Mark 7:16 isn't in the Bible?

As we come up on the next section of Mark next month, we have a missing verse.  The ESV says, "Some manuscripts add verse 16: If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear."  The NASB has this verse bracketed off with this note: "Early mss do not contain this verse."

These kinds of things bothered me when I was younger in the faith.  It seemed to validate what the scoffers of Scripture alleged—that the Bible's been changed over time and that no one can know what it originally said.  They say it’s like a game of Telephone.  However, what makes Telephone fun is that we have all the players, including the original messenger, and we can discover who “corrupted” the message.

We have tons of ancient manuscripts of the Bible, many more thousands of pages than for any other ancient writing, and we can determine where and when something got altered.  Because we can have more confidence than ever that we have the Bible accurately transmitted to us from 2,000 years ago, these kinds of discussions no longer bother me.

Indeed, what we see in the few areas like this one are words that in no way change the message of the Bible.  Jesus did say these words in other places (4:9; 4:23; et al.); a scribe may have accidentally put it here, but no one invented this.  So, anyone who will tell you that the Bible has been corrupted over time is simply misinformed or a liar—we know what God wanted to communicate to us.

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