Azim Mamanov makes the Middleton grammatical argument visual

Steven Avery

NT Textual Criticism

Azim Mamanov

12 hrs

I would like to continue discussing grammatical inconsistency of 1 John 5:7-8 without CJ. In the recent post we were discussing the "masculine-neutral-masculine" grammatical anomaly pointed out by Ilias Theodosis. The present grammatical anomaly is related to the ending of verse 8: "... καὶ οἱ τρεῖς εἰς τὸ ἕν εἰσιν.", literally translated as "… and the three are into the one." (YLT). Here is what Ilias had to say about the ending in one of the earlier threads, "In greek, "εἰς το" can not be used, unless it has been previously determined what exactly is this "εν" refers to." It means that there should be an indication about "the" one earlier in the passage. And it's found in CJ, while without CJ there's no such reference. Let me illustrate it:

NT Textual Criticism.jpg


Steven Avery

Nathaniel Ellsworth Cornwall explains the Middleton argument, James Snapp praises Cornwall's scholarship

Just to be clear, Azim did not refer to it as the Middleton argument, and I do not know if he has followed that whole history. James Snapp used to reference the Nathaniel Ellsworth Cornwall papers, and Cornwall has a superb section on the argument which is on p. 627 here:

The Middleton argument and history could use its own thread on the PBF.

The point is that the argument is quite strong, and is one of the many grammatical and stylistic and internal excellent arguments that go with the grammatical gender solecism.


James Snapp

The Confession of the African Bishops in Carthage

.... N. E. Cornwall in two extensive articles written in the 1870’s. Cornwall forcefully defended the CJ as genuine, and anyone who wishes to joust with well-prepared defenders of the CJ should grapple with his writings first.

You can find Cornwall’s first meticulous defense of the CJ on pages 625-641 of
Volume 26 (1874) of American Church Review, at

and his even more impressive second defense of the CJ on
pages 509-528 of Volume 29 (1877) of American Church Review, at

I found that after reading what Cornwall had to say, Metzger’s brief dismissal of the CJ did not seem very decisive. Nor does it seem objective. Metzger is frequently selective in his evidence-descriptions but it is clear that in his comments about the CJ his selectivity is especially remarkable; for example, he mentions that the CJ is not in Codex Fuldensis but he does not mention (and this cannot have been accidental) that the CJ is specifically mentioned in the Preface to the Catholic Epistles that is contained in Codex Fuldensis.


Steven Avery

I checked with Azim, he just hit open this problem with the short text from his own looking at the verse. Unaware of the previous Middleton writing. Quite impressive!