Why are verses missing in some of the newer translations of the Bible?
In comparison with the King James Version and New King James Version of the Bible, most modern translations omit several verses. These include John 5:4, Acts 8:37, 1 John 5:7 (partial), and in some cases, Mark 16:9-20 (though included in footnotes). Why are these verses removed?
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Since the translation of the King James Version in 1611, many new manuscripts have been discovered and much additional research has become available. Though the vast majority of the Bible's text is the same regardless of manuscript discoveries, some of the verses mentioned above have been found to only exist in later manuscripts and do not exist in the earliest copies. As a result, these passages have either been removed from newer versions or are included with footnotes to clarify the manuscript information.
It is important to keep in mind, however, that none of the changes regarding these verses deals with essential Christian teachings. The key message of Jesus as the divine Son of God, the Triune Godhead, the virgin birth of Jesus, His death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and second coming are all exactly the same without these disputed verses.
In addition, it is important to note that these verses have not been removed because the translators had a low view of Scripture or have a critical agenda against the inerrancy of God's Word. In contrast, these translators have sought, often in the face of critics, to faithfully present the words of the Bible as they originally appeared. Each translator is an expert in biblical languages and is selected for this reason.
Today's translations face the difficult challenge of presenting God's Word as accurately as possible and in a way that communicates Scripture in an understandable manner to readers. Generally working with a team of scholars, today's translations meet the highest standards of scholarship to help provide a helpful, accurate rendering of Scripture. This is only right, as Scripture itself teaches in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work."
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