Luke 14:5 “an ass” or “a son” or “a sheep”?
Luke 14:5 - KJB - “And (Jesus) answered them, saying, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day?”
NIV, RSV, NASB - “Then he asked them, "If one of you has a son or an ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not immediately pull him out?"
Whiston’s Primitive New Testament 1745 - “And said unto them, Which of you shall have a sheep or an ox fallen into a pit on the sabbath-day and will not straightway pull him out?” (Manuscript D actually reads “a sheep” or an ox)
Let’s see....an ass, A sheep or A son? Yep, pretty close in meaning, right? What is going on here? Well, as usual, the so called “oldest and best Greek manuscripts” are once again in disagreement with each other and the scholars can’t seem to make up their minds which reading God inspired. Sinaiticus reads as does the KJB with “an ass or an ox”, while Vaticanus has “a son or an ox” and Mss. D reads “a sheep or an ox”, and the bible versions are all over the board.
The reading found in the King James Bible of “an ass or an ox” is that found in Wycliffe 1380, 1395, Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, Cranmer’s bible 1539, the Bishops’ Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1557-1602, the Douay-Rheims 1582, the KJB 1611, Wesley 1755, the Revised Version of 1881, and American Standard Version of 1901, the Douay Version 1950, the New English Bible 1970, New Berkeley Version 1969, New Life Bible 1969, Webster’s 1833, Darby 1890, Young’s 1898, the Bible in Basic English 1961, the NKJV 1982, KJV 21st Century 1994, and the Third Millenium Bible 1998.
However, beginning with the liberal RSV in 1952 they began to follow the Vaticanus MS (even though Sinaiticus reads an ass and both the RV and the ASV kept that reading) and changed the text from “an ass” to “a son”. This was then followed by the NRSV, NASB, NIV, ESV, Holman Standard, the Message and Wallace’s NET version.
As usual, the Catholic versions are in a state of constant change. The 1582 Douay-Rheims as well as the 1950 Douay read “an ass or an ox,” but then changed to “a son or an ox” in the 1969 Jerusalem bible, the 1970 St. Joseph New American Bible and the 1985 New Jerusalem bible. However in the brand new 2009 The Sacred Bible Catholic Public Domain Version they have once again gone back to read “an ass or an ox”.
Foreign language Bibles that read ass- Jerome’s Vulgate 382 A.D., Vulgate 405, Clementine Vulgate 2005 - “vestrum asinus aut bos in puteum cadet” Anglo-Saxon Gospels, mss. 140 circa 1000 A.D, and mss. 38 circa 1200 A.D. - “eowres assA odde oxa befealp on anne pytt” Las Sagradas Escrituras 1569, Spanish Reina Valera 1909, 1960, 1995, Spanish Reina Valera Gomez 2004 - “¿Quién de vosotros, si su asno o su buey cae en algún pozo, no lo saca inmediatamente, aunque sea sábado?” Italian Diodati 1649, and the Nuevo Diodati 1991 - “Poi, rispondendo loro disse: «Chi di voi se il suo asino o bue cade in un pozzo, non lo tira subito fuori in giorno di sabato?” Portuguese - O Livro 2000 - “Se o vosso JUMENTO (an ass or donkey) ou o vosso boi cair numa cova, não tratam logo de o tirar? “ French - La Bible de Geneva 1669, French Martin 1744, and the French Ostervald 1996 - Puis il leur dit: Qui de vous, si son ANE (ass) ou son bœuf tombe dans un puits, ne l'en retire aussitôt le jour de sabbat?” German Luther 1545, Schlachter 1951 - “Und antwortete und sprach zu ihnen: Welcher ist unter euch, dem sein Ochse oder esel (an ass) in den Brunnen fällt, und er nicht alsbald ihn herauszieht am Sabbattage?” Russian Synodal Version, Chinese Union Traditional bible and the Modern Greek N.T. used in the Greek Orthodox churches all over the world.
What we see once again is the total confusion of the modern versionists, and their so called “oldest and best manusripts” (Sinaiticus and Vaticanus) differ from each other thousands of times, and the “scholars” who put together today’s conflicting Bible of the Month Club versions keep changing their minds with practically every new version to come down the pike. Stick with the time tested King James Bible and you will never go wrong. For many more examples of how confused and contradictory the modern versionists so called "oldest and best" manuscripts REALLY are, See - http://brandplucked.webs.com/oldestandbestmss.htm By His grace, believing the Book, Will Kinney