Question #28 –  Why is it that in the King James Version of the Bible, Matthew 18:11 and Luke  9:56 have more words compared to lesser words in the New International Version? 

Answer:  Our King James Bible (KJV) was launched in the year 1611 in London, England,  while the New International Version (NIV) was completed and copyrighted in 1973.  Two Bible translations separated by 362 long years. Try to read the original “Banaag at Sikat” of Ka Lope Santos written in the early 1900s and read a currently serialized novel in the Liwayway in this year of 2020.  You will feel the difference of two Philippine eras.     

The New Oxford Annotated Bible of the Revised Standard Version edited by Herbert G. May and Bruce M. Metzger informs us that the King James version was first launched in 1611 A.D., was revised in A.D. 1881-1885 with an American Committee reading preference brought out in 1901 popularly called the American Standard Version (ASV), revised in 1946-1952 with a second edition of the NT in A.D. 1971. This means that the 1611 KJV has been revised several times. Please don’t insist on the superiority of the 1611 KJV.  It has been revised several times in the following years as revealed above: 1611 > 1881-1885 > 1901> 1946-1952 > second edition of the NT in 1971.  

     Look at the comparison below: 

  • KJV of 1611 (Luke 9:56, KJV) reads, “For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.”
  • RSV of 1952 (Luke 9:55-56, RSV) appears like this, “55 But he turned and rebuked them. 56 And they went on to  another village.”
  • NKJV of 1985 (Luke 9:56, NKJV) reads, “For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them. And  they went to another village.”  

(Please note the asterisk at the start of the verse in the NKJV which signals a footnote.  The footnote in your larger NKJV edition says, “NU omits, For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save  them.” The capital letter N means the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament, while U means United Bible Societies Greek New Testament. These are updated works on earlier, older, better manuscripts.) 

  • NIV of 1985 (Luke 9:56, NIV) reads, “and they went to another village.”
  • NLT of 1996 (Luke 9:56, NLT) reads, “So they went on to another village.”      
  • McCord’s Translation © (1989) reads, “(Luke 9:56) reads, “and they went to another village.”
  • KJV of 1611 (Matt. 18:11) reads, “For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.”
  • RSV of 1952 (Matt. 8:11), it is omitted. There is a footnote notice at the end of v.10 saying that other mss add it. 
  • NKJV of 1985 (Matt. 18:11) reads, “For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.”

     (Pls note the asterisk at the start of the verse.  The footnote in your larger NKJV edition says, “NU omits v. 11.” See above the meaning of NU. 

  • NIV of 1984 (Matt. 18:11) has it missing in the main text, but appears in the footnote saying, “ v. 10 Some manuscripts heaven 11 The Son of Men came to save what was lost.” 
  • NLT of 1996 (Matt. 18:11) has it missing in the main text, but at the end of v. 10 there is asterisk directing one to the footnote which reads, “Some manuscripts add verse 11, “And I, the Son of Man, have come to save that which was lost.”
  • McCord’s Translation © 1989 (Matt. 18:11) has verse 11 missing because it is believed to have been an insertion by a copyist at a much later date.

 There you have the explanation of why later Bible versions omit some words or a verse because these items are believed to have been introduced by later copyists. There are valid reasons for the omission.