JESUS CHRIST IS GOD (part 10)

“THE ARGUMENT FROM THE FACT THAT IT WAS HERETICS AND UNBELIEVERS WHO WERE AT THE FOREFRONT OF THE CALL FOR THE REMOVAL OF 1 JOHN 5:7 IN THE 17TH TO THE 19TH CENTURIES: We have seen that there was no serious challenge to the authenticity of 1 John 5:7 throughout the church age until the 19th century, but who was it in the 19th century that was calling so loudly for its removal from the Bible? It was theological modernists and Unitarians who were at the forefront of the call for the removal of ‘God’ from 1 Timothy 3:16 and the Johannine Comma from 1 John 5:7. Does this not speak loudly in favor of these passages? The last century has witnessed a steady drift away from the Deity of Christ and towards ‘unitarianism’. Unitarianism holds to the lie that God is one entity, as opposed to the Trinity which defines God as three Persons in one Being: the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It is not surprising that scholars who have been caught up in this tide of unbelief should welcome the support of these unreliable documents. One of the first to attack 1 John 5:7 was an Arian named Sandius, in 1670. The next attack came from the pen of Roman Catholic priest Richard Simon in the book Histoire Criticque du Vieux Testament (Critical History of the Old Testament), published in 1678. Simon was a forerunner of German higher criticism, denying that Moses was the author of the Pentateuch (the first 5 books of the Old Testament). Another attack upon 1 John 5:7 came from the pen of the famous historian Edward Gibbon (1737-1794) in The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776, 1788). He argued that Christians added the Trinitarian statement and other things to the New Testament centuries after it was first written. Gibbon was a skeptic after the fashion of Voltaire and did not believe in the Divine inspiration of the Scriptures.”

 

The best proof as to whether or not a Scripture has any rightful place in the Word of God is seen in the evidence which it provides when properly studied, and its symmetry with the whole Word of God. Allowing the Scriptures to speak for, and interpret, themselves, as well as examining the original Greek or Hebrew texts will afford the Bible student ample evidence as to its authenticity. “What is most convincing that 1 John 5:7 is indeed Scripture, is the internal evidence. The words spirit, water, and blood—which appear in versions such as the New International Version—in 1 John 5:8, in the Greek are all neuter. Yet previously the words 'bear witness' are a masculine participle. It would be improper Greek grammar to have three neuter nouns supported by a masculine part. However if you insert verse seven which reads ‘the Father, the Word and the Holy Ghost’—you have the answer to the improper Greek—for 'Father and Word' are masculine answering to the masculine participle before. Further, if it was an addition, the scribe most likely would have just written ‘The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost’ not 'The Word' which is typical of John, who uses the same language in John 1:1,14. Also the historical context of the early church does make an explanation readily evident. 

 

“I John 5:7,8, commonly referred to as the Johannine Comma, has been one of the most hotly debated passages with regard to its authenticity for over a century. Because it is one of those few passages included in the Textus Receptus which has a weak attestation from Greek manuscripts, many a student has paced his study for hours struggling with the question as to whether or not the Comma is a legitimate part of the Holy Scriptures. The hasty dismissal of this passage in most modern versions of the Bible is largely due to the fact that it is only found in eight (the numbers vary) of the five hundred Greek manuscripts that witness to the fifth chapter of I John. Consequently, it is almost unanimously regarded among modern textual critics as a later scribal emendation. English Bibles that contain all these words in 1 John 5:7,8 are the first complete English Bible ever made by John Wycliffe in 1380. It was in Tyndale’s New Testament of 1525 – ‘For ther are thre which beare recorde in heuen the father the worde and the wholy goost. And these thre are one’, the Coverdale Bible of 1535, the Great Bible 1540, Matthew’s Bible 1549, the Bishops’ Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible from 1557 to 1599 – ‘For there are three, which beare recorde in heauen, the Father, the Worde, and the holy Ghost: and these three are one’, the Douay-Rheims of 1582 and the Authorized Version of 1611. The primary English translation that contains the Johannine Comma is the Authorized King James Bible which is based upon the Greek Textus Receptus. The passage reads: ‘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’ (1 Jn. 5:7,8). Most modern translations (NAS, NIV, RSV, NLT, LB et. al.), on the other hand, are based upon the Alexandrian text-type tradition (i.e. Sinaiticus and Vaticanus). These versions commonly read as does the NIV: (verse 7) ‘For there are three that testify: (verse 8) the spirit, the water, and the blood; and the three are in agreement’. As anyone can clearly see, there is a substantial omission and consequent mix-up of the text. The modern versions arrive at such a rendering by completely removing verse 7, as found in the AV; then, the phrase ‘in the earth’ is excised and the first phrase of verse 8 — ‘There are three that bear witness’ becomes verse 7. Thus, the entire arrangement and sense of the passage is altered. The entire reading was included in the earlier Catholic bibles like the 1582 Douay-Rheims and as late as the Douay version of 1950, but removed from later Catholic versions (St. Joseph NAB 1969, New Jerusalem bible 1985), but now once again the 2009 The Sacred Bible Public Domain Version has gone back to include it! “Unfortunately, this altering of the text is often accepted without question. In fact, the issue is rarely, if ever, reasoned through in modern times. Accusations against the passage's authenticity are simply announced as though they were facts. Such conclusions imply that there is no evidence that can be mounted in favor of the Comma's genuineness. This, however, is far from the truth. The burden of proof lies with the accuser whose responsibility it is to prove that the text is an emendation. The exegesis that follows will at the very least cast a shadow of doubt on the accusation itself therefore precluding its ability to be proven.

“Historical Analysis: The epistle of I John was probably written late in the first century (ca. 90) from Ephesus by none other than the Apostle John. The intended audience is not exactly clear; however, the lack of personal references suggests that it was written to Christians all across Asia Minor. The same can be said for John's Gospel which was also written from Ephesus in the same general time period (ca. 85-90). It is interesting to note the literary coherence that exists between these two separate New Testament writings. ‘In the whole of 1 John there is hardly a single thought that is not found in John’s Gospel’. This coherence has been considered even more evident than that which exists between Luke and Acts. Such a fact has led some to believe that I John served as preface or dedicatory epistle to the Gospel of John, for both are characterized by repetition, contrast, parallelism, personal elements, profound spirituality, and doctrine. Historically speaking, it is very possible that the Gospel of John was attached to the Epistle as it was sent out to the addressees. 1 John was to be read as an introduction or commentary on the teachings of the Gospel.

 

“The exhortations contained in I John were uttered by the Apostle on occasion of the contents contained in the Gospel.  Having understood the principles of Christian fellowship promulgated in the Epistle, the reader could proceed to understand the entire basis of his fellowship, the life and work of Jesus Christ as promulgated in the Gospel. Regarding the issue at hand, such a distinct literary/historical coherence fully supports the inclusion of the Johannine Comma. The resounding theme of the Gospel of John is the Divinity of Jesus Christ. Such is summed up in John 10:30, when Jesus says, ‘I and My Father are one’. This same theme is prevalent in the Epistle, being concisely and clearly stated in 5:7,8.The Comma truly bears coherence with the message of John's Gospel in this sense. It serves as an occasion to introduce the doctrine of the Trinity as the original readers prepared to study the attached Gospel. Although Christ's Divinity is implied throughout the Epistle, one is not confronted with such succinct declaration as is conveyed in the Comma. If this passage is omitted, it seems that the theme of John's Gospel would lack a proper introduction. It is interesting to note that one of the earliest allusions to the Johannine Comma in church history is promulgated in connection to the thematic statement made by the Lord in John 10:30. Cyprian writes around A.D. 250, ‘The Lord says I and My Father are one and likewise it is written of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, And these three are one.' The theological teaching of the Comma most definitely bears coherence with the overriding theme of John's Gospel. There is no reason to believe that the verse is not genuine in this sense, for it serves as a proper prelude to the theme of the Gospel which, historically speaking, most likely accompanied the Epistle as it was sent out to its original audience.

“The heresy of Gnosticism is also of notable importance with regard to the historical context surrounding the Johannine Comma. This ‘unethical intellectualism’ had begun to make inroads among churches in John's day; its influence would continue to grow up until the second century when it gave pure Christianity a giant struggle. Generally speaking, Gnosticism can be described as a variety of syncretic religious movements in the early period of church history that sought to answer the question, ‘What must I do to be saved?’ The Gnostic answer was that a person must possess a secret knowledge. One of the major tenets of Gnosticism was the essential evil of matter; the physical body, in other words, was viewed as evil. According to this line of thought, Jesus Christ could not have been fully God and fully man, for this would have required Him to possess an evil physical body. The seeds of the Gnostic heresy seem to be before John's mind in his first Epistle; nine times he gives tests for knowing truth in conjunction with the verb ginwskw (to know). This being said, the Johannine Comma would have constituted an integral component of the case the Apostle made against the false teachings of the Gnostics, especially with regard to the nature of Christ. John's Gospel was written to prove the Deity of Christ, assuming His humanity, while 1 John was written to prove the humanity of Christ, assuming His Deity. If these notions are true, then the Comma is important to John's polemic. Jesus Christ, the human Son of God, is the eternal, living Word (cf. John 1:1).The Word, along with the Father and the Holy Spirit, bears witness to ‘He that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ’ (1 Jn. 5:6). This assertion would have flown right into the face of Gnosticism. On the flip side of the coin, the Gnostics would have completely disregarded the truth promulgated in the Johannine Comma. In fact, they may have excised it from the text in the same way that Marcion took a butcher knife to the New Testament in the second century. Also, the Arian heresy, which taught that Jesus was not God but a created being, grew out of Gnosticism. In fact, it was widespread in churches during the third and fourth centuries. Not long after the Council of Nicea (A.D. 325), an ecumenical council that denounced Arianism, ‘the whole world woke from a deep slumber and discovered that it had become Arian’. Perhaps the prevalent influences of these heresies were responsible for the text falling out of many manuscripts and versions of the New Testament. This hypothesis is at least as plausible as competing theories which suppose that someone added the verses to combat heretical teaching.

“Literary Analysis: In addition to the matter of historical context, the literary context of 1 John 5:7,8 demands our attention. All three levels of literary analysis—canonical, remote, and immediate contexts—are important. With regard to the text's place in the New Testament canon, the Johannine Comma is the clearest affirmation of the Trinity throughout the entire New Testament. Apart from it, the Triune nature of God is only arrived at after having pieced numerous passages together (e.g. Matthew 28:18 + John 10:30 + John 1:1 + Acts 5:3,4 + Romans 8:9). If a later scribe interpolated the passage to make a case for the Trinity, there are many other places that it could have been inserted so as to disguise its ‘spuriousness’. For example, the statement ‘these three are one’ would have made a nice addition to the phrase ‘in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost’ in Matthew 28:19.” If 1John 5:7 was included by the hand and will of man, why choose to place it in John’s first Epistle when the entire Epistle itself is omitted from all but 500 of the 5000 Greek manuscripts in existence. It is little wonder that John’s first Epistle is omitted in the majority of manuscripts, when it contains such clear Scriptures declaring both the humanity and Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. “And the Word was made flesh…” (Jn. 1:14). The Word that was God (Jn. 1:1), was made flesh; ‘And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is true, and we are in Him that is true, even in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life’ (1 Jn. 5:20). No doubt this verse, along with 1 John 5:7,8, was a major factor in the expulsion, or exclusion, of 1 John from the majority of Greek manuscripts. “The Johannine Comma also fits the remote context of the entire Epistle of I John. This can be seen by focusing upon the Epistle’s genre. I John has long been classified as an epistle proper, a letter written to simply edify other believers in the faith. However, it lacks the external form as is characteristic of other New Testament Epistles. I John contains no formal greeting or benediction, and the author is not mentioned or specified. There is no suggestion of any particular occasion for the writing of 1 John. It might have been written at almost any time and in almost any place and under almost any conditions. Its contents are suitable for all times and places and conditions of men. These facts have caused some to cast aside the notion of ‘epistolary form’ in favor of the theological treatise such as is found in the Book of Hebrews. However, this classification also has its problems because 1 John is not a production sent forth in the form of a treatise, but a thoroughly epistolary outpouring of thought and feelings.

“Perhaps the best classification of 1 John can be arrived at by blending epistle and treatise. The affinities of this Epistle are with the Wisdom literature. The lack of continuity of thought, so perplexing to those who persist in regarding this as epistolary in literary form, becomes appropriate and even characteristic in a composition of the Wisdom order. In other words, one sees a collection of brief essays or thought, more or less connected to a general theme—the fellowship of the believer. A brief prologue states this theme, and an equally brief epilogue sums up what the writer regards as the chief things established by what he has written. The Epistle is written in a simple style, without syntactical flourishes, and makes frequent use of asyndeton, where related thoughts are placed next to one another without conjunctions. In contrast to the linear style used in the Pauline Epistles, John's thought moves in loops or circles forming a slowly advancing sequence of thought. This is similar to the parallel structure of Hebrew Poetry, in which the second verse of a couplet often carries the same meaning as the first, though in the Epistle the frequent recapitulations of already expressed ideas serve also to add to what has previously been said. In summary, the Epistle may be said to exhibit aparaenetic style which is marked by personal appeal, contrasts of right and wrong, true and false, and an occasional rhetorical question.  One, however, cannot completely dismiss the epistolary connotation. I John is a letter in which the author expresses a personal relation to a definite class of readers, ‘my little children’ (2:1). The writer is concerned throughout with a given situation. He takes for granted that his readers are acquainted with the persons and events he has in mind, ‘I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it…’ (2:21), and makes allusions, in almost every paragraph, to which the clue has now been lost. With all of this in mind, the phrase ‘Epistolary Treatise’ can be coined to fit 1John. The Epistle contains numerous brief discourses dealing with a wide range of subjects. At the same time, however, while the Apostle chooses not to use the set epistolary forms, he approaches the readers as a community, briefly addressing them in the prologue (1:1-4) as well as the epilogue (5:21). Furthermore, the theological discussions contained therein are laced with personal emotion and feeling which is common in New Testament Epistles.

“How does the genre of 1 John relate to the Comma? If the Epistle is properly recognized as an ‘Epistolary Treatise’, then the theological teaching contained in 5:7,8 fits the structure of the Epistle neatly. Such a statement, in fact, would be expected. The Epistle of 1 John can be broken down in the following manner:  Prologue (1:1-4); Our Advocate (1:8-2:2); Obedience (2:3-6); Purpose (2:12-14); Love of the World (2:15-17); Antichrist (2:18-28); Character of God's Children (2:29-3:12); Love (3:13-24); Test of the Spirit (3:24-4:6); God is Love (4:7-21);  Victory of Faith (5:1-5); Three Witnesses (5:6-13); Prayer (5:14-17); Epilogue (5:18-20). Each aforementioned section, excluding the prologue and epilogue, constitutes a brief discourse on a different theological topic. While no particular order is apparent, each discourse serves to heighten the readers understanding of Christian fellowship, the overriding theme of I John. The Comma is found in the midst of a brief discourse dealing with three witnesses. This discourse contributes to the overall theme of the Epistle by promulgating a consequence of Christian fellowship, the verification of Christ's credentials. The Comma, nicely aligned with the structure of the entire Epistle, shows plainly that Christ is one with the Father and the Spirit as He bears witness in Heaven. At the same time, His baptism, crucifixion, and the earthly ministry of the Holy Spirit bear witness on earth. It is these witnesses that verify Christ's identity as the Son of God. In light of these facts, the believer can have fellowship with God Almighty. If the Comma is omitted from the passage, the structure breaks down. The theological argument of 5:6-12 becomes vague and one is left trying to figure out how to apply these verses. They most definitely do not fall in line with the preceding discourse (Victory of Faith) or the one that follows (Prayer).

“Finally, I John 5:7,8 fits the immediate context; in fact, it is an indispensable component of the surrounding verses. If the Comma is omitted, verse 6 and verse 8 are thrown together, which gives a very bald, awkward, and meaningless repetition of the Spirit's witness twice in immediate succession. Furthermore, the omission causes the concluding phrase of verse 8 (and these three agree in one) to contain an unintelligible reference. What is ‘that one’ (to en) to which ‘these three’ are said to agree?  In other words, ‘that one’ in verse 8 which designates One to whom the reader has already been introduced does not have antecedent presence in the passage. Let verse 7 stand, and all is clear, and the three earthly witnesses testify to that aforementioned unity which the Father, Word, and Spirit constitute. The passage makes absolutely no sense if the Comma is omitted.” Verses 7 and 8 complement and enhance each other with phrases such as “these three are one” and “these three agree in one”. That these three agree in one is because these three are one, and these three are one, for they agree in one. “And these three are one” “is to be understood, not only of Their unity and agreement in Their testimony, They testifying of the same thing, the Sonship of Christ; but of Their unity in essence or nature, They being the one God. So that, this passage holds forth and asserts the unity of God, a Trinity of Persons in the Godhead, the proper Deity of each Person, and Their distinct Personality, the unity of essence in that They are one; a Trinity of Persons in that They are Three, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and are neither more nor fewer; the Deity of each Person, for otherwise Their testimony would not be the testimony of God, as in 1 John 5:9; and Their distinct Personality; for were they not three distinct Persons, They could not be three testifiers, or three that bare record.”  ‘These three agree in one’ "In bearing one and the same testimony, namely, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Messiah, the only Saviour of sinners; in and through Whom alone the guilty, depraved, weak, and miserable children of men can obtain spiritual and eternal life; the testimony specified in 1 John 5:11,12.

“These Three are one: just as the two, the Father and the Son, are one (see Jn. 10:30). The Spirit is inseparable from the Father and the Son: for unless the Spirit together with the Father and the Son were one, it would be right for us to say, that the Father and the Son, Who are one, together with the Spirit, are two: but this would be opposed to the entire sum of the Divine revelation. They are one in essence, in knowledge, in will, and moreover in the agreement of Their testimony: John 10:30,38; 14:9-11. The three are not opposed conjointly to the other three, but separately, each to each, as though it were said, Not only does the Spirit testify, but the Father also, (see John 5:37): not only the water, but the Word also, (see John 3:11; 10:41): not only the blood, but the Spirit also, (see John 15:26,27). Now it becomes evident how necessary is the reading of the 8th verse. It was impossible for John to think respecting the testimony of the Spirit, and the water, and the blood, and add the testimony of God as greater, without thinking also of the testimony of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and making mention of it in an enumeration so solemn; nor can any reason be imagined why, without the three Who bear witness in Heaven, he should mention those that bear witness on earth, and those as three. Enumerations of this kind are usually not single, but manifold, as Proverbs 30; how much more so in this place? The 7th verse, of whatever importance it is, has a respective force, and tends to this object, that there should be a progressive advance from the 6th verse to the 8th; and here lies the advantage of the complaint above noticed. Whether the 7th verse, respecting the three that bear witness on earth, be compared with the preceding or with the following verse, the 8th is necessary. For the 6th verse and the 7th have some things the same, and some different. Those which are the same, are only repeated on this account, that they may be adapted to the 8th verse: those which are different, and either vary the expression, or add something more to the sentiment, have a still plainer reference to the 8th verse.

“The phrase ‘in earth’ in verse 8 as well as the entire ninth verse would also have to be knocked out to regain the sense because both imply that the ‘witness of God’, as promulgated in the Comma, has already been introduced. In a slightly broader immediate context, John has asserted in the previous six verses that faith is the bond of the believer's spiritual life and his consequent victory over the world. Such faith must have a solid warrant, and the truth by which it is to be assured is none other than the Sonship and Deity of Jesus Christ (cf. I Jn. 5:5,11,12,20). This warrant is first presented in 5:6, in Jesus' earthly ministry and the witness of the Holy Ghost speaking by way of inspired men. In 5:7, it comes in the words of the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, asserting and confirming by miracles the unity of Christ with God the Father. Thirdly, the warrant appears in 5:8 through the work of the Holy Spirit in conjunction with Christ's baptism and crucifixion, all of which verify the atoning work of the Saviour. Finally, as promulgated in 5:10, the warrant lies in the spiritual consciousness of the believer himself, certifying to him his Divine charge. How harmonious is all this if we accept the 7th verse as genuine, but if we omit it, the very keystone of the arch is wanting, and the crowning proof that the warrant of our faith is Divine (5:9) is struck out.

“FAITH'S SOLID WARRANT: Textual Analysis. The brunt of the argument against the authenticity of the Johannine Comma lies within the realm of textual criticism.  Unfortunately, as mentioned, it is one of the few passages included in the Textus Receptus which has a weak attestation from the Greek manuscript tradition. As a result, most modern critics toss it into the wastebasket. An example of such hasty dismissal can be seen in the United Bible Societies' fourth edition of The Greek New Testament. In the critical apparatus, as well as Metzger's accompanying commentary, the evidence presented is misleading and deceptive to the average reader. One is led to believe, as Metzger claims, that the passage is absent from virtually every known Greek manuscript; it is quoted by none of the Greek Fathers; and it is absent from the manuscripts of all ancient versions. Though such assertions may have a ring of truth to them, they are broad generalizations that result from a biased evaluation of all the evidence. Perhaps the best approach to constructing a case for the inclusion of the Johannine Comma involves a point by point refutation of Metzger's arguments, for they bespeak the opinions of most critical scholars…the external evidence in favor of the passage is far greater than modern critics would have us to believe by their tales of the ‘stupidity of Erasmus’.

“Metzger's presentation of the manuscript evidence is misleading. The first claim that Metzger makes is that the Comma ‘is absent from every known Greek manuscript except eight. Next, he proceeds to list the manuscripts, but only catalogues seven: (61, Codex Montfortianus; 88, Codex Regis; 221 is a Greek Miniscule manuscript of the Byzantine text-type; 429, 14th-15th century; 636, 15th century; 918, 16th century; and 2318, 18th century). Where is the eighth manuscript? The critical apparatus of the UBS4 adds Codex Ottobonianus (629) which dates to the fourteenth century, but Metzger fails to mention it. One is forced to wonder about this initial contradiction. Four of these eight manuscripts contain the Comma written in the margin (88, 221, 429, 636), while the other four include it as part of the text. It is interesting to note that both Metzger and the UBS editors fail to list the Codex Britannicus as evidence for the Comma. Their reason for doing this is probably the same reason that all modern textual critics ignore the codex—they equate it with Codex Monfortianus (61). The so-called ‘evidence’ for this miscalculation centers around Erasmus, the man whose Novum Testamentum Graecum was utilized by the AV translators. The well-known anecdote says that Erasmus was criticized for omitting the Comma from his first and second editions. He argued that no Greek manuscripts contained the reading and supposedly challenged his critic, Edward Lee, who charged him with being an Arian for omitting I John 5:7,8, to produce a manuscript with the passage. Only then, would he include it in his edition. Codex Monfort is supposedly the manuscript that was hastily drawn up to meet Erasmus' demands; the ink was supposedly still wet when Erasmus received it.  Nevertheless he is said to have inserted the verse, defending his actions by stating that he had received a transcript of the Comma from Codex Britannicus (what is believed to be the Codex Monfort).

“First of all, the argument that Erasmus challenged Lee is completely unsound. A careful perusal of Erasmus' words in his Liber tertius quod respondet…yields evidence to the contrary: Erasmus says: ‘Is it negligence and impiety, if I did not consult manuscripts which were simply not within my reach? I have at least assembled whatever I could assemble.  Let Lee produce a Greek Manuscript which contains what my edition does not contain and let him show that that manuscript was within my reach. Only then can he reproach me with negligence in sacred matters’. Erasmus does not challenge Lee to produce a manuscript. Rather, he simply argues that Lee can legitimately reproach him with negligence if and only if he can demonstrate that manuscripts could have been consulted containing I John 5:7,8. ‘Erasmus does not at all ask for a Manuscript containing the Comma Johanneum. He denies Lee the right to call him negligent and impious if the latter does not prove that Erasmus neglected a manuscript to which he had access. In light of these facts, there never was a manuscript produced to convince Erasmus. If there had been, Erasmus would have surely been smart enough to detect such a forgery. Although Codex Monfortanius is dated by modern critics to the sixteenth century (ca. 1520), one must wonder where the reading of I John 5:7,8 came from. It did not come from Ximene's Polygot, for it was not published until 1522. It did not come from Erasmus because it does not match his Greek in scores of places. Rather, the literal affinities of Monfortanius are with the Syriac Version which was not known in Europe until after 1552. Besides, this codex has been dated by Adam Clarke to the thirteenth century. As far as Codex Britannicus is concerned, it cannot be equated with the Monfort, because the respective renderings of I John 5:7,8 are quite different. On the one hand, the Monfort omits the articles in verse seven (o, o, to) and transposes ‘agion pneuma’. In verse 8, the articles (to, to, to), a conjunction (kai), and the last phrase (kai oi treiV eiV to en eisin) are missing.  Britannicus, on the other hand, includes the articles and the final phrase but omits the adjective ‘agion’  in verse 8. Where did Erasmus acquire the last clause for his third edition? He surely did not get it from the Compultensian Polygot or Codex Monfort, but from Britannicus.  This is why Monfortanius cannot possibly be the same with the Codex Britannicus. At this point, no date has been assigned to this manuscript.

“Those who claim 1 John 5:7 is not part of Holy Scripture will often say it is not found in the majority of Greek manuscripts and for this reason it should not be included in the Bible. It is true that the words ‘in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth’ are not found in the majority of remaining Greek manuscripts that exist today. However there is very much and weighty evidence for its inclusion. Those who argue that it is not in the majority of texts are being totally inconsistent when they raise this argument. Most of the people who use this majority argument, do not care one bit for the majority of texts and what they might read. They themselves follow the constantly changing UBS/Nestle-Aland/Vatican Critical Greek text which itself departs from the majority readings in literally thousands of places.

“Westcott and Hort, the very men who introduced the Critical Text methods found in the RV, ASV, NASB, NIV, themselves said: ‘A few documents are not, by reason of their paucity (few in number), appreciably less likely to be right than a multitude opposed to them’ (Introduction to the Westcott-Hort Greek New Testament, 1881, p. 45). Isn’t it ironic that the very reason these two Bible critics gave for choosing a few manuscripts over hundreds suddenly becomes an ‘issue’ for them when it comes to the ONLY clear cut verse stating that ‘These Three are ONE’, that is, the Godhead or the Trinity? It should also be noted that, significantly, there are only five remaining Greek manuscripts that even contain the epistle of 1 John in whole or in part that date from the 7th century or before. That is a whole lot of time to have passed by with only five partial Greek witnesses that remain today that were written within the first 700 years of Christianity. And among these five early manuscripts only two of them agree with each other in 1 John 5:6-8.  Sinaiticus does not agree with Vaticanus, or Alexandrinus or with 0296 (a Greek uncial manuscript of the New Testament from the 6th century). Sinaiticus and Alexandrinus both say ‘by water and blood AND SPIRIT’ in verse 6 instead of ‘by water and by blood’. Then Alexandrinus ‘not by water only but by water AND THE SPIRIT’ instead of ‘not by water only, but by water and the blood’ and 0296 omits the verb ‘are’ (εισιν) in verse 7 and  has the unique word order of ‘by water AND SPIRIT and blood’ in verse six.  What it demonstrates is that scribes were prone to alter this portion of 1 John based on theological or stylistic motivations.  By 350 AD this portion of 1 John 5  was already corrupt in the Greek tradition. Since verse 6 is corrupt in Sinaiticus and Alexandrinus, and verse 7 in 0296 does not have ‘are’ (‘εισιν’), there are only two manuscripts (Vaticanus and 048, Gregory) from before the 7th century which read exactly as the Nestle-Aland from verse 6 to 7.”

The Greek text of Westcott and Hort “…blackens and corrupts every modern translation of the Bible available (NIV, NASB, NKJV, NRSV, NAB, REB, RSV, CEV, TEV, GNB, LIVING, PHILLIPS, NEW JERUSALEM, NEW CENTURY, and the New World Translation). Readers of these new Bibles are quite unaware that they are reading the translation of a corrupt text. Without thinking or looking deeper into the matter, they blindly assume that every Bible is the same. They assume some are just more easy to read than others. But we must remember that Bibles are translated by men, and thus corruption is possible. Westcott and Hort did what was unthinkable....they picked through five Greek texts which did not agree with each other, and came up with a new revised Greek version of the Bible. Dr. Westcott, hated evangelicals and called them perverted. He was fascinated with Darwinism and practiced kneeling before an image of Mary, and believed in Mariolatry, and the Roman Catholic Mass. This man was an Anglican priest who was involved in the modern channelling movement. He founded the Ghostlie Guild in the 1850's as well as the Hermes Club. Dr. Hort, also an Anglican priest, was at the very least a Roman Catholic sympathiser. He also was a rank liberal, a true modernist, and a new ager.” “Westcott and Hort founded several occult societies, two of which were The Hermes Club and The Ghostly Guild. These were not merely school-boy projects. They were created at one of the highest learning institutions in the world's largest imperial world-power at that time - Great Britain. Members of these clubs and the occult associations that they went on to found, such as The Society for Psychical Research started the modern New Age movement, became and were prominent members of British Royalty and politics, as well as occupied the highest positions in the Anglican Church including that which is equivalent to that of the Pope in the RCC, the Archbishop of Canterbury. To say that Westcott and Hort were well connected is an understatement. Researching some of the names, organizations and movements listed in the essay below are real eye-openers if you really want to know what was going on with the occult movement in the latter half of the 1800's and the connection that Wescott and Hort had to it. B.F. Westcott is identified as ‘a mystic’ by the standard reference work of his day: The Encyclopedia Britannica (1911). Princeton University Press' book, The Christian Socialist Revival (1968, Peter d'A Jones) says B.F. Westcott was ‘a mystic’ (p. 179). The highly respected Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics identifies both B.F. Westcott and F.J.A. Hort as Alexandrian mystics (see 'Alexandrian Theology' et al.). The Occult Illustrated Dictionary makes reference to B.F. Westcott, Hort, and Lightfoot and their 'ghostly' games.” 

“What then is the textual evidence for 1 John 5:7? Contrary to slanderous claims that the verse was not included in any Bible manuscripts before the 16th century, 1 John 5:7 is found in several Greek texts—Erasmus, Stephanus, Beza, Elziever, Scrivener and Modern Greek Bible; it is quoted by several church fathers as Cyprian 250 AD, Athanasius 350 AD, Priscillian 380 AD, Varimadum 380 AD, Jerome 420 AD, Victor Vitensis 430 AD, Fulgentius (late 5th century), Cassiodorus 580 AD,  and is found in many ancient versions of the Bible including the Old Latin, and is also found in some copies of the Syriac, Armenian, Georgian and Slavonic ancient versions. Although not found in most Greek manuscripts, the Johannine Comma is found in several. It is contained in 629 (fourteenth century), 61 (sixteenth century), 918 (sixteenth century), 2473 (seventeenth century), and 2318 (eighteenth century). It is also in the margins of 221 (tenth century), 635 (eleventh century), 88 (twelfth century), 429 (fourteenth century), and 636 (fifteenth century). It was part of the text of the Old Latin Bible that was translated in the second century, as is witnessed by some remaining copies that we have today. It is found in ‘r’, a 5th century Old Latin manuscript, ‘q’, a 5th to 7th century O.L. mss, and ‘l’ another 5th century O.L. mss.” (O.L means Old Latin).

“Though 1 John 5:7 is wanting in many copies, YET IT IS FOUND IN MORE COPIES OF THE GREATEST AUTHORITY: — IT IS CITED BY A WHOLE GAIN OF ANCIENT WRITERS, FROM THE TIME OF JOHN TO THAT OF CONSTANTINE. THIS ARGUMENT IS CONCLUSIVE: FOR THEY COULD NOT HAVE CITED IT, HAD IT NOT BEEN IN THE SACRED CANON: — That we can easily account for its being, after that time, wanting in many copies, when we remember that Constantine’s successor was a zealous Arian, who used every means to promote his bad cause, to spread Arianism throughout the empire; in particular the erasing of this text out of as many copies as fell into his hands. And he so far prevailed, that the age in which he lived is commonly styled, Seculum Aranium, — ‘the Arian age’; there being then only one eminent man who opposed him at the peril of his life. So that it was a proverb, Athanasius contra mundum: ‘Athanasius against the world’.”

Now let us turn to “the Greek grammatical evidence for 1 John 5:7,8. It has been pointed out that if the [capitalized words below] are removed from the text, there are certain grammatical difficulties which result in the Greek. The nouns ‘spirit’, ‘water’ and ‘blood’ in v. 8 are in the masculine gender when they are normally neuter; but if v. 7 is present the terms ‘Father’ and ‘Word’ which are masculine would influence the structure of v. 8 and explain this anomaly…the verse as preserved in the Latin manuscripts is consistent and full whereas the Greek is internally defective grammatically. Now let us listen to a few scholars that know the Greek grammatical problem well. Textus Receptus reading of 1 John 5:7,8 (KJV). The omitted words are capitalized: ‘For there are three that bear witness IN HEAVEN, THE FATHER, THE WORD, AND THE HOLY SPIRIT: 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’.

“EDWARD FREER HILLS (1912-1981) — an American Presbyterian scholar, perhaps the greatest 20th Century Traditional Text and Received Text defender, who studied at Westminster Theological Seminary and wrote books such as ‘The King James Version defended,’ ‘Space Age Science’ and ‘Believing Bible Study’, says: ‘The omission of the Johannine comma involves a grammatical difficulty. The words ‘spirit’, ‘water’, and ‘blood’ are neuter in gender, but in 1 John 5:8 they are treated as masculine. If the Johannine comma is rejected, it is hard to explain this irregularity. It is usually said that in 1 John 5:8 the spirit, the water, and the blood are personalized and that this is the reason for the adoption of the masculine gender. But it is hard to see how such personalization would involve the change from the neuter to the masculine. For in verse 6 the word ‘Spirit’ plainly refers to the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Trinity. Surely in this verse the word ‘Spirit’ is ‘personalized’, and yet the neuter gender is used. Therefore since personalization did not bring about a change of gender in verse 6, it cannot fairly be pleaded as the reason for such a change in verse 8. If, however, the Johannine comma is retained, a reason for placing the neuter nouns ‘spirit’, ‘water’, and ‘blood’ in the masculine gender becomes readily apparent. It was due to the influence of the nouns ‘Father’ and ‘Word’, which are masculine. Thus the hypothesis that the Johannine comma is an interpolation is full of difficulties.

“FLOYD NOLEN JONES, Th. D., Ph.D : ‘ The Greek language has ‘gender’ in its noun endings (as do many other languages). Neuter nouns normally require neuter articles (the word ‘the’ as in ‘the blood’ is the article). But the article in verse 8 of the shortened reading as found in the Greek that is the foundation of the new versions…is masculine. Thus the new translations read ‘the Spirit (neuter), the water (neuter), and the blood (neuter): and these three (masculine!! – from the Greek article ‘hoi’) are in one’. Consequently three neuter subjects are being treated as masculine (see below where the omitted portion is capitalized). If the ‘Comma’ is rejected it is impossible to adequately explain this irregularity. In addition, without the ‘Comma’ verse 7 has a masculine antecedent; three neuter subjects (nouns in vs.8) do not take a masculine antecedent. Viewing the complete passage it becomes apparent how this rule of grammar is violated when the words are omitted. I John 5:6-8: ‘…And it is the Spirit (Neuter) that beareth witness (Neuter), because the Spirit (Neuter) is truth. For there are three (Masculine) that bear record (Masculine) IN HEAVEN, THE FATHER (Masculine), THE WORD (Masculine), AND THE HOLY SPIRIT (Neuter): AND THESE THREE (Masculine) ARE ONE (Masculine). AND THERE ARE THREE (Masculine) THAT BEAR WITNESS IN EARTH, the Spirit (Neuter), and the water (Neuter), and the blood (Neuter): and these three (Masculine) agree in one’.’

 

THOMAS HOLLAND (1539-1612) was an English Calvinist scholar and theologian, and one of the translators of the King James Bible: ‘The phrase in verse 8, to pneuma, kai to udor, kai to aima (the Spirit, and the water, and the blood), are all neuter nouns. They are, however, contiguous with the phrase, oi marturountes (who bare witness) which stands in the masculine (as does the Greek word for three, treis). The proper grammatical explanation for this, mixing the neuter and the masculine, is that the parallel is introduced in verse 7. There we find the phrase, o Pater, o Logos, kai to Agion Pneuma (the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost) which are masculine nouns (with the exception of the Holy Ghost, which stands in the neuter). This would allow for the masculine oi marturountes since the clause contains two masculine nouns. If, on the other hand, the masculine nouns of verse 7 are removed we are at a loss as to why the masculine is used in verse 8. Therefore, the inclusion of the Commais not only proper theology, it is proper Greek.'

“THE THEOLOGICAL EVIDENCE:  The Trinitarian formula, Father, Word, and Holy Ghost is unique not only for John, but for all NT writers. The usual formula, ‘Father, Son, and Holy Ghost’ would have been assuredly used by a forger. Why does it exhibit the singular combination not seen anywhere else in Scripture by the use of ‘Word’ instead of ‘Son’? It is quite unlikely that a forger would abandon the time-honored formula and invent an entirely new one. The fact is that the use of ‘Word’ is consistent with the apostle John’s style. The number of times that John uses the Name that signifies the Lord’s eternal pre-existence is 7, the number of perfection if 1 John 5:7 is included: John 1:1: ‘In the beginning was 1) the Word, and 2) the Word was with God, and 3) the Word was God. John 1:14: ‘And 4) the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth’. 1 John 1:1: ‘That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of 5) the Word of life’. 1 John 5:7: ‘For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, 6) the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one’. Revelation 19:13 ‘And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is called 7) The Word of God’.