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Chapter 11

Harmonized Between Gospels by Adding Verses

Variants 1- 6


   Another criticism that has been made is that some verses, phrases or words are missing from most modern translations. We will write from the standpoint that these "omissions" are actually efforts to correct earlier harmonizations of various Gospel a ccounts.

   This can be illustrated by reviewing the history of the verse numbering system initiated by Stephanus (chapter 2). He divided all the material in the text available to him into individual verses. Because some of these verses were harmonizations created in earlier translation efforts, he was actually working with a larger manuscript than the original. When these harmonizations were later disassembled to conform more closely to the original, the manuscript was slightly shortened again to reflect the change. Rather than completely dismantling the old numbering system, modern translators have opted simply to depart from the usual numbering order where faithfulness to the original texts warrants it. That is the reason modern translations sometimes jump from verse 5 to verse 7, for example.

   In the following text, taken from NRSV, these "nonexistent" verses are designated with the letter (a). If you check the verses listed, you will find that at some point there is a break in the numerical order.

   The second verse (b), represents the harmonized or copied verse. It is written in the King James Version. The third verse (c), represents the primary source of the harmonized verse.

   1.  a) Matt. 18:11 (NRSV): {B} Nonexistent verse.

       b) Matt. 18:11 (KJV): (Harmonized or copied)

          For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.

       c) Luke 19:10 (NRSV): (Primary source verse)

          For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost."