it was taken out of modified editions.

    • Author
      Sue Bohlin 5 years ago

      Hi Geraldine,

      I’m not sure what you experienced years ago, but you couldn’t have read this verse because it has never been in the Bible. There are a lot of people, however, who swear that they read it, to the point that it has become something of a biblical “urban legend.” We answerered this question back in 2002 here: I’m sure you trust your memory, but our memories can fool us into remembering things differently than how they actually happened.

      You seem to have some misunderstanding about how the Bible has changed over time—or not. We actually have amazing evidence of how God has protected its texts over the centuries, both from the Old Testament and the New. When the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in the 1940s and 50s, they showed that the Old Testament we have today is the same as what was hidden in caves before Jesus was born. The number of New Testament manuscripts is so huge, and growing every year, that we can compare them to each other to see for ourselves how faithful they are to the original documents and letters. So there really is no such thing as “modified editions.”

      Hope you find this helpful.

      Sue Bohlin

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