And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them.John 8:2
Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.John 8:12
Most “modern versions” of the Bible either do not include the first eleven verses of John, Chapter 8 or they put the verses in italics and give a footnote that these verses are not in the “best” manuscripts.
I will address the manuscript question in a moment. I want to begin with some simple grammar to prove that these verses should be in our Bible.
If verses 1 to 11 are not supposed to be in the Bible, then who is the them that Jesus is talking to in verse 12? With these verses included, we can easily see that the false accusers have gone away and the crowd that Jesus was teaching in the Temple is still there. That group is the “them” in verse 12.
Piece of cake.
Now, the question of “better manuscripts.” There are a handful of manuscript collections that are used to defend the position to not include these verses and many others in the Bible. The main two collections are the Codex Vaticanus and the Codex Sianiticus.
The Vaticanus was found in the Vatican library (thus the name) in 1475. They date the manuscripts to the 4th century. That is one of the oldest set of manuscripts in existence but that does not mean that it is accurate. The translator Erasmus knew about the Vaticanus when he was working on the Textus Receptus (where we get our New Testament) but he ignored it because he found the text to be erratic and that it differed from almost all other Greek texts.
The Sinaiticus was also found in a Roman Catholic institution. In 1859, the manuscripts were found in the Monestary of St. Catherine on Mount Sinai. It is important to note that portions of this were found in the dump not the library. The monks even knew that the text was full of errors and did not use it.
So, just because these texts are older does not mean that they are more accurate. The original language texts used to translate the King Jame Bible come from the Majority Text. It is called that because it is a massive collection of texts that contain pretty much the same material! Why is there more of these? Because they were accurate and were therefore copied for use by more people.
I know the above is a bit technical but it is important for us to know that we can trust our King James translation of the Bible.
There is a lot of speculation why some would want to leave these 11 verses out of the Bible. One of the largest arguments is that Jesus forgives an “unforgivable sin” in it. Those that believe in some form of self justification by righteous living don’t know what to do with that. Well, the fact is Jesus died for all of the sins of the elect family of God!
This portion of text, as we will see, is one of the greatest expressions and examples of the grace of God found in the Bible.
Thank you Lord for the first eleven verses of John, Chapter 8. Thank you for my King James Bible!