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Bible Corruption Series: Part 2 – 1 John 5:7, The Three That Bear Record in Heaven

By: S.L.A.   © 2016

In this series, I will discuss some of the most significant disputed passages found in Bibles today. I will use the website to compare Bible versions parallel to each other, with screenshots, so that you can see why they are so significant, as well as Bible commentaries from the same site, as well as

Let’s get started. First up is….

The three that bear record in heaven (known as the Comma Johanneum)

1 John 5:7-8

1 John 5.7 8 Comma Johanneum

This verse was proven to be a forgery, and was removed from modern Bible translations, but still exists in versions such as the most popular Bible used today...the King James Version.

Biblical scholar, Benjamin Wilson (1817-1900), wrote an interlinear translation of the New Testament, and was the founder of the Church of God. This translation is known as the Emphatic Diaglott, which is containing the Greek and English translations side by side. It is based upon the renderings of eminent critics and the various readings from the Vatican manuscript.

Mr. Wilson says in the footnotes of his Emphatic Diaglott translation:

"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.” [i] (see screenshot below)

1 John 5.7 8 Emphatic Diaglott footnotes 

The Comma Johanneum found its way into the 3rd edition of the Dutch Catholic scholar and humanist Desiderius Erasmus’ Greek text in 1522, which included the passage, despite he was convinced that it did not belong in 1 John, but added it due to pressure from the Catholic Church.[ii]

Modern day Biblical Scholar, Daniel B. Wallace PhD., the senior New Testament editor of the NET Bible, and the Executive Director for the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts, states:

“However, the evidence—both external and internal—is decidedly against its authenticity.”

He continues to say: “There is no sure evidence of this reading in any Greek manuscript until the 1500s; each such reading was apparently composed after Erasmus’ Greek NT was published in 1516. Indeed, the reading appears in no Greek witness of any kind (either manuscript, patristic, or Greek translation of some other version) until AD 1215 (in a Greek translation of the Acts of the Lateran Council, a work originally written in Latin). This is all the more significant, since many a Greek Father would have loved such a reading, for it so succinctly affirms the doctrine of the Trinity. The reading seems to have arisen in a fourth century Latin homily in which the text was allegorized to refer to members of the Trinity.  From there, it made its way into copies of the Latin Vulgate, the text used by the Roman Catholic Church.” [iii]

Allah tells us:

“O People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion: Nor say of Allah aught but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) a messenger of Allah, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in Allah and His messengers. Say not "Trinity" : desist: it will be better for you: for Allah is one Allah: Glory be to Him: (far exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belong all things in the heavens and on earth. And enough is Allah as a Disposer of affairs.” Qur'an 4:171

Related Recommended Reading:

Bible Corruption Series: Part 1 – Intro to Bible Version Differences

Bible Corruption Series: Part 2 – 1 John 5:7-8, The Three That Bear Record in Heaven

Bible Corruption Series: Part 3 - John 7:53-8:11, Pericope of the Adulteress

Bible Corruption Series: Part 4 - Mark 16:9-20, Resurrection of Jesus

Bible Corruption Series: Part 5 - Conflicting Gospels on the Empty Tomb & Ascension to Heaven

The Corruption of the Torah

Answering-Christianity’s Article about 1 John 5:7

The Tyndale Archives - A Reference to the Trinity  

Other Recommended Reading:

Read Bibles Online & How to Use Them in Dawah

Do Muslims Believe in the Bible?

The Corruption of the Torah

Bible Versions List & Manuscript Sources



[i] Wilson, Benjamin. Emphatic Diaglott Translation of the New Testament retrieved Nov. 9, 2016 

[ii] H. J. de Jonge, Erasmus and the Comma Johanneum, Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses (1980), p. 385


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