My questions is in regards to this snippet:

...almost no denomination believes that inspiration and infallibility are attributed to modern versions/translations of Scripture. -- David Stratton

It was written as an answer to Does Mark 16:9-20 Prove the Bible is not the infallible word of God?.

I'm trying to get a better mental picture of what "modern version" means here. My impression is that the Bible hasn't been changed for hundreds of years, maybe even over a thousand years.

Question: When did versions of Scripture start being regarded as not fully infallible?

My best guess is as derived as follows: I found this (although I can't judge its authenticity):

Mark 16:9-20 has been called a later addition to the Gospel of Mark by most New Testament scholars in the past century. -- Bible-Researcher.com

and the other answer in that question states:

The process by which those writings were declared to be Scripture took hundreds of years, and the addition of the last twelve verses of Mark certainly predate that. -- DJClayworth

So I'd guess that these "later additions" were added within the "hundreds of years" since the time of Jesus (around 2000 years ago). This would imply "modern version" could mean one compiled ~1700 years ago. I don't really know if this is accurate though.

  • I believe your core question is already asked here: Who first distinguished between the inerrancy of the Bible and the inerrancy of the original autographs? The Bibles we have today are based on manuscripts dating back to the first few centuries, but there is some disagreement over particular portions, due to errors in copying or questionable origin (as in the case of Mark's ending). And of course the originals were written in Hebrew and Greek, not English, so there's also the possibility of error in translation. Feb 5, 2017 at 12:25
  • Ah, thanks! Yes, that essentially covers my question, with a "when" instead of a "who" (and far more articulate). [Sorry, I didn't see it prior to posting. (Now I don't know what to do with my question.)] Maybe I had a misunderstanding then: would it be correct to say the modern-day Bible would be considered a compilation of these first-few-century manuscripts, which are viewed as inerrant, but the compilation/translation process is where [presumably minor] bugs arise? Feb 5, 2017 at 12:54
  • 1
    Close – it's perhaps best accurate to say that modern Bibles attempt to accurately reproduce what was written down by the actual authors (the "autographs"). In order to do this they have to rely on copies of those original writings that are up to a few hundred years more recent. Even these earliest manuscripts from the 2nd and 3rd centuries wouldn't be considered "inerrant" (only the original autographs are) but based on how closely they agree with each other, we can have a high level of confidence that our Bibles reflect the autographs very accurately, though not perfectly. Feb 5, 2017 at 13:01
  • Based on your comments I've closed your question as a duplicate of the one I linked above. This is a good question, so it's fine if this sticks around as a duplicate pointing other readers to that question. Feb 5, 2017 at 13:03


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