Welcome back everyone to Deeper Waters as we dive into the ocean of truth. I thank you all for your continued prayers as I work to grow into the man I need to be, which is a more Christlike man. It is a slow process, but those who know me are saying that tremendous progress is being made. I also ask for your continued prayers with my financial situation, especially seeing as we’re in Christmastime. Finally, I ask prayers for a certain area in my life that I wish to remain silent on. For now, let’s get to the text. We’re going to be looking at a text that isn’t in everyone’s Bible, and that is 1 John 5:7. (I’m sure you had no idea from the title what passage I would talk about.) Let’s go to the text!
7For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
As someone who deals with cults regularly, it would be wonderful if I believed such a verse was real. Unfortunately, this is one of those verses that I just don’t believe was in the original letter that the apostle wrote. I stand in this opinion alongside giants in textual criticism such as Daniel Wallace and the late Bruce Metzger.
The truth is that the number of manuscripts that have this text is definitely in the minority. Erasmus when he was putting together his translation was asked about this and said he’d put it in if someone could find a Greek manuscript that had it. This was after considering that Erasmus had a number of manuscripts at his disposal that didn’t have the verse in them. Well someone did bring one to him and as a former professor of mine said “And the ink had not yet dried.”
Erasmus grudgingly put it in. The KJV today has the text, which is where I went to to get it, but most of your modern versions will not and if they do, they will put a footnote with the passage that says that the oldest and best manuscripts do not contain this verse.
So let’s consider something in the area of the text and the message of Scripture. I do not believe the text that is the topic of our blog tonight is legitimate. However, that does not mean that I believe that the proposition that is spelled out by the text is in error. I would love it if that text were in the Bible. It would make dialogue with Jehovah’s Witnesses so much easier.
What we need to realize as Christians is that many of the doctrines of Scripture are systematic. This is also an area the new atheists make a mistake in. The assumption is that the Bible must spell out everything when really, people need to study the Bible. It’s a complex book. There’s a lot that’s hard to understand. I won’t claim to understand it all. The Trinity is one such area of understanding. You will not find one verse, but you must take the whole of Scripture and look at it systematically. In doing so, you can arrive at what the Scripture teaches.
We shall continue 1 John tomorrow.