Diodorus book on John's Epistle

Steven Avery


The Suida Byzantine encyclopedia (Medieval Greek:Σοῦδα, translit. Soûda; Latin: Suidae Lexicon)
(note that Wikipedia has two different ideas about Suida being a name of the author)

And it is an interesting question to check the manuscript, the availability of which is likely discussed at the
Ada Adler (1878-1946) edition, 1928–1938: Suidae Lexicon. Leipzig: B. G. Teubner. 5 vols.
Note: this edition is in my area at Bard College.
And this review by H. Stuart Jones helps describe the meticulous accuracy of the edition.
And the online editions are here:
Including a very nice 1564 printed edition

in the 900s is quoting from:

Anagnostes (c. 500 AD), (Greek: Θεόδωρος Ἀναγνώστης, Theodoros Anagnostes)

an historian also known as Theodorus Lector,

Theodorus Lector, reader of the church of Constantinople. He composed in two books a tripartite history out of Socrates, Sozomen, and Theodoret, extant in MS. at Venice. It was copied by Leo Allatius, but not published. Valesius used his MS. in his edition of those authors.

This note would indicate that the MS. in Venice or the copy by Leo Allatius (1586-1669) would give a more primary source, and that the edition of Valesius (1603-1676) could alternately be checked, although that would be less helpful. The big catch, of course would be if the MS. in Venice could be consulted. Apparently it is complete for those books, his later history is the one that is said to be fragmentary.

and Theodorus lists the books of:

Diodorus of Tarsus (c. 380)
(Greek Διόδωρος ὁ Ταρσεύς; died c. 390)

586 Diodorus monachus primum suit, Juliani el Valentis temporibus, postea vero episcopus Tarsi Ciliciae. Scripsit hic libros complures, ut testatur Theodorus Lector in Historia ecclesiastica. Quorum hi sunt tituli : ... In Epistolam Joannis evangelistae , de hoc quod unus est Deus in Trinitate.

είς τήν Επιστολήν Ιωάννου τού Ευαγγελιστού - περί τού είς Θεός έν Τριάδι

Diodorus, a monk ... in the time of Julian of Valens, bishop of Tarsus in Cilicia ... wrote a number of books ... according to Theodore Lector in the History of the Church. Which are titled... (many listed)
In the evangelist John's epistle, concerning that God is one in Trinity.

- Google smoothed - have done more completely

Patrologiæ cursus completus: seu, Bibliotheca ..., Volume 86, Part 1 (1865)

Diodorus 1.jpg
Johns Epistle.jpg
Eis ten Epistolen Ioannou tou Euaggelistou peri tou eis Theos en Triadi. - (Ben David)
είς τήν Επιστολήν Ιωάννου τού Ευαγγελιστού - περί τού είς Θεός έν Τριάδι

Now checking ...
Suidas various printings
Is this part is extant directly in Theodorus
Add the history - Dorhout, Brownlee, Burgess, Ben David et al and any contra harumphs
Best transcription of the Suidas and Theodorus Greek
(Suidas was in Greek and translated to Latin)


Steven Avery

Some have separated these as two separate books.

A New History of Ecclesiastical Writers:: Containing an Account of the Authors of the Several Books of the Old and New Testament; of the Lives and Writings of the Primitive Fathers; an Abridgment and Catalogue of Their Works; Their Various Editions, and Censures Determining the Genuine and Spurious. Together with a Judgment Upon Their Style and Doctrine. Also, a Compendious History of the Councils; with Chronological Tables of the Whole, Volumes 1-2 (1693)
Louis Ellies Du Pin

Du Pin.jpg
Suidae Lexicon, Græce & Latine (1705)
In Epiitolam Joannis Euangelistae. De co, quod iit unus Deus in Trinitate. -

Gentleman's Magazine (1805)

Charles Dunster (1750-1816)
is likely the Country-Clergyman

Classical Journal (1813)
A Country-Clergyman

Gentlemans Mag 1805.jpg
In the footnote is discussed Lardner's idea that this might be two distinct writings.

* Lardner, (Vol. iv. 493.,) in bis account of Diodorus Bishop of Tarsus, from Suidas, has chosen to stop short after the word Ευαγγελιστού. it may be said, he considered the περί τού είς Θεός έν Τριάδι., not as a description of St, John's Epistle, but as the subject of a separate commentary, or tract. This might be so. But in noticing his commentary on “the difference between theory and allegory,” which is placed next after that on the Book of Proverbs, he well argues, it “might therefore have been a dissertation subjoined to it.” Now the same supposition is no less obvious in this case ; and it would involve the conclusion, above inferred, that Diodorus had seen a copy of St. John’s first Epistle, which contained the 7th verse of Chanter v.

Classical Journal (1813)

We are told of a book now lost, which appears to have been a commentary on the 1st Epistle of St. John, and contained an explication or defence of the Trinity. This might have afforded a slight degree of preponderance to the balance in favor of 1 John, v. 7- were there no other text in the epistle whence the doctrine could be elicited; but unfortunately, in the 4th century, the Fathers generally made use of the mystical interpretation of the eighth verse. The question then will he most properly decided by analogy ; and I shall propose the following questions.
1. Did the Fathers ever make use of the mystical interpretation of the earthly witnesses mentioned, 1 John, v. 8. ?
2. Is the seventh verse ever quoted in plain and express terms by any Fathers who lived in the five first centuries ? 3 Or is it read without variation m the MSS. of such writers, nearly or entirely in the same state in which it now stands in common editions of the New- Testament.
This is all part of a long attempt to explain Diodorus which is dependent on the absurdity of accusing the Cyprian reference of being allegorical, which continues on p. 313

... and Diodorus of Tarsus ought not to have been produced as an evidence in the case, because the work is lost. ...
Dorhout - original not online, at NYPL, Chicago, London, Wales and Europe - would be great to have the heavenly witnesses dissertation in England

Ben David (John Jones) - small note, applies it to Theodorus rather than Diodorus

Christian Advocate (1825)
William Craig Brownlee (1784-1860)

In the year 1768, a work was published at Utrecht, by Ambrose Dorhout, entitled “ Animadversiones in loca selecta, V. T.” To this eminent scholar we are indebted for a new Greek authority, which had escaped the attention of all the writers in the Porsonian controversy: and which was first quoted in England by Dr. Burgess, very lately. It is that of Diodorus, bishop of Tarsus, of the fourth century: and the instructor of Chrysostom. The following is the quotation from Dorhout’s Dissert. De 1 John, v. 7. "But let us pass to a document which is above all exception: We have asserted that the Greek writers did cite this text. We have a distinguished passage which will evince to the eyes of every man not blinded by prejudice, that the prologue of St. Jerome reports correctly, which affirms, that the Greeks read this text of the heavenly witnesses in their manuscripts. Suidas (in voce Diodorus, &c.) relates out of Theodorus, the Lector’s church history, that Diodorus, the Greek monk, who lived in the days of the emperors Julian, &c., and who was afterwards bishop of Tarsus, wrote various pieces: among these the following: Works on the whole of the Old Testament, viz. Genesis, Exodus, &c. Also on the Evangelists; on the Acts of the Apostles, and είς τήν Επιστολήν Ιωάννου τού Ευαγγελιστού - περί τού είς Θεός έν Τριάδι. And also on the Epistle of John concerning that passage which treats of the one God in the Trinity, &c.” “ it appears to me clearer than the light,” as Dorhout adds, “ that this refers to the 7th verse.” For there is no other passage in the Epistle to which it can be referred.*

• See more fully in Burgess, p. xxxv. Note.

(note: I noted once years back that Brownlee or the C.A. printer actually omits one letter)
A Vindication of 1 John, v. 7. from the Objections of M. Griesbach: in which is given a new view of the external evidence, with Greek authorities for the authenticity of the verse, etc. With a facsimile (1823)
Thomas Burgess
p. 28-29

M. Dorhout thinks it omni exceptione majus. ...Now whether what he wrote on the unity in Trinity was part of the comment on the Epistle, or was a discourse arising out of it, it has every appearance of being founded on the seventh verse of the fifth chapter.
On p. 42, Burgess gives his perspective (which can be strengthened even more, and he fudges the clear Jerome authorship of the Vulgate Prologue) of the corroborative nature of the various Greek evidences.)

The probability, which the language of Maximus, Athanasius, Diodorus, Basil, and Dionysius of Alexandria, affords that their copies of St. John’s Epistle contained the contested verse, is greatly augmented by the certainty that the author of the Prologue to the Canonical Epistles had the verse in his copy ..
(The rest from Burgess is in Brownlee.
Burgess then mentions the Ambrose Dorhout extracts in the back
and goes next into Dionysius of Alexandria.)

Orme (contra) (1829)

... Diodorus, according to Theodorus Anagnosta, and quoted by Suidas. Mark the roundabout way in which wc\e are furnished with his testimony; and mark still farther what it is. Why this Diodorus, who it seems was the Preceptor of Chrysostom, wrote on the 1st Epistle of John, and on “Unity in the Trinity;” from which the Bishop infers 1 John v. 7. was in his Greek copy of the New Testament! There is really no arguing with this kind of evidence, even with the authority of Dorhout to bolster it up.

Roger Pearse gives a similar response.

1 John 5:7 in the fourth century? Theodore, Diodorus, the Suda, and Byzantine punctuation