Three That Bear Record In Heaven
“For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. 8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.”
(1 John 5:7-8)
It is argued by scholars that this passage (1 John 5:7-8) in the King James Version has “added” text, which some say support the Trinity, that was not part of the original (earlier) Greek manuscripts. From my studies it does appear that wording is different in comparison to some of the later copies of the Dead Sea scrolls, however these additions are actually of no consequence and neither do they support the belief in a Trinity (God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit) as some suggest.
1. The statement (which is argued) that “there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost” as found in the KJV does not indicate that there are three separate spirit individuals as part of a Godhead unit (or Trinity), neither does the statement “and these three are one” (See: How Can Three Be One?)
2. Furthermore, the three titles mentioned (the Father, the Word and the Holy Ghost) are all expressions that portray One God, not three separate spirit individuals; God is the Father, God is the Holy Spirit and God is the Word, which will be elaborated on more fully, but let’s first address why there are discrepancies pursuant to this passage.
In ancient times texts were hand written. Since ancient scribes did not have photo copying machines, all copies of these texts were also hand written. Being human it is understandable that discrepancies have been found within some of the Dead Sea Scrolls, a collection of approximately 972 texts discovered between 1946 and 1956 that consist of biblical manuscripts and documents found on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea, from which they derive their name.
The various translations that currently exist, upon which we rely, all stem from various portions taken from these Dead Sea Scroll texts. I am not suggesting any one Bible publisher over another, only to point out that you must always keep in mind that what appears in a particular passage is always dependent upon that publishers perspective as to what is entered or omitted.
Some English versions thus have a different rendition of 1 John 5:7-8 than that of the KJV.
(1 John 5:7-8 (AMP)) So there are three witnesses [b] in heaven: the Father, the Word and the Holy Spirit, and these three are One; 8 and there are three witnesses on the earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree [are in unison; their testimony coincides].
AMP Footnote: [b] 1 John 5:7 The italicized section is found only in late manuscripts.
(1 John 5:7-8 (NLV)) 7 So we have these three witnesses[c] 8 the Spirit, the water, and the blood—and all three agree.
NLV Footnote: [c] 1 John 5:7 “A few very late manuscripts add in: heaven—the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one. And we have three witnesses on earth.”
(1 John 5:7-8 (NIV)) 7 For there are three that testify: 8 the[a] Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.
NIV Footnote: [a] 1 John 5:8 “Late manuscripts of the Vulgate testify in heaven: the Father, the Word and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one. 8 And there are three that testify on earth: the (not found in any Greek manuscript before the fourteenth century)”
God is the Father, God is the Holy Spirit; and
These are expressions that are used to symbolize or portray attributes of God. God is a Holy Spirit, God is the word of life, truth, power, God is the Father of…, etc… most Christians agree with this understanding in some manner if not totally.
Note: (adj.) Abstract is considered apart from concrete existence, specific objects, or actual instances: an abstract idea or an abstract concept. (a metaphor is considered an abstract idea)
A concrete name is a name which stands for a thing; (Spirit, Ghost, God, Bible, man, etc…)
An abstract name stands for an attribute of a thing; (Holy, faithful, just, evil, Almighty, etc…)
An abstract idea stands for an attribute of a thing; (the lamb of God, the Word, baptized with Fire, etc..)
Anything abstract is not concrete; you cannot physically hold it. It is an expression of something or someone. (The lamb of God was not literally a four legged wooly animal, thus it is figurative or a metaphor)
God is the Word
The Word (logos = thought/will) of God always existed. It being one of the three “expressions” of God (Father, Word, Holy Ghost) which cannot be separated from God without it being the same expression of God wherever it is used, be it in the bible or within flesh or anywhere.
These expressions of God, as used in the bible, are abstract reflections of God (who is an invisible spirit). These unique conceptual expressions of God where made manifest in many ways, flesh was just one way the Word (logos) of God was manifested.
In The Beginning:
1. the “logos” (word-thought/will) of God was “spoken” (God said…., etc..); and
2. the “logos” (word-thought/will) of God was “written” (the 10 commandments); and [1,400 BC: The first written Word of God: The Ten Commandments delivered to Moses] [500 BC: The Completion of All Original Hebrew Manuscripts which make up the Old Testament]
3. the “logos” (word-thought/will) of God was “made flesh” (in Jesus Christ) (See Also: The Word Was Made Flesh); and
4. the “logos” (word-thought/will) of God was “written” (in the New Testament) [1st Century AD: Completion of All Original Greek Manuscripts which make up The New Testament]
GOD can be expressed in many ways:
The WILL of God is God.
The WORD of God is God.
The POWER of God is God.
These are abstract words describing aspects of God, they do not describe what God looks like (literally or figuratively).
You cannot separate the WILL from the WORD from the POWER (of God).
The WILL is fulfilled by the WORD according to the POWER (of God).
In Genesis 1:1-3
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form and void: and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the SPIRIT OF GOD MOVED (the POWER) upon the face of the waters. And God (the WILL) said (spoke the WORD), Let there be light: and there was light.
The WILL (of God) wanted to create a heaven and earth. So the WILL (of God) spoke the WORD (of God) and it was done according to the POWER (of God).
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