106 Did God create all nations out of one blood, or one man? (Acts 17:26)

Sometimes there are differences that present as possibly challenging a crucial Biblical truth. Did God create all nations out of one blood, or one man? We should study every difference thoroughly to get to the bottom of the cause for that difference.

KJV: “And He has made all nations of men of one blood to dwell on all the face of the earth, ordaining fore-appointed seasons and boundaries of their dwelling.”

(NIV) “From one man he made every nation of men,that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.”

(RSV)  “And he made from one every nation of men to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their habitation.”

How can that be? There is a huge difference between “one blood” and “one man”. Throughout the Bible “blood” plays an important, if not sometimes crucial role. Just consider all the sacrifices of the Old Testament. In the New Testament all his children are being justified by the “blood of the Lamb”. Even the waters are being turned into blood in Revelation etc. And now suddenly this statement by Paul before the Athenians is altered from “blood” to “man”! Why?

According to the UBS – Text, both versions have equal possibility to represent the original autograph.

Up to the year 500 A.D. “one” is found in 2 Greek manuscripts, 3 Ancient Translations and 2 Church Fathers including Clement who died in 215 A.D.

One blood” is found in 1 Greek manuscript, 4 Ancient Translations and also 2 Church Fathers, including Irenaeus who died in 202 A.D. Even the use by the Church Fathers proves that both versions had been known almost from the beginning. But only one could render the original, the other being an alteration. But how could we discern the original?

After the year 500 A.D. more of the manuscripts have the version with “one blood”.  But greater numbers only proves that that version had been in the hands of those who needed more copies, like the Greek Orthodox Church. It cannot prove which version of 300+ years earlier had been the original, and which the alteration.

Martin Luther who most probably used the Textus Receptus as Source Text, somehow translated “From one He created all nations” which differs from the TR. The Revised Standard Version also translates this way.

Possibly the context could help us to come to a conclusion.

In Genesis 2:7 we do not read about the creation of blood, yet we read about the creation of one man, Adam, of whom all humans descend.

On the other hand the concept of “blood” plays an important, if not crucial role throughout the Bible. In Biblical times the concept of life being rooted in the blood was well established. It is acceptable that a scribe could add “blood” to the sentence to make it read more easily.

Should we be concerned when translators of the Bible choose the version stating that God created all nations from one man instead of one blood?


The problem arises when we load a lot of our own understanding of a simple term out of context into Scripture where it is not appropriate. Paul wanted to emphasize that in the eyes of God all men are equal. His salvation is not for the Jews only, but for every nation, also the Greeks. Of them Paul says that they built ”an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you.” Paul’s statement has nothing to do concerning any special application of the word “blood” or “man”. He wanted to proclaim that the gospel is also for the Greeks.

We should always guard against reading more into Scripture than what is really written.

Your comments at the bottom of this page, or directly to me at bibledifferences@gmail.com are very welcome.

God bless,


About Herman of bibledifferences.net

The reasons for the differences between older Bibles like the King James Version and newer Bibles like the New International Version have fascinated me ever since my studies in Theology at the University of Pretoria in the seventies. I have great respect for scribes through the ages as well as Bible translators, so there must be good reasons for the differences. With more than 5600 Greek manuscripts and more than 19000 manuscripts of ancient translations to our disposal, the original autographs of the New Testament can be established without doubt. I investigate the reasons behind the differences and publish the facts in a post on my blogs www.bibledifferences.net (Afrikaans: www.bybelverskille.wordpress.com) to enable my readers to judge for themselves. Personally I love to make an informed decision based of facts. That is why I endeavor to provide that same privilege to the readers of my blogs. Since 1973 I am married to my dear wife and greatest friend, Leah Page, founder director of Act-Up Support (www.actup.co.za) a prayer ministry for families struggling with drug-, occult- and other dependencies. We are blessed with two daughters and two sons, four grand sons and two grand daughters. God is alive and omnipotent! Glory to His Name! Herman Grobler.
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1 Response to 106 Did God create all nations out of one blood, or one man? (Acts 17:26)

  1. haeykinah says:

    Yes Herman, always like to read your blog. on a good note i see where you referred to the none suggestion of the creativity of the humane blood, and of a fact that needed to take in consideration. Of a fact humanity has to start somewhere and that does not begins with the formation of the human soul by the moth of the soil.

    Secondly, if al humanity did survived only by the “blood” or “one man” Adam, then why did some theologians argued at the motion of the word “Son of God”, claiming that they are angels that came down and mate with man and produced children grown to be called ANAKIN. These human weren’t only “blood of Adams”, if so they would also be offspring of the divine. Though I have some issues with this reasoning as well.

    Thirdly, I earnestly considered that Moses was trying to put things together about human existence thus the story ended in this fashion as the Book of Genesis applied.



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