Is Your Bible “Missing” Verses?

We occasionally receive reports from PocketBible users that a PocketBible Bible is missing a verse (or verses). These “errors” are usually discovered in a group Bible study situation. Following along as someone else reads, you realize that a verse appears to be missing in your Bible. But in this case, there is more to this than meets the eye.

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 older translations. Rather than reinventing a numbering scheme for the whole Bible, the translators decided to use the same verse numbers as the older Bibles but leave the missing verses blank (or move them into footnotes). The result of this is that several verses in these newer translations appear to be “missing”.

The affected verses are:

  • Matthew 17:21; 18:11; 23:14
  • Mark 7:16; 9:44,46; 11:26; 15:28
  • Luke 17:36; 23:17
  • John 5:4
  • Acts 8:37; 15:34; 24:7; 28:29
  • Romans 16:24

For the Revised Standard Version, in addition to the above list, there are other verses and points of interest:

  • Matthew 12:47; 21:44
  • Luke 22:43,44
  • The order of Exodus 22 in printed form is 1, 4, 2, 3, 5. PocketBible 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.

Another point of view

Some are quick to jump on the idea that the newer translations are removing text from God’s Word and therefore are not to be trusted. It is important to note that it could just as correctly be argued that the older translations added text to God’s Word. Where one comes down on this argument depends on the nature of one’s own research, or on which scholars one decides to trust. We’ve determined it’s best to present a variety of options to you so that you can come to your own conclusions when choosing the Bible (or Bibles) that you find to be the most beneficial to your own spiritual growth.

If you enjoy learning about the history of the Bible, consider the PocketBible book: The Origin of the Bible by Philip Comfort.

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9 years ago

Interesting article. Because I have only now begun to read the majority text bibles, I never noticed missing verses. For the last 20 years NIV was the bible of choice for me. Its an interesting debate about Major text vs minor text. Thanx for the info.Cheers, Morry.

Allan Johnson
9 years ago

I also was given an RSV Bible in Sunday School and used it through confirmation. My Dad always had the elaborite KJV Bible and I always though the main difference was the translation to modern English rather than a revision to the Sinaiticus and Vaticanus texts. I will be interested to check out “The Origin of the Bible” since there is a great story to the faith of the scholars that worked to bring the scriptures to the English speaking believers.
The story doesn’t end there as the same difference in versions exists in Spanish. So I am wondering if there is any plans for My Bible to include the Rena Valera?

9 years ago

“Because of their age, these older manuscripts are believed by many scholars to more accurately represent the original documents.”

I recommend anyone who is serious about this issue to look into the resources available from the Trinitarian Bible Society who go into this in detail.

Steven Abram
Steven Abram
9 years ago

The other answer is to learn Hebrew and Greek!!!!!!! Oh, and a smattering of Aramaic. PS I only have a slight working knowledge of Greek but it can help show at least the problems people have in moving from the originals to another language. Also ‘The Origin of the Bible’ will probably help as well – I shall look forward to looking at that. Pray for Bible translators as there are many people still without the scriptures in their language.

David Rossall
David Rossall
9 years ago

But even the Greek texts vary of course, because it is from them that the translations are prepared. The varying Greek texts (i.e. that some texts lack some of the verses listed above) are the reason for the variation in the verses included in the English ones. Fortunately, none of the debated verses makes a significant theological difference.

Cate Richardson
Cate Richardson
9 years ago

These discussions about versions, translations and manuscripts are vital in their place: That is be sure that we are reading an accurate, reliable text of God’s word and to guard against heresy.
However they can be a distraction: If detailed study of subtle or minute variations pulls us away from allowing God to speak to us by his word we are missing the point. I want to focus all my energy in knowing and loving Jesus better and to consider how our church family can best show him to others.
I am very thankful for those whose expert knowledge of source languages has enabled us to hear God speaking to us daily in our heart language. For most of us the effort required to learn NT Greek could be better spent listening to God speak to us clearly in whatever translation we already have. Obviously we need Bible academics but most of us just need to listen more and put it into practice! Lets not make reading the Bible just an academic exercise rather let us listen to God and live out his word in our lives (by the power of the Holy Sprit, not by the power of our own wisdom and learning.) May we listen to him more for the honour of Jesus.

Robin Watts
Robin Watts
9 years ago

I have spent many years using Laridian, precisely because you can so easily compare texts between versions. It really helps Bible study due to ‘badly’ translated verses in certain versions.

Now I live in France and have to teach and preach in French and the problem is multiplied many times. But I can’t use Laridian for my French because there is no French version – PAIN !

PLEASE Laridian can we have a recent French version of the Bible available to download. Segond 21 or La Bible de Semeur? Or any French version?
Keep up the great work! Solo Deo Gloria.

Paul Ghartey
Paul Ghartey
9 years ago

So,does it mean the translations and their omissions of some verses are not important?

7 years ago

Your bibles are under supernatural attack from Satan. These verses are now also mising from the KJV Romans 6: 24-25 16:24 Matthew :17:21 18:11 23:14
Mark 7:16 9:44 9:46 11:26 15:28 17:36 John 5:4 Acts 8:37 15:34 24:7 28:29 1John 5:7 The great deception is upon us.

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