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Read Introduction to 1 John


“For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.”


This verse is not in older Greek manuscripts.

John enlarges on the Holy Spirit’s witness to the truth (5:6) concerning the person and work of Christ.  He appeals to three more witnesses. 

For there are three that bear witness in heaven:

The Law required two or three witnesses to verify a thing (Deut. 17:6; 19:15). 

1 Ti 5:19-20, 19 “Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses. 20 Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear.”

the Father,

The Father is the originator and planner of creation.  He sent the Word.

the Word,

The Word is the revealer

and the Holy Spirit;

The Holy Spirit convicts the world of the Father’s plan. 

and these three are one

The testimonies of the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit all converge to prove the same point, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. 


The Bible teaches the fact of the trinity.


If this verse belongs to the original Greek manuscripts, it clearly teaches the trinity.  However, if this verse is not a genuine text, the doctrine of the trinity does not rest upon this single verse.  The trinity does bear witness to the person and work of Christ as deduced from the entire New Testament.

2 Co 13:14, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.”