Craig recently wrote an article about the complexities of the New American Bible in comparison with other Bible translations (see The Challenges of the New American Bible from August 15th). Although the article I am including today is not nearly as complex, it does provide some interesting information for those of us who are not Bible scholars.
As the technical support representative for Laridian, I occasionally received an email from a customer stating that their Laridian Bible is missing a verse (or verses). Usually this occurs when the person is involved in a group Bible study and as they are reading along with someone they realize that one of their verses appears to be missing. Then an email is sent to report an “error” in the text. That’s a good thing because we want to be sure the books we are releasing are accurate. We want issues like this to be reported even if it turns out not to be an issue at all.
What are these “missing” verses and why are they missing?
The numbering scheme for verses in the English Bible was first used in the Geneva Bible in the year 1560. This pattern was followed in subsequent English translations including the King James Version, published first in 1611. In the years since these Bibles were translated, many additional manuscripts have been found which predate those used by the translators of the Geneva and King James Bibles. Because of their age, these older manuscripts are believed by many scholars to more accurately represent the original documents. In many cases, however, they do not include all the verses that are in the more recent manuscripts.
Translations such as the New International Version, Revised Standard Version (and other newer translations) take advantage of these more recently discovered manuscripts and therefore do not include all of the verses found in the King James Version. Rather than reinventing a numbering scheme for the whole Bible, the translators decided to use the same verse numbers as the King James Version but leave the missing verses blank. The result of this is that several verses in these newer translations appear to be missing.
The missing verses are:
Matthew 17:21; 18:11; 23:14
Mark 7:16; 9:44,46; 11:26; 15:28
Luke 17:36; 23:17
Acts 8:37; 15:34; 24:7; 28:29
For the Revised Standard Version, in addition to the above list, there are other missing verses and points of interest:
Matthew 12:47; 21:44
The order of Exodus 22 in printed form is 1, 4, 2, 3, 5. Laridian displays these verses in numeric order: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
James 1:7,8 was combined in verse 7 leaving 8 blank. 3 John 14 was split into 14 and 15.
When you run across something such as this and you’re not quite sure if what you are seeing is the way it’s supposed to be or if it truly is an error, check your own printed Bible. If you don’t have a printed Bible in the translation you want to check, another good source and the one that I use frequently is BibleGateway.