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Bible Q

Why is Mark 7:16 left out of the NIV?

To understand why some translations omit Mark 7:16, first we need to understand a little bit about a process known as “textual criticism”.

In brief, the original versions of the NT books (known as the “autographs”) are no longer available (they no doubt disintegrated many centuries ago). The Greek text we have today is based upon copies, about 5000 different manuscripts. In general, these manuscripts all say the same thing and when there are differences they are mostly simple copying mistakes, like spelling mistakes. Occasionally there will be a more significant difference, and that’s what we find in Mark 7:16. Some manuscripts include it, some don’t.

The way scholars (or “textual critics”) try and decide which was original is using a number of different criteria, such as which are the oldest manuscripts, where did these manuscripts come from, is there an obvious reason for the mistake (like a copying error). In this case, the earliest manuscripts do not include Mark 7:16. Also the phrase “If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear!” is very common so it is conceivable that a copyist may have mistakenly added it in.

3 Replies to “Why is Mark 7:16 left out of the NIV?”

  1. I find verse 16 in Mark 7 important enough.
    Even if it is somewhere dopple in the sciptures.
    “If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear”.
    I find this important enough to keep in the scripture.
    I have a lot of comments in bible studies about it.

    • I’m sorry, but the criteria for whether a verse should be included in the Bible is not “is it important enough?”, but “was it in the original text?” As the answer above states, many scholars do not believe that it was in the original text. If it is not in the original text, then it should not be in our translations.

  2. I’m not sure the possibility has been carefully considered that the phrase was omitted by a copyist who assumed that it was an “explicit” (a phrase for the conclusion of a lection) that had been inserted in the text by an earlier copyist.
    The evidence for non-inclusion seems rather limited. Do you really think the phrase just got thrown in somehow in the Old Latins, and in the Peshitta, and in A, D, and W, 1505, and 700??