Q. I am reading and studying in John. I’ve read John 7 before, but never noticed the inconsistency regarding the word “yet” in verse 8 . I thought maybe it was the translation I was reading, (it doesn’t have the word at all) but when I read a different one, it says that the earliest manuscripts didn’t have the word “yet”.
6Therefore Jesus told them, “The right time for me has not yet come; for you any time is right. 7The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that what it does is evil. 8You go to the Feast. I am not yet[a] going up to this Feast, because for me the right time has not yet come.” 9Having said this, he stayed in Galilee.
In the next verse, he goes in “secret”
10However, after his brothers had left for the Feast, he went also, not publicly, but in secret.
My question is this: It appears that Jesus lied to his brothers. This can’t be true, so what is the real story?
A. I checked a number of the most popular translations. Some contain the word yet with no footnote (KJV). Some have it with a footnote saying some manuscripts don’t (NIV) and some don’t have it with a footnote saying some manuscripts do (ESV).
All the footnotes I read simply say that some manuscripts have (or don’t have) the word. None of them had the stronger “earliest and most reliable manuscripts” caveat.
Explanations for the inclusion (or exclusion) are also varied and inconclusive. But you hit the nail on the head when you said Jesus couldn’t have lied to His brothers. The only way to avoid this is to have included the word “yet” in His response.