1 John 5:7 and One Triune Being?
Mohamad Mostafa Nassar
The only verses in the whole Bible that explicitly ties God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit in one “Triune” being is the verse of 1 John 5:7
“For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.”
This is the type of clear, decisive, and to-the-point verse I have been asking for. However, as I would later find out, this verse is now universally recognized as being a later “insertion” of the Church and all recent versions of the Bible, such as the Revised Standard Version the New Revised Standard Version, the New American Standard Bible, the New English Bible, the Phillips Modern English Bible …etc.
have all unceremoniously expunged this verse from their pages. Why is this?
The scripture translator Benjamin Wilson gives the following explanation for this action in his “Emphatic Diaglott.” Mr. Wilson says:
“This text concerning the heavenly witness is not contained in any Greek manuscript which was written earlier than the fifteenth century. It is not cited by any of the ecclesiastical writers; not by any of early Latin fathers even when the subjects upon which they treated would naturally have lead them to appeal to it’s authority. It is therefore evidently spurious.”
Others, such as the late Dr. Herbert W. Armstrong argued that this verse was added to the Latin Vulgate edition of the Bible during the heat of the controversy between Rome, Arius, and God’s people. Whatever the reason, this verse is now universally recognized as an insertion and discarded.
Since the Bible contains no verses validating a “Trinity” therefore, centuries after the departure of Jesus, God chose to inspire someone to insert this verse in order to clarify the true nature of God as being a “Trinity.”
Notice how mankind was being inspired as to how to “clarify” the Bible centuries after the departure of Jesus (pbuh). People continued to put words in the mouths of Jesus, his disciples, and even God himself with no reservations whatsoever. They were being “inspired” (see chapter two).
If these people were being “inspired” by God, I wondered, then why did they need to put these words into other people’s mouths (in our example, in the mouth of John). Why did they not just openly say “God inspired me and I will add a chapter to the Bible in my name”?
Also, why did God need to wait till after the departure of Jesus to “inspire” his “true” nature? Why not let Jesus (pbuh) say it himself?
The great luminary of Western literature, Mr. Edward Gibbon, explains the reason for the discardal of this verse from the pages of the Bible with the following words:
“Of all the manuscripts now extant, above fourscore in number, some of which are more than 1200 years old, the orthodox copies of the Vatican, of the Complutensian editors, of Robert Stephens are becoming invisible; and the two manuscripts of Dublin and Berlin are unworthy to form an exception…
In the eleventh and twelfth centuries, the Bibles were corrected by LanFrank, Archbishop of Canterbury, and by Nicholas, a cardinal and librarian of the Roman church, secundum Ortodoxam fidem. Notwithstanding these corrections, the passage is still wanting in twenty-five Latin manuscripts, the oldest and fairest; two qualities seldom united, except in manuscripts….
The three witnesses have been established in our Greek Testaments by the prudence of Erasmus; the honest bigotry of the Complutensian editors; the typographical fraud, or error, of Robert Stephens in the placing of a crotchet and the deliberate falsehood, or strange misapprehension, of Theodore Beza.”
“Decline and fall of the Roman Empire,” IV, Gibbon, p. 418.
Edward Gibbon was defended in his findings by his contemporary, the brilliant British scholar Richard Porson who also proceeded to publish devastatingly conclusive proof that the verse of 1 John 5:7 was only first inserted by the Church into the Bible in the year 400C.E.(Secrets of Mount Sinai, James Bentley, pp. 30-33).
Regarding Porson’s most devastating proof, Mr. Gibbon later said
“His structures are founded in argument, enriched with learning, and enlivened with wit, and his adversary neither deserves nor finds any quarter at his hands. The evidence of the three heavenly witnesses would now be rejected in any court of justice; but prejudice is blind, authority is deaf, and our vulgar Bibles will ever be polluted by this spurious text.”
To which Mr. Bentley responds:
“In fact, they are not. No modern Bible now contains the interpolation.”
Mr. Bentley, however, is mistaken. Indeed, just as Mr. Gibbon had predicted, the simple fact that the most learned scholars of Christianity now unanimously recognize this verse to be a later interpolation of the Church has not prevented the preservation of this fabricated text in our modern Bibles.
To this day, the Bible in the hands of the majority of Christians, the “King James” Bible, still unhesitantly includes this verse as the “inspired” word of God without so much as a footnote to inform the reader that all scholars of Christianity of note unanimously recognize it as a later fabrication.
Peake’s Commentary on the Bible says
“The famous interpolation after ‘three witnesses’ is not printed even in RSVn, and rightly. It cites the heavenly testimony of the Father, the logos, and the Holy Spirit, but is never used in the early Trinitarian controversies. No respectable Greek MS contains it. Appearing first in a late 4th-cent. Latin text, it entered the Vulgate and finally the NT of Erasmus.”
It was only the horrors of the great inquisitions which held back Sir Isaac Newton from openly revealing these facts to all:
“In all the vehement universal and lasting controversy about the Trinity in Jerome’s time and both before and long enough after it, the text of the ‘three in heaven’ was never once thought of. It is now in everybody’s mouth and accounted the main text for the business and would assuredly have been so too with them, had it been in their books…
Let them make good sense of it who are able. For my part I can make none. If it be said that we are not to determine what is scripture and what not by our private judgments, I confess it in places not controverted, but in disputed places I love to take up with what I can best understand.
It is the temper of the hot and superstitious part of mankind in matters of religion ever to be fond of mysteries, and for that reason to like best what they understand least. Such men may use the Apostle John as they please, but I have that honor for him as to believe that he wrote good sense and therefore take that to be his which is the best”
Jesus, Prophet of Islam, Muhammad Ata’ Ur-Rahim, p. 156
According to Newton, this verse first appeared for in the third edition of Erasmus’s (1466-1536) New Testament.
For all of the above reasons, we find that when thirty two biblical scholars backed by fifty cooperating Christian denominations got together to compile the Revised Standard Version of the Bible based upon the most ancient Biblical manuscripts available to them today, they made some very extensive changes.
Among these changes was the unceremonious discardal of the verse of 1 John 5:7 as the fabricated insertion that it is. For more on the compilation of the RSV Bible, please read the preface of any modern copy of that Bible.
Such comparatively unimportant matters as the description of Jesus (pbuh) riding an ass (or was it a “colt”, or was it an “ass and a colt”? see point 42 in the table of section 2.2) into Jerusalem are spoken about in great details since they are the fulfillment of a prophesy. For instance, in Mark 11:2-10 we read:
“And saith unto them, Go your way into the village over against you: and as soon as ye be entered into it, ye shall find a colt tied, whereon never man sat; loose him, and bring [him]. And if any man say unto you, Why do ye this? say ye that the Lord hath need of him; and straightway he will send him hither.
And they went their way, and found the colt tied by the door without in a place where two ways met; and they loose him And certain of them that stood there said unto them, What do ye, loosing the colt? And they said unto them even as Jesus had commanded: and they let them go And they brought the colt to Jesus, and cast their garments on him; and he sat upon him.
And many spread their garments in the way: and others cut down branches off the trees, and strawed [them] in the way And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed [is] he that cometh in the name of the Lord: Blessed [be] the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.”
Also see Luke 19:30-38 which has a similar detailed description of this occurrence. On the other hand, the Bible is completely free of any description of the “Trinity” which is supposedly a description of the very nature of the one who rode this ass, who is claimed to be the only son of God, and who allegedly died for the sins of all of mankind. I found myself asking the question:
If every aspect of Christian faith is described in such detail such that even the description of this ass is so vividly depicted for us, then why is the same not true for the description of the “Trinity”? Sadly, however, it is a question for which there is no logical answer.