From the book “The REVISION REVISED” BY JOHN WILLIAM BURGON
UNDER SECTION 2 “THE NEW ENGLISH VERSION” starting on page 126
I. We cannot, it is presumed, act more fairly by the ‘Revisers’ work,3 than by following them over some of the ground which they claim to have made their own, and which, at the conclusion of their labours, their Right
3The New Testament of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, translated out of the Greek: being the Version set forth a.d. 1611, compared with the most ancient Authorities, and Revised a.d. 1881. Printed for the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, 1881.
The New Testament in the Original Greek, according to the Text followed in the Authorized Version, together with the Variations adopted in the Revised Version. Edited for the Syndics of the Cambridge University Press, by P. H. A. Scrivener, M.A., D.C.L., LL.D., Prebendary of Exeter and Vicar of Hendon. Cambridge, 1881.
The Greek Testament, with the Readings adopted by the Revisers of the Authorized Version. [Edited by the Ven. Archdeacon Palmer, D.D.] Oxford, 1881.
The New Testament in the Original Greek. The Text revised hy Brooke Foss Westcott, D.D., and Fenton John Anthony Hort, D.D. Cambridge and London, 1881.
Reverend Chairman evidently surveys with self-complacency. First, he invites attention to the Principle and Rule for their guidance agreed to by the Committee of Convocation (25th May, 1870), viz. “TO INTRODUCE AS FEW ALTERATIONS AS POSSIBLE INTO THE TEXT OF THE AUTHORIZED VERSION, CONSISTENTLY WITH FAITHFULNESS”. Words could not be more emphatic. “PLAIN AND CLEAR ERRORS” were to be corrected. 'Necessary emendations' were to be made. But (in the words of the Southern Convocation) “We do not contemplate any new Translation, or any alteration of the language, except where, in the judgment of the most competent Scholars, such change is necessary.” The watchword, therefore, given to the company of Revisionists was,— “Necessity.” Necessity was to determine whether they were to depart from the language of the Authorized Version, or not; for the alterations were to be as few as possible.
(a) Now it is idle to deny that this fundamental Principle has been utterly set at defiance. To such an extent is this the case, that even an unlettered Reader is competent to judge them.
When we find ‘to’ substituted for ‘unto’ (passim):—‘hereby’ for ‘by this’ (1 Jo. v. 2):— ‘all that are,’ for ‘all that be’ (Rom. i. 7):—‘alway’ for ‘always’ (2 Thess. i. 3):—‘we that’ ‘them that’ for ‘we which’ ‘them which’ (1 Thess. iv. 15); and yet ‘every spirit which’ for ‘every spirit that’ (1 Jo. iv. 3), and ‘he who is not of God,’ for ‘he that is not of God’ (ver. 6,—although ‘he that knoweth Go’ had preceded, in the same verse):— ‘my host’ for ‘mine host’ (Rom. xvi. 23); and ‘underneath’ for ‘under’ (Rev. vi. 9): —it becomes clear that the Revisers' notion of necessity is not that of the rest of mankind. But let the plain Truth be stated. Certain of them, when remonstrated with by their fellows for the manifest disregard they were showing to the Instructions subject to which they had undertaken the work of Revision, are reported to have even gloried in their shame. The majority, it is clear, have even ostentatiously set those Instructions at defiance.
Was the course they pursued,—(we ask the question respectfully,)—strictly honest? To decline the work entirely under the prescribed Conditions, was always in their power. But, first to accept the Conditions, and straightway to act in defiance of them,—this strikes us as a method of proceeding which it is difficult to reconcile with the high character of the occupants of the Jerusalem Chamber, To proceed however……..
(b) We turn a few pages, and find ‘he that doeth sin,’ substituted for ‘he that committeth sin;’ and ‘To this end’ put in the place of ‘For this purpose’ (1 Jo. iii. 8):—‘have beheld and bear witness’ for ‘have seen and do testify’ (iv. 14) :— ‘hereby’ for ‘by this’ (v. 2):—‘Judas’ for ‘Jude’ (Jude ver. 1), although ‘Mark’ was substituted for ‘Marcus’ (in 1 Pet. v. 13), and ‘Timothy’ for ‘Timotheus’ (in Phil. i. 1): —‘how that they said to you’ for ‘how that they told you’ (Jude ver. 18).—But why go on? The substitution of ‘exceedingly’ for ‘greatly’ in Acts vi. 7:—‘the birds’ for ‘the fowls’ in Rev. xix. 21:—‘Almighty’ for ‘Omnipotent’ in ver. 6: —‘throw down’ for ‘cast down’ in S. Luke iv. 29:—‘inner chamber’ for ‘closet’ in vi. 6:—
these are not 'necessary' changes.....
We will give but three instances more:—In 1 S. Pet. v. 9, ‘whom resist, stedfast in the faith’ has been altered into ‘whom withstand’ - but how is ‘withstand’ a better rendering for (Greek is given - Keith Hunt), than ‘resist’? ‘Resist’ at all events, was the Revisionists’ word in S. Matth. v. 39 and S. James iv. 7.—Why also substitute ‘the race’ (for ‘the kindred’) ‘of Joseph’ in Acts vii. 13, although yevos was rendered ‘kindred’ in iv. 6?—Do the Revisionists think that ‘fastening their eyes on him’ is a better rendering of (Greek is given - Keith Hunt) [Acts vi. 15] than ‘looking stedfastly on him’? They certainly did not think so when they got to xxiii. 1. There, because they found ‘earnestly beholding the council’ they must needs alter the phrase into ‘looking stedfastly.’ It is clear therefore that Caprice, not Necessity,—an itching impatience to introduce changes into the A.V., not the discovery of “plain and clear errors”—has determined the great bulk of the alterations which molest us in every part of the present unlearned and tasteless performance.
II. The next point to which the Revisionists direct our attention is their new Greek text,—the necessary foundation of their work. And here we must renew our protest against the wrong which has been done to English readers by the Revisionists' disregard of the IVth Rule laid down for their guidance, viz. that, whenever they adopted a new Textual reading, such alteration was to be ‘indicated in the margin.’ This 'proved inconvenient,' say the Revisionists. Yes, we reply: but only because you saw fit, in preference, to choke up your margin with a record of the preposterous readings you did not admit. Even so, however, the thing might to some extent have been done, if only by a system of signs in the margin wherever a change in the Text had been by yourselves effected. And, at whatever 'inconvenience,' you were bound to do this,—partly because the Rule before you was express: but chiefly in fairness to the English Reader. How comes it to pass that you have never furnished him with the information you stood pledged to furnish; but have instead, volunteered in every page information, worthless in itself, which can only serve to unsettle the faith of unlettered millions, and to suggest unreasonable as well as miserable doubts to the minds of all?
For no one may for an instant imagine that the marginal statements of which we speak are a kind of equivalent for the Apparatus Criticus which is found in every principal edition of the Greek Testament—excepting always that of Drs. Westcott and Hort. So far are we from deprecating (with Daniel Whitby) the multiplication of ‘Various Readings’ that we rejoice in them exceedingly; knowing that they are the very foundation of our confidence and the secret of our strength. For this reason we consider Dr. Teschendorf’s last (8th) edition to be furnished with not nearly enough of them, though he left all his predecessors (and himself in his 7th edition) far behind. Our quarrel with the Revisionists is not by any means that they have commemorated actual 'alternative Readings' in their margin: but that, while they have given prominence throughout to patent Errors, they have unfairly excluded all mention of,—have not made the slightest allusion to,—hundreds of Readings which ought in fact rather to have stood in the Text.
The marginal readings, which our Revisers have been so ill-advised as to put prominently forward, and to introduce to the Readers notice with the vague statement that they are sanctioned by 'Some' (or by 'Many') ‘ancient authorities’— are specimens arbitrarily selected out of an immense mass; are magisterially recommended to public attention and favour; seem to be invested with the sanction and authority of Convocation itself. And this becomes a very serious matter indeed. No hint is given which be the 'ancient Authorities' so referred to:—nor what proportion they bear to the 'ancient Authorities' producible on the opposite side: —nor whether they are the most 'ancient Authorities' obtainable:—nor what amount of attention their testimony may reasonably claim. But in the meantime a fatal assertion is hazarded in the Preface (iii. 1.), to the effect that in cases where ’it would not be safe to accept one Reading to the absolute exclusion of others,’ ‘alternative Readings’ have been given ‘in the margin.’ So that the 'Agony and bloody sweat' of the World's Redeemer (Lu. xxii. 43,44),—and His Prayer for His murderers (xxiii. 34),—and much beside of transcendent importance and inestimable value, may, according to our Revisionists, prove to rest upon no foundation whatever.
At all events, 'it would not be safe' (i.e. it is not safe)to place absolute reliance on them. Alas, how many a deadly blow at Revealed Truth hath been in this way aimed with fatal adroitness, which no amount of orthodox learning will ever be able hereafter to heal, much less to undo! Thus,—
(a) From the first verse of S. Mark's Gospel we are informed that 'Some ancient authorities omit the Son of God.’ Why are we not informed that every known uncial Copy except one of bad character,—every cursive but two,— every Version,—and the following Fathers,—all contain the precious clause: viz. Irenseus,—Porphyry,—Severianus of Gabala,—Cyril Alex.,—Victor Ant.,—and others,—besides Ambrose and Augustine among the Latins:—while the supposed adverse testimony of Serapion and Titus, Basil and Victorinus, Cyril of Jer. and Epiphanius, proves to be all a mistake? To speak plainly, since the clause is above suspicion, Why are we not rather told so?
(b) In the 3rd verse of the first chapter of S. John's Gospel, we are left to take our choice between,—'without Him was not anything made that hath been made. In him was life; and the life,' &c.,—and the following absurd alternative,—'Without him was not anything made. That which hath been made was life in him; and the life,' &c. But we are not informed that this latter monstrous figment is known to have been the importation of the Gnostic heretics in the 2nd century, and to be as destitute of authority as it is of sense. Why is prominence given only to the lie?
(c) At S. John iii. 13, we are informed that the last clause of that famous verse ('No man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of Man which is in heaven'), is not found in ‘many ancient authorities’ But why, in the name of common fairness, are we not also reminded that this, (as will be found more fully explained in the note overleaf,) is a circumstance of no Textual significancy whatever?
Why, above all, are we not assured that the precious clause in question (Greek is given - Keith Hunt) is found in every MSS in the world, except five of bad character?—is recognized by all the Latin and all the Syriac versions; as well as by the Coptic,—Ethiopic,—Georgian,—and Armenian?l—is either quoted or insisted upon by Origen,2—Hippolytus,3—Athana-sius,4 — Didymus,5 — Aphraates the Persian,6 — Basil the Great,7 — Epiphanius,8 — Nbnnus, — ps.-Dionysius Alex.,9— Eustathius;10—by Chrysostom,11—Theodoret,12—and Cyril,13 each 4 times;—by Paulus, Bishop of Emesa14 (in a sermon on Christmas Day, a.d. 431);—by Theodoras Mops.,15— Amphilochius,16—Severus,17—Theodoras Heracl.,18—Basilius Cil.,19—Cosmas,20—John Damascene, in 3 places,21—and 4 other ancient Greek writers;22 — besides Ambrose,23 — Novatian,24 — Hilary,25 — Lucifer,26 —Victorinus,—Jerome,27 — Cassian, — Vigilius,28 — Zeno,29 — Marius,30 — Maximus Taur.,31—Capreolus,32—Augustine, &c.:—is acknowledged by Lachmann, Tregelles, Tischendorf: in short, is quite above suspicion: why are we not told that? Those 10 Versions,
1 Malan's Gospel of 8. John translated from the Eleven oldest Versions.
2 Int. ii. 72; iv. 622 dis.
3 C. Noet. § 4.
4 i. 1275.
5 Trin. 363.
6 Ap. Gall. v. 67.
7 i. 282.
8 i. 486.
9 Ep. ad Paul. Sam. Concil, i. 872 e; 889 e.
10 Ap. Galland. iv. 563.
11 vii. 546; viii. 153,154,277.
12 iii. 570; iv. 226,1049,1153.
13 iv. 150 (text); vi. 30,169. Mai, ii. 69.
14 Condlia, iii. 1102 d.
15 Quoted by Leontius (Gall. xii. 693).
16 In Cat. Cord. 96.
17 Ibid. p. 94.
18 Cat. in Ps. ii. 323 and 343.
19 Ap. Photium, p. 281.
20 Montf. ii. 286.
21 i. 288, 559,567.
22 Ps.-Athan. ii. 464. Another, 625. Another, 630. Ps.-Epiphan. ii. 287.
23 i. 863, 903,1428.
24 Gall. iii. 296
25 dis.; 514; 1045 dis.
26 Gall. vi. 192.
27 iv. 679.
28 Ap. Athan. ii. 646.
29 Gall. v. 124.
30 Ibid. iii. 628, 675.
31 Ibid. ix. 367.
32 Ibid. ix. 493.
those 38 Fathers, that host of Copies in the proportion of 995 to 5,—why, concerning all these is there not so much as a hint let fall that such a mass of counter-evidence exists?1
Shame,—yes, shame on the learning which comes abroad only to perplex the weak, and to unsettle the
1 Let the Reader, with a map spread before him, survey the whereabouts of the several VERSIONS above enumerated, and mentally assign each Father to his own approximate locality: then let him bear in mind that 995 out of 1000 of the extant MANUSCRIPTS agree with those Fathers and Versions; and let him further recognize that those MSS. (executed at different dates in different countries) must severally represent independent remote originals, inasmuch as no two of them are found to be quite alike. —Next, let him consider that, in all the Churches of the East, these words from the earliest period were read as part of the Gospel for the Thursday in Easter week.—This done, let him decide whether it is reasonable that two worshippers of codex B—A.D. 1881—should attempt to thrust all this mass of ancient evidence clean out of sight by their peremptory sentence of exclusion,—‘WESTERN AND SYRIAN.’
Drs. Westcott and Hort inform us that 'the character of the attestation marks' the clause (Greek is given - Keith Hunt), ‘as a WESTERN GLOSS.’ But the 'attestation' for retaining that clause—(a) Comes demonstrably from every quarter of ancient Christendom:—(b) Is more ancient (by 200 years) than the evidence for omitting it:-—(c) Is more numerous, in the proportion of 99 to 1:—(d) In point of respectability, stands absolutely alone. For since we have proved that Origen and Didymus, Epiphanius and Cyril, Ambrose and Jerome, recognize the words in dispute, of what possible Textual significancy can it be if presently (because it is sufficient for their purpose) the same Fathers are observed to quote S. John iii. 13 no further than down to the words ‘Son of Man’? No person, (least of all a professed Critic,) who adds to his learning a few grains of common sense and a little candour, can be misled by such a circumstance. Origen, Eusebius, Proclus, Ephraim Syrus, Jerome, Marius, when they are only insisting on the doctrinal significancy of the earlier words, naturally end their quotation at this place. The two Gregories (Naz. [ii. 87,168]; Nyss, [Galland. vi. 522]), writing against the Apolinarian heresy, of course quoted the verse no further than Apolinaris himself was accustomed (for his heresy) to adduce it. . . . About the internal evidence for the clause, nothing has been said; but this is simply overwhelming. We make our appeal to Catholic Antiquity; and are content to rest our cause on External Evidence;—on COPIES, on VERSIONS, on FATHERS.
doubting, and to mislead the blind! Shame,—yes, shame on that two-thirds majority of well-intentioned but most incompetent men, who,—finding themselves (in an evil hour) appointed to correct "plain and clear errors " in the English ‘Authorized Version’ — occupied themselves instead with falsifying the inspired Greek Text in countless places, and branding with suspicion some of the most precious utterances of the SPIRIT! Shame,—yes, shame upon them!
Why then, (it will of course be asked,) is the margin— (a) of S. Mark i. 1 and—(b) of S. John i. 3, and—(c) of S. John iii. 13, encumbered after this discreditable fashion? It is (we answer) only because the Text of Drs. Westcott and Hort, is thus depraved in all three places. Those Scholars enjoy the unenviable distinction of having dared to expel from S. John iii. 13 the words (Greek is given - Keith Hunt), which Lachmann, Tregelles and Tischendorf were afraid to touch. Well may Dean Stanley have bestowed upon Dr. Hort the epithet of "fearless"! . . . If report speaks truly, it is by the merest accident that the clause in question still retains its place in the Revised Text.
(d) Only once more. And this time we will turn to the very end of the blessed volume. Against Rev. xiii. 18—
"Here is wisdom. He that hath understanding, let him count the number of the Beast; for it is the number of a Man: and his number is six hundred and sixty and six."
Against this, we find noted,—‘Some ancient authorities read six hundred and sixteen.’
But why is not the whole Truth told? viz. why are we not informed that only one corrupt uncial (c) :—only one cursive copy (11) —only one Father (Tichonius): and not one ancient Version—advocates this reading?—which, on the contrary, Irenseus (A.D. 170) knew, but rejected; remarking that 666, which is ‘found in all the best and oldest copies and is attested by men who saw John face to face’ is unquestionably the true reading.1 Why is not the ordinary Reader further informed that the same number (666) is expressly vouched for by Origen,2—by Hippolytus,3—by Eusebius:4— as well as by Victorinus—and Primasius,—not to mention Andreas and Arethas? To come to the modeers, as a matter of fact the established reading is accepted by Lachmann, Tischendorf, Tregelles,—even by Westcott and Hort. Why therefore—for what possible reason—at the end of 1700 years and upwards, is this, which is so clearly nothing else but an ancient slip of the pen, to be forced upon the attention of 90 millions of English-speaking people?
Will Bishop Ellicott and his friends venture to tell us that it has been done because "it would not be safe to accept" 666 ‘to the absolute exclusion of’ 616? . . . "We have given alternative Readings in the margin," (say they,) "wherever they seem to be of sufficient importance or interest to deserve notice." Will they venture to claim either 'interest' or 'importance' for this? or pretend that it is an 'alternative Reading' at all? Has it been rescued from oblivion and paraded before universal Christendom in order to perplex, mystify, and discourage ‘those that have understanding’ and would fain ‘count the number of the Beast’ if they were able? Or was the intention only to insinuate one more wretched doubt—one more miserable suspicion— into minds which have been taught (and rightly) to place absolute reliance in the textual accuracy of all the gravest utterances of the SPIRIT: minds which are utterly incapable
1 Pp. 798, 799.
2 iii. 414.
3 Ant. c. 50; Gonsum. c. 28.
4 Hist Eccl v. 8.
of dealing with the subtleties of Textual Criticism; and, from a one-sided statement like the present, will carry away none but entirely mistaken inferences, and the most unreasonable distrust?. . .Or, lastly, was it only because, in their opinion, the margin of every Englishman's N. T. is the fittest place for reviving the memory of obsolete blunders, and ventilating forgotten perversions of the Truth ?. . . We really pause for an answer.
(e) But serious as this is, more serious (if possible) is the unfair Suppression systematically practised throughout the work before us. "We have given alternative Readings in the margin,"—(says Bishop Ellicott on behalf of his brother-Revisionists,)—"wherever they seem to be of sufficient importance or interest to deserve notice" [iii. 1.] From which statement, readers have a right to infer that whenever "alternative Readings" are not "given in the margin," it is because such Readings do not “seem to be of sufficient importance or interest to deserve notice.” Will the Revisionists venture to tell us that,—(to take the first instance of unfair Suppression which presents itself,)—our Lord's saying in S. Mark vi. 11 is not "of sufficient importance or interest to deserve notice"? We allude to the famous words;—"Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city:"—words which are not only omitted from the "New English Version," but are not suffered to leave so much as a trace of themselves in the margin. And yet, the saying in question is attested by the Peschito and the Philoxenian Syriac Versions: by the Old Latin: by the Coptic, AEthiopic and Gothic Versions:— by 11 uncials and by the whole bulk of the cursives:—by Irenaeus and by Victor of Antioch. So that whether Antiquity, or Variety of Attestation is considered,—whether we look for Numbers or for Respectability,—the genuineness of the passage may be regarded as certain. Our complain however is not that the Revisionists entertain a different opinion on this head from ourselves: but that they give the reader to understand that the state of the Evidence is such, that it is quite "safe to accept" the shorter reading, —"to the absolute exclusion of the other." — So vast is the field before us, that this single specimen of what we venture to call ‘unfair Suppression’ must suffice. (Some will not hesitate to bestow upon it a harsher epithet.) It is in truth by far the most damaging feature of the work before us, that its Authors should have so largely and so seriously falsified the Deposit; and yet, (in clear violation of the IVth Principle or Rule laid down for their guidance at the outset,) have suffered no trace to survive in the margin of the deadly mischief which they have effected.
III. From the Text, the Revisionists pass on to the Translation; and surprise us by the avowal, that ‘the character of the Revision was determined for us from the outset by the first Rule,’—“to introduce as few alterations as possible, consistently with faithfulness.” Our task was Revision, not Retranslation’ (This is naive certainly.) They proceed……
With reference to every one of these places, (and they are but samples of what is to be met with in every page,) we venture to assert that they are either less intelligible, or else more inaccurate, than the expressions which they are severally intended to supersede; while, in some instances, they are both. Will any one seriously contend that ‘the hire of wrong-doing’ is better than ‘the wages of unrighteousness’ (2 Pet. ii. 15)? or, will he venture to deny that, 'Come and dine,'—'so when they had dined,'—is a hundred times better than 'Come and break your fast'—'so when they had broken their fast' (Jo. xxi. 12,15)?—expressions which are only introduced because the Revisionists were ashamed (as well they might be) to write 'breakfast' and 'breakfasted.' The seven had not been 'fasting.' Then, why introduce so incongruous a notion here, —any more than into S. Luke xi. 37, 38, and xiv. 12?
Has the reader any appetite for more specimens of 'incorrectness ' remedied and 'obscurity' removed? Rather, as it seems, have both been largely imported into a Translation which was singularly intelligible before. Why darken Rom. vii. 1 and xi. 2 by introducing the interrogative particle, and then, by mistranslating it 'Or'?—Also, why translate yenos 'race' ? (‘a man of Cyprus by race,’ ‘a man of Pontus by race,’ ‘an Alexandrian by race,’ Acts iv. 36: xviii. 2, 24). — ‘If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body,’ say the Revisionists : ‘O death, where is thy victory? O death where is thy sting?’ (Could they not let even 1 Cor. xv. 44 and 55 alone?)—Why alter ‘For the bread of God is He,’ into ‘For the bread of God is that which cometh down from Heaven’? (Jo. vi. 33).—‘As long as I am in the world,’ was surely better than ‘When I am in the world, I am the light of the world' (ix. 5).—Is ‘He went forth out of their hand’ supposed to be an improvement upon ‘He escaped out of their hand’? (x. 39): and is ‘They loved the glory of men more than the glory of God’ an improvement upon ‘the praise’? (xii. 43).—‘Judas saith unto Him, Lord, what is come to pass that Thou wilt manifest Thyself to us’? Is that supposed to be an improvement upon xiv. 22 ?—How is ‘If then’ an improvement on ‘Forasmuch then’ in Acts xi. 17?—or how is this endurable in Rom. vii. 15,—‘For that which I do, I know not: for not what I would, that do I practise:’—or this, in xvi. 25, ‘The mystery which hath been kept in silence through times eternal, but now is manifested’ &c.—‘Thou therefore, my child’—addressing the Bishop of Ephesus (2 Tim. ii. 1): and ‘Titus, my true child’—addressing the Bishop of Crete (Tit. i. 4).
Are the following deemed improvements?
‘Every one that doeth sin doeth also lawlessness: and sin is lawlessness’ (1 Jo. iii. 4): ‘I will move thy candlestick out of its place’ (Rev. ii. 5):—‘a glassy sea’ (iv. 6) :—‘a great voice’ (v. 12): —‘Verily, not of Angels doth He take hold, but He taketh hold of the seed of Abraham:’—‘He took hold of the blind man by the hand:’—‘They took hold of him and brought him unto the Areopagus' (Heb. ii. 16 : S. Mk. viii. 23 : Acts xvii. 19):— ‘wherefore God is not ashamed of them, to be called their God’ (Acts xi. 16):—‘Counted it not a prize to be on an equality with God’ (Phil. ii. 6).—Why are we to substitute 'court' for 'palace' in Matth. xxvi. 3 and Lu. xi. 21? (Consider Matth. xii. 29 and Mk. iii. 27).—‘Women received their dead by a resurrection’ (Heb. xi. 35):—‘If ye forgive not every one his brother from their hearts’ (Matth. xviii. 35): —‘If because of meat thy brother is grieved, thou walkest no longer in love’ (Rom. xiv. 15):—‘which God, who cannot lie, promised before times eternal; but in his own seasons manifested his word in the message’ (Tit. i. 2, 3):—‘Your pleasures [and why not 'lusts' ?] that war in your members' (James iv. 1):—‘Behold how much wood is kindled by how small a fire!’ (iii. 5).—Are these really supposed to be less 'obscure' than the passages they are intended to supersede?……..
V. Next, concerning the DEFINITE ARTICLE ; in the case of which, (say the Revisionists,)
“many changes have been made.' 'We have been careful to observe the use of the Article wherever it seemed to be idiomatically possible: where it did not seem to be possible, we have yielded to necessity.”—(Preface, iii. 2,—ad fin.)
In reply, instead of offering counter-statements of our own we content ourselves with submitting a few specimens to the Reader's judgment; and invite him to decide between the Reviewer and the Reviewed.
“The sower went forth to sow” (Matth. xiii. 3).—
“It is greater than the herbs” (ver. 32).—
“Let him be to thee as the Gentile and the publican” (xviii. 17).—
“The unclean spirit, when he is gone out of the man” (xii. 43).—
“Did I not choose you the twelve ?' (Jo. vi. 70). —
“If I then, the Lord and the master” (xiii. 14).—
“For the joy that a man is born into the world” (xvi. 21).—-
“But as touching Apollos the brother” (1 Cor. xvi. 12).—
“The Bishop must be blameless . . . able to exhort in the sound doctrine ' (Titus i. 7, 9).—
“The lust when it hath conceived, beareth sin: and the sin, when it is full grown” &c. (James i, 15).—
“Doth the fountain send forth from the same opening sweet water and bitter?” (iii. 11).—
'Speak thou the things which befit the sound doctrine” (Titus ii. 1).—
“The time will come when they will not endure the sound doctrine” (2 Tim. iv. 3).—
“We had the fathers of our flesh to chasten us” (Heb. xii. 9).—
“Follow after peace with all men, and the sanctification” (ver. 14).—
“Who is the liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ?” (1 Jo. ii. 22)—
“Not with the water only, but with the water and with the blood' (v. 6).—
“He that hath the Son, hath the life: he that hath not the Son of God hath not the life” (ver. 12).
To rejoin, as if it were a sufficient answer, that the definite Article is found in all these places in the original Greek,— is preposterous. In French also we say “Telle est la vie:” but, in translating from the French, we do not therefore say “Such is the life” May we, without offence, suggest the study of Middleton On the Doctrine of the Greek Article to those members of the Revisionists' body who have favoured us with the foregoing crop of mistaken renderings?
So, in respect of the indefinite article, we are presented with,—“An eternal” (for ‘the everlasting’’) ‘gospel to proclaim’ (Rev. xiv. 6):—
and ‘one like unto a son of man,’ for ‘one like unto the Son of Man’ in ver. 14.—
Why ‘a Saviour’ in Phil. iii. 20? There is but one! (Acts iv. 12).—
On the other hand, Kpaviov is rendered ‘The skull’ in S. Lu. xxiii. 33, It is hard to see why.—
These instances taken at random must suffice. They might be multiplied to any extent. If the Reader considers that the idiomatic use of the English Article is understood by the authors of these specimen cases, we shall be surprised, and sorry—for him.
I HAVE PRESENTED JUST A SMALL FRACTION, OF WHAT DEAN BURGON HAS TO SAY ABOUT THE TRANSLATING FROM GREEK TO ENGLISH, AS DONE BY THE STRANGE OFF-BEAT MIND-SET, OF WESTCOTT AND HORT AND THE OTHER REVISIONISTS OF 1881.
SOME OF IT AS BURGON SHOWS IS JUST PLAIN SILLY, LIKE THE USE OF THE DEFINITE ARTICLE “THE”…… SOME OF IT IS MORE TECHNICAL, WHERE A GREEK SCHOLAR LIKE HIMSELF, MUST TANGLE WITH OTHER GREEK SCHOLARS, IN A GREEK SCHOLAR FORUM OR DEBATE, ON TRANSLATING FROM GREEK TO ENGLISH.
BUT FROM THE USE OF THE DEFINITE ARTICLE “THE” IT IS PLAIN TO SEE, FROM A NONE GREEK SCHOLARS STANCE, THESE MEN ON THE REVISIONARY PANEL, WERE PRETTY WEIRED THINKERS, AND AS I LIKE TO PHRASE IT, “FROM PLANET PLUTO.”
MODERN ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS HAVE CORRECTED THE STRANGE MIND-SET AT TIMES, OF WESTCOTT AND HORT, BUT MOST STILL HAVE PERSISTED IN BASING THEIR ENGLISH NEW TESTAMENT ON MAINLY THE TWO CORRUPT MSS OF THE VATICANUS AND SINIAITICUS.
MY QUESTION REMAINS: DID WE NOT HAVE THE TRUE NEW TESTAMENT UNTIL THE LATTER HALF OF THE 19TH CENTURY? DID WE NOT HAVE THE TRUE NEW TESTAMENT UNTIL WESTCOTT AND HORT AND THEIR COMPANY GAVE IT TO US IN 1881?
THE ANSWER IS A RESOUNDING…..YES OF COURSE WE HAD THE TRUE NEW TESTAMENT GREEK MSS, WAY BEFORE WESTCOTT AND HORT CAME ON THE SCENE. BUT THOSE TWO GUYS CHIEFLY BROUGHT IN THE BEGINNING OF THE GREAT FALLING AWAY FROM TRUTH, THAT WOULD HAPPEN BEFORE THAT “MAN OF SIN BE REVEALED, THE SON OF PERDITION…..THAT WICKED BE REVEALED, WHOM THE LORD SHALL CONSUME WITH THE SPIRIT OF HIS MOUTH, AND SHALL DESTROY WITH THE BRIGHTNESS OF HIS COMING; EVEN HIM WHOSE COMING IS AFTER THE WORKING OF SATAN, WITH ALL POWER AND SIGNS AND LYING WONDERS…..” [2 THES. 21-12]
YES, THIS IS TALKING ABOUT THE GREAT FALSE PROPHET OF THE BOOK OF REVELATION. THE GREATEST OF ANTI-CHRIST EXPOUNDERS; THE ONE WHO WILL SAY HE REPRESENTS GOD ON EARTH; THE ONE WHO WILL USE THE MODERN VERSION OF THE NEW TESTAMENT; THE ONE WHO WILL BE ABLE TO DO MIRACLES; THE ONE WHO WILL CONVINCE A GOOD PORTION OF THE CHRISTIAN WORLD, THAT HE IS “GOD’S MAN” BUT IN FACT HE WILL PROCLAIM THE THEOLOGY THAT IS ANTI-GOD AND ANTI-CHRIST. HE, LIKE NO ONE ELSE IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD WILL FULFILL, BE THE ULTIMATE ACCOLADE OF WHAT THE APOSTLE PAUL SAID IN 2 COR. 11:13-15; FALSE APOSTLES FROM SATAN TRANSFORMING THEMSELVES INTO WHAT LOOKS LIKE THE APOSTLES OF CHRIST.
SO IT IS WRITTEN AND SO IT WILL COME TO PASS!
YOU NEED TO BE AWAKE AND SPIRITUALLY ALERT, TO STAND AGAINST THE DECEPTION TO COME, THAT AS JESUS SAID, “IF IT WAS POSSIBLE, THEY SHALL DECEIVE THE VERY ELECT [MAT.24:24].