Sunday, January 19, 2020

First John 5:7 and Greek Manuscripts

           Earlier this month over at the Evangelical Textual Criticism blog, Elijah Hixson offered an informative post which included pictures of the few Greek manuscripts which have the Comma Johanneum in the text of First John 5:7.  The earliest is GA 629, a Latin-Greek manuscript dated to 1362.  I offered some analysis of the text of First John 5:7 in GA 629 in August of 2016 (see the replica of the relevant part of 629 at this link, or a page-view of the manuscript itself at the Vatican Library’s website at this link).  The second-oldest manuscript of First John that has the Comma Johanneum in the text of 5:7 is GA 61, which was made in the early 1500s.  The third-oldest Greek manuscript with the Comma Johanneum in the text of First John 5:7 is GA 918.  Hixson, by a series of simple deductions, narrowed his estimate of its production-date to the 1570s. 
GA 641:  The Comma Johanneum is absent.
            And that’s it, unless we include GA 2473 (from 1634) and 2318 (from the 1700s) – both of which were made after printed editions of the Greek New Testament were made, and which very probably include the Comma Johanneum because their copyists used a printed Greek New Testament as an exemplar. 
            The other manuscripts do not have the Comma Johanneum in the text; the Comma Johanneum is written in the margin instead.  Hixson’s post includes pictures of the relevant portions of these manuscripts, so I will only spend a little time reviewing them here: 
            ● In GA 221, a manuscript from the 900s, the Comma Johanneum is written in the margin, but it appears that the Comma Johanneum arrived there rather recently, considering that (as Hixson reports) a description of GA 221 made in 1854 says that the manuscript does not have the Comma Johanneum, with nothing said about a margin-note. 
            ● In GA 177, the Comma Johanneum is written in the upper margin of the page and is identified by its verse-number, which means that the Comma Johanneum was placed in the margin of GA 177 sometime after 1550.  (Dan Wallace noticed the Comma Johanneum in the margin of GA 177 in 2010.)   Hixson offers a more precise date, however:  the annotator of this manuscript left his name in it:  Ignatius Hardt, who was born in 1749.  Guided by a little more data about Hardt’s career, Hixson estimates that Hardt wrote the Comma Johanneum in the margin of 177 no earlier than the 1770s.
            ● In GA 88, a manuscript from the 1100s, the Comma Johanneum appears in the margin with almost no clues about who added it or when.   Almost no clues:  as Hixson observed, whereas copyists routinely contracted sacred names such as “Father” and “Spirit,” in the margin-note in 88 these words are written out in full, which may indicate that the person writing them was using as his source a printed book, rather than a manuscript.
            ● In GA 429, a manuscript from the 1300s, the Comma Johanneum is written in the margin, and it matches up with the text of the Comma Johanneum printed in Erasmus’ third edition – because, as Hixson explains, Erasmus’ third edition was its source.
            ● In GA 636, a manuscript from the 1400s, the Comma Johanneum is written in the margin, and is missing the articles, which is consistent with a scenario in which it was translated from Latin. 
                       
            Let’s review the implications of this evidence:  First, there is no Greek manuscript made before the 1500s in which the Comma Johanneum appears in the text of First John in a form which does not appear to be derived from Latin; strictly speaking, the exact text of the Comma Johanneum that appears in the Textus Receptus does not appear in the text of any Greek manuscript made before the 1500s.  Second, in the Greek manuscripts in which the Comma Johanneum appears in the margin, it either appears to be derived from Latin, or else it appears to have been copied from a printed source. 
           
            Now let’s look on the other side of the equation.  Here, from researcher Timothy Berg, is a list of the Greek manuscripts that contain First John but do not have the Comma Johanneum in the text:

Manuscripts Produced Before the 700s:  01, 03, 02, 048, 0296
Manuscripts Produced in the 700s-800s:  018, 020, 025, 049, 0142, 1424, 1862, 1895, 2464
Manuscripts Assigned to the 900s:  044, 056, 82, 93, 175, 181, 221, 307, 326, 398, 450, 454, 456, 457, 602, 605, 619, 627, 832, 920, 1066, 1175, 1720, 1739, 1829, 1836, 1837, 1841, 1845, 1851, 1871, 1874, 1875, 1880, 1891, 2125, 2147,     
Manuscripts Assigned to the 1000s:  35, 36, 2, 42, 43, 81, 104, 131, 133, 142, 177, 250, 302, 325, 312, 314, 424, 436, 451, 458, 459,   462, 464, 465, 466, 491, 506, 517, 547, 606, 607, 617, 623, 624, 635, 638, 639, 641, 699, 796,   901, 910, 919, 945, 1162, 1243, 1244, 1270, 1311, 1384, 1521, 1668, 1724, 1730, 1735, 1738, 1828, 1835, 1838, 1846, 1847, 1849, 1854, 1870, 1888, 2138, 2191, 2344, 2475, 2587, 2723,   2746     
Manuscripts Assigned to the 1100s:  3, 38, 1, 57, 88, 94, 97, 103, 105, 110, 180, 203, 226, 256, 319, 321, 323, 330, 337, 365, 431, 440, 442, 452, 618, 620, 622, 625, 632, 637, 656, 720, 876, 917, 922, 927, 1058, 1115, 1127, 1241, 1245, 1315, 1319, 1359, 1360, 1448, 1490, 1505, 1573, 1611, 1646, 1673, 1718, 1737, 1740, 1743, 1752, 1754, 1850, 1853, 1863, 1867, 1868, 1872, 1885, 1889, 1893, 1894, 1897, 2127, 2143, 2186, 2194, 2289, 2298, 2401, 2412, 2541, 2625, 2712, 2718, 2736, 2805     
Manuscripts Assigned to the 1200s:  4, 5, 6, 51, 204, 206, 172, 141, 218, 234, 263, 327, 328, 378, 383, 384, 390, 460, 468, 469, 479, 483, 496, 592, 601, 614, 643, 665, 757, 912, 914, 915, 941, 999, 1069, 1070, 1072, 1094, 1103, 1107, 1149, 1161, 1242, 1251, 1292, 1297, 1352, 1398, 1400, 1404, 1456, 1501, 1509, 1523, 1563, 1594, 1595, 1597, 1609, 1642, 1719, 1722, 1727, 1728, 1731, 1736, 1758, 1780, 1827, 1839, 1842, 1843, 1852, 1855, 1857, 1858, 1860, 1864, 1865, 1873, 2180, 2374, 2400, 2404, 2423, 2483, 2502, 2558, 2627, 2696       
Manuscripts Assigned to the 1300s:  18, 62, 76, 189, 201, 209, 216, 223, 254, 308, 363, 367, 386, 393, 394, 404, 421, 425, 429, 453,  489, 498, 582, 603, 604, 608, 621, 628, 630, 633, 634, 680, 743, 794, 808, 824, 913, 921, 928, 935, 959, 986, 996, 1022, 1040, 1067, 1075, 1099, 1100, 1102, 1106, 1248, 1249, 1354, 1390, 1409, 1482, 1495, 1503, 1524, 1548, 1598, 1599, 1610, 1618, 1619, 1622, 1637, 1643, 1661, 1678, 1717, 1723, 1725, 1726, 1732, 1733, 1741, 1742, 1744, 1746, 1747, 1753, 1761, 1762, 1765, 1769, 1831, 1832, 1856, 1859, 1866, 1877, 1881, 1882, 1886, 1890, 1892, 1899, 1902, 2080, 2085, 2086,  2197, 2200, 2261, 2279, 2356, 2431, 2466, 2484, 2492, 2494, 2508, 2511, 2527, 2626, 2675, 2705, 2716, 2774, 2777
Manuscripts Assigned to the 1400s:  69, 102, 149, 205, 322, 368, 385, 400, 432, 444, 467, 615, 616, 631, 636, 664, 801, 1003, 1105, 1247, 1250, 1367, 1405, 1508, 1626, 1628, 1636, 1649, 1656, 1729, 1745, 1750, 1751, 1757, 1763, 1767, 1830, 1876, 1896, 2131, 2221, 2288, 2352, 2495, 2523, 2554, 2652, 2653, 2691, 2704
Manuscripts Assigned to the 1500s and Later:  90, 296, 522, 1702, 1704, 1749, 1768, 1840, 1844, 1861, 2130, 2218, 2255, 2378, 2501, 2516, 2544, 1101, 1721, 1748, 1869, 1903, 2243, 2674, 2776, 2473, 1104

            With this data in mind, let’s consider a few extracts from a defense of the Comma Johanneum recently offered by Taylor DeSoto of Agros Reformed Baptist Church in Arizona: 
            “There is manuscript evidence for it.”  True, but as Hixson’s analysis shows, the Greek manuscript evidence for the Comma Johanneum is sparse, late, and shows clear signs of being derived either from Latin or from a printed text.   
            “It has more manuscript evidence support than let’s just say, the Gospel of Mark without 16:9-20.”  That is not quite the case; there are three Greek manuscripts in which Mark 16 ends at 16:8 (À, B, and 304  all with other anomalous features), so technically, the quantities are equal.  But it would be foolish to use simple quantities to frame this evidence, because B and À are the two earliest manuscripts of Mark 16 known to exist, while GA 629 is from the mid-1300s, 61 is from the early 1500s, and 918 is from the 1570s, and the rest, as Hixson’s data shows, are either dependent on Latin, or else extremely late.  
            As a defender of the genuineness of Mark 16:9-20, I do not grant to B and À the level of weight that was given to them by Westcott and Hort (and which continues, in some circles, to be assumed).  But it is not just the testimony of B and À which we ought to consider.  It is also the testimony of 02, 048, 0296, 018, 020, 025, 049, 0142, 1424, 1862, 1895, 2464, 044, 056, 82, 93, 175, 181, 221, 307, 326, 398, 450, 454, 456, 457, 602, 605, 619, 627, 832, 920, 1066, 1175, 1720, 1739, 1829, 1836, 1837, 1841, 1845, 1851, 1871, 1874, 1875, 1880, 1891, 2125, 2147, 35, 36, 2, 42, 43, 81, 104, 131, 133, 142, 177, 250, 302, 325, 312, 314, 424, 436, 451, 458, 459,   462, 464, 465, 466, 491, 506, 517, 547, 606, 607, 617, 623, 624, 635, 638, 639, 641, 699, 796,   901, 910, 919, 945, 1162, 1243, 1244, 1270, 1311, 1384, 1521, 1668, 1724, 1730, 1735, 1738, 1828, 1835, 1838, 1846, 1847, 1849, 1854, 1870, 1888, 2138, 2191, 2344, 2475, 2587, 2723, 2746, 3, 38, 1, 57, 88, 94, 97, 103, 105, 110, 180, 203, 226, 256, 319, 321, 323, 330, 337, 365, 431, 440, 442, 452, 618, 620, 622, 625, 632, 637, 656, 720, 876, 917, 922, 927, 1058, 1115, 1127, 1241, 1245, 1315, 1319, 1359, 1360, 1448, 1490, 1505, 1573, 1611, 1646, 1673, 1718, 1737, 1740, 1743, 1752, 1754, 1850, 1853, 1863, 1867, 1868, 1872, 1885, 1889, 1893, 1894, 1897, 2127, 2143, 2186, 2194, 2289, 2298, 2401, 2412, 2541, 2625, 2712, 2718, 2736, 2805, and so forth. 
            “Those who attack the authenticity of this reading appeal to the assumption that it was introduced from a Latin manuscript.”  Mr. DeSoto writes as if there is no basis for this “assumption.”  However, it is not an assumption; it is a deduction from evidence:  in the Old Latin text of First John 5:8 (as I have explained already in an earlier post), the nouns are typically transposed to the order water-blood-spirit, which is conducive to a figurative interpretation in which the water represents the Father, the blood represents the Son, and the Spirit represents, of course, the Holy Spirit.  And that interpretation is the Comma Johanneum – an interpretive gloss that was inserted into the Old Latin text (and from there into the later medieval Vulgate text).  Its origin is linked to the transposition:  in evidence uninfluenced by Latin, where the transposition is absent, the Comma Johanneum is absent as well.
            “Can 1 John 5:7 be said to have been definitively introduced from the Latin, as though it were never found in a Greek manuscript?”  Yes, it can.  All one needs to do is observe the evidence and think it through:  everything is completely consistent with precisely that scenario.  Just look at the Latin text that runs parallel to the Greek text in 629, and look at the absence of the articles, and look at the absence of the Comma Johanneum in 02, 048, 0296, 018, 020, 025, 049, 0142, 1424, 1862, 1895, 2464, 044, 056, 82, 93, 175, 181, 221, 307, 326, 398, 450, 454, 456, 457, 602, 605, 619, 627, 832, 920, 1066, 1175, 1720, 1739, 1829, 1836, 1837, 1841, 1845, 1851, 1871, 1874, 1875, 1880, 1891, 2125, 2147, 35, 36, 2, 42, 43, 81, 104, 131, 133, 142, 177, 250, 302, 325, 312, 314, 424, 436, 451, 458, 459, 462, 464, 465, 466, 491, 506, 517, 547, 606, 607, 617, 623, 624, 635, 638, 639, 641, 699, 796, 901, 910, 919, 945, 1162, 1243, 1244, 1270, 1311, 1384, 1521, 1668, 1724, 1730, 1735, 1738, 1828, 1835, 1838, 1846, 1847, 1849, 1854, 1870, 1888, 2138, 2191, 2344, 2475, 2587, 2723, 2746, 3, 38, 1, 57, 88, 94, 97, 103, 105, 110, 180, 203, 226, 256, 319, 321, 323, 330, 337, 365, 431, 440, 442, 452, 618, 620, 622, 625, 632, 637, 656, 720, 876, 917, 922, 927, 1058, 1115, 1127, 1241, 1245, 1315, 1319, 1359, 1360, 1448, 1490, 1505, 1573, 1611, 1646, 1673, 1718, 1737, 1740, 1743, 1752, 1754, 1850, 1853, 1863, 1867, 1868, 1872, 1885, 1889, 1893, 1894, 1897, 2127, 2143, 2186, 2194, 2289, 2298, 2401, 2412, 2541, 2625, 2712, 2718, 2736, 2805, and so forth.  Then ask, what more could I possibly ask for, if I were asking for evidence that the Comma Johanneum drifted into a few Greek manuscripts due to the actions of copyists who wanted to make their Greek copies conform more precisely to the meaning of their Latin copies? 
            Nevertheless Mr. DeSoto states, “I have yet to see a scholar actually produce a manuscript, or historical source from antiquity which demonstrates that this verse was added from the Latin.”   It seems to me that he is simply resisting the plain implications of the evidence. 
            In addition. Mr. DeSoto resorts to a grammatical argument (offered in a past generation by commentator Robert Dabney) as evidence for the genuineness of the Comma Johanneum – and then states, “The only people I have seen stand against this grammatical argument are people who self-admittedly are rusty in Greek.”  However, this whole approach is a nothingburger, as demonstrated already by Dr. Barry Hofstetter in the 2018 post, The Comma Johanneum and Greek Grammar. 
            Furthermore, Mr. DeSoto misrepresents the evidence when he states that “Jerome and Nazianzes comment on it.”  By “Jerome” he appears to mean the author of the Preface to the Canonical Epistles – an author who (as I have already pointed out) used the transposed form of First John 5:8.  And by saying that “Gregory of Nazianzes comments on it,” he seems to be referring to the statement by Gregory of Nazianzus where, after stating that John says “that there are three that bear witness, the Spirit and the water and the blood” – as we find verse 8 in most manuscripts, without the phrase “on earth” – he bring up a frivolous objection from a posited grammarian only in order to tear it down, stating “You see how completely your argument from con-numeration has completely broken down, and is refuted by all these instances,” and he goes on from there – not once citing any part of the Comma Johanneum.  
            It is simply false to claim that Gregory of Nazianzus commented on the Comma Johanneum.  He did not do so.   Furthermore, in the very next chapter of his composition, Gregory of Nazianzus refers to the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, without referencing the Comma Johanneum.
            Mr. DeSoto did not leave that falsehood without company.  He also claimed, “The Comma Johanneum was seated at 1 John 5:7 until evangelical textual critics began deconstructing the Scriptures.”  As long as one ignores the testimony of 02, 048, 0296, 018, 020, 025, 049, 0142, 1424, 1862, 1895, 2464, 044, 056, 82, 93, 175, 181, 221, 307, 326, 398, 450, 454, 456, 457, 602, 605, 619, 627, 832, 920, 1066, 1175, 1720, 1739, 1829, 1836, 1837, 1841, 1845, 1851, 1871, 1874, 1875, 1880, 1891, 2125, 2147, 35, 36, 2, 42, 43, 81, 104, 131, 133, 142, 177, 250, 302, 325, 312, 314, 424, 436, 451, 458, 459, 462, 464, 465, 466, 491, 506, 517, 547, 606, 607, 617, 623, 624, 635, 638, 639, 641, 699, 796, 901, 910, 919, 945, 1162, 1243, 1244, 1270, 1311, 1384, 1521, 1668, 1724, 1730, 1735, 1738, 1828, 1835, 1838, 1846, 1847, 1849, 1854, 1870, 1888, 2138, 2191, 2344, 2475, 2587, 2723, 2746, 3, 38, 1, 57, 88, 94, 97, 103, 105, 110, 180, 203, 226, 256, 319, 321, 323, 330, 337, 365, 431, 440, 442, 452, 618, 620, 622, 625, 632, 637, 656, 720, 876, 917, 922, 927, 1058, 1115, 1127, 1241, 1245, 1315, 1319, 1359, 1360, 1448, 1490, 1505, 1573, 1611, 1646, 1673, 1718, 1737, 1740, 1743, 1752, 1754, 1850, 1853, 1863, 1867, 1868, 1872, 1885, 1889, 1893, 1894, 1897, 2127, 2143, 2186, 2194, 2289, 2298, 2401, 2412, 2541, 2625, 2712, 2718, 2736, 2805, and so forth, that is something that can be honestly said.  Yes, if you resolve to be blind to these Greek manuscripts, and focus instead, like a horse wearing blinders, upon interpolated and transposed Latin texts, and on a few late manuscripts influenced by them, then you can say that you have a basis for keeping the Comma Johanneum in your text of First John.  But if you are going to say that it was a good thing that at some point in the past, the Latin text was on the throne, and that the Greek text was usurped and pushed to the side, and that such ought to be the case today, then you thus are not actually recognizing the authority of the original text.      
            Finally, after asking a series of rhetorical questions, Mr. DeSoto asks, Do we gain anything by removing this passage?”  To which I say, first, that this is a trick question, because when we look at 02, 048, 0296, 018, 020, 025, 049, 0142, 1424, 1862, 1895, 2464, 044, 056, 82, 93, 175, 181, 221, 307, 326, 398, 450, 454, 456, 457, 602, 605, 619, 627, 832, 920, 1066, 1175, 1720, 1739, 1829, 1836, 1837, 1841, 1845, 1851, 1871, 1874, 1875, 1880, 1891, 2125, 2147, 35, 36, 2, 42, 43, 81, 104, 131, 133, 142, 177, 250, 302, 325, 312, 314, 424, 436, 451, 458, 459, 462, 464, 465, 466, 491, 506, 517, 547, 606, 607, 617, 623, 624, 635, 638, 639, 641, 699, 796, 901, 910, 919, 945, 1162, 1243, 1244, 1270, 1311, 1384, 1521, 1668, 1724, 1730, 1735, 1738, 1828, 1835, 1838, 1846, 1847, 1849, 1854, 1870, 1888, 2138, 2191, 2344, 2475, 2587, 2723, 2746, 3, 38, 1, 57, 88, 94, 97, 103, 105, 110, 180, 203, 226, 256, 319, 321, 323, 330, 337, 365, 431, 440, 442, 452, 618, 620, 622, 625, 632, 637, 656, 720, 876, 917, 922, 927, 1058, 1115, 1127, 1241, 1245, 1315, 1319, 1359, 1360, 1448, 1490, 1505, 1573, 1611, 1646, 1673, 1718, 1737, 1740, 1743, 1752, 1754, 1850, 1853, 1863, 1867, 1868, 1872, 1885, 1889, 1893, 1894, 1897, 2127, 2143, 2186, 2194, 2289, 2298, 2401, 2412, 2541, 2625, 2712, 2718, 2736, 2805, and so forth, nobody is removing the passage; it is not there to begin with. 
            But taking the question as it stands:  yes we certainly do gain something.  First, we gain a purer, less corrupted text, which more closely resembles the original inspired text.  Mr. DeSoto recently stated in another post, “We need to receive the text as it has been passed down.”  I point out again that in the text of First John 5:7-8 that has been passed down in 99.2% of the handed-down Greek manuscripts, the Comma Johanneum is unsupported.  I point out again that the non-inclusion of the Comma Johanneum is supported.  I point out again that at this particular point, the Textus Receptus does not represent the text-that-was-handed-down, or the Byzantine Text, or the “Antiochan line.”  Yet this fact seems to have no effect on Mr. DeSoto’s position.  It seems abundantly clear that his goal is neither to defend the original text nor the text that has been handed down in Greek manuscripts; his agenda is to defend the contents of the Textus Receptus.
            (In addition, one must ask, Which text that has been passed down?”, because the manuscripts that have survived to the present day do not always agree.  When asking, “Is this reading authoritative?” the decisive sub-question is not, Is it popular?, or “Is it familiar to a particular group of people?” (such as English readers of the KJV, or formulators of a particular creed from the 1600s), but, “Is it original?.)    
            Second, we lose the stigma of desperation which is the inevitable consequence of treating an interpolation as if deserves to be a foundation for Christian doctrine, as if the Textus Receptus must be right, and all those other manuscripts must be wrong.  It is morally wrong and strategically unwise to employ falsehoods – such as the false claim that John wrote the Comma Johanneum – in the service of the truth.  To continue to do so is to run the risk that onlookers will conclude that the orthodox view of the Trinity is so weak that its defenders must adopt non-original readings in order to defend it.  I would point out that few early theologians were as Trinitarian as Gregory of Nazianzus and Cyril of Alexandria – yet they did not use the Comma Johanneum, because it was not the Greek texts that they used. 
            Third, we gain the time that would otherwise be wasted continuing to discuss a textual variant which ought to be easily recognized as an interpolation.



Readers are invited to double-check the data in this post.



  

70 comments:

Matthew M. Rose said...

Hi James,

Are there any differences between the critical apparatus provided by Timothy Berg and the apparatus contained within Text und Textwert? I didn't have the patience to check every entry, but everyone I did is listed in Text und Textwert as well. I'm wondering if Mr. Berg has furnished the apparatus with more data. Thanks

Timothy Joseph said...

James,
First, stellar work. Second unfortunately, as pointed out by Dr. Riddle on his blog, defenders of the ‘confessional text’ (TR) do not base their beliefs about the TR on manuscript evidence. JTR points out that any reference to manuscript evidence is just a response to critics who claim their isn’t any. Their, CT/TR advocates, belief that the TR is the ‘Divinely Preserved Text’ is based on the belief that it was the text used by the Reformers. Therefore, whether it comes from the Latin Text or only has limited late Greek support or that there are differences in the TR itself do not matter. Finally, these positions demonstrate that the TR-Only advocates beliefs are an apriori decision, one which is not based on evidence, but on a theoretical deduction.
Tim

Conan said...

Thank you so much for posting this article. Now we can easily list the Greek Manuscripts against the extra non-original words from the Latin Vulgate.

Preacherman said...

Matthew, unless I made some mistakes (which is certainly possible) then the list should be the same as the TuT entry, with the minor difference that I tried to organize them into categories approximating the century of their approximate date of composition. It has been several years since I wrote out that chart, (https://www.dropbox.com/s/vwlyw6q8pi553ff/I%20John%205-7%20Chart%20PDF.pdf?dl=0) and I have never carefully double checked all the data. If I recall correctly, the Greek manuscript data all came from the TuT entry, which I typed out by hand from a iPhone shot of the pages in TuT, (which I don't own, but had accessed in a library=), which I then sorted by approximate date (iirrc, using the entires in the NA or K-liste), which I then pasted into fields in the chart. Assuming I made no mistakes in that process, it should be the same data as that from TuT, simply in different order. My goal was partly the same as the recent blog by Elijah (though I didn't and don't have his skill) - to show that people are often citing as "evidence for the KJV/TR" witnesses that in fact don't support the KJV/TR, and to present in a single, accessible visual the incredible sparseness of evidence that is being cited to support the CJ in the KJV/TR. There is some additional data I should have included, and I didn't note variants in the Latin Tradition when I should have, and I realized later that I should have used a color scheme to represent geographical dispersion as well. But despite it's minor inaccuracies or areas of incompleteness, I hope it can still serve that basic purpose.

Matthew M. Rose said...

Mr. Berg,

Thanks for the reply! You saved me a lot of time. I wasn't sure if you added any new manuscript evidence (and wasn't looking forward to checking all 500 or so), so thank you again for the reply.

Steven Avery said...

James Snapp
"The earliest is GA 629, a Latin-Greek manuscript dated to 1362."

For context, any discussion of Ottobonianus should also discuss the earlier Lateran Council, where Latin and Greek forms of the heavenly witnesses were published.

The pre-Erasmian restoration of the heavenly witnesses text to the Greek line included:

Lateran Council (1215)
Manuel Calecas (d. 1410)
Joseph Bryennius (c. 1350-1430)

There was a similar phenomenon in Armenian history, starting before the Synod of Sis (c. 1330).

All of this is important because of all the incorrect claims that Erasmus was working with a Greek vacuum on the heavenly witnesses verse.

Beyond that there are numerous Greek evidences from the earlier centuries. In fact, the one of which Erasmus was clearly aware, the Vulgate Prologue of Jerome, referring to Greek and Latin mss., caused Erasmus very great difficulties, he was totally flumoxxed. Erasmus, normally a big fan of Jerome, even accused him of forging the verse!

Steven Avery
Dutchess County, NY

Matthew M. Rose said...

Hi Steven,

How is this specific evidence to be veiwed in any way but weak? If we're looking for weight, number, continuity, preservation and possession, then:


Lateran Council (1215)
Manuel Calecas (d. 1410)
Joseph Bryennius (c. 1350-1430)

...a similar phenomenon in Armenian history, starting before the Synod of Sis (c. 1330).



--And 629 is not it!


What is this proposed evidence for a: "pre-Erasmian restoration of the heavenly witnesses text to the Greek line"--in comparison to the ACTUAL preservation and possession demonstrated within the same Greek line during the exact same duration?

i.e.{ Manuscripts Assigned to the 1200s: 4, 5, 6, 51, 204, 206, 172, 141, 218, 234, 263, 327, 328, 378, 383, 384, 390, 460, 468, 469, 479, 483, 496, 592, 601, 614, 643, 665, 757, 912, 914, 915, 941, 999, 1069, 1070, 1072, 1094, 1103, 1107, 1149, 1161, 1242, 1251, 1292, 1297, 1352, 1398, 1400, 1404, 1456, 1501, 1509, 1523, 1563, 1594, 1595, 1597, 1609, 1642, 1719, 1722, 1727, 1728, 1731, 1736, 1758, 1780, 1827, 1839, 1842, 1843, 1852, 1855, 1857, 1858, 1860, 1864, 1865, 1873, 2180, 2374, 2400, 2404, 2423, 2483, 2502, 2558, 2627, 2696

Manuscripts Assigned to the 1300s: 18, 62, 76, 189, 201, 209, 216, 223, 254, 308, 363, 367, 386, 393, 394, 404, 421, 425, 429, 453, 489, 498, 582, 603, 604, 608, 621, 628, 630, 633, 634, 680, 743, 794, 808, 824, 913, 921, 928, 935, 959, 986, 996, 1022, 1040, 1067, 1075, 1099, 1100, 1102, 1106, 1248, 1249, 1354, 1390, 1409, 1482, 1495, 1503, 1524, 1548, 1598, 1599, 1610, 1618, 1619, 1622, 1637, 1643, 1661, 1678, 1717, 1723, 1725, 1726, 1732, 1733, 1741, 1742, 1744, 1746, 1747, 1753, 1761, 1762, 1765, 1769, 1831, 1832, 1856, 1859, 1866, 1877, 1881, 1882, 1886, 1890, 1892, 1899, 1902, 2080, 2085, 2086, 2197, 2200, 2261, 2279, 2356, 2431, 2466, 2484, 2492, 2494, 2508, 2511, 2527, 2626, 2675, 2705, 2716, 2774, 2777

Manuscripts Assigned to the 1400s: 69, 102, 149, 205, 322, 368, 385, 400, 432, 444, 467, 615, 616, 631, 636, 664, 801, 1003, 1105, 1247, 1250, 1367, 1405, 1508, 1626, 1628, 1636, 1649, 1656, 1729, 1745, 1750, 1751, 1757, 1763, 1767, 1830, 1876, 1896, 2131, 2221, 2288, 2352, 2495, 2523, 2554, 2652, 2653, 2691, 2704 }


"For context, any discussion of Ottobonianus should also discuss..."

**The critical apparatus of the Greek manuscript tradition listed above.** Then place it over against the Lateran Council (1215), Manuel Calecas (d. 1410), Joseph Bryennius (c. 1350-1430), and the: "similar phenomenon in Armenian history, starting before the Synod of Sis (c. 1330)."--should it not? If so, how then could the resultant judgment be viewed as anything but negative towards your position?










Steven Avery said...

Hi Matthew,

You seem to have totally misunderstood my post, which is to give context to the pre-Erasmian period and the specific manuscripts studied by Elijah Hixson. Codex Ottobonianus should be discussed in the context of the Lateran Council.

And I would like to work to undo the damage of 100 writers who pretend that Erasmus brought the heavenly witnesses into the Greek in a vacuum. Yawn.

And I am limiting discussion to that immediate period, bypassing a large number of Greek evidences, and dual-language evidences, in the earlier years.

In that period from around the Lateran Council to Erasmus there were dozens of commentaries using the heavenly witnesses in the Latin. So any good scholar of that era would be well informed about the verse, and doctrinal and textual viewpoints.

And I know of no objections from any specific Greek source saying "hey, that is not really scripture". One Greek scholium did try to explain the solecism in the Greek text through a Trinitarian exegesis.

Now, I hope to get back to some other elements from Elijah Hixson and James Snapp.

Thanks!

Steven

Matthew M. Rose said...

Steven,

I was offering context to the same exact period: Namely, the 13th,14th and 15th centuries. In which centuries you have brought forth the Lateran Council (1215), Calecas (d.1410), Bryennius (c.1350-1430) and the history surrounding the Synod of Sis (c. 1330) as some sort of pertinent context. Yet within the same exact period we have approx. 90 Greek mss. (13th century), 120 Greek mss. (14th century) and 50 Greek mss. (15th century). That's (approx.) 90 Greek manuscripts in the face of the Lateran Council, 120 in the face of the: "Armenian history, starting before the Synod of Sis (c. 1330).";and the greater part of the lives of both Calecas and Byrennius. Adding another 50 Greek mss. to cover their latter years and the 15th century in general. 260 mss. of crystal clear context! (And yet ms. 629 stands alone.)


You state: "All of this is important because of all the incorrect claims that Erasmus was working with a Greek vacuum on the heavenly witnesses verse."

~~Where can I find these incorrect claims?


Again you write: "In that period from around the Lateran Council to Erasmus there were dozens of commentaries using the heavenly witnesses in the Latin. So any good scholar of that era would be well informed about the verse, and doctrinal and textual viewpoints."

~~~Indeed, the verse was known due to it's existence within the Latin tradition; but not within the Greek.







Steven Avery said...

Interesting conversation.

Now, we all know that the heavenly witnesses was largely absent from the Greek ms. line, and that there are many extant Greek mss after 700 (very few before).

(And I would agree 100% that any TR/AV defenders who try to show a continuing Greek ms. line are running up the wrong tree. And this error is often combined with the Stephanus ms. error. However, I have been singing this tune for a decade and more :). Thus, Ottobonianus should best be seen as likely an outgrowth from the Lateran Council. )

We do find strong Greek evidences and bi-language evidences before that 700 AD period. A truly fascinating study. So we have a type of inverted bell curve on the Greek evidences, a dip from c. 500-1200, and then a restitution.

==========

Here is a question for you, since you want to compare the Greek ms. omission to the uses of the verse in the Lateran Council, Calecas, Bryennios and the Armenian restoration.

Can you name any Greek commentaries that are evidence for absence? After all, mss. are often simply copying exercises, while the writings of church scholars can give us a better insight. We also have Latin mss. that discuss the early church writers on the verse.

Remember we have 100+ Latin writers using and discussing the heavenly witnesses. And some scholars were skilled in Latin and Greek. So after 1200, do you have any Greek commentary or writer evidences against the verse authenticity?

Thanks!

Matthew M. Rose said...

"We do find strong Greek evidences and bi-language evidences before that 700 AD period. A truly fascinating study. So we have a type of inverted bell curve on the Greek evidences, a dip from c. 500-1200, and then a restitution."


~~The problem I see here is that this hypothetical "restitution" is hardly a drop in the bucket in comparison to the Greek manuscript evidence of the 12-15th centuries. It seems to me that the 3rd edition of Erasmus (followed by Stephanus and Beza) is the more pivotal (and later) occurrence in this purposed "inverted bell curve".~~


"Here is a question for you, since you want to compare the Greek ms. omission to the uses of the verse in the Lateran Council, Calecas, Bryennios and the Armenian restoration."


~~It's not so much that I want to compare--as recognize the possession, continuity, and overall footprint of the completely unanimous testimony of the Greek ms. tradition within the first 160 years or so of the 13th & 14th centuries (until 629 is produced in 1362). Approx. 200 Greek mss. must of carried some significant geographical and social influence with them. How many villages, townships, countries, Churches, parishioners and hearts were affected by these manuscripts? How many eyes gazed upon them? How many scholars and preachers studied and read them? How many ears heard them, and how many souls were touched by them? This is vital to our understanding of possession. Erasmus making an edit in his third edition (via ms.61) cannot undermine this type of continuity and authority. The mother tongue is in possession here and the burden of truth is not sufficiently fulfilled by; ms.629,"the Lateran Council, Calecas, Bryennios and the Armenian restoration."...in my estimation.~~


"Remember we have 100+ Latin writers using and discussing the heavenly witnesses. And some scholars were skilled in Latin and Greek. So after 1200, do you have any Greek commentary or writer evidences against the verse authenticity?"


~~I don't think anyone ever felt the need to look (?), I surely haven't. It's not as if there's a shortage of evidence for the absence of the Comma. Secondly, I think it's to be expected that a far greater number of Latin commentaries were produced during the middle ages (when Rome ruled the known world) than Greek ones. And it's also to be expected that those Latin commentaries would contain the Comma-- because the Latin manuscripts contained it. Besides this, versional evidence is secondary in weight to the Greek manuscript evidence of the period.~~

~~In short, however one slices and dices it: I don't see the proper evidence to overthrow the possession maintained by the overwhelming majority of Greek manuscripts here. Compiling late Latin commentaries can do very little damage to the 99% agreement within the mother tongue.~~

Steven Avery said...

Matthew M. Rose
"to overthrow the possession maintained by the overwhelming majority of Greek manuscripts here"

Possession? Of What?
Definitely not non-authenticity.

" versional evidence is secondary in weight to the Greek manuscript evidence of the period."

Greek ms. evidence after 1000 AD is a minor evidence. The wide-ranging 100+ Latin commentaries and references are, to Bible believers, more significant. Shared information on inclusion always trumps an omission or an evidence from silence. Both have to be considered minor compared to pointing back to the era of 50 AD to 500 AD.

This nose-counting shows you that there the Greek ms. tradition from about 700 to 1500 tended strongly to omission. (Only a handful of extant mss. before 700 AD, so the true window is from church writings.) One ms. simply copied another with the inherited omission corruption. There was an important correction at the Lateran Council, widely disseminated to the churches, but only mild impact on scribal ms. copying.

The major correction came when the Greek Orthodox accepted the Reformation Bible text, such as the 1643 Orthodox Confession of Faith by Peter Mogilas. Powerful confirmation, followed by a good number of Orthodox writers. The keepers of the Greek manuscripts clearly understood that their manuscripts had been subject to the common problem of omission corruption, at the heavenly witnesses and also at Acts 8:37.

The scholar writings in Latin and Greek give us more insight into church usage than simply scribal copied manuscripts. Thus, in Latin, massive evidences, dozens upon dozens of references and commentaries. In Greek, the Lateran Council, Calecas and Bryennius for inclusion vs. nobody known,as you acknowledge, for omission. In fact, the Latin mss. and notes (e.g. Regensburg, Corbie, Haymo) and Aquinas in the earlier medieval period give us special insight into the perspective on Jerome and Augustine and Athanasius and Fulgentius.

And the Matthaei scholium shows us that the Greeks were aware of their solecism, and looked for a way out. (The Apostle John must have been thinking of the Trinity when he spoke of the spirit, the water, and the blood!:) ) This was affirmed by Erasmus with his clever "torquebit grammaticos". Then we have the wonderful grammatical information from Eugenius Bulgarius (1718-1805), telling us about the short text solecism from the perspective of the totally fluent world-class Greek scholar.

The Latin tradition clearly goes back to antiquity, from the Ante-Nicene period.

Jerome's Prologue to the Canonical Epistles testifies to early Greek and Latin mss having the verse, and a doctrinal uneasiness that let to omission. The objections to authenticity were frivolous (Antoine Genoud) largely based on a lateness that poofed away with the c. 1850 Fuldensis discovery.

Early evidences from the Greek include Origen, Eusebius ad Marcellum (which discomfit de facto supports Jerome's charge of scribal omission), the Athanasius Disputation at Nicea and the Synopsis of Scripture.

Parallelism, harmony, grammatical and various 'internal' evidences powerfully show the Greek text must have been the source of the Latin. James Snapp used to show some additional such evidences from Nathaniel Ellsworth Cornwall, these evidences are actually massive and mutually corroborative.

Nose-counting the Greek mss. starting around 1000 AD is funny, since it shows the textcrit error of over-reliance on one minor evidence. Elijah Hixson has been clueless on the heavenly witnesses evidences, since he was subject to the same textcrit indoctrination.

Time to study and learn!

Steven Avery
Dutchess County, NY

Matthew M. Rose said...

"Possession? Of What?
Definitely not non-authenticity."


Absolutely, unless you are seeking a non-Greek (i.e. Latin) text.


Steven, most of your comments and conclusions are very subjective and open to interpretation. Regretfully, I have to disagree with your assessment of the evidence, and the subsequent conclusions you have made. With that said: is there some methodology or set of principles that you follow or apply to the external/internal evidences when adjudicating between variant readings?

Unknown said...

Hi everyone. This post is not to argue one way or another on the JC veracity, nor do I pretend to be a scholar, but I do have a very interesting discovery that I believe will interest you all (please read all the way to the end). Many years ago, while studying at Calvin Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan, I wrote a paper on the Cana Miracle (Jn 2:1-11). In that poorly written paper I tried to lay out evidence proving that the Cana Miracle story was written as an allegory. My main discovery (and there are several important discoveries in the paper) was John's symbolic use of the word "water" and his source material. In short, John uses the word "water" as a symbol for "the Law and the Prophets", alias "God the Father's means of revelation". He uses both Moses (the first of the Law and the Prophets) and the Baptist (the last of the Law and the Prophets), who are both connected to the word "water", as personifications of the Law and the Prophets. They are the voice of "the Law and the Prophets". But my point here is that the word "water" is used by John as a symbol for "the Law and Prophets"= the dispensation of the Father's revelation. I show how this interpretation can be successfully applied to John 1, 2, 3, and 4. In the first 4 chapters of the gospel of John, John uses the word "water" to represent "the Law and the Prophets", and compares and contrasts this symbolic meaning with the Holy Spirit. Jn 1- "I came baptizing with water..." (3x) "but the one who comes after me willl baptize with the Holy Spirit". Jn 2- Turns "water" (the period of the Law and the Prophets) into "wine" (=Holy Spirit). Jn 3- "You must be born of water and the Spirit". Jn 4- the water from Jacob's well (=Law and Prophets/Father's revelation) vs the living water=Holy Spirit.
Now here is what will hopefully interest you: If we apply this same interpretation of the word "water" to I John 5:6-8, it agrees with Tertullian and Cyprian in their allegorical interpretation of the word "water".
I encourage you all to take a serious look at my paper. Someone with more skill than I needs to promote this interpretation.

Unknown said...

Sorry, I forgot to leave the site where to find the paper that I referred to in my previous post. https://estradablog.wordpress.com/the-cana-miracle-2/

My name is Matthew Estrada

Steven Avery said...

Matthew M. Rose
"Absolutely, unless you are seeking a non-Greek (i.e. Latin) text."

The goal is simply to have in our hands the Johannine text, written in Greek. This heavenly witnesses has an abundance of evidence from the Ante-Nicene era, and these tend to be dual language.

The obsession on extant Greek manuscripts as the one evidence of focus is simply a modern error. We want to know the Greek and Latin mss. in the Ante-Nicene era.

"Steven, most of your comments and conclusions are very subjective and open to interpretation. Regretfully, I have to disagree with your assessment of the evidence, and the subsequent conclusions you have made."

Textual criticism as a science, art or fantasy is virtually built upon the non-authenticity of the heavenly witnesses. Thus there is a paradigmic box. Acceptance of the truth of the heavenly witnesses authenticity is virtually the end of textual criticism, as practiced the last 200 years.

Matthew M. Rose
"With that said: is there some methodology or set of principles that you follow or apply to the external/internal evidences when adjudicating between variant readings?"

Generally, the same logic and common sense and faith that was held by the giants of the Reformation Bible.

And you are welcome to consider this a true form of reasoned eclecticism, one that looks at ALL the evidences.

In this case we have to look carefully (e.g. Erasmus touching on the grammar with 'torquebit grammaticos' and concealing from view the Cyprian evidence and mightily struggling with the Vulgate Prologue, lashing out at Jerome. And not yet having the 484 AD Council of Carthage available.) Today we have massive evidences that were not available in the 1500s, with the latest being Euseibus ad Marcellum.

Clearly the heavenly witnesses, and its sister verse Acts 8:37, present an extraordinary situation for a major variant where the Greek manuscript line is of far less significance that the other evidences, such as the:

a) the Latin lines
b) the early church writers
c) authorial style, harmony, grammatical 'internal' and parallelism considerations

Hope that helps. You are welcome to continue to express your despair :) on my home PureBible forum on Facebook, or any other sensible forum. We can share iron sharpeneth.

Steven Avery
Dutchess County

Unknown said...

Again, my name is Matthew Estrada. The Johannine Comma is an interpretation, taken from John's gospel, of the symbolic meaning of water as used in John's gospel. So either the author of John, or someone close to that author who knew his symbolic meaning of "water", wrote that verse. As to whether it was an insertion, or original, that is for you to decide. But to get at the real meaning, which will help you decide whether it was a later insertion or part of the original text, you will need to understand the author of John's gospel symbolic meaning of the word "water". To do this, please study my poorly written paper on the Cana Miracle. Do a google search on Matthew Estrada allegorical interpretation. I know that allegory will turn most of you off, but the fact of the matter is that the Cana miracle is an allegory. And the meaning of the word "water" is found in that story. Study it, please, carefully.

Steven Avery said...

Hi James,

James Snapp
“Can 1 John 5:7 be said to have been definitively introduced from the Latin, as though it were never found in a Greek manuscript?”

Please read the above careful. This is a classic loaded question, combined with an anachronistic approach.

The question gives the impression of discussing early Johannine transmissional history (c. 60-600 AD). Yet this is done through the window of extant mss. from a totally different era (1200-1530 AD). Whew!

Those later mss. were to an extent a reflection of the restoration of the text to the Greek line after the Lateran Council (1215 AD.) This looks to be especially true for the most important extant ms. the dual-language 629, Ottobonianus. The Lateran Council, key to understanding the era, was totally missed and/or omitted by Elijah Hixson.

The phrase:
"never found in a Greek manuscript"

Is actually discussing our very limited extant Greek mss. only,

Thus it is an attempt to retrofit the analysis of our very limited extant late Greek mss. By applying it to the period from c. 60 AD to c. 600 AD, a period where there are very few extant Greek mss. with 1 John 5.

Actually, there is an abundance of evidence that Greek mss. in that early period included the heavenly witnesses.

And above are a couple of questions to James Snapp on one of the evidences, the Vulgate Prologue, a first-person writing from Jerome.

==========

To Matthew Estrada, I simply do not consider your theory involving water as an allegory in the miracle at Cana as relevant. However, I would suggest moving Cana and Nazareth away from their Galilee valley site to the far more Gospel-reasonable area near Har Nitai (and possibly Arbel.)

Steven Avery
Dutchess County, NY, USA

Unknown said...

Steven, if my theory is correct (and it is:), I believe it is very relevant. If the author of the Johannine epistles is the same who wrote the gospel of John (and I think he is), then his symbolic use of the word "water" as used in the gospel could very well apply to his use of it in I John 5:6-8 (which it does:). Now, if John used the word "water" to personify "the Law and the Prophets" (= the Father's means of revelation), which he did, and if we apply that same meaning to I John 5:6,8, then we have a trinitarian statement which agrees with the Comma ("the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit"). I am no scholar, but it would seem to have some kind of relevance given that this interpretation agrees with the early christian authors Tertullian and Cyprian in their interpretation of the word "water".

Charles Laird said...

James,

I am impressed by the body of work that you've done on this subject. I just completed an independent study regarding the JC and I have come to very much the same conclusion. Mind you, I did not go through all 496 Greek manuscripts to ensure they did not hold the JC, but I went through the very earliest and then through those that have the added margin text. Very well done. I enjoy solid scholarship on Biblical topics...

Demian said...

James, can you please confirm that in your list of Greek manuscripts against the CJ, all of them do contain 1 Jn 5:6-8, from which the CJ is absent?

————

02, 048, 0296, 018, 020, 025, 049, 0142, 1424, 1862, 1895, 2464, 044, 056, 82, 93, 175, 181, 221, 307, 326, 398, 450, 454, 456, 457, 602, 605, 619, 627, 832, 920, 1066, 1175, 1720, 1739, 1829, 1836, 1837, 1841, 1845, 1851, 1871, 1874, 1875, 1880, 1891, 2125, 2147, 35, 36, 2, 42, 43, 81, 104, 131, 133, 142, 177, 250, 302, 325, 312, 314, 424, 436, 451, 458, 459, 462, 464, 465, 466, 491, 506, 517, 547, 606, 607, 617, 623, 624, 635, 638, 639, 641, 699, 796, 901, 910, 919, 945, 1162, 1243, 1244, 1270, 1311, 1384, 1521, 1668, 1724, 1730, 1735, 1738, 1828, 1835, 1838, 1846, 1847, 1849, 1854, 1870, 1888, 2138, 2191, 2344, 2475, 2587, 2723, 2746, 3, 38, 1, 57, 88, 94, 97, 103, 105, 110, 180, 203, 226, 256, 319, 321, 323, 330, 337, 365, 431, 440, 442, 452, 618, 620, 622, 625, 632, 637, 656, 720, 876, 917, 922, 927, 1058, 1115, 1127, 1241, 1245, 1315, 1319, 1359, 1360, 1448, 1490, 1505, 1573, 1611, 1646, 1673, 1718, 1737, 1740, 1743, 1752, 1754, 1850, 1853, 1863, 1867, 1868, 1872, 1885, 1889, 1893, 1894, 1897, 2127, 2143, 2186, 2194, 2289, 2298, 2401, 2412, 2541, 2625, 2712, 2718, 2736, 2805

Charles Laird said...

Demian - that was a good question. To point out that I John 5:7 is missing from a ton of Uncials, Miniscules and Papyri Manuscripts is rather disillusioning, when most of those don't have I John at all. I am curious for your question though. Because bottom line is that I John 5:7 is not in any Greek NT prior to the 10th Century. Now, before I'm castigated, do please note that the earliest three texts that I have had access to thus far with I John 5:7 in them have been in the margins, written by a different hand at a later date with a different ink... It's not until the 16th century that we have the CJ within the text itself (outside of a diaglot - 629 that is both Latin and what could appear as a translation into Greek).

Bottom line from all this, I've not found evidence to point to that verse being in the Greek, without influence by the Latin. And many of the Latin manuscripts have adds, that may or may not be true to the original autographs. I'm continuing my search for compelling evidence though.

Demian said...

Brother Charles, it’s not my intention to castigate any brother in Christ who is dealing with textual variants in the texts of the scriptures. I’m not a specialist in manuscripts, but I read what the early Christians wrote and I know for a fact that textual criticism is a historical reality. You find the fathers dealing with textual variants and you also find variation in their texts. They normally quote from something close to the Byzantine text, but you also find some Alexandrian readings in their writings. James Snapp was the only person that I have found so far that is reflecting properly what I have found in the fathers. I just wanted to make sure that those witnesses that he cites against the CJ have been properly verified. Blessings!

Charles Laird said...

Demian,

I don't think you were castigating anyone. By in large, what you asked was a solid question. Here's my question... Did you find one of those manuscripts or manuscript fragments to show the CJ? If it wasn't for the fact that he listed out, what I believe was 204 different manuscripts, with a note that there are more, then I might have gone through them all myself. He made the assertion... You have a fair question to ask if he confirmed that. But I really would like to know - have you found one that does have it???

Anyway, I hold no animosity. I'm simply trying to get to the bottom of many of these things...

Demian said...

Charles, I'm not trying to argue for or against the comma here. I'm simply trying to ascertain if the argument put forward by James Snapp is a valid one. If those 204 manuscripts contain 1 Jn 5:6-8 and lack the comma, then that's a powerful argument against it on the basis of the MSS evidence.

Charles Laird said...

Demian, it appears that you are used to people arguing back with you. I'm studying this topic. I'm asking questions. I have done a fair amount of study on this topic, but I'm always looking for more compelling info. I ran across this writing and put some of the info on the page I'm working on...

This is my study page for this topic - http://www.jesussaidiamgod.com/is-i-john-57-biblical-text/

Largely I'm agreeing with you. I very much dislike conversations through text, because you cannot hear my tone, see my body language or see that I'm just not trying to correct anyone here. :) Learning...

Demian said...

Charles, we know that the comma is ancient and variations of it appear a number of times in the early church, starting in the third century (I also don’t grant that Tertullian quotes it, but I am convinced that Cyprian appeals to it big time!). I grant that it is not in many (or some?) Greek manuscripts, but I’m trying to ascertain if 204 is a fair number. Let’s say just for argument sake that only 20 out of those 204 MSS’s contain 1 Jn 5:6-8. Wouldn’t that change our perception and the weight we give to the evidence based on what can be found in the extant copies containing 1 Jn 5:6-8? I’m not impressed by the argument that Erasmus included it only in the third edition of the Textus Receptus in 1522, because it was already in the Greek text of the Complutensian Polyglot compiled by Cardinal Ximenes in 1514. Also, the argument that it was not in the commentary by Clement of Alexandria should not carry too much weight, because he only commented briefly on a few verses here and there in the first epistle of John.

Is it possible that Eusebius removed it from those 50 copies that he prepared for the church in Constantinople because of his leaning towards Arianism? Don’t underestimate his influence on the Greek copies. Thomas Aquinas said that he removed the pericope adulterae that was in the original copy by Ammonius and some years later it disappears from Chrysostom’s text in Constantinople! Food for thought…

Conan said...

Demain, there are only 10 manuscripts that have it. Did you not read the artical? 5 of them are only a marginal note. They were all made under the influence of the Latin Vulgate, which is the only reason they found their way into these to few late manuscripts. There are over 500 Greek manuscripts without it. It was never part of the Greek originals or manuscript tradition.

Demian said...

OK. I’m willing to follow the evidence. I’m even open to reject the comma, if I find that the evidence contained in the Greek manuscripts outweighs the historical evidence for it. But let me ask you. Out of those 500 manuscripts, how many contain 1 Jn 5:6-8? And can you provide us with a list of those manuscripts?

Conan said...

Did you read the artical? To quote from the artical "
Now let’s look on the other side of the equation. Here, from researcher Timothy Berg, is a list of the Greek manuscripts that contain First John but do not have the Comma Johanneum in the text".

Over 500 are listed in the original artical.

https://www.thetextofthegospels.com/2020/01/first-john-57-and-greek-manuscripts.html?m=1#comment-form

Conan said...

Now let’s look on the other side of the equation. Here, from researcher Timothy Berg, is a list of the Greek manuscripts that contain First John but do not have the Comma Johanneum in the text:

Manuscripts Produced Before the 700s: 01, 03, 02, 048, 0296
Manuscripts Produced in the 700s-800s: 018, 020, 025, 049, 0142, 1424, 1862, 1895, 2464
Manuscripts Assigned to the 900s: 044, 056, 82, 93, 175, 181, 221, 307, 326, 398, 450, 454, 456, 457, 602, 605, 619, 627, 832, 920, 1066, 1175, 1720, 1739, 1829, 1836, 1837, 1841, 1845, 1851, 1871, 1874, 1875, 1880, 1891, 2125, 2147,
Manuscripts Assigned to the 1000s: 35, 36, 2, 42, 43, 81, 104, 131, 133, 142, 177, 250, 302, 325, 312, 314, 424, 436, 451, 458, 459, 462, 464, 465, 466, 491, 506, 517, 547, 606, 607, 617, 623, 624, 635, 638, 639, 641, 699, 796, 901, 910, 919, 945, 1162, 1243, 1244, 1270, 1311, 1384, 1521, 1668, 1724, 1730, 1735, 1738, 1828, 1835, 1838, 1846, 1847, 1849, 1854, 1870, 1888, 2138, 2191, 2344, 2475, 2587, 2723, 2746
Manuscripts Assigned to the 1100s: 3, 38, 1, 57, 88, 94, 97, 103, 105, 110, 180, 203, 226, 256, 319, 321, 323, 330, 337, 365, 431, 440, 442, 452, 618, 620, 622, 625, 632, 637, 656, 720, 876, 917, 922, 927, 1058, 1115, 1127, 1241, 1245, 1315, 1319, 1359, 1360, 1448, 1490, 1505, 1573, 1611, 1646, 1673, 1718, 1737, 1740, 1743, 1752, 1754, 1850, 1853, 1863, 1867, 1868, 1872, 1885, 1889, 1893, 1894, 1897, 2127, 2143, 2186, 2194, 2289, 2298, 2401, 2412, 2541, 2625, 2712, 2718, 2736, 2805
Manuscripts Assigned to the 1200s: 4, 5, 6, 51, 204, 206, 172, 141, 218, 234, 263, 327, 328, 378, 383, 384, 390, 460, 468, 469, 479, 483, 496, 592, 601, 614, 643, 665, 757, 912, 914, 915, 941, 999, 1069, 1070, 1072, 1094, 1103, 1107, 1149, 1161, 1242, 1251, 1292, 1297, 1352, 1398, 1400, 1404, 1456, 1501, 1509, 1523, 1563, 1594, 1595, 1597, 1609, 1642, 1719, 1722, 1727, 1728, 1731, 1736, 1758, 1780, 1827, 1839, 1842, 1843, 1852, 1855, 1857, 1858, 1860, 1864, 1865, 1873, 2180, 2374, 2400, 2404, 2423, 2483, 2502, 2558, 2627, 2696
Manuscripts Assigned to the 1300s: 18, 62, 76, 189, 201, 209, 216, 223, 254, 308, 363, 367, 386, 393, 394, 404, 421, 425, 429, 453, 489, 498, 582, 603, 604, 608, 621, 628, 630, 633, 634, 680, 743, 794, 808, 824, 913, 921, 928, 935, 959, 986, 996, 1022, 1040, 1067, 1075, 1099, 1100, 1102, 1106, 1248, 1249, 1354, 1390, 1409, 1482, 1495, 1503, 1524, 1548, 1598, 1599, 1610, 1618, 1619, 1622, 1637, 1643, 1661, 1678, 1717, 1723, 1725, 1726, 1732, 1733, 1741, 1742, 1744, 1746, 1747, 1753, 1761, 1762, 1765, 1769, 1831, 1832, 1856, 1859, 1866, 1877, 1881, 1882, 1886, 1890, 1892, 1899, 1902, 2080, 2085, 2086, 2197, 2200, 2261, 2279, 2356, 2431, 2466, 2484, 2492, 2494, 2508, 2511, 2527, 2626, 2675, 2705, 2716, 2774, 2777
Manuscripts Assigned to the 1400s: 69, 102, 149, 205, 322, 368, 385, 400, 432, 444, 467, 615, 616, 631, 636, 664, 801, 1003, 1105, 1247, 1250, 1367, 1405, 1508, 1626, 1628, 1636, 1649, 1656, 1729, 1745, 1750, 1751, 1757, 1763, 1767, 1830, 1876, 1896, 2131, 2221, 2288, 2352, 2495, 2523, 2554, 2652, 2653, 2691, 2704
Manuscripts Assigned to the 1500s and Later: 90, 296, 522, 1702, 1704, 1749, 1768, 1840, 1844, 1861, 2130, 2218, 2255, 2378, 2501, 2516, 2544, 1101, 1721, 1748, 1869, 1903, 2243, 2674, 2776, 2473, 1104

Demian said...

I have read the article. Have you? It seems that you need to read it again more carefully, Conan. Have you noticed what he said before mentioning all those witnesses? “Please note: a huge majority of these manuscripts don’t have I John at all”. I was expecting that you had a better information, but it seems that you will not be able to tell me how many of those 500 MSS’s contain 1 Jn 5:6-8.

By the way, you made bold assertions about the fact that "it was never part of the Greek originals or manuscript tradition". Let's assume just for argument sake that those 5 MSS's (01, 03, 02, 048, 0296) that were cited in the article contain 1 Jn 5:6-8. Five manuscripts in a period of 700 years is good enough for you to establish a firm tradition of Greek manuscripts from the autographs all the way until the 7th century? Five manuscripts in 700 years! Think about that for a moment before making bold assertions like that, Conan. And because you claimed that it was never in the originals, can you tell me how many of those manuscripts are assigned to the second and third centuries so we can establish the link between the apostolic age and codex Vaticanus?

Conan said...

We don't have any Greek manuscripts from the 2nd or 3rd centuries that have 1 John. But we do from the 4th century onwards. You see the list that all of those manuscripts that do contain 1 John don't have the Comma. There never were any that did. That's what the Greek witnesses say. 4th century through 15th century. All of those good Byzantine witnesses testify that the Comma never existed in the Greek. Why don't 10th century Greek manuscripts have it? Because their ancestors did not have the Comma.

By the way those that are listed do have 1 John. Read it again please.
QUOTE
Now let’s look on the other side of the equation. Here, from researcher Timothy Berg, is a list of the Greek manuscripts that contain First John but do not have the Comma Johanneum in the text

ALL of the LISTED manuscripts CONTAIN 1 John, and THEY do NOT contain the Comma.

Charles Laird said...

Demian,

It's not exactly understandable what your argument is here. I John is in many early manuscripts. The Pericope is not in them. I asked you before, which one have you found that has it there. To date, I have not found one in the Greek.

Please read this.. this addresses the issue more plainly...Something that I wrote and I have some of the notes from this site as well included. http://www.jesussaidiamgod.com/is-i-john-57-biblical-text/

I believe the Trinity is truth. This one piece of text is not supported by ancient manuscripts and it is not needed to evidence out the truth of the Trinity. I never really understand how or why people have such a tug for the Pericope. Many have because of their hard-core belief that the KJV is the only inspired and infallible word of God remaining. Anyway..

You did bring up some good points. I'm just curious. Would you be so kind as to present the evidence? Makes for some good dialogue at least.

Demian said...

Conan, we were talking about two different things. I was referring to Charles' article and you were referring to James Snapp article. Charles' article brings the same list of witnesses with the caveat “Please note: a huge majority of these manuscripts don’t have 1 John at all”. Anyway, we are now back to my original question. How many of those 500 MSS's of 1 John contain 1 Jn 5:6-8? Approximations are good enough for me. Is it 10, 20, 50, 100, 200? What is that?

Demian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Conan said...

You are missunderstanding. It clearly says there are over 500 manuscripts that do not have the Comma. It does not say how many of the 5,000 plus Greek manuscripts contain 1 John. It says of the over 500 Greek manuscripts that do contain 1 John these do not contain the Comma. All manuscripts do not contain 1 John. Over 500 do, and of those on the list, they do not have the Comma. The 500 on the list are verified to not contain the Comma.
Let me put it this way again. There are over 5,000 Greek manuscripts, from whole New Testament's to only fractions of scripture. Over 500 of those contain 1 John, and they have been checked and do not contain the Comma. There are 10 manuscripts of 1 John that do contain the Comma, in the margin or the Text.

Charles is in denial. It is overwhelming evidence against the Comma. Pretending that the over 500 manuscripts (my count) of 1 John do not contain 1John is to mishandle the evidence. Again I refer you to the real research that has been done

"Now let’s look on the other side of the equation. Here, from researcher Timothy Berg, is a list of the Greek manuscripts that contain First John but do not have the Comma Johanneum in the text".

To pretend the research hasn't been done when it clearly has.

Demian said...

Conan, I found a way to verify that list of manuscripts. You will see an online catalogue of manuscripts with photos of each page in the following link: http://ntvmr.uni-muenster.de/home.

If you look up 1 Jn 5:6 and 1 Jn 5:8, you will see that several manuscripts of that list that you cited as proof against the CJ contain neither 1 Jn 5:6, nor 1 Jn 5:8. They do not contain the comma, because they do not contain any text of 1 Jn 5:6-8. It’s misleading to say that manuscripts that do not contain those 3 verses at all are a witness against the comma. You are welcome to check my findings so far:

Manuscripts produced in the 700-800s: 020, 025, 1895 and 2464 do not contain any verse from 1 Jn 5:6 through 1 Jn 5:8.

Manuscripts assigned to the 900’s: 056, 175, 454, 602, 605, 619, 627, 1066, 1720, 1829, 1836, 1841, 1891 and 2147 do not contain any text of 1 Jn 5:6 through 1 Jn 5:8. 1880 contains only verse 8.

I have not verified the list from the 1000’s onwards, but I’m pretty sure that that number of 500 MSS’s against the comma will not stand when I finish my research.

Charles Laird said...

Conan, you are a funny guy. You say I am in denial. The irony is, you are not listening. You didn't read what I posted and you are not listening to anything that I have written thus far. I have stated - verbatim - there is no evidence to confirm the Comma.

Please don't put me in with the KJV Only crowd. Please don't list me with the people who say that the Comma is in the earliest of texts. That's simply not true.........

Conan, please just read what I said, as opposed to whatever you think that I said. :) LOL http://www.jesussaidiamgod.com/is-i-john-57-biblical-text/

Please don't be just like Demian....

Steven Avery said...

Hi friends,

Joining in the discussion, although I have a bit above.

The 500 Greek manuscripts give us a good picture that the Greek manuscript line normalized without the verse from c. AD 700 to AD 1200. At that point the Lateran Council began a return of the Greek text which included the Council having the verse in Greek and Latin (discussing the doctrines of Joachim Flores), Codex Ottobonianus, Manuel Calecas and Joseph Bryennius, before Erasmus and the 1500s activity.

Also we have a good picture of the Latin line from about AD 200 (Tertullian and Cyprian) continuing onward with the verse in an estimated 1,000 manuscripts. This includes Old Latin mss. which line was translated no later than the 2nd century. And heavenly witnesses usage by about 100 Latin authors from the 300s consistently through to the Reformation era.

Then we have cross-language evidences like Jerome's Prologue to the Canonical Epistles that points to ancient mss. with the verse.

We have the Council of Carthage of 484 with 400+ orthodox confirming their faith specifically citing the Johannine heavenly witnesses verse. This shows that the Old Latin line having the verse was widely accepted without any pushback.

Similarly the grammatical solecism without the verse in the short Greek text tells any true Bible believer that this verse is from John, along with powerful corroborating stylistic and internal evidences. A simple example is the "Witness of God" of verse 9 points right back to the heavenly witnesses of verse 7. Another is the wooden redundancy of verse 6 to verse 8 when the heavenly witnesses are removed. Another is the beautiful parallelism, in the minds of the short text afficianados there is not even a reference to heavenly or earthly! This is a beautiful Johannine parallelism, not that of Clunk the Margin Writer and Flunk the Interpolator.

We also have some Greek evidences such as the Disputation of Athanasius against an Arian at Nicea that show the verse. And the Synopsis of Scripture.

So to focus almost obsessively on simply Greek manuscripts, which are almost all quite late, is a trick of the modern textual critics who really do not understand the evidences. For this verse, the Greek manuscripts are simply one modest group of evidences.

It is exceedingly easy to explain the verse dropping out of the Greek line, but a wacky margin insertion that fixes the Greek text solecism in translation from Latin, and develops a beautiful harmonious parallelism is, for the Bible believer, a road too far.

As Demian said:
"Five manuscripts in a period of 700 years is good enough for you to establish a firm tradition of Greek manuscripts from the autographs all the way until the 7th century? Five manuscripts in 700 years!"

Blessings and grace in Jesus name!

Steven Avery
Dutchess County, NY USA

Demian said...

Sure, when we put side by side 5 Greek manuscripts until the 700’s against the comma versus all the use of the comma that you just mentioned in church history plus Jerome’s testimony that irresponsible scribes left that out, a different perspective shows up for those who are willing to examine the evidence properly.

If the comma is a commentary by Cyprian that crept into the Greek text, why then don’t we have a comma with “Son” instead of “Word”?

Something else, too, Steven. One of James Snapp’s golden rule in textual criticism is: which reading better accounts for its rival? Is it possible that his rule applies here? The TR seems to account for the NA28 here. Don’t we have a potential case for parablepsis in the comma? Notice that the scribe probably skipped over from verse 7 to verse 8, because both have the very same wording in verse 7 and 8, which is “τρεις εισιν οι μαρτυρουντες”. Isn’t it possible that the scribe accidentally skipped over the comma?

Conan said...

Demian. Looking at your first one on the list 020, I see this

"a5. Contains the Acts, Paul, and the Catholics. Acts lacks 1:1-8:10; the Catholics are complete; Paul lacks Hebrews 13:10-end. Scrivener says that is is "of a date not earlier than the middle of the ninth century," though most modern catalogs date it to the ninth century.

This says the "catholics are complete". What do you make of that? Thank you for your post by the way. This evening I will go through the list.

Demian said...

Good catch Conan! You are absolutely right! 020 and 627 were there. I got them wrong on my notes. I just went over that list again. I will go over the whole list this week and I will ask you to double check my revised list so we can be sure that the evidence is treated properly.

Updating:

Manuscripts produced in the 700-800s: 025, 1895 and 2464 do not contain any verse from 1 Jn 5:6 through 1 Jn 5:8.

Manuscripts assigned to the 900’s: 056, 175, 454, 602, 605, 619, 1066, 1720, 1829, 1836, 1841, 1891 and 2147 do not contain any text of 1 Jn 5:6 through 1 Jn 5:8. 1880 contains only verse 8.

Have a great week ahead ;-)

Steven Avery said...

Demian
"plus Jerome’s testimony that irresponsible scribes left that out"

Really an incredible evidence, similar to that of Augustine and Ambrose on the Pericope Adulterae, yet even more dynamic as Jerome was working directly with ancient mss, Greek and Latin.

========================

Demian
If the comma is a commentary by Cyprian that crept into the Greek text, why then don’t we have a comma with “Son” instead of “Word”?

The whole theory that a commentary becomes a margin note becomes a vastly improved and beautiful, majestic textual insertion really is is a non-starter. With Cyprian it is impossible since, as Henry Thomas Armfield, pointed out, you have to theorize
an invisible allegory.

*** certain mystical interpretation which he has not given or alluded to, a verse which he has not quoted! ***

========================

Demian
"James Snapp’s golden rule ... which reading better accounts for its rival? ... parablepsis in the comma?"

In 2014 James actually did good work showing this possible first drop of the verse. You can follow the urls I placed here:

James Snapp helps on the homoeoteleuton cause of omission
https://www.purebibleforum.com/index.php?threads/james-snapp-helps-on-the-homoeoteleuton-cause-of-omission.2303/

Demian said...

Steven, another piece of evidence... All those 5 manuscripts that were cited against the comma in the first 700 years are Alexandrian. If one copyist missed the comma due to parablepsis, it's simply natural to see subsequent copies reproducing the same error in the same local.

Matthew M. Rose said...

Note the very first comment gentlemen:

"Are there any differences between the critical apparatus provided by Timothy Berg and the apparatus contained within Text und Textwert? I didn't have the patience to check every entry, but everyone I did is listed in Text und Textwert as well. I'm wondering if Mr. Berg has furnished the apparatus with more data."

Berg's reply:

"Matthew, unless I made some mistakes (which is certainly possible) then the list should be the same as the TuT entry, with the minor difference that I tried to organize them into categories approximating the century of their approximate date of composition."


"Text und Textwert" is the source, and the data should be correct. (Save if Mr. Berg has made a slip up here or there, as he mentioned above.)


Demain,

"το πνευμα και το υδωρ και το αιμα και οι τρεις εις το εν εισιν"

Is read by: 025 056 175 454 602 605 619 1066 1720 1829 1836 1841 1891 2147 1895

2464 reads: "το πνευμα και υδωρ και το αιμα και οι τρεις εις το εν εισιν"

(Acc. to Txt. und Textwert.)

Matthew M. Rose said...

Demain,

If you have any questions regarding the apparatus please ask, as I own the "Text und Textwert" volume in question.
(And I wouldn't want you to spend all week going through all of these.)

Conan said...

Demain. 025 also has most of 1 John , icluding the verses
Under discussion.

Location/Catalog Number
Saint Petersburg, Russian National Library Gr. 225. Called Codex Porphyrianus after its former possessor, Bishop Porphyry.

Contents
Palimpsest, originally containing the Acts, Catholic Epistles, Paul, and the Apocalypse complete. In addition to occasional letters obliterated by the upper writing (works of Euthalius), a number of leaves have been lost, including those containing Acts 1:1-2:13, Romans 2:16-3:4, 8:32-9:10, 11:23-12:1, 1 Cor. 7:15-17, 12:23-13:5, 14:23-39, 2 Cor. 2:13-16, Col. 3:16-4:8, 1 Thes. 3:5-4:17, 1 John 3:20-5:1, Jude 4-15, Rev. 16:12-17:1, 19:21-20:9, 22:6-end. Scrivener states that, in addition, James 2:12-21, 2 Pet. 1:20-2:5 are "barely legible." Presumably modern methods have made it more possible to read these sections, but they will be poorly cited in older editions. (Scrivener notes that it also contains "a few fragments of 4 Maccabees," but given that it is palimpsest, one may wonder if these are truly part of the same volume.)

Demian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Demian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matthew M. Rose said...

Demain writes:

"The following do not contain any text from 1 Jn 5:6-8:

Manuscripts produced in the 700-800s: 025, 1895 and 2464.

Manuscripts assigned to the 900’s: 056, 175, 454, 602, 605, 619, 1066, 1720, 1829, 1836, 1841, 1891 and 2147."

I previously explained:

"το πνευμα και το υδωρ και το αιμα και οι τρεις εις το εν εισιν"

Is read by: 025 056 175 454 602 605 619 1066 1720 1829 1836 1841 1891 2147 1895
[And so does 020 mentioned by Conan.]

2464 reads: "το πνευμα και υδωρ και το αιμα και οι τρεις εις το εν εισιν"

(Acc. to Txt. und Textwert.)


Every MSS. mentioned here does contain the section—and omits the comma. You must be misreading the ntvmr format of reference.

Demian said...

Matthew, it seems that the library in Münster doesn't have all manuscripts? From all those manuscripts cited I found only 260 or so. I don't know what to do on my end to verify that data. I guess I will have to trust you as my verifier. Thank you for reaching out to Mr. Berg in order to check the source and the accuracy of the information and for sharing with us the name of the apparatus!

Demian said...

And thank you Conan! The fact that you double-checked 020 and 025 from different sources makes me feel confident that all those 500 MSS's contain 1 Jn 5:6-8 from which the comma is absent.

Steven Avery said...

Good discussion!

Here is one of the earliest Greek evidences. Charles Forster p. 59-63 in his New Plea places this as direct writing form Athansius, "The theme is peculiarity Athanasian", there is some earlier weak scholarship that tries to place it around AD 600, and today's view of Annette von Stockhausen is early 400s.

=====================

Athanasius - Disputation Contra Arium 44; Migne Graeca, PG 28.499-500

[Athanasius responds]
Likewise isn’t it the remission of sins procured by that quickening and sanctifying ablution [baptism], without which no man shall see the kingdom of heaven, [a baptism] given to the faithful in the thrice-blessed name? And besides all these, John says: ”And the three are the one”.
(Richard Porson, Letters to Travis, 1790 p. 214 and 1828 p. 199)

=====================

And it is strongly corroborated by Potamius of Lisbon writing of the heavenly witnesses to Athanasius.

=====================

AD 350 - Potamius of Lisbon

● Letter to Athanasius the Bishop of Alexandria on the consubstantiality of the Son of God.

You must justly admit that, when your poisonous desire of impure slander was inflamed, the venerable fathers transfixed you with pious arrows in that holier council. Here also it is clearly shown that you held before you fetters of malicious distortion, since the Savoir says: "I have come down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of him who sent him." (John 6:38) What do you answer, serpent? Is it really possible that you seek to obfuscate the brightness of this [PAGE 138] pure profession, which they consider to be a very small problem? The occasion has a bearing on the matter. The Lord our Savior appeared to mankind as a human being, since he had clothed himself with a human body. Therefore, he said: "I have come down from heaven not to do my own will." (John 6:38) He denied the exercise of the humanity that was in him. Therefore, he cries out in order to proclaim in himself the predecessor whom he remembers as his Father and begetter. Since the Son is named second, therefore he who precedes is greater: but, because "these three are one", the substance of him who sends and of him who is sent, in the context of the unity of the Godhead, is one: "I and the Father are one." (John 10:30), and "He sees me, sees the Father." (John 14:9) and, as the Savoir himself said to the Apostles: "I have been so long with you and yet you do not know the Father." (John 14:9)

(Potamius of Lisbon. "Letter to Athanasius the Bishop of Alexandria on the consubstantiality of the Son of God" in the life and works of Potamius of Lisbon edited and translated by Marco Conti, 1998, p. 136)

=====================

Since the assigning of Vaticanus to the 300s is quite dubious,and not particularly relevant since it is such a corrupt Reader's Digest edition (and should we mention the umlaut/distigme?) and Sinaiticus is 1800s, the Disputation may well be our earliest extant clear Greek evidence. And it points directly to the heavenly witnesses verse being in the Bible of Athanasius.

=====================

Demian said...

Yes, good discussion gentlemen! My take away is this. Internal evidence strongly suggests that the comma was part of the original text and was accidentally lost by a copyist in Egypt. The error of those copies in Egypt may have been transferred to the Byzantine copies by means of those 50 official copies that Eusebius prepared for use in Constantinople. The Latin copies in the West were not influenced by this copyist error. Church history demonstrates that the comma is ancient, but because it has very little support in our 500 extant Greek copies containing 1 Jn 5:6-8, we should never use this text to settle a doctrinal disputation or be dogmatic about the inclusion or exclusion of the comma to the point of breaking the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. The comma is a plausible textual variant on both sides and should be preserved as a marginal note for both translators who decide to either keep it in the text or exclude it.

Just a last word. We owe nothing to Muslim apologists or the Bart Ehrman’s of this word. Don’t allow your position to be determined by what would make sense for them. The word of God was handed down to us with textual variants and one copy corrects another as the saying went among the reformers.

Matthew M. Rose said...

Demian writes: "Internal evidence strongly suggests that the comma was part of the original text and was accidentally lost by a copyist in Egypt."

"For we resolutely maintain, that external Evidence must after all be our best, our only safe guide..." -Burgon

The external evidence should help guide our conclusions on the internal, not the other way around. Even so, I have to say that you are more measured in your conclusions than anyone else I've come across who has suggested that the comma is authentic.



Demian said...

Matthew: read this post and you will see that I'm not the only one here who sees a very strong case based on internal evidence over external evidence.

https://www.thetextofthegospels.com/2019/05/john-78-not-not-yet-or-nothing.html

Besides, the early church fathers confirm the existence of the comma so that you have a combination of internal evidence and external evidence in my argument. Cyprian certainly pre-dates codex Vaticanus by 70 years or so...

And by the way, thanks for your kindness! That's the way Christians are supposed to dialogue ;-)

Steven Avery said...

Hi Folks,

Let's look at the context of the John William Burgon quote.

Matthew M. Rose
"For we resolutely maintain, that external Evidence must after all be our best, our only safe guide..." -Burgon

Revision Revised - 1883
https://books.google.com/books?id=GglFAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA19

And if you look at the context of the quote, Burgon is talking about rejecting the corruptions of Vaticanus and a motley crew of piddle supports.

"the dictates of a little group of authorities, of which nothing whatever is known with so much certainty as that often, when they concur exclusively, it is to mislead. We speak of codices B or n or D ; the IXth-century codex L, and such
cursives1 as 13 or 33; a few copies of the old Latin and one of the Egyptian versions: perhaps Origen" -

Burgon continues with some Hortian fantasies like the Antiochene Recension

With the heavenly witnesses, the massive Latin support and the incredible ECW support and the special historical aspects like Jerome's Prologue all take the heavenly witnesses outside the context of your Burgon quote.

Then we get to the incredible grammatical, stylistic and internal evidences. :)

Yours in Jesus name,
Steven Avery
Dutchess County, NY USA

Matthew M. Rose said...

Demian,

ουκ: ‭א D K M Π 1071 1079 1241 1242 1546 l672 l673 l813 l950 l1223 it-a, aur, b, c, d, e, ff² vulg syr-c syr-s cop-boh arm eth geo slav Diatessaron Porphyry acc. to Jerome Ambrosiaster Epiphanius Chrysostom Augustine Cyril

The evidence for the comma is not nearly as full as that above ("ουκ" Jo.7:8), so I fail to see your point. Secondly, the same individual (i.e. Pastor Snapp) "who sees a very strong case based on internal evidence over external evidence" there, utterly refuses any notion that the comma is original here!

You write:

"Besides, the early church fathers confirm the existence of the comma so that you have a combination of internal evidence and external evidence in my argument. Cyprian certainly pre-dates codex Vaticanus by 70 years or so..."

The ECFs confirm the existence of many readings that are *not* original, and nearly every "important" textual variant in existence can be documented as being older than codex Vaticanus, so again, I think you're overstating your case.

Matthew M. Rose said...

Steven,

Yes you're correct about the context. Albeit, the statement by Burgon is a good representation of what he believed concerning the question of external vs internal evidence in general. (And his obvious dismissal of the comma legitimizes my use of such.)

"For we resolutely maintain, that external Evidence must after all be our best, our only safe guide..." -Burgon

This is certainly part and parcel of Burgon's methodology. My only desire was to point out that internal evidence is secondary in nature, that's all.

Demian said...

Matthew, I’m satisfied with the info that I shared here. It demonstrates that there is an early church Father witnessing the existence of the comma in his manuscript before all those witnesses that were cited in this article. Next time you see a picture of any of those manuscripts in this article, remember that it is missing something that was witnessed 70 years before by Cyprian. Also keep in mind that 70 years after the composition of the earliest manuscript in this list, no less a person than Jerome shows up to complain that irresponsible scribes left out what your brother in Christ saw as a very strong reading accounting for its rival. And then, lastly, I will allow our friends to judge who dealt fairly with all the evidence and built a case taking into consideration all the witnesses and who had to dismiss some of it in his argumentation.

Demian said...

By the way, I think you will be gracious to recognize that those 2 pairs of 70 years are approximations ;-)

Charles Laird said...

I was serious hoping for a more serious and objective approach to the comma, other than a weak assessment of an early church father saying something remotely like the comma, but not quoting the verse, only a subjective piece, that could be the missing comma itself. The Latin - that's great and fine and dandy, but it's late. To date, we have zero evidence in the Greek manuscripts, up until after the 10th century and then it's written in the margins.

Sorry - it's a stretch. Provide the evidence "FOR" succinctly and we can review it, but it seems like a lot of writing, pre-suppositions and grasping for straws based on this grand notion of an inerrant Bible that still exists, yet we are left with the errant 1611 KJV.

I'll check back sometime later.

Matthew M. Rose said...

"Also keep in mind that 70 years after the composition of the earliest manuscript in this list, no less a person than Jerome shows up to complain that irresponsible scribes left out what your brother in Christ saw as a very strong reading accounting for its rival. And then, lastly, I will allow our friends to judge who dealt fairly with all the evidence and built a case taking into consideration all the witnesses and who had to dismiss some of it in his argumentation."

I think I'm going to puke.

Demian said...

Thank you for asking the question Charles.

1. Cyprian wrote several letters and treatises addressing the Novatian schism during the Decian persecution that broke out around the year 250AD. One of the issues that he got heavily involved with was the controversy on what to do with the lapsed, those who had capitulated under persecution, but repented and want to return to the fellowship of the church. He defended that those Christians who had repented should be received back into the fellowship of the church. On the other hand, Novatian disagreed and a schism took place between them. For Cyprian, it was a grievous error to destroy the unity of the church by means of a schism like that. In his first treatise, he argues for the unity of the church from several different angles. One of them was the essential unity of the divine persons. He then goes on to quote two passages that affirm the essential unity of the persons of the Trinity. The first passage is: "I and the Father are one" (Jn 10:30). There is no allegory here, right? He is simply quoting scripture to prove his point. But, then he found another place where it is written of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit that these three are one. Where do you think that he could possible have found this idea written in his bible? He found some place where it is written of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit that these three are one (1 Jn 5:7). I am going to give you the quote so you can see for yourself what he is doing in context:

The Lord says, “I and the Father are one;” (Joh 10:30) and again it is written of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, “And these three are one.” (1Jn 5:7) And does any one believe that this unity which thus comes from the divine strength and coheres in celestial sacraments, can be divided in the Church, and can be separated by the parting asunder of opposing wills? He who does not hold this unity does not hold God’s law, does not hold the faith of the Father and the Son, does not hold life and salvation (Treatises of Cyprian - Tr. 1, paragraph #6)

2. Now, I will give you Jerome's preface to the catholic epistles so you can see for yourself his complaint about the removal of the comma:

The order of the seven Epistles which are called canonical is not the same among the Greeks who follow the correct faith and the one found in the Latin codices, where Peter, being the first among the apostles, also has his two epistles first. But just as we have corrected the evangelists into their proper order, so with God’s help have we done with these. The first is one of James, then two of Peter, three of John and one of Jude.

Just as these are properly understood and so translated faithfully by interpreters into Latin without leaving ambiguity for the readers nor [allowing] the variety of genres to conflict, especially in that text where we read the unity of the trinity is placed in the first letter of John, where much error has occurred at the hands of unfaithful translators contrary to the truth of faith, who have kept just the three words water, blood and spirit in this edition omitting mention of Father, Word and Spirit in which especially the catholic faith is strengthened and the unity of substance of Father, Son and Holy Spirit is attested.

In the other epistles to what extent our edition varies from others I leave to the prudence of the reader. But you, virgin of Christ, Eustochium, when you ask me urgently about the truth of scripture you expose my old age to being gnawed at by the teeth of envious ones who accuse me of being a falsifier and corruptor of the scriptures. But in such work I neither fear the envy of my critics nor deny the truth of scripture to those who seek it.

Demian said...

PS: Just a last comment. Notice that Jerome sees in the terms "Father, Word and Holy Spirit" in the CJ a reference to the "Father, Son and Holy Spirit". The same thing that Cyprian saw in his treatise.

Steven Avery said...

Matthew M. Rose said...
"... Jerome shows up to complain that irresponsible scribes left out what your brother in Christ saw as a very strong reading accounting for its rival."
I think I'm going to puke.

Hi Matthew, an unusual reaction, I hope you are in good health.
Are you familiar with the Vulgate Prologue to the Canonical Epistles. James Snapp and I have a number of spots where we discussed the text.

Thanks!

Steven Avery said...

Demian, you have added important context to the Cyprian heavenly witnesses usage.

Including this extract (more above):

"The first passage is: "I and the Father are one" (Jn 10:30). There is no allegory here, right? He is simply quoting scripture to prove his point. But, then he found another place where it is written of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit that these three are one. Where do you think that he could possible have found this idea written in his bible? He found some place where it is written of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit that these three are one (1 Jn 5:7)."

And I plan a page on my PureBibleForum that will quote you .. with a title like "The context of the Unity of the Church passage from Cyprian".

Thanks!

Steven Avery
Dutchess County, NY USA

Demian said...

When I read Cyprian, I could not get around the fact that he quoted 1 John 10:30 immediately before 1 John 5:7 in order to build his case. Two scriptures quoted side by side in context to prove the essential unity of the persons of the Trinity, which was part of his appeal to unity in the body of Christ. The essential unity between the divine persons of the Trinity in 1 John 5:7 is the very same argument defended by Jerome in his prologue of the catholic epistles and a little later by Fulgentius as he appeals to Cyprian's treatise saying that Cyprian was quoting those "scriptures" in his treatise. Interestingly enough, Fungentius was aware that Cyprian appealed to the essential unity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, but had "Word" in his text of 1 Jn 5:7 for his public battles against the Arians.

I have more to say about 1 Jn 5:7 like why this scripture was not the go-to text by the defenders of the deity of Christ in Nicea and so on. Please, share the link so I can interact with your post and your audience.

Just do me a favor, brother. You have full authority to correct my typos. I have noticed that I have been writing too fast lately without proper attention to grammar.

Steven Avery said...

Thanks!

Here we go.

Pure Bible Forum
the context of Cyprian's passage in the Unity of the Church using the heavenly witnesses
https://www.purebibleforum.com/index.php?threads/the-context-of-cyprians-passage-in-the-unity-of-the-church-using-the-heavenly-witnesses.2312/

Facebook - Textus Receptus Academy
https://www.facebook.com/groups/467217787457422/posts/949730372539492/?comment_id=1007677413411454