Luke 10:1 "After these things the Lord appointed other SEVENTY also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come."
A Bible Agnostic recently told me that “all Bibles are 100% historically true”. Well, that is a very good standard - being 100% historically true - but unfortunately for this particular bible agnostic, he has no such “100% true Bible” to give to anyone.
Here is just one of scores of examples I can list where there are completely different numbers or names given among today’s Bible Babble Buffet versions.
Luke 10:1, 17 - Did Jesus send out 70 or 72?
Luke 10:1 - "After these things the Lord appointed other SEVENTY also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come."
Luke 10:17 - “And the SEVENTY returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.”
Here Sinaiticus and Vaticanus, the so called oldest and best manuscripts upon which most modern versions are based, differ from each other. These two manuscripts differ in significant ways from each other more than 3000 times in the gospels alone. See many examples of these differences here:
The reading of SEVENTY is found in the majority of all texts including, A, C and Sinaiticus. The reading of SEVENTY is that of Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, Cranmer’s Bible 1540, Matthew’s Bible 1549, Bishops’ Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599, Wesley 1755, the Revised Version 1885, the ASV 1901, Weymouth 1912, Bible in Basic English 1960, NASB 1963 - 1995, NKJV 1982, RSV 1954, the Complete Jewish Bible, the Hebrew Names Version, the Amplified 1987, the NRSV 1989 (by Bruce Metzger), KJV 21st Century 1994, God’s Word 1995, Third Millenium Bible 1998, the Message 2002, the Holman Standard 2003, and the ISV 2008.
Among foreign language Bibles that have our Lord Jesus sending out SEVENTY (and not 72) are the following: The Spanish Sagradas Escrituras 1569, the Reina Valera 1909, 1960, 1995, the 1997 Biblia de las Américas, and the 2005 La Biblia de los Hispanos. Also reading 70 are the Italian Diodati 1649, the Riveduta 1927, the New Diodati 1991, La Parola e Vita 1997, the Portuguese Almeida, Luther’s German bible 1545, the German Elberfelder 1871, the Russian Synodal version, the Dutch Staten Vertaling, the Chinese Union Traditional bible, and both the modern Hebrew and the modern Greek Bibles.
However English versions like the NIV 1984, TNIV, NET and the 2001 ESV (English Standard Version), along with the Catholic Douay, St. Joseph NAB 1970, and New Jerusalem bible 1985 all read seventy TWO, which is the reading of Vaticanus.
It is of interest to see the fickleness of the scholars in that the previous RSV and NRSV both read "70", but then the revision of the revision of the revision - the ESV - has now adopted the reading of "72", but the two newest English versions to come down the pike, the Holman Standard of 2003 and the ISV (International Standard Version) of 2008, have retained the reading of "70".
Likewise when Westcott and Hort came out with their very different Greek text, their Critical text read SEVENTY [two], with the number two in brackets, indicating doubt. But later on the Nestle text 4th edition 1934 read “seventy” with no “two” either in the text nor in the footnotes. Oh but wait. Later still the Nestle texts changed and now, once again, they read “seventy [two]” with “two” being in brackets. Their only consistency is their inconsistency.
The NIV, ESV and NET say: "The Lord appointed seventy TWO others". The number 72 is the reading of Vaticanus, but most manuscripts including Sianaiticus read 70.
Daniel Wallace’s NET version reads 72 in Luke 10:1 and 17 and then he footnotes: “several OT passages that refer to groups of seventy people (Num 11:13-17; Deut 10:22; Judg 8:30; 2 Kgs 10:1 et al.); this reading also has slightly better ms. support... All things considered, “seventy-two” is a much more difficult reading and accounts for the rise of the other.” In other words, because 72 makes less sense, and has weaker manuscript support, it must be right! OoooKaaay.
So, was it 70 or 72 men whom Christ sent out? Is your Bible the inerrant word of God or do you prefer one of the multiple-choice Probably Close Enuf Versions?
"Is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?" - Zechariah 3:2