Dr. D. A. Waite
I. INTRODUCTORY REMARKS
II. Quotations From Burgon's PREFACE
III. ARTICLE I--THE NEW GREEK TEXT--Refuted by Dean John William Burgon
IV. ARTICLE III--WESTCOTT & HORT'S NEW TEXTUAL THEORY -- Refuted by Dean Burgon
About the Author
I. INTRODUCTORY REMARKS
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 scholars."
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 & Hort] text." [Dr. Wilbur N. Pickering, The Identity of the New Testament Text, (1980), pp. 42 (>DBS#556 for a gift of $12.00 + $4.00 S&H)].
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).
II. Quotations From Burgon's PREFACE
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 PREFACE.
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 not.
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, don't we!
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 these groups.
III. ARTICLE 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 Words.
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 Aethiopic, belong 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, p. 9]
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 Textus Receptus.
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.
IV. ARTICLE 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 THE FLESH."
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 reading.
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 International Version.
"HE was shown to us in a human body"--the New Century Version.
"HE was revealed in flesh"--the New Revised Standard Version.
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 argumentation.
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. Hort) 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 many others.
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.
About the Author
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 Language Arts.
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.