Should 1 John 5:7 be Used to “Prove the Trinity”
By: Rev. Sam Harris
|By: Rev. Sam Harris; ©1999|
|Was this verse part of the original manuscripts? If it was not, does that do damage to the doctrine of the “Trinity” as taught in Scripture? Rev. Harris explains.|
Should 1 John 5:7 be used to “prove” the Trinity?
I am a firm believer in the Trinity. One verse I looked upon to prove the Trinity is 1 John 5:7. I hear that there is some controversy over the genuineness of this verse, that it was added in the 1500’s. Can you help me with this? Was this verse penned by John, or an editor of the sixteenth century?
The verse in question is: “And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is the truth.” (NASB)
According to The Interpreter’s Bible, Vol. 12, page 293, a number of translations will reject this verse as it appears in no ancient Greek manuscript nor is it cited by any Greek fathers. Of all the versions, only the Latin contained it, and even this is in none of the most ancient sources. The earliest manuscripts of the Vulgate do not have it. It is probably a gloss that has crept into the text. The explanation from The Interpreter’s Bible is also supported by a number of other commentaries.
This should not in any way negate your and my strong belief in the Trinity. For an excellent one page article on the Trinity entitled “One and Three: The Trinity,” look at the New Geneva Study Bible, printed by Nelson, page 1102.