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Which Text Is the TR?

Advocates for the Critical Text (CT) argue that there are few to no doctrinally significant differences between it and the TR. Daniel Wallace said in an interview with The Gospel Coalition, “Meaningful and viable variants…. comprise less than 1% of all textual variants. Yet, even here, no cardinal belief is at stake.”

Advocates for the Textus Receptus (TR) argue that there are a large number of doctrinally significant differences between the TR and the Critical Text. R.B. Ouellette said in his book, A More Sure Word: Which Bible Can You Trust?, “The new Critical Text leaves out many words that are essential to the foundational doctrines of the Christian faith” (65).

Both viewpoints cannot be right. Where does the evidence point?

This quiz uses twenty examples of differences between the CT and TR chosen at random by a computer. Your job is to guess which one comes from the TR.

Which text is the TR?

The process used to select the twenty QUIZ examples
  1. Every chapter in the New Testament was numbered sequentially, from 1 (Matt 1) to 260 (Rev 22).
  2. Random.org was used to generate a number between 1 and 260.
  3. The corresponding chapter (say, 191 = 1 Tim 1) was selected.
  4. Random.org was used to generate a number between 1 and however many verses were in the chapter (in 1 Tim 1, there are 20 verses).
  5. The corresponding verse (say, 7) was selected.
  6. If that verse contained a textual variant—and most frequently this process returned verses that did not—then it went into the quiz.
  7. If the verse did not contain a variant, the nearest one that did was chosen for the quiz.

This quiz, then, is not precisely random: it is biased in favor of verses that include variants.