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The eight manuscripts are as follows: (2) The passage is quoted by none of the Greek Fathers, who, had they known it, would most certainly have employed it in the Trinitarian controversies (Sabellian and Arian).
Apparently the gloss arose when the original passage was understood to symbolize the Trinity (through the mention of three witnesses: the Spirit, the water, and the blood), an interpretation that may have been written first as a marginal note that afterwards found its way into the text.(For examples of other intrusions into the Latin text of 1 John, see 2.17; 4.3; 5.6, and 20.) (1) As regards transcriptional probability, if the passage were original, no good reason can be found to account for its omission, either accidentally or intentionally, by copyists of hundreds of Greek manuscripts, and by translators of ancient versions. 7 and Luther's German Bible," in The Authorship of the Fourth Gospel and Other Critical Essays (Boston, 1888), pp. (2) As regards intrinsic probability, the passage makes an awkward break in the sense. The manuscript evidence for the "New Testament" is also dramatic, with nearly 25,000 ancient manuscripts discovered and archived so far, at least 5,600 of which are copies and fragments in the original Greek.
Interestingly, this manuscript evidence far surpasses the manuscript reliability of other ancient writings that we trust as authentic every day.For the story of how the spurious words came to be included in the Textus Receptus, see any critical commentary on 1 John, or Metzger, The Text of the New Testament, pp. Bible Manuscripts Dramatically, when the Bible manuscripts are compared to other ancient writings, they stand alone as the best-preserved literary works of all antiquity.Look at these comparisons: Julius Caesar's The Gallic Wars (10 manuscripts remain, with the earliest one dating to 1,000 years after the original autograph); Pliny the Younger's Natural History (7 manuscripts; 750 years elapsed); Thucydides' History (8 manuscripts; 1,300 years elapsed); Herodotus' History (8 manuscripts; 1,350 years elapsed); Plato (7 manuscripts; 1,300 years); and Tacitus' Annals (20 manuscripts; 1,000 years).