Frederick Nolan on the three witnesses short text solecism

Steven Avery

Administrator

Frederick Nolan (1784-1864)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_Nolan_(theologian)


works with the material from Eugenius Bulgaris on the 1John 5 grammar, since his three quotations go right to the heart of the matter.

Nolan is very helpful in finding two comments, one by Richard Porson, and one by Herbert Marsh, that act as types of concession speeches for the solecistic short text, that could have easily been missed.

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Christian Remembrancer (1822)
The Heavenly Witnesses
Frederick Nolan - written June 18, 1822
http://books.google.com/books?id=i_EDAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA460

... the introduction of the Heavenly Witnesses removes every grammatical objection to the context of the Apostle. That the suppression of them creates an insuperable objection to it, may be referred to the decision of a judge whose sentence none will deny to be impartial, and few dispute to be competent. "But what," observes Bishop Marsh*, in reference to the epistle before us, "shall we say to readings, which when connected with the context make false grammar? What shall we say to a verb singular, &c.....to a masculine adjective referring to a neuter substantive? Now the question to be asked is, is it possible, that Velez found this, and the other readings of the same stamp, in a Greek manuscript?" "Even a man," he elsewhere reasons, "who learnt Greek by mere usage and conversation, without being taught its first principles, could not possibly have written" as St. John is proved to have written, by those who reject the disputed text from his epistle.

* Lett, to Travis, Append, iii. p. 276. sqq. comp. Pref. p. i. n. 1.
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Letters to Mr Archdeacon Travis in vindication of one of the Translator's notes to Michaeli's Introduction (1795)
Herbert Marsh
http://books.google.com/books?id=CndAAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA276

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Letters to Mr. Archdeacon Travis (1790)
Richard Porson
http://books.google.com/books?id=SUg7AAAAcAAJ&pg=PA51

"patched up a motley text"

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The "motley text" was the only known reference by Porson to the grammar of his favored short text with three witnesses. Porson, as essentially an unbeliever, did not really mind that the Johannine text he favored was "motley", so he just stuck the comment in en passant in a context about Latin-->Greek issue. Porson acknowledges that the supposed Latin interpolation, when translated to Greek, "made good Greek of their Latin". Ironically, he was also acknowledging the patching up of the "motley text" he favored as authentic.

—"Palpable oversights in the texture of the sense, and gross solecisms in the grammatical structure, cannot be ascribed to the inspired writers. If, of two readings, one be exposed to such objections, there is but the alternative, that the other must be authentick." - Frederick Nolan
This however, is not the view of Richard Porson and today's unbelievers, or those stuck with the apologetics of Critical Text solecisms.

The Open Court, March 1916
T
he Four-Hundredth Anniversary of the Publication of the First Greek New Testament - p. 129-147
Bernhard Pick
http://books.google.com/books?id=RwsWAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA140

To the cry of his opponents that "solecisms are not offensive to God." Erasmus replied, "true, but neither are they pleasing to Him" (non offenditur deus soloecismis, at idem non delectatur). - Bernhard Pick
 
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Steven Avery

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Facebook - Pure Bible
https://www.facebook.com/groups/purebible/permalink/1852972874794593/?comment_id=1855642907860923&comment_tracking=%7B"tn"%3A"R"%7D

Grammatical Insight from the learned Frederick Nolan (1784-1864).

An insightful and fun read from Frederick Nolan in 1815! I am omitting the Greek for now with **

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An Inquiry into the Integrity of the Greek Vulgate: or, Received text of the New Testament ; in which the Greek manuscripts are newly classed, the integrity of the authorised text vindicated, and the various readings traced to their origin (1815)
Frederick Nolan
https://archive.org/stream/a601052600nolauoft...

3. In 1 Joh. v. 7, three masculine adjectives ** are forced into union with three neuter substantives, a grosser solecism than can be ascribed to any writer, sacred or profane. n93. And low as the opinion may be which the admirers of the Corrected Text may hold of the purity of the style of St. John; it is a grosser solecism than they can fasten on the holy Evangelist, who, in his context, has made one of these adjectives regularly agree with its correspondent substantive in the neuter: ** There seems to be consequently as little reason for tolerating this text as either of the preceding. (Acts 20:28 and 1 Timothy 3:16) .. the genuine text of scripture.

3. In I John v. 7. the manifest rent in the Corrected Text, which appears from the solecism in the language, is filled up in the Received Text ... (

... Nay more, he omits them in such a manner as to create a gross solecism in his language, which is ultimately removed by the accidental insertion, as we are taught, of those witnesses, from a note in his margin. Nor is this all; but this solecism is corrected, and the oversight of the Apostle remedied, by the accidental insertion of the disputed passage, from the margin of a translation : the sense of which, we are told, it embarrasses, while it contributes nothing to amend the grammatical structure n99!

... Yet, on the assumption of this extravagant improbability, as matter of fact, must every attack, on the authenticity of this verse, be built, as its very foundation !

n93 is a fine note about Eugenius Bulgaris
"This objection was first started by the learned Abp. Eugenius, who has translated “ the Georgics” into Greek; and may be seen in a letter prefixed by M. Matthiei to his Greek Testament, Tom. XI. p. ix ...

n99 goes into the theory of Latin to Greek transmission, which is also correction!


Nolan also expresses the powerful internal evidence about the "witness of God".

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Steven Avery

Administrator
Similar remarks in his earlier review of Richard Laurence .
https://books.google.com/books?id=eKg2AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA404
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In proceeding to estimate the respective merit of these texts the first attention is due to the internal evidence. In reasoning from it, we work upon solid grounds. For the authenticity of some part of the verses in dispute we have that strong evidence which arises from universal consent; all manuscripts, of whatever class or edition, supporting some part of the context of the contested passages. In the remaining parts we are given a choice between two readings, one only of which can be authentic. And in making our election, we have, in the common principles: of sense and language, a certain rule by which we may be directed.

Gross solecisms in the grammatical structure, palpable oversights in the texture of the sense, cannot be ascribed to the language of the inspired writers.

If of any two given readings one be exposed to such objections, there is but the alternative, that the other must be authentic.

On applying this principle to the corrected text, in the first instance, it seems to bring the point in dispute to a speedy determination. The reading which it proposes in the disputed texts is not to be reconciled with sense, with grammar, or the uniform phraseology of the New Testament.


. 3. In 1 Joh. v. 7, three masculine adjectives, ** s, are forced into union with three neuter substantives, ** ; a grosser solecism than can be ascribed to any writer sacred or profane *. And low as the opinion may be which the admirers of the corrected text may hold of the purity of the style of St. John, it is a grosser solecism than they can fasten on the holy Evangelist, who, in his context, has made one of these adjectives regularly agree with its correspondent substantive in the neuter: ** or. 3. There seems to be consequently as little reason for tolerating this text as either of the preceding

* This objection was first started by the learned Abp. Eugenius, who has translated “the Georgics” into Greek; and is stated in a letter addressed by him to M. Matthaei; an extract from which is inserted by that critic in his Greek Testament. Vid. tom. xi. p. ix. “
... See also p. 421 and the section beginning 424, there is a Zohar reference from Selden on p. 423. Generally, this information should also be in the Inquiry, published the next year.

 

Steven Avery

Administrator
Textus Receptus Academy
https://www.facebook.com/groups/467217787457422/permalink/634139104098622/


An Inquiry into the Integrity of the Greek Vulgate: Or, Received Text of the New Testament; In which the Greek Manuscripts are Newly Classed, the Integrity of the Authorised Text Vindicated, and the Various Readings Traced to their Origin (1815)

by Frederick von Nolan (pp. 257-261):

3. In 1 Joh. v. 7, three masculine adjectives, τρεῖς οἱ μαρτυροῦντες, are forced into union with three neuter substantives, τὸ πνεῦμα καὶ τὸ ὕδωρ καὶτὸ αἷμα; a grosser solecism than can be ascribed to any writer, sacred or profane 193. And low as the opinion may be which the admirers of the Corrected Text may hold of the purity of the style of St. John; it is a grosser solecism than they can fasten on the holy Evangelist, who, in his context, has made one of these adjectives regularly agree with its correspondent substantive in the neuter: καὶ τὸ πνεῦμά ἐστι τὸ μαρτυροῦν, ὅτι ὁ ϖνεῦμα ἐστιν ἡ ἀλήθεια. Ὅτι τρεῖς εἰσιν οἱ μαρτυροῦντες. κ.τ.ἑ. There seems to be consequently as little reason for tolerating this text as either of the preceding.

From the alternative to which the question has been reduced, it might now be inferred, that the reading of our printed editions, which is supported, in 1 Tim. iii. 16. by the Greek Vulgate, in 1 Joh. v. 7. by the Latin Vulgate, and in Act. xx. 28. by both the Greek and Latin Vulgate, contained the genuine text of Scripture. As the reading of those passages, however, admits of more than a negative defence; I proceed to examine how far this testimony of the Eastern and Western Churches is confirmed by the internal evidence of the original. An admirable rule is laid down by M. Griesbach 194 for determining, between two readings, which is the genuine: I am wholly mistaken, or it may be shewn, that every mark of authenticity, which he has pointed out, will be found to exist in those readings which he has rejected as spurious.

Directing our attention, in the first place, to the structure of the phrase, the tenour of the sense and language as fully declares for the received reading, as against the corrected.

1. In Act. xx. 28. the apostolical phrase, ἐκκλησία τοῦθεοῦ, is not only preserved, but its full force consequently assigned to the epithet ἰδίου. This term, as used by the apostle, has an exclusive and emphatical force; an exclusive, in limiting the sense to “God,” the subject of the assertion;—an emphatical, in evincing the apostle's earnestness, in using so extraordinary an expression. ‘Feed the Church of God, which he purchased with no other blood than his own,’ is the literal meaning of the phrase 195; and this meaning is not more clearly expressed, than we shall see it was required by the object of the apostle, in writing.

2. In 1 Tim. iii. 16. there can be little doubt that the “Great Mystery,” of which the apostle speaks, and that whereby some one “was manifested in the flesh,” must be the Incarnation. If we take the account given of this “mystery” in John i. 1. 14. it marks out “God” as the divine person who “was manifested.” And, putting this term into the letter of the text, it renders the apostle’s explanation answerable to his purpose, and to the solemn mode of his enunciation. For, as the manifestation of no person, but the incomprehensible and divine, can be a mystery, any “manifestation” of “God,” as “in the flesh,” must be a "Great Mystery”196. So far, the apostle’s phrase is as just as it is sententious.

3. In 1 John v. 7. the manifest rent in the Corrected Text, which appears from the solecism in the language, is filled up in the Received Text; and ὁ Πατὴρ, καὶ ὁ Λόγος, being inserted, the masculine adjectives, τρεῖς οἱ μαρτυροῦντες, are ascribed suitable substantives; and, by the figure attraction, which is so prevalent in Greek, every objection is removed to the structure of the context. Nor is there thus a necessary emendation made in the apostle’s language alone, but in his meaning. St. John is here expressly summing up the divine and human testimony, “the witness of God and man 197;” and he has elsewhere formally enumerated the heavenly witnesses, as they occur in the disputed passage. In his Gospel he thus explicitly declares, “I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me: and when the Comforter is come, even the Spirit of truth, he shall testify of me 198.” And yet, in his Epistle, where he is expressly summing up the testimony in favour of Jesus, we are given to understand, that he passes at least two of these heavenly witnesses by, to insist on three earthly; which have brought the suppressed witnesses to the remembrance of almost every other person, who has read the passage, for the last sixteen centuries! Nay more, he omits them in such a manner as to create a gross solecism in his language, which is ultimately removed by the accidental insertion, as we are taught, of those witnesses, from a note in his margin. Nor is this all; but this solecism is corrected, and the oversight of the Apostle remedied, by the accidental insertion of the disputed passage, from the margin of a translation: the sense of which, we are told, it embarrasses, while it contributes nothing to amend the grammatical structure 199! Of all the omissions which have been mentioned respecting this verse, I call upon the impugners of its authenticity to specify one, half so extraordinary as the present? Of all the improbabilities which the controversy respecting it has assumed as true, I challenge the upholders of the Corrected Text, to name one, which is not admissible as truth, when set in competition with so flagrant an improbability as the last. Yet, on the assumption of this extravagant improbability, as matter of fact, must every attack, on the authenticity of this verse, be built, as its very foundation!

From viewing the internal evidence of the disputed texts, let us next consider the circumstances under which they were delivered; and here, I am wholly deceived, or the investigation will lead to the ultimate establishment of the same conclusion.

193 This objection was first started by the learned Abp. Eugenius, who has translated “the Georgics” into Greek; and may be seen in a letter prefixed by M. Matthæu to his Greek Testament, Tom. XI. p. ix.—“haud plane consisteret, nisi cum violentia quadam dictionis, et per solæcismum patentissimum. Cum etenim τὸ πνεῦμα καὶτὸ ὕδωρ καὶτὸ αἷμα nomina neutrius generis sunt, qua ratione concordabit cum iis quod immediate præcedit; τρεῖς εἰσιν οἱ μαρτυροῦντες, et quod illico sequitur, καὶ ὕδoι καὶοἱ τρεῖς κ.τ.λ. —Sed nonne quceso dictio naturalis hie et propria potius esset; τρὶα εἰσι τὰ μαρτυροῦντα ἐν τῇ γῇ, τὸ πνεῦμα, τὸ ὕδωρ, καὶτὸ αἷμα· καὶτα τρὶα εἰς τὸ ἕν εἰσὶν; At illud tamen est scriptum non hoc.”

193 Translation of the latin section in above footnote:

“but in the original Greek text itself, if the prior verse is not there, it obviously by no means can stand without some violence to the syntax and through a most obvious solecism. Since τὸ πνεῦμα καὶ τὸ ὕδωρ καὶ τὸ αἷμα (the spirit and the water and the blood) are all neuter nouns, how will they agree with the preceding τρεῖς εἰσιν οἱ μαρτυροῦντες (there are three who give witness) and the following καὶ οὑτοι οἱ τρεῖς κ.τ.λ. (and these three, etc.)? [...] But, I ask, wouldn’t the natural and appropriate syntax here rather be: και τρια εισιν τα μαρτυρουντα εν τη γη το πνευμα και το υδωρ και το αιμα και τα τρια εις το εν εισιν. But the former is written, not the latter.”

194 Griesb. Proleg. Sect. III. p. lix. Insita sua bonitate commendatur lectio, quæ vel auctoris cogitandi sentiendique modo, stylo, scopo, cæiterisque περιστάσεσι sive exegeticis, ut contextui, adjunctis, oppositis, &c. sive historicis omnium convenientissima, vel ita comparata est, ut ea, velut primitiva, posita facile intelligi queat, quomodo cæteræ: lectiones omnes— sive librariorum errore—aut criticorum inepta sedulitate, progenitæ ex illa fuerint.

195 It was not merely possible, but it was only probable, that “God” would “purchase the Church” with other“blood” than “his own:” but it was wholly inconceivable, that our ‘Lord’ could have purchased it with any other “blood,” but “his own.” On the possibility implied in the former consideration rests the propriety of using ἴδίος; which differs from αὐτὸς, in having that exclusive force which is solely implied in the antecedent of those different considerations.

196 S. Iren. adv. Hær. Lib. III. cap. xvi. § 6. p. 206.—et hominemergo [Dominus noster] in semetipsum recapiutlans est, invisibilis visibilis factus, et incomprehensibilis factus comprehensibilis, et impassibilis passibilis, et Verbumhomo,” &c.

197 1 Joh. v. 9.

198 Joh. viii. 18. xv. 26

199 Though the reading of the Greek Vulgate, τρεῖς εἰσιν οἱ μαρτυροῦντες, τὸ πνεῦμα καὶ τὸ ὕδωρ καὶ τὸ αἷμα, is not to be tolerated; the reading of the Latin Vulgate, (from whence it is asserted 1 Joh. v. 7. has crept into the Greek text,) is grammatically correct; “tres sunt qui testimonium dant, spiritus, aqua, et sanguis.”

From:
https://archive.org/details/a601052600nolauoft/page/n287/mode/2up
 
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