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Re: [textualcriticism] Johannine Comma in an English manuscript matches a singular Greek wording

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  • Daniel Buck
    James Snapp wrote, in post # 5720,
    Message 1 of 7 , Aug 31 1:30 PM
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      James Snapp wrote, in post # 5720,

      <<Here's an index to the Biblical manuscripts accessible without a subscription at the Parker Library on the Web:


      245 = New Testament in English. Produced c. 1570. A handwritten NT with cross-references and notes in the margins. Is it based on some printed text, or is it a prototype of a printed text? Has an interesting combination of readings (no Mt. 6:13, has "in the prophets" in Mk. 1:2, has "Jesus" in Mk. 16:9; has Lk. 22:43-44, the PA is on 148r, Acts 8:37 is present, "God" in I Tim. 3:16, "shall burn" in II Pet. 3:10, First John 5:7 includes the Comma in the text in parentheses on 277v). On 89r Luke 1-4 is formatted as if it is a preface, with a colophon-verse about Mark after Luke 1:4, and a fresh book-title at the head of the next page. Some pages in Luke are smeared. Some notes by the colophons rhyme.>>

      This ms is a good example of the fluidity of the Comma designation. Manuscripts and texts that include the Comma aren't in agreement as to just what it consists of. Parker 245 has parentheses as indicated (spelling standardized, actual Comma in italics):

      7 (For there are three which bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.)  8 For there are three which bear record in earth, the Spirit, and water, and blood: and these three are one.

      Although the spelling varies, the wording of this passage is identical to Tyndale's second and subsequent editions, 1534-35.  Coverdale and most subsequent translators reverted back to the For... And... wording of Tyndale's first edition, with other minor changes (Douay-Rheims has And . . . And).  But what changed from one edition to the other was the placement of the parentheses.  Tyndale 1526 had none; 1534 and 1535 had them from "For" to "one" (all of v. 7) and again around "in earth."  Coverdale, however, left out the second set of parentheses in his 1535 edition. No other printed edition since did likewise.

      So, this ms contains a unique combination of Tyndale's wording, but Coverdale's placement of the parentheses. Unique in English Bibles, but how about Greek manuscripts? According to Daniel Wallace, the Comma as penned into the margin of 177 reads:

      οτι τρεις εισιν οι μαρτυρουντες εν ουρανω: πατηρ, λογος, και πνευμα αγιον, και οι τρεις εις το εν εισιν
      for there are three which bear record in heaven: Father, Word, and Holy Ghost, and these three are one.

      Exactly the portion of the comma marked in the English manuscript.


      Daniel Buck



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