Johann Christian Wolf - (Leonard Twells) - the 'Middleton' grammatical argument

Steven Avery

Johann Christoph Wolf (1683-1739)

Leonard Twells (1684?-1742)

Curae philologicae - Vol 5
Johann Wolf
p. 293-315
Twells is 300-313 of Wolf -according to Bengel, this can be checked.

A critical examination of the late new text and version of the New Testament; wherein the editor [D. Mace]'s corrupt text, false version, and fallacious notes are censur'd, Part II (1731)
The various Reading examined; most of them improperly so called; neither numerous or momentus enough to serve the Purpose of such collections: The Authorities for Those Readings carelesly transcribed from Dr. Mills, and sometimes fallaciously misrepresented, especially with Regard to the contested Passage of 1 Joh. v. 7.
Leonard Twells
p. 114-154

TOC Page
The Editor’s Fallacious Notes are censur’d; his Cavils againft the Canon of the New Testament are refuted; the Blunders and Iniquities of his Various Readings are expos’d ; and Justice in particular is done to the Famous Text of i John v. 7. against his partial Representation of that Matter.

The three volumes of Twells contra Mace are available.
Vol One
Vol Two
Vol Three


II. Not a few of those, who rightly and religiously defend this very expression, are too eager in seeking out and employing supports even of such a kind as have no strength. That has occurred to a distinguished man, Leonard Twells, whose miscellaneous production Wolf has translated from English into Latin, and with a few corrections, has put forth on this passage, pp. 300—313. I read and attentively considered Twells before the publication of my Apparatus : Wherefore, when I proceeded with more of self-distrust than he did, I did not do so without good reason, and I would have the reader imagine that there is matter for deliberation. I am not aware that anything new needs particularly to be supplied : I will mention a few points, which bear upon the subject.
The Grammatical is covered well also in Forster (also citing Burgess)

And Wolf has more, and this pic has interesting references.
Wolfius Middleton Grammatical - see Forster.jpg

Gousset (next post)

Jacob Trigland


Grantley bibliography and text, regarding Twells, Wolfius and the Middlton argument-

not in RGA
Wolf, Johann Christian. Cura philologica et critica. 5 vols. Basel: Christ, 1741.

(Only covered by Grantley in the origin of "Comma Johanneum")

Twells, Leonard. A critical examination of the late new Text and Version of the New Testament. 3 vols. London: Gosling, 1731-1732.

Mace was accused of promoting Unitarianism; moreoever, his careless selection of variants from Mills’ edition and his use of conjectural readings attracted adverse criticism from such figures as the English clergyman Leonard Twells (1684-1742) and the great German biblical scholar Johann David Michaelis (1717-1791).289
289 ... Leonard Twells, 1731-1732 ....

Middleton, Thomas Fanshawe. The doctrine of the Greek article applied to the criticism and illustration of the New Testament. Ed. Hugh J. Rose. London: Rivington, 1841.

Yet nothing is given by Grantley about the actual Middleton grammatical argument (or his interesting comments, from an equivocal position.

As for the connection of the writings of Leonard Twells being taken from English into the Latin of Wolfius, we should see how this connects, and if it works with the grammar. Bengel is one source.
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Steven Avery

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Steven Avery

Francis Cheynell - copulative AND - Middleton grammatical argument

(correction: nope, error corrected and print made small.)

Cheynell essentially gives the Middleton grammatical argument in 1650, which may well be the earliest!

The Divine Trinunity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit ; Or the Blessed Doctrine of the Three Coessentiall Subsistents in the Eternall Godhead Without Any Confusion Or Divsion of the Distinct Subsistences, Or Multiplication of the Most Single and Entire Godhead . (1650)
Francis Cheynell

5. The copulative [And] in the beginning of the verse 1 Joh. 5:8 doth very fitly connect the whole seventh verse with the eighth, as they are printed in our ordinary translation.
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Steven Avery

how Middleton gives the grammatical argument

Thomas Fanshawe Middleton (1769–1822)

Review of Griesbach's New Testament

The Monthly Anthology, and Boston Review, Volume 10 (1811)
Review of Griesbach's New Testament
Joseph Steven Buckminster (1784-1812) Unitarian (check this authorship)

Annotations on the Epistles: Being a Continuation of Mr. Elsley's Annotations, and Principaly Designed for the Use of Candidates for Holy Orders, Volume 2 (1816)
James Slade

Scripture testimony to the Messiah (1821)
John Pye Smith

Monthly Repository (1822)
Review - Burgess

Quarterly Review (1822)

Critica Biblica: or, Depository of sacred literature, comprising remarks on the sacred Scriptures
[ed. by William Carpenter].

For these reasons, then, I conclude, that the disputed passage is necessary on account of the article. To an English reader, perhaps, it would give a tolerable idea of the grounds upon which the argument is founded, if it were translated thus :

“There are three that bear witness in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost,
and these three are one;
and there are three that hear witness on earth, the Spirit, and the Water, and the Blood,
and these three agree in their witness respecting this one.**

Where “this” makes the sentence perfect nonsense, unless some “one” had been mentioned before.

An Introduction to the Critical Study and Knowledge of the Holy Scriptures, Volume 4 (1828)
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Steven Avery

Theopneustia: The Bible: Its Divine Origin and Inspiration, Deduced from Internal Evidence and the Testimonies of Nature, History, and Science (1859)
Louis Gaussen

A good section describing the Middleton grammar argument.

4th (1 John v. 7, 8.)—Instead of—(“There are three that bear witness [in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one ( τὸ "EN); and there are three that bear witness] in the earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood; and these three agree in that one” ( τὸ "EN).

Here, without doubt, there is the most serious variation, and, at the same time, that which is the most justified by the testimony of the manuscripts that have been preserved down to the present day (more than a hundred and forty against three), as well as by the universal silence of the Greek fathers. We should be travelling out of our subject were we to undertake to discuss here the historical testimonies1 and the grammatical considerations that plead, on the contrary, for retaining the old reading. We shall confine ourselves to these two remarks by Bishop Middleton:—


1 That of several Latin fathers of the 2d, 3d, 4th, and 6th centuries; that of the Latin Vulgate, more ancient than the most ancient manuscripts of our libraries (supposed to date from the 6th or the close of the 4th century) : and, above all, that of the Confession of Faith publicly presented in 484, by four hundred bishops of Africa, to the king of the Vandals, who, as an Arian, persecuted them, and called on them to give an account of their doctrines.—(See the Dissertations of Mill, Griesbach, Bengel, Wetstein, and Lee.)
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Steven Avery

Curae Philologicae Et Criticae: Quibus Integritati Contextus Graeci Consulitur, Sensus Verborum Ex Praesidiis Philologicis Illustratur, Diversae Interpretum Sententiae Summatim Enarrantur, Et Modesto Examini Subiectae Vel Approbantur Vel Repelluntur. In SS. Apostolorum Jacobi Petri Judae Et Joannis Epistolas Huiusque Apocal. : Accedunt In Calce Quaedam Ex Photii Amphilochiis Adhuc Non Editis Cum Interpretatione Latina Et Notis, Volume 5
Johann Christian Wolf
p. 293-315

Rather an incredible section.
v. 6
Zentgravii - Johann Joachim Zentgraf (1643-1707)
Theophilus Alethaeus - Johann Lyser (new)
Johann Guil Bayerus - Joannes - Johann Wilhelm Baier · Sr and Jr (new, found spot)
Johann Franz Buddeus (found work, different page)
Faustius - Isaak Faust
Grabius - Grabe adversus Sandius

George Hickesius - Hickes
Jo. Ern Grabii
Kettner D. Valent Alberti
Guil Wake .. William Wake
Eckardo - Tobias Eckhard

Reimanno - Jacobo Friderico Reimanno
Catalogo Bibliothecae - Bibliotheca acroamatica, theologica, juridica, medica, philosophica

Caspar A. Lilien = Caspar von Lilien | (1632-1687)- good section

Jo. Henr. Majus - Johann Heinrich Majus the elder

Jo. Laur Mosheimus

Geor Neumannus

Jo. Andr. Schmidius

Christian Schoetgenius - Schottgen, Johann Christian - (1687-1751) - Horis Hebraic

Gothofr Wegnerus - Gottfried Wegner– (1644-1709)

Christophe Wolle

Joan. Paneranum

Bugenhagium - Bugenhagen
Richard Simon
p. 295

Germany BCEME

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