1 JOHN 5:7-8
Please start this study by ready John 8:12-20. Then go to 1 John 5:9-20 and read it. Then come back around to verses 1-6. As you read 1 John 5, you will realize it is all about the testimony of who Jesus is, the Son of God. But take the time to read the recommended reading first.
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.”
This verse does not say that these three are one God.
It is not teaching God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
1. The title “God” is not used in this verse.
2. There are three that bear record in heaven.
What is the Record? They are one in the record that they bear. And in verse 8, it says that “these three agree in one.”
1 John 5:10 – "He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of His son."
Here in verse 10, the title “God” is used and refers to the Father. “God” is never used in scripture to refer to “The Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit.”
The record being shown here is that God gave His son.
Not God the Father, the Son and the Holy spirit gave his son.
God is the Father is in the context of 1 John 5.
1. The Father “bears record” that (God the Father) gave his Son.
2. The Word “bears record” that (God the Father) gave his Son.
3. The Holy Ghost “bears record” that (God the Father) gave his Son.
All three bear record that “God” is a Father, not a Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
1 John 5:7, 8 is telling us that God is a Father alone. And that God gave his Son.
1 John 5:11-13 - "And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. v12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. v13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God."
It is important to understand Christ’s identity as the Son of God. That is what John is telling us and reinforcing over and over. But he is also telling us the identity of God. Since Christ is the Son of God, this would identity God as our Father. And that is who God is here in this context in all of these passages. These three bear record that our God is a Father.
1 John 1:3 - That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
The verse above reinforces that there is a specific relationship and it involves a Father and a Son. Is this role playing? No, this is real and literal. It says that our fellowship is with the Father and the Son. No one else is mentioned here.
1 John 4:9 - "In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him."
This is how God manifested his love. God is love. He did this by giving up his only begotten Son. That is how he has shown us his love.
By receiving God’s love, it draws us to make a change to our character. Love is what draws us to repentance. By holding onto his love, we become changed into the image of him.
1 John 4:14-15 - "And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. v15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God."
Confession of Jesus being the Son of God is important. Also refer to the following scripture texts as God the Father bore witness of his Son: Matt. 3:17, 17:5 and Mark 1:11, 9:7.
1 John 5:1 – "Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him."
So Christ is born of him, begotten. The Father is the begetter, Christ is begotten of Him.
This theme is what we find summarized in Johns gospel, in John 20:31.
John 20:31 – "But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name."
This is important to our salvation. Our eternal life. This is not a side issue. The question comes down to, “Is God three co-eternal, co-equal beings?”
Is God a loving Father who begat a Son, who had to sacrifice his Son in order to save us? Yes. Did God the Father give Christ equality? Yes. Or did this Son possess it of himself, totally on his own? No.
John 5:26 - "For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself."
Is this an act performed by 3 co-eternal beings? No.
Is this a show, a theatrical performance? No. Is God really a Father, or is he just pretending to be a Father? Is this role playing like some Adventist affiliated publications have claimed in the past?
Below you will see that the serpent has been busy influencing our own people within our denomination. Here are examples of Serpent Theology in their books:
“A plan of salvation was encompassed in the covenant made by the Three Persons of the Godhead, who possessed the attributes of Deity equally. In order to eradicate sin and rebellion from the universe and to restore harmony and peace, one of the divine Beings accepted, and entered into the role of the Father, another the role of the Son. The remaining divine Being, the Holy Spirit, was also to participate in effecting the plan of salvation.” - Adventist Review, October 31, 1996, p12 - Gordon Jenson
A book sold thru the Adventist Book store:
The book is called “Understanding the Trinity” by Max Hatton (p97):
Quote: “The Father-Son relationship in the Godhead should be understood in a metaphorical sense, not in a literal sense.”
This is blasphemy. Here is another……
“Christ has always been the Son of God; and there never was a time when He emerged from the Father. That statement appears to solve all the problems about Christ’s Sonship.” - Vance Ferrell, Defending the Godhead, p. 17
If Christ is not a Begotten Son, then how can he be a Son? He cannot be a Son then.
You see, many believe today that Christ existed for the exact same existence as the Father from all of eternity. That would make the Father and the Son, brothers then. it would actually make them twins. And that is the deception of the evil one who wants to be worshipped above God. He wanted to be the Son of God. If you think he is not working against truth, you are kidding yourself. He is striving to diminish the sacrifice made by both the Father and the Son in giving us what has been given to us, to save us from our sins.
It is true that Christ existed in eternity. But the bible says that he “came out from God”, “proceeded forth and came from God”, “came out from thee”, “whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting”, "set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was”, I was brought forth”. (John 8:42, 16:27, 17:8, Micah 5:2, Prov. 8:23-24)
Did the Father really have a literal Son? Yes. Can you be drawn to him if you cannot see the manifestation of the Father’s love? No.
If we don’t believe, we make him a liar if we don’t believe that he gave his literal Son.
John 17:3 – "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."
Jesus spoke these words to his Father. And it was the Father that sent Jesus Christ to us.
Ellen White in Letter 13 in 1893 said:
“…for it is impossible to elevate man except through a knowledge of God.”
To know the only true God is the only way that he can be made like God in character. This is life eternal.
“A knowledge of God is the foundation of all true education and of all true service. It is the only real safeguard against temptation. It is this alone that can make us like God in character.”
EGW – Ministry of Healing, p. 409-410
Knowledge of God is the most important thing in making us like God in character. The most reputable authorities agree that part of 1 John 5:7-8 was most certainly added to the Bible during the period known as the “Dark Ages”.
Specifically the part added to scripture reads, “in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth.”
If the questionable portion were taken out, 1 John 5:7-8 would read:
“For there are three that bear record, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.”
That is the way it should be read, but it is not. Lets look at the SDA Bible Commentary, Vol. 7, and see what it says about this verse:
Here is the SDA Bible Commentary on 1 John 5:7.
“The passage as given in the KJV is in no Greek manuscript earlier than the 15th and 16th centuries. The disputed words found their way into the KJV by way of the Greek text of Erasmus (see Vol. V, p. 141). It is said that Erasmus offered to include the disputed words in his Greek Testament if he were shown even one Greek MS that contained them. A library in Dublin produced such a MS (known as 34), and Erasmus included the passage in his text. It is now believed that the later editions of the Vulgate acquired the passage by the mistake of a scribe who included an exegetical marginal comment in the Bible text that he was copying. The disputed words have been widely used in support of the doctrine of the Trinity, but, in view of such overwhelming evidence against their authenticity, their support is valueless and should not be used. In spite of their appearance in “the Vulgate A Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture” freely admits regarding these words: “It is now generally held that this passage, called the Comma Johanneum, is a gloss that crept into the text of the Old Latin and Vulgate at an early date, but found its way into the Greek text only in the 15th and 16th centuries” (Thomas Nelson and Sons, 1951, p. 1186).” — The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 675
Some people would object strongly to the very suggestion that errors may have crept into the text of the Bible in any way whatsoever. However, it is interesting to note what Ellen White had to say concerning this:
“I saw that God had especially guarded the Bible; yet when copies of it were few, learned men had in some instances changed the words, thinking that they were making it more plain, when in reality they were mystifying that which was plain, by causing it to lean to their established views, which were governed by tradition. But I saw that the Word of God, as a whole, is a perfect chain, one portion linking into and explaining another. True seekers for truth need not err; for not only is the Word of God plain and simple in declaring the way of life, but the Holy Spirit is given as a guide in understanding the way to life therein revealed.” - Early Writings, pgs 220, 221
In the following commentary, the words “it is wanting” means that they are looking. They searched, but it was not found. It is simply missing. Only in one manuscript could the words in question of this controversy be found, and that was in all places called, “Trinity College” in Dublin. However, in 112 other manuscripts, it could not be found.
Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible. Adam Clarke, LL.D., F.S.A., (1715-1832) explains in detail:
“It is wanting in every MS of this epistle written before the invention of printing, one excepted, the Codex Montfortii, in Trinity College, Dublin: the others which omit this verse amount to one hundred and twelve.
It is wanting in both the Syriac, all the Arabic, Ethiopic, the Coptic, Sahidic, Armenian, Slavonian, etc., in a word, in all the ancient versions but the Vulgate; and even of this version many of the most ancient and correct MSS have it not. It is wanting also in all the ancient Greek fathers; and in most even of the Latin.
The words, as they exist in all the Greek manuscripts with the exception of the Codex Montfortii, are the following: 1 John 5:6-9 - "This is he that came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness because the Spirit is truth. v7 For there are three that bear witness, v8 the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree in one. v9 If we receive the witness of man, the witness of God is greater, etc.”
The words that are missing in 112 manuscripts, but found in only one that is in question is:
“In heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one, and there are three which bear witness in earth.“
To make the whole matter more clear, that every reader may see what has been added, we will give you the verses with the inserted words in brackets and underlined.
“v6 And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. v7 For there are three that bear record (in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one. v8 And there are three that bear witness in earth), the Spirit, and the water, and the blood, and these three agree in one. v9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater……..”
All thru the life of Christ, we have the testimony that he bore, that he gave. If you read the scripture as it is plainly laid out without having colored lenses in eye glasses to look thru, you will see in the real verses of 7 and 8:
Water = the baptism of Jesus
Blood = the crucifixion of Jesus
Spirit = the resurrection of Jesus
Another view to consider is when the Centurion pierced Christ’s side as he was dying on the cross: Water and blood spilled out of Christ upon the spearing. The Spirit (his breath, mind and personality) had left its life in the body of the Son of Man.
They agree as one, as they are in harmony with everything that God has laid out for us. The plan of salvation.
Other Bible versions confirm EXACTLY what is being shown and illustrated here. Compare them to the King James. Most people would have no idea that a few verses in the King James have been played with.
1 John 5:7
New International Version - For there are three that testify:
New Living Translation - So we have these three witnesses--
English Standard Version - For there are three that testify:
Berean Study Bible - For there are three that testify:
New American Standard Bible - For there are three that testify:
Holman Christian Standard Bible - For there are three that testify:
International Standard Version - For there are three witnesses —
Now compare the above translations with the King James version:
"For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one."
Now for 1 John 5:8:
New International Version - the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.
New Living Translation - the Spirit, the water, and the blood--and all three agree.
English Standard Version - the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree.
Berean Study Bible - the Spirit, the water, and the blood--and these three are in agreement.
New American Standard Bible - the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.
Holman Christian Standard Bible - the Spirit, the water, and the blood--and these three are in agreement.
International Standard Version - the Spirit, the water, and the blood—and these three are one.
Now compare the above translations with the King James version:
"And there are three that bear witness in earth, the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one."
It is no wonder why people try and use this poorly devised KJV text as some kind of trinity proof scripture for a total lack of knowledge in reading the entire chapter and understanding the context.