Why is Matthew 23:14 missing in some versions?


How come every single Bible I have ever seen (I mean every kind, every version, every one) has a verse missing. The verse is Matthew 23:14. It's like it doesn't exist, the Bible goes 13 then 15 but no 14. Look at any Bible and I can almost guarantee that it is not there!


You will find the verse in the footnotes on that page in the versions that do not include it in the main text. The reason some of the modern versions remove it is discussed in the NET Bible: "The most important mss (? B D L Z T Ë1 33 892* pc and several versional witnesses) do not have 23:14 “Woe to you experts in the law and you Pharisees, hypocrites! You devour widows’ property, and as a show you pray long prayers! Therefore you will receive a more severe punishment.” Part or all of the verse is contained (either after v. 12 or after v. 13) in W 0102 0107 Ë13 Ï and several versions, but it is almost certainly not original. The present translation follows NA27 in omitting the verse number as well, a procedure also followed by a number of other modern translations. Note also that Mark 12:40 and Luke 20:47 are very similar in wording and are not disputed textually."

Basically, some of the older manuscripts that are felt to be more reliable don't have this verse. The question then is did someone long ago forgot to copy it and the omission got repeated in several manuscripts or did someone accidentally copy a note a person made from one of the parallel accounts. Since it is close to Mark 12:40 and Luke 20:47, a number of scholars lean toward the accidental insertion theory.

Since it is debated, there are different ways it is handled. The more conservative versions: the New King James Version, the New American Standard Bible, the English Standard Version, and the Holman Christian Standard note the dispute with brackets around the text or a footnote. The more liberal versions: The New International Version, the Revised Standard Version, the New Revised Standard Version, and the New Century Version leave the verse out but put it in their footnotes.

Whichever way is the actual truth, the point to remember is that it doesn't make much difference. As noted, it is in the parallel accounts of Mark and Luke, so no information is being lost or added.

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