Re: [textualcriticism] approaching the historical debate on heavenly witnesses with sound mind towards evidence evaluation
- Steven,No, I definitely intended "dropped OUT." If you wish to maintain that it was originally part of the text but then dropped out of the text, you need to explain why. Your Old Latin mss are really somewhat late. I would rather go with the EARLIER uncials such as Sinaiticus and Vaticanus.george
gfsomsel… search for truth, hear truth,
learn truth, love truth, speak the truth, hold the truth,
defend the truth till death.- Jan Hus
From: schmuel <schmuel@...>
Sent: Tue, November 2, 2010 1:03:24 PM
Subject: Re: [textualcriticism] approaching the historical debate on heavenly witnesses with sound mind towards evidence evaluation
"The problem here is that clearly many scholars, Reformation scholars, RCC and others, east and west, simply believed that the heavenly witnesses was original scripture, written by John, in harmony with the Gospels and the Epistles and Revelation. Noting that the verse was strongly represented in the Old Latin and Vulgate and the early church writers in Latin (with many interesting evidentiary considerations even in Greek). And believing the verse had had sparse representation in Greek because it had fallen out of the Greek ms line in early days."
What early scholars may have thought happened is really immaterial.
Yet the issue of what Erasmus thought is such a prime topic of debate .. the subject of more interest in the last decades than any other question on the verse. And it is interest is legitimate, even if the scholarship tends to be one-dimensional. As Erasmus was the top textual scholar of his time and a prime mover in what we know as the Received Text. Yet all the evidences actually go back earlier. So if we criticize looking at "early scholars" we similarly should not care about Erasmus and Stephanus and Beza.
The question is whether the Johannine Comma was part of the original text.
Right. That is the prime topic. What is original text, what is scripture, what are the autographs. (Not all the same thing, necessarily, yet in the ballpark.)
However there are other topics such as whether evidence is being weighed properly ... missed, misunderstood, misevaluated, etc.
The heavenly witnesses is quite unique in many ways, a singularly significant verse+ of the Bible text. (Acts 8:37 has mild similarities on one end, the textual and internal evidences, 1 Timothy 3:16 on another, the historical debate), So textually and historically I believe we can learn more from careful study of this verse than any other verse in the whole Bible. This verse is the fulcrum verse for many Bible battles.
If it was deemed to have dropped out
Oops .. you probably mean dropped in. Yet the very fact of the little wording faux pas I believe reflects a basic truth .. dropping out is far easier than dropping in. Proper reflection on this question is often neglected in the discussions of Bible verses, especially those that are fully inclusion/omission question.
then one must seek to determine when it did so and why it happened.
Right. For those who have a 100% conviction (or close to that) that the verse dropped in, this question of why the heavenly witnesses were interpolated would be a primary consideration. And the inverse would be true, as well, those who really believe the verse is scripture offer fascinating reasons and debate as to why the verse dropped out. I (Rudolph Cornely wrote about this turnabout aspect, as have others.)
Interestingly, on both sides there tends to be a lot of doctrinal favoritism involved in the analysis with scant hard evidence .. the orthodox did this, the arians did that, the sabellians wanted the other. One common idea, Ehrman-style albeit later than his standard fare, is an orthodox interpolation .. yet Grotius and Bugenhagen even had the reverse concept .. that the Arians inserted the verse ! So such theories have to be stepped through very lightly, almost like a landmine walk, since theories based on debatable doctrinal presuppositionalism is very hard to avoid.
As to the common textcrit theories in the historical debate and today, around an interpolation, they have varied widely and even wildly, with everybody from Cyprian to Jerome to Tapensis to Priscilian to Cassiodorus to this one and that one being the leader of the conjectured interpolators rogues gallery. Accidental, or forgery, or a mixture. The very fact of such conflicting theories on the basics of the supposed "how" should give some pause for consideration.
In this regard the Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary is of interest:
"Support for the reading in Gk manuscripts is meager, occurring only in 61, 629, 918, and 2318, as well as in varying forms by later hands in the margins of five others (88, 221, 429, 635, and 636), and none of these can be dated earlier than the 14th century. In ancient versions other than the Lat, the Comma is noticeably absent from all pre-14th century manuscripts of the Copt, Syr, Eth, Arm, Ar, and Slav translations of the NT. It does not occur in the Gk Fathers, who would certainly have used it to their advantage in the trinitarian controversies if only they had known it. Even in the Lat version, the Comma does not appear in OL manuscripts until after a.d. 600, nor in the Vg until after a.d. 750, and even then it is geographically limited to texts of Spanish origin or influence until the 10th century."
Most of this is accurate, . beyond the omissions of leaving out tons of incredible evidences.
And except for some notable omissions created by word-parsing .
" the Comma does not appear in OL manuscripts until after a.d. 600, nor in the Vg until after a.d. 750"
Now .. can you say how many extant OL mss before 600 AD omit the verse ? Or Vulgate before 750 ? 10 ? 20 ? What does it sound like from the wording ? Is the impression being given sound ?
And how do you date the Speculum ? And how do you gauge the manuscript from 546 AD, close to the life of Jerome and written in the first person as Jerome and ascribed to Jerome historically until the heavenly witnesses debate, that directly talks about the omission of the verse in the Vulgate Prologue ?
And the Spanish emphasis above is the remnant of be a long-gone scholarly red herring, the Karl Kunstle theory of Priscililan origin, which Babut and Jülicher quickly demolished around 1910 (see Brooke for references). And overall it is a meaningless claim due to evidences like Cassiodorus in Italy and the Council of Carthage of 484 AD and more. Maybe you can say that Carthage is "Spanish-influenced" .. yet is that really meaningful ? In a Council with hundreds of bishops attending in North Africa, orthodox and arians in attendance, represented from a wide geographical region.
It is the word parsing that really should make people a tad curious, even perhaps suspicious, as to whether evidence is being properly considered.
Similar occurs with the appellation "Greek fathers" .. which can eliminate all sorts of writings and people and times in Greek. And by insisting on direct quotes, various evidences and allusions and references can be ignored (look at the Augustine City of God reference in the previous post as an example of a strong Latin allusion that can be simply dismissed technically using stringent wording). There are such dismissals in Greek such as the Synopsis of Scripture or the Disputation between Athanasius and Arius and the Greek aspect of the Lateran Council and the later Greek writers and the and the Vulgate Prologue discussion of Greek manuscripts and many writers who were clearly bilingual.
And I will forego more on the Cyprian discussion for now. George, your post seemed to get (snipped) a bit so it was hard to differentiate, Anchor, Scrivener you and other.
And on that topic I have previously recommended Franz August Otto Pieper, and I will repeat that recommendation as an excellent starting point. For more recent discussions see the Daniel Wallace and Martin Shue articles on the net, and again .. I would say as a starting point, it is a fascinating study and the Internet has made a wealth of historical and textual and interpretative analysis available.
- Hi Folks,
Dear Steve, As usual you have presented a plethora of historical info for our consideration. Jolly good!
Welcome. I found that I was very uninformed originally about this historical info, and folks generally still are today. To take one moderately significant example, how many really knew about the City of God reference of Augustine, or the Fickermann conclusion that Augustine may well have knowledge of the verse ?
Or that Karl Pieper, no scholastic slouch by any means, argued for the verse authenticity based on a simple and powerful analysis of the Cyprian reference. How many have really considered the significance of the Council of Carthage (484 AD) evidence, with literally hundreds of bishops in attendance and the verse signalled out for doctrinal consideration ? Affirmed in an environment of pressure and persecution.
And where has modern textcrit shown any inclination to really consider such evidences ? Unless they are evidences supportive of Aleph and B, such as the Eusebius comments on the Markan ending, extant in 99.9%of Greek, Latin and Syriac manuscripts but still considered unoriginal non-scripture. Such considerations appear to be a smidgen one-sided.
The problem is that the biblical textual data that we have at present does not support the inclusion of these words as original to the autograpic text.
Well by current standards even if the Greek manuscript line supported the heavenly witnesses numerically, that would not remotely be enough support against the master uncial manuscripts
And data is meaningless without a system of interpretation. What the textual data supports is strictly a function of that methodology, and the Reformation experts looked at the data differently than today. At the very least, we should try to be able to understand why the paradigms and concepts were so different. At the most we may find their concepts more sensible that those scholastically in vogue today.
The understanding in the era of the Reformation, for many scholars (even into the 1800s and for a few unto today) entailed a system that was supportive of the heavenly witnesses as scripture. So the first question is .. why the difference ? That would make an interesting study. How did they look at the Latin and Greek lines, the early manuscripts, the early church writings, the Councils, the many internal evidences, .. even Erasmus makes a grammatical note on the verse in his annotations on the verse, pointed out by Nathaniel Ellsworth Cornwall (1812-1879).. annotations which, afaik, still lack an English translation despite their historical significance.
Does this deny, destroy or eradicate the entire biblical witness to the three indiviual persons in the Godhesd of biblical Christianity. Of course not.
The significance of the verse is more its overall place in the Battle of the Bible than a particularly doctrinal support. Not so much the Vulgate versus Reformation Bible battles (where it was only marginally involved, e.g. with Erasmus and Valladolid) but in the Reformation Bible (TR) defense contra the nouveau late 1700s to 1800s theories unto Westcott and Hort.
Much of the impetus for the textual upheaval was pushed along based on the idea that the verse must go (even Hort made it a centerpiece ... "1 John v 7 might be got rid of in a month"). The idea was basically .. how could the TR be okay ?.. look at the verse 1 John 5:7 ! The same is quite common today.
The heavenly witnesses fits beautifully within the Johannine writings, as in the Bengelius-Wesley poems, yet one of the historical mistakes in the battle (on many sides) is to try to decide the issue by doctrinal comfort !
After all, the highly-respected Grotius fought against the verse as an "Arian interpolation" and Luther's pastor-student John Bugenhagen accused the verse of being an "Arian blasphemy". Nope, that does not make any sense to me at all, yet it shows you the difficulty of trying to work the verse decisions by doctrinal angles rather than simpler Bible consistency and textual and historical and manuscript support considerations.
Ever since St Augustine noted the excise of the pericope de adulterae by some in some mss and codex Vaticanus omitted 1 Peter 5:3 as well as some slight editorial indications in P66 and 75 I have become more open to the possibility of heretical corruption. The wickedness of Decimus and the observations of St Hippolytus make this reasonable.
As an interesting aside, Knittel asserts that Decimus Ausonius (Latin poet of the 4th century) looks to be familiar with the verse, giving him as a positive, affirmative testimony !
New criticisms on the celebrated text: 1 John V. 7. (1829)
Franz Anton Knittel
Among the Latins also, in the 4th century, this expression 'Three are one' was familiar as a sacred phrase.
Ausonius, in his Poem bearing the name of " Gryphus," says,
" Tris numerus super omnia, Tris Deus unus"
Hopefully you will not consider that a negative consideration :) . Knittel was apparently the only writer who discussed Decimus in the context of the Bible verse.
While Charles Forster forcefully uses Hippolytus in the context of showing that the language of the heavenly witnesses came into the church writers simply because the verse was scripture.
A new plea for the authenticity of the text of the three heavenly witness .. (1867)
That his doctrine of the Godhead, and the terms for expressing it, were taken wholly and solely from Scripture, we know on Hippolytus's own authority in the following passage: in which he lays down the golden rule, that from Scripture alone we derive our
knowledge of God.
The great difficulty arises when we try to pinpoint the source of allusions and references in the patristic literature. This is why TC is still an art and not simply a mere mechanical science. Historical reconstruction is a sine quo non for TC and once one moves away from the objective historical textual data the art of TC comes into vogue. Our God reigns!
Speaking of art :) .. here is one writing of John Wesley on the verse.
5. Who is he that overcometh the world - That is superior to all worldly care, desire, fear? Every believer, and none else. 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.
And, indeed, 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.
By this the sixth, eighth, and ninth verses 1 John v, 6, 8, 9 are indissolubly connected; as will be evident, beyond all contradiction, when they are accurately considered. (John Wesley, with appreciation to Bengelius, Explanatory Notes, 1754)
- Erasmus 1516, Stephanus 1550, Beza 1598, Elzevier 1624, Scrivener 1887 (Critical TR) and 1894 (TR) available in PDF on:
Von Soden in: Resources
Teunis van Lopik
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, Jan Krans <jlhkvu@...> wrote:
> Erasmus has APELQEN (???????) in the 1516 edition (not yet online to my
> knowing); his translation also has the singular. The 1535 edition reads
> the same (online at erasmus.org), so I presume that the other editions
> in between also have it.
> As far as I know, only Erasmus' editions have the singular here.
> Greetings, Jan Krans
> On 21-10-10 11:14, Wieland Willker wrote:
> > In Mk 6:32 some manuscripts read APHLQEN instead of APHLQON:
> > f13, 2, 22, 157, 700, Maj-part(E, F, G, H, V, Y, Gamma)
> > This is interesting because it means that Jesus went alone, without his
> > disciples.
> > Now, the original Luther version is reading this, too:
> > "Und er fuhr da in einem Schiff zu einer Wï¿½ste besonders."
> > Probably this is from Erasmus. According to Swanson manuscript 2 reads
> > APHLQEN, too. I have a PDF edition from some Erasmus text (Greek/Latin
> > from
> > 1700) which reads APHLQEN, but I am not sure what text exactly this is.
> > Stephanus and Scrivener read APHLQON.
> > Which GNT editions read APHLQEN? Does the original Erasmus edition
> > read it?
> > Is it available online?
> > When was it changed into APHLQON?
> > Best wishes
> > Wieland
- Excuse me: Erasmus 1516, etc. in:
--- In email@example.com, "TeunisV" <tvanlopik@...> wrote:
> Erasmus 1516, Stephanus 1550, Beza 1598, Elzevier 1624, Scrivener 1887 (Critical TR) and 1894 (TR) available in PDF on:
> Von Soden in: Resources
> Teunis van Lopik
> --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, Jan Krans <jlhkvu@> wrote:
> > Wieland
> > Erasmus has APELQEN (???????) in the 1516 edition (not yet online to my
> > knowing); his translation also has the singular. The 1535 edition reads
> > the same (online at erasmus.org), so I presume that the other editions
> > in between also have it.
> > As far as I know, only Erasmus' editions have the singular here.
> > Greetings, Jan Krans
> > On 21-10-10 11:14, Wieland Willker wrote:
> > >
> > > In Mk 6:32 some manuscripts read APHLQEN instead of APHLQON:
> > > f13, 2, 22, 157, 700, Maj-part(E, F, G, H, V, Y, Gamma)
> > >
> > > This is interesting because it means that Jesus went alone, without his
> > > disciples.
> > > Now, the original Luther version is reading this, too:
> > > "Und er fuhr da in einem Schiff zu einer Wï¿½ste besonders."
> > >
> > > Probably this is from Erasmus. According to Swanson manuscript 2 reads
> > > APHLQEN, too. I have a PDF edition from some Erasmus text (Greek/Latin
> > > from
> > > 1700) which reads APHLQEN, but I am not sure what text exactly this is.
> > >
> > > Stephanus and Scrivener read APHLQON.
> > >
> > > Which GNT editions read APHLQEN? Does the original Erasmus edition
> > > read it?
> > > Is it available online?
> > > When was it changed into APHLQON?
> > >
> > > Best wishes
> > > Wieland
> > >