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On the “Comma Johanneum” (1 John 5:7)

May 13, 2010 Leave a comment

I am still in the process of writing a new blog entry, but I just found something I wanted to share now. I’ve been reading some articles from BibelFokus, a one-man “discernment website” in Swedish, dedicated to tell the “Biblical truth” about everything, beyond any shadow of a doubt. I am by default sceptical of people with that sort of attitude. Personally I cannot be sure of very many things about God beyond some essential doctrines, and that I am His and He is mine.

Anyways, one of the things this guy  (in the tradition of KJV-Onlyists from the United States) claims is that the Comma Johanneum is authentic. You can read about the passage itself and its textual history on Wikipedia. Why I made this post was only to quote the 18th century scholar Richard Porson, who makes a theological and rational argument for its inauthenticity:

“In short, if this verse be really genuine, notwithstanding its absence from all the visible Greek manuscripts except two (that of Dublin and the forged one found at Berlin), one of which awkwardly translates the verse from the Latin, and the other transcribes it from a printed book; notwithstanding its absence from all the versions except the Vulgate, even from many of the best and oldest manuscripts of the Vulgate; notwithstanding the deep and dead silence of all the Greek writers down to the thirteenth, and of most of the Latins down to the middle of the eighth century; if, in spite of all these objections, it be still genuine, no part of Scripture whatsoever can be proved either spurious or genuine; and Satan has been permitted for many centuries miraculously to banish the ‘finest passage in the New Testament,’ as Martin calls it, from the eyes and memories of almost all the Christian authors, translators, and transcribers.”

Letters to Archdeacon Travis

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