NT Textual Variants and Church Fathers

From: Eric Weiss (eweiss@acf.dhhs.gov)
Date: Wed Jun 19 1996 - 10:32:01 EDT

I found the following in a file on the Internet by a non-Trinitarian
denomination. (I have no knowledge about whether their comments about
alteration by "Trinitarians" is valid.)

MY QUESTION IS: Are there Greek New Testaments which list all such
radical textual variants as cited by the church fathers? Neither UBS-GNT(4)
nor Nestle-Aland(26) list this "reading" from Irenaeus. Do UBS/N-A omit it
because there's no valid support for Irenaeus' statement or Socrates the
Historian's assertion?

> 1 John 4:2-3 ...By this you know the Spirit of God:
> every spirit which confesses that Jesus Christ has come
> in the flesh is of God, and every spirit which does not
> confess Jesus is not of God. This is the spirit of
> antichrist... (RSV)
> The sense of this text has been altered. The Modalists, who later
> gave way to their descendants the Trinitarians, attempted to
> assert that Christ did not properly die and that some of him
> remained in the heavens as God. This was the heresy that faced
> John and to which he refers. This text was altered at a very
> early date by the Modalists and Trinitarians because it
> identified them with the doctrine of Antichrist. The correct
> ancient text can be identified from Irenaeus (Ch. 16:8,
> Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 1, fn. p.443).
> Hereby know ye the spirit of God: Every spirit that
> confesseth Jesus Christ came in the flesh is of God;
> and every spirit which separates Jesus Christ is not of
> God but is of Antichrist.
> Socrates the Historian says (VII, 32, p. 381) that the passage
> had been corrupted by those who wished to separate the humanity
> of Jesus Christ from his divinity. Thus the spirits that attempt
> to assert that Christ was a being, part of which did not die on
> the cross and was thus not totally dependent upon the Father for
> his resurrection and eternal life, is of Antichrist.

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