It can be a disconcerting experience for modern readers of the New Testament to come across verses that are enclosed in brackets and introduced with a phrase such as, “Our earliest manuscripts do not include. . . .” For those who have been taught that our New Testaments are reliable and trustworthy, these brackets raise a number of thorny questions: How certain are we about the New Testament text? If these passages are in doubt, then are other passages in doubt too? And if these passages are not original, then why are they still in our English translations? Unless these questions are answered, the existence of these brackets can become, at least for some, the proverbial fly in the ointment of biblical authority.