Johannine Comma

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by Martin Marprelate, Jun 25, 2011.

  1. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate
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  2. Jaocb77

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  3. robycop3

    robycop3
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    It's not a matter of supporting the KJV; it's a matter of eliminating the false KJVO doctrine, an idea which has absolutely NO SCRIPTURAL SUPPORT.

    The game of "Mah skoller kin whup YER skoller" gets nowhere fast.
     
  4. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate
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    The question of KJV Only has not been brought up on this thread. I certainly, as a NKJV fan, am 100% against KJV only. The point of the thread is to show that there is more to the Johannine Comma question than might be apparent.

    In fact the question of texts is all about skollers. Theologically there is nothing wrong with the Johannine Comma. Thereare Three who testify, and the Three are One. That can be deduced from other Scriptures. The question is a textual one and there, unfortunately, the skollers rule.

    Steve
     
  5. TomVols

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    Martin,
    I don't think that was directed at you. It was directed at all who take any chance they can to promote the KJVO teaching that is unBiblical.
     
  6. Maestroh

    Maestroh
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    The Article

    That article demonstrates all that is wrong about the KJVO position.

    1) Inconsistent methodology - note that these same people will tell you that we're supposed to take Mark 16:9-20 as Scripture because "it's in the majority of the MSS." But when the majority goes AGAINST a KJV reading, they simply change their tune. In other words, the majority has NOTHING to do with it - at all.

    2) While it is true that godly men through the centuries have believed it should be in the Scriptures, there are other godly men who do not. That isn't even a coherent argument.

    3) Neither Matthew Henry nor RL Dabney was a textual critic. The blind assumption that all scholars are equally equipped to address all arguments is highly erroneous.

    4) The fact the Comma appears early DOES NOT mean John wrote it. I mean don't the KJVOs (like DA Waite) continually say that the worst corruptions happened in the first two centuries?

    5) The appeal to the Latin is hilarious given its selective use. Why not appeal to the majority of Latin in I Timothy 3:16? Oh that's right - because the goal is NOT to be methodologically consistent but rather to defend the KJV at all costs.

    6) The gender argument sounds good to a non-scholar who doesn't know Greek, esp one who wants to defend the KJV. But notice how rarely it comes up in church history. Am I supposed to believe that with only 3 or 4 exceptions not a single Greek grammarian for 17 centuries ever noticed this so-called problem?

    7) Ultimately, you have only a few choices:

    a) John wrote it and it is authentic.
    b) John did not write it and it is not authentic
    c) John did not write it but God inspired somebody to put it there.

    Whichever view one takes, you then have some problems:

    a) How many copies of John's original were made? One or more than one?

    If only ONE copy was made and that passage was omitted IN THAT ONE copy then we have a re-inspiration of the scribe taking place centuries later.

    If MORE THAN ONE copy was made then how in the world did ALL of those copies just happen to miss the exact same spot? You're talking a statistical near impossibility.

    So let's say John's original was only copied FIVE times. How many of those five are missing this passage? Theoretically they all could be. However, is that realistic? Odds are that AT LEAST four of the five would keep it.

    Now how many copies of each GOOD copy were made?

    At some point these authors have to explain the utter NON-EXISTENCE of it from the Syriac, Georgian, Coptic versions, etc. You don't just get to say, "Well it appears here and therefore it's authentic" because ANYONE could do that. The Shepard of Hermes is in Sinaiticus - does that mean that it's authentic? No, but if I argued like a KJV Onlyist then it most certainly is.

    Please do research from something other than an agenda driven site like the TBS. T
     
  7. Maestroh

    Maestroh
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    No, the EVIDENCE rules.
     
  8. Mexdeaf

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    WHOSE evidence and who is evaluating it, you mean.
     
  9. Maestroh

    Maestroh
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    No. Not in this case.

    If John wrote this passage then our Bibles have been so corrupted that we cannot really know ANYTHING about God from it - with any level of certainty. After all, if a reading can vanish without a trace except in one non-original line..and then suddenly appear over a thousand years later - then we have no certainty at all.
     
  10. jonathan.borland

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    Yes, this is basically Bart Ehrman's line of reasoning, not on this passage but on many others due to the completely unsystematic eclecticism that rules the day, e.g., here 1800 manuscripts support a passage, there only one or two, etc.
     
  11. Askjo

    Askjo
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    If John wrote this passage, do you believe his writings?
     
  12. JesusFan

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    problem with Mr Ehrman position on Biblical Criticism is that he starins mightly to void a selected out few verses from the text, and even IF you were to grant him as being "bogus/corruptions", which I DO not , he still has nearly entire Bible that he has to 'deal with", as the rest still clearly proves Christianity is true!
     
  13. Maestroh

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    It's been the line of reasoning at least since F.H.A. Scrivener. To try to tar me with guilt by assocation by throwing Ehrman in here is pretty sad.

    But I notice you didn't bother to address the argument.

    If John wrote it - why the UTTER LACK of attestation in Greek for so many years? And if ONE IMPORTANT PASSAGE like this could vanish - what hope is there for any sort of inspired text otherwise?

    I see you don't understand reasoned eclecticism, either.
     
  14. Maestroh

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    Rather than asking such a question lay out a case - if you think John wrote it then explain how it vanished.
     
  15. Maestroh

    Maestroh
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    Aside from which a thesis was recently done at Dallas Seminary pointing out that Ehrman goes against virtually ALL of eclecticism and has his own canon that might be described as "the most unorthodox reading in the most likely original." Ehrman, in fact, sides with the KJV on John 1:18, not the modern CT.
     
  16. HankD

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    We can theorize that perhaps it was a scribal omission of copying the Greek because of it's similarity to verse 8 which happened very early on but was retained in the contemporary old Latin translations.

    At least one old itala has the verses (7 and 8) reversed which adds credence (IMO) to this theory.

    HankD
     
  17. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate
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    Yes, but this isn't really true, is it? The Comma didn't vanish without trace for 1,000 years. It was appearing in copies of the Vulgate for 1,000 years and so was well-known in the West to anyone who could read Latin.....and those who couldn't read latin didn't have anything to read except Wycliff's translation, and whadd'ya know, it's there as well.

    As for Henry and Dabney not being Texual Scholars, well, they were great men of God and I'm not sure that can be said for all textual scholars.

    Steve
     
  18. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
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    I think he said KJB (as in cold war) LOL
     
  19. Van

    Van
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    I think the following footnote from the NET puts it well:

    Before τὸ πνεῦμα καὶ τὸ ὕδωρ καὶ τὸ αἷμα (to pneuma kai to {udwr kai to |aima), the Textus Receptus (TR) reads ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ, ὁ πατήρ, ὁ λόγος, καὶ τὸ ἅγιον πνεῦμα, καὶ οὗτοι οἱ τρεῖς ἕν εἰσι. 5:8 καὶ τρεῖς εἰσιν οἱ μαρτυροῦντες ἐν τῇ γῇ (“in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one. 5:8 And there are three that testify on earth”). This reading, the infamous Comma Johanneum, has been known in the English-speaking world through the King James translation. However, the evidence – both external and internal – is decidedly against its authenticity. For a detailed discussion, see TCGNT 647-49. Our discussion will briefly address the external evidence. This longer reading is found only in nine late mss, four of which have the words in a marginal note. Most of these mss (221 2318 [18th century] {2473 [dated 1634]} and [with minor variations] 61 88 429 629 636 918) originate from the 16th century; the earliest ms, codex 221 (10th century) includes the reading in a marginal note, added sometime after the original composition. The oldest ms with the Comma in its text is from the 14th century (629), but the wording here departs from all the other mss in several places. The next oldest mss on behalf of the Comma, 88 (12th century) 429 (14th) 636 (15th), also have the reading only as a marginal note (v.l.). The remaining mss are from the 16th to 18th centuries. Thus, there is no sure evidence of this reading in any Greek ms until the 14th century (629), and that ms deviates from all others in its wording; the wording that matches what is found in the TR was apparently composed after Erasmus’ Greek NT was published in 1516. Indeed, the Comma appears in no Greek witness of any kind (either ms, patristic, or Greek translation of some other version) until a.d. 1215 (in a Greek translation of the Acts of the Lateran Council, a work originally written in Latin). This is all the more significant since many a Greek Father would have loved such a reading, for it so succinctly affirms the doctrine of the Trinity. The reading seems to have arisen in a 4th century Latin homily in which the text was allegorized to refer to members of the Trinity. From there, it made its way into copies of the Latin Vulgate, the text used by the Roman Catholic Church. The Trinitarian formula (known as the Comma Johanneum) made its way into the third edition of Erasmus’ Greek NT (1522) because of pressure from the Catholic Church. After his first edition appeared, there arose such a furor over the absence of the Comma that Erasmus needed to defend himself. He argued that he did not put in the Comma because he found no Greek mss that included it. Once one was produced (codex 61, written in ca. 1520), Erasmus apparently felt obliged to include the reading. He became aware of this ms sometime between May of 1520 and September of 1521. In his annotations to his third edition he does not protest the rendering now in his text, as though it were made to order; but he does defend himself from the charge of indolence, noting that he had taken care to find whatever mss he could for the production of his text. In the final analysis, Erasmus probably altered the text because of politico-theologico-economic concerns: He did not want his reputation ruined, nor his Novum Instrumentum to go unsold. Modern advocates of the TR and KJV generally argue for the inclusion of the Comma Johanneum on the basis of heretical motivation by scribes who did not include it. But these same scribes elsewhere include thoroughly orthodox readings – even in places where the TR/Byzantine mss lack them. Further, these advocates argue theologically from the position of divine preservation: Since this verse is in the TR, it must be original. (Of course, this approach is circular, presupposing as it does that the TR = the original text.) In reality, the issue is history, not heresy: How can one argue that the Comma Johanneum goes back to the original text yet does not appear until the 14th century in any Greek mss (and that form is significantly different from what is printed in the TR; the wording of the TR is not found in any Greek mss until the 16th century)? Such a stance does not do justice to the gospel: Faith must be rooted in history. Significantly, the German translation of Luther was based on Erasmus’ second edition (1519) and lacked the Comma. But the KJV translators, basing their work principally on Theodore Beza’s 10th edition of the Greek NT (1598), a work which itself was fundamentally based on Erasmus’ third and later editions (and Stephanus’ editions), popularized the Comma for the English-speaking world. Thus, the Comma Johanneum has been a battleground for English-speaking Christians more than for others.
     
  20. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate
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    Hello Van,
    The NET guy may well be right, but I notice that he doesn't address the internal evidence for the Comma. It is that which has given me pause on the matter. Before reading the TBS article I was a supporter of the Majority Text, but I felt that the T.R. was a step too far for me.

    Having looked at the points made by Henry and Dabney, I feel that there is another side to the question, and so my position at the moment is that I will preach from any portion of the T.R., but will also make clear the textual uncertainties.

    I don't have any criticism of those who take a different view, and my own position might change if I read a convincing explanation of the points raised in the TBS article.

    Just one other point. Contrary to the NET article, I feel God has preserved His word in the Comma, at least in the West. It has gone from the Vulgate, through Wycliffe and onto the Reina Valera, Geneva and KJV.

    Steve
     

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