1 John 5:7 and the Record in Heaven
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.
1 John 5:7 is probably one of the most controversial verses in the Bible. The reason it is so controversial is that all the modern translations, except the New King James, remove this verse. But, even the NKJV has a footnote with this verse saying that it is not found in the oldest Greek manuscripts. This could cause serious doubt in the reader's mind that this verse is the word of God. This verse was never controversial until the modern translations.
The problem is the modern translations come from a different Greek underlining manuscript than the King James Bible. The KJV uses the Greek Textus Receptus, while the modern scholars reject this manuscript. This results in the modern translations missing the equivalent of the Book of Ephesians and changing words like "only begotten Son" into "one and only Son". One of the missing verses is 1 John 5:7.
I believe the modern translations have tampered with the very word of God, which is beyond serious. I want to take a look at the internal evidence that 1 John 5:7 is indeed the very word of God and belongs in the Bible, just as it is found in the tried and true King James Bible.
I was recently studying 1 John 5 and came across some interesting information that I never realized. I had never actually studied verse 7, but just looked at it as one of the proofs of the Holy Trinity. The first time, I actually studied it and asked myself what is the RECORD that the Father, Word and Holy Ghost are bearing record in heaven? To my amazement, I did not know. The following is a brief study to show what is this record and how important it is to our salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ.
1John 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
(In heaven the Godhead bears record but with just this verse it is not clear what is the record. In context, it has to do something with the Lord Jesus Christ.)
1John 5:8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.
(On earth, the Holy Spirit agrees in one with the water and the blood. Again, this has to do with the Lord Jesus' ministry but exactly what is not mentioned.)
1John 5:9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.
(The witness of the Holy Spirit is greater than any witness of men. The witness has to do about the ministry of the Lord Jesus here on earth.)
1John 5:10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.
(This is a very strong verse. It states that anyone who does not believe the record that God gave of His Son makes God a liar! I cannot imagine a verse stronger than this. This is so serious that the record is settled in heaven between the Godhead! But, we still do not know what is this record, but only that the Godhead bears witness to it in heaven.)
1John 5:11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
(Now the record is revealed. The record that the Godhead agrees in heaven is that WE HAVE ETERNAL LIFE IN THE ONLY BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD! Our salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ is secure because the Godhead is in total agreement and the blood and water of the Lord Jesus on earth bear witness to the record in heaven.)
If verse 7 is removed, then the record of agreement by the Godhead in heaven is also removed! Verse 7 is not a mere proof of the Trinity, it is really a proof that believers have total assurance of eternal life, when they are in the Son of God! God bears record in heaven that we have eternal life! The proof of the Blessed Trinity is actually a side issue which I had never realized.
How dare these modern translations tamper with 1 John 5:7, as they tamper with the actual record in heaven that I have eternal life through my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is probably the strongest verse in all the Bible for the assurance of eternal life in the Blessed Redeemer. I would never compromise the authority of this verse for any reason.
While contemplating this verse suddenly Revelation 22:19 came to mind.
Revelation 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
This verse states if ANYONE removes words from the Bible, God will remove that person's name from the Book of Life. I believe that this warning is not limited to the Book of Revelation but the entire Bible.
The first verse that those who reject the authority of KJV point to is 1John 5:7. They claim it was added and is not part of the word of God. This verse happens to be the strongest verse in the Bible showing that the complete Godhead bears record to our eternal life in heaven!
How very sad that removal of 1 John 5:7 removes God bearing record in heaven for these people because it is NOT in their translations! How ironic, that by applying Revelation 22:19 to those that reject 1John 5:7, God does not bear record in heaven; therefore, their name is removed from the Book of Life. The very verse removed from these translations is the very verse which damns them, and it is exactly as Revelation 22:19 states would happen.
I cannot emphasis how serious it is to tamper with the word of God. Please flee from these modern translations as they are promoting deception and are missing an enormous amount of verses along with altering the meaning of words.
Just look at the subtle change in this one verse
KJV: Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
NIV: Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free,
God's Holy Spirit would never remove "he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted" from the word of God. This verse alone shows how corrupted the modern translations are.
May the Holy God of Israel bless you as you rest in the fact that in heaven the Godhead is bearing record that you have eternal life.
Early Manuscript Evidence For Including 1 John 5:7
KJV Preserves It While Others Delete It - Who Is Right?
"For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one." 1 John 5:7
The NIV denies the TRINITY and DEITY of CHRIST in I John 5:7,8. This is called 'The Johannine Comma'. I John 5:7,8 is omitted by all modern versions. It is called the "famous Trinitarian Proof text". Modernists claim that this passage ought not to be in the Bible, because it is not in most Greek manuscripts. Only 6 Greek manuscripts before the 7th Century omit v.7,8. (14 manuscripts before the 9th Century).
For there are three that testify
the Spirit, the water, and the blood;
and the three are in agreement.
For there are three that bear record
in heaven, the Father, the Word, and
the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
And there are three that bear record
the Spirit, and the water, and the blood
and these three agree in one".
Erasmus omitted it from his first edition of the printed Greek N.T. (1516), because it occurred in the Latin Vulgate and not in any Greek manuscript. To quieten the outcry that followed, he agreed to restore it if one Greek manuscript could be found containing it. Two Greek manuscripts, Codex 61 and 629 were presented, so Erasmus
included it in his 1522 edition. Since these manuscripts are late (15th and 16th centuries) some think the readings are corrupt. What do we answer?
Early manuscript evidence that exists for I John 5:7,8
Early church writers that used it:
Cyprian 200 - 258 AD. "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'." If Cyprian quotes I John 5:7 from his Bible in 200• 258 AD, it must be a valid reading. His Bible was copied from an older manuscript containing this verse.
Cyprian lived only 100 years after John wrote the book of I John. Cyprian would have had access to the original manuscript to check.
• Priscillian 350 AD, a Spanish bishop quotes I John 5:7,8.
• Idacius Clarus 360 AD, who opposed Priscillian quotes it.
• Varimadum 380 AD.
• Cassiodorus 485 AD.
• Cassian 435 AD.
• Victor Vita 489 AD.
• Jerome 450 AD.
• Fulgentius 533 AD.
• Ps. Vigilius 484 AD.
• Ansbert 660 AD.
Early bible versions that include it:
Old Syriac 170 AD.
Old Latin 200 AD, in North Africa and Italy.
Italic 4th and 5th century. – Italic • Monacensis 7th century.
Italic • Speculum 9th century.
Latin Vulgate 4th, 5th century.
Greek miniscule manuscripts that include it:
• 221 in the 10th century.(variant).
• 88 in the 12th century.(margin).
• 629 in the 14th century.(Ottobanianus)
• 429 in the 14th century (margin).
• 636 in the 15th century. (margin).
• 61 in the 16th century.(Codex Montfortianus)
• 918 in the 16th century. (an Escorial ms).
• 2318 (a Bucharest manuscript).
Liber Apologeticus 350 AD. Council of Carthage 415 AD.
Question 1: If the NIV is right in omitting the Johannine comma, then why do we have a masculine Greek article (oi) in v.7 (oi marturountes = that bear record in heaven) wrongly agreeing with three neuter nouns (Spirit, water and blood) in v.8? Spirit, water and blood are all neuter Greek nouns with neuter Greek articles, which would dictate a neuter Greek article in v.7, (if the Johannine comma was never in the original), but we have masculine articles (oi) in v.7,8. Why?
Question 2: What is it that causes the masculine Greek article (oi) in v.7 and (oi) in v.8?
Answer: It is the two masculine nouns (Father and Word) of the Johannine comma in v.7. These control the gender of the article connected with them to be a masculine article (oi) which is what we have. Hence the problem is solved if the Johannine comma is part of the Greek text. Therefore, the NIV and NWT have wrong Greek grammar by omitting the Johannine comma, as seen by them having a masculine article in verse 7 wrongly agreeing with three neuter nouns (Spirit, water and blood) in verse 8.
Question 3: Why would the Johannine Comma be absent from some Greek manuscripts, but present in the Latin manuscripts?
Answer: Firstly, because of a similar ending in v.7 and v.8, a scribe may have been distracted in v.7, but when resuming his copying, his eye fell on v.8 from where he continued copying,thus accidentally omitting the Johannine Comma. Copies of this would have multiplied the mistake.
Secondly, between 220 - 270 AD, the heresy that Greek Christians were fighting was not Arianism (denying Christ's deity) as this had not yet arisen, but Sabellianism (named after Sabellius) which taught that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit were identical, and that God the Father died on the cross when Christ died on the cross. The statement in the Johannine comma that "these three are one" seemed to support the Sabellian heresy that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are identical. If, during the course of this controversy, manuscripts were discovered which had accidentally lost the Johannine Comma as described above, it is easy to see how the orthodox party would consider these mutilated manuscripts to be the true text.
In the Greek speaking east, where the struggle against Sabellianism was most intense, the Johannine comma came to be unanimously rejected. However, in the Latin manuscripts of Africa and Spain, where the influence of
Sabellianism was not so great, the Johannine Comma was retained. This explains why the Johannine comma is strongly represented in the Latin manuscripts, and why we should retain it today. Source: "KJV defended". E.F. Hills, p.204 - 208.
About the author: This was taken from a larger work entitled "Serious Omissions In The NIV", written by Pastor Keith Piper. Click here to read the entire work in PDF format.
By John McTernan:
Proclaim the Faith
Blog: John McTernan's Insights at www.johnmcternan.name