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  1. Default Vulgate Prologue - super-evidence

    1 John 5:7
    For there are three that bear record in heaven,
    the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost:
    and these three are one.

    In this thread the significance of the Vulgate Prologue to the Canonical Epistles by Jerome will be discussed. This is one of the most incredible and least well understood evidences for the heavenly witnesses. We will start with a quote from Charles Vincent Dolman (1842-1918). Dolman is reviewing the literature at the time of some of the best heavenly witnesses writers.

    He is reviewing:

    Ernest Ranke (1814-1888), a scholar with an emphasis on the Latin manuscripts, whose edition of the Codex Fuldensis showed the Prologue in 546 AD written in an edition produced under the learned:

    Victor of Capua

    The Dublin Review (1882)
    Recent Evidence in Support of 1 John v. 7 p. 426-439
    Charles Vincent Dolman

    Every one who has read anything of this discussion knows how important a place is held by a certain Prologue to the Canonical Epistles, commonly ascribed to St. Jerome. The writer of that Prologue finds fault with certain unfaithful transcribers for omitting the verse containing the testimony of the Heavenly Witnesses. If it were but certain that this preface came from the pen of St. Jerome, there would be an end to the discussion ; or, rather, the discussion would never have had a beginning. All we know of the preface is this—that it was found in almost all the Latin Bibles from the ninth century downwards, with or without St. Jerome's name attached.Père Simon was the first to question the authenticity of the Prologue, and, finally, the Benedictine editors of St. Jerome added weighty reasons for denying it to be St Jerome's. Since their time the preface has been commonly rejected by critics, and looked upon as an impudent forgery of the ninth century. Thus, one of our strongest witnesses was discredited and driven out of court, to the great injury of the cause. Now, of late years fresh evidence has been adduced, which tends to prove that the critics were too hasty, and that in all probability the Prologue is the genuine work of St. Jerome. At Fulda there is an old Latin New Testament manuscript which bears an eventful history. (p. 428-9) ... We have, then, to thank Dr. Ranke, the learned Editor of the "Codex Fuldensis," for making known the fact that the much-disputed Prologue is no forgery of the ninth century, but in all probability the genuine work of St. Jerome, read and approved as such by Victor of Capua in 546. (p. 430-431)
    The story of the bogus forgery accusations is quite educational and has its own intrigues. I started with this quote simply because it gives a type of overview of the historical situation (which we plan to expand upon considerably.)

    Note too that there is an awareness that a singular evidence of this nature (what we call a super-evidence) can be virtually probative towards the authenticity of the heavenly witnesses:

    "If it were but certain that this preface came from the pen of St. Jerome, there would be an end to the discussion ; or, rather, the discussion would never have had a beginning."
    We plan to be examining the Prologue, the undoubted authenticity for 1200+ years, the history of the debate, its place in the Erasmus dialog with Lee and Stunica, the proposed basis for the forgery accusations, the chimera of it being late, the Fuldensis discovery, and then the scurrying for a Plan B approach by the contras. Also how the history of the Prologue substantiates the words of the Prologue. We may also mildly chastise AV and heavenly witnesses defenders for being a bit asleep at the switch on this one!

    Other parts of the review article by Dolman include Leo Zeigler's publication of the Freisengen fragments, an early Old Latin evidence. And reviews of the excellent writing of Arthur-Marie Le Hir (1811-1868) and Charles Forster (1787-1871).

    Steven Avery
    Last edited by admin; 12-02-2018 at 10:21 PM.

  2. Default Jerome’s Prologue to the Canonical Epistles - English translations

    Jerome’s Prologue to the Canonical Epistles
    - English translations


    Writing as Ben David, John Jones (1766?–1827) added a few explicatory notes in parenthesis. Jones was quirky in his beliefs, however his language skills were strong.

    The Monthly repository of theology and general literature, Volume 21 (1826)
    Ben David on 1 John v. 7

    "The order of these seven Epistles (meaning the Epistles of Peter, James, John, and Jude), in those Greek copyists who think soundly and follow the right faith, is not the same as it is found in the Latin Copies; where, as Peter is first, so his Epistles are placed in order before the rest. But as I have long since corrected the Evangelists (or preachers of the Gospel, meaning the Acts of the Apostles and the Epistles of Paul, as well as Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), according to the rule of truth, so these Epistles I have restored to their proper order; which, if arranged agreeably to the original text, and faithfully interpreted in Latin diction, would neither cause perplexity to the readers, nor would the various readings contradict themselves, especially in that place where we read the unity of the Trinity laid down in the Epistle of John. In this I found translators (or copyists) widely deviating from the truth; who set down in their own edition the names only of the three witnesses, that is, the Water, Blood, and Spirit; but omit the testimony of the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; by which, above all places, the Divinity of the father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is proved to be one. How far my edition differs from those of others, I leave to the discernment of the reader. But whilst thou, O virgin of Christ, demandest of me the truth of Scripture, thou in a manner exposest my old age to the rancorous teeth of those malicious men who hold me forth as faithless and a corrupter of the Sacred Writings. But in such an undertaking, I neither dread the malice of rivals, nor shall I withhold the truth of the Holy scriptures from those who demand it."

    Another Vulgate Prologue (2006)
    Kevin Edgecomb

    The order of the seven Epistles, which are named Canonical, as is found in Latin books is not thus among the Greeks who believe rightly and follow the correct faith. For as Peter is first in the order of the Apostles, first also are his Epistles in the order of the others. But as we have just now corrected the Evangelists to the line of truth, so we have restored, with God helping, these to their proper order. For the first of them is one of James, two of Peter, three of John, and one of Jude. Which, if they were arranged by them and thus were faithfully turned into Latin speech by interpreters, they would have neither made ambiguity for readers nor would they have attacked the variety of words themselves, especially in that place where we read what is put down about the oneness of the Trinity in the First Epistle of John. In which we find many things to be mistaken of the truth of the faith by the unfaithful translators, who put down in their own edition only three words, that is, Water, Blood, and Spirit, and who omit the witness of the Father and Word and Spirit, by which both the Catholic faith is greatly strengthened and also the one substance of the Divinity of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit is proved. Indeed, in the other Epistles, I leave to the judgment of the reader how much the edition of the others differs from ours. But you, O virgin of Christ Eustochium, while you zealously seek from me the truth of Scripture, you expose my old age, as it were, to the devouring teeth of the envious, who call me a falsifier and corruptor of the Holy Scriptures. But I, in such a work, am afraid of neither the envy of my rivals, nor will I refuse those requesting the truth of Holy Scripture.

    Thomas Caldwell, S. J. of Marquette University in Milwaukee. Wl. The translation comes from the Codex Fuldensis (c. A. D. 541-546). Originally given with a note by Thomas D. Ross and posted by Kent Brandenburg.

    Jerome's Preface to the Canonical Epistles--Ancient Evidence for 1 John 5:7

    Thomas Caldwell

    The order of the seven Epistles which are called canonical is not the same among the Greeks who follow the correct faith and the one found in the Latin codices, where Peter, being the first among the apostles, also has his two epistles first. But just as we have corrected the evangelists into their proper order, so with God’s help have we done with these. The first is one of James, then two of Peter, three of John and one of Jude.

    "Just as these are properly understood and so translated faithfully by interpreters into Latin without leaving ambiguity for the readers nor [allowing] the variety of genres to conflict, especially in that text where we read the unity of the trinity is placed in the first letter of John, where much error has occurred at the hands of unfaithful translators contrary to the truth of faith, who have kept just the three words water, blood and spirit in this edition omitting mention of Father, Word and Spirit in which especially the catholic faith is strengthened and the unity of substance of Father, Son and Holy Spirit is attested.

    "In the other epistles to what extent our edition varies from others I leave to the prudence of the reader. But you, virgin of Christ, Eustocium, when you ask me urgently about the truth of scripture you expose my old age to being gnawed at by the teeth of envious ones who accuse me of being a falsifier and corruptor of the scriptures. But in such work I neither fear the envy of my critics nor deny the truth of scripture to those who seek it."

    These are the three versions you will see in various places, when the full Prologue is given.

    Michael Maynard's book from 1995 has the Vulgate Prologue and Codex Fuldensis referenced on p. 45-46, however he did not have the text.


    (303vb307vb) Epistulae VII Catholicae

    • (303vb304ra) Prologus. >Incipit prologus sancti Hieronimi presbyteri super epistolas Apostolorum VII.< Non ita ordo est apud Graecos …
      PL 29, 821C–832A; RB 1, Nr. 809.

    Two pics

    That would be a 10th century picture of the Vulgate Prologue.

    (I'll see about getting the Fuldensis page pic on this post, the urls from the Ranke edition and any ms. pics available.)

    This next one I have not compared, it could be the same as above.

    Cod. A 9 (A) 2.36 Biblia latina: Epistulae VII Catholicae, 10. Jh.-11. Jh. (Codex Inhalt)

    Index including location of 1 John


    Latin Version

    Non ita ordo est apud graecos qui integre sapiunt et fidem rectam sectantur. Epistularam septem quae canonicae nuncupantur ut in latinis codicibus inuenitur quod petrusprimus est in numero apostolorum primae sint etiam eius 5 epistulae in ordine ceterarum. Sed sicut euangelistas dudum ad ueritatis lineam correximus ita has proprio ordine deo nos iuuante reddidimus Est enim prima earum una iacobi petri duae iohannis tres et iudae una 10 Quae sicut ab eis digestae sunt ita quoque ab interpraetibus fideliter in latinum eloquium uerterentur nec ambiguitatem legentibus facerent nec sermonum se uarietas inpugnaret illo praecipue loco ubi de unitate trinitatis in prima iohannis epistula positum legimus in qua est ab infidelibus 15 translatoribus multum erratum esse fidei ueritate conperimus trium tantummodo uocabula hoc est aquae sanguinis et spiritus in ipsa sua editione potentes et patri uerbique ac spiritus testimonium omittentes. In quo maxime et fides catholica roboratur et patris et fili et spiritus sancti una diuinitatis 20 substantia conprobatur. In ceteris uero epistulis quantum nostra aliorum distet editio lectoris prudentiae derelinquo. Sed tu uirgo christi eusthocium dum a me inpensius scribturae ueritatem inquiris meam quodammodo senectutem inuidorum dentibus conrodendam exponis qui me falsarium corruptoremque 25 sanctarum pronuntiant scribturarum. Sed ego in tali opere nec aemulorum meorum inuidentiam pertimesco nec sanctae scribturae ueritatem poscentibus denegabo.
    "It should also be noted that there seem to be some problems with the Latin of the prologue found in the codex, whether as a result of errors in the modern scanning of the text, ancient copyist errors, or for other reasons. Those who know Latin should be able to evaluate these matters."

    Steven Avery
    Nov, 26, 2014

    Last edited by Steven Avery; 12-02-2018 at 10:09 PM.

  3. Default Vulgate prologue and the heavenly witnesses - Wikipedia article - Eustochium to Jerome

    1 John 5:7
    For there are three that bear record in heaven,
    the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost:
    and these three are one.

    The Wikipedia article, with some tweaking and the footnotes incorporated into the text, some placed
    in lighter print.

    Also an additional new aspect below.


    Comma Johanneum
    Vulgate Prologue to the Canonical Epistles

    Many Vulgate manuscripts, including the Codex Fuldensis, the earliest extant Vulgate manuscript, contain the Prologue to the Canonical Epistles. The Prologue reads as a first-person account from Jerome written to Eustochium, the lady to whom Jerome dedicated his commentary on the prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel. The internal evidence of the authorship is contested. Since the 1600s, after the heavenly witnesses verse debate began, came forth claims that the Prologue was not from Jerome. And that a forger pretended to be Jerome.

    (Thomas Caldwell English text in post above.)

    This Prologue, its historical accuracy and textual significance, has been a major point in the heavenly witnesses debate since the start of the debate at the times of Erasmus.
    At the time of the correspondence of Erasmus with Lee and Stunica, the Vulgate Prologue was the single principle early church writing evidence discussed. Evidences like Cyprian's Unity of the Church and the Council of Carthage were either unavailable or omitted in the dialog. Erasmus accepted this Prologue as from Jerome and, in an ironic twist, accused Jerome of falsifying the scripture. Normally Erasmus was a big supporter of Jerome, yet here he flipped the other way.

    The authenticity and authorship of the Prologue became an issue in the late 1600s when a new theory came forth that the Prologue was spurious. This theory claimed that the Prologue was not created until hundreds of years after Jerome, by an unknown writer pretending to be Jerome

    "the preface has been commonly rejected by critics, and looked upon as an impudent forgery of the ninth century." Charles Vincent Dolman, Dublin Review, Recent Evidences in Support of 1 John v. 7, p. 428, 1887, see two posts above.
    When the theory was originally promulgated the earliest extant Vulgate with the Prologue was dated to no earlier than the 800s. Raymond Brown indicates modern attributions for the conjectured Prologue authorship as

    "Vincent of Lerini (d. 450) and to Peregrinus (Künstle, Ayuso Marazuela), the fifth-century Spanish editor of the Vg." Raymond Brown, The Epistles of John pp.782-783, 1982.
    Brooke Foss Westcott is among those who have contended that the actual purpose of the theorized forgery was specifically to bring the verse into the Latin Vulgate text line; it

    "seems to have been written with this express purpose" Brooke Foss Westcott, The Epistles of St. John, p. 205, 1905.
    And Raymond Brown implies verse acceptance as the motive for the Vulgate Prologue:

    "Jerome's authority was such that this statement, spuriously attributed to him, helped to win acceptance for the Comma." Raymond Brown, Anchor Bible, Epistle of John Appendix IV: The Johannine Comma pp.776-787 (1982)
    Bruce Metzger makes no reference of the Vulgate Prologue. Even while referencing the absence of the verse in the Johannine epistle of the early manuscript Codex Fuldensis, in order to assert that Jerome's original edition did not have the verse.

    "The passage ... is not found the Vulgate as issued by Jerome (codex Fuldensis [copied a.d. 541-46] and codex Amiatinus [copied before a.d. 716])".A textual commentary on the Greek New Testament, p. 717, 1971.
    Major figures in the early dialogue from about 1650-1725 were John Selden, Christopher Sandius, John Fell, Richard Simon, Isaac Newton, Jean Leclerc, Jean Martianay and Augustin Calmet.

    The discovery in the Bible scholarship community in the latter 1800s that the Prologue was in the well-respected Codex Fuldensis
    Codex Fuldensis. Novum Testamentum Latine, interprete Hieronymo, ex MS edited by Ernst Constantin Ranke, 1868. contradicted many earlier forgery chronology scenarios.

    Codex Fuldensis could be accurately dated as very close to 546 AD, much closer to the lifetime of Jerome 347-420. Fuldensis was a manuscript copied under the ecclesiastical leadership of Victor of Capua. In Nov. 1897, Thomas Joseph Lamy in the American Ecclesiastical Review, The Decision of the Holy Office on the Comma Johanneum, reviewed on pp. 72-74 the Vulgate Prologue.
    Lamy emphasized how Codex Fuldensis strengthened the case for Jerome's authorship of the Prologue. Even before the Fuldensis discovery, Antoine Eugène Genoud in the Sainte Bible commentary described the reasons given for claiming a forgery as frivoles (i.e. frivolous). Sainte Bible en latin et en
    français, Volume 5, 1839, pp.681-682.

    While specifically referencing the heavenly witnesses in the Prologue, the Codex Fuldensis lacked the Comma in the text! This marked discordance is a strong confirmation that the concerns expressed in the Prologue, of deliberate omission of the verse, occurred in the scribal process.


    It would be especially interesting to see if the Antoine Eugene Genoud (1792-1849) section could be translated from the French.

    Sainte Bible En Latin Et En Français: Traduction Nouvelle D'après La Vulgate (1839)

    When you study the objections that were raised to authenticity from Jerome, you quickly see that the arguments are, in fact, frivolous.


    Jerome I believe specifically said he translated the New Testament in general, not just gospels, and I will look for that reference. Yet some of the modern scholars try to say otherwise.


    Eustochium Epistle to Jerome verifies Jerome's Vulgate Prologue to the Canonical Epistles


    In that regard, now we add an important reference about:


    This is an incredibly significant corroborative evidence for the Prologue, courtesy of John Lupia on an email forum.

    [textualcriticism] Johannine Comma - Old Latin, Vulgate and early church writer support
    John Lupia - Jan 23, 2005

    John Lupia
    After the death of pope Damasus, Eustochium requested Jerome to revise the Catholic Epistles and correct them from the Greek (see Filippo Salmeri, ed., Epistula di Sanctu Iheronimu ad Eustochiu / edizione critica. Quaderni di filologia medievale ; 3 (Catania : C.U.E.C.M., 1980)).. Jerome completed it, noting her in this Prologue, that other inaccurate translators had omitted the testimony of the Greek referring to the Comma.
    Epistula di misser sanctu Iheronimu ad Eustochiu by Jerome Saint (1999)

    Epistula di Sanctu Iheronimu ad Eustochiu / edizione critica a cura di Filippo Salmeri. (1980)
    "Late 15th century translation into Sicilian of Domenico Cavalca's 14th century translation into Tuscan."

    Apparently, Jerome has specific correspondence with Eustochium, outside the Prologue, requesting the very translation of the canonical epistles.

    This make a forgery almost impossible. Due to the connection in the texts of the little-known Eustochium letter and the Vulgate Prologue. Any supposed forger would have had to buy Jerome's correspondence at a flea market. And then go through convolutions to produce a Jerome-style text. And somehow get it accepted globally. And the supposed motive .. well to promote the heavenly witnesses, of course! Conspiracy Theory 101.

    Or perhaps this forger was such a close friend and compatriot of Jerome that he might have well been his twin brother, or his assistant.

    None of these theories makes any sense. A couple were floated after Fuldensis, none of any substance, and they were generally New Testament scholars.

    There is an Ockham-consistent solution .. Jerome wrote the Prologue.

    The Eustochiam Epistle is an extra evidence essentially proving authenticity of the Prologue, written by Jerome.
    And proof of the Vulgate Prologue authenticity is essentially proof of heavenly witnesses authenticity

    (On top of the massive corroboration of evidences, including other super-evidences like the Cyprian usage and the Greek grammatical solecism with the verse and the Council of Carthage with hundreds of bishops.)


    The forgery theory has been built on weak supposed evidences, frivolous, and a late dating now shown to be simply false. Followed by suppossitional conjectures of potential authors that simply do not make sense. When the Prologue fits perfectly as simply the writing of Jerome. The whole theory was largely embraced for hundreds of years due to the circular idea that Jerome would not have written about the heavenly witnesses. Considering the historical acceptance of the writing and the consistent style and knowledge of Jerome, there never was a real basis for the accusations of forgery (think Pastorals and 2 Peter if you are not aware of how scholars like to make such bogus accusations). Finally, when Fuldensis was discovered to have the Prologue, the forgery theory could have been properly retired as simply a historical oddity.



    Steven Avery

    Last edited by Steven Avery; 12-20-2018 at 02:32 PM.

  4. Default Regensburg ms shows Jerome's support of heavenly witnesses text - Fickermann

    The Vulgate Prologue has significant extant medieval referencing. One reference is special for our inquiries as it shows the heavenly witnesses connected to Jerome and contrasts Jerome with Augustine. The Jerome connection is almost surely through the Prologue text, properly accepted by the manuscrpt scribe as Jerome.


    Regensburg ms Contrasts Jerome and Augustine on Heavenly Witnesses

    Norbert Fickermann's scholarship supports the idea that Augustine may have deliberately bypassed a direct quote of the heavenly witnesses. And the Regensburg ms referenced by Fickermann contrasts the positions of Jerome and Augustine.

    Biblische Zeitschrift. 22: 350-358 (1934)
    St. Augustinus gegen das 'Comma Johanneum'?
    Norbert Fickermann

    Fickermann considers evidence from a 12th-century Regensburg manuscript that Augustine specifically avoided referencing the verse directly. The manuscript note contrasts the inclusion position of Jerome in the Vulgate Prologue with the preference for removal by Augustine. This tends to confirm that there was awareness of the Greek and Latin ms distinction and that some scribes preferred omission.

    This is referenced by Raymond Brown.

    Fickermann points to a hitherto unpublished eleventh-century text which says that Jerome considered the Comma to be a genuine part of 1 John--clearly a memory of the Pseudo-Jerome Prologue mentioned above. But the (Fickermann) text goes on to make this claim:

    'St. Augustine, on the basis of apostolic thought and on the authority of the Greek text, ordered it to be left out. No known
    text of Augustine substantiates this, and yet it is strange that a medieval writer would dare to invent a testimony of Augustine against what was being widely accepted as a text of Scripture and which seemingly had Jerome's approval'. Raymond Brown, Epistles of John, 1982, p. 785.
    Grantley Robert MacDonald in Raising the Ghost of Arius, Erasmus, the Johannine Comma and Religious Difference in Early Modern Europe, p. 30, 2011, wrote it up as follows:

    ... in 1934 Norbert Fickermann drew attention to a note in a twelth-century manuscript of the Regensburg Epistoloe rhetoricae, which makes the following claims:

    "St Jerome argued that verbal repetition [replicatio] in the [first] Epistle of John--'And there are three that bear witness, the Father, the Word and the Spirit'--was established as certain. By contrast, St Augustine prescribed that it should be removed, on the basis of the Apostle's meaning and the authority of the Greek"

    Munich. Bayerische Staatsbibliothek clm 14596, cit. Fickermann, 1934, 340: Replicationem illam in epistola lohannis: et tres sunt qui testimonium dant, pater et verbum et spiritus beatus Hieronimus ratam esse astruit; beatus vero Augustinus ex apostoli sententia et ex grece linguae auctoritate demendam esse prescribit."
    As for the Augustine reference Fickermann added that it was entirely improbable that someone in the middle ages placed the disapproving note into the mouth of Augustine.


    This is mostly missed by modern scholars. Or ignored, as this information about Jerome does not fit the modern forgery myth and the Augustine silence by not knowing the text. Most significantly, it shows a top church writer who preferred to let the heavenly witnesses walk on by, exactly the phenomenon that is referenced by Jerome.

    Here is one exception where at least the scholarship references are given.

    Die Johannesbriefe (1989)
    Georg Strecker

    R. E. Brown diskutiert und bestreitet die These N. Fickermanns, wonach Augustin das CJ. gekannt, aber verworfen haben könnte. Fickermann verweist dazu auf einen bisher unverffentlichten Text des 11. Jahrhunderts, in dem behauptet worden sei, Hieronymus habe das C.J....... einen echten Bestand des 1 Joh gehalten. Diese These stammt aber aus dem Prolog des Pseudo-Hieronymus und wird durch keinen Text Augustins unterst...tzt. - W. Thiele 71f macht darauf aufmerksam, daB Augustins Textbenutzung f...r seine Zeit nicht charakteristisch ist, da Augustin seinen Bibeltext f...r I Joh durch Revision nach dem Griechischen unter Benutzung der ihm bekannten lateinischen Texte erarbeitete. Die Verwerfung des CJ. könnte seine persnliche Entscheidung gewesen sein.
    This is a Raymond Brown and Walter Thiele review, with the emphasis on Augustine.


    Clearly, it would be nice to have a pic of the Regensburg noteand even a pic extract from Fickermann.

    Steven Avery
    November 27, 2014

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Steven Avery; 12-02-2018 at 11:45 PM.

  5. Default heavenly witnesses - correcting a limited chronology

    1 John 5:7 (AV)
    For there are three that bear record in heaven,
    the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost:
    and these three are one.

    This limited chronology looks to have been taken from a web site called "Trinity Delusion". Perhaps it is JacktheBear's site. Either way, the reference should be given.

    The list given here is very sketchy on the evidences for authenticity, however my purpose will be to mostly work with the list as given, making notes and corrections.


    Quote Originally Posted by JacktheBear View Post
    When you trace it back, it seems that this reading crept into Latin manuscripts in North Africa about the same time Augustine was putting the final touches on his Trinity document ... ca. 380 AD | Spain: A reference to a variant form of the Comma in Liber Apologeticus, a work attributed to either Priscillian or Bishop Instantius who were both later charged with Manicheanism. This is the first known occurrence of a passage that resembles 1 John 5:7.
    There are numerous earlier evidences. Two from the Ante-Nicene period have even been included in the UBS apparatus, Cyprian's Unity of the Church and the Hundredfold Martyrs (Ps-Cyprian). The Lutheran scholar Franz August Otto Pieper (1852-1931) was especially strong in understanding, explaining and analyzing the Cyprian usage in The Unity of the Church. Discussing all the earlier evidences like the Expositio Fidei would take us far afield.

    Quote Originally Posted by JacktheBear View Post
    Spain is a possibility for its origin
    Spain as the origin is century old scholarship attempt that was especially pushed by Karl Künstle(1859-1932) in a 1905 paper. This was quickly shown to be a flawed and very dubious theory, however it still pops up occasionally in the modern contra literature.

    Quote Originally Posted by JacktheBear View Post
    This guy was later involved with Jerome who translated the Vulgate.
    The timing here is off, however that is minor. Anyway, the fact that Jerome was knowledgeable on Priscillian is one of many confirmations that he know of the heavenly witnesses verse. Supporting authenticity of the Prologue.

    Quote Originally Posted by JacktheBear View Post
    ca. 427 AD | Africa: Augustine of Hippo writes a treatise against Arianism. He does not know of the Comma but interprets 1 John 5:8 to refer to the Trinity.
    There are multiple evidences showing that Augustine did in fact know of the heavenly witnesses. These include allusions in his writing and the Regensburg ms. which states that Augustine avoided use of the verse. This is in the Norbert Fickermann paper, S. Augustinus gegen das Comma Johanneum? Also the simple fact of the widespread usage in the 400s makes it virtually impossible for Augustine not to know the verse. With a special emphasis on the Council of Carthage of 484 AD, where hunderds of bishops from all over the Medittereanean region specifically highlighted the verse in the controversy with the Arians under Hunneric. Similarly the consistent appearance in our Old Latin mss.

    Quote Originally Posted by JacktheBear View Post
    541 AD | : Vulgate Codex Amiantinus, considered one of the best manuscripts, does not have the Comma.
    Amiatinus is now generally dated to the 8th century. The 541 AD date goes back to the 1800s. Similarly, Fuldensis and Amiatinus lost Acts 8:37, another verse we can be sure was included in the original Vulgate editions.

    Acts 8:37
    And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest.
    And he answered and said,
    I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

    Quote Originally Posted by JacktheBear View Post
    546 AD | : Vulgate Codex Fuldensis. Does not contain the Comma but it does contain the Comma phrase "in earth" for 1 John 5:8.
    No, the Codex Fuldensis does not have "in earth". However, Codex Fuldensis does have "tres unum sunt", which is the phrase with the heavenly witnesses, about which it can be stated that the three are one. This makes no sense with the water, spirit and the blood, so we have an internal marker that the text had been truncated.

    Quote Originally Posted by JacktheBear View Post
    It also contains a reference to the Comma in the Prologue to the Canonical Epistles
    This is more than "a reference" . This is a direct accusation (similar to what we saw with Augustine above) that unfaithful translators, which by context would be scribes in general, were omitting the verse from their copies.

    JacktheBear, to his credit, does includes the extract from the Prologue below. Remember, too that Jerome was aware of Greek and Latin mss.

    Quote Originally Posted by JacktheBear View Post
    allegedly written by Jerome..
    i.e. The Prologue is written with a first-person reference to the "virgin of Christ, Eustochium" and in the style and knowledge of Jerome. The marks of authenticity are all over this Prologue.

    Quote Originally Posted by JacktheBear View Post
    However, this is considered spurious by many because the Comma is absent from John's first letter.
    Au contraire! The heavenly witnesses being absent from Codex Fuldensis is a strong verification of the accuracy of what is stated in the Prologue. Unfaithful scribes had dropped the heavenly witnesses text, creating the Fuldensis dissonance. However, the oversight of the ms was by the learned Victor of Capua. Thus Fuldensis had faithfully copied the Prologue as well as the 1 John text that had been transmitted. And the Prologue pointed directly to the reason for the omission in the text.

    In terms of the historical debate, once the Prologue was discovered in Fuldensis in the late 1800s the opposition to the Prologue's authenticity should have been dropped. Since arguments for non-authenticity had been largely based on the mistaken idea that the Prologue did not appear in the Vulgate line until around 800 AD.


    Since CARM loses its posts after awhile, I am using this as an information place-holder:

    heavenly witnesses - correcting a limited chronology
    Steven Avery - June 18, 2015

    Quote Originally Posted by JacktheBear View Post
    "according to the rule of truth, so these Epistles I have restored to their proper order; which, if arranged agreeably to the original text, and faithfully interpreted in Latin diction, would neither cause perplexity to the readers, nor would the various readings contradict themselves, especially in that place where we read the unity of the Trinity laid down in the Epistle of John. In this I found translators (or copyists) widely deviating from the truth; who set down in their own edition the names only of the three witnesses, that is, the Water, Blood, and Spirit; but omit the testimony of the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; by which, above all places, the Divinity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is proved to be one.
    This is one of the critical early super-evidences of heavenly witnesses antiquity and authenticity.

    Steven Avery
    Last edited by Steven Avery; 12-02-2018 at 11:58 PM.

  6. Default bibliography of the Martianay internal arguments used contra Vulgate Prologue authenticity as from Jerome

    From the fine discussion on New Testament Scholarship Worldwide discussion on Facebook, here is a bibliography:

    New Testament Scholarship Worldwide
    "Vulgate Prologue to the Canonical Epistles"Here are some of the writers who discussed the forgery idea of Martianay.}


    David Martin (1639-1721)

    The genuineness of the text of the first Epistle of saint John. chap. v. [verse]. 7., tr. from the French (1722)
    David Martin

    There should be more from Martin to track down, and note that he also says that he handles arguments from John Mill.


    Antoine Augustin Calmet (1672-1757) in 1726 in French orders the five reasons of Martianay, and supports authenticity.

    Sainte Bible en latin et en français: (1824 edition)


    The heavy-drinking skeptic Richard Porson is, not surprisingly, most aggressive in trying to rehabilitate various arguments and come up with any new ones.

    Porson's Letters to Archdeacon Travis (1790) (1829)


    Thus, Porson was answered by Frederick Nolan.

    Christian Remembrancer (1822)
    Frederick Nolan
    ... and


    And a very strong section by the quirky John Jones.

    Monthly Repository (1826)
    John Jones
    p. 216-220


    While Thomas Turton tried to work with the Porson material.

    A Vindication of the Literary Character of the Late Professor Porson
    Thomas Turton


    John Scott Porter gives us an example of the the standard vapid dismissive non-scholarship that later became standard:

    Principles of Textual Criticism: With Their Application to the Old and New Testaments; Illustrated with Plates and Facsimiles of Biblical Documents (1848)
    John Scott Porter

    "perhaps had been composed as early as the eighth "
    "notorious falsifier "

    Porter manages to show us that the John Mill opposition to authenticity was keyed around the ultra-dubious idea that the Prologue misrepresents Biblical literature. (It would be interesting to see all of Mill.)


    Then came Codex Fuldensis and Ranke in 1868, changing the whole nature of the discussion, by eliminating one major argument of inauthenticity, that the Prologue was a late production.


    Very strong is Charles Vincent Dolman:

    Dublin Review
    Recent Evidence in Support of 1 John v 7 (1882)
    p. 428-431


    Thomas Joseph Lamy had a decent article, and includes the Martianay reasons and the Calmet response. He effectively shows us that not much was added after the initial volleys.

    American Ecclesiastical Review (1897)
    Thomas Joseph Lamy


    That is the English literature I have found that actually delves into the internal evidence questions.

    John Chapman takes a dismissive position like Porter, but is very helpful in eliminating a Karl Kunstle try for pegging the supposed forger as Peregrinus:

    Notes on the Early History of the Vulgate Gospels (1908)
    John Chapman,


    In recent years, Kevin Edgecombe thought he had found a "conclusive" chronology evidence:

    Another Vulgate Prologue (2006)
    Kevin Edgecombe


    You can see that little has changed from the period of 1693-1725, when Martianay offered some reasons, and they were answered. And this was echoed again by Porson in 1790, and answers in the early 1800s. Then came Fuldensis and some good new evaluation writing.

    Was Antoine Eugene-Genoud right in looking at the arguments and saying they were "frivole" (frivolous.) That is a key question.

    What I have tried to do here is simply help you to study, by having the best mostly English resources at hand. Also this helps put the question in historical context, the interconnection with the heavenly witnesses debate.

    Early church writer scholars, who work outside the textual criticism scholarship realm, do not seem to want to jump headlong into this forgery milieu. They are more likely to simply accept authenticity.


    Steven Avery
    Last edited by Steven Avery; 12-02-2018 at 11:22 PM.

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