The Bible
Leah Berenson
Leah Berenson
April 10, 2024 ·  5 min read

10 Ways The Bible Has Changed Throughout History

It’s no secret that The Bible is the most printed book worldwide. As such, it has been translated and adapted numerous times. Furthermore, because of the evolution of languages, there are a surprising number of differences between what it says today compared to what experts believe the original scripts to have said.

Speculation Regarding the Bible

For many, the Bible is an instruction guide for how to live one’s life. Meanwhile, for others, the Bible is merely a large storybook full of historical feats, miracles, and tales. Regardless, the Bible is the most popular book in the whole world. Globally printed, the Bible has been translated and adapted countless times, including several versions in the same languages. For example, the New King James Version and the New International Version are both English but different versions. In contrast, researchers have been hard at work trying to accurately evaluate what the original texts might’ve actually said. Through the process, they’ve discovered numerous changes made over time.

1. Notable Changes to the Bible

The Book of Revelations, arguably one of the most influential chapters in The Bible, was essentially a book of prophecies. “And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” Consequently, the verse is a clear warning that altering the word of God will result in negative outcomes. However, ironically, the verse has different wording in other versions of the text.

2. Differing Word Count

Another example of how wording variation is the word count. Some Bibles have more, or less, words than others. In fact, another significant change between the original New Testament, and the one we read today, is that some chapters have been added or removed altogether.

3. The Book of Mark

Scholars have noted so many changes in the book of Mark that they believe it had more than one author. However, not all authors are known, and there is some confusion regarding the end of the Book of Mark. For example, in newer versions, the ending of the book of Mark is Chapter 16 (verse 20), “And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them. Confirming the word with signs following. Amen.” In contrast, many copies of older printed texts, including the Vatican copy dating back to 325 AD, indicate the book ended earlier at verse 8.

Read: Why Is Jesus Depicted As Being White?

4. Another Scandal for Mark

Another example of added text refers to the story of Jesus’ resurrection. Although today we are told he visited several people, including his disciples, according to Dr. Bill Warren, there is no mention of this in the original Bible. “We actually have more than one ending in the manuscripts, and then we have some with no ending,” Warren disclosed, “So, what we think probably happened there is that as soon as you see the other Gospels with the resurrection stories, early in the 2nd century at least, someone says, ‘You know, we need to put some of this material into Mark to round it off better.’

5. The Gospel of John

Moreover, the Book of John shows where a whole chapter was added, between the 2nd and 3rd centuries, according to Professor Warren. The famous quote, “Let any among you who is without sin cast the first stone,” came from an instance in which Jesus defended an adulterer from an angry crowd ready to stoner her. “The early church canonized books and not stories. So, when they had authentic stories from Jesus in the oral tradition that was circulating, they had to find a way to put it in the text. And so, the church is trying to save this story even though it’s not part of John.” He explained.

6. Translating the Bible from Hebrew to Greek

Another adaptation came about courtesy of King Ptolemy of Egypt. In the 3rd century, the Hebrew Bible was translated to Greek, and included the story of the Septuagint, the version of the Bible that was read in early Roman Christianity.

Read: Researchers Found More Evidence That Key Part Of The Bible Really Did Happen

7. More New Bible Stories

Moreover, the King James Bible, printed in 1611, was intended to “allow access to the knowledge” and included several new pieces of information contributed by 54 “King-approved” advisers. However, after its publication, it was condemned by many scholars, including Hugh Broughton and Thomas Hobbes, for being wildly inaccurate and an “abominable translation.”

8. The Lord’s Prayer

The prayer in the book of Matthew, or John depending on the version, is one of the most well-known and widely used prayers in the world. “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” Interestingly, there are even some versions of the Bible that don’t contain the prayer at all.

9. The Bible and Its Missing Text

In contrast to the above examples, certain versions of the Bible are missing text. Theological Seminary Professor Daniel Wallace studied the New Testament Manuscripts stored in the National Archive of Albania. He discovered the story in John missing from 3 of the texts and out of place in a 4th text. “This is way out of proportion for manuscripts from the 9th century and following,” Wallace divulged. “To find some that didn’t have the story is remarkable.”

10. The Bible’s Acts Ch. 8

The chapter regarding the requirements of Baptism has caused some confusion. Therefore, in some versions of the Bible, the whole ritual has been removed.

As researchers continue to dive deeper into ancient records, we gain a greater understanding of the Bible, our history, and the generations who lived years before we do.

Keep Reading: A New Chapter Of The Bible Was Found Hidden Inside 1,750-Year-Old Text


  1. How Bible Stories Evolved Over The Centuries. NPR. July 17, 2011.
  2. The Bible.History. January 18, 2018.
  3. Lord’s Prayer.Brittanica. René Ostberg. April 27, 2023
  4. How the Bible has changed over the past 2,000 years.Insider. Joe Avella. November 15, 2015.
  5. 18 Alterations Made to the Bible and its Consequences. History Collection. Larry Holzwarth. August 20, 2018.
  6. How the King James Bible Came to Be.TIME. Joel J. Levy. June 19, 2017.
  7. Turns Out The Original Bible Is Drastically Different From The Version You Grew Up With. Jacob Shelton Ranker. 2021
  8. Is ‘Let Him Who Is Without Sin Cast the First Stone’ Biblical? Christianity Today Sarah Zylstra April 23, 2008