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Let’s read 1 John 5:7-8 in the KJV, “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.”

Now let’s read that same portion in the New American Standard version.  That says, “For there are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.”  Let’s read also from the very accurate New Translation by J.N. Darby.  That says, “For they that bear witness are three: the Spirit, and the water, and the blood; and the three agree in one.”

Verse 7 has long been the subject of debate among the Lord’s people.  The oldest manuscripts do not include the words that the KJV has included.  In fact, this verse is not found in any Greek manuscript written before the 16th century.  In the Nestle Greek manuscript, verse seven is translated, “Because three there are the bearing witness.”  This is more in agreement with the NASB and the J.N. Darby translations.

It does disturb some sincere believers that this verse as found in the KJV and the NKJV is not found in the oldest manuscripts.  Some think this verse should be included as the KJV has it because it clearly shows the truth of the Trinity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  However, the truth of the Trinity does not depend on this verse alone, but is taught consistently throughout the scriptures.

Let me say without hesitation that the truth given in 1 John 5:7 is beyond debate.  Our God is a triune being, manifested in the persons of the Father, Son, and Spirit.  Let’s read Galatians 4:6, “And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.”  In this verse, we have the truth of the Trinity as all three of the Godhead are mentioned together.  We have the truth of the Trinity found in Matthew 3:16-17, “And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”  Here we have the Spirit of God coming upon the Lord Jesus, with the voice of the Father commending His dear Son.  As I said previously, the truth of the Trinity is taught consistently throughout the scriptures.

So, is 1 John 5:7 in the KJV properly there?  Probably not, but that does not take away the precious truth of our Triune God.  When people want to debate the authenticity of this verse, we do well to point to many of the other scriptures that teach this blessed truth.  For a precious example of the truth of the Trinity of God, please go to our website: www.answersfromthebook.net and type “Who raised Jesus from the dead?” into the search box.  This points out the involvement of the entire Godhead in raising the Lord from the dead after He died for our sins.  (111.3)