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Question #77

Are important verses removed from the new translations?

I was looking over your site and read a question posted asking you what Bible to use. I was wandering if you were aware that the NIV has taken out A LOT of verses in the bible? I get tired of hearing people say that they weren’t important verses etc... What is your take on this?

The Answer:

Many of the new versions omit various passages. It is difficult to comment on particular verses since none is specified. Moreover, some omissions are based on solid ground based on proper reconstruction of the New Testament text. Obviously, none of the original manuscripts exist. Many sources are used to reconstruct the original text. Some of the major sources used by modern textual critics were not available to the translators of the King James. Vaticanus, the best manuscript available to them, was little used. The KJV was based primarily on the Western family of texts which is generally one of the longer texts. A review of books on the text of the New Testament will disclose the source of errors that crept into the manuscripts, the nature of those errors, and the rules which apply to the reconstruction of the original text. A good example of such a book is The Text of the New Testament: Its ßTransmission, Corruption, and Restoration, by Bruce M. Metzger. I assume it is still in print or that used copies are available. It was published in 1964 by Oxford University Press, New York & London.

Your best course is to study such books and then review the textual bases for the omission of various texts. Do not be surprised that there are errors in the ancient texts. All of the writing was done by hand. It was often done in scriptoria, where a reader would read the text and it would be “mass produced” by a number of scribes. It is no wonder that errors crept into the text. However, most of the errors are minor. There are some substantial errors that created no problems. There are a few substantial errors that are problematical. Fortunately, not one of them affects a single doctrine or command of scripture. Even if such passes were deleted, without exception the same teaching is found elsewhere in scripture.

God's Plan of Salvation

You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)

You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)

You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)

You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)

Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)