Revelation 5:14

"And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever."

Dr. Jack Lewis states, "The phrase, "Him that liveth for ever and ever" has no known Greek manuscript support. (Jack P. Lewis, The English Bible From KJV to NIV, [Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1982], 43.) However, James R. White notes, "This addition is found in only three suspect Greek manuscripts, . . ." (The King James Only Controversy, 66.) Although White does not speak favorably of these Greek manuscripts, he is correct in citing them as supportive of the passage.

Further, it should also be noted that the Revelation does not have as many Greek witnesses as other New Testament books do. For example, among the uncial manuscripts there are only three which contain the entire text and three others which contain the majority of the Revelation. Other uncial manuscripts contain only a chapter or two, and these are not complete chapters. Among the papyri, only five contain some part of Revelation. Most of these are fragmentary. But in the economy of textual thought among modern versions, it is a nil point. To the modern critic, it would not matter if all the Greek manuscripts had the phrase as long the Sinaiticus did not contain it, or if it was missing from one of the African papyri. These manuscripts take precedence over the promise of Biblical preservation according to the views of modern scholarship.

As shown by Dr. H. C. Hoskier, the reading is supported by 57, 137 and 141. (H. C. Hoskier, Concerning The Text Of The Apocalypse, [London: Quaritch, 1929] vol. 1, 474-477 and vol. 2, 454 and 634.) In addition to the Latin text, the longer ending is cited by Primasius, Bishop of Hadrumetum (552 AD ) in his commentary on the Revelation. (Henry Alford, Alford's Greek Testament, [Boston: Lee and Shepard, 1874], vol. 4, 611.) This work is important because it draws from the lost work of Tyconius (as does the work of Beatus, see comments on Rev. 16:5), and that the text used is that of the Old Latin which pre-dates Jerome's Vulgate. (Berthold Altaner, Patrology, [New York: Herder and Herder, 1960] trans. by Hilda Graef. 590.)

Douay-Rheims Version:

"And the four living creatures said: Amen. And the four and twenty ancients fell down on their faces, and adored him that liveth for ever and ever."


"And the, iiii, bestes sayd: Amen And the xxiiii. elders fell upon their faces, and worshipped him that liveth for ever more."


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