Trinity on Trial An in-depth examination of Trinitarian doctrine
Scribal Error Reference


He who does not love Me does not keep My words. (John 14:24).

I have compiled the following reference material for your use. Please contact me if you find any errors or have any information you would like to share.

John 1:18

1. Manuscripts

p66Chester Beattyca. 200only begotten GodFound near Nag Hammadi, Egypt
p75Bodmerca. 250only begotten GodFound in Egypt
BCodex Vaticanusca. 300only begotten GodAlexandrian
AlephCodex Sinaiticusca. 350only begotten GodFound at Mount Sinai.
ACodex Alexandriusca. 450only begotten SonByzantine
ACuretonian Syriacca. 450only begotten Son

1. Early Fathers

StromataClement of
Alexandria
 only begotten God
only begotten Son

Clement of Alexandria, writing in the early 200's in his Stromata (V, 12), apears to have "only-begotten God," but he also has "only-begotten Son" in the same document (I, 26) and his The Instructor has "only-begotten Son" (I,3) suggesting that the line which reads "only-begotten God" in the Stromata could be a copy corruption, or vice versa. Origen has "only-begotten Son" in Against Celsus (II, 71) but "only begotten God" in his Commentary on John (II, 24).. Tertullian around 212 A.D. has "only-begotten Son" in Against Praxeas (VIII; XV). In the later 200's, Archelaus in his Disputation with the Heresiarch Manicheus, still has "only-begotten Son" (XXXII). Hippolytus has "only-begotten Son" in Against Noetus (V). All these men were writing before Nicea and the development of Trinitarian doctrines. Alexandrius who writes against the Arius and the Arian heresy never mentions it but has "only-begotten Son." The ante-Nicene texts which have only-begotten" God seem to also be confined to one locality - Alexandria - where Platonism and Gnosticism flourished. So we can see here a very serious problem with this passage. Either the texts of the Bible were later miscopied and/or corrupted, or the texts of these church fathers were later corrupted with an interpolation to meet a new doctrine and/or a later corrupted Bible text.

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