I would like to now turn the attention of my readers to Luke 24:42. Here in verse 42 the Traditional text and that of our Authorized Version (AV) reads, “And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb.” The final phrase, “and of an honeycomb”, is missing in most modern versions. The reason this phrase has been omitted is because it is not found in the Greek text that underlies the modern versions. Due to the fact that Westcott and Hort (W-H) rejected the phrase as a spurious interpolation the modern critical texts have likewise rejected it. Allow me to first state the evidence for and against the reading and then I will happily explain the reason for the omission.
As usual the evidence for omitting the phrase is scanty, viz. p75, Aleph, A, B, D, L, W, and Pi. Of the Old Latin e alone omits the phrase. It is also absent in one copy of the Bohairic. On the other hand, the evidence for the phrase is simply overwhelming. Every other Greek AND Latin manuscript contains the phrase (this includes the Lectionaries). The phrase receives absolute universal support. The Vulgate, Bohairic, Syriac, and Coptic all attest to its authenticity. The phrase also enjoys the support of both the Peshitta (150 AD) and Tatian’s Diatessaron (2nd Century).
Of the translations that omit this wonderful phrase we find the NIV, NRSV, New World Translation, NASV, CEV, TEV, NLT, NET etc. Those that defend such versions often tell us that even when a phrase or verse is omitted it is “okay” because you can find the same thing stated elsewhere. Well, as I have demonstrated countless times before this is not always the truth. “Of an honeycomb” is a perfect paradigm of this. No where else in their Bible will the modern version reader find that Jesus enjoyed the sweet taste of an “honeycomb” after His resurrection. This wonderful truth is completely unknown to an individual that has depended solely upon modern scholarship (i.e. modern translations) for the words of God. For only Luke records that our Lord ate fish and an ‘honeycomb’ after His resurrection.
The Patristic support for the reading is equally as impressive as the manuscript and ancient version support.
And when they were by every kind of proof persuaded that it was Himself, and in the body, they asked Him to eat with them, that they might thus still more accurately ascertain that He had in verity risen bodily; and He did eat honey-comb and fish. (Justin Martyr (2nd Century), On the Resurrection, ch. IX)
“For it was after the gall He tasted the honeycomb, and He was not greeted as King of Glory in heavenly places till He had been condemned to the cross as King of the Jews, having first been made by the Father for a time a little less than the angels, and so crowned with glory and honor. (Tertullian (2nd Century), De Corona .14)
For certainly he who gives food to others, and they who give him, touch hands. For ‘they gave Him,’ Scripture says, ‘a piece of a broiled fish and of an honey-comb, and’ when He had ‘eaten before them, He took the remains and gave to them,’ (Athanasius (356 AD), Against the Arians, IV,)I want to briefly address the apparatus of the Nestle/Aland 27th edition. At verse 42 N/A cites Clement of Alexandria (215 AD) in support of their omission. This is an error on their part! Without doubt they are well aware that Clement of Alexandria by no means supports their text but in contrast Clement testifies to the Traditional reading. I am certain of this because in 1896 John W. Burgon demonstrated this very fact. As Burgon said, “Let that Father be allowed to speak for himself.”
“For is there not within a temperate simplicity a wholesome variety of eatables? Bulbs, olives, certain herbs, milk, cheese, fruits, all kinds of cooked food without sauces; and if flesh is wanted, let roast rather than boiled be set down. Have you anything to eat here? said the Lord to the disciples after the resurrection; and they, as taught by Him to practice frugality, “gave Him a piece of broiled fish;” and having eaten before them, says Luke, He spoke to them what He spoke. And in addition to these, it is not to be overlooked that those who feed according to the Word are not debarred from dainties in the shape of honey-combs.” (Clement, Paedagogus, 2.2)Burgon concludes, “At the end of 1700 years, I am as sure that ‘honeycomb’ was found in his copy, as if I had seen it with my eyes”. To this I would say, Amen!
Without question “of an honeycomb” is precisely what Luke wrote and should not be expunged from any Biblical text. No amount of reasoning; No amount of rhetoric; can change this fact. With the absence of this phrase from the modern translations how can individuals continue to promote the idea that “ALL Bibles are valid”? As stated before, this is a concept that is completely foreign to the Bible itself. Plainly stated, ALL Bibles cannot be valid! The differences are simply too great to think otherwise. They (i.e. the modern versions) are not only vastly different from our Authorized Version but they are also very different one from another. Once again as we close this study we raise the question: How can ALL Bibles be valid when some ‘add to’ God’s word while other ‘take away’ that which has been written? Selah!