Acts 13:42 KJV
And when the JEWS were gone out OF THE SYNAGOGUE,
the GENTILES besought that these words
might be preached to them the next sabbath.
All in bold type is omitted in modern versions
The Acts 13:42 RV1885
And as they went out,
they besought that these words
might be spoken to them the next sabbath.
Acts 13:42 NASB
As Paul and Barnabas were going out,
the people kept begging that these things
might be spoken to them the next Sabbath.
The Reason for the changes in the King James Version, which explicitly mentions “the gentiles” being interested in the events of the next Sabbath, is a sort of proof text for those denominations that adhere to Seventh Day worship.
For example, Benjamin G. Wilkinson, writes in his book, ‘Our Authorized Bible Vindicated’ (1930), says “The Authorized Version pictures to us the congregation, composed of Jews and Gentiles. By this distinction it reveals that a number of the Gentiles were present… All this is lost in the Revised Version by failing to mention the Jews and the Gentiles… Does not this affect fundamental doctrine?”
However, the Revised Version’s text is that of the earliest and most esteemed manuscripts, among which the Papyrus 74, and many others, including the Vulgate and other ancient versions.
The appearance of the words for Jews and for Gentiles (ethna) occurs in two Codices, both from the ninth century and a number of later manuscripts.
A possible reason for the rewriting of this verse is that the original is awkward and ambiguous — the Greek text says “they went out … they requested”, without any further identification; it is not clear who the two “they” are, whether they are the same or different groups.
Bishops Westcott and Hort describe the original (Revised Version) reading as “the obscure and improbable language of the text as it stands.” Even before the KJV, the Wycliffe version (1380) and the Douay-Rheims version (1582) had renderings that resembled the original (Revised Version) text.
The ambiguity of the original reading has motivated some modern interpretations to attempt to identify “they” — e.g., the Good News Bible, the New American Standard, the NIV, and the New RSV, have Paul and Barnabas going out and ‘the people’ inviting them to repeat or expand on their preaching.