Westcott & Hort's Greek Text and
Dr. D. A. Waite
I. INTRODUCTORY REMARKS
II. Quotations From Burgon's PREFACE
III. ARTICLE I--THE NEW GREEK TEXT--Refuted by Dean John
IV. ARTICLE III--WESTCOTT & HORT'S NEW TEXTUAL THEORY -- Refuted by Dean Burgon
About the Author
A. The purpose and intention is to
deal with the false and erroneous Greek New Testament Greek text and theory promulgated by
what Dean Burgon refers to as "two irresponsible scholars of the University of
Cambridge." These "irresponsible scholars" are none other than Bishop
Brooke Foss Westcott and Professor Fenton John Anthony Hort. Their
"invention" of the new Revised Greek Text that surfaced in 1881. It is
strange indeed that very few people saw as clearly as Dean John William Burgon, their
fellow Anglican clergyman, that Westcott and Hort were indeed "irresponsible
Instead, there has been, from that day to this, a stampede of pastors, teachers,
"scholars," lay people, students and others who have followed their false lead
into serious error. From the quotations taken from Dean Burgon's Revision Revised,
it is hoped that the reader will turn from the errors of Westcott and Hort and enter into
the truth and acceptance of the Traditional Greek text. It is also hoped that the
reader will purchase and read The Revision Revised in its entirety (It is
available as DBS #611 for a GIFT of $25.00 + $5.00 for S&H).
B. The Relationship Between the Westcott and
Hort Greek Text and the Modern So-Called "Eclectic" or "Critical"
Text. Many of those who despise the
Textus Receptus today and are powerful advocates of the false Revised Greek texts of
Nestle-Aland or the United Bible Society have attempted to distance themselves from the
Westcott and Hort Greek Text of 1881. In reality, with some minor changes, they are
virtually identical. This fact is what makes this present booklet and the entire
Revision Revised so powerful and so necessary. Here are some quotes from various
writers about modern New Testament Greek texts and theories compared with the Greek text
and theories of Westcott and Hort, showing the similarity between the two in both areas.
1. Seven Testimonies By Writers from 1914 through 1990
Stating the Similarity between the Westcott and Hort Text and Theory and that of the
Current Greek Texts.
a. 1914--The Testimony of Herman Hoskier.
"The text printed by Westcott and Hort has been accepted as `the true text,' and
grammars, works on the synoptic problem, works on higher criticism, and others have been
grounded on this text." [Herman C. Hoskier, Codex B and Its Allies--a Study and
an Indictment, (1914), Vol I, p. 468 (>DBS#1643
for a GIFT of $45.00 + $5.00 for S&H)].
b. 1964--The Testimony of J. H. Greenlee.
"The textual theories of W-H [Westcott & Hort] underlies virtually all subsequent
work in NT textual criticism." [J. H. Greenlee, Introduction to New Testament
Textual Criticism, (1964), p. 78]
c. 1979--The Testimony of D. A. Carson.
"The theories of Westcott and Hort . . . [are] almost universally accepted today. . .
. Subsequent textual critical work [since 1881] accepted the theories of Westcott and
Hort. The vast majority of evangelical scholars hold that the basic textual theories
of Westcott and Hort were right and the church stands greatly in their debt."
[D. A. Carson, The King James Version Debate, (1979), p. 75]
d. 1980--The Testimony of Wilbur N. Pickering.
"The two most popular manual editions of the text today, Nestles-Aland and
U.B.S. (United Bible Society) really vary little from the W-H [Westcott &
text." [Dr. Wilbur N. Pickering, The Identity of the New Testament Text,
(1980), pp. 42 (>DBS#556 for a gift of $12.00 +
e. 1987--The Testimony of John R. Kohlenberger.
"Westcott and Hort . . . all subsequent versions from the Revised Version (1881) to
those of the present . . . have adopted their basic approach . . . [and] accepted the
Westcott and Hort [Greek] text." [John R. Kohlenberger, Words About the Word,
(1987) p. 42]
f. 1990--The Testimony of Philip W. Comfort.
"But textual critics have not been able to advance beyond Hort in formalizing a
theory . . . this has troubled certain textual scholars. " [Philip W. Comfort,
Early Manuscripts and Modern Translations of the New Testament, (1990), p. 21]
g. 1990--The Testimony of Bruce Metzger.
In 1990, Dr. Kirk D. DiVietro, a Baptist Pastor, wrote to Dr. Bruce Metzger about how he
and the other members of the Nestle-Aland and United Bible Societies Committee began their
work on their New Testament Greek Texts. Dr. Metzger replied to him as follows:
"We took as our base at the beginning the text of Westcott and Hort (1881) and
introduced changes as seemed necessary on the basis of MSS evidence."
This documentation is found in Metzger's own handwriting in DBS #2490-P, p. 272
in The Dean Burgon Society (1978--1994) Messages From the 16th Annual Meeting, August,
1994 (DBS#2490-P for a gift of $30.00 + $4.00 S&H).
2. The Conclusion and Importance to be Drawn from these
Seven Testimonies. Have you ever wondered just WHY the basic Greek
text of Westcott and Hort dated in 1881 is virtually identical with the basic Greek text
of the present critical editions? The simple reason is that they are derived from
the same basic, corrupt Greek manuscripts, namely "B" (Vatican) and
"Aleph" (Sinai) and a few others that followed them.
Do you remember the axiom we were taught in high school plane geometry class:
"Things equal to the same thing are equal to each other"? This applies in
this case as well. The conclusion drawn from this is that when we attack the text
and theory of Westcott and Hort, we are at the same time attacking the text and theory
behind the Nestle-Aland Greek text, the United Bible Society text, and others that go
along with them. What is said against Westcott and Hort's text in these quotes can
also be said against the texts of Nestle-Aland and the United Bible Society!
C. The History of Burgon's Revision Revised.
The Revision Revised, by Dean John William Burgon, was originally published
in 1883. In 1973, I read a condensed version of it in True or False? edited by Dr.
David Otis Fuller. The first complete and unedited copy I read was the Conservative
Classics edition which was published in Paradise, Pennsylvania. This edition has
long since gone out of print. THE BIBLE FOR TODAY, INCORPORATED, has been publishing
a xerox copy of this book for many years in order to make it available for those who
wanted to read it. Jay Green published portions of Dean Burgon's books in his book
Unholy Hands on God's Holy Word. Since Dean Burgon's various books do not have their
original page numbers, and are not organized in their original order, it is difficult to
see if every word has been included.
D. The New Dean Burgon Society Hardback Edition.
In view of the continued need for The Revision Revised, the Executive Committee of the
Dean Burgon Society voted to make hardback copies (with the original page numbers) again
available for the many who want to read it. An important fact to remember about The Revision Revised is that it was still unanswered even after two
full years after it was published. It is still unanswered to this day!
E. Though The Revision Revised has almost 600 pages,
fifty quotations that summarize the argument of the book will be used. It is
important that you see why Dean Burgon's book, The Revision Revised,
is such a valuable tool for people to read and understand. It is hoped that these
fifty quotations will whet the appetite for this solid documentation so that the reader
might be anxious to read every page of the book itself!!
F. Outline of the book. The
Revision Revised consists of three major ARTICLES. Each of the ARTICLES appeared
first in a periodical in England called The Quarterly Review. In ARTICLE I
Dean Burgon evaluated the new Greek text of Westcott and Hort (pages 1-110).
In ARTICLE II he enumerated the defects of the English Revised Version (ERV) and the
superiority of the King James Bible (pages 111-232). In ARTICLE III Dean Burgon
refuted Westcott and Hort's new textual theory and its serious defects (pp. 233-366).
These three ARTICLES are followed by a LETTER TO BISHOP ELLICOTT in reply to his
pamphlet, various APPENDICES and the INDEX (pages 367-549).
G. Background. In 1995, at the DEAN BURGON SOCIETY ANNUAL MEETING, The President of the
Society spoke about Dean Burgon's CONFIDENCE in the King James Bible. Quotations
were taken from ARTICLE II of The Revision Revised in
which the English Revised Version (ERV) and the King James Bible (AV) were compared.
The Authorized (King James) Version was found by Dean Burgon to be far superior in every
way to any other version of his day. By extension, similar arguments might be made
against the false versions of our own day (DBS #2591
(36 pages) for a GIFT of $3.00 + $2.00 S&H) (DBS #2591
(36 pages) for a GIFT of $3.00 + $2.00 S&H).
H. The Refutation of Westcott and Hort's Greek Text and
Theory. At this time, the highlights, main arguments, and quotations
from Dean Burgon's PREFACE, from his ARTICLE I, and from his ARTICLE III as found in his
book, The Revision Revised. As mentioned before, ARTICLE I dealt with
Westcott and Hort's false New Testament Greek text (pages 1-110). ARTICLE III
condemned in strong, yet clear language, Westcott and Hort's false theory behind their New
Testament Greek text (pages 233-366).
A. Dr. Frederick Scrivener Backed Dean Burgon's Attack on
Westcott and Hort's New Testament Greek Text. Dr. Frederick H. A.
Scrivener was an Anglican clergyman who was a contemporary of both Westcott and Hort and
Dean Burgon. Dr. Scrivener was one of the greatest and most exacting scholars of his
day in the field of textual criticism. He was quoted by Dean Burgon in his
1. Westcott and Hort's Greek Text Was Based on
"Ingenious Conjecture." Dr. Scrivener wrote: "There
is little hope for the stability of their [that is, Westcott & Hort's] imposing
structure, if its foundations have been laid on the sandy ground of ingenious
conjecture. 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." [Dr. F. H. A. Scrivener's Plain Introduction, 1883, p.
531, quoted by Dean John W. Burgon, Revision Revised, p. iv].
2. Dr. Hort's Greek Textual System Was "Destitute of
Historical Foundation." Dr. Scrivener again wrote: "Dr.
Hort's System is entirely destitute of historical foundation. . . We are compelled to
repeat as emphatically as ever our strong conviction that the Hypothesis to whose proof he
has devoted so many laborious years, is destitute not only of historical foundation, but
of all probability, revealing from the internal goodness of the Text which its adoption
would force upon us." [Dr. F. H. A. Scrivener's Plain Introduction, 1883, pp. 537,
542, quoted by Dean John W. Burgon, Revision Revised, p. iv].
B. Dean Burgon's Sage Comments of an Introductory Nature.
1. Dean Burgon's One Object in The Revision Revised.
He wrote: "My one object has been to defeat the mischievous attempt which was made in
1881 to thrust upon this Church [the Anglican Church] and Realm [London and the whole
British Commonwealth] a Revision of the Sacred Text, which--recommended though it be by
eminent names--I am thoroughly convinced, and am able to prove, is untrustworthy from
beginning to end." [Dean John W. Burgon, Revision Revised, p. v].
2. "Poisoning the River of Life."
Dean Burgon wrote: "It is, however, the systematic depravation of the underlying
Greek which does so grievously offend me: for this is nothing else but a poisoning of the
River of Life at its sacred source. Our Revisers (with the best and purest
intentions, no doubt,) stand convicted of having deliberately rejected the words of
Inspiration in every page, and of having substituted for them fabricated Readings which
the Church has long since refused to acknowledge, or else has rejected with abhorrence,
and which only survive at this time in a little handful of documents of the most depraved
type." [Dean John W. Burgon, Revision Revised, pp. vi-vii]. He is referring to
"B" and "Aleph," the Vatican and Sinai manuscripts.
3. A Time for Hitting His Opponents "Hard."
Dean Burgon was often charged with hitting his opponents "rather hard."
This was his response: "If, therefore, any do complain that I have sometimes
hit my opponents rather hard, I take leave to point out that `to everything there is a
season, and a time to every purpose under the sun'; `a time to embrace, and a time to be
far from embracing'; a time for speaking smoothly, and a time for speaking sharply.
And that when the Words of Inspiration are seriously imperiled, as now they are, it is
scarcely possible for one who is determined effectually to preserve the Deposit in its
integrity, to hit either too straight or too hard." [Dean John W. Burgon, Revision
Revised, pp. vii-viii].
4. This book Was Unanswered After Two Years while Dean
Burgon Was Still Alive, And Is Still Unanswered. Dean Burgon wrote:
"Two full years have elapsed since the first of these Essays was published; and
my Criticism--for the best of reasons--remains to this hour unanswered. The public
has been assured indeed, (in the course of some hysterical remarks by Canon Farrar), that
`the "Quarterly Reviewer" can be refuted as fully as he desires as soon as any
scholar has the leisure to answer him.' The `Quarterly Reviewer' can afford to
wait,--if the Revisers can. But they are reminded that it is no answer to one who
has demolished their master's `Theory,' for the pupils to keep on reproducing fragments of
it; and by their mistakes and exaggerations, to make both themselves and him,
ridiculous." [Dean John W. Burgon, Revision Revised, p. xv].
5. Inventing Facts and "Oracular Decrees."
Dean Burgon wrote: "In this department of sacred Science, men have been going
on too long inventing their facts, and delivering themselves of oracular decrees, on the
sole responsibility of their own inner consciousness. There is great convenience in
such a method certainly,--a charming simplicity which is in a high degree attractive to
flesh and blood. It dispenses with proof. It furnishes no evidence.
[that is, Westcott and Hort's text and theory] It asserts when it ought to
argue. It reiterates when it is called upon to explain. `I am sir Oracle.' . .
. This,--which I venture to style the unscientific method,--reached its culminating point
when Professors Westcott and Hort recently put forth their Recension of the Greek
Text." "Their work is indeed quite a psychological curiosity.
Incomprehensible to me is it how two able men of disciplined understandings can have
seriously put forth the volume which they call `INTRODUCTION--APPENDIX.' It is the
very Reductio ad absurdum of the uncritical method of the last fifty years. And it
is especially in opposition to this new method of theirs that I so strenuously insist that
the consentient voice of Catholic Antiquity is to be diligently inquired after and
submissively listened to; for that this, in the end, will prove our only safe guide."
[Dean John W. Burgon, Revision Revised, pp. xxv-xxvi].
6. "Catholic Antiquity" Defined as Universal
Antiquity. Dean Burgon defined what he meant by "Catholic
antiquity." He did not mean "Roman Catholic antiquity," but
"universal antiquity." He wrote: "The method I persistently
advocate in every case of a supposed doubtful Reading. (I say it for the last time,
and request that I may be no more misrepresented.) is, that an appeal shall be
unreservedly made to Catholic Antiquity; and that the combined verdict of Manuscripts,
Versions, Fathers, shall be regarded as decisive." [Dean John W. Burgon,
Revision Revised, pp. xxvii]. That is what Dean Burgon appeals to, Westcott and Hort do
7. Dean Burgon Longed to Teach the Bible.
Dean Burgon would rather engage in Bible interpretation than needing to battle for the
Words of God. He wrote: "But I more than long,--I fairly ache to have
done with Controversy, and to be free to devote myself to the work of
Interpretation. My apology for bestowing so large a portion of my time on Textual
Criticism, is David's when he was reproached by his brethren for appearing on the field of
battle,--`Is there not a cause?'" [Dean John W. Burgon, Revision Revised,
pp. xxix]. Many of us would love to be able to "have done with controversy," but
the battle for the Words of God is there. I think we chose a good name for our
society--The Dean Burgon Society. As Dean Burgon did, we certainly have a cause,
8. Westcott and Hort as "Irresponsible
Scholars." Dean Burgon characterized Westcott and Hort as two
"irresponsible scholars." He wrote: "But instead of all this, a
Revision of the English Authorized Version having been sanctioned by the Convocation of
the Southern Province in 1871, the opportunity was eagerly snatched at by two
irresponsible scholars of the University of Cambridge [He is talking about Westcott and
Hort] for obtaining the general sanction of the Revising body, and thus indirectly of
Convocation, for a private venture of their own,--their own privately devised Revision of
the Greek Text. On that Greek Text of theirs, (which I hold to be the most depraved
which has ever appeared in print), with some slight modifications, our Authorized English
Version has been silently revised: silently, I say, for in the margin of the
English no record is preserved of the underlying Textual changes which have been
introduced by the Revisionists." [Dean John W. Burgon, Revision Revised, pp.
xxx]. Though Westcott and Hort's Greek text is "the most depraved which has ever
appeared in print," this is virtually the same text used by the new versions and
perversions of today.
9. Why Dean Burgon Descended into "the Arena of
Controversy." Dean Burgon wrote: "If all this does not
constitute a valid reason for descending into the arena of controversy, it would in my
judgment be impossible to indicate an occasion when the Christian soldier is called upon
to do so:--the rather because certain of these who, from their rank and station in the
Church, ought to be the champions of the Truth, are at this time found to be among its
most vigorous assailants." [Dean John W. Burgon, Revision Revised, pp.
xxxi-xxxii]. Notice what he said about some of the preachers of his day. We have
this today do we not? Some claim to be "champions," and
"Fundamentalists," yet they are assailants of the truth. When the Words of
God are at stake, we must, at times, contend with even our own Christian brethren.
If our brethren are wrong on the Words of God, and don't want to preserve the Words
of our Lord Jesus Christ, then we must stand up as David did and ask: "Is there not a
cause?" We of course should also expose those who are in error who are not
"brethren." In so doing, we will no doubt get into trouble from both of
I--THE NEW GREEK TEXT--
Refuted by Dean John William Burgon (pages 1-110)
A. The Importance of Dean Burgon's ARTICLE I on THE NEW
GREEK TEXT. In Dean Burgon's ARTICLE I on THE NEW GREEK TEXT, he
totally destroyed the erroneous New Testament Greek Text that was foisted upon an
unsuspecting people in 1881 by Westcott and Hort. Sad to say, this false Greek text
was, in the main, the basis for the English Revised Version (ERV). I have cited
above, in Section I (pages 2-3), seven critical scholars in the 20th century (from 1914 to
1990) who have proclaimed that this false Greek text is STILL the primary basis for the
modern Greek texts of Nestle-Aland and the United Bible Society! When Dean Burgon
destroyed Westcott and Hort's Greek text, he also destroyed the present Greek texts that
form the basis of the modern New Testament versions and perversions. These
Westcott and Hort-type Greek texts are used, not only in the apostate schools, colleges,
and seminaries, and the New Evangelical schools, colleges, and seminaries, but, sadly,
also in entirely too many so-called "Fundamentalist" schools, colleges and
seminaries! I would urge you to pay close attention to the quotations from this
section of Dean Burgon's masterful book, The Revision Revised.
B. Important Quotations from Dean Burgon's ARTICLE I: THE
NEW GREEK TEXT (pages 1-110)
1. God's Threefold Means of Preservation of His Written
a. God's Preservation Means #1: MANUSCRIPT COPIES.
Dean Burgon wrote of the manuscript COPIES:
"(1) The provision, then, which the Divine Author of Scripture is found
to have made for the preservation of His written Word, is of a peculiarly varied and
highly complex description, First--By causing that a vast multiplication of Copies should
be required all down the ages,--beginning at the earliest period, and continuing in an
ever-increasing ratio until the actual invention of Printing,--He provided the most
effectual security imaginable against fraud. True, that millions of the copies so
produced have long since perished; but it is nevertheless a plain fact that there survive
of the Gospels alone upwards of one thousand copies in the present day." [Dean
John W. Burgon, Revision Revised, pp. 8-9].
b. God's Preservation Means #2: ANCIENT NEW TESTAMENT
VERSIONS. On the subject of the VERSIONS, Dean Burgon wrote:
"(2) Next, VERSIONS. The necessity of translating the Scriptures into
divers languages for the use of different branches of the early Church, procured that many
an authentic record has been preserved for the New Testament as it existed in the first
few centuries of the Christian era. Thus, the Peschito Syriac and the Old Latin
version are believed to have been executed in the IInd century [Early versions show the
text that the translators had in their hands and were using.]. . . . The two Egyptian
translations are referred to the IIIrd and IVth. The Vulgate (or revised Latin) and
the Gothic are also claimed for the IVth; the Armenian and possibly the
to the Vth." [Dean John W. Burgon, Revision Revised, p. 9].
c. God's Preservation Means #3: Quotations From CHURCH
FATHERS. Here's what Dean Burgon wrote on the value of "patristic"
quotations, or references to the Bible by the Church Fathers:
"(3) Lastly, the requirements of assailants and apologists alike, the business
of Commentators, the needs of controversialists and teachers in every age, have resulted
in a vast accumulation of additional evidence, of which it is scarcely possible to
over-estimate the importance. For in this way it has come to pass that every famous
Doctor of the Church in turn has quoted more or less largely from the sacred writings, and
thus has borne testimony to the contents of the codices with which he was individually
familiar. PATRISTIC CITATIONS." [Dean John W. Burgon, Revision Revised,
These "Church Fathers" were leaders in the early churches who either quoted the
New Testament directly, or made references to certain verses. What text did they
have in their hands when they referred to these verses? This evidence is very
important. Dean Burgon made an index of over 86,000 quotations from these Church
Fathers showing the text of Scripture they used. This is a third mighty safeguard of
the integrity of the deposit of the Words of God.
2. The Value of "Lectionaries."
Dean Burgon wrote: "In truth, the security which the Text of the New Testament
enjoys is altogether unique and extraordinary. To specify the single consideration,
which has never yet attracted nearly the amount of attention it deserves.
Lectionaries abound which establish the Text which has been publicly read in the churches
of the East, from at least A.D. 400 until the time of the invention of
printing." [Dean John W. Burgon, Revision Revised, p. 11]
"Lectionaries" were portions of the New Testament that were read on certain
feast days such as Christmas, Easter, and so on. We have at least 2,143 of these
Greek Lectionaries preserved for us today. This evidence is very important.
3. The Blind Superstitious Reverence for "B,"
"Aleph," and Others. Dean Burgon wrote:
"Singular to relate, the first, second, fourth and fifth of these codices (B,
Aleph, C, D) but especially B and Aleph have within the last twenty years established a
tyrannical ascendency over the imagination of the Critics which can only be fitly spoken
of as a blind superstition. It matters nothing that all four ["B",
"Aleph", "C", and "D"] are discovered on careful
scrutiny to differ essentially, not only from ninety-nine out of a hundred of the whole
body of extant MSS, besides, but even from one another." [Dean John W. Burgon,
Revision Revised, pp. 11-12]. Yet these same manuscripts, by "blind
superstition" are used as the very foundations of the versions and perversions of our
day. Even the ones that Bible- believing Christians are using such as: the New
International Version, the New American Standard Version, the New King James Version in
the footnotes, the New Berkeley, and others.
4. The Similarities Between "B" (Vatican) and
"Aleph" (Sinai) Manuscripts. Dean Burgon wrote:
"Between the first two (B and Aleph) there subsists an amount of sinister
resemblance, which proves that they must have been derived at no very remote period from
the same corrupt original. . . . It is in fact easier to find two consecutive verses in
which these two MSS differ the one from the other, than two consecutive verses in which
they entirely agree." [Dean John W. Burgon, Revision Revised, p. 12]
5. The Unreliability of "Aleph" the Sinai
Manuscript. Dean Burgon wrote: "Next to "D,"
the most untrustworthy codex is Aleph, which bears on its front a memorable note of the
evil repute under which it has always laboured:--viz. it is found that at least ten
revisers between the IVth and the XIIth centuries busied themselves with the task of
correcting its many and extraordinary perversions of the truth of
Scripture." [Dean John W. Burgon, Revision Revised, p. 13].
6. The Depravity of Manuscripts "Aleph,"
"B," and "D." Dean Burgon wrote:
"We venture to assure him, without a particle of hesitation, that
"Aleph," "B," "D" are three of the most scandalously corrupt
copies extant:--exhibit the most shamefully mutilated texts which are anywhere to be met
with:--have become, by whatever process (for their history is wholly unknown), the
depositories of the largest amount of fabricated readings ancient blunders, and
intentional perversions of Truth,--which are discoverable in any known copies of the Word
of God." [Dean John W. Burgon, Revision Revised, p. 16]. Dean Burgon knew what
these old ancient Uncials were. They were depraved, and mutilated. Yet these
are respected, revered, and put on a pedestal today.
7. The Worst Corruptions of the New Testament Came Within
the First 100 Years After They Were Made. Dean Burgon wrote:
"`It is no less true to fact than paradoxical in sound,' writes the most
learned of the Revisionist body [that is, Dr. Frederick H. A. Scrivener], `that the
worst corruptions to which the New Testament has ever been subjected, originated within a
hundred years after it was composed: that Irenaeus (A.D. 150), and the African
Fathers, and the whole Western, with a portion of the Syrian Church, used far inferior
manuscripts to those employed by Stunica, or Erasmus, or Stephens thirteen centuries
later, when moulding the Textus Receptus.'" [Dean John W. Burgon, Revision
Revised, p. 30]. What he is saying is that the corruptions in the Greek texts at the time
of Irenaeus, the African Church, the Western Church, and the early days of "B",
and "Aleph" were far worse than and inferior to the texts used to develop the
8. Dean Burgon Defended the Traditional Greek Text
Against the False Westcott and Hort Type of Text in the Following Thirty Passages.
Though Dean Burgon defended the traditional text throughout the book, here is a section
which takes examples one after another in rapid succession. Without comment, these
thirty passages are listed here with the pages in The Revision Revised where they are
taken up in detail:
1. Mark 2:1-12 (pp. 30-34)
2. Luke 11:2-4 (pp. 34-36)
3. Mark 16:9-20 (pp. 36-40)
4. Luke 2:14 (pp. 41-51)
5. Acts 27:37 (pp. 51-53)
6. Acts 18:7 (pp. 53-54)
7. Matthew 11:23 & Luke 10:15 (pp. 54-56)
8. Mark 11:3 (pp. 56-58)
9. Mark 11:8 (pp. 58-61)
10. Luke 23:45 (pp. 61-66)
11. Mark 6:20 (pp. 66-70)
12. Mark 9:24 (pp. 70-71)
13. Matthew 14:30 (p. 71)
14. Mark 15:39 (pp. 71-72)
15. Luke 23;42 (p. 72)
16. John 14:4 (pp. 72-73)
17. Luke 6:1 (pp. 73-75)
18. Luke 22:19-20--32 words (pp. 75-79)
19. Luke 22:43-44--26 words (pp. 79-83)
20. Luke 23:34--12 words (pp.82-85)
21. Luke 23:38--7 words (pp. 85-88)
22. Luke 24:1,3,6,9,12--37 words (pp. 88-90)
23. Luke 24:40,42,51-53--23 words (pp. 90-91)
24. Matthew 27:21 (pp. 91-92)
25. Matthew 28:11 (pp. 92-93)
26. Luke 9:55-56 (p. 93)
27. Luke 24:41 (p. 93)
28. Luke 6:1 (pp. 93-98)
29. 1 Timothy 3:16 ("God was manifest in the flesh") (pp.
98-106, and pp. 424- 491)
30. 2 Peter 2:22 (p. 106)
9. Dean Burgon's Conclusion About the False Type of Greek
Text Adopted by Westcott and Hort. Dean Burgon wrote: "It
has been the ruin of the present undertaking--as far as the Sacred Text is concerned--that
the majority of the Revisionist body have been misled throughout by the oracular decrees
and impetuous advocacy of Drs. Westcott and Hort, who, with the purest intentions and most
laudable industry, have constructed a Text demonstrably more remote from the Evangelic
verity than any which has ever yet seen the light." [Dean John W. Burgon,
Revision Revised, p. 110]. Did Dean Burgon name names? Yes, he did. He names
Westcott and Hort. Did he name names within his own denominational framework?
Yes, he did. Both of these men were Anglicans, that is, members of the clergy of
the Church of England. Dean Burgon was a fundamental, conservative
Anglican. Westcott and Hort, on the other hand, were apostate and heretical
unbelievers. This is shown in both of my booklets: The Theological Heresies of
Westcott and Hort [B.F.T. #595 for a GIFT of $3.00], and Bishop Westcott's Clever Denial
of the Bodily Resurrection of Christ [B.F.T. #1131 for a GIFT of $4.00]. The latter
booklet shows clearly that Westcott denied the bodily resurrection of Christ. Westcott and
Hort have to be named and exposed, not only in textual matters, but also in doctrinal
matters. Dr. Stewart Custer of Bob Jones University, in his booklet, The Truth About
the King James Controversy, on page 26, stated of Westcott and Hort: ". . . these men
have written in their mature years book after book defending the CONSERVATIVE
interpretation of Scripture, . . ." The Theological Heresies of Westcott and
Hort shows clearly that these men have written books that do NOT defend "the
CONSERVATIVE interpretation of Scripture." There are about 125 quotations from
five of their books to prove this point. Using the term, "conservative," to
refer to such a man as Westcott who clearly denied the bodily resurrection of the Lord
Jesus Christ, would require a complete redefinition of what is meant by the word,
"conservative." I don't want any part of that kind of
"conservativism," do you? Dean Burgon named names politely and gently.
We can be gentlemen and, where appropriate, still name names in the same manner.
III--WESTCOTT & HORT'S NEW TEXTUAL THEORY--
Refuted by Dean Burgon (pages 233-366)
A. The Importance of Dean Burgon's ARTICLE III Which
Refuted Westcott and Hort's NEW TEXTUAL THEORY. In 1881, Westcott
and Hort and the other members of the translation committee of the English Revised Version
(ERV) published their very inferior work. At about the same time Westcott and Hort
published an Introduction to the Greek New Testament. This amazingly misleading book
has been answered fully by Dean Burgon in his ARTICLE III. The BIBLE FOR TODAY
has re-printed this Introduction for those who wish to see their false theory for
themselves. It is BFT #1303 (540 pp.) which is available for a gift of $25.00.
This false THEORY behind the false Revised Greek text is as important as the Greek
text itself. Not only is the same basic false Greek text in use today by the various
versions and perversions, but also the same basic false THEORY supporting this text is in
use today by the same versions and perversions!!
B. Important Quotations from Dean Burgon's ARTICLE III:
WESTCOTT AND HORT'S NEW TEXTUAL THEORY (pages 233-366).
1. Dean Burgon's Massive Evidence in Favor of the Reading
"GOD Was Manifest in the Flesh" in 1 Timothy 3:16. Dean
Burgon shows strong and irrefutable proof for the correctness of "GOD WAS MANIFEST IN
Evidence for THEOS ("God") N.T. Greek Manuscripts
(Lectionaries & Copies) = 289
Ancient N.T. Versions = 3
Greek Church Fathers = c. 20
There is an abundance of evidence for this reading as contained in the King James
Bible. Theos or "God" is without any doubt the original and proper
Evidence for HO ("which") N.T. Greek Manuscripts = 1
Ancient N.T. Versions = 5
Greek Church Fathers = 2
This evidence for ho, or "which," is extremely scanty. It has no
opportunity to succeed as the original and proper reading.
Evidence for HOS ("who") N.T. Greek Manuscripts = 6
Ancient N.T. Versions = 1
Greek Church Fathers = 0
[Dean John W. Burgon, Revision Revised, pp. 486-496].
Again, this is not sufficient evidence to favor hos, or "who." It is
unreasonable to have the modern versions favoring it, yet they do.
"GOD was manifest in the flesh" is the correct reading in the King James
Bible. Though it is entirely in error, HOS is what is used in the new versions and
perversions of our day. Here are a few of them:
"HE WHO was manifested in the
flesh"--the American Standard Version.
"HE was manifested in the flesh"--the
Revised Standard Version.
"HE WHO was revealed in the flesh"--New
American Standard Version.
"HE appeared in a body"--the New
"HE was shown to us in a human body"--the
New Century Version.
"HE was revealed in flesh"--the New Revised
2. The Error of "Alternative Readings."
Dean Burgon wrote: "What are found in the margin are therefore `alternative
readings'--in the opinion of these self-constituted representatives of the Church and of
the Sects. It becomes evident that by this ill-advised proceeding, our Revisionists
would convert every Englishman's copy of the New Testament into a one-sided Introduction
to the Critical difficulties of the Greek Text; a labyrinth, out of which they have not
been at the pains to supply him with a single hint as to how he may find his way. . . .
What else must be the result of all this but general uncertainty, confusion, distress?
A hazy mistrust of all Scripture has been insinuated into the hearts and minds of
countless millions, who in this way have been forced to become doubters,--yea, doubters in
the Truth of Revelation itself." [Dean John W. Burgon, Revision Revised,
pp. 236-237]. Dean Burgon is opposed to alternative readings. These are what abound
in the footnotes of the study edition of the New King James Version. The reader
doesn't know which to believe, the words of the text or the words of the footnotes!
This results in a "hazy mistrust of all Scripture"!
3. The False Textual Theory of the German Lachmann.
Dean Burgon wrote: "Lachmann's ruling principle then, was exclusive reliance on a
very few ancient authorities--because they are `ancient.' He constructed his text on
three or four--not infrequently on one or two--Greek codices. Of the Greek Fathers,
he relied on Origen. Of the oldest Versions, he cared only for the Latin. To
the Syrian . . . he paid no attention. We venture to think his method
irrational." [Dean John W. Burgon, Revision Revised, pp. 242-43].
4. The False Textual Theory of the Frenchman Tregelles.
Dean Burgon wrote: "Tregelles adopted the same strange method. He
resorted to a very few out of the entire mass of `ancient Authorities' for the
construction of his Text. His proceeding is exactly that of a man, who--in order
that he may the better explore a comparatively unknown region--begins by putting out both
his eyes; and resolutely refuses the help of the natives to show him the way.
Why he rejected the testimony of every Father of the IVth century except Eusebius,--it
were unprofitable to enquire." [Dean John W. Burgon, Revision Revised, p. 243].
Dean Burgon's humor and picturesque figures of speech add to his clear logic of
5. The False Textual Theory of German Tischendorf (1831
A.D.). Tischendorf was the man that found the Sinai manuscript in
the wastebasket on Mt. Sinai. The monks were getting ready to burn it and
Tischendorf was getting ready to buy it. Which one, do you think, had the correct
appreciation of the value of the Sinai manuscript? I think it was the monks!
Dean Burgon wrote: "Tischendorf, the last and by far the ablest of the three,
knew better than to reject `eighty-nine ninetieth' of the extant witnesses. He had
recourse to the ingenious expedient of adducing all the available evidence, but adopting
just as little of it as he chose; and he chose to adopt those readings only, which are
vouched for by the same little band of authorities whose partial testimony had already
proved fatal to the decrees of Lachmann and Tregelles." [Dean John W. Burgon,
Revision Revised, p. 243].
6. The False Textual Theories of Lachmann, Tregelles, and
Tischendorf Summarized. Dean Burgon wrote: "Enough has
been said to show--(the only point we are bent on establishing)--that the one distinctive
tenet of the three most famous Critics since 1831 has been a superstitious reverence for
whatever is found in the same little handful of early,--but not the earliest,--nor yet of
necessity the purest,--documents." [Dean John W. Burgon, Revision Revised, p.
244]. He is talking now about Westcott and Hort's almost exclusive use of "B"
and "Aleph." Notice he calls it "superstitious reverence."
This is tantamount to worship, is it not?
7. The Errors of the Last Three False Textual Theories.
Dean Burgon wrote: "`Strange,' we venture to exclaim, (addressing the living
representatives of the school of Lachmann, and Tregelles, and Tischendorf):--`Strange,
that you should not perceive that you are the dupes of a fallacy which is even
transparent. You talk of "Antiquity." But you must know very well
that you actually mean something different. You fasten upon three, or perhaps
four,--on two, or perhaps three,--on one, or perhaps two,--documents of the IVth or
Vth century. But then, confessedly, these are one, two, three, or four specimens
only of Antiquity,--not "Antiquity" itself. And what if they should even
prove to be unfair samples of Antiquity? . . .'" [Dean John W. Burgon, Revision
Revised, p. 244].
8. The Errors in Dr. Hort's False New Testament Textual
Theory. Dean Burgon wrote: ". . . Dr. Hort informs us
that Lachmann's Text of 1831 was `the first founded on documentary authority.' . . . On
what then, pray, does the learned Professor imagine that the Texts of Erasmus (1516) and
of Stunica (1522) were founded: His statement is incorrect. The actual
difference between Lachmann's Text and those of the earlier Editors is that his
`documentary authority' is partial, narrow, self-contradictory; and is proved to be
untrustworthy by a free appeal to Antiquity." "Their documentary
authority, derived from independent sources,--though partial and narrow as that on which
Lachmann relied,--exhibits (under the good Providence of God,) a Traditional Text, the
general purity of which is demonstrated by all the evidence which 350 years of subsequent
research have succeeded in accumulating; and which is confessedly the Text of A.D.
375." [Dean John W. Burgon, Revision Revised, p. 250]. What he is trying to say
is that the opposite of the Westcott and Hort text is a traditional text which has been
the text of A.D. 375. This is, of course, what Westcott and Hort have agreed, but
they have a false theory to explain it.
9. The Errors in Both "Intrinsic Probability"
and "Transcriptional Probability." The page references are
to Westcott and Hort's Introduction to the Greek New Testament. Dean Burgon wrote:
"The dissertation on `Intrinsic' and `Transcriptional Probability' which
follows (pp. 20-30)--being unsupported by one single instance or illustration,--we pass
by. It ignores throughout the fact, that the most serious corruptions of MSS are due
not to `Scribes' or `Copyists,' . . . but to the persons who employed them . . . . We
venture to declare that inasmuch as one expert's notions of what is `transcriptionally
probable,' prove to be the diametrical reverse of another expert's notions, the supposed
evidence to be derived from this source may, with advantage, be neglected
altogether. Let the study of Documentary Evidence be allowed to take its
place. Notions of `Probability' are the very pest of these departments of Science
which admit of an appeal to Fact." [Dean John W. Burgon, Revision
Revised, pp. 251-52]. "Intrinsic probability" refers to what the original might
have been. With their mind the textual critics try to figure out what might have
been there in the original text. "Transcriptional probability"
refers to what changes the scribe might have made to the document. Both forms of
"probability" are evil and pure guesswork!
10. The Errors in the Alleged "Genealogical
Evidence" in the Greek Manuscripts. Dean Burgon wrote:
"High time however is it to declare that, in strictness, all this talk about
`Genealogical evidence' when applied to Manuscripts is moonshine. . . .But then, it
happens, unfortunately, that we are unacquainted with one single instance of a known MS
copied from another known MS. And perforce all talk about `Genealogical evidence,'
where no single step in the descent can be produced,--in other words, where no
Genealogical evidence exists,--is absurd." [Dean John W. Burgon, Revision
Revised, pp. 255-56].
Genealogy in documents refers to those that are clearly related, one to the other just
like a relation might exist between a father, a son, a grandson and so on. Yet that
is one of the errors that Westcott and Hort made up. It is this false genealogy
argument which is used by the so-called Majority Greek text for John 7:53--8:11, and the
entire book of Revelation.
11. The Errors of the So-Called "Genealogical
Evidence" Illustrated. Dean Burgon wrote: "The
living inhabitants of a village, congregated in the churchyard where the bodies of their
forgotten progenitors for 1000 years repose without memorials of any kind, [In other
words, there are no gravestones in this cemetery.]--is a faint image of the relation which
subsists between extant copies of the Gospels and the sources from which they were
derived." [Dean John W. Burgon, Revision Revised, p. 256].
12. The False Argument of "Conflation"
Answered. The following eight verses are the only ones offered as
alleged examples of "conflation" in Westcott and Hort's Introduction: (1) Mark
6:33; (2) Mark 8:26; (3) Mark 9:38; (4) Mark 9:49; (5) Luke 9:10; (6) Luke 11:54; (7) Luke
12:18; (8) Luke 24:53. Dean Burgon shows clearly that the above ##1, 2, 5, 6, &
7 don't even exhibit the phenomenon. Dean Burgon wrote: "The
interpretation put upon them by Drs. Westcott and Hort, is purely arbitrary: a baseless
imagination,--a dream and nothing more." [Dean John W. Burgon, Revision
Revised, pp. 258-262]. Here is what Westcott and Hort mean by conflation. You might
take a car and a van someplace. In writing about this, you might have one manuscript
that reads "car" and another manuscript that reads "van." Then
you have a manuscript that combines the two of them and reads "car and van."
Westcott and Hort alleged that this is what the Textus Receptus did in the
preceding eight examples. They said there were two parts to some texts, one part
from "B" and "Aleph" their "true" text, and another part
from some other manuscript. They claimed that the Textus Receptus took both parts
and added them together. This is what Westcott and Hort called
"conflation." If "conflation" were true to fact, wouldn't they
be able to produce more than eight examples of it? Yet Westcott and Hort couldn't
find any more than eight, and only three have any possible hope of being proper examples.
13. The False So-Called "Syrian Text Recension"
of 250 and 350 A.D. Refuted. Westcott and Hort wrote:
"The Syrian Text [our Textus Receptus] must in fact be the result of a
`Recension,' . . . performed deliberately by Editors, and not merely by Scribes."
(Introduction, p. 133). Dean Burgon answered them as follows: "But why `must'
it? Instead of `must in fact,' we are disposed to read `may--in fiction.' The
learned Critic can but mean that, on comparing the Text of Fathers of the IVth century
with the Text of cod. B, it becomes to himself self-evident that one of the two has been
fabricated. Granted. Then,--Why should not the solitary Codex be the
offending party? . . . why (we ask) should codex B be upheld `contra mundum'?"
[Against the whole world] [Dean John W. Burgon, Revision Revised, pp. 272-73]. It
is Codex "B" (the Vatican manuscript) versus the text of the Church Fathers of
the 4th century. Both can't be right. One of the two must be fabricated.
Can you guess which one Dean Burgon believes to be "fabricated"?
14. The False Alleged "Syrian Text Recension of 250
and 350 A.D. Only A Guess. Dean Burgon wrote: "Apart
however from the gross intrinsic improbability of the supposed Recension,--the utter
absence of one particle of evidence, traditional or otherwise, that it ever did take
place, must be laid to be fatal to the hypothesis that it did. It is simply
incredible that an incident of such magnitude and interest would leave no trace of itself
in history. As a conjecture--(and it only professes to be a conjecture)--Dr.
Hort's notion of how the Text of the Fathers of the IIIrd, IVth, and Vth
centuries,--which, as he truly remarks, is in the main identical with our own Received
Text,--came into being, must be unconditionally abandoned." [Dean John W.
Burgon, Revision Revised, pp. 293-94]. A "recension" of the Greek New Testament
Text would mean that this text was fabricated by editors. The editor would throw out
all the other contrary texts, and come up with just one text. There is not a
scrap of history that tells anything about this event. This is a false theory, but they
had to account for the fact that the Textus Receptus-type manuscripts have over 99% of the
manuscript evidence behind it. Westcott and Hort had to say that someone made an
editorial recension or revision of the New Testament. They then said that all of the
Textus Receptus-type manuscripts were carbon copies of that original recension or
revision. This is their false, flawed, and unhistorical hypothesis to account for
99% of the evidence.
15. The Importance of Refuting the False "Recension
Theory" of Westcott and Hort. Dean Burgon wrote: "We
have been so full on the subject of this imaginary `Antiochian' or `Syrian text,' not (the
reader may be sure) without sufficient reason. Scant satisfaction truly is there in
scattering to the winds an airy tissue which its ingenious authors have been industriously
weaving for 30 years; But it is clear that with this hypothesis of a `Syrian'
text,--the immediate source and actual prototype of the commonly received Text of the
N.T.,--stands or falls their entire Textual theory. Reject it, and the entire
fabric is observed to collapse, and subside into a shapeless ruin. And with it, of
necessity, goes the `New Greek Text,'--and therefore the `New English Version' of our
Revisionists, which in the main has been founded on it." [Dean John W. Burgon,
Revision Revised, p. 294]. Westcott and Hort's whole house of cards will fall if their
hypothesis falls. It does fall because there is no historical record that shows that
anybody ever destroyed the many thousands of New Testament documents and edited the text
down to just one document, a recension. This is absolutely false to history and
cannot be proven to be true by any facts. The theory falls, the text falls, the
English translation falls!
16. Westcott and Hort's Admission that the Textus
Receptus Is the Greek Text Found Abundantly in the "Fourth Century."
Many Westcott and Hort supporters claim that the text of our Textus Receptus kind of
manuscripts is of a more recent date than "B" and "Aleph."
Westcott and Hort admitted: "The fundamental text of the late extant Greek MSS
generally is, beyond all question, identical with (what Dr. Hort chooses to call) the
dominant Antiochian or Graeco-Syrian text of the second half of the IVth century . . . The
Antiochian (and other) Fathers, and the bulk of extant MSS, written from about three or
four, to ten or eleven centuries later, must have had, in the greater number of extant
variations, a common original either contemporary with, or older than, our oldest extant
MSS." [Westcott & Hort, Introduction to the Greek N.T., p. 92. quoted by
Dean John W. Burgon, Revision Revised, p. 295]. Westcott and Hort admitted forthrightly
that the Textus Receptus text is a 4th century text. They explained this fact by its
being the result of a rescension/revision made in 250 A.D. and again in 350 A.D.
Again, Westcott and Hort did not attempt to prove this, nor could they. It is merely
a false hypothesis.
17. Dean Burgon Agrees Wholeheartedly with Westcott and
Hort's Admission that the Textus Receptus Was the Dominant Text of the Fourth Century
A.D., But for Different Reasons. Dean Burgon wrote: "So
far then, happily, we are entirely agreed. The only question is--How is this
resemblance to be accounted for? Not, we answer,--not, certainly, by putting forward
so violent and improbable--as irrational a conjecture as that, first, about A.D. 250,--and
then again about A.D. 350,--an authoritative standard Text was fabricated at Antioch; of
which all other known MSS. (except a very little handful) are nothing else but
transcripts; but rather, by loyally recognizing, in the practical identity of the Text
exhibited by 99 out of 100 of our extant MSS, the probable general fidelity of those many
manuscripts to the inspired exemplars themselves from which remotely they are confessedly
descended." "And surely, if it be allowable to assume (with Dr.
that for 1532 years, (viz. from A.D. 350 to A.D. 1882) the Antiochian standard has been
faithfully retained and transmitted,--it will be impossible to assign any valid reason why
the inspired Original itself, the Apostolic standard, should not have been as faithfully
transmitted and retained from the Apostolic age to the Antiochian (i.e. say, from
A.D. 90 to A.D. 250-350)--i.e. throughout an interval of less than 250 years, or one-sixth
of the period." [Dean John W. Burgon, Revision Revised, pp. 295-96]. Dean
Burgon is saying clearly that God has preserved His Words.
18. More Explanation of the False "Recension"
Theory of the Greek New Testament. Dean Burgon wrote:
"Drs. Westcott and Hort assume that this `Antiochian text'--found in the later
cursives and the Fathers of the latter half of the IVth century--must be an artificial, an
arbitrarily invented standard; a text fabricated between A.D. 250 and A.D. 350. And
if they may but be so fortunate as to persuade the world to adopt their hypothesis, then
all will be easy; for they will have reduced the supposed `consent of Fathers' to the
reproduction of one and the same single `primary documentary witness': . . ."
"Upset the hypothesis on the other hand, and all is reversed in a moment. Every
attesting Father is perceived to be a dated MS. and an independent authority; and the
combined evidence of several of these becomes simply unmanageable. In like manner,
`the approximate consent of the cursives' . . . is perceived to be equivalent not to `A
PRIMARY DOCUMENTARY WITNESS,'--not to `ONE ANTIOCHIAN ORIGINAL,'--but to be tantamount to
the articulate speech of many witnesses of high character, coming to us from every quarter
of primitive Christendom." [Dean John W. Burgon, Revision Revised, pp. 296-97].
19. The Vatican ("B") Manuscript Described.
Dean Burgon wrote: "Behold then the altar at which Copies, Fathers, Versions,
are all to be ruthlessly sacrificed,--the tribunal from which there shall be absolutely no
appeal,--the Oracle which is to silence every doubt, resolve every riddle, smooth away
every difficulty. All has been stated, where the name has been pronounced of--codex
B." [Dean John W. Burgon, Revision Revised, p. 301]. Again, Dean Burgon uses
the element of humor as he paints the picture of this false "altar" of
"B" and "Aleph" worshiped by Westcott and Hort and their followers.
20. The Fallacy of Worshiping the "B" (Vatican)
Greek Manuscript. Dean Burgon wrote: "And then, by an
unscrupulous use of the process of Reiteration, accompanied by a boundless exercise of the
imaginative faculty, we have reached the goal to which all that went before has been
steadily tending; viz. the absolute supremacy of codices B and Aleph above all other
codices,--and when they differ, then of codex B. And yet, the `immunity from
substantive error' of a lost Codex of imaginary date and unknown history cannot but be a
pure imagination,--(a mistaken one, as we shall presently show,)--of these respected
Critics: while their proposed practical inference from it,--(viz. to regard two remote and
confessedly depraved Copies of that original, as `a safe criterion of genuineness,')--
this, at all events, is the reverse of logical. In the meantime, the presumed
proximity of the Text of Aleph and B to the Apostolic age is henceforth discoursed of as
if it were no longer a matter of conjecture." [Dean John W. Burgon, Revision
Revised, p. 304].
21. An Explanation of Why the Vatican ("B) and the
Sinai ("Aleph") Greek Manuscripts Survived for so Long.
Dean Burgon wrote: "Lastly,--We suspect that these two Manuscripts are indebted
for their preservation, solely to their ascertained evil character; which has occasioned
that the one eventually found its way, four centuries ago, to a forgotten shelf in the
Vatican library; while the other, after exercising the ingenuity of several generations of
critical Correctors, eventually (viz. in A.D. 1844) got deposited in the waste-paper
basket of the Convent at the foot of Mount Sinai. Had B and Aleph been copies of
average purity, they must long since have shared the inevitable fate of books which are
freely used and highly prized; namely, they would have fallen into decadence and
disappeared from sight." [Dean John W. Burgon, Revision Revised, p.319] This is
a powerful argument. Dean Burgon here explains why it is that "B" and
"Aleph" were still in existence after so many centuries.
22. Previous Veneration of the Vatican ("B")
and the Sinai ("Aleph") Greek Manuscripts. Dean Burgon
wrote: "Since 1881, Editors have vied with one another in the fulsomeness of
the homage they have paid to these `two false Witnesses,'--for such B and Aleph are, as
the concurrent testimony of Copies, Fathers and Versions abundantly prove. Even
superstitious reverence has been claimed for these two codices; and Drs. Westcott and Hort
are so far in advance of their predecessors in the servility of their blind adulation;
that they must be allowed to have easily won the race." [Dean John W. Burgon,
Revision Revised, pp. 319-20] Westcott and Hort have won the race for being the leading
"worshipers" of both "B" and "Aleph."
23. The Preference for "B" (Vatican) and
"Aleph" (Sinai) Is A "Superstition." Dean Burgon
wrote: "B Aleph C . . . But when I find them hopelessly at variance among
themselves: above all, when I find (1) all other Manuscripts of whatever date,--(2) the
most ancient Versions,--and (3) the whole body of the primitive Fathers, decidedly opposed
to them,--I am (to speak plainly) at a loss to understand how any man of sound
understanding acquainted with all the facts of the case and accustomed to exact reasoning,
can hesitate to regard the unsupported (or the slenderly supported) testimony of one or
other of them as simply worthless. The craven homage which the foremost of the three
[that is, manuscript "B"] habitually receives at the hands of Drs. Westcott and
Hort. I can only describe as a weak superstition. It is something more than
unreasonable. It becomes even ridiculous." [Dean John W. Burgon, Revision
Revised, p. 325]
24. The Illogical Nature of Concluding a Universal from a
Very Few Particulars. Dean Burgon disagreed that Westcott and Hort
could take a very small number of particular examples of Antiquity and conclude a
UNIVERSAL about ALL Antiquity. He wrote: "To make them [that is,
manuscripts "B" and "Aleph"] the basis of an induction is
preposterous. It is not allowable to infer the universal from the particular.
If the bones of Goliath were to be discovered to-morrow, would you propose as an induction
therefrom that it was the fashion to wear four-and-twenty fingers and toes on one's hands
and feet in the days of the giant of Gath?" [Dean John W. Burgon, Revision
Revised, pp. 329-30] In logic, "induction" is the process whereby you take many
particulars and then arrive at a generalization or a universal drawn from those many
particulars. From just one, two, or a few specimens, you cannot come to any
valid generalization, universal, or conclusion.
25. Dean Burgon's Firsthand Manuscript Comparisons of
"B," "Aleph," "C," and "D."
Dean Burgon wrote: "On first seriously applying ourselves to these
studies, many years ago, we found it wondrous difficult to divest ourselves of
prepossessions very like your own. Turn which way we would, we were encountered by
the same confident terminology: [We hear similar sentiments today!]--`the best
documents,' [this is a reference to "B" and "Aleph" of
course]--`primary manuscripts,'--`first-rate authorities,'--`primitive
evidence,'--`ancient readings,'--and so forth: and we found that thereby cod. A or
B,--cod. C or D--were invariably and exclusively meant" "It was not until
we had laboriously collated these documents (including Aleph) for ourselves that we became
aware of their true character. Long before coming to the end of our task (and it
occupied us, off and on, for eight years) we had become convinced that the supposed `best
documents' and `first-rate authorities' are in reality among the worst:--. . . A diligent
inspection of a vast number of later Copies scattered throughout the principal libraries
of Europe, and the exact Collation of a few, further convinced us that the deference
generally claimed for B, Aleph, C, D is nothing else but a weak superstition and a vulgar
error:--that the date of a MS. is not of its essence, but is a mere accident of the
problem." [Dean John W. Burgon, Revision Revised, p. 337]
26. Dean Burgon's Best and Only Method of Seeking Proper
New Testament Greek Readings. Dean Burgon wrote: "We deem
this laborious method the only true method, in our present state of imperfect
knowledge: the method, namely, of adopting that Reading which has the fullest, the
widest, and the most varied attestation. Antiquity and Respectability of Witnesses,
are thus secured. How men can persuade themselves that 19 Copies out of every 20 may
be safely disregarded, if they be but written in minuscule characters,--we fail to
understand. To ourselves it seems simply an irrational proceeding. . . . As for
building up a Text, (as Drs. Westcott and Hort have done) with special superstitious
deference to a single codex,--we deem it about as reasonable as would be the attempt to
build up a pyramid from its apex; in the expectation that it would stand firm on its
extremity, and remain horizontal for ever." [Dean John W. Burgon, Revision
Revised, p. 342]
27. The Peculiar Mind-Set of the Westcott and Hort
Followers--Even Those of Today. Dean Burgon wrote:
"Phantoms of the imagination [That's where they begin.] henceforth usurp the
place of substantial forms. Interminable doubt,--wretched misbelief,--childish
credulity,--judicial blindness,--are the inevitable sequel and penalty. The mind
that has long allowed itself in a systematic trifling with Evidence, is observed to fall
the easiest prey to Imposture. It has doubted what is demonstrably true: has
rejected what is indubitably Divine. Henceforth, it is observed to mistake its own
fantastic creations for historical facts; to believe things which rest on insufficient
evidence, or on no evidence at all." [Dean John W. Burgon, Revision Revised, p.
350] When you begin the descent down the slippery slope of phantomizing, rationalizing,
and spiritualizing, this is where Dean Burgon stated it ends up. This is where
Westcott and Hort ended up. This is where their modern day followers have ended up
or will end up before long! It is a frightening prospect!
28. For Dean Burgon, There Can Be No Compromise in the
Battle for the Words of God. Dean Burgon wrote:
"Compromise of any sort between the two conflicting parties, is impossible
also; for they simply contradict one another. Codd. B and Aleph are either among the
purest of manuscripts,--or else they are among the very foulest. The Text of Drs.
Westcott and Hort is either the very best which has ever appeared,--or else it is the very
worst; the nearest to the sacred Autographs,--or the furthest from them."
"There is no room for both opinions; and there cannot exist any middle ground.
The question will have to be fought out; and it must be fought out fairly. It
may not be magisterially settled; but must be advocated, on either side, by the old
logical method. . . . The combatants may be sure that, in consequence of all that has
happened, the public will be no longer indifferent spectators of the fray; for
the issue concerns the inner life of the whole community,--touches men's heart of hearts.
. . . GOD'S TRUTH will be, as it has been throughout, the one object of all our
striving." [Dean John W. Burgon, Revision Revised, pp. 365-66]
a. Compromise not possible. Some people might ask if
this is going to divide the church and separate us. Maybe it has come to that.
Certainly, for Dean Burgon, there can be no compromise. Was Dean Burgon a
fighter? Yes he was. He was a fighter for the right and for the very Words of
God. Shouldn't we of the Dean Burgon Society, get Dean Burgon's spirit and also be
fighters? Should we not be fighters for the right and for the very Words of God?
Yes, yes we should.
b. The Question Will Have To Be "Fought Out."
Was young David a fighter? Yes he was. Did David want to fight?
No. Did he come out to fight? No, he just came out to bring his brothers some
food when that giant, Goliath, came after him. We have Goliaths coming after
us. Our precious Textus Receptus, the Masoretic Text, and our King James Bible are
all under attack today. Yes, we do have Goliaths coming after us.
c. The Battle Must Be Fought "Fairly." There
is nothing in my constitution that wants to be unfair. I want to fight only with
truth. That's the only basis on which we can fight. I want to be kind, but I
want to be firm. I believe Dean Burgon's writings follow this path. The battle
cannot be decided by some judge who can declare one side or the other as the winner.
d. The "Public" Will Not Be "Indifferent
Spectators." As Dean Burgon predicted, the "public" has indeed become
interested in the battle for their Bible. This is important. The
"public" was aroused in his day, and it is being aroused today. As Dean
Burgon reminded us, "GOD'S TRUTH" must be the object of our striving in the Dean
Burgon Society. Consider some of the books that have been written to alert the
general public concerning this problem. Dr. David Otis Fuller's books--Which Bible,
True or False, and Counterfeit or Genuine--greatly assisted in this project. D. A.
Carson wrote against Dr. Fuller's position
My own book, Defending the King James Bible, has made an impact as well.
Mrs. Riplinger's book, New Age Bible Versions, which stands for the Textus Receptus and
the King James Bible, has sold over 100,000 copies The BIBLE FOR TODAY has reprinted
some 900 titles in defense of the Masoretic Hebrew, the Textus Receptus, and the King
James Bible in an effort to make available the facts in this area. James White's
recent book opposes these positions. In 1995, the Dean Burgon Society reprinted, in
perfect binding, their 400-page edition of Dean Burgon's book, The Last Twelve Verses of
Mark. In December, 1996, the DEAN BURGON SOCIETY published Dean Burgon's book, The
Revision Revised. This is a 640-page hardback edition. The DEAN BURGON
SOCIETY, at its annual meetings, has also contributed much information on this theme
throughout its present eighteen years of existence. These messages are all centered
on the main theme, "IN DEFENSE OF TRADITIONAL BIBLE TEXTS." The messages
are available as audio cassettes, video cassettes, and in writing in the DBS MESSAGE
BOOKS. Many other writers for the side of the Masoretic Text, the Textus
Receptus, and the
King James Bible position have contributed to this "public" educational mission,
including, but not limited to the following: Rev. David Cloud of the Way of Life
Ministries; Dr. Jack Moorman, missionary in Great Britain; Dr. Edward Hills; Mr. Everett
Fowler; Mr. Cecil Carter; Dr. Bob Barnett; Pastor Bob Steward; D. A. Waite, Jr.; and
A. The Revision Revised Can Be Used to Combat Current
False Greek Texts. There is no one book that exposes Westcott and
Hort's false Greek text and false Greek theory behind that text any more thoroughly and
convincingly than The Revision Revised. Dean Burgon defends the traditional text of
the New Testament. He also shows clearly the defects in both manuscript
"B" (Vatican) and manuscript "Aleph" (Sinai). It is very
important to see the arguments contained in this historic volume. Virtually the same
Greek text of Westcott and Hort (1881) has been used for almost all of the modern versions
and perversions. As proof of this, you can turn back to pages 2-3 for
seven quotes that tie the Westcott and Hort's Greek text to that of Nestle-Aland and the
United Bible Society. Therefore, The Revision Revised forms a strong basis for a
refutation of the false Greek texts and theories rampant today which form the basis for
the modern English versions.
B. Why Westcott and Hort's Text Is So Similar to Current
Greek Texts. It is very easy to understand why the 1881 Greek Text
of Westcott and Hort is almost the same as that of the modern revised Greek Texts such as
Nestle-Aland, United Bible Society and others. Both groups (Westcott and Hort and
modern textual revisers) draw largely, if not exclusively, on the false readings of
manuscripts "B" (Vatican) and "Aleph" (Sinai). It is axiomatic
that "things equal to the same thing are equal to each other."
C. The Excellence of The Revision Revised.
This present book, The Revision Revised, is another of Dean John William Burgon's
masterpieces. It contains, as do all of his books, overwhelming evidence from
manuscripts, lectionaries, ancient versions, and church fathers showing clearly three
deficiencies: (1) The deficient Greek Text of Westcott and Hort; (2) The deficient English
translation based upon it; and (3) The deficient theory underlying the Greek text.
His arguments are powerful and convincing!
D. The Revision Revised Can Be Used to Combat Current
False Modern Versions. In the way Dean Burgon repudiates the English
Revised Version of 1881 and defends the Authorized King James Bible, this book will also
form a strong basis for defending the King James Bible against the modern versions such as
the ASV, RSV, NASV, NIV, TEV, NIV, NRSV, CEV, the footnotes in the study edition of the
NKJV, and many others.
The author of this booklet, Dr. D. A. Waite, received a B.A. (Bachelor of Arts) in
classical Greek and Latin from the University of Michigan in 1948, a Th.M. (Master of
Theology), with high honors, in New Testament Greek Literature and Exegesis from Dallas
Theological Seminary in 1952, an M.A. (Master of Arts) in Speech from Southern Methodist
University in 1953, a Th.D. (Doctor of Theology), with honors, in Bible Exposition
from Dallas Theological Seminary in 1955, and a Ph.D. in Speech from Purdue University in
1961. He holds both New Jersey and Pennsylvania teacher certificates in Greek and
He has been a teacher in the areas of Greek, Hebrew, Bible, Speech, and English for
over thirty-five years in nine schools, including one junior high, one senior high, three
Bible institutes, two colleges, two universities, and one seminary. He served his
country as a Navy Chaplain for five years on active duty; pastored two churches; was
Chairman and Director of the Radio and Audio-Film Commission of the American Council of
Christian Churches; since 1971, has been Founder, President, and Director of THE BIBLE FOR
TODAY; since 1978, has been President of the DEAN BURGON SOCIETY; has produced over 700
other studies, booklets, cassettes, or VCR's on various topics; and is heard on
both a five-minute daily and thirty-minute weekly radio program IN DEFENSE OF TRADITIONAL
BIBLE TEXTS, presently on 25 stations. Dr. and Mrs. Waite have been married since
1948; they have four sons, one daughter, and, at present, eight grandchildren.