1 Timothy 3:16 - scholastic writings 1440-1730

Steven Avery

scholastic writings 1440-1730
From the pre-Erasmus era to the publication of Newton, which triggered direct responses.


Pure Bible Forum
the earliest scholastic arguments for οϛ
(mostly after 1730)

scholastic writings 1440-1730

Greek Writers, Θεὸς, "God" (List and references) - Brian Winter


Some lists of Proponents and Opponents

Ebenezer Henderson
Defenders - all later except Mill
Mill, Bengel, Venema, Wesseling, Berriman, Baumgarten, Ernesti, Titmann, Knapp, Grieve, Woide, Royaards, Jan van Voorst, Wardlaw, Laurence, Nolan, Burton, Moses Stuart, - Baumgarten, Siegmund Jakob


Review of Berriman

Socian - Smalcius Schlictingius Crellius Prazipcovius

Benard de Moor mentions some writers on the Deity of Christ and our verse
John Mill
Becmann - Fridemann Bechmann
Nicolaus Arnoldi
Herman Venema
see post below!

Theodore Letis


From Brian Winter page:
  1. Laurentius Valla (1440) - Henderson, p. 65, quoting History of the Interpretaton of Scripture, Vol. I, p. 155.
  2. John Calvin (1509-1564) - Commenting on the Vulgate translation, notes that "All the Greek copies undoubtedly agree in this rendering, ‘God manifested in the flesh.’”
  3. John Pearson (1659) - Notes that “the name of God is expressed in all the copies of the original language” and moreover that ὃς in his day was not found “in any copy.” An Exposition of the Creed, 1st Edition (1659), pp. 255, 257 (upper margin). (https://books.google.com/books?id=KQo8AQAAMAAJ&pg=pa257#v=onepage&q&f=false).
Lorenzo Valla by Ebenezer Henderson

Erasmus (separate page)


Faber Stapulensis - Jacques Lefèvre
- (c. 1455 – 1536)

Luther - Grantley error
Other German/Lutheran scholars

John Calvin

Theodore Beza
Letis - p. 209
Beza once said it was the foul work of the devil to deprive Christians of the word "God" in I Timothy iii. 16, as "There is scarcely another passage in which all the mysteries of our redemption are explained so magnificently or so clearly" (McLachlan 1941: 164).

Simon Budny

Lucas Brugensis

Disputationis Theologicae Ex dicto Apostolico 1. Joh. 5. v. 7. Tres sunt, qui testimonium dant in coelo, Pater, Verbum & Spiritus sanctus, & hi tres unum sunt: A Johanne Gerhardo ... Publicè institutae Pars ...: Canonicam Dicti Autoritatem Asserens. (1619)
Johann Gerhard, David Tancke, Isaac Fröreisen

Stephanus Curcellaeus (1586-1659)
Letis - p. 154
With regard to the two doctrinal passages we have been highlighting, the one supporting the Trinity in the Latin Bible, and the other the Deity of Christ in the Greek Bible, Curcellaeus rejects them both.46 He places ... On I Tim. 3:16, in his textual note he mentions, like Grotius, "the ancient manuscript" reads "he" (??) rather than "God" was manifest in the flesh and that the Latin, Arabic and Syriac versions also leave out "God.” Furthermore, he notes that Morinus has discovered in the margin of an ancient MS. an attempt to insert the word "God," but that the false emendation is easily spotted.

Jean Morin (1591-1659)

Franz Gomar (Bruges, 1563 – 1641)

Giovanni Diodati - (1576-1649) - Pro, see Letis 1995 p. 248
4. John Diodati, an Italian, Reformed divine had his Annotations translated from the Italian into English in 1643. At 1 Tim 3: 16 he knows of no variant and sees this as a locus classicus for the full deity of Christ: "God: namely, the everlasting Son of God, true God with his Father, hath taken upon him human nature... " For the comma again he knows of no variant and sees this as a proof text for the Trinity: "that bear record: Of the same truth by glorious effects, proper to each of the three persons of the holy Trinity ... are one: namely, in essence and perfect operation... "

To be Added, see Henderson on Calov

Johannes Volkel (c. 1630) - Socinian
see Luke Melbourne
So Volkelius tells us plainly that our Text is one of those Scriptures, quas ad errorem suum stabiliendum detorquent adversaris, which those who believe Christ to be God wrest to the maintenance of their own error, for the name of God is not in all the Greek Copies, as may be seen by the vulgar Latin and Syriac Versions, but all the following particulars are to be referr'd to the Mystery of Godliness mencioned before, which mystery of Godliness was manifested in the flesh

Hugo Grotius (1583-1645)
http://books.google.com/books?id=xHtTAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA712 - 1646
Theodore Letis p. 151-154 has a section on Grotius

De aphorismo Paulino ex 1. Tim. c. 3. v. 16. Deus manifestatus est in carne .(1644)
Johann Weinmann
Weinmann, Johann (1599-1672)

Denis Amelotte (1609-1678)

Abraham Calovius - (1612–1686)
Ebenezer Henderson - - refutes Enjedin Enyedi Socinus Smalcius Grotius (includes Annotations of Grotius)

John Trapp's Complete Commentary (c. 1670)

Nicolaus Arnoldi (1618-1680)

John Fell (1675) - Letis p. 240-250
In 1702 -- incorrectly noted in the Cambridge History of the Bible as 1708 -- a third edition of A Paraphrase and Annotations Upon all St. Paul's Epistles issued from the press under Dr. Fell's editorship. Originally published in 1675 anonymously by three Oxford dons, no proper annotation appears in it for 1 Tim. 3: 16 but a marginal note seems to acknowledge the Latin Vulgate alternative.

An Exposition of the Creed (1676)
John Pearson
http://books.google.com/books?id=HC8-AAAAcAAJ&pg=PA127 - p. 127-129
Notes that “the name of God is expressed universally in the copies of the original language” and moreover that ὃς in his day was not found “in any copy.”
https://books.google.com/books?id=KQo8AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA255 1659
https://books.google.com/books?id=mFVnAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA141 - 1662
http://books.google.com/books?id=XecCAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA226 - 1877 - 6th edition - Revised an corrected by Edward E. Burton
p. 226 - 228 and continues with the blood of Jesus

Christopher Crellius (maybe Johannes) - see Luke Melbourne

Matthew Poole's Annotations (1685) knows only the received readings - Letis p. 248

Richard Baxter - Letis p. 248 .. both verses
Parapbrase on the New Testament With Notes while affirming both received readings the Three Heavenly Witnesses are negotiable: "Note, though much of these words, ver. 7,8 be not in many antient copies of the bible, we have more reason to think the Arians Ieft them out, than that the orthodox put them in;... But however, it need not offend the faitbful, there being so many otber texts which assert the Trinity" (emphasis mine)

Friedemann Bechmann (1628-1703)

An Explanation of the Grand Mystery of Godliness; or a True and Faithful Representation of the Everlasting Gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the Onely Begotten Son of GOD and Sovereign over Men and Angels (1660)
Henry More
Henry More (1614-1687)
546 pages - a rather strange combo of topics

Dissertatio theologica de incarnatione filli Dei ex. i. Tim. III. 16 (1683)
Johann Deutschmann - Johannes Christianus

Richard Simon (1685) - did he bypass the verse?

Isaac Newton - 1690 - pub c.1730 - begins next stage

Thomas Smith (1690)
Charles Leslie on Thomas Smith

John Biddle (1691)

Luke Milbourne (1691)
p. 4 - Stephen Nye says 8 or 82 pages
For they tell us that some Copies read this Text not as we do, (Greek) God was manifest in the flesh, but (Greek) in which was manifest in the flesh, without any mention of God at all. Erasmus was the first in this observation, Grotius, follows (Greek-God) in him and tells us (Greek-God) is wanting in the vulgar Latin, the Syriac and Arabic translations, and that St. Ambrose takes no notice of it, and that Hincmare Bishop of Rhemes says it was foisted into the Text by the Nestorians. Curcellaus tells us the same, and of an old Greek Copy mentioned by Morinus, wherein part of the word was written by a later hand. This Critical observation the Socinians with one consent lay hold on, by that means endeavouring to avoid so plain a Text for the Divinity of the Son of God. So Volkelius tells us plainly that our Text is one of those Scriptures, quas ad errorem suum stabiliendum detorquent adversaris, which those who believe Christ to be God wrest to the maintenance of their own error, for the name of God is not in all the Greek Copies, as may be seen by the vulgar Latin and Syriac Versions, but all the following particulars are to be referr'd to the Mystery of Godliness mencioned before, which mystery of Godliness was manifested in the flesh: and this Grotius before cited on the place, takes to be very good sense. Crellius on this place observes the same thing, yet owns Quod Græci constanter pro å legunt Qeòs, that the Greeks, whose the Original is, read the name of God unanimously in the Text, tho' some Versions want it. He tells us a story of Macedonius the Patriarch of the Pneumatomachoi, or those Hereticks who deny'd the divinity or personality of the Holy Ghost, or of some other of that name of which more hereafter, that he attempted the depraving of this passage, and that there is no question but he inserted the controverted word into the Texct afterwards, He refers us to an abridgment of the case of Nestorius and Eutyches, written by Liberatus a Deacon of Carthage, who tells us that Macedonius Bishop of Constantantinople was deprived by the Emperour Anastasius as a falsifier of Scripture, and particularly for inserting the word God in this place of S. Paul : He tells us indeed that, In eo consentiunt omnes malam manum huic loco suisse adhibitam, fraudemque à Macedonio attentatam; All agree in this that some fool play was offered to the Text, and that Macedonius was concern'd in the cheat; but for this we must take his word, for he
(continues on p. 7 with much more!)

Stephen Nye (1692)
An Accurate Examination of the Principal Texts: Usually Alledged for the Divinity of Our Saviour; and for the Satisfaction by Him Made to the Justice of God, for the Sins of Men: Occasioned by a Book of Mr. L. Milbourn, Called, Mysteries (in Religion) Vindicated
p. 1-5

Jean Le Clerc (1699) - inspired by Newton's treatise, see Letis

John Locke, 1702, showed his data to Newton, not on our verse (Letis)

Matthew Henry at Hackney (1706)

Edward Wells - 1709
The truth I spoke of (v. 15) which was hid to former ages, or not made known then so clearly as now it is ... of which mysterious truth the principal articles or heads are these, viz. that God the Son, our blessed Lord, was manifested to us men by his dwelling among us in the flesh..

John Mill (c. 1712)

Samuel Clarke's The Scripture Doctrine of the Trinity (1712) - Letis p. 261-252
was of some , influence in bringing him (Whitby) to the Arian position (Whitby 1822: 101)
Hence, when it came to treating I Tim 3: 16 in his retractions he never questioned the orthodox reading, but instead rendered it in the f6flowing fashion:
... and as for the words in Timothy, 'God was manifest in the flesh, ' it is plain that the word God, there, though it signify one who was truly God, by having a true dominion over all things in heaven and earth imparted to him, and having all perfections requisite to the exercise of that dominion, yet cannot it signify that self-existent God, whose power is absolute and underived... (Whitby 1822: 124).

Meditatio super 1 Timoth. III, 16., de manifestatione Dei in carne - (1723)
Gesamt-Universität (Jena)

Daniel Whitby - Last Thoughts (1722 written, published 1727) - in Letis p. 250-251
A Paraphrase Commentary on the New Testament - 1718 - 2 Volumes - maybe Fourth Edition
https://archive.org/details/criticalcommenta06pitmuoft/page/288/mode/2up - 1822

Whitby interacts with a good deal of material in coming to his conclusions. Regarding I Tim 3: 16 he is aware of Grotius's arguments but defers to Pearson's reply to these, concluding: "In a word, the reading which our translation follows, is owned by all the Greek scholiasts, Chrysostom, Theodoret, Oecumenius, and Theophylact, and is found in all the manuscripts, excepting that of Clermont and Lincoln College".
However, not in Last Thoughts, some similar material in Annotationes.
Simon Patrick (this may be Pearson)
1710, Examen Variantium Lectionum Johannis Millii

Thomas Pyle - 1725 (Arian)

Daniel Mace - (1729) in Berriman

Also go to his edition, so far not easily online.
The New Testament in Greek and English: Containing the Original Text Corrected from the Authority of the Most Authentic Manuscripts: and a New Version Formed Agreeably to the Illustrations of the Most Learned Commentators and Critics. With Notes and Various Readings [by Daniel Mace], Etc
Also there may be good info in Letis p. 255, 1995
Although ok on this verse, Mace is generally a disaster, see also Bible-Researcher

Leonard Twells response to Daniel Mace

Samuel Crellius (1660-1747) John Berriman later quotes

William Whiston - connected with Newton
Zachary Pearce - connected with Newton


These are in Letis - in the later 1700s.
William Wall - John Guyse - Robert Witham - George Benson - John Wesley - Phillip Doddridge - Robert Goadby - Anthony Purver - John Worsley - Edward Harwood - John F. Ostervald

Matthaei c. 1785
does do the grammar, he was instrumental on heavenly witnesses grammar with Eugenius Bulgaris


Thomas Emlyn so far only on comma

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Steven Avery

John Pearson is responding to the Socinians and the Racovian catechism
Check if notes are Pearson or Burton or both by looking at 1600s editions.
Berriman is mentioned, so that must be Burton, but that is a footnote to the footnotes!