What Did Jesus Say?

The Bible's gospels were written in the latter part of the first century and then passed from scribe to scribe in multiple languages. The first genuinely stable version was Gutenberg's printing of a Latin Vulgate script.

The King James Bible came out in 1611. King James, the First, had charged its translators with producing a Bible acceptable to the Church of England. Accuracy was not their only goal. Over the next 360 years, editors made extensive revisions until they had produced the New King James Version in 1982. Since then, each new English Bible has claimed to be the most accurate yet. But how accurate are these many versions? What is the evidence?

Happily, there is a way to find out. In the years following King James, scholars produced a Geek-English lexicon that is faithful to the dialect of the non-Christian commoners who first heard Christ's teaching. And they pieced together a close approximation to the first New Testament.

Regarding evidence, we need a way to rule out inadvertent translational errors that creep in despite significantly increased knowledge of the ancient texts. A solution is to rely mainly on automation to create a rendering that can be easily checked by anyone.

As a place to start, I chose the Lord's Prayer, the most widely known New Testament passage. How many changes in meaning have crept in over the last 200 centuries? See for yourself,

what the Lord's Prayer once said.