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Bart Ehrman on 1 John 5:7 and Trinity

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ad Taken from here: https://ehrmanblog.org/do-textual-variants-really-matter-for-anything/

Before explaining that, let me deal head on with the objection that no variants threaten any “significant Christian doctrine.”   I’m not sure that’s *entirely* true – depending on what one means by the term “threaten.”   For example, there is only one verse in the entire New Testament that explicitly teaches the Christian doctrine of the Trinity, 1 John 5:7-8 – “There are three in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one.”   That’s the Trinity – three persons who are all one.  The doctrine is explicitly stated nowhere else.   But this verse was not originally in the New Testament.  It is a later addition.

……theologians will turn to other passages that do not explicitly teach the doctrine in order to provide support for their views that there is a Trinity (for example: verses that say that Jesus is God and that God is God; but the problem is that these verses do not lay out the doctrine that the three are one – so they don’t teach the doctrine of the Trinity [since there are *other* non-trinitarian ways of thinking that both Jesus and God could be God].  Or verses that mention Christ, the Father, and the Spirit: but again the problem is that *these* verses don’t say that Christ and the Spirit are God and that there is only one God – in other words, again, they do not lay out the doctrine of the Trinity.  Only this one verse, which was not originally in the NT, spells out the doctrine of the Trinity)

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2 Comments

  1. Taken from Misquoting Jesus :
    This is the account of i John 5:7-8, which scholars have called the Johannine Comma, found in the manuscripts of the Latin Vulgate but not in the vast majority of Greek manuscripts, a passage that had long been a favorite among Christian theologians, since it is the only passage in the entire Bible that explicitly delineates the doctrine of the Trinity, that there are three persons in the godhead, but that the three all constitute just one God. In the Vulgate, the passage reads:

    There are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Spirit, and these three are one; and there are three that bear witness on earth, the Spirit, the water, and the blood, and these three are one.

    It is a mysterious passage, but unequivocal in its support of the traditional teachings of the church on the “triune God who is one.”
    Without this verse, the doctrine of the Trinity must be inferred from a range of passages combined to show that Christ is God, as is the Spirit and the Father, and that there is, nonetheless, only one God. This passage, in contrast, states the doctrine directly and succinctly.

    Liked by 1 person

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