John Lupia defends authenticity of heavenly witnesses and Vulgate Prologue

Steven Avery

Administrator
John Lupia has written some superb notes on the heavenly witnsses.
We have made some efforts to dig it out of various forums.

Some related issues as well, such as the authorship of the Vulgate, the authenticity of the Vulgate Prologue, and separate issues like Theopholis as the high priest, the Shroud of Turin, and other issues.

John Lupia to Mike Ferrando - Dec, 2018
Please, feel free to publish anything I ever wrote. It was intended to inspire and help others. ... So, my dear brother Mike, I appreciate your kindness in asking. God bless you and grant success to your endeavors in His honor.

Prof. Giovanni "John" N. Lupia III Parenti, Italia, New Jersey, USA; Beirut, Lebanon
(twitter account) @JohnNLupia
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Roman-Catholic-News/
http://www.reginacaelipress.com/
https://sites.google.com/site/numismaticmall.com/
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After the death of pope Damasus, Eustochium requested Jerome to revise the Catholic Epistles and correct them from the Greek. (see Filippo Salmeri, ed., Epistula di Sanctu Iheronimu ad Eustochiu / edizione critica. Quaderni di filologia medievale ; 3 (Catania : C.U.E.C.M., 1980)).
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/textualcriticism/conversations/topics/420

Title The Text and Canon of the New Testament
Studies in theology
Author Alexander Souter
Publisher C. Scribner's sons, 1913
https://books.google.com/books?id=yQUXAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA36

The existence of a (relatively) complete New Testament in Africa first comes into clear view in the writings of Cyprian (f 268), who quotes a Latin Bible abundantly and accurately. The fact that on close study the translation used by him shows secondary characteristics 1 confirms the conclusion that in Tertullian’s time a Latin New Testament already existed in Africa, and suggests that it is the result of a long period of translation commenced not later than 160. There was, however, in Cyprian’s time no one official version. For instance, a Bishop Nemesianus of Tubunas (on the confines of Numidia and Mauritania), who was present at the Rebaptism Council of Carthage in a.d. 256 with Cyprian himself, uses a Latin translation which differs from that employed by him, and is probably earlier in origin.2 The texts used in Africa down to about the end of the fourth century (and in some cases even later) are substantially identical with Cyprian’s, though some have been subjected to revision in varying degrees.3
The quote from Souter is very similar to a quote from Kenyon, apparently 1901, that Cyprian quoted "copiously and textually."
https://books.google.com/books?id=q5MwAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA181

John was asked for the Cyprian reference.

Lupia:
St. Cyprian (Second revised edition c. AD 256), De catholicae ecclesiae unitate. (CSEL 3:215) The LORD says "I and the Father are one" and likewise it is
written of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. "And these three are one." This is a virtually a direct quote of the Comma Johanneum, where only the
Word is changed to Son.

See also Tertullian, who asserts that the authentic Epistles of the Apostles were read to the churches. (Apud qua ipsae authenticae literare eorum recitantur.
Tertull., de prescript., adver. Haereticos., p. 211)

Furthermore, Tertullian refuted certain spurious texts when he says, "We know assuredly that it is not so in the original Greek." (Sciamus plane non sic esse in
authentico Graeco. ---Tertullian. Monog., cap. II.)

"Si in tribus testibus omne stabit verbum, quanto magis, dum habemus per benedictionem eosdem arbitros fidei, quos et sponsores salutis sufficit ad fiduciam
spei nostrae etiam numerus nominum divorum." Tertullian (c. AD 200-206), De Baptismo, c. vi.

The numerus nominum divorum in the last clause, means ternus numerus, the number three, the three witnesses, or, as Tertullian himself explains it in the next
sentence, tres, i.e. Pater, et Filius, et Spiritus Sanctus clearly witnessing to the existence of the Comma Johanneum.

Tertullian also defends the Trinity in Adversus Praxean 3.1:
"Simplices enim quique, ne dixerim imprudentes et idiotae, quae maior semper credentium pars est, quoniam et ipsa regula fidei a pluribus diis saeculi ad unicum et verum deum transfert, non intellegentes unicum quidem sed cum sua oeconomia esse credendum, expavescunt ad oeconomiam. numerum et dispositionem trinitatis divisionem praesumunt unitatis, quando unitas ex semetipsa derivans trinitatem non destruatur ab illa sed administretur. itaque duos et tres iam iactitant a nobis praedicari, se vero unius dei cultores praesumunt"

This makes the Comma Johanneum paraphrase or near quote in Tertullian extremely hard evidence that it is an authentic citation of the Comma.
Next, the authenticity of Jerome writting about the translation of the canonical epistles (or any NT Epistles) was questioned! (Note the five references we have placed on one post, including specific references to verses in the Epistles.)

John Lupia:
Among the more than 8,000 extant Latin manuscripts cataloged at the Benedictine Beuron Vetus Latina Institute, St. Martin's Archabbey, Beuron, Germany many of them contain the Comma Johanneum. At least four significant Old Itala mss. which Tertullian and St. Cyprian must have known ones identical to them contain it. (cf. Alexander Souter, Novum Testamentum Graece (Latin 1966 reprint of the 1910 original work). footnote for 1 John 5:7 "in caelo, pater verbum et spiritus" comes from a consensus of Latin manuscripts from "(saec. ii (?) - iii - iv).". This is in contradiction to Aland who incorrectly asserts, "Not until Cyprian (about AD 250) is there is any evidence of the use of such manuscripts." (cf. Aland. The Text, 186-187). Furthermore, Souter says, "There was, however, in Cyprian's time no one official version.

For instance, a Bishop Nemesianus of Tubunas (on the confines of Numidia and Mauritania), who was present at the Rebaptism Council of Carthage in A.D. 256 with Cyprian himself, uses a Latin translation which differs from that employed by him [Cyprian], and is probably earlier in origin. The texts used in Africa down to about the end of the fourth century (and in some cases even later) are substantially identical with Cyprian's, though some have been subjected to revision in varying degrees." (Alexander Souter, The Text and Canon of the New Testament. (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1913):36)

It is only epistemologically logical, therefore, that these Old Itala versions were derived from the Greek. On this Aland admits that the oldest Old Itala ms. k (c. AD 350 - 400) some think was copied from a pre-Cyprian Greek ms. traceable to the second century (cf. Aland, ibid. 187) Westcott noted that the Old Latin version was translated prior to 200 AD (cf. A General Survey of the History of the Canon of the New Testament, pp. 249-250). According to Souter, "It is perfectly clear from references in Tertullian, who wrote at Carthage (mainly in Latin, but also in Greek) between A.D. 195 and 218, that Latin translations of at least some parts of Scripture existed in his time. Tertullian's regular practice was to use the Greek original and to translate for himself. But, in addition to his actual mention of existing Latin translations, it is clear that he sometimes used them himself. A study of his quotations by Monceaux has shown that he must have possessed translations of Luke, John, Galatians, First Corinthians, Romans and Ephesians. The existence of a (relatively) complete New Testament in Africa first comes into clear view in the writings of Cyprian (+ 258), who quotes a Latin Bible abundantly and accurately. The fact that on close study the translation used by him shows secondary characteristics confirms the conclusion that in Tertullian's time a Latin New Testament already existed in Africa, and suggests that it is the result of a long period of translation commenced not later than 150." (Alexander Souter, The Text and Canon :35-36)

Consequently, there is every reason to hold tenable and apodictically evident that the Comma Johanneum must have very early Greek attestation, which, unfortunately, is no longer extant. Now the 3rd cent. P9 could easily have contained the Comma only it is an 11 cm x 15 cm scrap fragment containing portions of 1Joh 4,11-12 on the recto and portions of 1Joh 4,14-17 on the verso. So, P9 still leaves us without physical evidence of a pre-4th century specimen. Or does P74 actually have the space to contain it? According to Kurt Aland, Das Neue Testament auf Papyrus, ANTF 2(1967) 106-135 which discusses 6th-7th cent. P74 he claims there is not enough space for the Comma.

Daniel B. Wallace says, "this interpretation was a gloss, written in the margins of some Latin MSS, probably sometime between 250 and 350, that got incorporated into the text by a scribe who was not sure whether it was a comment on scripture or scripture itself (a phenomenon that was not uncommon with scribes)."

First, this would require the scribe to be living in a vacuum, with no other text to compare it with, a highly unlikely scenario. Second, the position itself requires a prehistory before AD 250 giving the reading an even richer and more ancient tradition.

P9 (P. Oxy 402) is the oldest known copy of 1 John 3:11-12, 14-17. I propose that if the Comma is genuine and if the epistles of John became more copiously produced over time post third century then Jerome's comment accounts for the silence and its becoming suppressed by omission during a period when the Trinity became controversial and divisive. The century of controversies leading up to Nicea could well have caused the Comma to be regarded as a disputed passage with the bias causing it to be omitted and suppressed. This could explain why St. Athanasius, ordained to the deaconate in AD 319 was not familiar with it then or for the next 54 years, or that he did know it very early on as a disputed text and so did not rely on it at Nicea. Keep in mind that the Comma appears to have a continuity from the second century throughout time. The historical problem concerns itself with the Comma's disappearance in Greek texts, but this has rational explanations that account for it.

CONCLUSION

In light of the pre-fourth century attestations it is apodictically evident that Jerome's Latin Vulgate, which contains the Comma Johanneum, was translated
from an original untampered Greek text he had in his possession regarding it as genuine and was corroborated by Old Itala editions. This can be ascertained by simply reading Jerome in his Prologue to the Canonical Epistles. After the death of pope Damasus, Eustochium requested Jerome to revise the Catholic Epistles and correct them from the Greek. (see Filippo Salmeri, ed., Epistula di Sanctu Iheronimu ad Eustochiu / edizione critica. Quaderni di filologia medievale ; 3 (Catania : C.U.E.C.M., 1980)).. Jerome completed it, noting her in this Prologue, that other inaccurate translators had omitted the testimony of the Greek referring to the
Comma.

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John N. Lupia, III
Toms River New Jersey 08757 USA
 

Steven Avery

Administrator
BVDB contra notes that of the 8,000 or so Latin mss., about 1,000 have 1 John.

John Lupia
" I propose that if the Comma is genuine and if the epistles of John became more copiously produced over time post third century then Jerome's comment accounts for the silence and its becoming suppressed by omission during a period when the Trinity became controversial and divisive. "
This section from John is quite good, I may go back over it later.

Euthymius
Doesn't Old Latin manuscript k (Bobbiensis) only contain the gospels? If so, it would already be totally irrelevant to what OL scribes may or may not have done in the epistles.

It is only the "supposition" that such OL texts date back so far that allows for such a claim (and I won't even try to discuss the ABSENCE of the Comma from fragmentary Greek or OL manuscripts that don't even include the contextual location for such
 
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