You will notice that most modern translations of the Bible (including the NIV and the TNIV), leave out the verse of Mark 11:26. Tell me it isn’t so! Actually, I am telling you that it is so and want to show clearly why it is so.
There are group of very outspoken Christians that consider the King James Version the only authorized version of the Bible. So much so that they often won’t use the acronym KJV, meaning “King James version” but insist on using the acronym KJB, meaning “King James Bible”. Interestingly enough this movement started as best as we can tell in the 1930’s in America. They believe simply that all other translations are a perversion of God’s Word’s and that we have all been deceived by Satan.
As I have said before, I submit that the translators of the King James Version worked with, in most cases, the best knowledge that they had available at the time. No fault to them. However, older manuscripts have become available through archeological research.
So……as Paul Harvey would say…….let’s look at “The Rest Of The Story!”
First, we will look at the verse that is missing from modern translations but that is included in the King James translation:
Mark 11:26 (KJV)
“But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”
Wow, that does seem like a very important passage to leave out! However, maybe it’s not actually left out?
Scholars saw that in manuscripts that were discovered after the early 1500/1600’s, when the King James was translated, manuscripts that were actually older and in multiples, that were older did not contain this verse in Mark. As you probably know, no one has the original manuscripts (we would call these the “autographs”) and the earliest manuscripts/fragments date from the first century on. In fact, the earliest manuscript that I could find (after only a cursory search) that contained the 11th chapter of Mark is the “Chester Beatty Papyri“. The Gospel of Mark portion of this manuscript was dated mid third century which would mean around the year 250 AD. There are others, this is just the earliest I could find
I would note that the King James Version was largely translated on a set of manuscripts translated by Erasmus called the “Textus Receptus”. The Textus Receptus was collated from a relatively small collection (about five or six texts) of Byzantine-era Greek texts dating back to about the twelfth to fourteenth century AD (1100-1200 AD).
Are you starting to see the situation here? Interestingly enough, I have found the Bible text remarkably well preserved and translated through almost all translations and that the differences actually do not change God’s message in the slightest.
So, what’s up with Mark 11:26?
Because this verse is not present in earlier dated manuscripts but is included in many manuscripts dated later, it is not likely that it was original. However, if we look at Matthew 6:15, scholars have suggested that mark 11:26 was probably an assimilation of Matthew 6:15.
Matthew 6:15 (KJV)
But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
So……was that passage (or that thought) left out of the Bible? Apparently not.
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