Conversation on Lucian Recension Theory

SBT: You say “historically some scribes added to the original manuscripts”.
What historical evidence is there to support that statement?

CT: Did you watch the video?

SBT: Yes and there too was no historical evidence provided, only talking points from the Lucian Recension theory popularized by Fenton Hort which has no historical basis but is still promoted like bad Haeckel embryo drawings …

CT: Did you see the displayed “marginal” note in the video?

SBT: Yes and the correcting scribe had corrected an error in Hebrews 1:3 with the correct reading supported by all other mss including Papyrus 46 The marginal note writer says “Untrained troublemaker, forgive the ancient [reading]; do not convert it.” The note writer saw Vaticanus as more of a museum-piece to be protected and preserved, rather than as a copy of Scripture to be used as such.

CT: Do you oppose or agree with Bruce Metzger’s The Text of the NT?

SBT: My opinion is not worth any more than anyone else’s, Metzger has a lot of good information and scholarship behind him but, I’m sure you agree, he’s not infallible to the point we rely on every thing he says without further questioning or investigation.
The note in Vaticanus Hebrews 1:3 is at best very shakey ground to use as support for the recension theory.
And if that is the best evidence that can be offered, I am all the more convinced of its lack of historicity

SBT: Tertulian, Cyprian and other early church writers quoted 1 John 5:7 long before it was left out of gnostic corruptions such as Vaticanus and Siniaticus

SBT: Right is why I don’t use term “church fathers”, point being is that he and others were quoting something that predates Vaticanus and Siniaticus, so is not something invented after those codices

SBT A scribe who wrote 1 John 5:7 in the margin did so because they had access to or were aware of a mss with it in the text. Can say this based on evidences that it was part of the text earlier than those extant mss that leave it out.

SBT: The following early church writers quoted 1 John 5:7 and were never accused of adding that verse to the word of God by their contemporaries. This indicates the mss they used included this verse in the text.

200 AD – Tertullian quoted the verse in his Apology, Against Praxeas
250 AD – Cyprian of Carthage, wrote, “And again, of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost IT IS WRITTEN: “And the THREE are ONE” in his On The Lapsed, On the Novatians.
Note that Cyprian is quoting and says “it is written, And the three are One.” He lived from 180 to 250 A.D. and the scriptures he had at that time contained the verse in question. This is at least 100 years before anything we have today in the Greek copies. If it wasn’t part of Holy Scripture, then where did he get it?
350 AD Priscillian referred to it [Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum, Academia Litterarum Vindobonensis, vol. xviii, p. 6.]
“and there are three which give testimony on earth, the water, the flesh the blood, and these three are in one, and there are three which give testimony in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Spirit, and these three are one in Christ Jesus.” – PRISCILLIAN (380AD)
350 AD Idacius Clarus referred to it [Patrilogiae Cursus Completus, Series Latina by Migne, vol. 62, col. 359.]
350 AD Athanasius referred to it in his De Incarnatione
380 AD Priscillian in Liber Apologeticus quotes “and there are three which give testimony in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Spirit, and these three are one in Christ Jesus.”
398 AD Aurelius Augustine used it to defend Trinitarianism in De Trinitate against the heresy of Sabellianism
415 AD Council of Carthage. The contested verse (1 John 5:7) is quoted at the Council of Carthage (415 A. D.) by Eugenius, who drew up the confession of faith for the “orthodox.” It reads with the King James. How did 350 prelates in 415 A.D. take a verse to be orthodox that wasn’t in the Bible? It had to exist there from the beginning. It was quoted as “Pater, VERBUM, et Spiritus Sanctus”.
“…..and in order that we may teach until now, more clearly than light, that the Holy Spirit is now one divinity with the Father and the Son. It is PROVED by the EVANGELIST JOHN, for HE SAYS, ‘there are THREE which BEAR TESTIMONY in heaven, the FATHER, the WORD, and the HOLY SPIRIT, and THESE THREE ARE ONE” – Eugenius said at the Council of Carthage
450AD – “And there are three who give testimony in heaven, the Father, The Word, and the Spirit, and these three are one.” – I John 5:7 – Anchor Bible; Epistle of John – Contra Varimadum 1.5 (CC90,20-21)- 450AD
450-530 AD. Several orthodox African writers quoted the verse when defending the doctrine of the Trinity against the gainsaying of the Vandals. These writers are:
A) Vigilius Tapensis in “Three Witnesses in Heaven”
there are three which bear testimony in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one.” – Victor Vitensis – 485AD
B) Victor Vitensis in his Historia persecutionis [Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum, Academia Litterarum Vindobonensis, vol. vii, p. 60.]
C) Fulgentius in “The Three Heavenly Witnesses” [Patrilogiae Cursus Completus, Series Latina by Migne, vol. 65, col. 500.]
“There are three who bear testimony in heaven, the Father, the Son and the Spirit. And the three are one being.” – FULGENTIUS(527AD)
500 AD Cassiodorus cited it [Patrilogiae Cursus Completus, Series Latina by Migne, vol. 70, col. 1373.]
527 AD Fulgentius in Contra Arianos stated: “Tres sunt qui testimonium perhibent in caelo. Pater, Verbum et Spiritus, et tres unum sunt.”
550 AD The “Speculum” has it [The Speculum is a treatise that contains some good Old Latin scriptures.]
636 AD Isidor of Seville quotes the verse as it stands in the KJB.
750 AD Wianburgensis referred to it

SBT: The “Waldensian,” or “Vaudois” received the Scriptures from missionaries of Antioch of Syria in the 120s AD and finished translating it into their Latin language by 157 AD. Their bibles include 1 John 5:7

SBT: I appreciate the opportunity for the congenial discussion. I think I got a bit lost in this thread, is the last question about Tertullian inconsistency?

If so, he is one of many early church writers that quoted 1 John 5:7 in support of their discourse. I don’t think they would need to reference it in every essay or letter they wrote.

The point remains (and seems to be ignored by critical theorists) is that the verse was in the copy of 1 John that they had access to, and their contemporaries and critics did not accuse them of adding to the word of God when they quoted that verse.

It is also in many geographically separated lines of mss that simultaneously have 1 John 5:7 while their line origin predates Siniaticus and Vaticanus.

Just like the creation debate, it is a matter of starting point for reasoning and through what lens we examine the evidence. We were not there so we rely on what evidence we have in the now. We all have the same evidence available.

Critical theory is based on assumption that scribes in Antioch added to God’s words over time and that the Alexandrian mss are the “oldest and best”.

Traditionalists trust that God has preserved His words in the Antioch mss and Alexandrian mss types are prone to leave out verses–as it says in 2 Cor 2:17 there are “many which corrupt the word of God”

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