More Reasons To Have Been Struck Out By Heretics Than Inserted By Believers

Rev. Matthew Winzer:

Turretin’s Opera, vol. 4, pp. 289ff., contains the theological disputation on the Three Heavenly Witnesses. The respondent is Benedict Pictet.

Pictet’s view is expressed in his Christian Theology, p. 103: “There are, therefore, three persons in one divine essence; and this is clearly established by the passage in 1 John v. 7, which is brought forward and quoted by Cyprian, although not read in many copies. A far greater number of reasons can be alleged why this passage should be said to have been struck out by heretics, than to have been inserted by the orthodox. It was more to the advantage of heretics to suppress this passage, than to that of the orthodox to add it, because, if it were genuine, the heresy of the former would be entirely overthrown; if spurious, the orthodox creed was in no danger, being clearly established from other passages of scripture. The connection also of the text confirms our opinion; for unless this verse be admitted, there seems no reason why John should say, ‘There are three that bear witness in earth,’ not having before said any thing of ‘three witnesses in heaven.’ Nor can it be objected that these words in earth, were also added afterwards, for the contrary appears from verse 9, where mention is made both of the divine and the human testimony, ‘If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater.'”

It will be observed that the number of copies is not relevant to its inclusion. It has early support in Cyprian, there is greater reason why it would have been suppressed than added, and internally the passage is coherent with its inclusion.

Source:, Comment 31


The Reformed v. Fundamentalist Approaches to the AV

Rev. Matthew Winzer:

Steve, as I perceive it, within fundamentalist circles the defence of the AV assumes anti-reformed principles such as their doctrine that the translators were inspired and that the AV can be used to correct the Hebrew and Greek originals. The “baptist” view of regenerate church membership influences the way differences are discussed, especially using terms like “apostate” and “new age” to describe anything which might produce variation from the AV. The Reformed clearly hold to the authenticity of the originals while maintaining the integrity of faithful translations, and make careful distinctions between inspiration and providence, the visible and invisible church, etc.


Reformed Scholastics did not use Empirical Methodology

Rev. Matthew Winzer:

Reformed scholastic views of the text did not operate according to modern empirical methodology. 1 John 5:7 is regularly used as if it were the Achilles heel of the TR. Whatever one thinks of the text, its wholesale acceptance demonstrates that the reformed church believed in the preservation of the Word without requiring the type of inductive, evidential methodology which is the trademark of modern textual criticism. It did not matter that it was not found in the majority of Greek mss. or how old the mss. were. Their doctrine of preservation was not dependent on the number or age of the mss.

Source:, Comment 9

Their Authentic Writings

Tertullian, c.180AD:

“Come now, you who would indulge a better curiosity, if you would apply it to the business of your salvation, run over the apostolic churches, in which the very thrones of the apostles are still pre-eminent in their places, in which their own authentic writings are read, uttering the voice and representing the face of each of them severally.”

Rev. Matthew Winzer on this quote: “There is a question as to whether “authentic writings” refers to the autographs or accurate copies of them.”

Source:, Comment 2

The NIV and the English Language

Some quotes illustrating some of the issues I have with the NIV translation (blue emphasis mine):

Rev. Matthew Winzer:

I am sorry to cause you more uncomfortable feelings but the NIV does not translate the word of God into English. It adds words unnecessarily, fails in many instances to bring out the central meaning of the original, and tends to introduce ideas from nowhere.

Here is one example from Romans 1:17.

NIV: For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed–a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

ESV: For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”

NASB: For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.”

HCSB: For in it God’s righteousness is revealed from faith to faith, just as it is written: The righteous will live by faith.

AV: For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

John Piper (via Rev. Matthew Winzer):

“The NIV is a paraphrase with so much unnecessary rewording and so much interpretation that I could not preach from it.”

Source:, Comment 15


The “Treasure” is the Word

“The modern love for manuscripts was no part of the history [of Christianity down through the ages]. Mss. were not the object of devotion. Mss. were not looked upon as “treasure,” “blessing to the church,” etc. This is the language of modern empiricism. When one hears this language come from a speaker one should immediately recognise a departure from true Protestantism.

The text underlying the AV is the reformation text. The translators did not consult “mss.” in the sense the word is used of Sinaiticus. The “treasure” is the Word; the revelation of God’s will and its preservation is the “blessing to the church.” Protestants recognised that this treasure and blessing was to be found uncorrupted in the text which had passed down to them.”

– Rev. Matthew Winzer
Australian Free Church,
Victoria, Australia


Fixed v Flux

Rev. Matthew Winzer:

“The historian can only tell you “how” things happen; he cannot tell you “why” they happen. The explanation why one chain of events occurred and another did not is traced back to one’s philosophy of history, and that philosophy is often influenced by tradition and emotion among other things. Discerning the text of Scripture includes historical factors, and this is true regardless of which text one decides on. Besides, the very idea of the Word of God touching someone’s life is going to have an emotional element to it.

When it comes to this so-called “critical text,” I would point out that it is not an actual text. It is an idea that is developed in opposition to the received text. The received text is a fixed text. The so-called “critical text” is in a state of flux. It differs from one scholar to another. Nor does it claim to be an exact copy of the original. It is at best a reconstruction with a degree of “probability.” At the end of the day, not one word of this critical text can be proven by empirical evidence to be the word of God.”

Source:, Comment #10