There are some passages in the New Testament that have been either added or omitted by scribes in the process of copying them. This is not some kind of “opinion.” It is a fact. In know full well that there are always readers who have said: “Scribes would never do that! This was the Word of God for them!” The logic in this objection is that anyone who held the Bible to be a holy book would not change it. Hey, think about the Jewish scribes in the Middle Ages with the Torah, or the Muslim scribes from as far back as we can go with the Qur’an! Scribes don’t change the texts they are copying if they think they are straight from God!
It’s an intriguing argument – I hear it on occasion — but I’m afraid it is based on complete ignorance. In reality, it is an undeniable fact that scribes sometimes omitted or added to the texts of the NT, whether we are talking about a a word, a phrase, a sentence, or an entire story. How can I be so *certain*? For a very simple reason: we have manuscripts of the New Testament that have the story of the woman taken in adultery (John 7:53-8:11) and others that don’t. Same with the last twelve verses of Mark (Mark 16:9-21). Same with the longer version of Jesus’ over the Last Supper in Luke 22:19-21. And the passage about the “bloody sweat” in Luke 22:43-44. And … and lots and lots of other passages.
There is no option, then. If you have two manuscripts, and one of them has the story, but the other doesn’t, then …
This is both intriguing and fundamental to biblical studies — yet most readers of the Bible know nothing about it. Want to learn more? Keep reading. And join the blog. You’ll learn so much about the New Testament and early Christianity from a historical perspective that your family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues won’t be able to *stand* it.