Matthew 17-21 removed or added?
Matthew 17-21 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.
These are words spoken by Jesus, or are they?
Most modern versions of the Bible such as the NIV, ESV, ERV, ISV and more do not include this verse. The NWT also omits this verse.
The NASB has the verse in brackets with obvious assertions as to their authenticity
This fact is not surprising really as they are all translated using the Nestle -Aland text, which has its foundation in none other than Codices Vaticanus (predominantly) and Sinaiticus.
The verse is, surprise surprise NOT found in Codex Vaticanus.
The verse comes at the end of a passage where Jesus casts out a demon after the disciples fail to do so.
Matthew 17- 14And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying, 15Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water. 16And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him. 17Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me. 18And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.
19Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? 20And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. 21Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.
The verse although not in Vaticanus is yet again found in the majority of Greek manuscripts.
C, D, E, F, G, H, K, L, M, O, S, U, V, W, X, Y, Gamma, Delta, Pi, Sigma, Phi and Omega
It is included in the Diatessaron, of Tatian which dates around 175AD at least 150 years before Vaticanus.
It is included in the Old Latin a, aur, b, c, d, f, ff2, g1, l, n, q, r1.
Its included in the Latin Vulgate, the Syriac Peshitta, Harclean, the Armenian, some Ethiopic, the Georgian and the Slavonic ancient versions.
AND it is found in Sinaiticus correction.
The manuscript evidence is pretty much conclusive.
Interestingly we find these words of Jesus in another debated chapter of the Bible Mark 9
Mark 9-29And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.
I shall link here to my writing on this chapter.
The verse is quoted by antiquity LONG before Vaticanus had come on the scene.
Such men are “like a sounding pipe, or a tinkling cymbal;” and they bring no help to those over whom they make their adjurations; but they speak with terrible words, and affright people, but do not act with true faith, according to the teaching of our Lord, who hath said: ‘This kind goeth not out but by fasting and prayer,’ offered unceasingly and with earnest mind.6
Although this is not written by Clement himself it does show that the words of Jesus were known long before Vaticanus.
After that, he prescribed that fasting should be carried out without sadness. For why should what is beneficial be sad? He also taught to fight against the more fierce demons by means of fasting. For is it surprising that the Holy Spirit is led in through the same means by which the sinful spirit is led out?
On Fasting, against the Psychics;
That those, then, who suffer from what is called lunacy sometimes fall into the water is evident, and that they also fall into the fire, less frequently indeed, yet it does happen; and it is evident that this disorder is very difficult to cure, so that those who have the power to cure demoniacs sometimes fail in respect of this, and sometimes with fastings and supplications and more toils, succeed.
But let us also attend to this, “This kind goeth not out save by prayer and fasting,” in order that if at any time it is necessary that we should be engaged in the healing of one suffering from such a disorder, we may not adjure, nor put questions, nor speak to the impure spirit as if it heard, but devoting ourselves to prayer and fasting, may be successful as we pray for the sufferer, and by our own fasting may thrust out the unclean spirit from him
Commentarium in evangelium Matthaei
Others that quoted this verse are
Asterius (340), Hilary (355), Basil (370), Athanasius (375), Ambrose (385), Chrysostom (395), Jerome (400), and Augustine (430)
Yet again the only reason to even remotely doubt the authenticity of this verse is by giving almost sole authority to Codex Vaticanus above all other evidence. In other words all other evidence has to be ignored so Codex Vaticanus can be given it’s almost sole authority.
The evidence is overwhelming for the inclusion of the words, being the authentic words of Jesus. The KJV is correct yet again.