Why The King James Translation?
A Modern Eclectic Text?
I wrote this article in 1993 in response to a request from the editor of Crosswinds magazine. He needed something that was readable and understandable by the average pastor and he had correctly concluded that his need was not met with books written by textual scholars. I know the arguments for, and the importance of, a Biblical commentator staying within his discipline. Even so, it seems to me that I have a God-given mandate to defend the Bible that has been the guiding light of our fathers, mothers, and leaders for three hundred years in the English speaking world, beginning studies in the book of Genesis is the time and place. It is the Mighty and Timeless Old King James upon which we have built our concept of home, church, community, and the Kingdom of God. It is from the Authorized Standard Version that we have gleaned our understanding of what the moral law is and says, and what it requires of us.
It was the Bible of John Knox, Jeremy Taylor, George Whitefild, John Westley, J. B. Lightfoot, Matthew Henry, G. Campbell Morgan, Charles Spurgeon, James Strong, Benjamin piano coversfield, Charles Hodge, J. Gresham Machen, Jonathan Edpiano coversds, D. L. Moody, R. A. Torrey, Hudson Taylor, Andrew Murray, Billy Sunday, and blip to name a few. Now, at the end of the age, a heady, dialectic, and elite gang of arrogant seminarians have jumped up to claim that it is flawed, dishonest, out of touch and preferred only by novices, fanatics, and fools. We have much better textual evidence today, they say, than we have had in the past. We will pass for the moment on the question of whether that has anything to do with the inerrancy, inspiration and infallibility of the Bible (which we do not believe that it has).
The question we wish to ask here is:
Is this true? Will a study of what Hort and his followers did reveal better
evidence, or will it show a manipulation of the evidence, a decline in reverence,
and upsurge in creature worship and power brokerage? I wish to moderate a discussion
of that in this Appendix as best I am able, but a few things need to be made
clear at the outset.
1. I am not, and do not claim to be, a textual scholar. I am not a "scholar" at all in any formal sense of the term, though it may be correct to say that I am an informal scholar. My library consists of less than five hundred volumes, mostly books that I have read in whole or in part. Of course that is not a great number, but I see no reason for books that I do not plan to use, cluttering up the shelves. I am a dedicated reader and enjoy the acquisition of knowledge too much, I fear. Yet my gift and calling in the Church is that of a prophet, not a school man. It is true that I am an expository teacher, but from the perspective of the gifts of the Holy Ghost, not the letters and certificates of the School.
In the Bible it is fully recognized
that there are certain matters which are evident to even the unregenerate
man and a discussion of those matters is useful. But the goal
of Orthodox Christianity and its leaders must ever be to inform by revelation
and faith, not by intellect and sight. I will not defer to discuss
that subject further here (I shall later on) but I refer you to
I Corinthians, Chapters 1 and 2, Ephesians 1:8-23, Colossians 1:9 and
2:2-10. Though we will look into it a bit to make our point, my
purpose is not to critically examine the Westcott and Hort theory of
textual criticism. My goal is to show how religious scholarship,
under the lead of Hort, went wrong in the 19th century on the matter
of lower criticism and why.
2. While I have read many articles
and some books, and while I will make a number of references, my views
in this particular paper are mostly those of Wilbur M. Pickering and
his excellent and unsurpassed book, The Identity of the New Testament
Text, Revised Edition of 1980, by Thomas Nelson Publishers of Nashville,
Tenn. In this Appendix I have done little beyond editing Pickering
and have almost paraphrased him on occasions. Let it be clear
that I have done nothing original here and the research that I use is
that of others, mostly Dr. Pickering and The Identity of the New Testament
Text. Even so, my purpose is neither to plagiarize nor to direct attention
to myself on this subject. It is to condense a very far-reaching
and difficult matter, which gets very esoteric when scholars (even Dr.
Pickering) discuss it, into something that is short enough to be read
and simple enough to be understood by the average pastor and lay-teacher.
3. This is not at all
to claim that Dr. Pickering or Dr. Zane C. Hodges would in any way agree
with my views on lower criticism, the condition of the New Testament
text, or my attitudes about scholarship and apologetics. I express
my appreciation of them (on this subject--as to this paper) and they
do not, to my apiano coverseness, know who I am, much less approve of me.
In my view, nothing in the last one hundred years has been more dangerous or detrimental to the Church and Her mission than the attitude topiano coversd the Bible and the proliferation of translations, pseudo-translations, and paraphrases that have followed the lead of the Westcott and Hort Greek Text of the late 1800s. Nor do I think that conservative Christian leaders in general understand what motivated this movement and what the true issues are in terms of the Church's mandate to protect the purity of the body and the doctrine.
For more than eighteen hundred years in the Church the Orthodox precept of translating had been observed. A translator was to translate, not interpret. He was to be as true to the original language as it was possible to be. In difficult passages he was to make a literal rending, studiously avoiding any temptation on his part to teach and thereby have the translation clouded by his own views, whatever they might be. He was to preserve the holy and inerrant record and leave the interpretation to the preachers, teachers and prophets of the Church (perhaps one of his own functions, but in another forum). To Orthodoxy the matter of preserving inerrancy was up to God. He who had ordained His Word was also able to preserve it. Copies could be made by anyone who owned a text if it was wearing out and it was becoming unserviceable. But good will must be exhibited. The man must do his best to be faithful to the original. God would do the rest. The same principle followed in translating from one language to another. If godly and capable men would look to God for their sufficiency, trusting in the Holy Ghost for their direction and would do the best they could, God would undertake so that the result would be the preservation of the Word of God.
It was recognized early on that there were copying errors but the Apostles and the ante-Nicene Fathers did not consider these to be of significance. Obviously, God was concerned with preserving the spirit of the Word of Truth, not the mechanics. CERTAINLY THE ORIGINAL AUTOGRAPHS HAD BEEN INSPIRED AND INERRANT IN EVERY WAY, DOWN TO THE SPELLING AND THE PUNCTUATION MARKS.1 But as God preserved the Word in the Church, it was demonstrated that the Holy Ghost would not rule over the pens of every copyist as He had with the original writers. Still He was preserving His inerrant Word.
The whole basis for the existence and the understanding of the Word was divine intervention, faith, grace, and the leading of the Holy Ghost. If a nationality of people had a Bible in their own language that they could read, that was all they needed. On the basis of that written Word, God, by the Spirit, would reveal truth to them according to their faith and obedience and His good will. It was not dependent upon education and human intellect. Jesus had shown, in His encounters with the scribes and the lawyers, that the letter of truth, haggled out and preserved by the traditionalists, the religionists and the intellectuals, was not what the Bible meant or God had in mind.
But all of that began to change with the Renaissance. Now the emphasis shifted from faith to reason and from revelation to intellectual inspection and discovery. The age of reason began to declare that reason was the test of truth, not the Bible. From the Enlightenment came an assault upon and an infiltration into the Church. This was grabbed with both hands by the proud intellectual elitists of the Church who had long felt that the university and the seminary, not the Church and the preacher, should control the wisdom of the Church. Close on the heels of this re-emphasized human autonomy (from everything including God and His Word--this of course had started in the Garden of Eden) perhaps we should say "because of it," the industrial revolution gathered steam. With each new invention, men, even religious men, turned further and further from God. It was now supposed to have been God, the Bible, and the Church that held us down all of these years. Now we were proving that this was wrong, and were we also proving that God, the Bible, and the Church were wrong too? Hort certainly thought so. It was with the claim that the Bible and its text should be treated like every other book in the world, with no deference made to any super natural involvement or preservation of it through the years. Hort piano helped the Authorized Version and subjectively set out to produce a new Greek Text that would "relegate the vile Textus Receptus to obscurity."
Without further prelude, we will look briefly at modern textual perceptions in general and the work of Hort in specific. This Appendix is not offered as being exhaustive, comprehensive, or original. But it does address pertinent and accurately identified issues, and it does open an all-important dialogue.
fundamental and conservative churchmen accept without question the viability
of modern translation along with treatises on modern translations by
seminaries and publishers of new texts. They are supposed to be "improved"
texts that will do beneficial things for the Church. This is stated
rather clearly in the front of most of these Bibles. The preface to
the Revised Standard Version, p. ix, says:
King James Version of the New Testament was based upon a Greek text
that was marred by mistakes, containing the accumulated errors of fourteen
centuries of manuscript copying. . . . We now possess many more
ancient manuscripts of the New Testament, and are far better equipped
to seek to recover the original wording of the Greek text."
New International Version, p. viii:
Greek text used in the work of translation was an eclectic one. No other
piece of ancient literature has so much manuscript support as does the
New Testament. Where existing texts differ, the translators made their
choice of readings in accord with sound principles of textual criticism.
Footnotes call attention to places where there is uncertainty about
what constitutes the original text.
Yet there is a curious and disturbing fact to the astute observer. All of these new translations differ greatly, one from the other. Nor is their any certainty as to which Greek text has been used in each case. This is not my statement; it is reflected commonly in the footnotes of these works. On the other hand, there is one thing that they very much have in common, and this, if properly understood, is a very telling condemnation. Their strong point and their claim to fame is a condemnation of the King James and how they all have made a point of differing greatly from it. As to the disparities among themselves, this is explained as the differences in style and translation technique. Yet they claim to be in agreement as to the Greek text they used, "as opposed to that underlying the King James Version." But no two of them are based on an identical Greek text.
ways in which the translators differ over the same Greek texts is arbitrary.
Some of them change the wording in very few places while others have
made many changes and have admitted that by no means all the doubts
have been recorded. The intended effect, in short, is that no one in
the world today really knows the precise original wording of the Greek
text of the New Testament. Reassurances of dialectic theologians notwithstanding,
this makes many people very uneasy. That is because the current "wisdom"
and "sound principles" are neither wise nor sound in the view
of Orthodoxy. They consist in two stated axioms: 1) choose the reading
that best explains the origin of the competing variants, and 2) choose
the variant that the author is most likely to have written. Bruce Metzger2
says, "It is understandable that in some cases different scholars
will come to different evaluations of the significance of the evidence."3
"In some cases" is decidedly an understatement. In fact,
even the same scholars will vacillate, as by demonstrated by the "more
than five hundred changes" introduced into the third edition of
the Greek text produced by the United Bible Societies as compared with
the second edition (the same committee of five editors prepared both).4
It is obvious that these rules simply cannot be applied. No one knows
what happened through the centuries. Scholars who work in the field
acknowledge this. Robert M. Grant, a well-known Biblical scholar,
primary goal of New Testament textual study remains the recovery of
what New Testament writers wrote. We have already suggested that to
achieve this goal is well-nigh impossible. Therefore we must be content
with what Reinhold Niebuhr and others have called, in other contexts,
an "impossible possibility."5
W. Clark, another well-known textual scholar and professor, comments:
. . . the papyrus vividly
portrays a fluid state of the text at about A.D.200(P7s). Such a scribal
freedom suggests that the gospel text was little more stable than the
oral tradition, and that we may be pursuing the retreating mirage of
the "original" text.6
Thirty years ago Grant had said, "It is generally recognized that the original text of the Bible cannot be recovered."7 This is not at all satisfactory to Orthodox Theology. Discounting for the moment the preserving work of the Holy Ghost (which we do not discount, of course) and appealing strictly to textual evidence, is this sort of position justified? To answer the question we need to begin with what has been going on in lower criticism and that beginning starts with something called "eclecticism."8
What exactly is this technical word which has taken on such sinister meaning to so many of us. Textual Critic Eldon J. Epp says:9
"eclectic" method is, in fact, the 20th century method of
NT textual criticism, and anyone who criticizes it immediately becomes
a self-critic, for we all use it, some of us with a certain measure
of reluctance and restraint, others with complete abandon.
the RSV (Revised Standard Version), NEB (New English Bible) and NIV
(New International Version) are all admittedly based upon an eclectic
two great translation efforts of these years--RSV and NEB--each chose
the Greek text to translate on the basis of the internal evidence of
readings. F. C. Grant's chapter in the expository pamphlet on the RSV
made this clear. The translators, he says, followed two rules: (1) Choose
the reading that best fits the context; (2) Choose the reading which
explains the origin of the other readings. Professor C. H. Dodd informed
me that the British translators also used these two principles--Hort's
Intrinsic Probability and Transcriptional Probability. One of the RSV
translators while lecturing to the New Testament Club at the University
of Chicago replied to a question concerning the Greek text he used by
saying that it depended on where he was working: he used Souter at the
office and Nestles at home. One of the British translators in admitting
the unevenness of the textual quality of the NEB translation explained
that the quality depended on the ability of the man who made the first
draft-translation of a book. Whether in early Christian times or today,
translators have so often treated the text cavalierly that textual critics
should be hardened to it. But much more serious is the prevalence of
this same dependence on the internal evidence of readings in learned
articles on textual criticism, and in the popularity of manual editions
of the Greek New Testament. These latter, with their limited citations
of variants and witnesses, actually reduce the user to reliance upon
the internal evidence of readings. The documents which these rigorously
abbreviated apparatuses cite cannot lead the user to dependence upon
external evidence documents. The editions use documents (to quote Housman)
"as drunkards use lampposts -- not to light them on their way but
to dissimulate their instability."10
statement in the preface to the NIV has already been noted: "The
Greek text used in the work of translation was an eclectic one."
The introduction to the recent Greek text put out by the United Bible
Societies, pp. x-xi (1966), says:
means of the letters A, B, C, and D, enclosed within "braces"
at the beginning of each set of textual variants, the Committee has
sought to indicate the relative degree of certainty, arrived at on the
basis of internal considerations as well as of external evidence, for
the reading adopted as the text. The letter A signifies that the text
is virtually certain, while B indicates that there is some degree of
doubt. The letter C means that there is a considerable degree of doubt
whether the text or the apparatus contains the superior reading, while
D shows that there is a very high degree of doubt concerning the reading
selected for the text.
A review of their apparatus and its lack of pattern in the correlation between degree of certainty assigned and external evidence makes clear that it is eclectic. In Acts 16:12 they have even incorporated a conjecture! It will be remembered that this text was prepared specifically for the use of Bible translators. The TEV (Today's English Version) is translated directly from it, as is the Version Popular, etc. The text-critical conclusions of G. D. Kilpatrick, a thorough-going eclecticist, are finding expression in A Greek-English Diglot for the Use of Translators, issued by the British and Foreign Bible Society. And so on. Enough evidence has been given to show that eclecticism is a major, if not controlling, factor on the textual scene today.
exactly does "eclecticism" consist of? Metzger explains that
an eclectic editor "follows now one and now another set of witnesses
in accord with what is deemed to be the author's style or the exigencies
of transcriptional hazards."11 E. C. Colwell12 goes further with
it and comes to the really sinister and frightening aspects:
textual criticism turns for its final validation to the appraisal of
individual readings, in a way that involves subjective judgment. The
trend has been to emphasize fewer and fewer canons of criticism. Many
moderns emphasize only two. These are: 1) that reading is to be preferred
which best suits the context, and 2) that reading is to be preferred
which best explains the origin of all others. (My note: In other words
the textual scholars are interpreting--not just translating!) These
two rules are nothing less than concentrated formulas of all that the
textual critic must know and bring to bear upon the solution of his
problem. The first rule about choosing what suits the context exhorts
the student to know the document he is working on so thoroughly that
its idioms are his idioms, its ideas as well known as a familiar room.
The second rule about choosing what could have caused the other readings
requires that the student know everything in Christian history which
could lead to the creation of a variant reading. This involves knowledge
of institutions, doctrines, and events.... This is knowledge of complicated
and often conflicting forces and movements.13
is both impossible and ridiculous. No man could know all of that, particularly
since the authors and the conditions under which the texts were produced
are lost permanently to men in this world. In later years, Colwell himself
seems to have had a change of heart.
scholars who profess to follow "the Eclectic Method" frequently
so define the term as to restrict evidence to the Internal Evidence
of Readings. By "eclectic" they mean in fact free choice among
readings. This choice in many cases is made solely on the basis of intrinsic
probability. The editor chooses that reading which commends itself to
him as fitting the context, whether in style, or idea, or contextual
reference. Such an editor relegates the other manuscripts to the role
of supplier of readings. The weight of the manuscript is ignored. Its
place in the manuscript tradition is not considered. Thus Kilpatrick
argues that certain readings found only in one late Vulgate manuscript
should be given the most serious consideration because they are good
lower critic, J. K. Elliott, comments on transcriptional probabilities:
using criteria such as the above the critic may reach a conclusion in
discussing textual variants and be able to say which variant is the
original reading. However, it is legitimate to ask: can a reading be
accepted as genuine if it is supported by only one ms.? There is no
reason why an original reading should not have been preserved in only
one ms. but obviously a reading can be accepted with greater confidence,
when it has stronger support.... Even Aland with his reservation about
eclecticism says: "Theoretically, the original readings can be
hidden in a single ms. thus standing alone against the rest of tradition,"
and Tasker has a similar comment: "The possibility must be left
open that in some cases the true reading may have been preserved in
only a few witnesses or even in a single relatively late witness."15
what Elliott calls "positive advantages of the eclectic method"
is the following:
attempt is made to reach the true or original text. This is, of course,
the ultimate aim of any textual critic, but the eclectic method, by
using different criteria and by working from a different standpoint,
tries to arrive at the true reading, untrammeled by discussion about
the weight of ms. support....
this method and its problems, Dr. Epp comments:
kind of "eclecticism" becomes the great leveller -- all variants
are equals and equally candidates for the original text, regardless
of date, residence, lineage, or textual context. In this case, would
it not be appropriate to suggest, further, that a few more conjectural
readings be added to the available supply of variants on the assumption
that they must have existed but have been lost at some point in the
history of the textual transmission?16
eclecticism, Dr. Pickering17 asks cryptically: "What shall we say
of such a method; is it a good thing?" He then goes on to comment:
eclecticism based solely on internal considerations is unacceptable
for several reasons. It is unreasonable. It ignores the over 5,000
Greek MSS now extant to say nothing of patristic and versional evidence,
except to cull variant readings from them. In Elliott's words, it "tries
to arrive at the true reading untrammeled by discussion about the weight
of ms. support." It follows that it has no principled basis for
rejecting conjectural emendations. It has no history of the transmission
of the text. Therefore the choice between variants ultimately depends
the last generation we have depreciated external evidence of documents
and have appreciated the internal evidence of readings; but we have
blithely assumed that we were rejecting "conjectural emendation"
if our conjectures were supported by some manuscripts. We need to recognize
that the editing of an eclectic text rests upon conjectures.18
G. Kenyon19 called conjectural emendation "a process precarious
in the extreme and seldom allowing anyone but the guesser to feel confidence
in the truth of its results.''20 Although enthusiasts like Elliott think
they can restore the original wording of the text in this way, it is
clear that the result can have no more authority than that of the scholar(s)
involved. Textual criticism ceases to be a science and we are left wondering
what is meant by "solid principles" in the NIV preface.
Clark and Epp are right in calling eclecticism a secondary, tentative, and temporary method.21 As A.F.J. Klijn22 says, "This method arrives at such varying results that we wonder whether editors of Greek texts and translations can safely follow this road.''23 This procedure seems so unsatisfactory, in fact, that we wonder what gave rise to it.
to Dr. Pickering, eclecticism grew out of the Westcott and Hort (hereafter
W-H) theory of textual criticism. A summary of this is given by Dr.
. . . the grouping of manuscripts
led to the separation of the relatively few early manuscripts from the
mass of later ones, and eventually the process reached its climactic
point of development and its classical statement in the work of Westcott
and Hort (1881-1882), and particularly in their (actually, Hort's) clear
and firm view of the early history of the NT text. This clear picture
was formed from Hort's isolation of essentially three (though he said
four) basic textual groups or text-types. On the basis largely of Greek
manuscript evidence from the middle of the 4th century and later and
from the early versional and patristic evidence, two of these, the so-called
Neutral and Western text-types, were regarded as competing texts from
about the middle of the 2nd century, while the third, now designated
Byzantine, was a conflate and polished ecclesiastical text. . . . This
left essentially two basic text-types competing in the earliest traceable
period of textual transmission, the Western and the Neutral, but this
historical reconstruction could not be carried farther so as to reveal
-- on historical grounds -- which of the two was closer to and therefore
more likely to represent the original NT text.24 . . . the question
which faced Westcott-Hort remains for us: Is the original text something
nearer to the Neutral or to the Western kind of text? . . . Hort resolved
the issue, not on the basis of the history of the text but in terms
of the presumed inner quality of the texts and on grounds of largely
subjective judgments of that quality.25
preferred the readings of the "Neutral" text-type (the Alexandrian)
and especially those of Codex B, because it had a "ring of genuineness."
Yet other scholars have preferred the readings of the "Western"
text-type and of Codex D, for the same reason. Have we really come to
this in the translating of the Holy Scriptures?
Hort professed to follow external evidence, his prior choice of the
"Neutral" text-type was based on internal (subjective) considerations.26
But clearly Hort sought to give the general impression that the W-H
theory was based on external (manuscript and historical) evidence. Because
of this inequity, which was not hard for objective scholars to see,
various aspects of the theory were resisted strenuously almost immediately
after it was published in 1881. This led to wide argument and confusion
among scholars. It was out of this confusion that eclecticism, that
bastard child, was born.
Elliott is candid in admitting his own persuasion and motives:
view of the present dilemma and discussion about the relative merits
of individual mss., and of ms. tradition, it is reasonable to depart
from a documentary study and to examine the N.T. text from a purely
Tasker is also open about the willful nature of eclecticism:
fluid state of textual criticism today makes the adoption of the eclectic
method not only desirable but all but inevitable."28
is dissatisfied, as are others he names, "with the results achieved
by weighing the external evidence for variant readings" as the
cause.29 Epp faults "the lack of a definitive theory and history
of the early text" and the inevitable "chaotic situation in
the evaluation of variant readings in the NT text."30 Colwell too
is critical of "manuscript study without a history."31 Eclecticism
confesses that original wording can never be recovered on the basis
of external evidence. It is therefore unwilling to undertake the hard
work of reconstructing the history of the text, feeling that the exercise
is futile. Even so, most modern lower critics do not follow pure eclecticism.
Instead they follow Hort. As a consequence, the two most popular
manual editions of the Greek text today, Nestle-Aland and UBS (United
Bible Society), are very little different from the W-H text.32 The exact
same thing is true of the newer versions such as the RSV, the NEB, etc.
is the reason for this? One would think it would be just the opposite?
Dr. Epp has an answer:
response to the fact that our popular critical texts are still so close
to that of Westcott-Hort might be that the kind of text arrived at by
them and supported so widely by subsequent criticism is in fact and
without question the best attainable NT text; yet every textual critic
knows that this similarity of text indicates, rather, that we have made
little progress in textual theory since Westcott-Hort; that we simply
do not know how to make a definitive determination as to what the best
text is; that we do not have a clear picture of the transmission and
alteration of the text in the first few centuries; and, accordingly,
that the Westcott-Hort kind of text has maintained its dominant position
largely by default. tatterther Zuntz enforces the point in a slightly different
way when he says that "the agreement between our modern editions
does not mean that we have recovered the original text. It is due to
the simple fact that their editors . . . follow one narrow section of
the evidence, namely, the non-Western Old Uncials."33 (My note:
Uncials are large, rounded letters used in ancient Latin and Greek manuscripts.)
and Zuntz have also agreed on an answer: "All are founded on the
same Egyptian recension, and generally reflect the same assumptions
of transmission."34 Clark also enlarges on Epp:
. . the Westcott-Hort text has become today our textus receptus. We
have been freed from the one only to become captives to the other....
The psychological chains so recently broken from our fathers have again
been forged upon us, even more strongly.... Even the textual specialist
finds it difficult to break the habit of evaluating every witness by
the norm of this current textus receptus. His mind may have rejected
the Westcott-Hort term "neutral," but his technical procedure
still reflects the general acceptance of the text. The basic problem
today is the technical and psychological factor that the Westcott-Hort
text has become our textus receptus.... Psychologically it is now difficult
to approach the textual problem with free and independent mind.... However
great the attainment in the Westcott-Hort text, the further progress
we desiderate (My note: desiderate means to feel the need for.) can
be accomplished only when our psychological bonds are broken. Herein
lies today's foremost problem with the critical text of the New Testament.35
Even though there is such wide-spread uncertainty and dissatisfaction, when the going gets tough must textual critics fall back on W-H. Hort started it and he has been widely accepted, at least early on when over anxious and ambitious men jumped hastily on his band wagon. It is the safe thing to do. Let him take the heat. Stay with the already-established tradition.36 Elliott, in trying to break with the new tradition, constructed a text of the Pastoral Epistles which differs from the Textus Receptus 160 times, differs from W-H 80 times, and contains 65 readings that have not appeared in any other edition. Even though he has not been able to completely spin out of the gravitational pull of W-H, the result is still entirely unique.37 Though not by design, his printed efforts show the extent to which UBS, NEB, etc. have copied the W-H method and results. To comprehend the treachery that is going on we need a good understanding of the W-H lower critical method and its hidden agenda. I am not really the one to give this, but I will piece together as best I can from others.
The importance of this issue has been widely recognized, of course.38 J. H. Greenlee says. "The textual theory of W-H underlies virtually all subsequent work in NT textual criticism."39
is associated with this theory and this text so I will give a little
on him and then we will pass him over, for it is unilaterally accepted
that he had no real input or force in this issue.
F. Westcott was born in 1825 and died in 1901. In his own right he was
one of the foremost NT scholars of the nineteenth century (I did not
say textual critics -- he was not one of the foremost in that field).
A fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, for several years as a young
man, he spent almost two decades as a master at the famous Harrow School.
In 1870, primarily at the instigation of his close and learned friend,
the renowned NT scholar J. B. Lightfoot, he was invited to return as
Regius Professor of Divinity. Here his greatest NT work was done. He
produced famous commentaries on the Gospel of John, the Epistles of
John, and the Epistle to the blips. His work reflects the best of
the Anglican theological tradition which he did much to help develop.
Based on massive historical and theological learning, his approach could
charitably be considered conservative and spiritual. Even so, at Cambridge
as at Oxford, the social gospel had taken deep root and the influences
of Locke and Hume were strong. Westcott was not entirely unscathed.
He was deeply involved in social issues, and was the first president
of the Christian Social Union. Abhorring the raw brutalities of unfettered
capitalism, he found his answer in an organic view of society based
on an incarnational model similar to that of F. D Maurice (shades of
socialism and Marxism are seen upon it). Since Jesus Christ in his incarnation
assumed humanity and then glorified it in His resurrection, it follows
then that all humanity is already bound together in Jesus Christ. The
need is for this corporate reality to be recognized. The sacraments
play an important part in this scheme, for the incarnation of Christ
is expressed through the sacraments which sanctify all of human life
in community. Through this emphasis Westcott became one of the progenitors
of the famous school of Anglican Christian Socialists, which would include
Stepiano coverst Headlam, Scott Holland, Charles Gore, and William Temple. After
twenty years at Cambridge, Westcott replaced Lightfoot as Bishop of
Durham. In the industrial northeast of England his social consciousness,
as well as his intelligence, scholarship, and spirituality, helped to
make him a great bishop. His involvement with W-H was really at Hort's
insistence and for Hort's benefit and need for a solid and reputable
image in an endeavor which was upstart and arrogant by tradition.
It is generally accepted that it was mainly Fenton John Anthony Hort40who was responsible for the development of the theory and the resulting two-volume work.41 And so we discuss the W-H theory as if it were Hort's alone, which it was in practical fact.
late 1851(he was 23 at the time), Hort wrote to his friend:
had no idea till the last few weeks of the importance of texts, having
read so little Greek Testament, and dragged on with the "villainous"
Textus Receptus . . . Think of that "vile" Textus Receptus
leaning entirely on late MSS.; it is a blessing there are such early
About a year later, Hort and B. F. Westcott reached final agreement on "the plan of a joint revision of the text of the Greek Testament.43 A short time later, in 1853, Hort told his friend that he would have the new text out "in little more than a year."44 This was far off the mark. It actually took him twenty-eight years. Many feel that this was to his credit and not a mark against him. Perhaps, but it does not change the fact, that though ignorant of Greek texts (he had been on to this matter for about two weeks) and wholly uninformed by his own admission, Hort conceived a personal animosity for the Textus Receptus,45 referring to the grand, lofty and mighty old King James that had served English speaking-people for nearly 300 years, as "vile and villainous", and only because it was based entirely, as he mistakenly thought, on late manuscripts. The scholarly argument that Hort arrived at his theory through unprejudiced intercourse with the facts, is not only in error, it is deliberately fraudulent. The truth is that he set out to deliberately concoct a theory that would justify his adolescent, unprovoked, and baseless, preconceived animosity for the Received Text. This observation was made by Colwell when he said: "Hort organized his entire argument to depose the Textus Receptus."46 And again, "Westcott and Hort wrote with two things constantly in mind; the Textus Receptus and the Codex Vatacanus. But they did not hold them in mind with that passive objectivity which romanticists ascribe to the scientific mind."47 In other words, Hort did not have a dispassionate, scholarly approach to his mission as he later tried to imply. He had the rash, impetuous attitude of an ambitious young man seeking to make a name for himself and feeling that the best way to do it was to bring down the King. But as the years passed and Hort began to season, he realized that he was in for a much more involved struggle than he had thought. To get anywhere with his fervent endeavor, he had to have a convincing history of the text in order to sell his contrived and convoluted theory that only one type of text was to be found in the mass of later manuscripts and why this justified the rejection of this type of text.
this point it must be made clear to all that Hort was not a conservative
theologian (if in fact he was not a theologian at all at the beginning
of his crBlipde). Nothing is more indicative of that than the method
that Hort contrived to bring down the King James (He thought it was
one in the same with the Textus Receptus, but this was not quite accurate).
Hort took the position that the New Testament was to be treated like
any other book.48 This means that Hort discounted any divine providence
as having been connected with the work of the 47 "Divines"
appointed by King James and the fact that this had been the Word of
God for God's English-speaking people for nearly 300 years. To Hort
it was solely a question of how scholars had succeeded or failed in
keeping the original text pure and how much careless or tricky and deceitful
men had corrupted it accidentally or by design. These are valid considerations
of course, but they are not the only ones, nor the most significant
ones. But in order to bring down the Textus Receptus,
Hort had to separate it from any notion of God's involvement. Under
no considerations is this Orthodox or conservative in its theology.
principles of criticism explained in the foregoing section hold good
for all ancient texts preserved in a plurality of documents. In dealing
with the text of the New Testament no new principle whatever is needed
other words, the Bible was like any other ancient book. In order for
a valid criticism to be made of the text, no different procedure or
consideration was necessary and none could be allowed. If others were
used, they were illegitimate:
will not be out of place to add here a distinct expression of our belief
that even among the numerous unquestionably spurious readings of the
New Testament there are no signs of deliberate falsification of the
text for dogmatic purposes.50
Here Hort declares that it is not reasonable to make the accBliption that the ancient texts had been deliberately falsified and tampered with to promote and defend heresy. All errors were carelessness or presumption or the part of scribes and copyists. Instead of examining the manuscript for its quality or any hint of devious work, one should look to its history and the path down which it descended. This position made two essential positions acceptable, both of which were vital to Hort. It made it possible for him to use readings that had been corrupted by heretics and thereby rejected by the Fathers as unreliable, in piecing together his imaginary "Alexandrian." This is exactly what he was doing, as we shall see, not only through actual changing of the wording by eclectic principle, but manipulation of the theory to suit his fancy. It was a genius stroke on his part that he was able to successfully appeal to the good will and character of the ancients so as to intimidate scholars away from this consideration. It also laid the ground work for Hort to bring into the textual criticism of the New Testament the family tree method, or genealogy (All changes were accidental or presumptuous and therefore of little importance. History of descent was the real issue), a concept long used by students of the classics. It had never been considered with respect to the Holy Bible for everyone knew that the Bible was not just another ancient book. It is absolutely mystifying that Hort was able to put this over on fundamental and conservative Christian thinkers. How desperate this heady and conceited bunch of young seminarians must have been to break the restraints of Orthodox instruction and tradition so they could each get their name on something original and their grubby little Enlightenment-stained hands on the sacred canon of the Holy Writ.
let us get Hort's own definition of the Genealogical Method:
The proper method of Genealogy consists . . . in the more or less complete recovery of the texts of successive ancestors by analysis and comparison of the varying texts of their respective descendants, each ancestral text so recovered being in its turn used, in conjunction with other similar texts, for the recovery of the text of a yet earlier common ancestor.51
Colwell has this comment on Hort's use of Genealogy:
the justification of their rejection of the majority, Westcott and Hort
found the possibilities of genealogical method invaluable. Suppose that
there are copies of a document and that nine are all copied from one;
then the majority can be safely rejected. Or suppose that the nine are
copied from a lost manuscript and that this lost manuscript and the
other one were both copied from the original; then the vote of the majority
would not outweigh that of the minority. These are the arguments with
which W-H opened their discussion of genealogical method . . . . They
show clearly that a majority of manuscripts is not necessarily to be
preferred as correct. It is this a priori possibility which Westcott
and Hort used to demolish the argument based on the numerical superiority
of the adherents of the Textus Receptus.52
Let us be clear on this point: without the genealogical method there is no Hort theory of textual criticism! This arbitrarily concocted method enabled him to reduce the mass of manuscript testimony to four voices -- "Neutral," "Alexandrian," "Western," and "Syrian."
In summary, the "eclecticist" argued that the "genealogy theory" had proven that the great ancient texts did actually exist and the extant (still existing) documents offer no evidence to support the existence of important textual events previously unknown. If such events had transpired they could alter the interpretation of evidence in Hort's theory, but ''genealogy" has shown that they did not.53
The "great ancient texts" are the Neutral, Alexandrian, Western, and Syrian. New studies show the "Neutral" and "Alexandrian" (Hort's invention) have resulted in only one text which is called "Alexandrian." Another of his self-styled designations the "Syrian" is actually determined to be the "Byzantine." Writers (not textual scholars) like to defer to the "Caesarean," though this is without textual verification. At least three major text-types or recensions pervade the thinking of modern lower critics.
Having (in theory of course) ostensibly succeeded in relegating the enormous volume of Western manuscripts into one text, Hort undertakes to prove that this text was inferior and unimportant. In order to do this he conveniently fathered another orphan: "conflation ."
manuscripts are relegated to certain text-types because they possess
common variations, you can use this as a launching point to throw out
or disallow any ancient manuscript at will. Virtually every early manuscript,
chosen at complete random, can be found to contain isolated or non-characteristic
variations. Hort called these anomalous readings diagnostic. On this
basis he alienated the ones he didn't want from the text type.
He called them mixtures. There was a cunning design to this. Hort was
leading up to his "conflation" theory, which meant a special
kind of mixture. In his words:
clearest evidence for tracing the antecedent factors of mixture in texts
is afforded by readings which are themselves mixed or, as they are sometimes
called, 'conflate,' that is, not simple substitutions of the reading
of one document for that of another, but combinations of the readings
of both documents into a composite whole, sometimes by mere addition
with or without a conjunction, sometimes with more or less of fusion.54
In other words, Hort argued that "conflate readings" must be dated later than the texts which contained the wording from which the "conflations" were made.55 Hort offered eight examples56 to prove his point, which was (remember his preconceived goal was to destroy the Textus Receptus and the English King James) the "Syrian" (Byzantine) text had deliberately fused "Neutral" and "Western" variants into one premeditated and subjective text. It was crucial to Hort's theory and purpose, to show the "Syrian" text to be of a more recent date than the "Neutral" and the "Western" and that there be no evidence of an inversion of the relationships between the three "texts." (An "inversion" would be either the "Neutral" or the "Western" text containing a conflation from the other plus the "Syrian.") Since this could not possibly be factually shown, Hort simply claimed that such inversions do not exist. This subjective and unsubstantiated claim has been widely accepted by the world of modern textual criticism.57 To Vincent Taylor it is "very cogent indeed.''58 Kirsopp acknowledges, agreeably, that it is "the keystone of their theory.59
inventive genius did not stop with the fabricating of the conflation
theory. After long and involved dialogue with peers and critics alike,
he saw the need for more support for the W-H theory. It was then that
he decided to lay claim to the testimony of the ante-Nicene Fathers.
He was not long in coming to a conclusion:
the middle of the third century, at the very earliest, we have no historical
signs of the existence of readings, conflate or other, that are marked
as distinctively Syrian by the want of attestation from groups of documents
which have preserved the other ancient forms of text. This is a fact
of great significance, ascertained as it is exclusively by external
evidence, and therefore supplying an absolutely independent verification
and extension of the result already obtained by comparison of the internal
character of readings as classified by conflation.60
Chrysostom was the first Orthodox Father to commonly use the "Syrian"
text, according to Hort.61 Hort seized on this as being very important
to his theory, as recognized by Kenyon:
contention, which was the corner-stone of his theory, was that readings
characteristic of the Received Text are never found in the quotations
of Christian writers prior to about A.D. 350. Before that date we find
characteristically 'Neutral' and 'Western' readings, but never 'Syrian.'
This is in fact decisive;. . . .62
Lake is also taken in.63 It would appear that Hort had achieved his goal with textual critics of the day. But he is edgy and dissatisfied with the status quo. He looks for still another argument against the "Syrian" text, and comes up with the notion of "internal evidence."
Evidence Readings has two bases: Intrinsic and transcriptional probability.
Intrinsic probability relies upon the author of the text; what reading
makes the best sense, best fits the context, and conforms to the author's
style and purpose? Transcriptional probability has to do with the person
who copied the text; what reading is the result of carelessness or over-judiciousness
on the part of the copyist? Hort is little concerned with inadvertent
mistakes. He presumes that deliberate changes have been made (remember
that the Textus Receptus is Vile and Villainous). This assumption gives
Hort all the reason he needs to establish two important lines of criticism:
brevio lectior potior, "the shorter reading is to be preferred".
(on the assumption that scribes were in the common habit of adding material
to the text), and proclivi lectioni praestat ardua, "the harder
reading is to be preferred" (Hort claimed that this was on the
assumption that scribes automatically tried to simplify the text as
to its reading lucidity. In fact this was at the heart of Hort's whole
venture, as we shall see later. It has long been recognized by friend
and foe alike that the King James is the loftiest and most eloquent
document in the English language. This was a hidden, but deliberate,
attempt on Hort's part to prejudice critics against the literary magnificence
of King James. It is a commentary, in the final analysis, of the low
quality of the minds and characters of textual scholars that he succeeded
so admirably in this.) On the bases of these contradictory inventions
of his, Hort declared the "Syrian" text to be characterized
by "lucidity and completeness," "apparent simplicity,"
"harmonistic assimilation," and as being "conspicuously
a full text."64 By Hart's theory this was an obvious condemnation
that could not be ignored. He went on to say:
themselves Syrian readings hardly ever offend at first. With rare exceptions
they run smoothly and easily in form, and yield at once to even a careless
reader a passable sense, free from surprises and seemingly transparent.
But when distinctively Syrian readings are minutely compared one after
the other with the rival variants, their claim to be regarded as the
original readings is found gradually to diminish, and at last to disappear.65
Hort's character assassination of the "Syrian" text and its authors has been largely accepted by textual scholars who have followed him.66 But even after pronouncing the "Syrian" to be eclectic and recent, Hort was still faced with a large problem. What possible explanation was there as to how and why the "Syrian" existed at all if these be the cases? And how did it become all-popular and all-pervasive from the fifth century on? A Church conspiracy, world wide, to revise and streamline the text to rid it of all problems and make it popular was Hort's answer. Only a mind like his could accuse the holy men of the ages of such nefariousness, sacrilege, and blasphemy. This theory was labeled "The Lucianic Recension and the Peshitta:"
declared that the Syrian text must in fact be the result of a "recension".
In practical fact this means that the text was changed by editors, not
scribes or critics, deliberately and with a specific goal in mind.67
authoritative Revision at Antioch . . . was itself subjected to a second
authoritative Revision carrying out more completely the purposes of
the first. At what date between A.D. 250 and 350 the first process took
place, it is impossible to say with confidence. The final process was
apparently completed by A.D. 350 or thereabouts.68
claim that Lucian (who died in 311) was the ring leader of this vile
conspiracy, was only tentative. But later scholars have picked up on
this (as Hort no doubt counted on them doing) and have became dogmatic.
This has also led to the Syriac-Peshitta text being closely linked to,
and treated the same as the so-called "Lucianic recension."
Because the Peshitta does authenticate the "Byzantine" it
was necessary for Hort to date it later than the second and third centuries.
So he made up a late-recension theory for it too. Again later scholars,
such as F. C. Burkitt, out-did Hort and declared unequivocally that
Rabbula, Bishop of Edessa from A.D. 41 1-435, was the author of the
revision.69 Both ideas have been largely accepted by modern lower criticism.
A quote from H. C. Thiessen, quite representative as to content and
dogma, bears this out:
This [Peshitta] was formerly regarded as the oldest of the Syrian versions; but Burkitt has shown that it is in reality a revision of the Old Syriac made by Rabbula, Bishop of Edessa, about the year 425. This view is now held by nearly all Syriac scholars.... The text of the Peshitta is now identified as the Byzantine text, which almost certainly goes back to the revision made by Lucian of Antioch about A. D. 300.70
have skimmed the basics of the W-H critical theory. Hort achieved his
purpose, that he set out topiano coversd. The King James is indeed in general
disfavor (thankfully there is real indication of solid change on this
but we do not yet know where it will go) with modern textual scholars
and churchmen, even though most of them know nothing at all as to why.
The answers that I personally have gotten are conceived in complete
intellectual, scholastic, and spiritual vacuums. In addition to
Hort, men like Tischendorf, Tregelles, and Alford had done much to undermine
the position of the TR (Textus Receptus). But it was Westcott
and Hort who stuck the Brutian dagger in the back (but no doubt they
were honorable men!). In so doing they opened the book on the enlightenment
era of irreverency, trickery, and the ascendancy of the intellect of
religious men in the Church above the Scriptures and the Orthodox precept
of faith over reason. Writings to this effect are legion.71
None express it better than Dr. Colwell:
dead hand of Fenton John Anthony Hort lies heavy upon us. In the early
years of this century Kirsopp Lake described Hort's work as a failure,
though a glorious one. But Hort did not fail to reach his major goal.
He dethroned the Textus Receptus. After Hort, the late medieval Greek
Vulgate was not used by serious students, and the text supported by
earlier witnesses became the standard text. This was a sensational achievement,
an impressive success. Hort's success in this task and the cogency of
his tightly reasoned theory shaped, and still shapes, the thinking of
those who approach the textual criticism of the NT through the English
This explains the nature and extent to which modern, scholars and editors, with their willful versions, have deliberately, with malice aforethought, departed from the Authorized Version (King James Version). They are all based on the W-H theory and text (even the UBS text of the NIV) whereas the AV is essentially based on the Textus Receptus. But has this mania for criticizing the text (arising from increased materials and "wisdom") achieved any good purpose? Is the RSV for instance, a better text, having made use of the manuscripts? Are these "superior principles of textual criticism" really holier than those employed by the translators of the AV?
guiding principles that led to the wholesale adoption of the W-H text
are based on two manuscripts, Codices B and Aleph.73 Hort says:
is our belief (1) that the readings of K B should be accepted as the
true readings until strong internal evidence is found to the contrary,
and (2) that no readings of B can safely be rejected absolutely. . .
He goes on to say of B and Aleph, "The fullest comparison does but increase the conviction that their preeminent relative purity is likewise approximately absolute, a true approximate reproduction of the text of the autographs."74 One wonders whether the W-H theory and text would ever have seen the light of day had it not been for Codex B. Hort seems to all but admit this in his discussions on genealogy.
The difficulty of recognizing the ancient texts in the Book of Revelation is greater because of the scarcity of documents, and especially the absence or loss of this book from the Vatican MS (B) which is available for nearly all the rest of the New Testament. Here the effectiveness of using a directly genealogical method is greatly hindered.75
The bottom line of the W-H theory, and the original preconceived purpose, was action of the "Syrian" text and an exclusive reliance on the "Neutral" text (a and Aleph). The notion of a "Neutral" text has been discredited since, but the "Syrian" text hangs on. There seems to be a determination not to reconsider the "Syrian" text even though every single one of the arguments Hort used in relegating the Textus Receptus to oblivion has since been discredited. In commenting on the work of Lake and Streeter, as well as his own, J. N. Birdsall declares: "It is evident that all presuppositions concerning the Byzantine text -- or texts -- except texts inferiority to other types, must be doubted and investigated de novo76 (even though its claimed inferiority was based upon those false presuppositions). Recalling what has already been said in the discussion of eclecticism, it seems evident that Clark is right: "textual theory appears to have reached an impasse in our time."77
But the reason why textual scholars will not return to the AV is obvious to Orthodox Christian leaders who reject the "New Papacy" of scholarship. To do so would brand the whole critical-examination movement as questionable and put textual scholars back under the control of the Elders and the Prophets of the Church where they belong!
Hort's purpose was to get rid of the "Syrian" text. This is the only point of his theory that scholars have usually not questioned. By this self-serving neglect (both benign and militant) they have contributed to -- yea, even fostered -- the present confusion and despair. It is certainly time for the Church to question whether Hort was really right about anything. If the scholars will not do it, the prophets will. After all, no segment of religious leadership could hardly be inspired by motives more righteously suspect, employ tactics more academically contradictory and shoddy, or produce a worse result.
we will take up an evaluation and conclusion about the Westcott and
Hort text and method as scholarship.
Hort insisted -- in fact demanded -- that the New Testament be treated exactly like any other book. Is this in any sense orthodox or acceptable? Is there no difference between Plato and the Holy Writ? Can an understanding be arrived at or possessed by the Church of Jesus Christ of the inerrancy and divine origin and intent of the Bible if applying classic literary criticism to it? If the omniscient, omnipotent God gave it to us and the supernatural enemy of the soul has an eternal interest in trying to confuse us about it, what sort of fool would advance such an argument? How then shall the leadership of the Church, in attempting to insure as best as possible the accuracy of translations, be able to determine our responsibilities, for which we are accountable, in contrast to revelation and divine intervention?
Many things could be said (many of which have not been said and need to be) in endeavoring to answer these questions. We will not at all try to exhaust the possibilities. Nor are the things that we will say necessarily the most important in arriving at the final position of orthodoxy. But that is not our goal at the moment. What we want to do for this limited purpose is say some of the things that bear on the W-H theory and how we answer and evaluate it.
one thing, we have some historical eyewitness to help establish a position.
As has become evident with increasing regularity, the facts do not support
Hort's invented claims. He declared that "there are no signs of
deliberate falsification of the text for dogmatic purposes."
Yet this is not the witness of the ante-Nicene Church Fathers:
Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Eusebius, and many other Church Fathers
accused the heretics of corrupting the Scriptures in order to have support
for their special views. In the mid-second century, Marcion expunged
his copies of the Gospel according to Luke of all references to the
blipish background of Jesus. Tatian's Harmony of the Gospels contains
several textual alterations which lent support to ascetic or encratite
an ante-Nicene Father (active in the Church from A.D. 175 to 200) identifies
Asclepiades, Theodotus, Hermophilus, and Apollonides. These were heretics
who were leaders of heretical religious groups. They prepared corrupted
copies of the Scriptures and instructed their followers to make as many
copies of these doctored up, deliberately distorted, and fabricated
scriptures as they could and circulate them.79 Are we to believe that
Hort was ignorant of the writing of the Alexandrian churchrman Origen,
as is evident, there is a great diversity between the various manuscripts,
either through the negligence of certain copyists, or the perverse audacity
shown by some in correcting the text, or through the fault of those,
who, playing the part of correctors, lengthen or shorten it as they
please (In Matth. tom. XV, 14; P. G. XIII, 1293).80
itself had men who changed a reading here and there because of sectarian
bias. According to Epiphanius (ii.36), the orthodox themselves struck
the words "He wept" from Luke 19:41 because they were worried
that it would detract from Christ's deity in the eyes of the people.81
This erroneous position of Hort's has not escaped notice and it has
severely shaken the confidence of some of his earlier followers. Colwell
is one who has had a change of heart and position:
The majority of the variant readings in the New Testament were created for theological or dogmatic reasons. Most of the manuals and handbooks now in print, (including mine!) will tell you that these variations were the fruit of careless treatment which was possible because the books of the New Testament had not yet attained a strong position as "Bible." The reverse is the case. It was because they were the religious treasure of the church that they were changed.82
other words, it was recognized by early ambitious religionists that
the Word of God controlled everything. If you wanted to make changes
in the thinking of the religious world for whatever reason, you had
to first change the text of the Scriptures.
New Testament copies differ widely in nature of errors from copies of
the classics. The percentage of variations due to error in copies of
the classics is large. In the manuscripts of the New Testament most
variations, I believe, were made deliberately.83
difference between sacred writings in constant popular and ecclesiastical
use and the work of a classical author has never been sufficiently emphasized
in the textual criticism of the New Testament. Principles valid for
the textual restoration of Plato or Aristotle cannot be applied to sacred
texts such as the Gospels (or the Pauline Epistles). We cannot assume
that it is possible by a sifting of 'scribal errors' to arrive at the
prototype or autograph text of the Biblical writer.84
H. Oliver comments on the recent mass defection from Hort's position.85
W. M. Pickering comments on deliberate changes in the text, contrary
The fact of deliberate, and apparently numerous, alterations in the early years of textual history is a considerable inconvenience to Hort's theory for two reasons: it introduces an unpredictable variable which the canons of internal evidence cannot handle, and it puts the recovery of the Original beyond reach of the genealogical method.86
We commented on Hort's definition and attempted use of genealogy in
the last chapter. According to Hort this all worked out very nicely
and as anticipated. But textual scholars, both pro and con, who have
focused on this issue, have only been able to come up (and they have
tried, believe me) with one "parent-child" set of manuscripts
among the 5,000 and more that are extant.87 What does this say
about Hort's claim to have carefully and accurately charted the genealogical
descent of the extant MSS? M. M. Parvis gives us the answer in the kind
of plain talk that is piano coversranted at this point: "Westcott and Hort
never applied the genealogical method to the NT MSS . . ."88
Nor is he alone in this position by any means. Colwell says:
Westcott and Hort did not apply this method to the manuscripts of the
New Testament is obvious. Where are the charts which start with the
late manuscripts and climb back through diminishing generations of ancestors
to the Neutral and Western texts? The answer is that they are nowhere.
Look again at the first diagram, and you will see that a, b, c, etc.
are not actual manuscripts of the New Testament, but hypothetical manuscripts.
The demonstrations or illustrations of the genealogical method as applied
to New Testament manuscripts by the followers of Hort, the "Horticuli"
as Lake called them, likewise use hypothetical manuscripts, not actual
codices. Note, for example, the diagrams and discussions in Kenyon's
most popular work on textual criticism, including the most recent edition.
All the manuscripts referred to are imaginary manuscripts, and the later
of these charts was printed sixty years after Hort."89
Hort speaks assuringly of only "occasional ambiguities" in
the evidence for the genealogical relations. He says, confidently:
far as genealogical relations are discovered with perfect certainty,
the textual results which follow from them are perfectly certain, too,
being directly involved in historical facts; and any apparent presumptions
against them suggested by other methods are mere guesses against knowledge.90
truth he had not demonstrated the existence of any such relations, much
less with "perfect certainty?" Another challenge to genealogy
is "mixture." Colwell comments on this fabricated rule of
second limitation upon the application of the genealogical method to
the manuscripts of the New Testament springs from the almost universal
presence of mixture in these manuscripts . . . . The genealogical diagram
printed above (p. 110) from Westcott and Hort shows what happens when
there is no mixture. When there is mixture, and Westcott and Hort state
that it is common, in fact almost universal in some degree, then the
genealogical method as applied to manuscripts is useless . Without mixture
a family tree is an ordinary tree-trunk with its branches--standing
on the branches with the single trunk--the original text--at the top.
The higher up--or the further back-- you go from the mass of late manuscripts,
the fewer ancestors you have! With mixture you reverse this in any series
of generations. The number of possible diagram combinations defies computation,
let alone the drawing of diagrams.91
textual scholars now agree that the genealogical method never was applied
and furthermore it cannot be applied to the New Testament. Thus, Zuntz
says it is inapplicable."92 Vaganay that it is "useless,"93
and Aland that it "cannot be applied to the NT."94 Colwell
also declares emphatically "that it cannot be so applied."95
So what does it tell us about Hort's scholarship, integrity, or honesty,
when he brazenly declares:
skepticism as to the possibility of obtaining a trustworthy genealogical
interpretation of documentary phenomena in the New Testament there is,
we are persuaded, no justification either in antecedent probability
or in experience . . . . Whatever may be the ambiguity of the whole
evidence in particular passages, the general course of future criticism
must be shaped by the happy circumstance that the fourth century has
bequeathed to us two MSS of which even the less uncorrupt must have
been of exceptional purity among its own contemporaries.96
Here Hort has plainly lied! There is no "experience" on which to base these claims and no one knows it better than he. Whether Hort believed that the genealogy-method could someday, somehow be applied, no one can know. But what we do know is that he told textual scholars what he wanted them to believe, (taking advantage of the fact that no one in the world would have guessed that a churchman of Hort's "apparent" stature would even consider doing such a fell deed) when it simply wasn't true in any sense of the word. This is not only not scholarship, it isn't Christian. God in His sovereignty may have allowed it, just as He allowed blip to have a king, but He certainly would not have approved.
After leaving the genealogical method of Hort in shambles, Dr. Colwell concludes by saying, "Yet Westcott and Hort's genealogical method slew the Textus Receptus. The a priori demonstration is logically irrefutable."97
other words, the eloquent, mighty, timeless Word of God for three hundred
years, the King James Bible, has been widely discredited in the Church
-- there are children in Bible schools making fun of it, there are unwitting
preachers in pulpits slandering it -- by an ambitious 23 year old seminarian
armed with an animosity, and ambition to be famous, a diabolical scheme,
and a pack of well thought out lies with no apparent conscience against
telling them when they would suit his purpose. In his own distempered
mind, the end justified the means. Here we can see the religious situation-ethics
of Enlightenment theology at work in our best seminaries in 1860-1890.
Even so, Colwell is "much impressed"98by the built-in conviction
by Hort that genealogy was true, whether demonstrated or not. But this
is sentimental nonsense and scholarly effeteism. The a priori demonstration
to which Colwell pays intellectual homage can have no honor when it
has been openly and thoroughly disproved by later experiences and demonstrations
to the complete contrary! It is remarkable that Dr. Colwell would say
this when he himself, more than a decade earlier, acknowledged that
the "a priori demonstration" (that he here calls logically
irrefutable99 ) has in fact been refuted:
universal and ruthless dominance of the Middle Ages by one text-type
is now recognized as a myth.... The complexities and perplexities of
the mediaeval text have been brought forcibly to our attention by the
work of two great scholars: Hermann von Soden and Kirsopp Lake.... This
invaluable pioneer work of von Soden greatly weakened the dogma of the
dominance of a homogeneous Syrian text. But the fallacy (Hort's and
von Soden's fallacy) received its death blow at the hands of Professor
Lake. In an excursus published with his study of the Caesarean text
of Mark, he annihilated the theory that the Middle Ages were ruled by
a single recension (Hort's Syrian) which attained a high degree of uniformity.100
truth Hort produced nothing concrete at all. There were no "demonstrations"
of anything that Hort claimed. They were all just assumptions; nothing
more than that. For this reason if critical examination of ancient texts
is to continue as an arm of the conservative Orthodox Church (there
is a better-than-good argument that it should not, in light of all of
this) the genealogical method of Hort may certainly not be used in NT
textual scholarship. Says W. M. Pickering,101 "If it was Hort's
genealogical method that 'slew the 'Textus Receptus' then the TR must
still be alive and well -- the weapon was never used." But
Hort claimed to have used it, and the weapon was so fearsome, and he
spoke of the 'results' with such confidence, that he won the day."102
In the face of all of this it has and is continuing, stubbornly and
deliberately by scholars who are motivated not by spirituality, accuracy,
and service to the Church, but academic freedom, recognition, monetary
considerations and above all rebellion against the rules and conformities
of the Orthodox Christian Church:
Westcott and Hort, the genealogical method has been the canonical method
of restoring the original text of the books of the New Testament. It
dominates the handbooks. Sir Frederick Kenyon, C.R. Gregory, Alexander
Souter, and A.T. Robertson are a few of the many who declare its excellence.103
issued this piano coversning twenty years ago and has certainly not lost any
of its urgency:
years ago I joined others in pointing out the limitations in Hort's
use of genealogy and the inapplicability of genealogical method -- strictly
defined -- to the textual criticism of the NT. Since then many
others have assented to this criticism, and the building of family trees
is only rarely attempted. Therefore we might assume that the influence
of Hort's emphasis upon genealogical method is no longer a threat. But
this assumption is false. Hort's brilliant work still captivates our
minds. So when confronted by a reading whose support is minimal and
widely divorced in time and place, we think first and only
of genealogical relationships. Hort has put genealogical blinders on
Lower Criticism continues on as if the genealogical method can be and has been demonstrated. The foundation of all their work is laid to the corner stone of "Genealogy." What does this tell us about their work and their findings?
Hort completely misrepresented Genealogical Evidence. It is simply undeniable that his claimed "results" were a fabrication. If there is no application of the theory to a manuscript, then there are obviously no "results." One modern scholar declared that Hort's Genealogy Theory claims would only have meaning, carry weight, and be acceptable if the textual critic had first indexed every principal Church Father and reduced MSS to families by a laborious process of induction.105 But Hort's claimed results continue to be accepted anyway, by men who are hooked on them and, like Roseau and his mistresses, simply can't give them up. This is acknowledged by George Salmon, who talks about "the servility with which his [Hort] history of the text has been accepted, and even his nomenclature adopted, as if now the last word had been said on the subject of New Testament criticism. . . ."106
discovery of the Papyri has given a closer look at manuscripts. Because
of this, textual scholars have been forced to rethink this matter, whether
or not they want to. This new look has led to some disillusionment and
grumbling. Parvis says:
have reconstructed text-types and families and subfamilies and in so
doing have created things that never before existed on earth or in heaven.
We have assumed that manuscripts reproduced themselves according to
the Mendelian law. But when we have found that a particular manuscript
would not fit into any of our nicely constructed schemes, we have thrown
up our hands and said that it contained a mixed text.107
over-generalization with respect to text-types, especially the "Byzantine,"
is opposed by Wikgren.108 Dr. Colwell later agreed:
The major mistake is made
in thinking of the "old text-types" as frozen blocks, even
after admitting that no one manuscript is a perfect witness to any text-type.
If no one MS is a perfect witness to any type, then all witnesses are
mixed in ancestry (or individually corrupted, and thus parents of mixture).109
after a detailed study of certain portions of B, came to the following
would like to think that observations like these must put an end to
time-honored doctrines such as that the text of B is the 'Neutral' text
or that the 'Western' text is 'the' text of the second century. If the
factors of each of these equations are meant to be anything but synonyms,
they are wrong; if they are synonyms, they mean nothing.110
does not believe that any grouping of manuscripts has significant meaning,111
is still customary to divide manuscripts into the four well-known families:
the Alexandrian, the Caesarean, the Western, and the Byzantine. This
classical division can no longer be maintained....
If any progress is to be expected in textual criticism we have to get
rid of the division into local texts. New manuscripts must not be allotted
to a geographically limited area but to their place in the history of
the text.112 (So much for Hort's "Alexandrian Text," so far
as Klijn is concerned.)
has come to the reluctant but firm conclusion that the Caesarean text
is falling apart before our very eyes.113 Referring to the importance
of P4s, he raises the question, "Was there a fundamental flaw in
the previous investigation which tolerated so erroneous a grouping?
Evidently there was. Could it be the mentality that insists upon thinking
in terms of text-types and recensions as recognized and recognizable
entities?"114 Scholars who have made a sincere and tenacious effort
to collate manuscripts consider Hort's groupings to be a mythological
invention.115 Perhaps the most careful of these was H. C. Hoskier. After
exasperating and exhausting work on collating Codex 604 and its relevance
to other manuscripts, he concludes:
I defy anyone, after having carefully perused the foregoing lists, and after having noted the almost incomprehensible combinations and permutations of both the uncial and cursive manuscripts, to go back to the teaching of Dr. Hort with any degree of confidence. How useless and superfluous to talk of Evan. 604 having a large "Western element," or of its siding in many places with the "neutral text." The whole question of families and recensions is thus brought prominently before the eye, and with space one could largely comment upon the deeply interesting combinations which thus present themselves to the critic. But do let us realize that we are in the infancy of this part of the science, and not imagine that we have successfully laid certain immutable foundation stones, and can safely continue to build thereon. It is not so, and much, if not all, of these foundation must be demolished.116
scholars have taken to the examination of individual text-types. One
of these is Dr. Kenyon. He comments on the "Western"
we have called the S-text, indeed, is not so much a text as a congeries
of various readings, not descending from any one archetype, but possessing
an infinitely complicated and intricate parentage. No one manuscript
can be taken as even approximately representing the s-text, if by "text"
we mean a form of the Gospel which once existed in a single manuscript.117
the Nestle text (25th edition), Dr. Colwell sees no evidence of an identifiable
"Western" group. To the contrary he says that there is a plain
denial of such, "a denial with which I agree."118 Says Dr.
Metzger, "So diverse are the textual phenomena that von Soden was
compelled to posit seventeen sub-groups of witnesses which are more
or less closely related to this text."119 To Klijn, "a 'pure'
or 'original' Western Text simply did not exist."120 Colwell says
of the present-day "Alexandrian" text, which is Hort's "Neutral"
a careful study of all alleged Beta Text-Type witnesses in the first
chapter of Mark, 6 Greek manuscripts emerged as primary witnesses: ¿
B L 33 892 2427. Therefore, the weaker Beta manuscripts C D 157 517
579 1241 and 1342 were set aside. Then on the basis of the 6 primary
witnesses an 'average' or mean text was reconstructed including all
the readings supported by the majority of the primary witnesses. Even
on this restricted basis the amount of variation recorded in the apparatus
was dismaying. In this first chapter, each of the 6 witnesses differed
from the 'average' Beta Text-type as follows: L, nineteen times (Westcott
and Hort, twenty-one times); Aleph, twenty-six times; 2427, thirty-two
times; 33, thirty-three times; B, thirty-four times; and 892, forty-one
times. These results show convincingly that any attempt to reconstruct
an archetype of the Beta Text-type on a quantitative basis is doomed
to failure. The text thus reconstructed is not reconstructed but constructed;
it is an artificial entity that never existed.121
modem scholars refute Hort's typing of the "Byzantine" manuscripts.
"The great bulk of the Byzantine manuscripts defies all attempts
to group them," says Zuntz.122 Dr. Clark agrees:
main conclusion regarding the Byzantine text is that it was extremely
fluid. Any single manuscript may be expected to show a score of shifting
affinities. Yet within the variety and confusion, a few textual types
have been distinguished . . . These types are not closely grouped like
the families, but are the broad Milky Way including many members within
a general affinity.123
net result of modem examination is the rejection of all text-types and
recensions by many of the best scholars today. It is becoming clear
and clearer that these were fanciful inventions of Dr. Hort for which
he had scholars believing that he had firm evidence when in fact he
had none! The confession of Dr. Aland helps put it in perspective:
Earlier, we all shared the opinion, in agreement with our professors and in accord with NT scholarship before and since Westcott and Hort, that in various places, during the fourth century, recensions of the NT text had been made, from which the main text-types then developed.... We spoke of recensions and text-types, and if this was not enough, we referred to pre-Caesarean and other text-types, to mixed texts, and so on.
too, have spoken of mixed texts, in connection with the form of the
NT text in the second and third centuries, but I have always done so
with a guilty conscience. For, according to the rules of linguistic
philology it is impossible to speak of mixed texts before recensions
have been made (they only can follow them), whereas, the NT manuscripts
of the second and third centuries which have a "mixed text"
clearly existed before recensions were made.... The simple fact that
all these papyri, with their various distinctive characteristics, did
exist side by side, in the same ecclesiastical province, that is, in
Egypt, where they were found, is the best argument against the existence
of any text-types, including the Alexandrian and the Antiochian. . .
the increase of the documentary evidence and the entirely new areas
of research which were opened to us on the discovery of the papyri,
mean the end of Westcott and Hort's conception.124
scholarship is now prepared to reject the notion of a "Byzantine"
recension. With this comes the rejection of the Westcott and Hort theory
and the "superior Alexandrian" text. The variation among "Byzantine"
MSS now seem trivial compared to the more than 3,000 disagreements,
many of them very serious indeed, between Aleph and B, the chief "Alexandrian"
MSS. No wonder the Orthodox Fathers rejected them as unreliable. The
unfortunate part is that they did not destroy them entirely. This whole
sad chapter of Hort and his misrepresentations might then have been
have just read where Dr. Colwell takes the position that an "Alexandrian"
archetype never existed. Epp, after extensive studies of "Neutral,"
"Western," and "midway", has this comment:
this rough sketch should not be understood to mean that the manuscripts
mentioned under each of the three categories above necessarily had any
direct connections one with another; rather, they stand as randomly
surviving members of these three broad streams of textual tradition.125
The bottom line is that there is no such thing as a "Western" or "Alexandrian" text-type as distinct from other types. There are only individual MSS. The integrity of the Bible rests, as it has always rested, with earnest and honest men doing the best they can, undergirded by the power and watchful eye of God who will not permit failure to those who look to divine providence. It does not rest on the tricky, uncertain, expedient, and often dishonest abilities of religious scholarship and particularly lower critics.
the preceding chapter we saw that Hort's entire case against the Textus
Receptus rested upon his eight examples. In addition to being ridiculously
few in number, they only appealed to Mark and Luke. To bring the whole
New Testament into condemnation over such trifling "evidence"
is worse than foolish, it is simply an outrage, not only to the Church
in general, but to scholarship itself. As Dr. Colwell saw it:
No text or document is homogeneous enough to justify judgment on the basis of part of its readings for the rest of its readings. This was Hort's Achilles' heel. He is saying here that since these eight conflate readings occur in the Syrian text that text as a whole is a mixed text; if a manuscript or text lacks these readings, it is in its other readings a witness to a text antecedent to mixture....
Westcott and Hort state this fallacy very clearly in their argument for the importance of the evidence of a document as over against readings:
"Where then one of the documents is found habitually to contain these morally certain or at least strongly preferred readings, and the other habitually to contain their rejected rivals, we can have no doubt, first, that the text of the first has been transmitted in comparative purity, and that the text of the second has suffered comparatively large corruption; and, next, that the superiority of the first must be as great in the variations in which Internal Evidence of Readings has furnished no decisive criterion as in those which have enabled Zuntz to form a comparative appreciation of the two texts"
would be true if we knew that there was no mixture involved and that
manuscripts and texts were rigorously homogeneous. Everything we have
learned since Hort confirms the opposite position."126
Most textual scholars have assumed the position that there are many other examples that Hort, or any critic, could call up. But if this is true, where and what are they and why has no one at all, in the long intervening years, brought forth a single one? Why doesn't Harrison, or Kenyon, or Lake produce them? The anomalous effort of E. A. Hutton's An Atlas of Textual Criticism will not work here. His "Triple Variant" fails widely to produce the required phenomena necessary to make a text a conflation by Hort's definition. A few cases of possible "Syrian conflation," such as in Matt. 27:41, John 18:40, Acts 20:28 or Rom. 6:12 have also been arbitrary, anomalous, capricious and unconvincingly put forth. By placing the "Syrian" text in 200 A. D., p66 has disallowed these adventures of Hort and required a legitimate, factual, demonstrative interpretation. The simple fact is, since the Hort theory was willful and theoretical from the start, the "conflation theorists" simply cannot meet these legitimate requirements.
if Hutton's list were taken seriously, it proves nothing and actually
introduces new problems. The ratio of "Alexandrian-Western-Byzantine"
triple variants to possible "Syrian conflations" is about
100: 1. In other words, for every instance where the "Syrian"
text is possibly built on the "Neutral" and "Western"
texts there are a hundred where it is not. Where did the "Syrian"
get the incredible volumes of material that were required to make it
"eclectic?" After all, it could not have come from the other
texts. This has not escaped the attention of Dr. Burgon, who says:
is impossible to 'conflate' in places where B ¿ and their associates
furnish no materials for the supposed conflation. Bricks cannot be made
without clay. The materials actually existing are those of the
Traditional Text itself.127
this point Hort's dam begins to break. Fatal cracks are opening up all
across the face. One such is the willful claim that inversions do not
exist. The problem of course is that they do. In spite of his claim,
Hort actually identified one of each kind; D conflates in John 5:37
and B~ conflates in Col. 1:12 and 2 Thess. 3:4.128 (Perhaps he felt
that scholars did not know the significance of this, or that they would
not notice or not want to notice. If so he was discouragingly right.)
But these that he identified are far from being the only ones.
There are a substantial number of inverted conflations, concerning D,
B, and Aleph, and the "Western" and "Alexandrian".
For example, in Revelation 17:4, Aleph has a conflation of the two main
cursive bodies for that book. Marcion conflates the "Byzantine"
and "Neutral-Western" readings in 1 Corinthians 14:19! In
Bodmer 11, "Syrian" readings are earlier than "Neutral"
readings from 200 A.D.
Bodmer John (p66) is also a witness to the early existence of many of
the readings found in the Alpha text-type (Hort's "Syrian").
Strangely enough to our previous ideas, the contemporary corrections
in that papyrus frequently change an Alpha-type reading to a Beta-type
reading (Hort's "Neutral"). This indicates that at this early
period readings of both kinds were known, and the Beta-type were supplanting
the Alpha-type, at least as far as this witness is concerned.129
after publishing his 450 page findings on Codex B, Hoskier draws this
pointed, almost angry, conclusion:
maligned Textus Receptus served in large measure as the base which B
tampered with and changed .130
Plainly Hort's case against the "Syrian" (Textus Receptus-King James) is a hoax in light of the evidence. Shakespeare would have called it "much ado about nothing." It is not, it never was, and it never will be a serious theological or critical issue in terms of importance, fact, and reality. Unfortunately it has become a serious issue in the Church because of the ignorance of pretentious churchmen and the propensity to attempt to project wisdom and importance by latching on to anything that is new and different. Most often, as in the case of Hort, those things are in error and the kind of error that does serious harm to the Church and Her mission. If anyone is a skeptic, the sad, farcical melodrama of Hort and his vendetta against the great King James Bible should remove all doubts about an enemy of the soul and his ability to work his purposes through false religionists and unwitting men.
of Hort's arbitrary claims was the witness of the ante-Nicene Fathers.
Again, this deliberate falsehood is still believed by many churchmen
today; how many out of ignorance and how many out of desire is up for
anyone's guess. It follows then that many scholars still hold that John
Chrysostom used the "Byzantine" text,131 and that he was the
first one in the history of the Church to have done so. But this too
is commonly discredited by scholars of all persuasion.
on the text of the New Testament usually copy directly from one another
the statement that Chrysostom used the Byzantine, or Antiochian, text.
But if any investigation is made it appears evident, even from the printed
texts of his works, that there are many important variations in the
text he quotes which was evidently not identical with that found in
the MSS of the Byzantine text.132
dissents, citing the findings of Geerlings and New.
has often been stated by textual scholars that Chrysostom was one of
the first Fathers to use the Antiochian text. This opinion was examined
by Jacob Geerlings and Silva New in a study based on evidence which,
in default of a critical edition, was taken from Migne's edition of
Chrysostom's opera. Their conclusions are that "Chrysostom's text
of Mark is not that of any group of manuscripts so far discovered and
classified.... His text of Mark, or rather the text which can faintly
be perceived through his quotations, is a 'mixed text,' combining some
of the elements of each of the types which had flourished before the
end of the fourth century."133
say further: "No known manuscript of Mark has the text found in
Chrysostom's homilies, or anything approaching it. And probably
no text which existed in the fourth century came much nearer to it."134
They did a collation of Chrysostom's text and observe concerning it:
number of variants from the Textus Receptus is not appreciably smaller
than the number of variants from Westcott and Hort's text. This proves
that it is no more a typical representative of the late text (von Soden's
K) than it is of the Neutral text.135
is it any more factual or in keeping with the findings to say that Origen
used the "Neutral" text?
is impossible to reproduce or restore the text of Origen. Origen had
no settled text. A reference to the innumerable places where he is upon
both sides of the question, as set forth in detail herein, will show
this clearly. Add the places where he is in direct opposition to ¿ and
B, and we must reconsider the whole position.136
modern textual scholars have had to come to this position. Zuntz is
one of the more weighty:
insuperable difficulties opposing the establishment of 'the' New Testament
text of Origen and Eusebius are well known to all who have attempted
it.... Leaving aside the common difficulties imposed by uncertainties
of the transmission, the incompleteness of the material, and the frequent
freedom of quotation, there is the incontestable fact that these two
Fathers are frequently at variance; that each of them quotes the same
passage differently in different writings; and that sometimes they do
so even within the compass of one and the same work.... Wherever one
and the same passage is extant in more than one quotation by Origen
or Eusebius, variation between them is the rule rather than the exception.137
Dr. Metzger lends the great weight of his findings: "Origen knows of the existence of variant readings which represent each of the main families of manuscripts that modern scholars have isolated."138 (That includes the "Byzantine.') Edpiano coversd Miller finds that Origen chose the Traditional Text 460 times while siding with the "Neologian" text 491 times.139 (The "Neologian"140 text comprehends both "Neutral" and "Western" readings. The "Traditional Text" is Hort's "Syrian" text.)
In the face of all this it is a startling thing--for which we can simply find no justification--that Hort should have declared: "On the other hand his quotations to the best of our belief exhibit no clear and tangible traces of the Syrian text".141
further declared that Irenaeus relied exclusively on the "Western"
text. Again, scholarship disputes this self-serving pronouncement. Miller
says that Irenaeus sided with the Traditional Text 63 times and with
the "Neologian" text 41 times,142 and adds:
of Poictiers is far from being against the Traditional Text, as has
been frequently said: though in his commentaries he did not use so Traditional
a text as in his De Trinitate and his other works. The texts of Hippolytus,
Methodius, Irenaeus, and even of Justin, are not of that exclusively
Western character which Dr. Hort ascribes to them. Traditional readings
occur almost equally with others in Justin's works, and predominate
in the works of the other three.143
challenges the notion that anything whatsoever has been proved by Hort
in the later mss. claims. He questions the meaning of Hippolytus:
Let us take another most interesting witness, viz. Hippolytus, who, like Lucifer, frequently quotes at such length from both Old and New Testaments that it is absolutely beyond question that he was copying from his exemplar of the Scriptures. Hippolytus cites 1 Thess. iv. 13-17, 2 Thess. ii. 1-12, in full. In the face of these quotations it is seen how loosely Turner argues when he says "Hort was the last and perhaps the ablest of a long line of editors of the Greek Testament, commencing in the eighteenth century, who very tentatively at first, but quite ruthlessly in the end, threw over the LATER in favour of the EARLIER Greek MSS, and that issue will never have to be tried again."
permit me to ask what Mr. Turner means by this lighthearted sentence.
What does he mean by earlier and later Manuscripts? He cannot mean that
Hippolytus' manuscript was later than that of B? Yet, allow me to state
that in the these long passages, comprising twelve consecutive verses
from one epistle and four from the side of what Turner would call the
Dr. Miller finds that the Traditional Text enjoyed a 2:1 advantage over the "Neologian" before Origen. If Justin Martyr, Heracleon, Clement of Alexandria and Tertullian are taken into consideration the advantage of the Traditional Text drops to 1.33:1. From Origen to Macarius Magnus it is 1.24:1 while from Macarius to 400 A.D. it is up to 2:1.145
Miller has understood the seriousness of Hort's implications as well
as anyone and has phrased it, for one place, in the following cite:
is evident that the turning point of the controversy between ourselves
and the Neologian school must lie in the centuries before St. Chrysostom.
If, as Dr. Hort maintains, the Traditional Text not only gained supremacy
at that era but did not exist in the early ages, then our contention
is vain.... On the other hand if it is proved to reach back in unbroken
line to the time of the Evangelists, or to a period as near to them
as surviving testimony can prove, then Dr. Hort's theory of a 'Syrian'
text formed by recension or otherwise just as evidently falls to the
Miller was a thorough and formidable scholar and, along with Burgon, he plumbed the depths of the testimony of the ante-Nicene Fathers as much as anyone has and perhaps, from a practical point of view, as much as anyone can or will. His findings are in the light of Burgon's massive index of 86,489 citations of the Fathers, from the New Testament. He says:
to the alleged absence of readings of the Traditional Text from the
writings of the ante-Nicene Fathers, Dr. Hort draws largely upon his
imagination and his wishes. The persecution of Diocletian is here also
the parent of much want of information. But is there really such a dearth
of these readings in the works of the Early Fathers as is supposed?147
made a toilsome examination for myself of the quotations occurring in
the writings of the Fathers before St. Chrysostom, or as I defined them
in order to draw a self-acting line, of those who died before 400 A.D.,
with the result that the Traditional Text is found to stand in the general
proportion of 3:2 against other variations, and in a much higher proportion
upon thirty test passages. Afterpiano coversds, not being satisfied with resting
the basis of my argument upon one scrutiny, I went again through the
writings of the seventy-six Fathers concerned (with limitations explained
in this book), besides others who yielded no evidence, and I found that
although several more instances were consequently entered in my note-book,
the general results remained almost the same. I do not flatter myself
that even now I have recorded all the instances that could be adduced:-any
one who is really acquainted with this work will know that such a feat
is absolutely impossible, because such perfection cannot be obtained
except after many repeated efforts. But I claim, not only that my attempts
have been honest and fair even to self abnegation, but that the general
results which are much more than is required by my argument, as is explained
in the body of this work, abundantly establish the antiquity of the
Traditional Text, by proving the superior acceptance of it during the
period at stake to that of any other.148
other words, Miller found that the ante-Nicene Fathers used the Textus
Receptus, and preferred its reading far more than any other text. Kenyon
believed that Dr. Miller's demonstration was conclusive and that
he had stated the results correctly:
is a plain issue. If it can be shown that the readings which Hort calls
"Syrian" existed before the end of the fourth century, the
keystone would be knocked out of the fabric of his theory; and since
he produced no statistics in proof of his assertion [!], his opponents
were perfectly at liberty to challenge it. It must be admitted that
Mr. Miller did not shirk the test. A considerable part of his work as
editor of Dean Burgon's papers took the form of a classification of
patristic quotations, based upon the great indices which the Dean left
behind him, according as they testify for or against the Traditional
Text of the Gospels. The results of his examination are stated by him
as follows. Taking the Greek and Latin (not the Syriac) Fathers who
died before A.D. 400, their quotations are found to support the Traditional
Text in 2,630 instances, the "neologian" in 1753. Nor is this
majority due solely to the writers who belong to the end of this period.
On the contrary, if only the earliest writers be taken, from Clement
of Rome to Irenaeus and Hippolytus, the majority in favour of the Traditional
Text is proportionately even greater, 151 to 34. Only in the Western
and Alexandrian writers do we find approximate equality of votes on
either side. Further, if a select list of thirty important passages
be taken for detailed examination, the preponderance of early patristic
evidence in favour of the Traditional Text is seen to be no less than
530 to 170, a quite overwhelming majority. Now it is clear that if these
figures were trustworthy, there would be an end to Hort's theory, for
its premises would be shown to be thoroughly unsound.149
would do well to grasp the crucial nature of this dispute between Kenyon
and Miller. Hort has firmly declared that not a single "strictly
Byzantine" reading is to be found in the extant works of any Church
Father who dates before Chrysostom (A.D. 407). To expose Hort's adventurism,
we need only discover one "strictly Byzantine" reading. This
would prove that the "Byzantine" did exist at the early date.
Hort's claim here is not to quality or quantity but that it simply did
not exist. One legitimate cite would put the lie to that claim. Remember
that the issue in this debate is the existence of the "Byzantine"
readings, not necessarily their dominance. Miller states that the "Byzantine"
text not only existed but that was by far the choice of the ante-Nicene
far as the Fathers who died before 400 A.D. are concerned, the question
may now be put and answered. Do they witness to the Traditional Text
as existing from the first, or do they not? The results of the evidence,
both as regards the quantity and the quality of the testimony, enable
us to reply, not only that the Traditional Text was in existence, but
that it was predominant, during the period under review. Let any one
who disputes this conclusion make out for the Western Text, or the Alexandrian,
or for the Text of B and ¿ a case from the evidence of the Fathers which
can equal or surpass that which has been now placed before the reader.150
Kenyon nor anyone else that we know of has shown, or attempted to show
what Miller requires. Kenyon did answer Miller, but chose to criticize
his conclusions rather than challenge his findings with evidence:
examination of them however, shows that they cannot be accepted as representing
in any way the true state of the case. In the first place, it is fairly
certain that critical editions of the several Fathers, if such existed,
would show that in many cases the quotations have been assimilated in
later MSS to the Traditional Text, whereas in the earlier they agree
rather with the "Neutral" or "Western" witnesses.
For this defect, however, Mr. Miller cannot be held responsible. The
critical editions of the Greek and Latin Fathers, now in course of production
by the Academies of Berlin and Vienna, had covered very little of the
ground at the time when his materials were compiled, and meanwhile he
might legitimately use the materials accessible to him; and the errors
arising from this source would hardly affect the general result to any
very serious extent.151
complaining about "critical editions" which Miller used, Kenyon
concedes that "the errors arising from this source would hardly
affect the general result." Then Kenyon, like his mentor Hort,
chooses to defend his beliefs by arbitrary and theoretical claims that
the quotations which Miller cites were "assimilated in later MSS
to the Traditional Text." This fanciful argument has been taken
up by many scholars who are grasping at anything that will stem the
rising tide of belief by textual scholars (based upon evidence this
time) of an early "Byzantine" text. But first let us hear
the rest of Kenyon's argument against Miller:
real fallacy in his statistics is different, and is revealed in the
detailed examination of the thirty select passages. From these it is
clear that he wholly misunderstood Hort's contention. The thirty "traditional"
readings, which he shows to be so overwhelmingly vindicated by the Fathers,
are not what Hort would call pure "Syrian" readings at all.
In nearly every case they have Western or Neutral attestation in addition
to that of the later authorities.152 [Kenyon gives examples: Matt. 17:21,
Matt. 18:11, Matt. 19:16, Matt. 23:38, Mark 16:9-20, Luke 24:40, and
John 21:25.] In short, Mr. Miller evidently reckoned on his side every
reading which occurs in the Traditional Text, regardless of whether,
on Hort's principles, they are old readings which kept their place in
the Syrian revision, or secondary readings which were then introduced
for the first time. According to Hort, the Traditional Text is the result
of a revision in which old elements were incorporated; and Mr. Miller
merely points to some of these old elements, and argues from there that
the whole is old. It is clear that by such argumentation Hort's theory
Kenyon is not trying to meet the argument head on nor is he sincere in his answer. He is struggling for survival and using the superfluity of clever words to lure the reader off onto a false path. Kenyon could not have replied as intelligently as he did unless he had pored over Miller's findings. He selectively omitted the most telling readings: "to repentance" in Matt. 9:13 and Mark 2:17,154 "vinegar" In Matt. 27:34,"155 "from the door" in Matt. 28:2,156; the prophets" in Mark 1:2,157; "goodwill" in Luke 2:14,158; the Lord's prayer for His murderers in Luke 23:34,159 , and honeycomb" in Luke 24:42,160 and "whom" in John 17:24.161
All of these were included in Millers "The Thirty." They are "strictly Syrian" readings, or at least that which Hort called "Syrian" and labeled a "late" text. Yet Kenyon chose to ignore the traditional readings, as did the Revision Committee of 1881. We cannot help but wonder why. No doubt it is because they are proof-positive of the early existence of the "Syrian" or "Byzantine" text. What are you going to say if you are Kenyon or someone else who refuses to abandon the Hort theory? There is little you can do but what Kenyon did. You can beg the issue on the best ground you can find and refuse to acknowledge that which you simply cannot answer.
Kenyon claims that Miller's figures are misleading and that his argument has not laid a glove on Hort, but he offers no proof or explanation for that statement. It seems to us that Miller knocks Hort into a cocked hat. He also avoids the subject of "secondary readings" that are supported by the writings of the ante-Nicene Fathers. Miller has truly and accurately stated his case that the Traditional Text ("Byzantine") receives more support from the early Church Fathers than does the W-H critical text used by the English Revision Committee of the 1881 edition. Additionally, there were many "Western" and "Alexandrian" readings that were used by the ante-Nicene Fathers which were rejected by the 1881 Revision Committee. For that reason they were not at issue so Miller did not include them. Had they been included, the "Alexandrian" readings with the witness of the ante-Nicene Fathers might be more in number than the "Byzantine". But bear in mind that it is not quality or numerical superiority that we are looking for here. It is mere existence! That is all that is necessary to show that Hort's entire theory is wrong on this account alone, as Kenyon himself acknowledged at the beginning of this comment.
answer, or attempted answer, either creates or at the least identifies
another problem for Hort's theory of Textual Criticism. In talking
about "pure Syrian readings" he appears to argue that the
"Syrian" text cannot contain any reading that comes from,
refers to, or has anything in common with the "Western" or
"Alexandrian" texts. But what exactly is Kenyon referring
to? What are the "late Elements" to which he objects
and which he seems to be denying? This very issue was the subject
of an exhaustive study by E. F. Hills, who comes to the conclusion:
second accBliption commonly urged against the Byzantine text is that
it contains so many late readings. A text with all these late readings,
it is said, must be a late text. But it is remarkable how few actually
were the Byzantine readings which Westcott and Hort designated as late.
In his Notes on Select Readings Hort discussed about 240 instances of
variation among the manuscripts of the Gospels, and in only about twenty
of these instances was to characterize the Byzantine reading as a late
reading. Thus it would seem that even on Hort's own admission only about
ten percent of the readings of the Byzantine text are late readings,
and since Hort's day the number of these allegedly late Byzantine readings
has been gradually dwindling.162 (Hort of course claimed that the entire
Syrian was "late".)
Wilbur Pickering, the best (in my view) of the current defenders of
the traditional text, sums up this debate between Miller and Kenyon:
It seems clear the "Byzantine" text cannot win in a court presided over by a judge of Kenyon's bent. Whenever an early witness surfaces it is declared to be "Alexandrian" or "Western" or "Caesarean" and thereupon those "Syrian" readings which it contains cease to be "pure Syrian" and are no longer allowed as evidence. Such a procedure is evidently useful to defenders of Hort's theory, but is it right?
is commonplace among the many who are determined to despise the "Byzantine"
text to dodge the issue, as Kenyon did above. The postulates of Hort's
theory are assumed to be true and the evidence is interpreted on the
basis of these presuppositions. Apart from the imaginary nature
of the "Alexandrian" and "Western" texts, as strictly
definable entities, their priority to the "Byzantine" text
is the very point to be proved and may not be assumed.163
In an enormously gracious effort to be fair (which characterized his scholarship and his work) Miller culled from his list every reading that could possibly be questioned. He was still left with 2,630 quotations, from 76 of the ante-Nicene Fathers, from A. D. 100-400, which supported the "Byzantine" text and differed from the readings chosen by the 1881 Revision Committee. This was a most curious and significant oversight indeed. We wonder at the objectivity of the men who were involved in this decision. Who can sensibly argue that all of these were deliberate alterations? It simply cannot be accepted by any sensible person.
Hills, in summarizing the matter, uses the case of the ante-Nicene Father
the first fourteen chapters of the Gospel of John (that is, in the area
covered by Papyrus Bodmer 11) out of 52 instances in which the Byzantine
text stands alone, Origen agrees with the Byzantine text 20 times and
disagrees with it 32 times. Thus the assertion of the critics that Origen
knew nothing of the Byzantine text becomes difficult indeed to maintain.
On the contrary, these statistics suggest that Origen was familiar with
the Byzantine text and frequently adopted its readings in preference
to those of the Western and Alexandrian texts. Naturalistic critics,
it is true, have made a determined effort to explain away the "distinctively"
Byzantine readings which appear in the New Testament quotations of Origen
(and other ante-Nicene Fathers). It is argued that these Byzantine readings
are not really Origen's but represent alterations made by scribes who
copied Origen's works. These scribes, it is maintained, revised the
original quotations of Origen and made them conform to the Byzantine
text. The evidence of Papyrus Bodmer 11, however, indicates that this
is not an adequate explanation of the facts. Certainly it seems a very
unsatisfactory way to account for the phenomena which appear in the
first fourteen chapters of John. In these chapters, 5 out of the 20
"distinctively" Byzantine readings which occur in Origen occur
also in Papyrus Bodmer 11. These 5 readings at least must have been
Origen's readings, not those of scribes who copied Origen's works, and
what is true of these 5 readings is probably true of the other 15, or
at least of most of them.164
Hort's claim that John Chrysostom was the first to use the "Syrian" text, which was "obviously eclectic," is made in an historic, theological, and scholarly vacuum. It simply is not true. It was invented by Hort to give theoretical support to his texting scheme, as so many of his claims were. This is becoming clear with increasing regularity.
The "Byzantine" text is testified to and clearly seen in Diognetus, and Justin Martyr in the first half of the second century; Athenagorus, Hegesippus, and very pronouncedly in Irenaeus in the second half; by Clement of Alexander, Tertullian, Clementines, Hippolytus, and Origen in the first half of the third century; Gregory of Thaumaturgus, Novatian, Cyprian, Dionysius of Alexander, and Archelaus in the second half of the third; by Eusebius, Athanasius, Macarius Magnus, Hilary, Didymus, Basil, Titus of Bostra, Cyril of JerBliplem, Gregory of Nyssa, Epiphanius, and Ambrose in the fourth century (along with the Apostolic canons and constitutions). And now we can add the testimony of the early Papyri to that list. And as we have mentioned it, what about the testimony of the early Papyri?
Hort's day the early Papyri were not known to exist. The Westcott and
Hort theory of textual criticism would never have seen the light of
day if they had been known. Every one of them (300 A.D. or earlier)
gives us some historical record of readings from the "Byzantine"
text. Dr. G. Zuntz made a long and involved study of p46 (one of the
early Papyri). His conclusion was:
sum up, a number of Byzantine readings, most of them genuine, which
previously were discarded as 'late', are anticipated by p46, . . How
then--so one is tempted to go on asking--where no Chester Beatty papyrus
happens to vouch for the early existence of a Byzantine reading? Are
all Byzantine readings ancient? In the cognate case of the Homeric tradition,
G. Pasquali answers the same question in the affirmative.165
Colwell tolls on to Zuntz's comments,166 and says of the "Byzantine"
text, "Most of its readings existed in the second century."167
To Dr. Hills, the Beatty Papyri Vindicate 26 proves the early existence
of the "Byzantine" readings in the Gospels, 8 in Acts and
31 in Paul's epistles.168 Of p66 he says:
be precise, Papyrus Bodmer 11 contains thirteen percent of all the alleged
late readings of the Byzantine text in the area which it covers (18
out of 138). Thirteen percent of the Byzantine readings which most critics
have regarded as late have now been proved
by Papyrus Bodmer 11 to be early readings.169 (This means that "Byzantine
was not a "late"; but an early text--as early as A. D. 200.)
Literally hundreds of studies -- some exhaustive and complete, some preliminary--are available to show the same conclusions. None are more conclusive that that of H. A. Sturz,170 who surveyed "all the available papyri" to determine whether in fact "papyrus supported" readings of the "Byzantine" really did and do exist. Like most all of the recent proponents of the early date of the "Byzantine" he determined to "err on the conservative side." Some of this is for objectivity's sake, some out of consideration of the very upset feelings of textual scholars who see their glory slipping away, and some for conscience' sake. Except for these charitable considerations, the list could be "many times" longer. (p. 106). Even for all of this, there are more than 150 "distinctively Byzantine" readings that have early (before 300 A.D.) papyrus support (pp. 108-26). There are 170 "Byzantine-Western" readings with early papyrus support (pp. 128-46); 170 "Byzantine-Alexandrian" readings with early papyrus support (pp. 149-64); and 175 further "Byzantine" readings but which have scattered 'Western" or "Alexandrian" support, also supported by the early papyrus.171 There are an additional 195 cites of lesser merit for the "Byzantine" (but nonetheless with papyrus support) which he does not list (apparently feeling that the irresistible weight of what has already been given is sufficient to dispel doubt in fair and reasonable men.).172 The sheer force of this evidence is simply overwhelming. Bear in mind that only about 30 percent of the New Testament has early papyrus attestation, and much of that 30 percent has only one papyrus. Where more than one covers a stretch of text, each new MS discovered bears testimony to Byzantine readings. Following this development, all 5000+ Byzantine readings rejected by the critical (eclectic) texts would be supported by the early papyrus. Thus Hort's claim for thorough treatment of external evidence has no basis in fact and proves to be another deliberately false and misleading tactic with a hidden agenda.
Internal evidence readings is supposed to be Hort's strongest suit but is it? Will study that is acceptable by the true rules of scholarship bear that out? Again the answer is "no", as we shall see.
lofty claims notwithstanding, Hort himself recognized its weaknesses.
He said of Intrinsic Evidence of Readings, "equally competent critics
often arrive at contradictory conclusions as to the same variations."173
A bit later in the same discourse, he stated:
only are mental impulses unsatisfactory subjects for estimates of comparative
force; but a plurality of impulses recognized by ourselves as possible
in any given case by no means implies a plurality of impulses as having
been actually in operation.174
anyone have said it better? No textual scholar, when confronted with
a set of variant readings, can either be certain himself, or prove to
others, how these variants were actually produced or why. Hort made
a lot of good statements (this was one of the ways in which he took
so many pretentious and gullible souls with him) but he was never found
to be taking his own advice. Another example is what follows:
summary decisions inspired by an unhesitating instinct as to what an
author must needs have written, or dictated by the supposed authority
of "canons of criticism" as to what transcribers must needs
have introduced, are in reality in a large proportion of cases attempts
to dispense with the solution of problems that depend on genealogical
we will have to rephrase or paraphrase Hort if we are to agree fully
with his statement. Had he said, "external evidence" instead
of "genealogical data" we would all be on the same page (so
to speak). Even so, Hort's statement was not bad, but it was another
deceitful cover-up to put observers off of his track. This has not escaped
the notice of Dr. Pee, who observes cryptically:
internal evidence of readings was also the predominant factor in the
choice of his "Neutral" text over the "Western"
and "Alexandrian" texts ... and his choice of B....
other words, he was guilty of a practice that he himself condemned.
Hort did not come to position on the Byzantines and B by the genealogical
method because he had problems with "external evidence."176
The fact that "Internal Evidence" is very unsatisfactory at
arriving at honest and accurate conclusions about texts, their age,
and their integrity, has been widely recognized over a long period of
time and by scholars of all persuasions. Colwell singles out the "transcriptional
probability" for criticism:
these two criteria frequently clash in a head-on collision, because
ancient scribes as well as modern editors often preferred the reading
which best fits the context.177 If we choose the reading that best explains
the origin of the other reading, we are usually choosing the reading
that does not fit the context. The two criteria cancel each other out.178
theory leaves the textual critic free to "choose in terms of his
own prejudgments.''179 This, in the final analysis, is what scholars
find so maddeningly attractive about the W-H theory and why they will
not give it up. The sense of importance that comes with messing around
with the text of the Holy Scriptures, thus having such power over the
lives of the Church, is more than most egocentric intellectuals can
resist. If the name of the game in society in general is power, multiply
that by a factory of about 100 when it comes to textual scholars. Still
its dreadful deficiencies are evident to most. Burgon comments:
these are the product of personal bias, or limited observation: and
where one scholar approves, another dogmatically condemns. Circumstantial
evidence is deservedly rated low in the courts of justice: and lawyers
always produce witnesses when they can.180
venture to declare that inasmuch as one expert's notions of what is
'transcriptionally probable' prove to be the diametrical reverse of
another expert's notions, the supposed evidence to be derived from this
source may, with advantage, be neglected altogether. Let the study of
Documentary Evidence be allowed to take its place. Notions of 'Probability'
are the very best of those departments of Science which admit of an
appeal to Fact.181
also piano coversns of the danger of a system of strict canons.
are ordinarily so constituted, that when they have once constructed
a system of Canons they place no limits to the operation,
and become slaves to them."182
Nothing in the world could be truer of that adage than the strange case of the continuing loyalty to the completely debunked and discredited textual theory of Fenton J. Hort.
lectio potior means "the shorter reading is to be preferred."
This has been one of the most common and successful piano helps on the "Byzantine"
text. Hort gives the rationale for this contrived, arbitrary, and self-serving
theory: "In the New Testament, as in almost all prose writings
which have been much copied, corruptions by interpolation are many times
more numerous than corruptions by omission.''183 Accordingly it has
been customary since Hort to condemn the Received Text as being full
and interpolated. B and Aleph are honored as being "non-interpolated"
texts.184 But what is the historic, scholarly, evidentiary basis for
the adage that interpolations are "many times more numerous"
than omissions in the transmission of the New Testament, or are there
any? This is an interesting point to ponder for a bit. There are many
scholars who consider this to be another convenient invention of Hort's.
Dr. B. H. Streeter is one of them:
speaks of "the almost universal tendency of transcribers to make
their text as full as possible, and to eschew omissions"; and infers
that copyists would tend to prefer an interpolated to an uninterpolated
text. This may be true of some of the local texts of the second century;
it is the very opposite of the truth where scribes or editors trained
in the tradition of Alexandrian textual criticism are concerned. The
Alexandrian editors of Homer were as eagle-eyed to detect and obelise
(My note: I assume this is obelize,
which "means to be marked with the obelus,"
an ancient manuscript mark used to indicate a suspect reading, or one
that was at least in doubt) "interpolations" in Homer as a
modern critic .... That Christian scholars and scribes were capable
of the same critical attitude, we have irrefragable evidence.... The
notion is completely refuted that the regular tendency of scribes was
to choose the longer reading, and that therefore the modern editor is
quite safe so long as he steadily rejects .... Now, whoever was responsible
for it, the B text has been edited on the Alexandrian principle.185
C. Clark, Corpus Professor of Latin at Oxford, has put Hort's notion
in an entirely new light recently. In The Descent of Manuscripts, an
investigation of the manuscript tradition of the Greek and Latin Classics,
he proves conclusively that the error to which scribes were most prone
was not interpolation but accidental omission.... It had been unilaterally
accepted that maxim brevor lectio potior . . .was an axiom of scientific
criticism. Clark has systematically debunked that notion. In fact, just
the opposite is true: the longer the reading, the more apt it is to
be original.186 With evidence that is not as new and refreshing as Clark
(because it came along before, for one thing) but nevertheless honorable
in every way, Burgon had already strongly objected to this most subjective
indeed can it possibly be more true to the infirmities of copyists,
to the verdict of evidence on the several passages, and to the origin
of the New Testament in the infancy of the Church and amidst associations
which were not literary, to suppose that a terse production was first
produced and afterpiano coversds was amplified in a later age with a view to
'lucidity and completeness,' rather than that words and clauses and
sentences were omitted upon definitely understood principles in a small
class of documents by careless or ignorant or prejudiced scribes?187
a rule the copyist, especially when at the work of revision, is inclined
to amplify the text.... But the rule suffers many exceptions.... Distraction
of the copyist, ... intentional corrections.... And finally,... the
fundamental tendency of some recension, of which a good example is the
Egyptian recension.... And also we must not forget that the writers
of the New Testament were Orientals, who are more given to length than
actually suggests that other imagined restraint, "the longer reading
is preferable," would do just as well, or better:
reflection we do not seem able to find any reason for thinking that
the maxim lectio brevior potior really holds good. We can only hope
that a fuller acquaintance with the problems concerned will enable us
increasingly to discern reasons in each instance why the longer or the
shorter reading seems more probable.189
admirable and challenging study of scribal habits (to which we commented
before) uses the illustration of three early papyri: p4S, p66, and P's.
The study demonstrates that generalizations about scribal habits simply
cannot accurately and profitably be made and that ideas about variant
readings and text-types based on such hopeful criteria should by all
means be reevaluated:
The characterization of these singular readings can go no further until the individual scribes have been characterized. Their peculiar readings are due to their peculiarities. This has been well said by Dain. He reminds us that although all scribes make mistakes and mistakes of the same kind, yet each scribe has a personal coefficient of the frequency of his mistakes. Each has his own pattern of errors. One scribe is liable to dittography, another to the omission of lines of text; one reads well, another remembers poorly; one is a good speller; etc., etc. In these differences must be included the seriousness of intention of the scribe and the peculiarities of his own basic method of copying.190
In general, P75 copies letters one by one; p66 copies syllables, usually two letters in length. P45 copies phrases and clauses. The accuracy of these assertions can be demonstrated. That P75 copied letters one by one is shown in the pattern of the errors. He has more than sixty readings that involve a single letter, and not more than ten careless readings that involve a syllable. But p66 drops sixty-one syllables (twenty-three of them in "leaps") and omits as well a dozen articles and thirty short words. In P45 there is not one omission of a syllable in a "leap" nor is there any list of "careless" omissions of syllables. P45 omits words and phrases.191
As an editor the scribe of P45 wielded a sharp axe. The most striking aspect of his style is its conciseness. The dispensable word is dispensed with. He omits adverbs, adjectives, nouns, participles, verbs, personal pronouns-- without any compensating habit of addition. He frequently omits phrases and clauses. He prefers the simple to the compound word. In short, he favors brevity. He shortens the text in at least fifty places in singular readings alone. But he does not drop syllables or letters. His shortened text is readable.192
Enough of these have been cited to make the point that p66 editorializes as he does everything else--in a sloppy fashion. He is not guided in his changes by some clearly defined goal which is always kept in view. If he has an inclination topiano coversd omission, it is not "according to knowledge," but is whimsical and careless, often leading to nothing but nonsense.193
has 54 leaps forpiano coversd, and 22 backpiano coversd; 18 of the forpiano coversd leaps are haplography.
P75 has 27 leaps forpiano coversd, and 10 backpiano coversd. P45 has 16 leaps forpiano coversd,
and 2 backpiano coversd. From this it is clear that the scribe looking for his
lost place looked ahead three times as often as he looked back. In other
words, the loss of position usually resulted in a loss of text, an omission194
Again it seems that the truth lies in just the opposite direction from the hopeful and dishonest claims of Dr. Hort. Interpolations are not "many times more numerous" than omissions. Omission is more common as an unintentional error than addition. Furthermore P45 shows that some scribes made deliberate and extensive omissions. And so it turns out that the "fullness" of the Traditional Text proves its superiority, not its inferiority.
weapon in Hort's desperate and all-out piano covers against the "Byzantine"
text was proclivi lectiori praestat ardua. This meant that the harder
reading is to be preferred. This was based upon the unfounded idea that
scribes had an ingrained tendency to streamline and simplify readings,
particularly if they had trouble understanding them. Again Hort offered
no statistics, studies, or evidence to support this pronouncement. He
just said that it was so and everyone believed it. Hort had analyzed
well the temperament. He knew that men wanted to believe him and
that if he was positive, and a convincing reasoner (he certainly was
that) they would follow without evidence. In fact, in this kind of a
game, the less evidence the better, for evidence could be a distinct
problem. But as in the case of the shorter-reading notion, the
truth almost certainly lay in the opposite direction. Vaganay
was of this persuasion:
the more difficult reading is not always the more probably authentic.
The rule does not apply, for instance, in the case of some accidental
errors . . . . But, what is worse, we sometimes find difficult or intricate
readings that are the outcome of intentional corrections. A copyist,
through misunderstanding some passage, or through not taking the context
into account, may in all sincerity make something obscure that he means
to make plain.195
Metzger notes St. Jerome was in the habit of complaining about this
complained of the copyists who "write down not what they find but
what they think is the meaning; and while they attempt to rectify the
errors of others, they merely expose their own.''196
who has ever listened closely to the average preacher or Sunday School
teacher trying to explain an elusive passage, knows exactly what St.
Jerome was talking about. Obviously, most changes would result in harder
readings of the text. Apart from the deductive point of view, changing
of the text for any reason was not allowed by the rules of the Orthodox
Fathers. Once a scribe or a copyist took this upon himself there was
no disciplining of him and we have no way of knowing what he might have
done. Certainly a complicating, not a simplifying, of the text would
have resulted in most cases. And in all cases, such a text was rendered
invalid. And then too, a skillful manipulator would have the ingenuity
and the will to doctor the text to make it look valid. What better example
of that do we need than Dr. Hort himself and the so-called "Alexandrian"
text? Hort is a prime example of this sort of imagination and ingenuity.
Zuntz points this up:
Hort's dealing with this and the other patristic evidence for this passage
[I Cor. 13:3] requires a word of comment. No one could feel greater
respect, nay reverence, for him than the present writer; but his treatment
of this variant, in making every piece of the evidence say the opposite
of its true meaning, shows to what distortions even a great scholar
may be driven by the urge to square the facts with an erroneous, or
at least imperfect theory. Souter, Plummer, and many others show the
aftereffect of Dr. Hort's tenacity.197
which gained Hort so many adherents had some adverse influence with
myself -- I mean his extreme cleverness as an advocate; for I have felt
as if there were no reading so improbable that he could not give good
reasons for thinking it to be the only genuine.198
Hemphill commented on Hort's role in the New Testament Committee that
produced the Revised Version of 1881:
is it difficult to understand that many of their less resolute and decided
colleagues must often have been completely carried off their feet by
the persuasiveness and resourcefulness, and zeal of Hort, . . . In fact,
it can hardly be doubted that Hort's was the strongest will of the whole
Company, and his adroitness in debate was only equaled by his pertinacity.199
Dr. W. M. Pickering:
would appear that the composition of the Greek text used by the English
Revisers -- and consequently for the RSV, NASB, etc. -- was determined
in large measure by Hort's cleverness and pertinacity, inspired by his
devotion to a single Greek manuscript.200
that the twenty-three year old Hort considered -- indeed accused --
the Textus Receptus to be "villainous" and "vile"
at a time when he admittedly knew nothing of the matter, long before
he did comprehensive (if in fact he ever did) work on the text and when
he could not possibly have had an educated opinion as to variant readings.
His life's dedication was to bring down the Textus Receptus. How honest
and objective do you suppose Hort was trying to be with his input on
the committee of 1881? What is true of Hort in this respect is sadly
evident with many of his disciples. Elliott and Kilpatrick, for example,
make much of their open-mindedness. They profess to have no predispositions
on text-types. But this having said, they fly immediately to Hort's
"Tree of Descent" and lodge smugly in the branches of his
arbitrarily-contrived canons of internal evidence. Even so, their conclusions
are revealing. Elliott says that the "Byzantine" text was
right about as often as Aleph and D, the chief representatives of the
"Alexandrian" and "Western" texts (in the Pastorals).201
to Dr. Kilpatrick:
principal conclusion is that the Syrian text is frequently right. It
has avoided at many points mistakes and deliberate changes found in
other witnesses. This means that at each variation we must look at the
readings of the Byzantine manuscripts with the possibility in mind that
they may be right. We cannot dismiss their characteristic variants as
being in principle secondary.202
But while leaving the door ajar to honest inspection, this kind of procedure is not really satisfactory. The inescapable problem with any and all conclusions with subjective criteria as their foundation, is that they are and can only be opinion. There is no objective way to prove their voracity.
final plank in Dr. F. J. A. Hort's textual criticism platform (for our
discussion at least) was his "Lucian Recension and Peshitta"
theory. Like all of the others this, as Burgon points out forcefully,
was an invention of Hort's fruitful mind and imagination.
however from the gross intrinsic improbability of the supposed Recension
-- the utter absence of one particle of evidence, traditional or otherwise,
that it ever did take place -- must be held to be fatal to the hypothesis
that it did. It is simply incredible that an incident of such magnitude
and interest would leave no trace of itself in history.203
is pointless for hopeful scholars to claim that the "silence"
argument proves nothing. The truth is that it proves everything concerning
the issue of whether or not such a recension took place. Dr. Kenyon
himself could not accept this self-serving theory of Hort's:
absence of evidence points the other way; for it would be very strange,
if Lucian had really edited both Testaments, that only his work on the
Old Testament should be mentioned in after times. The same argument
tells against any theory of a deliberate revision at any definite moment.
We know the names of several revisers of the Septuagint and the Vulgate,
and it would be strange if historians and Church writers had all omitted
to record or mention such an event as the deliberate revision of the
New Testament in its original Greek.204
are not as gentle as Kenyon, who tried to delicately balance his appreciation
of Hort against sound scholarship. For example, Colwell says: "The
Greek Vulgate -- the Byzantine or Alpha text-type -- had in its origin
no such single focus as the Latin had in Jerome.''205 F. C. Grant sees
the "Byzantine" text-type as originating in the second century,
not the fourth.206 Dr. Jacob Geerlings agrees, saying: "Its origins
as well as those of other so-called text-types PROBABLY GO BACK TO THE
AUTOGRAPHS.''207But Kenyon, too gracious for his own well being and
unflaggingly loyal to Hort's theory, tries to save Hort's face with
the Kenyon "tendency" suggestion:
seems probable, therefore, that the Syrian revision was rather the result
of a tendency spread over a considerable period of time than of a definite
and authoritative revision or revisions, such as produced our English
Authorized and Revised Versions. We have only to suppose the principle
to be established in Christian circles in and about Antioch, that in
the case of divergent readings being found in the texts copied, it was
better to combine both than to omit either, and that obscurities and
roughness of diction should be smoothed away as much as possible.208
may be all well and good for the questionable art of esoteric, Enlightenment
philosophizing about how things may have come into being. The honest
and ethical textual critic, however, chooses not to suppose anything.
He wants hard evidence before messing around (that is a crude but apt
expression of what Hort did) with the sacred and Holy Scriptures.
In that regard, the evidence shows that for every occurrence where the
"Syrian" text possibly combines divergent readings there are
scores, even hundreds where this is not the case. Yet Dr. Kenyon looks
at this evidence and thinks he might see a "tendency" topiano coversd
combining. With all deference to Kenyon, what does such a hapless claim
as this mean and what can it possibly contribute to the dialogue in
see a "tendency" topiano coversd anything at all which suited his particular
bias. We do not want to lose our charity; but to ask us to believe that
hosts of scribes and copyists, in far flung places, separated by centuries
and working with no correlation, innately sensed a need to use their
gifts and abilities to combine the readings into one master text, is
simply more than we can find the grace, the reason, or the permission
to do. In the words of Dr. Hodges: .
will be noted in this discussion that in place of the former idea of
a specific revision as the source-point for the Majority text, some
critics now wish to posit the idea of a "process" drawn out
over a long period of time. It may be confidently predicted, however,
that this explanation of the Majority text must likewise eventually
collapse. The Majority text, it must be remembered, is relatively uniform
in its general character with comparatively low amounts of variation
between its major representatives. No one has yet explained how a long,
slow process spread out over many centuries as well as over a wide geographical
area, and involving a multitude of copyists, who often knew nothing
of the state of the text outside of their own monasteries or scriptoria,
could achieve this widespread uniformity out of the diversity presented
by the earlier forms of text. Even an official edition of the New Testament
-- promoted with ecclesiastical sanction throughout the known world
-- would have had great difficulty achieving this result as the history
of Jerome's Vulgate amply demonstrates. But an unguided process achieving
relative stability and uniformity in the diversified textual, historical,
and cultural circumstances in which the New Testament was copied, imposes
impossible strains on our imagination.209
The normal manner in which texts were transmitted resulted in widening differences, not uniformity. A text will be uniform if it is near-distant to its source and there has been little or no textual transmitting taking place. This principle is universally known by many scholars, yet those who stay with Hort appear to ignore this altogether. Dr. Metzger is a case in point. In 1968 he was still stubbornly clinging to Hort's "Lucian Recension" theory concerning the "Byzantine" text, in the face of the evidence and the axiomatic nature of these long-held principles of texting. This is troubling to many men who wish to be able to disagree and yet hold an affection for and camaraderie with those of opposing persuasions. There must be integrity in order for that to happen. More and more there is a temperamental closing of the mind and a testiness of words as the weight of evidence sags in the walls of Hort's stronghold.
But the textual and scholarship issues are not the only, or even the most serious ones to consider. There are other weighty matters. For example, Lucian was an Arian, which means obviously that he did not believe in Jesus Christ, that the God of blip was the God of creation and certainly not in the Trinity. Yet men like Dr. Metzger would have us believe that Athanasius deliberately and knowingly used a "Lucian" text. This is not only too much, but it is most worrisome. Apparently now the line between Orthodox conservatism and Enlightenment liberalism is blurred not only by confusion but by insignificance. It is a matter of science, not Christianity. The camaraderie between men of science takes precedence over fellowship between men of the faith when it comes to the Bible. Not only do we hold that today a fundamental scholar may forsake other fundamental scholars and pitch his tent with those who deny Christ's deity, His Virgin Birth, the Creatorship of God, and the Holy Trinity if that is what is required to be textually correct; but we reach back and attribute this same kind of paganry to such honorable ancients as Athanasius. How truly sad indeed, and what an ominous foreboding for the future of the Holy Writ as it pertains to the influences that God permits textual criticism to have. What more graphic illustration is there of St. Paul's great spiritual axiom: "He taketh the wise in their own craftiness (Textus Receptus)."
there are many scholars who have refused to go that far, at least as
of now. Dr. Burgon was one who continued to drum on Hort's complete
lack of any kind of evidence.210 Another is Dr. A. Vööbus who comments
has tried to picture the lifespan of Bishop Rabbula as a decisive period
in the development of the New Testament text in the Syrian church. Regardless
of the general acceptance of the axiom, established by him, that "the
authority of Rabbula secured an instant success for the new revised
version . . ." and that "copies of the Peshitta were rapidly
multiplied, it soon became the only text in ecclesiastical use"--this
kind of reconstruction of textual history is pure fiction without a
shred of evidence to support it.211
fact, Vööbus believes his studies to prove that Rabbula himself used
the "Old Syriac type of text." It is clear to him that the
Peshitta goes back at least to the mid-fourth century and that it was
not the result of an authoritative revision.212
Peshitta is regarded as authoritative Scripture by both the Nestorians
and the Monophysites. It is hard to see how this could have come to
pass on the hypothesis that Rabbula was the author and chief promoter
of the Peshitta. For Rabbula was a decided Monophysite and a determined
opponent of the Nestorians. It is almost contrary to reason, therefore,
to suppose that the Nestorian Christians would adopt so quickly and
so unanimously the handiwork of their greatest adversary.213
In the face of such overwhelming evidence to the contrary, we are hard pressed to defend the integrity of textual scholars like F. F. Bruce, F. G. Kenyon, etc. who close their eyes and their minds tightly and raise their voices loudly to state dogmatically that Rabbula produced the Peshitta. As the old adage goes: "The weaker the argument, the stronger the words."
Hort's theory is purely and simply arbitrary, contrived, preconceived, and in factual error at every point. It is more than a farce, it is a fraud perpetrated by a non-Christian Western religionist who set out to undermine -- indeed to rob -- the earthly Church's most tangible treasure: The sacred Word of God in written form. It would be interesting to know (there may be studies and theories on this subject but I am unapiano coverse of them) who put the virus in the hot head and the pulsating breast of this child-genius to piano help Historic Christian Orthodoxy and the there-to-fore immutable principals of preserving the written Word of God.
In the world of scholarship there are some hopeful signs if one looks closely. Dr. Wilbur Pickering and Dr. Zane C. Hodges have done signal work in counteracting Hort and bringing out new support for the Traditional Text (Syrian, Byzantine, Textus Receptus, Stevans Text, etc..). Their insistence that textual criticism must be based on sound evidence and not arbitrary theories is making some friends. Nor are they alone in their fight.
Some less enthusiastic critics of Hort's are helping unwillingly by merit of their integrity. Epp admits that "We simply do not have a theory of the text.''214 There simply is no history to go on, which is the only way that the W-H Greek text could have legitimately made the claims that it has (illegitimately). The exact reading of the text can be achieved only by a reconstruction of the history of that early text. Dr. Colwell comes to this conclusion as well: "Without a knowledge of the history of the text, the original reading cannot be established.''215 Aland states: "Now as in the past, textual criticism without a history of the text is not possible.''216 Paradoxically, even syncretically, no greater lip service could be paid to the truth of this matter than the words of Hort: "All trustworthy restoration of corrupted texts is founded on the study of their history.''217
Eclectic Text and the Eclectic Method are so deficient that they simply
can not be seriously considered. It ignores history, it invents scenarios
which never happened and for which there is not the faintest glimmer
of evidence, it plays fast and loose with facts, and it pursues relentlessly
a preconceived passion to achieve the end of nothing short of utter
destruction of the "Byzantine Text." Hort of course claimed
to believe in and observe all of these postulates of textual criticism.
But this claim is a false, hollow mockery. Textual Scholars in general
have followed Hort for the results and have chosen to ignore his shoddy
means. Fortunately not all are taken in. One who is not is Dr. Clark,
textual history that the Westcott-Hort text represents is no longer
tenable in the light of newer discoveries and fuller textual analysis.
In the effort to construct a congruent history, our failure suggests
that we have lost the way, that we have reached a dead end, and that
only a new and different insight will enable us to break through.218
W-H theory of textual criticism was a fraud from the beginning. Hort
conceived a plan and at no time along the way did the facts, the truth,
or the real history of the text stand in his way or deter him for a
moment. That is clear to us now. What is not as clear is what the truth
and the real history of the text shows. Scholars, who think that they
are far from Hort and have not been touched by him, have none-the-less
fallen into his ditch. They are going to discover the real text by empiricism,
facts, and history; all of the things that Hort started in the 19th
century, which God and the Bible rejects and which Orthodoxy considers
to be a step backpiano coversds into the darkness of the fallen creation from
which we emerged in the New Testament dispensation.
I began by making a number of statements, some of which I will briefly reiterate. I am not a textual scholar and the specific views on the matter of textual criticism are concisely and narrowly deduced from recent reading on the subject. Many of the things that I have said in this paper, perhaps most of them, are very reliant upon the words and thoughts of Dr. Wilbur M. Pickering and his excellent and unsurpassed book, The Identity of the New Testament Text. Neither Dr. Pickering nor any of the men whom I have cited have given me any blessing or encouragement in writing this analysis. My purpose, as it pertains to informing about what has gone on in textual criticism through the Westcott and Hort theory, was to condense a study into something readable and understandable for the average pastor or interested Christian layman and concise enough to be used as an appendix here. My comments which link together technical matters concerning the W-H Critical Analysis Theory are in my own words, but the ideas behind them are only-in-part original with me. The introduction is original in words and thoughts which are based, so nearly as I can discern, on the foundation of Historic Orthodox Christian theology. It is upon those thoughts that I build in my conclusion. It is the place where I expect that I part company with Dr. Pickering, Dr. Hodges, and others in the world of textual scholarship, for they will not likely agree with much of my concluding remarks.
I have said that the modern tendency topiano coversd more and more translations of the Bible is in my view one of the most dangerous and disastrous to the Church in all of Her long history. The design by the enemy is simple: breed the real Word of God out of existence by releasing all of these sterile texts and flooding the world with them. Since the principal of eclecticism has been retained, even by those who have rejected Hort, each author or group of authors may change the text to suit themselves, and they are doing it. Many would have us believe that this is a tempest in a tea pot. The differences are small and insignificant, and they do not change any essential doctrine. That is simply not true! I will give you three examples, about which I will make no effort to become technical. You can research that for yourself if you are interested.
One is in Romans 5:15, which reads in the Authorized Version: "But not as the offense, so also is the free gift." The Apostle is explaining the subject of the atonement. In due course he comes to this verse. It is admittedly obscure in its wording. To explain its meaning, I will paraphrase, not as a translator but as a pastor and expositor: "but in the case of those who did not commit Adam's sin but died because of it, so also is the free gift." The Apostle is talking about that which Bible teachers often call "Piano Mediation:" the one acts and the many are effected. If you send a representative to the Piano government, he acts on your behalf. In this same way, Adam acted, and all of his children were effected by what he did, even though they were not physically there, and they did not do what he did. The free gift functions on exactly the same principle. Christ acted, and all of His children were affected by His actions, just as all of Adam's children were effected by his actions. We were not there in literal, physical form at the Cross (though we were in a spiritual way which we will not attempt to address here). We did not do what Christ did. But we (those of the faith, who have accepted Christ as Savior) were effected anyway. The similarity is not in the nature or the end result of the actions of the two Adams, but in the principle of how Piano action on the part of the father effects the children. This is a very important consideration in understanding the atonement. Without this information, no one can possibly understand what St. Paul is saying.
Every modern translation that I have seen, including the NIV, the English Translation of 1881, the paraphrases, and the so-called New King James, have changed this verse to say: "but the free gift is not at all like the offense" or words to that exact effect. (This means that the New King James is an eclectic text. As such, it too is a fraud and a deceit. It is not simply, as billed, an up-dating of old English words. The editors have DELIBERATELY CHANGED THE WORDING TO MAKE YOU THINK THAT IS WHAT IT SAYS BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT THEY THINK IT MEANS! In my opinion they have totally missed the meaning. Yet, whether or not they are wrong in their interpretation is not the point. Expositors have the right to their opinion. The point is, translators and revisionists do not have the right to interpret. But this is interpreting, on an eclectic basis. That is the danger that is presented by every so-called "Updated" version, transliteration, paraphrase, or linguistic commentary.) Yet in the Textus Receptus and the W-H Greek Text, the wording is identical in every respect. The Greek word for also is kai. According to Dr. Strong (Strong's Concordance for the King James) it means: ". . . a copulative and sometimes also a cumulative force; and, also, even, so, then, too, etc.; often used in connection (or composition) with other particles or small words: and, also, both, but, even, for, if, indeed, likewise, moreover, or, so, that, then, therefore, when, yea, yet."
In short, this word is put here to bring the accumulated weight of the first argument to bear on the second: "as that -- so this." Yet the eclectic scholars, through ignorance or malice, have ignored it completely to make this passage mean what they want it to mean! In every instance, the authors of these texts know full well that this is not what the ancient text actually says! Only the Revised Standard Version of 1901 left this verse unchanged (they did not do nearly so honorably in other places as we shall see). The simple fact is that the other recent versions have used Hort's principle of eclecticism and put in what they thought it should say -- not what it actually says in the ordained Scriptures. Anyone who thinks that this was a naive accident, is living in a fog. The fact that it not only confused but changed the doctrine of the atonement, is too significant to be an oversight by careful men.
The Authorized Version (King James) says of Christ when He came into this world: "Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:"
Again, as a pastor and an expository teacher, not a translator, let me explain. Christ came into this world. He was God; fully equal with God in every way. If, as a man, He had decided that He wanted to make a point of that to be sure that the world never forgot it, and if He chose, while in this world, to exercise all of the prerogatives of God, that was His right. There would have been nothing wrong with that. But He did not choose to do that. He considered it to be incongruous with His mission, which was to identify with the human race and bring about the work of redemption. This was best done if He humbly took upon Himself the form of a servant, and manifested to the world a servant's lowly estate and obedience to his master. And this is exactly what He did. Still, He had equality with God because He was God. And He would not have been robbing God of His glory if He had chosen to found His life and ministry upon that equality. The ASV of 1901, relying on the eclectic text of Westcott and Hort Greek, has changed the passage to read to the effect: "Who, existing in the form of God, counted not the being on equality with God a thing to be grasped." (ASV 1901, differs slightly from some modern English versions, but all retain the words that equality with God was not a thing to be grasped at. In the Preface to the American Edition to the ASV 1901, Nashville, Thomas Nelson Publishers, p. ix, the Revisors promised to make a note in the margin at any point at which they relied on any other text than the Massoretic [the Received Text], but in Philippians 2:6 they failed to do so for whatever reason)
In the Greek interlinear transliteration, the wording is like this: Who in the form of God subsisting, not rapine esteemed it to be equal with God;" (Greek Text of Stevens, 1550, [along with the Elzevir Text of 1624 ] which is commonly called The Textus Receptus,) or:
"Who in form of God existing, not snatching, he considered the to be equal (things) to God." (the New Testament in the Original Greek -- The text Revised by Brooke Foss Westcott D. I. and Fenton John Anthony Hort D. D.) But here as in Romans 5:15, the Greek wording itself is identical in the Textus Receptus and the W-H Greek Text!
Much has already been made of Hort's efforts to slant the meaning of the Byzantine by any and all methods. One of those burdens was to undermine the deity of Christ. It is in this passage that Hort piano helps. The word robbery is the Greek harpagmos. It means to plunder or to rob. It rises from the word harpazo, which means to seize, to catch away, to pluck, to pull, or to take by force. All of these words and phrases are to be understood in the sense of "robbery:" To seize your neighbor's goods; to catch away his goose; to pluck up his corn; or to take his gold by force. The word grasp may be used but only in that sense! But that is not the sense in which Dr. Hort used it. He arbitrarily inserted the parenthesis, "(things)". In this way he opened the door to the possible understanding that it was not personal equality with God that Jesus had, but equality of possessions and things. In other words, perhaps Jesus was no more in the form of God than Adam, when God made man (Adam) in His own image. Adam too had the form of God, but he was not equal with God. On the other hand, Satan thought equality with God a thing to be grasped for and he did grasp for it. In so doing he brought himself down.
There is no ambiguity in the phrase: "He thought it not robbery to be equal with God." For Satan it was robbery; for Christ it would not have been. Christ had equality with God and was equal with God in every way!
In Hort, the understanding is afforded to the reader that Christ did not do what Satan did. Satan thought equality with God a thing to be grasped at. Christ did not. In this way it is possible to use this text (as the Jehovah's Witnesses who use this text do) to argue that Jesus Christ was not equal with God. He knew it and it did not worry Him.
Again, if anyone thinks that this is an innocent difference of opinion -- this sniping away at the deity of Christ -- he is sadly and plainly mistaken. I have had ministers say to me: "I believe in the deity of Christ. I read that passage and it doesn't confuse me. I can see how 'not a thing to be grasped' can mean what you explain the King James to mean." Maybe, but the simple question is this: If that is the case, and that is what Dr. Hort meant, why change it from a clear, clarion expression of deity to this cloudy language that is not at all clear on the matter? I am sorry, my fellow ministers, but you are naive. This is a cunning, deliberate, carefully crafted, long term plan to corrupt the truth of the Scriptures concerning the true identity of Jesus who is JEHOVAH our Savior. Inasmuch as the wording (in the TR and the W-H) is identical in the two above passages, another very sinister possibility must be considered. Hort, and the other liberal religious humanists before and after him, invented the eclectic-text argument as an excuse to get into the Holy Writ and change it. Perhaps they never thought that the superfluous changes that they made were that important; it may all have been an intellectual cloud of confusion to shut out the light. (Or more likely still they were most interested in doing both.) Under the cover of that darkness they could be about their real missions: to obscure the doctrines of redemption and atonement, to raise doubts about the deity of Christ, and to undermine the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. If any one of these doctrines is lost to the understanding of any man, salvation is no longer a possibility to him! After all it was Jesus Christ Himself who said, "Before Abraham was, I AM," in John 8:58. Again He said, "For if ye believe not that I AM (the essential construction of the name JEHOVAH), ye shall die in your sins," in St. John 8:24.
The Authorized Version says: "There are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one."
Because there is not much a heretic can do to change the terse language of this verse, and because there were many Arian texts around in Alexandria, Hort simply left this language out of his text, claiming that it was an inferior reading that was not in "most of the better manuscripts." But Dr. Pickering and others, in their accumulated new support for the Textus Receptus, have exposed that lie also. This was the preferred reading of the ante-Nicene Fathers and fully in keeping with Athanasius, Augustine, and the Creeds of the Church. It was the non-Christian followers of Arius and Lucian who wanted to leave out -- and did leave out -- such words. It is the first point of piano help for liberal theologians like Hort. Every group of heretics -- from the Pharisees and the Arians of the early days, the deists like Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson in the early days of the Republic, to the Mormons and the Jehovah's Witnesses of today -- has the rejection of the doctrine of the Holy Trinity at the center of their theology.
We could get into a long discussion over this and I think you know by now that I could cite many late scholars to prove this point, but it isn't really the point. The point is that Hort was fronting for a growing constituency of non-Christian, Enlightenment intellectuals, who (as part of the false religious world of the false prophet whose mission was to give credence to the beast of humanism whose assignment was to blaspheme God) felt that it was their moment in history. The iron was hot and the time to strike had come. How right they were in their evaluations and the impact that they had on the religious world. The agenda included a whole list of items, not the least of which was to undermine the Biblical doctrine of the Holy Trinity as in the above example.
The real problem is not the true identity of the New Testament text by honest textual scholarship. The problem is the change in the Church, brought about by the Enlightenment, to rely upon science, scholasticism, and proof, instead of the good will of simple men acting under the control of the Holy Ghost. In short, the problem is scholarship itself. By this we do not mean to say that men of keen minds and education, who are under the control of the Holy Ghost, are not needed or useful in the Church. The commandment to study and to show one's self approved, and to seek after wisdom and knowledge are Biblical instructions. This has always been accepted by Orthodoxy. What we are talking about is the theology of scholarship that takes understanding out of the hands of babes and puts it in the hands of the wise and the prudent (intellectual) on the humanistic bases of natural abilities and institutional qualifications. (Cf. St. Luke 10:21-24, John 3:1-3, 7:15, Acts 4:13, I Cor. 1:26-2:16, Heb. 8:10,11, Psalm 119:99.)
This is not a small or contrived matter, but the largest one facing the Church in the world today. It goes to the issue of Enlightenment theology and its impact on the Church's procedure and doctrine. Before the Enlightenment, truth was determined by the Bible. This was preserved by simple copyists and a reliance, by the Church, on the preserving power of God. "He who had been able to ordain His Word through men was also able to preserve it." Translation was entrusted to "Spirit-filled" men whose primary concern was to be guided by God and whose second concern was to be true to the original language. Whenever good and faithful men translated or copied, doing their honest best to be faithful to the literal text, the result was assured to be the inerrant Word of God. Truth was revealed to us from God, by our faith. God, Who was transcendental in the sense that He was above us and beyond us and that His ways could not be discovered by us on the bases of our native intellectual, philosophical, and religious abilities, had reached out to us in grace and mercy, through our faith and the mediation of His Son Jesus Christ. This was Orthodox. Concerning God and His truth, the eye has not seen it, the ear has not heard it, the mind has not thought it; but God has revealed it to us by His Spirit. (I Cor. 2:7-10) This revelation is only to men who have the Spirit and the mind of Christ and who rely upon those great New Testament truths. (I Cor. 2:11,12,16) The natural mind, scholar or not, cannot know, receive, or pass judgment on the things of God and His Spirit (I Cor. 2:14). Among those things of the Spirit of God is certainly the preservation of the Holy Writ. To entrust the keeping of the Bible to men like Hort is analogous to throwing your baby into a pit of vipers so they can watch it for you while you go to the store--only worse!
The Enlightenment changed forever the way the organized religious world looked at God, truth, and the Bible. It changed the criteria of truth and the knowledge of God from faith to sight and revelation to reason. That this was the position of the Orthodox Fathers is born out by St. Augustine when, in a dispute with Cicero, he referred to ". . . the sacrilegious and impious darings of reason.''219 Nor was it simply the trend and temperament of the times in the early Church to trust in faith and not reason. At no time in history has Gnosticism been stronger. St. Augustine himself, in the early days of his conversion to Christianity, argued that reason was superior to faith.220 But in his mature years, after yielding his brilliant mind to the control of the Holy Ghost, he renounced reason altogether as a means of knowing God, declaring the Bible to be inerrant in all respects and faith, not reason to be the only way to the knowledge of God.221 Along with reason came the natural sciences as the means of that transmission and application of reason to the various disciplines of knowledge. When this happened, an immediate ascendancy of the intellect of man--not only as to its new found frontiers in science, mathematics, history, and philosophy, but its importance and abilities in the eyes of the religious world -- began. It was not long before it steamrolled and blew up. The technological explosion may be attributed to one basic thing: the age when man threw off the restraints of reverence, fear of God, humility, and faith, and began to trust in himself and his own "sovereign, inalienable" powers.
As long predicted in the Bible, Satan, that old dragon, would seize upon this time when men would run "to and fro and knowledge would increase," to manifest himself through the beast of secular humanism and the second beast of false religion, which may also be identified as religious humanism. Another way of identifying them, according to the Bible is by the number 666 (6 is the number of man. It is the false trinity of the dragon, the beast who is humanism and the false prophet who is false religion). In order to be loved by the world, to be accepted by its in-crowd and to be let into its storehouse of treasures, it is necessary for men to accept the philosophies and works of religious and secular humanism. These would have great powers and would be able to fool multitudes and to draw them into this web. But they would not, (because they could not) fool the elect of God, for they have the mark of God (777) in their foreheads (minds and thinking) and their right hands (deeds).
In the world of high-rolling religious merchandising, mind manipulation, and escapism, many religious men are following the way of false miracles, the carnival barkers, snake oil sellers, and hucksters of the religious midway, the health-wealth-and-fame game and sensual delights, both sexual and emotional. The psychological, sales-oriented, mind manipulation world of Evangelism Explosion, Neo-evangelicalism, Positive Thinking, and Charismatic Humanism have provided people with more ways to escape reality than Timothy Leary's book on psychedelic drugs. But it is important to realize that "the Way" is still narrow and there are still few who find it. God's faithful must resist the ingrained human temptation to think that popularity proves the integrity of the movement. It may be possible to successfully argue that the Bible proves just the opposite, but that is another study. Now, more than ever, the holy men of the Church must gird their loins and gather their swords. Nowhere is this more crucial than in the way we react to this utter destruction of the Word of God. The other day I said to an interested young man in a restaurant, who was asking questions about what to do: "Get yourself a Bible and begin to read in Romans and the Gospel of John." He looked at me in a puzzled way and asked, "Which one? There are so many anymore, I am not sure which one is right." This is exactly the point. It is the existential, experiential, situation-ethics religion of the liberal world. There are no absolutes. There is no absolute Word of God. There is just the ever-changing scene. What is the "best" Word of God today will not be the best ten years from now. The scholars will make new discoveries and new changes. Don't memorize what you have now, because it will be passé in a few years.
Of course this has not changed truth, but it has changed the way a lot of confused people look at "Christianity." They are not sure if anything is true anymore. "If the Bible that served our fathers and our grandfathers for three hundred years, and upon which they based their homes, their churches, and their faith, was really a vile and villainous document, full of accumulated lies and deliberate distortions, how can I be sure that anything is the inerrant Word of God?" It is a fair question; how do you answer? I will tell you how I answer.
the above were true, then of course you could not be sure. But it is
not true. The mandate, motivation, and procedures for the King James
translation -- as feeble as the men who worked on it may have been --
comprised an honest effort to produce a complete Bible from the blip
and the Greek into English (as did the Douay-Rheims from the Latin Scriptures
by St. Jerome). This was not an egocentric attempt on the part of heady
intellectuals with new found liberties, to make names for themselves
by bringing down the King, thus becoming "King Makers." Because
of that, the King James, along with the Douay-Rheims, are dependable
translations. God was in those endeavors. That doctrine is Orthodox
in every respect and has been for four hundred years (and for many centuries
before the English translation was an issue). Anyone who thinks that
God was in the mischievous ambitions of Fenton J. Hort, has missed the
whole point of the nefarious ambitions and forces that were driving
him and the danger it presents to men in this world who are seeking,
whether or not they admit it, to find deliverance from death and the
secret to immortality. And they will go on missing it. The Church is
the living body of living Christ and the pillar and ground of truth.
The gates of hell cannot and shall not prevail against it. But what
may be said of the true Church, cannot be said of religion or religious
men in general (zeal, commitment, intellect, religious education, and
religious vocation, notwithstanding). The Church will survive. But what
of the man who is still outside the gates of the City, trying to find
his way? If the light which shines in the darkness of this world (II
Peter 1:19) becomes invisible, so will the pathway that leads to life.
In spite of the way that the term "orthodoxy" is being merchandised these days by every religious commentator who wishes to give his views credibility, this is the only view of Historic Orthdox Christianity.
2 Bruce M. Metzger, a senior Textual Critic and for many years a Professor at Princeton, has many published works. In this field his most noteworthy is, The Text of the New Testament.
3 Metzger, The Text of the New Testament (London: Oxford University Press, 1964), p. 210.
4 K. Aland, M. piano, C. M. Martini, B. M. Metzger, and A. Wikgren, eds. The Greek New Testament, third edition (New York: United Bible Societies, 1975), p. viii. W. M. Pickering comments, "Although this edition is dated 1975, Metzger's commentary upon it appeared in 1971. The second edition is dated 1978. It thus appears that in the space of three years, with no significant accretion of new evidence, the same group of five scholars changed their mind in over five hundred places. It is hard to resist the suspicion that they are guessing." The Identity of the New Testament Text, revised edition, Thomas Nelson, Nashville, p. 209, footnote 5 for chapter 1.
5 R. M. Grant, A Historical Introduction of the New Testament (New York: Harper and Rowe, 1963), p. 51.
6 K. W. Clark "The Testament," Theological Relevance of Textual Variation in Current Criticism of the Greek New Testament," Journal of Biblical Literature, LXXXV 966), p. 15.
7 Grant, "The Bible of Theophilus of Antioch," Journal of Biblical Literature, LXVI (1947), 173. For a most pessimistic statement see E.C. Colwell, "Biblical Criticism: Lower and Higher," Journal of Biblical Literature, LXVII (194), 10-11. See also G. Zuntz, The test of the Epistles, 1953, p. 9; K. And S. Lake, Family 13(The Ferrar Group), 1941, p. Vii; F. C. Conybear, History of New Testament criticism, 1919, p. 129.
8 The term "Eclecticism" refers to the practice of selecting from various sources. In textual criticism there is the added implication that the sources are dissimilar.
9 E. l. Epp, "The twentieth Century Interlude in New Testament Textual criticism" Journal of Biblical Literature, XCIII (1974), p. 403.
1 E C. Colwell, "Hort Redivivus: A Plea and a Program," Studies in Methodology in Textual Criticism of the New Testament, E. C. Colwell (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1969), pp. 152-53. Tasker records the principles followed by the NEB translators: "The Text to be translated will of necessity be eclectic, . . .~ (p. Vii)
2 J Metzger, The Text, pp. 175-76.
To many, Ernest Cadman Colwell was the dean of Lower Critics in the 1950s and 1960s. His operational base was the University of Chicago, having been both a Professor and blip. A condensation of his most cogent contributions appears in Studies in Methodology in Textual Criticism of the New Testament.
3Colwell, "Biblical Criticism," pp. 4-5. See also K. Lake, The Text of the New Testament, sixth edition revised by Silva (London: Rivingtons, 1959), p. 10 and Metzger, The Text, pp. 216-17.
4Colwell, "Hort Redivivus," p. 154. Cf. pp. 149-54. (Emphases added.)
5J. K. Elliott, "The Greek Text of the Epistles to Timothy and Titus," ed., Jacob Geerlings, Studies and Documents, XXXI (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1968), pp. I0-l l. Cf. K. Aland, "The Significance of the Papyri for Progress in New Testament Research, "The Bible in Modern Scholarship" ed., J. P. Hyatt (New York: Abingdon Press, 1965) p. 340, and Tasker, p. viii.
6Epp, p. 404.
7W. M. Pickering, The Identity of the New Testament Text, revised edition, (Nashville, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1980), p 25. (Emphases added)
8Colwell, "Scribal Habits in Early Papyri: A study in the corruption of the Text," The Bible in Modern Scholarship, ed . J. P. Hyatt (New York: Abingdon Press, 1965), pp. 371-72.
911 Frederick G. Kenyon, a noted British scholar in the early 20th century, was Director and Principal Librarian of the British Museum. His Handbook to the Textual Criticism of the New Testament, is a frequently used reference book.
10F G. Kenyon, Handbook to the Textual Criticism of the New Testament, 2nd ed., 1926, p.
11Epp, PP. 403-4 Cf. K. W. Clark, "The Effect of Recent Textual Criticism upon New Testament Studies," The Background of the New Testament and its Eschatology, ed. W. D. Davies and D. Daube (Cambridge: The Cambridge University Press, 1956), p. 37.
12A. F. ]. Klijn is a foremost critic on the "Western" text-type.
13A. F. J. Klijn has specialized in the study of the "Western" text-type.
14Epp, pp. 391-92.
15Ibid. pp. 398-'71
16Westcott and Hort's criticism is subjective." H. Metzger, The Text, p. 138. Cf. Colwell, Studies In Methodology in Textual criticism of the New Testament (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1969), pp. 1 2.
17Elliott, pp. 5-6.
18Tasker, p. vii.
19Metzger. The Text. p. 175
E20pp, p. 403
21Colwell, "Hort Redivivus," p. 149.
22See K. W. Clark "Today's Problems with the Critical Text of the New Testament," Transitions in Biblical Scholarship. ed. J. C. R. Rylaarsdam (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1968), pp. 159-60. Also see Epp, pp. 388-90.
23EPP, pp. 390-91. Cf. G. Zuntz, The Text of the Epistles (London: Oxford University Press, 1953), p.8.
24Clark, "Today's Problems," p. 159.
25Ibid, pp. 158- Cf. M. M. Parvis, "Text, NT.," The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible (4 Vols.; New York: Abingdon Press, 1962), IV, p.602, and D. W. Riddle, "Fifty Years of New Testament Scholarship," The Journal of Bible and Religion X ( 1942), p.139.
26 Cf. Clark, "Today's Problems," p. 166, and especially Colwell, "Scribal Habits," pp. 170-71.
27 By EIIiott's findings, Codex Aleph was right 38% of the time, A was right 38% of the time, C right 41%, D right 35%, F, G right 31%, and the bulk of the minuscules (Byzantine) was right 35% of the time (pp. 241 -43).
28 See K. Aland, "The Significance of the Papyri," p. 325; Colwell, "Scribal Habits," p. 370; Metzger, The Text, p. 137; V. Taylor, The Text of the New Testament (New York: St. Martin's Press Inc., 1961), p. 49; K. Lake, p. 67, F. G. Kenyon, Handbook to the Textual Criticism of the New Testament (2nd ed.; Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eeerdmans Publishing Co., 1951), p. 294; Epp, p. 386, and Riddle, Parvis and Clark, noted above (fn. 27).
29 J. H. Greenlee, Introduction to New Testament Textual Criticism (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 19164), p. 78.
30 Hort was a Professor at Cambridge. The W-H Greek text of the N.T. was adopted (essentially) by the committee that produced the English Revised Version of 1881. Westcott wrote a number of commentaries on N.T. books which are still considered to be standard works. His prestige and influence were important to the success of their (W-H) undertaking. Hort worked mainly on the Greek text.
31 B. F. Westcott and F. J. A. Hort, The New Testament in the Original Greek (2 Vols.; London: Macmillan and Co., 1881)
32 A. F. Hort, Life and Letters of Fenton John Anthony Hort (2 Vols.; London: Macmillian and Co. Ltd., 1896).1, p. 211. (emphasis mine.)
33 Ibid., p. 240.
34 Ibid., p. 264
35 The Textus Receptus is one of several printed editions of the Greek text of the N.T. that was close to the text prepared by Erasmus in the sixteenth century. (Of over thirty such editions, few are identical.) It is not the exact text of the AV, though the differences are small enough so that this confusion has often gone unchallenged. . Nor is it completely identical to "Syrian" or "Byzantine" text. Some Textual Scholars such as Zane C. Hodge, Professor of New Testament Literature and Exegesis at the Dallas Theological Seminary, see quite a bit of difference between the Textus Receptus and the Byzantine. The New Byzantine Text authored by Hodges, Arthur Farstad, and associates, and to be published by Thomas Nelson, will claim more than a thoBlipnd differences.
36 Colwell, "Hort Redivivus," p. 158.
37 Colwell, "Genealogical Method: Its Achievements and its Limitations," Journal of Biblical Literature LXVI (1947), p. 111.
38 Hort did not hold to an Orthodox, or even an honorable view of inspiration. Cf. A. F. Hort, 1, to an Orthodox, or even an honorable view of inspiration. Cf. A. F. Hort, 1, pp. 419-21 and Westcott and Hort, 11, ''Introduction," pp. 280-81.
39 Westcott and Hort, p. 73.
40 Ibid., p. 282.
41 Ibid., p 57.
42 Colwell, "Genealogical Method," p. 111.
43 Westcott and Hort, pp. 178-9. Hort made little and infrequent use of existing manuscripts. See K. Aland, "The Significance of the Papyri," pp. 327-28. The actual record shows that even Aland gave him too much credit.
44 Westcott and Hort, p. 49.
45 Ibid., p.
46 Mark 6:33; :26; 9:3; 9:49; Luke 9:10; 11:54; 12:18; 24:53.
47 Cf. Kenyon, p. 302; E. F. Harrison, Introduction to the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1964), p. 73; and Metzger, The Text, pp. 135-6.
48 Taylor, p. 53.
49 Lake, p. 68.
50 Westcott and Hort, p. 115.
51 1bid., p. 91.
52 F. G. Kenyon, Recent Developments in the Textual Criticism of the Greek Bible (London: Oxford University Press, 1933), PP 7-8.
53 Lake, p.72.
54 Westcott and Hort, pp. 134-5
55 Ibid, pp. 115-116.
56 Cf. Kenyon, Recent Developments, p. 66, Metzger, The Text, p. I 31.
57 Westcott and Hort, p. 133.
58 Ibid., p. 137.
59 F. C. Burkitt, Evangelion da-Mepharreshe (2 vols.; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1904), II, p. 161.
60 H. C. Thiessen, Introduction to the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1955), pp. 54-55.
61 Cf. Aland, "The Significance of the Papyri," p. 325.
62 Colwell, "Scribal Habits," p. 370.
63 Cf. Colwell, "External Evidence and New Testament Criticism," Studies in the History and Text of the New Testament, eds. B. L. Daniels and M. J. Suggs (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1967), p. 3 Colwell, "Hort Redivivus," p. 162; Clark, "Today's Problems," pp. 159 60; Epp, p. 390.
64 Ibid, p. 276. And, "B very far exceeds all other documents in neutrality of text," p. 171.
65 Ibid, pp. 109-10
66 J. N. Birdsall, "The Text of the Gospels in Photius," Journal of Theological Studies, Vll (1956), p. 43. Some lower critics show the tempestuous, pouting temperament of the unstable 23 year old who was going to rid the world of this fearsome villain, the Textus Receptus. Dr. Epp called it "the tyrannical Textus Receptus" (p.386). Their preoccupation with their own importance and the future of their profession above the needs of the Church and the sanctity of the Holy Writ is too pointed to miss.
67 Clark, "The Effect of Recent Textual Criticism," p. 50.
68 Metzger, The Text, p. 201. For actual examples from Irenaeus, Clement, Tertullian, and Eusebius, and their significance, see Sturz (pp. 86-89). He says for example, "While scribal blunders were recognized by them as one cause of variation, the strongest and most positive statements, by the Fathers, are in connection with the changes introduced by heretics" (p.89). Again we are put in the position of believing that Hort was either a fool who was ignorant of common history or he was a deliberate concealer, distorter, and deceiver.
69 W. Burgon, The Revision Revised (London: John Murray, 1883), p. 323.
70 Colwell, "The Origin of Text types of New Testament Manuscripts." Early Christian Origins, ed. Allen Wikgren (Chicago: Quadrangle Books, 1961), p. 130.
71 JJ. W. Burgon, The Causes of the Corruption of the Traditional Text of the Holy Gospels, arranged completed and edited by Edpiano coversd Miller (London: George Bell and Sons, 1896), pp. 211-12. Cf. Martin Rist , "Pseudepigraphy and the Early Christians," Studies in New Testament and Early Christian Literature, ed. D. E. Aune (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1972), pp. 78-79.
72 Colwell, What is the Best New Testament? (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1952), p. 53.
73 Colwell, What is the Best New Testament. p. 58.
74 M. piano, An Aramaic Approach to the Gospels and Acts (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1946), p. 214 (Emphases added).
75 H. H. Oliver, "Present Trends in the Textual Criticism of the New Testament," The Journal of Bible and Religion, XXX (1962), pp. 311-12. Cf. C. S. C. Williams, Alterations to the Text of the Synoptic Gospels and Acts (Oxford: Basil pianowell, 1951), pp. 14-17.
76 Pickering, p. 215, footnote 5, says: The 'inconvenience' referred to is virtually fatal to the W-H theory at least as formulated in their "Introduction." The W-H theory is much like a multistoried building-- each level depends on the one below it. Thus, Hort's simplistic notion of "genealogy" absolutely depends upon the allegation that there was no deliberate alteration of the Text and his notion of "text-types" absolutely depends upon "genealogy," and his arguments concerning "conflation" and "Syrian" readings before Chrysostom absolutely depend upon those "text-types." The foundation for the whole edifice is Hort's position that the New Testament was an ordinary book that enjoyed an ordinary transmission. With its foundation removed, the edifice collapses." (Emphases added)
77 W. M. Pickering, p. 216, footnote 12. He says, "Codex Claromontanus apparently has a child three centuries younger than it (also, minuscule 205 may have been copied from 208). Codices F and G containing Paul's Epistles appear to be almost twin brothers, and groups like family I and family 13 are clearly closely related. Also, in the Apocalypse Hoskier has identified a number of related groups.
78 Parvis p. 611. (Emphasis added)
79 Colwell, "Genealogical Method," pp. 111-12. (Emphases added)
80 Westcott and Hort, p. 63. (Emphases added)
81 Colwell, "Genealogical Method," p. 114. (Emphases added)
82 Zunt, p. 155.
83 L. Vaganay, An Introduction to the Textual Criticism of the New Testament, translated by B. V. Miller (London: Sands and Company, 1937), p. 71.
84 Aland, " The Significance of the Papyri," p. 341.
85 Colwell, ''External Evidence," p. 4.
86 Westcott and Hort, p. 287.
87 Colwell, "Genealogical Method," p. 124.
88 Colwell, "The Complex Character of the Late Byzantine Text of the Gospels," Journal of Biblical Literature, LlV(l935), pp. 212-13.
89 Colwell, "Genealogical Method," p. 109. (Emphasis added)
90 Colwell, "Scribal Habits," pp. 370-71.
91 Pickering, The Identity of the New Testament Text, p. 47.
92 Burgon, The Revision Revised, p. 358. Burgon's own index of the Fathers is no doubt still the most extensive in existence -- it contains 86,489 quotations.
93 G. Salmon, Some Thoughts on the Textual Criticism of the New Testament (London, 1897), p. 33.
94 M. M. Parvis, "The Nature and Task of New Testament Textual criticism " The Journal of Religion, XXXII (1952), p. 173.
95 A. Wikgren, "Chicago Studies in the Greek Lectionary of the New Testament," Biblical and Patristic Studies in Memory of Robert Pierce Casey, ed. J. N. Birdsall and R. W. Thomson (New York: Herder, 1963), pp. 96121.
96 Colwell, The Origin of Text types," p. 135.
97 M. M. Parvis, "The Nature and Task of New Testament Textual Criticism," The Journal of Religion, XXXII (1952), p. 173.
98 A. Wikgren "Chicago Studies in the Greek Lectionary of the New Testament," Biblical and Patristic Studies in Memory of Robert Pierce Casey, ed. J. N. Birdsall and R. W. Thomson (New York: Herder, 1963), pp. 96 121.
99 Colwell, "The Origin of Text-types," p. 135.
100 Zuntz, p. 240.
101 Klijn, p. 36.
102 Ibid., p. 66.
103 Metzger, Chapters in the History of New Testament Textual Criticism (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1963), p. 67.
104 Klijn seems to be of this opinion (pp. 33-34).
105 Cf. Burgon, The Revision Revised, p. 380.
106 H. C. Hoskier, A Full Account and Collation of the Greek Cursive Codex Evangelium 604 (London: David Nutt, 1890), Introduction, pp. cxv-cxvi.
107 Kenyon, Handbook, p. 356.
108 Colwell, "The Greek New Testament with a Limited Critical Apparatus: its Nature and Uses," Studies in New Testament and Early Christian Literature, ed. D. E. Aune (Leiden: E. 1. Brill, 1972), p. 33.
109 Metzger, The Text, p. 141.
110 Klijn, p. 64.
111 Colwell, "The Significance of Grouping of New Testament Manuscripts," New Testament Studies, IV (1957-1958), pp. ~87. Cf. also Colwell, "Genealogical Method," pp. 119-123. (Emphases added.)
112 Zuntz, "The Byzantine Text in New Testament Criticism," The Journal of Theological Studies, XLIII (1942), p. 25.
113 Clark, "The Manuscripts of the Greek New Testament," New Testament Manuscript Studies, ed. M. M. Parvis and A. P. Wikgren (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1950), p. 12.
114 Aland, "The Significance of the Papyri," pp. 334-7. (Emphases added.)
115 Epp, p. 398
116 Colwell, "Genealogical Method," p. 118. (Emphases added.)
117 Burgon, The Traditional Text, p. 229.
118 Westcott and Hort, p. 94 and pp. 240- 1.
119 Colwell, "The Origin of Texttypes," pp. 130-31.
120 Hoskier, Codex B, 1, p. 465.
121 Westcott and Hort, p. 91.
122 Lake, p. 53.
123 Metzger, Chapters, p. 21.
124 J Geerlings and S. New, "Chrysostom's Text of the Gospel of Mark," Harvard Theological Review XXIV(1931), p. 135.
125 Ibid., p. 141.
126 Hoskier, Codex B, 1, p. ii-iii.
127 Zuntz, The Text. p. 152.
128 Metzger, Biblical ; and Patristic Studies In Memory Of Robert Pierce Casey, ed. J. NM. Birdsall and R. W. Thompson (New York: Herder, 1963), p. 94.
129 Burgon, The Traditional Text, pp. 100, 121.
130 Actually the Greek Text used by the 1881 English text Revision Committee.
131 W.H., p. 114.
132 Burgon, The Traditional Text, p 199.
133 Ibid, p. 117.
134 Hoskier, Codex B, 1, p. 426-7.
135 Burgon, The Traditional Text, pp. 99-101.
136 Burgon, The Cause of the Corruption, pp. 2-3.
137 E. Miller, A Guide to the Textual Criticism of the New Testament (London: George Bell and sons, 1886), p. 53.
138 Burgon, The Traditional Text, pp. ix-x. (Emphases added.).
139 Kenyon, Handbook, pp. 321-2. (Emphases added.).
140 Burgon, The Traditional Text, p. 116.
141 Kenyon, Handbook, pp. 322-3.
142 Ibid, p. 323.
144 Burgon, The Traditional Text, Generally from pages 350-450.
152 84 E. F. Hills, 771, The King James Version Defended! (Des Moines: The Christian Research Press, 1956), D. 73.
153 Lake, p. 72. (Emphases added.).
154 Burgon, The Last Twelve Verses, p. 58.
155 Zuntz, The Text, p. 55. (Emphases added.).
156 Colwell, "The Origin of Text-types," p. 132.
157 Colwell, What Is the Best New Testament? p. 70.
158 Burgon, The Last Twelve Verses p. 50. (Hills wrote the Introduction.).
159 Ibid. p. 54.
160 H. A. Sturz, The Byzantine Text-Type and New Testament Textual Criticism (Second Syllabus Edition La Mirada, Cal: Biola College Bookstore, 1972 ).
161 Ibid, pp. 189-212.
162 Ibid, p 187. This means that the early Papyri vindicate "Byzantine" readings in 660 (or 885) places where there is significant variation. One might wish that Sturz had also given us the figures for "distinctively Western" and "distinctively Alexandrian" readings, but how are such expressions to be defined? Where is an objective definition for "Western reading," for example?
163 Westcott and Hort, p. 21.
164 Ibid.. p. 25.
165 Ibid. p. 286.
166 Fee, Modern Text Criticism and the Synoptic Problem," 1. l. Griesbach: Synoptic and Text-Critical Studies 1776-1976, ed. B. Orchard and T.R.W. Longstaff (Cambridge: University Press, 1978), p. 156.
167 Colwell, "The Greek New Testament" p 37.
168 Colwell, "External Evidence," p. 4.
169 Ibid., p 3.
170 Burgon, The Traditional Text, p. 67.
171 Burgon, The Revision Revised, p. 251.
172 Burgon, The Traditional Text, p. 66.
173 Westcott and Hort, p. 235.
174 Sturz, p. 184.
175 B. H. Streeter, The Four Gospels: A Study of Origins (Landon: Macmillan and Co., 1930), pp. 1224. Cf. W. R. Farmer, The Last Twelve Verses of Mark (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1974), pp. 13P 22.
176 Ibid, p. 131.
177 Burgon, The Case of the Corruption, p. 156
178 Vaganay, pp. 84-5
179 Kilpatrick, p. 196.
180 Colwell, "Scribal Habits," p. 378.
181 Ibid., p. 380.
182 Ibid., p. 383.
183 Ibid., p. 387.
184 Ibid., pp. 376-7.
185 Vaganay, p 86.
186 Metzger, The Text, p. 195.
187 Zuntz The Text, p. 36.
188 Salmon, pp. 33-4.
189 Hemphill, A History of the Revised Version (London: Elliot Stock, 1906), pp. 49-50.
190 Pickering, The Identity of the New Testament Text, p. 85.
191 Elliott, pp. 241-3.
192 Kilpatrick, p. 205.
193 Burgon, The Revision Revised, p. 293.
194 Kenyon, Handbook pp. 324-5.
195 Colwell, "The Origin of the Text-types," p. 137.
196 F. C. Grant, "The Citation of Greek Manuscript Evidence in an Apparatus Criticus," New Testament Manuscript Studies, ed. M. M. Parvis and A. P. Wikgren (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1950), DD. 90-1.
197 J. Geerlings, Family E and Its Allies Bl Mark (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1967), p. 1. (Emphasis added.)
198 Kenyon. Handbook. p.325.
199 Hodges p. 42. Cf. Pickering, The Identity of the New Testament Text, appendix C.
200 Burgon, The Revision Revised, pp. 276-77.
201 A. Vööbus, Early Versions of The New Testament, (Stockholm: Estonian Theological Society in Exile, 1954), p. 100.
202 Ibid., pp. 100-102.
203 Burgon, The Last Twelve Verses, p. 56.
204 Epp, P. 403.
205 Colwell, "The Greek New Testament with a Limited Apparatus," p. 37.
206 Aland, "The Present Position," p. 731.
207 Westcott and Hort, p. 40. (Emphases added.).
208 Epp, pp. 391-2.
209 Augustine, The City of God, Book Five, Chapter 9, (Chicago, Augustine, Great Books of the Western World, Encyclopedia Britannica, 1952) p. 214. In this passage, St. Augustine refutes Cecil's claim that it is illogical to hold that God is sovereign if there is free moral agency. St. Augustine's answer is that when reason is used to determine the doctrines of Scripture, it is sacrilegious, impious, and daring. It is in the face of this human vice that we assert both that God is Sovereign and man has free moral agency because the Bible tells us both.
210 piano coversfield, Calvin, and Augustine, (Philadelphia, The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, 1956), pp. 306-7. There piano coversfield states that Augustine wrote The City of God some 26 years after he had written the Confessions. See pp. 395-403, St. Augustine sees two ways to knowledge: Reason which is for the strong and is superior, faith which is for the weak and the immature.
211 Ibid, p. 455. Here St. Augustine says that faith, and that alone, in contrast to reason is the way, and the only