“Alright, What did They do with Verse 4?”

“Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. 3 In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. 5 One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years.”

The above section of Scripture is John 5.2-5 in the ESV.  Do you notice a problem?Here is the same passage in the KJV:

“Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep ||market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. 3 In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. 4 For 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. 5 And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years”

Verse 4 is missing in the ESV!  What the!?!  What is going on?

As biblical scholars gained access to more and more papyri manuscripts of the New Testament documents that brought us back closer and closer to the original documents, they made many fascinating discoveries.  One of the things they discovered was that vs. 4 in the KJV was not in the earliest or best manuscripts of John.  Not only that, in manuscripts where the verse was found, twenty of them “marked” the verse as spurious.  After careful consideration, scholars concluded that verse 4 was not in the original manuscript of John.  This is why virtually no modern version of John contains the verse.

This process is called “textual criticism” and it is how we have drawn ever closer to an ever more accurate version of the New Testament documents.

Which is to say, you can trust your Bible.

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