Johanine Comma

Discussion in 'Sacred Scripture' started by Charles Carter Glass, Apr 14, 2021.

  1. Charles Carter Glass

    Charles Carter Glass New Member

    Posts:
    4
    Likes Received:
    4
    Country:
    United States
    Religion:
    Anglican (APA)
    The Johanine Comma


    The Epistle for the 1st Sunday After Easter for use at the Holy Communion from the 1928 Book of Common Prayer for use in America reads I John 5:7 “For there are three that bear witness, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.” The same text in the Authorized King James Version reads “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.


    “The Wycliffe Bible Commentary” relates that the words “the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost” found in The King James Version are “spurious. Not a single manuscript contains the trinitarian addition befoe the fourteenth century, and the verse is never quoted in the controversies over the Trinity in the first 450 years of the church era.


    This phrase if referred to as the “Johannine Comma.” The passage first appeared as an addition to the Vulgate, the Ecclesiastical Latin translation of the Bible, and entered the Greek manuscript tradition in the 15th century. Some scribes gradually incorporated this annotation into the main text over the course of the Middle Ages.


    As interesting as this interpolation is I am neither shocked nor dismayed by its inclusion. Scribal errors occur. Marginal notes become incorporated into the body of the text.


    What concerns me is that I believed that The Book of Common Prayer used the Authorized King James Version of Scripture, and here I find that is not true. Which version of Scripture does BCP use?


    [​IMG]
     
    Shane R likes this.
  2. Fr. Brench

    Fr. Brench Well-Known Member Anglican

    Posts:
    216
    Likes Received:
    300
    Country:
    United States
    Religion:
    Anglican (ACNA)
    The Johannine Comma is the addition of the Trinity as "witnesses in heaven" in addition to the three "witnesses on earth" in the undisputed part of verse 7. The older Prayer Books included it, going with the King James Bible. The 1928 BCP excised it, based on the biblical scholarship that ruled it non-original.

    As scribal errors go, it's not a bad or damaging one, so I don't expect any harm was done in having it in there, but it's generally best to leave Scripture in its proper state. As you said, trinitarian theology prevailed in the Church just fine without that verse being tinkered with. :)
     
    Charles Carter Glass likes this.
  3. Shane R

    Shane R Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    786
    Likes Received:
    843
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Anglican
    The 28 BCP sometimes substitutes a reading from the American Standard Version. It would have been beneficial to notate when this was done, at least in the altar service book.
     
  4. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

    Posts:
    2,287
    Likes Received:
    2,168
    Country:
    America
    Religion:
    Anglican
    I've never encountered that verse in any Bibles that I've ever used. And my faith is safe. :) It's an entirely optional verse which doesn't add some doctrine that wouldn't be established without it.

    Literally that verse is a curiosity to me. I see that verse once every few years in online forums, as a point of curiosity, and then I go spend another several years never seeing it until a subsequent discussion. It's a curiosity, and people shouldn't feel concerned about it.
     
    Invictus likes this.
  5. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    2,373
    Likes Received:
    1,163
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Anglican Christian
    But isn't it possible that the Comma is not an "addition" at all? As I recall, the Arians (anti-Trinitarians) wrested control of the church's leadership for perhaps half a century. And shortly afterward, Jerome wrote in his Prologue to the Canonical Epistles that this verse had been removed from many copies:
    “Just as these are properly understood and so translated faithfully by interpreters into Latin without leaving ambiguity for the readers nor [allowing] the variety of genres to conflict, especially in that text where we read the unity of the trinity is placed in the first letter of John, where much error has occurred at the hands of unfaithful translators contrary to the truth of faith, who have kept just the three words water, blood and spirit in this edition omitting mention of Father, Word and Spirit in which especially the catholic faith is strengthened and the unity of substance of Father, Son and Holy Spirit is attested.” (from the text of the prologue appended to Codex Fuldensis, Trans. T. Caldwell)​
     
  6. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    2,373
    Likes Received:
    1,163
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Anglican Christian
    Cyprian is said to have written On the Unity of the Catholic Church around 250 A.D. In Chapter 6 he states,
    “He who breaks the peace and the concord of Christ, does so in opposition to Christ; he who gathereth elsewhere than in the Church, scatters the Church of Christ. The Lord says, ‘I and the Father are one;’ and again it is written of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, ‘And these three are one.’" ​
    Since "it is written" nowhere in the Bible other than 1 John 5:7, it seems most probable that Cyprian was referring to that verse, giving us evidence of its existence in 1 John as far back as the 3rd Century.
     
  7. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    1,647
    Likes Received:
    1,861
    Country:
    Australia
    Religion:
    Anglican
    Probably not.
    Probably not.

    There is no suggestion here that the material is in error, theologically heterodox, just simply that it was not in the original manuscript. If it was not in the original manuscript, so one the basis of integrity and scholarship, they should probably not be included, as is the case with most reputable modern translations.

    The development of a profound Trinitarian theology took time, and we owe a great debt of thanks to the Cappadocian Fathers whose work underpinned much of what we now have as the Creed of the First Council of Constantinople, which, together with the insertion of the Filioque we recite as the Nicene Creed.

    It would be more likely that Cyprians words, or source, have at some stage made it to a copy of the text and been replicated.
     
    Charles Carter Glass likes this.
  8. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    2,373
    Likes Received:
    1,163
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Anglican Christian
    I'm not sure I understand. You state with seemingly immense certainty that the quote "was not in the original manuscript." What is the basis for this statement, and how can you be so certain?
     
  9. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    2,373
    Likes Received:
    1,163
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Anglican Christian
    Although the presence of the Comma is not critical to our understanding of the Trinity, its presence would serve as perhaps the most unequivocal Bible statement concerning the Trinity.

    Also, if the Comma rightly belongs in the Bible, its presence in the KJV, NKJV, and MEV is a point in their favor and a point against the modern versions which arise from modern scholarship (a scholarship that has been observed to be visibly polluted with many unorthodox views; as I mentioned in this post https://forums.anglican.net/threads...-book-of-common-prayer.4009/page-2#post-40948 , the Peshitta and the Old Latin align closely with the Byzantine text types, and they formed the basis for the KJV).

    We should ask ourselves which is easier: to delete a sentence or to add a sentence? Undoubtedly it is much easier to delete a verse (or more) from a manuscript; splicing a bunch of words into the middle of a verse requires much greater creativity and much more care to ensure that the result flows smoothly and seems sensible.

    Applying this to the question of the Comma itself, the text of 1 John 5 actually makes more sense with the Comma than without. It has been observed by some scholars that the Comma’s presence provides greater grammatical consistency. It is my understanding that Greek grammar calls for gender agreement among sentence parts. One writer stated the following (note that I am not versed in Greek): “If the Comma is present, the masculine article, participle, and number in the apodosis of verse 7 then agree with the two masculine (Father, Word) and one neuter (Spirit) nouns in the protasis. This agreement is made by means of the principle of attraction, a rule of Greek syntax by which a masculine noun in a series of nouns within the same clause determines, or ‘attracts’ to itself, the gender for the series as a whole.... if the Comma does not appear in the text, then the masculine predicate in the apodosis of verse 7 is mated with the three neuter nouns (water, blood, spirit) found in verse 8 (which then becomes the subordinate clause), a serious grammatical error...”

    We should also ask ourselves who is more likely to falsify a Bible manuscript: someone who wishes to support the truth, or someone who wishes to weaken the truth? We know that Satan is the father of lies, and he often works through men by fostering falsehoods, half-truths, and misleading/deceptive statements. Since we accept the truth of the Trinity, we must necessarily presume that Satan (who hates both God and men) would love to undermine this truth. In the case of the Comma, we are faced with a choice between:
    (1) assuming that opposers of true, Trinitarian Christian belief were misled by the adversary into deleting the phrase that most contradicts their false belief (in which they have already been demonstrably misled), or
    (2) assuming that Trinitarian Christians (led by the Spirit in this true belief) were willing to use deliberate deceit to further the truth about God.
    Would someone advance the truth of Trinitarianism by false means of a deliberate fabrication? It’s not impossible, but it doesn’t seem likely either. Personally, I find this choice a slam-dunk; I go with option #2.

    As for Jerome’s prologue, it appears in the earliest extant Vulgate manuscript, Codex Fuldensis (546 A.D.). Ironically, the Comma itself is not present in Fuldensis, but Jerome’s warning that “unfaithful translators” were deleting the Comma is present therewith. While modernistic textual critics have used the Comma’s absence in Fuldensis to claim that it was added later on, they overlook the presence of Jerome’s prologue. Now, let’s ask ourselves: did some Trinitarian take pains to falsify the prologue in Fuldensis but fail to falsify 1 John 5 as well? (How backward is that?!) Or is it more likely that the Comma had already been deleted by then, while the prologue’s warning had been overlooked and accidentally left in? Meanwhile, the Comma is present in Codex Wizanburgensis (roughly 750 A.D.) as well as in 98% of the other Vulgate manuscripts, and it was also in the Old Latin texts used by the geographically- and socially- isolated Vaudois Christians.

    Augustine seemed to be familiar with the Comma, for he wrote of the Trinity (around 390 A.D.) that “There are Three Witnesses, and the Three are One” (Against Maximinium, Bk. 2, Ch. 22.3). If the Comma were not yet present at that time, his statement would have carried no authoritativeness since such a statement would not have appeared anywhere in the Bible; the closest Augustine could have come to it would be what remained of 1 John 5:7, to wit: “there are three witnesses... and these three agree.”

    There were Christian writers of the 1500s and 1600s who knew of more manuscripts containing the Comma... manuscripts that have been lost since then.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2021
  10. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

    Posts:
    1,438
    Likes Received:
    1,074
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Anglican (ACNA)
    I find that fascinating... Did the arians really heave the ability to erase so much, and what about the copies of the scriptures which remained in our hands?.
     
  11. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    1,647
    Likes Received:
    1,861
    Country:
    Australia
    Religion:
    Anglican
    1 JOHN 5:7 https://www.biblegateway.com/verse/en/1 John 5:7
    KJ21 | For there are three that bear record in Heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one.
    ASV |And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is the truth.
    AMP | For there are three witnesses:
    AMPC | So there are three witnesses in heaven: the Father, the Word and the Holy Spirit, and these three are One;
    BRG | For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word , and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
    CSB | For there are three that testify:
    CEB | The three are testifying—
    CJB | There are three witnesses —
    CEV | In fact, there are three who tell about it.
    DARBY | For they that bear witness are three:
    DLNT | Because the ones testifying are three:
    DRA | And there are three who give testimony in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost. And these three are one.
    ERV | So there are three witnesses that tell us about Jesus:
    EHV | In fact, there are three that testify:
    ESV | For there are three that testify:
    ESVUK | For there are three that testify:
    EXB | ·So [or For] there are three ·witnesses [who testify/bear witness]:
    GNV | For there are three, which bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the holy Ghost: and these three are one.
    GW | There are three witnesses: 
    GNT | There are three witnesses:
    HCSB | For there are three that testify:
    ICB | So there are three witnesses:
    ISV | For there are three witnesses in heaven—the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one.
    PHILLIPS | Jesus Christ himself is the one who came by water and by blood—not by the water only, but by the water and the blood. The Spirit bears witness to this, for the Spirit is the truth. The witness therefore is a triple one—the Spirit in our own hearts, the signs of the water of baptism and the blood of atonement—and they all say the same thing. If we are prepared to accept human testimony, God’s own testimony concerning his own Son is surely infinitely more valuable. The man who really believes in the Son of God will find God’s testimony in his own heart. The man who will not believe God is making him out to be a liar, because he is deliberately refusing to accept the testimony that God has given concerning his own Son. This is, that God has given men eternal life and this real life is to be found only in his Son. It follows naturally that any man who has genuine contact with Christ has this life; and if he has not, then he does not possess this life at all.
    JUB | For there are three that bear witness in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.
    KJV | For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
    AKJV | For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
    LEB | For there are three that testify,
    TLB | And we know he is, because God said so with a voice from heaven when Jesus was baptized, and again as he was facing death—yes, not only at his baptism but also as he faced death.* And the Holy Spirit, forever truthful, says it too. So we have these three witnesses: the voice of the Holy Spirit in our hearts, the voice from heaven at Christ’s baptism, and the voice before he died.* And they all say the same thing: that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.*
    MSG | Jesus—the Divine Christ! He experienced a life-giving birth and a death-killing death. Not only birth from the womb, but baptismal birth of his ministry and sacrificial death. And all the while the Spirit is confirming the truth, the reality of God’s presence at Jesus’ baptism and crucifixion, bringing those occasions alive for us. A triple testimony: the Spirit, the Baptism, the Crucifixion. And the three in perfect agreement.
    MEV | There are three who testify in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, and the three are one.
    MOUNCE | For there are three that testify:
    NOG | There are three witnesses:
    NABRE | So there are three that testify,
    NASB | For there are three that testify:
    NASB1995 | For there are three that testify:
    NCV | So there are three witnesses:
    NET | For there are three that testify,
    NIRV | There are three that are witnesses about Jesus.
    NIV | For there are three that testify:
    NIVUK | For there are three that testify:
    NKJV | For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.
    NLV | There are three Who speak of this in heaven: the Father and the Word and the Holy Spirit. These three are one.
    NLT | So we have these three witnesses—
    NMB | (For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.)
    NRSV | There are three that testify:
    NRSVA | There are three that testify:
    NRSVACE | There are three that testify:
    NRSVCE | There are three that testify:
    NTE | There are three that bear witness, you see,
    OJB | Because there are shloshah giving solemn eidus:
    TPT | So we have these three constant witnesses giving their evidence:
    RGT | For there are Three Who bear record in Heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost. And these three are One.
    RSV | And the Spirit is the witness, because the Spirit is the truth.
    RSVCE | And the Spirit is the witness, because the Spirit is the truth.
    TLV | For there are three that testify—
    VOICE | So there are three testifying witnesses:
    WEB | For there are three who testify:
    WE | There are three in heaven who prove it is true. They are the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit. These three are one.
    WYC | For three be, that give witnessing in heaven, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost [For three be, that bear witness in heaven, the Father, the Word, or Son, and the Holy Ghost]; and these three be one.
    YLT | because three are who are testifying [in the heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, and these -- the three -- are one;

    I conclude that the greater preponderance of scholarship supports the simpler reading. I understand that in the main these translations are the work of committees of scholars.

    I am pretty strong on the Holy Trinity, in terms of foundational to our understanding of God, and the essential core of the Nicene Creed. It may seem comfortable to find it so neatly packaged in scripture. Given the level of question raised to the Johannine Comma, and the high likelihood that these scholars will have reached their conclusions after both prayer and scholarship, and they are unlikely to want to do damage to the text of Holy Scripture. I also believe that if the text can be so questioned by the best of scholars, I would rather not have it, lest it become an Achilles heel for Nicene believers in a Trinitarian faith.
     
    Charles Carter Glass likes this.
  12. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    2,373
    Likes Received:
    1,163
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Anglican Christian
    Arians had great influence in the eastern portion of the weakening Roman Empire: Syria, Egypt, Asia Minor. Where were most of the copies of Scriptures being made by scribes? Antioch (Syria) and Alexandria (Egypt).

    When Arius' teachings were condemned, he fled to Syria. The area was under the control of Constantius II who was an Arian. Several orthodox, Trinitarian bishops were banished at this time, including Eustathius of Antioch and Athanasius. Eusebius of Nicomedia, a staunch supporter of Arius, became head man in Alexandria. You get the picture. Meanwhile, Eusebius of Caesaria, another Arian sympathizer, was given by Constantine the job of preparing the 'official' copies of Scripture in Greek for circulation throughout the empire. For almost 50 years the Arian foxes guarded the henhouse, as it were.

    The vast majority of Bible versions available nowadays spring from the dubious 'scholarship' of Westcott and Hort, both of whom wrote things that place a question mark on whether they were actual Christians. And the "greater preponderance of scholarship" today is clearly reflected in the liberal, modernistic theologies of nearly all seminaries. The foxes (not Arians, but worse) once again run the henhouse, cranking out compromised Bible versions and seminary grads with 'updated', nontraditional theologies.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2021
  13. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    1,647
    Likes Received:
    1,861
    Country:
    Australia
    Religion:
    Anglican
    You have no substantive evidence that Constantine ordered to production of inaccurate scripture. It is quite likely true that Constantine lent towards an Arian view, however there is no evidence to suggest that he was other than a Nicene Christian in his later years. His efforts to restore Arius, and the pressure he put on the Patriarch of Alexandria to receive him back, quite probably recognise a sense of kindness and forgiveness rather than a Donatist desire to keep everybody out.

    Several early sources which one might expect to include the Comma Johanneum in fact omit it. For example, although Clement of Alexandria (c. 200) places a strong emphasis on the Trinity, his quotation of 1 John 5:8 does not include the Comma. Tertullian, in his Against Praxeas (c. 210), supports a Trinitarian view by quoting John 10:30. Jerome's writings of the fourth century give no evidence that he was aware of the Comma's existence. (The Codex Fuldensis, of 546, contains a copy of Jerome's Prologue to the Canonical Gospels which seems to reference the Comma, but the Codex's version of 1 John omits it, which has led many to believe that the Prologue's reference is spurious.)

    The earliest reference to what might be the Comma appears by the 3rd-century Church father Cyprian (died 258), who in Treatise I section 6 quoted John 10:30 against heretics who denied the Trinity and added: "Again it is written of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, 'And these three are one.'" Daniel B. Wallace notes that although Cyprian uses 1 John to argue for the Trinity, he appeals to this as an allusion via the three witnesses—"written of"—rather than by quoting a proof-text—"written that". In noting this, Wallace is following the current standard critical editions of the New Testament (NA27 and UBS4) which consider Cyprian a witness against the Comma. They would not do this were they to think him to have quoted it. So even though some still think that Cyprian referred to the passage, the fact that other theologians such as Athanasius of Alexandria and Sabellius and Origen never quoted or referred to that passage is one reason why even many Trinitarians later on also considered the text spurious, and not to have been part of the original text.

    The first work to quote the Comma Johanneum as an actual part of the Epistle's text appears to be the 4th century Latin homily Liber Apologeticus, probably written by Priscillian of Ávila (died 385), or his close follower Bishop Instantius. This part of the homily gradually became part of some manuscripts of the Latin Vulgate roughly around the year 800. It was subsequently back-translated into the Greek, but it occurs in the text of only four of the 500-plus Greek New Testament manuscripts of First John and in the margin of five more. The earliest known occurrence appears to be a later addition to a 10th-century manuscript now in the Bodleian Library, the exact date of the addition is not known; in this manuscript, the Comma is a variant reading offered as an alternative to the main text. The other seven sources date to the sixteenth century or later, and four of the seven are hand-written in the manuscript margins. In one manuscript, back-translated into Greek from the Vulgate, the phrase "and these three are one" is not present.

    No Syriac manuscripts include the Comma, and its presence in some printed Syriac Bibles is due to back-translation from the Latin Vulgate. Coptic manuscripts and those from Ethiopian churches also do not include it. Of the surviving "Itala" or "Old Latin" translations, only two support the Textus Receptus reading, namely the Codex Monacensis (9th or 10th century) and the Speculum, an 8th or 9th century collection of New Testament quotations.

    In the 6th century, Fulgentius of Ruspe is quoted as a witness in favour of the Comma. Like Cyprian a father of the North African Church, he referred to Cyprian's remark in his "Responsio contra Arianos" ("Reply against the Arians"), as do many other African fathers (the Arian heresy, which denied the Trinity, was particularly strong[citation needed] in North Africa); but the most prominent and prolific writer of the African Church, Augustine of Hippo, is completely silent on the matter.​

    It seems more like that a margin note has snuck into the text. I would be much more open to it if the Cappadocian Fathers had used it, as they were very strong trinitarians, and indeed I believe the whole church owes them a great debt of gratitude for their most excellent work. Had they made the slightest reference to it, and if it was present I imagine they would, then I might be more convinced.

    Casting repressible assertions about Biblical Scholars living or departed is not worthy of us. We may choose to disagree, but questioning their faith is beyond our purview, in my humble opinion.

    Arius may well have been a heretic, and most of his work was burned so we can not quite assess it as such, however he was a Arian Christian. There is a big difference between being Heterodox and being an Unbeliever.
     
  14. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    2,373
    Likes Received:
    1,163
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Anglican Christian
    My goodness, I never averred this! I did state that Constantine appointed Eusebius of Caesaria to have copies of Bibles made, and it's quite unlikely that Constantine micro-managed the project or checked the copies 'with a fine-toothed comb,' let alone ordered falsified versions made (something I never claimed). Even so, the converse of your statement is also true: you have no substantive evidence that Constantine did not explicitly order the production of inaccurate copies (although, like you, I don't think he did).

    By the way, Eugenius spoke on behalf of the assembled attendees of the Council of Carthage, 484 A.D.:
    "...and in order that we may teach until now, more clearly than light, that the Holy Spirit is now one divinity with the Father and the Son. It is proved by the evangelist John, for he says, "there are three which bear testimony in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one."
    Although this wasn't a major council, it seemed quite certain that the Comma belonged in 1 John.

    I suppose we will never know for sure, this side of heaven. But I look at it this way: immediately before and during the time the Anglican Church was recovering truth from the bad influence of the Roman Catholics some 500 years ago, the Comma was accepted and included in the Bibles used by the Anglicans, the Romans, the Lutherans, and the Orthodox. The Comma appeared in Wickliffe's Bible, in Tyndale's, in many pre-Lutheran German Bibles, and so on. Scholars of that era referred to its presence in old copies that have since disappeared. If we look back at scholarship that took place 500-600 years ago, we escape the rot of liberal theology and modernism and we see that nearly all Christians believed that verses 7 and 8 were canonical and original. The Authorized Version of the Bible, used by Anglicans of that era, contained both verses. I do not support modern innovations in Christian faith. Do you?
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2021
    Stalwart likes this.
  15. Charles Carter Glass

    Charles Carter Glass New Member

    Posts:
    4
    Likes Received:
    4
    Country:
    United States
    Religion:
    Anglican (APA)
    Thank you for understanding my post and taking the time to respond. The fact that you understood it must mean that you took the time to read it.
     
    Botolph likes this.
  16. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    908
    Likes Received:
    336
    Country:
    United States
    Religion:
    Episcopalian
    The Comma does not occur in manuscripts of Augustine - a later writer - that have been dated earlier than the earliest copies we have of Cyprian, who predated Augustine by two centuries. The Comma first shows up in Priscillian (a heretic) at around the same time it shows up in Cyprian. The Greek Fathers were entirely unaware of it. So the text of Cyprian was almost certainly tampered with at some point. The Comma as it stands can be interpreted in an orthodox and catholic sense, but in its original context it may very well have been a neo-Gnostic slogan. We will never know for sure.
     
  17. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    2,373
    Likes Received:
    1,163
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Anglican Christian
    I think the Comma shows up in the middle of the 2nd Century in the Old Latin translation from Greek, a translation that was preserved and utilized by the Vaudois Christians for many centuries in relative isolation. Of course, there are those who say these people (also referred to by some as Waldensians) do not go back that far, but I am not of that opinion. And I believe I've read that Augustine referred to the Old Latin as the most reliable translation he knew of.
     
    Invictus likes this.
  18. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    908
    Likes Received:
    336
    Country:
    United States
    Religion:
    Episcopalian
    I would have to defer to Metzger on the specifics. When it comes to disputed passages (e.g., the ending of Mark, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”, the Johannine Comma, etc.), my personal preference would be to leave them in their traditional places while using brackets or some other notation to make clear that their authenticity is disputed, with footnotes explaining why. I guess that be somewhat analogous to the traditional treatment of the OT Apocrypha: they are part of the traditional Bible of the Western Church (i.e., the Vulgate), they should be retained, and they are useful for edification and exhortation, but not for establishing doctrine (though I suppose they could be cited in support of doctrine that was otherwise already established...the Church Fathers did this all the time).