New Defender's Study Bible Notes
5:8 witness in earth. The reference to three witnesses “in earth” strengthens the case for the validity of the reference in I John 5:7 to the three witnesses “in heaven,” especially since the manuscript evidence for “in earth” is strong. Note that “Spirit” in I John 5:6, 8, is from the same Greek word as “Ghost” in I John 5:7. John seems clearly to be drawing an analogy between the three who bear witness in heaven to the three that bear witness on earth. In his gospel, he had noted the concerted teaching ministry of Christ, His Father, and the Holy Ghost whom He would send (John 14:26; 15:26), as promised by Christ (now identified as “the Word”) Himself. Now, on earth, a supporting testimony is provided by that same Holy Ghost, as well as the baptismal waters and the sacrificial blood. The Three in heaven are One; the three on earth agree on that one and His great eternal purpose.