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Archive for November, 2007

Having Confidence in New Testament Manuscripts

Justin at Buzzard Blog talks about spending time with Dan Wallace of Dallas Theological Seminary:

I had the privilege of spending a good portion of my day with Dan Wallace, professor of New Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary, director of the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts, Senior New Testament Editor of the NET Bible, and connoisseur of strong, bold coffee….

Dan spent the morning preaching at CPC, delivering a message entitled, “Is What We Have Now What They Wrote Then?” Dan’s message was a tremendous, clear, and witty treatment of the reliability of our New Testament documents….

Dan is a great guy and a lot of fun to be around. Dan fielded scores of questions from us related to textual criticism, new manuscript discovery, contemporary challenges to the authority of the NT, and translation theory (when I asked Dan his opinion of modern English translations I was happy to hear his hearty, enthusiastic endorsement of the ESV).

Justin goes on to talk about the work Dr. Wallace “is doing with the Center for The Study of New Testament Manuscripts which is aggressively working to better preserve ancient manuscripts of the Greek New Testament and which has, in the last four years, discovered more biblical manuscripts than any other institute in the world.”

Listen to Dr. Wallace’s message (iTunes or direct 10MB MP3) at Central Peninsula Church. The message discusses how we can have confidence in the reliability of the New Testament despite not having access to the original manuscripts, concluding that “the Bible that you hold in your hands is the very Word of God.”

We’ve previously linked to Dr. Wallace’s Succinct History of the English Bible, a four-part series that recounts the history on English Bible translations from Wycliffe through the twenty-first century.

November 21, 2007 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,ESV,Life / Doctrine,Scripture,Theology | Author: Crossway Staff @ 9:18 am | (2) Comments »

Bible Text Stats

Amazon recently introduced a feature on its site called “Text Stats,” which lets you see things like the grade level, word count, and other statistics for books in its “Search Inside the Book” (SITB) program.

Here are a several Bible translations plotted by the total number of words in the translation compared to the number of words per sentence:

See the below table for the raw data.

The NAB includes the Apocrypha. We couldn’t find stats on Amazon for the RSV without the Apocrypha or the TNIV.

Here’s the raw data if you want to crunch your own numbers. Since Amazon is scanning books and using optical-character recognition, caveats apply: the data may be inaccurate or even misleading. Use with care.

Version Complex Words Syllables per Word Words per Sentence Fog Flesch Flesh-Kincaid Characters Words Sentences ISBN
AMP 9% 1.4 25.1 13.5 62.9 10.7 5,322,088 945,454 37,608 0310951410
CEV 7% 1.4 12.8 7.9 77.6 5.6 4,337,680 757,814 59,284 0399153853
ESV 7% 1.3 22.1 11.7 70.6 8.9 4,366,324 804,566 36,457 1581345968
HCSB 8% 1.4 18.7 10.7 70.9 8.0 4,264,305 758,756 40,551 1586401734
KJV 6% 1.3 22.5 11.3 71.1 8.9 4,613,643 805,649 35,742 0785202684
MSG 8% 1.4 13.0 8.4 73.9 6.2 4,408,142 775,020 59,706 1600060226
NAB 9% 1.4 15.9 10.1 70.4 7.4 6,891,503 1,159,572 73,146 0840713665
NASB 7% 1.3 23.6 12.1 69.8 9.4 4,251,392 784,841 33,224 0310917255
NIRV 5% 1.3 9.1 5.8 86.3 3.5 4,685,073 873,450 95,999 031092653X
NIV 7% 1.4 18.6 10.3 73.1 7.7 4,143,219 741,065 39,873 0310902711
NJB 8% 1.4 21.1 11.7 66.9 9.2 4,692,151 836,778 39,738 0385493207
NKJV 7% 1.4 23.1 12.2 68.8 9.4 4,387,700 803,611 34,837 0785200304
NLT 8% 1.4 14.8 9.1 73.7 6.7 4,457,847 782,244 52,787 0842384898
NRSV 8% 1.4 22.8 12.2 68.1 9.4 4,216,427 780,660 34,213 0521507790

Inspired by Steven Johnston.

Update: Per Better Bibles Blog, we added the CEV and changed the ISBN used for the HCSB, which puts its stats closer to the NIV’s.

November 9, 2007 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Bible News,ESV,News | Author: Crossway Staff @ 9:02 am | 1 Comment »