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Text of the
New Testament (3)
The Text of the Modern Versions

As has been stated earlier, the versions published since the [English] Revised Version of
1881, have been based upon a Greek text different than the Textus Receptus.  None of
these texts are a standard published text.  They differ from the Westcott/Hort, Nestle, or
United Bible Societies texts in one particular or another.  They are based on "
eclectic
texts."
 This means the translators served a double position as both translator and textual
critic.  According to their criteria (whatever it may be, seemingly at least very strongly
influenced by the Westcott/Hort theor of textual criticism), they included, excluded, changed
and conjectured the text.

Though fewer changes were made in the Old Testament than the New Testament, the
changes were not limited to the New Testament by any means.  However, we shall
concern ourselves with the New Testament in our present discussion; and, we shall limit
our discussion to the whole verses omitted.

The Verses Omitted in the New Testament

The treatment of the 48 verses omitted by one or more of the Greek texts and/or major
translations of the New Testament into English are well known.

It has been stated by some that such omissions have no bearing on the obedience to
passages such as
Deuteronomy 4:1,2; Galatians 1:6-9; and Revelation 22:18,19.  
However, if adding to and subtracting from does not apply to adding conjectural
emendations and subtracting entire verses, I am at a loss to see what it could or might
apply to.

Others have stated that no real concern should be shown over the omission of these
verses because what is taught in these verses which are omitted is taught elsewhere in
scripture.  Yet as Edward Miller stated,

...(c) Holy Scripture is too unique and precious to admit of the study of the several words of
it being interesting rather than important; (d) many of the passages which Modern Criticism
would erase or suspect -- such as the last Twelve Verses of St. Mark, the first Word from the
Cross, and the thrilling description of the depth of the Agony, besides numerous others --
are valuable in the extreme; and, (e) generally speaking, it is impossible to pronounce,
especially amidst the thought and life seething everywhere round us, what part of Holy
Scripture isnot, or may not prove to be, of the highest importance as well as interest. [
The
Traditional Text of the Holy Gospels Vindicated and Established;
p. 6, footnote 1.]

Besides, if one verse can be set aside today that teaches a particular point, what principle
prohibits the removal of the other verses (either collectively, or one-by-one) at a future
date?  
NO MAN, NOR GROUP OF MEN, HAS THE RIGHT TO REMOVE ONE VERSE OF
SCRIPTURE.

Our chart on the witnesses chronicles the evidence found in the critical apparatus of the
United Bible Societies' text on the 48 verses under consideration.  This chart gives an
inkling of the evidence which is rejected in rejecting these verses.  That the evidence given
may not be totally accurate, especially in reference to the testimony of early writers, can be
seen in J.W. Burgon's monumental work,
The Last Twelve Verses of St. Mark [reprint by
Faith and Facts Press; pp. 97-109, 116-147, 337-370, 375-392].  But, according to this
evidence, the only verses in doubt are:
Acts 8:37; 15:34; 24:7; and 1 John 5:7.  That is a
reduction from 48 verses to 4 verses!
 Once the full principles of textual criticism are
applied as they should be, that number is further reduced.  Thus, the claims that the King
James Version is based upon an
"inferior text" are greatly distorted.  For the facts indicate
that the modern versions (excepting the King James II and the New King James Version)
are based upon inferior texts.

Conclusion

This is a true story.

One time a preacher was making his point on Mark 16:16 --
"He that believeth and is
baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned."  
He forcefully cried
out to the audience on hand: "If you don't believe me, I'll come and show it to you in your
own Bible!"

"It's not in my Bible!" cried a woman in the back.

Immediately the preacher strode to the back, took the Bible from the lady's hand, turned to
the 16th chapter of Mark, and -- lo, and behold -- the passage was not there!  She had
taken a pair of scissors and cut it out!

When I was a boy, I remember hearing this illustration used in a sermon to show the
disrespect which some people had for the Bible, and how they removed certain unwanted
passages from the Scriptures.  What the woman did in this story is unconscionable.  But,
pray tell, what is the difference between a woman taking a pair of scissors and cutting
passages she does not like out of her personal Bible, and an editor taking an exacto knife
and slicing the same verses out of a Bible he is preparing for publication?  Is it not of far
greater import when the editor does it?  because the Bible he so mutilates will not only be
for his own private reading and study, but is prepared to be used by thousands, or even
millions?

Friends and brethren, how far have we already drifted?

"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]