Forgeries* in the Bible
6:13: The Lord's Prayer traditionally ends: "For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen." This seems to have been absent from the original writings. 6
17:21 is a duplicate of Mark 9:29. It was apparently added by a copyist in order to make Matthew agree with Mark. But Mark 9:29 also contains a forgery*; this makes Matthew 17:21 a type of double-layered forgery*. 5
7:53 to 8
One of the most famous forgeries* in the Bible is the well-known story of the woman observed in adultery. It was apparently written and inserted after John 7:52 by an unknown author, perhaps in the 5th century CE. This story is often referred to as an "orphan story" because it is a type of floating text which has appeared after John 7:36, John 7:52, John 21:25, and Luke 21:38 in various manuscripts. Some scholars believe that the story may have had its origins in oral traditions about Jesus.
It is a pity that the status of verses John 8:1-11 are not certain. If they were known to be a reliable description of Jesus' ministry, they would have given a clear indication of Jesus' stance on the death penalty.
9:29: Jesus comments that a certain type of indwelling demon can only be exorcised through "prayer and fasting" (KJV) This is also found in the Rheims New Testament. But the word "fasting" did not appear in the oldest manuscripts. 5 New English translations have dropped the word.
16:9-20: The original version of Mark ended rather abruptly at the end of Verse 8. Verses 9 to 20, which are shown in most translations of the Bible, were added later by an unknown forger*. The verses were based on portions of Luke, John and other sources.
3:22: This passage describes Jesus' baptism by John the Baptist. According to Justin Martyr, the original version of this verse has God speaking the words: "You are my son, today have I begotten thee." Justin Martyr, Clement of Alexandria, Augustine, and other ancient Christian authorities also quoted it this way. 1 The implication is that Jesus was first recognized by God as his son at the time of baptism. But a forger* altered the words to read: "You are my son, whom I love." The altered passage conformed more to the evolving Christian belief that Jesus was the son of God at his birth, (as described in Luke and Matthew) or before the beginning of creation (as in John), and not at his baptism.
5:3-4: These verses describe how "a great multitude" of disabled people stayed by the water. From time to time an angel arrived, and stirred the waters. The first person who stepped in was cured. This passage seems strange. The process would not be at all just, because the blind could not see the waters being stirred, and the less mobile of the disabled would have no chance of a cure. Part of Verse 3 and all of Verse 4 are missing from the oldest manuscripts of John. 3 It appears to be a piece of free-floating magical text that someone added to John.
21: There is general agreement among liberal and mainline Biblical scholars that the original version of the Gospel of John ended at the end of John 20. John 21 appears to either be an afterthought of the author(s) of John, or a later addition by a forger*. Most scholars believe the latter. 4
14:34-35: This is a curious passage. It appears to prohibit all talking by women during services. But it contradicts verse 11:5, in which St. Paul states that women can actively pray and prophesy during services. It is obvious to some theologians that verses 14:33b to 36 are a later addition, added by an unknown counterfeiter* with little talent at forgery.* Bible scholar, Hans Conzelmann, comments on these three and a half verses: "Moreover, there are peculiarities of linguistic usage, and of thought. [within them]." 2 If they are removed, then Verse 33a merges well with Verse 37 in a seamless transition. Since they were a later forgery*, they do not fulfill the basic requirement to be considered inerrant: they were not in the original manuscript written by Paul. This is a very important passage, because much many denominations stand against female ordination is based on these verses.
The phrase "Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and," (KJV) which is found in the King James Version was not in the original Greek texts. It is also found in the New King James Version (NKJV) and in the 21st Century King James Version (KJ21) The latter are basically re-writes of the original KJV. Modern English, is used, but the translators seem to have made little or no effort to correct errors. The Alpha Omega phrase "is not found in virtually any ancient texts, nor is it mentioned, even as a footnote, in any modern translation or in Bruce Metzger's definitive 'A Textual Commentary' on the Greek New Testament, Second Edition (New York: United Bible Societies, 1994..."