I read an article that claims that John 7:53-8:11 was not part of the original book of John. Please comment on this article.  Is today’s KJV bible accurate as to the original manuscripts written by the original gospel writers?  Are there any additional example of material that has been added to the Gospels over the time by Christians?


I read this article and have found it to be fair, thorough and accurate.  I believe that the incident recorded in John 7:58-8:11 is an actual event in the life of Jesus, but it is rather unlikely that it was found in the location we find it in our Bibles in the original autograph manuscript of John.  Let me repeat.  I believe that this is a genuine story–that this really happened.  I believe it was part of the oral tradition about the life of Jesus from earliest times, but that it is unlikely this particular passage was in this place in John.  The evidence is that the story was added to John later.  It is reasonable to believe that this was a well known apostolic story–very likely one told by John again and again, so that later scribes felt that it needed to be added to John. Given that the passage is found in more than one place in John and even in Luke in other manuscripts, this supports the conclusion.

There are a couple of other examples of passages that made their way into the textus receptus, (the accepted Greek text put together by Erasmus in the early 16th century that was used as the basis for the KJV and all other early English translations) and therefore into the KJV but which almost certainly were not in the original autograph letters.  One is in John 5:4 about the angel stirring the water. Another is 1 John 5:7-8.  Both of these appear to be additions (the technical term is interpolations) which were perhaps written in the margins as a comment, but somehow ended up in the main text in certain manuscripts.  The evidence against John 5:4 an 1 John 5:7-8 is somewhat stronger even than the evidence against John 7:58-8:11.  The only other significant portion of the New Testament which is in doubt is Mark 16:9-20.  This one is more controversial, in that a fair number believe it was in the original Mark.  My opinion is that it is more likely it was not in the original Mark, but it is debatable.  That is it.  There are not any other significant portions of the New Testament which are in doubt.  Again, scribes have occasionally added small comments to the margins and in rare cases some of these have been incorporated later into some of the manuscripts, but we have so much manuscript evidence (more than 5000 Greek NT manuscripts) that reconstructing the original is a fairly straightforward matter.

John Oakes

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