Comma johanneum


For there are three that testify in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one

does this part of 1 john 5:7-8 belong to the Bible or not?
many believe that parts of this verses were added in after erasmus 2nd revision of his translation from the “textus receptus” some even claim that erasmus made a promise to pope leo x (his personal friend) to add the trinitarian verses in. another version is that he would only add this verses in if greek manuscripts were produced that had the verses on them. the catholic church produced greek manuscripts translated from the latin vulgate that had the trinitarian verses in, so erasmus made the addition.
others defend this verses as part of the inspired Word of God.
i want to know what is the knowledge you have in this matter, and if anyone would be able to post any verified info about this
God bless you all


This is from the Douay-Rheims Bible, which is in this case the English translation of the original Latin Vulgate of St. Jerome, 4th century.

6 This is he that came by water and blood, Jesus Christ: not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit which testifieth, that Christ is the truth. 7 And there are three who give testimony in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost. And these three are one. 8 And there are three that give testimony on earth: the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three are one. 9 If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater. For this is the testimony of God, which is greater, because he hath testified of his Son. 10 He that believeth in the Son of God, hath the testimony of God in himself. He that believeth not the Son, maketh him a liar: because he believeth not in the testimony which God hath testified of his Son.

6 “Came by water and blood”… Not only to wash away our sins by the water of baptism, but by his own blood.

8 “The spirit, and the water, and the blood”… As the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, all bear witness to Christ’s divinity; so the spirit, which he yielded up, crying out with a loud voice upon the cross; and the water and blood that issued from his side, bear witness to his humanity, and are one; that is, all agree in one testimony.

10 “He that believeth not the Son”… By refusing to believe the testimonies given by the three divine persons, that Jesus was the Messias, and the true Son of God, by whom eternal life is obtained and promised to all that comply with his doctrine. In him we have also this lively confidence, that we shall obtain whatever we ask, according to his will, when we ask what is for our good, with perseverance, and in the manner we ought. And this we know, and have experience of, by having obtained the petitions that we have made.

As you see, there is no footnote to verse 7, but there are to verses 6 and 8. If the source that had the “trinitarian” reference was the Vulgate, it looks as though it was indeed there, and not added later, IMO.


[quote=Tantum ergo]This is from the Douay-Rheims Bible, which is in this case the English translation of the original Latin Vulgate of St. Jerome, 4th century.

As you see, there is no footnote to verse 7, but there are to verses 6 and 8. If the source that had the “trinitarian” reference was the Vulgate, it looks as though it was indeed there, and not added later, IMO.

We do not have any Greek manuscript pre 16th century that attests to this addition. The earlies reference is in the Latin vulgate. It would be very difficult to make a case for its inclusion.

The NET Bible (a textual examiners study Bible found on says this:
This reading, the infamous Comma Johanneum, has been known in the English-speaking world through the King James translation. However, the evidence—both external and internal—is decidedly against its authenticity. For a detailed discussion, see TCGNT 647-49. Our discussion will briefly address the external evidence. This longer reading is found only in nine late mss, four of which have the words in a marginal note. Most of these mss (221 2318 [18th century] {2473 [dated 1634]} and [with minor variations] 61 88 429 629 636 918) originate from the 16th century; the earliest ms, codex 221 (10th century) includes the reading in a marginal note, added sometime after the original composition. The oldest ms with the Comma in its text is from the 14th century (629), but the wording here departs from all the other mss in several places. The next oldest mss on behalf of the Comma, 88 (12th century) 429 (14th) 636 (15th), also have the reading only as a marginal note (v.l.). The remaining mss are from the 16th to 18th centuries. Thus, there is no sure evidence of this reading in any Greek ms until the 14th century (629), and that ms deviates from all others in its wording; the wording that matches what is found in the *TR *was apparently composed after Erasmus’ Greek NT was published in 1516. Indeed, the Comma appears in no Greek witness of any kind (either ms, patristic, or Greek translation of some other version) until a.d. 1215 (in a Greek translation of the Acts of the Lateran Council, a work originally written in Latin). This is all the more significant since many a Greek Father would have loved such a reading, for it so succinctly affirms the doctrine of the Trinity. The reading seems to have arisen in a 4th century Latin homily in which the text was allegorized to refer to members of the Trinity.


From there, it made its way into copies of the Latin Vulgate, the text used by the Roman Catholic Church. The Trinitarian formula (known as the Comma Johanneum) made its way into the third edition of Erasmus’ Greek NT (1522) because of pressure from the Catholic Church. After his first edition appeared, there arose such a furor over the absence of the Comma that Erasmus needed to defend himself. He argued that he did not put in the Comma because he found no Greek mss that included it. Once one was produced (codex 61, written in ca. 1520), Erasmus apparently felt obliged to include the reading. He became aware of this ms sometime between May of 1520 and September of 1521. In his annotations to his third edition he does not protest the rendering now in his text, as though it were made to order; but he does defend himself from the charge of indolence, noting that he had taken care to find whatever mss he could for the production of his text. In the final analysis, Erasmus probably altered the text because of politico-theologico-economic concerns: He did not want his reputation ruined, nor his *Novum Instrumentum *to go unsold. Modern advocates of the TR and KJV generally argue for the inclusion of the Comma Johanneum on the basis of heretical motivation by scribes who did not include it. But these same scribes elsewhere include thoroughly orthodox readings—even in places where the TR/Byzantine mss lack them. Further, these advocates argue theologically from the position of divine preservation: Since this verse is in the TR, it must be original. (Of course, this approach is circular, presupposing as it does that the TR = the original text.) In reality, the issue is history, not heresy: How can one argue that the Comma Johanneum goes back to the original text yet does not appear until the 14th century in any Greek mss (and that form is significantly different from what is printed in the TR; the wording of the *TR *is not found in any Greek mss until the 16th century)? Such a stance does not do justice to the gospel: Faith must be rooted in history. Significantly, the German translation of Luther was based on Erasmus’ second edition (1519) and lacked the Comma. But the KJV translators, basing their work principally on Theodore Beza’s 10th edition of the Greek NT (1598), a work which itself was fundamentally based on Erasmus’ third and later editions (and Stephanus’ editions), popularized the Comma for the English-speaking world. Thus, the Comma Johanneum has been a battleground for English-speaking Christians more than for others.

Hope this helps,



“The Sistine-Clementine edition of the Vulgate included an addition which left the text reading as follows: “There are three who give witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. And there are three who give witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree.” The words shown in italics (known as the Johannine “comma” or addition) were the subject of heated debate (around the end of the nineteenth century) as to their authenticity. The Holy Office (as was) left theologians free to research the matter (cf. Declaration, 2 Jun 1927) and in fact it had been shown that the “comma” was introduced in Spain around the fourth century AD in a text attributed to Priscillian, and therefore does not belong to the original inspired text.” – The Navarre Bible, Catholic Epistles


by reading this i understand that the comma johanneum was part of the latin vulgate before it was ever added to any greek translation. am i right?


I do not think it was in Jerome’s original Vulgate but in a later one and I do not know if it was added to any Greek texts…I’ve not done any study in that area and I’m by no means an expert in the area. I only passed on to you what I read in the Navarre Bible. I did a quick online search and found this:

I’m not sure how good it is, but it seemed OK


There has been much controversy about this. I recall reading (I’m going from memory here) from St. Alphonsus Liguori’s The History of Heresies, that it was reported in 1580 that the doctors of Louvain, (Belgium) had brought out numerous copies of the New Testament, I think it was for the Douay-Rheims translation, and found that the “Comma” was in most of them. Anyway I did a quick search and found a couple of interesting sites:

A Case For the Authenticity of 1 John 5:7-8

Here is a snippet:

After promulgating his faulty catalogue of Greek manuscripts containing the Comma, Metzger claims that “the passage is quoted by none of the Greek Fathers.” Such a bold assertion is also misleading because Gregory of Nazanzius (a Greek Church Father from the fourth century), although not directly quoting the passage, specifically alludes to the passage and objects to the grammatical structure if the Comma is omitted (Metzger, on the other hand, would have one to believe that the Greek Church Fathers knew nothing of the passage).Gregory writes:
What about John then, when in his Catholic Epistle he says that there are Three that bear witness, the Spirit and the Water and the Blood? Do you think he is talking nonsense? First, because he has ventured to reckon under one numeral things which are not consubstantial, though you say this ought to be done only in the case of things which are consubstantial. For who would assert that these are consubstantial? Secondly, because he had not been consistent in the way he has happened upon his terms; for after using Three in the masculine gender he adds three words which are neuter, contrary to the definitions and laws which you and your grammarians have laid down. For what is the difference between putting a masculine Three first, and then adding One and One and One in the neuter, or after a masculine One and One and One to use the Three not in the masculine but in the neuter, which you yourself disclaim in the case of Deity?
In this brief excursus, Gregory objects to the use of a masculine plural participle with three neuter nouns which, of course, is the case if the Comma is omitted.In other words, Gregory of Nazianzus objected to the omission of 1 John v.7f.

The Debate Over 1 John 5:7-8

The Authenticity of 1 John 5:7

Interesting article from an Anonymous Author

With a host of others, check them out.


i think that more and more on our days whe are going to see the Word of God discredited by these new scholars that feel that they have the authority of paraphrasing it.
if you read my other posts you will quickly find out that i am not a catholic. But both catholics and protestants agree that Jesus is God, and on the Trinity I think at least in this matter both of us should be very jealous on the way His Word is handled and very careful on this new translations…


Also these links, particularly the first one:


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