I JOHN 5:7
KJV AND DOUAY-RHEIMS
“For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.” (I John 5:7, KJV)
THIS VERSE IS usually cited by the Trinitarians to prove their contention. The verse in King James version and Douai-Rehiems Version mentioned that “the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.” This is conveniently called “Johannine Comma.” Why this phrase (the Johannine comma) cannot be used as basis for the Trinity doctrine?
THE JOHANNINE COMMA CANNOT BE FOUND
IN MANY ENGLISH VERSIONS OF THE BIBLE
Although I John 5:7 of King James Version and Douai Version mentioned “the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one” but this phrase cannot be found in other versions of the Bible:
New International Version
‘For there are three that testify: 8the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.’
Revised Standard Version
“And the Spirit is the witness, because the Spirit is the truth. 8There are three witnesses, the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree.”
Today’s English Version
“There are three witnesses: 8the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and all three give the same testimony.”
American Standard Version
“And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is the truth. 8For there are three who bear witness, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and the three agree in one.”
IT CAANOT ALSO BE FOUND IN THE
GREEK TEXT OF THE VERSE
The following is the Greek text of I John 6:7 based on Nestle-Aland 27th edition:
o%ti trei=$ ei)sin oi( marturou=nte$,
Hóti treís eisin hoi marturoúntes
For three there are that record
THE JOHANNINE COMMA IS ABSENT IN ALL
ANCIENT GREEK MANUSCRIPTS AND OTHER
ANCIENT VERSIONS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT
The “Johannine Comma” is absent in all ancient Greek manuscripts:
“The Comma is absent in all the ancient Greek manuscripts of the NT with the exception of four rather recent manuscripts that date from 13th to 16th centuries. The Comma is lacking in such ancient Oriental Versions as the Peshitta, Philoxenian, Coptic, Ethiopic, and Armenian. While the majority of the Latin manuscripts of I John do contain the Comma, the earlier and better manuscripts, both of the Old Latin and Vulgate versions, lack it. The earliest manuscripts in which it appears from the 9th century.
“The Fathers of the East do not uote or refer to the Johannine Commain their Christological controversies. This omission indicate that the Commawas not part of the Biblical textof their time. Some 4th century Latin writers, while reffering to I John 5:8b and giving this a Trinitarian interpretation, failed to give any indication that they knew of the existence of the Commas a scriptural passage.” (New Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. VII, S.V. “Johannine Comma”)
Out of thousands of Greek manucripts only four contain the “Johannine Comma” but they are recent manuscripts that date from 13th to 16th centuries. Ancient versions of the New Testament lack it. Even the ancient manuscripts of the Old Latin and Latin Vulgate lack it, and the earliest manuscript of the Latin Vulgate that contains it dated 9th century AD.
THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH ADMITTED THAT
ITS GENUINENESS IS TO BE DENIED OR DOUBTED
Although the Roman Catholic Church at first insisted that the “passage” is authentic, but afterwards, declared that the genuineness of the passage is to be denied or doubted:
“In recent times the doubts concerning its authenticity have grown and the Holy Office in 1927, declared that, after careful examination of the whole circumstances, its genuineness could be denied.” (Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, p. 56 )
Due to the fact that the “Johannine Comma” cannot be found in ancient manuscripts if the New Testament, the Roman Catholic Church finally admitted and declared that the “its genuineness could be denied.”
IT STARTED AS A “MARGINAL GLOSS” BUT
INCORPORATED IN THE OLD LATIN TEXT
IN THE 5TH CENTURY AND IN THE TEXT OF
THE LATIN VULGATE IN 800 AD
The New Catholic Encyclopedia testified that “Johannine Comma” started as a “gloss” (commentary) but later on found its way in the passage
“The development of the Comma can be followed in the ecclesiastical writers of the late 4th and 5th centuries, especially in Spain and Africa. Apparently, it developed as a result 0f the Trinitarian interpretation of the triad spirit-water-blood found in I John 5:8b. By way of a gloss on the sacred text it eventually found its ways into the text itself.” (New Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. VII, S.V. “Johannine Comma”)
From the “margin” it was incorporated to the text of the Old Latin about the 5th century AD:
“In the course of the fifth century, it was incorporated from the margin into the text of an Old Latin (pre-vulgate) manuscript.” (The Epistles of John, p. 129)
The Johannine Comma was incorporated in the text of the Latin Vulgate only in 800 AD:
“It was not incorporated into the text of the Vulgate until about .d. 800, but once incorporatedit remained there securely….” (The Epistles of John, p. 129)
The basis of the Douai-Rheims translation is the Latin Vulgate. This is the reason why the “Johannine Comma” can be found in the Douai-Rheims translation.
WHY WE CAN FIND THE JOHANNINE COMMA
IN THE KING JAMES VERSION?
The following narrated how the “Johannine Comma” found its way to the King Kames Version (Authorized Version) although it was not found in ancient Greek Text:
“when Erasmus published his first printed edition of the Greek New Testament (1516) he was attack for omitting ‘the three heavenly witnesses’, he replied reasonably enough that he found them in no Greek manuscript. Rather incautiously he added that, if a Greek manuscript could be produced which contained the passage, he would include it. In due due course such a Greek manuscript was produced – by no means an ancient one, for it was written about 1520…so in his next edition (the third edition, 1522) he included it, adding a footnote in which he complained that the manuscript had been written with the express purpose of putting him on the spot. From Erasmus’ third edition the passage was translated into German (by Luther) and into English (by Tyndale); it was taken over into other early printed editions on the Greek New Testament, and hence appears in the Authorized Version.” (The Epistles of John, p. 129)
The Johannine Comma cannot be used as basis to prove the Trinity doctrine because this was originally not part of the I John 5:7 but a “marginal gloos” incorporated in the verse that the earliest manuscript of the Latin Vulgate containing it dated 800 AD (9th century AD), and the four Greek manuscripts containing it dated from 13th to 16th AD only. The Johannine Comma cannot be found in all ancient Greek manuscripts and ancient versions of the New Testament.
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