Methodists, Take Note
In connection with our filler item published September 1, 1958, in The Watchtower, p. 528, it has been brought to our attention that John Wesley actually took a liberty in transposing verses 7 and 8 of 1 John chapter 5. Thus Wesley in reality contributed to perpetuating the spurious trinitarian text normally rendered as verse 7. We stand corrected and accordingly withdraw our commendation of Wesley in this matter. Nevertheless, it is good to note that a modern Methodist Bible Commentary repudiates 1 John 5:7 as a “gloss.”
“Some time in the fourth century or toward the end of the third, a Spanish Christian (probably), who wrote in Latin, formed a corresponding sentence: ‘there are three who bear witness in heaven, the Father, the Word and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one.’ Perhaps he wrote this on the margin of his copy of 1 John and some later copyist thought it part of the text, but in any case these words were quoted as part of the Latin Bible in Spain at least as early as 380 A.D., on earth being added to v. 8 to balance the insertion. This ‘gloss’ (as such insertions are called) spread, and finally became so universal in Latin-speaking Christianity that it was even translated into Greek and was added to a few Greek MSS. From these it found its way into printed editions, and so into the first English versions. But R.V. and A.S.V. rightly omit all mention of it, as it has no claim to be considered to be John’s words.”—The Abingdon Bible Commentary, 1929, p. 1357, The Abingdon Press, Cincinnati, Ohio.