Jeffrey Riddle on internal evidences - Facebook discussion

Steven Avery

Jeffrey Riddle on internal evidences

An Internal Argument for the Comma Johanneum
Jeffrey Riddle - Freb 3, 2016
The problem would be that the three neuter singular nouns in v. 8b would be preceded by the masculine adjective number three [treis] and the masculine plural article and participle [hoi martyrountes] and followed by the masculine plural article and masculine adjective number three [hoi treis].

If, however, the CJ were original, v. 7a would be followed instead by "in the heaven, the Father, and the Word, and the Holy Spirit [en to ourano, ho pater, ho logos, kai to hagion pneuma]," which, with two masculine singular nouns [ho pater, ho logos] and one neuter singular adjective and noun [to hagion pneuma], would appear to fit better grammatically in the context.

This point is made by Dabney and cited in the article:

First, if it be made, the masculine article, numeral, and particle…are made to agree directly with three neuters—an insuperable and very bald grammatical difficulty. But if the disputed words are allowed to stand, they agree directly with two masculines and one neuter noun…where, according to a well known rule of syntax, the masculines among the group control the gender over a neuter connected with them....

The same point is made by Hills and cited in the article:

In the third place, the omission of the Johannine comma involves a grammatical difficulty. The words spirit, water, and blood are neuter in gender, but in 1 John 5:8 they are treated as masculine. If the Johannine comma is rejected, it is hard to explain this irregularity. It is usually said that in 1 John 5.8 the spirit, the water, and the blood are personalized and that this is the reason for the adoption of the masculine gender. But it is hard to see how such personalization would involve the change from the neuter to the masculine. For in verse 6 the word Spirit plainly refers to the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Trinity. Surely in this verse the word Spirit is “personalized,” and yet the neuter gender is used. Therefore, since personalization did not bring about a change of gender in verse 6, it cannot fairly be pleaded as the reason for such a change in verse 8. If, however, the Johannine comma is retained, a reason for placing the neuter nouns spirit, water, and blood in the masculine gender becomes readily apparent. It was due to the influence of the nouns Father and Word, which are masculine. Thus the hypothesis that the Johannine comma is an interpolation is full of difficulties.

This does indeed appear to represent a substantial internal argument in favor of the originality and authenticity of the CJ.

There was a bunch of blah blah by Denver McDaniel in the comments which I answered easily, albeit briefly.

Another poster anonymous linked to this weak page which has a jimcontra comment.

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Steven Avery

Jeffrey Riddle on internal evidences - Facebook discussion

New Testament Textual Criticism - Nov, 2020

Question raised by
Daniel Vincent
Anyone have a rebuttal to this that would be helpful?

Let us watch the tries from the textcrits.

Elijah Hixson
From a source that surprised me: Doug Wilson's rebuttal to James White in their written debate on the text. Weirdly, Doug Wilson is advocating for the TR, not modern editions, but he makes this observation about grammar, and how "ungrammatical" things can be inspired and therefore correct (and inconsistently, Wilson does also appeal to grammar later with respect to the Comma Johanneum on p. 74, though I think his remarks here undermine his own argument there):
"...But when a math teacher marks a problem wrong, because the student was maintaining that 2 plus 2 equals 3, he is doing something very different from what an English teacher is doing when she marks a split infinitive. If we gave a manuscript of Ephesians to a copy editor, would it have come back with any red on it? How about that famous sentence that Paul never finishes (Eph. 3:1)? So the apostle got derailed by the torrent of truth that was pouring out of him. Is that a mistake? Is that an imperfection? Not at all—God wanted it that way. That is what perfection looks like." (p. 49)

Totally nonsensical argument.
A split infinitive is quite different than a grating bald solecism.

Maybe Elijah is confusing Ephesians 3 and the beautiful text in Ephesians 1:3-14?

James E Snapp Jr
Yes; see
And on the CJ in general, see the seven resources at of which Hofstetter's essay is one.

Tons of errors, and totally refuted on this forum, and some of the Facebook discussions.

Daniel Vincent
James E Snapp Jr
thanks! So is the problem with Riddle's view that he's assuming there is an issue because of the alleged gender inconsistency with the Comma? Or is that he's assuming the adjectives are not being used as a noun? Would you able to elaborate on that more? Forgive me, I'm not very familiar with Greek.
You will not get a sensible answer from James (see below). Barry Hofstetter gives totally irrelevant analogies, I can share the url on that in a bit.

James E Snapp Jr
Daniel Vincent,
Yes; the problem with Riddle's view (inherited from others) that he's assuming there is an issue because of the alleged gender inconsistency.
The real problem, behind the problem, with Riddle's view, is that he proposed a doctrinal solution - treating an interpretation of the WCF into justification for every reading in the Textus Receptus, no matter how poorly supported -- for a scientific problem, but that's another story.
Most of this is textual babble diversion.

Jeffrey Riddle is following and accepting world-class scholarship, including Eugenius Bulgaris and Georgios Babiniotis. The writers on this forum either do not know the history or are hiding the truth.

Michael George
James E Snapp Jr
James, can you or anybody else translate the Latin here on Souter's 1910 Critical Greek apparatus regarding the Comma? Does he use more or less church father witnesses than NA/27?
And correct me if I am wrong, but does he not show witness and distinguish 'L' (vt.) (saec. ii (?) - iii-iv) between the Old Latin and the Vulgate?
Michael George is right in general about the Old Latin evidence, but it is really another topic.

Daniel Vincent
James E Snapp Jr
ok. So because the "spirit, the water, and the blood" are treated as nouns and not adjectives, the gender does not matter and therefore agreement in gender is not needed?
This shows the confusion that comes out of the faux arguments from James Snapp and Hofstetter.

Tyler Archibald
1 John 5:7–8 (SBLGNT): ὅτι τρεῖς εἰσιν οἱ μαρτυροῦντες,
8 τὸ πνεῦμα καὶ τὸ ὕδωρ καὶ τὸ αἷμα, καὶ οἱ τρεῖς εἰς τὸ ἕν εἰσιν.
Wouldn't this just be ...and the three who witness (masculine because of οἱ μαρτυροῦντες) are one (or of one mind)?
This gets the cart before the horse. What about the neuter nouns?

Wesley Grubb
There is no grammatical problem with 1 John 5:7-8 in the absence of the Comma. Period. James Snapp already linked the blog article above that proves it. Neuters can and do take masculine antecedents. The article gives multiple examples. There is no debate here. And besides, grammatical arguments are about tenth on the list of relevant text critical factors that decide the original reading of this variant unit.

Every statement is totally wrong! :)

"Neuters can and do take masculine antecedents. The article gives multiple examples."

Really? Where? Specifically.

As the significance of grammatical issues, if you are a Bible believer, you reject grating solecisms as not from the New Testament writings from the Holy Spirit.
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