As last week’s post demonstrated, even with just that small sampling, much has been changed in the modern Bibles, and the wording of what remains is oftentimes less clear or misleading. What’s more is that not only are wording changes prevalent, but also whole phrases, verses, and entire passages are removed from many of the modern Bibles…
All told, there are approximately 200 omissions or alterations to just the New Testament between the King James Version and the New International Version. Many contemporary Bibles fare just as poorly in regard to their own New Testament omissions and alterations, including, among others:
- The New English Version – 197 omissions / alterations
- The Revised Standard Version -189 omissions / alterations
- The New American Standard Version -183 omissions / alterations
In all honesty, some of these translations do include the omitted verses and passages within the footnotes or other such cordoned areas, yet for someone who is not accustomed to the Scriptures, seeing such passages removed from the main body of the text will do little to instill within them a faith in that which is missing. What’s more is that in many cases the removed passages are noted in such a way as to further foster doubt in their veracity, and their wording may in fact be less than truthful.
For instance, when considering the verses 1 John 5:7-8, the New International Version states – in the footnotes to where it had been moved – that the verses were “not found in any Greek manuscript before the sixteenth century,” casting doubt on its authenticity. In reality, the verse is known from many manuscripts, including the Old Syriac of 170 AD, the Vetus Latina of 200 AD, the Vulgate of 380 AD, and others.
Now there are those who will readily defend the newer translations, and that is certainly their prerogative. Some will question the apparent controversy between the King James Version and these newer translations, asking “What matter does a few omissions or alterations make, especially if many are included within the footnotes?” For some, such differences do not matter, and it simply isn’t of enough importance to justify concern. Yet truly, do footnotes and annotations justify omission or removal from the core text, especially if it intrinsically alters the message? As a believing Christian, I am compelled to ask myself if it is proper to trust a translation – like many of the modern versions – which, among many other things:
- Removes Jesus’s name in places?
- Removes Jesus as the “only begotten Son”?
- Removes the validity of the virgin birth?
- Removes the redemption promised through the blood of Jesus?
What do you think?
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