Frederick Nolan (1784-1864)

is not particularly notable for his value-added on the 1John 5 grammar. To a certain extent he, and those that followed, might have simply used Eugenius, since his three quotations go right to the heart of the matter.

Nolan is very helpful in finding two comments, one by Richard Porson, and one by Herbert Marsh, that act as types of concession speeches for the solecistic short text, that could have easily been missed.


Christian Remembrancer (1822)
The Heavenly Witnesses
Frederick Nolan - written June 18, 1822

... the introduction of the Heavenly Witnesses removes every grammatical objection to the context of the Apostle. That the suppression of them creates an insuperable objection to it, may be referred to the decision of a judge whose sentence none will deny to be impartial, and few dispute to be competent. "But what," observes Bishop Marsh*, in reference to the epistle before us, "shall we say to readings, which when connected with the context make false grammar? What shall we say to a verb singular, & a masculine adjective referring to a neuter substantive? Now the question to be asked is, is it possible, that Velez found this, and the other readings of the same stamp, in a Greek manuscript?" "Even a man," he elsewhere reasons, "who learnt Greek by mere usage and conversation, without being taught its first principles, could not possibly have written" as St. John is proved to have written, by those who reject the disputed text from his epistle.

* Lett, to Travis, Append, iii. p. 276. sqq. comp. Pref. p. i. n. 1.

Letters to Mr Archdeacon Travis in vindication of one of the Translator's notes to Michaeli's Introduction (1795)
Herbert Marsh


Letters to Mr. Archdeacon Travis (1790)
Richard Porson

"patched up a motley text"


The "motley text" was the only known reference by Porson to the grammar of his favored short text with three witnesses. Porson, as essentially an unbeliever, did not really mind that the Johannine text he favored was "motley", so he just stuck the comment in en passant in a context about Latin-->Greek issue. Porson acknowledges that the supposed Latin interpolation, when translated to Greek, "made good Greek of their Latin". Ironically, he was also acknowledging the patching up of the "motley text" he favored as authentic.

—"Palpable oversights in the texture of the sense, and gross solecisms in the grammatical structure, cannot be ascribed to the inspired writers. If, of two readings, one be exposed to such objections, there is but the alternative, that the other must be authentick." - Frederick Nolan
This however, is not the view of Richard Porson and today's unbelievers, or those stuck with the apologetics of Critical Text solecisms.

The Open Court, March 1916
he Four-Hundredth Anniversary of the Publication of the First Greek New Testament - p. 129-147
Bernard Pick

To the cry of his opponents that "solecisms are not offensive to God." Erasmus replied, "true, but neither are they pleasing to Him" (non offenditur deus soloecismis, at idem non delectatur). - Bernhard Pick