Help With “Missing” Bible Verses

If you are carefully reading and studying your Bible and you are using a popular modern translation such as the ESV, NIV, or NLT, at some point you are probably going to notice that the numbering system will occasionally, albeit rarely, skip a verse number. Acts 8 in the New Living Translation (NLT) is an example:

34 The eunuch asked Philip, ‘Tell me, was the prophet talking about himself or someone else?’ 35 So beginning with this same Scripture, Philip told him the Good News about Jesus.

36 As they rode along, they came to some water, and the eunuch said, ‘Look! There’s some water! Why can’t I be baptized?’[d] 38 He ordered the carriage to stop, and they went down into the water, and Philip baptized him.”

Why no verse 37?

Or consider the fifth chapter of the Gospel of John…

1 Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for a feast of the Jews. 2 Now 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. 3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed.[b]5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, ‘Do you want to get well?’”

Where is verse 4? What happened to it?

One of the initial responses you might receive will be from the “King James Only” camp: these examples help prove that the modern translations cannot be trusted.

But there is another explanation, indeed a better one. I highly recommend reading THIS EXPLANATION ( by Greek and New Testament Scholar Bill Mounce.

2 thoughts on “Help With “Missing” Bible Verses”

  1. HEY BRETT!!!
    Been a while since I posted, but I always thought that this was an interesting topic. What I found was that in the HCSB, sometimes verses are swapped, or even combined – compared to a KJV. The explanation for this is the manuscripts that were used to translate the HCSB. Regardless… I do like the blogs last statment that says that it’s about a 5% difference, and none have to do with doctrine.

    I’ll check in from time to time!

    1. John, Good to hear from you. Sorry it took me so long to respond. I hope things are well with you and your family. Yes, you are right, it is usually a manuscript issue and ultimately all the translations overwhlemingly teach the same core Christian doctrine.

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