Verse omissions on electronic Bible apps

I just read the below info (starting at the ***) and then verified on my phone’s You Version Bible App that the below verses have been omitted from the NIV version. I think this is worthy of discussion. The ramifications of this are far reaching. What information does anyone else have on this topic

***NIV was published by Zondervan but is now OWNED by Harper Collins, who also publishes the Satanic Bible and The Joy of Gay Sex.
•The NIV and ESV has now removed 64,575 words from the Bible
including Jehovah, Calvary, Holy Ghost and omnipotent to name but a few…
•The NIV and ESV has also now removed 45 complete verses. Most of us have the Bible on our devices and phones especially “OLIVE TREE BIBLE STUDY APP.”
•Try and find these scriptures in NIV and ESV on your computer, phone or device right now if you are in doubt:
Matthew 17:21, 18:11, 23:14;
Mark 7:16, 9:44, 9:46;
Luke 17:36, 23:17;
John 5:4; Acts 8:37.


Hi, Teri!
Thanks for bringing your question here. The world of Bible translation is fascinating and complicated. @SeanO always has good things to say on this topic, and I’ve linked an old conversation had here on Connect from a couple of years ago that asked some similar questions.

But now to some of your questions…

  1. Yes, Zondervan is owned ultimately by the massive publishing house HarperCollins, which, no doubt has many other publishing ventures, but that does not necessarily mean that therein lies an insidious agenda. As I do not work at Zondervan as an editor nor do I know of any who do, I cannot comment on the workplace environment, so I can’t comment on what it’s ‘really like’ either way. However, I do think it’s a massive stretch to assume a watering-down/omission conspiracy merely by looking at what other books this huge outfit may edit, print and distribute. In fact, the argument could work the other way as well. Someone could also assume that HarperCollins has a hidden Christian agenda because they own the Zondervan and Thomas Nelson labels. :woman_shrugging: If you’re interested, you can read more about the company profile here.

  2. As for word ‘omissions’, I don’t think that’s accurate either. Some of the words you mentioned are of the older vernacular, so they were no doubt re-translated.

  • Holy Ghost = Spirit
  • Calvary = Golgotha/Place of the Skull
  • Jehovah = Latin for JHWH or LORD
  • omnipotent = Almighty
  1. All verses you have listed are footnoted in my 2015 NIV Bible and begin with the phrase ‘some manuscripts’. They then go about describing either what those words are or where they are found. For example…

Matthew 17:21 Some manuscripts include here words similar to Mark 9:29.

John 5:4 Some manuscripts include here, wholly or in part, paralyzed—and they waited for the moving of the waters. 4 From time to time an angel of the Lord would come down and stir up the waters. The first one into the pool after each such disturbance would be cured of whatever disease they had.

So none of these verses are actually omitted. They are merely noting textual discrepancies and edits. I know Bible Gateway provides the footnotes. Does your app? That would be a huge oversight if they didn’t!

For more information on how the translators of the ESV and NIV went approached and about their work, you can read their prefaces, which are highly informative.

Here’s an excerpt from the preface to the ESV, and you can find the entire document here

In the translation of biblical terms referring to God, the ESV takes great care to convey the specific nuances of meaning of the original Hebrew and Greek words. First, concerning terms that refer to God in the Old Testament: God, the Maker of heaven and earth, introduced himself to the people of Israel with a special personal name, the consonants for which are YHWH (see Exodus 3:14–15). Scholars call this the “Tetragrammaton,” a Greek term referring to the four Hebrew letters YHWH. The exact pronunciation of YHWH is uncertain, because the Jewish people considered the personal name of God to be so holy that it should never be spoken aloud. Instead of reading the word YHWH, therefore, they would normally read the Hebrew word ’adonay (“Lord”), and the ancient translations into Greek, Syriac, and Aramaic also followed this practice. When the vowels of the word ’adonay are placed with the consonants of YHWH, this results in the familiar word Jehovah that was used in some earlier English Bible translations. As is common among English translations today, the ESV usually renders the personal name of God (YHWH) by the word LORD (printed in small capitals). An exception to this is when the Hebrew word ’adonay appears together with YHWH, in which case the two words are rendered together as “the Lord [in lowercase] GOD [in small capitals].” In contrast to the personal name for God (YHWH), the more general name for God in Old Testament Hebrew is ’elohim and its related forms of ’el or ’eloah , all of which are normally translated “God” (in lowercase letters). The use of these different ways to translate the Hebrew words for God is especially beneficial to English readers, enabling them to see and understand the different ways that the personal name and the general name for God are both used to refer to the One True God of the Old Testament.

And from the Preface to the NIV.pdf (6.0 MB)

In the New Testament, verse numbers that marked off portions of the traditional English text not supported by the best Greek manuscripts now appear in brackets, with a footnote indicating the text that has been omitted (see, for example, Matthew 17:[21]).

Mark 16:9–20 and John 7:53–8:11, although long accorded virtually equal status with the rest of the Gospels in which they stand, have a very questionable — and confused — standing in the textual history of the New Testament, as noted in the bracketed annotations with which they are set off. A different typeface has been chosen for these passages to indicate even more clearly their uncertain status.


Hi @Ter,

Another question would be: omitted from which standard version?

If we mean, they are omitted in reference to the King James Version, that is one issue.

If they are omitted in reference to the Greek and Hebrew text of the Bible, that would be another!

For instance, what if the King James Version was translated from manuscripts that had EXTRA verses and words in them than the original authors of the Bible intended?

I think it would be just as problematic to add to God’s word as it would be to take away from it?

So we might need to dig a little bit deeper to think about this question: “where do our English translations come from?”

I look forward to your thoughts!


Very good question? This is why I asked this in RZIM, I want to believe this is a trusted source for good questions and conversation.

I look forward to more input on this.


Hi @Ter ,

Its been already explained in above responses. But I still wanted to share this youtube video where Dr Bill Mounce explains it why.

God bless

In Him

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Thank you for your reply. This seems quite complicated. I want to believe being a Bible scholar isn’t required for continued Christian growth.

Hi Carson,
So I did see the foot notes in my printed Bible but they’re missing in the Bible app. This is so interesting to me, I had no idea how deep this topic is.

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It seems that you are disheartened or frustrated by the idea that it seems complex. I would like to assure you that being a Bible scholar is not necessary. However, I tend to believe that being a Bible study-er is rather important…whether that is reading the Bible itself or reading about the Bible. As our faith has a history, so does our ‘holy book’. It could deepen our faith to know a bit about it, but it is not necessary.

History is full of stories that attest to the fact that educational degrees are not required to have a relationship with God and to grow in Christ. Biblical scholarship is a very deep hole, centuries old, filled with many people mining the depths. It would be impossible for one person (no matter how educated) to understand it all!

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If you have any favorite books about the Bible, or on studying the Bible, and why you found them helpful, I would love have you share.

Hello again, @Ter!
I’ve been doing a bit of thinking and I thought these would be a good beginning.

The guys behind The Bible Project have produced something remarkable over these last 6 years. It’s a series of animated videos that give overviews of individual books as well as the Bible as a whole. This might be a great place to start:

Another book that comes recommended to beginner students is How to Read the Bible For All It’s Worth by highly-respected theologian Gordon Fee. It may be a bit ‘meaty-er’ but he makes a lot of good points when approaching the Bible.

Another good read about the history of the Bible is The Canon of Scripture by FF Bruce, who is another highly-respected Biblical scholar.



Kathleen, This is so thoughtful

Of you to take the time to share these resources, I greatly appreciate it and look forward to diving in.

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@Ter! Thank you so much for bringing your questions here, and I am glad that it has been helpful. May God bless you with deeper fellowship with Him as you read and study! :slight_smile: