Keith Hunt - Revision to Defame - Page Sixteen   Restitution of All Things

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Revision to Defame

The Received Test on the chopping block!

                      AUTHORIZED BIBLE VINDICATED #16


Revision at Last!

     BY the year 1870, so powerful had become the influence of
the Oxford Movement, that a theological bias in favor of Rome was
affecting men in high authority. Many of the most sacred
institutions of Protestant England had been assailed and some of
them had been completely changed.  The attack on the Thirtynine
Articles by Tract 90, and the subversion of fundamental
Protestant doctrines within the Church of England had been so
bold and thorough, that an attempt to substitute a version which
would theologically and legally discredit our common Protestant
Version would not be a surprise.
     The first demands for revision were made with moderation of
language. "Nor can it be too distinctly or too emphatically
affirmed that the reluctance of the public could never have been
overcome but for the studious moderation and apparently rigid
conservatism which the advocates of revision were careful to
adopt." Of course, the Tractarians were conscious of the strong
hostility to their ritualism and said little in public about
revision in order not to multiply the strength of their enemies.
The friends and devotees of the King James Bible, naturally
wished that certain retouches might be given the book which would
replace words counted obsolete, bring about conformity to more
modern rules of spelling and grammar, and correct what they
considered a few plain and clear blemishes in the Received Text,
so that its bitter opponents, who made use of these minor
disadvantages to discredit the whole, might be answered.    
Nevertheless; universal fear and distrust of revision pervaded
the public mind, who recognized in it, as Archbishop Trench
said, "A question affecting ... profoundly the whole moral and
spiritual life of the English people," and the "vast and solemn
issues depending on it."  Moreover, the composition of the
Authorized Version was recognized by scholars as the miracle of
English prose, unsurpassed in clearness, precision, and vigor.
The English of the King James Bible was the most perfect, if not
the only, example of a lost art. It may be said truthfully that
literary men as well as theologians frowned on the revision

     For years there had been a determined and aggressive
campaign to take extensive liberties with the Received Text; and
the Romanizing Movement in the Universities of Oxford and
Cambridge, both ritualistic and critical, had made it easy for
hostile investigators to speak out with impunity. Lachmann had
led the way by ignoring the great mass of manuscripts which
favored the printed text and built his Greek New Testament, as
Salmon says, of scanty material.  Tregelles, though English, "was
an isolated worker, and failed to gain any large number of
adherents.  Tischendorf, who had brought to light many new
manuscripts and had done considerable collating, secured more
authority as an editor than he deserved, and in spite of his
vacillations in successive editions, became notorious in removing
from the Sacred Text several passages hallowed by the veneration
of centuries.
     The public would not have accepted the extreme, or, as some
called it, "progressive" conclusions of these three. The names of
Westcott and Hort were not prominently familiar at this time
although they were Cambridge professors. Nevertheless, what was
known of them, was not such as to arouse distrust and
apprehension. It was not until the work of revision was all over,
that the world awoke to realize that Westcott and Hort had
outdistanced Lachmann, Tischendorf, and Tregelles. As Salmon
says, "Westcott and Hort's Greek Testament has been described as
an epoch-making book; and quite as correctly as the same phrase
has been applied to the work done by Darwin."

     The first efforts to secure revision were cautiously made in
1857 by five clergymen (three of whom, Ellicott, Moberly, and
Humphrey, later were members of the New Testament Revision
Committee), who put out a "Revised Version of John's Gospel."
Bishop Ellicott, who in the future, was to be chairman of the New
Testament Revision Committee, believed that there were clear
tokens of corruptions in the Authorized Version.  Nevertheless,
Ellicott's utterances, previous to Revision, revealed how utterly
unprepared was the scholarship of the day to undertake it. Bishop
Coxe, Episcopal, of Western New York, quotes Ellicott as saying
about this time:

"Even critical editors of the stamp of Tischendorf have
apparently not acquired even a rudimentary knowledge of several
of the leading versions which they conspicuously quote. Nay,
more, in many instances they have positively misrepresented the
very readings which they have followed, and have allowed
themselves to be misled by Latin translations which, as my notes
will testify, are often sadly, and even perversely, incorrect."

     The triumvirate which constantly worked to bring things to a
head, and who later sat on the Revision Committee, were Ellicott,
Lightfoot, and Moulton. They found it dffcult to get the project
on foot. Twice they had appealed to the Government in hopes that,
as in the case of the King James in 1611, the King would appoint
a royal commission. They were refused.
     There was sufficient aggression in the Southern Convocation,
which represented the Southern half of the Church of England, to
vote Revision. But they lacked a leader. There was no outstanding
name which would suffice in the public eye as a guarantee against
the dangers possible. This difficulty, however, was at last over
come when Bishop Ellicott won over "that most versatile and
picturesque personality in the English Church, Samuel
Wilberforce, the silver-tongued Bishop of Oxford." He was the
remaining son of the great Emancipator who was still with the
Church of England; the two other sons, Henry and Robert,
influenced by the Oxford Movement, had gone over to the Church of
Rome. Dr.Wilberforce had rendered great service to the English
Church in securing the resurrection of the Southern Convocation,
which for a hunderd years had not been permitted to act. When
Ellicott captured the persuasive Wilberforce, he captured
Convocation, and revision suddenly came within the sphere of
practical politics.

     First came the resolution, February 10, 1870, which
expressed the desirability of revision of the Authorized Version
of the New Testament:

"Whether by marginal notes or otherwise, in all those passages
where plain and clear errors, whether in the Hebrew or Greek text
originally adopted by the translators, or in translation made
from the same, shall, on due investigation, be found to exist."

     An amendment was passed to include the Old Testament. Then a
committee of sixteen - eight from the Upper House, and eight from
the Lower House--was appointed. This committee solicited the
participation of the Northern Convocation, but they declined to
cooperate, saying that "the time was not favorable for Revision,
and that the risk was greater than the probable gain." 
     Later the Southern Convocation adopted the rules which
ordered that Revision should touch the Greek text, only where
found necessary; should alter the language only where, in the
judgment of most competent scholars, such change was necessary;
and in such necessary changes, the style of the King James should
be followed; and also, that Convocation should nominate a commit-
tee of its own members who would be at liberty to invite the
cooperation of other scholars in the work of Revision. This
committee when elected consisted of eighteen members. It divided
into two bodies, one to represent the Old Testament, and the
other to represent the New. As the majority of the most vital
questions which concern us involve New Testament Revision, we
will follow the fortunes of that body in the main.

     The seven members of this English New Testament Revision
Committee sent out invitations which were accepted by eighteen
others, bringing the full membership of the English New Testament
Committee to the number of twenty-five. As we have seen before,
Dr.Newman, who later became a cardinal, declined, as also did the
leader of the Ritualistic Movement, Dr.Pusey. It should be
mentioned here also that Canon Cook, editor of the "Speakers
Commentary," declined. W.F.Moulton, who had spent some years in
translating, from the German into English, Winer's Greek Grammar,
and himself a member of the Committee, exercised a large
influence in the selection of members. Dr.Moulton favored those
modern rules appearing in Winer's work which, if followed in
translating the Greek, would produce results different from that
of the King James. How much Dr.Moulton was a devotee of the
Vulgate may be seen in the following words from him:

"The Latin translation, being derived from manuscripts more
ancient than any we now possess, is frequently a witness of the
highest value in regard to the Greek text which was current in
the earliest times, and ... its testimony is in many cases
confirmed by Greek manuscripts which have been discovered or
examined since the 16th century." 

     From this it is evident that Dr.Moulton looked upon the
Vulgate as a witness superior to the King James, and upon the
Greek manuscripts which formed the base of the Vulgate as
superior to the Greek manuscripts which formed the base of the
King James. Furthermore, he said, speaking of the Jesuit New
Testament of 1582, "The Rhemish Testament agrees with the best
critical editions of the present day." Dr.Moulton, therefore, not
only believed the manuscripts which were recently discovered to
be similar to the Greek manuscripts from which the Vulgate was
translated, but he also looked upon the Greek New Testaments of
Lachmann, Tischendorf, and Tregelles, built largely upon the same
few manuscripts, as "the best critical editions." Since he
exercised so large an influence in selecting the other members of
the Committee, we can divine at the outset, the attitude of mind
which would likely prevail in the Revision Committee.
     The Old Testament Committee also elected into its body other
members which made the number in that company twenty-seven. Steps
were now taken to secure cooperation from scholars in America.
The whole matter was practically put in the hands of Dr.Philip
Schaff of the Union Theological Seminary in New York City. Of Dr.
Schaff's revolutionary influence on American theology through his
bold Romanizing policy; of his trial for heresy; of his
leadership in the American "Oxford Movement," we will speak
later. An appeal was made to the American Episcopal Church to
take part in the Revision, but that body declined. Through the
activities of Dr.Schaff, two American Committees were formed, the
Old Testament Company having fourteen members, and the New
Testament, thirteen. These worked under the disadvantage of being
chosen upon the basis that they should live near New York City in
order that meetings of the committee might be convenient. The
American Committee had no deciding vote on points of revision. As
soon as portions of the Holy Book were revised by the English
committees, they were sent to the American committees for
confirmation or amendment. If the suggestions returned by the
American committees were acceptable to their English coworkers,
they were adopted; otherwise they had no independent claim for
insertion. In other words, the American committees were simply
reviewing bodies. In the long run, their differences were not
many. They say:

"The work then went on continuously in both countries, the
English Companies revising, and the American Committees reviewing
what was revised, and returning their suggestions ... When this
list is fully considered, the general reader will, we think, be
surprised to find that the differences are really of such little
moment, and in very many cases will probably wonder that the
American divines thought it worth while thus to formally record
their dissent." 

     Dr.Schaff, who was to America what Newman was to England,
was president of both American committees. The story of the
English New Testament Revision Committee is a stormy one, because
it was the battle ground of the whole problem. That Committee
finished its work three years before the Old Testament Company,
and this latter body had three years to profit by the staggering
onslaught which assailed the product of the New Testament
Committee. Moreover the American Revised Bible did not appear
until twenty years after the work of the English New Testament
Committee, so that the American Revisers had twenty years to
understand the fate which would await their volume.

     When the English New Testament Committee met, it was
immediately apparent what was going to happen. Though for ten
long years the iron rule of silence kept the public ignorant of
what was going on behind closed doors, the story is now known.
The first meeting of the Committee found itself a divided body,
the majority being determined to incorporate into the proposed
revision the latest and most extreme higher criticism. This
majority was dominated and carried along by a triumvirate
consisting of Hort, Westcott, and Lightfoot. The dominating
mentality of this triumvirate was Dr.Hort. Before the Committee
met, Westcott had written to Hort, "The rules though liberal are
vague, and the interpretation of them will depend upon decided
action at first."  They were determined at the outset to be
greater than the rules, and to manipulate them.
     The new members who had been elected into the body, and who
had taken no part in drawing up the rules, threw these rules
completely aside by interpreting them with the widest latitude.
Moreover, Westcott and Hort, who had worked together before this
for twenty years, in bringing out a Greek New Testament
constructed on principles which deviated the farthest ever yet
known from the Received Text, came prepared to effect a
systematic change in the Protestant Bible. On this point Westcott
wrote to Hort concerning Dr.Ellicott, the chairman:

"The Bishop of Gloucester seems to me to be quite capable of
accepting heartily and adopting personally a thorough scheme."

     And as we have previously seen, as early as 1851, before
Westcott and Hort began their twenty years labor on their Greek
text, Hort wrote, "Think of that vile Textus Receptus." In 1851,
when he knew little of the Greek New Testament, or of texts, he
was dominated with the idea that the Received Text was "vile" and
"villainous." The Received Text suffered fatal treatment at the
hands of this master in debate.

     We have spoken of Bishop Ellicott as the chairman. The first
chairman was Bishop Wilberforce. One meeting, however, was
sufficient for him. He wrote to an intimate friend, "What can be
done in this most miserable business?" Unable to bear the
situation, he absented himself and never took part in the
proceedings. His tragic death occurred three years later. One
factor had disturbed him considerably,--the presence of Dr.G.
Vance Smith, the Unitarian scholar. In this, however, he shared
the feelings of the people of England, who were scandalized at
the sight of a Unitarian, who denied the divinity of Christ,
participating in a communion service held at the suggestion of
Bishop Westcott in Westminster Abbey, immediately preceding their
first meeting.
     The minority in the Committee was represented principally by
Dr.Scrivener, probably the foremost scholar of the day in the
manuscripts of the Greek New Testament and the history of the
Text. If we may believe the words of Chairman Ellicott, the
countless divisions in the Committee over the Greek Text, "was
often a kind of critical duel between Dr.Hort and Dr.Scrivener." 

     Dr.Scrivener was continuously and systematically outvoted.
"Nor is it difficult to understand," says Dr.Hemphill, "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, backed by the great prestige
of Lightfoot, the popular Canon of St.Paul's, and the quiet
determination of Westcott, who set his face as a flint. 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."

     The conflict was intense and oft-times the result seemed
dubious. Scrivener and his little band did their best to save the
day. He might have resigned; but like Bishop Wilberforce, he
neither wished to wreck the product of revision by a crushing
public blow, nor did he wish to let it run wild by absenting
himself.  Dr.Hort wrote his wife as follows:

"July 25, 1871. We have had some stiff battles today in Revision,
though without any ill feeling, and usually with good success.   
But I more than ever, felt how impossible it would be for me to
absent myself"

On the other hand, Westcott wrote:

"March 22, 1886. I should be the last to rate highly textual
criticism; but it is a little gift which from school days seemed
to be committed to me." 

     Concerning the battles within the Committee, Dr.Westcott

"May 24, 1871. We have had hard fighting during these last two
days, and a battle-royal is announced for tomorrow." 

"January 27, 1875. Our work yesterday was positvely distressing.
... However, I shall try to keep heart today, and if we fail
again I think that I shall fly, utterly despairing of the work." 

Same date. "Today our work has been a little better - only a
little, but just enough to be endurable." 

     The "ill-conceived and mismanaged" attempts of the Revision
Committee of the Southern Convocation to bring in the radical
changes contemplated violated the rules that had been laid down
for its control. Citations from ten out of the sixteen members of
the Committee, (sixteen was the average number in attendance),
show that eleven members were fully determined to act upon the
principle of exact and literal translation, which would permit
them to travel far beyond the instructions they had received.
     The Committee being assembled, the passage for consideration
was read. Dr.Scrivener offered the evidence favoring the Received
Text, while Dr.Hort took the other side. Then a vote was taken.
Settling the Greek Text occupied the largest portion of time both
in England and in America. The new Greek Testament upon which
Westcott and Hort had beer working for twenty years was, portion
by portion, secretly committed into the hands of the Revision
Committee. Their Greek Text was strongly radical and
revolutionaiy. The Revisers followed the guidance of the two
Cambridge editors, Westcott and Hort, who were constantly at
their elbow, and whose radical Greek New Testament, deviating the
farthest possible from the Received Text, is to all intents and
purposes the Greek New Testament followed by the Revision
Committee. And this Greek text, in the main, follows the Vatican
and Sinaiticus manuscripts. It is true that three other unicals,
the Codices Beza, Ephraemi and Alexandrinus were occasionally
used, but their testimony was of the same value as the other two.
Hort's partiality for the Vatican Manuscript was practically
absolute.  We can almost hear him say, The Vaticanus have I
loved, but the Textus Receptus have I hated. As the Sinaiticus
was the brother of the Vaticanus, wherever pages in the latter
were missing, Hort used the former. He and Westcott considered
that when the consensus of opinion of these two manuscripts
favored a reading, that reading should be accepted as apostolic.
     This attitude of mind involved thousands of changes in our
time-honored Greek New Testament because a Greek text formed upon
the united opinion of Codex B and Codex ( - not printable on my
keyboard - Keith Hunt)) would be different in thousands of places
from the Received Text.  So the Revisers "went on changing until
they had altered the Greek Text in 5,337 places. Dr.Scrivener, in
the Committee sessions, constantly issued his warning of what
would be the outcome if Hort's imaginary theories were accepted.
In fact, nine-tenths of the countless divisions and textual
struggles around that table in the Jerusalem Chamber arose over
Hort's determination to base the Greek New Testament of the
Revision on the Vatican Manuscript. Nevertheless, the Received
Text, by his own admission, had for 1,400 years been the dominant
Greek New Testament.
     It was of necessity that Westcott and Hort should take this
position. Their own Greek New Testament upon which they had been
working for twenty years was founded on Codex B and Codex (not
printable for me - Keith Hunt), as the following quotations show:

"If Westcott and Hort have failed, it is by an overestimate of
the Vatican Codex, to which (like Lachmann and Tregelles) they
assign the supremacy, while Tischendorf may have given too much
weight to the Sinaitic Codex." 

     Dr.Cook, an authority in this field, also says:

"I will ask the reader to compare these statements with the views
set forth, authoritatively and repeatedly, by Dr.Hort in his
'Introduction,' especially in reference to the supreme excellence
and unrivalled authority of the text of B - with which, indeed,
the Greek text of Westeott and Hort is, with some unimportant
exceptions, substantially identical, coinciding in more than
ninetenths of the passages which, as materially affecting the
character of the synoptic Gospel; I have to discuss."

     Another quotation from Dr.Hoskier, an authority who worked
in this field many years after the appearance of the Revised

"We always come back to B, as Westeott and Hort's text is
practically B." 

     Of course the minority members of the Revision Committee,
and especially the world in general, did not know the twenty
years' effort of these two Cambridge professors to base their own
Greek New Testament upon these two manuscripts. Hart's "excursion
into cloudland." as one authority describe his fourth century
revisions, was apparent to Dr.Scrivener, who uttered his protest.
Here is his description of Hort's theory as Scrivener later
published it:

"There is little hope for the stability of their imposing
structure, if its foundations have been laid on the sandy ground
of ingenious corjecture: and since barely the smallest vestige of
historical evidence has ever been alleged in support of the views
of these accomplished editors, their teaching must either be
received as intuitively true, or dismissed from our consideration
as precarious, and even visionary."

     As Westcott and Hort outnumbered Scrivener two to one, so
their followers outnumbered the other side two to one, and
Scrivener was systematically outvoted. As Professor Sandy writes:

"They were thus able to make their views heard in the council
chamber, and to support them with all the weight of their
personal authority, while as yet the outer public had but partial
access to them." 

     As a consequence, the Greek New Testament upon which the
Revised Version is based, is practically the Greek New Testament
of Westcott and Hort. Dr.Schaff says:

"The result is that in typographical accuracy the Greek Testament
of Westcott and Hort is probably unsurpassed, and that it
harmonizes essentially with the text adopted by the Revisers." 


     We meet the paradox in the Revisers, as they sit assembled
at their task, of men possessing high reputation for liberalism
of thought, yet acting for a decade with extreme narrowness.
Stanley, Thirlwall, Vaughan, Hort, Westcott, Moberly - men of
leading intellect - would naturally be expected to be so broad as
to give most sacred documents fair consideration. Dean Stanley
had glorified the Church of England because within her ranks both
ritualists and higher critics could officiate as well as the
regular churchmen. When Bishop Colenso, of Natal, was on trial,
amid great excitement throughout all England, for his destructive
criticism of the first five books of Moses, Dean Stanley stood up
among his religious peers and placed himself alongside of Col-
enso. He said:

"I might mention one who ... has ventured to say that the
Pentateuch is not the work of Moses ... who has ventured to say
that the narratives of those historical incidents are colored not
unfrequently by the necessary infirmities which belong to the
human instruments by which they were conveyed, and that
individual is the one who now addresses you. If you pronounce
against the Bishop of Natal on grounds such as these, you must
remember that there is one close at hand whom ... You will be
obliged to condemn." 

     Bishop Thirlwall, of "princely intellect," had a wellknown
reputation for liberalism in theology. He introduced both the new
theology of Schleiermacher and higher criticism into England. In
fact, when Convocation yielded to public indignation so far as
essentially to ask Dr.Smith, the Unitarian scholar, to resign,
Bishop Thirlwall retired from the committee and refused to be
placated until it was settled that Dr.Smith should remain.
     Evidence might be given to show liberalism in other members.
These men were honorably bound to do justice to thousands of
manuscripts if they assumed to reconstruct a Greek Text. We are
informed by Dr.Scrivener that there are 2,864 cursive and uncial
manuscripts of the New Testament in whole or in part. Price says
there are 112 uncials and 3,500 cursives. These represent many
different countries and different periods of time. Yet
astonishing to relate, the majority of the Revisers ignored these
and pinned their admiration and confidence practically to two,
the Vaticanus and Sinaiticus.
     Doctor Moberly, Bishop of Salisbury, Bishop Westcott, and
Dr.G.Vance Smith, came to the Committee with past relationships
that seriously compromised them. Bishop Moberly "belonged to the
Oxford Movement, and, it is stated in Dean Church's 'Life and
Letters' that he wrote a most kind letter of approval to Mr.
Newman as to the famous Tract 90." During the years when he was a
schoolmaster, the small attendance at times under his instruction
was credited to the fact that he was looked upon as a Puseyite.
     While with regard to Dr.Westcott, his share in making the
Ritualistic Movement a success has been recognized. Dr.Vaughan,
another member of the Revision Committee was a close friend of
Westcott. The extreme liberalism of Dr.G.Vance Smith, the
Unitarian member of the Committee, is well known through his book
on the "Bible and Theology." This amounted practically to
Christianized infidelity. Nevertheless, the worshipful attitude
of these men, as well as that of Lightfoot, Kennedy, and Humphrey
toward Codex B, was unparalleled in Biblical history. The year
1870 was marked by the Papal declaration of infallibility. It has
been well said that the blind adherence of the Revisionists to
the Vatican manuscript proclaimed "the second infallible voice
from the Vatican."


     Even the jots and tittles of the Bible are important. God
has pronounced terrible woes upon the man who adds to or takes
away from the volume of Inspiration. The Revisers apparently felt
no constraint on this point, for they made 36,000 changes in the
English of the King James Version, and very nearly 6,000 in the
Greek Text. Dr.Ellicott, in submitting the Revised Version to the
Southern Convocation in 1881, declared that they had made between
eight and nine changes in every five verses, and in about every
ten verses three of these were made for critical purposes. And
for the most of these changes the Vatican and Sinaitic
Manuscripts are responsible. As Canon Cook says:

"By far the greatest number of innovations, including those which
give the severest shocks to our minds, are adopted on the
authority of two manuscripts, or ever of one manuscript, against
the distinct testimony of all other manuscripts, uncial and
cursive ... The Vatican Codex ... sometimes alone, generally in
accord with the Sinaitic, is responsible for nine-tenths of the
most striking innovations in the Revised Version." 


     A force of builders do not approach their task with swords,
spears, bombs, cannons, and other instruments of destruction. If
the Greek New Testament of Westcott and Hort marks a new era, as
we are repeatedly informed, then it was intended that the Revised
Version would mark a new era. The appointees to the task of
Revision evidently approached their work with the intention of
tearing down the framework of the teachings which sprang from the
Received Text and of the institutions erected for the spread of
such teachings. The translators of 1611 organized themselves into
six different companies. Each company allotted to each of its
members a series of independent portions of the Bible to
translate, so that all would act as checks and counterchecks on
one another, in order that the truth might be transmitted. Above
all, their inter-relations were so preserved that the world would
receive the gift of a masterpiece. Their units were organizations
of construction. The units of the 1881 Revision did not make for
protection and independence, but rather for the suppression of
individuality and freedom, and for tryannical domination. The
instruments of warfare which they brought to their task were new
and untried miles for the discrimination of manuscripts; for
attacking the verb; for attacking the article; for attackirg the
preposition, the pronoun, the intensive, Hebraisms, and
parallelisms. The following quotations show that literal and
critically exact quotations frequently fail to render properly
the original meaning:

"The self-imposed rule of the Revisers." says the Forum,
"required them invariably to translate the aoristic forms by
their closest English equivalents; but the vast number of cases
in which they have forsaken their own rule show that it could not
be followed without in effect changing the meaning of the
original; and we may add that to whatever extent that rule has
been slavishh followed, to that extent the broad sense of the
original has been marred." 

     One of the Revisers wrote, after the work was finished:

"With reference to the rendering of the article, similar remarks
may be made. As a rule, it is too often expressed. This sometimes
injures the idiom of the English, and in truth impairs or
misrepresents the force of the original."

     The obsession of the Revisionists for rendering literally
Hebraisms and parallelisms have often left us with a doctrine
seriously, if not fatally, weakened by their theory. "The
printing in parallelisms spoils the uniformity of the page too
much and was not worth adopting, unless the parallelism was a
good one." 

     Probably no one act of Germany during the war brought down
upon her more ill feeling than the bombing of Rheims Cathedral.
We felt sad to see the building splintered and marred. It was the
work of centuries. The Revisionists approached the beautiful
cathedral of the King James Version and tunneled underneath in
order that they might destroy the Received Text as its
foundation, and slip into its place another composed of the
Vatican and Sinaitic Manuscripts. In thousands of places the
grandeur of the sacred building was chipped and splintered by the
substitution of various readings. In the form of the Revised
Version we no longer recognize the strong foundation and glorious
features of the old edifice.

     This is a case where a little means much. "If one wonders
whether it is worth while," says Dr.Robertson, speaking of the
Revision, "he must bear in mind that some of the passages in
dispute are of great importance." The Bible should more probably
be compared to a living organism. Touch a part and you spoil it
all. To cut a vital artery in a man might be touching a very
small point, but death would come as truly as if he were blown to
pieces. Something more than a crushing mass of accumulated
material is needed to produce a meritorious revision of God's
Holy Book.


     Ever since the Revised Version was printed, it has met with
strong opposition. Its devotees reply that the King James met
opposition when it was first published. There is a vast
difference, however. Only one name of prominence can be cited as
an opponent of the King James Version at its birth. The King, all
the church of England, in fact, all the Protestant world was for
it. On the other hand, royal authority twice refused to associate
itself with the project of revision, as also did the northern
half of the Church of England, the Episcopal Church of North
America, besides a host of students and scholars of authority.
     When God has taught us that "all Scripture is given by
Inspiration" of the Holy Spirit and that "men spake as they were
moved by the Holy Ghost," the Holy Spirit must be credited with
ability to transmit and preserve inviolate the Sacred Deposit. We
cannot admit for a moment that the Received Text which, by the
admission of its enemies themselves, has led the true people of
God for centuries, can be whipped into fragments and set aside
for a manuscript found in an out-of-the-way monastery, and for
another of the same family, which has lain, for no-one knows not
how long, upon a shelf in the library of the Pope's palace. Both
these documents are of uncertain ancestry, of questionable
history, and of suspicious character. The Received Text was put
for centuries in its position of leadership by divine Providence,
just as truly as the star of Bethlehem was set in the heavens to
guide the wise men. Neither was it the product of certain
technical rules of textual criticism which some men have chosen
the last few decades to exalt as divine principles.
     The change of one word in the Constitution of the United
States, at least the transposition of two, could vitally affect
thousands of people, millions of dollars, and many millions of
acres of land. It took centuries of training to place within that
document a combination of words which cannot be tampered with,
without catastrophic results. It represents the mentality of a
great people, and to change it would bring chaos into their
well-ordered life. Not of one nation only, but of all great
nations, both ancient and modern, is the Bible the basis of the
Constitution. It foretold the fall of Babylon; and when that
empire had disappeared, it survived. It announced beforehand the
creation of the empires of Greece and Rome, and lived to tell
their faults and why they failed. It warned succeeding kingdoms.
All ages and continents have their life inwrought into the fabric
of this Book. It is the handiwork of God through the centuries.
Only those whose records are lifted high above suspicion, can be
accepted as qualified to touch it. Certainly no living being or
any number of them ever had authority to make such astounding
changes, as were made by those men who were directly or
indirectly influenced by the Oxford Movement.

     The history of the Protestant world is inseparable from the
Received Text. A single nation could break loose and plunge into
anarchy and license. The Received Text shone high in the heavens
to stabilize surrounding peoples. Even many nations at one time
might fall under the shadow of some great revolutionary wave.    
But there stood the Received Text to fill their inner self with
its moral majesty and call them back to law and order. On what
meat had this great critic, Dr.Hort, fed, when, even by his own
confession, at the time he had read little of the Greek New
Testament, and knew nothing of texts and certainly nothing of
Hebrew, he dared, when only twenty-three years old, to call the
Received Text "villainous" and "vile"? What can be the most
charitable estimate we can put upon that company of men who
submitted to his lead, and would assure us in gentle words that
they had done nothing, that there was really no great difference
between the King James Bible and the Revised, while in another
breath, they reject as "villainous" and "vile" the Greek New
Testament upon which the King James Bible is built? Did they
belong to a superior race of beings, which entitled them to cast
aside, as a thing of naught, the work of centuries? They gave us
a Version which speaks with faltering tones, whose music is
discordant. The Received Text is harmonious. It agrees with
itself, it is self-proving, and it creeps into the affections of
the heart.

     But, they say, there are errors in the Received Text. Yes,
"plain and clear errors," as their instructions informed the
Revisers. It is to the glory of the Textus Receptus that its
errors are "plain and clear." When God showed us these errors
were "plain and clear," we recognized them as errors of the copy
its and therefore, like printer's errors, they can be promptly
and certainly corrected. They are not errors of the Author. Man
made them and man can correct them. Neither are they "errors"
which man made and only God can correct. They do not enter into
the core of any question. They are not, like the errors of the
Vaticanus and Sinaiticus, the product of Systematic Depravation.
They are the scars which witness to the terrible struggles
endured by the Holy Word throughout the centuries.
     The glorified body of Christ will always have five scars
where the nails pierced His hands and feet, and where the sword
entered His side. A captious critic might cry out that the
eternal form of Christ is not perfect; it has five scars. But
another of deeper insight would point out that by those scars we
know that Christ does not bear an untried form. Those
reminiscences of His humiliation testify to it; struggle and His
triumph. Christ's perfection would not have been complete without
those scars. Without them, He would not have been our Saviour.

     The errors of the Received Text, are the scars which tell of
its struggles throughout the centuries to bring us light, life,
and immortality. The Living Word and the Written Word correspond.

     How vastly different are the errors of the Revised! They are
the product of a well-laid, designing scheme to incorporate in
the text the theology of the Revisers. Westcott, writing to Hart
before the committee was under way, rejoiced that the future
chairman, Dr.Ellicott, was "quite capable of accepting heartily
and adopting personally a thorough scheme." And when the new book
was published, Bishop Westcott recommended it to the Bible
student, because the profound effect on doctrine was produced by
changing "here a little, there a little." He clearly convicted
the Revised Version of being the product of a designing scheme
with an ulterior purpose. He said:

"But the value of the Revision is most clearly seen when the
student considers together a considerable group of passages,
which bear upon some article of the Faith. The accumulation of
small details then produces its full effect. Points on which it
might have seemed pedantic to insist in a single passage become
impressive by repetition ... The close rendering of the original
Greek in the Revised Version appears to suggest ideas of creation
and life and providence, of the course and end of finite being
and of the Person of the Lord, who is the source of all truth and
hope, which are of deepest interest at the present time."

     All must see that it was a "thorough scheme." The dominant
minds on the Revision Committee approached their task, committed
beforehand to this "thorough scheme." The errors therefore of the
Revised Version are not incidental and accidental, as those of
the Received Text, but are so systematically interlinked that
they constitute with cumulative effect vital changes in doctrine.
The Revised Version bears the stamp of intentional Systematic

     When we consider the men who dominated the Committee and
consequently determined the content of the Revised work, and when
we consider their critical bias, their sympathy with the germinal
ideas of modern 'religious liberalism;' their advocacy of
Ritualism, and their fondness of Rome, simple intelligence com-
pels us to wonder if the "scheme" does not embrace a subservience
to these predilections.

     When a company of men set out faithfully to translate
genuine manuscripts in order to convey what God said, it is one
thing. When a committee sets itself to revise or translate with
ideas and a "scheme," it is another thing. But it may be objected
that the translators of the King James were biased by their
pro-Protestant views. The reader must judge whose bias he will
accept, that of the influence of the Protestant Reformation, as
heading up in the Authorized Version, or that of the influence of
Darwinism, higher criticism, incipient modern religious
liberalism, and a reversion back to Rome, as heading up in the
Revised Version. If we select the latter bias, we must remember
that both higher criticism and Romanism reject the authority of
the Bible as supreme.
     The predominant ideas of the respective times of their
births influenced and determined the essential characteristics of
the Authorized and Revised Versions. The following chapters will
establish the truthfulness of the position just stated.


To be continued


MOST modern New Testaments of many Bibles are based upon the
Vaticanus and Siniaiticus Greek MSS, the latter found in a
garbage basket ready to be throw in the trash, as trash, and that
from a Catholic Monastry in the Holy Land.
The reader, if they have not yet done so, is encourage to read on
this Website, the "Introduction" to Green's Greek/English
Interlinear Bible.
We shall see in Wilkinson's next two chapters some of the
difference between the Received Greek Test and the "modern"
Westcott and Hort - wild and horrid - text of many modern New
Testament Bibles.
According to Westcott and Hort, we really did not have the
correct New Testament till the middle of the 19th century. Well
just another of the MANY deceptions that have bathed the world in
the false Babylon Whore church of Rome's spiritual fornications.
God says she is not only full of the blood of the saints, but her
many false doctrines and practices have truly covered this earth.
And she continues to increase her spiritual adultery all the
time, now she claims over ONE BILLION members - one in every six
person on the planet.

Keith Hunt

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