Luke 9:54-56 - Did the Lord Jesus say these words or not?
In the King James Bible we read: 54. "And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, EVEN AS ELIAS? 55. But he turned, and rebuked them, AND SAID, YE KNOW NOT WHAT MANNER OF SPIRIT YE ARE OF. 56. FOR THE SON OF MAN IS NOT COME TO DESTROY MEN'S LIVES, BUT TO SAVE THEM. And they went to another village."
ESV (NIV, Holman, NET, Jehovah Witness NWT, Catholic St. Joseph NAB 1970, Catholic New Jerusalem bible 1985) - 54"
This is the only time these verses appear in the Bible together like this. They are either inspired of God and belong in your Bible or they are not. The Lord Jesus either said these words or He didn’t.
All the capital lettered words in these three verses are found in the Majority of all Greek texts, including F, K, M, U, Gamma, Lambda, Pi, the Old Latin copies of a, aur, b, c, e, f, q, r1, and are found in many ancient versions like the Syriac Peshitta, Curetonian, Palestinian, Harkelian, Gothic, Coptic Sahidic and Boharic, Ethiopic, Armenian and the Latin Vulgate Clementine edition.
The verses are also found in the Diatessaron (160-175 A.D.), which is a very early Gospel harmony put together by Taitian, an early Christian Assyrian apologist. They are also quoted by such early church writers as Marcion, Ambrosiaster, Ambrose, Epiphanius and Antiochus.
They are also found in the Modern Greek Bible - Στραφεις δε επεπληξεν αυτους και ειπε· δεν εξευρετε ποιου πνευματος εισθε σεις· διοτι ο Υιος του ανθρωπου δεν ηλθε να απολεση ψυχας ανθρωπων, αλλα να σωση. Και υπηγον εις αλλην κωμην”
as well as the Modern Hebrew Bible - ויפן ויגער בם ויאמר הלא ידעתם בני רוח מי אתם׃ כי בן האדם לא בא לאבד נפשות אדם כי אם להושיעם וילכו להם אל כפר אחר׃
They are also in Wycliffe 1395, Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, the Great Bible 1540, Matthew's Bible 1549, the Bishops' Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587, the Beza N.T. 1599, the King James Bible 1611, and even the older Catholic bibles like the Douay-Rheims 1582 and the Douay of 1950 contained all of verses 55 and 56.
All these words are also found in Wesley's N.T. 1755, Worsley N.T. 1770, the Haweis N.T. 1795, The Revised Translation 1815, The Longman Version 1841, The Commonly Received Version 1851, The Boothroyd Bible 1853, The Revised N.T. 1862, The Alford N.T. 1870, Smith Bible 1876, The Revised English Bible 1877, the Clarke N.T. 1913, Lamsa's 1933 translation of the Syriac Peshitta, the KJV 21st Century Version 1994, The Koster Scriptures 1998, Lawrie N.T. 1998, the Aramaic Bible in Plain English, the Third Millennium Bible 1998, God's First Truth 1999, The Last Days N.T. 1999, Tomson N.T. 2002, The Apostolic Polyglot Bible 2003, The Pickering N.T. 2005, The Resurrection Life N.T. 2005, The Complete Apostle's Bible 2005, The Mebust Bible 2007, the English Majority Text 2009 (Paul Esposito), The Voice 2012 (a Critical Text version), the Jubilee Bible 2010, The Hebrew Transliteration Bible 2010, Holy Scriptures VW Edition 2010, The Sacred Scriptures of Yahuwah 2011, Conservative Bible 2010, the Knox Bible 2012, the 2012 Natural Israelite Bible, the Interlinear Hebrew/Greek Scriptures 2012 and the World English Bible 2012 (Michael Johnson), The Far Above All Translation 2014, The Hebrew Names Version 2014, The Modern English Version 2014, The Hebraic Roots Bible 2015, The New Matthew Bible 2016 and The Passion Translation 2017.
Foreign Language Bibles
Among foreign language Bible these verses are found in the French Martin 1744, French Ostervald 1996 and the French Louis Segond of 2007, the Italian Diodati 1649 and New Diodati 1991 as well as the 2008 Riveduta, the Afrikaans Bible 1953, the Romanian Cornilescu and 2009 Romanian Fidela Bible, the Chinese Traditional Bible, Norwegian Det Norsk Bible 1930, the Polish Bible Nowe Przymierze of 2011, the Hungarian Karoli Bible, the Russian Synodal Version 1876, Luther's German Bible 1545 and 2000 German Schlachter, the Moari Bible, the Quichua Bible 2011, the 1998 Tagalog Ang Salita ng Diyos Bible, Vietnamese Bible 1934, the Arabic Life Application Bible 1998 and the Bulgarian Bible 1940.
The modern Portuguese Almeida Actualizada and A Biblia Sagrada em Portugués both contain all these words, AS WELL AS THE NIV PORTUGUESE EDITION! -"Senhor, queres que digamos que desça fogo do céu e os consuma, como Elias também fez? 55 Voltando-se, porém repreendeu-os e disse: Vós não sabeis de que espírito sois, 56 Porque o Filho do homem não veio para destruir as almas dos homens, mas para salvá-las. E foram para outra aldeia."
The very old Spanish Evangelio Segun San Lucas Rey Alfonso X of 1260 A.D. - "El tornos contra ellos, e maltroxo los e dixo: Non sabedes de qual esparto sodes. El Fiio de la Uirgin non uino a perder las almas, mas a saluar. E fueron a otro castiello."
These words are also found in the Spanish Sagradas Escrituras 1569, Cipriano de Valera 1602, the Reina Valera 1909 - 2011, La Biblia de las Américas 1997 (Lockman Foundation, who also do the NASB), and the Reina Valera Gómez Bible of 2010.
The NASBs reveal their fickle nature in that when it first came out in 1963 they completely omitted all these words from the text, as also in the 1972 and 1973 editions. I have these NASBs right here in my study and all these words are omitted from their texts.
Then in 1977 and again in 1995 they put them back in [but in brackets] indicating doubt as to their authenticity.
What is happening here is that the Egyptian (Alexandrian) texts like Vaticanus, Sinaiticus, A, C, P45 and P75 omit all these words, as do the Westcott-Hort/ UBS/ Vatican Greek texts and so all these words are now omitted by such versions as the NIV, RSV, ESV, Holman Standard, the Message, the Jehovah Witness New World Translation, Daniel Wallace's NET version AND (you guessed it) the Catholic St. Joseph NAB 1970 and the New Jerusalem bible of 1985.
The Catholic Connection
Once again we see the same pattern in the Catholic versions. The older Douay Rheims of 1582 and the Douay of 1950 contained all the words in verses 55 and 56.
Then the 1970 St. Joseph and the 1985 New Jerusalem Catholic versions omit some 28 words from these two verses, but then once again the 2009 Catholic Public Domain Version put all 28 words back in verses 55 and 56 again! - "And turning, he rebuked them, saying: "Do you not know whose spirit you are? [9:56] The Son of man came, not to destroy lives but to save them." And they went into another town."
The Inconsistent NIVs
The NIVs in foreign language editions are not always the same either. The Spanish NIV reads like the English NIV by omitting all these words, but the NIV Portuguese includes most of them by including all of verses 55 and 56, but omitting "even as Elias did" from verse 54.
Here is what the NIV Portuguese edition looks like: Nova Versão Internacional 1999 - "Ao verem isso, os discípulos Tiago e João perguntaram: “Senhor, queres que façamos cair fogo do céu para destruí-los?” Mas Jesus, voltando-se, os repreendeu, dizendo: “Vocês não sabem de que espécie de espírito vocês são, pois o Filho do homem não veio para destruir a vida dos homens, mas para salvá-los”; e foram para outro povoado."
Get yourself the King James Holy Bible and stick with it. It is God's Book for these end times and the Standard of excellence and accuracy, and the only Bible seriously believed to be the 100% true and infallible words of the living God.
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