Matthew 23:8 NASB

8 >But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers.

Matthew 23:8 KJV

8 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren

Matthew 23:8 NIV

8 “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers.

Matthew 23:8 YLT

8 `And ye -- ye may not be called Rabbi, for one is your director -- the Christ, and all ye are brethren;.

Why is Christ missing in these translations?

  • Frederick Scrivener produced a Greek Text which shows the underlying Greek of the KJV. He also added (by way of footnotes) the omissions (such as this one) alterations and additions of the Westcott & Hort text which is heavily influenced by Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus. The differences between the two Greek texts (as noted by Frederick Scrivener) are about 10,000 words in the 140,000 words of the Greek text. That is to say, about 7%.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Mar 11, 2020 at 13:02

1 Answer 1


It is an interpretational decision made by the translators for the different versions. There are many ancient manuscripts of the New Testament and they don't all match perfectly - for various reasons. Often a scribe that is copying a manuscript will add a word or phrase in an attempt to clarify something. It is rare that a scribe will remove something while copying - but it has probably happened here and there.

In this case, some versions of the Greek texts have the word for "Christ" - Χριστός- while others don't. Since it is doubtful that a scribe would remove the word Christ - it is probably thought that it would have been a later addition intended to clarify the verse.

Here is a screenshot from Biblehub.com - I have highlighted the word for Christ:

enter image description here

So now the committees at the bible version - say NIV or KJV - have to decide which Greek translation they are going to use. Some committees will attempt to remain consistent with one Greek manuscript or family of manuscripts. Often - at least with the NIV they will add a footnote if there are other manuscripts that differ.

The most famous example of this is found in Mark 16. You can see in this photo how the NIV distinguishes the text from verse 9 onward:

enter image description here

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