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 I find the most compelling argument is that the early church fathers do not quote this passage even when arguing over the Trinity because apparently this passage did exist at that time but was a latter addition possibly as a textual note.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.
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.