A response to

1 John 5:7 (these three are one)

Al-Kadhi begins his discussion of 1 John 5:7 by saying: "This is the type of clear, decisive, and to-the-point verse I have been asking for. However, as I would later find out, this verse is now universally recognized as being a later "insertion" of the Church and all recent versions of the Bible, such as the Revised Standard Version the New Revised Standard Version, the New American Standard Bible, the New English Bible, the Phillips Modern English Bible ...etc. have all unceremoniously expunged this verse from their pages. Why is this?"

This passage is recognized by a majority of Christian scholars as an extrapolation since 1 John 5:7 is not found in any early Greek manuscripts. This text appeared in a fifth century Latin translation, one century after the Church established the doctrine of the Trinity. This verse most likely found its way into the Bible through a "gloss" (a comment written in the margins of a page in a Bible) which was accidentally included in the Latin Bible. Erasmus included the verse in his translation of the Greek Bible, under political pressure, but against his better judgement. 1 John 5:7 found its way into the King James Version since it was, in part, based on Erasmus' text. The most important fact to remember is that 1 John 5:7 WAS NOT mentioned at the Council of Nicea and was not used to formulate the doctrine of the Trinity, or to defend it. Al-Kadhi proceeds to cite a variety of often conflicting sources in an attempt to overstate this relatively minor issue, and continues his attack on the Bible.

Al-Kadhi brings his first "witness": "The scripture translator Benjamin Wilson gives the following explanation for this action in his "Emphatic Diaglott." Mr. Wilson says: "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 its authority. It is therefore evidently spurious."

True, the Church Fathers DID NOT mention this verse at Nicea.

Mr Al-Kadhi then continues his little habit of citing contradictory opinions: "Others, such as the late Dr. Herbert W. Armstrong argued that this verse was added to the Latin Vulgate edition of the Bible during the heat of the controversy between Rome, Arius, and God's people."

Huh?! I thought that Mr. Wilson, who Al-Kadhi cited in the previous paragraph, said that the early Church fathers did not cite this verse! Which is it Mr. Al-Kadhi? Did the early Church cite or not cite this passage? Herbert W. Armstrong was wrong about many issues - including this one!

Other sources cited by Al-Kadhi, with remarks:

"1 John 5:7 in the KJV reads: 'There are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one' but this is an interpolation of which there is no trace before the late fourth century. The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, Vol. 4, p. 871, Abingdon Press."

We already agreed on this.

"1 John 5:7 in the Textus Receptus (represented in the KJV) makes it appear that John had arrived at the doctrine of the trinity in explicit form ('the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost'), but this text is clearly an interpolation since no genuine Greek manuscript contains it" The Eerdmans Bible Dictionary, Edited by Allen C. Myers, p. 1020

True. The doctrine of the Trinity was not derived from this verse. There are many verses in the Bible which reveal a Triune God.

"Al-Kadhi now informs us that ....The three witnesses have been established in our Greek Testaments by the prudence of Erasmus; the honest bigotry of the Complutensian editors; the typographical fraud, or error, of Robert Stephens in the placing of a crotchet and the deliberate falsehood, or strange misapprehension, of Theodore Beza." "Decline and fall of the Roman Empire," IV, Gibbon, p. 418.

Notice that Al-Kadhi (apparently) now believes that Theodore Beza and his Codex are of questionable authenticity. He appears to have had a change of heart! Please remember that Al-Kadhi cites both as true and highly authoritative in another section! It is amazing how Al-Kadhi juggles his sources to extract the conclusion that he desires!

Last, but certainly not least, is a gem of a quote: "In all the vehement universal and lasting controversy about the Trinity in Jerome's time and both before and long enough after it, the text of the 'three in heaven' was never once thought of." (Jesus, Prophet of Islam, Muhammad Ata' Ur-Rahim, p. 156)

I am not sure what Al-Kadhi is attempting to imply with this quote. Has he changed his earlier (incorrect) opinions and is now suggesting that there was no conspiracy at Nicea? The truth is that the early Church formulated the doctrine of the Trinity without this passage! In fact, this verse was never cited by the Church Fathers at Nicea who found overwhelming proof of the Trinity from many other Bible verses.

Further reading on the Comma Johanneum: [*, *]

The Rebuttal to "What Did Jesus Really Say?"
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