R.L. Dabney’s Defense of 1 John 5:7 (Part 1)

“In 1 John 5:7,8 the Received Text presents us with two sorts or triads of witnesses, one in heaven, the other on earth, and asserts the unity of the first triad in one. In the revised Greek text underlying the modern versions all this is omitted, and all reference to a trinity is obliterated. The significant fact to which we would draw attention is that many of the variations proposed by modern scholars which have any doctrinal importance appear to undermine the doctrine of the Trinity, and particularly the doctrine of Christ’s deity. The various readings in the manuscripts and versions may be counted by hundred thousands, but the vast majority are insignificant. Among the few important various readings there are several that bear on this one doctrine–a doctrine which was keenly debated between orthodox believers and heretics just before the three most ancient existing copies were made.

The Sabellian and Arian controversies raged in the 3rd and 4th centuries and the copies now held in such high repute among scholars were written in the 4th and 5th centuries. The hostility of these documents to the Trinitarian doctrine impels the mind to the conclusion that their omissions and alterations are not merely the chance errors of transcribers, but the work of a deliberate hand. When we remember the date of the great Trinitarian contest in the Church, and compare it with the supposed date of these documents, our suspicion becomes much more pronounced. Did the party of Athanasius introduce spurious testimonies into the text to advance their Trinitarian doctrine, or did the party of Arius expunge authentic testimonies from copies of the sacred text in order to obscure the doctrine?

The so-called oldest codices agree with each other in omitting a number of striking testimonies to the divinity of Christ, and they also agree in other omissions relating to Gospel faith and practice. Was this because these ancient documents represent the views of copyists who regarded the Athanasian Trinitarians as corrupters, or can it be established that the omissions were deliberately made by the Arians to expunge the Scriptural evidence against their case?

All the critics vote against the authenticity of 1 John 5:7 but let us see whether the case is quite as clear as they would have it. The arguments in favour of its claim to genuineness carry a good degree of probability and this text is a good instance of the value of that internal evidence which recent critics profess to discard.

The full text follows with the disputed word in brackets:

HOTI TREIS EISIN HOI MARTUROUNTES (EN TO OURANO, HO PATER, HO LOGOS, KAI TO HAGION PNEUMA; KAI HOUTOI HOI TREIS HEN EISI. KAI TREIS EISIN HOI MARTUROUTES EN TE GE) TO PNEUMA, KAI TO HUDOR, KAI TO HAIMA; KAI HOI TREIS EIS TO HEN EISIN.

The internal evidence against the omission is as follows:

1. The masculine article, numeral and participle HOI TREIS MARTUROUNTES, are made to agree directly with three neuters, an insuperable and very bald grammatical difficulty. If the disputed words are allowed to remain, they agree with two masculines and one neuter noun HO PATER, HO LOGOS, KAI TO HAGION PNEUMA and, according to the rule of syntax, the masculines among the group control the gender over a neuter connected with them. Then the occurrence of the masculines TREIS MARTUROUNTES in verse 8 agreeing with the neuters PNEUMA, HUDOR and HAIMA may be accounted for by the power of attraction, well known in Greek syntax.

2. If the disputed words are omitted, the 8th verse coming next to the 6th gives a very bald and awkward, and apparently meaningless repetition of the Spirit’s witness twice in immediate succession.

3. If the words are omitted, the concluding words at the end of verse 8 contain an unintelligible reference. The Greek words KAI HOI TREIS EIS TO HEN EISIN mean precisely–”and these three agree to that (aforesaid) One.” This rendering preserves the force of the definite article in this verse. Then what is “that One” to which “these three” are said to agree? If the 7th verse is omitted “that One” does not appear, and “that One” in verse 8, which designates One to whom the reader has already been introduced, has not antecedent presence in the passage. Let verse 7 stand, and all is clear, and the three earthly witnesses testify to that aforementioned unity which the Father, Word and Spirit constitute.

4. John has asserted in the previous 6 verses that faith is the bond of our spiritual life and victory over the world. This faith must have a solid warrant, and the truth of which faith must be assured is the Sonship and Divinity of Christ. See verses 5,11, 12, 20. The only faith that quickens the soul and overcomes the world is (verse 5) the belief that Jesus is God’s Son, that God has appointed Him our Life, and that this Life is true God. God’s warrant for this faith comes: FIRST in verse 6, in the words of the Holy Ghost speaking by inspired men; SECOND in verse 7, in the words of the Father, the Word and the Spirit, asserting and confirming by miracles the Sonship and unity of Christ with the Father.; THIRD in verse 8, in the work of the Holy Ghost applying the blood and water from Christ’s pierced side for our cleansing. FOURTH in verse 10, in the spiritual consciousness of the believer himself, certifying to him that he feels within a divine change.

 How harmonious is all this if we accept the 7th verse as genuine, but if we omit it the very keystone of the arch is wanting, and the crowning proof that the warrant of our faith is divine (verse 9) is struck out.

We must also consider the time and circumstances in which the passage was written. John tells his spiritual children that his object is to warn them against seducers (2.26), whose heresy was a denial of the proper Sonship and incarnation (4.2) of Jesus Christ. We know that these heretics were Corinthians and Nicolaitanes. Irenaeus and other early writers tell us that they all vitiated the doctrine of the Trinity. Cerinthus taught that Jesus was not miraculously born of a virgin, and that the Word, Christ, was not truly and eternally divine, but a sort of angelic “Aion” associated with the natural man Jesus up to his crucifixion. The Nicolaitanes denied that the “Aion” Christ had a real body, and ascribed to him only a phantasmal body and blood. It is against these errors that John is fortifying his “children” and this is the very point of the disputed 7th verse. If it stands, then the whole passage is framed to exclude both heresies. In verse 7 he refutes the Corinthian by declaring the unity of Father, Word and Spirit, and with the strictest accuracy employing the neuter HEN EISIN to fix the point which Cerinthus denied–the unity of the Three Persons in One common substance. He then refutes the Nicolaitanes by declaring the proper humanity of Jesus, and the actual shedding, and application by the Spirit, of that water and blood of which he testifies as on eyewitness in the Gospel–19.34,35.

We must also consider the time and circumstances in which the passage was written. John tells his spiritual “children” against “seducers” who taught error regarding the true divine Sonship of the Lord Jesus Christ and regarding His incarnation and true humanity, and when we further see John precisely expose these errors in verses 7 and 8 of Chapter 5, we are constrained to acknowledge that there is a coherency in the whole passage which presents strong internal evidence for the genuineness of the ‘Received Text’.” 

To be Continued…

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9 Responses to “R.L. Dabney’s Defense of 1 John 5:7 (Part 1)”
  1. Rhett says:

    Interesting. Dabney is one of my favorites. A true Southern Theologian! 😉

    Where did you find this?

  2. Fred Langit says:

    Prove it, defend it and love it like me. thanks

  3. Scribe says:

    Thanks for the visit, Fred…hope you come back! 😉

  4. Jim says:

    There’s nothing wrong with the grammar without the Comma. The heart of the grammatical argumant in favor of the Comma is the assertion that there should be gender agreement in 1 John 5:8 (Majority Text [MT]) between the participial phrase “the ones bearing witness” and the nouns “Spirit” and “water” and “blood.” This is a false assertion. There are only 8 instances in the New Testament (MT) of the referent of a pronoun or participle being represented in the text by multiple nouns: Matthew 15:19-20 and 23:23, John 6:9, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Galatians 5:19-21 and 5:22-23 and Colossians 3:5-7 and 3:12-14. Gender agreement does not occur in any of these 8 instances. Why then should it be expected to occur in 1 John 5:8 (MT)? Based on the previously stated 8 examples–there are no others in the New Testament (MT)–there is a zero percent likelihood that gender agreement would occur in 1 John 5:8 (MT). So what’s all this nonsense about a “bald grammatical difficulty?” Gender agreement never occurs in a multiple-referent-noun construction, because it can’t, because it can occur only in a single-referent-noun construction, and even then, it is not a requirement, but merely a frequently utilized option. Otherwise, whether the author simply chooses not to utilized grammatical gender agreement or whether the referent of the pronoun or participle is represented in the text either by no noun or by multiple nouns, the pronoun or participle is assigned a gender that is consistent with the natural gender (the nature) of the referent (the idea to which the pronoun or participle refers), either neuter for a thing or things or masculine for a person or persons or feminine for a female person or persons. So the reason for the participial phrase “the ones bearing witness” in 1 John 5:8 (MT) to be masculine is either (1) it refers to persons or (2) its referent is represented in the text by a single grammatically masculine noun or (3) both. In this instance, the reason is both; it refers to persons, and these persons are represented in the text by the single grammatically masculine noun “men” in the phrase “the witness of men” in verse 5:9. John is comparatively (this is like that) equating “the Spirit and the water and the blood” in 5:8 (MT), which comprise “the witness of God … regarding His Son” in 5:9, to “the ones bearing witness” in 5:8 (MT), who comprise the traditionally accepted “witness of men” in 5:9, hence the masculine gender in 5:8 (MT). This comparison is a reference to the two-or-three-witness model prescribed by Moses in Deuteronomy 17:6 and 19:15 for establishing the truth of a matter, which is cited in Matthew 18:16, John 8:17-18, 2 Corinthians 13:1, 1 Timothy 5:19, Hebrews 10:28-29 and 1 John 5:8-9 in the New Testament (MT). So there’s nothing wrong with the grammar in the absence of the Comma; everything is written as it should be. Mr. Dabney pretended to have an understanding of the Greek language that he didn’t actually possess, and he was so focused on trying to justify the insertion of the Comma that he was oblivious to what John was actually saying in the text. In all six New Testament (MT) citations of the two-or-three-witness model, the number of witnesses never exceeds the two or three witnesses prescribed by Moses. Yet Mr. Dabney would have us believe that John proposed a witness of God regarding His Son that deviated from the traditionally accepted two-or-three-witness model prescribed by Moses, to which he was comparing the witness of God regarding His Son, by offering five witnesses instead of the prescribed two or three. This deviation is itself a good reason to think that the Comma was not included in the original epistle. Further, in 1 John 5:4-12 (MT), the stated purpose of “the witness of God (‘the Spirit and the water and the blood’ in 5:8 [MT]) … regarding His Son” (5:9) is so that people on earth would believe that Jesus is the Son of God, so that “the one believing that Jesus is the Son of God” (5:5) would “overcome the world” (5:4) and would “have eternal life” (5:11-12). The three witnesses that comprise the witness of God regarding His Son (the Spirit and the water and the blood), which conform to the traditionally accepted two-or-three-witness model prescribed by Moses in Deuteronomy 17:6 and 19:15 for establishing the truth of a matter, fulfill this stated purpose. In contrast, the witnesses in heaven (the Father, the Word and the Holy Spirit) in the Johannine Comma contribute nothing to this stated purpose. The heavenly witness of the Comma does not help anyone on earth believe that Jesus is the Son of God in order to have eternal life and to overcome the world. This is yet another good reason to think that the Comma was not included in the original epistle.

  5. Louis says:

    Jim,

    You said, “Mr. Dabney pretended to have an understanding of the Greek language that he didn’t….”

    This is quite bold of you. Please consider how your understanding is incorrect:

    Matthew 15:19-20
    “ταυτα” is neuter so it can correctly refer to the mixed group of masculine and feminine impersonal nouns.

    Matthew 23:23
    “ταυτα” is neuter, once again correctly referring to the mixed group of masculine and feminine impersonal nouns.

    John 6:9
    Again, “ταυτα” is neuter.

    1 Corinthians 6:9-11
    “ταυτα” is neuter.

    Galatians 5:19-21
    “ατινα,” “τα” and “α” are neuter.

    Galatians 5:22-23
    “τοιουτων” is neuter.

    Colossians 3:5-7
    In verse 5, four of the five nouns are feminine so the feminine relative pronoun “ητις” is used. In verse 6, “α” is neuter.” In verse 7, “οις” is masculine because it refers to the masculine “τους υιους της απειθειας.” “αυτοις” in the end is neuter.

    Colossians 3:12-14
    “πασιν δε τουτοις” is neuter.

    In each example you give a neuter refers to a group of mixed gendered impersonal nouns. This is acceptable because the neuter can be used as the neutral gender when there are impersonal nouns of mixed gender. Never in these examples do we see a masculine article, pronoun, or participle referring to a group of all neuter nouns. The argument that the Spirit in 1 John 5:8 is personalized fails because it is not personalized in verse 6.

    You said, “In contrast, the witnesses in heaven (the Father, the Word and the Holy Spirit) in the Johannine Comma contribute nothing to this stated purpose. The heavenly witness of the Comma does not help anyone on earth believe that Jesus is the Son of God in order to have eternal life and to overcome the world.”

    John’s argument is contingent on Verse 7 in three ways:

    (1) Verse 6 declares that the Spirit is truth. This is shown by the fact that the Spirit is one with the Father and the Word (“το πνευμα εστιν η αληθεια οτι τρεις εισιν οι μαρτυρουντες εν τω ουρανω ο πατηρ ο λογος και το αγιον πνευμα και ουτοι οι τρεις εν εισιν”). If the Comma were not present, the Spirit is shown to be truth just because it agrees with two other earthly witnesses (“το πνευμα εστιν η αληθεια οτι τρεις εισιν οι μαρτυρουντες το πνευμα και το υδωρ και το αιμα και οι τρεις εις το εν εισιν”). However, this would hardly explain why the Spirit alone is singled out as being truth. If the unity in testimony determines whether a contributing witness is truth, then either the water or the blood could also be truth on the same level as the Spirit. The Spirit is truth in a unique sense because it is one with the Godhead, not just because it agrees with two other witnesses.

    (2) Verse 8 says, “And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.” In Greek, the phrase “these three agree in one” is “οι τρεις εις το εν εισιν” (the three are in the one). There is a definite article that indicates that the “one” is a particular “one” that has been referred to previously in the flow of the argument. If the Comma remains, this demonstrative article has a clear antecedent. The Father, Word, and Holy Ghost are “one,” and the three earthly witnesses agree in “the one.” Without the Comma there is no clear antecedent.

    (3) Verse 9 says that if we receive the witness of men (i.e. water of baptism and the blood of crucifixion), the witness of God is greater. This “witness of God” is the Spirit of truth in verse 6 who bears witness of Jesus Christ. To a Trinitarian it might seem obvious that the “witness of the Spirit” is synonymous with “the witness of God.” However, the Comma improves the flow of the argument by explaining why the two are synonymous. Since the Spirit is one with the Father and the Word, the Spirit’s witness is God’s witness.

    Of course, you can get away without having the Comma, but it is quite rash to say that the Comma does not add anything to the argument.

    • Jim says:

      Hi Louis,

      Dabney:

      … if [this excision] be made, THE MASCULINE ARTICLE, NUMERAL, AND PARTICIPLE, oi treiV marturounteV, ARE MADE TO AGREE DIRECTLY WITH THREE NEUTERS, AN INSUPERABLE AND VERY BALD GRAMMATICAL DIFFICULTY. But if the disputed words are allowed to stand, THEY AGREE DIRECTLY WITH TWO MASCULINES AND ONE NEUTER NOUN, o Pathr, o LogoV kai agioV Pneuma, where, according to a well known rule of syntax, THE MASCULINES AMONG THE GROUP CONTROL THE GENDER OVER A NEUTER CONNECTED WITH THEM. Then the occurrence of THE MASCULINES treiV marturounteV IN THE EIGHTH VERSE AGREEING WITH THE NEUTERS, Pneuma, udwr and aima, MAY BE ACCOUNTED FOR BY THE POWER OF ATTRACTION, so well known in Greek syntax, and by the fact that PNEUMA, the leading noun of this second group, and next to the adjectives, HAS JUST HAD A SPECIES OF MASCULINENESS SUPERINDUCED UPON IT BY ITS PREVIOUS POSITION IN THE MASCULINE GROUP. …

      Discussions of Robert Lewis Dabney (Volume One) (1890)
      Robert Dabney (1820-1898)
      pages 377-378

      Louis:

      You said, “Mr. Dabney pretended to have an understanding of the Greek language that he didn’t….”

      This is quite bold of you. Please consider how your understanding is incorrect:

      Matthew 15:19-20 “ταυτα” is neuter so it can correctly refer to the mixed group of masculine and feminine impersonal nouns.

      Matthew 23:23 “ταυτα” is neuter, once again correctly referring to the mixed group of masculine and feminine impersonal nouns.

      Jim:

      According to Dabney, the pronoun should be MASCULINE, not neuter, because, as Dabney says, “THE MASCULINES AMONG THE GROUP CONTROL THE GENDER.” However, what actually occurs is that the NEUTER is used, not because of the grammatical gender of any noun in the text, but because the multiple nouns refer to THINGS (neuter for things), hence the NEUTER pronoun in reference to those THINGS.

      Paul:

      (ASV) Colossians 3:5 Put to death therefore your members which are upon the earth: fornication [SINGULAR FEMININE], uncleanness [SINGULAR FEMININE], passion [SINGULAR NEUTER], evil desire [SINGULAR FEMININE, and covetousness [SINGULAR FEMININE, which [HTIV / SINGULAR FEMININE RELATIVE PRONOUN REFERRING SPECIFICALLY TO THE SINGULAR FEMININE NOUN COVETOUSNESS] is idolatry [SINGULAR FEMININE]; 6 for which things’ [A / PLURAL NEUTER RELATIVE PRONOUN REFERRING TO ALL THOSE THINGS JUST LISTED, HENCE THE NEUTER GENDER IN REFERENCE TO THINGS] sake cometh the wrath of God upon the sons of disobedience [TOUV UIOUV THV APEIQEIAV / THE SONS (plural masculine) OF-THE DISOBEDIENCE (singular feminine)]: 7 wherein [EN OIV / EITHER AMONG WHOM (plural masculine), REFERRING TO THE SONS, OR IN WHICH THINGS (plural neuter), REFERRING TO THE LIST OF THINGS] ye also once walked, when ye lived in these things [EN TOUTOIV / EITHER AMONG THESE ONES (plural masculine), REFERRING TO THE SONS, OR IN THESE THINGS (plural neuter), REFERRING TO THE LIST OF THINGS]; … or in the Received Text and Majority Text [EN AUTOIV / EITHER AMONG THEM (plural masculine), REFERRING TO THE SONS, OR IN THEM (plural neuter), REFERRING TO THE LIST OF THINGS]

      Louis:

      Colossians 3:5-7. In verse 5, four of the five nouns are feminine so the feminine relative pronoun “ητις” is used. In verse 6, “α” is neuter.” In verse 7, “οις” is masculine because it refers to the masculine “τους υιους της απειθειας.” “αυτοις” in the end is neuter.

      Jim:

      Not so. The singular feminine relative pronoun “htiV” (which) in verse 3:5 refers specifically to the singular feminine antecedent noun “pleonexian” (covetousness) that immediately precedes it. If the pronoun had been referring to the entire list of things, then it would have been plural. In contrast, the plural neuter relative pronoun “a” (which things) in verse 3:6 refers to the entire list of things just stated in verse 3:5, which are things, hence the neuter gender of the pronoun, neuter for things. The relative pronoun phrase “en oiV” (among whom / in which things) in verse 3:7 is either plural masculine (among whom) in reference to “sons” or plural neuter (in which things) in reference to the things (the list of things). The personal pronoun phrase “en autoiV” (among them / in them) in verse 3:7 is either plural masculine (among them) in reference to the “sons” or plural neuter (in them) in reference to the things (the list of things).

      This shows the pronoun (a / which things) in verse 3:6, which refers to the list of things (MULTIPLE nouns) in verse 3:5, as plural neuter, neuter for things, and it shows the pronoun (htiV / which) in verse 3:5, which refers to the SINGLE noun (pleonexian / covetousness) that immediately precedes it in the text, conforming to the feminine grammatical gender of that SINGLE noun that immediately precedes it in the text.

      That is what happens in the Greek language. If a pronoun refers to a SINGLE noun, then it usually (NOT ALWAYS) conforms to the grammatical gender of that SINGLE noun. If a pronoun refers to MULTIPLE nouns, then it NEVER conforms to the grammatical gender of any of the nouns, but it conforms to the natural gender (the nature) of the idea to which it refers, which is represented in the text by the MULTIPLE nouns, either neuter for things or masculine for persons or feminine for female persons.

      Jim

    • Jim says:

      Louis:

      Verse 8 says, “And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.” In Greek, the phrase “these three agree in one” is “οι τρεις εις το εν εισιν” (the three are in the one). There is a definite article that indicates that the “one” is a particular “one” that has been referred to previously in the flow of the argument. If the Comma remains, this demonstrative article has a clear antecedent. The Father, Word, and Holy Ghost are “one,” and the three earthly witnesses agree in “the one.” Without the Comma there is no clear antecedent.

      John:

      (ASV) 1 John 3:11 For this is THE MESSAGE which ye heard from the beginning, THAT WE SHOULD LOVE ONE ANOTHER:

      (ASV) 1 John 5:8 For there are three who bear witness, the Spirit and the water and the blood, and the three [ones for THE ONE THING they are]. 9 If we receive THE WITNESS OF [THE] MEN, the witness of God is greater …

      (ASV) 1 John 3:8 he that doeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. [FOR THIS THING] was the Son of God manifested, THAT HE MIGHT DESTROY THE WORKS OF THE DEVIL.

      (ASV) 1 John 5:8 For there are three who bear witness, the Spirit and the water and the blood, and the three [ones FOR THE ONE THING they are]. 9 If we receive THE WITNESS OF [THE] MEN, the witness of God is greater …

      Jim:

      Just as the articular phrase “the message” in 1 John 3:8 refers, not to what is previously stated, but to what is subsequently stated, namely, “that we should love one another,” likewise the articular phrase “the one thing” in 1 John 5:8 refers, not to what is previously stated, but to what is subsequently stated, namely, “the witness of the men.” John says in 1 John 5:8 that “the three ones,” who are “the ones bearing witness” in verse 5:8, who are “the men” in “the witness of the men” in verse 5:9, are “FOR the one thing,” namely, “the witness of the men.” All John is saying is that “the one thing” (the witness of the men) is comprise of “the three ones / the ones bearing witness,” which is “the men” (the three ones) in “the witness” (the one thing) “of the men” (the three ones / the ones bearing witness), to whom John is comparative (this is like that) equating “the Spirit and the water and the Blood,” which are three witnesses that comprise “the witness of the God.”

      Likewise, just as prepositional phrase “FOR this thing” in 1 John 3:8 refers, not to what is previously stated, but to what is subsequently stated, namely, “that he might destroy the works of the devil,” likewise the prepositional phrase “FOR the one thing” in 1 John 5:8 refers, not to what is previously stated, but to what is subsequently stated, namely, “the witness of the men.”

      Louis:

      Verse 9 says that if we receive the witness of men (i.e. water of baptism and the blood of crucifixion), the witness of God is greater. This “witness of God” is the Spirit of truth in verse 6 who bears witness of Jesus Christ. To a Trinitarian it might seem obvious that the “witness of the Spirit” is synonymous with “the witness of God.” However, the Comma improves the flow of the argument by explaining why the two are synonymous. Since the Spirit is one with the Father and the Word, the Spirit’s witness is God’s witness.

      Jim:

      Not so. John is comparatively (this is like that) equating “the witness of the God” in verse 5:9 to “the witness of the men [plural].” Just as “the witness of the men” in verse 5:9 is comprised of three witnesses, namely, “the ones bearing witness / the three ones” in verse 5:8, likewise “the witness of the God” in verse 5:9 is comprised of three witnesses, namely, “the Spirit and the water and the Blood” in verse 5:8.

      John says in 5:6-7 in the Majority Text that the Son of God came not only by the water, but also by the Blood, and that the Spirit is the thing bearing witness. John then continues in verse 5:8 to state that there are consequently three witnesses, “the Spirit and the water and the Blood,” which are comparable to the two or three witnesses (men) required by Moses in Deuteronomy 17:6 and 19:15 and cited in Matthew 18:16, John 8:17-18, 2 Corinthians 13:1, 1 Timothy 5:19, Hebrews 10:28-29 and 1 John 5:8-9.

      Also, John quotes Jesus to state in John 15:26 that “when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, [that One] shall bear witness of me.” Here Jesus states that the Spirit will not bear witness regarding Him (the Son) until the Spirit is sent from the Father in heaven to earth, which refutes the statement in the Johannine Comma that the Spirit is a witness bearing witness in heaven to the fact that Jesus is the Son of God.

  6. Jim says:

    Regarding the claim that there is something wrong with the grammar in 1 John 5:8, my reply is this.

    In Matthew 23:23, Jesus is quoted in the Received Text to have said that “you-dismiss the weightier-things [accusative PLURAL NEUTER] of-the law, the judgment [accusative SINGULAR FEMININE] and the mercy [accusative SINGULAR MASCULINE] and the faith [accusative SINGULAR FEMININE].”

    In 1 John 2:16, John says in the Received Text that “every thing [nominative SINGULAR NEUTER] in the world, the lust [nominative SINGULAR FEMININE] of-the flesh and the lust [nominative SINGULAR FEMININE] of-the eyes and the pride [nominative SINGULAR FEMININE] of-the life, not it-is out-of the Father.”

    In 1 John 5:7, John says in the Received Text that “three they-are, the-ones bearing-witness [nominative PLURAL MASCULINE] in the heaven, the Father [nominative SINGULAR MASCULINE], the Word [nominative SINGULAR MASCULINE] and the Holy Spirit [nominative SINGULAR NEUTER].”

    In 1 John 5:8, John says in the Received Text that “three they-are, the-ones bearing-witness [nominative PLURAL MASCULINE] on the earth, the Spirit [nominative SINGULAR NEUTER] and the water [nominative SINGULAR NEUTER] and the Blood [nominative SINGULAR NEUTER].”

    In Matthew 23:23, the PLURAL NEUTER direct object of the verb is renamed by three nouns that are either SINGULAR FEMININE or SINGULAR MASCULINE.

    In 1 John 2:16, the SINGULAR NEUTER subject of the verb is renamed by three nouns that are SINGULAR FEMININE.

    In 1 John 5:7, the PLURAL MASCULINE subject of the verb is renamed by three nouns that are either SINGULAR NEUTER or SINGULAR MASCULINE.

    In 1 John 5:8, the PLURAL MASCULINE subject of the verb is renamed by three nouns that SINGULAR NEUTER.

    I don’t see any requirement for the three nouns that rename the subject or direct object of the verb to agree with the subject or direct object of the verb either in number or in gender in any of these four verses. So I don’t understand why it is said by some that there is something wrong with the grammar in 1 John 5:8, when in fact the same thing occurs in Matthew 23:23 and 1 John 2:16 and 1 John 5:7. I think that the people who are saying that there is something wrong with the grammar in 1 John 5:8 are inventing a problem that does not actually exist.

  7. Jim says:

    When I clicked the name “Louis,” I was linked to the KJV Today website. Does that mean that Louis is the owner of that website? I wanted to contact the owner of that website to discuss the errors in the grammar section of his article regarding 1 John 5:7, but I could not find any contact information. If Louis is the owner, then I guess the place to contact him is here. Therefore, does anyone know whether Louis the owner of KJV Today?

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