In 1690 Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727) wrote a manuscript on the corruption of the
text of the New Testament concerning I John 5:7 and
Timothy 3:16. It was entitled, "A Historical Account of Two Notable
Corruptions of Scripture." Due to the prevailing environment against
criticism, he felt it unwise to profess his beliefs openly and felt that
printing it in England would be too dangerous. Newton sent a copy of this manuscript to John Locke
requesting him to have it translated into French for publication in France. Two years later, Newton was informed of an attempt to publish a Latin translation
of it anonymously. However, Newton did not
approve of its availability in Latin and persuaded Locke to take steps to
prevent this publication.
Below are excerpts from "A Historical Account of
Two Notable Corruptions of Scripture".
Newton on I John 5:7
Newton states that this verse appeared for the first time in the third
edition of Erasmus's New Testament.
"When they got the Trinity; into his edition
they threw by their manuscript, if they had one, as an almanac out of date. And
can such shuffling dealings satisfy considering men?....It
is rather a danger in religion than an advantage to make it now lean on a
"In all the vehement universal and lasting controversy
about the Trinity in Jerome's time and both before and long enough after
it, this text of the "three in heaven" was never once thought
of. It is now in everybodys mouth and accounted the main text for the business
and would assuredly have been so too with them, had it been in their books.
"Let them make good sense of it who
are able. For my part, I can make none. If it be said that we are not to
determine what is Scripture what not by our private judgments, I confess it in
places not controverted, but in disputed places I
love to take up with what I can best understand. It is the temper of the hot
and superstitious art of mankind in matters of religion ever to be fond of
mysteries, and for that reason to like best what they understand least. Such
men may use the Apostle John as they please, but I have that honour for him as to believe that he wrote good sense and
therefore take that to be his which is the best." 
Newton on I Timothy
"In all the times of the hot and
lasting Arian controversy it never came into play....they that read
"God manifested in the flesh" think it one of the most obvious and
pertinent texts for the business."
"The word Deity imports exercise of dominion over
subordinate beings and the word God most frequently signifies
Lord. Every lord is not God. The exercise of dominion in a spiritual being
constitutes a God. If that dominion be real that being is the real God; if it
be fictitious, a false God; if it be supreme, a supreme God." 
Newton also wrote a discussion on two other texts that Athanasius had attempted to corrupt. This work has
not been preserved. He believed that not all the books of the Scriptures have
the same authority.
Issac Newton was born in Lincolnshire in 1642 and educated at Cambridge. He was elected to the Royal Society in 1672, and was a
member of the Gentleman's Club of Spalding. Newton became Warden of the Royal Mint in 1696, where he was
instrumental in fixing the gold standard. Newton was elected President of the Royal Society in 1703. Sir
Isaac Newton held unitarian
views and was a follower of Arius.
1. A. Wallace, "Anti-Trinitarian
Biographies," Vol. III, pp. 428-439, 1850.
Other Related References
2. Alton, "Religious Opinions of Milton, Locke, and Newton," 1833.
3. Green, "Sir Isaac Newton's Views," 1871.
4. Newton, "Sir Isaac Newton Daniel," 1922.
5. MacLachlan, "The Religious Opinions of Milton, Locke, and Newton," 1941.
6. Channing, W.E., "The Character and Writing of
7. M. `Ata ur-Rahim, "Jesus: A Prophet of
Some other famous Unitarians in
Christianity are: Milton (1608-1674), John Locke (1632-1704), John Biddle
(1615-1662), Michael Servetus (1511-1553), Francis
David (1510-1579), Lelio Francesco Maria Sozini (1525-1562), Fausto Paolo Sozini (Socianus, 1539-1604),
Thomas Emlyn (1663-1741), Theophilus
Lindsey (1723-1808), Joseph Priestly (1733-1804), and William Ellery Channing (1780-1842). Among the most famous early
Unitarians in Christianity are: Arius (250-336 A.D.),
Iranaeus (130-200), Tertullian
(160-220), Origen (185-254), Diodorus,
and Lucian (d. 312). Their biographies are contained in References 1 and 7.
Below is a brief account of a famous
physician and a scientist, before and after Newton, who had strong religious opinion on the
(1511-1553), born in Spain, received a degree in Medicine from Toulouse in 1534. He was one of the first European
to write about the principle of the circulation of the blood [see earlier work
by Ibn Al-Nafis
(1213-1288)]. Servetus wrote three important works:
'The Errors of Trinity' (1531), 'Two Dialogues on Trinity' (1531), and 'The
Restoration of Christianity'. Luther publicly condemned him in 1539. Servetus followed the views held by the early apostles who
belonged to the Antiocheneschool of Christianity, and he supervised the printing of a
Bible in 1540. Servetus corresponded with Calvin for
more than twenty years. As a result of bitter conflict, Calvin had him arrested
in Milan, and after a quick trial Servetus was burned to the stakes. Servetus
is regarded by many as the "founder of modern Unitarianism." 
Theophilus Lindsey is known as the organiser of the first Unitarian congregation in England. On April 17, 1774, Benjamin Franklin and Joseph
Priestly attended the first Unitarian service conducted by Lindsey in London. Jospeh
Priestly is known as the discoverer of Oxygen. Priestly's
main contribution to the unitarians
in England was comprehensive argument, both
historical and philosophical, in support of the unity of God. Joseph Priestly
produced his most important and influential work, 'History of the Corruptions
of Christianity' in two volumes. Priestly affirmed the humanity of Jesus, but
denied the immaculate conception. He also denied the
validity of the doctrine of Trinity. Priestly's house
was burned by a mob and so was a hotel where the mob mistakenly thought
Priestly was present. His book was publicly burned in Holland. Joseph Priestly sailed for America with Benjamin Franklin in 1794, where
they opened some of the first Unitarian churches in and around Philadelphia .
For another perspective on Sir Isaac
Newton's activities, visit an external link Isaac Newton.
Radio Al-Islam Channel RA 200 (Real Audio Format):
Isaac Newton was born in Lincolnshire in 1642 descended from "ancient Scottish
nobility," he insisted, although no one seems to have taken this claim
very seriously. He was educated at Cambridge, elected to the Royal Society in 1672, and he made Boyle's
acquaintance for the first time the following year. In 1689-90 he became
associated with John Locke and an elusive enigmatic individual named
Nicolas Fatio de Duillier.
Descended from Genevan aristocracy, Fatio de Duillier seems to have
wafted with cavalier insouciance through the Europe of his
time. On occasion he appears to have worked as a spy, usually against Louis XIV
of France. He also appears to have been on Intimate terms with every
important scientist of the age. And from the time of his appearance in England he was Newton's
single closest friend. For at least the next decade their two names were
In 1696 Newton became
warden of the Royal Mint and was subsequently instrumental in fixing the gold
standard. In 1703 he was elected president of the Royal Society. Around this
time he also became friendly with a young French Protestant refugee named Jean Desaguliers, who was one of the Royal Society's two
curators of experiments. In the years that followed Desaguliers
became one of the leading figures in the astonishing proliferation of Freemasonry
throughout Europe. He was associated with such leading Masonic figures as
James Anderson, the Chevalier Ramsay, and Charles Radclyffe.
And in 1731, as master of the Masonic lodge at The Hague, he presided over the initiation of the first European
prince become a member of "the craft." This prince was Francois, duke
Lorraine who after his marriage to Maria Theresa of Austria became Holy Roman Emperor.
[On page 131 of the Holy Blood, Holy Grail, Isaac
Newton is listed as "The Grand Master" of 'Prieure
de Sion' during the period 1691-1727, succeeding
Robert Boyle. Newton was succeeded by Charles Radcliffe.
All of them are recognized as leading scientists of their time. Elswhere in this book, it is stated that the 'Ordre de Sion' (Order of Zion)
was renamed 'Prieure de Sion'
in 1188, a year after the defeat of the Crusaders by the army of Saladin
(Sultan Salahuddin). The 'Order of Zion' was founded
by Godfroi de Bouillon in 1090, nine years before he
conquered Jerusalem. The Order was the leading force behind the Crusades.].
There is no record of Newton himself having been a Freemason. At the same time,
however, he was a member of a semi-Masonic institution, the Gentleman's Club of
Spalding - which included such notables as Alexander Pope. Moreover, certain of
his attitudes and works reflect interests shared by Masonic figures of the
period. Like many Masonic authors, for example, he esteemed Noah more than
Moses as the ultimate source of esoteric wisdom. As early as 1689 he had
embarked on what he considered one of his most important works, a study
of ancient monarchies. This work, The Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms Amended,
attempted to establish the origins of the institution of kingship as well as
the primacy of Israel over other cultures of antiquity. According to Newton ancient Judaism had been a repository of divine knowledge,
which had subsequently been diluted, corrupted, and largely lost. Nevertheless,
he believed that some of it had filtered down to Pythagoras, whose "music
of the spheres" he regarded as a metaphor for the law of gravity. In his
attempt to formulate a precise scientific methodology for dating events in both
Scripture and classical myth, he employed Jason's quest for the Golden Fleece
as a pivotal event; and like other Masonic and esoteric writers, he interpreted
that quest as an alchemical metaphor. He also endeavored to discern Hermetic
"correspondences" or correlations between music and architecture. And
like many Masons he ascribed great significance to the configuration and
dimensions of Solomon's temple. The dimensions and configuration of the temple
he believed to conceal alchemical formulas; and he believed the ancient
ceremonies in the temple to have involved alchemical processes.
Such preoccupations on Newton's part were something of a revelation to us. Certainly
they do not concur with his image as it is promulgated in our own century --
the image of the scientist who, once and for all, established the separation of
natural philosophy from theology. In fact, however, Newton, more than any other scientist of his age, was steeped in
Hermetic texts and, in his own attitudes, reflected Hermetic tradition. A
deeply religious person, he was obsessed by the search for a divine unity and
network of correspondences inherent in nature. This search led him into an
exploration of sacred geometry and numerology--a study of the intrinsic
properties of shape and number. By virtue of his association with Boyle, he was
also a practicing alchemist --who in fact attributed a paramount importance to
his alchemical work.' In addition to personally annotated copies of the
Rosicrucian manifestos, his library included more than a hundred alchemical
works. One of these, a volume by Nicolas Flamel, he
had laboriously copied in his own hand. Newton's preoccupation with alchemy continued all his life. He
maintained a voluminous and cryptic correspondence on the subject with Boyle,
Locke, Fatio de Duillier,
and others. One letter even has certain key words excised.
If Newton's scientific interests were less orthodox than we had at
first imagined, so were his religious views. He was militantly, albeit
quietly, hostile to the idea of the Trinity. He also repudiated the
fashionable Deism of his time, which reduced the cosmos to a vast mechanical
machine constructed by a celestial engineer. He questioned the divinity of
Jesus and avidly collected all manuscripts pertaining to the issue. He doubted
the complete authenticity of the New Testament, believing certain passages to
be corruptions interpolated in the fifth century. He was deeply intrigued by
some of the early Gnostic heresies and wrote a study of one of them.[Newton was also a supporter of the Socinians, a religious group who believed that Jesus was
divine by office rather than by nature. They were Arian in orientation. Newton himself was
described as an Arian.].
Prompted by Fatio de Duillier, Newton also displayed a striking and surprising sympathy for the Camisards, or Prophets of Cevennes, who shortly after 1705 began appearing in London. So called because of their white tunics, the Camisards, like the Cathars
before them, had arisen in the south of France. Like the Cathars they were
vehemently opposed to Rome and stressed the supremacy of Gnosis, or direct knowledge,
over faith. Like the Cathars they queried Jesus'
divinity. And like the Cathars they had been brutally
suppressed by military force -- in effect, an eighteenth-century Albigensian Crusade. Driven out of the Languedoc, the heretics found refuge in Geneva and London.
A few weeks before his death, Newton, aided by a few intimate friends, systematically burned
numerous boxes of manuscripts and personal papers. With considerable surprise
his contemporaries noted that he did not, on his deathbed, request last rites.
is always adapting itself into something which can be believed." -
"Preaching of the Scriptures is a
suspicious thing. He who keeps close to the Scriptures will ruin the Catholic
faith." and "...which is a book if anyone keeps close to, he will
quite destroy the Catholic Church."
- FraFulgentiorepriminded by the Pope
in his two letters; in Tetradymus by J. Toland
"First of all, believe that God is
One and that He created all things and organised them
and out of what did not exist made all things to be, and He contains all things
but alone is Himself uncontained...."
- The first of the twelve commandments of
the Shepherd of Hermas, 90 A.D.
"If through my falsehood God's truthfulness
abounds to His glory, why am I still being condemned as a sinner."
- Paul in Romans 3:7
"But now he that hath a purse, let him take it and likewise his scrip; and he that
hath no sword let him sell his garments and buy one." (Luke 22:36)
- Jesus' commandment to his followers