Sir Isaac Newton on 1 John 5:7

How the trinity was inserted in the bible by the hand of Cardinal Ximenes

Proof The Bible Has Been Corrupted

In 1690, Newton (died 1727) wrote a manuscript on the corruption of the text of the New Testament concerning I John 5:7 and Timothy 3:16. It was entitled, "A Historical Account of Two Notable Corruptions of Scripture." Due to the prevailing environment against criticism, he felt it unwise to profess his beliefs openly and felt that printing it in England would be too dangerous! Newton sent a copy of this manuscript to John Locke requesting him to have it translated into French for publication in France. Two years later, Newton was informed of an attempt to publish a Latin translation of it anonymously. However, Newton did not approve of its availability in Latin and persuaded Locke to take steps to prevent this publication. It was only the horrors of the infamous Church inquisitions which held back Sir Isaac Newton from openly revealing these facts to all.

Using early Church writers, the Greek and Latin manuscripts and the testimony of the first versions of the Bible, Newton proved that the words " the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one," in support of the Trinity doctrine, did not appear in the original Greek Scriptures. The only Greek manuscripts in any form which support the words, "in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one; and there are three that bear witness in earth," are the Montfortianus of Dublin, copied evidently from the modern Latin Vulgate; the Ravianus, copied from the Complutensian Polyglot; a manuscript at Naples, with the words added as a marginal note by a recent hand of Cardinal Ximenes in Codex Ottobonianus in 1515 on the strength of a late Greek manuscript corrected from the Latin. However, all the old versions omit the words, and the oldest manuscripts of the Vulgate omit them. It is as simple as that. The Bible was throughout time corrected by human hands. Newton states that this verse appeared for the first time in the third edition of Erasmus�s New Testament. Finally, Newton considered the sense and context of the verse, concluding, "Thus is the sense plain and natural, and the argument full and strong; but if you insert the testimony of 'the Three in Heaven' you interrupt and spoil it."

Below are excerpts from Newton�s "A Historical Account of Two Notable Corruptions of Scripture."

"When they got the Trinity; into his edition they threw by their manuscript, if they had one, as an almanac out of date. And can such shuffling dealings satisfy considering men? .... It is rather a danger in religion than an advantage to make it now lean on a broken reed.�

"In all the vehement universal and lasting controversy about the Trinity in Jerome's time and both before and long enough after it, this text of the "three in heaven" was never once thought of. It is now in everybody�s mouth and accounted the main text for the business and would assuredly have been so too with them, had it been in their books.�

"Let them make good sense of it who are able. For my part, I can make none. If it be said that we are not to determine what is Scripture what not by our private judgments, I confess it in places not controverted, but in disputed places I love to take up with what I can best understand. It is the temper of the hot and superstitious art of mankind in matters of religion ever to be fond of mysteries, and for that reason to like best what they understand least. Such men may use the Apostle John as they please, but I have that honour for him as to believe that he wrote good sense and therefore take that to be his which is the best."

The note in the NIV Study Bible, which is well known for its ardent belief in the Trinity, says, �The addition is not found in any Greek manuscript or NT translation prior to the 16th century.� There are times when people adore their theology more than the God-inspired original, and they fight for the man-made addition as if it were the original words of God. This has been the case with 1 John 5:7 and 8, and we applaud the honesty of the translators of modern versions who have left it out of their translations.

There are many Trinitarian scholars who freely admit that the Greek text from which the KJV is translated was adjusted in this verse to support the Trinity. The Greek scholar A. T. Robertson, author of the unparalleled work, A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in Light of Historical Research, and the multi-volumes Word Pictures in the New Testament, supports the theory that addition entered the text of these verses.