Jesus fasted 40 days in the wilderness (see Matthew 4:2), just as Moses had done and Elijah had done (see Exodus 24:18, 1 Kings 19:8). And Jesus taught the disciples to fast, such as before attempting to cast out evil spirits.
Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting. (Matthew 17:21, KJV)
And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting. (Mark 9:29, KJV)
Paul recommends fasting with prayer at times.
Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency. (1 Corinthians 7:5, KJV)
But the need to fast is removed in the New Testament from the modern versions. This is shown below with a comparison of the KJV against NIV and ESV.
|Mat. 17:21||Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.||[Omitted]||[Omitted]|
|Mrk 9:29||And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.||He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer.||And he said to them, "This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer."|
|1Cor. 7:5||Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.||Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self‑control.||Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.|
|Acts 10:30||And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing,||Cornelius answered: “Four days ago I was in my house praying at this hour, at three in the afternoon. Suddenly a man in shining clothes stood before me||And Cornelius said, "Four days ago, about this hour, I was praying in my house at the ninth hour, and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing|
Is fasting not a part of the new covenant doctrine? Or is prayer the same thing as fasting? Why do the modern revisions remove this doctrine?
UPDATE: Comments are often removed, and some brought up germane points in them which are worth considering. These are those points and my responses (with slight rephrasing of both).
Q: Isn't the word "attacked" a bit strong?
A: The word "attacked" seems appropriate because this is an observation that includes every single instance of a text in the New Testament that would teach the importance of Jesus' disciples fasting. Only historical references remain, nothing near a command. The question is "Why?"
Q: Why do you speak of "every single instance" about fasting - that is quite untrue as I have documented. Might you at least debate from facts that are true and not invented?
A: Read my wording carefully. The rest of my statement must go along with it, i.e. "that would teach the importance of Jesus' disciples fasting." I agree with you that there are other references to fasting, e.g. historical references, such as that Jesus fasted. But telling us that someone did something and instructing us to do it are two radically different things. The instructions to fast are the ones that have been under attack. Can you find even one such instruction remaining in the NIV New Testament? Saying something like "when/if you fast..." does not suffice. That leaves it optional.
Q: The content of ancient manuscripts, biblical or otherwise, and doctrine, are two distinct topics; basically, since fasting and prayer oftentimes went hand in hand, should it be surprising to see copyists instinctively add fasting when transcribing passages about prayer, or vice-versa?
A: By far the majority of the manuscripts have the word "fasting." Only a very few omitted it. If it were a copyist error, the opposite should be true.
While the answers thus far have focused on manuscript variations, I am still looking for a doctrinal approach. Is it not suspicious that the verses which differ among the various translations would impact the entire validity of fasting as one of our Lord's commandments?
Remember: "If ye love me, keep my commandments." -- Jesus.