Re: Word counts for different GNTs?

From: Steven Craig Miller (
Date: Wed Oct 06 1999 - 18:02:10 EDT

John Baima,

<< Does anyone have reliable word counts for Greek NT texts besides the UBS/NA
text? >>

Just out of curiosity, what are the "reliable" word counts for the UBS GNT?

FWIW ... I came up with the following. The statistics given here have been
collated by computer and checked against the figures given by David Holly
in his wonderful work, "Comparative Studies in Recent Greek New Testament
Texts: Nestle-Aland's 25th and 26th Editions" (Rome, 1983).

In the 26th edition of the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament there are
exactly 138,020 separate words. Holly, using a different methodology, gives
the total of 137,977. Holly has excluded 34 words in the shorter ending of
Mark (Mk 16:8*). This passage stands with the main body of the text with
square double brackets around it.

There are five passages in NA26 with square double brackets around it (Mk
16:8*; Mk 16:9-20; Lk 22:43-44; Lk 23:34; Jn 7:53-8:11). I personally see
no reason to include four of these passages for the statistics of the NA26
and exclude the shorter ending of Mark.

In addition, there are nine times where Holly counts 'ho ti' as 'hoti' (Mk
6:23; Lk 10:35; Jn 2:5; 8:25; 14:13; 15:16; Ac 9:6; 1C 16:2; and Col 3:17).
On page 17 of NA26, Holly had counted nine words on the second line,
whereas he should have counted ten. On page 209 of NA26 Holly had counted
five words on the last line, whereas he should have counted only four.
(Holly counted hyphenated words on the line or page where they began.) Thus
Holly's word count for Matthew should be one more (18,346) and his word
count for Luke should be one less (19,481). This brings the total to
138,020 (137,977 + 34 + 9).

        Matt 18,346
        Mark 11,304
        Luke 19,482
        John 15,635
        Acts 18,450
        Rom 7,111
        1Cor 6,830
        2Cor 4,477
        Gal 2,230
        Eph 2,422
        Phl 1,629
        Col 1,582
        1Th 1,481
        2Th 823
        1Ti 1,591
        2Ti 1,238
        Tit 659
        Phm 335
        Heb 4,953
        Jam 1,742
        1Pt 1,684
        2Pt 1,099
        1Jn 2,141
        2Jn 245
        3Jn 219
        Jud 461
        Rev 9,851

Is this correct?

-Steven Craig Miller (

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