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CHAPTERS: 1 John 1, 2, 3, 4, 5     

VERSES: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21




King James Bible - 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.

World English Bible

For there are three who testify:

Douay-Rheims - 1 John 5:7

And there are three who give testimony in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost. And these three are one.

Webster's Bible Translation

For there are three that bear testimony in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one.

Greek Textus Receptus

3754 τρεις 5140 εισιν 1526 5748 οι 3588 μαρτυρουντες 3140 5723 εν 1722 τω 3588 ουρανω 3772 ο 3588 πατηρ 3962 ο 3588 λογος 3056 και 2532 το 3588 αγιον 40 πνευμα 4151 και 2532 ουτοι 3778 οι 3588 τρεις 5140 εν 1520 εισιν 1526 5748

Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge

VERSE (7) -
:10,11 Joh 8:13,14

SEV Biblia, Chapter 5:7

Porque tres son los que dan testimonio del cielo: el Padre, la Palabra y el Espíritu Santo; y estos tres son uno.

Clarke's Bible Commentary - 1 John 5:7

Verse 7. There are three that bear
record] The FATHER, who bears testimony to his Son; the WORD or logov, Logos, who bears testimony to the Father; and the HOLY GHOST, which bears testimony to the Father and the Son. And these three are one in essence, and agree in the one testimony, that Jesus came to die for, and give life to, the world.

But it is likely this verse is not genuine. It is wanting in every MS. of this epistle written before the invention of printing, one excepted, the Codex Montfortii, in Trinity College, Dublin: the others which omit this verse amount to one hundred and twelve.

It is wanting in both the Syriac, all the Arabic, AEthiopic, the Coptic, Sahidic, Armenian, Slavonian, &c., in a word, in all the ancient versions but the Vulgate; and even of this version many of the most ancient and correct MSS. have it not. It is wanting also in all the ancient Greek fathers; and in most even of the Latin.

The words, as they exist in all the Greek MSS. with the exception of the Codex Montfortii, are the following:- "6. This is he that came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness because the Spirit is truth. 7. For there are three that bear witness, the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree in one. 9. If we receive the witness of man, the witness of God is greater, &c." The words that are omitted by all the MSS., the above excepted, and all the versions, the Vulgate excepted, are these:- ([In heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holq Spirit, and these three are one, and there are three which bear witness in earth.]) To make the whole more clear, that every reader may see what has been added, I shall set down these verses, with the inserted words in brackets.

"6. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. 7.

For there are three that bear record ([in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holq Ghost, and these three are one. 8. And there are three that bear witness in earth,]) the Spirit, and the water, and the blood, and these three agree in one. 9. If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater, &c." Any man may see, on examining the words, that if those included in brackets, which are wanting in the MSS. and versions, be omitted, there is no want of connection; and as to the sense, it is complete and perfect without them; and, indeed much more so than with them. I shall conclude this part of the note by observing, with Dr. Dodd, "that there are some internal and accidental marks which may render the passage suspected; for the sense is complete, and indeed more clear and better preserved, without it. Besides, the Spirit is mentioned, both as a witness in heaven and on earth; so that the six witnesses are thereby reduced to five, and the equality of number, or antithesis between the witnesses in heaven and on earth, is quite taken away. Besides, what need of witnesses in heaven? No one there doubts that Jesus is the Messiah; and if it be said that Father, Son, and Spirit are witnesses on earth, then there are five witnesses on earth, and none in heaven; not to say that there is a little difficulty in interpreting how the Word or the Son can be a witness to himself." It may be necessary to inquire how this verse stood in our earliest English Bibles. In COVERDALE'S Bible, printed about 1535, for it bears no date, the seventh verse is put in brackets thus:- And it is the Sprete that beareth wytnes; for the Sprete is the truth. (For there are thre which beare recorde in heaven: the Father, the Woorde, and the Holy Ghost, and these thre are one.) And there are thre which beare record in earth: the Sprete, water, and bloude and these thre are one. If we receyve, &c.

TINDAL was as critical as he was conscientious; and though he admitted the words into the text of the first edition of his New Testament printed in 1526, yet he distinguished them by a different letter, and put them in brackets, as Coverdale has done; and also the words in earth, which stand in ver. 8, without proper authority, and which being excluded make the text the same as in the MSS., &c.

Two editions of this version are now before me; one printed in English and Latin, quarto, with the following title:- The New Testament, both in Englyshe and Laten, of Master Erasmus translation-and imprinted by William Powell-the yere of out Lorde M.CCCCC.XLVII. And the fyrste yere of the kynges (Edw. VI.) moste gratious reygne.

In this edition the text stands thus:- And it is the Spirite that beareth wytnes, because the Spirite is truth (for there are thre whiche beare recorde in heaven, the Father, the Worde, and the Holy Ghost, and these thre are one.) For there are thre which beare recorde, (in earth,) the Spirite, water, and blode, and these thre are one. If we receyve, &c.

The other printed in London "by William Tylle, 4to; without the Latin of Erasmus in M.CCCCC.XLIX. the thyrde yere of the reigne of our moost dreade Soverayne Lorde Kynge Edwarde the Syxte," has, with a small variety of spelling, the text in the same order, and the same words included in brackets as above.

The English Bible, with the book of Common Prayer, printed by Richard Cardmarden, at Rouen in Normandy, fol. 1566, exhibits the text faithfully, but in the following singular manner:- And it is the Spyryte that beareth witnesse, because the Spyryte is truthe.

(for there are three which beare recorde in heaven, the Father, the Woorde, and the Holy Ghost; and these Three are One) And three which beare recorde* (in earth) the Spirite, and water, and bloode; and these three are one.

The first English Bible which I have seen, where these distinctions were omitted, is that called The Bishops' Bible, printed by Jugge, fol. 1568.

Since that time, all such distinctions have been generally disregarded.

Though a conscientious believer in the doctrine of the ever blessed, holy, and undivided Trinity, and in the proper and essential Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, which doctrines I have defended by many, and even new, arguments in the course of this work, I cannot help doubting the authenticity of the text in question; and, for farther particulars, refer to the observations at the end of this chapter.

John Gill's Bible Commentary

Ver. 7. For there are three that bear record in heaven , &c.] That is, that Jesus is the Son of God. The genuineness of this text has been called in question by some, because it is wanting in the Syriac version, as it also is in the Arabic and Ethiopic versions; and because the old Latin interpreter has it not; and it is not to be found in many Greek manuscripts; nor cited by many of the ancient fathers, even by such who wrote against the Arians, when it might have been of great service to them: to all which it may be replied, that as to the Syriac version, which is the most ancient, and of the greatest consequence, it is but a version, and a defective one. The history of the adulterous woman in the eighth of John, the second epistle of Peter, the second and third epistles of John, the epistle of Jude, and the book of the Revelations, were formerly wanting in it, till restored from Bishop Usher's copy by Deuteronomy Dieu and Dr. Pocock, and who also, from an eastern copy, has supplied this version with this text. As to the old Latin interpreter, it is certain it is to be seen in many Latin manuscripts of an early date, and stands in the Vulgate Latin edition of the London Polyglot Bible: and the Latin translation, which bears the name of Jerom, has it, and who, in an epistle of his to Eustochium, prefixed to his translation of these canonical epistles, complains of the omission of it by unfaithful interpreters.

And as to its being wanting in some Greek manuscripts, as the Alexandrian, and others, it need only be said, that it is to be found in many others; it is in an old British copy, and in the Complutensian edition, the compilers of which made use of various copies; and out of sixteen ancient copies of Robert Stephens's, nine of them had it: and as to its not being cited by some of the ancient fathers, this can be no sufficient proof of the spuriousness of it, since it might be in the original copy, though not in the copies used by them, through the carelessness or unfaithfulness of transcribers; or it might be in their copies, and yet not cited by them, they having Scriptures enough without it, to defend the doctrine of the Trinity, and the divinity of Christ: and yet, after all, certain it is, that it is cited by many of them; by Fulgentius f46 , in the beginning of the sixth century, against the Arians, without any scruple or hesitation; and Jerom, as before observed, has it in his translation made in the latter end of the fourth century; and it is cited by Athanasius about the year 350; and before him by Cyprian f48 , in the middle, of the third century, about the year 250; and is referred to by Tertullian about, the year 200; and which was within a hundred years, or little more, of the writing of the epistle; which may be enough to satisfy anyone of the genuineness of this passage; and besides, there never was any dispute about it till Erasmus left it out in the, first edition of his translation of the New Testament; and yet he himself, upon the credit of the old British copy before mentioned, put it into another edition of his translation. The heavenly witnesses of Christ's sonship are, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost . The Father is the first Person, so called, not in, reference to the creatures, angels, or men, he is the Creator, and so the Father of; for this is common to the other two Persons; but in reference to his Son Jesus Christ, of whose sonship he bore witness at his baptism and transfiguration upon the mount. The Word is the second Person, who said and it was done; who spoke all things out of nothing in the first creation; who was in the beginning with God the Father, and was God, and by whom all things were created; he declared himself to be the Son of God, and proved himself to be so by his works and miracles; (see Mark 14:61,62 John 5:17 10:30), &c. and his witness of himself was good and valid; (see John 8:13-18); and because it is his sonship that is, here testified of, therefore the phrase, the Word, and not the Son, is here used. The Holy Ghost is the third Person, who proceeds from the Father, and is also called the Spirit of the Son, who testified of, Christ's sonship also at his baptism, by descending on him as a dove, which was the signal given to John the Baptist, by which he knew him, and bare record of him, that he was the Son of God. Now the number of these witnesses was three, there being so many persons in the Godhead; and such a number being sufficient, according to law, for the establishing of any point: to which may be added, that they were witnesses in heaven, not to the heavenly inhabitants, but to men on earth; they were so called, because they were in heaven, and from thence gave out their testimony; and which shows the firmness and excellency of it, it being not from earth, but from heaven, and not human, but divine; to which may be applied the words of Job, in ( Job 16:19); it follows, and these three are one ; which is to be understood, not only of their unity and agreement in their testimony, they testifying of the same thing, the sonship of Christ; but of their unity in essence or nature, they being the one God. So that, this passage holds forth and asserts the unity of God, a trinity of persons in the Godhead, the proper deity of each person, and their distinct personality, the unity of essence in that they are one; a trinity of persons in that they are three, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and are neither more nor fewer; the deity of each person, for otherwise their testimony would not be the testimony of God, as in ( 1 John 5:9); and their distinct personality; for were they not three distinct persons, they could not be three testifiers, or three that bare record. This being a proper place, I shall insert the faith of the ancient Jews concerning the doctrine of the Trinity; and the rather, as it agrees with the apostle's doctrine in words and language, as well as in matter. They call the three Persons in the Godhead three degrees: they say f50 , Jehovah, Elohenu (our God), Jehovah, ( Deuteronomy 6:4); these are the three degrees with respect to this sublime mystery, in the beginning Elohim, or God, created, ( Genesis 1:1), &c.

And these three, they say, though they are distinct, yet are one, as appears by what follows f51 : come see the mystery of the word; there are three degrees, and every degree is by itself, yet they are all one, and are bound together in one, and one is not separated from the other.

Again, it is said f52 , this is the unity of Jehovah the first, Elohenu, Jehovah, lo, all of them are one, and therefore: called one; lo, the three names are as if they were one, and therefore are called one, and they are one; but by the revelation of the Holy Spirit it is made known, and they by the sight of the eye may be known, dja Nyla atltd , that these three are one: and this is the mystery of the voice which is heard; the voice is one, and there are three things, fire, and Spirit, and water, and all of them are one in the mystery of the voice, and they are but one: so here, Jehovah, Elohenu, Jehovah, they are one, the three, Nynwwg , forms, modes, or things, which are one.

Once more f53 , there are two, and one is joined unto them, and they are three; and when the three are one, he says to them, these are the two names which Israel heard, Jehovah, Jehovah, and Elohenu is joined unto them, and it is the seal of the ring of truth; and when they are joined as one, they are one in one unity.

And this they illustrate by the three names of the soul of man f54 ; the three powers are all of them one, the soul, spirit, and breath, they are joined as one, and they are one; and all is according to the mode of the sublime mystery, meaning the Trinity. Says R. Isaac worthy are the righteous in this world, and in the world to come, for lo, the whole of them is holy, their body is holy, their soul is holy, their Spirit is holy, their breath is holy, holy are these three degrees according to the form above. Come see these three degrees cleave together as one, the soul, Spirit, and breath.

The three first Sephirot, or numbers, in the Cabalistic tree, intend the three divine Persons; the first is called the chief crown, and first glory, which essence no creature can comprehend f56 , and designs the Father, ( John 1:18); the second is called wisdom, and the intelligence illuminating, the crown of the creation, the brightness of equal unity, who is exalted above every head; and he is called, by the Cabalists, the second glory f57 ; (see Corinthians 1:24 John 1:9 Revelation 3:14) ( Hebrews 1:3 Ephesians 1:21). This is the Son of God: the third is called understanding sanctifying, and is the foundation of ancient wisdom, which is called the worker of faith; and he is the parent of faith, and from his power faith flows f58 ; and this is the Holy Spirit; (see 1 Peter 1:2 Corinthians 4:13). Now they say that these three first numbers are intellectual, and are not twdm , properties, or attributes, as the other seven are. R. Simeon ben Jochai says f60 , of the three superior numbers it is said, ( Psalm 62:11), God hath spoken once, twice have I heard this; one and two, lo the superior numbers of whom it is said, one, one, one, three ones, and this is the mystery of ( Psalm 62:11).

Says R. Judah Levi f61 , behold the mystery of the numberer, the number, and the numbered; in the bosom of God it is one thing, in the bosom of man three; because he weighs with his understanding, and speaks with his mouth, and writes with his hand.

It was usual with the ancient Jews to introduce Jehovah speaking, or doing anything, in this form, I and my house of judgment; and it is a rule with them, that wherever it is said, and Jehovah, he and his house or judgment are intended f62 ; and Jarchi frequently makes use of this phrase to explain texts where a plurality in the Godhead is intended, as ( Genesis 1:26 Song of Solomon 1:11); and it is to be observed, that a house of judgment, or a sanhedrim, among the Jews, never consisted of less than three. They also had used to write the word Jehovah with three Jods, in the form of a triangle, y y y as representing the three divine Persons: one of their more modern f63 writers has this observation on the blessing of the priest in ( Numbers 6:24-26): these three verses begin with a Jod, in reference to the three Jods which we write in the room of the name, (i.e. Jehovah,) for they have respect to the three superior things.

Matthew Henry Commentary

Verses 6-8 - We are inwardly and outwardly defiled; inwardly, by the power an pollution of sin in our nature. For our cleansing there is in and by Christ Jesus, the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Ghost. Some think that the two sacraments are here meant: baptism with water, as the outward sign of regeneration, and purifying from the pollution of sin by the Holy Spirit; and the Lord's supper, as the outward sign of the shedding Christ's blood, and the receiving him by faith for pardon and justification. Both these ways of cleansing wer represented in the old ceremonial sacrifices and cleansings. This wate and blood include all that is necessary to our salvation. By the water our souls are washed and purified for heaven and the habitation of saints in light. By the blood, we are justified, reconciled, an presented righteous to God. By the blood, the curse of the law being satisfied, the purifying Spirit is obtained for the internal cleansin of our natures. The water, as well as the blood, came out of the sid of the sacrificed Redeemer. He loved the church, and gave himself for it, that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word; that he might present it to himself a glorious church, Ep 5:25-27. This was done in and by the Spirit of God, according to the Saviour's declaration. He is the Spirit of God, and cannot lie. Thre had borne witness to these doctrines concerning the person and the salvation of Christ. The Father, repeatedly, by a voice from heave declared that Jesus was his beloved Son. The Word declared that He an the Father were One, and that whoever had seen him had seen the Father And the Holy Ghost, who descended from heaven and rested on Christ a his baptism; who had borne witness to Him by all the prophets; and gav testimony to his resurrection and mediatorial office, by the gift of miraculous powers to the apostles. But whether this passage be cited of not, the doctrine of the Trinity in Unity stands equally firm an certain. To the doctrine taught by the apostles, respecting the perso and salvation of Christ, there were three testimonies. 1. The Holy Spirit. We come into the world with a corrupt, carnal disposition which is enmity to God. This being done away by the regeneration an new-creating of souls by the Holy Spirit, is a testimony to the Saviour. 2. The water: this sets forth the Saviour's purity an purifying power. The actual and active purity and holiness of his disciples are represented by baptism. 3. The blood which he shed: an this was our ransom, this testifies for Jesus Christ; it sealed up an finished the sacrifices of the Old Testament. The benefits procured by his blood, prove that he is the Saviour of the world. No wonder if he that rejects this evidence is judged a blasphemer of the Spirit of God These three witnesses are for one and the same purpose; they agree i one and the same thing.

Greek Textus Receptus

3754 τρεις 5140 εισιν 1526 5748 οι 3588 μαρτυρουντες 3140 5723 εν 1722 τω 3588 ουρανω 3772 ο 3588 πατηρ 3962 ο 3588 λογος 3056 και 2532 το 3588 αγιον 40 πνευμα 4151 και 2532 ουτοι 3778 οι 3588 τρεις 5140 εν 1520 εισιν 1526 5748

Vincent's NT Word Studies

7. There are three that bear
record (treiv eisin oi marturountev). Lit., three are the witnessing ones.

The Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one. These words are rejected by the general verdict of critical authorities. For the details of the memorable controversy on the passage, the student may consult Frederick Henry Scrivener, "Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament;" Samuel P. Tregelles, "An Account of the Printed Text of the Greek New Testament;" John Selby Watson, "The Life of Richard Porson, M.A.;" Professor Ezra Abbot, "Orme's Memoir of the Controversy on 1 John v. 7;" Charles Foster, "A New Plea for the Authenticity of the Text of the Three Heavenly Witnesses," or "Porson's Letters to Travis Eclectically Examined," Cambridge, 1867. On the last-named work, Scrivener remarks, "I would fain call it a success if I could with truth. To rebut much of Porson's insolent sophistry was easy, to maintain the genuineness of this passage is simply impossible." Tregelles gives a list of more than fifty volumes, pamphlets, or critical notices on this question. Porson, in the conclusion of his letters to Travis, says: "In short, if this verse be really genuine, notwithstanding its absence from all the visible Greek manuscripts except two (that of Dublin and the forged one found at Berlin), one of which awkwardly translates the verse from the Latin, and the other transcribes it from a printed book; notwithstanding its absence from all the versions except the Vulgate, even from many of the best and oldest manuscripts of the Vulgate; notwithstanding the deep and dead silence of all the Greek writers down to the thirteenth, and of most of the Latins down to the middle of the eighth century; if, in spite of all these objections, it be still genuine, no part of Scripture whatsoever can be proved either spurious or genuine; and Satan has been permitted for many centuries miraculously to banish the 'finest passage in the New Testament,' as Martin calls it, from the eyes and memories of almost all the Christian authors, translators, and transcribers."

CHAPTERS: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
VERSES: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21


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