This website calls out the NIV based on the fact that various verses are no longer present. The claim is that the NIV deleted these verses with the conclusion that the NIV is not to be trusted. I appreciate their appeal to want a complete Bible, to not tamper with God’s word, and an understanding that God does not want us manipulating his word, adding to it or taking away from it. Since we don’t have the original documents to work from there are differences in some texts. The question is, what is the best reconstruction of the original text in these instances? I did a little research into this to find out how the decision was made on the 45 (actually turns out to affect 49 verses) verses mentioned on the website. I first want to mention what the verses are:
Matthew 12:47 – This verse IS in the text of the NIV. What they don’t like is the fact that the NIV has a footnote that says, “Some manuscripts do not have verse 47”
Matthew 17:21 – In the footnotes, “But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”
Matthew 18:11 – In the footnotes, “The Son of Man came to save what was lost.”
Matthew 21:44 – Present but a footnote reads, “Some manuscripts do not have verse 44.”
Matthew 23:14 – In the footnotes, “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. Therefore you will be punished more severely.”
Mark 7:16 – In the footnotes, “If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”
Mark 9:44 & 9:46 – In the footnotes, “where / ” ‘their worm does not die, / and the fire is not quenched.”
Mark 11:26 – In the footnotes, “But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your sins.”
Mark 15:28 – In the footnotes, “and the scripture was fulfilled which says, “He was counted with the lawless ones” (Isaiah 53:12).”
Mark 16:9-20 – This is in the text with a disclaimer that reads, “The earliest manuscripts and some other ancient witnesses do not have Mark 16:9-20.
Luke 17:36 – In the footnotes, “Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left.”
Luke 22:43-44 – These verses ARE in the text of the NIV. There is a footnote saying some manuscripts do not contain them.
Luke 23:17 – In the footnotes, “Now he was obliged to release one man to them at the Feast.”
John 5:3b-4 – In the footnotes, “paralyzed—and they waited for the moving of the waters. 4 From time to time an angel of the Lord would come down and stir up the waters. The first one into the pool after each such disturbance would be cured of whatever disease he had.”
John 7:53-8:11 – Again, these verses ARE in the text but have a line and a note saying, “The earliest manuscripts and many other ancient witnesses do not have John 7:53-8:11.”
Acts 15:34 – In the footnotes, “but Silas decided to remain there”
Acts 24:6b-8a – In the footnotes, “him and wanted to judge him according to our law. 7 But the commander, Lysias, came and with the use of much force snatched him from our hands 8 and ordered his accusers to come before you. By”
Acts 28:29 – In the footnotes, “29 After he said this, the Jews left, arguing vigorously among themselves.”
Romans 16:24 – In the footnotes, “24 May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with all of you. Amen.”
1 John 5:7b-8a – In the footnotes, “Late manuscripts of the Vulgate testify in heaven: the Father, the Word and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one. 8 And there are three that testify on earth: the (not found in any Greek manuscript before the sixteenth century)”
I appreciate the work they did compiling these verses. There are a couple of adjustments that were made to their list that made it a little more accurate. I also want to mention that all the verses mentioned are found in the NIV the question is whether or not they should be relegated to footnotes. There are many reasons the NIV committee decided to do that and I think it is important to realize that it wasn’t done haphazardly. I also want to mention that there are no doctrines that hinge on these verses and much of what is there is found in other places. Obviously that is no reason to say it is alright to remove verses otherwise we could remove much of the synoptic gospels as their content is found in each of the others. Is this a reason to throw out the NIV or were these good decisions? We will spend some time examining those questions.
For more information on how translators make these decisions see my post The Case of the Missing Verse (John 5:4) for more details. Here is the gist,
The 1611 KJV was translated from roughly a dozen manuscripts that were copied around 1200 AD…In the last 400 years we have found another 3000+ manuscripts that date back within 100 years of the originals and in those earlier/older manuscripts there are around 50 verses that are not there. Taking them out, then, gets us closer to the originals. No one is purposefully making the Bible LESS accurate. This is about making the Bible MORE accurate based on improved evidence over the last 400 years since the KJV was translated. This is a good thing, not a bad thing.