How Adam Clarke described the 1 John 5:7 story

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This come from

The Holy Bible, containing the Old and New Testaments, Volume 3

By Adam Clark

OBSERVATIONS ON THE TEXT OF THE THREE DIVINE WITNESSES Accompanied with a plate containing two very facsimiles of 1 John chap y ver 7 8 and 9 they stand in the first edition of the New Testament printed at Complutum 1514 and in the Codex Montfortu a manuscript marked G 97 in library of Trinity College Dublin Ilovra doKt iaZcre to ku ov tartjtre 1 Thess v 2 1

The seventh verse of the fifth chapter of 1 John has given rise to more theological disputes than other portion of the sacred writings Advocates antagonists have arisen in every quarter of the world but the dispute has been principally to the Unitarians of all classes and those called Ortho 2 dox the former asserting that it is an interpolation and the latter contending that it is a part of the original text of St John It is asserted that one excepted which shall be noticed by and by all the Greek MSS written before the invention of printing omit the passage in dispute

How the seventh and eighth verses stand in these may be seen in the following view where the words included between brackets are those which are wanting in the MSS On rpeic tiaiv o fiaprvpowTtc lev iy mpavy 6 nan p 6 Xoyoc Kai to dyiov irvevfia nai ovrot ol rpeif hv eiai Kai rpeic eiotv oi fiaprvpovvrec ev to yt to irvcvpa tat to iSup xai to a tfia Kai ol rpeic etc to ev eioiv Of all the MSS yet discovered which contain this epistle amounting to one hundred and twelve three only two of which are of no authority have the text viz

The Codex Guelpherbytanus G which is demonstrably a MS of the seventeenth century for it contains the Latin translation of Beza written by the same hand and therefore of no use or importance in sacred criticism

The Codex Ravianus or Berolinensis which is a forgery and only a copy of the Greek text in the Complutensian Polyglot printed in 1514 and so close an imitation of it that it copies even its typographical errors hence and from the similarity of the letters it appears to have been forged that it might pass for the original MS from which the Complutensian text was taken In this MS some various readings are inserted from the margin of Stevens edition of 1550 3

The Codex Montfortii or Codex Dubliniensis cited by Erasmus under the title of Codex Britanni cus in Trinity College Dublin This may be said to be the only genuine MS which contains this text as no advocate of the sacred doctrine contained in the disputed passage would wish to lay any stress whatever on such evidence as the two preceding ones afford Michaelis roundly asserts vol iv page 417 of his Introductory Lectures that this MS was written after the year 1500 This I scruple not to affirm is a perfectly unguarded assertion and what no man can prove In 1790 I examined this MS myself and though I thought it to be comparatively modern yet 1 had no doubt that it existed before the invention of printing and was never written with an intention to deceive I am rather inclined to think it the work of an unknown bold critic who formed a text from one or more MSS in conjunction with the Vulgate and was by no means sparing of his own conjectural emendations for it contains many various readings which exist in no other MS yet discovered But how far the writer has in any place faithfully copied the text of any ancient MS is more than can be determined To give the reader a fair view of this subject I here subjoin what I hope I may call a perfect facsimile of the seventh and eighth verses as they exist in this MS copied by the accurate hand of the Rev Dr Barrett the present learned librarian of Trinity College

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