Hi. I live under a rock.

Can someone pull me out from under this African rock I clearly live under?

I recently felt pressed to delve deeper into the angel that stirred the waters in the pool of Bethesda,

After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had. Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” John 5:1-6

I use the KJV and NKJV, but lo and behold here I come to find that the ESV completely omits verse 4 . The very verse I felt compelled to study:
“For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had.”
ESV’s reasoning is that verse was not found in the oldest/original manuscripts.

Am I being a drama queen by finding this extremely disturbing? This in no way shakes my faith in the final authority of God’s Word, but it leads me to wonder:

  1. if that verse was originally taken out, why? Is there something about it someone did not want us to know?
  2. if the verse was put in by man, and it was truly not in the original manuscripts, why? Did they want to deceive people? Promote superstition?
  3. Am I over-analysing this?
  4. Irritated I did not know this. “Blind” (a South African way of saying “how embarrassing for you” :D)

So is this verse authentic or not? I guess I’m a little irritated at man’s possible fiddling of Scripture. How rude.
What are your thoughts on this?

17 thoughts on “Hi. I live under a rock.

  1. Kate @ Did That Just Happen?

    Man has fiddled with it since it was created. Constantinople and the First Council of Nicaea where the ones that actually picked which gospels would be included in the Bible and part of the Christian religion. I know the decision had to be made as there were so many gospels and written accounts out there and they had to be weeded through and edited down, so it doesn’t surprise me that some of the verses would have been modified, too. Constantinople did do a really good job of combining the Pagan religion with the Christian (adopting the symbols of the Pagans to use in Christianity) and making the transition and acceptance easier for the Pagans, which really spread the Word.
    So, no, I’m not bothered – I fully expect stuff like that to happen, as it was MAN that put it together and has transcribed it over the years and man makes mistakes!

  2. Hope

    I normally read the Authorized King James because it flows a little smoother, but I was raised on the King James version. Many times a “red flag” goes up. When that happens, I love to turn to the King James version to verify. I trust it above others for one reason… If you read the letter that the translators wrote to King James (in the front of the Bible), it drips of their love of the Lord and their dedication to their king. Their intentions were pure and selfless, and you can tell that they did everything they could to translate every word to the best of their ability. They put their very heart and soul into their work, both for God and for their king.

  3. Naphtali

    So which rock are you under? LOL! For any book to remain for centuries of course man would get his sticky hands on it and change it. I too have battled over words in or words out or why does one say this or that…..until God told me to just read the stuff and he would clarify any translations if necessary.

  4. comeawaymylove

    The problem seems to arise out of all the different translations we have available. There are translations from the original Old Testament Hebrew and New Testament Greek manuscripts. Then there are translations of translation … of translations. There are also paraphrases, sometimes from translations, which put things into more modern day English. The further away we get from what was originally said, the more room there is for error.

    I often find the Amplified one of the closest to the original languages. But my favorites are the literal versions, especially the Literal Version of the Bible by Jay P. Green Sr. (thewordnotes.com/litv/litv.htm) He simply translated from the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts and only converted them into proper English grammar. A free Bible study software program you may enjoy is E-sword (http://www.e-sword.net/). There you can download several different translations (LITV being one of them, also KJV with Strong’s concordance notes) and enjoy many other free features as well.

    Blessings on your hunger. It will be richly rewarded. “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing; but the honour of kings to search out a matter.” Pr. 25:2 seems appropriate for a “king in training”. 🙂

  5. Delight in Truth

    Very astute observation!!

    I have been looking at the issue for some time now.

    Modern translations use the oldest manuscripts available and there are about a dozen verses not included in the ESV and some more not included in the NIV.

    However, I do respect the ESV because they include the missing verses as foot note with the explanation regarding the oldest manuscripts. I used the NKJV until last year when I switched to ESV as the ESV is a bit more literal.

  6. journeyofjoy

    I’ll come back with my comment (when time allows) to give my 2cents on how the laws of Biblical hermeneutics (the science of properly interpreting the Bible) might help in this type of situation Cadz.

  7. ourjourneybits

    I too have seen scripture there and some not there. I agree with Naphtali, God will clarify his word to you. We can all read the same scripture and be given different revelations. Our God is truly amazing!

  8. lessonsbyheart

    I gave up on the Version Wars a few years ago when I realized that I no longer trusted ANY version. How sad is that? If it is living, and active, and understood only through the Spirit who wrote it in the first place, then He can use whatever version He wants to get the point across.

    In fact, when I was running for the Women’s Refuge (read: Fearful Flight), the version He had me get was a Living Bible. At the time, this was considered a “heretical” work – completely unreliable. Yet, that was the version He chose to communicate with me for months. In fact, it reads more like my journal than a Bible!

    That’s my 2-cents worth on the subject. 😉


    1. kingintraining Post author

      That’s so interesting Tami! I like how that shows no man can stop God’s living Word but He’s above all! And nothing can hinder Him! Awesome! (Still a cheek for man to fiddle tho…lol)


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