Learn about the accuracy of the Bible through the centuries with textual criticism, historical evidence, and manuscript comparisons. Discover how the Bible has been accurately copied down through the ages.
Textual scholar Philip W. Comfort is below in detail, but in short he argues that “and the one marrying the divorced woman commits adultery” is the original wording. This is found in (𝔓25 B C* W Z), as well as 078 Maj, but omitted in א L. He feels that the textual evidence supports the inclusion of the clause, even though it is suspected of having been borrowed from Matthew 5:32. Is he correct?
All Greek manuscripts except D testify to the presence of Luke 22:19b–20 in the account of the Last Supper. Very likely, the Bezaean editor (D) was puzzled by the cup/bread/cup sequence, and therefore deleted this portion, but in so doing, the text was left with the cup/bread sequence, contrary to Matt 26:26–28; Mark 14:22–24; and 1 Cor 11:23–26.
The Western text has an addition after v. 28 that was adopted by the Byzantine text and lies behind the AV rendering, “And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, and had great reasoning among themselves.” The addition was probably made because of the abrupt transition from v. 28 to v. 30.
P74 א A B H L P 049 cop lack the following from vss 6-8, which read, according to (E) Ψ Maj 33 614 1739 it (syr): “We wanted to judge him according to our own Law. 7 But Lysias the commander came along, and with much violence took him out of our hands, 8 ordering his accusers to come before you.” The earliest and most reliable manuscripts have the shorter reading. The interpolation is a classic example of a scribe trying to fill in what he perceives to be gaps in the text.
The WH NU reading has the earliest support among the manuscripts. The extra verse was added by scribes, borrowing it directly from 4:23 (see also 4:9) to provide an ending to an otherwise very short pericope, 7:14–15. This addition was included in TR and made popular by KJV, NKJV, NASB, NJB, and HCSB also include this extra verse.
The general rule, the earlier the manuscript, the more accurate. So, the early papyri can validate the original reading for almost all of our textual variants.
The variant reading is well-supported by a variety of manuscripts, including 𝔓100, and is the reading that most English versions followed. However, …
The process of attempting to ascertain the original wording of a text is important, regardless of how minor the textual variant may seem. Our primary purpose is to give the Bible readers what God said by way of his human authors, Our primary goal is to be accurate and faithful to the original text. Therefore, we must have the original words.