[textualcriticism] Comma Johanneum in ms 177 - the mariner's compass
- Hi Folks,
Fascinating, the most studied verse, and a reference overlooked totally.
This conclusion is worthy of double note.
The Comma Johanneum in an Overlooked Manuscript
Daniel B. Wallace
.... Whatever the reason, it is remarkable that a manuscript whose existence has been known for so long by New Testament scholars, and is housed in a prominent European library, should be overlooked in this passage. In the least, this suggests that there may be many treasures yet to be discovered in known NT manuscripts. Microfilms will not reveal many of them; the only sure way to make such information accessible to scholars is to digitize these codices and make them available on-line.
However, Daniel Wallace deep-sixes his own textual objectivity with the following phrases about the heavenly witnesses verse.
"infected the history "
"less rabid path. "
It should be clear that this is charged, even bitter, polemic, representing one textual view. And is far away from any type of sensible and disciplined study of the verse. A verse that has been the subject of some of the most fascinating historical discussion for centuries, as well as some of the most flying leaps of disinformation.
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.
And there are three that bear witness in earth,
the spirit, and the water, and the blood:
and these three agree in one.
For balance to the Daniel Wallace polemic, I will include the poem of John Wesley, who modified the poetry of Bengelius (who were both quite aware of the textual debate, yet looked at the evidences differently than most modern textual criticism). Here is an excerpt.
John Wesley Notes on the Bible (1754)
.... The seventh verse (usually so reckoned) is a brief recapitulation of all which has been before advanced concerning the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. It is cited, in conjunction with the sixth and eighth, 1 John v, 6, 8 by Tertullian, Cyprian, and an uninterrupted train of Fathers.
what the sun is in the world,
what the heart is in a man,
what the needle is in the mariner's compass,
this verse is in the epistle.
... St. John could not think of the testimony of the Spirit, and water, and blood, and subjoin, "The testimony of God is greater," without thinking also of the testimony of the Son and Holy Ghost; yea, and mentioning it in so solemn an enumeration.
Granted, those two men worked with one strange and unnecessary idea of transposing the two verses, yet that is only an auxiliary interpretative issue.
And many evidences and expositions for the verses were not yet available at the time they wrote, such as the fulness of the grammatical analysis strongly emphasized by Eugenius and Middleton, the Old Latin manuscripts, the Priscillian reference or the Charles Forster review of the early writers and many earlier evidences that came forth from the appendix in the book of Travis and the exhaustive exposition from Burgess (too much to list here and determine dates).
What really changed, leading to the type of Daniel Wallace harumph, was a new Greek-onlyism came to the fore in the later 1800s in much of textual analysis land, plus a very cursory understanding of and even dismissal of early church history and writers.
Note, also, that John Wesley's concern here was not particularly Trinitarian apologetics (an area where he was quiet mild) ... simply internal Bible consistency and evidences and understanding.