Selected Texts Where the Deity of Christ is Attacked or Denied in Modern Bible Versions Because of Corruptions in the Greek Critical Text, with a Brief Defense of the Received Text Readings in These Texts

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Selected Texts Where the Deity of Christ is Attacked or Denied in Modern Bible Versions Because of Corruptions in the Greek Critical Text, with a Brief Defense of the Received Text Readings in These Texts

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Selected Texts Where the Deity of Christ is Attacked or Denied in Modern Bible Versions

Because of Corruptions in the Greek Critical Text,

with a Brief Defense of the Received Text Readings in These Texts[1]

Luke 24:52

And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy (KJV)

kai« aujtoi« proskunh/santeß aujto/n, uJpe÷streyan ei˙ß ÔIerousalh\m meta» cara◊ß mega¿lhß:

(TR)

And they returned to Jerusalem with great joy, (RSV)

Kai« aujtoi« uJpe÷streyan ei˙ß ∆Ierousalh/m meta» cara◊ß mega¿lhß (CT-Tisch)

The words “worshipped him,” indicating the Deity of the resurrected Christ, are missing in only one Greek manuscript, codex D, one of the worst Greek MSS in existence. All the rest of the Greek copies—thousands of them—have the words.

John 1:18

No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. (KJV)

Qeo\n oujdei«ß e˚w¿rake pw¿pote: oJ monogenh\ß ui˚o/ß, oJ w·n ei˙ß to\n ko/lpon touv patro/ß, e˙kei√noß e˙xhgh/sato. (TR)

Various modern versions change “the only begotten Son” to “only begotten god/God” (cf. NWT)

Qeo\n oujdei«ß e˚w¿raken pw¿pote: monogenh\ß qeo\ß oJ w·n ei˙ß to\n ko/lpon touv patro\ß e˙kei√noß e˙xhgh/sato. (CT)

Arians employ the “only begotten god” reading to affirm that Christ is a secondary deity that was created by the true God. Furthermore, classical Trinitarian truth affirms that Christ is begotten as Son, not as God—the Person of the Son, not the Divine essence, is begotten. Over 99% of Greek MSS have the Received Text reading.[2] Even one of the editors of the critical Greek text noted: “It is doubtful that the author would have written monogenh\ß qeo\ß, which may be a primitive, transcriptional error in the Alexandrian tradition.”[3] The first mention of the “begotten god” reading appears in a fragment ascribed to the Gnostic heretic Valentinus. The Old Latin, the Vulgate, the Georgian, and the Slavonic versions have the Received Text reading, and the patristic writers Tertullian, Hippolytus of Rome, Athanasius, Chrysostom, Origen, Eusebius, Gregory of Nyssa, and, Basil of Caesarea also provide support. Arius, on the other hand, employed “only begotten god.”

John 3:13

And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. (KJV)

kai« oujdei«ß aÓnabe÷bhken ei˙ß to\n oujrano/n, ei˙ mh\ oJ e˙k touv oujranouv kataba¿ß, oJ ui˚o\ß touv aÓnqrw¿pou oJ w·n e˙n twˆ◊ oujranwˆ◊. (TR)

No one has ascended into heaven except the who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. (ESV)

kai« oujdei«ß aÓnabe÷bhken ei˙ß to\n oujrano\n ei˙ mh\ oJ e˙k touv oujranouv kataba¿ß, oJ ui˚o\ß touv aÓnqrw¿pou. (CT)

The KJV/TR reading teaches that Christ is Omnipresent God even during His earthly ministry; He is the Son of Man who is in a particular location, and omnipresent Deity who is both on earth and in heaven at the same time. The critical text removes this testimony to Christ’s Deity. 99% of Greek MSS possess the KJV/TR reading, which is also supported by all ancient Latin and Syriac versions, the Coptic, Ethiopic, Georgian, and all Armenian versions. The KJV/TR is also supported by patristic writers such as Hippolytus, Athanasius, Didymus, Aphraates, Eustathius, Chrysostom, Theorodret, Cyril, Paulus Bishop of Emesa, Theodore of Mopsuestia; Amphiochius, Severus, Theodorus Heraclitus, Ambrose, Novatian, Hilary, Victorinus, Jerome, Cassian, Vigilius, Zeno, Marius, and Augustine, among others.

Acts 20:28

Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. (KJV)

prose÷cete ou™n e˚autoi√ß kai« panti« twˆ◊ poimni÷wˆ, e˙n wˆ— uJma◊ß to\ Pneuvma to\ ›Agion e¶qeto e˙pisko/pouß, poimai÷nein th\n e˙kklhsi÷an touv Qeouv, h§n periepoih/sato dia» touv i˙di÷ou aiºmatoß. (TR)

Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of the Lord, which he obtained with the blood of his Own. (ESV marg.)

prose÷cete e˚autoi√ß kai« panti« twˆ◊ poimni÷wˆ, e˙n wˆ— uJma◊ß to\ pneuvma to\ a‚gion e¶qeto e˙pisko/pouß poimai÷nein th\n e˙kklhsi÷an touv Kuri÷ou, h§n periepoih/sato dia» touv aiºmatoß touv i˙di÷ou. (CT-Tisch)

Only 4% of Greek MSS follow the critical text reading “Lord.” The Received Text reading has more Greek MSS support, while many Greek MSS follow the conflated reading “church of the Lord and God,” which, although inaccurate, also provides further evidence for the presence of the word “God” in the original, showing that Jesus Christ is God. Only 4% of Greek MSS do not call Christ “God” in this passage. Furthermore, Paul uses the expression “church of God” eleven times, while never using the expression “church of the Lord,” an expression that is actually absent from the New Testament entirely.

The variant at the end of the verse allows the critical text to be translated “the blood of his Own,” making the “God” or “Lord” be a different Person from the One who has blood. The TR reading is in 95% of Greek MSS.

Romans 9:5

Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen. (KJV)

w—n oi˚ pate÷reß, kai« e˙x w—n oJ Cristo\ß to\ kata» sa¿rka, oJ w·n e˙pi« pa¿ntwn, Qeo\ß eujloghto\ß ei˙ß tou\ß ai˙w◊naß. aÓmh/n. (TR)

to them belong the patriarchs, and of their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ. God who is over all be blessed for ever. Amen.

(RSV)

w—n oi˚ pate÷reß kai« e˙x w—n oJ Cristo\ß to\ kata» sa¿rka. oJ w·n e˙pi« pa¿ntwn qeo\ß eujloghto\ß ei˙ß tou\ß ai˙w◊naß, aÓmh/n.

(CT)

Here the critical text corrupts the punctuation of the passage to remove the fact that Romans 9:5 is recognizing that Christ is over all as the eternally blessed God.

Note the excerpt below from my notes on the Greek exegesis of the book of Romans explaining why this is erroneous:

KJV: Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.

RSV: to them belong the patriarchs, and of their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ. God who is over all be blessed for ever. Amen. (similar renderings are found in the text of other modern versions (NEB, etc.), or mentioned in the footnotes in various modern versions, such as the NIV, HCSB, etc.)

The KJV punctuates the verse as does the TR:

w—n oi˚ pate÷reß, kai« e˙x w—n oJ Cristo\ß to\ kata» sa¿rka, oJ w·n e˙pi« pa¿ntwn, Qeo\ß eujloghto\ß ei˙ß tou\ß ai˙w◊naß. aÓmh/n.

The UBS (until the most recent edition, when it switched, Moo affirms) punctuated the verse as follows, in a way that accords with the translation of the RSV:

w—n oi˚ pate÷reß, kai« e˙x w—n oJ Cristo\ß to\ kata» sa¿rka, oJ w·n e˙pi« pa¿ntwn Qeo\ß eujloghto\ß ei˙ß tou\ß ai˙w◊naß, aÓmh/n.

The difference is the comma in the TR after pa¿ntwn, and the period/comma after ai˙w◊naß. The difference that makes the TR affirm the Deity of Christ in this verse, while the UBS/CT does not affirm it, is the comma/lack of a comma after pa¿ntwn. The affirmation of Christ’s Deity in Romans 9:5 in the TR, and the lack of such an affirmation in the CT, is typical of the theological slant of the two Greek New Testaments (cf. Acts 20:28; 1 Timothy 3:16; John 3:13; 1 John 5:7; Revelation 1:8, 11; etc.). The CT cannot begin to build lists like this for the TR.

So which is correct? Does Romans 9:5 affirm the Deity of Christ, or not? (much of the discussion below come from Cranfield on Romans in the International Critical Commentary)

The arguments against the Deity of Christ in Romans 9:5, and in favor of either, “who is over all. God be blessed for ever, Amen.” or, “God who is over all be blessed for ever, Amen.” or “He who is over all, God, be blessed for ever, Amen.” are mainly two.

1.)    Four uncial manuscripts (A B C L)—note the inclusion of Vaticanus (B)—have a point after sa¿rka, either by the first hand or by subsequent correctors, as do a handful of miniscules.

2.)    To quote Metzger’s Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, “nowhere else in his genuine epistles [Tit 2:13 is generally regarded as deutero-Pauline] does Paul ever designate ho Christos as Theos. In fact, on the basis of the general tenor of his theology it was considered tantamount to impossible that Paul would have expressed Christ’s greatness by calling him God blessed for ever.” This heretical, modernistic, junk “reason” is the main one for the UBS punctuation. Note that this “reason” also assumes the validity of another CT corruption, namely in Romans 14:10-12 changing judgment seat of “Christ” (v. 10) who is “God” (v. 12), into “judgment seat of God” (v. 10, 12). One with a TR notes that only a few chapters after Romans 9:5, in the same book, Paul exceedingly unequivocally identifies Christ as Theos. The TR has 98% of MSS agreeing with it in reading “Christ” in v. 10, while “God” is supported by Aleph, A, B, and C (supporting the idea that these were Arianizing MSS).

In favor of the Deity of Christ in Romans 9:5:

1.)    The arguments against it are exceedingly poor. The punctuation argument neglects the fact that “the presence of marks of punctuation in early manuscripts of the New Testament is so haphazard that one cannot infer with confidence the construction given by the punctuator to the passage. For example, in Ro 9:2-4 codex Alexandrinus has a colon after mega¿lh in ver. 2, one between Cristouv and uJpe«r and another after sa¿rka in ver. 3, and one after ∆Israhli√tai in v. 4. Codex Vaticanus has a colon at the end of Ro 9:3, after both occurrences of ∆Israh/l in ver. 6, after ∆Abraa¿m in ver. 7, ÔRebe÷kka in ver. 10, and aujtouv in ver. 22!” Besides, Vaticanus and its allies are exceedingly corrupt MSS in general, frequently adding, dropping, switching, etc. words, and they appear to have been under Arian influence, through their regular omission or corruption of texts dealing with the Deity of Christ (1 Timothy 3:16; Acts 20:28 [note, both by Paul]; Jude 4; John 3:13; 1:18; cf. Revelation 1:8, 11, etc.) Furthermore, no one is certain objectively about who put these punctuation marks in—the date of the punctuation, even as the date of the Vaticanus MSS itself, is not based upon objective external evidence.

2.)    In particular in regard to the rendering “God who is over all be blessed for ever, Amen,” as in the RSV, the correct Greek for “God who is over all” would be oJ e˙pi« pa¿ntwn Qeo¿ß, without the w·n.

3.)    The argument that Paul does not call Christ Theos is inherently modernistic, assumes Titus 2:13 is not inspired, goes against overwhelming evidence in 1 Timothy 3:16, assumes Paul did not say what the MSS evidence indicates in Acts 20:28, ignores Paul’s frequent ascription of passages about Jehovah in the OT to the Lord Jesus, assumes that the Holy Spirit would not inspire what Paul was penman for to call Christ Theos, although the Spirit led John (John 20:28; 1:1; etc.), Peter (2 Peter 1:1), and the other NT writers to do so, and has many other problems. Any translation or Greek testament that accepts the Arian position on Romans 9:5 is influenced by theological liberalism and apostasy, rather than objectivity of evidence. Note that in 1 Timothy 3:16 failing to call Christ “God manifest in the flesh” (Qeo\ß e˙fanerw¿qh e˙n sarki÷) has a grammatical issue (o§ß w/o antecedent) stating that some unknown person appeared in a body (o§ß e˙fanerw¿qh e˙n sarki÷), again in 1 Timothy 3:16 the TR has the overwhelming majority of MSS.

4.)    The positive evidence for “who is over all, God blessed for ever, Amen” is overwhelming.[4]

a.)    Pauline doxologies are generally either an integral part of the preceding sentence or else closely connected with it (the doxology referring to a person named in the preceding sentence), and do not stand in complete asyndeton, as, according to the Arian view of the punctuation, Romans 9:5 would do. Compare, e. g., 1:25; 11:36; 2 Cor 11:31; Gal 1:5; 2 Tim 4:18.

b.) Whenever baruk or its Greek equivalent eujloghto/ß is used in the Bible in an independent doxology, it is always (apart from one known exception: in the LXX version of Psalm 68[LXX: 67]:19—apparently a duplicate translation/LXX textual corruption—it is also worth seeing if there are textual variants in the LXX on this—has been inserted before eujloghto\ß ku/rioß)[5] the first word of the sentence, and the same rule is regularly applied also in extra-Biblical Jewish usage. Compare, e. g., Gen 9:26; 1 Sam 25:32; Ps 28:6 (LXX 27:6); 31:21-22 (LXX 30:21);[6] 41:13 (LXX, 40:14); 66:20 (LXX, 65:20) Luke 1:68; 2 Cor 1:3; Eph 1:3; 1 Pet 1:3; 1QM 13:2; 14:4; and in the Eighteen Bendedictions. It should be remembered how characteristic of Jewish worship this ‘Blessed be . . .’ formula is. This is a very strong, indeed, a conclusive argument in favor of the Trinitarian position on Romans 9:5. Qeo\ß eujloghto\ß ei˙ß tou\ß ai˙w◊naß is not a doxology, but a description of Christ.

c.) the expression eujloghto\ß ei˙ß tou\ß ai˙w◊naß is twice besides used by Paul, and each time unquestionably not in an ascription of praise, but in an assertion regarding the subject of the sentence; Romans 1:25;[7] 2 Cor 11:31; whereas he twice uses the phrase eunlogetos ho Theos, as an ascription of praise, without joining ei˙ß tou\ß ai˙w◊naß. If one looks at 2 Corinthians 11:31 (oJ Qeo\ß kai« path\r touv Kuri÷ou hJmw◊n ∆Ihsouv Cristouv oi•den, oJ w·n eujloghto\ß ei˙ß tou\ß ai˙w◊naß, o¢ti ouj yeu/domai.), not only the same phrase as in Romans 9:5 is employed, but the same construction with oJ w·n occurs, and there the whole refers to the subject of the sentence. No one would here submit that the participle in this context was a wish or exclamation, or that it introduced an entirely new person. No one would deny that it refers back to the previous subject, and that surely is the correct way to view the same construction in Rom 9:5.

c.) The use of to\ kata» sa¿rka in v. 5a suggests that an antithesis is going to follow.

d.) An independent doxology would be rather surprising at this point, since, though a recital of Israel’s privileges might well ordinarily have been an occasion for such a doxology, in this case they have been mentioned in order to emphasize the grieviousness of the Jews’ disobedience. (A dependent doxology like that of 1:25 would be a different matter and would be perfectly natural).

e.) The only natural way to take oJ w·n in the position it holds in the collocation of words forming vv. 3-5 is as the equivalent of hos estin, “who is.”

f.) The great majority of patristic writers took Romans 9:5 as evidence for the Deity of Christ, including Irenaeus, Justin Martyr, Hippolytus, Tertullian, Origen, Chrysostom, Theodore of Mopsuestia, Theodoret, Theophylact, Ambrosiaster, Augustine, and Pelagius. This was also the common view of later interpreters.

Alford concludes his comments on Romans 9:5 by stating that the Trinitarian view of the passage “is then not only that most agreeable to the usage of the Apostle, but the only one admissible by the rules of grammar and arrangement. It also admirably suits the context: for, having enumerated the historic advantages of the Jewish people, he concludes by stating one which ranks far higher than all,—that from them sprung, according to the flesh, He who is God over all, blessed for ever.”

So the doxology of Romans 9:5 is actually affirming, first, Christ’s lordship over all things (cf. 14:9; Phil 2:10)—the pa¿ntwn is a neuter, but an inclusive one which includes persons as well as things (cf. the neuter singular in Jn 6:37, 39; 17:24 and the neuter plural in 1 Cor 1:27f (in the light of 1:26); Col 1:16), and secondly His divine nature as Theos.

1 Corinthians 10:9

Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. (KJV)

mhde« e˙kpeira¿zwmen to\n Cristo/n, kaqw»ß kai÷ tineß aujtw◊n e˙pei÷rasan, kai« uJpo\ tw◊n o¡fewn aÓpw¿lonto. (TR)

Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents. (NASV)

mhde« e˙kpeira¿zwmen to\n ku/rion, kaqw»ß kai÷ tineß aujtw◊n e˙pei÷rasan, kai« uJpo\ tw◊n o¡fewn aÓpw¿lonto. (CT-WH)

1 Corinthians 10:9 indicates that when the nation of Israel tempted Jehovah in their wilderness wanderings, they were really tempting Christ, identifying Jesus Christ as Jehovah (Numbers 21:5-6; Exodus 17:2, 7). The critical text weakens this identification of Christ with Jehovah by substituting the reading Lord for Christ, allowing anti-Trinitarians to identify the Lord with God the Father.

The Received Text reading is supported by the vast majority of Greek MSS, including the oldest MS in existence (P46), as well as the Old Latin, Vulgate, Syriac, Sahidic, and Bohairic versions, and patristic writers from all geographical portions of Christiandom from Irenaeus onward.

Colossians 3:16

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. (KJV)

oJ lo/goß touv Cristouv e˙noikei÷tw e˙n uJmi√n plousi÷wß e˙n pa¿shØ sofi÷aˆ: dida¿skonteß kai« nouqetouvnteß e˚autou/ß, yalmoi√ß, kai« u¢mnoiß, kai« wˆÓdai√ß pneumatikai√ß, e˙n ca¿riti aˆ‡donteß e˙n thØv kardi÷aˆ uJmw◊n twˆ◊ Kuri÷wˆ.

(TR)

Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. (NASV)

ÔO lo/goß touv Cristouv e˙noikei÷tw e˙n uJmi√n plousi÷wß, e˙n pa¿shØ sofi÷aˆ dida¿skonteß kai« nouqetouvnteß e˚autou/ß, yalmoi√ß u¢mnoiß wˆÓdai√ß pneumatikai√ß e˙n thØv ca¿riti aˆ‡donteß e˙n tai√ß kardi÷aiß uJmw◊n twˆ◊ qewˆ◊: (CT)

Colossians 3:16 indicates that worship in song is directed to the “Lord” Jesus Christ, indicating His Deity. The reference to the Son as “Lord” in v. 16 is confirmed by v. 17 also: “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” The critical text removes this testimony to Christ’s Deity by changing “Lord” to “God,” that is, the Father. 96% of Greek MSS support the Textus Receptus, as do the ancient Old Latin and Gothic versions and other ancient witnesses.

1 Timothy 3:16

And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. (KJV)

kai« oJmologoume÷nwß me÷ga e˙sti« to\ thvß eujsebei÷aß musth/rion: Qeo\ß e˙fanerw¿qh e˙n sarki÷, e˙dikaiw¿qh e˙n pneu/mati, w‡fqh aÓgge÷loiß, e˙khru/cqh e˙n e¶qnesin, e˙pisteu/qh e˙n ko/smwˆ, aÓnelh/mfqh e˙n do/xhØ. (TR)

Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory. (ESV)

kai« oJmologoume÷nwß me÷ga e˙sti«n to\ thvß eujsebei÷aß musth/rion: o§ß e˙fanerw¿qh e˙n sarki÷, e˙dikaiw¿qh e˙n pneu/mati, w‡fqh aÓgge÷loiß, e˙khru/cqh e˙n e¶qnesin, e˙pisteu/qh e˙n ko/smwˆ, aÓnelh/mfqh e˙n do/xhØ. (CT)

The Received Text reading is in the overwhelming majority of manuscripts—99%. Furthermore, not one known Greek MSS on earth reads “he.” The critical Greek text actually reads the pronoun “who,” which is bad grammar. The CT reading is in four MSS (0.6%)—at most. In fact, one of these four (Alexandrinus) actually read “God” but was then changed into “who,” and another one (Sinaiticus) also testifies to the reading “God.” Therefore, the English translation of the CT reads “he,” since “who” does not make any sense. One must choose between 99% of the MSS and proper grammar or 0.6% (at most) of MSS and bad grammar. The bad grammar made one Greek MS (the corrupt codex D) change the Greek pronoun from hos to ho to eliminate the bad grammar that is present when “God” is removed from the passage. Patristic writers such as Gregory of Nyssa, Didymus, Chrysostom, Theodoret, and Euthalius also support the Received Text. Furthermore, there is no great mystery in a male human being having human flesh, but God being manifest in the flesh is certainly a great mystery.

1 John 5:7-8

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

o¢ti trei√ß ei˙si«n oi˚ marturouvnteß e˙n twˆ◊ oujranwˆ◊, oJ path/r, oJ lo/goß, kai« to\ ›Agion Pneuvma: kai« ou∞toi oi˚ trei√ß eºn ei˙si. 8 kai« trei√ß ei˙si«n oi˚ marturouvnteß e˙n thØv ghØv, to\ Pneuvma, kai« to\ u¢dwr, kai« to\ ai–ma: kai« oi˚ trei√ß ei˙ß to\ e≠n ei˙sin. (TR)

For there are three that testify: 8 the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree. (ESV)

o¢ti trei√ß ei˙sin oi˚ marturouvnteß, 8 to\ pneuvma kai« to\ u¢dwr kai« to\ ai–ma, kai« oi˚ trei√ß ei˙ß to\ eºn ei˙sin. (CT)

The critical text eliminates this tremendous testimony to the Trinity. Evidence for the inspiration of 1 John 5:7 is provided at more length at the end of this article.

Jude 4

For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. (KJV)

pareise÷dusan ga¿r tineß a‡nqrwpoi, oi˚ pa¿lai progegramme÷noi ei˙ß touvto to\ kri÷ma, aÓsebei√ß, th\n touv Qeouv hJmw◊n ca¿rin metatiqe÷nteß ei˙ß aÓse÷lgeian, kai« to\n mo/non despo/thn Qeo/n, kai« Ku/rion hJmw◊n ∆Ihsouvn Cristo\n aÓrnou/menoi. (TR)

For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and ldeny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. (ESV)

pareise÷dusan ga¿r tineß a‡nqrwpoi, oi˚ pa¿lai progegramme÷noi ei˙ß touvto to\ kri÷ma, aÓsebei√ß, th\n touv qeouv hJmw◊n ca¿rita metatiqe÷nteß ei˙ß aÓse÷lgeian kai« to\n mo/non despo/thn kai« ku/rion hJmw◊n ∆Ihsouvn Cristo\n aÓrnou/menoi.

(CT)

The Greek grammar in Jude 4, where a single article is found in the phrase “the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ” indicates that Christ is the Lord God because of the Granville-Sharp rule. The critical text eliminates this testimony to Christ’s Deity by eliminating the word “God” from the text, rejecting the very large majority of MSS.

Revelation 1:8, 11

I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. . . . Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea. (KJV)

∆Egw¿ ei˙mi to\ A kai« to\ W, aÓrch\ kai« te÷loß, le÷gei oJ Ku/rioß, oJ w·n kai« oJ h™n kai« oJ e˙rco/menoß, oJ pantokra¿twr. . . . legou/shß, ∆Egw¿ ei˙mi to\ A kai« to\ W, oJ prw◊toß kai« oJ e¶scatoß: kai÷, ≠O ble÷peiß gra¿yon ei˙ß bibli÷on, kai« pe÷myon tai√ß e˚pta» e˙kklhsi÷aiß tai√ß e˙n ∆Asi÷aˆ, ei˙ß ⁄Efeson, kai« ei˙ß Smu/rnan, kai« ei˙ß Pe÷rgamon, kai« ei˙ß Qua¿teira, kai« ei˙ß Sa¿rdeiß, kai« ei˙ß Filade÷lfeian, kai« ei˙ß Laodi÷keian. (TR)

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” . . . saying, “Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.” (ESV)

∆Egw¿ ei˙mi to\ a‡lfa kai« to\ w°, le÷gei ku/rioß oJ qeo/ß, oJ w·n kai« oJ h™n kai« oJ e˙rco/menoß, oJ pantokra¿twr. . . . legou/shß: o§ ble÷peiß gra¿yon ei˙ß bibli÷on kai« pe÷myon tai√ß e˚pta» e˙kklhsi÷aiß, ei˙ß ⁄Efeson kai« ei˙ß Smu/rnan kai« ei˙ß Pe÷rgamon kai« ei˙ß Qua¿teira kai« ei˙ß Sa¿rdeiß kai« ei˙ß Filade÷lfeian kai« ei˙ß Laodi÷keian. (CT)

The Received Text identifies Christ, the speaker in 1:8, 11, as the Almighty, the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the ending, the first and the last. The critical text, by adding the word “God” in v. 8 and omitting the phrases highlighted above in v. 8 and v. 11, change the speaker in v. 8 from Christ to the Father, and remove the testimony to Christ’s Deity from this passage.

There is excellent Greek MSS support for the Received Text reading (which is also receives support from other sources; e. g., in v. 8, the Old Latin, the Vulgate, and other witnesses). While the textual situation in the book of Revelation is complicated, the Received Text tends to follow the largest single group of MSS. “Hoskier declared, concerning the TR text of Revelation: “I may state that if Erasmus had striven to found a text on the largest number of existing MSS [manuscripts] in the world of one type, he could not have succeeded better. . . . Here then is a powerful example of God’s guiding providence in preserving the text of Revelation.”[8]

Revelation 20:12

And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. (KJV)

kai« ei•don tou\ß nekrou/ß, mikrou\ß kai« mega¿louß, e˚stw◊taß e˙nw¿pion touv Qeouv, kai« bibli÷a hjnewˆ¿cqhsan: kai« bibli÷on a‡llo hjnewˆ¿cqh, o¢ e˙sti thvß zwhvß: kai« e˙kri÷qhsan oi˚ nekroi« e˙k tw◊n gegramme÷nwn e˙n toi√ß biblioiß, kata» ta» e¶rga aujtw◊n. (TR)

And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is rthe book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. (ESV)

kai« ei•don tou\ß nekrou/ß, tou\ß mega¿louß kai« tou\ß mikrou/ß, e˚stw◊taß e˙nw¿pion touv qro/nou. kai« bibli÷a hjnoi÷cqhsan, kai« a‡llo bibli÷on hjnoi÷cqh, o¢ e˙stin thvß zwhvß, kai« e˙kri÷qhsan oi˚ nekroi« e˙k tw◊n gegramme÷nwn e˙n toi√ß bibli÷oiß kata» ta» e¶rga aujtw◊n. (CT)

Since Jesus Christ is the One sitting on this throne, the Received Text declares that He is “God,” while the critical text changes “God” to “throne.” Concerning the MSS evidence in the book of Revelation, see the comments on Revelation 1:8, 11 above.

Evidence for the inspiration and preservation of 1 John 5:7

In contrast to the other verses above, only a minority of Greek MSS contain the reading that is found in the Textus Receptus in 1 John 5:7—the definite majority of Greek MSS do not contain the verse. Why, then, should it be accepted as part of the Word of God and a testimony to the Trinity?

1.) In God’s providence, God had the verse placed in the Textus Receptus, which true churches have received as containing all the words given by miraculous inspiration and preserved providentially. Since the Holy Spirit has led His churches to receive this verse (cf. John 17:8; 1 Timothy 3:15), it is part of the canonical NT text.

2.) There are readings found in the critical text that have far less evidence than 1 John 5:7, yet are accepted on CT principles (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:3, where the CT follows 1 Greek MS); in Luke 3:33, the CT reading is not found in any Greek MS known on earth).

3.) Only 14 of the c. 500 Greek MSS that lack 1 John 5:7 predate the ninth century, while there are many early witnesses in favor of 1 John 5:7. Consider the following chart (from an article by Jesse Boyd):

Historical Breakdown of Hostile Evidence

2/498 °© 4th century (a, B) = 0.4% of hostile evidence

2/498 °© 5th century (A, 048) = 0.4% of hostile evidence

1/498 °© 6th century (0296) = 0.2% of hostile evidence

0/498 °© 7th century = 0.0% of hostile evidence

1/498 °© 8th century (Y+) = 0.2% of hostile evidence

8/498 °© 9th century (K, L, P, 049, 1424+, 1841+, 1862, 1895) = 1.6% of hostile evidence

484/498 °© post 9th century = 97.2% of hostile evidence

30 mss. °© 10th century

80 mss. °© 11th century

79 mss. °© 12th century

98 mss. °© 13th century

119 mss. °© 14th century

55 mss. °© 15th century

15 mss. °©16th century

6 mss. °© 17th century

1 mss. °© 18th century

Historical Breakdown of Favorable Evidence

A.D. (ca.)      200 °© Tertullian

250 °© Cyprian

318 °© Athanasius

350 °© Idacius Clarus

380 °© Priscillian

385 °© Gregory of Nazanzius

390 °© Jerome

450 °© Contra Varimadum

450 °© Latin mss. m

485 °© Council of Carthage

485 °© Victor of Vitensis

500 °© Latin mss. r

527 °© Fulgentius

570 °© Cassiodorus

636 °© Isidore of Seville

650 °© Codex Pal Legionensus

700 °© Jaqub of Edessa

735 °© mss. used by Venerable Bede

850 °©  Codex Ulmensis

*In addition to the aforementioned favorable evidence, the Comma can be traced back through the Waldensian Church to the translation of the Old Italic in the 2nd century.  Moreover, in the 7th century, at least 12 Old Latin mss contain the passage; at least 21 in the 8th century, and at least 189 in the 9th century.  Over 6,000 Old Latin manuscripts remained unexamined to this day.  It is also probable that the Comma was found in the Old Syriac tradition as far back as its translation.  The Armenian and Slavonic versions bear witness to the Comma in several copies, and the German versions prior to Luther bear consistent testimony to it.

RESULT:    The Johannine Comma enjoys at least 19 pieces of concrete favorable evidence predating the ninth century; hostile witnesses, on the other hand, can only claim 14 Greek manuscripts and an argument from silence with regard to the patristic evidence.

4.) The removal of 1 John 5:7 creates a grammatical error in the Greek text, one recognized, for example, by the early Greek patristic writer Gregory of Nazianzus c. A. D. 380. Concerning the CT reading, Gregory stated: “[The apostle John] has not been consistent in the way he has happened upon his terms; for after using Three in the masculine gender he adds three words which are neuter, contrary to the definitions and laws which you and your grammarians have laid down” (Oration 32:19). That is, there is a clear disagreement in the gender of the words in the critical Greek text between 1 John 5:7-8, so that the words “there are three who bear witness [masculine gender]” are followed by the three words in the neuter gender, “the Spirit and the water and the blood.” In the Received Text, there is no problem of gender discordance, but proper grammar is employed. Since the Apostle John, under inspiration, did not write bad grammar, the Received Text reading of 1 John 5:7 is correct.[9]

Note the following explanation:

The full text [of 1 John 5:7] follows with the disputed word in brackets:

HOTI TREIS EISIN HOI MARTUROUNTES (EN TO OURANO, HO PATER, HO LOGOS, KAI TO HAGION PNEUMA; KAI HOUTOI HOI TREIS HEN EISI. KAI TREIS EISIN HOI MARTUROUTES EN TE GE) TO PNEUMA, KAI TO HUDOR, KAI TO HAIMA; KAI HOI TREIS EIS TO HEN EISIN.

The internal evidence against the omission is as follows:

1. The masculine article, numeral and participle HOI TREIS MARTUROUNTES, are made to agree directly with three neuters, an insuperable and very bald grammatical difficulty. If the disputed words are allowed to remain, they agree with two masculines and one neuter noun HO PATER, HO LOGOS, KAI TO HAGION PNEUMA and, according to the rule of syntax, the masculines among the group control the gender over a neuter connected with them. Then the occurrence of the masculines TREIS MARTUROUNTES in verse 8 agreeing with the neuters PNEUMA, HUDOR and HAIMA may be accounted for by the power of attraction, well known in Greek syntax.

2. If the disputed words are omitted, the 8th verse coming next to the 6th gives a very bald and awkward, and apparently meaningless repetition of the Spirit’s witness twice in immediate succession.

3. If the words are omitted, the concluding words at the end of verse 8 contain an unintelligible reference. The Greek words KAI HOI TREIS EIS TO HEN EISIN mean precisely–“and these three agree to that (aforesaid) One.” This rendering preserves the force of the definite article in this verse. Then what is “that One” to which “these three” are said to agree? If the 7th verse is omitted “that One” does not appear, and “that One” in verse 8, which designates One to whom the reader has already been introduced, has not 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.

4. John has asserted in the previous 6 verses that faith is the bond of our spiritual life and victory over the world. This faith must have a solid warrant, and the truth of which faith must be assured is the Sonship and Divinity of Christ. See verses 5,11, 12, 20. The only faith that quickens the soul and overcomes the world is (verse 5) the belief that Jesus is God’s Son, that God has appointed Him our Life, and that this Life is true God. God’s warrant for this faith comes: FIRST in verse 6, in the words of the Holy Ghost speaking by inspired men; SECOND in verse 7, in the words of the Father, the Word and the Spirit, asserting and confirming by miracles the Sonship and unity of Christ with the Father.; THIRD in verse 8, in the work of the Holy Ghost applying the blood and water from Christ’s pierced side for our cleansing. FOURTH in verse 10, in the spiritual consciousness of the believer himself, certifying to him that he feels within a divine change.

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 (verse 9) is struck out. (Summarised from Discussions of Robert Lewis Dabney, The Banner of Truth Trust, 1967, by the Trinitarian Bible Society, 217 Kingston Road, London, SW19, 3NN England; reprinted in in September 16, 1998 (Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, fbns@wayoflife.org)

The following document also provides ancient testimony to the genuineness of 1 John 5:7, and explains why it is omitted in many Greek MSS:

Jerome’s Prologue to the Canonical Epistles[10]

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 [universal] 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, Eustocium, 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.

End of Prologue

PROLOGUS IN EPISTULAS CANONICAS.                                          399

Non ita ordo est apud graecos qui integre sapiunt et fidem rectam sectantur· Epistularam septem quae canonicae nuncupantur· ut in latinis codicibus inuenitur quod petrusprimus est in numero apostolorum primae sint etiam eius 5 epistulae in ordine ceterarum· Sed sicut euangelistas dudum ad ueritatis lineam correximus ita has proprio ordine deo nos iuuante reddidimus Est enim prima earum una iacobi· petri duae· iohannis tres· et iudae una 10 Quae sicut ab eis digestae sunt ita quoque ab interpraetibus fideliter in latinum eloquium uerterentur nec ambiguitatem legentibus facerent nec sermonum se uarietas inpugnaret· illo praecipue loco ubi de unitate trinitatis in prima iohannis epistula positum legimus in qua est ab infidelibus 15 translatoribus multum erratum esse fidei ueritate conperimus trium tantummodo uocabula hoc est aquae sanguinis et spiritus in ipsa sua editione potentes et patri uerbique ac spiritus testimonium omittentes» In quo maxime et fides catholica roboratur et patris et fili et spiritus sancti una diuinitatis 20 substantia conprobatur· In ceteris uero epistulis quantum nostra aliorum distet editio lectoris prudentiae derelinquo· Sed tu uirgo christi eusthocium dum a me inpensius scribturae ueritatem inquiris meam quodammodo senectutem inuidorum dentibus conrodendam exponis qui me falsarium corruptoremque 25 sanctarum pronuntiant scribturarum· Sed ego in tali opere nec aemulorum meorum inuidentiam pertimesco nec sanctae scribturae ueritatem poscentibus denegabo

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

EXPL· PROLOGUS· INC·

There is also a popular myth circulating that Erasmus promised to add 1 John 5:7 to his edition of the Greek New Testament if a single copy with the verse could be found. A copy was then allegedly forged, and Erasmus added 1 John 5:7, supposedly, based on this forged copy. However, none of this happened—it is simpy a myth. Note the article below:

WHY DID ERASMUS ADD THE JOHANNINE COMMA TO HIS 3RD EDITION

GREEK NEW TESTAMENT?

There are two popular myths regarding Erasmus and 1 John 5:7 that are parroted by modernists, evangelicals, and even fundamentalists today who defend the modern versions against the KJV.

The first myth is that Erasmus promised to insert the verse if a Greek manuscript were produced. This is stated as follows by Bruce Metzger: “Erasmus promised that he would insert the Comma Johanneum, as it is called, in future editions if a single Greek manuscript could be found that contained the passage. At length such a copy was found– or made to order” (Metzger, The Text of the New Testament, 1st and 2nd editions). The second myth is that Erasmus challenged Edward Lee to find a Greek manuscript that included 1 John 5:7. This originated with Erika Rummel in 1986 in her book Erasmus’ Annotations and was repeated by James White in 1995 (The Truth about the KJV-Only Controversy).

In A History of the Debate over 1 John 5:7,8, Michael Maynard records that H.J. de Jonge, the Dean of the Faculty of Theology at Rijksuniversiteit (Leiden, Netherlands), has refuted both myths. de Jonge, a recognized specialist in Erasmian studies, refuted the myth of a promise in 1980, stating that Metzger’s view on Erasmus’ promise “has no foundation in Erasmus’ work. Consequently it is highly improbable that he included the difficult passage because he considered himself bound by any such promise.” He has also refuted the new myth of a challenge (which Rummel devised in reaction to the burial of the promise myth). In a letter of June 13, 1995, to Maynard, de Jonge wrote: I have checked again Erasmus’ words quoted by Erika Rummel and her comments on them in her book Erasmus’ Annotations. This is what Erasmus writes [on] in his Liber tertius quo respondet … Ed. Lei: Erasmus first records that Lee had reproached him with neglect of the MSS. of 1 John because Er. (according to Lee) had consulted only one MS. Erasmus replies that he had certainly not used only one ms., but many copies, first in England, then in Brabant, and finally at Basle. He cannot accept, therefore, Lee’s reproach of negligence and impiety.

‘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 MS. 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.’

From this passage you can see that Erasmus does not challenge Lee to produce a manuscript etc. What Erasmus argues is that Lee may only reproach Erasmus with negligence of MSS if he demonstrates that Erasmus could have consulted any MS. In which the Comma Johanneum figured. Erasmus does not at all ask for a MS. 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 short, Rummel’s interpretation is simply wrong. The passage she quotes has nothing to do with a challenge. Also, she cuts the quotation short, so that the real sense of the passage becomes unrecognizable. She is absolutely not justified in speaking of a challenge in this case or in the case of any other passage on the subject (emphasis in original) (de Jonge, cited from Maynard, p. 383).

Jeffrey Khoo observes further: “Yale professor Roland Bainton, another Erasmian expert, agrees with de Jonge, furnishing proof from Erasmus’ own writing that Erasmus’ inclusion of 1 John 5:7f was not due to a so-called ‘promise’ but the fact that he believed ‘the verse was in the Vulgate and must therefore have been in the Greek text used by Jerome’” (Jeffrey Khoo, Kept Pure in All Ages, 2001, p. 88).

Edward F. Hills, who had a doctorate in textual criticism from Harvard, testifies: “…it was not trickery that was responsible for the inclusion of the Johannine Comma in the Textus Receptus, but the usage of the Latin speaking Church” (Hills, The King James Version Defended).

In the 3rd edition of The Text of the New Testament Bruce Metzger corrected his false assertion about Erasmus as follows: “What is said on p. 101 above about Erasmus’ promise to include the Comma Johanneum if one Greek manuscript were found that contained it, and his subsequent suspicion that MS 61 was written expressly to force him to do so, needs to be corrected in the light of the research of H. J. DeJonge, a specialist in Erasmian studies who finds no explicit evidence that supports this frequently made assertion” (Metzger, The Text of The New Testament, 3rd edition, p. 291, footnote 2). The problem is that this myth continues to be paraded as truth by modern version defenders.

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[1]           The list above is by no means comprehensive; other texts, exist, such as 1 John 3:16: “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us” (KJV), e˙n tou/twˆ e˙gnw¿kamen th\n aÓga¿phn touv Qeouv, o¢ti e˙kei√noß uJpe«r hJmw◊n th\n yuch\n aujtouv e¶qhke, TR; “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us” (ESV), e˙n tou/twˆ e˙gnw¿kamen th\n aÓga¿phn, o¢ti e˙kei√noß uJpe«r hJmw◊n th\n yuch\n aujtouv e¶qhken, CT, are also present. Note that the NKJV rejects the KJV and follows the critical text in 1 John 3:16, removing the Deity of Christ to read “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us” with the critical text. The KJV/TR reading has some Greek MSS support and is also supported by various ancient versions, such as the Latin Vulgate.

[2]           Modalists such as Oneness Pentecostals would also naturally prefer the critical text reading to the Received Text, because the Textus Receptus affirms that Christ, as Son, eternally exists in the bosom of the Father (oJ w·n ei˙ß to\n ko/lpon touv patro/ß), supporting Christ’s status as the eternal Son and refuting the modalist notion that Christ only became Son at the time of His assumption of a human nature in the incarnation.

[3]           Pg. 170, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, (4th rev. ed.). B. M. Metzger & United Bible Societies. London: United Bible Societies, 1994.

[4]           One other alternative translation that favors the Deity of Christ is “who is God over all, blessed for ever, Amen,” connecting Qeo\ß with e˙pi« pa¿ntwn. However, the translation that is found in the KJV is to be preferred.

[5]           Note the underlined phrase at the end of 67:18 (LXX), which corresponds with nothing in Hebrew, and probably is simply a copyist error, reduplicating the next phrase (the eujloghto\ß ku/rioß) and therefore does not undermine the argument below by any means:

Psa. 67:19 aÓne÷bhß ei˙ß u¢yoß hjØcmalw¿teusaß ai˙cmalwsi÷an e¶labeß do/mata e˙n aÓnqrw¿pwˆ kai« ga»r aÓpeiqouvnteß touv kataskhnw◊sai ku/rioß oJ qeo\ß eujloghto/ß

Psa. 67:20 eujloghto\ß ku/rioß hJme÷ran kaq∆ hJme÷ran kateuodw¿sei hJmi√n oJ qeo\ß tw◊n swthri÷wn hJmw◊n dia¿yalma

BLXX (67:18) Thou art gone up on high, thou hast led captivity captive, thou hast received gifts for man, yea, for they were rebellious, that thou mightest dwell among them. BLXX (67:19) Blessed be the Lord God, blessed be the Lord daily; and the God of our salvation shall prosper us. Pause.

[6] Gen. 9:26 kai« ei•pen eujloghto\ß ku/rioß oJ qeo\ß touv Shm kai« e¶stai Canaan pai√ß aujtouv

1Sam. 25:32 kai« ei•pen Dauid thvØ Abigaia eujloghto\ß ku/rioß oJ qeo\ß Israhl o§ß aÓpe÷steile÷n se sh/meron e˙n tau/thØ ei˙ß aÓpa¿nthsi÷n mou

Psa. 27:6 eujloghto\ß ku/rioß o¢ti ei˙sh/kousen thvß fwnhvß thvß deh/sew¿ß mou

Psa. 30:22 eujloghto\ß ku/rioß o¢ti e˙qauma¿stwsen to\ e¶leoß aujtouv e˙n po/lei periochvß

Psa. 40:14 eujloghto\ß ku/rioß oJ qeo\ß Israhl aÓpo\ touv ai˙w◊noß kai« ei˙ß to\n ai˙w◊na ge÷noito ge÷noito

Psa. 65:20 eujloghto\ß oJ qeo/ß o§ß oujk aÓpe÷sthsen th\n proseuch/n mou kai« to\ e¶leoß aujtouv aÓp∆ e˙mouv

Luke 1:68 Eujloghto\ß Ku/rioß oJ Qeo\ß touv ∆Israh/l, o¢ti e˙peske÷yato kai« e˙poi÷hse lu/trwsin twˆ◊ lawˆ◊ aujtouv,

2Cor. 1:3 Eujloghto\ß oJ Qeo\ß kai« path\r touv Kuri÷ou hJmw◊n ∆Ihsouv Cristouv, oJ path\r tw◊n oi˙kti÷rmwn kai« Qeo\ß pa¿shß paraklh/sewß,

Eph. 1:3 Eujloghto\ß oJ Qeo\ß kai« path\r touv Kuri÷ou hJmw◊n ∆Ihsouv Cristouv, oJ eujlogh/saß hJma◊ß e˙n pa¿shØ eujlogi÷a pneumatikhØv e˙n toi√ß e˙pourani÷oiß e˙n Cristwˆ◊:

1Pet. 1:3 Eujloghto\ß oJ Qeo\ß kai« path\r touv Kuri÷ou hJmw◊n ∆Ihsouv Cristouv, oJ kata» to\ polu\ aujtouv e¶leoß aÓnagennh/saß hJma◊ß ei˙ß e˙lpi÷da zw◊san di∆ aÓnasta¿sewß ∆Ihsouv Cristouv e˙k nekrw◊n,

[7]25oiºtineß meth/llaxan th\n aÓlh/qeian touv Qeouv e˙n twˆ◊ yeu/dei, kai« e˙seba¿sqhsan kai« e˙la¿treusan thØv kti÷sei para» to\n kti÷santa, o¢ß e˙stin eujloghto\ß ei˙ß tou\ß ai˙w◊naß. aÓmh/n.

[8]           Pg. 16, 26, pg. 16, When the KJV Departs from the “Majority” Text, Jack Moorman, 2nd ed. Collingswoord, NJ: Bible For Today, 1988.

[9]           Note that in the TR that the three heavenly witnesses are “the witness of God,” v. 9, and the consubstiantiality of the Persons of the Trinity, rather than a mere unity of agreement, is seen in the difference between the oi˚ trei√ß eºn ei˙si and the oi˚ trei√ß ei˙ß to\ e≠n ei˙sin of the earthly witnesses. Note also that the gender discordance in the CT is not properly explicable based on a personification of pneuvma because of v. 6: to\ pneuvma¿¿ e˙stin to\ marturouvn.

[10]         The translation below was made by Thomas Caldwell, S. J. of Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI. The translation comes from the Codex Fuldensis (c. A. D. 541-546). This Latin codex is available at http://books.google.com, and the Latin text above is found on pg. 399. The preface claims to be by Jerome, the translator of the Latin Vulgate. The prologue has textual critical value because it bears on the question of the authenticity of the Johannine Comma, 1 John 5:7 (“For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.”). If the preface is indeed by Jerome, it would provide evidence that there were Greek copies in his day that contained the Comma, and that Jerome thought that others who seem to have held to heretical doctrine had removed the verse from their manuscripts. Such a belief on Jerome’s part would explain the presence of the Comma in the overwhelming majority of copies of the Latin Vulgate. There is certainly evidence for the Comma in the Old Latin Bible and various other sources before Jerome. If the Prologue is not by Jerome, whoever wrote it would still make the assertion that the Comma was originally present but was removed by unfaithful and heretical scribes. Of course, both Jerome and the copyist of the codex Fuldensis died many centuries ago and nobody today can ask them what actually happened. It is certainly true that many opponents of the genuineness of the Comma would dismiss out of hand the possibility that this Prologue truly comes from Jerome based on the assumption that there cannot be genuine evidence so early for the Comma, just as they dismiss Cyprian’s quotation of the Comma in A. D. 251 (“The Lord says, ‘I and the Father are one;’ and again it is written of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, ‘And these three are one.’” On The Unity of the Church, Treatise 1:6. Trans. Church Fathers: The Ante-Nicene Fathers, ed. Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson.) on the assumption that Cyprian simply cannot have quoted it, since it allegedly did not yet exist. However, the fact that many people dismiss the evidence of this Prologue to the Comma from unreasonable biases does not of itself mean that the work did indeed come from Jerome’s hand.

It should also be noted that there seem to be some problems with the Latin of the prologue found in the codex, whether as a result of errors in the modern scanning of the text, ancient copyist errors, or for other reasons. Those who know Latin should be able to evaluate these matters.

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Thomas Ross