1 Timothy 3:16 – Fake Trinity Verse

Kaleef K. Karim

King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.) 1 Timothy 3: 16
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

Although the above verse reads as “God was manifest in flesh”, majority of trinitarian Bible translations, read it as: “He was manifest in flesh.” A lot of Scholars agree that the word “God” was not in the original text, but was added by later scribes. The earliest and best manuscripts does not have the word “God” in it but rather “He”, “who” or “which.” Furthermore, even modern (Trinitarian) Bible translations disagree with the KJV and few other translations, for putting the word “God” in 1 Timothy 3: 16. Let’s now show what the other  Bible Translations put for 1 Timothy 3:16,

 

1. American Standard Version 1901
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness; HE who was manifested in the flesh.

2. Common English Bible
Without question, the mystery of godliness is great: HE was revealed as a human.

3. Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
Great beyond all question is the formerly hidden truth underlying our faith: HE was manifested physically and proved righteous spiritually

4. Douay-Rheims 1899
And evidently great is the mystery of godliness, WHICH was manifested in the flesh,

5. English Standard Version Anglicised (ESVUK)
Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: HE was manifested in the flesh.

6. NET Bible (©2006)
And we all agree, our religion contains amazing revelation: HE was revealed in the flesh.

7. Holman Christian Standard Bible (©2009)
And most certainly, the mystery of godliness is great: HE was manifested in the flesh.

8. Good News Translation (GNT)
No one can deny how great is the secret of our religion: HE appeared in human form.

9. Lexham English Bible (LEB)
And most certainly, great is the mystery of godliness: WHO was revealed in the flesh,

10. THE MESSAGE
He appeared in a human body, was proved right by the invisible Spirit

11. Aramaic Bible in Plain English (©2010)
And this Mystery of Righteousness is truly great, WHICH was revealed in the flesh and was justified in The Spirit

12. New Century version
HE was shown to us in a human body.

13. Mounce Reverse-Interlinear New Testament (MOUNCE)
And undeniably great is the mystery of godliness, WHO was revealed in flesh.

14. Revised Standard version
Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of our religion: HE was manifested in the flesh

15. Douay-Rheims
And evidently great is the mystery of godliness, WHICH was manifested in the flesh.

16. New English Translation (NET)
And we all agree, our religion contains amazing revelation: HE was revealed in the flesh.

17. New International Version (NIV)
Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great: HE appeared in the flesh.

18. New International Version – UK (NIVUK)
Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great: HE appeared in the flesh.

19. New American Standard Bible
By common confession, great is the mystery of godliness: HE who was revealed in the flesh.

20. New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Without any doubt, the mystery of our religion is great: HE was revealed in flesh.

21. English Standard Version
Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: HE was manifested in the flesh

22. Revised Version 1881
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness; HE who was manifested in the flesh.

23. The Voice (VOICE)
And I think you will agree that the mystery of godliness is great: HE was revealed in the flesh.

We see from the above trinitarian Bible translations all agree that the word “God” is not in there. This alone should once and for all refute the KJV translation. Because there are some hard-headed trinitarians who will still insist that 1 Timothy 3: 16 in KJV is right and other Christian translations are wrong. We will go further now and show more evidence.

Greek Manuscripts that have not got the word “God” (Theos) in it:

Brooke Foss Westcott (1825–1901) and Fenton John Anthony Hort (1828–1892)

Brooke F. Wescott & Fenton J. Hort Greek Manuscript

Brooke F. Wescott & Fenton J. Hort Greek Manuscript

Constantin von Tischendorf

Constantin von Tischendorf

Constantin von Tischendorf Greek Manuscript

Notice how Westcott, Fenton and Tischendorf three well-respected Scholars, when they read the original Codex Alexandrinus for 1 Timothy 3:16, they did not see the word “God” in it. Instead they seen the Greek word ὃς which means “he” or “who.”

Corrupt Translations

– King James Bible
– Darby Bible Translation
– Webster’s Bible Translation
– World English Bible
– Young’s Literal Translation

Scholars commenting on 1 Timothy 3:16.

1. John Albert Bengel:

“Theos of the rec. Text has none of the oldest MSS. In its favour, no version as early as the seventh century: and as to the fathers, ex. Gr. Cyril of Alex. And Chrysostom, quoted for theos, sec Tregelles on the printed text of N. T., in which he shows these fathers are misquoted. Theodoret, how ever does support it. Liberatus, Victor Tununensis (both of 6th cent.), affirm that Macedonius, under the Emperor Anastasius, changed OC into theos in order to support Nestorianism. AC corrected, G, read OC. So Memph. And Theb. The old Latin fg and Vulg. Have quod, referring to…, taken as a personal designation for the antecedent. The Syr. Peschito, and in fact all versions older than the seventh cent., have the relative NOT theos. D (A) corrected, alone of the uncials, favours O. The silence of the fathers of the fourth cent., though theos would have furnished them with a strong argument, is conclusive against it.[1]

2. Anthony Buzzard:

Another example of a text which was altered is 1 Timothy 3:16. This verse reads in the KJV: “God was manifested in the flesh .” Modern versions have corrected the word “God” to “He who.” The alteration of an original “He who” (in Greek Oj) was very sneakily accomplished when some scribes changed the O (omicron) into a q (theta) giving qj (theta sigma). The reading THS was an abbreviated form of the Greek word theos, God. All that had to be done was to draw a little line across the middle of the O to produce the Greek letter theta (q). Then the text was made to sound Trinitarian and to support the Incarnation: “God was manifested in the flesh.” “He who” (O j) was made to read “God” (qj).” [2]

3. Isaac Newton:

“All the Churches for the first four or five hundred years, and the authors of all the ancient versions, Jerome, as well as the rest read ‘ Great is the mystery of godliness, which was manifested in the flesh.’” [3]

4. Bart D. Ehrman:

“The passage in question, 1 Tim. 3:16, had long been used by advocates of orthodox theology to support the view that the New Testament itself calls Jesus God. For the text, in most manuscripts, refers to Christ as “God made manifest in the flesh, and justified in the Spirit.” As I pointed out in chapter 3, most manuscripts abbreviate sacred names (the socalled nomina sacra), and that is the case here as well, where the Greek word God (QEOS) is abbreviated in two letters, theta and sigma (QS), with a line drawn over the top to indicate that it is an abbreviation. What Wettstein noticed in examining Codex Alexandrinus was that the line over the top had been drawn in a different ink from the surrounding words, and so appeared to be from a later hand (i.e., written by a later scribe). Moreover, the horizontal line in the middle of the first letter, Q, was not actually a part of the letter but was a line that had bled through from the other side of the old vellum. In other words, rather than being the abbreviation (thetasigma) For “God” (QS), the word was actually an omicron and a sigma (OS), a different word altogether, which simply means ‘who.’ The original reading of the manuscript thus did not speak of Christ as ‘God made manifest in the flesh’ but of Christ “who was made manifest in the flesh.” According to the ancient testimony of the Codex Alexandrinus, Christ is no longer explicitly called God in this passage.” [4]

5. Johann Jakob Griesbach:

This reading OS, is supported by most ancient witnesses of all classes [manuscripts, versions, and Fathers] and it is recommended also, by its internal indications of truth. On the contrary, the Vulgate Theos, was neither the primitive reading of the Alexandrine, nor of the Western recension: and further, it cannot be defended by arguments drawn from nature [or goodness] of the reading itself; but it is supported only by a number of manuscripts of a later date, belonging chiefly to the Constantinopolitan recension; and by the dubious credit to the more modern Greek Fathers; and could not be found in any monument of antiquity, prior to the close of the fourth century.” [5]

6. Professor of the New Testament, Reverend Benjamin B. Warfield:

“Expert palaeographers differ diametrically as to what the reading of A is, whether Theos or OC, and in the present worn state of the MS. Decision by renewed examinations is impossible. The same kind of controversy has been held as to the reading C, although apparently with much less reason; and although we have unclosed C also in doubting: parentheses we entertain no great doubt as to its support of OC. A large proportion of the versions so deliver their testimony as to make it indeterminable whether they read OC or O; they have been placed in both lists in-closed in brackets, as its existence has been doubted. Codex 73 has been personally examined by Dr. Schaff, and certainly reads OC. On applying genealogical considerations to this evidence, all the testimony that is at all certain for theos sifts out with the sifting out of the Syrian testimony. This reading appears in no father until late in the fourth century, in no version until at least the seventh century, and in MSS. Until long after the Syrian text had become everywhere the virtual textus receptus. On Genealogical grounds, thus theos is at once set aside, and the choice rests between OC and O. It can scarcely be doubted that O is Western; while the attestation (A) C 17 gives OS the appearance of having the support of the neutral and Alexandrian classes. The doubt that hangs Genealogical evidence of groups corroborates this finding. AC or C alone is of the best groups attainable in this part of the New testament. The transcriptional evidence comes to our help by making it improbable that O can be the correct reading and hence enabling us to account all the testimony for both OS and O combined against that for theos. The result is to condemn theos hopelessly.” [6]

7. Andrews Norton:

“The original reading I believe to have been O which for this the external; evidence when fairly adjusted, seems greatly to preponderate; and it may have been altered by transcribers first into OS, and afterwards into theos, in consequence of the theological interpretation of the passage, according to which the mystery spoken of was Christ;- I believe has no reference to Christ personally. The words translated ‘mystery of godliness’ as if purposely to obscure the sense, should be rendered the new doctrine of piety, or concerning piety. …” [7]

8. Richard N. Longenecker:

“Passages in Paul where theos is employed of Christ are lacking. The appeal to 1 Timothy 3: 16 is undoubtedly illegitimate, for the reading ‘who (Oc) was manifested in the flesh’ has much stronger textual support than ‘God (theos) was manifested in flesh.’” [8]

9. Dr. Samuel Clark:

“It has been great controversy among learned men, whether theos or OC, or O be the true reading in this place. All the old versions have it qui or quid [who or which]. And all ancient Fathers though the copies of many of them have it NOW in the text itself, theos [God]; yet from the tenor of their comments upon it, and from their never citing it in the Arian controversy, it appears they always read it, qui or quid.” [9]

10. Murray J Harris

“… Infact all the ancient versions presuppose the relative pronoun, whether OC or O and the earliest uncial in the original hand that reads theos dates from the eighth or ninth century. Also the earliest patristic citation of theos dates from the last third of the fourth century. Whereas Origen (d.254) more than a century earlier testifies to OC. The Strength of the external evidence favouring OS along with considerations of transcriptional and intrinsic probability, have prompted textual critics virtually unanimously to regard OC as the original text… Accordingly 1 Timothy 3:16 is not an instance of the Christological use of theos.
The Conclusion we have reached about each of the secondary passages discussed in this chapter is indentical—and negative. In every case textual or grammatical considerations rule out the possibility that Jesus is called theos. [10]

11. Bruce M. Metzger:
“In 1 Tim. iii. 16 the earlier manuscripts read OC (‘he who’) while many of the later manuscripts read (the usual contraction for …, ‘God’). The letters gamma, pi, and tau (…, T) were liable to be confused, particularly if the cross-bar on the first and last letters were carelessly drawn, or if the right leg of the pi were too short.”

Bruce M. Metzger

[11]

The  evidences presented agree that 1 Timothy 3:16 does not say “God was manifest in flesh”, instead “He was manifest in flesh.” It was due to a scribe that the Greek word “OC” was changed into “theos.” Majority of the experts further showed that in the earliest manuscripts they have available, it does not read God (theos) but “he”, “who” or “which.”

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References:

[1] John Albert Bengel, Gnomon of the New Testament, page 268
[2]
Anthony Buzzard, Jesus Was Not a Trinitarian: A call to return to the creed of Jesus, page 257
[3]
Isaac Newton, Historical Account Of Two Notable Corruptions Of Scripture: In A Letter To A Friend , page 58
[4]
Bart D. Ehrman, Misquoting Jesus, page 113
[5]
Johann Jakob Griesbach, Novum Testamentum Graece; volume 3, page
[6]
Professor of the New Testament Reverend Benjamin B. Warfield D. D. An Introduction to the textual criticism of the New Testament (1886), page 194 – 195
[7]
Andrews Norton, A Statement of reasons, page 132
[8]
Richard N. Longenecker, The Christology of early Jewish Christianity, page 139
[9]
Samuel Clark Scripture The Doctrine of the Trinity, page 540
[10]
Murray J. Harris Jesus as God, The New Testament, page 267 – 268
[11]
Bruce M. Metzger , The Text of the New Testament, its transmission, corruption and restoration, page 187

This article was originally published here: www.discover-the-truth.com

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31 replies

  1. This is a very old variant discussion. I personally support the ‘He’ translation due to manuscript evidence. However, if Jesus was not divine, why would Paul need to say that he was “manifest in the flesh”? So ignoring the variant discussion the text either way falsifies Islam 😂😂😂

    Like

    • I see Christians all the time at Speakers Corner holding up banners giving the fake verse. When informed about their error they just dismiss the problem. They have no integrity.

      Btw I agree with virtually all critical NT scholars who take the view that 1 Timothy is a forgery 😂😂😂

      Liked by 4 people

    • It’s a textual variant. But the meaning remains identical. Otherwise, why the need to say that someone of the flesh (human) was made flesh? It would be redundant.

      Like

    • ‘But the meaning remains identical. Otherwise, why the need to say that someone of the flesh (human) was made flesh? It would be redundant.’

      “Made flesh”?

      You have not given any argument for your view. Merely a claim.

      “By common confession great is the mystery of godliness: He who was revealed in the flesh, Was vindicated in the Spirit, Beheld by angels, Proclaimed among the nations, Believed on in the world, Taken up in glory” (NASB).

      It all fits with what we know of the man, Jesus Christ. If Jesus were God, this section of Scripture would have been the perfect place to say so. We should expect to see some phrases like, “God incarnate,” “God and Man united,” “very God and very man,” etc. But nothing like that occurs. Instead, the section testifies to what non-Trinitarians believe—that Christ was a man, begotten by the Father, and that he was taken up into glory.

      source

      Like

    • “If Jesus were God, this section of Scripture would have been the perfect place to say so.”

      And yet that is exactly what the text says, plain as day.

      Like

    • Relying on buzzard’s tired polemics is pretty woeful Paul

      Like

  2. > Good research!

    Indeed, and Kaleef should have done some on the Qur’an too – but more of that in a moment.

    1 Timothy 3:16 “He” or “God”? This is a textual variant for which we have ample evidence for the original reading.

    The origin of the variant seems to be exegetical clarification.

    And most certainly, the mystery of godliness is great: He was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the Gentiles, believed on in the world, taken up in glory. (1 Timothy 3:16)

    Seeing “he” as referring to “God” is exegetically reasonable because if Jesus is simply a man saying he appeared in a body is redundant.

    What is interesting is that Qur’anic scribes have made the same exegetical changes to the Qur’an, but the modern Qur’an does not correct for them or even note them. Here are two examples from page 90 of the Samarkand manuscript.

    … let him fear his lord. (Qur’an 2:283, Samarkand Qur’an)

    … let him fear Allah his lord. (Qur’an 2:283, modern Qur’an)

    … He punishes those whom he wishes. He has power of everything. (Qur’an 2:284, Samarkand Qur’an)

    … He punishes those whom he wishes. Allah has power of everything. (Qur’an 2:284, modern Qur’an)

    He we see later scribes making exegetical changes to the text of the Qur’an in the same way we do in 1 Timothy 3:16.

    http://answering-islam.org/PQ/ch9a-index.html#ch9 see page 62.

    Both Christians and Muslims have textual issues with their books. The difference is how open we are about them. Biblical scholarship is open and critical and those who translate the Bible indicate these issues in the footnotes of their translations. Qur’anic scholarship for translating the Qur’an is uncritical and the many variants that exist are not brought to the attention of the reader of the translations of the Qur’an.

    Like

    • The Bible has an enormous number of textual problems and Christians are not even agreed which books make up the Bible. The early church and most Christians today accept 1 Maccabees as God’s Revelation (see De doctrina christiana by Augustine). But you reject this book of the Bible and many others!

      There is nothing comparable in Islam.

      Like

    • Thanks Paulus. You covered most of the points I wanted to make.

      > Christians are not even agreed which books make up the Bible.

      Three comments

      1. There is vast agreement but it is not total. This is for the simple reason that Christians read all of the prophets. The Bible is not one book from one man but many books from many prophets, over about a 1500 year period, in different languages, and from different locations. What Christians believe about God comes from reading all of the books of the prophets. Islam is the very different. The Qur’an is just from Muhammad, one man. You may claim it is the word of God, but it is still one man. Islam is like the Baha’i religion is that it is one man who tells you what to believe about everyone else. The result is that the Bible has immensely larger canonical questions than Islam or Baha’i.

      2. The early Muslims had different numbers of suras in their Qur’ans, that is different canons. If Uthman had not enforced his collection on the communities of Ibn Masud and Ubayy we would still have these different canons in use today.

      3. The Qur’an and Hadith form the Islamic canon not the Qur’an alone. It is invalid to compare the Bible to the Qur’an alone because the Qur’an does not function like the Bible. A true comparison is between the Bible and the Qur’an and Hadith. At that point the Qur’an canon looks very open.

      Omar

      I have the scans for the entire Samarkand manuscript. The errors you say are possible could not occur in this case because they entail the addition of words, for which there is no space, or the replacing of words which can be seen.

      Like

    • So you agree there are different Bibles with different books. You follow a minority view which rejects many books of the Bible that were accepted by the early church. This is a major embarrassment. Why would God leave Christians so confused?

      Like

    • ‘Biblical scholarship is open and critical and those who translate the Bible indicate these issues in the footnotes of their translations.

      In my experience this is false.

      For example, the story of the woman taken in adultery (John 7:53-8:11). Textual critics now know that this story is not a part of the original gospel of John having been added by an unknown scribe generations later. Yet it is still included in every Bible in the English language!

      Similarly the stories of the resurrection appearances in the earliest gospel (Mark) were all added to the gospel by unknown Christian scribes in the 2nd century! Yet every English Bible I have ever read includes them in the Holy Bible as “the unchanging truth from our Creator” as the New Living Translation describes the Bible – thus including the stories in Mark 16.

      Your examples from the Quran are trivial in comparison and can be dismissed as scribal errors.

      Like

    • And everyone of those issues is footnoted- precisely Samuel’s point.

      Don’t dismiss the issue so easily. The comparison was made for he/God and the Koran clearly has the same situation.

      Thank you Samuel for bringing this to our attention.

      Like

    • I guess bills doesn’t believe in the unchanged Koran theory either. Good to see you don’t believe the Koran is perfectly preserved bilal!!!

      Liked by 1 person

    • lol Paulus… muslim scholarship have been aware of textual variations in the Quran for centuries..its no secret… however textually the nature and scope of variations in the Quran in comparison to biblical variations is like comparing chalk and cheese 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • SG the devil is in the detail you leff out lol.

      You refer to the  **Samarkand** Qur’an for comparison in “Variants”…. well did you know that in 1905 Dr Pissareff publish a facsimile edition of the manuscript.He did this by photographic process after attempting to carefully retrace the text of folios where the writing had been almost obliterated by the hands of the faithful stroking the pages. ****It has since been recognised that Pissareff’s  reinking of the text in the dulled folios resulted in ***many mistakes****. These false restorations of the original text have caused scholars to handle this manuscript with caution – ‘THE ORTHOGRAPHY OF THE SAMARQAND CODEX’ – A. JEFFERY and I. MENDELSOHN

      Liked by 1 person

    • Scholars may be, but the ummah as a whole isn’t. Because the variants are not footnoted for Muslims. you are the first Muslim ive heard admit there are variations.

      Do you agree the Koran hasn’t been perfectly preserved?

      Like

    • Paulus as an introduction to the nature and scope variants in the Quranic text perhaps you should do some reading in the field of study

      http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Text/

      Like

    • SG: “The errors you say are possible could not occur in this case because they entail the addition of words, for which there is no space, or the replacing of words which can be seen.”

      Do your research Samuel, the significant mistakes and errors made to the Samarkand manuscript by Dr Pissareff **did occurr** and also it was ascertained that errors or variants were solely a result of Dr Pissareff ‘s mishandling, not the original authors as referenced in Jeffreys thesis

      Like

    • Muslims are finally admitting that variants exist with the Koran. That is a good step forward in discussion. Omar, do you now believe that the Koran has not been perfectly preserved?

      P.s I don’t take Islamic awareness as a reliable and fair source of info.

      Like

    • “Omar, do you now believe that the Koran has not been perfectly preserved?”

      No Paulus the Quran has been perfectly preserved to the letter…if your not prepared to read and understand what muslims mean by “Variants” and keep updated about why both muslims and some non muslims conclude the Quran has. been perfectly preserved then you will continue to have egg on your face lol..

      As an introduction I refer to the book written by:

      Dr. Muhammad Mustafa Al-Azami

      The History of the Qur’anic Text: From Revelation to Compilation (2nd Edition) a Comparative Study with the Old and New Testaments

      http://www.islamicbookstore.com/b7626.html

      Pr. Ahmad Ali Al-Imam

      ‘Variant Readings Of The Quran: A Critical Study Of Their Historical And Linguistic Origins’

      http://www.islamicbookstore.com/b6367.html

      Read tbe book descriptions for your consideration 🙂

      Like

    • I’ve read azami- just Muslim polemics.

      Interesting logic that says the manuscripts and have variants and scribal errors but remain “perfectly preserved”.

      Oh, that’s right, Allah deliberately intended to have these perfect errors- azami and co’s thesis

      Like

    • Omar, what non Muslims believe the Koran has been “perfectly” preserved?

      I personally think it is well preserved, but manuscript evidence proves it hasn’t been perfect. Big difference. It’s like many works of history in that regard.

      Since scholars recognise there are scribal errors in Koranic transmission, how can one honestly apply the word “perfect” to it?

      I’ve read azami just FYI and his work is muslim apooogetics, not mainstream scholarship. I’m not surprised you appeal to him and IA website

      Like

    • Paulus read the references i have provided and you will truly realise the severity of how much you have been brainwashed by unreliable sources of information and people… read and be cured of your ignorance about the Quran

      Like

  3. The Quran examples are trivial and a result of scribal error. You don’t even agree which books are in your Bible!!

    Like

  4. Uniformity can be an indication of human fabrication through the means of continuous redaction of the Quranic text. Nobody can prove that this was not the means of producing the Quran.

    Variant readings don’t disprove the existence of a providentially preserved text true to the original which was collected together to produce the kjv bible, as I believe.

    Like

    • “Variant readings don’t disprove the existence of a providentially preserved text true to the original which was collected together to produce the kjv bible, as I believe.”

      lol true to the original!? what original?..what you believe Madmanna is a mirage…

      Like

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