Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

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Comma Johanneum
(1,845 words)

It is fair to say that no variant has received a fraction of the attention of the Comma Johanneum (or “Johannine phrase”) as found in 1 John 5:7–8. Since its insertion, it has been a recurring source of impassioned debate, attracting comment from church councils, commentators, and thinkers as varied as John Milton, Thomas Hobbes, and Isaac Newton. The reason is the text’s value as a perceived proof of the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity. With the Comma Johanneum highlighted, the King James Versi…

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Gurry, Peter J., “Comma Johanneum”, in: Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online, General Editor David G. Hunter, Paul J.J. van Geest, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte. Consulted online on 10 June 2023 <>
First published online: 2018

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