DBS Emblem

Gateway to all our WebPages
OUR HOMEPAGE  -  ON-LINE DONATIONS  -  DBS UPDATES  -  DBS TIMELY ARTICLES  -  ALL ABOUT THE BIBLE  -  OUR ARTICLES OF FAITH  -  DBS ANNUAL MEETINGS  -  DBS AUDIO SERMONS  -  DBS VIDEO SERMONS  -  WOMEN'S MEETINGS  -  BECOME A MEMBER

   In Defense of Traditional Bible Texts

"The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever."
. . . Psalm 12:6-7 . . .
 

Burgon's Warnings on Revision of the Textus Receptus and the King James Bible

Pastor D. A. Waite, Th. D., Ph. D., DBS President

INTRODUCTION
THE BIBLE
   
TABLE OF CONTENTS
   
I.     INTRODUCTORY CONSIDERATIONS
   
II.   WARNINGS CONCERNING REVISION OF THE NEW TESTAMENT GREEK TEXTUS RECEPTUS
   
I.     INTRODUCTORY CONSIDERATIONS
   
II.   WARNINGS CONCERNING REVISION OF THE NEW TESTAMENT GREEK  TEXTUS RECEPTUS

INTRODUCTION

A Revision of a 1980 Book.  This book was first published on April 15, 1980 under the title: Dean John Burgon's Prerequisites for Major Revision of the New Testament Greek Textus Receptus and the English King James Version New Testament.  Many have ordered it and read it in the intervening 18 years.  The title has been revised to Dean Burgon's Warnings on Revision of the Textus Receptus and the King James Bible.   I hope many more readers will read this material in this new and improved format.

A Great Need.  In this year of 1998, there is still a very great need to understand Dean John William Burgon's WARNINGS concerning revision, either of the Greek Textus Receptus or of the King James Bible.  Dean Burgon, the master textualist, had some very important WARNINGS in his scholarly book, The Revision Revised.  The Dean Burgon Society has reprinted this fine volume in a 640 page hardback beautiful edition.   It is available as B.F.T. #611 @ $25.00 +$5.00 S&H.  The readers are encouraged to study this book and check out the page references for themselves.

When Will the Revisions Cease?  There seems to be no end in sight for the many revisions that have been made, and are still being made both in the Greek New Testament and in the English King James Bible.  Most modern publishers and writers have not read what Dean Burgon wrote extensively concerning any revision of the Greek or English Bible.  The few who have read his WARNINGS have unwisely disregarded them.   Though Dean Burgon was an Anglican minister and I am a Baptist minister, our joint-love for the very Words of God have bound us together in a similar cause--In Defense of Traditional Bible Texts.

Tell Others About this Book.  I trust our readers will help us in the distribution of this book far and wide.  It is hoped that many will cease from their   desire to change either the Greek or English Bible texts.  They should have confidence in the King James Bible and in the Hebrew and Greek texts that underlie it.   Until ALL of Dean Burgon's WARNING PREREQUISITES have been heeded, we must keep the Biblical status quo!

Sincerely yours for God's Words,
Rev. D. A. Waite, Th.D., Ph.D.
Director, The Bible For Today, Incorporated

THE BIBLE

Majestic, eternal, immutable BOOK,
Inspired, inerrant, complete.
The Light of my path as I walk on life's way,
The Guide and the Lamp to my feet.

Its writings are holy and verbally true,
The unalterable Statute of Light,
For profit, for doctrine, for correction, reproof,
Infallible Guide to the right.

My Treasure, my Comfort, my Help, and my Stay,
Incomparable Measure and Rod,
Each page is replete with its textual proof,
The Bible, the exact WORD OF GOD!

By Gertrude Grace Sanborn
(1904--1988)

TABLE OF CONTENTS

I. INTRODUCTORY CONSIDERATIONS 1

A. Why This Book? 1

1. Because THE DEAN BURGON SOCIETY Was Organized As Of November, 1978 1
2. Because, As President Of THE DEAN BURGON SOCIETY, I Was Asked To Speak on this Very Subject At The DBS Annual Meeting, October, 1979 2
3. Because I Was Asked For a Written Study On This Subject. 2
4. Because Of A Misunderstanding on the Part of Some People Concerning Dean Burgon's Views and A Misquotation of his Position on When He Would Revise The T.R. and K.J.B. 2
5. Because Of Such a Rash Of Versions, perversions, And Translations In English And Such A Number of Revisions of the Greek Textus Receptus 3
6. Because The New Testament Greek Textus Receptus Has Been Revised By Professor Zane Hodges And Others 3

B. How Will This Study Be Made? 4

C. Organization Of The Remainder Of The Study 4

II. DEAN JOHN BURGON'S WARNINGS CONCERNING REVISION OF THE NEW TESTAMENT GREEK TEXTUS RECEPTUS 6

A. Dean John Burgon Felt the Textus Receptus Was a Good Text and Better by Far than that of Either Lachmann, Tregelles, Tischendorf, or Westcott and Hort 6

1. Dean Burgon's Criticism of Lachmann's Textual Principles 6
2. Dean Burgon's Criticism of Tregelles' Same Strange Textual Principles 6
3. Dean Burgon's Criticism of Tischendorf's Slighting of "Eighty-Nine Ninetieths" of the "Extant Witnesses." 7
4. Dean Burgon's Summary Assessment of the False Schools of Lachmann, Tregelles, and Tischendorf 7
5. Dean Burgon's Refutation of Hort's Praise of Lachmann's Greek Text and His Condemnation of The Texts of Erasmus. 8
6. Dean Burgon's Statements About the Textus Receptus in General and Its Fundamental Soundness and History 8
a. Even the Enemy of the Textus Receptus, Hort, Admitted That Its Text Is The "Text of the Second Half of the Fourth Century." 8
b. Dean Burgon Praised the "Traditional" or "Received" Text as Having the Backing of Antiquity and Having a Date of From A.D. 350 to A.D. 400 9
c. Dean Burgon Further Praised the "Traditional" or "Received Text" as Having the Backing of "Every Extant Lectionary of the Greek Church." 10
d. Dean Burgon Praised This "Traditional Text" as One Which "Cannot Seriously Be Suspected of Error." 10
e. Dean Burgon Believed in Using the "Received Text" as a "Common Standard" of Comparison to Other Greek Texts Since It Was "More Than 1500 Years Old." 10
f. Dean Burgon Scolded Bishop Ellicott for Heaping "Contempt" on the "Humblest Ancestor" of the "Textus Receptus," That Is, "The First Edition of Erasmus." 11
g. Dean Burgon Reminded Ellicott of His Own Words Concerning the History and Pedigree of the "Received Text" Which Was "Contemporary with" or "older than Any" of the Oldest of Our Extant Manuscript of the Greek New Testament 11
h. Dean Burgon Pointed Out the "Two Distinct Lines of Descent" of the Traditional [Received] Text, Namely The "Complutensian" as Well as the "Erasmian" 12
i. Dean Burgon Esteemed the "Received Text" Which Was in His Time Over"1550 Years Old" and Even "Older," As "Quite Good Enough For All Ordinary Purposes." 12
7. Dean Burgon Felt Strongly That the "Revision" of the "Textus Receptus" Made in 1881 by Westcott and Hort Was the Worst Sort Imaginable Because of the False Principles and Theories Upon Which That "Revision" Was Founded 13
a. Dean Burgon's "One Object" Was to "Defeat" the "Revision of the Sacred Text" of Westcott & Hort Which Is "Untrustworthy From Beginning to End" 13
b. Dean Burgon Held That Westcott and Hort's Perversion of the Textus Receptus Was a "Poisoning of the River of Life at its Sacred Source." 13
c. Dean Burgon Charged the Westcott and Hort "Revision" as Causing the "Words of Inspiration" to Be "Seriously Imperilled." 14
d. Dean Burgon Branded the Westcott and Hort Textual "Revision" As Being"the Most Depraved Which Has Ever Appeared in Print" 14
e. Dean Burgon Stated That the Westcott and Hort "Revision" Was "Vastly More Remote from the Inspired Autographs" Than Any "Which Has Appeared Since the Invention of Printing" 15
f. Dean Burgon Stated That "Conjectural Emendation" Such as That Used in the Westcott and Hort "Revision" Has "No Place" in "Biblical Textual Criticism" 15
g. Dean Burgon Faulted the Westcott and Hort "Revision" as Being "Palpably Mistaken" for Changing the Textus Receptus at Luke 2:14 and Mark 16:9-20 15
h. Dean Burgon Stated That the Westcott and Hort Text Departed From the Traditional Text "Nearly 6,000 Times" and Almost "Invariably for the Worse" 15
i. Dean Burgon Downed the Westcott and Hort Text as Being "More Remote"From the Originals Than Any to Have Seen the Light 16
j. Dean Burgon Labeled Westcott and Hort's Text to Be "the Most Vicious Recension of the Original Greek in Existence" 16
k. Dean Burgon Said That the Westcott and Hort "Invented" Text Was "a Thousand Times Worse" Than the "Text" of "Erasmus," the "Complutensian," "Stephens,""Beza," or the "Elzevirs,"Because It Is "Hopelessly Depraved Throughout" 16
l. Dean Burgon Accused Westcott and Hort's Text of "Falsifying the Inspired Greek Text in Countless Places" and at the Same Time "Branding with Suspicion" Some Of The "Most Precious Utterances of the Spirit" 16
m. Dean Burgon Assailed Westcott and Hort's Erection of the "Two IVth Century Copies" Into an "Authority from Which There Shall Be No Appeal" 17
n. Dean Burgon Labeled the Westcott and Hort "Revision" as a "Prodigious Blunder" Containing "Vile Fabrications" From Which God Preserved "Erasmus and Stunica,--Stephens and Beza and the Elzivers" 17
o. Dean Burgon Decried the "Embalming" of "Their Errors" Rather Than Rejecting Them as Found In "B," "ALEPH," the "Coptic Version," "D," and the "Old Latin Copies" 18
p. Dean Burgon Lamented Westcott and Hort's "Ruthlessly Sacrificing" the Great Majority of "Copies, Fathers, & Versions" on the "Altar" of "the Oracle" 18
q. Dean Burgon Characterized "Codices B and Aleph" as "Impure," "Two of the Least Trust- worthy Documents in Existence," "the Foulest Text that Had Ever Seen the Light," and "Speci- mens of the Depraved Class" 19
r. Dean Burgon Denounced the Major Documents Underlying the Westcott and Hort "Revision of the Greek Text" ("B," "Aleph," & "C") With Specific Defects Enumerated 19
s. Dean Burgon Denominated as "Ridiculous," "More than Unreasonable," "Weak Superstition," "Craven Homage and "Simply Worthless" the Westcott and Hort Prize Manuscripts, "B," "Aleph," and "C" 20
t. Dean Burgon Acknowledged Both the "General Trustworthiness" of the "Traditional [Received] Text," and the "Essential Rottenness" of the "Greek Text" of Westcott and Hort 20

B. Dean John Burgon Felt That, Though the Textus Receptus Was an Excellent Text For the Use in the Meantime, and Was a "Thousand Times" Superior to the Greek Text of Westcott and Hort, Yet He Did Not Hold to its "Perfection" 21

1. Dean Burgon Used the "Commonly Received Text" as a "Common Standard," Not as "the Final Standard of Appeal" 21
2. Dean Burgon Felt the "Textus Receptus" Does "Call for Revision" But That Must Be Based Upon "Entirely Different Principles" From Those of Westcott and Hort's Text 22
3. Dean Burgon Felt the "Textus Receptus" Needed "Revision" in "Many of its Lesser Details," But That It Was "an Excellent Text as it Stands" That Will "Never Lead Critical Students of Scripture Seriously Astray" 23
4. Dean Burgon Did Not Take the "Received" or Any Other "Text" as a "Standard from Which There Shall Be no Appeal" 23
5. Dean Burgon Held That the "Received Text" Even in His Day Was "Full 1550 Years Old" and Even "a Vast Deal Older," and He Esteemed It "Quite Good Enough for All Ordinary Purposes, Yet He Sometimes Made "Appeal From It" 24

C. Dean John Burgon Felt Strongly As to the Vital Importance of the Church Fathers' Quotations of the New Testament for Critical Use in Revising the Textus Receptus 24

1. Dean Burgon's Knowledge of the Church Fathers' Quotation of the New Testament was Far Superior to That of Both "TISCHENDORF" and "TREGELLES on Luke 2:14 24
2. Dean Burgon Argued in Favor of Use of "Patristic Testimony as Opposed to Hort's Wanting to Get Rid of it 25
3. Dean Burgon Explained the Value of Proper Use of Church Fathers Because They were, in Reality,"Dated Codices" as Often as They Bear "Clear Witness to the Text of Scripture" 25
4. Dean Burgon Held That "Every Attesting Father" Is Not Only a "Dated Manuscript,"But Also "an Independent Authority" 26
5. Dean Burgon Showed Specifically in What Ways the False Westcott and Hort Theories Disagreed With His Stand on the Value of the "Fathers of the Church" 26

D. Dean John Burgon Gave Specific Suggestions as to Both "How" and "When" He Would Make a Major Revision of the Textus Receptus 27

1. Dean Burgon Believed As an "INDISPENSABLE CONDITION" of Success in "Textual Criticism" That a Man "for Many Years Past" Has Given "the Whole of His Time" and Has "Freely Sacrificed Health, Ease, Relaxation, Even Necessary Rest" 27
2. Dean Burgon Insisted on the "Scientific Method Being Used, Not Westcott and Hort's "Unscientific Method," for-Textual Criticism Work Entailing Many "Long Summer Days" With Very Little "to Show" for All the Time Spent 28
3. Dean Burgon Held to a "Method" on a "Supposed Doubtful Reading" Which Involved the "Combined Verdict" of "Manuscripts, Versions," and "Fathers" as "Decisive 28
4. Dean Burgon Considered That a "Carefully Considered Revision" of the "Received Text" Would Only be Possible "After Many Years" After "Gradual Accessions" of Certain Knowledge" 29
5. Dean Burgon's Basis For Any Revision of the Textus Receptus Was a Careful Scrutiny of "Copies," "Versions," "Fathers," and "Lectionaries" 29
6. Dean Burgon Stressed "External Evidence" as the "Only Safe Guide" and Our "Best" Guide to Any Revision of the Textus Receptus, Saying That "Every Part of That "External Evidence" Must Be Examined Carefully 31
7. Dean Burgon Cautions Against Those Who Would "Reject" the "Commonly Received Text" Without Having the "Evidence" From "All" Sources Clearly Understood 31
8. Dean Burgon Favored the Holding to and to "Letting Alone" the Received Text Whenever "the Evidence" Is About "Evenly Balanced" Because That "Text" Rests On Infinitely Better Manuscript Evidence" Than "Any Ancient Work" 32
9. Dean Burgon Cautioned That the Would-Be Textual Critic Should "Begrudge No Amount of Labour" Even to Ascertain "the truth" About "One Single Controverted Word of Scripture" 32
10. Dean Burgon Analyzed the "Exactly Eight" of the "English Revision" Committee who Would Have Been Capable of Making a Major Revision of the "Textus Receptus" if Specific Requisites Were Insured 32
11. Dean Burgon Boldly Stated That Any "Authoritative Revision of the Greek Text" Must Precede Any "Future Revision of the English" Text of the New Testament, and "For Such an Undertaking" the "Time Has Not Yet Come 34
12. Dean Burgon Laid Down Even More Specific Things That Had to Precede the Major Revision of the "Textus Receptus" and Prepare the Revisers for This Tedious Task 34
a. Dean Burgon Said That Although There Are "More Manuscripts" Then Available For Study, "Who Knows How to Use Them?" 34
b. Dean Burgon Pointed Out That the "Ancient Versions"Are of No USE Unless Men Come Forward To "Tell Us What They All Contain" 35
c. Dean Burgon Lamented the Fact That, Though "The Fathers" Have Been "Better Edited" Yet They Have Not Been Satisfactorily "Indexed" 35
d. Dean Burgon Decried the Fact That the "Fundamental Principles of the Science of Textual Criticism" Were "Not Yet Comprehended" and Called For a "Generation of Students" Who Would Give Themselves Up to This Neglected Branch of Sacred Science 36
e. Dean Burgon's Other Prerequisites for Sound Textual Criticism 36
(1) We Need at Least "500 More Copies" of the New Testament "Diligently Collated" 36
(2) We Need At Least "100" "Ancient Lectionaries" "Very Exactly Collated" 36
(3) We Need the "Most Important Ancient Versions" To Be "Edited Afresh"and Let Their "Languages" Be "Really Mastered by Englishmen" 37
(4) We Need, "Above All," the Church "Fathers" to Yield "Their Precious Secrets" by "Ransacking" Them, "Indexing" Them , And "Diligently Inspecting" Them 37
f. Dean Burgon's Conclusion As to the Importance of These Four Preceding Suggestions 37
g. Dean Burgon Also Suggested That "Unpublished Works of the Ancient Greek Fathers" Should Be "Printed" 37
13. Dean Burgon Maintained That "For the First Time," "the Science of Textual Criticism" Must Be Pro- secuted "in a Scholarlike Manner" 38
14. Dean Burgon Wished to See God's "Highly Complex Pro- vision" For the "Effectual Conservation" of His "Crowning Master-Piece"--the Written Word-- "Duly Considered" 38
15. Dean Burgon Laid Down the Only "Trustworthy Method" in "Ascertaining the Truth of Scripture 39
16. Dean Burgon Affirmed That a Trustworthy "Textual Critic" Must Have a "Clear Head" and a "Calm, Dispassionate Judgment" 39
17. Dean Burgon Stated Clearly That There Could Be "No Compromise" Between the "New German System" Used by Westcott and Hort and the "Old English School of Textual Criticism" Adopted by Dean Burgon and Others Because They Are "Antagonistic Throughout" 39
18. Dean Burgon Laid Down His Method As One of "Humility" and "Self-Renouncing Labour" While Inspecting "the Best Copies, Fathers, Versions" 40
19. Dean Burgon Set Forth Three "Test Places" to Test Out His Sound Methods Versus Westcott and Hort's Fallacious and Unsound Methods: (1) "the Last Twelve Verses of Mark" (2) "the Angelic Hymn" of Luke 2:14; and (3) 1 Timothy 3.17" 40

I. INTRODUCTORY CONSIDERATIONS

[Note: This book was first published on April 15, 1980, under the title Dean John Burgon's Prerequisites for Major Revision of the New Testament Greek Textus Receptus and the English King James Version New Testament. The present printing has a lot of the same material in it, but with some revisions. Though much has taken place in the eighteen years from 1980 to 1998 in the battle for our Bibles, I believe this study will be especially helpful for many years to come for all who read it and grasp the importance of it. For this reason, it is now being made available in a new and up-dated format. DAW]

A. Why This Book? This is a study of Dean John William Burgon's WARNINGS about the revision of the Textus Receptus and the King James Bible. These WARNINGS took the form of various pre- requisites before there should be any legitimate consideration of a major revision of either the New Testament Greek Textus Receptus or the English King James Bible's New Testament. Here are some of the reasons for this book.

1. Because THE DEAN BURGON SOCIETY Was Organized As of November, 1978. The first reason for this study is because of the organization of THE DEAN BURGON SOCIETY, INCORPORATED, as of November, 1978. As of the present edition of this book, the DBS is twenty years old. This Society is a tax exempt, nonprofit, fundamental Christian corporation, with the present mailing address of Box 354, Collingswood, New Jersey 08108 (Phone: 609-854-4452; FAX: 609-854-2464). The Society bears the name of Dean John William Burgon. It has, as its motto: "IN DEFENSE OF TRADITIONAL BIBLE TEXTS." The question has been raised by many writers and speakers from November, 1978, until this present date, as to whether or not Dean Burgon would revise in a major fashion either the Greek Textus Receptus, or the English King James Bible New Testament. If the answer is in the affirma- tive for either the Greek or the English, the next three questions would be "by whom," "when" and "how." I will attempt to discuss all of these ques- tions in this study. Dean Burgon sounded forth many specific WARN- INGS about any revision of either the Traditional or Received Text or the Authorized King James Bible.

2. Because, as President of THE DEAN BUR- GON SOCIETY, I Was Asked to Speak on this Very Sub- ject at the DBS Annual Meeting, October, 1979. A second reason for this study is because I was asked to speak on this same subject at the First Annual Meeting of THE DEAN BURGON SOCIETY (DBS), which was held in October, 1979, at Watertown, Wisconsin, in the Calvary Baptist Church. It was an important question in 1979, and it is equally important today, especially in view of the many, many revisions that have been made both in the New Testament Greek Text and in the New Testament English text. Having to prepare for that speech, I saw the very important questions and WARNINGS which Dean John Burgon raised concerning any revision. He was a master textual student among the conservative Anglican churchmen of his day. He lived from 1813 to 1888. The cassette tape of that speech is one of the seven recorded in the DBS meeting series (B.F.T. #758/3). It is available @ $4.00+S&H.

3. Because I Was Asked for a Written Study on This Subject. A third reason for this study is because of a request from Mr. Everett W. Fowler, a member of the DEAN BURGON SOCIETY'S Executive Committee. Mr. Fowler, now with the Lord, was a very careful student of the Greek New Testament and its textual make-up. His important book, Evaluating the Versions of the New Testament, is still available. It is B.F.T. #952 @ $5 + S&H. He asked if it would be possible to have this taped material in written form for further use and easier distribution to others. I told him that when time permitted, I would do as he requested. This present book is the result.

4. Because of a Misunderstanding on the Part of Some People Concerning Dean Burgon's Views and A Misquotation of His Position on When He Would Revise the T.R. and K.J.B. I have read some articles which quoted parts of Dean John William Burgon's words on the subject of revision of either the Received Greek Text or the King James Bible. These articles failed to give Dean Burgon's complete views on this subject. This is unfortunate--especially when very few people have access to Dean Burgon's books. The books were out of print for many years. The Bible For Today reprinted and made available all five of Dean Burgon's books on this theme in copy-machine format. In recent years, the Dean Burgon Society has reprinted as regular books four of Dean Burgon's books: (1) The Last Twelve Verses of Mark in perfect bound format (B.F.T. #1139 @ $15 + S&H); (2) The Revision Revised in hardback (B.F.T. #611 @ $25 + S&H); (3) The Traditional Text in hardback (B.F.T. #1159 @ $16 + S&H); and (4) Causes of Corruption of the Traditional Text in hardback (B.F.T. #1160 @ $15 + S&H). It is possible that at its 1998 meeting, the Dean Burgon Society will decide to print as a hardback book, Dean Burgon's Inspiration and Inter- pretation. It is hoped that this present study and his excellent books will bring a clearer understanding of Dean John William Burgon's views and WARNINGS ON REVISION.

5. Because of Such a Rash of Versions, Per- versions, and Translations in English and Such a Num- ber of Revisions of the Greek Textus Receptus. I am prompted to ask, with Dean John William Burgon, concerning the various English versions and perversions now in existence as well as the various revisions of the New Testament Greek Text, "Are they really necessary?" If Dean Burgon were living, working, and writing today, would he have been in favor of the revisions of the King James Bible which we have in print today? Would he have been in favor of today's revisions of the Greek Textus Receptus? To both of these important questions, I believe the answer would be a loud, resounding, emphatic, thunderous "No, no, a thousand times no!" The evidence and proof of this response will be seen as this study unfolds.

6. Because the New Testament Greek Textus Receptus Has Been Revised by Professor Zane Hodges and Others. The work of Zane Hodges, formerly of Dallas Theological Seminary, is known to most of those who have studied the Greek textual issues. He and Arthur Farstad, in the 1980's, developed the so-called "Majority Greek Text." The question, however, that comes to my mind, is, "Would Dean Burgon be in favor of the revision of the Textus Receptus at this time and in this manner?" Were they well enough trained in the science of textual criticism? Did they know enough of the languages with which this field deals? Did they have up-to-date indexes of the various sources such as the Church Fathers' quotations of the Scriptures? Many other questions must be raised along this line. Dean Burgon was very con- servative relative to his ideas of when a revision of the Greek New Testament Textus Receptus could or should take place. He was even more conservative as to when or even if a revision of the English King James Bible should be undertaken. Dean Burgon had many WARNINGS con- cerning such revisions. Because of his expertise in this field of study, his WARNINGS should not fall upon deaf ears. They should be listened to carefully, respected, and then followed.

B. How Will This Study Be Made? Though Dean John William Burgon, in his many books, touches on this theme in various places, this study will concern itself with only one of those works, namely The Revision Revised. His book was originally three articles reprinted from the Quarterly Review--(1) "The New Greek Text;" (2) "The New English Version;" and (3) "Westcott and Hort's New Textual Theory." This Re- vision Revised is available either from The Bible For Today or from the Dean Burgon Society for a gift to either of these groups of $25.00 + $5.00 S&H. Ask for #611. The Dean Burgon Society reprinted this book in hardback in 1997. With this book back in print, the reader will be able to check each quotation from Dean Burgon and to see for himself that I have quoted accurately and fully at every point of this study. The Revision Revised had as its major contribution and objective the consideration of this very question. After the appearance in 1881 of both the Westcott and Hort Greek textual revision of the Textus Receptus and of the English Revised Version revision of the time-honored King James Bible, just exactly what did either or both of them actually accomplish? In Dean Burgon's mind, was it then time to bring out a Greek textual revision as they had made at the time? The answer is "No." Was it even then the time to bring out a Greek textual revision along other lines such as Dean Burgon himself would espouse? The answer is "No." Was it then the time to bring out a revision of the King James Bible such as the English Revised Version (E.R.V.)? The answer is "No." Was it even the time to bring out a revision of the King James Bible in any form? The answer again is "No." For proof of this assessment, please continue reading this study carefully. You will discover why my conclusion is accurate. Extensive quotation has been made from Dean Burgon's Revision Revised so as to put into his own words his WARNINGS and pre- requisites for major revision either of the New Testament Greek text or of the Traditional English text, the Authorized King James Bible.

C. Organization of the Remainder of the Study. Section II dealt with Dean Burgon's WARNINGS concerning revision of the Greek text of the Textus Receptus. Section III took up Dean Burgon's WARNINGS concerning revision of the English Text to take the place of the King James (Authorized) Bible. Section IV made a number of items in both SUMMARY and in CONCLUSION on this important subject.

II. DEAN JOHN BURGON'S WARNINGS CONCERNING REVISION OF THE NEW TESTAMENT GREEK TEXTUS RECEPTUS

A. Dean John Burgon Felt the Textus Receptus Was a Good Text and Better by Far than that of Either Lachmann, Tregelles, Tischendorf, or Westcott and Hort. In this connection, let us examine some of Dean Burgon's quotations in his Revision Revised which was written in 1883, and which contains a total of 591 pages. For convenience, for the most part, I will refer to the quotations from Dean Burgon as they occur in page-order in this book, rather than strictly by subject-matter. This will enable the reader to see the subject in depth, and judge for himself concerning the true views of Dean Burgon, whom I consider to have been a master in the field of New Testament textual criticism.

1. Dean Burgon's Criticism of Lachmann's Textual Principles. Dean Burgon wrote: Lachman's ruling principle then, was exclusive reliance on a very few ancient authorities--because they are "ancient." He con- structed his Text on three or four,--not unfrequently on one or two--Greek codices. Of the Greek Fathers, he relied on Ori- gen. Of the oldest Versions, he cared only for the Latin. To the Syriac (concerning which, see above, p. 9), he paid no attention. We venture to think his method irrational. [Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, pp. 242-43].  Lachmann's erroneous principles began in about 1831, and prevailed ever since. Dean Burgon makes it clear that he does not consider any revision of the Textus Receptus based upon but "one or two" or even "three or four" Greek codices, and only one Father and only one Version anything but an "irrational" method. To this I agree completely.

2. Dean Burgon's Criticism of Tregelles' Same Strange Textual Principles. Dean Burgon wrote Tregelles adopted the same strange method. 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 unprofit- able to enquire. [Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, op. cit, p. 243] Tregelles fell into the same unstable, unacceptable, false textual trap as did his predecessor, Lachmann. Tregelles held sway from about 1857 to about 1872.

3. Dean Burgon's Criticism of Tischendorf's Slighting of "Eighty-Nine Ninetieths"of the "Extant Witnesses." Dean Burgon wrote: Tischendorf, the last and by far the ablest Critic of the three, knew better than to reject "eighty-nine ninetieths" of the extant witnesses. He had recourse to the ingenious expedient of ad- ducing 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 Burgon, Revision Revised, p. 243.] Tischendorf, who held sway from about 1865 to 1872, though he "adduced" all the available evidence, he effectively used only the same small handful of authorities as had Lachmann and Tregelles before him. His methods Dean Burgon considered fatal to the arrival at the true text of Scripture.

4. Dean Burgon's Summary Assessment of the False Schools of Lachmann, Tregelles, and Tischendorf. 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. Against this arbitrary method of theirs we solemnly, stiffly remonstrate. "Strange," we venture to exclaim, (addressing the living repre- sentatives of the school of Lachmann, and Tregelles, and Tis- chendorf):--"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 ‘anti- quity' itself. And what if they should even prove to be unfair samples of antiquity? [Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, op., cit., p. 244]. From this quotation, it can be clearly seen that Dean John William Burgon by no means agreed with the basis on which the revisions of the Greek Textus Receptus were made either by Lachmann, by Tregelles, or by Tischendorf. The basis of textual revision must be other than one, two, three, or four documents purportedly representing "antiquity" which in reality were and are unfair samples of antiquity.

5. Dean Burgon's Refutation of Hort's Praise of Lachmann's Greek Text and His Condemnation of the Texts of Erasmus. 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 350 years of subsequent research have succeeded in accumulating, and which is confessedly the text of A.D. 375. [Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, op. cit, p. 250] In this quotation, Dean Burgon clearly expressed his confidence in the Textus Receptus Greek texts of Erasmus and Stunica, stating that it is of "general purity" and which is "confessedly the text of A.D. 375." This is a strong recommendation for the Textus Receptus--especially in comparison with the text of Lachmann, Tregelles, Tischendorf, or even Westcott and Hort.

6. Dean Burgon's Statements About the Tex- tus Receptus in General and Its Fundamental Sound- ness and History.

a. Even the Enemy of the Textus Recep- tus, Hort, Admitted That Its Text Is the "Text of the Second Half of the Fourth Century." Dean Burgon wrote (speaking of Dr. Hort's words in his INTRODUCTION to his new Greek Text of 1881): Impatient for argument (at page 92,) we read as follows:-- "The fundamental Text of late extant Greek MSS generally is beyond all question identical with the dominant Antiochian or Graeco-Syrian text of the second half of the fourth century." We request, in passing, that the foregoing statement may be carefully noted. The Traditional Greek text of the New Testament,--the Textus Receptus, in short is, according to Dr. Hort, "beyond all question" the "text of the second half of the fourth century." We shall gratefully avail ourselves of his candid admission, by and by. [Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, pp. 257-258.].  This is a powerful admission on the part of Dr. Hort. Dean Burgon uses it greatly later in his book to excellent argumentative advantage to further demolish the house of cards on which the entire Westcott-Hort false theory has been erected. In other words, the Traditional Greek text or the Textus Receptus represents antiquity. Dean John William Burgon uses these two terms as "in short" the very same. In fact, it represents antiquity as great or even greater than that purported to be given to Westcott and Hort's favorite documents "B" (Vatican) and "Aleph" (Sinai).

b. Dean Burgon Praised the "Traditional" or "Re- ceived" Text as Having the Backing of Antiquity and Having a Date of From A.D. 350 to A.D. 400. Dean Burgon wrote: The one great Fact, which especially troubles him and his joint Editor, [He is speaking of Hort and Westcott here]--(as well it may)--is The Traditional Greek text of the New Testament Scriptures. Call this text Erasmian or Complutensian--the text of Stephens, or of Beza, or of the Elzevirs,--call it the "received" or the Traditional Greek Text or whatever other name you please;--the fact remains, that a text has come down to us which is attested by a general consensus of ancient copies, ancient Fathers, ancient versions. This, at all events, is a point on which, (happily,) there exists ent1re conformity of opinion between Dr. Hort and ourselves. Our readers cannot have yet forgotten his virtual admission that,--beyond all question the Textus Receptus is the dominant Graeco-Syrian text of A.D. 350 to A.D. 400. [Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, p. 269.] Dean Burgon, in his masterful style, used various Greek texts by different names, yet equated them for the most part as being identical. Note these names: (1) the Traditional Text; (2) the Erasmian text; (3) the Complutensian text; (4) the Stephens text; (5) the Beza text; (6) the Elzevir text; (7) the Received Text; and (8) the Textus Receptus. He then agrees wholeheartedly with Westcott and Hort that this eight-named text, that is, the "Textus Receptus," is the dominant text of A.D. 350 to A.D. 400. Note also that Dean Burgon said that this eight-named text is "attested by a general consensus" of (1) ancient copies, (2) ancient Fathers, and (3) ancient versions.

c. Dean Burgon Further Praised the "Traditional" or "Received Text" as Having the Backing of "Every Extant Lectionary of the Greek Church." Dean Burgon wrote: In marked contrast to the Text we speak of,--(which is identical with the text of every extant Lectionary of the Greek Church, and may therefore reasonably claim to be spoken of as the Traditional Text.) . . . [Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, p. 269.] This is a fourth ancient documentation favoring the Received text, namely, (4) ancient Greek Lectionaries. These "Lectionaries" are the Scripture portions which were read in the Greek-speaking churches during their church services through the years. Dean Burgon therefore has a fourfold attestation of (1) ancient copies; (2) ancient Fathers, (3) ancient versions, and (4) ancient Greek Lectionaries to bolster and to back up the Textus Receptus or Traditional Text of the New Testament.

d. Dean Burgon Praised This "Traditional Text" as One Which "Cannot Seriously Be Suspected of Error." Dean Burgon wrote: All of these then are with the Traditional Text: which cannot seriously be suspected of error. [Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, p. 356, footnote.] This is certainly a strong supporting statement by Dean Burgon for the Traditional Received text.

e. Dean Burgon Believed in Using the "Received Text" as a "Common Standard" of Compari- son to Other Greek Texts Since It Was "More Than 1500 Years Old." Dean Burgon wrote: We must have some standard whereby to test,--wherewith to compare,--manuscripts. What is more, (give me leave to assure you,) to the end of t1me it wilt probably be the practice of scholars to compare, mss. Of the New Testament with the "Received Text." The hopeless discrepancies between our five "old uncials," can in no more convenient way be exhibited, than by referring each of them in turn to one and the same common standard. And,--what standard more reasonable and more convenient than the text which, by the good Providence of God, was universally employed throughout Europe for the first 300 years after the invention of printing? being practically identical with the text which (as you yourself admit) was in popular use at the end of three centuries from the date of the sacred autographs themselves: in other words, being more than 1500 years old. (Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, p. 386] Dean Burgon here pointed out his belief in the validity of using the "Received text" or "Textus Receptus" as a standard of comparison which would be used "to the end of time." He also said this "Received Text" was "practically identical" to the text which was in existence at the end of "three centuries" from the date of the autographs, and which was "more than 1500 years old." He also pointed out that the "Received Text" was used for the first 300 years after the "invention of printing" throughout all of Europe.

f. Dean Burgon Scolded Bishop Ellicott for Heaping "Contempt" on the "Humblest Ancestor" of the "Textus Receptus," That Is, "the First Edition of Eras- mus." Dean Burgon wrote to Bishop Ellicott, the Chairman of the Committee of the English Revised Version of 1881: First then, for your strenuous endeavour (pp. 7-10) to prejudice the question by pouring contempt on the humblest ancestor of the Textus Receptus--namely, the first edition of Erasmus. You know very well that the "Textus Receptus" is not the first edition of Erasmus. Why then do you so describe its origin as to imply that it is? You ridicule the circumstances under which a certain ancestor of the family first saw the light. . . . Having in this way done your best to blacken a noble house by dilating on the low ebb to which its fortunes were reduced at a critical period of its history . . . [Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, p. 389] Dean Burgon rightly charged Ellicott with the twisting of his argument against the "Textus Receptus" by equating it with Erasmus's First Edition. To the unlearned readers, this would cause them to draw wrong inferences.

g. Dean Burgon Reminded Ellicott of His Own Words Concerning the History and Pedigree of the "Received Text" Which Was "Contemporary With or "Older Than Any" of the Oldest of Our Extant Manu- script of the Greek New Testament. Dean Burgon wrote (quoting Bishop Ellicott himself directly): "The manuscripts which Erasmus used differ for the most part, only in small and insignificant details from the bulk of the cursive manuscripts. The general character of their text is the same. By this observa- tion the pedigree of the Received Text is carried up beyond the individual manuscripts used by Erasmus . . . That pedigree stretches back to a remote antiquity. The first ancestor of the Received Text was at least contemporary with the oldest of our extant manuscripts, if not older than any one of them." [Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, pp. 11, 12.] By your own showing therefore, the Textus Receptus is, "at least," 1550 years old. [Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, p. 390] Make no mistake about it, Dean Burgon did not allow Ellicott to get away with saying that the "Textus Receptus" began with "Erasmus" like so many opponents of the T.R. today have said in their books. "That pedigree stretches back to a remote antiquity" wrote Ellicott. It is important for us today to realize this as well.

h. Dean Burgon Pointed Out the "Two Dis- tinct Lines of Descent" of the Traditional [Received] Text, Namely The "Complutensian" as Well as the "Erasmian." Dean Burgon wrote: And the genealogy of the written, no less than the genealogy of the Incarnate Word, is traceable back by two distinct lines of descent, remember: for the"Complutensian," which was print- ed in 1514, exhibits the "Traditional Text" with the same general fidelity as the "Erasmian," which did not see the light till two years later. [Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, 2p. cit., pp. 390-91] The Complutensian Polyglot of 1514 was just as much a part of the "Traditional" or "Received" Text of the Greek New Testament as were the editions of Erasmus.

i. Dean Burgon Esteemed the "Received Text" Which Was in His Time Over "1550 Years Old" and Even "Older," As "Quite Good Enough For All Ordinary Purposes." Dean Burgon wrote: For my part, being fully convinced, like yourself, that essentially the Received Text is full 1550 years old,--(yes, and a vast deal older,)--I esteem it quite good enough for all ordinary purposes. . . . (Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, p. 392.] Though, as we shall see in a later section of this present study, Dean Burgon had some minor modifications he would make in the Textus Receptus, yet he "esteemed it" as being "quite good enough for all ordinary purposes."

7. Dean Burgon Felt Strongly That the "Revi- sion" of the "Textus Receptus" Made in 1881 by West- cott and Hort Was the Worst Sort Imaginable Because of the False Principles and Theories Upon Which That "Revision" Was Founded. In this discussion of when Dean John William Burgon would make a major revision of the Textus Receptus, it is most appropriate to quote a few of Dean Burgon's words in total opposition to the "major revision" of that Textus Receptus made by the two professors, Westcott and Hort in 1881. We find that such a "major revision" as was made then (and which has since been received and accepted as a new Received text by multitudes of both liberals, neo-evangelicals, and many "fundamentalists") was, in almost every case, the exact opposite of what Dean Burgon would have suggested. This was so because it was based upon fallacious principles and an erroneous theory.

a. Dean Burgon's "One Object" Was to "De- feat" the "Revision of the Sacred Text" of Westcott and Hort Which Is "Untrustworthy From Beginning to End". Dean Burgon wrote: My one object has been to defeat the mischievous attempt which was made in 1881 to thrust upon this Church and realm 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. The reason is plain. It has been constructed throughout on an utterly erroneous hypothesis. [Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, pp. v-vi.] This statement is crystal clear as to its meaning and purport.

b. Dean Burgon Held That Westcott and Hort's Perversion of the Textus Receptus Was a "Poisoning of the River of Life at its Sacred Source." 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 Burgon, Revision Revised, pp. vi-vii.] These are explosive words, yet they are factually true. This is exactly what the Westcott and Hort Greek textual "Fabricators" have done.

c. Dean Burgon Charged the Westcott and Hort "Revision" as Causing the "Words of Inspiration" to Be "Seriously Imperilled." Dean Burgon wrote: If, therefore any do complain that I have sometimes hit my opponents rather hard, I take leave to point out that "to every thing 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 imper- illed, 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 Burgon, Revision Revised, pp. vii-viii.] What a warrior of the Word was Dean Burgon. What purpose. What determination. Would to God that He would raise up a whole generation of Dean Burgons to rise up like men and be counted in our present-day assault on the Words of God by the current Greek revisions and English perver- sions. "Is there not a cause?"

d. Dean Burgon Branded the Westcott and Hort Textual "Revision" As Being"the Most Depraved Which Has Ever Appeared in Print." Dean Burgon wrote: On that Greek Text of theirs [That is, that of Westcott and Hort], (which I hold to be the most depraved which has ever appeared in print), . . . [Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, p. xxx.] This is Dean Burgon's assessment of the Westcott-Hort Greek text. Their claim for their text, however, was that "it exhibits a closer approximation to the inspired autographs than the world has hitherto seen." [Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, p. 2] This latter statement, however, is patently false, as will be seen from a diligent reading of Dean Burgon's books on the text. The exact opposite is true.

e. Dean Burgon Stated That the Westcott and Hort "Revision" Was "Vastly More Remote from the Inspired Autographs" Than Any "Which Has Appeared Since the Invention of Printing." Dean Burgon wrote: With regret we record our conviction, that these accomplished scholars [that is, Westcott and Hort] have succeeded in producing a text vastly more remote from the inspired autographs of the evangelists than any which has appeared since the invention of printing. [Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, pp. 25-26.1

f. Dean Burgon Stated That "Conjectural Emendation" Such as That Used in the Westcott and Hort "Revision" Has "No Place" in "Biblical Textual Criticism." Dean Burgon wrote: May we be allowed to assure the accomplished writer that in Biblical textual criticism, "conjectural emendation" has no place? [Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, p. 28.] This principle can be applied to the Old Testament text as well as to the New Testament text--even in our own day, when "conjectural emendation" is an "acceptable method" on the part of many, including some "funda- mentalists."

g. Dean Burgon Faulted the Westcott and Hort "Revision" as Being "Palpably Mistaken" for Chang- ing the Textus Receptus at Luke 2:14 and Mark 16:9-20. Dean Burgon wrote: We may not go on doubting for ever. The "angelic hymn" and "the last 12 verses" of S. Mark's Gospel, are convenient places for a trial 0f strength. It has now been proved that the commonly received text of S. Luke ii.14 is the true text--the Revisionists' emendation of the place, a palpable mistake. [Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, p. 47] The same could be said for our modern versions in English, where the same errors are present, and are also a "palpable mistake."

h. Dean Burgon Stated That the Westcott and Hort Text Departed From the Traditional Text "Nearly 6,000 Times" and Almost "Invariably for the Worse." Dean Burgon wrote: . . . the "new Greek text" put forth by the Revisionists of our Authorized Bible is utterly inadmissible. The Traditional Text has been departed from by them nearly 6000 times;--almost invariably for the worse. [Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, p. 107.]

i. Dean Burgon Downed the Westcott and Hort Text as Being "More Remote"From the Originals Than Any to Have Seen the Light. 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 Burgon, Revision Revised, p. 110.]

j. Dean Burgon Labeled Westcott and Hort's Text to Be "the Most Vicious Recension of the Original Greek in Existence". Dean Burgon wrote: Who could have anticipated that the opportunity would have been adroitly seized to inflict upon the Church the text of Drs. Westcott and Hort, in all its essential features,--a text which, as will be found elsewhere largely explained, we hold to be the most vicious Recension of the original Greek in existence? [Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, p. 114.] More plain language from Dean John Burgon.

k. Dean Burgon Said That the Westcott and Hort "Invented" Text Was "a Thousand Times Worse" Than the "Text" of "Erasmus," the "Complu- tensian," "Stephens," "Beza," or the "Elzevirs," Because It Is "Hopelessly Depraved Throughout". Dean Burgon wrote: For the Greek text which they have invented proves to be so hopelessly depraved throughout, that if it were to be thrust upon the church's acceptance, we should be a thousand times worse off than we were with the text which Erasmus and the Complutensian,--Stephens, and Beza, and the Elzevirs,--be-queathed to us upwards of three centuries ago. [Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, op. cit., p. 118.] This is a strong indictment of the Westcott and Hort revisionist depravity in favor of the "Textus Receptus." These Textus Receptus editions, ac- cording to Dean Burgon, are "1,000 times" better than the text of Westcott and Hort. That's quite a superiority, wouldn't you think?

l. Dean Burgon Accused Westcott and Hort's Text of "Falsifying the Inspired Greek Text in Countless Places" and at the Same Time "Branding with Suspicion" Some Of The "Most Precious Utterances of the Spirit." Dean Burgon wrote: Shame,--yes, shame on that two-thirds majority of well-inten-tioned but most incompetent men, who,--finding themselves (in an evil hour) appointed to correct "plain and clear errors" in the English "Authorized Version,"--occupied themselves instead with falsifying the insp1red Greek text in countless places., and branding with suspicion some of the most precious utterances of the Spirit. Shame--yes, shame upon them. [Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, p. 135] There was therefore a double fault with the Westcott and Hort Greek text. It put false words into Scripture that never should be there, and then at the same time, branded with suspicion many of the genuine words of the Holy Spirit! As Jeremiah wrote: "For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water" (Jeremiah 2:13).

m. Dean Burgon Assailed Westcott and Hort's Erection of the "Two IVth-Century Copies" Into an "Authority from Which There Shall Be No Appeal." Dean Burgon wrote: As for the weak superstition of these last days, which--without proof of any kind--would erect two IVth-century copies of the New Testament [i.e. "B" and "Aleph"], (demonstrably derived from one and the same utterly depraved archetype,) into an authority from which there shall be no appeal,--it cannot be too soon or too unconditionally abandoned. [Dean Burgon, Re- vision Revised, pp. 227-28.] Oh that our present-day fundamentalists and neo-evangelicals (and the liberals as well) might agree with this important point by Dean Burgon. The present-day modern translations of the New Testament, for the most part and without many exceptions, are following slavishly these same two corrupt documents that Westcott and Hort followed in 1881, namely, the Vatican ("B") and the Sinai ("Aleph") manuscripts.

n. Dean Burgon Labeled the Westcott and Hort "Revision" as a "Prodigious Blunder" Containing "Vile Fabrications" From Which God Preserved "Erasmus and Stunica,--Stephens and Beza and the Elzevirs." Dean Burgon Wrote: It is already admitted on all hands that the Revision has been a prodigious blunder. How it came about that, with such a first- rate textual critic among them as Prebendary Scrivener, the Revisers of 1881 should have deliberately gone back to those vile fabrications from which the good Providence of God preserved Erasmus and Stunica--Stephens and Beza and the Elzevirs--three centuries ago; . . . [Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, pp. 237-38.] This quote would point out Dean Burgon's strong preference, without any question whatsoever, for the "Textus Receptus" of Erasmus, Stunica, Stephens, Beza and the Elzivers as over against the Westcott and Hort "revised Greek text."

o. Dean Burgon Decried the "Embalming" of "Their Errors" Rather Than Rejecting Them as Found In "B," "ALEPH," the "Coptic Version," "D," and the "Old Latin Copies." Dean Burgon wrote: In marked contrast to the text we speak of,--(which is identical with the text of every extant Lectionary of the Greek Church, and may therefore reasonably claim to be spoken of as the Traditional Text,)--is that contained in a little handful of documents of which the most famous are codices B, Aleph, and the Coptic version (as far as it is known), on the one hand,--cod. D and the Old Latin copies , on the other. To magnify the merits of these as helps and guides, and to ignore their many patent and scandalous defects and blemishes:--per fas et nefas to vindicate their paramount authority wherever it is in any way possible to do so; and when that is clearly impossible, then to treat their errors as the ancient Egyptians treated the1r cats, dogs, monkeys, and other vermin,--namely to embalm them, and pay them divine honours:--such for the last 50 years has been the practice of the dominant school of textual criticism among ourselves. [Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, pp. 269-70.] Again, Dean Burgon rebukes the "embalming" of "many patent and scandalous defects and blemishes" such as Westcott and Hort (as well as their present-day followers) have done.

p. Dean Burgon Lamented Westcott and Hort's "Ruthlessly Sacrificing" the Great Majority of "Copies, Fathers, & Versions" on the "Altar" of "the Oracle." The "oracle" is, "codex B." Dean Burgon wrote: Behold then the altar at which copies, Fathers 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 Burgon, Revision Revised, p. 301.] Certainly, this methodology must not be acceptable today any more than it was in Dean Burgon's day. Yet this is the very method, for the most part, used by the N.E.V., the N.A.S.V., the A.S.V., the R.S.V., the N.I.V., the L.V., the T.E.V., and the others (with the exception of the K.J.B.). Even the N.K.J.V. study edition in the footnotes, gives these alternative textual readings as possibilities.

q. Dean Burgon Characterized "Codices B and Aleph" as "Impure," "Two of the Least Trustworthy Documents in Existence," "the Foulest Text that Had Ever Seen the Light," and "Specimens of the Depraved Class." Dean Burgon wrote: (1) the impurity of the texts exhibited by codices B and Aleph is not a matter of opinion, but a matter of fact.' These are two of the least trustworthy documents in existence . . . . "a text formed" by "taking codex B as the sole authority" "would be" . . . by far the foulest text that had ever seen the light: worse., that is to say, even than the text of Drs. Westcott and Hort. . . . and codices B and Aleph are nothing else but specimens demonstrably of the depraved class thus characterized. [Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, pp. 315-317.] Dean Burgon has been saying similar things many times as we have quoted above, but we wish to be complete, and not leave out very many of his choice words of condemnation on the entire Westcott and Hort "house of cards" which must by God's grace come crashing down once and for all in this 20th and 21st century of ours.

r. Dean Burgon Denounced the Major Documents Underlying the Westcott and Hort "Revision of the Greek Text" ("B," "Aleph," & "C") With Specific Defects Enumerated. Dean Burgon wrote: As for codex Aleph, it carries on its face its own effectual condemnation~aptly illustrating the precept fiat experimentum in corpore vili. It exhibits the efforts of many generations of men to restore its text,--(which, as proceeding from the first scribe," is admitted by one of its chief admirers to be "very rough")--to something like purity. "At least ten different revisers," from the IVth to the XIIth century, are found to have tried their hands upon it."--codex C, after having had "at least three correctors very busily at work upon it." (in the VIth and IXth centuries), finally (in the xiith) was fa1rly obliterated--literally scraped out,--to make room for the writings of a Syrian father.--I am therefore led by a priori considerations to augur ill of the contents of B, Aleph, C. [Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, p. 325.] It is strange, indeed, in view of such "condemnation" from the face of "Aleph" and"C" themselves to their having been tampered with, that modern-day fundamentalist leaders (and followers, for that matter, as well) cannot break clean with the Westcott and Hort group of texts (such as "B," "Aleph, & "C"). and have nothing whatever to do with their products of translation, such as the NEV. NIV, NASV, ASV, RSV, LV, TEV, and many, many others.

s. Dean Burgon Denominated as "Ridiculous," "More than Unreasonable," "Weak Superstition," "Craven Homage and "Simply Worthless" the Westcott and Hort Prize Manuscripts, "B," "Aleph," and "C." Dean Burgon wrote: But when I find them [that is, "B," "Aleph," and "C"] hopelessly at variance among themselves: above all, when I find (1) all oth- er manuscripts of whatever date,--(2) the most ancient ver- sions,--and (3) the whole body of the primitive Fathers, decided- ly 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,"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 Burgon, Revision Revised, p. 325.] Certainly Dean Burgon would not advocate building any "revision" of the "Textus Receptus"on anything similar to or like the principles on which Westcott and Hort built their "revision." Quite the contrary.

t. Dean Burgon Acknowledged Both the "General Trustworthiness" of the "Traditional [Re- ceived] Text," and the "Essential Rottenness" of the "Greek Text" of Westcott and Hort. Dean Burgon wrote: And yet, it was no isolated place which I was eager to establish, when at first I took up my pen. It was the general trustworthi- ness of the Traditional Text,--(the text which you admit to be upwards of 1500 years old,)--which I aimed at illustrating: the essential rottenness of the foundation on which the Greek text of the revision of 1881 has been constructed by yourself and your fellow revisers,--which I was determined to expose. [Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, p. 516.] Dean Burgon, in writing to Bishop Ellicott, the Chairman of the Revision Committee of 1881 on which Drs. Hort and Westcott sat, summed up his belief in the vast superiority of the "Traditional Text" as over against the inferior "Westcott and Hort" "revision" of that text in 1881. It is interesting to note that the vast majority of modern translations of the New Testament from Greek to English have as their foundation this very same fallacious text that Dean Burgon exposed in his Revision Revised of 1883. Over 100 years have transpired since its publication, and the ill-informed, the ill-advised, and the ill-prepared "scholars" of today are still reverencing (almost to the point of worship) virtually the same Greek text that this giant of textual critics called by all the "choice" names which have been quoted up to this point. When will we learn from history so that we do not have to repeat that same history?

B. Dean John Burgon Felt That, Though the Textus Receptus Was an Excellent Text For the Use in the Meantime, and Was a "Thousand Times" Superior to the Greek Text of Westcott and Hort, Yet He Did Not Hold to its "Perfection." I do not want anyone reading this to misunderstand Dean John William Burgon's position on the "Textus Receptus" or the "Traditional Text." Dean Burgon held it to be superior to the text of Westcott and Hort or any of that school of false textual critics. He did feel, however, that it was not "perfect." If revised, it should be properly revised in the minor places where it might need such. Any such revision must adhere strictly upon the principles laid down by this master textual critic. Until then, the Textus Receptus was to be used without apo- logy as the printed text closest to the original autographs of any in print today.

1. Dean Burgon Used the "Commonly Received Text" as a "Common Standard," Not as "the Final Stand- ard of Appeal." Dean Burgon wrote: I have referred five famous codices (A B A C D)--certain of which are found to have turned the brain of critics of the new school--to one and the same familiar exhibition of the common- ly received text of the New Testament: but by so doing I have not by any means assumed the textual purity of that common standard. In other words, I have not made it "the final standard of appeal." all critics, wherever found,--at all times, have collated with the commonly Received Text: but only as the most convenient standard of comparison not, surely as the absolute standard of excellence. [Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, pp. xviii-xix.]
This is an honest statement of Dean Burgon's view of the "Textus Receptus" or "Received Text." he did not think it was perfect, but needed minor improvements in spots, but any revision was to be preceded by certain safeguards of which we'll speak later in this study.

2. Dean Burgon Felt the "Textus Receptus" Does "Call for Revision" But That Must Be Based Upon "Entirely Different Principles" From Those of Westcott and Hort's Text. Dean Burgon wrote: But (what is a far more important circumstance) we are further convinced that a prior act of penance to be submitted to by the revisers would be the restoration of the underlying Greek text to very nearly--not quite--the state in which they found it when they entered upon their ill-advised undertaking. "Very nearly--not quite:--for, in not a few particulars, the "Textus Receptus" does call for revision, certainly although revision on entirely different principles from those which are found to have pre- vailed in the Jerusalem Chamber. [the location of Westcott and Hort's English Revised Version revision of Greek & English in 1881]. [Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, p. 107.] Though Dean Burgon agreed that the "Textus Receptus" did "call for revision," he said the "principles" on which such revision should be based were diametrically opposite to those used by Westcott and Hort in their revised Greek text which was used as the basis for the English Revised Version of 1881 (E.R.V.). He further stated that it was his firm belief that the "revisers" should do "penance" by "restoring" the "underlying Greek text to very nearly--not quite--the state in which they found it when they entered upon their ill-advised undertaking." In part, such a "restoration" has been made possible by the Trinitarian Bible Society in 1976, by their printing of the New Testament--the Greek text underlying the English Authorized Bible of 1611. It is available from the Bible For Today for a gift of $14.00, B.F.T. #471]. This is a reproduction of the text of Dr. Frederick H. A. Scrivener which gives the exact Greek text underlying the King James Bible. This is a very readable and scholarly work which every pastor, and every Christian worker and every layman should have in their library.

3. Dean Burgon Felt the "Textus Receptus" Needed "Revision" in "Many of its Lesser Details," But That It Was "an Excellent Text as it Stands" That Will "Never Lead Critical Students of Scripture Seriously Astray." Dean Burgon wrote: Obtained from a variety of sources [that is, the Textus Receptus or the Traditional Greek Text] this text proves to be essentially the same in all. That it requires revision in respect of many of its lesser details is undeniable: but it is at least as certain that it is an excellent text as it stands, and that the use of it will never lead critical students of Scripture seriously astray,--which is what no one will venture to predicate concerning any single critical edition of the N.T. which has been published since the days of Griesbach, by the disciples of Griesbach's school. [Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, p. 269.] What Dean Burgon is saying very clearly here, is that if he had a choice between using the Textus Receptus or the Traditional Text in its present state, and of using "any single critical" Greek text which has been published since the days of Griesbach. It must be remembered that John James Griesbach was a pupil of Semler, who died in 1812, [cf. Guide to the Textual Criticism of the New Testament by Edward Miller, pp. 17-18, available as B.F.T. #743 for a gift of $7.00 + S&H]. This would therefore urge our present students in the colleges, Bible institutes, and seminaries of our world to forsake their "critical editions" of the Greek New Testament such as those of (1) Nestle/Aland; (2) Souter; (3) United Bible Society; (4) Westcott and Hort; or any other Griesbachian monstrosity. Dean Burgon was for a return to "square one" in the Greek New Testament for starters. Revision would come later, but for now, he would return to the Textus Receptus.

4. Dean Burgon Did Not Take the "Received" or Any Other "Text" as a "Standard from Which There Shall Be no Appeal." Dean Burgon wrote: But pray--, who in his senses,--what-sane man in Great Britain--ever dreamed of regarding the "received,"--aye, or any other known "text"--as a "standard from which there shall be no appeal"? Have I ever done so? Have I ever implied as much? If I have, show me where. [Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, p. 385.] What Dean Burgon was saying here is that the state of the Greek New Testament text was such even at his time in 1883, that there was no 100% certain text in each and every detail "from which there was to be no appeal" whatsoever. It would be less than honest for Dean Burgon to have stated that. And yet fundamentalists and neo-evangelicals and liberal-modernists right and left are holding up the critical texts of Westcott and Hort and their colleagues and saying to us, "here it is." There is no appeal from it. This is not correct, said Dean Burgon. Even the Textus Receptus might yield to evidence from Fathers, copies, versions, and Lectionaries if and only if certain Burgonian safeguards were to be insured. We shall speak about these "safeguards" later in this study. For my part, everything considered, we should leave alone the Textus Receptus that underlies the King James Bible.

5. Dean Burgon Held That the "Received Text" Even in His Day Was "Full 1550 Years Old" and Even "a Vast Deal Older," and He Esteemed It "Quite Good Enough for All Ordinary Purposes, Yet He Sometimes Made "Appeal From It." Dean Burgon wrote: For my own part, being fully convinced, like yourself, [writing to Bishop Ellicott, the Chairman of the English Revised Version Committee of 1881], that essentially the received text is full 1550 years old,--(yes, and a vast deal older )--I esteem it quite good enough for all ordinary purposes. And yet, so far am I from pinning my faith to it, that I eagerly make my appeal from it to the threefold witness of copies, versions, Fathers whenever I find its testimony challenged-- [Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, p. 392.] Again, this is Dean Burgon's solid faith in the essential soundness of the Received Text, and yet his recognition that in "lesser details," the copies, versions, and Fathers might yield slight corrections if properly and soundly used. The "copies, versions and Fathers" have not been properly used either in the Greek texts of (1) Westcott and Hort; (2) Nestle-Aland; (3) the United Bible Society: (4) the so-called "MajorityTexts" either of Hodges and Farstad or of Robinson and Peirpont; or (5) any others before or after Dean Buron's time. In other words, no one has done it in the proper method specified in detail by Dean Burgon!

C. Dean John Burgon Felt Strongly As to the Vital Importance of the Church Fathers' Quotations of the New Testament for Critical Use in Revising the Textus Receptus.

1. Dean Burgon's Knowledge of the Church Fathers' Quotation of the New Testament was Far Superior to That of Both "TISCHENDORF" and "TREGEL- LES on Luke 2:14. Dean Burgon wrote, of his study on Luke 2:14, "the angelic hymn" so-called: Of the ninety two places above quoted, Tischendorf knew of only eleven, Tregelles adduces only six.--neither critic seems to have been aware that "Gregory Thaum." is not the author of the citation they ascribe to him. And why does Tischendorf quote as Basil's what is known not to have been his? [Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, p. 45.] The masterful knowledge and use of the Church Fathers' original quotations of Luke 2:14 by Dean Burgon to establish once and for all the veracity of the Textus Receptus at this point [cf. pp. 41-47], is mind-boggling, indeed. Whereas Tischendorf knew of only eleven places where the church fathers quoted Luke 2:14, and whereas Tregelles knew only of six places, Dean John William Burgon, the master in the area of Church Fathers' quotations of the Greek New Testament, adduced no less than ninety-five places where Luke 2:14 was quoted by these Church Fathers. Because of the early date of many of these Church Fathers who were known men in history, their testimony often pre-dates by many years or centuries the testimony of either the manuscripts, or the versions, or the Lectionaries.

2. Dean Burgon Argued in Favor of Use of "Patristic Testimony as Opposed to Hort's Wanting to Get Rid of It. Dean Burgon wrote: Does not the learned Professor [that is, Hort] see that, by thus getting rid of the testimony of the whole body of the Fathers he leaves the science which he is so good as to patronize in a most destitute condition,--besides placing himself in a most inconven- ient state of isolation? If clear and consentient Patristic testi- mony to the text of Scripture is not to be deemed forcible witness to its truth,--whither shall a man betake himself for constraining evidence? [Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, p. 291

3. Dean Burgon Explained the Value of Proper Use of Church Fathers Because They were, in Reality, "Dated Codices" as Often as They Bear "Clear Witness to the Text of Scripture." Dean Burgon wrote: But then, these men lived within a very few hundred years of the apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ [that is, the Church Fathers did]: and when they witness to the reading of their own copies, their testimony on the point, to say the least, is worthy of our most respectful attention. Dated codices, in fact are they, to all intents and purposes, as often as they bear clear witness to the text of Scripture--a fact, (we take leave to throw out the remark in passing,) which has not yet nearly attracted the degree of attention which it deserves. [Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, p. 292] The previous two quotations show conclusively that Dean Burgon valued highly the quotations of the Church Fathers when they bore witness to the very text of the Greek New Testament which that particular Father held in his hand when he was quoting or alluding to Scripture. He pointed out as well that the Patristic evidence has not by any means attracted "the degree of attention which it deserves." This is still very much true to the shame of so-called "Textual Critics" of today.

4. Dean Burgon Held That "Every Attesting Father" Is Not Only a "Dated Manuscript,"But Also "an Independent Authority." Dean Burgon wrote: Upset the hypothesis [the false hypothesis of Westcott and Hort] on the other hand, and all is reversed in a moment. Every at- testing Father is perceived to be a dated MS. and an inde- pendent authority; and the combined evidence of several of these becomes simply unmanageable. [Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, p. 297.] This is similar to the previous point made by Dean Burgon. Each Father is "an independent authority" witnessing to the very copy of the Greek New Testament text he was holding in his hand, or which was resting on his writing desk from which he quoted or alluded to many, many New Testament verses.

5. Dean Burgon Showed Specifically in What Ways the False Westcott and Hort Theories Disagreed With His Stand on the Value of the "Fathers of the Church." Dean Burgon wrote: We comment, in passing, the foregoing dictum of these accomplished Editors to the critical judgment of all candid and intelligent Readers. Not as dated manuscripts, therefore, at least equal in antiquity to the oldest which we now possess;--not as the authentic utterances of famous doctors and Fathers of the church (instead of being the work of unknown and irresponsible scribes):--not as sure witnesses of what was accounted Scripture in a known region by a famous personage, at a well-ascertained 'period ' (instead of coming to us, as our codices universally do, without a history and without a character):--in no such light are we henceforth to regard Patristic citations of Scripture:--but only [according to the false Westcott and Hort theories] "as so many secondary MSS., inferior to the better sort of secondary uncials now existing." That the testimony of the Fathers in the lump, must perforce in some such way either be ignored or else flouted if the text of Drs. Westcott and Hort is to stand,--we were perfectly well aware. It is simply fatal to them: and they know it. [Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, 'p . 299.] Dean Burgon certainly showed himself, by the preceding words (and many others as well found throughout Revision Revised and his other works) to be thoroughly convinced of the value of the Church Fathers where they have quoted or alluded to "Scripture." It is a pity that more present-day textual critics do not share (as I do very definitely) with Dean Burgon this sound conviction. There will never be faithful work done in the restoration of the Traditional Text in the minor details where it needs to be done in the absence of a thorough-going examination and analysis of Church Fathers' quotations of and or allusions to the Bible.

D. Dean John Burgon Gave Specific Suggestions as to Both "How" and "When" He Would Make a Major Revision of the Textus Receptus. In this section, which is the most important section in this present division of the study, I will give quotations from Dean John Burgon's Revision Revised that pertain to this point in the page order as they appear in the book. At the end of this paper, I shall summarize Dean Burgon's major prerequisites so that they might stand out clearly for all to see.

1. Dean Burgon Believed As an "Indispensable Condition" of Success in "Textual Criticism" That a Man "for Many Years Past" Has Given "the Whole of His Time" and Has "Freely Sacrificed Health, Ease, Relax- ation, Even Necessary Rest." Dean Burgon wrote: . . . the indispensable condition of success in this department is, that a man should give to the subject, (which is a very intricate one and abounds in unexpected problems), his undivided atten- tion for an extended period. I trust there is nothing unreason- able in the suggestion that one who has not done this, should be very circumspect when he sits in judgment on a neighbour of his who, for very many years past, has given to textual criticism the whole of his time;--has freely sacrificed health, ease, relaxation, even necessary rest to this one object,--has made it his one business to acquire such an independent mastery of the subject as shall qualify him to do battle successfully for the imperilled letter of God's Word. [Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, p. xvii.] These "indispensable conditions" of Dean Burgon include (1) full time; (2) over a long period of time; (3) with sacrifice of health, ease, relaxation, and necessary rest; (4) with but one object. Where are the men today who qualify in all of these areas? I say confidently, there are none.

2. Dean Burgon Insisted on the "Scientific Method Being Used, Not Westcott and Hort's "Unscien- tific Method," for Textual Criticism Work Entailing Many "Long Summer Days" With Very Little "to Show" for All the Time Spent. Dean Burgon wrote: I know but too well how laborious is the scientific method which I advocate. A long summer day disappears, while the student--with all his appliances about him--is resolutely threshing out some minute textual problem. Another, and yet another bright day vanishes. Comes Saturday evening at last, and a page of illegible manuscript is all that he has to show for a week's heavy toil. Quosque tandem? And yet, it is the indis- pensable condition of progress in an unexplored region, that a few should thus labour until a path has been cut through the forest--a road laid down,--huts built,--a modus vivendi established. [Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, p. xxv.] Here, Dean Burgon talks about: (1) something laborious; (2) a scientific method; (3) resolutely threshing out some minute textual problem; (4) a long summer day which disappears; (5) labour; (6) a week's heavy toil; (7) only one page to show for a week's heavy toil; and (8) an indispensable condition of progress. Where are the men today who qualify for all these conditions? I say confidently, there are none.

3. Dean Burgon Held to a "Method" on a "Sup- posed Doubtful Reading" Which Involved the "Combined Verdict" of "Manuscripts, Versions," and "Fathers" as "Decisive. Dean Burgon 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 Burgon, Revision Revised, p. xxvii.] This "method" is directly opposite of that "unscientific method" advocated by Westcott and Hort and their followers today. Dean Burgon would not give up his "appeal" which should be "unreservedly made to catholic antiquity" including "manuscripts, versions, Fathers." What "revisers" of the "Textus Receptus" today, such as professor Zane Hodges, then of Dallas Theological Seminary, and his helpers, have fulfilled completely this "method"? I do not believe that he did. The same could be said for Dr. Bruce Metzger and others on the committee who have worked on the Nestle/Aland or United Bible Societies' Greek New Testament.

4. Dean Burgon Considered That a "Carefully Considered Revision" of the "Received Text" Would Only be Possible "After Many Years" After "Gradual Accessions" of Certain Knowledge" In The Field. Dean Burgon wrote: Students of the Greek Testament were sure to have their attention called to the subject [that is, Textual Criticism and related topics],--which must always be in the highest degree desirable; and it was to be expected that in this as in every other department of learning, the progress of inquiry would result in gradual accessions of certain knowledge. After many years it might be found practicable to put forth by authority a carefully considered revision of the commonly Received Greek text. [Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, p. xxix.] Since virtually ALL of the successors of Dean Burgon have failed to follow his method in textual criticism, these "gradual accessions" of "certain knowledge" (as were made by Dean Burgon himself, for example), have not been forthcoming. In fact, the Westcott and Hort mentality has taken over in this field, and the result is heavy obfuscation of "certain knowledge" and direct contradiction of the same. Hence, we are no closer now than we were in Dean Burgon's day to the "after many years" and such a "carefully considered revision" of the Received Greek text. Do it Dean Burgon's way, or leave it alone.

5. Dean Burgon's Basis For Any Revision of the Textus Receptus Was a Careful Scrutiny of "Copies," "Versions," "Fathers," and "Lectionaries." Dean Burgon wrote: The provision, then, which the Divine Author of Scripture is found to have made for the preservation in its integrity 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 effective security imaginable against fraud . . . 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 of the New Testament as it existed in the first few centuries of the Christian era. . . . 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. . . . in truth, the security which the text of the New Testament enjoys is altogether unique and extraordinary. To specify one 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 Burgon, Revision Revised, pp.8-9, 11.] In this quotation, Dean Burgon focuses in upon the fourfold basis on which any true or accurate, thorough-going and major revision of the Textus Receptus should take place, (if ever), namely, the judicious and complete use of (1) all copies; (2) all versions; (3) all Church Fathers; and (4) all Lectionaries. All of these four things, for Dean Burgon, (and for me and others of the Dean Burgon Society as well) comprise the irreducible minimum, or the sine qua non of evidence on which any and all changes (if any) should be tested before being accepted and acceptable. To omit the full evidence in any of these four areas, would constitute an abbreviation of the evidence and thus cause the attempt to fail. The full basis which, for example, Professor Zane Hodges, and his co-workers, have used to arrive at his revision of the Textus Receptus, known as the "Majority Greek text," has not been done in this manner at all. Since Zane Hodges and Arthur Farstad did not completely and thoroughly investigate all four items above (since they eliminated several of the four) their results are still very tentative and tenuous. Should any reader question this, he or she is invited to examine closely the introductory words of the Hodges/Farstad Greek Text. They should not be accepted as having arrived at the very Words of God Himself in the original in every detail. Dean Burgon's method in such revision must be followed thoroughly and completely, or the Textus Receptus underlying the King James Bible should be left alone.

6. Dean Burgon Stressed "External Evidence" as the "Only Safe Guide" and Our "Best" Guide to Any Revision of the Textus Receptus, Saying That "Every Part of That "External Evidence" Must Be Examined Carefully. Dean Burgon wrote: For we resolutely maintain I that external evidence must after all be our best, our only safe guide and (to come to the point) we refuse to throw in our lot with those who, disregarding the witness of every other known codex--every other version--every other available ecclesiastical writer--insist on following the dictates of a little group of authorities, of which nothing whatever is known with so much certainty as that often, when they concur exclusively, it is to mislead. We speak of codices B or Aleph or D; the IXth-century codex L, and such cursives as 13 or 33; a few copies of the Old Latin and one of the Egyptian versions: perhaps Origen.-- . . . [Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, p. 19.] Dean Burgon, by this quotation, was arguing against the false methods used by Westcott and Hort and their followers who spurn "external evidence" almost in its entirety, and use, rather such spurious techniques as "method of genealogy" the "transcriptional probability," the "instinctive processes of criticism," or some other such means. [Cf. Dean Burgon, Revision Resived, p. 20.]

7. Dean Burgon Cautions Against Those Who Would "Reject" the "Commonly Received Text" Without Having the "Evidence" From "All" Sources Clearly Un- derstood. Dean Burgon wrote: We deem it even axiomatic, that, in every case of doubt or difficulty--supposed or real--our critical method must be the same: namely, after patiently collecting all the available evidence, then, without partiality or prejudice, to adjudicate between the conflicting authorities and loyally to accept that verdict for which there is clearly the preponderating evidence. The best supported reading, in other words, must always be held to be the true reading: and nothing may be rejected from the commonly Received Text, except on evidence which shall clearly outweigh the evidence for retaining it. [Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, p. 20.] Note Dean Burgon's caution about "patiently collecting all the available evidence." If such has not been done, we are not in any condition for any major revision of the "Received Text." yet Westcott and Hort, and their followers, have rejected many words from the "Received Text" contrary to all of the "available evidence." Such examples could be cited as John 7:53--8:11; Mark 16:9-20; 1 Timothy 3:16, and many others.

8. Dean Burgon Favored the Holding to and to "Letting Alone" the Received Text Whenever "the Evidence" Is About "Evenly Balanced" Because That "Text" Rests On Infinitely Better Manuscript Evidence" Than "Any Ancient Work." Dean Burgon wrote: Whenever the evidence is about evenly balanced, few it is hoped will deny that the text which has been "in possession" for three centuries and a half and which rests on infinitely better manuscript evidence than that of any ancient work which can be named--should for every reason be let alone. [Dean Bur- gon, Revision Revised, p. 21.] In other words, when the evidence is about "evenly balanced," the "Textus Receptus"should be "let alone" and let stand unchanged. The reason for it, as explained by Dean Burgon is that this text "rests on infinitely better manuscript evidence than that of any ancient work which can be named." This is saying a lot for the "Textus Receptus" and its pedigree

9. Dean Burgon Cautioned That the Would-Be Textual Critic Should "Begrudge No Amount of Labour" Even to Ascertain "the truth" About "One Single Contro- verted Word of Scripture." Dean Burgon wrote: But then we make it our fundamental rule to reason always from grounds of external evidence--never from postulates of the imagination. Moreover, in the application of our rule, we begrudge no amount of labour: reckoning a long summer's day well spent if it has enabled us to ascertain the truth concerning one single controverted Word of Scripture. [Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, p. 96] Note the "labour" that Dean Burgon was very willing to expend even for the determination of but one Word of Scripture which was in question by its critics.

10. Dean Burgon Analyzed the "Exactly Eight" of the "English Revision" Committee Who Would Have Been Capable of Making a Major Revision of the "Textus Receptus" if Specific Requisites Were Insured. Dean Burgon wrote the following, and I have placed in [brackets] the various numbers of the prerequisites laid out by Dean Burgon in this context: Having regard to the Greek text exclusively we also (strange to relate) had singled out exactly eight from the members of the New Testament company--[1] divines of undoubted orthodoxy who for their [2] splendid scholarship and [3] proficiency in the best learning [4] might (as we humbly think), [5] under certain safeguards have been [6] safely entrusted even with the responsibility of revising the Sacred Text. [7] under the guid- ance of Prebendary Scrivener (who among living Englishmen is facile princeps in these pursuits) it is scarcely to be anticipated that, [8] when unanimous such divines [9] would ever have materially erred. But then, of course, [10] a previous [11] lifelong familiarity with the science of textual criticism [12] or at least leisure for prosecuting it now, for ten or twenty years [13] with absolutely undivided attention,--would be the indispensable requisite for the success of such an undertaking [14] and this, undeniably, is a qualification rather to be desiderated [that is, "desired"] than looked for at the hands of English divines of note in our present day. [Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, pp. 108-9.] Here is perhaps the most clear list of 14 qualifications or WARNINGS about any attempt to revise the "Textus Receptus" in major fashion that we have met with thus far. Note, these include: (1) undoubted orthodoxy on the part of all the revisers; (2) splendid scholarship; (3) proficiency in the best learning; (4) and even then it is "might" or a tentative guess; (5) only under certain safeguards, (6) could it be safely entrusted; (7) if Prebendary Scrivener were "guiding" the research; (8) and only when these men were unanimous on a point; (9) "materially erred" indicates that there might be a slight, unimportant error possible, but not gross error; (10) previous implies prior study of these matters; (11) "life-long familiarity" with textual criticism is needed; (12) or at least leisure for studying these matters ten or twenty years; (13) and this 10-20 year study must be "with undivided attention"; and (14) these safeguards were only to be desiderated (or "desired" or "wished for") rather than really looked for and found among all of the English divines in Dean Burgon's day. The question that faces us in our day is this: if Dean Burgon couldn't find men in England in his own day, when Greek and Hebrew study was at its very pinnacle, how could we find such today, when the entire level and quality of education and training in these fields (or any others, for that matter) are at such a low ebb? Where could we find those who had an "undivided attention"? Consider television which makes "undivided attention" difficult. The members of our family could do the same things. Dean Burgon himself was not married and so did not have this kind of distraction. Where are the "eight" today with a "life-long familiarity with the science of textual criticism"? Where are the men who have "ten or twenty years with absolutely undivided attention" to undertake such a thorough-going study? The answer is, in my opinion, if such men who meet each and every one of these previous 14 prerequisites are alive today, I would like to meet them. And yet, I do not believe that we can afford to cut a single one of these 14 prerequisites down from Dean Burgon's high standard. Produce your men and produce the "guidance" from a current variety of Prebendary Scrivener's standing and scholarly ability (if one can be found), and then and only then, will I agree that we are ready for revision of the Textus Receptus of the Greek New Testament.

11. Dean Burgon Boldly Stated That Any "Au- thoritative Revision of the Greek Text" Must Precede Any "Future Revision of the English" Text of the New Testament, and "For Such an Undertaking" the "Time Has Not Yet Come." Dean Burgon wrote: Enough has been offered by this time to prove that an author- itative revision of the Greek text will have to precede any fu- ture revision of the English of the New Testament. Equally certain is it that for such an undertaking the time has not yet come. "It is my honest conviction," (remarks Bp. Ellicott, the Chairman of the revisionists,)--"that for any authoritative re- vision, we are not yet mature: either in Biblical learning or Hellenistic scholarship." [Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, p. 124.] Even the Chairman of the English Revised Version (E.R.V.) Committee of 1881, Bishop Ellicott, agreed that they weren't ready for an "authoritative revision" because of a lack of "Biblical learning" and "Hellenistic scholarship."

12. Dean Burgon Laid Down Even More Specific Things That Had to Precede the Major Revision of the "Textus Receptus" and Prepare the Revisers for ThisTe- dious Task. Since there are so very many details under this caption, we will break it down by separate headings.

a. Dean Burgon Said That Although There Are "More Manuscripts" Then Available For Study, "Who Knows How to Use Them?" Dean Burgon wrote: True, that we enjoy access to--suppose from 1000 to 2000--more manuscripts than were available when the Textus Re- ceptus was formed. But nineteen-twentieths of these docu- ments for any use which has been made of them, might just as well be still lying in the monastic libraries from which they were obtained.--true, that four out of our five oldest uncials have come to light since the year1628, but who knows how to use them? [Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, op. cit. , p. 124.] Dean Burgon pointed out what is perfectly clear to all thinking people, that is, even though there are thousands of manuscripts now available (as there were then available in Dean Burgon's day) what value are there if few (if any) either know how to use them or else refuse to use them, (like the Westcott and Hort devotees refuse to use the thousands of Textus Receptus manuscripts)?

b. Dean Burgon Pointed Out That the "Ancient Versions"Are of No Use Unless Men Come Forward To "Tell Us What They All Contain." Dean Burgon wrote: True, that we have made acquaintance with certain ancient versions about which little or nothing was known 200 years ago: but,--(with the solitary exception of the Rev. Solomon Caesar Malan, the learned Vicar of Broadwindsor,--who, by the way is always ready to lend a torch to his benighted brethren,)--what living Englishman is able to tell us what they all contain? A smattering acquaintance with the languages of ancient Egypt--the Gothic, Aethiopic, Armenian, Georgian and Slavonian versions,--is of no manner of avail. In no department, probably, is "a little learning" more sure to prove "a dangerous thing." [Dean Bur- gon, Revision Revised, pp. 124-25.] Again, what value are the discovery of many "ancient versions" of the New Testament into other languages unless there are people who are thoroughly trained and skilled in those languages who are able to "tell us what they all contain."

c. Dean Burgon Lamented the Fact That, Though "The Fathers" Have Been "Better Edited" Yet They Have Not Been Satisfactorily "Indexed." Dean Burgon wrote: True, lastly, that the Fathers have been better edited within the last 250 years: during which period some fresh Patristic writings have also come to light. But, with the exception of Theodoret among the Greeks and Tertullian among the Latins, which of the Fathers has been satisfactorily indexed? [Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, p. 125] Here, Dean Burgon was calling for a "satisfactory index" of all the Fathers with Scriptural quotations all organized so that the textual critic might use it for research on exactly which text these Fathers had before them as they quoted, referred to, or used from memory. Dean Burgon's own index to the Scriptural quotations of the Church Fathers in various colors is an excellent step toward the fulfillment of this requirement. Perhaps it should be published and made available for scholars of the text of Scripture. Presently it is in the British Museum, unused, for the most part, and unavailable to the many who should have immediate and convenient access to it for work on various verses of the Bible. Dr. Jack Moorman, a Baptist missionary in England, as well as a member of our Dean Burgon Society Executive Committee, visited the British Museum and told me that because of the color-coding used by Dean Burgon, the indexes could not satisfactorily be published unless they were photographed in full color which would be very expensive. In addition to this, permission might not be granted by the British Museum for the project. It would also be difficult if not impossible to come up with the exact editions of the Church Fathers to which Dean Burgon was referring.

d. Dean Burgon Decried the Fact That the "Fundamental Principles of the Science of Textual Crit- icism" Were "Not Yet Comprehended" and Called For a "Generation of Students" Who Would Give Themselves Up to This Neglected Branch of Sacred Science. He wrote: The fundamental principles of the science of textual criticism are not yet apprehended. . . . let a generation of students give themselves entirely up to this neglected branch of Sacred science. [Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, p. 125.] Dean Burgon here showed the need for students of these "fundamental principles" of "the science of textual criticism" such as Dean Burgon himself held to. Where are these students today? Where is one generation of them? Where are those men who have "given themselves entirely up to this neglected branch of Sacred science"?

e. Dean Burgon's Other Prerequisites for Sound Textual Criticism:

(1) We Need at Least "500 More Copies" of the New Testament "Diligently Collated." Dean Burgon wrote: Let 500 more copies of the Gospels, Acts, and Epistles be diligently collated. [Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, p. 125.] Has this yet been done? No, it has not.
(2) We Need At Least "100" "Ancient Lectionaries" "Very Exactly Collated." Dean Burgon wrote: Let at least 100 of the ancient Lectionaries be very exactly collated also. [Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, p. 125.] Has this yet been done? No, it has not.
(3) We Need the "Most Important Ancient Versions" To Be "Edited Afresh"and Let Their "Languages" Be "Really Mastered by Englishmen." Dean Burgon wrote: Let the most important of the ancient versions be edited afresh and let the languages in which these are written be for the first time really mastered by Englishmen. [Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, p. 125.] Has this yet been done? No, it has not.
(4) We Need, "Above All," the Church "Fathers" to Yield "Their Precious Secrets" by "Ran- sacking" Them, "Indexing" Them, And "Diligently In- specting" Them. Dean Burgon wrote: Above all let the Fathers be called upon to give up their precious secrets. Let their writings be ransacked and indexed, and (where needful) let the MSS. of their works be diligently inspected in order that we may know what actually is the evidence which they afford. [Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, p. 125.] Has this yet been done? No, it has not.

f. Dean Burgon's Conclusion As to the Importance of These Four Preceding Suggestions. Dean Burgon wrote:
Only so will it ever be possible to obtain a Greek text on which absolute reliance may be placed and which may serve as the basis for a satisfactory revision of our Authorized Version. [Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, op., cit., p. 125.] Dean Burgon, by this quotation, stressed the importance he placed on (1) copies; (2) Lectionaries; (3) versions; and (4) Fathers in his valid principles of textual criticism that would yield beyond all question what actually were the precise and exact Words of Scripture in the originals. You will also note that he opposed any "revision" in any manner of the King James Bible until all of his prerequisites for the Greek New Testament were fulfilled.

g. Dean Burgon Also Suggested That "Un- published Works of the Ancient Greek Fathers" Should Be "Printed." Dean Burgon wrote: Nay, let whatever unpublished works of the ancient Greek Fathers are anywhere known to exist,--(and not a few precious remains of theirs are lying hid in great national libraries, both at home and abroad,)--let these be printed. The men could easily be found: the money, far more easily. . . . [Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, pp. 125-26.] Has this yet been done? No, it has not.

13. Dean Burgon Maintained That "For the First Time," "the Science of Textual Criticism" Must Be Prosecuted "in a Scholarlike Manner." Dean Burgon wrote: Yes, and in the meantime--(Let it in all faithfulness be added)--the science of textual criticism will have to be prosecuted, for the first time, in a scholarlike manner. Fundamental principles--sufficiently axiomatic to ensure general acceptance,--will have to be laid down for man's guidance. The time has quite gone by for vaunting "the now established principles of textual criti- cism,"--as if they had an actual existence. Let us be shown, instead, which those principles be. As for the weak superstition of these last days, which--without proof of any kind--would erect two IVth-century copies of the New Testament (dem- onstrably derived from one and the same utterly depraved archetype,) into an authority from which there shalt be no appeal,--it cannot be too soon or too unconditionally aban- doned. [Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, pp. 227-28] Dean Burgon therefore wished to "abandon" once and for all the shallow, unscholarlike presuppositions--wholly without proof of any kind--foisted upon the Christian world by those religious apostates and heretics, Westcott and Hort. Dean Burgon considered these "two IVth-century copies" ("B" and "Aleph") to be like Israel's two "golden calves."

14. Dean Burgon Wished to See God's "Highly Complex Provision" For the "Effectual Conservation" of His "Crowning Master-Piece"--the Written Word--"Duly Considered." Dean Burgon wrote: For, let the ample and highly complex provision which Divine wisdom hath made for the effectual conservation of that crowning master-piece of his own creative skill,--the written Word,--be duly considered. [Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, p. 338.] What Dean Burgon was saying in this quotation, was that we should not neglect any facet whatsoever of God's "ample and highly complex provision" for the "conservation" of his "written Word," but should study all the evidence, including: (1) copies; (2) versions; (3) Lectionaries; and (4) Church Fathers in an effort to arrive at exactly what word was in the autographs of the New Testament.

15. Dean Burgon Laid Down the Only "Trust- worthy Method" in "Ascertaining the Truth of Scripture." Dean Burgon wrote: A safer, the only trustworthy method, in fact, of ascertaining the truth of Scripture, we hold to be the method which, without prejudice or partiality, simply ascertains which form of the text enjoys the earliest, the fullest, the widest, the most respectable, and--above all things--the most varied attestation, that a reading should be freely recognized alike by the earliest and by the latest available evidence,--we hold to be a prime circumstance in its favour. That copies, versions, and Fathers, should all three concur in sanctioning it,--we hold to be even more conclusive. If several fathers, living in different parts of ancient Christen- dom, are all observed to recognize the words, or to quote them in the same way,--we have met with all the additional confirm- ation we ordinarily require. [Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, pp. 339-40.] This method of Dean Burgon is a far cry from the unsatisfactory, slip-shod, "guess-work" methodology of Westcott and Hort and their present progeny of textual critics.

16. Dean Burgon Affirmed That a Trustworthy "Textual Critic" Must Have a "Clear Head" and a "Calm, Dispassionate Judgment." In speaking against the wrong charac- teristics of a Textual Critic, Dean Burgon touched on the real requirements: The spectacle of an able and estimable man exhibiting such singular inaptitude for a province of study which, beyond all others, demands a clear head and a calm, dispassionate judg- ment--creates distress. (Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, p. 394.] These are important qualifications of the would-be "textual critic."

17. Dean Burgon Stated Clearly That There Could Be "No Compromise" Between the "New German System" Used by Westcott and Hort and the "Old Eng- lish School of Textual Criticism" Adopted by Dean Bur- gon and Others Because They Are "Antagonistic Throughout." Dean Burgon wrote: . . . it cannot be too plainly stated that no compromise is possible between our respective methods.,--yours and mine: [that is, Bishop Ellicott, Chairman of the E.R.V. committee, who used the same methods as Westcott and Hort who were also on that committee] between the new German system in its most aggravated and in fact intolerable form to which you have incautiously and unconditionally given in your adhesion; and the old English school of textual criticism of which I humbly avow myself a disciple. Between the theory of Drs. Westcott and Hort (which you have made your own) and the method of your present respondent, there can be no compromise, because the two are antagonistic throughout. We have, in fact, nothing in common,,--except certain documents; which I insist on inter- preting by the humble inductive process: while you and your friends insist on your right of deducing your estimate of them from certain antecedent imaginations of your own,--every one of which I disallow, and some of which I am able to disprove. [Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, op. cit., p. 517.] Dean Burgon saw no truce in this battle of methods in textual criticism--between the "new German system" and the "old English school."

18. Dean Burgon Laid Down His Method As One of "Humility" and "Self-Renouncing Labour" While In- specting "the Best Copies, Fathers, Versions." Dean Burgon wrote to Ellicott, as a representative of the Westcott and Hort school of methodology: You assume that you possess a power of divination which enables you to dispense with laborious processes of induction while I, on the contrary, insist that the truth of the text of Scripture is to be elicited exclusively from the consentient testimony of the largest number of the best copies, Fathers, versions. There is, I am persuaded, no royal road to the attainment of truth in this department of knowledge. Only through the lowly portal of humility--only by self-renouncing labour--may we ever hope to reach the innermost shrine. [Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, p. 518.] This sounds like work, work, and more work. And it is. Perhaps this is why it has not been undertaken in the manner in which Dean Burgon specified.

19. Dean Burgon Set Forth Three "Test Places" to Test Out His Sound Methods Versus Westcott and Hort's Fallacious and Unsound Methods: (1) "the Last Twelve Verses of Mark" (2) "the Angelic Hymn" of Luke 2:14; and (3) 1 Timothy 3:16." Dean Burgon wrote: Let me be allowed, in conclusion, to recommend to your attention and that of your friends:--(i.) "The Last Twelve Verses of S. Mark's gospel:--(ii.) the angelic hymn on the night of the Nativity:--(iii.) the text of 1 Timothy iii.16--these three--(in respect of which up to this hour, you and I find ourselves to be hopelessly divided,)--as convenient test places. When you are prepared frankly to admit:--(I.) that there is no reason whatever for doubting the genuineness of S. Mark xvi. 9-20:--(ii.) that en anqrwpoi" eudokia is unquestionably the Evangelical text of S. Luke ii.14:--and (iii.) that qeo" efanerwqh en sarki is what the great Apostle must be held to have written in 1 Timothy iii.16--we shall be in good time to proceed to some- thing else. Until this happy result has been attained, it is a mere waste of time to break up fresh ground, and to extend the area of our differences. [Dean Burgon, Revision Revised, p. 519.] This is a very important statement to understand from Dean Burgon. These three passages are of crucial importance in understanding the different methods espoused by Dean John William Burgon, and those of Westcott and Hort and company. Dean Burgon has splendidly exhonorated the Traditional Text in all three of these places in Revision Revised for all to see [Cf. pp. 36-40; 41-47; 47-49; 98-106; and 420-501].
 

The Dean Burgon Society


Please click here for the Most Important Message of the Bible Concerning You. "
Is any of the following a blessing to you today?
"Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away."
Matthew 24:3

"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."
Acts 4:12

"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."

1 Corinthians 2:9

 
 
 
the DEAN BURGON SOCIETY
Box 354 - Collingswood
New Jersey 08108, U.S.A.
Phone: (856) 854-4452
Fax: (856) 854-2464
E-mail:
DBS@DeanBurgonSociety.org
Dean Burgon Society Symbol

Copyright 2012 - 2015 The Dean Burgon Society - All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

WebSite PageViews