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communion with him, and to believe in him, that they walk | an affectionate spirit pervades the whole, except in those in the light and not in darkness (i. 5-7.), that is, in holiness and not in sin; that they walk as Christ walked (ii. 6.); and that they keep the commandments, and especially abound in sincere brotherly love towards each other. (ii. 4. 9-11. iii. 10-24. iv. 20, 21. v. 1-3.) This rational and Christian spirit, the apostle enforces upon the best principles, and with the strongest arguments, derived from the love of God and of Christ; showing the utter insufficiency of faith, and the mere external profession of religion, without the accompanying evidence of a holy life and conduct.
Thirdly, to help forward and to provoke real Christians to communion with God and the Lord Jesus Christ (i. 3, 4.); to constancy in the true faith, against all that seduced them (ii. 24-28.); to purity and holiness of life (ii. 1. iii. 3-13.), and that those who believe on the name of the Son of God, may know that they have eternal life. (v. 13.)
V. Heidegger, Van Til, Pritius, Moldenhawer, Langius, and other analysts of Scripture, have each suggested different tabular synopses of this Epistle, with a view to illustrate its divisions and to show the bearings of the apostle's arguments. Extreme prolixity and extreme brevity characterize their respective schemes. The following synopsis, however, it is hoped, will be found to show the leading divisions of the Epistle or treatise with sufficient perspicuity and conciseness. It consists of six sections, besides the conclusion, which is a recapitulation of the whole.
SECT. 1. asserts the true divinity and humanity of Christ, in opposition to the false teachers, and urges the union of faith and holiness of life as absolutely necessary to enable Christians to enjoy communion with God. (i. 1-7.) SECT. 2. shows that all have sinned, and explains the doctrine of Christ's propitiation. (i. 8-10. ii. 1, 2.) Whence the apostle takes occasion to illustrate the marks of true faith; viz. obeying his commandments and sincere love of the brethren; and shows that the love of the world is inconsistent with the love of God. (ii. 3—17.) SECT. 3. asserts Jesus to be the same person with Christ, in opposition to the false teachers who denied it. (ii. 18-29.) SECT. 4. On the privileges of true believers, and their consequent happiness and duties, and the marks by which they are known to be "the sons of God." (iii.) SECT. 5. Contains criteria by which to distinguish Antichrist and false Christians, with an exhortation to brotherly love. (iv.)
passages where the apostle exposes and reprehends hypocrites and false teachers, whose dangerous practices and tenets he exposes in such a faithful, plain, and even authoritative manner, as may serve to illustrate the reason why our Saviour gave him, together with his brother James, the appellation of Boanerges, or sons of thunder. (Mark iii. 17.) VI. Before we conclude this section, it may be proper to notice the controversy respecting the clauses in 1 John v. 7, 8. concerning the Heavenly Witnesses, which has for nearly four centuries divided the opinions of learned men, and which the majority of biblical critics now abandon as spurious. As the limits assigned to this discussion are necessarily confined, we shall briefly state the evidence for and against its genuineness.
In the Textus Receptus, or received Greek Text of the New Testament, the seventh and eighth verses of the fifth chapter of this Epistle are as follows:
Ὅτι τρεις εισιν οἱ μαρτυρούντες [εν τω ουρανω ὁ Πατήρ, ὁ Λόγος, και το |ἅγιον Πνεύμα· καὶ οὗτοι οἱ τρεις ἓν εισι. Και τρεις εισιν οἱ μαρτυρούντες εν τη γη] τὸ πνευμα, και το ύδωρ, και το αίμα· και οι τρεις εις το έν εισι. In the Vulgate Latin, and our authorized English version, they run thus:
IT IS URGED,
1. That this clause is not to be found in a single Greek manuscript written before the sixteenth century.
Of all the manuscripts hitherto discovered and collated which if we deduct several that are either mutilated or imperfect in this contain this Epistle, amounting to one hundred and forty-nine,2 place, it will be found that four only have the text, and two of these are absolutely of no authority; viz.
1. The Codex Guelpherbytanus, which is evidently a manuscript of the seventeenth century, for it contains the Latin trans$i. A mark to know one sort of Antichrist, the not confessing that lation of Beza, written by the same hand, and consequently is of Christ came in the flesh. (iv. 1-3.)
$ii. Criteria for distinguishing false Christians; viz.
(1.) Love of the world. (4-6.)
(2.) Want of brotherly love. (7-12)
no use whatever in sacred criticism.
2. The Codex Ravianus or Berolinensis, which is obviously a forgery; it is for the most part only a transcript of the Greek text in the Complutensian Polyglott, printed in 1514, with some various readings from Stephens's third edition; and the remain
(from Mark v. 20. to the end of Saint John's Gospel and Rom. i.—vi. and xiii.-xvi.) is a copy of the same edition, with some various readings taken partly from Stephens's margin, and partly from the Complutensian Polyglott.3
(3.) Denying Christ to be the true Son of God. (13-15.) Siii. A recommendation of brotherly love, from the consideration of the love of God in giving his Son for sinners. (16-21.)' SECT. 6. shows the connection between faith in Christ, rege-der neration, love to God and his children, obedience to his commandments, and victory over the world; and that Jesus Christ is truly the Son of God, able to save us, and to hear the prayers we make for ourselves and others. (v. 1-16.) The conclusion, which is a summary of the preceding treatise, shows that a sinful life is inconsistent with true Christianity; asserts the divinity of Christ; and cautions believers against idolatry. (v. 17-21.)
The preceding is an outline of this admirable Epistle; which being designed to promote right principles of doctrine and practical piety in conduct, abounds, more than any book of the New Testament, with criteria by which Christians may soberly examine themselves whether they be in the faith. (2 Cor. xiii. 5.)
The style of this Epistle is pure, clear, and flowing; and
1 Roberts's Clavis Bibliorum, p. 827.
3. The Codex Britannicus, as it was called by Erasmus, now better known by the appellation of the Codex Montfortii, Montfortianus, or Dublinensis, which is preserved in Trinity College Library, Dublin. A fac-simile of it is annexed.
2 In this number are now, for the first time, comprised one of the manu scripts collated by Dr. Scholz, and three manuscripts in the archiepiscopal from the Greek islands by the late Professor Carlyle. (See a notice of library at numbered 1182, which were them in our first volume.) The information, that the disputed clause does not exist in these MSS. was communicated to the author, with equal to his Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury. promptitude and kindness, by the Rev. Dr. D'Oyly, Manuscript-Librarian
3 See this proved in Griesbach's Symbola Criticæ, pars i. p. clxxxi. and especially in Pappelbaum's Codices Manuscripti Raviani Examen, 8vo. Bergiven a very valuable extract from Pappelbaum's treatise, with remarks, in the Appendix to his Letters to Mr. Archdeacon Travis, pp. 241-252.
The passage, divested of its contractions, runs thus:
οτι τρεις εισιν οι μαρτυ
ρουντες' εν τω ουρανω, πατηρ, λόγος, Και πνευμα αγιον,
θεου μείζων εστιν, ότι αυτή εστιν η μαρτυρία του θεου, ότι
The Codex Britannicus is described by Erasmus as a latinizing manuscript: and that this charge is well founded we have shown in the first volume of this work.1 If any additional evidence were wanting, it is furnished in the passage just given; which is written in such Greek as manifestly betrays a translation from the Latin. It will be observed, that "the article is omitted before the words expressive of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, because there is no article in the Latin, and it occurred not to the translator that the usual Greek was o aтng, o xogos, T TV. He has also a T 2n, for eri tas gus, because he found in terra. He has likewise omitted nurgas as To av How, which is wanting in many Latin manuscripts; because the Lateran council, held in 1215, had rejected it through polemical motives. The omission of this clause at the end of the eighth verse is a proof, not only that the writer of the Codex Montfortianus copied from the Vulgate, because no ancient Greek manuscript omits the clause in that place; but also that he copied even from modern transcripts of the Vulgate, because this final clause is found in all
the manuscripts of the Vulgate written before the thirteenth century."2 Such are the internal evidences against the authority of the Codex Montfortianus; nor are the external evidences, founded on its date, more weighty. Dr. Adam Clarke indeed assigns it to the fourteenth, or even to the thirteenth century (which latter date is adopted by Bishop Burgess); but as there is reason to believe, that in the thirteenth century the seventh verse was extant in a great majority of the copies of the Latin Vulgate, a Greek manuscript of that age may easily have been interpolated from those copies. Michaelis refers the Codex Montfortianus to the sixteenth century; and Bishop Marsh, after Griesbach, to the fifteenth or sixteenth century; that is, subsequently to the invention of the art of printing. Other learned men have observed, that the form of the letters is the same with that of our printed Greek Testaments, with accents and spirits: so that it may possibly have been written subsequently to the invention of printing. The close of the fifteenth century, therefore, is the most probable date. Conceding, however, every advantage that can be claimed for this manuscript by its most strenuous advocates, it is still modern: and the testimony of a witness, of so exceptionable an internal character, can be of no value in opposition to all other evidence.
4. The Codex Ottobonianus, 298. in the Vatican Library, is the only other manuscript, in which the disputed clause is to be found, as appears in the following fac-simile :—
which, divested of its contractions, runs thus :
Quia tres sunt
qui testimonium dant in
celo, pater, verbum, et spiritus sanctus,
et hi tres unum sunt. Et
tres sunt qui testimonium
dant in terra, spiritus, aqua et sanguis: si testimonium
It is worthy of remark that this manuscript has aro Tou cupavou FROM heaven, instead of ev To cupava IN heaven, and are Ts us FROM earth, instead of er yn on earth, which words occur in
1 See Vol. I. Part I. Chap. III. Sect. II. § 4. ii. No. 61. 2 Michaelis, vol. ii. part i. p. 286. part ii. p. 762. The late learned Professor Porson objected to the Codex Montfortianus the badness of its Greek, particularly the omission of the articles. In reply to his conclusions, Bishop Burgess adduced several passages from the New Testament, and from some Greek fathers, in which the article is similarly omitted; whence he deduces an argument for the genuineness of the reading of the Codex Montfortianus. His examples are given at length in his own words, and his reasonings are examined in detail, and (it must candidly be admitted) refuted by a learned member of the University of Cambridge, under the signature of "Crito Cantabrigiensis," in his vindication of the Literary Character of the late Professor Porson, pp. 12-29. (Cambridge, 1827.) > Benson on the Epistles, vol. ii. P. 640.
4 At least, we may presume, that it is the only other manuscript which contains the disputed clause: since Prof. Scholz states, that he has examined the MSS. in the Royal Library at Paris, and the Libraries at Florence, Milan, and Rome, also in Greece and Palestine. If he had discovered any other manuscript in which the disputed clause appears, he would most assuredly have communicated some notice of it to the public.
οτι τρεις εισιν
οι μαρτυρούντες απο του
ουρανου· πατηρ λογος και πνεύμα αγιον και οι τρεις εις το εν εισαι και
τρεις εισιν οι μαρτυρουντες
απο της γῆς το πνεύμα το υδωρ και το αιμαει την μαρτυριαν
the Codex Montfortianus; and the absence of the article (as in that manuscript) before the words expressive of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, manifestly indicates the Latin origin of the Codex Ottobonianus; which has further been altered in many places to make it agree with the Latin Vulgate. And as this manuscript is stated to have been written in the fifteenth century, this late date, in addition to the very doubtful internal evidence which it affords, renders its testimony of no force whatever.5
It is a remarkable circumstance, which confirms the argument against the genuineness of the clause in question, that in those manuscripts which have it not, there is no erasure in this part, or the slightest indication of any kind of deficiency.
2. This clause is wanting in the earliest and best critical editions of the Greek Testament.
Scholz, Biblische Kritische Reise, p. 105. See a further account of the Codex Ottobonianus in Vol. I. Part I. Chap. III. Sect. II. § 5. I
It is not printed in Erasmus's first edition, published in 1516, | but (as he says) "to avoid calumny." It is found indeed in the nor in his second edition, in 1519; nor in the editions of Aldus, Greek text, and in the Vulgate Latin version of the Compluten1518; Gerbelius, 1521; Cephalæus, 1524; and of Colinæus, 1534. sian Polyglott, of which a fac-simile is given in the annexed Erasmus, it is true, inserted it in his third edition published in engraving, which is accurately copied from the exemplar pre1522, on the faith of the Codex Britannicus or Montfortianus served in the library of Sion College, London. above mentioned,-not from any conviction of its genuineness,
On this fac-simile it is to be observed, 1. That the first five | it is in the margin of this text. In 1 Cor. xv. there is noticed in lines, both of the Greek and Latin, are at the top of the opposite this margin a notable variation in the Greek reading. In Matt. page to that on which the other four lines are found; and 2. That vi. 13., where they, in their edition, recede from the Greek copies the alphabetical letters, intermingled with the Greek text, refer and correct it by the Latin, they make a marginal note to justo the corresponding words in the Latin text, which is printed tify their doing so. And so here, where the testimony of the in a parallel column in the Complutensian edition, and marked Three in heaven' is generally wanting in the Greek copies, they with the same letters, in order to ascertain more easily the corres- make a third marginal note, to secure themselves from being ponding Greek and Latin words. As the size of our page does blamed for printing it. Now, in such a case as this, there is no not admit of the Greek and Latin texts being disposed in parallel question but they would make the best defence they could; and columns, they are necessarily placed one below the other. yet they do not tell of any various lections in the Greek manuBut the Complutensian Polyglott, however rare and valuable scripts, nor produce any one Greek manuscript on their side, but in other respects, is in this case of no authority beyond that of have recourse to the authority of Thomas Aquinas."-"Thomas, any common Greek Testament, any further than it is supported say they, in treating of the three which bear witness in heaven, by ancient MSS. The editors of the Complutensian Greek teaches, that the words these Three are one,' are subjoined for Testament, indeed, profess to have followed the best and most insinuating the unity of the Essence of the Three Persons. ancient manuscripts of the Vatican: but in that age copies, two And whereas one Joachim interpreted this unity to be only 'ove or three hundred years old, were considered as ancient. It is, and consent, it being thus said of the Spirit, Water, and Blood, however, most certain that they did not consult the celebrated in some copies, that these Three are one: Thomas replied, that Codex Vaticanus, which is reputed to be one of the most ancient this clause is not extant in the true copies, but was added by the MSS. if it be not the most ancient manuscript extant (for that Arians for perverting the sense." Thus far, this annotation. manuscript has not the disputed clause); and that they have not "Now this plainly respects the Latin copies (for Aquinas un only departed from its readings in many places, but have also derstood not Greek), and therefore part of the design of this varied from the order of things in point of time and place. Wet-annotation is to set right the Latin reading. But this is not the stein, Semler, and Griesbach are unanimously of opinion that the MSS. used by the Complutensian editors were neither ancient nor valuable: for they scarcely ever consent with the most ancient copies or fathers, except in conjunction with modern copies, and they almost always agree with the modern copies where these differ from the more ancient. Because the Complutensian editors admitted the disputed passage into their text of the New Testament, it has been supposed that they found it in their MSS.; but it is more probable, that they inserted it upon the authority of the Latin Vulgate Version. For,
(1.) In the first place, It is not usual-indeed it forms no part of the plan of the Complutensian edition-to insert notes in the margin of the Greek text. Not more than three instances of such notes occur throughout this edition: "and therefore," as Sir Isaac Newton has forcibly argued, "there must be something extraordinary, and that in respect of the Greek, because
Among modern editions of note, the disputed clause is omitted in Mace's Greek and English edition, 1729, in that of Harwood, 1776, in whose edition the text of the epistles represents the Clermont manuscript; Matof his text. in the editions of Bowyer, in 1763, 1772, and 1782; of Knappe, thæi, 1782-88; and Griesbach, 1774-5, and the various subsequent editions. in 1797; of Tittman, in 1820; of Vafer, in 1824; of Goeschen, 1832; and of Bloomfield, 1832; this clause is included between brackets. brary) of the original of the marginal note above alluded to:-"Sanctus The following is a literal transcript (from the copy in Sion College LiThomas, in expositione secunde decretalis de suma trinitate et fide catholica, tractans istum passum contra abbatem Joachim, ut tres sunt qui testimo nium dant in coelo, pater, verbum, et spiritus sanctus: dicit ad literam, verba sequentia. Et ad insinuandam unitatem trium personarum subditur, et hii tres unum sunt. Quod quidem dicitur propter essentie unitatem. Sed hoc Joachim perverse trahere volens, ad unitatem charitatis et consensus inducebat consequentem auctoritatem: Nam subditur ibidem, et tres sunt qui testimonium dant in terra s. [i. e. scilicet] spiritus: aqua: et sanguis. Et in quibusdam libris additur; et hii tres unum sunt. Sed hoc in veris exemplaribus non habetur: sed dicitur esse appositum ab hereticis arrianis ad pervertendum intellectum sanum auctoritatis premisse de unitate essentie trium personarum. Hec beatus Thomas ubi supra."
main design. For so the annotation should have been set in the margin of the Latin version. Its being set in the margin of the Greek text shows, that its main design is to justify the Greek by the Latin thus rectified and confirmed. Now to make Thomas thus, in a few words, do all the work, was very artificial: and in Spain, where Thomas is of apostolical authority, it might pass for a very judicious and substantial defence of the printed Greek. But to us, Thomas Aquinas is no apostle. We are seeking for the authority of Greek manuscripts."
(2.) Secondly, We have a further proof that this text was not extant in Greek, but was inserted from the Latin Vulgate (and consequently translated into Greek), in the fact that when Stunica, one of the four editors of the Complutensian Polyglott, on censuring Erasmus for omitting it, was challenged by him to produce his authority for inserting it, he never appealed to Greek manuscripts. On the contrary, he affirmed that the Greek copies were corrupt, but that the Latin contained the very truth.2 Now this declaration is of great importance; as it amounts to a confession that none of the manuscripts procured for that edition by the great influence of Cardinal Ximenes contained the disputed passage.
3. It is contained in the manuscripts of no other ancient version besides the Latin.3
It is wanting in the manuscripts of the Old Syriac version, executed at the beginning of the second, if not in the first century; and also in those of the Philoxenian Syriac, a version made in the fifth century. It is wanting in the manuscripts of the Coptic, a version in the dialect anciently spoken in Lower Egypt, which is referred to the fifth century; and in those of the Sahidic, a version in the dialect anciently spoken in Upper Egypt, which is considered as having been made in the second century. It is wanting in the manuscripts of the Ethiopic version, executed in the fourth century; and in those of the Arme nian version, which is referred to the end of the fourth or the beginning of the fifth century. It is wanting in all the manuscripts of all the known Arabic versions; and it is absent from all the manuscripts of the Sclavonic or old Russian version, executed in the ninth century.
4. Not all the manuscripts, even of the Latin version, contain this clause, which is wanting in the most ancient manuscripts of that version.
The Vulgate Latin version is justly valued as an important relic of Christian antiquity, and, generally speaking, as a good and faithful translation: but, in its passage from the fifth to the fifteenth century, it has undergone many corruptions and interpolations. The disputed clause does not appear in any manuscripts written before the tenth century. It is wanting in considerably more than forty of the OLDEST Latin manuscripts; in others it occurs only in the margin; and in others it is interlined by a later hand. "At the end of the fourth century, the celebrated Latin Father Augustine, who wrote ten treatises on the first Epistle of Saint John, in all of which we seek in vain for the seventh verse of the fifth chapter, was induced in his controversy with Maximin to compose a gloss upon the eighth verse. Augustine gives it professedly as a gloss upon the words of the eighth verse, and shows by his own reasoning that the seventh verse did not then exist." The high character of Augustine in the Latin church soon gave
Sir Isaac Newton's History of Two Texts. (1 John v. 7, 8. and 1 Tim. iii. 16.) Works, vol. v. pp. 520-522. Sir Isaac Newton's Works, vol. v. pp. 522, 523.
The expression, "manuscripts of all other versions," is here designedly used: for the disputed clause has been inserted in some printed editions of the Syriac and Armenian versions, in opposition to the Syriac and Armenian manuscripts. See Bp. Marsh's Letters to Archdeacon Travis. Preface, notes 8, 9, 10, 11.; and also Mr. Oxlee's Three Letters to the Rev. F. Nolan, pp. 130, 131.
We are informed by Dr. Buchanan, that it is not to be found in a Peschito or Syriac manuscript which belonged to the Syrian church in India above a thousand years, nor in any copy of the Syriac Scriptures which he had seen. (Christ. Researches in Asia, p. 118.) This manuscript is now in the Public Library at Cambridge. Nor is it in any of the ancient Syriac MSS. brought from the East by the late Mr. Rich, which are preserved in the British Museum.
Marsh's Letters to Travis, Preface, p. xi. note. Augustine, in his Treatise contra Maximinum Arianum, lib. ii. cap. 22. (tom. viii. col. 725. ed. Benedict), thus quotes the words of the eighth verse: "Tres sunt testes, spiritus, et aqua, et sanguis; et tres unum sunt." He then makes various remarks on the words, spiritus, aqua, sanguis, and proceeds thus: "Si vero ea, quæ his significata sunt velimus inquirere, non absurde occurit ipsa Trinitas, quæ unus, solus, verus, summes est Deus, Pater et Filius, et Spiritus Sanctus, de quibus verissime dici potuit, 'Tres sunt testes et tres unum sunt: ut nomine spiritûs sig. nificatum accipiamus Deum Patrem-nomine autem sanguinis Filium-et nomine aquæ Spiritum Sanctum." The gloss which Augustine here puts on the eighth verse, very clearly shows, that he knew nothing of the seventh verse, which appears also from the fact that he has never quoted that verse. 3 A
celebrity to his gloss; and in a short time it was generally adopted. It appeared, indeed, under different forms; but it was still the gloss of Augustine, though variously modified. The gloss having once obtained credit in the Latin church, the possessors of Latin manuscripts began to note it in the margin, by the side of the eighth verse. Hence the oldest of those Latin manuscripts, which have the passage in the margin, have it in a different hand from that of the text. In later manuscripts we find margin and text in the same hand; for transcribers did not venture immediately to move it into the body of the text, though in some manuscripts it is interlined, but interlined by a later hand. After the eighth century the insertion became general. For Latin manuscripts written after that period have generally, though not always, the passage in the body of the text. Further, when the seventh verse made its first appearance in the Latin manuscripts, it appeared in as many different forms, as there were forms to the gloss upon the eighth verse.7 And though it now precedes the eighth verse, it followed the eighth verse, at its first insertion, as a gloss would naturally follow the text upon which it was made."8
Many mauuscripts of the Vulgate version, and also the printed text, even that of Pope Clement VIII., have the final clause of the eighth verse, tres unum sunt, which is manifestly a corruption final clause. Some add, in Christo Jesu; some read Filius from the homoioteleuton, TPEIXEIZ: while others omit that instead of Verbum; some omit Sanctus; others transpose quoniam and et; and the more ancient of those, which have the passage, put the eighth verse before the seventh. This uncertainty and fluctuation is, itself, a most suspicious mark of inthat the seventh verse originated in a Latin gloss upon the eighth terpolation." It is not, therefore, a matter of mere conjecture, verse it is an historical fact, supported by evidence which cannot be resisted."10
5. The clause in question is NOT ONCE quoted in the genuine works of any one of the Greek Fathers, or early Ecclesiasticul Writers, even in those places where we should most expect it.
For instance, it does not occur in the Exposition of Faith printed with the works of Justin Martyr, nor in the works of Irenæus, Clemens Alexandrinus, Hippolytus against Noëtus, Dionysius Alexandrinus in the epistle addressed to Paul of Samosata, Athanasius, Didymus, Basil, Gregory Nazianzen, Greander or Alexandria, the author of the Synopsis of Scripture, gory of Nyssa, Epiphanius, Cæsarius, Chrysostom, Proclus, AlexAndreas Cæsariensis, Joannes Damascenus, Elias Cretensis, GerZigabenus, Nicetas, in six different catena cited by Simon, and manus of Constantinople, Oecumenius, Theophylact, Euthymius one cited by Matthæi, nor in the Greek Scholia of various manuscripts. But the bare silence of these writers is not all. Many of them wrote professedly on the Trinity, the Deity of Christ, and of the Holy Spirit; their unity, equality, consubstantiality, &c.: and in order to prove these points, they diligently examined the entire Bible; and, in particular, they have frequently cited the preceding verse, as well as that which immediately follows. «The manuscripts which were used by Irenæus and Clement of Alexandria could not have been written later than the second century. The manuscripts used by Origen could not have been written later than the third century. The manuscripts used by the Greek fathers, who attended the Nicene council, could not have been written later than the fourth century. In this manner we may prove that the Greek manuscripts, in every century, were destitute of the passage, until we come to the period
The various forms, in which the seventh verse made its first appear. ance in the Latin MSS. may be seen on consulting the notes of Erasmus, Mill, and Sabatier, to 1 John v. 7. Simon, Hist. des Versions, chap. ix. and Porson's 6th Letter.
Bengelii Appar. Crit. pp. 467. ed. 2da. It is so placed also by Vigilius Tapsensis, who quotes thus: Tres sunt qui testimonium perhibent in terra, aqua, sanguis, et caro; et tres in nobis sunt: et tres sunt qui testimonium perhibent in cœlo, Pater, Verbum, et Spiritus sanctus, et hi tres unum sunt. Bishop Marsh's Lectures, part vi. pp. 19-22.
That is, the recurrence of the same word at the end of two contiguous clauses.
10 Bishop Marsh's Lectures, part vi. p. 22. Bishop Burgess has endeavoured to obviate the above very forcible arguments by stating that, although the seventh verse is wanting in some of the "more ancient" manuscripts, yet it is found in some of the "most ancient," for instance, in the Vauxcelles Bible of the eighth century, and in three MSS. containing the Catholic Epistles, which are in the library at Verona, of the same century, in one of which the eighth verse is wanting. (Vindication of 1 John v. 7. p. 54.) But his observations are shown to be inapplicable by "Crito Can. tabrigiensis." Vindication of Porson's Literary Character, pp. 138. et seq 11 In the sixth volume of the Christian Observer, for 1807, pp. 285-289. there is a neat abstract, with English translations, of the principal passages of the most eminent Greek fathers, who must have quoted the disputed clause, had it been extant in their copies of the New Testament.
person in the Old Testament-from the ascription to him of the attributes, the works, and the homage, which are peculiar to the Deity-and from those numerous and important relations, which he is affirmed in Scripture to sustain towards his holy and universal church, and towards each of its true - members. "There are," to adopt the deliberate judgment of Griesbach, "so many arguments for the true Deity of Christ, that I see not how it can be called in question; the divine authority of Scripture being granted, and just rules of interpretation acknowledged. The exordium of Saint John's Gospel, in particular, is so perspicuous and above all exception, that it NEVER can be overturned by the daring attacks of interpreters and critics, and taken away from the defenders of the
ON THE SECOND AND THIRD EPISTLES OF JOHN.
I. Genuineness, authenticity, and date of these Epistles.-II. The second Epistle, to whom addressed.-III. Its scope.IV. The third Epistle, to whom addressed.-V. Its scope. -VI. Observations on this Epistle.
1. ALTHOUGH, in the fourth century, when Eusebius wrote his ecclesiastical history, these two Epistles were classed among the Avricusa or books which were received by the majority of Christians (though some doubts were entertained by others respecting their authenticity), yet testimonies are not wanting to prove that they were both known and received as genuine productions of the apostle John. The second Epistle is cited by Irenæus, and received by Clement of Alexandria. Origen mentions all three Epistles, though he says that the second and third were not allowed to be genuine by all persons. Dionysius of Alexandria mentions them as being ascribed to St. John. The second Epistle was quoted by Alexander bishop of Alexandria; and all three Epistles were received by Athanasius, by Cyril of Jerusalem, by Epiphanius, Jerome (a few of whose contemporaries doubted the authenticity of these Epistles), Rufinus, and almost every subsequent writer of note.2 They are not, indeed, received in the Syrian churches; but the thoughts and style are so similar to those of the first Epistle, that almost all critics attribute them to the author of the first Epistle, namely, John; and they were, in all probability, written about the same time as that Epistle, viz. A. D. 68 or 69. Consequently these Epistles could not have been written by John the elder, a member of the Ephesian church, as some of the fathers, and also some modern critics, have imagined. Various reasons have been assigned why these two Epistles were not received earlier into the canon. Michaelis is disposed to think that doubt was excited concerning their genuineness by the address, in which the author neither calls himself John, nor assumes the title of an apostle, but simply names himself the "elder" ( ETBUTE); as Saint Peter (I. ch. v. 1.) styles himself a "fellow elder" (UpBUTES), which title, after Peter's death, the apostle John might with great propriety assume, as being the only remaining apostle. It is, however, most probable that, being letters to private persons, they had for a considerable time been kept in the possession of the families to whom they were originally sent, and were not discovered till long after the apostle's decease, and after the death of the persons to whom they had been addressed. When first discovered, all the immediate vouchers for their genuineness were necessarily gone; and the church of Christ, ever on its guard against imposture, particularly in relation to writings professing to be the work of apostles, hesitated to receive them into the number of canonical Scriptures, until it was fully ascertained that they were divinely inspired.
II. Considerable uncertainty prevails respecting the person to whom the second Epistle was addressed, some conjecturing
concessâ Scripturæ Sacræ divinâ
1 Atque sunt profecto tam multa et luculenta argumenta et Scripturæ loca, quibus vera Deitas Christo vindicatur, ut ego quidem intelligere vix et justis interpretandi regulis, dogma hoc in dubium à quoquam vocari posse. In primis locus ille, Joh. i. 1, 2, 3., tam perspicuus est, atque omnibus exceptionibus major, ut neque interpretum, neque criticorum audacibus conatibus UNQUAM everti atque veritatis defensoribus eripi possit. Nov. Test. tom. ii. Præf. pp. viii. ix. Halæ, 1775.
See the references to the above-named fathers in Dr. Lardner's Works, 8vo. vol. vi. pp. 584-586.; 4to. vol. iii. pp. 525, 526. Dr. Mill, and after him Dr. Lardner, observe, that, of the thirteen verses composing the second Epistle, eight are to be found in the first either in sense or in expression.
a particular person to be intended, while others understand it figuratively, as of the church. The ancient commentators supposed it to be figurative, but most of the modern commentators and critics understand it literally, though they do not agree in their literal interpretation. Archbishop Newcome, Wakefield, Macknight, and the venerable translators of our authorized version, make ExλT to be an adjective, and render the inscription "To the elect (or excellent, or chosen) Lady;" the Vulgate version, Calmet, and others, consider ExλET to be a proper name, and translate it "To the Lady Electa;" J. B. Carpzov, Schleusner, and Rosenmüller take Kup to be a proper name, and the Epistle to be addressed to Cyria, or Kyria, the Elect, and Michaelis conjectures Kup to be an ellipsis of Kupa Exxo, which, among the ancient Greeks, signified an assembly of the people held at a stated time, and was held at Athens three times in every month; and that, since the sacred writers adopted the term Exx from its civil use among the Greeks, Κυρια Εκκλησια might hee mean the stated assembly of the Christians, held every Sunday; and thus Tn exλExти xupa, with Exxxo understood, would signify, "To the elect church or community which comes together on Sundays." He admits, however, that he knows does not think that this explanation can be very easily esta not of any instance of such ellipsis; and Bishop Middleton blished. Of these various hypotheses, the most probable opinion is that which considers the Epistle as addressed to the Lady Electa, who is supposed to have been an eminent Christian matron: what confirms this opinion is, that the Greek article is absent, which would have been absolutely necessary if the inscription had been "To the elect Lady," or to "Kyria the Elect."
III. The SECOND EPISTLE of John is an epitome of the first, and touches, in few words, on the same points. The "Lady Electa" is commended for her virtuous and religious education of her children; and is exhorted to abide in the doctrine of Christ, to persevere in the truth, and carefully to avoid the delusions of false teachers. But chiefly the apostle beseeches this Christian matron to practise the great and indispensable commandment of Christian love and charity.
IV. The THIRD EPISTLE of John is addressed to a converted Gentile, a respectable member of some Christian church, called Caius; but who he was is extremely uncertain, as there are three persons of this name mentioned in the New Testament, viz. 1. Gaius of Corinth (1 Cor. i. 14.); whom Paul calls his "host, and the host of the whole church" (Rom. xvi. 23.); 2. Gaius, a native of Macedonia, who accompanied Paul, and spent some time with him at Ephesus (Acts xix. 29.); 3. Caius of Derbe (Acts xx. 4.), who also was a fellow-traveller of Paul. Michaelis and most modern critics suppose the person to whom this Epistle was addressed to be the Caius of Corinth, as hospitality was a leading feature in his character. His hospitable temper, particularly towards the ministers of the Gospel, is strongly marked in the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth verses of this Epistle.
V. The Scope of this Epistle is to commend his steadfastness in the faith and his general hospitality, especially to the ministers of Christ; to caution him against the ambitious and turbulent practices of Diotrephes, and to recommend Demetrius to his friendship; referring what he further had to say to a personal interview.
VI. Commentators are by no means agreed who this Diotrephes was. Bede, Erasmus, Michaelis, and others, suppose him to have been the author of a new seet, and that, as he delivered false doctrines, he objected to those who propagated the true faith. Grotius, Le Clerc, and Beausobre imagined that he was a Gentile convert who would not receive Jewish Christians. But it is most probable that he was an ambitious elder or bishop in the church of which Gaius was a member, and that, having been converted from Judaism, he opposed the admission of the Gentiles, and set himself up as the head of a party in opposition to the apostles. If (as we suppose) the Gaius to whom this Epistle was addressed was the generous "host of the church at Corinth," it is possible that this Diotrephes might have been the leading opponent of Saint Paul in that city, whom he forbore to name out of delicacy, though he censured his conduct. See 1 Cor. iii. 35. iv. 6., &c.
Demetrius, who is so highly commended by the apostle in
As the Syriac name Martha is of the same import as Kupi, Carpzov conjectured that this epistle was addressed to the sister of Lazarus, and that she changed her name from Martha to Kyria or Cyria, after the persecution of the church which followed the martyrdom of Stephen, for the security of her person. The conjecture is ingenious, but is not supported bany authority. Epist. Cath. Septenarius, p. 185