Why is Matthew 17:21 omitted in some versions of the Bible?

(Jeff Johnson) #1

In the Holman Christian standard and other versions of the Bible Matthew chapter 17 verse 21 is included, however it is excluded from the NIV and possibly other versions. Can somebody explain why this is so?

(Jimmy Sellers) #2

This is not my strong suit but I know that it is Mark 9:29. What I have been able to read points to the fact that the oldest manuscripts do not have Matt 17:21 in them. The thought is that someone decided to add it because of their familiarity with Marks gospel. I did find this link that dives in a little deeper maybe this will be helpful.
On a personal note with or with out the verse in Matthew I don’t feel that it changes the understanding, at best you could try calling a foul on inerrancy but that would be weak argument.


(SeanO) #3

@Jmworks9113 Here is a note from the NET Bible - a great resource when these types of questions pop up about textual variants and why certain verses are missing / different. As @Jimmy_Sellers noted , it is not included in some of the key ancient texts and is not considered to be original.

Many important mss (א* B Θ 0281 33 579 892* pc e ff sy sa) do not include 17:21 “But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” The verse is included in א C D L W ƒ M lat, but is almost certainly not original. As B. M. Metzger notes, “Since there is no satisfactory reason why the passage, if originally present in Matthew, should have been omitted in a wide variety of witnesses, and since copyists frequently inserted material derived from another Gospel, it appears that most manuscripts have been assimilated to the parallel in [Mk 9.29](javascript:{})” ( TCGNT 35). The present translation follows NA in omitting the verse number as well, a procedure also followed by a number of other modern translations.

And here is a related thread you may find of interest.

Christ grant you wisdom :slight_smile:

(Lakshmi Mehta) #4

@Jmworks9113, I recently found out that at least 16 verses are missing in the newer translations of the Bible when compared with KJV. It basically has to do with the manuscripts and approaches of textual criticism used for translations. Here is an excerpt from the link below that clarifies the issue.

“The KJV was translated in AD 1611; the New Testament translators of the KJV used a Greek manuscript called the Textus Receptus. Since that time, many biblical manuscripts have been discovered that predate the Textus Receptus, and these older manuscripts, in theory, are likely to be more accurate. In their research, Bible scholars and textual critics have discovered some differences between the Textus Receptus and the older manuscripts. It seems that, over the course of 1,500 years, some words, phrases, and even sentences were added to the Bible, either intentionally or accidentally. The “missing verses” mentioned above are simply not found in some of the oldest and most reliable manuscripts. So, the newer translations remove these verses or place them in footnotes or in brackets because the translators believe they do not truly belong in the Bible”.

What is reassuring is that none of these variations change the message of the gospel or our confidence in the core orthodox beliefs of Christianity.