Comma Johanneum

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by God's_Servant, Sep 15, 2010.

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Is the Comma Johanneum original?

Poll closed Oct 5, 2010.
  1. Yes

    9 vote(s)
    36.0%
  2. No

    11 vote(s)
    44.0%
  3. I don't know

    5 vote(s)
    20.0%
  1. God's_Servant

    God's_Servant
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    Do you believe that the Comma Johanneum is original? If so, why? If you don't believe it is original, please explain why.

    1 John 5:7-8 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. (KJV)

    1 John 5:7-8 For there are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree. (ESV (no comma))
     
  2. Mexdeaf

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    A friend of mine made this statement this weekend- "If men wiser and more knowledgeable then me haven't been able to figure it out, then what makes me think I will?"

    I use the ESV and there is PLENTY of evidence for the deity of Christ in there sans the Comma.
     
  3. annsni

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    Since it is in no manuscript sooner than the tenth century and even at that, it's only in the margin. It was not until much later that it found it's way into the text. Additionally, early church writers certainly would have used so clear a text as that to defend the doctrine of the Trinity but they did not.

    I do not think it is original although it is absolutely orthodox.
     
  4. stilllearning

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    Hi God's_Servant

    Of course it was in the original and we know this because for hundreds of years the original author(God the Holy Spirit), said that is was.

    The way God testified, that it was Holy Writ, is by His personal testimony to millions of Christians over the centuries, who knew for sure that is was.
    --------------------------------------------------
    [off topic]
     
    #4 stilllearning, Sep 15, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 15, 2010
  5. God's_Servant

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    Can you give me quotes from these Christians who for centuries believed it was original? Erasmus didn't believe it was original. It wasn't included in the first two editions of his Greek New Testament, but he included it in the third because he took a lot of heat for it.
     
  6. annsni

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    If it were in the original, where was it for the first thousand years and how did it suddenly show up in the margins then into the text?
     
  7. RAdam

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    John Gill explores the subject fairly exhaustively in his commentary on the text:

    "The genuineness of this text has been called in question by some, because it is wanting in the Syriac version, as it also is in the Arabic and Ethiopic versions; and because the old Latin interpreter has it not; and it is not to be found in many Greek manuscripts; nor cited by many of the ancient fathers, even by such who wrote against the Arians, when it might have been of great service to them: to all which it may be replied, that as to the Syriac version, which is the most ancient, and of the greatest consequence, it is but a version, and a defective one. The history of the adulterous woman in the eighth of John, the second epistle of Peter, the second and third epistles of John, the epistle of Jude, and the book of the Revelations, were formerly wanting in it, till restored from Bishop Usher's copy by De Dieu and Dr. Pocock, and who also, from an eastern copy, has supplied this version with this text. As to the old Latin interpreter, it is certain it is to be seen in many Latin manuscripts of an early date, and stands in the Vulgate Latin edition of the London Polyglot Bible: and the Latin translation, which bears the name of Jerom, has it, and who, in an epistle of his to Eustochium, prefixed to his translation of these canonical epistles, complains of the omission of it by unfaithful interpreters. And as to its being wanting in some Greek manuscripts, as the Alexandrian, and others, it need only be said, that it is to be found in many others; it is in an old British copy, and in the Complutensian edition, the compilers of which made use of various copies; and out of sixteen ancient copies of Robert Stephens's, nine of them had it: and as to its not being cited by some of the ancient fathers, this can be no sufficient proof of the spuriousness of it, since it might be in the original copy, though not in the copies used by them, through the carelessness or unfaithfulness of transcribers; or it might be in their copies, and yet not cited by them, they having Scriptures enough without it, to defend the doctrine of the Trinity, and the divinity of Christ: and yet, after all, certain it is, that it is cited by many of them; by Fulgentius {z}, in the beginning of the "sixth" century, against the Arians, without any scruple or hesitation; and Jerom, as before observed, has it in his translation made in the latter end of the "fourth" century; and it is cited by Athanasius {a} about the year 350; and before him by Cyprian {b}, in the middle, of the "third" century, about the year 250; and is referred to by Tertullian {c} about, the year 200; and which was within a "hundred" years, or little more, of the writing of the epistle; which may be enough to satisfy anyone of the genuineness of this passage; and besides, there never was any dispute about it till Erasmus left it out in the, first edition of his translation of the New Testament; and yet he himself, upon the credit of the old British copy before mentioned, put it into another edition of his translation."
     
  8. RAdam

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    Here are better questions: how can we know what the originals said? Do we have any original scriptures? Has anyone alive today ever seen an original?

    Some people have set out to determine what the originals contained. They have the best of intentions but I wonder how they can conclude anything without either an original manuscript or a living eyewitness of an original manuscript.
     
  9. stilllearning

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    Hi God's_Servant

    You asked.......
    Most of the English speaking ones, lived during the 1500's, 1600's, 1700's and most of the 1800's, so I can’t actually talk to them.
    But, I know(and you also know), that they accepted it, because it was never removed, during these centuries!
    --------------------------------------------------
    But you know as well as I do, that they believed it to be God’s Word and I know this from your last post.

    You wrote........
    Who was he getting this “heat” from?
     
  10. stilllearning

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    Hi annsni

    What you describe as “suddenly showing up”, is a carefully crafted lie, that has fooled you.

    Just because it wasn’t found in the Vaticanus or the Sinaiticus means nothing.
    --------------------------------------------------
    Have you ever wondered why, these “oldest” manuscripts, survived for so many centuries and remained in such good condition?

    It is because they were not read or studied, by Christians.
    Real Christians, recognized them as flawed manuscripts, and left them alone.

    Therefore today, we are told that the Comma Johanneum was added later, simply because it “might not” be found in these oldest flawed manuscripts!
     
  11. God's_Servant

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    It is not found in most manuscripts. It is only in eight manuscripts, and only in the main text of half of those. All of these texts are extremely late.
     
  12. stilllearning

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    Hi Radam

    You ask a very good question........
    Well the answer is simple: Ask the author!

    We live in a time, when people are too absorbed with asking the scholar or the theologian; Most people have forgotten to ask the LORD!
    --------------------------------------------------
    But, there was a time in history, when most Christians didn’t do this.

    This is why I rest so heavily upon what regular Christians believed, hundreds of years ago.

    Of course they were uneducated dopes, but they loved the Lord and listened to him, more than we do.
     
  13. God's_Servant

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    He was taking heat from the Catholic Church, and Catholic Scholars. You see, the Comma Johanneum is contained in the Vulgate, and they believed the Vulgate was inspired (sound familiar?). So, if it is in the inspired text of the Catholic Church and not in Erasmus's Greek Text, then Erasmus must be in error.
     
    #13 God's_Servant, Sep 15, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 15, 2010
  14. God's_Servant

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    Yes, we should trust God, but, He doesn't reward our willful ignorance of facts.
     
  15. stilllearning

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    You can hardly call Erasmus’ opinions, “facts”!
     
  16. God's_Servant

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    And you can't call the opinions of Christians over the past few hundred years "fact" either.
     
  17. RAdam

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    I've never understood the zeal to make sure 1 John 5:7 isn't included in the bible. What does that verse say that people find so offensive?

    Please do not hijack my comments, still learning.
     
  18. stilllearning

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    I won’t.
    But I have the same question!
     
  19. TCassidy

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    I don't know. The Greek manuscript evidence is very sparse. The Latin manuscript evidence is much better, but suspect due to its source.

    The Patristic evidence is vague. Tertullian may have referenced it in Against Praxeas as early as 200 AD. Cyprian may also have made reference to it in 250 AD. Both Priscillian and Athanasius may have referenced it in 350 AD. Augustine quoted it in De Trinitate in 398 AD. But, of course, the problem with all these quotes/references is that they originate in Latin.

    I too see it as orthodox, and have no problem with it at all. In addition, the grammatical structure of the Greek verses in question requires it to be present to explain the change in gender. I know the arguments which deny its presence is necessary to explain the change of gender but those same (to me spurious) arguments are used to defend the Psalm 12:6-7 argument that "them" refers to the words and not the poor and needy, as the grammatical argument demands, so, we can't have it both ways. If we accept the argument against the comma we also have to accept the argument making Psalm 12:6-7 refer to the words.

    So, as its presence does not introduce a theological error into the text (nor does its absence deny Trinitarian doctrine which is amply taught elsewhere in scripture) in my opinion the argument is moot.

    Edited to add: An excellent book regarding the history of this debate is:
    A History of the Debate Over 1 John 5:7-8 by my friend, and admitted KJVO, Michael Maynard.
     
    #19 TCassidy, Sep 15, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 15, 2010
  20. Mexdeaf

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    I'll stand by my vote- "I don't know".

    Anyone who says it IS original is postulating, and anyone who says it ISN'T is postulating- NO ONE KNOWS!

    Even Gill said, "and as to its not being cited by some of the ancient fathers, this can be no sufficient proof of the spuriousness of it, since it might be in the original copy, though not in the copies used by them, through the carelessness or unfaithfulness of transcribers; or it might be in their copies, and yet not cited by them, they having Scriptures enough without it, to defend the doctrine of the Trinity, and the divinity of Christ:"

    In other words- He didn't know either.
     

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