editions without the heavenly witnesses - Aldine, Gerbelius, Capito, Colines

Steven Avery

Facebook - Textus Receptus Academy


First two of Erasmus 1516 and 1519. All Erasmus editions, Greek and Latin, till the inclusion in the 3rd edition of 1522.


Steven Avery to
T.A. DeSoto - The first two editions were not rejected, this is a recent myth from the Confessional Bible crew, and is a bit of an embarrassment.

They were used for English Bibles and versions in Europe.

Grantley McDonald mentions other editions that did not have the heavenly witnesses.

Aldine edition, 1518

Nicolaus Gerbelius 1521,

Fabricius Capito (Köpfel) in 1524, Straßburg, which was based on Gerbelius’ edition.

Simon de Colines (Paris, 1534)


Dec 7.2007 - Remove Bebelius
Johannes Bebelius - 1524 and 1531, included in 1535 - editor Ceporinus

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Steven Avery

All the Erasmus editions, Greek and Latin, omitted the verse till the third edition of 1522.


We had an earlier attempt, without using the Grantley McDonald material. btw, Biblical Criticism slightly updates Raising the Ghost of Arius on this information.


Pure Bible Forum - 2 related threads

editions without the heavenly witnesses - Aldine, Gerbelius, Capito, Colines, Bebelius

New Testament editions that were contra heavenly witnesses - 1500s-1600s after Erasmus 1 & 2


Post with chart of 1500s TR editions
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Steven Avery

M. M. R.

Evangelical Textual Criticism

"In his book Biblical Criticism in Early Modern Europe, Grantley McDonald lists another two—in addition to the six I list, he also claims that Bebelius' 1524 and 1531 editions lack the Comma Johanneum. I have not been able to find images of the 1531, but I did find images of the 1524 and can confirm that it does have the Comma Johanneum, contrary to McDonald's claims. On that basis, I will also omit the 1531 on the grounds that I haven't been able to verify its text."

UPDATE (2 Dec. 2021): I did manage to find images of the 1531 Bebelius edition here, and I can confirm that it does have the Comma Johanneum (page view “[671] - 339r”).
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Steven Avery

Matthew M. Rose12/01/2021 4:34 pm
Thank you, Elijah.

You write: "Additionally, the 1537 Matthew's Bible places it in brackets in smaller type, which does indicate textual uncertainty."

FWIW, There are several other important early English translations which do the same (or similar) thing, e.g. Tyndale, Coverdale, Cranmer (Great Bible), Taverner’s Bible. (If memory serves.)


Tyndale is often misrepresented, we may have the exact info on this forum

Steven Avery

btw, a historical note.
We were correcting Taylor DeSoto on this loonngg ago, back in May 2020.

Taylor DeSoto tries to take a position that excludes the Erasmus 1 & 2 from the TR corpus. This is an unreasonable position, a type of circular special pleading, since this is only due to the beautiful fulcrum verse, the heavenly witnesses, being omitted in those two editions.

A superior explanation is to emphasize how the TR was subject to a century of improvement, from the 1516 Erasmus, and the earlier Complutensian Polyglot printing, unto Stephanus and Beza, and to the apex edition of the AV-1611.

From that position, we heartily accept the Erasmus 1 & 2 as important beginning editions of the TR, unto all the Reformation Bibles around the world.


Steven Avery
My suggestion for Taylor in the future is to reconsider the idea that you can have 25-30 TR editions (maybe including the Complutensian?) and then just try to extract Erasmus 1&2, because not having the heavenly witnesses is a bridge too far.

Do you understand the problem I am pointing out?

I think Jeffrey, Taylor and others have been learning and improving their understandings, but when I run into something like this, I have to call you on it.

Your thoughts welcome. I may put this in the Youtube comments.


Steven Avery
The contras at BVDB, led by M.M.R. (Matthew Rose) ... (one of their few often sane posters) also noted this Erasmus 1&2 problem.
Granted he may have picked it up here, since the Anti-Avery forum is often my shadow.

What does and does not constitute the TR?

“...has severed the first two editions of Erasmus from the larger TR corpus. ... it basically comes down to one painting themselves more and more into a corner for the sake of upholding the Comma ... “

Either way, Matthew is right, as a TR contra, to challenge you on that point.

It was not done for “upholding the Comma” (we all know the verse is 100% scripture) .. but to fit a macro/micro construct, where other variants can be called “micro”. Cure worse than the concern.

Generally the conversation there degenerates quickly.

gconan did make a good point:
“So he rejects the very foundation of the Textus Receptus.”


Reformed Bibliology Podcast: Erasmus, Which TR, Handling Textual Variants, & Critical Text Mythology

There I discuss Servetus, did Taylor see the correction on TRA?
Possibly not.

This is the original YouTube

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Steven Avery


Elijah Hixson did a fine job on this post, and especially used the No True Scotsman reference perfectly. He handled it straight-arrow, which is appreciated.

As far as I can tell this little TR edition error began in a YouTube on May, 2020 in a post by Taylor DeSoto, and we discussed it right away on the Facebook forum of Nick Sayers, Textus Receptus Academy.

Textus Receptus Academy

It is possible that Taylor missed the feedback, which I should better have put in the YouTube. (In addition to the Servetus information.)

Most TR and AV defenders are aware of the questions and issues in comparing TR editions.

Edward Freer Hills considered the AV "an independent variety of the Textus Receptus".

And I have been updating this information:

Pure Bible Forum
editions without the heavenly witnesses - Aldine, Gerbelius, Capito, Colines,

Steven Avery
Dutchess County, NY USA

Steven Avery

Grantley McDonald 12/27/2021
Dear Elijah,
thank you so much for the corrections, which I have added to my corrigenda. I checked my notes, and found that I was relying here on Hatch, "An Early Edition of the New Testament in Greek" (1941), who writes:

"[…] Sessa's edition contains the Comma lohanneum, which is lacking in the Aldine text. This passage is included also in Bebelius III and Valderus. […] Sessa stands with Bebelius III and Valderus against all the above-mentioned editions in Apoc. 18: 7; and he sides with Erasmus III, Erasmus V, Bebelius III, and Valderus against all the others in including the Comma lohanneum."

I should have checked all the Bebelius editions myself.
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R.L. Vaughn

New member
Am I missing something about Elijah's post? He wrote,
If we want to make claims about "all editions of the TR," the Trinitarian Bible Society’s definition of what counts as a TR is probably the best definition to use.
After agreeing with the TBS definition (and citing their list that seems to contain about 24 editions), he goes on mention without explanation three editions not in that list: Aldine (1518), Gerbellius’ edition (1521), and Wolfgang Köpfel’s edition (1524). Steven, in your comment you mention these and a few more. Two things here (and I clearly don't know about all these editions). (1) Did Elijah defy his own proclamation about what constitute TR's? If not, what is the explanation that reconciles this? (2) What are the criteria to decide what counts as an edition of the Textus Receptus?


Steven Avery

Hi R. L. Vaughn,

Good questions.

Lists of TR editions are of little value.
And Elijah Hixson, Jeffrey Riddle and Taylor DeSoto are all prone to overthinking and inconsistencies and posturing.

My goal is simply to have correct the "facts on the ground"

In defense of Elijah, he was not constraining himself by the TBS definition, he was using that as a starting point for the discussion. Unlike his post on the heavenly witnesses, Elijah did not get drawn into too much posturing, such as his RCC provenance nonsense. He tends to an "aha" attitude, but here that was easy to bypass.

There are no criteria for TR editions. It can include almost anything from Erasmus and the CP to the Elzevirs, or it can be trimmed in various ways, such as influential and major editions. It should not be trimmed based on omission of the heavenly witnesses. And Jeffrey and Taylor are rightly criticized, as we did with Taylor on the Textus Receptus Academy looonnnggg ago.

And I got a smile :) at the Grantley McDonald and Elijah Hixson correction love-fest. Grantley avoids many major corrections in his corregida. He does give me some credit, and include a few of my corrections, while coming up with excuses for omitting many of the major well-documented blunders. Hixson tends to be frustrating in many ways, however this particular article was far better than most.
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R.L. Vaughn

New member
Thanks, Steven.

I appreciate your explanation about Elijah not constraining himself by the TBS definition. Obviously that was true of what he presented. Yet, after giving the TBS definition and then presenting information outside it, he left no criteria for those others being TRs other than just the fact that he says so.

Apparently, though, since I think you are probably correct that there are no criteria for determining what are TR editions—then we are left with them being whatever whoever says they are or are not. If we approach it that way, no one really has much of a leg to stand on when complaining about someone disagreeing with him about what is or is not a TR. IOW and for example, the TRs to Elijah will be what he says they are, and to Jeff what he says they are.

And, yes, I did notice the little “correction love-fest” at the end of the comments. It was interesting. That reminds me of what I told someone who contacted me in a private e-mail about Jeff and Elijah—it is doubtless true that love covers a multitude of sins. The covering may be impervious for folks we know, but can be quite thin re folks we don’t know (other than as names on a world wide web).

R.L. Vaughn

New member
And, yes, I did notice the little “correction love-fest” at the end of the comments. It was interesting. That reminds me of what I told someone who contacted me in a private e-mail about Jeff and Elijah—it is doubtless true that love covers a multitude of sins. The covering may be impervious for folks we know, but can be quite thin re folks we don’t know (other than as names on a world wide web).
I probably should add a little context to this.

In an update at the bottom of his post at ETC blog, Elijah wrote, “Regarding my statement that precipitated the ‘lazy, dim-witted, and emotionally insecure’ comments, I meant nothing negative.” I take him at his word, since he explains that he meant nothing negative. However, if he did not mean it negatively, it becomes obvious that he is naïve to think those he is opposing would not take it negatively when he says they are not willing to do the work that is too hard for them. It sounded vain and condescending to me. My impression of his statement was not based on what Jeff Riddle wrote, but my initial read, before I ever saw or heard Jeff’s rejoinder. I don’t know Elijah. If a good friend of mine had written it, perhaps I would have read it differently. I might have thought, I know he does not mean it that way; or, I might have chosen to ignore it, hoping he did not mean it that way. Things come across differently to the people we challenge and with whom we disagree, without the love being there that “covers a multitude of sins.”