The Case of the Missing Verse – John 5:4

I always thought the fact that the NIV has 49 blank verses just made it easier to win a memory verse competition by saying, “Matthew 23:14” then pausing, “Mark 7:16” then pausing, until you have quoted 49 memory verses without having to say a word. Go figure. On a serious note, there have been accusations that the NIV has deleted verses in the New Testament. The insinuation is that the NIV committee did not have a proper respect for the text and that earlier versions of the English Bible are more accurate and faithful to God’s word because they contain these verses. The first thing that we have to understand when coming to this issue is that translation is a difficult job. There are over 3000 Greek manuscripts and fragments of the New Testament of varying age. Each one was hand copied, which leaves room for mistakes and even practical decisions of what to do with what the previous copyist has done. John 5:4 is one of the verses in contention. Here it is in the NIV and KJV.

 

John 5:3-5 (NIV)
“3Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. 5One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years.”

 

John 5:3-5 (KJV)
“In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. 4For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. 5And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.” (italics mine).

 

What happened to verse 4? The KJV decided to include it because it was in the manuscripts they had at their disposal. The NIV decided to omit it because in the 400 years since the KJV was translated much older manuscripts had surfaced that did not have that verse. Remember, the KJV was translated largely from the Textus Receptus which was a compilation of manuscripts that did not even date prior to 1100 AD. The NIV translation committee had access to manuscripts dating back within 150 years of the original documents of the New Testament.

 

What happened in the 800 years between the texts the NIV is based on and the texts the KJV is based on? Copying, copying, and more copying. Often a copyist would write an explanation in the margin and some times that explanation would end up in the text. Bruce Metzger (Text of the New Testament, 194) thinks that is exactly what happened in the case of John 5:4. Why? For several reasons (listed in Metzger’s textual commentary 3rd ed, 209):

 

1 – Because the earliest manuscripts don’t contain it. Why not? Did they omit this verse just like the NIV? Of course not. They don’t contain the verse because the manuscripts they were copied from didn’t have it and the ones before them didn’t have it because the original didn’t have it. It doesn’t start appearing in manuscripts for at least 500 years When no manuscript before 500 AD has a verse you can be fairly certain that it was added in from a marginal note, from a copying error, or due to the copyist remembering that verse in another gospel and accidentally harmonizing them in his head and copying it wrong (such is the case of a few other “missing verses”). But once it is added it then gets copied over and over and from that point on may appear original to the next copyist
2 – Multiple Greek manuscripts copied after 900 AD have a mark showing that they thought the verse was questionable but they included it because it was in the manuscript they were copying from.
3 – This verse has multiple words that John doesn’t use anywhere else = out of character
4 – This verse has a larger number of textual variants = there are many versions of this text in many different Greek manuscripts which points to it being very questionable as to what was original if it even was original.

 

With all that weight against it the NIV decided not to include that verse in its translation. Did the NIV delete the verse from the inspired word of God? They didn’t delete it if it wasn’t there to begin with. It may seem like a verse was removed because previous English versions like the KJV included it because it was in the manuscripts they used to translate from. People read it for 400 years in English and became accustomed to it. So when they spot it missing from the NIV eyebrows go up and accusations begin to fly. So it probably wasn’t so much that the NIV deleted something or that the KJV added something. The problem was the texts the KJV was translated from were simply not ideal.

146 Responses to The Case of the Missing Verse – John 5:4

  1. Brian says:

    good info that most Bible readers have never heard, and some actually have questions, especially in the “which version?” debate.

  2. Rev M.L. Houston says:

    The NIV and NLT also Deleted Act 8:37

    • Richard Grant says:

      That is very interesrting! M L Houston.

      A most important verse for salvation… one would think

      I notice also that no one wants to reply to your statement

      • so they do not teach this doctrine elsewhere in the NIV? If they were going to “corrupt” the bible with the NIV they certainly went about it in a spotty manner/

        • Profile photo of OrangeApple OrangeApple says:

          God chose to speak to us in Greek. Some people do not care what the Greek says. I want an english translation that is accurate to the Greek manuscripts we have. The mainline Protestant translations, NASB, ESV, NKJV, HCSB and NIV, that God has provided us with are not involved in a conspiracy to corrupt the bible. They are honest accurate trust worthy translations.

        • Todd says:

          If you studied what really happened behind closed doors, who the “translators” were, what their agenda was (ecumenical version) and their inaccurate and outright lying footnotes you would not say the NIV was an honest or true translation. I will try to upload a youtube video with actual quotes from the NIV translators themselves including a lesbian etc.

        • Profile photo of Matt Dabbs Matt Dabbs says:

          Sorry Todd but you are just wrong on this one. I have read up on this and even know some of the translators personally. How well do you know how each word, verse, etc is translated when done by committee? Any idea? If you just want to go watch youtube videos to form your opinion you are going to believe a lot of crazy things! Sorry but that just doesn’t cut it.

        • Todd says:

          The NIV translators have stated they created their translation to be an ecumenical one, end of story. You can deny it but I have proof. Also, they got caught with at least one very important footnote stating that older or more viable manuscripts do not have a certain word. When asked what manuscripts they were referring to, they had to confess there were none! No lesbian translators? Hmm. Guess you need to freshen up some more on your info before you tell me I am wrong. Just saying 🙂

        • Profile photo of Matt Dabbs Matt Dabbs says:

          Alright Todd…proof is in the pudding. If you have the smoking gun let’s have it. Be sure to show us exactly which words and verses are mistranslated particularly because of these particular people. In other words, if your claim is that the NIV is wrong and biased because of this then I want to see where it is wrong. Which words in which verses? THen I want you to show me how these particular people (whoever they are) had a hand in the error. In other words, if the person or people you point out weren’t even involved in the relevant passages then you have nothing to stand on. What I suspect we will find is a person or two who came out as gay later on who had nothing to do with any passages that speak to this issue.

        • Profile photo of Matt Dabbs Matt Dabbs says:

          Todd? Anything? I am sure you can dig up someone who says someone on a committee or a style expert was homosexual. That is possible. I do not think you can link any of that to any actual translation issue in the NIV. If you can, I am all ears. If you cannot, then I think you need to take back what you said.

        • Todd the gullible says:

          Wow, don’t be impatient. I am getting my info out. Been working hard. I don’t understand many of the posts here, namely the generalizations ie progressives? Also, anyone who finds info on youtube is implied to be gullible, uneducated and amiss. Many scholars can be found on youtube including many that you respect. Even the info on the blog (both you and me) can be considered by many to be foolish and in error. I don’t think Satan is dumb enough to try and change the word of God in one blow but just a little at a time. If you were him, what verses would you change, remove or cause doubt? Skipping over the verses on the blood of Christ, one can find the Father and Son relationship diminished. I will post the verses soon. Entire chapters gone? Please don’t tell me you have never seen this or read this before? You make it sound like anyone who questions the “better” translations is from Mars. I would challenge you to be fair and unbiased, do some research and then make your judgment.

        • Profile photo of OrangeApple OrangeApple says:

          There was no lesbian “translator” involved with the NIV. She was a stylist only. She had nothing to do with translating the Greek words into english etc. Nobody at the time knew her sexuality. It was discovered after she was hired and was fired when they found out. Now I know where you’re getting your information from.

          Show me a greek text with the NIV where there is something mistranslated on purpose. The KJV has translational mistakes as well. All english translations do. God did not re inspire an english translation and to say other wise is not truthful. The belief of the KJV translators being inspired like Moses, David and Paul were is wrong. I think that is why some make such a big deal about someone using the NKJV, NASB, ESV, HCSB, NIV and the NLT. Sure some are more literal than others but they’re still translations of Gods word and are useful in getting the full sense of scripture.

          Even Charles Spurgeon used the RV 1885 occasionally. The Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek are the inspired words that God gave us.

        • Todd says:

          If someone is sincere in finding out the truth of modern “translations” (paraphrases) you can begin by finding just a fraction of the errors, lies and heresy exposed here. It would be great to see some good rebuttal, not slander against people. When you stand up and protect your favorite version, be sure to take one verse or argument at a time, no generalizations or attacks please ie you are wrong, you don’t know what you’re talking about etc. If you are intellectually honest, you will be have to admit at least some of these arguments. Time does not allow to report all the errors of the NIV.
          Some are looking for a “smoking gun” but can’t see the preponderance of evidence against the modern versions, starting with the 65,000 changes!

          Pastor Chick Salliby of Word & Prayer Ministries has an excellent 4 hr video:
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDXON__KGQE Part 1. History
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJygGSjI77o Part 2. Deletions
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wr2iSwIpC8M Part 3. Distortions
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsSGE2IyPHQ Part 4. Footnotes
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KP7krb6-fSg Part 5. Conclusion

          Gail Riplinger is very well educated and often abused for her stand (sheep bite):
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mAr5FdNqnfI&list=PL2C4B3E4A4860A5EF
          One example is the virgin birth. If ten passages state that Jesus was born by the virgin Mary but another states He was born from Joseph Luke 2:43 NIV, that would destroy the essential doctrine of the Sinless nature/virgin birth of the Son of God. Some will argue that the ten passages “outweigh” the one contradictory verse, nothing but confusing which is not of God.
          The foundation to all modern translations rests on the text compiled by Westcott & Hort, two mystics obsessed with psychic phenomenon. They even created a club called the Ghostly Guild.

          Dealing with the claim, “the best manuscripts do not contain this.” If there were only three pages in your employer’s memo but you only received two, would you tell your co-workers they are adding to the memo? When the NIV states some older manuscript do not contain a phrase, or verses, sometimes it is because the papyrus is short and ends! Of course it doesn’t have the rest of verses. It would be impossible.
          As time goes by, more and more manuscripts are uncovered that confirm the Majority Text. In fact, 99.2% of all manuscripts co-witness the Majority Text, KJV (5321). The other 0.8% are only small fragments (not a complete bible) which contradict themselves! Can’t get much worse than that. The Alexandrian and Sinaiticus conflict every two verses!!! And these incomplete texts are called the earliest and most accurate by the NIV translators. How can you begin to call it a solid, true, inerrant, translation? Alexandria, Egypt was the hotbed of pagan religions so it’s no wonder there is so much confusing stemming from there. I am not KJV only but lean heavily towards it being the most accurate today.

        • Profile photo of Matt Dabbs Matt Dabbs says:

          Thank you for beginning to make your case. I will give a response to what you have provided by Monday. It is going to be a crazy weekend so I will do my best to respond.

        • Todd says:

          If someone is sincere in finding out the truth of modern “translations” (paraphrases) you can begin by finding just a fraction of the errors, lies and heresy exposed here. It would be great to see some good rebuttal, not slander against people. When you stand up and protect your favorite version, be sure to take one verse or argument at a time, no generalizations or attacks please ie you are wrong, you don’t know what you’re talking about etc. If you are intellectually honest, you will be have to admit at least some of these arguments. Time does not allow to report all the errors of the NIV.
          Some are looking for a “smoking gun” but can’t see the preponderance of evidence against the modern versions, starting with the 65,000 changes!
          Pastor Chick Salliby of Word & Prayer Ministries has an excellent 4 hr video:
          I will post below,

        • Profile photo of Matt Dabbs Matt Dabbs says:

          I will await your evidence.

        • Todd says:

          Oh, it posted. I tried posting a long message and was rejected three or four times. I will try to break it up into smaller bits. On the road right now. Blessings on all, Todd

        • orangesliced says:

          @ Todd You won’t apply the same standards to the KJV so why would anyone debate you? I’m not going to. Take care.

        • Profile photo of Matt Dabbs Matt Dabbs says:

          A few preliminary responses. I will dive into more of the specifics later. Let me work through your comment in order of your argument:

          First, there is a big difference between a translation and a paraphrase. I assume you know that but by the way you equate the two, I am not sure you do. A paraphrase is typically from English to English, taking an already complete translation and just putting it other same-language (English) words for whatever reason, say easier to read, etc. The NIV is not a paraphrase. It is a translation from the original languages (Hebrew, Aramaic and Koine Greek) to English. I just want to make sure we are on the same page. If you think the NIV is a paraphrase you are mistaken.

          The NIV is not my favorite version. The NRSV is probably my favorite. I use the NIV fairly often because that is what most people I teach and preach alongside use. I often study from the NASB, NRSV and NIV.

          Time does not allow us to report all the errors in the NIV. True. The NIV makes some translation decisions that I don’t agree with. Time also does not permit us to list all the errors in the KJV. The KJV required several revisions and corrections even in the first 100 years of publication. Humans translated it. All translations have errors.

          Even the KJV translators affirmed that other English translations existed and would come along that just as much as their own would contain the very words of God,

          “Now to the latter we answer; that we do not deny, nay we affirm and avow, that the very meanest translation of the Bible in English, set forth by men of our profession, (for we have seen none of theirs of the whole Bible as yet) containeth the word of God, nay, is the word of God. As the King’s speech, which he uttereth in Parliament, being translated into French, Dutch, Italian, and Latin, is still the King’s speech, though it be not interpreted by every Translator with the like grace, nor peradventure so fitly for phrase, nor so expressly for sense, everywhere. ” – 1611 Preface to the KJV

          Now, you state there are 65,000 changes in the NIV. Do you know what makes up those 65,000? Are they stylistic, doctrinal, 65k lies and heresies? Considering the fact that there are well over a million words in the Bible that number isn’t as large as one might think. Then consider stylistic changes and the number looks even more silly. 65,000 is a number that generates fear but it must be unpacked. Why are there 65,000 changes? Did you know the NKJV made thousands of “changes” to the KJV? What is more, it is entirely possible to make a “change” that is more accurate, not less. I will get examples when I get back to my office. There are plenty…plenty…where the NIV is more accurate the KJV. There are also instances where the KJV and the NIV perpetuate the same error for the very reason that the translators in both translations uphold that the Bible does not make contradictions (hard to believe the NIV translators believed that, huh) – http://claudemariottini.com/2014/10/02/bible-politics-and-theological-bias/

          So 65,000 seems like a big number but it isn’t, unless you are claiming that the those are errors and can point to them and show how the NIV got it wrong.

          Next, I asked you for examples of what you are talking about. You gave me Luke 2:43. In that verse the textual evidence supports the NIV, not the KJV. Remember, the KJV translators only had a dozen manuscripts to work off of. We now have over 5000. Along with that, also remember that King James gave the translators a list of rules the first of which was to follow the Bishop’s Bible as closely as possible – http://www.kjvonly.org/other/kj_instructs.htm

          All that to say, Luke 2:43 is not an attempt to insert doctrine or pervert doctrine IN SPITE of textual evidence. Their translation of Luke 2:43 is because of the textual evidence. I can get you more info on the textual evidence supporting this reading later. Calling them both his parents doesn’t destroy anything. Joseph filled the role of his father.

          Here is the question I would like for you to answer: If the NIV translators were against the doctrine of the virgin birth, then why did they do such a horrible job and not messing up more of the texts? I mean, if you read the Gospels via the NIV you are going to come away understanding the virgin birth. It is clearly there

          So your case on Luke 2:43 doesn’t work out because: A) the Greek text supports their work…this is what they do as translators (be accurate to the text) and B) because over and over again they also accurately translated many other verses that continue to uphold this doctrine. This isn’t evidence at all of evil, vile translators going out to destroy the word of God.

          I really hoped you would give more verses with such strong assertions and accusations. I am sure you will in time. Luke 2:43 is hardly it.

          On the Majority text, of course most manuscripts confirm it…that is the case for two reasons: 1) It is a composite text of the most popular readings (which means it is designed to agree with the most manuscripts) and 2) the manuscripts we have were meticulously copied and the vast majority of manuscripts agree on most things already. That doesn’t lend any extra credibility to the Majority text above others.

          Last, on Siniaticus and Alexandrinus…I would like for you to point out the conflicts you have found. Please give examples. Then let us know first, if your assertion is actually correct and second, I would like to know the significance of the “conflicts.” I await your response. I will get to the videos later…that will take some time.

        • Todd says:

          Hi Matt, Hope you had a good Lord’s Day. I cant seem to post even after many tries. Will try again:

          Dealing with the claim, “the best manuscripts do not contain this.” If there were only three pages in your employer’s memo but you only received two, would you tell your co-workers they are adding to the memo? When the NIV states some older manuscript do not contain a phrase, or verses, sometimes it is because the papyrus is short and ends! Of course it doesn’t have the rest of verses. It would be impossible.
          As time goes by, more and more manuscripts are uncovered that confirm the Majority Text. In fact, 99.2% of all manuscripts co-witness the Majority Text, KJV (5321). The other 0.8% are only small fragments (not a complete bible) which contradict themselves! Can’t get much worse than that. The Alexandrian and Sinaiticus conflict every two verses!!! And these incomplete texts are called the earliest and most accurate by the NIV translators. How can it be a solid, true, inerrant, translation? Alexandria, Egypt was the hotbed of pagan religions so it’s no wonder there is so much confusing stemming from there. I am not KJV only but lean heavily towards it being the most accurate today.

          The NIV footnotes call the Vaticanus and Sinaiticus, “The two most reliable early manuscripts” seen in Mark 16:8, 9-20 omitting the resurrection. It is interesting to note that the Vaticanus leaves an empty space just large enough to include these 12 verses. How would the write know how much space to leave if these verses were never inspired, especially since the Vaticanus is an “earlier” manuscript??? The Sinaiticus text has large letters filling up the space where Mark 16:9-20 normally would be! Imagine. Something tells me they were hiding a very important verse. Comments anyone? Can you say smoking gun? Almost forgot the source, J.B. Green Sr. who wrote a Greek interlinear translation. Burgeon wrote a book on the missing verses in Mark 16. This is huge! Blows the NIV out of the water, or should I say the Westcott & Hort text which I believe is corrupt and not as early as some modern scholar proclaim.

          If this posts 5 times I apologize.

        • John DoHerty says:

          The authorized King James Version of the scriptures, is what has brought us all to this point. The scriptures chosen then, for translation, were chosen for a reason. Chosen when days were dark. Candle light, oil light, fire light. A fearful belief in the Great God Almighty. Shadows moving in the dark. The curse/warning in Revelation concerning altering one word (adding to or taking away). The “modern translators” have no such fears. Who knows who truly believes anymore? “By their deeds you will know them”. The teaching of Christ is clear. What do the words from His mouth say? All the answers are there. “Even the elect would be deceived, if it were at all possible”. No fault is there in being wrong. But there is in refusing the correction. Many new scriptures are being found, somewhere, these days, “claimed” to predate our present ones. The old ones which brought us to this point, have been observed coming to us along the line of time. Why do we question them now? And alter them? Could it be to prove the sect of the translator’s belief? These questions, we must ask.

        • Profile photo of Matt Dabbs Matt Dabbs says:

          John, is a translation to be rejected because it has added to the word of God? You seem to believe so because you cite that in Revelation and seem to be using that to condemn modern translations. But you do know the KJV has added to the word of God, right? There are 52 verses in their manuscript that were not original. What is more, the KJV has been revised many times because of the errors it contained. Should you throw it out? The KJV messed up a lot of verses: Matt 26:36 (then cometh Judas instead of then cometh Jesus), Ruth 3:15 “he” instead of “she” getting the wrong person going into the city, the 7th commandment read “thou shalt” and left off the “not” which led to the 1611 with that omission being called the “Wicked Bible”, Zech 4:7 is “head stone” not “headstone”…there are many more. That is just the 1611. If you examine the revisions of the KJV there are 24,000 variants among them. Ironically the 1611 KJV used Erasmus’ work that had the wrong ending of Revelation since Erasmus copy of Revelation was missing its last few lines he reverse engineered the ending of Revelation from Latin translating it back into Greek to make a version of those verses that have ZERO manuscript support. On and on we can go. If your standard is what you state it is, then the KJV itself doesn’t live up.

    • Rob Harmon says:

      It isn’t deleted, just footnoted.

      • Todd says:

        Actually, it was fully deleted in the first printing. After they didn’t sell so well, and because of the outcry they were forced to put it back in with a footnote. 🙂 $$$

        • Profile photo of Matt Dabbs Matt Dabbs says:

          Lots of pronouns here…which verse are you referring to? Rob’s comment reads in response to the original post where he is saying that the verses were not entirely deleted, just footnoted. Are you saying all of these verses were fully deleted in the first printing? If so, I would like to see that.

        • Todd Be Blessed says:

          Lots of pronouns? You are way to nit picky. If you look at the context, it refers to the it that Rob uses. I expected this blog to be sincere and productive but you just keep on jabbing for no reason. I could do the same but choose not to. You never really gave an explanation to the smoking gun you demanded of me. And you don’t seem to be critical of the pro NIV postings here. Hmm. So much for a fair blog. Guess that’s why I dread seeing Kingdom Living emails in my inbox. “Are you saying all of these verses were fully deleted in the first printing? If so, I would like to see that.” Sorry Matt, you will have to get motivated and do your own research. Was that rhetorical or genuine?
          Be blessed
          Todd

        • Profile photo of Matt Dabbs Matt Dabbs says:

          I did some research on this yesterday by asking some people who had a first edition. They said there weren’t any footnotes in the preliminary copies at all. Zero. They choose in the first printing just to get the translation out to people and put the footnotes in later. Does that make for a grand conspiracy? I don’t think so.

          Looking back at the comments, I see my request for a smoking gun on Aug 5th. You posted 4 hours worth of video. I started into it but it will take me quite some time to complete.

          While I work on that bit by bit let me make a few points for you to consider about the KJV so that you are well aware of its shortcomings as a translation (it has many). I think it is alright and usable but not perfect or the only reliable, error free translation of the Bible. We just let the evidence itself speak from history, the text itself, etc to see what we find.

          1 – The KJV was not an original translation. They went by both the Bishop’s Bible of 1568. Here was King James’ first instruction that was crafted by Richard Bancroft, Bishop of London and high-church Anglican from both the church/state of England, ” The ordinary Bible, read in the church, commonly called the Bishop’s Bible, to be followed, and as little altered as the original will permit.”

          I have a parallel of 8 early English translations and it contains both the 1611 KJV and the Bishop’s Bible. They are nearly verbatim. Just an interesting piece of history that the translators of the KJV were specifically ordered to follow the BIshop’s bible as much as possible along with the Greek texts. Obviously, they were free to translated as they needed and they did but the result is exactly as ordered…a translation that very closely follows the Bishop’s Bible. I wonder if you would put the Bishop’s Bible on the same pedestal (if that is what you are doing) as the KJV.

          In the “Translators to the Reader” the translators themselves (Miles Smith in particular) state that their work is a conglomeration of earlier translations and when you put them side by side, it is pretty obvious. That doesn’t mean it is wrong…it just needs to be known that the KJV is not an original translation but relies heavily on previous early English translations, particularly the Bishop’s Bible. That is okay as long as it is accurate…let’s see if it is.

          2 – What texts were the KJV translated from and what problems arose in the text as a result?

          This is from Jack Lewis in the KJV to the NIV (a book I highly recommend),

          “To state that the text now available is superior to that of the 1611 is to repeat a truism. Of the five primary uncial manuscripts now received as authority for the purity of the text of the NT, only Codex Bezae was then available and there is no evidence that it was used. Papyrus discoveries came 300 years later. The KJ scholars could have known fewer than 25 late manuscripts of the NT and these were carelessly used. Today there are 5358 known NT manuscripts and fragments. The KJ scholars had the text of Erasmus as it had been further revised in its third edition by Stephanus in 1551…the 1611 situation for the Old Testament is even poorer. THe Complutensian Polyglot *1517) and the Antwerp Polyglot *1572) would have been the sources from which they would have known the OT. Where these two differ, the KJV agrees with one or the other except in about a half-dozen places where it agrees with neither. Modern discovery has supplied earlier Masoretic manuscripts dating to the tenth century in the Leningrad manuscript, the Aleppo Codex, and the British Museum manuscript…For potions of the OT, discovery has supplied pre-Masoretic manuscripts dating to the 2nd century BC in the Qumran scrolls. About 800 Hebrew manuscrpts have now been studied. The KJV scholars only had a single text for the Septuagint. Now there are many manuscripts…they only had the ordinary edition of the Latin, disfigured by corruptions.

          The text followed by the KJV in 2 Kings 7:13 had an erroneous repetition of several words. The one followed in the NT included phrases that the best Greek manuscripts would not support. Critical texts drop the following sixteen whole verses to the footnotes: Matt 17:21, 18:11, 23:14; Mark 7:16, 9:44, 46, 11:26, 15:28; Luke 17:36; John 5:4; Acts 8:37, 15:34, 24:7, 28:29 and Romans 16:24. Additions (in the KJV) of less than whole verse include the words “openly” (Matt 6:4,6,18) and “without a cause” (Matt 5:22). The phrase “him that liveth forever and ever” (Rev 5:14) has NO KNOWN Greek manuscript support. Neither the phrase “of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph 3:14) nor the phrase (who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit” (Rom 8:1) is in the better Greek text….same with Acts 9:6 “and he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him…” occur in NO KNOWN Greek manuscript. It came into the Textus Receptus when Erasmus translated it from the Vulgate in 1516.” p.42-43

          He also mentions other additions that confuse and distort the text:
          – “if” in 2 Cor 5:14, “and were persuaded of them” in Heb 11:13 is added as is “not” in Romans 4:19 & Col 2:18 that turn a positive into a negative.
          – No known manuscript has “book of life” in Rev 22:19 instead “tree of life”
          – Col 1:14 “through his blood” doesn’t have Greek support.
          – See other KJV addtions in Acts 9:5, Rom 7:6, 8:1; 2 Cor 1:6, Rev 1:8 & 11; Rev 2:3 & 20, 5:10, 15:3, 16:5, 17:16, 18:12 and more…

          If you have a problem with things being ADDED to scripture then you have a problem with the KJV. Right? Let’s be fair or else it is just a witch hunt. These are all things the KJV added to the Greek text that distort or misrepresent the meaning of the original languages. What is more since the KJV we have discoveries that have actually added back in things that had gone missing (more on that in the last point). Ironic that the NIV takes out what wasn’t there and puts back what was missing and it is heresy!

          So let’s flip that and say the KJV left out some very important phrases…the very thing that the NIV is purported to have done. I will just give you the verses you can compare to see what is missing – Matt 24:36, Acts 4:25, Acts 16:7, Rom 8:28, 1 Peter 2:2, 1 John 2:23, Gen 4:8, Judges 16:13, 1 Sam 10:1 & 14:41, John 19:3, 1 Thess 4:1, 1 Peter 5:2, 1 John 3:1. Much of what I am going to report here comes from Lewis’ book. You can also read D.A. Carson’s book “The KJV Debate” it is excellent.

          In addition to the additions and subtractions there are also just flat out bad/poor translations of things that sometimes have political reasons behind them – take “God save the king” in 1 Sam 10:24, 2 Sam 16:16, 1 Kings 1:25, 2 Kings 11:12. It doesn’t say that. That is inaccurate and completely influenced by England and loyalty to the throne. It says “Let the king live.” We could also mention “give up the ghost” where the text literally says “expire (Gen 25:8, Jer 15:9) or Amos 4:4 that literally says “three days” that they translated “tithes after three years” or “I might have taken her to me to wife” which literally says “I took her” (Gen 12:19).

          On and on we can go. No need to know. You get the point. THe 1611 KJV is full of problems, even the same sort of problems you level toward the NIV. Guess what they all have problems because they are all translated by humans.

          3 – What translation issues and errors are made in the KJV?
          – Matthew 26:36 read “then cometh Judas” instead of “then cometh Jesus”.
          – In one printing the 1611 had the “unrighteous will inherit the kingdom of heaven”
          – Zech 4:7 is one place that has never been corrected where “headstone” should be “head stone”
          – Matt 23:24 – “strain at a gnat” rather than “out a gnat”
          – 1 Cor 4:9 “approved to death” is wrong…should be “appointed to death” (corrected in 1616).

          4 – How many “changes” did the KJV make to its own translation over time due to problems with the 1611?

          Corrections began in 1612 and continued into 1613 where they corrected 413 errors to the 1611. 1629 saw more revisions as did the 1638. As more and more printings happened more and more errors crept in, mostly printing and unintentional errors. In 1659 William Kilburne said he found 20,000 errors in the editions printed in the 1650s. In 1727 the marginal material was corrected of several thousand more errors of the 1611. In the 1800s the American Bible Society examined the 6 editions of the KJV that were around at that time and found 24,000 variations in both text and punctuation (See Jack Lewis, KJV to NIV, 35-38)

          5 – Did you know the 1611 KJV also footnoted other possible readings of the text? They were actually criticized for undermining the certainty of scripture by pointing out other possibilities in the margins. It is what good editors and translators do in an effort to get the information to the readers to let them make a decision where the text can possibly go either way. It is the right practice. The 1611 KJV did it and so does the NIV. The NIV gets called out for all this but the KJV does not. That is interesting.

          In 1659 Robert Gell pushed for a revision of the KJV calling it “faulty” in its translation (Gell, An Essay Toward the Amendment of the Last English Translation of the Bible, 38-39) and that two of his charges were: 1) the more he reads it the more errors he finds and 2) the footnoted readings (other potential readings) were often more accurate than the ones included in the text!

          6 – Did you know the 1611 KJV included the Apocrypha. Was that an inspired, perfect translation of those books? It was removed in 1629. Funny that the NIV is accused of all sorts of things being motivated by $$$, etc when the KJV itself made changes that one would be tempted to read those same motives into when in both cases we don’t really know the hearts of those who made those decisions…that is pure speculation.

          7 – I don’t have time to go into it but there are 100’s of words that they didn’t understand well in 1611 that we know have a better understanding of that then affects having an accurate translation from Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek to English. I will just give a few examples…there are many:
          – Que (1 Kings 10:28) is a city, not “linen yarn”
          – “tell” (Josh 11:13) is what a city often sat on, not “strength”

          Hope this gives you a few things to consider on the flip side of things – the translation you are upholding has its own set of issues. I highly recommend getting a copy of Lewis’ book…it is fantastic and goes into 20X the detail of what I just quoted…he does this for the NIV as well (he was one of the translators) and points out its flaws as well. I am happy to share that with you as well, if that is helpful. Honesty and transparency requires being open to all of the information.

          Let me close with a question, when you refer to the KJV, which one are you referring to? The original 1611 that contains at least 20,000 errors in the text and thousands more in the marginal/footnoted material? Is it the corrected version of 1612, 1613, 1629, 1638? Help me out. The KJV as you speak of it (as a concept apart from all of these things listed) doesn’t exist.

          A quote from the first video you linked to,

          “Why, somebody might ask, are there so many flaws in the Bible? I said, please…there are no flaws in the Bible. Not at least in the preserved word of God as it is found in the traditional text from which the King James Bible was translated. In this Bible we can put our complete confidence because of our complete faith in God who made the promises we just considered [referencing Matt 24:35]. Then why can’t we put that same confidence in other translations? It is apparent that the church today has two different sets of scripture. It should be equally apparent that our God did not write both of them. When a study is made of the history of the Bible it becomes clear that the omissions and alterations…were not the result of careless copy making over the centuries but of an intentional plot to destroy God’s word.”

          Turns out the KJV also has omissions and additions but, like the NIV, those decisions are not made to corrupt the Bible but are made by scholars to preserve the word of God and render the BEST translation possible from the BEST evidence we have at our disposal. Two points: if you are going to claim corrupt Bibles are those that seem to add and omit…realize the KJV does it too. If corrupt Bibles have errors and mistranslations…the KJV does too. Second, we must recognize that it is not an omission or an addition if it gets us back closer to the autograph (original text). So there seems to be a double standard here and the video’s own standard would not let even the KJV survive…no, it would be called corrupt as well if we are honest with what is there and we uphold the standard that is being purported in the video.

    • Many plain and precious things have been taken from the Gospel.
      It seems the LORD was 100% right, but the LORD is omniscient.

      • Michael P. says:

        Mr. Hutton, have you watched the short documentary that is titled “The Bible vs. Joseph Smith”? Because I believe that truth an always stand on it’s own, I’ve recently watch this. I would like to take the liberty of providing, for your convenience, the link that will enable you to view it. I believe you will find it quite interesting. God bless you, Sir.

    • Debra says:

      I was taught by the KJV bible. I was taught it was God breathed( inspired) word, not mans intreputation. I’m sure when the bible was transcribed that God gave us, that he knew about all the lost manuscripts, ect. God put in what he wanted us to have. Yes the KJV is sometimes hard to understand, but if you ask God through the HolySpirit to show you the answer they will. If I hadn’t known my bible when one preacher said that John 5:4 was consider an old urban legend, I would have missed it. These new versions are not God breathed, they just recopied and intreputation from old manuscripts that God thought non important to the bible and added in what they thought needed to be there. In other words they are saying, God made a mistake. God forebid. God is all knowing,all seeing and they have disacrated Gods Holy Word he wanted us to have. Just like the apocryphal books that weren’t put in. God didn’t want them there. Thanks. Old God fearing country girl who tells God and Jesus true word to those who have ears to hear. Have a blessed day.

      • Profile photo of Matt Dabbs Matt Dabbs says:

        The 1611 KJV had the apocrypha. So did God want them there or not? Your point was God didn’t want them there because the KJV did t include them. The logic doesn’t hold up and starts on the wrong foot.

  3. Sean says:

    I’m glad to find a good explanation of this from a
    non-KJV bias source. I accept the explaination, but
    I don’t understand why the NIV doesn’t explain this.
    Some verses are explained in footnotes or included in
    footnotes, but some have no footnotes at all.
    I think each copy should have an article that explains the
    issue as clearly as this. This way people won’t be confused
    by such accusations.

  4. mattdabbs says:

    Glad that was helpful to you. There is so much misinformation and accusation out there that is totally uninformed.

  5. Michelle says:

    I have been going to a “KJV only” church, and the pastor there delivered a sermon in which he read the verse and then said that it was not an angel but an underwater spring which caused the water to roil and heal.

    I asked him where he got that from, and he said that the bible stated that people believed that it was an angel.

    I am confused. I don’t see that. I only see a preacher who says that the bible was wrong in this case and he is right.

    Where can I find a discussion of this particular item?

  6. mattdabbs says:

    The verse is John 5:4. You will find it in the KJV but in some newer translations you will see it goes from John 5:3 to John 5:5 and the verse is put in a footnote about the angel stirring the water.

    There are thousands of manuscripts dating from 150 AD to 1300 AD or so. The older manuscripts lack this verse across the board. As you get more recent manuscripts this verse starts showing up but usually with a mark to show that the scribe copied it but did not believe it was original. So this may have been a later addition to a text that eventually ended up in what the translators of the KJV had at their disposal. That is why you find it in the KJV and not other places.

    It was probably added as an editorial comment to make sense of 5:7 – it would explain why he thought he needed to be the first one in the water. Hope that helps. Let me know if you need more explanation.

    • Mark says:

      I find this humorous. According to the ‘facts’, there are 1000’s of Greek manuscripts (including fragments, I presume) during this period of history. The older ones don’t contain this verse, but suddenly, it starts showing up with a ‘mark’ indicating if’s dubious nature. I suppose the voracity of the copyist can and should be called into question. Problem is, why would one suddenly decide to insert it into the text, if it wasn’t there already?
      If I recall, there is only one gospel that records the account that upon the resurrection of Jesus from the tomb, many graves were opened and those who had occupied them were seen by those in Jerusalem. Should this account also be brought under scrutiny since it doesn’t appear in any of the other gospels? Perhaps a committee can convene soon and dispatch this verse from the Bible as well. Shame on us and may God overlook our attempts to assist the Holy Spirit with this infallible Word of God.

      • John Cowne says:

        I’m afraid Mark is comparing apples to oranges. You can’t compare 1) the argument that the existence of a large number of earlier documents holds evidential weight, and therefore makes them more likely to follow the originals (autographs), with 2) the fact that many details in the gospels are not dealt with by each other should, using the same reasoning, make you suspect the legitimacy of a unique recording of an event. Your analogy simply does not follow. Christians need to THINK LOGICALLY (by that I mean using the common sense God has given you to apply to any dilemna) as well as THEOLOGICALLY(by that I mean coming under, being informed and shaped by, God’s word). Guys, don’t let yourselves be swayeed by Mark’s sloppy thinking. It is not honouring God’s Word. Just because you read a translation beyond the date of the KJV does not mean you should be ashamed. Let’s use our minds for the glory of God, and not take pot shots at each other.

        • corylewis says:

          John, You go on YOUR words and thoughts of YOUR logic. I’ll go on the word of God!! Mark poses a lot of GREAT questions about this ridiculous theory that the “older” manuscripts omitted text and then suddenly out of no where came the text in question. By the way there are 49 missing verses in the NIV. So I guess all of them just seemed to appear. It’s amazing to me how many people claim to know God but rely on their own merit and logic to explain God. None of the prophets, or apostles did that. Why are you?

    • All YOU are saying is that the BIBLE was NEVER correct.

      • Profile photo of Matt Dabbs Matt Dabbs says:

        Robert,

        Help me understand what you mean by Bible? Are you talking about the original documents? The copies? The copies that were finally compiled together after some time? Translations into English? Latin Bibles? Syriac? Coptic? Greek? Hebrew/Aramaic?

        Which Bibles?

        • Matt it is for YOU to tell me WHAT BIBLE.
          Every Protestant tells me the Bible is perfect, but I know they are LIARS on that topic.

          You are scamming these souls.
          I know it, YOU know it GOD knows it.

          The best document you have to cause modern Bibles to be produced is a massive fake.

          You are lying about the NWO translations when you tell the people that these words did not exist in the “original text.” you have never seen the original text.

        • Profile photo of Matt Dabbs Matt Dabbs says:

          You are right Robert. We dont have the original text but we have tens of thousands of copies that have been reliable. Blessings to you.

  7. Phil McCheddar says:

    Thank you for the explanation. However, it seems to me that if you leave out verse 4, the rest of the passage doesn’t make sense. So I find it difficult to suppose that John’s original manuscript did not contain something at the position of verse 4 to explain to his readers why the lame man said what he said in verse 7. Verses 2 and 3 indicate that John assumed that at least some of his readers did not have any background knowledge about this pool with its alleged angelic phenomenon.

  8. mattdabbs says:

    Hi Phil,

    That is probably why it was added – to give continuity to an awkward verse. So you can look at it either way – either it seems awkward without it so it must have been original or a scribe added in an oral tradition as an aside to make the passage seem less awkward. I know I have written things only to go back and notice something could have been a little clearer or given more explanation.

    If you read it without the verse just like it wasn’t there I think it still reads pretty well we just don’t know exactly why it is important that he is first and why he can’t be healed if others go in before him.

    • God is NOT AWKWARD. It is only awkward for those caught in a lie.
      2 Peter 1:20

      “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of ANY PRIVATE INTERPRETATION…”

      Your ministers are schooled in hermeneutic and exegesis both of which are late sciences invented by men to INTERPRET SCRIPTURE. This practices was anathematized by Peter when he wrote 2 Peter 1:20.

      James 1:5-8

      5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

      6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

      7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.

      8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

      Without LIVING PROPHETS no-one can be called of GOD as was Aaron.
      The Bible scholar will know that verse from Hebrews 5:4 and others will know that Aaron was called by DIRECT REVELATION when Moses took his “slow of speech” concern to Jehovah, the GOD of the OLD TESTAMENT. Jehovah called Aaron et al.

      1 And take thou unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office, even Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron’s sons.

      2 And thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron thy brother for glory and for beauty.

      3 And thou shalt speak unto all that are wise hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron’s garments to consecrate him, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office.
      Edodus 28:1-3

      None of the above was written in a vacuum but in a continuum by GOD who knows the end from the beginning.

  9. David says:

    Hi Matt,

    I strongly believe that the King James Bible is the inerrant Word of God. I believe that the way you look at holy scripture throughout time, lacks some reverence to the author. The men who wrote, copied and translated the scriptures where pensmen, but the word came from God. Do you not believe that God would preserve, and make sure that His word would reach all people exactly as it was written. Would you not agree that if non- believer read your article, he would be confused as to which Bible holds the truth?
    Would it not cause confusion even among Christians? Would it not make them ask, well if thats not in the original scriptures then what else does not belong here? The Bible states that God is not the author of confusion. See, God did not leave the scriptures in our hands to do what we may with them. Believing that troughout time scribes added things or re arranged things, insinuates that the word of God was at the mercy of these men. God has been and will always be in control of his word. There were no mistakes. Not even in centuries of copying.

    But i have a question. I have not read the NIV Bible so it’s why i’m asking. So, the NIV Bible leaves out verse 4 of John chapter 5 right? So it skips from 3 to 5. Then verse 4 is in the footnotes? So the NIV Bible still shows verse 4 as verse 4, just not in the text?

    • Bradford Dock says:

      Why would you believe that a translation of the Bible from 1611 is the inerrant word of God? Because it says “authorized” in the front? You really think that a translation from the 17th century is superior to Greek manuscripts from the 4th century, and Hebrew manuscripts from the 2nd century B.C.? I do not see any logic at all in that. I see no basis for that belief at all. You are simply making a statement with no proof of any kind to back it up so that you can establish some kind of “authority” to what you say. This position is nonsense, my friend.

      Also, if God is God, all powerful, all knowing, why do we have to defend him? If Christianity is the one true religion won’t it stand the test of questions and doubt? I think you need to take a good hard look at what you believe. Pray this prayer: “God, show me the truth, no matter what it is.” Do you have the courage to do that honestly, without preconceived notions? I challenge you to do it.

    • Victor Hafichuk says:

      A. The Angel at the Bethesda Pool

      In the gospel of John, it is recorded:

      “In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had” (John 5:3-4).

      Let me ask the ardent KJV fans some questions regarding this passage. Do you believe the story here? Have you never wondered about the strangeness of it? Ask yourself, “Does God play ‘cat-and-mouse,’ or ‘dangle the carrot,’ or does He tease the weak and helpless? Does He take pleasure in watching physically handicapped people awkwardly trying to jostle their way to the pool to get healed, where only the fastest one wins?”

      Did you know that the words from “waiting for the moving” in verse 3, and all of verse 4 are not found in the more original manuscripts? Is it not understandable that this is so? This was a piece of superstition inserted by some unbelieving scoundrel or ignoramus. It is the stuff of a carnal perception of Jesus Christ. It is the stuff of Lourdes, Fatima, of Catholic occultish heresy.

      It is a contradiction of the basic testimony of the Scriptures concerning the character of God. How do I know? How should YOU know? Consider God’s character, if you know anything of Him. Would He do such a thing? Does He display similar cruelty and callousness anywhere else in Scripture? Yes, He judges; yes, He destroys, but He does not toy, He takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, and He is no sadist.

      Several translations omit the portion of verses 3 to 4. The NIV commentary says this: “Verse 4 was doubtless inserted by a later copyist to explain why people waited by the pool in large numbers.” If that is true, and I have no doubt of it, then that person has not heeded this admonition found in both Old and New Testaments:

      “Every word of God is pure: He is a shield unto them that put their trust in Him. Add thou not unto His words, lest He reprove thee, and thou be found a liar” (Proverbs 30:5-6).

      “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you” (Deuteronomy 4:2).

      “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 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” (Revelation 22:18-19).

      Has not this copyist done harm? Yes, he has, both to himself and to his readers. Nevertheless, we are all tried. As Paul said to some saints:

      “For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you” (1 Corinthians 11:19).

      Think about it, you who think the KJV to be perfect. This threefold (heavenly) admonition is only there because the possibility exists that one can add or take from His Word. Any possibility for evil that has existed has been fulfilled.

      Now why would God care or warn about adding or subtracting from spurious translations or men’s writings? Does not this admonition from His Word suggest that one can do it to the true? Is not His Word that of which He speaks? Therefore, if we were to grant you that the KJV is supposed to be the Perfect Word of God, how can you, in light of these Scriptures in the KJV (which, by the way, are not questioned by any other translations, but are included), deny that men’s words can be added to the KJV or that men can take words away from it? Your own version declares your folly! Do you not contradict yourselves, saying the KJV is perfect?

      Take that passage of John 5 in context of the entire Bible testimony. Be honest. “Examine yourselves whether you be in the faith.” Stop being unbelieving fools; repent; begin to believe the Lord Jesus Christ, and not some fictional character, some angel of light coming in His Name!

      See: http://www.thepathoftruth.com/teachings/kjv.htm

  10. mattdabbs says:

    Hi David,

    Thank you for your thoughtful comments and questions. I can see your concern over what a non-Christian might think about my post. The facts are we don’t have original manuscripts. We have copies of copies. The good news is those copies are extremely accurate and rarely ever have any bearing on any major doctrine or core belief of the Christian faith.

    But let’s start at the beginning of your comment. You believe that the KJV Bible is the inerrant word of God. Which one? There have been many revisions with tens of thousands of changes. The 1611 even had typos and spelling errors. Translation is a process and involves human beings to get it done. Therefore, it is done imperfectly…otherwise you have to say God inspired those men to make typos and spelling errors. Right?

    You seem to deny the very existence of textual variants. That is just not an optional path to go down. They exist and we have to have means to deal with them. I can give you all kinds of examples from manuscripts all over the map. Even the 1611 KJV translators had to deal with textual variants in the manuscripts they had at hand. They dealt with them because they existed then and they exist now. They exist because mankind has had to hand copy these texts for hundreds and hundreds of years producing variants in the text that have to be dealt with. That doesn’t shake my faith in the least. They exist and we have to deal with them. We have to be honest about that.

    It cannot be transmitted into English “exactly as it was written” as you stated above because it was not written in English. It was written in Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic. When people wrestle with translating those languages (which are from copies of copies and therefore contain textual variants) into English there will always be problems but we do the best we can. I believe the KJV translators did the very best job they could but I do not believe it is a perfect translation…otherwise those same men would not have seen the need to make over 300 corrections to their own translation by 1613 (See Lewis, Questions You Have Had About Bible Translations, p.254).

    I hope you hear this comment with the greatest degree of love and respect possible. I also hope you understand that I believe in the inspiration of scriptures. I am not sure what I think about the inspiration of translators.

    Last, by the same standard – that God would make sure his word would reach all people and be preserved across generations…why pick out the KJV as the only translation that God could do this with? Why not some before it like Tyndale’s? Why not some after it like the NASB or NIV? The same logic could be applied to any number of translations from different generations and say God continued to work in the process but somehow proponents of the KJV never come to that conclusion.

    To answer your last question – John 5:4 is translated in full in the footnotes.

    I hope this has been helpful and I would love to hear back from you on it. God bless

  11. Great post. The fact that you site your sources is unblog-like of you 🙂 Thanks.

  12. Phil McCheddar says:

    Hi Matt

    I don’t agree with David’s views about the inerrancy of the KJV. I think your reply to him adequately shows the falsehood of such a view. You used an empirical method to refute him. However, David made a very interesting philosophical point that I would like to hear you address also please. He said that because God is perfect and infallible, he would ensure that his revelation to mankind would not be corrupted by fallible men, and that since he is not the author of confusion he would not allow anything false or misleading to infect his message. Would you like to comment on that from a philosophical point of view please?
    Many thanks.

  13. mattdabbs says:

    Hey Phil,

    Great question. I believe that David’s concern for how this comes across to non-believers and even Christians is a valid concern. However, we cannot deny, ignore, or manipulate the truth in order to alleviate people’s concerns. The truth is that there are lots and lots of minor textual variants in the thousands of manuscripts we have on hand. The vast majority of them are extremely minor.

    We have variants because these texts were copied over and over again by real people over a long period of time. The copies we have even show that this process was not an exact science as many of the copyists left notes in the margin questioning what they were copying. Why? Say you are copying Mark 9 and you get to Jesus’ words “This kind can only come out by prayer.” Some Greek texts say “prayer” and others say “prayer and fasting.” So which do you choose? The older manuscripts don’t have “and fasting” so it is assumed that over time someone copied that into a text because that is a common biblical concept that prayer is often combined with fasting.” The KJV used newer manuscripts which had “prayer and fasting” while the NIV had access to older manuscripts which only had “prayer.” Another thing you run into is when a copyist is copying from the synoptic gospels they may, from memory, accidentally add in a line from another gospel into a parallel account. So the next guy who copies that manuscript sees something in the verse he didn’t think was supposed to be there…what does he do? He either copies it and moves on (which results in more copies having the miscopy or he checks it against other texts, and changes it in his copy to reflect other texts. Usually when this is done the copyist will leave a note that a change was made.These notes in the margin are not uncommon. I say all this to say – I am not making this up. These changes took place but they should not rattle our faith! This does not make the scriptures any less valid as these things are few, far between, and never have major doctrinal significance.

    So here is the deal, the original texts of the New Testament as written by the apostles, early Christians and amanuensis were infallible. They were without mistake and communicated exactly what God wanted them to communicate. But once those texts began to get copied…and even moreso, translated into entirely new languages! there is bound to be room for some questions. Notice there are only 50 or so of these that have any significant impact on portions of verses in the New Testament out of 7958 verses in the New Testament

    Anytime anyone translates something, interpretation takes place. There is no getting around that. There is no perfect process where one takes an ancient language, finds the perfect English word-for-word equivalent and then just switches all the words to English. Anyone who has studied Greek or English or any other language would agree with that statement.

    So, here is the problem. In order to say that any translation is inerrant means that God would have had to directly inspire the translators to make a perfect translation into the new language. Why? Because translators have to interpret what they are translating into the new language. So in order to get a perfect translation, God would have to inspire those doing the translation to get it perfect. Here is a problem – the original KJV had typos, misspellings, and many other mistakes in it. Does that mean God inspired the intended meaning of the work of those translators but didn’t help them get the spelling right? What does that mean? It means when people get involved in the process of God expressing himself to us there are going to be hiccups in the process.

    Then you have this question – how do you know the KJV is THE English translation God chose to inspire the translators to translate? Why not Tyndale’s version or any of the other dozens of early English translations contemporary with the KJV? Then, who is to say he didn’t continue to inspire translations all the way to today? That would make the NIV, NLT, etc all potentially inspired by God with their same logic, right? But they would never say they. They assume that only they know which one God inspired the translation of and that can, to them, only be the KJV. But that just doesn’t work in my book. We cannot say God inspired the translation of the KJV but never, ever any other translation…how would we know that?

  14. Phil McCheddar says:

    Thanks Matt. I agree with what you said in your last post. There is no denying that the autographs don’t exist any more and that the copies contain variants. We can make a pretty good stab at reconstructing the original text but we can’t be 100% dogmatic about every jot and tittle. And also it cannot be denied that it is impossible to translate from one language to another with mechanical precision because each language has its own idiosyncrasies and no two words share an identical semantic range.

    But David presented an intriguing argument which, although it is demonstrably false in practice, raises an important question about how God relates to mankind. David said that since God is infallible and everything he does is perfect, he would have chosen to communicate his rational truth to mankind in such a way that we would receive it in its pure unadulterated form. God would want us to have a record of his revelation that was as reliable and perfect as he is because it is not God’s nature to be chaotic, inexact, confusing, or inaccurate. Even though some men would tamper with his revelation, God would providentially ensure that his unspotted truth was still available for those who earnestly sought it (just like muslims regard the Qur’an in Arabic).

    Clearly the facts on the ground show that God hasn’t done it that way. He chose to communicate to us through the medium of human language despite its ambiguities, and we know he didn’t preserve the autographs or accurate copies of the autographs. And the compilation of the canon was, on the surface, very slipshod and haphazard. We don’t have a checklist from heaven telling us which books to include in the canon.

    So why do you think God chose to communicate to us in this rather messy way, where undeniably there are some grey areas and fuzzy edges (even though no fundamental doctrine is at stake)?

  15. mattdabbs says:

    I think the stab we can make at reconstructing the original text is very good. Without the autographs we cannot be certain that we have 100% accuracy but I do believe that we can still ascertain, based on what we have, what God’s will is and what he was trying to communicate. When I read my Bible, a translation, I feel very adequate that I am getting at what God was trying to communicate with me. I don’t have a cloud of doubts hanging over my head wondering, “Is this what he said?” or “What if all this is mistaken!?!” Why? Because the vast majority of manuscript evidence we have corroborates itself and shows that there is indeed a high level of accuracy with the texts we do have.

    I wholeheartedly agree that God does not want there to be chaos and misunderstanding and that it is in his nature to have order and clarity. God inspired the biblical writers to write down what he wanted to be recorded. God then allowed that word to be passed down through generation after generation. That required copy after copy.

    Here is the deal…It is one thing to say God had to have every word copied perfectly every time in order to ensure that his will was clearly communicated. That I cannot agree with based on the fact that we don’t have that but we know God’s will is done. It is another thing to say that God can communicate his will perfectly even though some of the copies have very minor and mostly insignificant issues. So yes, God has communicated clearly to us exactly what he wanted, it just so happens that he did not do so by inspiring the copyists to copy perfectly.

    I would have to disagree with your statement that we do not have preserved accurate copies of the autographs. Of course we don’t have perfect copies but I believe we have copies accurate enough to communicate God’s will and truth to us today.

    Why did God choose to communicate this way? Well, if I was God I could certainly tell you with some certainty! God has revealed himself in a particular day and time. Faithful men wrote it down so that they and the generations after could have the benefit of hearing what God revealed to mankind. Ever since then, faithful people have done their best to ensure that the process continues.

    Are there fuzzy edges? Yes. But I would liken it to a masterpiece painting where the main focus of the painting is still vibrantly visible while some of the edges, even out of view due to the frame, have some wear and tear. The truth of what the artist intended to capture and communicate is plain to all but the wear and tear of time and transportation have put some wear on some places that are non-essential to understanding what the artist painted. Hope that helps.

  16. Alejandro says:

    Hey Matt ,
    Just wanted to say that you have done a wonderful job of explaining these things. You’ve certainly cleared up a lot of questions I’ve had, since I’m reading from the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ bible. The missing texts being an error makes the most sense, I mean, if the translators were trying to alter the text, they wouldn’t acknowledge the presence of the text at all, would they? Anyways, great site, you definitely get a thumbs up in my book =D

  17. mattdabbs says:

    Alejandro,

    Thank you for the kind words. I hope you can find some things here that are helpful to you and your walk with God.

  18. Arnaldo says:

    This was extremely helpful. Thanks

  19. […] A friend of mine wrote an article about times when different translations might choose to include or not include a verse that I think explains this really well. So if you’re wondering about what is involved in this aspect of Bible translating, why not stop by and read it?The Case of the Missing Verse: John 5:4 […]

  20. BringTruth says:

    Thanks for your hard work and research. I don’t know if we can ever get the pastors or hardcore bible thumpers to accept the deletions–they are hooked on the KJV and swear by it.

    I think we should acknowledge the errors and fabrications, or whatever people choose to call them. If we ignore them and act as though it doesn’t matter, then we give fuel to the critics.

    I will visit your site often, keep up the good work!

  21. Alan says:

    Hi Matt,

    Thanks for posting a link to this article on my blog. I agree that the NIV did not carelessly omit those verses. OTOH I must disagree with the statement that these verses did not exist prior to AD 500. A number of these verses were quoted by early church writers, as early as the second century — at least 150 years prior to the “early” manuscripts we now possess which omit the verse. For examples of this see http://christianunityblog.net/2010/01/missing-verses.html

  22. Alan says:

    It is generally acknowledged that Tertullian argued from John 5:4 in “On Baptism” (early 200’s AD) chapter 5. Quoting:

    Why have we adduced these instances? Lest any think it too hard for belief that a holy angel of God should grant his presence to waters, to temper them to man’s salvation; while the evil angel holds frequent profane commerce with the selfsame element to man’s ruin. If it seems a novelty for an angel to be present in waters, an example of what was to come to pass has forerun. An angel, by his intervention, was wont to stir the pool at Bethsaida. They who were complaining of ill-health used to watch for him; for whoever had been the first to descend into them, after his washing, ceased to complain.

    • mattdabbs says:

      Alan,

      I have to stick by my original position, “It doesn’t start appearing in manuscripts for at least 500 years When no manuscript before 500 AD has a verse you can be fairly certain that it was added in from a marginal note, from a copying error, or due to the copyist remembering that verse in another gospel and accidentally harmonizing them in his head and copying it wrong (such is the case of a few other “missing verses”).”

      The Tertullian reference is an interesting one. One could also point out that Chrysostom was the first Greek evidence to knowledge of this verse (around 400 AD). But when it comes to the manuscripts themselves it is absent for 500 years. So, either these two were familiar with the tradition that eventually led to the marginal note or it was original, got omitted, and was later added back in. I believe the first to be true but without the originals in hand we can’t prove it either way.

      • Alan says:

        Pretty much all of the early manuscripts which might support your position come from the same region, and might well descend from the same copy. More damaging to your position is the fact that Tertullian predates your evidence by more than 100 years. The implication that the verse was added after the fourth century is conclusively refuted by the Tertullian reference.

        Instead, the evidence demonstrates that copies in Egypt lacked the verse, while at the same time copies elsewhere contained the verse (as demonstrated by Tertullian.) Which copies were correct? Does the oldest manuscript in our possession win, or does the oldest testimony win? Actually, neither piece of evidence weighs on the question of whether the verse was added or deleted.

    • mattdabbs says:

      “Instead, the evidence demonstrates that copies in Egypt lacked the verse, while at the same time copies elsewhere contained the verse (as demonstrated by Tertullian.)”

      I would be with you 100% if there were such a manuscript. But based on the current evidence we don’t know what Tertullian was relying on (oral tradition or inspired text). It is very much possible it was a manuscript. We just don’t have it to know.

      • Alan says:

        If “we just don’t know” then we would be equally justified in including the verse or excluding it. Maybe that the oldest manuscript we happen to have found is the best evidence of what was in the original, or maybe not. There’s no way to quantify the likelihood of one over the other. So it’s just a guess.

      • orangesliced says:

        I think Tertullian most likely knew of the tradition. It makes no sense how there could be a world wide conspiracy to omit the verse from various translations.

    • mattdabbs says:

      Agree 100% on your last comment.

      • Kalev says:

        It is also witnessed to be in The Diatessaron of Tatian (160 A.D.), which is based on a text that is even older than 160 A.D. And was also in the texts that Jerome used to translate the Latin Vulgate (380 A.D.), which was the oldest he could find no doubt.

        Without the Angel information, it reads rather strange and confusing…that those needed healing would be waited until the water was agitated…Why, and by what? And why would a non-spiritual process (if it were) heal them, just because the waters swirled around? Silly.

  23. TMac says:

    Greetings, while tracking down the Jhn 5-4 question I found myself here.

    I have enjoyed the article And what Alan and Matt have had to say at the very end. But one question now for you Matt. In light of Alan’s last statement and your 100% agreement, do you have any changes for your last sentence in your writing? Eg. “The problem was the texts the KJV was translated from were simply not ideal.”

    Is this still incorrect? Or should it be changed from ‘simply’ to ‘maybe’? And if so, or even not, it is starting to sound like Both the KJV and NIV translators should be under that Same challenge, not just the KJV translators. So in fairness, or more then that, for accuracy’s sake, either that statement should be ommitted or applied to both???

    Peace and Blessings
    Tim

    • mattdabbs says:

      Obviously the “ideal text” is to have all the originals (autographs) in hand. By that standard, all modern translations are lacking. I will say that the KJV translators were working from less ideal texts than we currently have at our disposal. Better texts do not guarantee a better translation by any given committee, whether it is the NIV, NLT, or anyone updating a translation today. But I do believe we are more likely to get in the ballpark with better texts at our disposal and I would be hard pressed to find a scholar who would say our texts have gotten worse since 1611 than better.

      Hope that makes sense, it has been 6 months+ since I have had to think about this conversation. Feel free to start the dialog back up if you like.

  24. Kent says:

    In all the variants in the later manuscripts of John 5:4 I would be interested to know if the earlier (of the later texts) just say “angel” and if so, am wondering if perhaps it is in the later (of the later texts) that it becomes “angel of the Lord”. I noticed the KJV just says “angel” and the NIV footnote says “angel of the Lord”.

    On the one hand if a person is willing to think a little I do not feel vs. 4 is essential. It just makes it easier. On the other hand a scribe’s marginal note linking an angel with the pool and miracuolous healing (meant to clarify) could possibly instead introduce into the text the opportunity to be mislead through the course of time to the assumption that since miraculous healing takes place the angel mentioned is an angel of the Lord. Paul declares Satan is transformed into an angel of light, and John writes in Rev. about a definetly ungodly beast (seeminly spiritual in nature)that deceives men by doing miracles. If so it seems God would have indeed been wise to inspire John via the Spirit to omit mention of an angel. W/O an angel John presents us a picture of desparate humanity trying to “save” (cure) themselves by their own actions and beliefs in the curative medicinal power of some aspects (a specific special water in a specific moment of time at a specific place built by the skill and strength of man) of the fallen natural world. I think it revealing that the man apparently had been coming to the pool year after year for up to 38 years and never had thought of finding (through friendship, family, or just hiring/bartering) someone to help him into the pool. He continually just kept trying to save himself. Jesus saw a man who was not just unwhole physically but was not whole in his thinking, in his relationships, his beliefs, or his actions. When he asked, “Do you want to be made whole?”, I think it inconceivable that Jesus’ main focus was the guy’s body. That was just the symptom of a far more foundational and pervasive lack of wholeness that Jesus was going to make whole (see Strong’s 5199 & 837). He saw a sinful (vs. 14) idolatrous creature trying to save himself through the smallness of creation rather than through the infinite wholeness of His Creator. Jesus’ intent was to make a very unwhole creation completely whole and wholly new spiritually.

    I appreciate the KJV immensely but am far from the KJV only position. I regularly study from a number of different translations. As for inerrancy I find it somewhat incredible that believers in it commonly state, “We believe the Bible is inerrant in it’s original manuscripts.” Since there are no original manuscripts by their own statement any Bible they use is not inerrant and therefore it seems unrealistic and fruitless to insist on the inerrancy of something to which neither they nor anyone else has access.

    I could accept a statement that says, “We believe the Bible is inerrant in it’s proclamation of truth and an infallible guide for faith and practice.” Though the Bible contains much factual information that is true its primary purpose is not to sate true facts it is to state true truth. It is inerrant in presenting true truth but there is the possibility that there may be some factual misstatements. However that in no way impugns its authority or lessens its reliability to fulfill the purpose for which it was written.

    One last thought. Perhaps the reason God made the Bible somewhat “fuzzy” and open to “interpretation” is because He wants us to come to the end of ourselves in the areas of scholarship and intellect. Perhaps He wants us to come to the realization that ultimately we can not know for sure whether we have “gotten it rigtht”. In fact He may want us to realize that indeed we have not and can not “get it right”. He wants us to know we must remain people of faith who must rely on His Holy Spirit (Who was not mentioned in the whole discussion) to guide us into all truth. But even then He will usually only reveal the truth we need for each situation. He as Truth is infinite. Our finite minds can not contain Him (it) all at once. We must continually trust for that which is beyond us.

  25. cynthia says:

    Here is the one thing that has been left out of the conversation. We all are deceived in some areas of our life because we, at times are unwilling to let go of some of the things we have been taught. God knew there would be these types of “discussions” concerning his word. While it is true that God gave us his infallible, inspired Word and things have been lost or perhaps not accurately translated, our all knowing God gave us his Holy Spirit. “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth.” John 16:13
    Amazing isn’t it…I especially love the word all. Guess what, this is in the KJV and the NIV.

  26. Lou says:

    Variants? Do we know how these copies were done? Were they not done with every word being counted and proof read?
    We do not have the original so we do not know all of the languages the Bible was originally written in.
    What are these transcripts that are supposed to be older?
    Does older mean better? Not if they are copies where mistakes were made and therefore not used and why they are still around, they were not used so did not get worn out?
    The devil has always tried to change God’s word to confuse and trick people. Did some people purposely change things in transcripts now being found? Gnostics?
    Where are these transcripts being found? Who are they coming from?
    I have read that none of these supposed to be older ones line up with each other so who and how is it decided what is to be written?
    I do not understand something. The NIV and other ones say they change things to make it easier to understand yet I have found many things changed that if anything makes it harder to understand.

    • mattdabbs says:

      Lou,

      Let me reply to as many of your points as I can:

      Do we know how these copies were done?
      -Which ones since everything we have are copies. For the most part scripture was copied with care but you have to remember when you copy this much text by hand errors are going to happen.

      Since we don’t have the originals do we know all of the languages the Bible was written in?
      – We do know: Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. That’s it. Nothing more and nothing less.

      What are the transcripts that are supposed to be older:
      – I am not sure what you are referencing there. In reference to John 5:4?

      Does older mean better?
      – Not necessarily but often that seems to be the case. It is a faulty assumption to think that if a text had a mistake that it was no longer copied/used. They were copied over and over again because people assumed them to be accurate. Remember, most of these “mistakes”/variants are extremely small and insignificant.

      Did some people purposely change things in transcripts now being found?
      – That is a hard question to answer as it is hard to tell the motives of someone from 1000+ years ago who didn’t journal their thoughts of why they copied things a certain way. Sometimes we get marginal notes where someone transcribing thought there was something fishy about the manuscript they were copying from.

      Where are these transcripts being found?
      – I am not sure on the more recent discoveries. The big ones people are referencing today are mostly papyri.

      As far as none of them lining up with each other that is pretty much false. Just about all the manuscripts line up on most points. Again, the variants are few and far between and insignificant for the most part between any two given manuscripts.

      Last, what you are talking about with the NIV is called dynamic equivalence and for the most part they do a very good job. Can you give some examples of where you have found it harder to understand? It is hard to respond to such a vague comment like that.

  27. Paul Cohen says:

    Matt, you backed down to Alan without just cause on his errant reasoning that seeks to lend credibility to this apocryphal addition to the Bible. He said to you:

    “If ‘we just don’t know’ then we would be equally justified in including the verse or excluding it. Maybe that the oldest manuscript we happen to have found is the best evidence of what was in the original, or maybe not. There’s no way to quantify the likelihood of one over the other. So it’s just a guess.”

    No, it’s not a guess. There is a way to know. The oldest manuscripts are right because they agree with the rest of the Scriptures, which inform us that God performs no such nonsense as attributed in the addition. You need to know the Author to judge the matter.

    “For He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes” (Matthew 7:29 MKJV).

  28. Steve says:

    So the fact that modern bible translators had older mss at their disposal makes their translationa better? I say not really. Older does not mean better. In 2Cor 2:17 Paul tells us that even back then people were corrupting God’s word. All I know is that God promised He’d preserve His words for all generations.

  29. tonycook says:

    If there were no disputed passages in the Bible today, that would be a bona fide verifiable miracle. Scholars would be able to construct a case based on currently existing observable and presentable hard evidence that God is real.
    Does anyone else get the impression (I’ll try to find references) that that’s not really how God wants to play this*. That if Richard Dawkins (and I would’ve said Christopher Hitchens until last week) and others want fervently to disbelieve, God doesn’t want to skulldrag them up the beach?
    They can still get saved if they put aside their pride for a while. It comes down to humility, faith, and a choice, which a miracle of that magnitude mightn’t leave a lot of room for.

    Maybe God’s happy for us to be sincerely disagreeing about this. He knows the hearts of all of us, KJV-onlyers and pro-moderns and those in the middle. Maybe it’s all good.

    I love reading the KJV btw, don’t ask me why. I read it aloud, very early in the morning when there’s no one else around, and I keep an NLT(2) open for help with the old English from time to time. That’s what I was doing when I got sidetracked looking for why v.4 was missing from John 5 and ended up here.
    Very informative btw, thanks Matt et al, greatly appreciate your balance and politeness.

    * Psalm 14:2, Isaiah 6:9-10, Matthew 13:14-15, Mark 4:12, Luke 8:10, Acts 28:25-27, Romans 1:28, 2 Thessalonians 2:10-11.
    Any others?

  30. Vic says:

    Really appreciate this information. Many say “I’m a Believer of the Word” but there are few who can “I’m a student of the Word.” (Philippians 1: 9) Thank you.

  31. Vic says:

    Really appreciate this information. Many say “I’m a Believer of the Word” but there are few who can say “I’m a student of the Word.” (Philippians 1: 9) Thank you.

  32. steve w says:

    the sad part about the niv and NLT esv asv etc, is how they changed Doctrine.. 2 timothy tells us all scripture is given by inspiration from God and is profitable for Doctrine….. so with this as a measuring stick of truth, we see 2 different doctrines from KJV to the New versions… let me explain…… John 3:16 a well known verse states in KJV for God so loved the world He gave His only begotten sone that whosoever Believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.

    yet the other versions removed begotten and stat that God so loved the world He gave His one and only son……………. well theres a problem with that ….. when you recieve Christ as saviour you become a son of God adopted .. Christ is the Begotten son of Go begotten means sired by God…. it shows Deity, yet the other versions removed deity.. let me show a different point on doctrine comparrison.
    Colosians 1:14 states in KJV in whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgivenness of sins
    whereas the other versions state in whom we have forgiveness even the forgiveness of sins…….. now what a second here how are we saved? accoriding to Hebrews 9:22 without the blood there is no remission… so now why would the blood be removed?
    someone mentioned Acts 8:37 if you read Acts 8:35-38 you will see phillipi preached unto the Eunuch JESUS yet in verse 36 the eunuch stated here is water what doth hinder me to be baptized… verse 37 is the requirement…. to belive on the Lord jesus Christ ..
    now the other versions removed the plan of salvation in order in verse 37 of acts showing that baptism is a work…. are we saved by works? no according to ephesians 2:8 and according to 1 peter 3:21 baptism is a figure of a good Concience towards God like a wedding ring is to a married couple
    so far we have seen the plan of salvation removed to works… forgiveness is given without blood , and Christs deity is removed…….. sounds to me these other versions speak a different Gospel
    some say oh i have the footnotes….. psalm 119:11 does not say thy footnotes have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee……………….. it states Thy word! whose word? Gods word…..heres a quick thought for you the only bible without copyright is the KJV and it has 31101 verses in it no other has that many or less… the center verse is Psalm 118:8 which states it is better to truth in the Lord that to put confidence in man.. now there is 14 verses here no center word, but the 2 center words of the King james become the LORD…. think its a coincidence God is center of His word? 2 timothy 2:16

    • mattdabbs says:

      John 3:16:
      The word translated “begotten” is monogenes. It occurs 10 times in the New Testament. You may not be aware that the KJV translates this word as “only” in 3 of those verses: Luke 7:12, 8:42, 9:38. The word monogenes comes from two words mono – only and genos – sort/kind. Some mistakenly think it comes from mono + gennau – “to beget” but it doesn’t. According to Jack Lewis it was Jerome who introduced in Latin unigenitus (only begotten) into this verse rather than what the precedent had been, unicus for monogenes (only). So this goes back to Jerome missing it, not the NIV trying to take an accurate translation and tweak up the doctrine to suit themselves, removing the deity of Christ. If the NIV translators wanted to purposely remove the deity of Christ they did a lousy job because it is all over the place.

      Col 1:14:
      The NIV leaves out the blood part due to it only being in later manuscripts. Again, if the NIV wants to leave out the doctrine of being forgiven through the blood of Christ they did a lousey job because there are many other verses that still say that (Eph 1:7, Mtt 26:27-28, Mark 14:24, Acts 20:28, Rom 3:23-25 and many more I can list for you if you like). That tells me it wasn’t a concerted effort to remove the doctrine of forgiveness by the blood of Christ or else it would have been changed elsewhere as well. It tells me they are trying to get the closests to the original manuscripts as possible and they concluded that forgivness by his blood was not in Paul’s original letter based on the manuscripts we have at our disposal.

      Do you still agree with your statement?
      “so far we have seen the plan of salvation removed to works… forgiveness is given without blood , and Christs deity is removed…….. sounds to me these other versions speak a different Gospel some say oh i have the footnotes”

      The NIV clearly represents all of these doctrines and yet you say they are all removed to the footnotes. That is just not the case. Again, if the NIV had a grand conspiracy to move these doctrines they did a terrible job.

      I would love to hear your feedback.

      • saviourbreath says:

        Are you sure about “monogenes” Matt? If you’re right then the Greek NT in my Accordance bible software must have got that wrong.
        In John 3:16 it shows the Greek word as μονογενῆ:
        3439. μονογενής monogenes, mon-og-en-ace´; from 3441 and 1096; only-born, i.e. sole: — only (begotten, child).
        3441. μόνος monos, mon´-os; probably from 3306; remaining, i.e. sole or single; by implication, mere: — alone, only, by themselves.
        1096. γίνομαι ginomai, ghin´-om-ahee; a prolongation and middle voice form of a primary verb; to cause to be (“gen”-erate), i.e. (reflexively) to become (come into being), used with great latitude (literal, figurative, intensive, etc.)….

        (I suspect you’re right, the Strongs dictionary has the translation for G3439 as “only, unique”)

  33. steve w says:

    heres another thought into this…. galatians 3:8 states and the scripture forseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith preached before the Gosepl unto abraham saying in thee shall all nations be blessed

    now what is the scripture? we know it is Gods written word but take note to this verse, the scripture forsaw, is preached and it spoke …. to whom? abraham where do we find abraham in the word of God? in genesis. but wait a minute didnt moses pen genesis? how could a book forsee? preach? and speak before it was written? and how could it say what God told abraham in thee shall all nations be blessed…. theres a verse in psalms that shows how… it is psalms 119:89 which says forever O lord that word is settled in heaven….. forever means eternally…. settled means completed hmmmm so is God a liar? my biible states God is not a man that he would lie….titus 1:2 states he cannot lie… we even see God fulfilling Jobs plea on his own words in job 19 which he cries out and states oh that my words be written oh that my words be printed in a book…….. seems oh righteous Job they are long before you cried that out as galatians 3:8 shows us so to even say there is a need for a different version of an english bible is to say our ways are better than Gods ways…. considering the NIV alone has approx 257 missing and altered verses…..

  34. Kyron L. Riley says:

    Steve,

    The last thought that you posted on April 7,2012 is definitely ‘food for thought’.As children of God,if we are puzzled or cannot grasp a particular scripture,we are to pray to the Lord for understanding as it is written in James 1:5-6.It is God’s will that we learn more about Him,not just intellectually but personally as well.The Holy Spirit is given to us to lead us into ALL truth.To go a litlle deeper,everything that happened in the beginning of time,as far as Adam and Eve’s disobedience to God’s command,HAD to happen because God wanted us (mankind) to REALLY know why He is good.If Eve had not disobeyed God,they (and eventually,we) wouldn’t know WHY He is good,simply for the fact that they didn’t have a concept of what evil was.Plus we would just be like robots worshipping Him without an inkling of WHY,not only man but the angels as well.That’s why:”The Lamb was slain from the creation of the world” (Rev 13:8/NIV).That’s also the reason why Lucifer was to become Satan so that the 2/3 of the angels left in Heaven could see that while He loves His creation with an agape love,a love that cannot be comprehended with our human minds,He is also a God of justice Who cannot tolerate sin in any way,shape or form.Lucifer could not receive forgiveness for the simple fact that he was NOT tempted by anyone.Satan conceived and brought forth sin into existence in his own heart,in the very presence of God Almighty Himself no less.And that’s the reason why Heaven must be made new as well as the Earth.I could go on forever and ever but I will end this reply.I pray that the Body of Christ will finally become one body,one mind and one spirit.I thank our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ for shedding His precious blood for ALL the sins of mankind throughout ALL history,past,present,and future.I love you all.

    • gonzomediocre says:

      I disagree with your statement, “.Lucifer could not receive forgiveness for the simple fact that he was NOT tempted by anyone”, because Adam likewise was not tempted, but ate the fruit wilfully. Lucifer was not offered forgivness because he was not made in the likeness of God.

  35. Savannah Grove says:

    I am 13 and I felt like God was telling me to read John chapter 5 and then I realized that there was no verse 4 and I told my mom and she said it must be a type-o but then I looked in all our niv bibles and there was no John 5:4 I thought it was the weirdest thing in the world!

  36. Gregor Lauermann says:

    Hi, loved your discussion. One thing I am missing is the aspect of the forshaddowing. The angel who stepped into the water was a picture of Jesus, who was the first to get baptised into death and who was resurrected. The water ist the water of death and life simultaniously. So the whole scene is like a sign pointing to the saviour, who gives the water of life.
    Thats why I love the Textus Receptus version of this passage. Can’t understand why people are so concerned about superstition in this angel-case. This is not the only story, where an angel is foreshaddowing the work of the son. I apologize for my poor english.

    Gregor

  37. […] why verse 4 may have been omitted, there are several good articles available online, including The Case of the Missing Verse, Where did v4 go?, and the much deeper On the Inauthenticity of John […]

  38. […] why verse 4 may have been omitted, there are several good articles available online, including The Case of the Missing Verse, Where did v4 go?, and the much deeper On the Inauthenticity of John […]

  39. Thupukhoto says:

    I’m really grateful to your well and concise writing where I could follow up without hanging around. Indeed, I’m well informed through your writing regarding the case of missing verses. However, I do have something to be cleared through your help.
    Well, according to your writing,regarding the case for missing verses, both NIV and KJV had faithfully done their own part according to the pertaining source. They didn’t depend each other source.so there is no point here to contradict these versions because both the versions have their own way.Anyway, what I want to know is that, what do you say what if you are asked of which version( NIV OR KJV) to preserve? Because there certain reasons which I cannot accept the missing verse from NIV and at the same, I find it difficult to ignore it. But I think I should be certain to the word of God. Show me the way please.

  40. gramps says:

    To matt and all the replies. The missing verse (john5:4?) I read from both, but I am mindfull of the fact that I believe what Jesus says, the comforter will teach you all things (no translation just understood) . Many thoughts are poking the wrong nest. When if you read on there’s more which fill in the thoughts of why. Why 38 yrs. And nobody could help this guy. Jesus didn’t say, here let me help you in. He said do you want to be whole. Do you not think everybody knew this place and it’s rep. So the man tells Jesus his problem but Jesus says rise, pick up your mat and walk. And immediately he did was made whole. Now wait this story is not over. It’s the Sabbath and Jesus is working God’s work on God’s day of rest. And what only the hindered people can be cured on the Sabbath? Then the jews said to the man made whole. It’s the Sabbath day why are you carring your mat (bed) . He said He that made me whole also said rise take up your mat and walk. They asked him who what man. The whole man new him not. After Jesus found the man in the temple and said, behold thou art made whole, sin no more lest worse thing come upon thee. They the man departed and told the jews it was Jesus who made him whole they sought to slay him because he had done this on the sabbath. Jesus starts preaching and teaching from here on through vs47.. This is more of what story context delivers all the witnessing.. to me its all about this story. So questions are likely to be, why did God use this lame man to move those to hear the word of God, by the Way, the only begotten Son, the Word. Walk in this gift rather than quibble about stirring water. Go to the healer, the river of life, the bread of life, the giver of life. Jesus is the way, be comforted. He is the answer to all your questions. He is the Word after all. Thanks be to God. Check out the whole story here.

    • corylewis says:

      There is the love I was looking for. There was a certain pool that the sick people went to wait for the moving of the water. There was healing being done there by the hands of God, the only way we can be healed! What a great story of God’s loving kindness to those who are suffering. And even in our wickedness of blocking someone else out so we can get into the pool, God send’s His Son to come to him and heals him. Then in our arrogance and pride “we” think it’s not lawful that God does this work on the Sabbath. Clearly shows God’s sovereignty and His kindness, His gentleness, His patients, His love. It also clearly shows our wickedness in so many ways. Shows His awesomeness and our depravity! I think ALL of His word shows this. Praise God Almighty!!

    • Janet broome says:

      Amen and thanks wasted to much time reading who I s right and who is wrong. You are right the Holy Spirit will teach us IF we are not ting to prove who is right. I agree with you sir thanks and God blesd

  41. Maybe S. John 5:4 was “inserted” to explain S. John 5:7…

  42. There are some KJV advocates who claim that the NIV and NASB use “corrupted” manuscripts– that the Alexandrian texts and other texts were obtained from the Vatican, or from a monastery of the Gnostic heresy. Your answers to those accusations?

  43. Mike Won says:

    As a very feeble Christian, it seems that this ‘omission’ or ‘variance’ between gospels merely highlights the dysfunction of our abilities to accept the love granted.
    We feel that there is a commensurate gift of faith & blessings allowable only to the open hearted, open minded & open spirited, directly involving a Grace of enlightenment afforded to the individual.
    Each snowflake is unique as each of us are unique in the eye of our Creator with differences to claim as our own.
    May the whisper of the Father be the one that wakes us.
    May the open hand of the Son be the one that raises us.
    May the prompting of the Spirit be the one that sends us.
    This day & all days & leads us safely home.
    In Christ Jesus name we pray. Amen & So Be It

  44. Noah Burrows says:

    That’s great but when you take out this verse, John 5:7 makes no sense. Why would the paralyzed man want to go into the water when it was “stirred up” if John 5:4 was completely false and made up?

    • orangesliced says:

      At the time it was probably a well known legend. Who was John writing to? Don’t you think his readers would know what he was talking about when he mentioned the invalid and the pool of Bethesda?

  45. Randy White says:

    Here’s the words of Zane Hodges:

    “To be sure, this evidence is very old since P66 and P75 both go back, in all probability, to the early part of the third century. But the evidence supporting the inclusion of verse 4 can claim an equal antiquity and at the same time is far more extensive. In the apparatus of UBSGNT it is set forth this way:

    A C3 K L Xcomm Δ Θ Ψ 063 078 f1 f13 28 565 700 882 1009 1010 1071 1195 1216 1230 1241 1242 1253 1344 1365 1546 1646 2148 Byz Lect ita,aur,b,c,e,ff(2),j,r(1) vgcl syrp,pal copbo(mss) arm Diatessarona,e(arm),i,n Tertullian Ambrose Didymus Chrysostom Cyril.

    What is clear from this competing array of data is that John 5:4 was certainly known at a very early date and is widely diffused in the surviving materials, both Greek, versionary, and patristic.” (Bibliotheca Sacra 136.541 (1979): 28. Print.)

    I agree with the previous writer, that v. 7 is the most random statement in the Bible if vv. 3b-4 are not included. And since a large number of early manuscripts do include it, we should do the same. Further, when one goes to the Pool of Bethesda and sees the ancient Greek temple to Serapis, the god of healing, whose daughter was Hygeia, the text begins to make perfect sense. A “messenger” (angelos) from this Temple [KJV does not say, “angel of the Lord,” simply “angel” or “messenger”]. Jesus asks the man if he wants to be ὑγιής [hugies], which is based on Sarapis’ daughter Hygeia.

    When studied with a critical eye and historical context, verses 3b-4 are demanded.

    • Profile photo of Matt Dabbs Matt Dabbs says:

      3 years after the Hodges article, Gordon Fee challenges his conclusions in his article “On the Inauthenticity of John 5:3b-4” in the Evangelical Quarterly 54.4 207-218. I have emailed you a pdf of that article to help you in your studies on this passage.

    • Profile photo of Matt Dabbs Matt Dabbs says:

      BTW, Hardian built the temple to Serapis nearly 100 years after these events. To say this is behind what Jesus said and did here is anachronistic.

  46. Robert says:

    THE HOLY BIBLE,
    Conteyning the Old Teſtament,
    AND THE NEW:
    Newly Tranſlated out of the Originall tongues: & with the former Tranſlations diligently compared and reuiſed, by his Maiesties speciall Comandement.
    Appointed to be read in Churches.
    Imprinted at London by Robert Barker, Printer to the Kings moſt Excellent Maiestie.
    ANNO DOM. 1611 .

  47. Robert says:

    It’s about the almighty dollar. People write new translations of the Bible so that they can COPYRIGHT them and make money. The KJV is public domain.

    1Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

  48. Robert says:

    from wikipedia.org concerning the NIV:

    “The core translation group consisted of fifteen Biblical scholars. The translation took ten years and involved a team of up to one hundred scholars[12] from the USA, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. The range of those participating included many different denominations such as Anglicans, Assemblies of God, Baptist, Christian Reformed, Lutheran and Presbyterian.”

    With all these denominations involved, a lot of agenda was in play while this thing was translated. Just the list above include those who believe that salvation is a free gift through faith alone and those who think that works are also necessary for salvation. There are even debates between factions of the Presbyterian Church on salvation. The Baptists say that salvation is eternal, and the Lutherans say that salvation can be lost. The Anglicans believe like the Catholics, that the sacraments are required for salvation, but they also believe like the Calvinists, that only selected people will be saved. The “footnoted” Acts 8:37 states that one must believe before they are baptized–the Presbyterians and Lutherans “baptize” babies by sprinkling them.

    Do you REALLY trust this Bible?

    • Profile photo of Matt Dabbs Matt Dabbs says:

      Actually from what I have read and from those I know who were on those committees you have it backwards. They had diversity to make sure denominational biases were as limited as possible. If you only have a group or two do the whole thing it is far more likely to be driven by that agenda than if you have more diversity and have them cross check each other’s work. Your theory is not correct.

  49. Glenn says:

    Exactly how many of the ancient documents concerning John chapter 5?

    • Profile photo of Matt Dabbs Matt Dabbs says:

      Glen, can you give us more information on your question? How many have it, how many don’t, etc? I may not be able to give you an exact number but with more info on what you are asking maybe we can figure it out.

  50. Simuś says:

    Is name of Jesus translated as well ? If yes ,how real God listen to us or if not what is Jesus real Name?

  51. […] Today Should Mark 16:9-20 be in the Bible? https://jamesbradfordpate.wordpress….n-on-luke-322/ The Case of the Missing Verse – John 5:4 | Kingdom Living Added, then Removed from the Bible: Deuterocanonical books – Wikipedia, the free […]

  52. […] so much as append. The Pericope de Adultera (John 7:53-8:11) clearly qualifies. John 5:3b-4 makes the cut, barely. The agony in the garden (Luke 22:43-44) seems to qualify, although it is […]

  53. John says:

    Matt, what has happened to the progressive movement of the Church of Christ, in that there are actually people commenting on your blog, who I gather call themselves “progressive”, who see the devil behind the NIV? Good heavens, the NIV is considered a conservative translation; I can just imagine what these so-called “progressives” think of the NRSV. It seems that many congregations of the progressive movement of the CoC have made a twisted u-turn into what we would normally call, Independent Bible Churches, KJV Only; the only thing “progressive” about them, what they believe to be “progressive’, being their relaxed views regarding the instrument and baptism. What took two steps forward has taken three steps back; actually more.

    • Profile photo of Matt Dabbs Matt Dabbs says:

      What is happening here is people are coming to this post from all over the place via google and other search engines. So some of the comments that are coming in are not just by casual readers but readers who have come here either to find out what is going on with this issue or who have an axe to grind, an agenda, etc.

      This NIV thing has been going around and around in social media and this post apparently ranks high up in google on it.

      • orangesliced says:

        @ Matt, Where I live I am called a liberal and worse for using the NASB, ESV and the NKJV instead of the KJV. The last church I went to the pastor said that if someone was saved they could easily understand the KJV. Like the Holy Spirit teaches elizabethan english to a “real” christian. I left and have went to another church. Interestingly I went to bible school with him. The school didn’t have any courses for hebrew or greek. They didn’t teach us anything but the KJV. So where I live the KJVO people are everywhere. When I first got hired by a church to be their youth pastor, in 1995, I remember the pastor handing me an pamphlet about how the NIV takes out the blood of Christ. I felt like I shouldn’t read it so I just ignored it. I wish I could rewind time. I spent a lot of time struggling to read a 400 year old translation and would feel guilty if I tried to read another one. There was so many pastors I respect telling me the KJV is the only word of God. It boggles my mind now when I think about it.

        Anyways I struggled with this issue a lot and have obsessively studied the issue as best I could for about 2 years now , btw thank you Matt for this article, and have come to believe the KJV isn’t the only english translation that God accepts as his word. Because of where I live and there are so many KJVO people around me I sometimes feel bad.

        I really believe the devil doesn’t want people to understand what God says and the KJVO movement helps his cause and not the Lord’s. They’re so many people online who spread so much false information that it is truly saddening. So many young christians are being hurt by this movement. It’s amazing how a seventh day adventist has helped get this movement started and most Baptists are ignorant of this. If someone really wanted to know the truth they wouldn’t study only what Gail Riplinger or Sam Gipp says. They’re a lot of good conservative biblical scholars out there. I don’t see how anyone can accuse the NIV or others for omitting verses that the manuscripts do not include. It just boggles my mind that they choose to believe in conspiracy theories. I guess to them it preaches good.

        Ah this issue has hurt me and others so bad. I must go, God Bless Matt!

        • Profile photo of Matt Dabbs Matt Dabbs says:

          Sorry you have been through this. I really am. That is just painful and unnecessary. A few resources for study if you continue: check out Jack Lewis 2 books: From the KJV to the NIV & Questions you’ve asked about Bible translations. Try out D.A. Carson’s book on the KJV debate. Last, if you want to get into the textual evidence try out Bruce Metzger, particularly “The Text of the NT”. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  54. Todd says:

    If someone is sincere in finding out the truth of modern “translations” (paraphrases) you can begin by finding just a fraction of the errors, lies and heresy exposed here. It would be great to see some good rebuttal, not slander against people. When you stand up and protect your favorite version, be sure to take one verse or argument at a time, no generalizations or attacks please ie you are wrong, you don’t know what you’re talking about etc. If you are intellectually honest, you will be have to admit at least some of these arguments. Time does not allow to report all the errors of the NIV.
    Some are looking for a “smoking gun” but can’t see the preponderance of evidence against the modern versions, starting with the 65,000 changes!
    Pastor Chick Salliby of Word & Prayer Ministries has an excellent 4 hr video:

    • Profile photo of Matt Dabbs Matt Dabbs says:

      Hey Todd, I am going to start commenting here as it will be easier to reply to this rather than the comments that are nested a few levels in. I have a few thoughts to share but am about to go into a meeting. Chances are I will comment further tomorrow. Just something for you to consider in the meantime…do you know there is actually textual evidence for 4 endings to Mark?

    • Profile photo of Matt Dabbs Matt Dabbs says:

      Let me clarify…there is evidence for 4 endings some of which I believe are just referred to by early Christians…have to look to see what actual textual evidence exists. I believe it does on at least 3, maybe 4. Just thought you might find that interesting. Obviously, what is most interesting is what the actual textual evidence points us to.

  55. Matt Dabbs,

    You’re clearly replying on some rather one-sided sources.

    Re: John 5:4: the patristic evidence, particularly Tertullian, needs to be addressed. It certainly looks like Tertullian was not thinking that he was springing something new and previously unheard of upon his readers.

    Re: the ending of Mark: see my book “Authentic: A Defense of Mark 16:9-20.” in defense of the passage. Send me a line on Facebook and I’ll be glad to send you a free updated digital copy.

  56. Francisco Flores says:

    Thank you for your blog. I recently read in 2 Timothy 2

    14Remind them of these things, and solemnly charge them in the presence of God not to wrangle about words, which is useless and leads to the ruin of the hearers. 15Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.

    Nevertheless it is good to strive for the truth, which is that no translation is without error as the originals were. May the Lord continue to use your ministry Mr. Dabbs.

  57. Darryl says:

    I’ve read these comments – some good. MOST not so good. There is MUCH that you all aren’t taking into account. MUCH!

    First – Are you who are defending the “Modern Bible Versions” beyond the AV KJV1611 Holy Writ making-the-case that Our Heavenly Father would leave buried in the Earth or in Caves of the Rocks, the GENUINE Word of God for over 1800 years of His Church on Earth? Are you making this case, people? If you are, you need not read any further for you are apostates and disciples of the devil.

    Second – As I said in my open, some comments were good, but most NOT so good. I would advise anyone who would “question” the AUTHENTICITY of God’s Preserved Word in the AV KJV1611 Holy Writ – that they would IMMEDIATELY go to youtube and find the videos titled “Foxes Book of Martyrs” FULL AudioBook. There are 11 Videos. Then go to Google and find the pdf of “Foxes Book of Martyrs” and Download it to your computer. Then TAKE A WEEK to 10 DAYS and Listen to the AudioBook as you Read Along the pdf. Once you do this, then come back and speak about this subject! Your LIFE will forever be changed!

    Third – Go to a Church that Teaches and Preaches from the AV KJV1611 Holy Writ ONLY! Shake the dust from your feet as a testimony against them who do not – for these apostates know NOT of the REAL sacrifices of the Martyrs.

    As you read the “Foxes Book of Martyrs”, ask yourself “Where do you think the “errors” came from for which the Martyrs DIED?”

    New World Order Bible Versions (Full Movie)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFtI_mVOXbQ

    Good Movie 🙂

    “Drunken with the Blood of the Saints” (Baptist preaching about Inquisition)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLxgp5VIx4A

    Good Sermon 🙂

  58. Scott says:

    Can the inspired word of God be proven numerically?

    COMPUTER ANALYSIS AND PROOFS THAT GOD, THE CREATOR OF ALL
    THINGS, DID (IN FACT) WRITE THE 66 BOOKS OF THE HOLY BIBLE

    Please read the report at: http://www.answering-islam.org/Religions/Numerics/googl.html

  59. Pastor K. says:

    As Matt says I am one who just stumbled into this thread. What I see sadly reminds me once again why it is that this world is so lost; If the Lord’s church can not simply agree to disagree and get on with what is CLEARLY the most important scripture regarding what is supposed to be the very character of His family, how does the world stand a chance? No matter whether you speak in tongues, or believe in the filling of the Holy Spirit or the gifts of the Spirit, no matter if you believe this translation is right or that translation is right, God, OUR Father asks us to do two things, nay, He DEMANDS us to do two things CLEARLY spoken in Matthew 22:37-39; Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and great command. And, the second is like it, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself”. In Ephesians 5:27 we read, “that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.” Saints, I’m sad to say that His coming is a long way off because we are a bunch of wrinkly ol’ folks who are more concerned about how “right” their translation is than they are in how loving they are. Yes, I took my readings from the NKJV, sorry to the die-hard NIV’ers, absolutely no disrespect, nor argumentative intentions meant, I just happen to like this version. More importantly, it just doesn’t matter to me necessarily what version i read, just how much of it I try earnestly to live out and not worry about all the other “garbage” that the enemy just LOVES to watch us, His family, argue about while he destroys the world around us. We should be ashamed! If we, HIS church would unite around those two versions we would be the most powerful force on the planet and could bring global change overnight. So please, all you scholars and argumentative folks, please turn your knowledge and your argument against he who deserves it, our common enemy and let us lift us His word, no matter WHAT translation it may be and beat the living daylights out of the one who deserves it and let His peace be upon us, HIS church, HIS Family. May the peace of God rule in your hearts, the Love of Christ radiate from your being and always remember who you represent. Love you Church!

    • Profile photo of Matt Dabbs Matt Dabbs says:

      Very well said. Finally a sane, rational, Christ like comment here.

      • John DoHerty says:

        The authorized King James Version of the scriptures, is what has brought us all to this point. The scriptures chosen then, for translation, were chosen for a reason. Chosen when days were dark. Candle light, oil light, fire light. A fearful belief in the Great God Almighty. Shadows moving in the dark. The curse/warning in Revelation concerning altering one word (adding to or taking away). The “modern translators” have no such fears. Who knows who truly believes anymore? “By their deeds you will know them”. The teaching of Christ is clear. Listen to the words of His mouth. All the answers are there. “Even the elect would be deceived, if it were at all possible”, is one. No fault is there in being wrong…but there is in refusing the correction. Many new scriptures are being found, somewhere, these days, “claimed” to predate our present ones. The old ones which brought us to this point, have been observed coming to us along the line of time. Why question them now? And alter them? To lead them toward the translator’s sect/political beliefs? Cut the root, and the tree will die.
        Too many people are trying to learn the greatly dust covered words and forgetting the spiritual teachings they are meant to reveal. Concentrate on understanding, then you may walk on water. Know what is said about using too many words. It is the natural body that holds vanities and self prides and does these things. The spirit body is innocent. Learn the humility of that side and conquer the vanities. This is the purpose of the flesh.
        Only the second coming should alter anything else.

  60. Ian says:

    By your fruit will you know , I live in a town with no KJV church and on Sunday morning there would be more people in the 6 hotels then the 4 churches. There was 12 churches but now are peoples houses

    • James says:

      Wow, I cant believe I read this whole thing. ….My impression of NIV is that it is an attempt to make the text more modern, thus being “accessible” to more people who are unfamiliar with “old English”. For myself personally, I like hearing ” verily, I say unto you…” , but I can understand why some younger people do not. I was given a copy of NIV and I use it, but I do like KJV, and am willing to accept any attempt at bringing the word to those who have opened the door. Perhaps tolerance is a virtue, perhaps not. I’m still thinking of the thirteen year old whom no one responded to. I hope she figured it out. “Don’t let the Perfect be the enemy of the Good”.

      I was reading John with a friend who had not read the gospel before, and the footnote in NIV was helpful to understand the background of the pool of healing. We blew past it without any distress. The end of Mark is a bit more distressing, as the older of the gospels not including much resurrection has more significance. Once again, thought provoking, but not faith destroying. There is so much ” information” out there now. I just chock it up to ” a mystery beyond human understanding”.

      Humorous scary question…..since different sects have differing beliefs concerning whether everlasting life can be “lost” without the corresponding works, is it safer to be a Baptist or a Presbyterian, or what? Ha Ha, like it would matter…. I have noticed this conflict in my readings, and it is something that tends to make me feel very uncomfortable, so I try not to think about it, but it gives me doubt. Yet I want my faith to be strong, at least Mustard Seed-like. Compared to this, I find this thread to be Shakespearian…Much ado about nothing. But I read it so it was interesting, in a historic, voyeuristic way. Be Blessed. Jim

  61. Darryl says:

    This is probably one of the most comprehensive Documentaries defending the King James Bible relevant to Current Events as it explains the downward spiral of Christendom in Western Churches by embracing the Modern Bible Versions. When “versions” of the Bible change or delete the Fundamental Doctrines of Christianity, then it is corrupt. I’ll stick with the 54 Translators of the King James. One thing that is striking when I read these comments is that it seems that NO ONE is taking into account what these people were actually going through during this time of the Dark Ages, Inquisitions and the Reformation. We have “some” accounts with Foxes Book of Martyrs, but most of these men from Desiderius Erasmus to the Translators and Final Revisers of the King James Bible. “Give Light, and the Darkness will disappear of itself.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFtI_mVOXbQ

    • mattdabbs says:

      Which modern versions do you have in mind? Along with that, can you list the deleted fundamental doctrines of Christianity by the mainline modern English Bible translations and show proof by citing specific verses? I would also like you to show how the KJV is superior in translating verses pertaining to the doctrines you are talking about. If you make a statement like that then surely you have specifics in mind. Thank you for your help.

      • John DoHerty says:

        You have quoted well known publishing errors, not scriptural errors to suit your righteousness belief and are trusting the historical versions you study, to be”gospel”. Search as you would for silver and gold. Be more discerning. Remember…all we are is what we have come from. You are attempting to destroy the very root you came from.

        • John DoHerty says:

          The 52 and more revisions at its relative creation, should show the meticulous research the translators, at that time, were applying. They feared for their salvation knowing Revelation 22.

        • Profile photo of Matt Dabbs Matt Dabbs says:

          John, which revision is the right one? Each time it is revised it is showing that every prior had mistakes. Which KJV is the right KJV. I has actually only undergone three major revisions, not 52. I assume you got 52 from my comment but that isn’t what I was saying. The KJV translators had 12-14th century greek texts at their disposal, about a dozen of them. There were 52 verses they had in those texts in the New Testament that earlier texts show no knowledge of and neither do the early church fathers. The early church fathers quoted the New Testament extensively, so much so that even if we lost all our NT manuscripts, we could reconnstruct the NT from their quotations – over 1,000,000 if my memory is right.

          So we have 52 verses that were added to the text between when the texts were written and when the manuscripts the KJV translators had at their disposal. That means the KJV has texts that weren’t original. Add to that the Erasmus addition to Revelation (of the verses that say don’t add to or take away from these words!) and you have things in the KJV that don’t appear in later translations because later translators had better/older and more accurate manuscripts at their disposal. In the whole scheme of things, 52 is actually pretty good all things considered but by your standard in your first comment the KJV must be junked due to its adding to the sacred text.

          So which KJV is the right one by revision year? Or is it the NKJV and we need to put aside the 1611? What is your take on that? Which one is best of the 4 KJV’s we have + the NKJV?

          Now, to your comment, you are right that some of what I pointed out are printing errors, still errors and the reader wouldn’t know it was a mistake reading it in the KJV. There are far more and not all of them are printing errors. There are doctrinal problems with the KJV as well.

          Here are a few verses in the KJV that have ZERO Greek manuscript support of various words and phrases: 2 Kings 7:13, Matt 6:4, 6, 18; Matt 5:22, Rev 5:14, Eph 3:14, Rom 8:1, Matt 6:13, Acts 9:6, 2 Cor 5:14, etc…many, many more.

          Is that okay? Is it okay that the KJV contains words and phrases that occur in no Greek text? How is that not an addition to the text? I can give you dozens more as well as doctrinal issues, issues with language, etc.

          That doesn’t mean the KJV is useless. It can bring someone to faith, certainly. But let us not pretend it is without its problems and let us not accuse other translations of the very thing the KJV did and then pretend those same issues aren’t an issue as long as it is the KJV.

        • Profile photo of Matt Dabbs Matt Dabbs says:

          You may find this helpful. It is well written and pretty balanced. Thanks for the conversation.

        • James says:

          I think what John is stating is, “NO, I cannot list any”. If he did, it would be very interesting, for my part, to observe how important stuff has been changed. As Matt previously stated, If modern translations actually were trying to delete the idea of a blood sacrifice, etc., then they didn’t do a very good job. I suppose folks could argue about this forever, but to try to taint a persons motives for what they do begins to sound like modern politics. Matt runs an interesting thread, and is willing to have an honest conversation for folks with questions, and researched opinions for those who also present specific chapter/verse references. So Mark, bring some meat to the table, then carve it up with Matt. Otherwise you just appear to be an opinion troll with a bible.
          Be Blessed. Jim

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