Here are the two verses:

Matthew 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

Luke 3:16 John answered, saying to all, “I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

Both verses mention "fire".

Someone told me "Some translations omit the Fire part."

I wanted to check whether or not that person was right.

Therefore: are there were any variant texts of the Bible that do not contain word "fire" ?


2 Answers 2


This is a difficult question. There are thousands of "manuscripts" containing parts of the New Testament, and perhaps no one here has a digitized and databased copy of all of them upon which to run a search query. It is also considered scientifically impossible to prove the non-existence of something.

That said, a quick look at the full list of the English translations available on BibleGateway shows that, of the 62 English Bible versions listed, only ONE omits the word "fire" for Matthew 3:11.

“I indeed baptize you in water for repentance, but he who comes after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 3:11, World English Bible/WEB)

For Luke 3:16, ALL of the English Bible versions listed on BibleGateway include the word "fire," to include the WEB.

You might ask the translators of the WEB upon what textual basis they chose to omit the mention of fire in Matthew 3:11.

I have checked two variant copies of the Greek available in my own database and they both have the word for fire (Gr. πυρί/pyri).


I would submit that the word "fire" rightfully belongs to the text, and is not missing from any manuscript worth considering.

  • Thank you!!! That is exactly what I needed!!! Commented Oct 6, 2021 at 3:20

Only Luke and Matthew mentioned this fire in association with the baptism of the Holy Ghost.

Fire - pyr - the word is found in the manuscripts, in both verses you quote (Matthew and Luke). As to why it may be omitted in some? translations I have no idea. It shouldn’t be as it is present. And, it also fits contextually.

However, it isn’t made clear in Scripture what this fire is. Maybe a reason for omission? but unlikely. Let’s look a little closer … the fact that in both Matthew and Luke, mention of this fire is followed by statements of the Lord burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire, it’s possibly speaking of judgment. Some have referred to it as a fire for purifying (Malachi 3:2-3).

Another possibility is that it was prophetic of the “cloven tongues like as of fire” that appeared at the outpouring of the Holy Ghost on the Day of Pentecost

ACTS 2:3 Then there appeared to them [b]divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit [snip]

Nevertheless, as far as I can ‘see’, there is no reason for omission.

  • Thanks!!!!!!!!! Commented Oct 6, 2021 at 3:20

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