Early support for 1 John 5:7?

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by natters, Mar 14, 2005.

  1. natters

    natters
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    What early support (especially at or prior to the Nicene and Constantinople Councils of AD 325 and AD 381) is there for 1 John 5:7, in manuscripts, quotes by early church fathers, etc.?

    I am aware of Cyprian's quote of AD 250, but I'm unclear as to what exactly he said, and in what language he said it in (i.e. what are the exact words, before translated into English?)
     
  2. icthus

    icthus
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    200 AD Tertullian quoted the verse in his Apology, Against Praxeas
    250 AD Cyprian of Carthage, wrote, "And again, of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost it is written: "And the three are One" in his On The Lapsed, On the Novatians, (see note for Old Latin)
    350 AD Priscillian referred to it [Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum, Academia Litterarum Vindobonensis, vol. xviii, p. 6.]
    350 AD Idacius Clarus referred to it [Patrilogiae Cursus Completus, Series Latina by Migne, vol. 62, col. 359.]
    350 AD Athanasius referred to it in his De Incarnatione
    398 AD Aurelius Augustine used it to defend Trinitarianism in De Trinitate against the heresy of Sabellianism
    415 AD Council of Carthage appealed to 1 John 5:7 when debating the Arian belief (Arians didn't believe in the deity of Jesus Christ)
    450-530 AD Several orthodox African writers quoted the verse when defending the doctrine of the Trinity against the gainsaying of the Vandals. These writers are:
    A) Vigilius Tapensis in "Three Witnesses in Heaven"
    B) Victor Vitensis in his Historia persecutionis [Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum, Academia Litterarum Vindobonensis, vol. vii, p. 60.]
    C) Fulgentius in "The Three Heavenly Witnesses" [Patrilogiae Cursus Completus, Series Latina by Migne, vol. 65, col. 500.]
    500 AD Cassiodorus cited it [Patrilogiae Cursus Completus, Series Latina by Migne, vol. 70, col. 1373.]
    550 AD Old Latin ms r has it
    550 AD The "Speculum" has it [The Speculum is a treatise that contains some good Old Latin scriptures.]
    750 AD Wianburgensis referred to it
    800 AD Jerome's Vulgate has it [It was not in Jerome's original Vulgate, but was brought in about 800 AD from good Old Latin manuscripts.]
    1000s AD miniscule 635 has it
    1150 AD minuscule ms 88 in the margin
    1300s AD miniscule 629 has it
    157-1400 AD Waldensian (that is, Vaudois) Bibles have the verse
    1500 AD ms 61 has the verse
    Even Nestle's 26th edition Greek New Testament, based upon the corrupt Alexandrian text, admits that these and other important manuscripts have the verse: 221 v.l.; 2318 Vulgate [Claromontanus]; 629; 61; 88; 429 v.l.; 636 v.l.; 918; l; r.
     
  3. natters

    natters
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    Thanks, icthus. Can you provide the actual quotes themselves (in their original languages, if possible, but if not that's OK) of the ones above I took from your post? (For the Waldensian one, I'm only interested in pre-380). I'm interested in the Tertullian one especially - what exactly does it say?
     
  4. icthus

    icthus
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    TERTULLIAN:

    "Ita connexus, Patris in Filio, et Filii in Paracleto tres efficit cohaerentes, alterum ex altero, qui tres unum sunt, - non unus; quomodo dictum est, 'ego et Pater unum sumus'. ad substantie unitatem, non ad numeri singularitatem" (adv. Praxeam. c.25)

    CYPRIAN:

    "Dicit Dominus, Ego et Pater unum sumus: et iterum de Patre, et Filio, et Spiritu Sancto, scriptum est, Et tres unum sunt" (De Unitate Ecclesiae. Op. p,109)

    400 BIHOPS PRESENTED A DOCUMENT TO THE ARIAN KING HUNNERIC (5TH CENTURY, - BUT VERY IMPORTANT), IN WHICH THEY WROTE:

    "Ut adhuc luce clarius unius divinitatis esse cum Patre et Filio Spiritum Sanctum doceamus, Jonnis Evangelistae testimonio comprobatur. Ait namque, tres sunt, qui testimonium perhibent in coleo, Pater, Verbum, et Spiritus Sanctus, et hi tres unum sunt"
     
  5. natters

    natters
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    Thanks icthus.

    Tertullian's quote, in English, says (with the supposed quote from 1 John 5:7 in bold):

    "Thus the connection of the Father in the Son, and of the Son in the Paraclete, produces three coherent Persons, who are yet distinct One from Another. These three are one [thing], not one [Person], as it is said, 'I and my Father are One,' in respect of unity of substance not singularity of number."

    To me, that does not appear to be a quote from 1 John 5:7 for two reasons: 1. It is the start of a sentence, in a general discussion about the Trinity, and 2. when Tertullian quotes scripture (as he did with "I and my Father are One" and everywhere else) he uses quotation marks - which are missing around "tres unum sunt".

    The second quote, by Cyprian, is inconclusive at best. The quote "tres unum sunt" is also the words found in verse *8* of 1 John 5. It is very possible Cyprian is quoting verse 8 and applying the 3-in-1 concept to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In fact, many think that it is Cyprian's comment here that is the reason 1 John 5:7 came into existence: someone reading Cyprian's words made a note in the margin of 1 John 5:7/8 in some manuscript, which was later copied by a scribe who saw the marginal note and thought it meant that it was a textual correction, and thus "put it back" into the main text. Of course this is pure speculation, but in my opinion very possible.

    I want 1 John 5:7 to be genuine, but in my opinion the evidence is simply too weak. I mean, by the early 4th century we have the height of the Arian heresy, and many councils and documents, both official and unofficial, being put together both in defence and explanation of the Trinity, as well as specifically in opposition against Arianism, and nobody's quoting 1 John 5:7 - not even the Arians, trying to explain it away! To my thinking, that would be like having the last 150 years of dispensational prophecy debates about the timing of the rapture, and nobody ever quoting 1 Thess 4:16 or 1 Cor 15:52. This is simply inconceiveable in my opinion. If the verse was genuine, then during the writings of this period 1 John 5:7 should be the verse under discussion, showing up in abundance in every doument and in every council discussion - like Psalm 12:7 is on a KJV-only discussion board. ;) It is not until after responses to Arian heresy have been in full swing for almost 200 years that 1 John 5:7 begins to appear in quotations and manuscripts. I cannot conclusively prove it, but I believe the verse worked its way into some manuscripts sometime after the First Council of Constantinople, in response to and in defence of Arianism, and thus we begin to see some church fathers after the Nicene period beginning to clearly quote it.

    So far, Tertullians and Cyprians questionable short "quotes" are the only things we can find in the 150 year time-span when Arianism made its big push, before about AD 400. If the verse is genuine, I am simply at a loss to come up with a reasonable explanation for this.
     
  6. Craigbythesea

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    The Johannine Comma (“in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth,”) is found in only eight Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. In four of these eight, the comma is found in the text, in the remaining four it is found in the margin. None of these eight manuscripts are from earlier than 1400 A.D.

    Raymond E. Brown writes,

    Raymond E. Brown, The Epistles of John, The Anchor Bible Series, Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1982, pp. 776-777.

    Neither is the Comma found in any of the pre-1500 copies of ancient translations of the Greek text into Syriac, Coptic, Armenian, Ethiopic, Arabic, or Slavonic.

    For the history of the Comma in Latin manuscripts, I quote again from Brown,

    Raymond E. Brown, The Epistles of John, The Anchor Bible Series, Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1982, p. 778.


    So, how did the Comma get into the New Testament? That is another story, and Brown, in his commentary on the Epistles of John, discusses that matter in great detail, beginning with its first known appearance in Priscillian’s Libre apologeticus.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. icthus

    icthus
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    The Evidence of Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage on the “Comma Johanneum” (A.D. 200-258)

    For those who are not familiar with the above heading, the “Comma Johanneum” refers to the disputed words found in the King James Version at 1 John chapter 5, verse 7. The text reads as follows:

    “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one”

    Primarily Investigation on some Background Information

    It has been held by many scholars, many of whom are among the best in Textual Criticism, that the above reading as found in the King James Version (KJV), should not form part of the First Epistle of John, as they are not in the original as produced by the Apostle.

    These words, they say, can only be traced in the Greek, to the 15th or 16th century, and found in Greek manuscripts of no real worth. The late date of these words in the Greek manuscript evidence, I will concur to. But, we must remember that we do not have all the Greek manuscripts that were copied during the centuries, and more importantly, we do not have the original manuscripts for any of the books of the New Testament! The oldest Greek manuscript that has come down to us with this passage, the Codex Sinaiticus, which dates from the 4th century.

    It should be noted here, the attitude of some of the Textual Critics on this passage, where the wording of these scholars can be summed up by Dr Bruce Metzger:

    “The Comma probably originated as a piece of allegorical exegesis of the three witnesses and may have been written as a marginal gloss in a Latin manuscript of 1 John, whence it was take into the text of the Old Latin Bible during the fifty century” (B M Metzger, The Text of the New Testament, Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration, p. 102. 1973 reprint)

    Like all the evidence that is out there against the reading of this passage as found in the KJV, the arguments are based purely on probability, and conjecture, but never are there any solid facts produced! What I am going to show in this study, is the plain fact, that this passage was indeed know to, and quoted by, St Cyprian, who lived at least 100 years before the Codex Sinaiticus. And, though the text in question is in Latin (since Cyprian belonged to the Church which had Latin as its main language), yet, as I shall demonstrate, was also part of the Greek New Testament that this Church father used.

    I owe it to the reader, to spend a little time here with regards to the lack of this reading in the ancient Greek manuscripts. I shall also touch upon the ancient versions of this Epistle.

    We have already mentioned the fact, that the earliest Greek manuscript for 1 John, the Codex Sinaiticus, does not contain this verse as in the KJV. Nor do the other three or four principal Greek manuscripts, which date in the fourth and fifth centuries, have this reading. But, does this cause a problem with the evidence for this reading then? I think not!

    I should point out here, that the two principal Greek manuscripts, the Codex Sinaiticus, and the Codex Vaticanus, which also dates from the middle of the fourth century. It is my opinion, for good reason, that far too much weight is placed upon these two manuscripts, as witnesses for the text of the Greek New Testament. There are certain facts from history, which I shall present here, that should be conclusive on the credibility of these two manuscripts.

    The earliest Greek manuscripts, known as Papyrus manuscripts (as they were written using the papyrus plant), were written in “rolls” (libri) of Papyrus. We know from the evidence of Eusebius, the Church historian, that in about the year A.D. 331, the Emperor Constantine, ordered that fifty manuscripts of the Greek New Testament be made on “vellum”, in “Codex” format, for his new capital. (See, Frederic Kenyon; Handbook to the Textual Criticism of the New Testament, p.41). We then have the words of Bruce Metzger, who writes,

    “The suggestion has been made by several scholars that the two oldest parchment manuscripts of the Bible which are in existence today, namely codex Vaticanus and codex Sinaiticus, may have been among those ordered by Constantine. It has been pointed out that Eusebius’ curious expression, ‘volumes of threefold and fourfold forms’, agrees with the circumstances that these two codices have respectively three columns and four columns on each page” (Metzger, ibid, p. 7)

    We further know from St Jerome (4th century), “that the (papyrus) volumes in the library of Pamphilus at Caesarea were replaced by copies on vellum through the efforts of Acacius and Euzoius (circ. 350)” (Kenyon, ibid). The year for this work of copying from payyrus to vellum by these two men, are the time most scholars give for the codices Vaticanus and Sinaiticus. Of Acacius, we are told, that “he became the head of the courtly Arian party” (H Wace, and W Piercy, A Dictionary of Christian Biography and Literature, p.2; one volume edition). And of Euzoius, “Arian bishop of Antioch, the companion and intimate friend of Arius form an early age” (ibid, p.358). Arius, for the record, was the forerunner of the Jehovah’s Witnesses! Among other blasphemies, denied the Holy Trinity, Deity of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit! Can we trust any “copies” of the Scriptures made by these men? You, the reader must judge.

    About the time these two codices were being “copied”, the Gothic Version of the Holy Bible was being made. This was the work of a “missionary” to the Goths, Ulfilas (died about 380). Like Acacius and Euzoius, Ulifilas was also an Arian, and his Arianism is clearly seen by his “translation of ‘isa theoi’, in Phil. 2:6, where he has rendered the Greek by: ‘ galeiko guda’ (= ‘similar to God’), whereas it should have been rendered, ‘ibna guda’ (“equal to God” - my translation) “ (Bruce Metzger; The Early Versions of the New Testament, p. 377). The point I am making with this example, is to show that ones “theological bias” does indeed have a bearing on how something one writes or speaks. There are many more examples that I can produce, but I think that I have said enough here.

    I must bring to the readers attention an important case on textual criticism, which will shed more light on the evidence of the Greek manuscripts.
    I refer to the famous passage in the Gospel of St. John, of the woman who is caught in adultery. The oldest Greek Manuscript that contains this passage, is the Codex Bezae Cantabrigiensis, which is of the 5th century. All the Greek papyri and Codex manuscripts before this time that have come down to us, omit this passage, or mark it as doubtful. What, then are we to make of the words of Jerome, the author of the Latin Vulgate, who died in A.D. 420? Jerome, in his work, Contra Pelagium, says that the passage of the woman taken in adultery, is found in “many manuscripts, both Greek and Latin” (ii, 17). Many Greek Manuscripts? Where, then are these manuscripts? Augustine, who lived at the same time of Jerome, complains that people of little faith removed the passage! Then, how come the earliest Greek Manuscript that we have containing the passage, dates from the fifth century? It is clear, that from a very early time, the passage was removed from John’s Gospel! The first Greek father to refer to this passage as part of John’s Gospel, was Euthymius, who was from the 12th century! Is not at all more than probable, that our text from 1 John would have also have been removed at a very early time?
    The Passage from Cyprian which shows he read 1 John 5:7

    “Dicit Dominus, ego et Pater unum sumus, et iterum de Patre, et Filio et Spiritu Sancto, scriptum est, et tres unum sunt” (De Unitate Ecclesiae, Op.p.109)

    “The Lord said, I and the Father are one, and again of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, it is written: and these three are one”

    The first quotation is from John 10:30, where our Lord is speaking of the essential unity of Himself and the Father. “I and the Father”, two Persons, which is further shown by the use of the masculine, plural “sumus” (lit. “We are”. It is then followed by the neuter “hen” (lit “one thing”; not the masculine “heis “ ”one person”).

    Cyprian then goes on to say, “et iterum...scriptum est”, that is, “and again...it is written”. It must be mentioned here, that whenever Cyprian was referring to, or quoting from a Scripture passage. Where else, besides 1 John 5:7 in the entire Bible do words even similar to these appear?

    Now, how can anyone get around these plain words of Cyprian, where he no doubt quotes from 1 John 5:7? We do have a few work a rounds for this passage. Some say that the words are a “gloss”, that it, they were originally written in the margin of a New Testament, and then eventually some zealous Trinitarian scribe decided to include the words into the main text of John’s first Epistle. This is nothing but conjecture, as not a single copy of Greek manuscript, or ancient version in any language has been found where these words are written anywhere but the text itself! Then, we have those who suppose, like Facundus (Pro. Defens, iii.1,3), the Bishop of Hermiane (6th century), that Cyprian had before him the reference to “the Spirit, the water and the blood” in verse eight, and supposed that John was speaking of the Holy Trinity! Plausable, but not probable. There is indeed a passage in Cyprian’s writings, where he does mention a reference that “symbolises” the Trinity in a passage dealing with the three men in Daniel, who spent the third, sixth and ninth hour in prayer. So the passage runs;

    “We find that the three children with Daniel, strong in faith and victorious in captivity, observed the third, sixth, and ninth hour, as it were, for a sacrament of the Trinity, which in the last times had to be manifested. For both the first hour in its progress to the third shows for the consummated number of the Trinity, and also the fourth proceeding to the sixth declares another Trinity; and when from the seventh the ninth is completed, the perfect Trinity is numbered every three hours (Dom. Orat. 34)”

    However, it is one thing to comment upon a passage, but another to use the formula “it is written”, which Cyprian ONLY uses for an actual Scripture passage, and then to refer to something completely different! He is not commenting on 1 John 5:8, where, if he were, then, like he does in the above passage, would mention the words of verse eight, and then say that he sees a reference to the Holy Trinity in them. This would be acceptable. Dr John Ebrard, who rejects the words in 1 John 5:7 as being an “interpolation”, has this to say on the theory proposed by Facundus.

    “Facundus, indeed (pro Defens 111.1,3), supposed that Cyprian had here in view only the words to pneuma kai to hudôr kai to haima hoi treis eis to hen eisin; having understood by pneuma the energy of the Holy Spirit in the Church, by the hudor the energy of the Father, and by the haima that of the Son. But, although it might be possible that Cyprian so understood the words ( and though, further, the Vulgate has translated eis to hen eisin by unum sunt), yet between possibility and probability there is a difference, and Cyprian’s words may be explained by the fact that in manuscripts which he had (of an old Latin version) the interpolation was already to be found. Thus was Cyprian’s sentence viewed by Fulgentius Ruspensis (Responsio ad Arianos); and, what is more important, Fulgentius himself quotes the critically-questionable words as St John’s, and therefore must have read them in his New Testament. (Fulgentius died A.D. 533)” (Biblical Commentary on the Epistles of St John, pp-325-326)

    There can be no question that the words were known to Cyprian, and even did form part of His New Testament.. We shall now look at the testimony of Tertullain (160-220), who was also from Carthage in North Africa, where Cyprian had been Bishop, who used to refer to Tertullian as “his master”. The importance of Tertullian’s testimony here, especially in connection with Cyprian, will become clearer as we proceed.

    Tertullian, in his work “Against Praxeas”, (who taught a Trinity where the Father actually suffered on the cross, where He identified the Father with the Son, and therefore failed to separate the Persons in the Godhead.) has a passage which says;

    “And so the connection of the Father, and the Son, and of the Paraclete makes three cohering Persons, one in the other, which three are one (qui tres unum sunt) [in substance ‘unum’, not ‘one’ in number, ‘unus’]; in the same manner which it was said, ‘I and the Father are one’, to denote the unity of substance, not the singularity of number” (Ad Prax. C.25).

    Some observations need to be made here. Firstly, it is interesting that, like Cyprian, Tertullian also uses John 10:30 with 1 John 5:7. Secondly, where, if not from 1 John 5:7, does Tertullian get the phrase, “qui tres unum sunt”? Thirdly, what does Tertullian mean with the phrase, “quomodo dictum est” (in the same manner which it was said)? And then quote from John 10:30? Fourthly, though, like Cyprian, Tertullian was of the Latin Church, yet we know that he “wrote particularly in Latin, but also in Greek. He also sometimes used a Latin Bible, sometimes a Greek, probably oftener the former than the latter. It is improbable that his Greek Bible was very different in text from the Greek text underlying his Latin Bible” (A Souter; The Text and canon of the New Testament, p.79). Frederic Kenyon adds, that Tertullian “seems often to have made his own translations from the Greek” (The Text of the Greek Bible, p.136).

    This leads us to the conclusion on this, that there can be no doubt that the Greek Bible was available, and used in North Africa as early as middle of the second century, even though the Church in North Africa spoke mainly Latin. It is complete nonsense to assume with Dr Thomas Horne, who quotes Michaelis, the German theologian, who said;

    “On the other hand, admitting that the words Et tres unum sunt – And these three are one – were so quoted from the verse in question, Michaelis asks whether a passage found in no ancient Greek manuscript, quoted by no Greek father, and contained in no other ancient version but the Latin, is therefore to be pronounced genuine, merely because one single Latin father of the first three centuries, who was bishop of Carthage, where the Latin version only was used, and where Greek was unknown, has quoted it?” (An Introduction to the Critical Study and Knowledge of the Holy Scriptures, vol.IV, p.461)

    The reference here is to Cyprian, who, it is wrongly assumed, had no knowledge of Greek, and therefore only used the Latin Bible. Such arguments in Textual Criticism clearly show that complete lack of knowledge of the facts, or the misuse of them to prove a point. This is not new, as most of those who reject this passage in 1 John, have done so mainly on the basis of other big names before them, and not because they have cared to examine the evidence for themselves. Cyprian, we are told, received “a good Greek education” (Elgin S Moyer; The Wycliffe Biographical Dictionary of the Church, p.108). Can anyone be said to have received a good Greek education, without learning Greek? Further evidence of Cyprian’s knowledge of Greek can be found in his correspondence with Bishop Firmilian. “Before the winter of 256* Cyprian’s messengers to Firmilian returned with (10) his reply, the most enthusiastic letter of the series. We have it in Cyprian’s translation from the Greek” (H Wace and W Piercy, ibid, pp.228-229). Again I must ask, is it possible to translate from Greek, if one has know knowledge of the language? There can be no doubt to the honest mind, that the facts speak for themselves, and the evidence, not conjecture, is, that Cyprian, like Tertullian, fully knew the Greek language, would no doubt have had the entire Bible in Greek as well as Latin! Can anyone still doubt that, not only was the disputed passage know to both Tertullian and Cyprian, but that it would have been in both the Greek as well as the Latin Epistle of John! To argue that Cyprian did not know Greek, is, in my opinion, like arguing to the wind!

    The Evidence of a Single Latin Father Should not be Considered!

    I refer the reader back to the passage from Dr Horne as quoted above, where he mentions the objections of Michaelis. This argument now leads us to the evidence of the passage as quoted by one Church father, namely Cyprian, which is objected to because he belonged to the Latin Church, as was a sole witness to the disputed words. I don’t think that Dr Michaelis, by saying this, is actually admitting that Cyprian read the words, but that even if he did, his testimony does not amount to much, as it is only his testimony, against the bulk of witnesses that are against this passage.

    I would like to refer the reader to Paul’s Epistle to the Colossians, chapter two, and verse two. Here the King James Version reads: “…to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ”. Now, a textual study of this text from the external evidence that we have, reveals no less than fifteen readings for this! The reading found in most modern versions, is, “…to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God Christ” (lit. “tou Theou Christou”), which has been accepted as the “original” for this text. It should be noted, that all the Critical Greek New Testaments (Greisbach, Lachmann, Tregelles, Tischendorf, Alford), accepted this reading, not because it is read in the only Greek Manuscript, the Codex Vatanicus, but, because it was known to the Church father, Hilary. For those who are not familiar with the Church fathers, Hilary was Bishop of Poitiers in the fourth century (315-368), and, like Cyprian, was of the Latin Church! This is not the oldest reading. Clement of Alexandria, who lived almost 200 years before Hilary, and who was of the Greek Church, here reads: “tou theou tou en Christoi” (of God in Christ). This reading also has the support of the so-called “Queen of the Cursives” (manuscripts written in running hand, as opposed to those written in contracted, capital letters), which goes by the number 33. It dates from about the 9th century, but this late date does not detract from its importance as a credible witness to the early text. Granted that the Papyri Greek Manuscript, the P46 also supports the reading of Hilary, and is of the early part of the third century. But, this Mss. Was not available to any of the above Textual Critics when they complied their Critical Versions of the Greek New Testament, so this did not contribute to their decision on textual matters. I am not altogether clear as to how the evidence is weighed when determining which is the correct reading for a passage. My own investigations cause me some serious concerns, when I see the evidence for important passages are not correctly used, or ignored altogether. Let us keep with the same Papyri Mss. (P46). Besides the reading it has for Colossians 2:2, which supports the testimony of Hilary and the Codex Vatanicus, this Mss. has in an important verse for the Deity of Jesus Christ, support for which I believe to be the original reading, as found in the KJV. The passage I refer to is 1 Corinthians 10:9, where the reading “Christ” has been replaced by either “Lord” or “God”, mainly the former. But, you may say, there can’t be any problem with this, as it must refer to Jesus. Not so! Paul here is referring to the passage in Numbers chapter 21, verses 5-6, where the LORD (YHWH) is said to have sent the serpents among the children of Israel. With the reading “Christ” there is no doubt that only Jesus can be meant. But, with either of the other readings, it is more likely that the Father is meant. On the textual evidence, beside the evidence of P46, the support for the reading “Christ” is very strong, both for its diversity, and its age. For the former, it is supported by a host of Greek Manuscripts, and Greek Church fathers. Add to this the following Ancient Versions: Old Latin, Latin Vulgate, Syriac, Coptic, Georgian, and Salvonic, which is the greater majority of the Versions. Then we also have the evidence from the Latin fathers, and also the heretic, Marcion! For the latter it can be said, that this reading dates from as early as 100 A.D., which would be the date for the manuscripts for the basis of the Old Latin Version. The heretic Marcion lived around 140 A.D, where his copy of this Epistle would no doubt date earlier than this. It might be said here, that the evidence for either of the other readings is no comparison! Yet, in spite of all this very strong evidence, The Greek New Testament issued by the United Bible Societies (4th Edition. 1994), give the reading “Christ” a “B” mark. This mark “indicates that the text is almost certain” (p.3*). The “A” mark “indicates that the text is certain”. By giving this reading the “B” mark, the Committee shows that there is some doubt to the reading adopted! However, there is no doubt in my mind, that if the evidence is viewed honestly, then the reading “Christ” is the only one possible. It is evident that the enemy made sure that this reference to Christ’s Deity did not stand, as he did for other great texts like 1 Timothy 3:16, and like he has also succeeded in 1 John 5:7, if the so-called expert scholars can be relied upon!

    I shall end by quoting the words of Dr Frederick Scrivener, who , though he did not accept the text of 1 John 5:7 as being that of the Apostle, had this to say of the evidence of Cyprian. “It is surely safer and more candid to admit that Cyprian read ver. 7 in his copies, than to resort to the explanation of Facundus [vi], that the holy Bishop was merely putting on ver.8 a spiritual meaning” (A Plain Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament, vol. II, p.405)
     
  8. Craigbythesea

    Craigbythesea
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    What a bologna sandwich! Neither Cyprian nor Tertullian nor anyone else quoted the Johannine Comma prior to the 4th century, and as I have posted above, the Johannine Comma is not found in any of the pre-1500 A.D. copies of the ancient translations of the Greek text into Syriac, Coptic, Armenian, Ethiopic, Arabic, or Slavonic. And no one, absolutely no one, quoted from it to defend their Trinitarian views during the early debate on that subject. Therefore, there is not the slightest chance that the Johannine Comma is an original part of John’s Gospel, and the history of its transmission in the Old Latin texts (i.e., those Old Latin texts in which it does appear) in Spain has been thoroughly studied by Raymond Brown and other scholars. Indeed, this matter has been so thoroughly studied by so many that for anyone to argue for the genuineness of the Johannine Comma is irresponsible.

    Dear friend, I would like to take your points one at a time and explain in detail why they are faulty, but your post includes so very many typographical errors that that it is often difficult to discern whether you are making an invalid assertion or you have made another typographical error. And when quoting scholars such a Metzger, it is generally considered good etiquette to quote them correctly, using their spelling—and not your keyboard errors.

    If you will present your arguments one at time, carefully typed, I will be glad to address them in like manner, and show why they are faulty. If you choose not to do that, I shall rest my case.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. natters

    natters
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    Hi icthus,

    I rarely read posts of that length, but this time I did. [​IMG] Despite its length, I didn't find much that dealt directly with Cyprian's quote. Nor does it effectively argue against the idea that Cyprian was instead quoting verse 8, applying the phrase there to the Trinity. In fact, the article says this idea is "plausible".
     
  10. HankD

    HankD
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    Found online in the public domain at:

    http://www.americanpresbyterianchurch.org/the_johannine_comma.htm

    Put on a pot of coffee before reading this entire document, you will surely fall asleep.


    HankD
     
  11. Spoudazo

    Spoudazo
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    If 1 John 5:7 is so "strongly supported by patristic evidence" then why didn't Dean John Burgon defend it? He was the one that was working on a "scriptural index" of patristic quotations. However, he died before it was completed :(
     
  12. El_Guero

    El_Guero
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    Craig

    Would you cite your sources?
     
  13. El_Guero

    El_Guero
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    icthus

    I enjoy your studying the TC.

    Unfortunately TC is often conjecture.

    Fortunately, TC doesn't affect theology. And the total effected verses are less than maybe 2%(*).

    In Him,

    Wayne

    (*) I do apologize for not remembering the exact percentage of verses that have differences, but it has been awhile since I studied TC.
     
  14. icthus

    icthus
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    There is not one shread of evidence, that Cyprian ever used verse eight for the Holy Trinity. This theory was suggested by those who simply cannot accept the fact that Cyprian actually quotes verse 7. Let us not forget that Cyprian says: "again, it is written", which can only be a reference to Scripture, as he was making a connection to John 10:30, which also speaks of the plurality of Persons in the Godhead, and unity in essence! These are exactly the same two verses that Tertullian used.

    I am not going to try to convince anyone, as many already have their minds shut, being convinced by the nonsense that modern textual scholars write on these matters. If you study the external and internal evidence as I have, then you will see for yourself that 1 John 5:7 is part of the original!
     
  15. natters

    natters
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    I realize this. I'm just saying, like the article you posted, that it is plausible.

    How can you be so sure, if the other explanation is plausible?

    Yes, but verse 8 is scripture. "it is written" is still entirely true if referring to verse 8.

    It appears to me that Tertullian only used one verse. He put quotation marks around all scripture he quoted, and he did not use quotation marks on "these three are one". Even if he did, again it could be a quote of verse 8.

    My mind is not shut. But thanks for your opinion. [​IMG]

    Again, if it was, why is it completely absent from all discussions and councils that dealt with Arianism for a time span of approx 150 years??? Can you imagine 1 Thess 4:15 never being quoted by anyone discussing and debating the rapture over a period of 150 years?
     
  16. icthus

    icthus
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    Craig, I suppose that you are aware of the problems that even the "orthodox" Church fathers had on the Holy Trinity, as there were many, like Basil the great, who would not accept the full Deity of the Holy Spirit?. Add to these name those of Hilary, Gregory of Nazianzen, etc. See Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, volume 2, page 663 onwards). Even the otherwise Evangelical, Dr James Denney, would not call Jesus "God", for example in John 1:1, but was content in calling Him, "a god"!

    Did you also know, that 1 Corinthians 8:6 used to read:

    "But unto us, one God the father, of Whom all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom all things, and we by him; and one Holy Spirit, in Whom all things, and we in Him"?

    This reading can be found in Greek as well as Latin Church fathers, as well in the text of the Fifth Gereral Council of A.D. 553. Also, the Arian heretic, Eunomius, knew of this reading!

    No doubt again, like 1 John 5:7, it was corrupted by some heretic!
     
  17. icthus

    icthus
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    Also, what of the problem with the Greek (NOT English) grammar of the passage without verse seven? How can anyone explain it?

    **********************************

    The strongest evidence, however, is found in the Greek text itself. Looking at 1 John 5:8, there are three nouns which, in Greek, stand in the neuter (Spirit, water, and blood). However, they are followed by a participle that is masculine. The Greek phrase here is oi marturountes (who bare witness). Those who know the Greek language understand this to be poor grammar if left to stand on its own. Even more noticeably, verse six has the same participle but stands in the neuter (Gk.: to marturoun). Why are three neuter nouns supported with a masculine participle? The answer is found if we include verse seven. There we have two masculine nouns (Father and Son) followed by a neuter noun (Spirit). The verse also has the Greek masculine participle oi marturountes. With this clause introducing verse eight, it is very proper for the participle in verse eight to be masculine, because of the masculine nouns in verse seven. But if verse seven were not there it would become improper Greek grammar

    *************************************
     
  18. Ransom

    Ransom
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    Craig, I suppose that you are aware of the problems that even the "orthodox" Church fathers had on the Holy Trinity, as there were many, like Basil the great, who would not accept the full Deity of the Holy Spirit?

    You are mistaken. It was the Cappadocian fathers who were most instrumental in developing the orthodox doctrine of the Holy Spirit for the Church, and in fact, Basil was the first to write a theological treatise specifically about the Holy Spirit, around 375.

    Basil affirmed the full deity of the Holy Spirit, stating that he proceeded from the Father and was not a created being (i.e. they are co-eternal). It was the Cappadocian fathers who defined the terms such as "substance," "nature," "person," "begetting," "begotten," "proceeding," and so forth that clarified how the Church spoke of the Trinity.

    The church in the East strongly affirmed the full deity of all the persons in the Trinity, because their theology would not allow that someone less than divine, whether Son or Holy Spirit, could accomplish salvation perfectly.
     
  19. icthus

    icthus
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    Sorry mate, you are mistaken! Who do you think the Cappadocian fathers are? Let me enlighten you. Basil the great, Gregory of Nyssa, and Gregory of Nazianzus!!!

    There you have the facts!
     
  20. Spoudazo

    Spoudazo
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    Conjecture also had its place in the Textus Receptus, from which we got our beloved KJV [​IMG]
     

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