This verse is included in the King James Version and reads as follows: “For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.” That there really was a “pool” is confirmed by verse 2 (which is included in ALL Bible versions), “Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a POOL, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.” It is also confirmed in verse 7 (in ALL Bible versions) that at times there was a “troubling of the waters,” for it says, “The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, WHEN THE WATER IS TROUBLED, to put me into the pool.” Thus it seems clear that there was an actual pool which God used to heal people by an angel troubling (i.e. stirring) the waters.

The New International Version omits the verse altogether, along with the last words of verse 3, “waiting for the moving of the water.”

The New American Standard Bible included verse 4 but adds a note saying, “Many manuscripts do not contain the remainder of verse 3, nor verse 4.”

The New King James Version also includes the verse but adds the following note: “NU-Text omits waiting for the moving of the water at the end of verse 3, and all of verse 4.”

Two things are obvious as we compare these versions: 1) The TEXT USED by the translators determined whether or not they included the verse; 2) The meaning of the passage is not compromised either way (and that’s why some translators decided to include it even though the text they used in their version didn’t include it).

The bottom line is this; the TRUTH OF GOD was not compromised in any way, shape, matter or form. And this holds true in other passages of Scripture where one version will include a verse or more, and other versions omit them. God has sovereignly PRESERVED all the vital, foundational truths of Scripture. The truth about creation, the fall of man, heaven and hell, the Person and Work of Christ, salvation through faith in Christ, the Second Coming of Christ, the Trinity, etc. have all been protected from error through the Divine Author of the Scriptures: the Holy Spirit. 2nd Peter 1:21 declares, “Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” He inspired men to write the Bible (see also 2nd Timothy 3:16) and He has seen to it that the men who translated the Bible did not corrupt it.

I would add though that there are “translations” that we call “Paraphrased Bibles” where translators took great liberty in adding “their own words” (in addition to “the words of the text” they were using). The very word “paraphrased” indicates this for “paraphrased translations use modern language and idioms to try to capture the thought and essence behind the original text.” I believe such translations should be avoided, for in some cases the “truth of God” may indeed be compromised; the irony being that while men are trying to make the Bible more “easy to understand,” they end up misrepresenting what God had intended to say. (279.3) (DO)