21.3 Miscellaneous Detail

7. Addition of miscellaneous detail.

Jesus and the men in Emmaus. Unknown artist, 17th century. Flickr

In quite a few manuscripts additional miscellaneous and some trivialities had been added, like the name of the companion of Kleopas on their way to Emmaus; or the supposed names of the robbers being crucified with Jesus. In another is found an interesting description of the resurrection of Jesus. Another tells of what more Jesus supposedly had told Peter concerning the paying of taxes just before He instructed him to catch the fish in whose mouth he found a coin to pay their temple taxes. In yet another manuscript is recorded what Jesus told a man working on the Sabbath.

Most of these additional notes are found in single manuscripts. They have no other value than to let the light fall on the human involvement in carrying forward the word of God. They are handled as peculiarities of that specific document. What is important is the rest of the manuscript in which it was incorporated. What was written down, had been available to the scribe at that particular time. With all trivial matter set aside, and conspicuous mistakes taken care of, we have a document with which to compare with other documents, bringing us nearer to every single word of the original autograph.

For a description and examples of other variations, do consult the excellent book of Bruce M. Metzger, “The Text of the New Testament” (Various editions by Oxford at Clarendon Press.)

Questions every one should ask himself are: “Would I like to have the Bible as near to the original as possible? Would I like to have the additions that well-meaning scribes or printers deliberately added just because I got used to it as being part of my Bible? Are any of the additions or elaborations necessary to understand the text? Are any of them necessary for understanding the truth of the message of salvation of the Bible?”

The answer to these questions will inevitably influence the way we handle the differences between the various versions of the Bible. This is a personal matter, but taking the facts seriously, one should come to the point where the work of translators is appreciated.

Be lenient towards the choice other Christians make concerning the Version they prefer.

God Bless!


About Herman of bibledifferences.net

The reasons for the differences between older Bibles like the King James Version and newer Bibles like the New International Version have fascinated me ever since my studies in Theology at the University of Pretoria in the seventies. I have great respect for scribes through the ages as well as Bible translators, so there must be good reasons for the differences. With more than 5600 Greek manuscripts and more than 19000 manuscripts of ancient translations to our disposal, the original autographs of the New Testament can be established without doubt. I investigate the reasons behind the differences and publish the facts in a post on my blogs www.bibledifferences.net (Afrikaans: www.bybelverskille.wordpress.com) to enable my readers to judge for themselves. Personally I love to make an informed decision based of facts. That is why I endeavor to provide that same privilege to the readers of my blogs. Since 1973 I am married to my dear wife and greatest friend, Leah Page, founder director of Act-Up Support (www.actup.co.za) a prayer ministry for families struggling with drug-, occult- and other dependencies. We are blessed with two daughters and two sons, four grand sons and two grand daughters. God is alive and omnipotent! Glory to His Name! Herman Grobler.
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