What About Verses That Are in the KJV but not Other Translations?

There are a few verses that are found in the KJV of the Bible that may or may not be included in the newer English translations such as NIV, NASB, or ESV. However, today most Bible translations do include these passages either with a different text type such as italics or with footnotes showing the differences. Nevertheless very few differences contain anything that could possibly affect doctrine. Below are a few examples of passages that are not in all ancient manuscripts.

~ Mark 16:9-20

This passage is not included in several older texts. It is also sometimes included in old manuscripts but set apart by text markings such as our asterisks or parenthesis as being not equal or not included in the originals. There is at least one old text that has an additional paragraph in the middle of this passage. Most translations today include this passage and note that it is not in some manuscripts. The concern is with those who take a verse such as Mark 16:16 and say that Baptism is required for Salvation based solely on that text. They then have forgotten the thief on the cross passage. No single verse should ever be taken and interpreted without using the rest of Scripture to determine the meaning.

~ Comma Johannine

1 John 5:7-8
7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.
KJV

1 John 5:7-8
7 For there are three that testify:
8 the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree
. ESV

The Johannine Comma has a good simple to understand explanation of the problems with this passage. But again some newer English translations have this passage but with notes of the questionable nature. I find the most compelling argument is that the early church fathers do not quote this passage even when arguing over the Trinity because apparently this passage did exist at that time but was a latter addition possibly as a textual note. As most protestant churches believe in the Trinity they would benefit by keeping the questionable passage but honesty to the ancient text dictates that no matter how helpful a passage may be if questionable it should be so noted.

~ The Woman Caught In Adultery

John 7:53 – John 8:11

This passage is a very well known passage of the woman caught in adultery and being brought before Jesus. The well known phrase from that passage is “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” While a compelling story and it fits in with the Scriptures, this passage was not included in many older manuscripts. The few that do include it often set it off with textual markings. But the most interesting fact is that those older manuscripts that include this passage do not always include it in the same place! Some have it in John, but in different locations, while some have it in Luke, but also in different locations.

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It is important that we have a translation of the Bible that is accurate as possible by using all the information available. But it is equally important that we provide translations that the common man can read in his common language. While the KJV was written in a very beautiful and somewhat poetic prose, that is also the way that people wrote during those days. This is very obvious when you read old books from that same time period. However, today’s English speaking person doesn’t speak in the KJV style or even understand the KJV when reading it. Those of us that grew up in church with some understanding of church terms and the regular reading of the KJV don’t really understand how hard the KJV is for the new Christian from a pagan background. We might as well expect them to be reading Latin.

Even the translators of the KJV said

“Indeed without translation into the vulgar tongue, the unlearned are but like children at Jacob’s well (which was deep) without a bucket or something to draw with . . . .”

Vulgar here means common so it is easily seen how even this one sentence can be mistranslated when read by a person unfamiliar with the KJV language. Otherwise, they might think it means coarse, profane, or cursing language.

We must be appreciative that we have a Bible to read in our own common language and must not learn a foreign language or sit with a dictionary at hand in order to read the Scriptures.

Many, many men and women died in order that you can have a Bible in your home, in your hand and in your language.

So don’t leave it sitting on a shelf but read it and treasure it.


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4 thoughts on “What About Verses That Are in the KJV but not Other Translations?

  1. Greetings in Christ.

    I just wanted to write briefly to let you know that some of your statements about Mark 16:9-20 is inaccurate. There is a lot of misinformation floating around about these 12 verses, even in the writings of some major scholars.

    Mark 16:9-20 is missing in two early, important manuscripts (Codex Vaticanus, and Codex Sinaiticus). All other undamaged Greek copies of Mark (over 1,200) support the passage. Excerpts from Mark 16:9-20 are used in patristic writings earlier than Vaticanus and Sinaiticus; those two maunscripts are from the 300’s, but Justin, Tatian, and Irenaeus used the passage in the 100’s.

    Also, the four pages in Codex Sinaiticus that contain Mark 14:54-Luke 1:56 were not produced by the same copyist who made the surrounding pages, and in the replacement-page, after Mark 16:8, there is a uniquely emphatic decorative line. In Codex Vaticanus, after the copyist finished a book of the New Testament, he always began the next book at the top of the very next column — except at the end of Mark. There, Mark 16:8 ends with 11 lines to go in a column, and the next column is completely blank. There is just enough room, in the blank space from the end of Mark 16:8 to the end of the blank column, for a copyist to fit verses 9-20, written in slightly compacted lettering. So while Codex Vaticanus supports the ending at the end of Mark 16:8, it also attests to its copyist’s awareness of the absent 12 verses.

    I go into considerable detail about this disputed passage in a research paper which I would be glad to send to you; you are also welcome to visit http://www.curtisvillechristian.org/MarkOne.html for a multi-part summary of the research paper, in which I offer a defense of the authenticity of Mark 16:9-20.

    Yours in Christ,

    James Snapp, Jr.

  2. Pastor Snapp,

    Thank you for the comment. Sorry to be so long responding, we were without internet for a week.

    I have never seen either Codex nor even most other manuscripts that the Bible is translated from. Probably the oldest I have actually seen and held is a 1580 Latin Vulgate. So all my information has had to come from scholars who have studied the issue.

    Even from reading over your information, the basic premise is that the passage of Mark 16:9-20 is of more questionable existence than many other passages. Many think that this passage may have been in a separate portion written by Mark and later added to his Gospel letter after it was referenced by early Biblical scholars.

    I don’t know nor am I able to research the matter fully, as are very few able to do so. Thus I still think that the translators decision to include the passage and add a note to the questions surrounding it is the best method for now. At least until more accurate and proven information is available. But like I stated previously I would not base my Theology on this passage without comparing it to the rest of Scripture.

    Berean Wife

  3. Dean Burgon’s book on the last 12 verses of Mark 16 is a decent bit of scholarship from the KJO perspective.

    I’m with you, Berean Wife, in making every effort not to build my theology on bits and pieces of scripture but on the whole counsel of God. The Word is not inconsistent from point to point; proof-texting is dangerous. A “religion” based on one verse or passage is a fragile structure.

    I “grew up” with the King James and preached from it exclusively for 20 years or more but am particularly grateful for modern language versions like the ESV for my present ministry. Prison inmates have an average level of education near the 6th grade. If I use the Jacobean English of the KJV, I have to spend too much time translating archaic words. There’s no need to “dumb down” the Gospel but it’s a good idea to express it, to declare it, in words of the hearer’s own language.

  4. Pastor Franklin,

    So good to hear from you!

    I’m afraid I have no clue who Dean Burgeon is. 🙁 I find I’m become more and more illiterate the more I study.

    There seems to be alot of taking of portions of Scripture to the exclusion of others. This is a good reason for preaching through the whole Bible so that you don’t just pick and choose passages or skip the tough ones.

    I do enjoy the KJV, many of my favorite verses are in the KJ format. But I love to have several translations available when seriously studying. I find the different translations expound on the passage and help me to understand the different nuances better.

    The KJV would not work well in the prison, I can see that. After 400 years the KJV had might as well be a foreign language. Reading it aloud to today’s unchurched is as understandable as the Latin was to the Catholic laymen before our English translations. Even the non-archaic words have changed meaning over time and do not mean the same as when the KJV was written.

    We enjoyed so much our “Conference on the English Bible” this summer. The goal was to get us to really appreciate the fact that we have a Bible to hold in our common language.

    Berean Wife

    P.S. I hope your wife is doing well. 🙂

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