1 John 5:8

1 John 5:8 [Textus Receptus (Elzevir) (1624)]798
Καὶ τρεῖς εἰσιν οἱ μαρτυροῦντες ἕν τῇ γῇ, τὸ Πνεῦμα, καὶ τὸ ὕδωρ, καὶ τὸ αἷμα· καὶ οἱ τρεῖς εἰς τὸ ἐν εἰσιν.

1 John 5:8 [Codex Sinaiticus (א or 01) (4th century)]

1 John 5:8 [Codex Alexandrinus (Royal MS 1 D VIII) (A02) (5th century)]

1 John 5:8 [Codex Vaticanus Gr. 1209 (B03) (4th century)]1441c2
τὸ πνεῦμα καὶ τὸ ΰδωρ καὶ τὸ αἷμα καὶ οἱ τρεῖς εἰς τὸ ἐν εἰσὶ-·

MSS: B, 201 (f321rc1), 699 (f247v-248r), 910 (f106r), 2926 (f127v)

1 John 5:8 [Codex Ephraemi Syri Rescriptus (C04) (5th century)]

 

Critical Apparatus :

(1) και τρεις εισιν οι μαρτυρουντες εν τη γη :
(2) OMIT και τρεις εισιν οι μαρτυρουντες εν τη γη : B, 6, 201, 699, 910, 2926

 

 

A Textual Commentary On 1 John 5:8

(a) Although doubts may be felt as to the erudition of the Complutensian editors, it need not be questioned that they really regarded the MSS. which they used as being ancient and valuable. Such subjects were then but little investigated ; and the work of editing the Greek New Testament was altogether new. It also need not be questioned , that the editors fully intended to use their MSS . fairly ; although , from their reverence for the Latin , they would certainly have regarded any Greek reading as being defective, if it did not accord with their valued translation. That they must in general have followed their Greek MS. (or MSS.) simply , is plain , from the passages being but few in which such an accusation could be made, as that of alteration to suit the Latin.
Their estimate of the Latin Vulgate is shown by the astonishing comparison which they use, in connection with the arrange ment of the Old Testament ; where that version occupies the central column, with the original Hebrew on the one side, and the Greek LXX . on the other : this they compare to the position of Christ as crucified between two thieves, — the unbelieving syna gogue of the Jews, and the schismatical Greek church.* With this feeling of veneration, it can cause no surprise, that in 1 John v. 7, 8 they should have supplied in the Greek the tes timony of the heavenly witnesses ; and also that they should have omitted the concluding clausule of the eighth verse. In both these changes they evidently thought that they were doing right ; for in the controversy between Stunica and Erasmus , the latter inquired by what authority the Complutensian editors had in serted 1 John v. 7, and whether they really had MSS . so different from any that Erasmus himself had seen : to this the answer was given by Stunica, “You must know that the copies of the Greeks are corrupted ; that ours, however, contain the very truth.” * This was quite enough for them ; and this passage , in this edition , demands particular attention , because it is in this one place that the Greek Testaments in common use have been affected by the Complutensian text . In omitting the final words of ver. 8, καὶ οἱ τρεῖς εἰς τὸ ἐν εἰσιν, Stunica and his coadjutors were guided by what they considered to be the judgment of the Lateran council , and the authority of Thomas Aquinas ; for they justify the non – insertion by a note in their margin ; this being one of the very few annotations which they have subjoined. On the same grounds as they assign for the omission in the Greek, these words are left out in Latin MSS. subsequent to the year 1215 . Besides this passage, however, there are very few places in which the charge of conforming the Greek to the Latin has been suggested ; although the variations of the two must have been prominently brought before the attention of the editors, because they affix a letter of reference to each word, and they use the same letter again in the Latin column, to connect the two texts verbally, where that is practicable. It should be added, that the Latin Vulgate is given by the Complutensian editors with more accuracy than had previously been shown in printing it.
Stunica and his fellow – editors have not given the Greek text with the common accents ; but they have marked every word of two or more syllables with an acute accent on the tone – syllable. In their preface, the editors refer to the peculiar manner in which they had printed the Greek ; and they defend it on the ground that accents, breathings (which they omit , except in the case of T), etc., are no parts of the genuine text , and that they are omitted in the more ancient copies, and consequently they wished to leave the sacred text with its majesty and beauty untouched” : they add, however, that they have marked the tone – syllable of each word with a simple apex, “ not as the Greek accent, but as a mark and sign for the guidance of the reader. ”So that, if the grace and majesty of the text ” depended on its not being printed with any grammatical additions, it would be as much marred by the Complutensian editors as if they had used the common accents. The Greek type , in the New Testament, is large and peculiar : in the LXX., however , they used such characters as were then common . The New Testament appeared with the brief title , “ Nouum testamentum grece et latine in academia complutensi nouiter im pressum ” ; this is in the lower part of a page , above which (as in the other volumes ) appear the arms of the cardinal. The Complutensian text never came into general use : before it was published , another edition had pre-occupied the ground ; it was, however, followed by several impressions at a later period , especially from the press of Plantin at Antwerp, and at Geneva . There are passages in which the readings of this edition may well be compared with those of Erasmus ; some in which the Latin and Greek texts differ will be noticed in speaking of the Erasmian text.  (S. P. Tregelles, An Account of the Printed Text of the Greek New Testament, pp. 8-11)

(b) The discussions connected with the passage 1 John v. 7, rendered it a matter of interest to critics to inquire whether Stephens’s MSS. could be identified ; for in that edition, there is the mark of omission preceding ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ, after which words is a semi circle, indicating that the omission extends thus far ; the margin contains a reference to seven MSS. as being the authorities for this omission ; these seven being the only MSS. which were collated for that part. Hence some thought that these seven were witnesses for the whole passage (those three words excepted) which the Complutensian editors had introduced by translating it from the Latin , and which Erasmus had, after some years, inserted from the Codex Montfortianus. But no such MSS . were ever found in the Royal Library at Paris, or any where else ; and thus it was supposed by more intelligent critics that the semicircle in Stephens’s edition had been misplaced, and that it really belonged after ἕν τῇ γῇ, ver. 8 ; thus including in the omission all the words not found in the Greek MSS . The absolute ascertainment of some of the MSS. in question has proved this to be a fact, so certainly , that it is vain for any argument to be based on this note of reference in Stephens’s edition. Allusions to this passage are of necessity in inquiries as to the history of the Greek New Testament as printed ; because con troversies connected with it have led to extensive examinations of MSS., and to a more accurate apprehension of the channels by which Holy Scripture, like all other ancient books , has been transmitted to us.*

* It may here be mentioned that the only MSS . containing this text in any form , which have been produced or discovered, are the Codex Montfortianus at Dublin , brought forward as an authority to compel Erasmus to insert the words ; the Codex Ravianus at Berlin , a transcript from the Complutensian Polyglot , imitating its very misprints ; a MS. at Naples, where a recent hand has added it in the margin ; and the Codex Ottobonianus, 298, in the Vatican, a Greek and Latin MS. of the fifteenth century, in which the Greek is a mere accompaniment of the Latin and in which the words are quite peculiar (ἀπο τοῦ οὐρανοῦ, etc.) .

(S. P. Tregelles, An Account of the Printed Text of the Greek New Testament, p. 32)

(c) Beza’s text was during his life in very general use amongst Protestants ; they seemed to feel that enough had been done to establish it, and they relied on it as giving them a firm basis. The Romanists, with whom they so often engaged in controversy, understood, as yet, no principles of criticism, which could be brought to bear on the position which the Protestants had thus taken. The same was true of those with whom the Protestants were engaged in so many discussions relative to the Trinity and the Godhead of Christ. Beza could argue on 1 John v. 7, as if the true position of Stephens’s semicircle were an undoubted proof that seven MSS . at least contained the verse, and his adver saries, understanding the bearing of the case with as little of correct apprehension as himself, were not able to controvert him.
(S. P. Tregelles, An Account of the Printed Text of the Greek New Testament, pp. 33-34)

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