From  the  book  “THE  REVISION  REVISED”


by  Dean  John  William  BURGON




PAGE  323/324



……..You insist on Christian evidence. You shall have it. What think you then of the following statement of a very ancient Father (Caius1) writing against the heresy of Theodotus and others who denied the Divinity of Christ? He is bearing his testimony to the liberties which had been freely taken with the Text of the New Testament in his own time, viz. about A.D. 175-200:—


“The Divine Scriptures,” he says, “these heretics have audaciously corrupted: …. laying violent hands upon them under pretence of correcting them. That I bring no false accusation, any one who is disposed may easily convince himself. He has but to collect the copies belonging to these persons severally; then, to compare one with another; and he will discover that their discrepancy is extraordinary. Those of Asclepiades, at all events, will be found discordant from those of Theodotus. Now, plenty of specimens of either sort are obtainable, inasmuch as these men's disciples have industriously multiplied the (so-called)  ‘corrected’ copies of their respective teachers, which are in reality nothing else but ‘corrupted’ copies. With the foregoing copies again, those of Hemophilus will be found entirely at variance. As for the copies of Apollonides, they even contradict one another. Nay, let any one compare the fabricated text which these persons put forth in the first instance, with that which exhibits their latest perversions of the Truth, and he will discover that the disagreement between them is even excessive.

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1 See p. 324 note (l).—Photius [cod. 48] says that 'Gaius' was a presbyter of Rome …. See Routh's Reliqq, ii. 125.

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Of the enormity of the offence of which these men have been guilty, they must needs themselves be fully aware. Either they do not believe that the Divine Scriptures are the utterance of the Holy Ghost,—in which case they are to be regarded as unbelievers: or else, they account themselves wiser than the Holy Ghost,—and what is that, but to have the faith of devils? As for their denying their guilt, the thing is impossible, seeing that the copies under discussion are their own actual handywork; and they know full well that not such as these are the Scriptures which they received at the hands of their catechetical teachers. Else, let them produce the originals from which they made their transcripts. Certain of them indeed have not even condescended to falsify Scripture, but entirely reject Law and Prophets alike.”1



Now, the foregoing statement is in a high decree suggestive. For here is an orthodox Father of the IInd century inviting attention to four well-known families of falsified manuscripts of the Sacred Writings;—complaining of the hopeless divergences which they exhibit (being not only inconsistent with one another, but with themselves);—and insisting that such corrected, are nothing else but shamefully corrupted copies. He speaks of the phenomenon as being in his day notorious: and appeals to Eecensions, the very names of whose authors—Theodotus, Asclepiades, Hermophilus, Apollonides—have (all but the first) long since died out of the Church's memory. You will allow therefore, (will you not?), that by this time the claim of the oldest existing copies of Scripture to be the purest, has been effectually disposed of. For since there once prevailed such a multitude of corrupted copies, we have no security whatever that the oldest of our extant MSS. are not derived—remotely if not directly—from some of them.

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THIS  IS  JUST  A  LITTLE  OF  BURGON’S  REPLY  TO  WESTCOTT  AND  HORT,  AND  THEIR  SO-CALLED  GENUINE  AND  CORRECT  MSS  OF  THE  VATICANUS  AND  SINAITICUS.

MOST  MODERN  NEW  TESTAMENT  TRANSLATIONS  ARE  BASED  UPON  THESE  TWO  VERY  CORRUPT  MANUSCRIPTS.

THE  VATICANUS  SHOULD  HAVE  BEEN  LEFT  ON  THE  DUSTY  BACK  SHELF  OF  THE  VATICAN  LIBRARY.

THE  SINAITICUS  SHOULD  HAVE  BEEN  LEFT  IN  THE  GARBAGE  BASKET  IN  THE  ROMAN  CATHOLIC  MONASTERY  AT  THE  FOOT  OF  MOUNT  SINAI…..WHERE  IT  WOULD  HAVE  GONE  TO  THE  BURNING  BARREL,  HAD  NOT  A  FELLOW  BY  THE  NAME  OF TISCHENDORF  PULLED  IT  OUT  AND  SO  IT  EVENTUALLY  CAME  UNDER  THE  EYES  OF  WESTCOTT  AND  HORT.


Keith Hunt