TRANSMISSION OF THE BIBLE
"The accuracy of the present-day Hebrew version of the Old Testament is a result of the fastidious care with which the Sopherim and the Masoretes transmitted it. The Sopherim copied manuscripts of the Hebrew Scriptures from about 300 B.C. until A.D. 500. According to the Talmud, they came to be called "Sopherim" because, in their endeavor to preserve the text from alteration or addition, they counted the number of words in each section of Scripture, as well as the number of verses and paragraphs. The accuracy of the present-day Greek version of the New Testament has resulted from the comparison of thousands of manuscripts by textual critics who have been able to separate them into families on the basis of certain variations that each manuscript family has in common. The principles of textual criticism enable scholars to determine which versions of the text are predecessors of the others, thereby coming close to the original reading."