John 5:3-5 NIV

3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. [4] [b] 5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years.

John 5:3-5 KJV

3 In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. 4 For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. 5 And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.

John 5:3-5 NASB

. 3 In these lay a multitude of those who were sick, blind, lame, and withered, [[c]waiting for the moving of the waters; 4 for an angel of the Lord went down at certain seasons into the pool and stirred up the water; whoever then first, after the stirring up of the water, stepped in was made well from whatever disease with which he was afflicted.] 5 A man was there who had been [d]ill for thirty-eight years.

John 5:4 is missing in the NIV but in the other versions its there.

Why is this verse missing in this translation?

  • 1
    Surprisingly it looks like a textual criticism question hasn't been asked about this verse before. – curiousdannii Feb 12 '20 at 5:55

John 5:4 is a verse that is variously included or excluded in various manuscripts upon which the modern edited versions depend. Thus, the question is purely a textual criticism problem.

Of the commonly used edited NT texts we have:

  • NA28 & UBS5: omit
  • Jerome's Vulgate (~400 AD): omit
  • SBL: omit
  • W&H: omit
  • Souter: omit
  • NIV GNT: omit
  • THGNT: omit
  • Wordsworth-White vulgate: omit
  • Stuttgart vulgate: omit
  • Majority Text (HF): include
  • Byzantine Text (RP): include
  • F35 (Pickering): include
  • Patriarchal text of Orthodox Church (1904): include
  • Textus Receptus: include
  • Clementine Vulgate: include

Of the original ancient Bible MSS that omit John 5:4 (century dates in brackets)-

  • P66(~200); P75(III); 01(IV); 03(IV), 04*(original)(V);05(V); 029(V); 023(~400); 0141(X); 33(IX); 157(~1122); it_d(V); it_f(VI); it_l(VIII); it_q(~700); several Coptic, Armenian and Geogeian MSS; etc.

The ancient MSS that include John 5:4 with many variations (ie, those that include it are far from uniform) -

  • 02(V); 04(at the third correction); 020(IX); 037(IX); 038(IX); 078(VI); 0233(VIII); f1, f13, 28(XI); 180(XII); 205(XV); 565(IX); 579(XIII); 700(XI); 892(IX); 1006(XI); 1010(XII); 1071(XII); 1241(XII); 1292(XIII); 1342(~1400); 1505(XII); 07(VIII); 09(IX); 011(IX); 013(IX); some itala and vulgate text; a Coptic text, Ethiopic text; etc.; 041(IX) and 042(VI) include between asterisks or obeli saying that the text was uncertain.

Bruce Metzger in his "Textual Commentary on the GNT" suggests:

Ver 4 is a gloss whose secondary character is clear from (1)its absence from the earliest and best witnesses [see above lists], (2) the presence of asterisks or obeli to mark the words as spurious in more than 20 Greek witnesses … (3) the presence of non-Johannine words or expressions (κατὰ καιρὸν, … ταραχὴν, δήποτε, … ), (4) the rather wide diversity of variant forms in which the verse was transmitted.

With this explanation, the answer to the question is simple. The NIV omits John 5:4 because it (basically) uses the NA28/USB5 text of GNT.

  • Could you please give links or references to the data which you are quoting, that is to say the origin of the material that you are (presumably) copying and pasting or which you are copying from in written form. – Nigel J Feb 12 '20 at 11:21
  • The above data is taken directly from the references (GNT's) listed (in paper) and from UBS5. – Dottard Feb 12 '20 at 21:43
  • There are a few old Latin mss. that contain it, 5th and sixth centuries(I found three). – user21676 Feb 13 '20 at 1:33
  • Yes - these are acknowledged above – Dottard Feb 13 '20 at 2:00

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