1 John 5:7

1 John 5:7 [Textus Receptus (Elzevir) (1624)]798
Ὅτι τρεῖς εἰσιν οἱ μαρτυροῦντες εν τῷ οὐρανῷ, ὁ Πατήρ, ὁ Λόγος, καὶ τὸ ἅγιον Πνεῦμα· καὶ οὗτοι οἱ τρεῖς ἕν εἰσι.

1 John 5:7 [Codex Sinaiticus (א or 01) (4th century)]

1 John 5:7 [Codex Alexandrinus (Royal MS 1 D VIII) (A02) (5th century)]

1 John 5:7 [Codex Vaticanus Gr. 1209 (B03) (4th century)]1441c2
ὅτι τρεῖς εἰσιν οἱ μαρτυροῦ-τες

1 John 5:7 [Codex Ephraemi Syri Rescriptus (C04) (5th century)]


Critical Apparatus :

(1) τω ουρανω ο πατηρ ο λογος και το αγιον πνευμα· και ουτοι οι τρεις εν εισι :
(2) OMIT τω ουρανω ο πατηρ ο λογος και το αγιον πνευμα· και ουτοι οι τρεις εν εισιν  : B





A Textual Commentary On 1 John 5:7

(a) Erasmus, in his two earliest editions of the Greek Testament, did not insert the text 1 John v. 7., as not finding it in the MSS. which he had seen : this was charged against him as a serious fault ; and he promised that if any Greek copy were found containing the text, he would insert it. Before the appearance of his third edition in 1522, he heard of a certain Codex Britannicus containing the words ; and on its authority he redeemed his promise by making the addition, though certainly without being convinced of its genuineness. The close verbal agreement of the text, as thus printed by Erasmus, with the Codex Montfortianus is almost in itself a proof of its identity with the Codex Britannicus of which he had heard; and this becomes all the more evident when it is borne in mind that no other MS. containing the text in such a form as this has been found, though the libraries of Europe have been well searched: and farther, this MS. seems to have originated in England, and never to have left this country until its removal to its present location, Dublin. Also the resemblance is not confined merely to the words of this verse, for Erasmus had received from England a copy of the seventh, eighth, and part of the ninth verses, which in his Annotations of 1522, and also in “Apologia ad Stunicam,” are printed (with two errors, indeed, which his Greek Testament corrects. These errors were repeated in each impression of this note, and of the “Apologia.” They consisted in the omission of οἱ before the second μαρτυροῦντες, and the omission of ἅγιον after πνεῦμα. But as the note refers to the Greek Testament which accompanied it, it is worse than folly to argue (as some have done) on this difference.) ; and here there is so much peculiarity as to show that the identity is complete. The non-insertion of the article before the witnesses, either heavenly or earthly, was a pretty plain indication that the MS. had not been copied by any one whose vernacular tongue was Greek ; and this was a good intimation of Latin origin or something of the kind. Erasmus suspected that the text of the heavenly witnesses had been introduced by translation from the Latin Vulgate : he also pointed out that in the extract which he had received the omission of the final clause of ver. 8. was in accordance with the copies of the Vulgate then current (and this is a strong proof of the identity of his Codex Britannicus with Codex Montfortianus). The Latin influence in this passage is also just as plainly marked in the introduction of Χριστὸς instead of πνεῦμα in the end of ver. 6., — a reading which is found in no other Greek copy, and which sprung up from the confusion in Latin MSS. of the contractions SPS and XPS .
Thus this place with the context affords abundant evidence that this (i.e. Codex Montfortianus) was the MS. to which Erasmus referred, and that in this passage the copyist was influenced by the Latin Vulgate, introducing, as he did, not a few things which could have no Greek origin. Hence the conclusion is manifest that in this place he followed not any Greek copy whatever, but the Latin, with which he was more familiar. This may have been done, as it was by the Complutensian editors, from honest ignorance and misconception ; or it may have originated from a definite design. It is singular, at least, that the Complutensian editors and this copyist should both have omitted the conclusion of the eighth verse ; a procedure which in this case looks certainly rather suspicious.
An imperfect collation of this MS., as far as the latter part of the Acts, made while it was in the possession of Archbishop Usher, is printed in the last vol. of Walton’s Polyglott. Dr. Barrett collated the remainder of the MS. and published it at the end of his edition of the Dublin palimpsest Z. : he pointed out the identity of text of this MS. and the Codex Leicestrensis in the Apocalypse, and also drew attention to the close resemblance of many of the readings in the Acts and Epistles to those of a MS. in the library of Lincoln College, Oxford (No. 39. St. Paul’s Epp., No. 33. Acts and Cath. Epp.) — a resemblance sufficiently great to lead to the supposition that the one may have been used in part as the exemplar from which the other was taken. Recently Dr. Dobbin has carefully collated the portion of the Codex Montfortianus which was not re-collated by Dr. Barrett; and he has also taken some pains to ascertain what were the MSS. used in its formation. In doing this he has collated the Lincoln College MS., and he states that the resemblance is quite as great as would have been supposed from what Barrett had noticed.The proofs of identity of text which he gives arc by no means conclusive ; for they are almost all of them particulars in which very many MSS. agree : some of them indeed are such as are found in the generality of copies ; so that coincidences of this kind prove nothing ; they might indeed seem to weaken the cause which they are brought forward to uphold. And thus the conclusion at which Dr. Dobbin arrives is one which cannot be said to rest on true logical data ; for he supposes that he has shown that the Lincoln College MS. is the archetype of the Epistle in the Cod. Montfort. (the very point which for his argument required unexceptionable proof), and then, as the Lincoln College MS. does not contain 1 John v. 7., he thinks that he has proved its insertion in the Montfort MS. to be an unjustified addition. This conclusion is quite correct, though this process of proof is not sufficient. The relation of this MS. to that of Lincoln College was a fact previously known, and such it still remains, even though this could hardly be demonstrated from the new evidence on the subject, at least from that part of it which has been published.
To conclude all that need be said of the Codex Montfortianus : the Gospels (which in part appear to have been copied from MSS. still at Oxford) cannot be much older than the year 1500, even if not more modern. The Epistles and Acts were afterwards added; and this could not have been done much before the time when this MS. was used as evidence against Erasmus : and as it is certain that the copyist here altered the Greek, and made it suit the Latin, and as it was brought forward just when it was needed (having been in that sense found, while so many other MSS. remained in obscurity), and no similar copy having ever since appeared which has not been proved to be a forgery, it is hardly too severe a conclusion, if we believe that the Epistles were written at that time, and added to the Gospels, in order to meet Erasmus, and to compel him to insert the text. And thus, whether by mistake or fraud, from this MS. the text 1 John v. 7. (with a few corrections for the sake of grammatical propriety) has been established in the common text, and has been introduced into the greater part (if not all) of the modern translations of Holy Scripture. The only part of this MS. which possesses any critical value is the most recent, i.e. the Apocalypse ; for as the Codex Leicestrensis is defective at the end, this transcript from it of that book has been the means of preserving the readings of that part which is now defective. (S. P. Tregelles, Introduction to Textual Criticism of the New Testament, pp-214-216)



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