Bill Brown - Did Heretics Alter 1 John 5:7?

Steven Avery


Did Heretics Alter 1 John 5:7?
Bill Brown

Bill Brown
"an explanation must be given as to why an authentic reading vanished without a trace"

"Without a trace in the extant Greek manuscript line" would be far more accurate. The largest church language line had dozens of commentaries utilizing the verse.

The quotes from Frederick Nolan is very good. The paper, however is behind the times now, due to Eusebius ad Marcellum.


The second part of the heresy issues:

Bill Brown
"A second problem is that the argumentation is contradictory: the second hand removes what is given !y the first. Consider the Cyprian quotation, notably Armfield's insistence that Cyprian quoted the passage as part of a "received text" at his time. If this is true one must not only wonder why nobody else quoted it but also what Arians in the fourth century would gain by removing it. Comma advocates never address this obvious problem."

The "problem" is incomprehensible.

We do not have extensive quoting of 1 John in the Ante-Nicene era, but we do have solid references from Origen, Tertullian, 2 from Cyprian and Hundredfold Martyrs. When you go to the 4th century we get much more.

What would Arians gain? If they do not like the doctrine, the Bible without the verse would reflect their beliefs better.

As often, Bill's writing is incomprehensible. Something is supposed to be never addressed. Bill Brown is not even as clear as mud.


"Thirdly, we are never told how this conspiracy was executed. The logistics of such an operation present numerous problems. How could the Arians seize control of every manuscript in existence, copy it, and replace it without being detected? How could they ever know they had every manuscript? And how is it possible to pull off such a vast conspiracy but forget to alter the grammar? In short, if the conspiracy to remove the Comma is true then the grammatical argument becomes exponentially less probable."

Total straw man argumentation. We have very few extant mss. before 700 AD. This is so nonsensical that it is best to simply smile. Especially as most of the dropping likely occurred before the Arian contrerversies.


It is hard to spend more time on Bll Brown's writing. There simply is no logic involved.

Also, like Dabney, Nolan does approach the probability aspect:

"asserting that the probabilities are decidedly in favor of his having expunged, rather than the Catholics having inserted, those passages in the sacred text.” (not given by Bill Brown)

Dabney's quote is fine, as is the limited mention of Hills and the theory regarding concern of favoring Sabellianism.


Now lets go to the six arguments of Bill Brown:


Bill Brown
"The first problem is that it is little more than
argumentum ad hominem"

This is absurdity from Bill Brown, who does not know the meaning of an "ad hominem" argument (classical or modern.)

It is even more absurd when you consider that many of the textual scribes would be faced with a split line and simply making a decision.

"The allegation makes two assumptions, both contradicted by the extant data 1) "heretics would change the Bible at will and 2) "Christians would never do so."

Total nonsense. Ultra-straw-man argumentation.

Brown even pre-destroyed his own argument by mentioning the Hllls theory, which in fact would qualify as a type of Orthodox corruption.

And NOBODY talked of "at will", simply that such corruptions wold happened.

With Bill Brown's logic this weak, should we go on to 2-6?

Still on 1, Bill Brown says that Dabney uses "vile names" (much milder than Bill Brown vulgar attacks).

blind admirer

Where? Words extracted sans any context. His attack looks totally untrustworthy in terms of the heresy and tampering issues. Non-scholarship. Here is the section from Dabney:

"Eusebius ... also was a clarum et venerabile momen, with the corrupt and fantastical religionism of the day. He was a blind admirer of Origen and constantly made tacit pretensions of being (through Pamphilus) the lineal successor to his fame and influence. He was in theology a semi-Arian; in church-politics, tricky and time-serving; to the pretentious tyrant, Constantine the Great, a truckling sycophant."

Looks like a 100% true and accurate description of Eusebius, whatever his textual actions.

If Bill Brown wants to make a spirited defense of Eusebius, he should do so directly. And not make false accusations of "vile names". Trash non-scholarship, however it was fun looking up what Brown omitted.