Nikon and the Armenian text

Steven Avery

Nikon of Moscow (1605-1681)

The following in bold does not get clear support in the footnote.

In fact, if Nikon was trying to excise the heavenly witnesses, that would mean it was generally in the Armenian text. Porson tried to say no, it was not there, but we are winging it either way. There are no known direct statements from Nikon that are contra the verse authenticity.

BCEME - p. 114
This impulse to correct texts corrupted through ignorance or philological scrupulousness was essentially humanistic, but the enterprise was hampered by an incomplete grasp of the criteria by which the authority of any given source was to be judged. Nikon tried to excise the Johannine comma, but this attempt caused the conservative Solovki monks to complain of textual interference. By contrast, the triple alleluia, previously rejected in Russia as a western innovation, was ‘restored’ in the Nikonian reform. Simiaon Polatski praised the restoration of this passage, citing the Johannine comma in support.158

158 Frick 1995, 148–152.

Sailing to Byzantium: Greek Texts and the Establishment of Authority in Early Modern Muscovy (1995)
David A. Frick



We do not know if half of the "Nikonian texts" had the heavenly witnesses. Or 10%, or 90%, or what. Or what existed in the earlier Armenian. Or what actually was the position of Nikon.

And the likelihood that they were naive of Erasmus was small.

Travis and Porson go into Nikon, however there is no indication that Nikon tried to excise the heavenly witnesses verse.