[B-Greek] Re: Comma

Schmuel schmuel at escape.com
Tue Jul 22 23:25:02 EDT 2003

Hi B-Greek,

>> Actually, I was not really sure what I was looking for...but the more I
>> research the subject...the more intricate it becomes....I guess what I would
>> really like to see is an early copy of the Latin Vulgate with a comma written
>> in the margin...but maybe this does not exist?

Steve Puluka wrote:
>Dear Jeff,
>You may want to read the excellent appendix on this topic in Raymond Brown's
>commentary on the Epistles of John in the Anchor Bible series.  In the
>section on the Latin Textual tradition he notes: "If we try to go back
>beyond the evidence of our extant MSS, it is not clear that the Comma was
>included in the text of I John when St. Peregrinus edited the Vulgate in
>Spain in the fifth century.  After a stage when the Comma was written in the
>margin, it was brought into the Latin text in or before the time of Isidore
>of Seville (early seventh century)."
>Brown provides the list of seven Spanish manuscripts that contain the Comma
>from the 7th to 9th century.  There is a footnote to Brooke, Epistles p
>156-58 for a listing of post 10th century manuscripts.
>I would infer from the wording "beyond the evidence" above that the marginal
>note here and in Metzger is an assumption based on the existing texts and
>discussions in patristic literature and not an observation of a particular
>manuscript.  You could research the manuscripts listed by Brown and Brooke
>to confirm the existence of the marginal note.  In any case, Brown's
>appendix is well worth the read.

Excellent information thanks..

There are a couple of extant earlier Vulgate manuscripts without the Comma, 
as I understand, probably before the marginal note you reference, 2 or 3 total ?

On this verse, Bruce Metzger and/or Daniel Wallace tend to bypass a whole 
bunch of patristic references, most in Latin but some in Greek, so I would be 
very cautious on that aspect.

And do they reference at all the Vulgate "Prologue to the Canonical Epistles" about which 
John Gill says "Jerome...   complains of the omission of it by unfaithful interpreters."

Here is Westcott and Hort on the passage, 
(as they are quite anti-Comma, we should not be surprised  by "falsely professing")

"A prologue to the Catholic Epistles, falsely professing to be written by Jerome,impugns the fidelity of Latin translators, accusing them especially of having placed in their text the 'three words' aquae sanguinis et spiritus only, and omitted Patris et Filii et Spiritus testimonium. This extraordinary production is found in the Fulda MS written at Capua in 546,7 (E. Ranke in his ed. p. viii), the biblical text of which is free from the interpolation, as well as in many later MSS, and probably belongs to the Vigilian period and literature. Even after Cent. VI the references to the inserted words are few till Cent. XI. "

Jerome's Vulgate " Prologue to the Canonical Epistles" is in the Gutenberg Bible at 
the British Library http://prodigi.bl.uk/gutenbg/search.asp

And there is also Jerome's teacher Gregory of Nazianzus - 390 AD who perhaps gives
us a precursor to the controversy that Jerome is referencing in the Prologue,
since he apparently discusses the grammar of the passage.  

(Personally I have some skepticism about the claim that the Prologue is not from Jerome, IF the style and content fit Jerome, and the nay-sayers are in conjecture-land.
 I would be especially concerned about circularity..."how could Jerome write that, 
  it references the Johanine Comma,  which did not exist".  I did contact a couple
  of scholars, with only cordial and unsure response.)

And I found a number of good sites on the Comma, one I highly recommended
The Johannine Comma Archives

Steven Avery
Queens, NY

schmuel at escape.com
Messianic_Apologetic-subscribe at yahoogroups.com

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