1 John 5:7-8 Comma Johanneum – Hessian State Library, Codex Bonifatianus I, or Codex Fuldensis, (circa. 6th century C.E.) – Ps-Jerome Prologue to the Catholic or Canonical Epistles

 

NOTE: This Blog post has been edited and updated since it’s original posting.

As mentioned earlier. We are coming back to the “Prologue” to the “Canonical Epistles” in the Codex Fuldensis.

( F ) = Codex Fuldensis, (circa. 6th century C.E.), officially known as Hessian State Library, Codex Bonifatianus I, also known as the: “Victor Codex.” A Latin Vulgate New Testament manuscript. Folios 443r, Page 869, 443v, Page 870, 434r, Page 871 = “Epistulae Canonice Prologus.” Folio 463r, Page 929 = 1st John 5:7-8, Comma-J excluded.

I have personally discovered something, that I really want to share with you, in regards to the passage about the Comma Johanneum mentioned within the Prologue, generally attributed to the Pseudo-works of Jerome in the Codex Fuldensis.

First images of the Prologue from the manuscript itself.

[ “Inc Epistulae Canonice Inc Prologus” ] Prologue to the Canonical Epistles begins on Folio 869:443r

https://fuldig.hs-fulda.de/viewer/image/PPN325289808/869/

Continues on Folio 870:433v

https://fuldig.hs-fulda.de/viewer/image/PPN325289808/870/

Ends on Folio 871:434r

https://fuldig.hs-fulda.de/viewer/object/PPN325289808/871/

Below are two paged images, single page images, then a zoomed in image of the main text of the Prologue:

Codex Fuldensis ( 1 ) Folio 869.432v-434v

 

Codex Fuldensis ( 2 ) Folio 869.433v-434v

 

Codex Fuldensis ( 3 ) Folio 869.433r

 

Codex Fuldensis ( 4 ) Folio 870.433v

 

Codex Fuldensis ( 5 ) Folio 871.434v

The main text of the Prologue without the title heading:

Codex Fuldensis ( 6 ) Folio 869.433v-434v

Now lets take a closer look at whats in the Latin text.

First the heading to the Prologue, “Epistulae Canonice Prologus” which is believed to be (with degrees of certainty) a hand written note from Victor Caupa himself:

Codex Fuldensis ( 1 ) Folio 871

Now here’s the same image with Ernst Franke’s Latin transcription above:

Codex Fuldensis ( 1a ) Folio 871

Codex Fuldensis: Novum Testamentum latine interprete Hieronymo By Ernst Ranke (1868) = Prologue Pages 398-399:

https://archive.org/details/codexfuldensisn00rankgoog/page/n430

Now lets have a close up look at the Prologue text.

Page 1 of the Prologue, Folio 433v:

Prol Pg 1 Pt 1

Prol Pg 1 Pt 2

Page 2 of the Prologue, Folio 434r:

Prol Pg 2 Pt 1

Prol Pg 2 Pt 2

For reference and comparison, here’s the key printed texts of the Prologue below.

 

PLEASE NOTE: At this date, I’m waiting for the critical text of the Stuttgart Vulgate to arrive from a friend. Hopefully, if it contains the text of the Prologue and a critical apparatus, I will add it later to this post.

 

Ernst Ranke’s text:

Codex Fuldensis: Novum Testamentum latine interprete Hieronymo By Ernst Ranke (1868) = Prologue Pages 398-399:

https://archive.org/details/codexfuldensisn00rankgoog/page/n430

Ernst Ranke ( 1a )

Ernst Ranke ( 2 )

Ernst Ranke ( 2a ) Page 398

Ernst Ranke ( 2b ) Page 399

Migne’s text:

MPL, Vol. 29, Col. 865-874

https://archive.org/details/patrologiaecurs121unkngoog/page/n433

http://www.mlat.uzh.ch/MLS/xanfang.php?tabelle=Hieronymus_Stridonensis_Incertus_cps2&corpus=2&allow_download=0&lang=0

MPL ( 3 )MPL ( 3a )

Chapman’s text:

Notes on the Early History of the Vulgate Gospels,” By J. Chapman (1908) = Prologue Pages 262-263:

https://archive.org/details/NotesOnTheEarlyHistoryOfTheVulgate/page/n278

J. Chapman ( 6 )

J. Chapman ( 2 ) Page 262-263J. Chapman ( 2a ) Page 262-263

Now going back quite a bit, here’s an older printed text of the Prologue, which will become relevant later in the post.

Complutensian Polyglot 1514-1517

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Complutensian_Polyglot_Bible

Complutensian Polyglot 1517 ( 1 )

Complutensian Polyglot 1517 ( 1c )

So you may be asking: What’s so remarkable about that?

We know what the Prologue says in the Codex Fuldensis about the Comma Johanneum (don’t we?)! It says that unfaithful translators “omitted” the Comma!

Right!

Wrong!

Ranke (published 1868), Migne (MPL volumes published 1856-61), and Chapman’s (published 1908) text’s have all been wrong for over a hundred years on one crucial word!

What’s that? = Latin: “omittentes”, in the phrase: “testimonium omittentes”.

Ranke (Page 399):

Ernst Ranke ( 2c ) Page 399

Migne (Vol. 29, Col. 872-873):

MPL Vol. 29 Col. 872-873 ( 1 )

Chapman (Page 263):

J. Chapman ( 2a2 ) Page 262-263

 

What I’ve discovered (and I must say I’m flabbergasted no one has noticed this) which has no reference in any literature whatsoever (that I’m aware of), is that: “testimonium omittentes” is not what the Codex Fuldensis actually says in that particular sentence, in that particular phrase!

So, what does that Codex really say?

See for yourself.

Here’s a close up look at Page 2 of the Prologue’s main text, Folio 434r, looking at the beginning of the fourth line from the top, on the left hand side:

Codex Fuldensis ( 2a ) Folio 871

A little closer yet again:

Codex Fuldensis ( 3a ) Folio 871

Notice the difference?

Does it say: “omittentes” with a single “m” and beginning with an “o”?

No it doesn’t!

It says:

Codex Fuldensis ( 3 ) Folio 871

Codex Fuldensis ( 3a2 ) Folio 871

It says, Latin: “committentes”! (Plural, present, active, participle of Latin “committo”). Beginning with a: “c” and a double: “m”.

There’s more:

Codex Fuldensis ( 3b3 ) Folio 871 - Copy

It’s followed by a Scribal mark for a full stop.

It’s faded, but visible when zoomed in on (Ernst Ranke picked up on it!).

It’s also confirmed by a larger sized “I” (the text is all in uncial script) in the phrase: “In quo” which follows . “In quo” begins a new sentence, and therefore a separate thought by the author (whoever that may have been).

Codex Fuldensis ( 3c1 ) Folio 871

In the English translations there is no full stop indicated here at all. They take the two separate sentences as one continuous sentence.

Here’s the four examples in English:

“In this I found translators (or copyists) widely deviating from the truth; who set down in their own edition the names only of the three witnesses, that is, the Water, Blood, and Spirit; but omit the testimony of the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; by which, above all places, the Divinity of the father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is proved to be one.” – (Ben David, trans., 1826)

 

“Indeed, it has come to our notice that in this letter some unfaithful translators have gone far astray from the truth of the faith, for in their edition they provide just the words for three [witnesses]—namely water, blood and spirit—and omit the testimony of the Father, the Word and the Spirit, by which the Catholic faith is especially strengthened, and proof is tendered of the single substance of divinity possessed by Father, Son and Holy Spirit.” – (Wordsworth, White and Sparks, trans., 1889-1954)

 

“In which we find many things to be mistaken of the truth of the faith by the unfaithful translators, who put down in their own edition only three words, that is, Water, Blood, and Spirit, and  who omit the witness of the Father and Word and Spirit, by which both the Catholic faith is greatly strengthened and also the one substance of the Divinity of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit is proved.” – (Kevin Edgecome, trans., 2006)

 

“Just as these are properly understood and so translated faithfully by interpreters into Latin without leaving ambiguity for the readers nor [allowing] the variety of genres to conflict, especially in that text where we read the unity of the trinity is placed in the first letter of John, where much error has occurred at the hands of unfaithful translators contrary to the truth of faith, who have kept just the three words water, blood and spirit in this edition omitting mention of Father, Word and Spirit in which especially the catholic faith is strengthened and the unity of substance of Father, Son and Holy Spirit is attested.” – (Thomas Caldwell, trans., 2010)

 

Download OpenOffice Word processor file with parallel Latin texts of Ranke, Migne, Chapman alongside four Englsih translations from link below:

Vul Prol Paralell Lat-Eng

 

All have one continuous sentence.

Such translators (IMO) where just following the printed editions of the text (mostly Ernst Ranke). So, we should give them the benefit of the doubt. They did this in good faith. So, I don’t blame them at all.

So what does all this mean?

What’s the big deal?

Well, the English translations, upon which the majority of people rely on to make an informed decision about the Comma Johanneum (from now on CJ) are inaccurate (in this part of the text). They do not convey the original sense of the Fuldensis text (which is the principal manuscript for Latin critical texts).

 

NOTE TO THE TRANSLATORS: This is not a personal criticism of the translators work. They are a good translation of the texts they had available. Not even Erasmus, or Sir Issac Newton (in his famous work: “Two Notable Corruptions of Scripture”) were aware of this reading (it appears). This new research shows the Latin text (with the flow on effect to the English texts) need’s revising.

 

The sense intended by the original author has been obscured!

So the question needs to be asked, if: “testimoniu[m] committentes” was the original reading instead of: “testimoniu[m] omittentes,” then what does the Prologue really mean?

One thing is certain, there is no specific mention of the word: “omit” or “omitting”! And that’s a big deal when it comes to the Comma Johanneum!

But if only that was all there was to it!

If only it was a single variant in the Codfex Fuldensis.

It isn’t.

It goes deeper much than this. It’s by no means a single variant in an isolated manuscript.

What I have found (just so far) in my research shows, that (IMO at least) Latin: “committentes” was most likely the original reading of the Canonical Epistles Vulgate Prologue (from now on CE-Vul-Prol, or CE-Prol), not: “omittentes”, and that (like the CJ itself) there is a clear pattern that emerges in the Vulgate MSS of tampering and erasure of the original reading.

Here’s some examples of the tampering and erasure of the original reading that I’ve found so far.

Please note that not all Vulgate MSS have a CE-Prol in them. Also, there are no known Vulgate MSS (known to still exist) that have the CE-Prol in them dating from the Seventh-century C.E.

So, let’s have a look at MSS from the 8th century on-wards.

 

8th century C.E. Vulgate Manuscripts

 

BnF Latin ms. 8847 (circa 8th-9th century A.D.)

Folio 144r = Prologue (Anonymous) reads: “omittentes” with “c” and the second: “m” erased, but still visible.

https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b8438679t/f297.item.zoom

BNF Latin ms. 8847 ( 4 )

BNF Latin ms. 8847 ( 4a )

BNF Latin ms. 8847 ( 4a ) - Copy

Folio 148r = 1 John 5:7-8, no Comma J.

https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b8438679t/f305.item.zoom

 

 

BnF, Latin ms. 11505 (circa 8th-9th century A.D.)

Folio 206r = Prologue (Anonymous) reads: “omittentes” with “c” erased, but still visible.

https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b8426780x/f417.item.zoom

BNF Latin ms 11505 ( 3c ) Folio 206r

BNF Latin ms 11505 ( 3c1 ) Folio 206r

BNF Latin ms 11505 ( 3d ) Folio 206r

BNF Latin ms 11505 ( 3d1 ) Folio 206r

Folio 211v = 1 John 5:7-8, no Comma J.

https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b8426780x/f428.item.zoom

 

 

BnF Latin ms. 9380 [Codex Theodulphianus] (circa 8th-9th century A.D.)

NOTE: This a revision of the Vulgate.

Folio 305r = Prologue (Anonymous) reads: “testimonium omittentes” with Scribal Notae (two dots) right above “o” in “omittentes” where “c” would be. This shows the Srcibe was aware of the reading.

https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b8452776m/f615.image.r=Latin%209380

Codex Theodolphinus Folio 305r ( 8b ) Prol

Codex Theodolphinus Folio 305r ( 8c ) Prol

Folio 308r = 1 John 5:7, is Comma-J inclusive. Text reads: “Filius” instead of “Verbum”.

http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b8452776m/f621.item.r=Latin%209380.zoom

 

 

Rome, Biblioteca Vallicelliana B.25II [Codex Iuvenianus, Codex Vallicellianus] (circa. 8th-9th century A.D.)

Folio 45r = Prologue (Anonymous) has a marginal Notae right beside: “omittentes”.

http://www.internetculturale.it/jmms/iccuviewer/iccu.jsp?id=oai%3Awww.internetculturale.sbn.it%2FTeca%3A20%3ANT0000%3ACNMD%5C%5C0000016423

Rome, Biblioteca Vallicelliana B.25II ( 2b1 ) Folio 45r

Rome, Biblioteca Vallicelliana B.25II ( 3a ) Folio 45r

Rome, Biblioteca Vallicelliana B.25II ( 3 ) Folio 45r

Folio 58v = 1 John begins

http://www.internetculturale.it/jmms/iccuviewer/iccu.jsp?id=oai%3Awww.internetculturale.sbn.it%2FTeca%3A20%3ANT0000%3ACNMD%5C%5C0000016423

Folio 62r-62v = 1 John 5:7-8, no Comma-J.

http://www.internetculturale.it/jmms/iccuviewer/iccu.jsp?id=oai%3Awww.internetculturale.sbn.it%2FTeca%3A20%3ANT0000%3ACNMD%5C%5C0000016423

 

9th century C.E. Manuscripts

 

 

St Gall, Stiftsbibliothek, 75 (circa. 9th century A.D.)

Folio 769 = Prologue (Anonymous) reads: “omittentes” with “c” erased, but still visible.

https://www.e-codices.unifr.ch/en/csg/0075/769

Sangallensis 75 ( 4d ) Folio 769 Prol

Sangallensis 75 ( 5 ) Folio 769 Prol

Sangallensis 75 ( 5 ) Folio 769 Prol - Copy

Folio 778 = 1st John 5:7-8, no Comma J.

https://www.e-codices.unifr.ch/en/csg/0075/778

 

 

London, British Library, MS Add. 10546, (circa. 9th century A.D.)

Folios 402r-403v = Prologue (Anonymous) reads: “committentes”. No signs of tampering.

https://www.bl.uk/manuscripts/Viewer.aspx?ref=add_ms_10546_f001r

Add MS 10546 Prol ( 2 )Add MS 10546 Prol ( 2a )Add MS 10546 Prol ( 2b ) Folio 402v

Folio 406v = 1 John begins

https://www.bl.uk/manuscripts/Viewer.aspx?ref=add_ms_10546_f001r

Folio 407r = 1 John 5:7-8, no Comma-J.

https://www.bl.uk/manuscripts/Viewer.aspx?ref=add_ms_10546_f001r

 

 

London, British Library, MS Add. 11852 [Codex Ulmensis] (circa 9th century A.D.)

http://www.stgallplan.org/stgallmss/viewItem.do?ark=p21198-zz002971c4

NOTE: This is possibly a Hartmut revision of the Vulgate.

Folio 168v = Prologue number one (Anonymous), incomplete.

http://www.stgallplan.org/stgallmss/viewItem.do?ark=p21198-zz002971c4&pageArk=p21198-zz00297f1r&xmlstylesheet=TEITranscription.xsl&fileId

Folio 169r = Prologue two (attrib. Jerome) begins.

http://www.stgallplan.org/stgallmss/viewItem.do?ark=p21198-zz002971c4&pageArk=p21198-zz00297f1r&xmlstylesheet=TEITranscription.xsl&fileId

Folio 169v = Prologue two continues over page and reads: “omitentes” (single: “m” single: “t”) with the “c” still visible but erased.

http://www.stgallplan.org/stgallmss/viewItem.do?ark=p21198-zz002971c4&pageArk=p21198-zz00297f1r&xmlstylesheet=TEITranscription.xsl&fileId

BL MS Add. 11852 ( 2c ) Folio 168vBL MS Add. 11852 ( 2c1 ) Folio 168v

Folio 183v = 1 John begins

http://www.stgallplan.org/stgallmss/viewItem.do?ark=p21198-zz002971c4&pageArk=p21198-zz00297g2r&xmlstylesheet=TEITranscription.xsl&fileId

Folio 187v = 1 John 5:7-8, has Comma-J with the comparative variant of: “Sicut in caelo tres sunt” (“just like/as there is/are three in heaven” etc).

http://www.stgallplan.org/stgallmss/viewItem.do?ark=p21198-zz002971c4&pageArk=p21198-zz00297gbw&xmlstylesheet=TEITranscription.xsl&fileId

 

 

London, British Library, MS Add. 24142 (circa 9th-10th century A.D.)

NOTE: This is a revision by Theodolf of the Vulgate.

Folio 247r-247v = Prologue (Anonymous) reads “omittentes” with no signs of tampering.

http://www.bl.uk/manuscripts/Viewer.aspx?ref=add_ms_24142_f247r

BL MS Add. 24142 ( 3d ) Folio 247r

Folio = The manuscript breaks off at 1 Peter 4:3.

https://www.bl.uk/manuscripts/Viewer.aspx?ref=add_ms_24142_fs001r

 

 

BnF Latin ms. 1 (circa 9th century A.D.)

https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b8455903b

Folio 377v = Prologue (Anonymous [marginalia possibly refers to Jerome]) reads: “testimonium omittentes” with the “c” erased yet clearly visible, and a marginal note right beside this part of the text about the Comma-J.

https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b8455903b/f762.image

BNF Latin ms 1 ( 2f1 ) Prol. Fol. 377v

BNF Latin ms 1 ( 2f ) Prol. Fol. 377v

BNF Latin ms 1 ( 2g1 ) Prol. Fol. 377v

Marginal note:

BNF Latin ms 1 ( 2d ) Prol. Fol. 377v

Folio 382r = John 5:7-8, no Comma-J.

https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b8455903b/f771.item.zoom

 

BNF, Latin ms. 2 (circa. 9th century C.E. [A.D.])

Folio 407v = Prologue (Anonymous) reads: “omittentes” no obvious signs of erasure.

https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b8452767n/f824.item

BNF Latin ms. 2 ( 3e ) Folio 407v

Folio 411v = 1 John begins

https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b8452767n/f832.item

Folio 412v = 1 John 5:7-8, no Comma-J.

https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b8452767n/f834.item.zoom

 

BnF Latin ms. 3 (circa. 9th century [A.D.] C.E.)

Folio 353v = Prologue (Anonymous) reads: “comittentes” with no signs of tampering.

https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b8426789n/f712.item.zoom

BNF Latin ms 3 ( 3 ) Folio 353vBNF Latin ms 3 ( 3aq ) Folio 353v

Folio 357r = 1 John begins

https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b8426789n/f719.item

Folio 357v = 1 John 5:7-8, no Comma-J.

https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b8426789n/f720.item

 

 

BnF Latin ms. 4, (circa. 9th century A.D.)

Folio 152v = Prologue (Anonymous [a later corrector’s hand attributes to Jerome]) reads: “testimonium ommittentes” with the: “o” in different colored ink to the rest of the word. Above the “o” is an erased: “o” showing “c” must have been in the main text originally. There is heavy signs of erasure all around this part of the text.

https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b84546957/f308.item.zoom

BNF Latin ms. 4 ( 3b ) Folio 152v

BNF Latin ms. 4 ( 4a ) Folio 152v

BNF Latin ms. 4 ( 4a ) Folio 152v - Copy

Folio 157v = 1 John 5:7-8, has half of vs 7 erased completely, with an adjacent marginal note with the Comma-J in a later hand with the vairant: “sanguis, aqua, & caro”.

https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b84546957/f318.item.zoom

 

 

BnF Latin ms. 47 (circa. 9th century C.E. [A.D.])

Folio 141v = Prologue (Anonymous) reads: “comittentes”

https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b84267909/f290.item

BNF Latin ms. 47 ( 4 ) Folio 141v

BNF Latin ms. 47 ( 4a ) Folio 141v - Copy

Folio 146v = 1 John 5:7-8, no Comma-J, but marginalia with CJ.

https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b84267909/f300.item.zoom

 

 

BnF Latin ms. 111 (circa. 9th century [A.D.] C.E.)

Folio 122r = Prologue (Anonymous) reads: “omittentes” with “c” clearly erased.

https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b8426292d/f251.item.zoom

BNF Latin ms. 111 ( 3 ) Folio 122r

BNF Latin ms. 111 ( 3 ) Folio 122r - Copy

Folio 125r = 1 John begins

https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b8426292d/f257.item.zoom

Folio 126r = 1 John 5:7-8, no Comma-J, yet has: “[et (?)] terra” extending out into the margin in darker ink, with erasure and evident signs of tampering in this text.

https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b8426292d/f259.item.zoom

 

 

BnF Latin ms. 250 (circa. 9th century [A.D.] C.E.)

Folio 61v = Prologue (attrib. to Jerome) reads: “ommittentes” with “c” erased but clearly visible.

https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b84267887/f132.item.zoom

BNF Latin ms. 250 ( 3 ) Folio 61v

BNF Latin ms. 250 ( 3a ) Folio 61v

BNF Latin ms. 250 ( 3a ) Folio 61v - Copy

Folio 65v = 1 John begins

https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b84267887/f140.item.zoom

Folio 66v = 1 John 5:7-8, no Comma-J, but a scribal Notae in the margin.

https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b84267887/f142.item.zoom

 

 

BNF Latin ms. 13174 (circa. 9th century C.E. [A.D.])

https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b8427447k.r=Latin%2013174?rk=21459;2

Folio 72v = Prologue (attrib. to Jerome) bottom line mentions Johns Epistle

https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b8427447k/f153.item.r=Latin%2013174.zoom

Folio 72r = Prologue continues, reads: “omittentes” with: “c” and: “m” erased but visible where they were.

https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b8427447k/f154.item.r=Latin%2013174.zoom

BNF Latin 13174 ( 5d ) Folio 72v Prol - Copy

BNF Latin 13174 ( 5g ) Folio 72r Prol

BNF Latin 13174 ( 5g ) Folio 72r Prol - Copy

Folio 92r = 1 John begins

https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b8427447k/f193.item.r=Latin%2013174.zoom

Folio 98r = 1 John 5:7-8, no Comma-J in main text, but has Notae, and: “in t[e]r[r]a” above line. Comma-J is written in a marginal note by a later hand.

https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b8427447k/f205.item.r=Latin%2013174.zoom

Folio 139v = three Patristic citations of the Comma-J. On the same folio I noticed the Pater Noster in very faded ink along side these. The Pater Noster in this case, may have acted as a switch or trigger (mentioned in Grantley McDonald’s “Raising the Ghost of Arius,” Page 38). Matt. 6:9 Vul: “in caelis” is very close to: “in caelo,” and may have triggered thoughts (i.e. activated the switch) of the CJ (or perhaps vice versa).

 

 

Bibliothèque Carnegie de Reims. Ms. 2 (circa 9th century C.E. [A.D.])

Folio 163v = Prologue (Anonymous) reads: “omittentes” with: “c” clearly erased.

https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b8449583z/f330.item

BCDR. Ms. 2 ( 2a )

BCDR. Ms. 2 ( 3 )

BCDR. Ms. 2 ( 3 ) - Copy

Folio 167v = 1 John begins, and note on 1 John 5:7-8 (no CJ).

https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b8449583z/f338.item.zoom

Folio 168v = 1 John 5:7-8, no Comma-J. But marginalia with CJ cut in half on edge of page.

https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b8449583z/f340.item.zoom

 

 

Bamberg, Staatliche Bibliothek, Msc. Bibl. 1. [formerly A.I.5] (circa 9th century A.D.)

Folio 392r = Prologue (Anonymous) reads: “omittentes” with: “c” erased yet still visible.

Bamberg, Staatliche Bibliothek, Msc. Bibl. 1. ( 3a )

Bamberg, Staatliche Bibliothek, Msc. Bibl. 1. ( 3a ) - Copy

Folio 396r = 1 John begins

Folio 397r = 1 John 5:7-8, no Comma-J.

https://zendsbb.digitale-sammlungen.de/db/0000/sbb00000032/images/

 

 

Karlsruhe, Badische Landesbibliothek, Aug. perg. 185 (circa. 9th century A.D. [C.E.])

https://digital.blb-karlsruhe.de/blbhs/content/zoom/2290270

Folio 77v = Prologue (Anonymous) reads: “committentes” with a spelling correction for “t”.

https://digital.blb-karlsruhe.de/blbhs/content/zoom/2290425

Karl. Bad. Landes. Aug. perg. 185 ( 2e ) Folio 77v

Karl. Bad. Landes. Aug. perg. 185 ( 2e ) Folio 77v - Copy

Folio 86r = 1 John begins

Folio 87v = 1 John 5:7-8, no Comma-J, but very messy text with corrections abounding.

https://digital.blb-karlsruhe.de/blbhs/content/zoom/2290445

 

 

Codex Fulda. Aa 11 (circa. 9th century C.E.)

Folio 257 = Prologue (attrib. to Jerome) reads: “omittentes” with no signs of correction.

Codex Fulda. Aa 11 ( 3 ) Folio 257

Folio 262v = 1 John 5:7-8, has Comma-J with the comparative variant of: “Sicut in caelo tres sunt” (“just like/as there is/are three in heaven” etc).

https://fuldig.hs-fulda.de/viewer/image/PPN314753974/1/LOG_0003/

 

 

St. Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. Sang. 63 (circa. 9th century A.D. [C.E.])

Folio 245 = Prologue (attrib. to Jerome) reads: “omittentes” with gaps in the word and signs of heavy correction and/or erasure surrounding that part of the text.

https://www.e-codices.unifr.ch/en/csg/0063//245

Sangallensis 63 Folio 245 ( 3b1 )

Folio 277 = 1 John 5:7-8, no Comma-J in main text, but a Notae pointing to marginalia at bottom of page with the comparative variant: “Sicut in caelo tres sunt Pater & Verbu[m] & Sp[iritum] S[an]c[tum] & tres unum sunt” (“just like/as there is/are three in heaven” etc).

https://www.e-codices.unifr.ch/en/csg/0063//277

https://www.e-codices.unifr.ch/en/description/csg/0063/Scherrer

 

10th century C.E. Vulgate manuscripts containing the CE-Prol.

 

Bern, Burgerbibliothek, Cod. A 9 (circa. 10th century C.E.)

Folio 303v = Prologue (Anonymous [added in a different/later hand attrib. Jerome]) reads: “omittentes” with: “c” erased and still visible.

https://www.e-codices.unifr.ch/en/bbb/A0009/303v

BB Cod. A 9 ( 2b1 ) Folio 303v

BB Cod. A 9 ( 2c ) Folio 303v

BB Cod. A 9 ( 2c1 ) Folio 303v

Folio 307r = 1 John 5:7-8, no Comma-J, but a later ahnd has put: “in t[e]r[r]a” above the line, and a scribal Notae pointing to bottom marginalia which has the Comma-J “& Filius” varriant.

https://www.e-codices.unifr.ch/en/bbb/A0009/307r/0/Sequence-44

 

 

BnF Latin ms. 6 [Codex Rodensis] (circa 10th century C.E. [A.D.])

Folio 67v = Prologue (attrib. to Jerome), reads: “comittetes” with what appears to be a spelling mistake.

https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b8538814d/f140.item.zoom

Bibliotheque Nationale ms lat. 6 ( 4d ) Folo. 67r JP

Bibliotheque Nationale ms lat. 6 ( 5 ) Folo. 67r JP

Bibliotheque Nationale ms lat. 6 ( 5b ) Folo. 67r JP

Folio 73r = 1 John 5:7-8, no Comma-J. But has a marginal note containing the standard CJ.

http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b8538814d/f151.item.zoom

 

 

Cava de’ Trirrenei, Biblioteca statle del Monumento nazionale della Abbazia Benedettina della Ss. Trinita, Codices Cavenses, Cod. 1 Biblio Sacra [Codex Cavensis] (circa. 10th century C.E. [A.D.])

Folio 273r = Prologue (attrib. to Jerome) reads: “conmittentes” with the alternative spelling  “n” (comp. Toletanus).

http://www.internetculturale.it/jmms/iccuviewer/iccu.jsp?id=oai%3Awww.internetculturale.sbn.it%2FTeca%3A20%3ANT0000%3ACNMD0000204849&mode=all&teca=MagTeca+-+ICCU&viewType=onepage&mediaType=image&objectIndex=557

Codex Cavensis Cod. 1 ( 3 ) Folio 273r

Codex Cavensis Cod. 1 ( 3b ) Folio 273r

Folio 276v = 1 John 5:7-8, has Comma-J. Variant reading: “in Christ Jesus” (comp. Toletanus).

http://www.internetculturale.it/jmms/iccuviewer/iccu.jsp?id=oai%3Awww.internetculturale.sbn.it%2FTeca%3A20%3ANT0000%3ACNMD0000204849&mode=all&teca=MagTeca+-+ICCU&viewType=onepage&mediaType=image&objectIndex=557

 

 

Toledo, Catedral, Biblioteca del Cabildo, 35–8 [Codex Toletanus] (circa 10th century C.E. [A.D.])

Folio 352 (700 PDF) = Prologue (attrib. to Jerome) reads: “conmittentes” also with an: “n” (comp. Cavensis).

http://bdh-rd.bne.es/viewer.vm?id=0000022964

Toletanus Codex (circa. 10th C.E.) ( 3a ) Prol

Toletanus Codex (circa. 10th C.E.) ( 3a ) Prologues

Folio 355 (707 PDF) = 1st John starts:

http://bdh-rd.bne.es/viewer.vm?id=0000022964

Folio 357 (710 PDF) = 1st John 5:7-8, has Comma-J. Variant reading: “in Christ Jesus” (comp. Cavensis).

http://bdh-rd.bne.es/viewer.vm?id=0000022964

 

11th century Vulgate manuscripts

 

From the 11th century on-wards Latin: “omittentes”, plus slight variants such as: “omittens,” or as in one 12th century Ms: “omittentibus”, become the more consistent reading. So I’m not going to bother posting all of these (takes so much time).

 

12th century Vulgate manuscripts

 

Vatican Manuscript-Arch.Cap.S.Pietro.A.1 (circa. 12th century C.E. [A.D.])

Folio 373r = Prologue (Anonymous) reads: “comittentes”.

https://digi.vatlib.it/view/MSS_Arch.Cap.S.Pietro.A.1

Vat Arch. Cap. S.Pietro. A.1 ( 3a ) Folio 373r

Vat Arch. Cap. S.Pietro. A.1 ( 3d ) Folio 373r

Folio 379r = has Comma-J

https://digi.vatlib.it/view/MSS_Arch.Cap.S.Pietro.A.1

 

 

British Library, Harley, MS 2834 (circa. 12th century C.E. [A.D.])

Folio 215r = Prologue (Anonymous) reads: “omitten-tibus”.

https://manuscrits-france-angleterre.org/view3if/pl/ark:/81055/vdc_100059312949.0x000001/f435

BL Harley MS 2834 ( 4 ) Folio 215r

Folio 221r = has Comma-J.

https://manuscrits-france-angleterre.org/view3if/pl/ark:/81055/vdc_100059312949.0x000001/f446

 

13th century Vulgate manuscripts

 

 

 

14th century Vulgate manuscripts

 

 

 

15th century Vulgate manuscripts

 

 

16th century Vulgate manuscripts

 

I randomly looked at a 16th century manuscript (I didn’t think any MS after the advent of printing would still have the original reading) but remarkably one still has the reading: “comittentes”. There might be other late manuscripts with this reading, but it’s the oldest ones that are the most important.

 

Vat. Lat. 4221 (circa. 16th century C.E. [A.D.])

Folio 148r = Prologue (attrib. to Jerome) reads: “comittentes”.

https://digi.vatlib.it/view/MSS_Vat.lat.4221

Vat. Lat. 4221 ( 3b ) Folio 148r

Folio 152r = 1 John begins.

https://digi.vatlib.it/view/MSS_Vat.lat.4221

Folio 153r = 1 John 5:7-8, has Comma-J.

https://digi.vatlib.it/view/MSS_Vat.lat.4221

 

Please bear in mind that my research is not exhaustive (by any means).

It appears that, though some of the big players in the CJ-controversy  must have had access to Vulgate manuscripts (such as Erasmus, Sir Issac Newton, and pro-CJ advocates, etc), yet from what I can find, (among English writers at least) they:

  1. Do not appear to have published anything on this reading, or
  2. Were not aware of it.

When I searched online for the phrase: “testimonium committentes” nothing came up from manuscripts themselves. Some will scoff at this, but it is a useful resource, Steven Avery has made (and continues to make – almost daily) one of the most extensive bibliography’s (among pro-CJ advocates) on works about the CJ-controversy, and there is no reference at all to this reading. In modern times Daniel Wallace, Hugh Houghton, Grantley McDonald, Metzeger, Brown, Walter Thiele, say nothing about this reading. So, unless someone kindly brings something to my attention that I’ve missed, I (for the time being at least) conclude that they were not aware of it.

The older writers (Newton etc) only appear to know: “testimonium omittentibus” in the CE-Prol.

Omittentibus ( 1 )Omittentibus ( 1a )

 

Anyway.

Please excuse the font sizes and rough appearance of the post. I just want to get this online as quickly as possible.

If you have any useful and detailed information (i.e. not KJVO Pro-Comma-J propaganda and/or irrelevant research, emotional rants etc) that you possess, or have found on this particular reading in the manuscripts themselves, (such as links to the early Vulgate MSS or images thereof) please feel free to share it in the comments below.

P.S. This post will probably be updated later.

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1 John 5:7-8 Comma Johanneum – Confirmed Latin origin of Codex’s: Montfortianus GA61 and Codex Ottobonianus graecus 298

Codex Ottbianus Gr. 298 (629) Folio 105v ( 1 )

“The Vulgate form of 1 John 5:6, Christus est ueritas (‘Christ is truth’), seems most likely to have arisen from an early misreading of the nomen sacrum for ‘spirit’ (SPS) as that for ‘Christ’ (XPS). Only two Greek manuscripts contain this reading: GA 629, a fourteenth-[p.181] century bilingual, in which the Greek is secondary to the Latin, and GA 61 (Codex Montfortianus). The latter is a sixteenth-century codex into which the Johannine Comma seems to have been incorporated in order to confound Erasmus: the presence of this variant as wellstemming from an internal Latin errorconfirms that a Latin source lies behind these verses in this manuscript.” – (Page 180-181, Chapter 8, “The Latin New Testament: A Guide to its Early History, Texts, and Manuscripts.” By H. A. G. Houghton, 2016 [Emphasis added])

http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/view/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198744733.001.0001/acprof-9780198744733-chapter-8#pageid_178

 

  1. Codex Montfortianus, Trinity College Dublin Item No.: IE TCD MS 30
    https://digitalcollections.tcd.ie/home/index.php?DRIS_ID=MS30_001

IE TCD MS 30 ( 3A1 ) Fol 439r Com

2. Codex Ottobonianus graecus 298, Vatican Libraryhttp://digi.vatlib.it/view/MSS_Ott.gr.298

Codex Ottbianus Gr. 298 (629) Folio 105v ( 1b )

These are the only two Greek NT manuscripts of 1st John 5:6 in existence known to have this Vulgate reading: “Christus est veritas” in Greek: ὁ Χ[ριστό]ς ἐστιν ἡ ἀλήθεια.

Betraying the manuscripts Latin origins.

IE TCD MS 30 ( 3A2 ) Fol 439r Com

Codex Ottbianus Gr. 298 (629) Folio 105v ( 1c )

Both these manuscripts, and their reading of 1 John 5:7-8 have been under a great deal of suspicion for many many centuries. That only these two manuscripts out of hundreds of Greek NT MSS in existence, would contain this Latin Vulgate reading in vs 6, certainly confirms that suspicion.

1 John 5:7-8 Comma Johanneum -Suspicious readings confirmed to be from Latin Vulgate, not any Greek ancestor

Codex Ottbianus Gr. 298 (629) Folio 105v ( 4 )

Codex Ottbianus Gr. 298 (629) Folio 105v ( 4a )

Codex Ottbianus Gr. 298 (629) Folio 105v ( 4b )

Codex Ottbianus Gr. 298 (629) Folio 105v ( 4c )

Codex Ottbianus Gr. 298 (629) Folio 105v ( 4d )

  1. Codex Montfortianus, Trinity College Dublin Item No.: IE TCD MS 30
    https://digitalcollections.tcd.ie/home/index.php?DRIS_ID=MS30_001

IE TCD MS 30 ( 3A1 ) Fol 439r Com

2. Codex Ottobonianus graecus 298, Vatican Library http://digi.vatlib.it/view/MSS_Ott.gr.298

Codex Ottbianus Gr. 298 (629) Folio 105v ( 1b )

Retro-translated from a Latin Vulgate MS, not Greek.

IE TCD MS 30 ( 3A2 ) Fol 439r Com

Codex Ottbianus Gr. 298 (629) Folio 105v ( 1c )

These are the only two Greek NT manuscripts of 1st John 5:6 in existence known to have this Vulgate reading: “Christus est veritas” in Greek: ὁ Χ[ριστό]ς ἐστιν ἡ ἀλήθεια.

 

1 John 5:7-8 Comma Johanneum – Raymond Brown’s Appendix to his Commentary of John’s Epistles – Part 12

 

Raymond Brown & the Comma pt. 12 FINAL


 

____. “The Comma Johanneum in the Writings of English Critics of the Eighteenth Century,” 1TQ 17 (1922) 66—67.

del Alamo, M., “El ‘Comma Joaneo,” EstBib 2 (1943) 75—105.

Fickermann, N., “St. Augustinus gegen das ‘Comma Johanneum’?” BZ 22 (1934) 350—58.

Fischer, B., “Der Bibeltext in den pseudo-augustinischen ‘Solutiones diversarium quaestionum ab haereticis obiectarum,” Biblica 23 (1942) 139—64, 24 1—67, cap. 263—64.

Jenkins, C., “A Newly Discovered Reference to the ‘Heavenly Witnesses’ (I John v., 7, in a Manuscript of Bede,” ITS 43 (1942) 42—45.

Künstle, K., Das Comma Joanneum auf seine Herkunft untersucht (Freiburg: Herder, 1905). Lemmonyer, A., “Comma Johannique,” DESup 2 (1934) 67—73.

Martin, J. P., Introduction a la critique textuelle du Nouveau Testament: Partie Pratique (5 vols.; Paris: Maisonneuve, 1884—86) vol. 5.

Metzger, B. M., The Text of the New Testament (New York: Oxford, 1964) 10 1—2.

Riggenbach, E, Das Comma Johanneum (Beiträge zur Forderung christlicher Theologie 31; Gütersloh: Bertelsmann, 1928) 367—405 (or 5—43).

Rivière, J., “Sur ‘l’authenticité’ du verset des trois témoins,” Revue Apologétique 46 (1928) 303—9.

Thiele, W., “Beobachtungen zum Comma Johanneum (I Joh 5, 7f.),” ZNW 

http://bibleversiondiscussionboard.yuku.com/topic/5746#.VPNCceH7ncc

1 John 5:7-8 Comma Johanneum – Raymond Brown’s Appendix to his Commentary of John’s Epistles – Part 11

 

Raymond Brown & the Comma pt. 11


 

the phrase “on earth” had already appeared in the OL reference to the Spirit, the water, and the blood, the counterpart “in heaven” was obvious for the added threefold witness of the divine figures. At first this added witness was introduced into biblical MSS. as a marginal comment on I John 5:7-8, explaining it; later it was moved into the text itself. Some who knew the Comma may have resisted it as an innovation, but the possibility of invoking the authority of John the Apostle on behalf of trinitarian doctrine won the day in the fifth-century debates against the Arians and their Vandal allies. The close connection of Spain to North Africa explains that the Comma appeared first in Latin biblical texts of Spanish origin. In summary, Greeven 35 phrases it well: “The Johannine Comma must be evaluated as a dogmatic expansion of the scriptural text stemming from the third century at the earliest in North Africa or Spain.”

BIBLIOGRAPHY PERTINENT TO THE JOHANNINE COMMA

Abbot, E., “I John V. 7 and Luther’s German Bible,” in The Authorship of the Fourth Gospel and Other Critical Essays (Boston: Ellis, 1888) 458—63.

Ayuso Marazuela, T., “Nuevo estudio sobre ci ‘Comma Ioanneum,’” Biblica 28 (1947) 83—112, 216— 35; 29 (1948) 52—76.

Baumstark, A., “Ein syrisches Citat des ‘Comma Johanneum,” Oriens Christianus 2 (1902) 438—41.

Bludau, A., “Das Comma Johanneum (I Job. 5, 7) in den orientalischen Übersetzungen und Bibeldruchen,” Oriens Chrlstlanus 3 (1903) 126-47.

.“Das Comma Johanneum (1 Io 5, 7) im 16. Jahrhundert,” BZ 1 (1903) 280—302, 378—407.

.“Das Comma Johanneum (1 lo 5, 7) in den Sebriften der Antitrinitarier und Socinianer des 16. und 17. Jahrhunderts,” BZ 2 (1904) 2 75—300.

.“Richard Simon und das Comma Johanneum,” Der Katholik 84 (1904) 29—42, 114—22. .“Dan Comma Johanneum bei den Oriechen,” BZ 13 (1915) 26—50, 130—62, 222—43.

.“Das Comma Ioanneum (I Joh 5,7) in den Glaubensbekenntnis von Karthago vom Jabre 484,” TG 11(1919) 9—15.

.“Der hl. Augustinus und I Joh 5, 7—8,” TG 11(1919) 379—86.

.“Das ‘Comma Johanneum’ bei Tertullian und Cyprian,” TQ 101 (1920) 1—28.

. “Der Prolog des Pseudo-Hieronymus zu den katholischen Briefen,” BZ 15 (19 18—1921) 15— 34, 125—38.


35Comma Johanneum” RGG 1,1854.

http://bibleversiondiscussionboard.yuku.com/topic/5746#.VPNCceH7ncc

1 John 5:7-8 Comma Johanneum – Raymond Brown’s Appendix to his Commentary of John’s Epistles – Part 10

 

Raymond Brown & the Comma pt. 10


 

Fickermann, “Augustinus,” has recently raised the possibility that in fact he did know the Comma but rejected it (and for that reason never quoted it). Fickermann points to a hitherto unpublished eleventh-century text which says that Jerome considered the Comma to be a genuine part of I John— clearly a memory of the Pseudo-Jerome Prologue mentioned above. But the text goes on to make this claim: “St. Augustine, on the basis of apostolic thought and on the authority of the Greek text, ordered it to be left out.” No known text of Augustine substantiates this, and yet it is strange that a medieval writer would dare to invent a testimony of Augustine against what was being widely accepted as a text of Scripture and which seemingly had Jerome’s approval.32 Could the Comma have come from Spain to North Africa and have been rejected by him? Such an explanation would mean that the Comma was not part of the Latin Bible known to Augustine33 and would make it most unlikely that the Comma was known to have had Cyprian’s approval.

Without seeking to be exhaustive, I should mention that, besides never being quoted in Jerome’s writings, the Comma is absent from the writings of the following major Latin theologians: Hilary of Poitiers (d. 367) who wrote on the Trinity; Ambrose (d.. 397) who cited I John 5:7—8 four times; Leo the Great (d. 461); and Gregory the Great (d. 604).

*        *          *

The following picture emerges from the information drawn from the church writers. In North Africa in the third and fourth centuries (a period stretching from Tertullian to Augustine), the threefold witness of the Spirit, the water, and the blood in I John 5:7—8 was the subject of trinitarian reflection, since the OL translation affirmed that “these three are one.” Woven into this reflection were statements in GJohn offering symbolic identifications of each of the three elements, plus John 10:30, “The Father and I are one.” Eventually, in the continued debates over the Trinity, the modalist Priscillian or some predecessor34 took the Johannine equivalents of Spirit, water, and blood, namely, Father, Spirit, and Word, and shaped from them a matching statement about another threefold witness that was also one. If


32 Invention would have been all the more difficult because there were then in circulation spurious works of Augustine (thought to be genuine) that cited the Comma, e.g., Liber de divinis Scripturis sive Speculum (CSEL 12, 314—a work from fifth-century Africa?).

33 Thiele, “Beobachtungen” 71-fl, would argue that Augustine’s silence in reference to the Comma (which is not as serious as his rejection of it) does not necessarily tell us whether the Comma was already present in the OL text of North Africa, for Augustine used a Latin text more closely revised according to the Greek. However, Augustine seems to know some Latin readings of I John not found in the Greek. and the history of Latin MSS. narrated in A2 above does nothing to support the thesis of such an early presence of the Comma in the OL

34 Harnack. “Textkritik” 572-73, argues that the trinitarlan modallsm of the Comma is close to that of the so-called Symbol of Sardica (343) sometimes attributed to the Western bishops under the leadership of Hosius of Cordoba, and he and Julicher and Thiele would move the formation of the Comma back into the third century. The evidence, in my judgment, shows the formative process at work in the third century, but we do not know that the Comma existed before the fourth century; and we remain uncertain how soon after its formation it found its way Into biblical texts.

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1 John 5:7-8 Comma Johanneum – Raymond Brown’s Appendix to his Commentary of John’s Epistles – Part 9

 

Raymond Brown & the Comma pt. 9


 

In Tertullian’s Adversus Praxean (25.1; CC 2, 1195), written ca. 215, he comments on John 16:14 in terms of the connection among the Father, the Son, and the Paraclete: “These three are one thing [unam] not one person [unus] as it is said, ‘My Father and I are one’ [John 10:30]This is scarcely a reference to the Comma, but it should be kept in mind as we turn to Cyprian (d. 258), another North African.26 In De ecclesiae catholicae unitate 6 (CC 3, 254) Cyprian states, “The Lord says, ‘The Father and I are one [John 10:30],’ and again of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit it is written, ‘And three are one.”27 There is a good chance that Cyprian’s second citation, like the first, is Johannine and comes from the OL text of I John 5:8, which says, “And these three are one,” in reference to the Spirit, the water, and the blood. His application of It to the divine trinitarian figures need not represent a knowledge of the Comma,28 but rather a continuance of the reflections of Tertullian combined with a general patristic tendency to invoke any scriptural group of three as symbolic of or applicable to the Trinity. In other words, Cyprian may exemplify the thought process that gave rise to the Comma. That Cyprian did not know the Comma is suggested by its absence in the early Pseudo-Cyprian work Dc rebaptismate which twice (15 and 19; CSEL 38, 88, 92) cites the standard text of I John 5:7_. 8.29 Similarly other church writers, even in North Africa, who knew Cyprian’s work show no knowledge of the Comma. In particular, the mid-sixth-century African, Facundus of Hermiane, in his Pro Defensione Trium Capitulorum ad Iustinianum (1.3.9—14; CC 90A, 12—14), cites I John 5:7—8 without the Comma (which he does not seem to know) as proof for the Trinity—the trinitarian references are derived from the significance of the Spirit, the water, and the blood. Facundus then goes on to quote Cyprian in the same vein, thus understanding Cyprian to have given a trinitarian interpretation of the standard I John text.

Augustine (d. 430) was a North African bishop a generation after the time when Priscillian was a bishop in Spain. A serious debate centers on whether or not Augustine knew the Comma. He never cites it;30 but in his De civitate Dei (5. 11; CC 47, 141) he speaks of Father, Word, and Spirit and says “the three [neuter] are one” To jump from that to a knowledge of the Comma is hasty, for all that it shows is that Augustine mediated in a Trinitarian way on the “three” of I John. We see this clearly in Contra Maximinum 2.22.3 (PL 42, 794—95) where he says that I John 5:7—8 (standard text without the Comma) brings the Trinity to mind; for the “Spirit” is the Father (John 4:24), the “blood” is the Son (see John 19:34—35), and the “water” is the Spirit (John 7:38—39). Such reflection on the symbols of I John in light of other Johannine symbolic usage may have been exactly what gave rise to the wording of the Comma.31


26 It has been argued seriously by Thiele and others that Cyprian knew the Comma, a knowledge which would make second- or third-Century North Africa the most probable area of origin. I would rather speak of area of formation.

27See also Cyprian’s Epistula 73.12 (CSEL 32, 787) where the same “three are one” statement is applied to God. Christ, and the Spirit without a reference to Scripture.

28 Somewhat favorable to Cyprian’s knowledge of the Comma is that he knew other Latin additions to the Greek text of I John, e.g., the addition to 2:17 (NOTE on 2: 17e). Unfavorable to knowledge of the Comma is his use of “Son” instead of “Word,” although that is an occasional variant in the text of the Comma, e.g., Fulgentius, Contra Fabianum (Frag. 21.4; CC 91.4, 797), applies the “three are one” to the Divine Persons, and speaks of the “Son.” while in his Responsio contra Arianos (cited above) he speaks of the “Word.”

29 The Pseudo-Cyprianic Sermo de Centesima, published by L Reitzenstein, ZNW 15 (1914) 60—90, is attributed by H. Koch, ZNW 31(1932) 248, to fourth-century Africa and (possibly) to a follower of Priscillian, drawing upon Cyprian’s works. It speaks of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as “three witnesses” without any reference to I John (PL Supp 1, 65; Reitzenstein, 87).

30 His commentary on I John does not reach beyond 5:3.

31 In PG 5, 1300 Claudius Apollinaris of Hierapolis (late second century) interprets the “blood ” and “water” of John 19:34—3 5 as Word and Spirit. Eucherius of Lyons (d. 450), living just after Augustine, makes no reference to the Comma but interprets the water, blood, and Spirit in John 19:30-35 as references to Father, Son, and Spirit who testify (Instructionum I: De Epistula lohannis CSEL 31, 137—38 ). A century later Facundus of Hermiane was applying the three elements of I John to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit without clearly indicating he knew the Comma

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