Top Ten Deleted Bible Verses That Were Not in the Original Text

When I was in my mid-teens I was handed my first Bible-conspiracy pamphlet (See examples 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). This pamphlet spoke of the great dangers posed to Christianity by a large group of lesbian bible scholars that had fought their way into biblical societies and now were working deviously to corrupt the Bible. Part of their notorious lesbian agenda was the secret removal of bible verses that for thousands of years had contained Gods word! (Another part was making the language gender neutral, so that the New World Government can one day eradicate the sexes, or something like that.) This pamphlet warned that vital Bible verses were being secretly deleted and erased, our new Bibles were being printed missing God’s words! I was aghast, and spent many months discussing with my friends the impending satanic incursion in our world, this Verse-Removal-Conspiracy was surely a sign of the end times.

Ten years later, having learned a few things about the transmission, corruption, and restoration of the New Testament, I can slowly laugh at myself. There has never been a satanic conspiracy against the bible , in fact this “conspiracy” was perpetuated by the most conservative evangelical scholars who translated the NIV in order to try to save the Bible! The very conservative NIV translators often mistranslated and obscured the text to hide contradictions, problems, or other issues. The reason is that during the hundreds of years of biblical studies, academics have amassed irrefutable textual evidence that the Bible we have was heavily modified, edited, and miscopied on thousands of occasions.

Today, it is the job of biblical scholars to go through the thousands of manuscripts, align the differences/similarities, and try to estimate what was likely the original reading. In many cases what scholars have found is that a later copy of a particular passage includes extra phrases or sentences, while an earlier copy, dated to a few hundred years earlier, is missing those sentences. Because of this scholars have been forced to admit that for the last two millennia, we have been treating many verses, which are interpolations (additions of phrases to the text by a scribe), as thought they were the very words of God. As a result, scholars have been removing some of these passages. These passages were never original to the text, they were later additions.

While there are quite a few textual variants, alterations, interpolations, and etc, here is my personal “Top Ten” list of bible verses that that were never in the original text of the Bible.

1. “There are three that bear witness in heaven, the father, the word, and the holy spirit, and these three are one.” (1 John 5:7)

Interestingly enough this is the only passage in the Bible that clearly articulates the Trinity. While there are other passages that may hint at the Trinity this particular passage distilled hundreds of years of theology by the early church into a Bible verse added into the text. This is literally one of the more fascinating manuscript stories as it exists in our modern Bibles in part because the Catholics created a forged Greek text to provide to an 16th century scholar, Erasmus.

2. “But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” (Matthew 17:21)

This whole verse is omitted from most modern Bible translations, while the Mark 9:29 has the word “fasting” removed from it based on the earliest manuscripts. I have personally seen people testify of fasting for prolonged periods of time, to wage war with demons. I have also heard testimonies where this process did not work, and the preacher had to embellish another element to the story (“I wasn’t holy enough, etc.”) Ironically enough the whole command, which people devote days and weeks to, was never in the Bible.

3. “Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery… said to Him… the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do you say?… Jesus said “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”

This particular story has become one of the defining portraits of Jesus yet, all 12 verses have been removed or footnoted in new translations. If there is one story that is most commonly associated with Jesus, it is, hands down, this one.  Everyone I know loves to quotes from these passages about Jesus. One of the most important doctrines regarding how to treat others who are sinners (“don’t judge them because you are not without sin”) is found only in this passage. Except it was never in the Bible but is a later addition, written down almost four hundred years after the death of Jesus.

4. “And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground.” (Luke 22:44)

I have witnessed countless preachers motioning triumphantly with agony and emotion on their face as they read these words. It’s as if they experience this exact sensation while they read about it. Some have even spoken of a possible medical condition where a person experiences so much stress that they sweat blood. Except, this was never in the original bible, so all the emotional sermons focusing on this were due to a passage that was almost certainly not biblical.

5. “These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons and they will speak with new tongues.” (Mark 16:17)

Pentecostals have only one mention of Jesus teaching about the act of speaking in tongues in the Gospels, this passage is Mark 16:17. However, most of this chapter in Mark is an interpolation, for the original text of Mark (the earliest Gospel to be written, about 10-20 years before Luke/Matthew) ended at 16:8. What is fascinating about this is that millions of Pentecostals have frequently preached that Jesus predicted their glossolaic speech in the Gospels. Unfortunately, this is not the case, it was merely secondary addition of a scribe who later added to the text what wasn’t there.

6. “And they will take up snakes in their hands, and if they drink any poison it will not harm them, and they will lay their hands on the sick and they will become well.” (Mark 16:18)

Another passage from the unoriginal ending to the Gospel of Mark. Unfortunately, people have literally died because of this interpolation. There have been hundreds of Pentecostal churches that have engaged in snake-handling, though today they are a dying breed.

7. “For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” (Matthew 6:13)

The Lord’s Prayer has been repeated by billions of people, trillions of times. It is probably the most repeated series of words in the history of the world (perhaps second only to the Shahada). And besides the fact that there are already two version of the Lord’s Prayer in the original texts, Matthew version (v6:9–13) has 65 words while Luke’s version (v11:2–4) only has 36 words, the ending (a doxology) of Matthew’s version, the one memorized by billions, was a later interpolation but not the original.

8. “And in the same way after supper Jesus took the cup and said, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.” (Luke 22:20)

This is a primary Gospel witness of the atoning intent (“for you”) of the crucifixion as well as the promise of a “new covenant.” These are essential Christian teachings that are found in most faith statements. Today most Bibles mention with a footnote that this passage is not found in the most ancient manuscripts, however a couple conservative scholars attempt to defend the idea that the original text had these words, then a scribe removed them and the original was lost, finally another scribe re-added it to explain why it’s missing from the earliest copies. Today we have six different versions of this passage, and only one supports the theological reading that conservatives want, but there is very strong evidence this was a later interpolation.

9. “And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” (Mark 16:15)

The first of two Christian texts that command what is called “The Great Commission” to preach the gospel to all nations is certainly a later scribal interpolation, part of the “longer ending of Mark” that was not in the original. There is one more passage that commands the Great Commission, Matthew 28:19, so this whole doctrine of evangelism and missions is not completely lost once we remove Mark 16:15. However, when it comes to Matthew 28:19, there has been much debate whether this is an original text, some scholars have argued the whole text is not original. Others just say a part of the text was a later addition. Eusebius of Caesarea, and early church father, quoted this passage without the Trinitarian formula or request for baptism, so this is very strong evidence that, at the very least, “baptizing in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost”, is a later addition, absent from the original Gospel. This means that the Great Commission is absent from the earliest Gospel, and the version present in a later gospel was uttered without a command to baptize people or a Trinitarian formula.

10. Many (not all) passages relating to the Substitutionary Atonement are interpolations.

Okay I cheated, this is more than ten verses, but it’s my blog so I’m the only one who can fire myself. Anyway, the phrases removed in newer Bible translations include “through his blood” in Colossians 1:14; “broken for you” in 1 Corinthians 11:24; “sacrificed for us” in 1 Corinthians 5:7; “suffered for us” in 1 Peter 4:1; “by himself purged our sins” in Hebrews 1:3. Others were edited (to reflect the earliest manuscripts) making changes from “purchased possession” to just “possession” in Ephesians 1:14 or from “that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ” to “what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions” in Colossians 1:24, and etc.

In each of these cases, the verse in question, in traditional English translations, has said something like “Jesus was sacrificed for us” but manuscript tradition changes this into “Jesus was sacrificed. [the end]” or “Christ suffered for us” to “Christ suffered [the end].” Today the doctrine of substitutionary atonement is the dominant doctrine of the Cross in the Christian world, yet this doctrine was not prominent in the early church. While many passages are not originals, there are a handful that are likely authentic, like Ephesians 1:7, but this means the all-important doctrine of the substitutionary atonement is barely mentioned a few times, and is not present everywhere in the New Testament, which is strange for those who claim that it is, in fact, the whole point of the Gospel.

22 responses

  1. Пару вопросов: Вы являетесь специалистом в области иврита и древнегреческого? Или понравились чьи-то измышления на заданную тему? Какую цель преследуете, уважаемый?

    • Howdy, nope I am not a specialist in Hebrew, and my Koine is very minimal. In any case, this is not an issue of translation from a printed Greek/Hebrew text whatsoever, nor am I performing an exegetical analysis. This has to do with textual criticism that attempts to reconstruct the original text, if such a construction is indeed possible (most textual critics say its not) based on the best in manuscript tradition.

      However, because I am using standard biblical scholarship by referring to verses removed in most translation committees, based on the best publications in textual studies, my lack of textual criticism specialization is not an issue. The vast majority of textual critics from the conservative Dan Wallace, to the moderate/mainstream Alands, Ehrmans of academia.

      As far as my aim, I find this fascinating.

      • Dear Yuriy:

        In order to understand properly this issue you needs to know some basic things:

        a) There are two kind of Bible´s Version: The catholic Bible and the non-catholic Bible

        The catholic version is the short version of the Word of God. This point is key, specially when we take in account the rol of Constantine when he got 50 Bible from Egypt, Alexandria.

        The Trinity doctrine was developing with a different Bible: it lacked of 1 John 5:7

        The catholic version of this topic never reveals this point. Six year after the Nicea Council, the 50 Bibles of Constantine arrived to Rome to strong doctrinally the new church actually named Catholic Church,

        This book is a must to understand in a balanced way the whole scenary:

        http://www.amazon.com/In-Defense-Authenticity-Of-John/dp/1615077669

        Short version and expanded version: the position of the Textual Criticism.

        The “short” versión (literrarly is true) was dominating over Europe during more than 1000 years….the expanded version (Pure and Preservated) was the protagonist, the hero of the Reform

        While the short version was as the unique option, Europe was was blind and in total darkness: no saved souls

        The true and preserved version was the instrument of God to save soul with the Everlasting Life.

        Please check the commentary of Erasmus in the introduction dedicated to Leon X:

        !I perceived that that teaching which is our salvation was to be had in a much purer and more lively form if sought at the fountain-head and drawn from the actual sources than from pools and runnels. And so I have revised the whole New Testament (as they call it) against the standard of the Greek original… I have added annotations of my own, in order in the first place to show the reader what changes I have made, and why; second, to disentangle and explain anything that may be complicated, ambiguous, or obscure.[9]

        [9] “Epistle 384” in Collected Works of Erasmus. Vol. 3: Letters 222 to 223, 1516 (tr. R.A.B. Mynors and D.F.S. Thomson; annotated by James K. McConica; Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1976).

        You say: “his has to do with textual criticism that attempts to reconstruct the original text”

        R= the “original text” is the Vulgata: the Bible of Trent Council

        You say: “if such a construction is indeed possible (most textual critics say its not) based on the best in manuscript tradition.”

        R= You need to know the Promise of God where He Promise to preserve His Word. The place where He fulfilled His Promise is the editions (sic) of Textus Receptus.

        You say:”However, because I am using standard biblical scholarship by referring to verses removed in most translation committees,

        R= This “biblical scholars” are catholic. Check the Commitee of the UBS-NTG: so you will find to Carlos María Martini, an erudit and catholic priest that some years ago he was near to be a pope.

        You say: “based on the best publications in textual studies, my lack of textual criticism specialization is not an issue.

        R= you are guided by catholic people to sure in your mind the short and catholic version of the Word of God

        You say: “The vast majority of textual critics from the conservative Dan Wallace, to the moderate/mainstream Alands, Ehrmans of academia”

        R= There are around 6000 different mms: the 99.99% contain the True and Preservated Word of God

        The 1% is conformed basically by 3 catholic witness: mss Vaticanus, mms Sinaiticus, mss Alexandrinus (+ Bodmer collection)
        The power of Rome has been able to create a powerful system to delete of the field or scenario our preserved word of God and replace it with its Egyptian -corrupted – version.

        After the NTG of Erasmus, a “new” New Testament appears to change spiritually the World

        With the familiy of Textus Receptus, all nations and idioms were benefited with a pure content doctrinally different than the short and catholic option

        This link will help you to know this point

        I wish be useful for you.

        Thank you for your attention,

        Best regards:

        Luis Mendoza
        Caracas, Venezuela

        Facebook: MYLSTECH

        • Yes. Jesus (pbuh) is one of the mightiest messenger of all might god. Don’t be confuse In this. Simply You people See how many Interpolations In the bible. Fallow the true god, The god all might Is ONE AND ONLY……!

        • Referring to the Catholic Bible as the “short” version doesn’t even make sense.
          The Catholic Bible has a 7 books within their bible that the protestant bibles left out. I wouldn’t consider that a short version of the Bible. Seriously, do you?
          Things that are actually true – the Catholic church eliminated a commandment from the 10 and divided up one commandment into 2 so there would still be 10.
          Yes, they actually eliminated “graven images” from the 10 Commandments for obvious reasons. “Roman Catholic” literally describes an integration of Rome’s many pagan religions into one church as a christian entity that is universally ROMAN. The elaborate buildings, fancy and expensive robes, the elaborate processions and fancy rituals that “magically” transform a wafer into the literal flesh and blood of Jesus, so they have an actual and literal sacrifice at an altar as pagan worship provided and the Romans were used to. They could not, however, deal without a goddess. “Mary cults” as the church called them, sprang up from time to time, but “Mariology” was on the rise as former pagans of Rome found comfort in their Christian goddess, Mary. Mary’s entire existence was remodeled, fabricated and stuffed with attributes only heard of in Jesus. New claims- she wasn’t born in sin, her mom was also a virgin; Mary never sinned, Mary never had other children with Joseph who were Jesus’ brothers; and in spite of a couple of burial sites attributed to Mary, she never died, but was whisked up to heaven, never tasting death…. there’s more… Mary is now crowned the Queen of Heaven (“queen of heaven” in the O.T. is a malevolent entity), and not only is she the Mother of Jesus, she is also God the Father’s Queen. And not only that, she is the Mother of every single person that has ever lived, that now lives, or will ever live on this planet. Everybody’s mommy. So, they said, once they gave in a deified Mary into a being that could hold back the wrath of her son’s hand from wiping out the sinners right here and now; according to some masochistic, delusional, attention-seeking Portuguese kids. I say “masochistic” because Mary told them to wear shaggy ropes around their waist, under their clothing (even while sleeping) that itched and chaffed their skin because, as Mary told them “Suffering pleases our Lord a great deal”….. So, the Lord enjoys watching children suffer, according to the demon known as “Mary”- who also claims to have defeated communism. I could write a book….

      • Even when we assume it is not written litterally to spread his message to all nations, I still see a point to accept this as a mission. When you have the reborn experiance when become truly christian the bibble speeks about the holy spirit coming down to you it is up to you to let jesus words to let grow in your hart or let them die. No study of the bible makes you a rightious christian or not I assume (as a humble noy bibble scolar or bobble expert). But as far as i read the new testaments of all evengelist and try to read between the lines of jesseus words (which is essential i think because he always speaked in words not to be taken too letarally but by its deeper laying meaning behind them. By example the part it is bether to lose one eye when it see sin and not live in sin than with 2 eyes and live in sin. If we go literally man i gues we should no more eyes because we always see sin like it or not and even even jesus said all our harts are corrupted by sin by our human nature. In short jesus always spoke in terms of comparising. In short his message is always the same in thousand diferent versions of comparisons and words spoken by him. Love god first and than love your fellow human like wise with all of your heart. Not by big words or even deeds but with a hart purified by the holy spirit. And my experiance and from many christians is naturally than to try to spread the word where ever you come if it inside the bibble literally or not. Jesus message is so liberating it almost demands to spread around. With all respect for the people studying the bibble and its accuracy tough. And the trinity issue has always been a big issue in the church even from its early beginning. Like you say even without that particular phrase many accepted phrases tend to acknowledge the holy trininty without actually saying literally. But this is a debate going from the beginning from the church so i gues we bether let go of the illusion we ever gonna figure out if jesus really men this or not. Like i said his word carry so many layers of meaning you can argue an eternity about any phrase of him and still have no clear answer. His message comes always down to the same thing LOVE FOR GOD AND OUR FELLOW HUMANS with all of our hart inspired by gods eternal love. Let us focus bit more as christians on that and less on endless theological debates who are as old as christianity itself.

        PS Same core message comes back in old testament anyway
        So praise god

    • I patently said “Pentecostals have only one mention of Jesus teaching about the act of speaking in tongues in the Gospels, this passage is Mark 16:17”

      The book of Acts is written by a different group of people than Jesus, at a different time. My point still stands.

    • And it is about a language that is unknown to the speaker, but still a legitimate language; not a babbling train wreck that is unknown to everyone, including God. And if there be no translator let them keep silent in the church because without a translator there is no edification. They try to promote a silly idea that speaking in tongues and unknown tongues are two separate gifts. They are not.

  2. Is there a reasonable version of the bible which leaves out verses of questionable authenticity, particularly John 8:3-11 and Mark 16:9-20?

    • The Aramaic English New Testament (AENT) Is a direct translation from a manuscript that predates the ones used by Greek translators. All of the above mentioned versus plus more are not to be found in the AENT. It also has very in depth, informative footnotes.

  3. Dear Yuri, I came across your blog looking for a list of interpellations. Thank you very much for those listed and for your explanations.
    I am not a formal Bible student just a Christian of many years looking for the truth of the word of God. It is my belief that many false doctrines came about because of the interpellations that you mentioned and others.
    Thank you

  4. In my possession are both the Greek Interlinear and the Geneva 1560 Bible. Both of these translations of the original manuscripts were written before the King James 1611 Bible translation.

    In both the Greek Interlinear and Geneva 1560 Bible, all verses are there that you have stated were not in the original manuscripts. In fact everything you stated, all verses or words, that you state were not in the original manuscipts, and that Mark ended after only 8 chapters was found Not to be correct, according to these much earlier Bible traslations.

    Although some words may differ in the KJV, Geneva 1560 Bible, and Greek Interlinear, everything you stated is not correct according to any of these Bible translations.

    As far as verses being added hundreds of years later, I would need unbiased proof on that.

    The Greek Interlinear is a translation into english of the original Received Text.

    • It is a way for the adversary to manipulate and create doubt in the authenticity of the truth, therefore justifying reading a book that does not contain proper doctrinal knowledge. It is that simple.

  5. 2 Timothy 2:15King James Version (KJV)

    15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

    Luke 4:4King James Version (KJV)

    4 And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.

    1 Thessalonians 5:21King James Version (KJV)

    21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
    2 Timothy 4:4King James Version (KJV)

    4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

    I will now show the world that some newer translations are not the truth because they are turned over to speaking about fables.

    Nothing New

    My wife and I saw a popular new movie recently. In the few days it has been open it has made hundreds of millions, maybe billions, of dollars. It was a good movie; I enjoyed watching it and will likely watch it again sometime. But I had seen it before. No not the movie, but the story. I was disappointed in how many elements it borrowed from its predecessor. I guess I shouldn’t really be surprised. After all, there are only so many different stories to tell. All fiction is the retelling of one of only seven basic plot lines. (How many different ways can Hallmark retell Cinderella or Romeo and Juliet?) It reminded me of something Solomon said, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” (Ecc. 1:9 NIV-1984)
    http://www.beaumontchurchofchrist.org/

    do you see how they start the website with a reference to Cinderella?

    yes, Cinderella is a fable.

    I watched a church of Christ preacher holding an NIV bible and he veered off in the tale of baer rabbit after talking about fiddler on the roof movie, fiddler on the roof is a jewish wives tale.

    this made me refute the preaching and point out that sound doctrine is the received texts not the critical texts.

    the word of God is for correction reproof so that the man of God may be perfect.

  6. The New testament does has a lot off addings that take away who Jesuschrist was .So does the old testamet , if you take for example what God wants you to understand and in which way He wants you to understand it , then you grave on to the Psalm of Moses which the Catholic church reformed and put in the Psalms off King David which what is doing reorganizing Gods mind , also the books off James and Jude are ancient not the brothers off Jesuschrist but Jacob and the 12 tribes of Israel .

  7. Oh man, this is so very interesting, but extremely overwhelming. I have been going through a faith deconstruction. One of the biggest contributors to this deconstruction has been through the Liturgists podcast. I found this blog post through a google search of “Things added to the bible” and I am overwhelmed with the material out there on this search.

    As someone who is truly seeking truth, can you recommend any books I can read on biblical errors and historical theological changes? A lot of your links for references on this blog no longer work, well two or three that I tried, and I like cross-referencing things because I really am seeking truth from a historical context.

    Thanks for your help!

    – Caleb F

    • Hi Caleb, hope it’s not too overwhelming, but in the pursuit of truth, everything else including our emotions must lie second.

      I highly recommend anything by Bart Ehrman, he is not only one of the top biblical scholars alive, he’s also one of the most lucid writers to a publicly audience. (And had the fortune of being an Evangelical preacher, though now is an agnostic, so that makes for an interesting background.)

      Is say start with Misquoting Jesus and Jesus interrupted.

      Best,
      Yuriy

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