QUESTION: "On page 6 of the July 1974 Good News, Gary L. Alexander, in his scholarly article about five doctrines which identify God's Church, states that I John 5:7 was inserted by early copyists. I would like to know if there are references which verify this assertion. Where can these references be found?"
Salt Lake City, Utah
ANSWER: You can consult Bible commentaries such as Peake's Commentary on the Bible, The New Bible Commentary and Jamieson, Fausset and Brown's commentary. These, and others, will point out the very dubious origin of 1 John 5:7. This passage is not found in the Revised Standard Version, or in the translations by Moffatt, Phillips, or Williams.
Many Bible dictionaries do not even mention the subject of the Trinity. The ones that comment do so historically, not biblically. This is because there are no really clear scriptural references to either substantiate Trinitarianism in general or I John 5:7 in particular. (Your local public library probably has most of these commentaries, translations and dictionaries.) For a complete exposition of the textual origin of I John 5:7, read our free booklet Is God a Trinity?
Q: "In The Good News (March 1974), a reader wrote concerning Jesus' blood, and took you to task for your false teaching on this subject (that the blood of Jesus does not save). You quoted Romans 5:10 in reply. I, too, believe you have put a misinterpretation on Scripture."
Mrs. Cecil M.,
Los Banos, California
A: The editors of The Good News do definitely believe in the blood of Jesus Christ. Perhaps our answer in the "What Our Readers Say" section should have been explained in more detail.
First of all, how does the sinner gain. access to Almighty God?
Isaiah says, "Let the wicked forsake his way" (Isa. 55:6-8) — the way of sin.
Further: "God so loved the world [of sinners], that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).
The answer is found in Romans 5:8-10: "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his [Christ's] blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. F or if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. "
Now how are we justified?
By Christ's death — by His shed blood! He paid the death penalty demanded by sin (Rom. 6:23).
So we are justified of any past guilt by Christ's blood.
But now suppose Christ remained dead after shedding His life's blood for us. Then what?
Well, we simply would not be resurrected after we die either.
Notice I Corinthians 15:17: "And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins." (Also see verse 14.)
Death cannot impart life! There is no more basic and firmly established law known to science than the Law of Biogenesis — life can come only from life.
But Christ is now resurrected from the dead (see Matt. 28; Luke 24; Mark 16; John 20, book of Hebrews). He is a living Savior — no longer dead.
He is now our living High Priest (book of Hebrews). If we sin (even after conversion) and then really repent afterwards, He is on His throne to plead with God the Father as High Priest for us — to apply His sacrifice on our behalf.
Jesus Christ intercedes with God for us: "... We have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.... Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared" (Heb. 4:15; 5:7).
Further: "Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity.... For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted" (Heb. 5:2; 2:18).
Jesus Christ lived His life in the human flesh for you and for me. "For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham [human flesh and blood]. Wherefore [as a result] in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren [you and me], that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people" (Heb. 2:16, 17).
So "we shall be saved [how?] by his [Christ's] life" (Rom. 5:10) — by His resurrection from the dead! We repeat: if Christ were not resurrected we would not be either (see I Cor. 15:12-22). Even as Christ was raised to life by the power of the Father, we too shall be resurrected to eternal life by the Son who "quickeneth whom he will" (John 5:21).
Jesus is declared to be "the Son of God with power... by the resurrection from the dead" (Rom. 1:4). Jesus said: "I am the resurrection, and the life..." (John 11:25). "We are saved by his life," for even as the Father glorified the Son, so Christ "should give eternal life to as many as thou [the Father] hast given him" (John 17:1, 2).