Matthew 23:14 - Is this verse in your Bible or not? It is only found here in this exact wording. There are two similar verses (Mark 12:40 and Luke 20:47) but the wording is different.
Remember, the Lord Jesus said "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." Matthew 24:35.
King James Bible [NASBs 1963-1995, Holman, CSB] - Matthew 23:14 “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation."
The Lord Jesus Christ clearly stated “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but MY WORDS shall not pass away.” This is either a true statement or He was lying to us.
Matthew 23:14 KJB - “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.“
The evidence for the authenticity of this entire verse is simply overwhelming, and we can even see the stumbling uncertainty of the modern versions by the way they handle this particular verse.
Matthew 23:14 is found in the vast Majority of all Greek texts, including many uncial copies like E, F, G, H, K, M, O, S, U, V, W, Y Gamma, Delta, Pi, Sigma and Omega. It is found in the Old Latin copies b, c, f, ff2, h, 1, r1, 2. The Old Latin copies bear witness to a N.T. text that existed long before anything we have in the existing Greek copies.
It is included in such ancient Bible translations as the Syriac Peshitta, Curetonian, Harkelian, Palestinian, as well as some Coptic Boharic copies, the Armenian and the Ethiopic versions.
Matthew 23:14 is included in the Etheridge 1849, Murdock 1852 and Lamsa 1933 translations of the Syriac Peshitta and in the Aramaic Bible in Plain English 2013.
ALL English Bibles before the 1611 King James Bible included this verse. These are the Wycliffe Bible of 1395, Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, the Great Bible 1540, Matthew's Bible 1549, the Bishops’ Bible of 1568 and the Geneva Bibles from 1557 to 1602, the Beza New Testament 1599 and even the 1582 Catholic Douay-Rheims version, though the more recent Catholic versions like the St. Joseph New American Bible 1969 and the 1985 New Jerusalem have now omitted the verse. Of course, it is firmly in place in the King James Holy Bible.
It is also in The Bill Bible 1671, Mace’s N.T. 1729, Wesley’s N.T. 1755, Worsley Version 1770, Thomas Haweis N.T. 1795, The Clarke N.T. 1795, The Thomson Bible 1808, The Revised Translation 1815, The Wakefield N.T. 1820, The Patrick Paraphrase Bible 1822, The Kneeland N.T. 1823, The Dickinson N.T. 1833, Webster’s 1833, Living Oracles 1835, The New Covenant N.T. 1836, The Pickering N.T. 1840, The Longman Version 1841, The Hussey N.T. 1845, The Morgan N.T. 1848, the Hewett N.T. 1850, The Commonly Received Version 1851, The Boothroyd Bible 1853, the Julia Smith translation 1855, The Kenrick N.T. 1862, The Revised N.T. 1862, Emphatic Diaglott N.T. 1864, the Anderson N.T. 1865, The Emphatic Diaglott Bible 1865, The Smith Bible 1876, The Revised English Bible 1877, The Sharpe Bible 1883, The Dillard N.T. 1885, Youngs 1898, The Clarke N.T. 1913, the Douay version 1950, New Life Version 1969, the New Berkeley Version in Modern English 1969, the NKJV 1982, The Word of Yah 1993, the 21st Century KJV 1994, the Interlinear Greek N.T 1997 (Larry Pierce), the Third Millennium Bible 1998, the Laurie Translation 1998, The Complete Jewish Bible 1998, The Koster Scriptures 1998, The Worldwide English N.T. 1998, The Last Days N.T. 1999, the Apostolic Bible Polyglott Greek 2003, Complete Apostles' Bible 2005, Hebrew Names Bible, God's First Truth 1999, Sacred Scriptures Family of Yah 2001, The Tomson N.T. 2002, The Evidence Bible 2003, The Resurrection Life N.T. 2005 (Vince Garcia), Green's Literal 2005, The Pickering N.T. 2005, A Conservative Version Interlinear 2005, the Bond Slave Version 2009, Faithful N.T. 2009, The Public Domain Version 2009, The Holman Standard 2009, English Jubilee Bible 2010, Online Interlinear 2010 (André de Mol), English Majority Text Version 2009 (Paul Esposito), the Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2010, The Easy English Bible 2010, The Jubilee Bible 2010, the Orthodox Jewish Bible 2011, the Holy Scriptures VW Edition 2010, the New European Version 2010, Biblos Interlinear Bible 2011, The Work of God's Children Illustrated Bible 2011, The Aramaic N.T. 2011, The Hebraic Roots Bible 2012, The Voice 2012, the Interlinear Hebrew-Greek Scriptures 2012 (Mebust), The Revisec Douay-Rheims Bible 2012, The World English Bible 2012, The English Majority Text N.T. 2013, the International Standard Version 2014, the Natural Israelite Bible 2012, The Far Above All Translation 2014, The Hebrew Names Version 2014, the Modern English Version 2014, The Modern Literal New Testament 2014, the International Children's Bible 2015 and The New Matthew Bible 2016.
Foreign Language Bibles
Foreign language Bibles that include the entire verse of Matthew 23:14 are Luther's German Bible 1545 and the Schlachter Bible 2000 - "the Arabic Life Application bible 1998, the Africaans Bible 1953, Armenian, Basque, Bulgarian, Check BKR, Dutch Staten Vertaling, Danish, Estonian, Finnish, French Martin 1744 and French Ostervald 1996 and French Louis Segond 2007 "Malheur à vous, spécialistes de la loi et pharisiens hypocrites, parce que vous dépouillez les veuves de leurs biens tout en faisant pour l'apparence de longues prières; à cause de cela, vous serez jugés plus sévèrement.", the Hungarin Karoli, Quiché Bible 1997, Italian Diodati 1649, the Riveduta 2006 and the New Diodati 1991, the Italian La Parola é Vita 1997.
Other Foreign language Bibles that include Matthew 23:14 are the Icelandic, Japenese bibles, Latvian, Lithuanian, Manx Gaelic, Norwegian Det Norsk Bibelselskap, Portuguese A Biblia Sagrada and the Almeida - "Ai de vs, escribas e fariseus, hipcritas, porque devorais as casas das vivas e, para o justificar, fazeis longas oraes; por isso, sofrereis juzo muito mais severo!", Russian Synodal, Victor Zhuromski and the 2000 Russian Slovo Zhizny bible, the Spanish Reina Valeras from 1909- 2011 editions, the 1997 La Biblia de las Américas (Lockman Foundation), the Swahili bible, Thai, Turkish, Ukranian, the Vietnamese bibles, the Tagalog Ang Salita ng Diyos 1998 Bible, the Smith and van Dyke's Arabic Bible ويل لكم ايها الكتبة والفريسيون المراؤون لانكم تأكلون بيوت الارامل. ولعلة تطيلون صلواتكم. لذلك تأخذون دينونة اعظم. and the Chinese Standard Bible Traditional 2011 - 你 們 這 假 冒 為 善 的 文 士 和 法 利 賽 人 有 禍 了 ！ 因 為 你 們 侵 吞 寡 婦 的 家 產 ， 假 意 做 很 長 的 禱 告 ， 所 以 要 受 更 重 的 刑 罰 。
The NIVs reveal their double-minded hypocrisy when they translate the NIV into foreign languages. The English NIVs entirely omits the verse from their text.
Yet the NIV Portuguese versions contains the whole verse in the text of their "bible". The Nova Versão Internacional 1999 edition says Mateus 23:14 “Ai de vocês, mestres da lei e fariseus, hipócritas! Vocês devoram as casas das viúvas e, para disfarçar, fazem longas orações. Por isso serão castigados mais severamente."
This whole verse has been omitted from many modern versions (but not all of them as we shall soon see) that follow the ever changing Westcott-Hort Critical text theories. Versions that entirely omit this verse first began with the Darby version in 1890. John Darby basically made up his own peculiar text for the New Testament, matching neither the Westcott-Hort revised Greek text, nor the Majority nor the Textus Receptus. Darby’s was followed by the liberal RSV in 1946, NRSV 1989, the ESV 2001-2016 and the NIVs of 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 and the latest NASB 2020.
Daniel Wallace’s NET version (an ongoing train wreck) tells us that the verse is “not in the most important manuscripts...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.”
And what might these “best manuscripts” be? Well, they are primarily Sinaiticus, Vaticanus and D, all of which wildly differ not only from the Majority of all Greek texts but even from each other. See my articles on “the oldest and the best manuscripts?” here:
The true character of the so called "Oldest and Best Manuscripts" Part One - Matthew thru Luke.
The True Character of the so called "oldest and best" manuscripts Part Two - John to Revelation.
Versions such as the Revised Version of 1881, the ASV of 1901 and the NASBs from 1960 to 1995 have the whole verse in [brackets] indicating doubt as to whether this verse is true Scripture or not.
The Holman Standard of 2003-2009 and The Voice 2012 [do the same]. This means that even they did not have complete confidence in their own every changing Critical Greek texts as to whether this verse should be omitted or not. It’s a real faith destroyer to have versions like the NASB or Holman Standard that [bracket] anywhere from 17 to 45 entire verses in the New Testament alone.
Guess who wants you to ask yourself “Yea, hath God said...?” (Genesis 3:1)
The Catholic Connection
The Latin Vulgate texts as well as the Catholic versions that come from them are all mixed up. The 425 A.D. Vulgate omitted it, but the later Clementine Vulgate of 1592 included it. But now the 1979 New Vulgate has once again removed the entire verse from the text.
A similar thing is observed in the ever changing Catholic Versions. The earlier Douay-Rheims of 1582 included the entire verse of Matthew 23:14 and not even in brackets. Then the Douay version came out in 1950 and they left the verse in the chapter but this time put it [in brackets], indicating doubt.
Then the more modern Catholic versions (which are all based on THE SAME UBS/Nestle-Aland Critical Greek text as are versions like the ESV, NIV, NASB, NET and Holman) like the 1970 St. Joseph New American bible and the 1985 New Jerusalem bible now omit the entire verse. And quite naturally, the Jehovah Witness Watchtower New World Translation entirely omits the whole verse too.
But wait! Now the latest Catholic version to come down the pike is what they call The Sacred Bible Catholic Public Domain Version of the Sacred Bible, and it has put the verse back in this time and NOT with brackets. - "Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! For you consume the houses of widows, praying long prayers. Because of this, you shall receive the greater judgment."
Patristic Evidentiary Support for the Genuineness of the above Passage - THE EARLY CHURCH FATHERS 38 VOLUME SET DIGITAL VERSION
170 A.D. Early Church Fathers - Ante-Nicene Fathers - Volume 9 - The Diatessaron of Tatian. - The Diatessaron. - Section 40.
 And in the course of his teaching he said unto them, Guard yourselves from the  scribes, who desire to walk in robes, and love salutation in the marketplaces, and sitting in the highest places of the synagogues, and at feasts in the highest parts of  the rooms: and they broaden their amulets, and lengthen the cords of their cloaks,  and love that they should be called by men, My master, and DEVOUR WIDOWS’ HOUSES, BECAUSE OF THEIR PROLONGING THEIR PRAYERS; THESE THEN SHALL RECEIVE GREATER JUDGEMENT.
170 A.D. Early Church Fathers - Ante-Nicene Fathers - Volume 9 - The Diatessaron of Tatian. - The Diatessaron. - Section 40.
 “WOE UNTO YOU, SCRIBES AND PHARISEES, HYPOCRITES! BECAUSE YE DEVOUR WIDOWS’ HOUSES, BECAUSE OF YOUR PROLONGING YOUR PRAYERS; FOR THIS REASON YE SHALL RECEIVE GREATER JUDGMENT.”
347-407 A.D. Early Church Fathers - Nicene & Post-Nicene Fathers - First Series - Volume 10 - St. Chrysostom: Homilies on the Gospel of Saint Matthew - The Homilies of St. John Chrysostom. - Homily LXX - Matthew 23:14.
“WOE UNTO YOU, SCRIBES AND PHARISEES, HYPOCRITES! FOR YE DEVOUR WIDOWS’ HOUSES, AND FOR A PRETENSE MAKE LONG PRAYERS; THEREFORE YE SHALL RECEIVE GREATER DAMNATION.”
347-407 A.D. Early Church Fathers - Nicene & Post-Nicene Fathers - First Series - Volume 11 - Saint Chrysostom: Homilies on the Acts of the Apostles and the Epistle to the Romans - The Homilies of St. John Chrysostom on Paul's Epistle to the Romans - Homily XXXII on Rom. 16:17, 18.
And Christ also blames them on this head: “YE DEVOUR WIDOWS’ HOUSES” (Matt 23:14), He says. And the Prophets accuse them of things of the kind.
Get yourself the King James Bible and follow the advice God gave us as He speaks to us in Proverbs 24:21 - "My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and MEDDLE NOT WITH THEM THAT ARE GIVEN TO CHANGE."
All of grace, believing the Book,
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A few more examples of the "science" of textual criticism at work in Matthew 23.
While we are in this chapter let's take a look at some other textual variants found here. These textual variants and they way modern "scholars" handle them reveals a great deal about the fundamental unbelief in the inerrancy of The Bible and the farcical nature of what they like to refer to as "the science of textual criticism"
In Matthew 23:4 we read of the Pharisees "for they bind heavy burdens AND GRIEVOUS TO BE BORN, and lay them on men's shoulders."
The words translated as "and grievous to be born" - καὶ δυσβάστακτα - are found in the vast Majority of all Greek manuscripts, in numerous Old Latin copies, the Syriac Harkelian, Palestinian, Coptic Sahidic, Armenian, Ehtiopian and Georgian ancient versions. It is ALSO FOUND IN VATICANUS!
However Sinaiticus omits it and so do the NASB, NIV 1973, 1978 and 1984 editions. Westcott and Hort originally omitted these words of Scripture from their Greek text and so did the earlier Nestle-Aland editions. I have a Nestle Aland 4th edition of 1934 and the Greek words for "and grievous to be born" are not in the text nor even in the footnotes. However later on their "science" decided to put the words back in their ever changing Greek critical texts but this time [in brackets].
All the Catholic versions DO contain these words and NOW the NIV of 2011 has once again changed their text and in the 3rd revision so far, the NIV now includes the words in their text. The older NIVs read: "They tie up heavy loads and put them on MEN'S shoulders", but the "new" NIV 2011 now reads: "They tie up heavy, CUMBERSOME loads and put them on OTHER PEOPLE'S shoulders." I guess the word "men" was too politically incorrect, so they also changed this to "other people's".
The words "and grievous to be born" have always been in the English Bibles from Wycliffe, Tyndale, Coverdale, the Great Bible, Matthew's Bible, the Bishops' Bible, the Geneva Bible, the KJB, Revised Version 1881, ASV of 1901, and are still found today in the RSV, NRSV, ESV, ISV, NET, Holman Standard and now once again in the NIV 2011, but the NASB continues to omit them. Likewise the Jehovah Witness New World Translation also omits these words from their text.
In Matthew 23:5 we read: "they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders OF THEIR GARMENTS." The words "of their garments" - τῶν ἱματίων αὐτῶν - again are found in the Majority of all Greek manuscripts as well as several Old Latin copies, the Syriac and Coptic Boharic.
The words are NOT in the Westcott-Hort, UBS, Nestle-Aland Critical texts, and versions like Daniel Wallace's NET version, ALL Catholic versions like Douay-Rheims, St. Joseph NAB, New Jerusalem, the RSV, NRSV, ESV and the Holman Standard omit them. The NASBs put the words in italics -"of their garments" but the NIV, and the new ISV (International Standard Version) include them. The words have always been in all Reformation Bible in all languages as well as in Tyndale, Coverdale, the Great Bible, Matthew's Bible, the Bishops' Bible, the Geneva Bible and the NKJV.
In Matthew 23:8 we read: "But be ye not called Rabbi; for one is your Master, EVEN CHRIST; and all ye are brethren."
Here the word CHRIST is found in the Majority of all remaining Greek manuscripts, yet the UBS text doesn't even footnote that this reading even exists. Sinaiticus and Vaticanus unite in omitting the word "Christ" from this verse, but they don't even agree with each other in this single verse.
The word for "master" in the Majority of all texts, the Textus Receptus AND Sinaiticus is ὁ καθηγητής but the word found in Vaticanus is the completely different word ὁ διδάσκαλος . They have similar meanings, but they are totally different words found in these so called "oldest and best manuscripts" that constantly disagree with each other, and yet are used to omit literally thousands of words from the New Testament of most modern Vatican Versions like the NIV, NASB, ESV, NET and Holman Standard.
However both these corrupt manuscripts omit the word "Christ" and so do ALL Catholic bible versions like Douay, St. Joseph NAB and the New Jerusalem, as well as the RV, ASV, NASB, NIV, ESV, RSV, NRSV, NET, Holman and J.W. New World Translation.
Agreeing with the reading found in the King James Bible and the Traditional Greek texts in Matthew 23:8 "For one is your Master, EVEN CHRIST" are Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, Bishops' Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587, Martin Luther's German Bible of 1545 and the German Schlachter Bible of 2000 -"ist euer Meister, Christus", the Spanish Sagradas Escrituras of 1569 and the Reina Valeras of 1909, 1960, 1995 - "uno es vuestro Maestro, el Cristo", the Italian Diodati of 1649 and the Nuovo Diodati of 1997 - "uno solo è il vostro maestro: Il Cristo", the Portuguese A Biblia Sagrada em Portugues - "porque um só é o vosso Mestre, a saber, o Cristo, e todos vós sois irmãos.", the Afrikaans Bible 1953 - "een is julle leermeester: Christus", the Modern Greek - "εις ειναι ο καθηγητης σας, ο Χριστος", the French Martin 1744 and Ostervald 1996 - "qu'un Maître, le Christ" and the Romanian Cornilescu Bible and the Modern Hebrew New Testament to name but a few.
In Matthew 23:19 we read: "YE FOOLS and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift?" Here the word FOOLS is again found in the Majority of all remaining Greek manuscripts INCLUDING VATICANUS! But Sinaiticus omits the word. So what do the fake modern versions do this time? Well, for the most part they completely reverse themselves and instead of following Vaticanus and not Sinaiticus, this time they "scientifically" don't ya know, go with the Sinaiticus omission, in spite of the reading being found in some Old Latin copies, the Syriac Peshitta, Harkelian, Palestinian, the Coptic, Armenian, Ethiopian, Georgian and Slavonic ancient versions.
"Ye FOOLS and blind" is found in Tyndale, Coverdale, the Great Bible, Matthew's Bible, the Bishops' Bible, the Geneva Bible, the NKJV, as well as many foreign language bibles like the Afrikaans bible 1953, the French Martin and Ostervald - "Fous et aveugles!", the Dutch Staten Vertaling bible, the Modern Greek bible - "Μωροι και τυφλοι", Luther's German Bible - "Ihr Narren und Blinden", the Italian Diodati - "Stolti e ciechi!", the Spanish Reina Valera - "¡Insensatos y ciegos!" and the Russian Synodal Version. But the Catholic versions of the Douay-Rheims, Douay, New Jerusalem, the 2009 Catholic Public Domain Version and the RV, ASV, NASB, NIV, ESV, RSV, NET, Holman Standard and the J.W. New World Translation all omit this word.
As we enter the early 21st century, the ever growing unbelief in the inspiration, inerrancy and infallibility of any Bible in any language is in full swing. The King James Bible believers are the only ones who will not budge on this most vital doctrine. We fully believe that God has indeed preserved His precious and perfect words in “the book of the LORD” (Isaiah 34:16) and that this Book is the Authorized King James Holy Bible - the Standard by which all others are to be measured.
“In God will I praise his word: in the LORD will I praise his word.” Psalm 56:10
Notes from the Internet:
Objection Raised: At an internet Bible club I belong to, one poster had this to say.
He was not lying, Will. You correctly described Jesus as being "Lord" & "Christ" which is virtually stating that He is God, which He is. And God cannot lie. Jesus' statement is true!
However, ALL of Jesus earthly spoken words have not been preserved for us in writing. For examples, Jesus surely spoke before He was twelve years of age; and Luke witnesses that Jesus taught "daily" for a while in the temple, and frequently "on the sabbath days" (clearly, none of the Gospels contain over three years worth of spoken ministry). John says that Jesus preformed "many other signs" not written down in his gospel (and presumably also the associated speech).
Therefore, Jesus must NOT have literally meant that all His words would be preserved in the Bible for us. In a sense, some of His words are inaccessible from us for now. Many of Jesus words are not found in the Bible anywhere.
Jesus potentially could have spoken the same words (found in Matthew 23:14) many times; and even if they were never recorded, they would still be His words. Jesus statement doesn't exclusively apply to enscriptured words (written revelation). In other words, just because Jesus said something, it doesn't mean those words had to get into the Bible.
[BTW - Have your words and mine passed away? Well, since we must give account unto the Lord someday our words must be preserved somewhere at least until then.]
While "my words will not pass away" is a true statement, it actually adds nothing to prove the authenticity of any particular words attributed to Christ. Thinking folks will recognize your inclusion of "my words will not pass away" as a circular argument here at best. You don't need it.[/QUOTE]
My Response: Hi CT. Thanks for your thoughts. I have heard these arguments before, but I must say, I apparently look at the meaning of "heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away" differently than you do.
If we take this saying by the Lord Jesus they way you do, then He either lied, exaggerated, didn't know what He was talking about, or else He was mistaken.
The way I understand His words there is this. The Lord Jesus Christ knew what was going to be written in "the book of the LORD" before it was actually penned. He knew what inspired Scripture would be, because God Himself is the Author of it. Didn't He say things like: "the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's that sent me." (John 14:24) and "the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. For I have not spoken of myself, but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak." (John 12:48-49.
I also sense from a certain buzz word you used - 'enscriptured' - that you yourself are one of those people we run into so often who does not believe that there ever existed nor exists now any Bible in any language (including your "the" Hebrew and Greek) that IS the complete, inspired and 100% true Holy Bible. Am I right? Please let us know what your views on "the Bible" really are. Will you do that for us?
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