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Bible Verses Missing in Modern Translations?
By Steve Ray (PDF version here)
There are a lot of people today that are what we call “King James only“ Christians. They believe that the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible is the only inspired version and that modern translations are modernist. One argument for this is that there are some verses contained in the KJV which are not in recent modern versions.
The argument of KJV-only adherents only betrays their ignorance of the process of inspiration, transmission and translation. We sometimes joked that, “If the KJV was good enough for St. Paul, it is good enough for me.”
We don’t have any of the original writings of the documents in the New Testament, only copies and copies of copies. There are thousands of fragments and manuscripts from the early centuries. The earliest is called the John Ryland fragment which contains a small portion of John 17 and 18. It is dated at AD 125 and was found in the sands of Egypt and written of papyrus.
The more ancient the manuscripts the more likely they are to be accurate to what the apostles actually wrote. And the more ancient manuscripts found to compare and analyze, the more accurate the translation will be.
The KJV was translated in 1611 by Protestant King James of England and was translated when we were still devoid of the best and most ancient manuscripts that testify to the original writings of the apostles. Over the last 400 years since the translation of the KJV there have been many newly discovered ancient and more reliable manuscripts.
Modern scholarship uses the most authoritative and trustworthy manuscripts to update the text of Scripture to make it much more accurate to what the apostles actually wrote. These manuscripts were not available during the translations of the KJV.
So, it was discovered there were some verses added by copyists over the centuries so King James had these later interpolations included in his translation.
But modern translations do not include them as part of the text, because they were not part of the original texts. But, even though modern translators know that those verses are not in the original Greek text, they still often add them in brackets with comments like: “Early mss [manuscripts] do not contain this v [verse].” This note is from the New American Standard Bible which is the translation I was raised with in my middle years along with the KJV.
Commenting on the later interpolation, the NIV footnote adds, “Some less important manuscripts [add]…” The Catholic New American Bible, used for Mass in the US, footnotes, “Toward the end of the second century in the West and among the fourth-century Greek Fathers, an additional verse was known… This verse is missing from all early Greek manuscripts and the earliest versions, including the original Vulgate. Its vocabulary is markedly non-Johannine.”
Anybody who claims that those verses are definitely part of the original writings — and that Bibles that don’t include them are modernist and in error — only show their ignorance and the whole process of inspiration, transmission, translation and hermeneutics. For more on this check this Protestant but very good source: Why Are Newer Translations of the Bible Missing Verses?
You may also appreciate my article What Translation of the Bible Should you Use?
Have you heard of the Jewish Birthright tour to Israel? Every year more than 50,000 young Jews come to Israel for free as “a gift to the Jewish leaders of tomorrow.”
With our new non-profit initiative, Inheritance Pilgrimages, we’re committed to revealing the Gospel in the Holy Land to young Catholics, seminarians and those discerning their vocation by helping fund their trip.
[Click here] commit to praying with us.
We have upcoming Inheritance Pilgrimage dates for Catholic young adults in 2023.
As part of the new evangelization, it’s time for Catholics to pass on the rich inheritance of our faith to the next generation.
Annually 450,000 Catholics make the trip, but the vast majority are older and retired. Many who’ve joined us on our top-rated Footprints of God pilgrimage say it was a pivotal moment in their life. We’ve seen miracles occur, hearts opened, faith kindled, and some commit to religious vocations. Let’s give this gift to the younger generation.
Imagine the impact on the future of the church if more young Catholics could experience the place Jesus was born, the Sea where He walked on water, and the Tomb where he rose from the dead.
We have an ambitious goal to bring thousands of young people to the Holy Land while covering half their cost–currently just $1750/person. The total amount of these youth-oriented trips includes airfare, all meals, all tips, and no hidden costs, all for $3500.
All donations are tax deductible and any gift amount is greatly appreciated.
A gift of $1750 will provide funding for one young adult.
If you feel called to pave the way for more young people to walk in the footprints of God please call us directly to discuss gifting options for larger donations
What Students Are Saying About Inheritance Pilgrimages
“From watching Steve Ray documentaries in the living room as a little girl, to studying the geography of the Holy Land in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, I have dreamt of and prayed for an opportunity to journey on a pilgrimage like this one…”
“I have never been to the Holy Land, nor traveled out of the United States. It is an opportunity of a lifetime that could never be presented to me again …”
“It is very difficult to read the Bible and remember that what is written is real: Jesus and His disciples were (are!) real people, they visited real places, and did real, human activities. I believe this pilgrimage will make my faith come alive and be even more real in a way that I would never get to experience without this pilgrimage.”
“Since I got to college, I have experienced the most suffering in my life and I truly think this pilgrimage will bring me a lot of healing and strength in my faith.”
“Since we are social and communal beings, we are called to friendship in which we share ourselves. There is no better opportunity to respond to this calling than to share this pilgrimage to the Holy Land with my friends. This would be extremely life-giving and edifying for my spiritual growth, and bear much fruit in my friendship with God.”
“I think this pilgrimage will be a turning point in my college experience, the discernment of my future vocation, and in my love for Jesus Christ.”
“The many crosses I have carried and movements of the Holy Spirit these past couple years seem to be building up to this pilgrimage. I was supposed to go on a pilgrimage in May, but I tore my ACL, Meniscus, and LCL playing soccer beforehand. As a result, I could not go. However, I prayed a novena to Our Lady of Lourdes to heal my knee and sure enough my knee was completely healed when the surgeon went in for surgery; he said it was nothing short of a miracle!”
“The opportunity of this pilgrimage has sparked such an indescribable desire in my heart to attend. I have never been on a pilgrimage. I do not know every detail as to why God wants me to go, but it seems explicitly clear that He is calling me to make this journey.”
“I desire to encounter not only the beauty of the Holy Land itself, but also to receive new and wonderful graces by venerating the land where God became flesh.”
“Since I was a child, I’ve always waited for the opportunity to go to the Holy Land. As a child, it was simply out of the innocent desire to go to the land where Jesus walked. Now, it’s out of the desire and longing I have in my heart to walk the roads that my Beloved did, to see the places my Beloved saw, and to experience the beauty of the physical land of where the beautiful Catholic faith began.”
Please bless these students this Christmas through your sponsorship!
And please pray for us. May God bless you!
One must care for their land. We own an acre in the country and a while ago I was cutting wild vines out of the trees and burning them. The overgrown branches from the bushes and trees were also trimmed and burned.
The flames brought to mind the words of Jesus in John 15:5–6, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned.”
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