THE HERESIES OF WESTCOTT AND HORT #11
The Heresies of Westcott and Hort on the Work of the Lord Jesus Christ. A. Westcott explained away some of the miracles of the Lord Jesus Christ by downplaying or omitting the literal phase of the miracle.
(John 6:21) It will be obvious that these two "signs" are introductory to the discourse which follows. Both correct limited views springing out of our material conceptions. Effects are produced at variance with our ideas of quantity and quality. That which is small becomes great. That which is heavy moves on the surface of the water. Contrary elements yield at a divine presence. Both "signs" in other words, prepare the way for new thoughts of Christ, of His sustaining, preserving, guiding power, and exclude deductions drawn from corporeal relations only. He can support men, though visible means fall short. He is with His disciples, though they do not recognize or see Him. . . .
—Westcott—John, op. cit., p. 99
This sounds like a modernistic apostate explaining away the miracles alluded to above. He wants to de-emphasize "material conceptions" and "exclude" completely any "deductions drawn from corporeal relations only." Thus the literalness of these miracles is suspected and bypassed by Westcott, in favor of a spiritualization of them.
(John 11:25) The resurrection is not a doctrine but a fact: not future but present: not multitudinous, but belonging to the unbroken continuity of each separate life. ... I am—not I shall be hereafter—I AM. . . .
—Westcott—John, op. cit., p. 168
Here is Westcott's flat denial of the future resurrection, holding only to some sort of undefined, spiritualized "present" form.
B. Westcott and Hort deny or have a false meaning to the literal, bodily resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, and remain in general.
1. Westcott falsely thought the "resurrection of Christ" was the "restoration" of the "Tabernacle of God's presence to men." He wrote:
(John 2:19) Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up) On the other hand the resurrection of Christ was the raising again of the Temple, the complete restoration of the Tabernacle of God's presence to men, perpetuated in the church, which is Christ's body.
—-Westcott—John, op. cit., p. 42
All Westcott the apostate and heretic has for the bodily resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ is the "restoration of. . . God's presence to men" which is "perpetuated in the church, which is Christ's body." Just so there is a visible church, for Westcott, there is a resurrection. Heresy, pure and simple, and ugly.
2. Westcott falsely thought Christ's body passed through "earthly dissolution" in his wrong view of the resurrection. He wrote:
(Hebrews 7:16) The life of Christ was not endless or eternal only. It was essentially "indissoluble" (Ajkatavlup-to). Although the form of its manifestation was changed and in the earthly sense He died, yet His life endured unchanged even through earthly dissolution. . . .
—Westcott—Hebrews, op. cit., p. 185
There was no "earthly dissolution" of the body of the Lord Jesus Christ, because He "saw no corruption." His body was literally and physically resurrected from the dead, and He is still at the Father's right hand to this very hour, as the "man, Christ Jesus," raised bodily, ascended bodily, seated bodily at the Right Hand of God the Father, and coming one day bodily as He promised.
THE PHYSICAL BODY OF CHRIST WAS RAISED, BUT THAT PHYSICAL BODY COULD APPEAR AND DISAPPEAR. GOD HAS THE POWER TO MAKE HIMSELF PHYSICAL FLESH AND BONE AND BE TOUCHED, THEN DISAPPEAR AND BE A SPIRITUAL BODY. SO IN THE RESURRECTION THE PHYSICAL BODY IS WAY DIFFERENT THAN THE PHYSICAL BODY WE HAVE TODAY. ALL ABOUT GOD AND THE RESURRECTION IS FULLY COVERED ON THIS WEBSITE - Keith Hunt
3. Hort wrongly spiritualized the resurrection from the dead in 1 Peter 1:3. He wrote:
(1 Peter 1:3) (by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead) How our Lord's Resurrection was the instrument by which a new life of hope was brought into mankind may be read in many places of the Acts and the Epistles. It reversed every doom of every kind of death, and thus annulled the hopelessness which must settle down on every one who thinks out seriously what is involved in the universal empire of death. It was by the faith in the Resurrection that mankind was enabled to renew its youth.
—Hort—1 Peter, op. cit., p. 34
This is a spiritualization of the resurrection. It doesn't "enable" "mankind" to "renew its youth." It teaches that every born-again believer will one day receive a new body, physically raised from the dead or transformed instantaneously from a mortal body to an immortal body at His Coming. Hort knows nothing of this glorious hope, but spiritualizes it away to nothingness.
I DO NOT UNDERSTAND HORT'S WORDS AS WAITE DOES. THE TRUTH OF THE RESURRECTION GIVES NEW MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL ZEAL OF YOUTH; YOU HAVE THE STRENGTH OF YOUTH AS A MIND-SET BECAUSE YOU KNOW THERE IS SURE PROMISE THAT AFTER DEATH THERE IS A RESURRECTION TO LIFE AGAIN - Keith Hunt
C. Westcott refused to stand for "propositions about Christ," thinking that it was all right just simply to "believe" "in Christ," whoever He might be.
(John 14:1) (believe also in me) The belief is "in Christ," and not in any propositions about Christ.
—Westcott—John, op. cit., p. 200
This may sound all well and good, but just how, pray tell, can you believe "in Christ" if you don't have the slightest idea about just who He is, based on the Bible, and all of its definite "propositions about Christ." This is the chief heresy of Westcott, that is, his disdain to be pinned down to "propositions about Christ." He has passed on this heresy to many, many twentieth century people today as well, sad to say.
D. Westcott was very heretical concerning the "Second Coming" of the Lord Jesus Christ.
1. Westcott heretically believed in many different "comings" of the Lord Jesus Christ in John 14:3. He wrote:
(John 14:3) (. . . I will come again, and receive you unto myself;) But though the words refer to the last "coming" of Christ, the promise must not be limited to that one "coming" which is the consummation of all comings." Nor again must it be confined to the "coming" to the church on the day of Pentecost, or to the "coming" to the individual either at conversion or at death, though these "comings" are included in the thought. Christ is in fact from the moment of His Resurrection ever coming to the world and to the church, and to men, as the Risen Lord (Comp. i. 9). This thought is expressed by the use of the present I come, as distinguished from the future I will come, as of one isolated future act. The "coming" is regarded in its continual present . .. side by side with this constant coming. . ..
—Westcott—John, op. cit., p. 201
This comment, for those who know the Bible on the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, needs no further elaboration by me. Its heresies are obvious. For Westcott, words don't mean anything. He can make them whatever he might wish to make of them. Many modernist apostates and heretics of today have followed his lead here, especially including John MacArthur who changes "blood" to mean merely "death." For a full discussion on this, see my book, John MacArthur's Heresy on the Blood of Christ.
WESTCOTT DOES NOT DENY THE LAST COMING OF CHRIST; HE IS MERELY SHOWING THAT CHRIST IS ALWAYS COMING THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT TO THE CHURCH OF CHRIST. CHRIST IS ALWAYS PRESENTLY COMING, LIVING AGAIN WITHIN THE CHRISTIAN - GAL.2:20. A WEAK ARGUMENT BY WAITE - Keith Hunt
2. Westcott repeats similar errors concerning the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ throughout his works. He refers the Second Coming to the coming of the Holy Spirit (cf. Westcott—John, op. cit., John 14:16, p. 205); he speaks of "several comings of Christ" (cf. Westcott—1-3 John, op. cit., 1 John 2:18, p. 69); he refers to the expression, "as often as Christ comes" (cf. Westcott—1-3 John , op. cit., 1 John 2:18, p. 71); He says that "He is still coming" in the "flesh" (cf. Westcott—1-3 John , op. cit., 1 John 4:2, p. 142); and he refers to a "continuous spiritual coming" of Christ (cf. Westcott—1-3 John , op. cit., 1 John 5:6, p. 182). These all perpetuate Westcott's heresy in this vital department of Christology.
WESTCOTT IS CORRECT IN WHAT HE STATES. CHRIST IS ALWAYS PRESENTLY COMING INTO THE FLESH OF CHRISTIANS. IT IS THE TRUTH OF GAL. 2:20. WAITE HAS A ONE TRACK MIND, OR TUNNEL VISION - Keith Hunt
E. Westcott and Hort had a false and heretical view of the vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ.
1. Westcott believed the heresy that the "redemptive efficacy" of "Christ's 'work" was found "in His whole life," rather than in His death. He wrote:
(John 1:29) (which taketh away the sin of the world) The parallel passage in the Epistle (I.e.) shews that the redemptive efficacy of Christ's word is to be found in His whole life....
—Westcott—John, op. cit., p. 20
Here is a verse, John 1:29, which shows that the "Lamb of God" took away the sin of the world by His offering on the cross, and yet Westcott used it to show "redemptive efficacy" is found "in His whole life." This is nothing short of blatant heretical modernistic apostasy. Jesus Christ's life did not nor could not redeem us. It was only the shedding of His blood at the cross which is the basis of man's redemption.
WAITE AGAIN HAS TUNNEL VISION AND MISSES READING THE WHOLR NEW TESTAMENT, OR DELIBERATELY FORGETS PARTS OF IT. HERE IT IS, BEEN THERE FOR 2,000 YEARS..... SEE IT, MARK IT..... ROMANS 5:8-8. AND ROMANS 8:9-11. WHAT IS "REDEEMING" IN SALVATION. IT IS THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS. YES THE BLOOD AND DEATH OF CHRIST FORGIVES US OF OUR SINS TO THE POINT OF OUR REPENTANCE AND CONVERSION TO ACCEPTING CHRIST AS PERSONAL SAVIOR. BUT REDEEMING WORK GOES ON FROM THERE. AGAIN SEE IT FOR YOURSELF - 1 JOHN 1. IT TAKES THE LIFE OF CHRIST, AS THE SINLESS ONE, AND AS THE RISEN ONE TO SAVE US, TO REDEEM US TO IMMORTALITY. SEE ALSO 1 COR. 15:12-19. JESUS IS NOW ALIVE AS OUR HIGH PRIEST IN HEAVEN INTERCEDING FOR US. REDEMPTIVE WORK GOES ON UNTIL OUR DEATH. SO INDEED IT DOES TAKE THE DEATH AND LIFE OF CHRIST TO REDEEM US TO INHERIT ETERNAL LIFE. WAITE AGAIN IS USING TUNNEL VISION IN READING THE NEW TESTAMENT - Keith Hunt
2. Westeott wrongly thought John 6:51 did not speak of Christ's "atonement." He wrote:
(John 6:51) (my flesh) The thought here is of support and growth, and not of atonement.
—Westcott—John, op. cit., p. 106
The whole importance of the teachings in this section of John 6 has to do with the "atonement" of the Lord Jesus Christ. How else can we understand His giving us His "flesh" to eat?
YES OF COURSE JESUS WAS REFERRING TO THE GIVING OF HIS FLESH LIFE IN DEATH TO ATONEMENT FOR US, AND OUR ACCEPTING OF THAT SACRIFICE FOR OUR SINS; BUT THAT STILL INCLUDES SUPPORT AND GROWTH AS JESUS SAID IN VERSE 63. WESTCOTT IS WRONG BUT ALSO RIGHT - Keith Hunt
3. Westcott wrongly took Christ's "flesh" in John 6:51 to be "the virtue of His humanity. He wrote:
(John 6:51, 53) It is not yet indicated how the "flesh" of Christ, the virtue of His humanity, will be communicated to and made effectual for mankind or men. . . . By the "flesh " in this narrower sense we must understand the virtue of Christ's humanity as living for us; by the "blood" the virtue of His humanity as subject to death.
—Westcott—John, op. cit., pp. 106-07
Christ's "flesh" is "communicated to and made effectual for mankind or men" by His crucifixion on the cross. Westcott has misdefined and spiritualized both "flesh" and "blood," rather than taking them literally to refer to what was accomplished on the cross for lost men.
4. Westcott heretically declared that throughout Christ's "last discourses" the "redemptive work of Christ essentially was completed." He wrote:
(John 13:31) (glorified) The thought throughout these last discourses is of the decisive act by which the Passion had been embraced. The redemptive work of Christ essentially was completed (xvii. 4, etc.).
—Westcott—John, op. cit., p. 196
By no means was the "redemptive work of Christ" either "essentially completed" or even partly completed while He was giving His "last discourses." This harks back to Westcott's heresy that Christ's "whole life" has "redemptive efficacy".
IF WESTCOTT IS SAYING THE DEATH OF CHRIST WAS NOT IMPORTANT, OR ONLY CHRIST LIVING A SINLESS LIFE WAS "REDEMPTIVE WORK COMPLETE" THEN INDEED HE WAS WRONG AND SUCH TEACHING WOULD BE HERESY - Keith Hunt
5. Westcott gave "plausibility" and "authority" to the false "cause of the death of Christ" as a "rupture of the heart" rather than the biblical cause. He wrote:
(John 19:34) (blood and water) It has been argued (with the greatest plausibility and authority by Dr. Stroud, "The physical cause of the Death of Christ," ed. 2, 1871) that this is a natural phenomenon. The immediate cause of death was (it is said) a rupture of the heart. . . .
—Westcott—John, op. cit., p. 279
No. The "immediate cause of death" was the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ dismissed His Spirit. He simply said, "into thy hands I commend my spirit" and so gave up His Spirit and died physically. This was the cause of death. It was a miracle of Deity which no human being is capable of performing. If a physical cause of death can be found (other than the biblical one), then how can we be sure He didn't die an "accidental death" and that He did not atone for the sins of the world in His sacrifice? John 10:18 is clear on this point.
IT WAS INDEED NOT A RUPTURE OF THE HEART; IT WAS CHRIST BLOOD THAT WAS POURED OUT, THE SHEDDING OF HIS BLOOD, AS FORETOLD IN THE OLD TESTAMENT. AND SO SPOKE THE WORDS WAITE GIVES, AND DIED PHYSICALLY - Keith Hunt
6. Westcott wrongly said that "death" rather than the "shedding of the blood" is the "seal" of the validity of a covenant. He wrote:
(Hebrews 9:14) Death again, which makes the blood available, is the seal of the validity of a covenant.
—Westcott—Hebrews, op. cit.,p. 261
No."Death" in and of itself is not the "seal" of the Covenant, but, on the contrary, it is the "shedding of the blood" which is the "seal" of the New Covenant and all biblical covenants. "Death" could be by natural causes, and without any shedding of blood whatsoever, and that would not "seal" anything.....
7. Westcott had a wrong view of "blood" as the "idea of life" rather than "death." He wrote:
(Hebrews 9: 12) I have endeavoured to shew elsewhere (Addit. Note on 1 John 1:7) that the Scriptural idea of blood is essentially an idea of life and not of death.
—Westcott—Hebrews, op, cit., p. 293
This is foreign to the Bible's usage. "Blood" is ever used in sacrifices, and is ever spoken of as being "shed." This shedding of blood can hardly speak of "life," but is a picture of the "death" of the sacrifice.
WELL....COME ON NOW, THE SHEDDING OF CHRIST'S BLOOD, WAS LIFE FOR THE BELIEVER IN ACCEPTING JESUS' SHEDDING OF BLOOD, HIS DEATH, FOR THE BELIEVER'S SINS....HENCE THERE IS LIFE IN THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB. IT'S ALL IN THE PERSPECTIVE OF HOW YOU ARE LOOKING AT THE SHEDDING OF BLOOD - Keith Hunt
8. Westcott wrongly believed the "offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all" somehow "slowly matured through life." He wrote:
(Hebrews 10:10) (through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all) Through the offering of the body divinely prepared, which offering, slowly matured through life, was consummated on the cross.
—Westcott—Hebrews, op. cit., p. 312
If this "offering" was indeed "once for all," [and it was, at the cross], how could it be "slowly matured through life"? This again is pure apostate heresy.
AGAIN IT'S ALL IN THE PERSPECTIVE OF HOW YOU ARE LOOKING AT THE LIFE OF CHRIST. IT IS WRITTEN, "AND JESUS INCREASED IN WISDOM AND STATURE, AND IN FAVOR WITH GOD AND MAN" [LUKE 2:52]. NOW YOU GO FIGURE HOW A SINLESS CHRIST DID THAT; BUT IT IS WRITTEN HE DID, YOU'VE JUST READ IT - AND I SUPPOSE HE DID UNTIL HE DIED - Keith Hunt
9. Westcott wrongly taught that "redemption, forgiveness, atonement" and "reconciliation" came through Christ's "in carnation, " "life," "passion," and "resurrection," rather than just through His sacrifice at Calvary. He wrote:
(Hebrews 10:10) He requires redemption, forgiveness, atonement, reconciliation. All these blessings Christ has brought to humanity by His incarnation, His life, His passion, His ascension.
—Westcott—Hebrews, op. cit., p. 344
All of these great spiritual gifts and benefits-—redemption, forgiveness, atonement, and reconciliation-—-came from the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ at Calvary, and not a single one came from His "life," or "incarnation" only, or even "ascension. " Here is Westcott's downplaying once more the sacrifice of Christ and His shedding of His blood at the cross. It is heresy.
WESTCOTT IS NOT DOWNPLAYING THE SACRIFICE OF CHRIST AT ALL. HE IS JUST GIVING THE REST OF WHAT THE NEW TESTAMENT TEACHES. SEE ROMANS 3:25; 5:9-10; 8:9-11; 33-34; HEBREWS 4:15-16; 1 JOHN 1:6-10 - 2:1-2. REDEMPTIVE WORK WAS BECAUSE CHRIST WAS SINLESS IN LIFE, DIED ON THE CROSS, ROSE AGAIN TO INTERCEDE FOR US AS OUR HIGH PRIEST, AND COMES WITHIN US VIA THE HOLY SPIRIT [GAL.2:20]. ONCE MORE REDEMPTIVE WORK IS MORE THAN JUST CALVARY - SEE IT AGAIN, MARK IT....1 COR. 15:12-17 - Keith Hunt
10. Hort denies that in 1 Peter 1:2, there is no "reference" to the idea of "ransom" in the words, "sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ." He wrote:
(1 Peter 1:2) In the N.T. the blood of Christ is associated with various images which need to be clearly distinguished. There is here no direct reference to the idea of purchase or ransom, as in vv. 18.19 . . . or to the ideal of sacrificial atonement, as in several other books of the N.T.
—Hort—1 Peter, op. cit., p. 23
Hort is heretical here again. There is no reference to the "blood of Jesus Christ" in the New Testament which does not refer and relate directly to "purchase," or "ransom," or "sacrificial atonement."
11. Hort failed to find the reference to the "blood of unblemished and unspotted lamb" as a reference to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God. He wrote:
(1 Peter 1:19) (But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot) In this allusion to the blood of an unblemished and unspotted lamb, what had St Peter in mind? Chiefly, I think, and perhaps solely the paschal lamb.
—Hort—1 Peter, op. cit., p. 77
There is no mystery nor wonder as to the reference to this "Lamb" to the simplest believer—and it is not to the "paschal" or "passover" lamb of Exodus 12. It is to the "Lamb of God" who taketh away the sin of the world (John 1:29). What a pity that the heresies of Hort preclude his discernment of spiritual verities in this. Hort holds that the "paschal lamb" is in view later in the discussion as well (Cf. 1 Peter, op. cit., p. 79) in connection with the same verse.
12. Hort stated that Christ's "precious blood" in 1 Peter 1:19 is only "figurative language" as a "ransom." He wrote:
(1 Peter 1:19) The true lesson is that the language which speaks of a ransom is but figurative language. . . .
—-Hort-—1 Peter, op. cit., p. 80
In other words, Hort holds to the heresy that the blood atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ really didn't take place literally, but the whole idea of redemption through Christ's "precious blood" is all "figurative." ..........
SO WE END D. A. WAITE'S SUPPOSED HERESIES OF WESTCOTT AND HORT.
CERTAINLY THOSE TWO MEN DID HAVE HERESIES, BUT NOT ALL AS WAITE WOULD WANT US TO BELIEVE.
ONE VERY LARGE HERESY WAITE LEAVES OUT IS THAT WESTCOTT AND HORT ESPOUSED THE WRONG GREEK NEW TESTAMENT. THEY DRANK DEEP AND LONG ON THE CORRUPT MSS OF THE VATICANUS AND SINAITICUS, WHICH MOST MODERN TRANSLATIONS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT ARE BASED ON TODAY.
THE READER IS ENCOURAGE TO STUDY THE WHOLE SECTION ON THIS WEBSITE CALLED "HOW WE GOT THE BIBLE" FOR THE FULL AND IN-DEPTH DETAILS OF THE HERESIES OF MODERN NEW TESTAMENT TRANSLATIONS, WHICH WESTCOTT AND HORT WERE FOUNDING FATHERS.