Why does update not allow version_type to be external


I am using the bulk api to update some of my records. but I get the
following error.

ActionRequestValidationException[Validation Failed: 1: version type
[EXTERNAL] is not supported by the update API

What are my alternatives if I do not want to send the entire record each
time I want to update a field and I also need the external versioning

Thanks in Advance

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