First of all, Mark 7:16, which reads, “If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear,” is found in the majority of translations. There are a few translations, such as the New International Version, that omit the verse, though they do add it in a footnote or put it in brackets. The difference in translations is usually based on one thing, the MANUSCRIPTS the translators used to translate the Bible from Hebrew or Greek into a different language. Without getting into a lengthy discussion on the various manuscripts that have been used by translators, it is true that the wording of manuscripts differ at times. Does that mean that those who made copies of the Bible SUBTRACTED FROM or ADDED TO the words of Scripture? No, it simply means that scribes made obvious mistakes in the long and tedious task of making copies of the Bible. Some of these mistakes were simply “copy errors” (accidentally putting down the wrong word(s) or mistakenly omitting or adding words). In other cases the scribe (i.e. copyist) may have, in an attempt to translate it into his native tongue, used words that didn’t convey the original meaning. Let me say clearly and emphatically; there is no such thing as a PERFECT MANUSCRIPT (from one who made copies of the Bible) or a PERFECT TRANSLATION (from one who made copies from a certain manuscript). The only “perfect manuscript” would be the actual ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPTS that were written by the inspired writers of the Holy Scriptures (see 2nd Peter 1:21 with 1st Corinthians 2:13).

This causes many people to stumble, but it shouldn’t. Why? Because God has taken great care to insure that His truth has not been compromised. In other words, the differences in translations are relatively minor and they do not compromise the vital truths of Christianity. Truths such as the Trinity, the Incarnation of the Son of God, the atoning sufferings and death of Jesus Christ, His glorious resurrection and ascension back to heaven, salvation through faith in Christ’s finished work on the cross, the Second Coming of Christ, and the eternal state in either heaven or hell, are all kept intact in every translation of the Holy Scriptures. The verse we’ve been considering is a perfect example of this, for in omitting the words “If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear,” there is no major Bible doctrine at stake. Granted, if these words should be there, they are important, but they are not vital to a person’s knowledge of God or for the salvation of their soul.

I would like to close by saying even if we had the original manuscripts themselves and we understood perfectly the Hebrew and Greek languages, we would still need the Holy Spirit to teach us God’s truth. I referred earlier to 1st Corinthians 2:13 and now I’d like to quote verses 9-12, “But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’ But GOD HAS REVEALED THEM TO US THROUGH HIS SPIRIT. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.” Dear ones, if you have believed the gospel of Jesus Christ, you have been given the Holy Spirit (see Ephesians 1:13) so that He might teach you God’s truth. The Apostle John echoes this truth in 1st John 2:20 & 27, “But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things…But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you.” The Holy Spirit is the DIVINE AUTHOR of the Holy Scriptures and He is the DIVINE TEACHER of the Holy Scriptures. Each believer must humbly search the scriptures in dependence upon the Holy Spirit and then, and only then, will we be taught the truths of the Bible. I will close by quoting 1st Corinthians 2:13, “Which also we speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in THOSE TAUGHT BY THE SPIRIT, communicating spiritual things by spiritual means” (DARBY version). (337.3) (DO)