References related to Stephanus in chronological order
Most helpful: Richard Simon
Completed, more or less, up to 1700
Newton extract In the 1500s, there were issues raised, such as the Louvain divines, including Lucas Brurgensis, and how they saw the Stephanus info. Porson in the 1789 letter as Cantabrigiensis and then in the 1790 book (is it in 1829?) ripped the David Martin and George Travis presentation. In fact, Brugensis suspected an interpretation error, as discussed by Hales using Marsh, also Charles Butler.
Butler and Gresswell rebutting fraud
Another issue was that Stephanus printed a Latin edition from John Crispin (d. 1572), the Tiguri Zurich, without the heavenly witnesses. Greswall points out that this is not a Stephanus personal edition (as claimed or implied) but only work he did as a publisher.
William Hales also discusses the persecution of Stephanus from the Sorbonne that caused him leave Paris for Geneva.
And Stephanus wrote in 1566 the satire Apologie pour Hérodote (published 1879 by Paul Ristelhuber) which has a heavenly witnesses reference
http://archive.org/stream/apologiepo.../n212/mode/1up vol 2
Willem Hessels van Estius (c. 1614) - from Liguori (1857)
The Socinians labour hard to oppose this text especially, which so clearly expresses the distinction of the three Divine Persons, and they object that this verse is wanting altogether in many manuscripts, or, at all events, is found only in part: but Estius, in his commentaries on this text of St. John, says, that Robert Stephens, in his elegant edition of the New Testament, remarks that, having consulted sixteen ancient copies collected in France, Spain, and Italy, he found that, in seven of them, the words "in heaven" alone were omitted, but that the remainder of the text existed in full.
The Divine Trinunity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (1650)
Interpretationes paradoxae quatuor Evangeliorum (1669)
Critical History of the Versions of the New Testament Vol 1 (1689)
Since we are come to the Greek Manuscripts, it will not be amiss to make this remark, that there is an apparent fault in the printing of this place in the fair Greek Edition of the New Testament of Robert Stephen ..
Stephen, the semi-circle or hook that shews how it should be read is placed after. . whereas it ought to be put immediately before ... inasmuch as all these words .. were not in the seven copies that are quoted in the margent of this edition. Lucas Brugensis hath already made this conjecture, for he durst not avouch that this verse is entire in all R. Stephen's Greek manuscripts without the word .. therefore having subjoyned this , Nevertheless if the semi-circle that denotes the end of the reading be put in its proper place. Indeed, it is difficult to find Greek Mss. in which these words are expressed; they are not found in any of those of the King's Library that I have consulted (p. 86-87)
Isaac Newton (c 1690)
https://books.google.com/books?id=cIoPAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA34 p. 34-38
https://books.google.com/books?id=YsMPAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA210 p. 210
John Mill (1710) and Bengel (1740) - given by Joseph Jowett, the Christian Observer, 1807, see below.
"..the best critics unanimously agree in the opinion, that Stephens's MSS, had not the disputed passage; and among these Mill and Bengelius,
whose orthodoxy is not doubted, and who were convinced of its authenticity." - p. 228
The works of Thomas Emlyn.
An Answer to Mr. Martin's Dissertation on I John 5.7
Thomas Emlyn (1715, 1746 edition)
Louvain Divines and Antwerp Polyglot 1584
"words about Stephen's manuscripts, as in the other, but it is under the title of the Parisian copies... speaks only of seeing several printed editions of the Greek copies besides that of Complutum, but no Greek manuscript"
Abbe L. Roger, Dean of Bourges, published, Par. 1715, two dissertations, in the first of which he defends 1 John v. 7- It ought to be mentioned to his credit, that, having examined the Mss. in the royal library at Paris, he subscribed to the opinion of Lucas Brugensis, Simon, and Le Long, and ingenuously confessed that the semicircle in Stephens's edition, which now follows the words (Grk) in the seventh verse, ought to be placed after the words (Grk) in the eighth.
Dissertationes duae critico theologicae: Ia de his Joannis Evangelistae verbis (1713)
Abbe Jean Louis Roger
Jacques le Long (1665-1721) - 1720 and 1723 (see Marsh description)
"The only other publication of M. Le Long was a letter to M. Martin, minister of Utrecht, with whom he had a short controversy respecting the disputed text in 1 John, v. 7."
Sidenote: Andreas Gottlieb Masch has the Le Long Erasmus note here- https://books.google.com/books?id=uR9JAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA284 (p. 284-285)
David Martin (1719)
A Body of Doctrinal Divinity: Or a System of Evangelical Truths
John Gill (c. 1760)
"out of sixteen ancient copies of Robert Stephens's nine of them had it"
Pye Smith said this is the "All this is the reverse of the truth" (1837)
Note that there was enough written before John Gill that he should have either dropped the claim, or at the most optimistic indicated that it was a matter of dispute.
Letters to Edward Gibbon: author of the History of the decline and fall of the Roman Empire (Gentlemen's Magazine, c 1782-1790) (1794)
Gentlemen's Magazine - 1790 (one of the letters)
If it shall be enquired, lastly, what is becomeof these fifteen Greek MSS thus left in the hands of Beza singly, or of Beza jointly with Henry Stephens, the following anecdotes will, perhaps,furnish a competent anfwer to the enquiry. ... these plunderers afterwards sold, or perhaps threw aside with neglect, a part at least of their pillage .. recovering Beza's Claromontane
Travis was reviving the nine manuscripts approach, by taking the position that they had been destroyed. Travis is specifically writing in response to Le Long, Wettstein and Griesbach (p. 220 he calls them false accusers). The most important responses were by Porson and, with more sobriety, Herbert Marsh.
SIDENOTE: Complutensian Polyglot manuscripts
We can mention here the complexity about the Complutensian Polyglot manuscripts .. were they sold to a fireworks maker?
However, based on the Stunica correspondence, there was not real claim of a Greek ms. with the heavenly witnesses behind the proper Complutensian inclusion of the text, so this is not directly relevant to our inquiry.
Letters to Travis, in answer to his defence of the three heavenly witnesses, I John,v 7 (1790)
Letters to Mr. Archdeacon Travis in vindication of one of the Translator's notes to Michaelis's Introduction to MichaeKs's Introduction, and in Confirmation of the Opinion, that a Greek Manuscript now preserved in the Public Library of the University of Cambridge, is one of the Seven which are quoted by R. Stephens at 1 John v. 7. With an Appendix, containing a Review of Mr. Travis's Collation of the Greek MSS. which he examined in Paris: an Extract from Mr. Pappelbaum's Treatise on theBerlin MS.: and an Essay on the Origin and Object of the Velesian Headings. Leipzig, (1795)
Herbert Marsh (1757-1839)
https://books.google.com/books?id=CndAAAAAcAAJ&pg=PR20 - Preface discussion xx-xxviii
... as compositors are not infallible, and marks of reference are frequently placed wrong through various accidents in printing, this edition of R. Stephens had not been published many years, when Lucas Brugensis sufsected that Stephen's compositor had here made a mistake (p. xxiii) .... even in the sixteenth century it was well known, that the Greek MSS. in general omitted the whole passage, but no one either before or since the time of R. Stephens has ever seen a Greek MS. which omitted the three first words only. This however was not admitted by the advocates of 1 John V. 7, who still quoted these seven MSS. as authority, not indeed for the whole passage, but, what is of some importance in a case of necessity, for at leaft three quarters of it. About hundred years after the time of Lucas Brugensis, Simon examined all the Greek MSS. in. the library of the King of France, ... he concluded that Stephens's representation at that passage was inaccurate. To evade this argument, the patrons of Stephens's semicircle had recourse to the hypothesis, that the eight MSS. which in the time of R. Stephens, belonged to the King's library, were no longer there, and even that they were no longer in existence: a position, which though wholly incapable of defence, is indispensably necessary for those, who maintain that the semicircle is set right, because the MSS. which still exist, both in Paris and in other places, decide against them. From this untenable post they were driven a few years afterwards by Le Long, who in 1720 undertook to determine the particular eight MSS. in the royal library, which had been used by Robert Stephens, and consequently four out of the seven, which are quoted at 1 John V. 7. These eight MSS he imperfectly described in the Journal des Sçavans for June 1720, but he gave a more complete and more accurate account of them in the edition of his Bibliotheca Sacra, which was published in 1723, soon after the death of the author. (p. xxiii-xxv)
From this period Stephens's semicircle was abandoned to its fate: it dwindled gradually into oblivion, and no one entertained the smallest hope, that another effort would be made in its favour. ... Travis has engaged, after an
interval: of above fifty, years , to restore it to its lost honours, has undertaken to prove that it is justly entitled to its place, and that they who assert the contrary "are false accusers" ... he concludes that its right position admits no longer of a doubt: and, as it is a grievous crime in an author or editor, when his compositor has set a crotchet but of its place, to Overlook the blunder, he thinks himself happy in being able to shew that no
blunder has been committed, ... [more from Travis, and Marsh discusses K.k.6.4. likely minsucule 398, that he viewed in Cambridge and he discusses Codex Bezae]
Estienne entered on the margins of the pages variant readings from 15 Greek manuscripts as well as many readings from the Complutensian Polyglot. He designated all these sources by symbols from α' to ιϛ'.
While Travis did some good work in compiling references in favor of authenticity, and often made proper arguments, he undercut his position, and for a season heavenly witnesses authenticity defense, with this Stephanus nine manuscripts attempt. (David Martin similarly, but in a less charged environment, and before the issues had great clarity.) This is one reason why it is especially important for modern day defenders not to fall into the trap, in describing the Stephanus situation, of using Gill or any other defender who is mistaken on this point.
We can also point out that Marsh, while right on this point, did work with a contra mentality, and would extrapolate an absurd position from the Greek manuscript line omission:
"All hope therefore of shewing, even with the least colour of probability, that the words (Grk) ever existed in ancient Greek MSS. appears to be utterly extinguished."
Heavenly witnesses defense acknowledges the dearth of extant Greek manuscripts. While showing a wide array of powerful evidences that the verse was, in fact, in "ancient Greek MSS", especially in the Ante-Nicene period, perhaps as a minority text up to around 500 AD. The Stephanus manuscript issue really became a diversion from the real issues.
Letter VII p. 127-154 (the whole book has germane material)
Marsh discusses how easy it is for such a mistake to occur, referring to an edition of his own book
Horae Biblicae (1807)
"in the sixteenth century it was well known, that the Greek Manuscripts, in general, omitted the whole passage"
Christian Observer (1807)
The Question Concerning the Authenticity of 1 John v 7 briefly examined
Horne pegs this as Jowett
Also used by Orme
https://books.google.com/books?id=CGJjAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA120 (1830 Memoir, Orme)
https://books.google.com/books?id=Yyw-AAAAYAAJ&pg=PA85 (1872, Memoir)
http://archive.org/stream/memoircontrover01ormegoog#page/n104/mode/2up (1869, Memoir)
Jowett gives a good Stephanus summary, extract needed.
Faith in the Holy Trinity, Volume 2 (1818)
Hales, a superb defender around the time of other find defenders including Nolan and Brownlee and Burgess, did a very fine flip of position on the Stephanus mss. After reading Marsh, and (from memory) was a tad negative as to how Travis had handled the discussion.
William Parr Greswell
A View of the Early Parisian Greek Press: Including the Lives of the Stephani; Notices of Other Contemporary Greek Printers of Paris; and Various Particulars of the Literary and Ecclesiastical History of Their Times, Volume 1 (1833)
William Parr Greswell
The King James version debate: a plea for realism (1978)
Donald Arthur Carson (b. 1946)
"defenders of the KJV ... but not a few still cite the following somewhat abbreviated paragraph from John Gill's Exposition of the New Testament:... and out of sixteen ancient copies of Robert Stephens', nine of them had it: ... The Comma Johanmum is not found in "many other" Greek manuscripts, nor in nine of the sixteen used by Stephanus."
Jan Krans, in "Beyond What Is Written," 2005