In the Greek, John 14:14 reads:

ἐάν τι αἰτήσητέ με ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί μου ἐγὼ ποιήσω. (SBL)

Most English translations render the accusative με as "me" or "of me"' for example, the ESV reads:

If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.

However, both KJV and ASV are missing "me".

If ye shall ask anything in my name, that I will do. (ASV)

If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. (KJV)

The KJV follows the Textus Receptus, which is missing με, however according to Wikipedia, the ASV follows Wescott & Hort as well as Tragelles, which as far as I can tell, both have με.

So my question is why is ASV missing "me"?

  • 1
    Elzevir, Stephens,Beza and Byzantine 35 all omit με. Byzantine Majority has it, however. TR.Scirvener omits it also both in text and italic. Just not there.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Mar 28, 2018 at 19:45
  • @Nigel I am confused by the last phrase "just not there." Are you arguing that it should not be part of the original text?
    – Ken Banks
    Commented Mar 29, 2018 at 13:50
  • @KenBanks Apologies. I meant that the wording is not in Scrivener either in plain text or in italic. It is just not there at all - in Scrivener.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Mar 29, 2018 at 19:28

1 Answer 1


The first part is actually quite easy to address, why did the ASV omit the pronoun? The answer goes back as you suggested to the Westcott and Hort Greek text. In their Greek text the pronoun is present but it is in brackets, indicating that the addition of the pronoun was questionable to some degree. That hesitancy therefore was carried over into the ASV where the pronoun was omitted in the translation.

This is actually a fascinating example of the difficulties faced in textual criticism. The omission of the pronoun is found in all of the various versions of the TR. According to Metzger the majority of the Byzantine manuscripts also omit the pronoun. Yet interestingly enough, Robinson who produced the Byzantine majority text in 2005 adds the pronoun. This would indicate that Robinson did not always go strictly by the numbers as he is often accused by proponents of the critical texts. The critical texts all include the pronoun.

Meztger makes this comment about the inclusion of the pronoun giving it a grade of "B":

Either the unusual collocation, “ask me in my name,” or a desire to avoid contradiction with John 16:23 seems to have prompted (a) the omission of με in a variety of witnesses (A D K L Π Ψ Byz al) or (b) its replacement with τὸν πατέρα (249 397). The word με is adequately supported (𝔓66 א B W Δ Θ f 13 28 33 700 al) and seems to be appropriate in view of its correlation with ἐγώ later in the verse.

Bruce Manning Metzger, United Bible Societies, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, Second Edition a Companion Volume to the United Bible Societies’ Greek New Testament (4th Rev. Ed.) (London; New York: United Bible Societies, 1994), 208.

In general I normally side with the Byzantine majority text, but in a few cases I favor the TR reading so I am somewhere between the Majority text and the TR. This would require a great deal of additional work but in general I would favor the TR reading here because of the first two reasons cited by Metzger.

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