1 John 5:7 is the clearest verse in the Bible regarding the Holy Trinity, yet it is missing in many modern versions like the NIV, NASB, RSV, NRSV and Jehovah witness versions.

Those who say this verse is not part of Holy Scripture will often say it is not found in the majority of Greek manuscripts and for this reason it should not be included in the Bible.

It is true that the words "in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth" are not found in the majority of remaining Greek manuscripts that exist today. However there is very much and weighty evidence for its inclusion.

Those who argue that it is not in the majority of texts are being totally inconsistent when they bring up this argument. Most of the people like James White and Daniel B. Wallace who use this majority argument, do not care one bit for the majority of texts and what they might read. They themselves follow the UBS text of Westcott and Hort which itself departs from the majority readings in literally thousands of places.

It should be noted too that Michael Maynard significantly points out that there are only 5 remaining Greek manuscripts that even contain the epistle of 1 John in whole or in part that date from the 7th century or before. That is a whole lot of time to have past by with only 5 partial Greek witnesses that remain today.

The old commentators on 1 John 5:7 - John Calvin, John Gill, Matthew Henry, John Wesley.

JOHN WESLEY commented on 1 John 5:7 saying: " I would insist only on the direct words, unexplained, just as they lie in the text: "There are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: And these three are one."

"As they lie in the text :" -- but here arises a question: Is that text genuine? Was it originally written by the Apostle, or inserted in later ages? Many have doubted of this; and, in particular, the great light of the Christian church, lately removed to the Church above, Bengelius, -- the most pious, the most judicious, and the most laborious, of all the modern Commentators on the New Testament. For some time he stood in doubt of its authenticity, because it is wanting in many of the ancient copies. But his doubts were removed by three considerations: (1.) That though it is wanting in many copies, yet it is found in more; and those copies of the greatest authority: -- ( 2.) That it is cited by a whole gain of ancient writers, from the time of St. John to that of Constantine. This argument is conclusive: For they could not have cited it, had it not been in the sacred canon: -- (3.) That we can easily account for its being, after that time, wanting in many copies, when we remember that Constantine's successor was a zealous Arian, who used every means to promote his bad cause, to spread Arianism throughout the empire; in particular the erasing this text out of as many copies as fell into his hands. And he so far prevailed, that the age in which he lived is commonly styled, Seculum Aranium, -- "the Arian age;" there being then only one eminent man who opposed him at the peril of his life. So that it was a proverb, Athanasius contra mundum: "Athanasius against the world."

To read their entire quotes in context, see this site: http://turretinfan.blogspot.com/2007_04_22_archive.html

JOHN CALVIN - "However, the passage flows better when this clause is added, and as I see that IT IS FOUND IN THE BEST AND MOST APPROVED COPIES, I am inclined to receive it as the true reading."

MATTHEW HENRY on 1 John 5:7 - "We are stopped in our course by the contest there is about the genuineness of v. 7. It is alleged that many old Greek manuscripts have it not. It should seem that the critics are not agreed what manuscripts have it and what not; nor do they sufficiently inform us of the integrity and value of the manuscripts they peruse...There are some rational surmises that seem to support the present text and reading."

"The seventh verse is very agreeable to the style and the theology of our apostle...Facundus acknowledges that Cyprian says that of his three it is written, Et hi tres unum sunt—and these three are one. NOW THESE ARE THE WORDS, NOT OF V. 8, BUT OF V. 7. They are not used concerning the three on earth, the Spirit, the water, and the blood; but the three in heaven, the Father, and the Word, and the Holy Ghost...If all the Greek manuscripts and ancient versions say concerning the Spirit, the water, and the blood, that in unum sunt—they agree in one, then it was not of them that Cyprian spoke, whatever variety there might be in the copies in his time, when he said it is written, unum sunt—they are one. And THEREFORE CYPRIAN'S WORDS SEEM STILL TO BE A FIRM TESTIMONY TO V. 7."

"It was far more easy for a transcriber, by turning away his eye, or by the obscurity of the copy, it being obliterated or defaced on the top or bottom of a page, or worn away in such materials as the ancients had to write upon, to lose and omit the passage, than for an interpolator to devise and insert it. He must be very bold and impudent who could hope to escape detection and shame; and profane too, who durst venture to make an addition to a supposed sacred book."

"I think, in the book of God,... THE TEXT IS WORTHY OF ALL ACCEPTATION."

JOHN GILL commenting on 1 John 5:7 - "As to the old Latin interpreter, it is certain it is to be seen in many Latin manuscripts of an early date, and stands in the Vulgate Latin edition of the London Polyglot Bible: and the Latin translation, which bears the name of Jerom[e], has it, and who, in an epistle of his to Eustochium, prefixed to his translation of these canonical epistles, complains of the omission of it by unfaithful interpreters."

"And as to its being wanting in some Greek manuscripts, as the Alexandrian, and others, it need only be said, that it is to be found in many others; it is in an old British copy, and in the Complutensian edition, the compilers of which made use of various copies; and OUT OF SIXTEEN ANCIENT COPIES OF ROBER STEPHEN'S, NINE OF THEM HAD IT."

Speaking of the citations of the early church fathers Mr. Gill continues: "And yet, after all, certain it is, that it is cited by many of them; by Fulgentius, in the beginning of the "sixth" century, against the Arians, without any scruple or hesitation; and Jerome, as before observed, has it in his translation made in the latter end of the "fourth" century; and it is cited by Athanasius about the year 350; and before him by Cyprian, in the middle, of the "third" century, about the year 250; and is referred to by Tertullian about, the year 200; and which was within a "hundred" years, or little more, of the writing of the epistle; WHICH MAY BE ENOUGH TO SATISFY ANYONE OF THE GENUINENESS OF THIS PASSAGE; and besides, there never was any dispute about it till Erasmus left it out in the first edition of his translation of the New Testament; and yet he himself, upon the credit of the old British copy before mentioned, put it into another edition of his translation."

"Majority text" or "minority readings"

It is also fallacious and hypocritical to suggest that just because the reading found in 1 John 5:7 is not "in the majority of texts" that it therefore cannot be legitimate, when the very men who are behind the ever-changing modern critical text admit that the true reading may be found in a few or even one manuscript.

J. K. Elliott, a modern textual critic comments on transcriptional probabilities: "By using criteria such as the above the critic may reach a conclusion in discussing textual variants and be able to say which variant is the original reading. However, it is legitimate to ask: can a reading be accepted as genuine if it is supported by only one ms.? There is no reason why an original reading should not have been preserved in only one ms. but obviously a reading can be accepted with greater confidence, when it has stronger support" Even Kurt Aland says: "Theoretically, the original readings can be hidden in a single ms. thus standing alone against the rest of tradition," and Tasker has a similar comment: "The possibility must be left open that in some cases the true reading may have been preserved in only a few witnesses or even in a single relatively late witness." - The Effect of Recent Textual Criticism upon New Testament Studies," The Background of the New Testament and its Eschatology, ed. W. D. Davies and D. Daube (Cambridge: The Cambridge University Press, 1956)

Sure, there are a few minority readings in the King James Bible, but for every one in the KJB there are at least 20 minority readings found in the NASB, NIV, RSV, and that is no exaggeration.

Another very common objection to 1 John 5:7 is the allegation that Erasmus said he would include the verse if he found a Greek manuscript that contained it. Then almost made to order, hot off the presses, one appeared.

Bruce Metzger who was partly responsible for propagating this urban myth at least had the integrity to retract this false accusation in the 3rd edition of his book. Here is the exact quote from Mr. Metzger himself.

"What is said on p. 101 above about Erasmus' promise to include the Comma Johanneum if one Greek manuscript were found that contained it, and his subsequent suspicion that MS 61 was written expressly to force him to do so, needs to be corrected in the light of the research of H. J. DeJonge, a specialist in Erasmian studies who finds no explicit evidence that supports this frequently made assertion." Bruce M. Metzger, The Text of The New Testament, 3rd Edition, p 291 fn 2.