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years ago ; as you may see in his citations of the text ; both in his Thesaurus, lib. xiv. cap. 5. and in his first book De Fidle ad Reginas ; excepting that in the latter of these two citations, the particle is is omitted; and μαρτυρούσι written for οι μαρτυρούντες. And that the very same reading was also in the manuscripts of the first ages, may be gathered from the conformity of this reading to all the ancient versions.
XXXIV. It may be seen by what has been hitherto said, that this testimony is not to be found in the Greek manuscripts. Epanorthotes,* whom Lucas Brugensis describes to be an ancient, accurate, full, and industrious collator of manuscripts, found it wanting in all those he met with. Epanorthotes, saith Lucas, deesse hæc eadem Græcis libris, et antiquis Latinis annotat. Nor have other collators made a further discovery to this day. Lee, Stunica, and the rest in England, Spain, Flanders, France, and Italy, who conspired against Erasmus, could find nothing in the manuscripts of those parts against him ; if that Phænix be excepted, which once appeared to somebody somewhere in England, but could never since be seen. Hesselius,* about the year 1565, professor of divinity at Louvain, in his commentary on this place, ingenuously confesses it wanting in all the Greek manuscripts then known, except two, the one in Spain, the other in England ; meaning those by which the Complutensian divines and Erasmus printed it. Which two we have shown to be none at all ; unless one Annius dug up one in England. Since that time nothing further has been produced, besides the imaginary books of dreaming Beza. And yet I will not say, but that it may hereafter be found in some Greek copies. For in the times of the holy war, the Latins had much to do in the East. They were long united to the Greek church; they made Latin patriarchs of Jerusalem and Antioch; they reigned at Constantinople over the Greeks from the year 1204, for above fifty years together; and during this their kingdom, in the year 1215, was assembled the Lateran council, consisting of four hundred and fifteen bishops, Greeks and Latins together; and therein the testimony of “the Three in Heaven” was quoted out of some of the Latin manuscripts, as we told you above. All which might occasion some Greeks, as well as Latins, to note it in the margins of their books; and hence insert it into the text in transcribing. For this is most certain, that some Greek manuscripts have been corrected by the
* Habuimus ab Hunnæo, id quod maximi facimus, MS Bibl. correctorium ab incerto auctore, quem Epanorthotem, aut correctorem fere vocamus, magnâ diligentiâ ac fide contextum, secuto uti oportet antiquos nostræ editionis codices, eosque cum Hæbræis, Græcis, et veterum Patrum commentariis sedulo colla. tos; qui liber ad Genesin viii. 7. latius a nobis descriptus est. Hæc Lucas ; qui ad Genesin viii. 7. dixit hunc librum multis annis scriptum, et pluribus forte composilum. Dein, loco ex eo citato, pergit. Ad quæ dici quid possit? An quod libro fidendum
Non hoc diret, qui evolverit ; quæ namque a nostri seculi scriptoribus ex MSS codicibus collectæ sunt variæ lectiones, omnes propemodum in eo comperimus; et ad fontes fideliter examinatas deprehendimus. Scripsit hæc Lucas, anno 1579; unde sequitur correctorium anle disputationes Erasmicas de testibus in cælo elaboratum esse.
* Hesselius in hunc locum ait ; Manuscripti Græci fere omnes sic se habent; “Quoniam Tres sunt, qui testimonium dant in terrå, spiritus, aqua, et sanguis, et hi Tres Unum sunt;” nulla facta mentione triplicis testimonii de colo “ Patris, Verbi, et Spiritus Sancti.” Dein codices aliter legentes describendo sic pergit ; Nostro tempore duo Græci codices manuscripti reperti sunt; unus in Angliâ, et alter in Hispaniâ ; quorum uterque hoc loco testimoni om habet “Patris, Verbi, et Spiritus Sancti.”
Such a book Erasmus* tells us, that he once met with, and that there was such another in the Pope's library.” He suspected also that book in England, out of which he printed the testimony of “the Three in Heaven," to be of the same kind; though I rather think it was none at all; unless some falsary of that age were at the pains to transcribe one or two of St Paul's Epistles. Such another book was one of those, out of which Valesius collected his various lections. Whence Mariana,
* Hic obiter illud incidit admonendum esse Græcorum quos. dam Novi Testamenti codices ad Latina exemplaria emendatos. Id factum est in fædere Græcorum cum Romanâ ecclesiâ ; quod fædus testatur Bulla, quæ dicitur Aurea ; visum est enim et hoc ad firmandam concordiam pertinere. Et nos olim in hujusmodi codicem incidimus ; et talis adhuc dicitur adservari in Bibliothecâ Pontif. Verum ex his corrigere nostros est Lesbiam, ut aiunt, admovere regulam. Erasmus ad Lectorem. Editio 5ta Novi Testamenti.
into whose hands the manuscript book of those lections fell, tells us, that for that reason, in his annotations on the New Testament, he used those lections but sparingly and cautiously. And that Valesius did meet with such a corrected manuscript, appears by the lections themselves. For in the Apocalypse xviii. 17. where the Greek reads émi Tótov; and the Latin translates in locum, and by the error of one letter in lacum, as the books now have it; some Grecian has here corrected this book by the Latin, and written ini niun; as it is in the lections of Valesius, taken out of this. Again in the Apocalypse ix. 11. where the Latin translation, in expounding the names Abaddon et Apollyon, adds, Et Latine habens nomen exterminans; Valesius notes the reading in his Greek copy to be ρωμαϊσί έχων όνομα εξτερμινανς ; which certainly is a translation of the Latin. Again, in the Apocalypse xxi. 12. where the Greek has ágyéngs, and some ancient Latin copies, angelos, but the far greater part of the Latin copies at present have angulos ; Valesius, in his manuscript, reads ywvíces. So in the Apocalypse xix. 6. where the Greek is ©%18 Tondoũ; the Latin, turbæ magna, and in the later copies, tubæ magna; Valesius, in his manuScript, reads σάλπιγγος μεγάλης. In Hebrews xiii. 2. for rodov, latucrunt; and in later copies, placuerunt, Valesius reads neeruv; and in 1 Peter iii. 3. for to de Tídos. in fine, and by an error in fide, Valesius reads v tñ nised. These, and such like instances, put the thing out of dispute. Now, though Valesius found not the testimony of "the Three in Heaven” in this manuscript; and Erasmus tells us, that he never saw it in any Greek manuscript; and, by consequence, not in that corrected one which fell into his hands; yet it may have crept out of the Latin into some other books, not yet taken notice of; and even in some manuscripts, which, in other places, have not been corrected by the Latin, it may possibly have been inserted by some of the Greek bishops of the Lateran council, where the testimony of " the Three in Heaven” was read. And therefore he that shall hereafter meet with it in any book, ought first, before he insist upon the authority of that book, to examine whether it has not been corrected by the Latin; and whether it be ancienter than the Lateran council, and empire of the Latins in Greece ; for, if it be liable to either of these two exceptions, it can signify nothing to produce it.
XXXV. Having given you the history of the controversy, I shall now confirm all that I have said from the sense of the text itself. For, without the testimony of “the Three in Heaven," the sense is good and easy, as you may see by the following paraphrase inserted in the text in a different character.
66 WHO IS HE THAT OVERCOMETH THE WORLD, BUT HE THAT BELIEVETH THAT JESUS IS THE SON OF GOD, that Son spoken of in the Psalms, where he saith, • Thou art my Son; this day have I begot