I was again studying the Great Controversy and gaining a deeper love and appreciation for the Heavenly Family when I picked up my bible and went to 1John5:7. Not sure why, as this verse has always caused me problems. It has been used to highlight the presence of the three persons in heaven.
From the KJV it says;
5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
Verse 7 testifies to the existence of three witnesses in heaven (Father, Word, Holy Spirit). However, the textual context is that;
· he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God, That he is begotten, is also born of God.
· The Love of God and the commandments is the evidence that we love the children of God
· The our Love for God is evidenced by our not finding the commandments grievous
· That our faith in God means that we are His children and thereby we are overcomers.
Now each of these points depict evidences of things that pertain to us, here on earth. So why would the need for a witness in heaven be relevant.
Verse 6 illustrates that the witnesses to Christ are the water, the blood and the spirit and that these agree as one (or as the Martin Luther bible portrays it..... they are inseparable!!!!!)
It is us who need the witness to strengthen our faith! And the sequence of witnesses is not without purpose. The spirit was sent to witness of the emblems of his ministry on earth (that is to say the shadows of things to come.) As only through faith could one see the promised fulfilment afar off, the water bears witness of the beginning of Christ’s ministry and the Blood bears witness of the end of His earthly ministry. It is these witnesses that bare testimony to reconcile us to our heavenly Father, AND THEY ARE INSEPARABLE!!!.
Why then the verse??? 1 John5:7
I looked into my parent’s library and found a Martin Luther translation from 1564. It is still written in the old Grammar of the German language and so it takes a bit to get used to but my findings surprised me!!!!!
(The Publishing details for this Translation 1564)
(Verse 6 on the page above is from 1John5:6 of the Luther Translation)
(This scan now depicts the remainder of the verses including verse 7)
(Translated in English by God’s broken vessel and child, Ruben Olschewsky)
Verse 6 This is He that Cometh, with water and blood, Jesus Christ, not with water alone, but with water and blood. And the Spirit ist He that is the witness. That is the Spirit of Truth.
Verse 7 Because three are they which bear witness on earth, The Spirit and the water and the blood,
Verse 8 And these three are together (inseparable).
Verse 9 So as we accept witness of men, yet is God’s witness the greater, because He witnessed of His Son.
As the translator has copied faithfully the text of the Holy word of God, I can see the context of the subject here pointing out the importance of the three inseparable witnesses. But what I cannot find, is the verse detailing the three witnesses in heaven..... i then went to a Martin Luther Bible published in 1912 and the text remained the same. I then went to a current Martin Luther Translation and found that the verse (1John5:7) has never been accepted by the Luther Translation.
As both the KJV and the Luther Bible come from the same manuscript source it seems obvious that the change had to have been induced at the point of translation and not before. Praise God for maintaining means for keeping the truth pure.
This finding has in no way caused me to doubt the inspiration of scripture as we are urged to be vigilant and ernest in our study of God’s word (1Peter5:8, Isaiah 28:10-13)
I am thankful to God my Father for showing me this in an effort to keep me on the straight and narrow path from which I had erred in the past, and to which He has called me back by His grace and through His Son Jesus Christ.