Rebecca Stark is the author of The Good Portion: God, the second title in The Good Portion series, a series written to encourage women to immerse themselves in the depths of Christian doctrine.

The Good Portion — God explores what Scripture teaches about God in hopes that readers will see his perfection, worth, magnificence, and beauty as they study his triune nature, infinite attributes, and wondrous works. 

Rebecca also blogs at Out of the Ordinary.



Theological Term of the Week: Comma Johanneum


Comma Johanneum
A sequence of words which appear in 1 John 5:7-8 in four late Greek manuscripts; also called the Johannine Comma. (Four other manuscripts include the words as a marginal note rather than part of the text.) The Comma Johanneum was almost certainly not originally included in 1 John. However, a translation of the comma is included the King James Version of the Bible. 

  • 1 John 5:7-8 from the KJV, which includes a translation of the Comma Johanneum. (The words that translate the Comma are italicized.):
  • 7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

    8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.

  • I John 5:7-8 from the ESV, which does not include a translation of the Comma Johanneum:

    7 For there are three that testify: 8 the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree.

  • From The Johannine Comma (Bible Research):

    These extra words are generally absent from the Greek manuscripts. In fact, they only appear in the text of four late medieval manuscripts. They seem to have originated as a marginal note added to certain Latin manuscripts during the middle ages, which was eventually incorporated into the text of most of the later Vulgate manuscripts.


Learn more:

  1. Got Questions: What is the Comma Johannine (1 John 5:7-8)?
  2. Theopedia: Johannine Comma
  3. Daniel Wallace: The Textual Problem in 1 John 5:7-8
  4. Bible Research: The Johaninne Comma
  5. Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry: 1 John 5:7-8 and King James Onlyism


Related terms:

Filed under Scripture

Do you have a a theological term you’d like to see featured as a Theological Term of the Week? Email your suggestion using the contact button in the navigation bar above. 

Clicking on the Theological Terms button will take you to an alphabetical list of all the previous theological terms.


Sunday's Hymn: There Is a Redeemer

This morning the choir at my church will be singing this song in this arrangement during the service. (We will also celebrate the resurrection of Jesus with two baptisms, a sermon in both Mandarin and English, and lunch with lots of Chinese food.) 




There is a Redeemer,
Jesus, God’s own Son;
Precious Lamb of God, Messiah,
Holy One.

Jesus my Redeemer,
Name above all names;
Precious Lamb of God, Messiah,
Hope for sinners slain.

Thank you, O my Father,
For giving us your Son,
And leaving your Spirit,
Till the work on earth is done.

When I stand in glory,
I will see his face;
There I’ll serve my King forever,
In that holy place.

Thank you, O my Father,
For giving us your Son,
And leaving your Spirit,
Till the work on earth is done.

There is a redeemer,
Jesus, God’s own Son,
Precious lamb of God, Messiah,
Holy one.

Thank you oh my Father,
For giving us your Son,
And leaving your Spirit,
Till the work on earth is done.

And leaving your Spirit,
Till the work on earth is done. 

—Melody Green © 1969 Sparrow


Other hymns, worship songs, or quotes for this Sunday:


Selected Reading

I read these this week and recommend them to you.


3 Reasons I Changed My Mind About Penal Substitution
“Actually reading the Scriptures in their cohesive entirety, and seeing the Old Testament repeatedly preview the gospel, showed me that Jesus bearing our sin and its penalty is central—not peripheral, and not artificially imposed—to the story’s vast sweep.” — Daniel Hames

(This is one reason we don’t want to “unhitch” from the Old Testament. The Old Testament sacrificial system, which was obviously substitutionary, foreshadows Jesus’s sacrifice, and gives us the needed background for understanding the substitutional nature of his sacrifice.)

Church History

Edward Dering and His Stuning Lenten Sermon
“Whatever Queen Elizabeth I might have expected by inviting Edward Dering to preach a Lenten sermon in her presence, it was certainly not an outspoken rebuke.” - Simonetta Carr.

Good Friday

Christina Rossetti, “Good Friday”
Michael Haykin says this poem “bears witness to a faith both thick and deep.”

“Man of Sorrows”
“God designed us as emotional beings. Emotions, feelings, and moods are God’s idea. Therefore, they are not, in and of themselves, sinful. In fact, they can be beautiful expressions of our creation in God’s image. Jesus was a deeply emotional being. His grief in the garden makes that abundantly clear.” - Bob Kelleman