In order to properly understand what is being said here, one must first understand that there were false teachers (that left our Messiahistic views for heresies) in Apostle John's days. 1st John 5:6-12 is anti-docetic.
Doceticism: The name comes from the Greek word DOKEO, which means to seem or to appear. It maintained that Jesus was not a full flesh-and-blood human being. He was instead completely (and only) divine; he only "seemed" or "appeared" to be a human being, to feel hunger, thirst, and pain, to bleed, to die. Since Jesus was God, he could not really be a man. He simply came to earth in the "appearance" of a human flesh.
NASB 1st John 5:5-8 Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? This is the One who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not with the water only, but with the water and with the blood It is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.
What this passage is saying, is that the Lord Jesus Christ was completely human. He had blood, and because he shed his blood on the cross/stake for us, and thus we are able to be saved from God's wrath if we believe in him whom God sent into the world, the Messiah Jesus.
Bart D. Ehrman chairs the Department of Religious Studies at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is an authority on the history of the New Testament, the early church, and the life of Jesus. And I will be quoting from his book 'Misquoting Jesus' concerning 1st John 5:7, pages 80-83 (I have a recommendation of a few of his books on my Homepage):
There was one key passage of scripture that Erasmus's source manuscripts did not contain, however. This is the account of 1 John 5:7-8, which scholars have called the Johannine Comma, found in the manuscripts of the Latin Vulgate but not in the vast majority of Greek manuscripts, a passage that had long been a favorite among Christian theologians, since it is the only passage in the entire Bible that explicitly delineates the doctrine of the Trinity, that there are three persons in the godhead, but that the three all constitute just one God. In the Vulgate, the passage reads:
There are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Spirit, and these three are one; and there are three that bear witness on earth, the Spirit, the water, and the blood, and these three are one.
It is a mysterious passage, but unequivocal in its support of the traditional teachings of the church on the "triune God who is one." Without this verse, the doctrine of the Trinity must be inferred from a range of passages combined to show that Christ is God, as is the Spirit and the Father, and that there is, nonetheless, only one God. This passage, in contrast, states the doctrine directly and succinctly. But Erasmus did not find it in his Greek manuscripts, which instead simply read: "There are three that bear witness: the Spirit, the water, and the blood, and these three are one." Where did the "Father, the Word, and the Spirit" go? They were not in Erasmus's primary manuscript, or in any of the others that he consulted, and so, naturally, he left them out of his first edition of the Greek text. More than anything else, it was this that outraged the theologians of his day, who accused Erasmus of tampering with the text in an attempt to eliminate the doctrine of the Trinity and to devalue its corollary, the doctrine of the full divinity of Christ. In particular, Stunica, one of the chief editors of the Complutensian Polyglot, went public with his defamation of Erasmus and insisted that in the future editions he return the verse to its rightful place. As the story goes, Erasmus-possibly in an unguarded moment-agreed that he would insert the verse in a future edition of his Greek New Testament on one condition: that his opponents produce a Greek manuscript in which the verse could be found (finding it in Latin manuscripts was not enough). And so a Greek manuscript was produced. In fact, it was produced for the occasion. It appears that someone copied out the Greek text of the Epistles, and when he came to the passage in question, he translated the Latin text into the Greek, giving the Johannine Comma in its familiar, theologically useful form. The manuscript provided to Erasmus, in other words, was a sixteenth-century production, made to order. Despite his misgivings, Erasmus was true to his word and included the Johannine Comma in his next edition, and in all his subsequent editions. These editions, as I have already noted, became the basis for the editions of the Greek New Testament that were reproduced time and again by the likes of Stephanus, Beza, and the Elzevirs. These editions provided the form of the text that the translators of the King James Bible eventually used. And so familiar the passages to readers of the English Bible-from the King James in 1611 onward, up until modern editions of the twentieth century-include the woman taken in adultery, the last twelve verse of Mark, and the Johannine Comma, even through none of these passages can be found in the oldest and superior manuscripts of the Greek New Testament. They entered into the English stream of consciousness merely by a chance of history, based on manuscripts that Erasmus just happened to have handy to him, and one that was manufactured for his benefit. The various Greek editions of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were so much alike that eventually printers could claim that they were the text that was universally accepted by all scholars and readers of the Greek New Testament-as indeed they were, since there were no competitors! The most-quoted claim is found in an edition produced in 1633 by Abraham and Bonaventure Elzevir (who were uncle and nephew), in which they told their readers, in words since become famous among scholars, that "You now have the text that is received by all, in which we have given nothing changed or corrupted." The phrasing of this line, especially the words "text that is received by all," provides us with the common phrase Textus Receptus (abbreviated T.R.), a term used by textual critics to refer to that form of the Greek text that is based, not on the oldest and best manuscripts, but on the form of text originally published by Erasmus and handed down to printers for more than three hundred years, until textual scholars began insisting that the Greek New Testament should be established on scientific principles based on our oldest and best manuscripts, not simply reprinted according to custom. It was the inferior textual form of the Textus Receptus that stood at the base of the earliest English translations, including the King James Bible, and other editions until the near end of the nineteenth century.
Thanks Bart D. Ehrman, you have done me a wonder by explaining this for me. Such awesome evidence against the wording of 1st John 5:7 that the KJV has. I highly recommend that everyone buys Misquoting Jesus for his/her bookshelf. His book is full of evidence against the godman doctrine and so much more.
NASB 1st John 5:13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.
NASB John 20:31 but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.
NASB 1st John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.
NASB John 17:3 "This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. 5 "Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.
NASB John 7:18 "He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him. 28 Then Jesus cried out in the temple, teaching and saying, "You both know Me and know where I am from; and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know.
NASB John 5:26 "For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself;
NASB John 6:57 "As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me.
NASB John 6:66-69 As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore. So Jesus said to the twelve, "You do not want to go away also, do you?" Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. "We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God."
NASB John 11:27 She said to Him, "Yes, Lord; I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God, even He who comes into the world."
NASB Matthew 16:15-20 He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." And Jesus said to him,
"Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.
"I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not
overpower it. "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose
on earth shall have been loosed in heaven." Then He warned the disciples that they should tell no one that He was the Christ.
Before I explain 1st Timothy 3:16, we must understand that there are many scholars that believe 1 & 2 Timothy was forged in Paul's name. Nevertheless, we'll still explain the passage for those of you who do not accept this statement.
Bart D. Ehrman chairs the Department of Religious Studies at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is an authority on the history of the New Testament, the early church, and the life of Jesus. And I will be quoting from his book 'Misquoting Jesus' concerning 1st Timothy 3:16, pages 112-113 (I have a recommendation of a few of his books on my Homepage):
Johann J. Wettstein - One of the most controversial figures in the ranks of biblical scholarship in the eighteenth century was J.J. Wettstein (1693-1754). At a young age Wettstein became enthralled with the question of the text of the New Testament and its manifold variations, and pursued the subject in his early studies. The day after his twentieth birthday, on March 17, 1713, he presented his thesis at the University of Basel on "The Variety of Readings in the Text of the New Testament." Among other things, the Protestant Wettstein argued that variant readings "can have no weakening effect on the trustworthiness or integrity of the Scriptures." The reason: God has "bestowed this book once and for all on the world as an instrument for the perfection of human character. It contains all that is necessary to salvation both for belief and conduct." Thus, variant readings may affect minor points in scripture, but the basic message remains intact no matter which readings one notices. In 1715 Wettstein went to England (as part of a literary tour) and was given full access to the Codex Alexandrinus…One portion of the manuscript particularly caught Wettstein's attention: it was one of those tiny matters with enormous implications. It involved the text of a key passage in the book of 1 Timothy. 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 so-called nomina sacra), and that is the case here as well, where the Greek word God (ΘΕΟΣ) is abbreviated in two letters, theta and sigma (ΘΣ), 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, Θ, 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 (theta-sigma) for "God" (ΘΣ), the word was actually an omicron and a sigma (ΟΣ), 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.
Thanks, Bart D. Ehrman, I couldn't have said it better myself. There you have it. The original wording of 1st Timothy 3:16 never said "God manifested in the flesh."
NRSV 1st Timothy 3:16 Without any doubt, the mystery of our religion is great: He was revealed in flesh, vindicated in spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among Gentiles, believed in throughout the world, taken up in glory.
This is what the original manuscript of 1st Timothy 3:16 said. I shouldn't have to explain a perversion of the manuscript (such wording as that in the KJV), for Bart D. Ehrman did a good job explaining it.
Colossians 1:15, no one actually saw the invisible God himself. I'll post some passages from 1st & 2nd Timothy to demonstrate that Apostle Paul (if he actually did write these letters) believed that God was a whole different being from Jesus Christ.
NRSV 1st Timothy 1:1-2 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Saviour and of Christ Jesus our hope, To Timothy, my loyal child in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
NRSV 1st Timothy 5:21 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels, I warn you to keep these instructions without prejudice, doing nothing on the basis of partiality.
NRSV 1st Timothy 6:13 In the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you.
NRSV 2nd Timothy 1:1-2 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, for the sake of the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus, To Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
NRSV 2nd Timothy 4:1 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I solemnly urge you:
Must we really go on? Let's do, so there won't be any confusion as to who Christ Jesus is and isn't to Apostle Paul.
NRSV 1st Timothy 2:5 For there is one God; there is also one mediator between God and humankind, Christ Jesus, himself human,
NRSV Galatians 3:20 Now a mediator involves more than one party; but God is one.
Can Paul be any clearer? My fellow Messiahists, if godmanists won't accept the words of our Apostles, why would they accept our words? Yet, we must continue to speak the truth.
NRSV 1st Corinthians 8:5-6 Indeed, even though there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth-as in fact there are many gods and many lords-yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.
NRSV 1st Corinthians 3:23 and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.
NRSV 1st Corinthians 11:3 But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the husband is the head of his wife, and God is the head of Christ.
NRSV 2nd Corinthians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all consolation,
NRSV 2nd Corinthians 11:31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus (blessed be he for ever!) knows that I do not lie.
NRSV John 20:17 Jesus said to her, 'Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, "I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God."'
NRSV 2nd Corinthians 3:4 Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God.
Need we say more?