1 John 5:7-8COMMA JOHANNEUM
WHAT IS IT?   The Comma Johanneum is a comma (a    short clause) in the First Epistle of John    (1 John 5:7)
WHAT IS IT?   This comma appears in the Latin Vulgate text    as transmitted since the Early Middle Ages,    based on Vet...
WHAT IS IT?1 John 5:7 (Douay Rheims) Translated from the Latin Vulgate: quia tres  sunt qui testimonium dant in caelo, Pa...
WHAT IS IT?1 John 5:7 (Douay Rheims) “And there are three who give testimony in  heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Ho...
THE LATIN VULGATE BIBLE   The Vulgate is a late 4th-    century Latin translation of    the Bible. It was largely the    ...
THE VETUS LATINA                      Vetus Latina is a                       collective name given to                   ...
THE INSERTION OF THE COMMA JOHANNEUM   The Comma    Johanneum was    inserted into the Latin    text based on a gloss    ...
WHAT IS A GLOSS?   Biblical scholars use the    word glossa or gloss, in    connection with glosses    of Biblical texts
WHAT IS A GLOSS?   The English word gloss is    derived from the Latin    glossa, a transcript of the    Greek           ...
WHAT IS A GLOSS?   In Greek the word glossa    means tongue, or    language
WHAT IS A GLOSS?   In time the word came to    mean an explanation or    addition to a biblical text
WHAT IS A GLOSS?   In the example to the right,    the verse is on the right    and the gloss is on the left
INSERTION OF A COMMENT INTO THE TEXT                     At some point in the 200’s                      or 300’s AD, a c...
INSERTION OF A COMMENT INTO THE TEXT                     So the manuscript writer                      copying out the te...
INSERTION OF A COMMENT INTO THE TEXT                     From that point, those who                      copied the text ...
THE TEXTUS RECEPTUS   The Dutch Catholic scholar    and humanist Desiderius    Erasmus wanted to    provide a Greek New  ...
THE TEXTUS RECEPTUS   Beginning in 1516 and    using six manuscripts    which contained not quite    the whole of the New...
THE TEXTUS RECEPTUS   Erasmus filled in the    missing portions of the text    from the Latin Vulgate    Bible which was ...
THE TEXTUS RECEPTUS   We should note that at this    time in history the greatest    manuscript discoveries    were yet t...
THE TEXTUS RECEPTUS   Therefore, the Greek text    of Erasmus was flawed    from the beginning and the    Vulgate he was ...
ERASMUS AND SCHOLARSHIP                   To his credit, Erasmus                    actually left out the Comma          ...
ERASMUS AND SCHOLARSHIP                   But this was a time of                    theological infighting and           ...
ERASMUS AND SCHOLARSHIP                   The Comma Johanneum                    supported the Doctrine of               ...
ERASMUS AND SCHOLARSHIP                   Therefore Erasmus                    included the words in the                 ...
THE “TEXTUS RECEPTUS”   Erasmus intended to    produce a new critical    Latin translation of the    Vulgate when he bega...
THE “TEXTUS RECEPTUS”   He gathered all the    manuscripts of the Vulgate    he could find in order to    produce a more ...
THE “TEXTUS RECEPTUS”   The Greek texts available    to Erasmus were limited    and in many places he had    to translate...
THE “TEXTUS RECEPTUS”   The texts that Erasmus    was using for the Greek    version of the New    Testament were very late
THE “TEXTUS RECEPTUS”   They all dated from the    12th century or later    making them far removed    from the most orig...
THE “TEXTUS RECEPTUS”   It was this flawed edition of    the Greek New Testament    that became the basis of    the trans...
ERASMUS ON THE NECESSITY OF THE GREEK                TEXT                     Erasmus realized the                      n...
ERASMUS ON THE NECESSITY OF THE GREEK                TEXT                     “…one thing the facts cry                  ...
PROBLEMS WITH ERASMUS’ TRANSLATION   Because the    manuscripts that    Erasmus was working    on were so late, there    ...
PROBLEMS WITH ERASMUS’ TRANSLATION   In more than twenty    places the reading    supplied by Erasmus    in his text is s...
THE COMMA JOHANNEUM IN RECENT          CENTURIES                 The Comma                  Johanneum was                ...
THE COMMA JOHANNEUM IN RECENT          CENTURIES                 With the rise of Biblical                  Scholarship, ...
THE COMMA JOHANNEUM IN RECENT          CENTURIES                 Among the reasons                  cited for the rejecti...
THE COMMA JOHANNEUM IN RECENT          CENTURIES                 This text concerning the                  heavenly witne...
THE COMMA JOHANNEUM IN RECENT          CENTURIES                 This text is not found in                  any Latin man...
THE COMMA JOHANNEUM IN RECENT          CENTURIES                 This text is not found in                  any of the an...
THE COMMA JOHANNEUM IN RECENT          CENTURIES                 This text is not cited by                  any of the Gr...
THE COMMA JOHANNEUM IN RECENT          CENTURIES                 This text is not cited by                  any of the ea...
THE COMMA JOHANNEUM IN RECENT                 CENTURIES   The Church was    slower to reject the    Comma Johanneum
THE COMMA JOHANNEUM IN RECENT                  CENTURIES   The Council of Trent in    1546 defined the    Biblical canon ...
THE COMMA JOHANNEUM IN RECENT                  CENTURIES   Although the revised    Vulgate contained the    Comma, the ea...
THE COMMA JOHANNEUM IN RECENT                  CENTURIES   On 13 January 1897,    during a period of    reaction in the C...
THE COMMA JOHANNEUM IN RECENT          CENTURIES                 On 15 January, 1897,                  Pope Leo XIII appr...
THE COMMA JOHANNEUM IN RECENT                 CENTURIES   On 2 June 1927, Pope    Pius XI decreed that    the Comma    Jo...
THE COMMA JOHANNEUM IN RECENT          CENTURIES                 The updated Nova                  Vulgata (New Vulgate),...
THE COMMA JOHANNEUM IN RECENT                 CENTURIES   And published in 1979    by Blessed Pope John    Paul II follow...
THE COMMA JOHANNEUM IN RECENT          CENTURIES                 The New American                  Bible does not contain...
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Comma johanneum

  1. 1. 1 John 5:7-8COMMA JOHANNEUM
  2. 2. WHAT IS IT? The Comma Johanneum is a comma (a short clause) in the First Epistle of John (1 John 5:7)
  3. 3. WHAT IS IT? This comma appears in the Latin Vulgate text as transmitted since the Early Middle Ages, based on Vetus Latina minority readings dating to the 7th century.
  4. 4. WHAT IS IT?1 John 5:7 (Douay Rheims) Translated from the Latin Vulgate: quia tres sunt qui testimonium dant in caelo, Pater, Verbum, et Spiritus Sanctus. Et hi tres unum sunt.
  5. 5. WHAT IS IT?1 John 5:7 (Douay Rheims) “And there are three who give testimony in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost. And these three are one.”
  6. 6. THE LATIN VULGATE BIBLE The Vulgate is a late 4th- century Latin translation of the Bible. It was largely the work of St. Jerome, who was commissioned by Pope Damasus I in 382 to make a revision of the old Latin translations. By the 13th century this revision had come to be called the versio vulgata, that is, the "commonly used translation”, and ultimately it became the definitive and officially promulgated Latin version of the Bible in the Roman Catholic Church.
  7. 7. THE VETUS LATINA  Vetus Latina is a collective name given to the Biblical texts in Latin that were translated before St Jeromes Vulgate Bible (382-405 AD) became the standard Bible for Latin-speaking Western Christians. The phrase Vetus Latina is Latin for Old Latin, and the Vetus Latina is sometimes known as the Old Latin Bible.
  8. 8. THE INSERTION OF THE COMMA JOHANNEUM The Comma Johanneum was inserted into the Latin text based on a gloss to that text; the gloss itself may date to as early as the 3rd or 4th century.
  9. 9. WHAT IS A GLOSS? Biblical scholars use the word glossa or gloss, in connection with glosses of Biblical texts
  10. 10. WHAT IS A GLOSS? The English word gloss is derived from the Latin glossa, a transcript of the Greek glossa).
  11. 11. WHAT IS A GLOSS? In Greek the word glossa means tongue, or language
  12. 12. WHAT IS A GLOSS? In time the word came to mean an explanation or addition to a biblical text
  13. 13. WHAT IS A GLOSS? In the example to the right, the verse is on the right and the gloss is on the left
  14. 14. INSERTION OF A COMMENT INTO THE TEXT  At some point in the 200’s or 300’s AD, a copyist inserted a commentary on the text of 1 John 5:7 into the actual text itself
  15. 15. INSERTION OF A COMMENT INTO THE TEXT  So the manuscript writer copying out the text of the Letter inserted what was a comment on the original text
  16. 16. INSERTION OF A COMMENT INTO THE TEXT  From that point, those who copied the text included the inserted words into the First Epistle of John
  17. 17. THE TEXTUS RECEPTUS The Dutch Catholic scholar and humanist Desiderius Erasmus wanted to provide a Greek New Testament which could be used for translation into vernacular editions as well as for the study of scholars
  18. 18. THE TEXTUS RECEPTUS Beginning in 1516 and using six manuscripts which contained not quite the whole of the New Testament, Erasmus began to put together his critical Greek text
  19. 19. THE TEXTUS RECEPTUS Erasmus filled in the missing portions of the text from the Latin Vulgate Bible which was the oldest and most used text of Scripture in Europe
  20. 20. THE TEXTUS RECEPTUS We should note that at this time in history the greatest manuscript discoveries were yet to be made
  21. 21. THE TEXTUS RECEPTUS Therefore, the Greek text of Erasmus was flawed from the beginning and the Vulgate he was using itself contained errors, such as the Comma Johanneum
  22. 22. ERASMUS AND SCHOLARSHIP  To his credit, Erasmus actually left out the Comma Johanneum from the first edition of his published text
  23. 23. ERASMUS AND SCHOLARSHIP  But this was a time of theological infighting and there was an outcry about the missing text
  24. 24. ERASMUS AND SCHOLARSHIP  The Comma Johanneum supported the Doctrine of the Trinity and because Erasmus omitted the text it was looked upon as an attack on that doctrine
  25. 25. ERASMUS AND SCHOLARSHIP  Therefore Erasmus included the words in the third and later editions
  26. 26. THE “TEXTUS RECEPTUS” Erasmus intended to produce a new critical Latin translation of the Vulgate when he began his work
  27. 27. THE “TEXTUS RECEPTUS” He gathered all the manuscripts of the Vulgate he could find in order to produce a more authoritative version of the New Testament
  28. 28. THE “TEXTUS RECEPTUS” The Greek texts available to Erasmus were limited and in many places he had to translate backwards from the Latin Vulgate or the writings of the Fathers of the Church into the Greek of his new critical edition
  29. 29. THE “TEXTUS RECEPTUS” The texts that Erasmus was using for the Greek version of the New Testament were very late
  30. 30. THE “TEXTUS RECEPTUS” They all dated from the 12th century or later making them far removed from the most original Greek biblical documents used by St. Jerome and the Fathers of the Church
  31. 31. THE “TEXTUS RECEPTUS” It was this flawed edition of the Greek New Testament that became the basis of the translation into vernacular languages, especially for Protestant editions, from the 16th to the late 19th centuries
  32. 32. ERASMUS ON THE NECESSITY OF THE GREEK TEXT  Erasmus realized the need to go back to the oldest sources available for an accurate translation of the Scriptures into a vernacular language
  33. 33. ERASMUS ON THE NECESSITY OF THE GREEK TEXT  “…one thing the facts cry out, and it can be clear, as they say, even to a blind man, that often through the translator’s clumsiness or inattention the Greek has been wrongly rendered; often the true and genuine reading has been corrupted by ignorant scribes, which we see happen every day, or altered by scribes who are half-taught and half- asleep.“ ~ D. Erasmus
  34. 34. PROBLEMS WITH ERASMUS’ TRANSLATION Because the manuscripts that Erasmus was working on were so late, there are mistakes in his final version of the New Testament
  35. 35. PROBLEMS WITH ERASMUS’ TRANSLATION In more than twenty places the reading supplied by Erasmus in his text is supported by the authority of no known Greek manuscript
  36. 36. THE COMMA JOHANNEUM IN RECENT CENTURIES  The Comma Johanneum was initially widely accepted in the translations of the Scriptures and continued to be included in the text of the Catholic Bible both Latin and vernacular
  37. 37. THE COMMA JOHANNEUM IN RECENT CENTURIES  With the rise of Biblical Scholarship, the Comma Johanneum became just as widely rejected as it had been widely accepted
  38. 38. THE COMMA JOHANNEUM IN RECENT CENTURIES  Among the reasons cited for the rejection of the Comma Johanneum by the Protestants are the following
  39. 39. THE COMMA JOHANNEUM IN RECENT CENTURIES  This text concerning the heavenly witnesses is not contained in any Greek manuscript which was written earlier than the fifteenth century
  40. 40. THE COMMA JOHANNEUM IN RECENT CENTURIES  This text is not found in any Latin manuscript earlier than the ninth century
  41. 41. THE COMMA JOHANNEUM IN RECENT CENTURIES  This text is not found in any of the ancient versions.
  42. 42. THE COMMA JOHANNEUM IN RECENT CENTURIES  This text is not cited by any of the Greek ecclesiastical writers, though to prove the doctrine of the Trinity they have cited the words both before and after this text
  43. 43. THE COMMA JOHANNEUM IN RECENT CENTURIES  This text is not cited by any of the early Latin Fathers, even when the subjects upon which they treat would naturally have led them to appeal to its authority
  44. 44. THE COMMA JOHANNEUM IN RECENT CENTURIES The Church was slower to reject the Comma Johanneum
  45. 45. THE COMMA JOHANNEUM IN RECENT CENTURIES The Council of Trent in 1546 defined the Biblical canon as "the entire books with all their parts, as these have been wont to be read in the Catholic Church and are contained in the old Latin Vulgate," meaning that the comma was included.
  46. 46. THE COMMA JOHANNEUM IN RECENT CENTURIES Although the revised Vulgate contained the Comma, the earliest known copies did not, leaving the status of the Comma Johanneum unclear
  47. 47. THE COMMA JOHANNEUM IN RECENT CENTURIES On 13 January 1897, during a period of reaction in the Church, the Holy Office decreed that Catholic theologians could not "with safety" deny or call into doubt the Commas authenticity.
  48. 48. THE COMMA JOHANNEUM IN RECENT CENTURIES  On 15 January, 1897, Pope Leo XIII approved this decision but he did not invest his full papal authority in the matter, leaving the decree with the ordinary authority possessed by the Holy Office
  49. 49. THE COMMA JOHANNEUM IN RECENT CENTURIES On 2 June 1927, Pope Pius XI decreed that the Comma Johanneum was open to dispute
  50. 50. THE COMMA JOHANNEUM IN RECENT CENTURIES  The updated Nova Vulgata (New Vulgate), given the recognitio by Pope Paul VI
  51. 51. THE COMMA JOHANNEUM IN RECENT CENTURIES And published in 1979 by Blessed Pope John Paul II following Second Vatican Council, does not include the Comma Johanneum
  52. 52. THE COMMA JOHANNEUM IN RECENT CENTURIES  The New American Bible does not contain the Comma Johanneum simply because there is no evidence that the text was ever present in the most ancient manuscripts

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