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Why did people add material to the Gospels over time?

 [The earliest manuscripts and some other ancient witnesses do not have verses 9–20.]

            Over time, as the Gospels were copied then passed around, certain additions showed up in the Gospels.  Well intentioned people, we hope, thought these additions would help accentuate Jesus’ story.  As more and more archaeological findings showed up, scholars were able to see consistencies in the Gospels and additions that weren’t in the more original manuscripts.

            Bibles today indicate those additions and their teachings are suspect, regarded as an asterisk (*).  Those passages include Matthew 17:21, 18:11, 23:14; Mark 7:16, 9:44 & 46, 11:26, 15:28, 16:9-20; Luke 17:36, 22:43-44; John 7:53-8:11.  Some Bibles omit those verses entirely with a footnote explanation, while others are italicized with a caution like the one indicated above.

            The Bible is not afraid to point out those inconsistencies, citing human error, not godly error.  Even with those passages removed, the Gospel does not suffer and the rest of the word can be trusted.