early evidences for omission - earthly witnesses without heavenly

Steven Avery


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Textus Receptus Academy - question from Luke Carpenter

Not including the extracts from Clement of Alexandria, does anyone know what and when the earliest citation of 1 John 5:6-8 without the CJ is?

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Origen (253)

Origen has a positive reference in the Psalm scholium, discussed by many here is Nathaniel Ellsworth Cornwall

The supposed negative reference is likely:

"I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how am I straitened till it be accomplished?" And it agrees with this that the disciple John speaks in his Epistle of the Spirit, and the water, and the blood, as being one".

Yet this is about water baptism, so the omission of the heavenly witnesses is no surprise and is very weak as a supposed omission evidence.

Chapter 26. Israel's crossing Jordan under Joshua typifies Christian things, for our instruction

Now, it may very well be that someone not versed in the various aspects of the Saviour may stumble at the interpretation given above of the Jordan; because John says, "I baptize with water, but He that comes after me is stronger than I; He shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit." To this we reply that, as the Word of God in his character as something to be drunk is to one set of men water, and to another wine, making glad the heart of man, and to others blood, since it is said, "Except ye drink My blood, ye have no life in you," and as in his character as food He is variously conceived as living bread or as flesh, so also He, the same person, is baptism of water, and baptism of Holy Spirit and of fire, and to some, also, of blood. It is of His last baptism, as some hold, that He speaks in the words, "I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how am I distressed till it be accomplished?" And it agrees with this that the disciple John speaks in his Epistle of the Spirit, and the water, and the blood, as being one. And again he declares Himself to be the way and the door, but clearly He is not the door to those to whom He is the way, and He is no longer the way to those to whom He is the door.

Overall, Origen is for authenticity, with the Psalm scholium.



Clement of Alexandria
Clement of Alexandria (before 215)

Clement is complicated, because his main salient reference comes through Cassiodorus.
I'll give a couple of notes:

Here is Ben David:


"Clemens Alexandrinus has a manifest reference to the verse and its context:

Pan rema istatai epi duo kai trion marturon, epi Patros, kai Uion, kai Agioun Pneumatos. Eph on marturon kai bonthon ai entolai legomenai phulassestai ophelousi.

Every promise is valid before two or three witnesses, before the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit; before whom, as witnesses and helpers, what are called the commandments ought to be kept.

This passage was first pointed out by Bengelius, and lately alleged by Dr. Burgess.


Charles Forster makes a reference to the "et iterum" in the sort of homily section.

Afaik, there is no real homily style omission, just a jumping through verses, so overall Clement should be an allusion positive for the verse..


Chap. v. 6. He says, " This is He who came by water and blood;" and again,—

Ver. 7. "For there are three that bear witness, the Spirit," which is life, "and the water," which is regeneration and faith, "and the blood," which is knowledge; "and these three are one." For in the Saviour are those saving virtues, and life itself exists in His own Son.

Ver. 14. "And this is the confidence which we have towards Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He will hear us." He does not say absolutely what we shall ask, but what we ought to ask.

Ver. 19. "And the whole world lieth in the wicked one;" not the creation, but worldly men, and those who live according to their lusts.

Ver. 20. "And the Son of God hath come and given us understanding," which comes to us, that is, by faith, and is also called the Holy Spirit.

Anonymous Treatise on Rebaptism

15. And since we seem to have divided all spiritual baptism in a threefold manner, let us come also to the proof of the statement proposed, that we may not appear to have done this of our own judgment, and with rashness. For John says of our Lord in his epistle, teaching us: "This is He who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood: and it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. For three bear witness, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three are one; " [5417] that we may gather from these words both that water is wont to confer the Spirit, and that men's own blood is wont to confer the Spirit, and that the Spirit Himself also is wont to confer the Spirit. For since water is poured forth even as blood, the Spirit also was poured out by the Lord upon all who believed. Assuredly both in water, and none the less in their own blood, and then especially in the Holy Spirit, men may be baptized.
verse 8 is a sort of apodosis implying the protasis of verse 7, as read in the Vulgate and English Received.

No reason to expect the heavenly witnesses, the early witnesses are called in because it a reference to John and water baptism

Nathaniel Cornwall offers a grammatical reason in favor of support of the heavenly being in the text used by rebaptism.

Cyril of Alexandria - (c. 420)
Five Tomes Against Nestorius
Tome V

Therefore the faith profits them who will hold it unshaken; how it profits, the all-wise John will assure us saying,

Who is he that overcometh the world but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? This is He that came through water and blood, Jesus Christ, not in water only, but in water and blood, and the Spirit is Truth; for three testify, the Spirit, the water and the Blood, and the Three are One. If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater, for this is the witness of God, because He hath witnessed concerning His Son: he that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself, he that believeth not God hath made him a liar, because he believed not the testimony which He hath testified regarding His Son.

And how God the Father hath testified to His Son, the Divine-uttering John the Baptist will declare saying. And I knew Him not, but He That sent me to baptize with water, He said to me, Upon Whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, This is He Which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw and have testified that This is the Son of God. Our Lord Jesus Christ therefore is witnessed to through the Father's Voice, that He is by Nature and in truth His Son, He is witnessed to no less through the water and the Blood and the Spirit. For by the holy water He purgeth away the sins of them that believe, He quickeneth through His own Blood and connecteth to God them on the earth: and since He is God by Nature He maketh also richly the grant of the Holy Ghost, pouring It forth as His own into the hearts of them who believe, and making them partakers of the Divine Nature, and crowning them with the hope of the good things to come.


Basil Caesarea and Euomians omission


Leo the Great

Let him also not resist the testimony of Blessed John the Apostle, "And the blood of Jesus the Son of God cleanseth us from all sin." And again, "This is the victory which overcometh the world, even our faith;" and, "who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not in water only, but in water and blood; and it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear witness--the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and the three are one." That is, the Spirit of sanctification, and the blood of redemption, and the water of baptism; which three things are one, and remain undivided, and not one of them is disjoined from connection with the others; because the Catholic Church lives and advances by this faith, that Christ Jesus we should believe neither manhood to exist without true Godhead, nor Godhead without true manhood

Newton on p. 201 gives this in the Greek as well.
The Newton section has "Christ is truth" in the Latin and "Spirit is truth" in the Greek.


Ambrose (397)
There are positive and negative allusions in about five references.


Augustine (430).

Augustine does have positive allusions, plus we have the Fickermann paper that shows from a Latin ms. that he desired to sidestep the verse.


Cyril of Alexandria in Greek is the one clearly valid.

Keep in mind that for a true negative, you really need a homily situation, listing the verses. And since at times the heavenly was placed after the earthly, the homily should at least go from vs. 6-9.
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Steven Avery

We know that Facundus is a major writer with "in terra" about seven times.

Rebaptism treatise can qualify, although it is less clear that it would be included.
Leo, where you might expect to see "in terra".
Augustine - contra Maximinum

Pope Eusebius to bishops of Gaul ??? RGA

22 When Pope Eusebius (309/310) wrote to the bishops of Gaul (Eusebius, History V.1-4; PL 7:1103-1104) he quoted a large
chunk of 1 Jn but left out the comma. The same may be observed in ps.-Cyprian, De rebaptismate XV (PL 3:1200), in an

It would be interesting to have a full run-down on this question.

Which have full heaven and earth

Some mss. have heaven without having earth.
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