The Controversial Johannine Comma

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The Controversial Johannine Comma; Evidence of Trinitarianism or Corrupt Texts: The Johannine Comma, also called the Comma Johanneum, refers to a textual variation of I John 5:7-8. The variation reads, "For there are three that bear witness in heaven: The Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one" (KJV n.d., I John 5:7-8). According to Oxford Dictionaries, the term comma comes from the Greek word Comma, which refers to a short clause rather than a punctuation (Oxford Dictionaries n.d.). This additional clause shown above has been a heated debate for hundreds of years because it drastically changes the context of the two versus. For some readers, this is conclusive evidence of the Holy Trinity, depending on which Bible…show more content…
The entirety of verse 7-8, in the NKJV, reads as, "7 For there are three that bear witness in heaven: The Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. 8 And there are three that bear witness on earth: The Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one" (KJV n.d., I John 5:7-8). Whereas, say the New Revised Standard Version or NRSV, which excludes the Johannine Comma, simply reads, "7 There are three that testify: 8 the spirit and the water and the blood, and these three agree" (NRSV 2010, I John 5:7-8). As you can see the meaning of the verses vary, in the KJV it gives evidence of the Holy Trinity (Metzger 1971, 716). However, the NRSV only speaks of the spirit, water, and blood. Which in this context, it is commonly thought of as referring to the reception of the spirit, Jesus's baptism, and his crucifixion, respectively. As shown, these two versions have different meanings which leads to varying theological viewpoints (Smalley 2008, 268). Looking deeper into the controversy, we will find they also have different…show more content…
Of these manuscripts #88, #221, #429, #635, and #636 are found in the margins of the manuscripts. All of the manuscripts discovered today date no earlier than the 14th century. Furthermore, the Johannine Comma is found in later versions of the Vulgate from around the middle ages. Additionally, there is an earlier occurrence of the Johannine Comma clause from a Spanish Vulgates dating back to the middle of the 7th century. Moreover, it has further been shown that the use of the Comma can be seen as early as the 4th century in Spain, although there are no scriptures available to us that contain this clause. (Freedman 2008, 882-883). Along this line, the Comma appears in the Textus Receptus, more on this later, which was the basis of Tyndale's Bible. Tyndale's work was then used to create the Bishops Bible and ultimately these, and a few other versions, were the foundation of the King James Bible (Stone and Zacharias 2010, 67-75). However, it is from these nine manuscripts we have available to us to evaluate the authenticity of this

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