Suspicious Interpolations, by Greg G.

Bible scholars often have suspicions of interpolations but do not go as far as taking them out of the Bible unless they have old, reliable manuscripts that omit the passage. Here are some passages that were in the King James Version but have been removed, or in the case of popular passages, they are noted as missing in the most reliable old Bibles.

KJV Passages in Modern Translations
    Generally Omitted
  • Matthew 17:21
  • Matthew 18:11
  • Matthew 23:14
  • Mark 7:16
  • Mark 11:26
  • Mark 15:28
  • Luke 17:36
  • John 5:3–4
  • Acts 8:37
  • Acts 15:34
  • Acts 24:6–8
  • Acts 28:29
  • Romans 16:24
  • 1 John 5:7–8*

    Omitted from Some Other Bible Versions
  • Matthew 20:16b
  • Mark 6:11b
  • Luke 4:8b
  • Luke 9:55–56
  • Luke 23:17
  • Acts 9:5–6
  • Acts 13:42
  • Acts 23:9b
  • Usually Bracketed
  • Mark 16:9–20
  • John 7:53–8:11

* By the way, the 1 John 5:7–8 omission was prompted by Isaac Newton who noted it was missing in older manuscripts.

Some scholars argue that 1 Corinthians 14:33b-35 is an interpolation because it interrupts the natural flow of the reading and because it forbids women to speak in church which contradicts 1 Corinthians 11:5 which permits women to pray and prophesy in church as long as their heads are covered.

1 Corinthians 14:33b-35 ESV
33 As in all the churches of the saints, 34 the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. 35 If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.
1 Corinthians 11:5 ESV
5 but every wife who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, since it is the same as if her head were shaven.

Whether or not 1 Corinthians 14:33b-35 is an interpolation, 1 Corinthians 11:5 isn't the problem.

𝔓46 is the oldest manuscript with a major portion of the Pauline epistles including the parts we will be investigating.

The Eucharist meal doesn't seem to be something new. They were baking bread and pouring wine for gods for some time.

Jeremiah 7:18 ESV
18 The children gather wood, the fathers kindle fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes for the queen of heaven. And they pour out drink offerings to other gods, to provoke me to anger.
Jeremiah 44:15-18 ESV
15 Then all the men who knew that their wives had made offerings to other gods, and all the women who stood by, a great assembly, all the people who lived in Pathros in the land of Egypt, answered Jeremiah: 16 "As for the word that you have spoken to us in the name of the LORD, we will not listen to you. 17 But we will do everything that we have vowed, make offerings to the queen of heaven and pour out drink offerings to her, as we did, both we and our fathers, our kings and our officials, in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. For then we had plenty of food, and prospered, and saw no disaster. 18 But since we left off making offerings to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have lacked everything and have been consumed by the sword and by famine."

Mark 14:22-24 (MGNT / ESV)
22 και εσθιοντων αυτων λαβων αρτον ευλογησας εκλασεν και εδωκεν αυτοις και ειπεν λαβετε τουτο εστιν το σωμα 23 και λαβων ποτηριον ευχαριστησας εδωκεν αυτοις 24 και επιον εξ αυτου παντες και ειπεν αυτοις τουτο εστιν το σωμα μου της διαθηκης το εκχυννομενον υπερ πολλων
22 And as they were eating, he took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to them, and said, "Take; this is my body." 23 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it. 24 And he said to them, "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.

Luke 22:19-20 (MGNT / ESV)
19 και λαβων αρτον ευχαριστησας εκλασεν και εδωκεν αυτοις λεγων τουτο εστιν το σωμα μου το υπερ υμων διδομενον τουτο ποιειτε εις την εμην αναμνησιν 20 και το ποτηριον ωσαυτως μετα το δειπνησαι λεγων τουτο το ποτηριον η καινη διαθηκη εν τω αιματι μου το υπερ υμων εκχυννομενον
19 And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me." 20 And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.

1 Corinthians 11:23c-25 (MGNT / ESV)
23c ελαβεν αρτον 24 και ευχαριστησας εκλασεν και ειπεν τουτο μου εστιν το σωμα το υπερ υμων τουτο ποιειτε εις την εμην αναμνησιν 25 ωσαυτως και το ποτηριον μετα το δειπνησαι λεγων τουτο το ποτηριον η καινη διαθηκη εστιν εν τω εμω αιματι τουτο ποιειτε οσακις εαν πινητε εις την εμην αναμνησιν
23c took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, "This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me." 25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me."
    Eight Small Alterations to Change Luke 22:19-20a to 1 Corinthians 11:23c-25a
    1. Swap side-by-side locations of "λαβων αρτον" and "και".
    2. Change the inflection of "λαβων" to "ελαβεν".
      • According to Strong's G2983:
        • "λαβων" is the most common form.
        • "ελαβεν" is the fourth most common form.
    3. Replace "εδωκεν αυτοις λεγων" with "ειπεν"
      • Mark 14:22 has the word in a similar position.
    4. Swap side-by-side locations of "εστιν το σωμα" and "μου"
    5. Omit "διδομενον"
      • "διδομενον" is used nowhere else in the New Testament.
    6. Swap side-by-side locations of "και το ποτηριον" and "ωσαυτως"
    7. Insert "εστιν" between "διαθηκη" and "εν τω"
    8. Insert "εμω" between "εν τω" and "αιματι"
      • The word "εμω" is used three times in the Greek New Testament.
      • John 8:31 uses "τω εμω".
      • Romans 3:7 uses "εν τω εμω".

In English, we often use a verb as is for plural subjects and add an 's' for singular subjects as in "he looks" versus "they look". For past tense, we typically add the suffix "-ed" and we put the word "will" before the verb for future tense.

I am not trained in Koine Greek, but I have observed that the suffixes of Greek words imply such things as the tense, plurality, or first, second, or third person, so translators have to add pronouns that are implied by the verbs suffixes.

In the following passage, Paul gives a command, raises questions, then supplies the responses he is looking for. Notice that the metaphors are maintained. Notice that the person (first, second, or third), plurality, and tense cohere between the questions and the responses.

    1 Corinthians 10:14-24 ESV
    • Orders
      14 Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. 15 I speak as to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say.
    • Questions
      16 The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of ChristThe bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?
    • Response to Question
      17 Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.

    • Orders
      18 Consider the people of Israel:
    • Questions
      are not those who eat the sacrifices participants in the altar? 19 What do I imply then? That food offered to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything?
    • Response to Questions
      20 No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God.

    • Orders
      I do not want you to be participants with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.
    • Questions
      22 Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?
    • Response to Questions
      23 That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. 24 But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged.

Now consider that verses 23 and 24 are actually 1 Corinthians 11:30-31!

Then consider that the real 1 Corinthians 10:23 is composed of words and phrases from 1 Corinthians 6:12 with a little help from 1 Corinthians 8:1.

1 Corinthians 10:23 MGNT / ESV
23 παντα εξεστιν αλλ ου παντα συμφερει παντα εξεστιν αλλ ου παντα οικοδομει
23 "All things are lawful," but not all things are helpful. "All things are lawful," but not all things build up.

1 Corinthians 6:12 MGNT / ESV
12 παντα μοι εξεστιν αλλ ου παντα συμφερει παντα μοι εξεστιν αλλ ουκ εγω εξουσιασθησομαι υπο τινος
12 "All things are lawful for me," but not all things are helpful. "All things are lawful for me," but I will not be dominated by anything.

1 Corinthians 8:1 MGNT / ESV
1 περι δε των ειδωλοθυτων οιδαμεν οτι παντες γνωσιν εχομεν η γνωσις φυσιοι η δε αγαπη οικοδομει
1 Now concerning food offered to idols: we know that "all of us possess knowledge." This "knowledge" puffs up, but love builds up.

Though "παντα" is a very common word in the Greek New Testament, the other phrases are only used in those two verses while "οικοδομει" is also used twice in 1 Corinthians 14:4.

I took a slight liberty using "ου" and "ουκ" as the same word since they have the same meaning and follow the same rule as the English articles "a" and "an". The word "ουκ" is used when the following word begins with a vowel.

More Possible Sources for the Interpolation

1 Corinthians 10:24 ESV
24 Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor.

Philippians 2:4 ESV
4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

1 Corinthians 10:25 ESV
25 Eat [εσθιετε] whatever is sold in the meat market without raising any question [μηδεν ανακρινοντες] on the ground of conscience [δια την συνειδησιν].

1 Corinthians 8:7 ESV
7 However, not all possess this knowledge. But some, through former association with idols, eat food as really offered to an idol, and their conscience, being weak, is defiled.
1 Timothy 4:4 ESV
4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving,

1 Corinthians 10:26 ESV
26 For "the earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof." ["η γη και το πληρωμα αυτης"]

Psalm 24:1 ESV
The earth is the LORD's and the fullness thereof, ["η γη και το πληρωμα αυτης"] the world and those who dwell therein,

1 Corinthians 10:27 ESV
27 If one of the unbelievers invites you to dinner and you are disposed to go, eat [εσθιετε] whatever is set before you without raising any question [μηδεν ανακρινοντες] on the ground of conscience [δια την συνειδησιν].

Luke 10:7-8 ESV
7 And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages. Do not go from house to house. 8 Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat [εσθιετε] what is set before you.
Romans 13:5 ESV
5 Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience [δια την συνειδησιν].

1 Corinthians 10:28 ESV
28 But if someone says to you, "This has been offered in sacrifice," then do not eat [εσθιετε] it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for the sake of conscience [δια την συνειδησιν].

1 Corinthians 8:7, 10-12 ESV
7 However, not all possess this knowledge. But some, through former association with idols, eat food as really offered to an idol, and their conscience, being weak, is defiled.
10 For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol's temple, will he not be encouraged, if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols? 11 And so by your knowledge this weak person is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died. 12 Thus, sinning against your brothers and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ.

1 Corinthians 10:29-30 ESV
29 I do not mean your conscience, but his. For why should my liberty be determined by someone else's conscience? 30 If I partake with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of that for which I give thanks?

1 Corinthians 9:1, 19 ESV
1 Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are not you my workmanship in the Lord?
19 For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them.
Romans 14:16 ESV
16 So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil.

1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV
31 So, whether you eat [εσθιετε] or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

Colossians 3:17 ESV
17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

1 Corinthians 10:32 ESV
32 Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God,

Romans 14:13 ESV
13 Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.
2 Corinthians 6:3 ESV
3 We put no obstacle in anyone's way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry,

1 Corinthians 10:33 ESV
33 just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.

Romans 15:2 ESV
2 Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.