Omitted Verses

I feel compelled to note before we begin that there is more manuscript evidence for the New Testament than any other work of ancient literature.  (More than 5000 Greek, 8000 Latin and numerous translations into other languages.)  That is both a blessing and a curse as we will see.

Following is a selection of verses or parts of verses that are omitted from the NIV and other modern translations.  The verses are generally included in footnotes and/or tagged "not in better manuscripts."  These are not translators whims but differences in the underlying Greek texts that are used in the translation.   The accusation is often made that those moderns who have corrected/standardized the Greek text have relied on manuscripts that are older but not necessity better.  I will leave that discussion to others and rather focus on the more practical.

The King James Version was The English Bible for so long that it is the standard by which the others are typically judged.  The NIV seems of late to have become the whipping boy for the modern translations and so it is in the following table.  Here in a nutshell is the problem:  

The KJV and the NKJV, which is a conservative revision of the KJV, are based on the Tesxtus Receptus (TR) or the received text.  This is also the traditional text of the Greek Church. (The New Testament in my Orthodox Study Bible is the NKJV.)  There is also what is known as the Majority Text (MT or simply M), which is a standardized Greek text where the textural criticism rule was to take what the majority of the manuscripts said.  The majority of the manuscripts are in substantial agreement.  Many of our modern translations are based primarily on modern Greek tests that rely heavily the oldest manuscripts.  These are often known as Alexanderian or Egyptian text types.  These manuscripts are older but there is a school of thought that they are not indeed better.  So there are basically three starting points in Greek for a Bible translation: Use the traditional texts of the Greek and Latin; The Majority Text (that takes what the majority says to have more weight) or the more ancient the better view.

As an example the New King James Version is based on the TR and uses the following footnoting convention to identify the others:

Where significant variations occur in the New Testament manuscripts, footnotes are classified as follows:

  1. NU-Text These variations from the traditional text generally represent the Alexanderian or Egyptian type of text... This text is published in the Twenty-Sixth Edition of the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament (N) and in the United Bible Societies' Third Edition (U), hence the acronym "NU-Text."
  2. M-Text This symbol points to variation in the Majority Text from the traditional text...

So here is a selection of the verses that are omitted from the NIV.

Reference KJV NIV
Matt 6:13b  13And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.  13And lead us not into temptation,    but deliver us from the evil one.
Matt 17:21
 19Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?

 20And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

 21Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.

 19Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, "Why couldn't we drive it out?"

 20He replied, "Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."

Matt 18:11
 10Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.

 11For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.

 12How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?

 13And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.

 10"See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.

 12"What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? 13And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off.

Mark 9:44, 46, 49
 43And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:

 44Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

 45And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:

 46Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

 47And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:

 48Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

 49For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.

43If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out.

45And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. 47And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, 48where    " 'their worm does not die,       and the fire is not quenched.' 49Everyone will be salted with fire.

Mark 16:9-20
 1And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.

 2And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.

 3And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?

 4And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.

 5And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted.

 6And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.

 7But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.

 8And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid.

 9Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.

 10And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept.

 11And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.

 12After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country.

 13And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them.

 14Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.

 15And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

 16He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

 17And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

 18They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

 19So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.

 20And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.

 1When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus' body. 2Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb 3and they asked each other, "Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?"

 4But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. 5As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.

 6"Don't be alarmed," he said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7But go, tell his disciples and Peter, 'He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.' "

 8Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.

((The most reliable early manuscripts and other ancient witnesses do not have Mark 16:9-20.))
 9When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. 10She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping. 11When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it.

 12Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country. 13These returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either.

 14Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.

 15He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. 16Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well."

 19After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 20Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.

Luke 23:17  17(For of necessity he must release one unto them at the feast.)  
John 5:4
 2Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.

 3In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.

 4For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.

2Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda[a] and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3Here a great number of disabled people used to lieā€”the blind, the lame, the paralyzed.
Acts 8:37
 36And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?

 37And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

 38And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.

 39And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.

 36As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, "Look, here is water. Why shouldn't I be baptized?" 38And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. 39When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing.