Word deletion in King James Bible obscures clear reference of direct prayer to Jesus Christ
” If you ask Me anything in my name, I will do it.” Jn 14:14
Here is a scripture in which Jesus himself clearly reveals His Deity as he encourages his followers to pray directly to him. The KJV translators, though, gave the reading this way;
“If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it”
The word in the Greek for “me” has been omitted. That the verse still supports prayer directly to Christ is true, given that it states we should ask in his name, and perhaps more importantly, that he would perform the action requested, the answer, Himself.
However, the deletion or omission of the word “me”, allows for the verse to be understood more along the lines of John 16:23, which reads, “ Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.” Even though there is a definite contrast between Jn. 14:14 and the ending, “I will do it.” and Jn. 16:23 with, “he will give it to you,”
It would seem the ending of Jn.14:14 would strongly support the inclusion of the “me” from the Greek into the English translation. Why did the KJV translators leave it out, was it lack of support from manuscripts? Not really. It was missing from the Textus Receptus but it did have strong support from many other Byzantine texts and/or the Majority Texts. To their credit, there were not any where near as many manuscripts as we have today. Since that time a large number of both Greek Byzantine texts that have that reading have been discovered and perhaps more importantly, the older Alexandrian texts all support the reading with the inclusion of the “me”.
So what did the Watchtower of the Jehovah Witnesses do when they got around to translating this verse? Though they were using the Nestle-Alande Alexandrian texts, which had the word “me” clearly included in the Greek, they followed the KJV’s lead and omitted the word from their biased translation. This omission on the part of the Watchtower, while not surprising, would have been much more difficult if the KJV translators had not broken the ground, leading the way.
Time has vindicated the inclusion of the “me” by the backing of so many manuscripts and the agreement between the major text types. The King James scholars were good scholars, particularly when you consider their limited resources. But as this reading shows, they weren’t perfect, and from their own testimony we know they never claimed to be.