The first thing you will notice is that only a few translations even include the statement concerning the Father, Word (Son) and Holy Spirit. KJV Only types will accuse the other translations of removing the text. However it would appear that the KJV (and a few others) added the text!
The first thing we must acknowledge is that this passage is actually a call-back to a TORAH-based principle of needing 2 to 3 witnesses to establish truth (Deuteronomy 17:6; Deuteronomy 19:15; Matthew 18:16; 2 Corinthians 13:1).
Second (and I encourage you to do your own research on this), many commentators point out the following:
...the remainder of this verse and the first clause of verse 8 are spurious. Words which are not contained in a single Greek uncial manuscript, nor in a single Greek cursive earlier than the fourteenth century (the two which contain the passage being evidently translated from the Vulgate), nor are quoted by a single Greek Father during the whole of the Trinitarian controversy, nor are found in any authority until late in the fifth century, cannot be genuine.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For there are three that bear record in heaven,.... That is, that Jesus is the Son of God. The genuineness of this text has been called in question by some, because it is wanting in the Syriac version, as it also is in the Arabic and Ethiopic versions; and because the old Latin interpreter has it not; and it is not to be found in many Greek manuscripts; nor cited by many of the ancient fathers, even by such who wrote against the Arians, when it might have been of great service to them: to all which it may be replied, that as to the Syriac version, which is the most ancient, and of the greatest consequence, it is but a version, and a defective one.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Two or three witnesses were required by law to constitute adequate testimony. The only Greek manuscripts in any form which support the words, "in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one; and there are three that bear witness in earth," are the Montfortianus of Dublin, copied evidently from the modern Latin Vulgate; the Ravianus, copied from the Complutensian Polyglot; a manuscript at Naples, with the words added in the Margin by a recent hand; Ottobonianus, 298, of the fifteenth century, the Greek of which is a mere translation of the accompanying Latin. All the old versions omit the words. The oldest manuscripts of the Vulgate omit them: the earliest Vulgate manuscript which has them being Wizanburgensis, 99, of the eighth century.
Barnes' Notes on the Bible
The portion of the passage, in 1 John 5:7-8, whose genuineness is disputed, is included in brackets in the following quotation, as it stands in the common editions of the New Testament: "For there are three that bear record (in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness on earth,) the Spirit, and the water, and the blood; and these three agree in one." If the disputed passage, therefore, be omitted as spurious, the whole passage will read, "For there are three that bear record, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood; and these three agree in one." The reasons which seem to me to prove that the passage included in brackets is spurious, and should not be regarded as a part of the inspired writings, are briefly the following:
I. It is missing in all the earlier Greek manuscripts, for it is found in no Greek manuscript written before the 16th century. Indeed, it is found in only two Greek manuscripts of any age - one the Codex Montfortianus, or Britannicus, written in the beginning of the sixteenth century, and the other the Codex Ravianus, which is a mere transcript of the text, taken partly from the third edition of Stephen's New Testament, and partly from the Complutensian Polyglott. But it is incredible that a genuine passage of the New Testament should be missing in all the early Greek manuscripts.
II. It is missing in the earliest versions, and, indeed, in a large part of the versions of the New Testament which have been made in all former times. It is wanting in both the Syriac versions - one of which was made probably in the first century; in the Coptic, Armenian, Slavonic, Ethiopic, and Arabic.
III. It is never quoted by the Greek fathers in their controversies on the doctrine of the Trinity - a passage which would be so much in point, and which could not have failed to be quoted if it were genuine; and it is not referred to by the Latin fathers until the time of Vigilius, at the end of the 5th century. If the passage were believed to be genuine - nay, if it were known at all to be in existence, and to have any probability in its favor - it is incredible that in all the controversies which occurred in regard to the divine nature, and in all the efforts to define the doctrine of the Trinity, this passage should never have been referred to. But it never was; for it must be plain to anyone who examines the subject with an unbiassed mind, that the passages which are relied on to prove that it was quoted by Athanasius, Cyprian, Augustin, etc., (Wetstein, II., p. 725) are not taken from this place, and are not such as they would have made if they had been acquainted with this passage, and had designed to quote it.
IV. The argument against the passage from the external proof is confirmed by internal evidence, which makes it morally certain that it cannot be genuine.
(a) The connection does not demand it. It does not contribute to advance what the apostle is saying, but breaks the thread of his argument entirely. He is speaking of certain things which bear "witness" to the fact that Jesus is the Messiah; certain things which were well known to those to whom he was writing - the Spirit, and the water, and the blood. How does it contribute to strengthen the force of this to say that in heaven there are "three that bear witness" - three not before referred to, and having no connection with the matter under consideration?
(b) The "language" is not such as John would use. He does, indeed, elsewhere use the term "Logos," or "Word" - ὁ Λόγος ho Logos, John 1:1, John 1:14; 1 John 1:1, but it is never in this form, "The Father, and the Word;" that is, the terms "Father" and "Word" are never used by him, or by any of the other sacred writers, as correlative. The word "Son" - ὁ Υἱός ho Huios - is the term which is correlative to the "Father" in every other place as used by John, as well as by the other sacred writers. See 1 John 1:3; 1 John 2:22-24; 1 John 4:14; 2 John 1:3, 2 John 1:9; and the Gospel of John, "passim." Besides, the correlative of the term "Logos," or "Word," with John, is not "Father," but "God." See John 1:1. Compare Revelation 19:13.
(c) Without this passage, the sense of the argument is clear and appropriate. There are three, says John, which bear witness that Jesus is the Messiah. These are referred to in 1 John 5:6; and in immediate connection with this, in the argument, 1 John 5:8, it is affirmed that their testimony goes to one point, and is harmonious. To say that there are other witnesses elsewhere, to say that they are one, contributes nothing to illustrate the nature of the testimony of these three - the water, and the blood, and the Spirit; and the internal sense of the passage, therefore, furnishes as little evidence of its genuineness as the external proof.
V. It is easy to imagine how the passage found a place in the New Testament. It was at first written, perhaps, in the margin of some Latin manuscript, as expressing the belief of the writer of what was true in heaven, as well as on earth, and with no more intention to deceive than we have when we make a marginal note in a book. Some transcriber copied it into the body of the text, perhaps with a sincere belief that it was a genuine passage, omitted by accident; and then it became too important a passage in the argument for the Trinity, ever to be displaced but by the most clear critical evidence. It was rendered into Greek, and inserted in one Greek manuscript of the 16th century, while it was missing in all the earlier manuscripts.
VI. The passage is now omitted in the best editions of the Greek Testament, and regarded as spurious by the ablest critics. See Griesbach and Hahn. On the whole, therefore, the evidence seems to me to be clear that this passage is not a genuine portion of the inspired writings, and should not be appealed to in proof of the doctrine of the Trinity. One or two remarks may be made, in addition, in regard to its use.
(1) even on the supposition that it is genuine, as Bengel believed it was, and as he believed that some Greek manuscript would still be found which would contain it , yet it is not wise to adduce it as a proof-text. It would be much easier to prove the doctrine of the Trinity from other texts, than to demonstrate the genuineness of this.
(2) it is not necessary as a proof-text. The doctrine which it contains can be abundantly established from other parts of the New Testament, by passages about which there can be no doubt.
(3) the removal of this text does nothing to weaken the evidence for the doctrine of the Trinity, or to modify that doctrine. As it was never used to shape the early belief of the Christian world on the subject, so its rejection, and its removal from the New Testament, will do nothing to modify that doctrine. The doctrine was embraced, and held, and successfully defended without it, and it can and will be so still.
Read more commentaries here and decide for yourself what is true concerning this interesting verse: http://biblecommenter.com/1_john/5-7.htm
For me, it's really a non-issue. It's semantics we're dealing with. Clearly, the Holy Spirit is a functional part of God and His plan. So, whether or not I choose to think of it as a "person" is irrelevant. It exists. It works in our lives. I believe in the Holy Spirit (just as those who wrote the Nicene Creed did). It only becomes an issue when the Trinity Police want to press the issue, by demanding you must believe the Holy Spirit is a PERSON.
1) Why did John (when considering what it means to be "antichrist"), leave the Holy Spirit out of his discussion in 1 John 2:22,23?
2) Even if we were to accept that 1 John 5:7 is authentic, it does not even state that they are three persons. It simply states that they are all one (which I am in complete agreement with).
3) I believe the Godhead consists of the Father and the Son, who both share the Holy Spirit as One. At one time I believed there were "three persons" to the Godhead. I no longer believe that. I believe the Holy Spirit originates and emanates from the Father through the Son to us, but ultimately it is part of the Father.
4) When Yeshua breathed on the disciples in John 20:22, I do not believe that another "person" entered the room. The Hebrew word is "ruach" and the Greek word is "pneuma." Both essentially mean "breath" or "wind" - in this case, I believe it is the breath of YHVH, which filled Yeshua and which was breathed again through Him to His disciples.
5) Yeshua came from His Father, and as such shares all of His attributes, but yet He remains as a separate person seated at the Father's right hand. If the Holy Spirit is indeed another person (as Yeshua is) where is His seat in Heaven and why is it never mentioned in Scripture?? Unlike the Father and Son, there is no third throne in Heaven for the Holy Spirit.
6) If the Holy Spirit were indeed a "third person," then Yeshua would not be the only begotten of the Father, but rather He would have been the only begotten of the person of the Holy Spirit who impregnated Mary (according to Matthew 1:18-20). I find this idea very problematic!
One may argue that the Son was in the beginning with the Father (John 1) and thus was begotten of Him long before Mary came along. I get that. But that doesn't solve the problem. In fact, it causes more problems. Yeshua always was the Son of YHWH, not the Son of "God the Father" and the Son of "God the Holy Spirit." When Yeshua walked the earth, He talked about His Father often. Guess what? He never called Him the Holy Spirit, which technically would have been the proper thing to do if He (Jesus as a man on earth) was in fact the result of a conception caused by another "person" of the Godhead. In all of His forms, from the Word of eternity past to His human birth in the manger, He was and is the Son of only one Father and it was YHWH, not the "person" of the Holy Spirit. The standard Trinity doctrine completely contradict this.
For me, and others who believe along similar lines, we have no contradiction. This problem is easily solved. I/we believe the Father's "ruach/pneuma" impregnated Mary, which makes Him (YHWH) truly the Person who fathered the Son (in every way from eternity past to Yeshua's birth in the manger), not some other "person" from the Godhead.
7) We know the Father's name is YHVH. We know the name of His Son, Yeshua. What is the Holy Spirit's name?
8) Many will point to Scriptures like John 14:26 as proof that the Holy Spirit is a person:
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
(John 14:26 KJV)
The problem is, the Greek word used here for "he" is ekeinos (Strong's 1565), which is a demonstrative pronoun that means "that, that one there, yonder" as opposed to the standard pronoun autos (Strong's # 846), which is a personal pronoun meaning, "he, she, it, they, them, same" as seen repeatedly for instance in 1 John 3:24:
And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us. (1 John 3:24 KJV)
For these reasons and more, I believe it is more appropriate to believe that the Holy Spirit is indeed very real and plays an active part in our salvation and walk with YHVH, but that it is both of and from the Father and not a separate, individual "person" apart from Him. Thus, even 1 John 5:7 is in agreement. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are indeed ONE (hence, I believe in the Trinity). However, there is no reason whatsoever to believe that the Holy Spirit is a "person." It is the breath/power of the Father.
KEY NOTE: I'm not saying anyone else needs to be believe this way though. I am just expressing my own struggles that I have with the standard view of the Trinity. Pray and as the Holy Spirit to lead you into the truth about this.
26 I am writing these things to warn you about those who want to lead you astray. 27 But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true—it is not a lie. So just as he has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ.
28 And now, dear children, remain in fellowship with Christ so that when he returns, you will be full of courage and not shrink back from him in shame.
29 Since we know that Christ is righteous, we also know that all who do what is right are God’s children.
3 See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him. 2 Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is. 3 And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as he is pure.
4 Everyone who sins is breaking God’s law, for all sin is contrary to the law of God.
5 And you know that Jesus came to take away our sins, and there is no sin in him. 6 Anyone who continues to live in him will not sin. But anyone who keeps on sinning does not know him or understand who he is.
Again, John clearly indicates that it is possible to not sin. To not sin is to obey YHVH's instructions (Torah).
7 Dear children, don’t let anyone deceive you about this: When people do what is right, it shows that they are righteous, even as Christ is righteous. 8 But when people keep on sinning, it shows that they belong to the devil, who has been sinning since the beginning. But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil.9 Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they are children of God. 10 So now we can tell who are children of God and who are children of the devil. Anyone who does not live righteously and does not love other believers does not belong to God.
Many believe that Cain was a physical offspring of the Serpent. However, there is nothing about the text in Genesis that would support that idea:
As we can see in 1 John 3:8-10, that being considered a "child of the devil" is an idiom for doing what the devil does in contrast to being a "child of God" by doing what He says.
11 This is the message you have heard from the beginning: We should love one another. 12 We must not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and killed his brother. And why did he kill him? Because Cain had been doing what was evil, and his brother had been doing what was righteous. 13 So don’t be surprised, dear brothers and sisters,[c] if the world hates you.
14 If we love our Christian brothers and sisters, it proves that we have passed from death to life. But a person who has no love is still dead. 15 Anyone who hates another brother or sister is really a murderer at heart. And you know that murderers don’t have eternal life within them.
16 We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person?
18 Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. 19 Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God. 20 Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything.
21 Dear friends, if we don’t feel guilty, we can come to God with bold confidence. 22 And we will receive from him whatever we ask because we obey him and do the things that please him.
23 And this is his commandment: We must believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as he commanded us. 24 Those who obey God’s commandments remain in fellowship with him, and he with them. And we know he lives in us because the Spirit he gave us lives in us.
Be sure to check out my new show with Doug Hamp called, Quest4Truth for more interesting study and debate:
The Tribulation Protection Plan:
21 “You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but on the seventh day you must stop working, even during the seasons of plowing and harvest.
22 “You must celebrate the Festival of Harvest with the first crop of the wheat harvest, and celebrate the Festival of the Final Harvest at the end of the harvest season. 23 Three times each year every man in Israel must appear before the Sovereign, the Lord, the God of Israel. 24 I will drive out the other nations ahead of you and expand your territory, so no one will covet and conquer your land while you appear before the Lord your God three times each year.
3 If you follow my statutes and keep my commandments and observe them faithfully, 4 I will give you your rains in their season, and the land shall yield its produce, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.5 Your threshing shall overtake the vintage, and the vintage shall overtake the sowing; you shall eat your bread to the full, and live securely in your land. 6 And I will grant peace in the land, and you shall lie down, and no one shall make you afraid; I will remove dangerous animals from the land, and no sword shall go through your land. 7 You shall give chase to your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword. 8 Five of you shall give chase to a hundred, and a hundred of you shall give chase to ten thousand; your enemies shall fall before you by the sword. 9 I will look with favor upon you and make you fruitful and multiply you; and I will maintain my covenant with you. 10 You shall eat old grain long stored, and you shall have to clear out the old to make way for the new. 11 I will place my dwelling in your midst, and I shall not abhor you. 12 And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and you shall be my people. 13 I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be their slaves no more; I have broken the bars of your yoke and made you walk erect.
Also listen to John William Galt (the voice of the movies) reading
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Kevin & Amanda Roberts on Obedience to YHVH's Calendar and Feasts:
More study resources related to the subjects of this week's study can be found at: www.babylonrisingblog.com and www.babylonrisingbooks.com
The Scriptures for this week's study are:
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