Vaticanus distigme marks 1jn 5:7-8 heavenly witnesses passage

Bible guy

New member
Yes, amazingly, there are 2 distigmai at the location of 1 Jn 5:7-8 in codex Vaticanus. I am of the opinion [as Paynehas pointed out] that the distigmai of Vaticanus are the work of the originalscribe of the 4th century MS and that these distigmai were used by that scribeto mark off variant readings. Payne surmises in his writings that the scribe ofB had several MSS before him of the different families Alexandrian, Western,Syrian/Byz.

If that be the case, then it is quite clear that the scribeof Vaticanus was aware of the Heavenly Witnesses [1 Jn 5:7-8] passage that isnow found in the TR and he marked that variant with a distigme.

Here is a facsimilie of the text of B:

τυρουνοτιτοπνευμα ..
... τρειςεισινοιμαρτυρουν

Now with words separated:

vs 6 τυρουν οτι το πνευμα
εστιν η αληθεια 7 οτι
vs 8 τρεις εισιν οι μαρτυρουν
τες το πνευμα και
το υδωρ και το αιμα
και οι τρεις εις το εν εισιν

Now, if you look closely I have already given you a hint ofwhat happened to the text here. The scribe of Vaticanus finishes verse 1 Jn 5:6on line 2 with αληθεια and lo, and behold, after αληθεια he writes the word "οτι" which BTW is the first word of the missing vs. 7 NOT the firstword of vs 8.

1Jn 5:7 οτι τρεις εισιν οι μαρτυρουντες εν τω ουρανω ο πατηρ ο λογος και τοαγιον πνευμα και ουτοι οι τρεις εν εισιν

The first word of vs 8 starts with και not οτι

1Jn 5:8 και τρεις εισιν οι μαρτυρουντες εν τη γη το πνευμα και το υδωρ και τοαιμα και οι τρεις εις το εν εισιν

The evidence is clear as day. The scribe of Vaticanusbetrayed himself and started to write the Heavenly witness passage [vs 7] withthe first word οτι, but by Homioteuleton
τρεις....τρεις either committed a copyist error andaccidently omitted the Heavenly witness [vs 7] or purposely omitted it andforgot to take the οτι out and replace it with the και of vs 8.

BTW this is not the only mistake the scribe of Vaticanusmade. He also omits εν τη γη in vs 8.

What ever the reason for the omission of vs 7, it is clearthat the scribe of B knew of verse 7 and even wrote one word of it [οτι]. I find this evidence to be simply incredible.

So, it is quite possible from early times that the Heavenlywitnesses passage [vs 7] was the result of a copyist error accidently omittingthe passage.

As for the first distigme. not quite sure what it signifies.But for the second one, it definitely lines up across the missing verse 7.

Now, the critics try to say that these distigmai of B did notoriginate with the original scribe but a later scribe even up to the 16thcentury. It is true that a later scribe traced over the letters of the originalApricot-colored ink of codex B with a darker colored ink.

However, when you enlarge those distigmai, especially, hereat verse 7 you can actually see the original Apricot-colored ink under thedarker ink of the tracing. So, definitely the distigme here in B is originaland marks off the Heavenly witnesses variant [vs 7].

Suddenly, this brings back the Heavenly witnesses passage [vs7] back to the 3rd-4th century and notated and even the first word [οτι] written by the CTers [Critical Texters] favoriteAlexandrian MS [if it can be called that], namely, codex Vaticanus.

So, in conclusion, instead of being a witness against theauthenticity of the Heavenly witnesses passage [vs7], Vaticanus actuallybecomes a very strong witness in favor of the existence and authenticity of thepassage.

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Bible guy

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Sorry, guys. A correction to my thread. I meant to say that the scribal error of omission of 1 Jn 5:7-8 was at

μαρτυροῦντες.....μαρτυροῦντες thus accidently omitting 1 Jn 5:7-8. My above explanation was not correct. The distigme still stands and is correct.

1Jn 5:7 ὅτι τρεῖς εἰσιν οἱ μαρτυροῦντες ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ, ὁ Πατήρ, ὁ Λόγος και τὸ ῞Αγιον Πνεύμα, καὶ οὗτοι οι τρεῖς ἕν εἰσι·
1Jn 5:8 καὶ τρεῖς εἰσιν οι μαρτυροῦντες ἐν τῇ γῇ, τὸ Πνεῦμα καὶ τὸ ὕδωρ καὶ τὸ αἷμα, καὶ οἱ τρεῖς εἰς τὸ ἕν εἰσιν.

And then the ἐν τῇ γῇ would be deleted.

Bible guy

Bible guy

New member
Since the distigme of Vaticanus is at the point of the text ... τρεις εισιν οι μαρτυρουν, my original suggestion that the scribal error of omission could have started at τρεις...τρεις is still correct. Actually the omission could have happened at any word upon that line. So there are several likely scenarios here.

Not sure where I came up with the "
ὅτι ", "καὶ" nonsensical explanation of my original post. Possibly, because it was late and I was very tired and not paying close enough attention to the matter. I will try not to let that happen again.

If the scribal omission theory is valid, then why would the scribe not catch his error when he came to the words ἐν τῇ γῇ. Wouldn't that tip him off that he had accidently skipped some text? Not necessarily.

Let's look at another scenario:

1Jn 5:7 ὅτι τρεῖς εἰσιν οἱ μαρτυροῦντες ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ, ὁ Πατήρ, ὁ Λόγος και τὸ ῞Αγιον Πνεύμα, καὶ οὗτοι οι τρεῖς ἕν εἰσι·
1Jn 5:8 καὶ τρεῖς εἰσιν οι μαρτυροῦντες ἐν τῇ γῇ, τὸ Πνεῦμα καὶ τὸ ὕδωρ καὶ τὸ αἷμα, καὶ οἱ τρεῖς εἰς τὸ ἕν εἰσιν

Let's say that the scribe has copied the bold text above from his exemplar to the word "ἐν". When he mistakenly returns to the "ἐν" of his exemplar at 5:8, since the first "ἐν" is followed by "τῷ οὐρανῷ" could not his mind have remembered that and so accidently skipped the "ἐν τῇ γῇ" and started copying at the similar sounding "τὸ Πνεῦμα" of vs8. ? This is just a suggestion. I have seen stranger things done by scribes in copying their exemplars. Please respond and let me know what you think

Bible guy

Steven Avery


And I agree that the marking on Vaticanus is interesting. |
There is a lot of controversy as to what they mean, but the heavenly witnesses one is overlooked because it does not fit their textual perspective.
Read this little Facebook conversation, if it is open.

Christian Bible Geeks
Interesting article about the reliability of Vaticanus and the age of the exemplars behind it. Includes evidence that Vaticanus marks 1 Cor 14:34-35 as a later addition.

One idea ... having a thread here on heavenly witnesses homoeoteleuton.

Feel free to bring these over to the PureBible group on Facebook as well.