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By F. C. cook, M.A., 






The right of Translation is recervea 








FIRST PART— pp. 1-22-. 

Conditions of Revision .. 


Object of this Work 


Warning of Professor Reiche 


The Sinaitic MS 


Neglect of the Warning and its Results 


Greek Text of the Revisers 


Grounds on which it is Commended .. 


Extent of Resoiu-ces 


How far they are Used .. 


Early Fathers and Versions 


Limits of the present Inquiry .. 


Authorities cited in this Work 


SECOND PART. — Examination of Passages altered in the Revised 
Version— pp. 23-127. 


Section I. — Facts or Sayings preceding or connected with 
the Nativity ., 
Matthew i. 7, 8, 10, 11 

18 .. 
Holy Spirit for Holy Ghost 
The Angelic Salutation, Luke i. 28 
The Angelic Proclamation, Luke ii. 14 

Section II. — From the Nativity to the Baptism 
Luke ii. 40 

„ 43 





Luke ii. 49 

Mark i. 1 

„ 2 

Important Testimony of Irenccus 
Mark i. 5 



Section III. — The Baptism, Temptation, and first Ministra- 


of our Lord 



i. 9-11 



iv. 4-5 .. 



i. 14 



i. 27 


Section IV. — The Sermon on the Mount .. 


Matthew v. 4, 5 






37, 39 






vi. 1 


















18, 21, 25, 33 






vii. 2, 4 



13, 14 



vi. 20-49 


Section V. — To the Close of our Lord's Ministrations i 





i. 40 



viii. 6, 8 



vi. 1 



ii. 16 






iv. 18-20 



vii. 19 




Section VI. 

Section VIL- 

Section VIIL- 

Matt. xiii. 35 


„ xvii. 21, and Mark ix. 29 .. 


Mark ix. 43-50 


-From Galilee to Jerusalem .. 


Luke ix. 54, 55 


„ xi. 2-4 



„ X. 1, 15 



„ 41, 42 



Matt. xix. 9 ., 



Mark x. 17-22 



Matthew xix. 16, 17 .. 


Luke XV. 21 



-At Jerusalem , . 


Mark xi. 3 









The Last Supper, Matt. xxvi. 26-29 



Luke xxii. 19 .. 



Gethsemane, Matt. xxvi. 42 


Mark xiv. 35, 40 



Luke xxii. 43, 44 



The first Word on the Cross, Luke xxiii. 



Darkening of the Sun, Luke xxiii. 45 



Inscription on the Cross, Luke xxiii. 38 



The Crucifixion, Matt, xxvii. 32-56 


Matthew xxvii. 49 



Mark xv. 39 



-Events connected with and following 


Eesurrection .. 



Matt, xxviii. .. 


Luke xxiv. 3 .. 





36, 40 .. .. .. 


Mark xvi. 9 seq. 


The Ascension and Session at the Right Hand 

of God, Mark xvi. 19, and Luke xxiv. 





THIRD PART— pp. 128-250. 

Section I. — On Results of Preceding Inquiry 
Section II. — Classification of Innovations 
Section III. — Result of Classification 
Section IV. — On Value of N and B 
Section V. — Eusebian Recension 
Section VI. — The Alexandrian Codex 
Section VII. — Theory of Syrian Recension 
Section VIII. — Theory of Conflate Readings 
Section IX. — Answers by Members of th 

Section X. — Recapitulation and Conclusion 


















e Committee of 









§ 1. In considering the points which are discussed in the Conditions of 
following pages, I would ask the reader to keep before his ^"^^*^°'^- 
mind the conditions under which the consent of the 
Southern Convocation was given to the work of Eevision. 

The first proposal was made by the late Bishop of Win- 
chester (Dr. S. Wilberforce), and seconded by the present 
Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol, on the 10th of February, 
1870. It was accepted by the Upper House of Convocation, 
and passed, the same day, in the following terms : 

"That a Committee of both Houses be appointed to 
report on the desirableness of a Eevision of the Authorized 
Version of the Old and New Testaments, whether by mar- 
ginal notes or otherwise, in those passages where plain and 
clear errors, whether in the Hebrew or Greek text originally 
adopted by the translators, or in the translations made from 
the same, shall on due investigation be found to exist." 

A report, in accordance with this resolution, was laid be- 
fore the Lower House of Convocation on the 10th of May, 



1870 ; and the following resolutions were then adopted after 
full discussion : 

(1) That it is desirable that a Eevision of the Authorized 
Version of the Holy Scriptures be undertaken. 

(2) That the Eevision be so conducted as to comprise both 
marginal renderings and such emendations as it may be 
found necessary to insert in the text of the Authorized 

(3) That in the above resolutions, we do not contemplate 
any new translation of the Bible, or any alteration of the 
language, except where, in the judgment of the most com- 
petent scholars, such change is necessary. 

(4) That in such necessary changes, the style of the lan- 
guage employed in the existing Version be closely followed. 

(5) That it is desirable that Convocation should nominate 
a body of its own members to undertake the work of Eevi- 
sion, who shall be at liberty to invite the co-operation of 
any \$ic] eminent for scholarship, to whatever nation or 
religious body they may belong. 

These resolutions are called fundamental by the Bishop 
of Gloucester and Bristol in the Preface to the Eevised 
Version, p. x. 

It should be observed that great stress was laid upon 
these conditions by the proposers and seconders of the reso- 
lutions in both Houses. I must call special attention to the 
words of the Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol which I quoted 
in my ' Second Letter to the Bishop of London,' p. 6 : " We 
may be satisfied with the attempt to correct plain and clear 
errors, but there it is our duty to stop." See Chronicle of 
Convocation, Feb. 1870, p. 83. 

The question, therefore, in reference to every alteration is, 
first, whether it removes a plain and clear error and is thus 
necessary ; and, secondly, whether such alteration is correct. 
Object of this 5 2. The principal object of this work is to examine in 



detail certain alterations in the Eevised Version, whether 
adopted in the text or suggested in the margin, which affect 
incidents in our Lord's life, or which are connected with 
His works and teaching as recorded in the synoptical 

Alterations are peculiarly important which rest upon 
changes in the Greek text, and to these I invite special 
attention ; but some changes in the English Version demand, 
and will receive, due consideration. 

I will, however, on the present occasion, pass over alto- 
gether, or with slight notice, changes which affect the style 
of the Eevision, without introducing a new sense, or seriously 
modifying the sense presented in the Authorized Version. 
These changes in style have produced a strong and a 
very general impression, which certainly is the reverse of 
favourable; they have even found severe censors among 
staunch defenders* of the Eevised Version, and have been 
criticized most effectively by Sir Edmund Beckett ; but they 
are of secondary importance in reference to the point with 
which I am exclusively concerned, that is to say, the bear- 
ings of certain alterations upon the veracity of the sacred 
writers, or upon points connected with fundamental doctrines 
of the Christian faith. 

§ 3. Before I enter upon the examination of the passages Warning of 
in question, I venture to invite attention to a fact which Reiche. 
appears to be little known, but which has peculiar interest 
in connection with discussions which have been raised, and 
appear likely to be carried on with increasing force, in 

* I refer among others to Dean Perowne, quoted in an article on the 
Revisers' style by Dr. Sanday in the Expositor, April 1882. Dr. Sanday 
says : " Viewed with reference to its avowed object, it is nothing less than 
a failure." Dr. Sanday's article is of importance both because of the 
learning and great ability of the writer, and his prominent position among 
the defenders of the Greek text adopted by the Revisers. 

B 2 


reference to the new revision of the text, and to the grounds 
on which it is defended in Dr. Hort's ' Introduction ' to the 
recent edition of the New Testament, which agrees sub- 
stantially with the Greek text published by the Eevisers at 
Oxford, under the superintendence of Archdeacon Palmer. 

The fact to which I refer is this: some twenty-eight 
years ago, a German critic, remarkable for extent and 
accuracy of learning, and for soundness and sobriety of 
judgment, emphatically called the attention of scholars, and 
specially of theologians, to the bearings of the enormous 
changes introduced into the text of the New Testament by 
the critical school of which at that time Lachmann was 
the chief reprefsentative. 

The critic was Dr. J. G. Eeiche, and the remarks in 
question are in his work entitled ' Commentarius Criticus in 
Novum Testamentum.' The first volume contains a full dis- 
cussion of the most difficult and weighty passages in the 
Epistles to the Eomans and Corinthians ; the second volume 
deals with the minor Epistles of St. Paul; the third with 
the Epistle to the Hebrews and the Catholic Epistles. 

The passage which I now adduce occurs in the preface 
to the Epistle to the Hebrews. 

Eeiche begins by observing, (1) that Lachmann adopted 
without any inquiry the conjecture of Griesbach ("funda- 
mentis admodum infirmis superstructam "), that two forms of 
the Greek text were introduced about the middle of the 
second century, one of which was generally adopted in the 
East, the other in the West ; (2) that he produced a new 
text founded on the three oldest manuscripts then known to 
scholars. A, B, and C (the Alexandrian and Vatican Codices, 
and the incomplete but valuable codex known as Ephrsemi 
Eescriptus), with occasional reference to others of the 
same age and character, always comparing their readings 
with citations in the works of Origen ; (3) when, however. 


tliose authorities differed, he called in the well-known Codex 
Bezse, D, for the Gospels ; D and E for the Acts ; and a 
second D (the Codex Claromontanus) for the Pauline 
Epistles, as the best witnesses for the Western recension, 
especially when they are supported by the old Italic Ver- 
sions, the Vulgate, and early Latin Fathers ; (4) that all 
other manuscripts, all other Versions and Fathers were 
utterly neglected by him, as inferior in authority, or com- 
pletely superfluous ; (5) that according to Lachmann and 
his followers, the one true object of all criticism is to as- 
certain the text received in the East and West in the 
fourth century. 

Eeiche then gives expression to an opinion of extreme 
gravity, which, on account of its bearing upon burning 
questions of our own time, I will here quote in his own 
words : 

" Fato quodam sinistro accidit, ut theologi, quorum res 
agi videbatur, maximam partem, Philologi celeberrimi 
auctoritate capti, non tantum ea, quae ille sibi proposuit, 
nempe textum quarto seculo in orienti dividgatu7ii eruere 
et restituere, reapse effecisse persuader! passi sint, sed 
etiam miro errore textum Lachmannianum omnium huc- 
usque editorum optime testatum maximeque a mendis im- 
munem et sincerum reprsesentare, quippe a luculentissimis 
testibus secundum claras et certas artis criticse regulas 
efformatum, arbitrarentur. Quo sensim factum est, ut 
Lachmannianus textus fere eandem, quam olim textus 
receptus habuit, auctoritatem superstitiosam apud multos 
nacta sit, et ut vulgo tanquam res indubia ponatur, paucos 
istos libros MSS., quos Lachmannus solos adhibuit, ceteris 
exclusis, non tantum antiquissimse, quae Lachmanno vide- 
batur, sed primarise et sincerse scriptures testes sponsores- 
que esse locupletissimos et spectatissimos, prae quibus ceteri 
testes nihil fere valeant, quaestionemque de externa lectionis 


alicujus auctoritate, productis libris istis, prsesertim si pauci 
alii cum iis concinerent, decisam et judicatam esse." 

Each point noted in this paragraph demands serious con- 
sideration. (1) The strange oversight of theologians, whose 
special interests were concerned; (2) their persuasion that 
Lachmann had succeeded in his purpose of discovering and 
restoring the text generally received in the fourth century 
throughout the East; (3) their far more serious error in 
believing that Lachmann's text was the best attested, most 
free from faults, and purest of all hitherto edited, being 
derived from the most trustworthy sources, under the 
guidance of clear and certain rules of the art of criticism ; 

(4) the result being that the text of Lachmann was ere 
long regarded by many with the superstitious reverence 
which had formerly attached to the Textus Eeceptus; 

(5) and again that it became generally accepted as an indis- 
putable fact that those four manuscripts, which Lachmann 
used exclusively, were not only the best authorities for the 
readings which that critic held to be the most ancient, but 
for the original and unadulterated text of Holy Writ; 

(6) that compared with these, other witnesses are wholly 
without authority, and that the question about the external 
evidence for any reading, when those manuscripts are 
adduced, especially should they be supported by a few 
others, is to be regarded as finally and decisively settled, 

I will ask the reader to compare these statements with 
the views set forth, authoritatively and repeatedly, by 
Pr. Hort in his ^ Introduction,' especially in reference to 
the supreme excellence and unrivalled * authority of the 
text of B — with wliich, indeed, the Greek text of Westcott 
and Hort is, with some unimportant exceptions, substantially 
identical, coinciding in more than nine tenths of the passages 
which, as materially affecting the character of the synoptic 
Gospels, I have to discuss. 


Eeiche then observes that he fully admits the value of 
those MSS., A, B, C, D, which often retain true readings, 
either alone or in combination with a few other authorities ; 
but that it is equally true that it is impossible to deny that 
in very many places (permultis locis) they have false readings, 
partly attributable to negligence, partly intentional; more- 
over, that one and all they are either later than, or contem- 
porary with, ancient Versions (a point to which I shall have to 
refer presently). Eeiche then states a fact of primary import- 
ance (to which some of our own best critics, e.g. Dr. Scrivener, 
bear witness, but which seems to be strangely overlooked by 
others), that in the earliest ages the stupidity and licence 
(socordia et licentia) of copyists was far greater than at any 
later period, the result being that the most ancient MSS. are 
tainted with the most numerous and most serious errors 
(plurimis et gravissimis mendis inquinatos). Moreover that 
those MSS., to which critics in Germany attach exclu- 
sive importance, are of Egyptian, or rather Alexandrian 
origin, so that all belong to one family, a fact evidenced by 
their singular consent in peculiar readings ; and lastly that 
all documents of the N". T. coming from Alexandria, at that 
time the home of over-bold criticism, abound in readings 
which are manifestly false, "a male sedulis grammaticis 

These statements Eeiche confirms by a detailed examina- 
tion of readings in the Epistle to the Hebrews. He shows 
that separately and collectively those MSS. have unques- 
tionably false readings, especially of omission. 

I do not expect that these statements will be generally 
admitted, to their full extent, by English critics; but they 
prove at least that the charges brought against the text 
based upon those MSS. rest on positive scientific grounds, 
and are not, as seems to be assumed, attributable to a 
theological bias or mere prejudice on the part of those who 


venture to distrust the authorities which have influenced the 
Eevisers in their numerous innovations. 
The Sinaitic § 4. Since Eeiche addressed this warning to his countrymen 

Codex, N. ^^g considerable addition has been made to the evidences 
on which modern critics rely. I speak of the Sinaitic 
Codex — well known by the sign s. In many very impor- 
tant readings that MS. agrees with B, the Vatican Codex ; 
differing however to a great extent from A, C, and still 
more, as might be expected, from D, the most ancient 
Western manuscript. To that new MS. Tischendorf, its 
discoverer and editor, attached, as was natural under the 
circumstances, immense importance ; unfortunately, indeed, 
such exclusive importance that he went back from the 
position he had taken in his seventh edition, the best and 
most interesting for its text, and in his eighth edition in- 
troduced more than 3000 variations, of which the larger 
portion have been given up as untenable by later editors. 
The effect produced by the first production of this manu- 
script, conspicuous for its beauty and for its unquestionable 
antiquity, and by the high authority of Tischendorf, was so 
great in England that the Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol, 
in seconding the motion of Dr. S. Wilberforce, then Bishop 
of Winchester, for the new Eevision, on February 10, 1870, 
said that "in the Alexandrian manuscript a portion, and 
a very important portion, of St. Matthew's Gospel is 
wanting.* We know also that in the celebrated Vatican 
manuscript the Pastoral Epistles, the Apocalypse, and I 
think a portion of the Epistle to the Hebrews are wanting ; 
and here we have mysteriously, by the good providence of 
God, the Sinaitic manuscript, which, in the judgment of the 

* The Alexandrian Codex now begins with Matthew xxv. 8 ; a fact to 
be borne in mind in reference to all passages taken from the preceding 
chapters of that Gospel, and discussed in the following notices. 


illustrious editor, takes the first place among the manuscripts 
of the New Testament, vouchsafed to us perfect and entire." 
— Chronicle of Convocation, 1870, p. 80. 

§ 5. The tendency which Eeiche deplores has led in Neglect of thi 
Germany to results on which I need not here dwell. As a JhTcoufe-'^ 
general statement it may be said that the effect has been to q^^nces. 
cast discredit on the great majority of uncials, still more 
upon the whole mass of cursives, and to detract from the 
authority of the early Fathers and early Versions to the 
extent in which they differ from what I may venture to call 
the Origenistic recension.* In England Alford, with hesi- 
tating steps, Tregelles, with bolder strides, have adopted many 
of the most serious innovations. The outcome of the whole 
process is presented in the most authoritative form, with 
consummate skill and in the most peremptory style, by Dr. 
Hort in the ' Introduction ' to the critical edition of West- 
cott and Hort, published immediately after the appearance 
of the Eevised Version. 

There is, however, one OTeat difference between the earlier 
critics of the school and its chief representatives in England. 
Even Lachmann and, still more decidedly, Tischendorf 
attached considerable weight to the evidence of the two 
very ancient MSS. A and C, and allowed some weight to 
the other uncials when they agree with each other and those 
two manuscripts ; but the two eminent critics whose counsels 
evidently predominated in the Committee of Eevisers, assign 
to the Vatican Codex B an authority so pre-eminent, that, 
with one very extraordinary exception (see further on, p. 16) 

* The grounds for this opinion will be considered further on. Here I 
will simply say that, with some important exceptions, the nume- 
rous citations in the works of Origen agree with the Vatican Codex, 
especially where it is supported by the Sinaitic. 'J'his indeed may be 
inferred from Reiche's account of the process adopted by Griesbach and 
Lachmann, and it is confirmed by Dr. Hort in his ' Introduction.' 


in cases of omission, they follow it without hesitation, and 
generally introduce its peculiar readings into the text, or, when 
unable to carry with them the other members of the Com- 
mittee, place them in the margin of the Eevised Version. 

Here it must be observed that one of the revising body, the 
only one among the Eevisers who had previously published 
works of sterling value on the criticism of the New Testament, 
and who has hitherto been recognized both in England and 
on the Continent as the leading representative of English 
critical scholarship, proceeded on a totally different system 
in his ' Introduction to the critical Study of the New Testa- 
ment.' Dr. Scrivener attaches due weight to the oldest 
MSS., assigning the first place to B; but he invariably 
maintains the claims of the earliest Versions and Fathers, 
and allows very considerable, certainly not too great, weight 
to the enormous mass of cursive MSS. when they support 
a majority of uncials, especially when, as is frequently the 
case, those which generally agree with B or n present a 
different reading. 

There is no evidence that Dr. Scrivener acquiesced in the 
decisions of his colleagues; had he done so it would be a 
result in my opinion much to be deplored, if the account 
given by one of them* of the mode of proceeding in so 
vital a question can be relied upon ; but it is scarcely 
possible that he should have surrendered his own con- 
victions, or have departed from the principles so clearly 
stated and so admirably illustrated in his ' Introduction.' f 

* I refer to the extraordinary statement of Dr. Newth, quoted in the 
Quarterly Review, October 1881, p. 320. That statement has lately been 
admitted to be correct by the " Two Revisers." This point will be further 
discussed in the sequel. 

t I am very happy to learn from Dr. Kennedy's ' Ely Lectures on the 
Revised Version ' that I was right in believing that Dr. Scrivener maintains 
the chief, if not all the positions which he had long and consistently 


Here I must be permitted to state my deliberate opinion, 
held also, as I believe, by many scholars of eminence, that in 
the case of doubtful or disputed readings no innovations ought 
to have been adopted in the text, or even in the margin, if 
they are such as seriously affect the integrity of Holy 
Scripture or its doctrinal teaching, when there was an 
irreconcileable difference between the representatives of 
opposite principles in criticism. 

Had that principle been held fast we should have been 
spared nearly all the shocks caused by the innovations which 
I shall bring under consideration in the following pages. 

§ 6. The weight, however, of two critics, eminent for learn- The state of 
ing, ability, and industry, and entirely free from any suspicion l^ thrRevi*s°er3^' 
of latitudinarian views, confirmed by the corporate authority ^®^*- 
of the Revisers, had produced so strong an effect, that the 
question appeared for a time to be generally regarded as at 
last settled ; and that, notwithstanding the serious and most 
painful innovations introduced into the sacred text. Few 
persons were prepared for the tremendous onslaught* in 
the Quarterly Review of October 1881, in which the exclusive 
value attached to the two oldest manuscripts, N and B, was 
absolutely negatived; and in which the bold assertion was 
made that the text thus formed is "demonstrably more 
remote from the evangelic verity than any which has 
ever yet seen the light." — Q. B. p. 368. 

Now, in my opinion, it would be at present presumptuous 
to express a decided opinion as to the proportion of right or 
wrong in the conflicting statements of the learned author of 

* I venture to use this expression, both as indicating the power of the 
arguments, and also as deprecating the vehemence of the language, in an 
article which for profound learning, and especially for knowledge of all 
documents on which the decision of disputed questions in the criticism 
of the New Testament depends, is entitled to a foremost place in the 
theological literature of the present age. 


that article on the one hand, and of the two great critics 
Westcott and Hort on the other. It must be borne in mind, 
however, that in every discussion of the question, attention 
shoukl be confined to the facts advanced by the writers on 
both sides. Every one will admit at once that violent 
language is to be deprecated. Those who accept the prin- 
cipal conclusions in that article are well aware that their 
own cause is damaged by the vehemence of its language. 
We maintain, however, that every expression likely to give 
offence can be eliminated from that article without prejudice 
to the argument ; and that the only point worth considera- 
tion in the controversy is the singularly complete array of 
authorities which all critics recognize as highly important, 
especially of Fathers far more ancient than any manu- 
scripts, and infinitely superior to them in weight, together 
Avith the arguments derived from the inspection of manu- 
scripts and from the early Versions. Nor when we read the 
answers to that article which have been given, as for 
instance by Dr. Sanday and Dr. Farrar in the Contemporary 
Review, can we fail to observe that, far from confining them- 
selves to those facts and those arguments, both writers dwell, 
one almost exclusively, upon exaggerations of language, and 
that they advance statements or suggestions really unworthy 
of scholars, such for instance as that an article, which, what- 
ever may be thought of its conclusions, is conspicuous for an 
extent and amount of learning, patristic and critical, without 
a parallel in this age and country, may have been written 
by a lady ; or again, as the other critic states peremptorily, 
that the author with all his learning and talent has no 
" grasp on the central conditions of the problem." * I must 
also observe that it is not fair in Dr. Farrar to impute to 

* See the Expositor^ December 1881, ]). 417. Dr. Sanday has since 
published a reply in the Contemporary lievieu\ to which reference may be 
made further on. 


the author the sin, which of all sins is regarded with special 
disfavour by the general public, the odium theologiciim. The 
writer of that article certainly goes to the extreme in ex- 
pressing fiery indignation, but he expressly and repeatedly 
exonerates the critics whom he opposes from any tendency 
to low or unworthy views and principles in matters of faith. 
He repeatedly speaks of both as working " with the purest 
intentions and most laudable industry," With all his heat, 
that writer abstains from offensive personalities. ISTor again 
can I but remark that appeals to the authority of great 
names among the Eevisers are out of place, especially as we 
do not know which of them concurred in any particular 
alteration. N"o one doubts, certainly the reviewer does 
not deny or question, the learning or high character 
of Eevisers who had previously been distinguished as 
theological scholars, some of whom, including the two 
critics, possessed the full confidence of Churchmen. The 
question is simply whether in this special department the 
ancient authorities had been fairly and fully appreciated ; 
and to that question any advocate of the Eevision should 
address himself specially or exclusively. 

I venture to affirm that up to this time no real effort has 
been made to grapple with that question, and therefore that 
no sufficient or satisfactory defence of the Eevised Text has 

§ 7. I will now inquire with all deference what special Grounds on 
grounds there may be for accepting that Eevised Text ; or, on ^j^g^ 'y\^^ 


the other hand, for distrusting it. The grounds for accepting coi«mended. 
it may be briefly stated. It was commended by two critical 
scholars, whose authority appears to have been allowed com- 
pletely to outweigh that of Dr. Scrivener in the hasty and 
strangely unscientific decisions of the Eevisers : * and it is 

See Dr. Newth's account, noticed above. 



defended specially on the ground that the critical resources at 
the disposal of critics at present are not only much more con- 
siderable than at any former period, but that they combine all 
that is really necessary for the establishment of a sound text. 
Extent of re- § 8. There can indeed be no question as to the vast extent 
of our available resources. Most of the uncial MSS. have 
been carefully examined, and the readings are presented 
in a compact and scientific form by Tischendorf in his 
last (eighth) edition. The cursive MSS. however have 
been but partially collated ; and though their testimony is 
always noticed by Tischendorf, even his last edition does 
not enable the student to judge of the relative value 
of those cursives which support, and of those which 
oppose, the readings adopted in his text. One point of 
extreme importance is generally neglected. We learn from 
examination of the notes that a certain number of cursives 
generally agree, some of them all but constantly, with the 
recensions represented by B or n — e.g. the cursives 
marked 1, 13, 23, 33, 69, 124, 208, 209 ; but it is often im- 
possible to ascertain whether these are or are not included 
in the at., or cd. pi., or plur. {i.e. " others," " many others," 
" most in number ") cited by Tischendorf ; and in cases where 
every kind of evidence is needed this may be of the utmost 

Again, as to the testimony of the early Versions, it is well 
known that very much remains to be done before the infor- 
mation which they can give is exhausted. Critical editions 
are greatly needed. So, too, with the early Fathers. The 
numerous citations in their works need to be critically 
examined. Again, one very serious defect in editions of 
most of the Fathers is the absence of complete or satisfactory 
indices of scriptural quotations ; and this is especially to be 
regretted in the case of the most important ante-Nicene 
Fathers. For instance, the indices to Clement of Alexan- 


dria, who is of the very highest importance in the present 
question, are incomplete and inaccurate, not only in the 
editions of Sylburgius and Potter, but, to the grievous dis- 
appointment of scholars, in the edition lately printed at 
the Clarendon Press under the superintendence of Dindorf. 
Again, as I pointed out in my ' Second Letter to the Bishop 
of London,' p. 85, Oehler, in his edition of TertuUian, adopts 
the indices of Eigaltus, with some seriously misleading blun- 
ders ; thus he gives no less than six references to Mark xvi. 
9-20, not one of which is correct, nor have I been able to 
ascertain whether they rest on any foundation. On the other 
hand we have full, and, I believe, trustworthy indices to the 
Apostolic Fathers in the editions of Jacobson and Gebhardt, 
to Justin Martyr in Otto's edition, and to Origen in the 
Benedictine edition. Copious and correct indices to the 
Fathers would be even more valuable than a thorough 
critical recension of readings, since their authority is most 
needed and most important on questions independent of 
minute verbal accuracy. 

Still, with all allowance for these deficiencies, it must be 
fairly admitted that the resources at present existing, and 
available to scholars, go far to justify the contention on 
this point of some of the ablest defenders of the new text, 
adopted as the groundwork of their Version by the Eevisers. 

§ 9. But the question is not whether these resources are Have available 
available, but whether the Eevisers have used them fairly, isedY?^ 
and fully availed themselves of them. 

I have read with much care the ' Introduction ' of Dr. Hort, 
which gives an account of the process adopted by himself 
and Professor Westcott, and gather from it that they use the 
evidence of early Versions, early Fathers, cursive and uncial 
MSS., chiefly for the purpose of establishing certain criteria 
for estimating the relative value of existing MSS. I find 
that the result to which they attach the highest importance 


is that one MS., B, even when it stands alone, has great 
authority, and that when it is supported by two or three 
others, it outweighs all other evidence whatever. One singular 
exception however is to be noted. In cases of omission 
another MS., D, generally remarkable for interpolations, is 
taken as affording trustworthy evidence (see p. 6), although 
it is well known that this MS. is not only notorious for 
negligence and caprice, but for the number and character of 
its omissions, especially in the synoptical Gospels. 

I will endeavour further on to state to what extent I 
accept or distrust the MSS. here in question. I now simply 
call attention to the fact that, in the determination of 
disputed readings, these critics avail themselves of so small a 
portion of existing materials, or allow so little weight to 
others, that the student who follows them has positively less 
ground for his convictions than former scholars had at any 
period in the history of modern criticism. 

Formerly, indeed up to last year, he would have had 
before him, demanding his attention, and certainly rewarding 
conscientious labour, uncials, cursives, early Versions, early 
Fathers, critical discussions and editions, each and all having 
just claims to consideration. At present, if he relies on the 
revising critics, he has simply to ascertain whether two or 
three, t< and B, or B and D, not to speak of L, M, A, IT, agree 
in a text, and he is spared all other inquiry, evidence sup- 
porting those authorities being superfluous, evidence contra- 
dicting them being ipso facto convicted of untrustworthiness. 
Authority of § 10. Here again, at the risk of repetition, I must exactly 
and Versions! define my position. I would not adduce the earliest Fathers, 
or even the oldest Versions, as authorities on points of minute 
verbal aceuracy, except in cases where they expressly notice 
variations of the text, when their testimony is of the 
highest possible value. The Fathers often, indeed generally, 
quoted from memory ; and the early Versions, especially the 


so-called Italic and Vulgate, often leave such points unde- 
cided — especially as regards the use of articles, the tenses, 
and prepositions — though some {e.g. the Coptic) are remark- 
ably exact even in this respect. But this I maintain, 
and hold to be an indisputable position, that when the 
earliest Fathers, up to the end of the third century, cite 
passages and texts which, in their judgment, and in the 
estimation of their contemporaries, whether orthodox or not, 
have important bearings upon the teaching or the integrity 
of Holy Scripture, their authority outweighs, in some cases 
infinitely outweighs, the adverse testimony of the MSS. — 
none earlier than the middle of the fourth century — on 
which modern critics rely for their most serious innovations. 
I will here give but one instance. It is of the utmost 
importance both as regards the teaching of Scripture and the 
evidence for its central fact, and also as regards the prin- 
ciples of biblical criticism. I refer to the close of St. Mark's 
Gospel.* For its genuineness we have the express and most 
decisive testimony of Irenseus (see p. 38), the highest authority 
on such a question, not to speak of Justin Martyr f and 
other early Fathers, the testimony, in other words, of 
Christendom in its earliest representatives, supported by 
every ancient Version, even those in which this Gospel is 
most incompletely preserved, and, with three exceptions, by 
the absolute totality of MSS., uncial and cursive. Against 
it the margin tells us that the passage is omitted by the two 
oldest MSS., a statement which ought to have been modified 
by the fact that one only («) obliterates all trace of its exist- 
ence, while the other, B, that which the Eevisers hold to 
be by far the more trustworthy, leaves a blank, contrary to 

* For a fuller account of the evidence, and of Dr. Hort's defence of the 
mutilation, see further on, p. 120 seq. 

t Westcott and Hort put a ( ? ) before Justin Martyr, and Dr. Hort at- 
tempts to show that his testimony is doubtful. It could not well be clearer. 



its invariable use — a circumstance which proves beyond 
all question the existence of such a close in the original 

Further on I will consider the general character of these 
codices. Here I say at once that such an omission of itself 
is sufficient to impair, if not wholly to destroy, the authority 
of the MSS. in which it occurs, luliere they are without 
other support; and that this consideration weighs heavily 
against the authority of the recension which admits and 
defends it. 

I am happy to learn from Dr. Kennedy's ' Ely Lectures ' 
that on this point Dr. Scrivener retains, as indeed I felt 
sure he would retain, the decision he had previously an- 
nounced in his 'Introduction,' resting on what in my 
opinion are wholly incontrovertible grounds. 
Reason for §11. In this essay, as I have already stated, I propose to 

I'nquh-y i^^'' coufine my inquiry to the first three Gospels. It is in refer- 
these Gospels, q-^qq ^q these, especially to St. Mark and St. Luke, that 
the most numerous and the most serious innovations (in 
St. Mark upwards of 600, in St. Luke of 800) are introduced 
into the Eevised Text. There is indeed, so far as I am per- 
sonally concerned, a special reason why I should endeavour 
to vindicate this portion of Holy Scripture from what I 
cannot but regard as mutilation or depravation. When the 
' Speaker's Commentary ' was first undertaken, I was not 
specially responsible for any part of the Gospels ; but on 
Dean Mansel's failure of health, I prepared, at his request, 
the commentary on St. Mark, and, after his death — a most 
serious loss to our work — I was further charged to complete 
his notes on St. Matthew, being solely responsible for the 
last two chapters. I had moreover, very unexpectedly, to 
revise and complete the Bishop of St. Davids' commentary 
on St. Luke. 

It may be easily conceived with what interest I studied 


the Kevisers' work on that portion of the New Testament, 
and how gladly I recognized their agreement on many points 
of interpretation. But it was with grief and astonishment I 
found, not only that an enormous quantity of minor changes, 
generally without acknowledgment, were introduced into the 
text, but that many passages of paramount importance, pas- 
sages which touch the record of our Lord's life, of His words 
and His works, were either omitted altogether, or noted in 
the margin as of doubtful authority, or were so far modified 
in form and substance as to convey what I must regard as 
grievously erroneous impressions. 

I felt bound in honour to examine these passages 
separately and in detail ; and I must again ask my readers 
to bear in mind the conditions on which the work was en- 
trusted to the Committee of Eevisers. I venture also to call 
upon the Eevisers themselves to reconsider their own posi- 
tion with reference to their relations with Convocation, and 
more especially to the general effects or bearings of those 

I trust also they will bear in mind that, although Church- 
men who have attacked the Eevisers' work have, I believe, 
invariably abstained from any imputation of doctrinal pre- 
possession, and though their freedom from such preposses- 
sion has been testified in the Guardian, the Church Quarterly, 
the Churchman, and other periodicals of high character, by 
writers who may be regarded as true representatives of 
Anglican orthodoxy ; yet that a formal allegation to the 
contrary has been advanced by one of their own body. 
Eeferring to the statement "that the doctrines of popular 
theology remain unaffected, untouched by the results of the 
Eevision," that Eeviser says formally : " To the writer any 
such statement appears to be in the most substantial sense 
contrary to the facts of the case." See ' Eevised Texts and 
Margins,' by Dr. G. Vance Smith, p. 45. 

c 2 


Such an assertion, if not met by an indignant repudiation, 
and refuted by substantial arguments, is calculated grievously 
to affect the position of the Eevisers. I doubt whether the 
statements of Dr. Kennedy (in the ' Ely Lectures '), a man 
especially conspicuous for learning, and claiming, justly, to 
be regarded as one whose " orthodoxy cannot be impugned by 
authority," will altogether meet the tone or bearing of that 
assertion. Dr. Vance Smith himself would scarcely claim 
more than is implied by the Canon of Ely in the dedication 
prefixed to those lectures, where it is said that though the 
Holy Scriptures contain the materials for the doctrines of 
which the " decrees of Nicsea and Constantinople," or " the 
Trinitarian exegesis, which was completed after 600 years 
and more," are a development, they do not explicitly state 
those doctrines. Satisfactory — fully satisfactory — as that 
statement may be, so far as regards the learned Professor's 
own convictions, it will be regarded by most readers as 
seriously affecting the sound Anglican doctrine of the 
sufficiency and exclusive authority of Holy Scripture. Our 
Church maintains as one of its most fundamental principles 
that the decrees to which Dr. Kennedy refers are received 
because they may be proved by most certain warrant of 
Holy Writ, certainly not because they are a development 
of materials supplied by the Scriptures. That is a principle 
which assuredly none of the Eevisers would call in ques- 
tion ; it would indeed be a grievous evil were the represen- 
tatives of Socinianism entitled to plead, in support of their 
doctrines, the text of Scripture as it stands in the Eevisers' 

But I proceed to my own work. In the following pages 
I propose to examine in detail all passages in which serious 
innovations have been introduced in the Eevised Version. 
For the sake of clearness and completeness I will deal with 
them in order of time : 


(I.) Passages which refer to facts or sayings preceding 
or connected with the Nativity of our Lord. 

(II.) From the Nativity to the Baptism. 

(III.) The Baptism, Temptation, and first Ministrations 
of our Lord. 

(IV.) The Sermon on the Mount. 

(V.) To the close of our Lord's Ministrations in Galilee. 

(VI.) From Galilee to Jerusalem. 

(VII.) The events preceding or connected with the Cruci- 

(VIII.) The Eesurrection and Ascension. 

§ 12. For the convenience of the reader I will here very Authorities 
briefly give some account of the authorities referred to in foi^wTn^^in- 
the following notes. They will be discussed more fully in q^J^T- 
the latter portion of this work. 

(i.) Manuscripts, (a) Uncials, i.e. written, and therefore 
cited, in capital letters. 

K, Codex Sinaiticus, B, Codex Vaticanus ; these are the 
two oldest, written about the middle of the fourth century.* 

A (beginning with Matt. xxv. 8) and C ; ancient, not 
much later than the two oldest MSS. 

L, r, A, 11; late uncials, most frequently agreeing with ^{ 

E, F, G, generally agreeing with A. 

D, the most ancient, but very corrupt, witness to early 
Western readings. 

(y8) Cursives; these are marked by Arabic numerals, 1, 
2, 3, &c. 

(ii.) Early Versions, (a) Italic, marked a, h, c, d, f 
{a and h the best MSS. ; /, valuable as independent, 
called also Codex Brixianus). 

* When fc^'^ and B" are cited, the asterisk impUes tliat the reading was 
subsequently corrected. 


(/3) The Vulgate {Am, the best MS., Codex Amiatinus, 
published by Tischendorf). 

(7) Syriac Peshito, most ancient and most valuable, quoted 
Syr. p. 

(S) Syriac Cu., i.e. edited by Cureton ; ancient, but of 
doubtful a,uthority. 

(e) Coptic and Sahidic, ancient and valuable — both Alex- 

(iii.) Early Fathers, chiefly ante-Nicene, are quoted by 

The reader is requested to notice the proportion in which 
these several authorities are used by the Eevisers in doubtful 

The editions in which the authorities cited in this work 
are given most fully are the eighth of Tischendorf, and that 
of Dr. Tregelles. 

( 23 ) 




Facts or Sayings preceding or connected with the 

(a.) the genealogy of our lord. 

The Revisers leave the text generally untouched ; but in 
the margin they impute tioo plain and clear errors to the 
Evangelist. For Asa they tell us that the Greek has Asaph, 
and for Anion, Amos. See Matt. i. 7, 8, 10, 11. 

But by the " Greek " must of course be meant the Gospel 
as it came from St. Matthew. If the Revisers intended 
readers to understand either (a) that the text is not the 
production of the Evangelist, or (b) that, by such an expres- 
sion, they simply mean the text which they have seen fit to 
adopt, they were bound to state their view clearly. As this 
is the first reference to the margin, I must ask attention to 
the remarks in the Preface to the Revised Version, p. xix. 
" These notes fall into four main groups : first, notes speci- 
fying such differences of reading as were judged to be of 
sufficient importance to require a particular notice." It 
follows that such marginal notes are held to be important ; 
but the note here referred to goes much further. It tells us 
positively that the Greek, i.e. the original Gospel, has Asaph 
and Amos. 


Now it is certain that no one familiar with the Hebrew 
original or the Septiiagint conld have committed such 
blunders. It is quite conceivable that an officious scribe 
(especially in a time or region noticeable for what Eeiche — 
see above, p. 8 — calls socordia and licentia), who was familiar 
with the name of Asaph from the inscriptions to the 
Psalms, and of Amos as that of a great prophet, should 
foist them into his manuscript ; but it is to me perfectly- 
astounding that any critic should throw the responsibility 
for so positive a misstatement on St. Matthew. 

The change is made on the authority of «, B, C, fol- 
lowed by the Egyptian, and some MSS. of early Italic, 

That is, it rests on the recension which from the time of 
Origen was generally accepted in Egypt. Not completely so 
however in this case, for L, usually a close follower of B, 
is exculpated. 

Against the change we have all other uncials — Tischendorf 
cites nine — including several of the Alexandrian school ; all 
cursives but one ; the best MSS. of early Italic, and of the 
Vulgate ; the Syriac of Cureton, the Peshito, in all editions, 
and the Harcleian Version. 

I do not see what excuse can be suggested for the Eevisers. 
They were bound either to reject the new reading as a plain 
and clear error ; or if, as their marginal note implies, they 
held it to be the true original reading, they were bound to 
introduce it into the text. 

As it stands it is one j^9/ca?i and clear er?'or, whichever 
alternative is taken. 

I do not lay much stress on the omission of o /SacrcXev^ 
in V. 6. It is a repetition, and, as such, it is easily supplied. 
But it is noticeable for two reasons : (1) The omission of 
repetitions is characteristic of the two MSS., N, B, by which 
it is supported, having with them one uncial, T, and two 


cursives which generally agree with B. (2) The repeti- 
tion appears to me emphatic, intended to call our minds 
forcibly to a cardinal fact in the genealogy, and as such 
it is retained by all other MSS., uncial and cursive, and by 
all the best Versions, except the Egyptian, 

Matthew i. 18. — We have now to consider the new 
reading tyiveau'^ for y€vv7}ai<; and the marginal note. It is of 
importance, since it disguises the evident reference in v. 1 
to the first book in the Pentateuch, and obliterates the clear 
distinction draAvn by the Evangelist between the genealogy 
and the nativity. 

The external evidence for each of the two readings is 
weighty but not conclusive. For the Eevised Version stand, 
as usual, «, B, supported by C, P, and Z and three other uncials 
of less authority. For the old reading y6vvr]cn<; eight uncials, 
including L (showing a fluctuation in the Alexandrian recen- 
sion), and nearly all cursives. The authority of the MSS. 
which favour the new reading is materially affected by their 
extreme carelessness and irregularity in reference to 

The old Versions, with the exception of the Italic and 
Vulgate, have generally different words here and in v. 1. 

Of the early Fathers Tischendorf cites Didymus of Alex- 
andria as reading yevvTjcn^. Chrysostom discusses both 
words, yiv€cn<; and 'yevvrjai^, fully in his 4th homily on 
St. Matthew ; the former is taken by him as equivalent to 
yeveaXojia; the second he explains as referring to the 
nativity of Jesus Christ. See pp. 48 B, c, ed. Ben. 

The internal evidence is of course open to question ; to me 
it appears decidedly in favour of the Authorized Version. See 
the Quarterly Reviev:, Jan. 1881. I agree with the writer of 
that article, and deprecate the change,, not merely as un- 
necessary, but as inadmissible. 

I must now call attention to another point in the same 


verse of very grave importance. The marginal note tells us 
that " the Holy Sjnrit " may be substituted for " Holy Ghost " 
throughout this book; a notice which is repeated in St. Mark. 
Does this imply that the marginists object to the word 
" Ghost '"^. If so, it must be asked, on what grounds? Certainly 
not as an archaism. The word is in every Churchman's 
mouth continually. For the sake of consistency ? But 
Dr. Vance Smith complains bitterly of the inconsistency of 
his colleagues in reference to this very question — see ' Texts 
and Margins/ pp. 7, 8, 45. I would not suggest a doc- 
trinal bias ; but to prove that it had no influence a strong, 
if not unanimous, declaration on the part of the Eevisers 
is called for. Dr. Vance Smith alleges this notice as one of 
the clearest proofs that the Eevision ought in consistency 
to discard the word as *' a poor and almost obsolete equivalent 
for Spirit." 

(b.) the angelic salutation, or the annunciation. 
Luke i. 28. 

The last clause, " Blessed art thou among ivomen,'' disappears 
altogether from the text of the Eevised Version. 

The margin vouchsafes to tell us that " many ancient 
authorities " add those words. 

Would it be inferred from that notice that all ancient 
authorities except K, B, and L (the follower of B), and the 
Egyptian Version, have the words ? 

The authorities for the words are remarkable for their 
independence of each other, and for their weight separately 
and collectively ; 

A and C, Alexandrian, of the highest value ; 

D as witness to Western recension ; and five which in 
doubtful points generally support K and B. 

The best ancient Versions and the earliest Fathers, Ter- 


tullian {' de Virg.' vol. 6) and Eusebius (D. E. 329 c), so far 
as their testimony extends, support the old reading. 

The omission in the MSS. is attributable either to haste, or 
carelessness, or possibly to fastidious taste, characteristic of 
the recension which alone adopts it. 

One clear case of mutilation. 


Few points in the discussion are of equal importance. The 
angelic proclamation of the gospel of peace, in the form 
adopted in the most solemn of our devotional services, in 
the earliest and best known utterances of the Greek Church, 
has been altered in the Greek text, and the alteration is 
expressed in the Eevised Version by a rendering which is 
not only obscure to the last degree, but, in the opinion 
of able scholars, is scarcely reconcileable with the laws 
of language, and least intelligible to the most learned and 
careful readers. 

Here, however, I gladly admit that the adoption of the 
new reading and rendering cannot be attributed to doctrinal 
prepossession. Men eminent for piety and soundness in the 
faith had previously received it (e.g. Keble in the * Christian 
Year'). Moreover the Eevisers have manuscript authority 
sufficient to prove that their reading was known and adopted 
by many Churches at a very early time. 

We have simply to consider in the first place the external 
authorities for and against the new reading; in the next 
place the internal evidence, together with the renderings 
somewhat doubtfully given in the new text or suggested in 
the margin. 

For the new reading, evSo/cLa<; in place of evSoKia, Tischen- 
dorf adduces N^, A, B^, D, the Italic, Vulgate, and Gothic 


The asterisks mean that the reading in the text both of K 
and B was noted as incorrect by a critical scholar at the 
time when the manuscript was written. See Tischendorf.* 

The authority of A, however, is weighty. This is one of 
the very few instances in which that MS. supports the two 
somewhat older MSS. in what I cannot but regard as an 
erroneous innovation. 

As for D, the Codex Bezse, it is far too inaccurate, too 
strangely capricious, to be entitled to serious consideration ; 
were it not that here, as in many other instances, it represents 
a very early Western recension. 

On the other side stand all other uncials, including those 
which generally support the readings of B ; sc. L, F, A, A, H, 
and, as Tischendorf admits, every cursive manuscript. 

So far, allowing full weight to the authorities on the other 
side, we have an enormous preponderance both in number 
and in variety of independent witnesses. Of course Drs. 
Westcott and Hort, and, as it would seem, most of the 
Eevisers, reject mere numbers as a test, but in this case 
numbers do undoubtedly represent the tradition and views 
of the Church in various quarters. 

The old Versions are divided. It has been stated above 
that the early Italic and the Vulgate have honce voluntatis, 
and the Gothic godis viljins, "of good will," proving the 
general adoption of the reading in the West, and its existence 
in the MS. at Constantinople used by Ulfila. 

* ' Novum Testamentum Sinaiticum,' p. 4, " o- erasum." The duty 
of the critic, or reviser, was to correct what he regarded as errors of the 
calligrapher ; hence his technical designation, 6 diop6a>Tr)s. The diorthota of 
the Sinaitic Codex is said by Tischendorf to have done his work carelessly 
or hastily, but with considerable ability. In this case the erasure of <r 
is important, for it invalidates the evidence of the MS. The a must either 
have been taken from a copy which the diorthota held to be incorrect, or 
it may have been a blunder of the scribe : to use the words of Eusebius, 
<T<l)cikfxa ypa(f)t(os. 


But the weight on the other side is far greater. In the 
first place the Coptic, a certain witness as to the views of 
the Egyptian Chiirch in the third and fourth century, has 
0'»"f~JUL^'f" ^ert ItlptOJULI = evSoKLa iv roi? dvdpa)'7roL<;, and 
it is followed by the ^thiopic, which represents the Atha- 
nasian tradition, as well as by the Armenian Version — 
together leaving no room for doubt as to the reading adopted 
by that very important branch of the Church which was most 
decidedly under the influence of Origen and his followers. 

Both Syriac Versions, in such a question of the highest 
authority, agree with this reading. 

The testimony of the best and earliest Fathers demands 
careful consideration. We have the Latin translations of 
passages in which Irenseus and Origen to some extent 
support the new reading ; but in three passages (' c. Cel.,' 
i. 60 ; ' In PsaL' xlv. 10 ; and ' In Joannem,' i. § 13) Origen 
quotes evhoKia in Greek. It is quite clear from the words 
of Irenseus, ''suam benignitatem salutis de cselo misit," 
that he connected evhoKia — or evEoKia^;, if he had that 
reading before him — with God. Origen, as w^e shall see, 
whatever he may have read, differs from the Revisers totally 
as to the meaning. As to the other Fathers, the Latins 
agree with the Eevisers, but the Greeks are nearly unani- 
mous against them. Gregory Thaumaturgus, the devoted fol- 
lower of Origen ; Eusebius, thrice, the great authority of the 
ultra-liberal school in the fourth century ; Basil, Epiphanius, 
Cyril Alex., and from Chrysostom onwards all Greek Fathers, 
decisively support the old reading. 

So far as the reading is concerned, I fully admit that, had 
the Revisers been requested or authorized to notice all 
variations resting on fair authority, they would have been 
fully justified in stating, in the margin, that some ancient 
authorities read evhoKia^ ; but the introduction of the ren- 
dering founded upon that reading into the text, implies 


that the Authorized text here contains a plain and clear 
error ; and therefore that the alteration is necessary, a state- 
ment which few, I think, even of those who go farthest with 
the Eevisers, would venture to maintain. 

Passing from the reading to the rendering we observe, 
(1) that the versions in the text and in the margin of the 
Eevised Version are scarcely intelligible ; neither, so far as I 
can judge, is in accordance with the laws of Greek construc- 
tion ; and (2) they are wholly without patristic authority. 

(1) " Men in whom he is well pleased " (E. V. text) seems 
to me impossible as a translation of avOpwirou 6vBoKia<;. I do 
not know whether those Greek words have any meaning, but, 
if they have, they must designate men of a certain quality or 
character, as the Latins express it, homines honce voluntatis ; 
or as the Gothic, " men of good will," godis viljins. Westcott 
and Hort, who feel the diffiiculty and strangeness of the 
expression, refer to the Hebrew idiom, i.e. anshe ratzon 
(pvi ''K^:«). But that is not an idiom which occurs at all in 
the Old Testament.* Ratzon, indeed, is a very common 
w^ord and answers exactly to evSoKia, but it always refers to 
the good will of God to man; and as I repeat, it is never 
found in combination with man. If the idiom did occur 
it would be perplexing, but, if it were explicable, it would 
mean men of complacency, men who acquiesce in God's will. 

The objection to the doctrine, which seems to be involved 
in the rendering " in whom he is well pleased," appears to 
me very formidable. It implies that the peace proclaimed by 

* I observe that Delitzsch, in his Hebrew translation of the New 
Testament, gives, as an alternative reading, and therefore rendering, 
131 VI '•K^JXj anshe retzono, " men of his good pleasure," which, were it 
correct, would give a very dilBferent meaning from that of the Revisers ; 
but to which the twofold objection must be made, that the phrase has no 
parallel in the Hebrew Scriptures, and that the suffix his has no authority 
in the Greek text. 


the angel is, not a reconciliation with humanity as completed 
in the person of its Great Eepresentative, but with those 
only who are designated or predestined to salvation. I 
do not think that the Eevisers would accept that view. 

What is meant by the marginal rendering " men of good 
pleasure," I am utterly at a loss to conjecture. 

(2) Patristic authority. See above. It may here be sufficient 
to confine myself to Origen's interpretation. Unfortunately 
we have only the Latin interpretation of his homily on 
Luke ii. 13-16, but as, on the one hand, it is certain that 
he read elprjvr) iv dvOpcoTrot^ (or rot? dv6pco7roL<;) evhoKia<;, 
so also is it certain that he connected evBoKia^ with elpTJvr} ; 
and that he understood the passage to mean " and on earth 
the peace of good will to men," i.e. the peace of reconciliation. 
So that while Origen differs from the Authorized Version as 
to the form, he agrees with it entirely as to the substance of 
the announcement. 

Here, however, is the passage in Origen (tom. iii. p. 946 E, 
Ed. Benedict.) : " Diligens scripturse lector inquirat quomodo 
Salvator loquitur : non veni pacem mittere super terram, sed 
gladium : et nunc Angeli in ejus nativitate decantant : supra 
terram pax. — Si scriptum asset : super terram pax, et hucus- 
que esset finita sententia, recte quaestio nasceretur. Nunc 
vero in eo quod additum est, hoc est quod post pacem 
dicitur : in hominihus honce voluntatis, solve t quaes tionem. 
Pax enim quam non dat Dominus super terram, non est pax 
bonse voluntatis." 

If I may here venture to put forward my own view of the 
whole matter, I would suggest that in Italy, or rather in l^orth 
Africa, a Latin translator found in the manuscript before him 
evBoKiaf}, probably a mere lapsus calami, and, being ill ac- 
quainted with Greek, rendered it hona^ voluntatis. That 
reading and that rendering — the latter totally differing y?"C)??i 
the text and the marginal note in the R. V. — were generally 


adopted in the Western Church, specially, however, if not 
exclusively, by African Fathers. The reading was adopted 
in one Alexandrian recension (doubtfully at first, and it was 
afterwards rejected), but with a rendering altogether unlike 
the Western or the modem in substance and bearing. 

On the other hand, the Eastern Churches, and in fact all 
independent Churches, kept the old reading, the only one 
known to early Greek Fathers ; and when time and oppor- 
tunity w^ere found for thorough investigation, even the 
Alexandrians — as represented by the MSS. above cited, and 
by the Coptic and ^thiopic Versions — restored it to its 
proper place. So it is found in the ancient Greek Liturgies ; 
so it stands in our Liturgy ; and so it will stand, if not undis- 
puted, yet firmly fixed in the minds of Anglican Churchmen. 

This single alteration, with its impossible English and 
liability to doctrinal misrepresentation, would be sufficient 
seriously to affect the position of the Eevisers. I do not see 
how they can meet the charge of a grave departure from the 
conditions on which they applied for, and on which they 
accepted, their trust. 

Nor can I conclude without calling serious attention to the 
fact that the question had been fully discussed, and that a 
diametrically opposite decision had been maintained, by a 
most able critical scholar, one whose authority ought to have 
balanced, if not outweighed, that of the two editors who are 
specially responsible for the reading. See Scrivener's ' Intro- 
duction to the Criticism of the IST. T./ ed. 2, p. 513 seq. 

( 33 ) 


From the Nativity to the Baptism of our Lord. 

So far as regards our Lord's personal history, tlie altera- 
tions in this section do not appear to be of serious import- 
ance. But, 

(1) As bearing upon the relative value of MSS., I observe 
that in Luke ii. 40, TrveviMari is omitted after iKparaLovro, 
certainly not from any doctrinal bias, though not without 
bearings upon the doctrine of our Lord's humanity. 

The change is made on the authority of ^<, B, D, L, the early 
Italic and Vulgate, Sahidic and Coptic, the later Syriac and 
Armenian Versions ; against A, an independent witness, and 
five uncials which usually support B, and the old Syriac and 
.^thiopic Versions. 

The E. V. omits it without notice ; a strong, and, I think, 
an unjustifiable proceeding. 

(2) In the same chapter, v. 43, E. V. has " his parents " 
instead of " Joseph and his mother." This change is not im- 
portant, since St. Luke has " parents " (yoveU) in v. 41, but 
it is unpleasing. It would almost seem as though St. Luke 
avoids repeating an expression which might be misunderstood ; 
and eight uncials, two (A and C) of first-class authority, three 
(X, A, TI) generally supporters of B, most cursives, b, c, f, in- 
dependent witnesses to early Italic, the Gothic, Syriac, and 
iEthiopic have " Joseph and his mother ; " so also the Coptic * 

* The edition of the Coptic Version of the New Testament published 
by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, under the super- 
intendence of Dr. Tattam, has been said to be of no value for critical 



(ed. of S. P. C. K.). The new reading is partly Alexandrian, 
N*, B, L, 1, 13, Sahidic and Coptic ; supported by D, which 
offers simply one instance of usual carelessness. 

Surely the change to yoveU, fresh in the transcriber's 
memory from v. 41, is most naturally accounted for as a case 
of assimilation — to which, in most instances, Westcott and 
Hort attach great weight. The old reading needs no cor- 

(3) Luke ii. 49. — I cannot think that the Eevisers were 
justified in altering '' about my Father's business " of the A. V. 
and substituting for it " in my Father's house." This may 
be the true meaning of the Greek, but it is far from certain. 
With their own marginal alternative, and their somewhat 
awkward rendering of the Greek, before them, it seems a 
bold thing to condemn the Authorized Version as being a 
plain and clear error. In fact, "171 the things'' is a very 
awkward rendering. The Greek is ambiguous, and I believe 
it is purposely chosen as a comprehensive expression. Our 
Lord used words which implicitly declared the whole .pur- 
port of His life on earth ; but that was to be " about His 
Father's business," engaged in His Father's affairs, certainly 
not simply to be in His Father's house, if by the house is 
meant the Temple. The Hebrew Aversion (London, 1849) 
renders the words ^3K *J^';)V3. Delitzsch, in his Hebrew Ver- 
sion of the N. T., uses the more general expression ^3^5^ "i^^?, 

purposes ; and this statement has the authority of an eminent scholar, 
the present Bishop of Durham, to whom we are indebted for copious 
notices of MSS. of this and the other Egyptian Versions ; see Scrivener's 
* Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament,' p. 331. I must, 
however, quote against this decision the opinion of an excellent critic, of 
the highest authority on all questions of Egyptian antiquity, Ludwig 
Stern. In the notices of Coptic literature at the end of his Coptic 
Grammar, a most important contribution to the knowledge of that 
language, published 1880, that critic says of this edition, «'Werthvolle 
Prachtausgabe nach guten Handschriften " (]iage 442). 


i.e. " in what belongs to my Father." We want an English 
expression equally comprehensive. 

An unnecessary and unsatisfactory change. 


Here we have first to notice the strange and significant 
changes in the introductory matter of St. Mark's Gospel. 

(1) Mark i. 1. — First I must call attention to the omission 
in the first clause of " Son of God," vlov deov or rov deov, 
suggested in the margin. 

I notice it with surprise and sorrow. The words are 
emphatic ; they denote with singular force and distinctness 
the special characteristic of St. Mark's Gospel. As the 
first Gospel brings before us most prominently the theocratic 
King, the Son of David the king (see above, p. 24) expected by 
the Hebrews; so the second Gospel dwells specially upon 
all manifestations of the Son of God, in His widest sphere of 
action, in His relations to Hebrews and Gentiles. 

I would venture to refer to my own note on the words in 
the 'Speaker's Commentary.' It states not my own view 
merely, but that of some of the most thoughtful and clear- 
sighted interpreters of Holy Writ. To obliterate this charac- 
teristic trait seems to me an act of singular temerity. We 
inquire on what authority the Revisers rely. 

The answer will surely astonish most readers. They have 
actually but one uncial MS., one which they seldom follow 
in doubtful cases, the Sinaitic Codex, K, corrected, however, 
by the diorthota, a contemporary hand ; and two cursives, 
28, 255. Against the omission, their own highest authority 
B; the authority to which they attach special importance 
when it countenances omissions, D ; also L, and in a word 
all other uncials, all other cursives, and without any excep- 

D 2 


tion all ancient Versions. See too the testimony of Iren^eus 
(lib. iii. c. xvi. § 3), quoted a little further on. 

As to the omission in N% corrected as it was by the first 
hand, I do not attribute it to any doctrinal prepossession, but 
simply to the characteristic negligence, or the haste, of the 
first transcriber. The words, if inserted, as they were by the 
first corrector (see Tischendorf, Cod. Sin. p. xlviii.), would 
have altered the arrangement in crr/^ot and given the hasty 
transcriber some trouble. See my remarks on the signs of 
extreme haste in this Codex, Part III. Section iv. 

Tischendorf, however, alleges patristic authority. To that 
authority I should attach the very highest importance; 
but it seems to me evident, on referring to the passages 
which he quotes, that the words were omitted simply on 
the ground that they had no bearing upon the points in 

I cannot but regard this omission as a plain and dear 
error, and one of serious importance in the Eevised Version. 

(2) Mark i. 2. — The Eevisers alter the text; instead of 
" the Prophets," they have '* Isaiah the Prophet," informing 
us in the margin that " some ancient authorities " support the 
Authorized Version.* They ought surely to have said many. 

Now one thing is certain. The statement which assigns 
the two prophecies to Isaiah, as it stands in the R. V., is a 
plain and clear error. The first prophecy belongs to Malachi. 
The question is simply this. Is the error to be attributed to 
St. Mark, or to a transcriber ? 

The ancient critics who adopted it as a recognized reading 
agreed in one point. To whomsoever it is to be attributed, it 
was an error of the transcriber. So Eusebius, Ypat^eco? 

♦ The Greek of Irenaeiis, iii. 12. 8, p. 467 seqq. eel. Stieren, is taken 
from Anastasius Sinaita, see p. 39 ; the quotation in p. 470 is inaccurate. 
For a positive testimriny of Irena?iis see the passage quoted l^low. 


iarl (r(f)aX/jLa, and Jerome, adopting his words, "nomen Isaiae 
putamus additum scriptoris vitio." 

There is no question as to its being a very ancient error, 
however it may have been introduced ; and critics who rest 
exclusively on the oldest extant MSS. could not but accept 
it, certainly as the oldest and most general, and therefore, in 
their minds, the only true reading. 

They have for them K, B, D,L, A — i.e. the Eusebian recension 
supported by the corrupt representative MS. of the Western 
recension — twenty-five cursives, the Sahidic, and the Vulgate ; 
also two, not the most imijortant, Syriac Versions, and some 
copies of the Coptic. 

Against them A, E, F, G^"pp, H, K, M, P, S, U, V, F, H, 
uncials remarkable either for general correctness, or for their 
general agreement with the Eusebian recension ; the majority 
of cursives ; two of the best Versions, one independent and of 
the highest value, the Peshito, the other important for its 
general accuracy, and in this case as belonging usually to the 
opposite school, viz. the Coptic, confirmed in this instance by 
the ^tliiopic and Armenian. 

As to other external authorities it is admitted that the 
greater number of the Fathers in the East and West, from 
the fourth century downwards, agree with the new text. 

One authority however, which, in my opinion, outweighs 
all tliose of later centuries, sc. Irenseus, ought to be admitted 
as most decidedly supporting the reading " in the Prophets." 
At a merely superficial glance his evidence may be regarded 
as ambiguous. In one passage (see below) where the text is 
quoted without special reference to its bearing we find '' in the 
Prophet Isaiah." But in another passage Irenseus has occa- 
sion to point out distinctly and fully the whole drift and 
purport of the second Gospel ; and that passage proves in- 
controvertibly that he had before him, and knew that his 
adversaries had before them, the reading which alone exonerates 


the Evangelist from the charge of ignorance, or inconceivable 
carelessness. I will quote it at length, both because of its 
signal importance, and its bearings not merely upon this 
question, but upon the structure of the Gospel, and espe- 
cially upon its integrity — see further on, p. 123 : 

" Quapropter et Marcus interpres et sectator Petri initium 
evangelicee conscriptionis fecit sic: 'Initium evangelii Jesu 
Christi Filii Dei, quemadmodum scriptum est in prophetis : 
Ecce, mitto angelum meum ante faciem tuam, qui prsepa- 
rabit viam tuam. Vox clamantis in deserto : Parate viam 
Domini, rectas facite semitas ante Deum nostrum.' Mani- 
feste initium evangelii esse dicens sanctorum prophetarum 
voces, et eum, quern ipsi Dominum et Deum confessi sunt, 
hunc Patrem Domini nostri Jesu Christi prgemonstrans, qui 
et promiserit ei angelum suum ante faciem ejus missurum ; 
qui erat Joannes, 'in spiritu et virtute Helise' damans in 
eremo : ' Parate viam Domini, rectas facite semitas ante 
Deum nostrum.' Quoniam quidem non alium et alium 
prophetse annuntiabant Deum, sed unum et eundem, variis 
autem significationibus et multis appellationibus : multus 
enim et dives Pater quemadmodum in eo libro qui ante 
hunc est, ostendimus ; et ex ipsis autem prophetis proce- 
dente nobis sermone ostendemus. In fine autem evangelii 
ait Marcus : ' et quidem Dominus Jesus, postquam locutus 
est eis, receptus est in caelos, et sedet ad dexteram Dei ; ' 
confirmans quod a propheta dictum est : ' Dixit Dominus 
Domino meo: Sede a dextris meis, quoadusque ponam 
inimicos tuos suppedaneum pedum tuorum.' " Lib. iii. c. x. 
§ 6, p. 461, ed. Stieren. 

This full statement leaves no room for doubt as to the 
testimony of Irenteus, and consequently to the general recep- 
tion of the old reading in the second century, nearly two 
hundred years earlier than the oldest witness that can be 
adduced for the other readin^-. 


In another passage Irenyeus refers to the passage in distinct 
terms, lib. iii. xvi. 3, where the context, as Massuet observes, 
proves decisively that this was the true reading in the 
original Greek. (See Stieren's ed. torn. ii. p. 880.) Here 
is the passage : " Propter hoc et Marcus ait : ' Initium 
evangelii Jesu Christi Filii Dei, quemadmodum scriptum est 
in j^rophetis : ' unum et eundem sciens Filium Dei Jesum 
Christum, quia prophetia annuntiatus est," &c. This passage 
should be noted in reference to the question previously dis- 
cussed, p. 36. 

Once however Irena3us has the name Isaiah, both in the 
Latin interpretation and in the Greek, as it stands in a very 
inaccurate form in Anastasius Sinaita (see the notes in 
Stieren's edition, lib. iii. c. xi. § 8, p. 467). It should be 
borne in mind, not only that the citation in the ' Hodegos ' 
of Anastasius is loose and inexact, but that the writer, who 
lived towards the end of the seventh century, was a monk 
in the convent where the Codex Sinaiticus was lately 
found, and was doubtless the great authority from a much 
earlier time. Anastasius would naturally, as a matter of 
course, in quoting the passage in Irenaeus, use the reading 
with which he was familiar, probably the only one of which 
he was cognizant. It is unlikely that Irenteus should have 
had two different texts before him, and we have no alter- 
native but to admit a corruption in this one, or in the two 
other passages ; if so there can be no doubt that the true 
reading is that which alone is supported by the context. 

In questions where external authorities are divided all 
critics agree as to the propriety of inquiring into internal 
evidence ; and (1) in the first place as to the usage of the 
writer. Now St. Mark differs from other Evangelists in 
that in his own person he never quotes a prophet by name ; 
once he records a name expressly cited l)y our Lord; in 
ch. xiii. 14, where the name Daniel occurs, it is held by critics 


to be an interpolation from Matt. xxiv. 15. (2) It is cer- 
tain that the writer of the Gospel knew that the two pro- 
phecies here quoted came from distinct sources, since that 
of Malachi is translated from the Hebrew, that of Isaiah is 
taken from the Septuagint. (3) The instances of interpo- 
lation of the name of Isaiah are striking, and, in every case 
where the reading is at all doubtful, of great importance. 
One of the most remarkable occurs in Matt. xiii. 35, where 
Isaiah is interpolated in the Codex Sinaiticus, and adopted 
as the true reading by Tischendorf (see further on, p. 73). In 
Matt. i. 22, D and some early Italic MSS. interpolate Isaiah. 
The former instance is peculiarly instructive as a gross error, 
the latter as exemplifying a very mischievous habit of early 
transcribers. (4) No argument is urged more frequently by 
modern critics than that clear indications of assimilation are 
fatal to any contested reading. But in this passage as given 
in the Eevised Version we have a clear case of assimi- 
lation to Matt. iii. 2, the passage most likely to be in the 
mind of the copyist. In fact St. Luke and St. Matthew 
quote also the prophecy of Malachi, but without mentioning 
his name. (5) It was natural that a scribe or editor should 
introduce the name of the prophet best known to himself 
and to his readers ; first probably in the margin as a gloss, 
which at an early period was transferred to the text. Possibly 
this process may have occurred in other passages; in one 
there can be no doubt that an equally gross error was im- 
puted without any authority to St. Matthew, who in a very 
early text, of Western origin, remarkable for " socordia et 
licentia," is made to assign our Lord's quotation from the 
Psalms to Isaiah : an error retained by the Sinaitic Codex 
and adduced triumphantly by Tischendorf as a proof of its 
venerable antiquity. 

I must also repeat my observation in the ' Speaker's 
Commentary, New Testament,' vol. i. p. 210, that the reading 


eV Tft> 'Uaata, adopted by Tischendorf, and in the Greek text 
of the Kevised Version, is contrary to the use of the New 
Testament. The name Isaiah occurs twenty-four times; 
never with the article. 

It is assuredly strange to impute to the Evangelist an 
error natural and excusable in the first innovator and in the 
transcribers ; nor can I regard the consent of modern critics, 
weighty as it is so far as regards the actual reading at an 
early period, as conclusive in regard to the original reading, 
i.e. to the words of the Gospel as first delivered by the 

One thing is at least certain. The statement in the text 
as it stands in the Eevised Version is more than incorrect ; 
it is a plain and clear error. 

(3) Mark i. 5. — The Eevised Version tells us that all'iliQ 
people of Jerusalem went out to John the Baptist. 

What St. Mark, according to the Authorized Version, tells 
us is that people from all Judsea, and they of Jerusalem, 
went out, and that all who came to him were baptized. 

For the new reading they have N^ B, D, K, L, 28, 33, 102, 
old Italic, Vulgate, and Coptic. 

Against it we have {a) The facts of the case. 

(5) Nine uncials, most of the cursives, 
the Peshito, Gothic, and Ethiopian 
I.e. the Western and Alexandrian against Christendom as 
represented by good MSS. and Versions, 

This change has no doctrinal bearing. I look upon it as 
owing originally to mere oversight, a hasty transcription ; 
but it is of importance, inasmuch as it imputes to the Evan- 
gelist an inaccurate statement. 



The Baptism, Temptation, and first Ministrations of 
OUR Lord. 

(a.) the baptism. 

No alterations of serious importance are made in the record 
of this transaction ; but some variations are noticeable. 

(1) In Mark i. 9, the margin tells us that the Greek has 
into the Jordan. This statement must be perplexing to a 
reader, who might naturally refer to the last words in St. 
Matthew's Gospel, on the opposite page, where into is rightly 
used, if taken in the full doctrinal sense.* To " baptize into 
a river " is not an English idiom, 

(2) In V. 10, opened is altered into rent. Now it is cer- 
tainly not easy, perhaps in this place scarcely possible, to 
give the precise force of the Greek, which has the present 
passive participle, cr^^tfoyU/eVof? ; but if a new rendering is to be 
introduced it should not be one that suggests o-^^to-^ei^ra?, 
or €a^iatJbevov<^. The Authorized Version should be left 
alone, or thoroughly corrected and the correction explained. 
This is a somewhat minute point, but it refers to a minute 
and somewhat pedantic innovation ; if of any importance, it is 

* Odg of the Revisers, however, Dr. Vance Smith, welcomes the 
alteration in that most important text as obliterating the evidence for 
Trinitarian doctrine. Such was certainly not the intention of his col- 
leagues, who are surely bound to protest against his inference. I would 
ask the reader to note this indication that each translation, I must add 
each revision, "enthiilt die Keime eincr besondern Thcologic." See my 
'Second Letter to the Bishop of London,' p. 5, note. 


in its bearing upon the Eevisers' special claims to accuracy 
in the use of tenses. 

(3) Next comes a change in the text, and of course in 
the rendering. In v. 11, the Authorized Version has ^?^ whom 
I am ludl 'pleased, the Eevised Version in thee I am ivell 
pleased, reading aoi for w. 

For the change there is the authority of t«, B, D^'", L, A, 
and most of the old Versions, i.e. of the Eusebian recension. 

Against it, however, stand eight uncials. A, independent 
and weighty, V and IT, generally agreeing with B, most cur- 
sives, and some Versions. 

It is regarded as a case of assimilation, cf. Matt. iv. 
That of course is possible, to me it seems improbable ; but it 
cannot surely be maintained that the alteration is necessary. 

(b.) the temptation. 

Here I have only to remark that two omissions in St. 
Luke's account, ch. iv. vv. 4 and 5, are scarcely justifiable. 

After bread alone, even Lachmann has ahX eirl iravTl p/j/jiart 
6eov, with eight uncials, all known cursives, Latin Versions, 
Syriac, Gothic, Armenian, and Coptic (ed. Wilkins). 

For the new reading x, B, L, the Sahidic, and one edition 
of the Coptic Version. 

Following the same authorities E. V. omits eZ? 6po<; vyjrrjXov, 
against the same preponderance of witnesses. 

The reader of a copy of St. Luke's Gospel in which these 
words were omitted must have been sorely perplexed as to 
the meaning of the words and he led him ujx Eeaders now, 
of course, supply to a high mountain from memory ; but those 
Gentiles or Hebrews, who had only this Gospel to lead them, 
had no such help. 

An unnecessary, vexatious, and probably an incorrect 



St. Matthew, iv. 17, tells us, in our Lord's own words, 
that he preached, Eepcnt, for the kingdom of heaven is 
at hand {fierajjoelre, rj^'yiice yap rj ^aaCkela roiv ovpavwv). 
St. Mark, i. 14, as his words stand in the Authorized 
Version, gives the exact purport of that preacliing, but in a 
narrative form : Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the Gospel 
of the kingdom of God. He uses the expression which 
denotes its special characteristics — to evayyeXiov — the glad 
tidings, the Gospel ; and he substitutes for rcov ovpavcov — a 
term which might need explanation for Gentile readers — the 
unmistakeable word God. What our Saviour proclaimed, 
according to both Evangelists, was the glad tidings that the 
kingdom of heaven, in other words, of God, was about to be 
manifested in power. 

But the Kevisers reject the words the Idngdom, and intro- 
duce an expression which is never used in the Gospels ; sc. 
the Gospel of God. Now that expression is in itself quite 
correct when it occurs, having a definite meaning, both in 
the Pauline Epistles and what, in this case, is specially 
important, in the Epistle of St. Mark's own master, St. 

It must however be noted that in those Epistles the 
meaning of evayyiXtov is, not the Gospel which proclaims 
God, but the Gospel give^i hy God, or by Christ, when. the 
expression " the Gospel of Christ " occurs. In the Gospels, 
the word means the glad tidings or announcement of the 
Person or event which it concerns. In other words, in the 
Epistles the following genitive is, generally speaking, 
subjective ; in the Gospels it is objective. 

Hence it follows that St. Mark, as he speaks in the 
Authorized Version, is in perfect accordance with St. 
Matthew so far as the substance of the announcement 


is concerned ; but in form the variation is marked ; it 
suffices to obviate the usual suggestion of probable 

The statements are distinct and independent. 

Now for the authority. 

For the Eevised Version, as might be expected, ^^, B, L, 1, 
28, 209, Eusebian or Alexandrian, followed by the Coptic, 
also the Armenian, the Syriac in common editions, and 
Origen, tom. iv. pp. 161, 170. 

For the Authorized Version, nine uncials, including three 
independent recensions, A, D, and A, with V and IT, nearly 
all cursives, the best MSS. of early Italic, the Vulgate and 
the Syriac according to the best MSS., the ^Ethiopic, and 

That is, we have an innovation resting on a very narrow 
foundation, and hardly reconcileable with the usage of Holy 

The change appears to me indefensible, especially having 
regard to the conditions on which the work of revision was 
entrusted to the Committee. 

Mark i. 27. — We have now to consider St. Mark's record 
of a very important point, viz. the effect produced upon the 
hearers of our Lord's first discourse, and the witnesses of His 
first miracle, in the synagogue of Capernaum. 

The Authorized Version describes the effect in these terms : 
" And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned 
among themselves, saying, What thing is this ? What new 
doctrine is this ? for with authority commandeth he even the 
unclean spirits, and they do obey him." 

For the last words the Eevised Version substitutes, " What 
is this ? a new teaching ! with authority he commandeth even 
the unclean spirits, and they obey him." 

Here the Eevisers give no intimation in the margin 
that they follow a new reading, or that there is any authority 


for that which is followed in the Authorized Version, They 
simply reject the old reading and rendering, as a plain and 
clear error. 

Now that fair authority can be adduced for their innova- 
tion is unquestionable ; and it is a fact that late editors and 
commentators accept it generally, on the ground that it 
presents a vivid picture, characteristic of the second Gospel, 
and a new and striking thought. 

But whether we consider the external or the internal 
evidence, we meet with facts and reasons which may well 
make us hesitate before we accept the innovation as the 
more probable, not to say, with the Eevisers, as the only 
true reading and rendering. 

So far as the words are concerned, the first clause, rl ea-ri 
rovTo ; StSa')(r] Kaivrj Kar e^ovalav Kal, is found in i^, B, L, and 
two cursives, 33, 102 ; but the punctuation rests upon 
editorial authority only. Tischendorf connects a new teach- 
ing with the words tvith authority ; but Lachmann, who 
accepts the reading, has a totally different punctuation, in 
which he is followed by the Eevisers : " What is this ? a 
new teaching ! with authority he commands even the unclean 
spirits," &c. 

It must also be observed that there is much fluctuation in 
the MSS. and Versions which support the new reading. 

On the other side are arranged eight uncials — two inde- 
pendent and of high authority, A and C ; three others which 
generally agree with &5 and B; most cursives; and with 
slight variation, the Syriac, Vulgate, Gothic, Coptic, Armenian, 
and iEthiopic Versions ; in fact a vast preponderance both 
as regards numbers and independence. 

The internal evidence will be estimated variously accord- 
ing to the taste, feeling, or judgment of critics. I was quite 
willing, when the question came first before me, to acquiesce 
in the decision of the critics to whom I have already referred, 


and I fully admit the force of their arguments. Yet argu- 
ments of no small weight may be urged on the opposite side. 
It is to be observed that the impression made by our 
Lord's teaching, its originality and authoritative character, 
had been previously recorded by the Evangelists, see 'z;. 22 ; 
here, therefore, it was to be expected that attention would be 
specially directed to the corroboration of that authority 
which was supplied by the miraculous act. In my note, 
p. 210, in the ' Speaker's Commentary ' I quoted some remarks 
of Keim, to the effect that " it was the lot of the greatest 
Personality which ever appeared in the world, of the most 
sublime discourse which ever sounded in the world, to be 
reckoned as less grand, noble, beautiful than the outward 
result presented to the senses of the people." (See Keim, 
* Leben Jesu,' ii. p. 287.) These remarks go beyond the 
truth; for, as I have pointed out, the admiration of the 
people had been drawn forth and forcibly expressed when 
they heard our Lord speak ; but we are reminded by them 
that on the second occasion a far greater variation in the 
record was to be looked for than is found in the new reading. 
That variation comes out naturally and forcibly in the words 
as they stand in the Manuscripts and Versions which support 
the Authorized Version ; and although, taking every point 
into consideration, I would not maintain that they are the 
ipsissima verba of St. Mark, I certainly would and must 
maintain that they are entitled to recognition. 

Had the Eevisers given a place to their rendering in the 
margin they would, in my opinion, have been justified; had 
they left the Authorized text intact they would have shown 
due regard to their trust ; but, I say it with reluctance and 
hesitation, they had no right to substitute their new reading 
and their new rendering of that reading for the perfectly 
intelligible and well-supported statement in the Authorized 



The Seemon on the Mount. 

Matt, v.-vii. ; Liilce vi. 20-49. — In considering the Eevisers' 
treatment of this discourse, which, as all critics agree, con- 
tains in the most complete and distinct form the very pith 
and substance of our Lord's ethical and spiritual teaching, 
we have to call attention not merely to the number, but to 
the weight and bearing of their alterations. Compared, 
indeed, with portions of equal extent in the other Evan- 
gelists, especially St. Mark and St. Luke, the number of 
textual innovations is less than might be expected ; but 
some of them are of vital importance. 

(1) V. 4, 5. — We first observe in the Beatitudes that a 
transposition of vv. 4 and 5 is noticed, and, as the Preface 
leads us to conclude, is to some extent commended, in the 
marginal note. 

The transposition is somewhat startling, since it disturbs 
the sequence of thoughts brought out clearly and forcibly 
by Chrysostom; nor do I see any internal grounds for 
presenting it as worthy of consideration. 

The reader will be surprised to find on referring to critical 
editions that it is supported by one uncial only, D, — most 
remarkable for recklessness and caprice — followed by one 
cursive only; against the whole body of MSS., uncial 
(including of course N, B) and cursive, and the most weighty 
authorities, the best ancient Versions, and those early 
Fathers who deal specially with the interpretation. The 
fact that the change is supported by some MSS. of the early 


Italic, and countenanced by notices of some ancient Fathers, 
e.g. Origen, might justify a notice in a new critical edition of 
the ISTew Testament, but in a work intended for general 
readers, such a statement as that in the margin is unnecessary 
and misleading. 

(2) V. 22. — We next observe the omission of the word 
eLKT), rendered witJwut a cause, in v. 22. The omission of 
a qualification of the general statement, wJiosoever is angry 
with his brother, rests on the authority of s, B, and (according 
to Tischendorf *) one other uncial, A ; but from notices 
in some early Fathers it may be inferred that the Greek 
text in some ancient and wide-spread recensions omitted 
el/cTj ; and provided that full force Avere allowed to the present 
participle op^itpiJievo^, that word might be dispensed with. 
This, however, is not the case with the rendering in 
our Authorized Version, which is retained by the Eevisers. 
To "be angry" does not imply, as the Greek does, 
habitual or persistent anger, at once sinful, and perilous to 
him who indulges it. If, therefore, the reading be admitted, 
we object to the rendering as conveying, if not a false, cer- 
tainly an incomplete, impression as to our Lord's meaning. 
And again, considering the very scanty evidence for the 
omission, and the immense preponderance of authorities 
against it, we maintain that it ought not to have been 
adopted in the text. 

Here I must remark that the words invariably used in 
the margin when it refers to n and B, sc. " the two oldest 
MSS.," though literally correct, are practically misleading. 
The reader would scarcely infer from them that other 
MSS., such as A, C, are nearly equal in antiquity and 
conjointly of great authority ; or again, that the evidence 

* I must refer the reader to the exhaustive discussion of this reading in 
the Quarterly Review, April 1882, pp. 373 seq. A ought not to have 
been cited as supporting ^, B. 



of N and B in many cases is opposed to that of Versions 
and Fathers at once more ancient and more trustworthy. 
This is especially important in cases of omission, for 
which those two MSS. are notorious, and, in spite of the 
assertion of Dr. Hort, demonstrably conspicuous. This point 
however will be discussed in the third division of my work. 

I am glad to observe that the Eevisers do not notice a 
very grave omission, that of the last portion of v. 32, which 
Westcott and Hort enclose in double brackets. The only 
uncial manuscript which omits it is D, followed by one 
cursive, supported by some MSS. of early Italic, and by a 
notice of Jerome that " nonnuUi codices, et graeci et latini," 
have it not. Although the Revisers neither adopt it nor 
notice it in their margin, it is right to call attention to it as 
an instance of the singular habit of the two critics of accept- 
ing the testimony of D in cases of omission, a habit which in 
some instances has led to very serious innovations in the 
Revised Version. 

(3) V. 37, 39. — I have examined these two passages, and 
stated the results at considerable length in my ' Second Letter 
to the Bishop of London,' pp. 14-17. Here I will simply 
call attention to two points, the inconsistency of the 
Revisers' rendering in -y. 37 and v. 39 ; and the very serious 
inferences necessarily drawn from the statement thus attri- 
buted to our Lord, that all oaths originate with Satan, and 
that it is wrong to resist an evil man. 

I cannot but regard the rejection of the plain, consistent, 
intelligible, and thoroughly scriptural rendering of these 
passages in the Authorized Version, as a breach of the 
contract which bound the Revisers to confine their innovation 
to cases of flain and clear error and to make no changes that 
were not necessary. 

(4) V. 44. — We now come to an omission which for 
character and extent is perfectly astounding. In v. 44 all 


thes6 words, hless them that curse you, do good to them that 
hate you, and again, despitefully use you and, are rejected, 
absolutely, without any marginal notice, of course therefore 
without the shadow of apology. 

Yet tliis enormous omission rests on the sole authority of 
N and B, and one cursive which almost invariably follows 
them, sc, 1. Some MSS. of early Italic and Coptic support 
the omission, and the clauses are also passed over by some 
early Fathers, not however in a way which justifies the 
assertion that they were unknown to them. 

On the other side we have (1) all other uncials, including 
of course those which are independent -of the Alexandrian 
recension, e.g. D and E ; and those which in doubtful 
passages all but invariably support N, B ; (2) the best and 
earliest Versions ; and (3) a phalanx of early Fathers, Irenseus, 
Theophilus Ant, Athenagoras, Clement Alex., Eusebius, and 
even Origen, who, among them, bear witness to every word of 
the omitted clause. 

This is really a crucial test of the value of the two oldest 
MSS. The omission is fatal to their authority. It may be 
attributed to the haste of the transcribers — a point to which 
I shall have occasion to refer presently — or to their extreme 
carelessness. It is one of the worst cases in which they 
severally or conjointly mutilate the teaching of our Lord. 

I can scarcely realize the feelings of a devout reader, on 
whose memory those sacred loving words are graven in 
characters of light. Is he to be taught that some unknown 
daring interpolator went farther than our Blessed Lord in 
enjoining charity ? 

This seems to me one of the most indefensible innovations 
in the new Revision. 

(5) vi. 1. — In this verse we meet at once with an expres- 
sion which must be singularly perplexing to ordinary readers. 
They will scarcely be able to conjecture what the words 

E 2 


do not your righteousness can possibly mean. They stand 
without explanation, and for my own part I must confess 
that I do not know what meaning is attached to them by 
the Eevisers. I presume that they adopt, together with 
the new word, the exposition of the Latin Fathers, who 
identify jiistitiam with almsgiving; but if so, they were 
surely bound to explain a phrase at once novel and am- 
biguous. It might be understood to mean, do not any good 
works, works of righteousness, in an ostentatious manner — 
an excellent precept, but scarcely according with the context. 

But what is the authority for altering the Greek text, 
from iXerj/jLoavvT) ta BtKatoavvr] ? 

Simply three uncials, ^{''•^ B, and D, the latter supported by 
some MSS. of the early Italic and the Vulgate, attesting the 
early reception of the new reading in Western Christendom. 

Against the reading there are nine uncials, including Z, 
a palimpsest which generally supports B and is scarcely 
inferior to it in authority ; three which in doubtful readings 
seldom differ from B., sc. L, A, and 11, two of high indepen- 
dent value, E and M, and, as Tischendorf admits, all the best 
cursives, ancient Versions, and Fathers of high authority, 
Chrysostom, Basil ('Moralia,' tom. ii. p. 251 E, ed. Ben.*). 

The question is (1) whether the old reading was a gloss, a 
true one however, and as such, if not to be retained yet to be 
borne in mind and its meaning expressed in any new trans- 
lation ; or (2) whether the new reading is not a somewhat 
pedantic innovation, suggested probably by a critic familiar 
with the Hebrew, and apparently the old Italic, usage. 

It must be admitted that the reading is very ancient and 
perfectly defensible, on the ground that hvKavoavvq represents 
npnv and its Aramaic equivalent, which are commonly used 

* The * Moraha,' in which this and two other references occur, is a 
work of high authority but not written by St. Basil. 


in the sense of " almsgiving." But if the reading is admitted, 
the rendering, as it stands, being either unintelligible or 
misleading, is indefensible. If the reading is admitted on 
the ground that BiKaioavvrj means almsgiving, it ought to be 
translated " almsgiving." 

It is precisely a case in which the change in language 
contravenes a " fundamental " resolution of Convocation. 

(6) vi. 4. — In the fourth verse of this chapter we find 
omissions which must strike all readers more or less pain- 
fully. In the Greek text the scholar will miss avro^, a 
forcible word : in the English all readers will miss the word 
openly at the end of the verse. The word presents an anti- 
thesis to secretly, which, if not necessary, accords with our 
Lord's habit of " emphatic iteration," pressing the point on 
the attention of His hearers, and for that reason it is urged 
powerfully by Chrysostom. 

The omission, as we should expect, rests on the authority 
of N, B, supported by Z : also in the former case by L and 
in the latter by D ; the Coptic and Cureton's Syriac Version, 
all remarkable for omissions. It should always be borne 
in mind that where D is not supported by early Italic Ver- 
sions, its various readings are constantly attributable to the 
notorious negligence or caprice of the transcriber. 

The Eevised Version does not even deign to notice the 
old reading : yet it is supported by seven good uncials, by 
all the best MSS. of early Italic (a, h, c, /), and by good 
patristic authority. 

This is surely an inexcusable omission. 

(7) The Lord's Pkayer. — We now come to the very central 
and culminating point of our Lord's doctrinal and practical 
teaching. We have to consider the treatment of our Lord's 
own Prayer by the Eevisers. 

Let me first call attention to the innovations in the text. 
We shall find three. 


(a) vi. 10. — The first is of little importance, save in a 
critical point of view. Before 7^9 the Eevisers omit the 
definite article. It happens thus, somewhat oddly, that the 
omission saves them from an innovation in the translation. 
Our old translators, who had rrj<; 77)9 before them, disregarded 
the article, and were right in so doing, since the word earth 
stands out distinctly in antithesis to heaven. Had the 
Eevisers retained it, they would probably, if consistent, have 
rendered it icpon the earth. 

As for the innovation in the text I would simply observe 
that St. Matthew invariably prefixes the definite article 
where the whole earth is meant : and again that the omission 
rests, as usual, wholly on the MSS. K, B, Z, A, against all 
other uncials, all cursives but three, and clear testimonies of 
Greek Fathers. 

An unimportant, but unnecessary change. 

(b) vi. 12. — The second alteration, in v. 12, is of extreme 
gravity ; grave as regards the innovation in the Greek text, 
graver still as regards its spiritual and practical bearings. 

Instead of the jpresent a<^lefjbev, the Eevisers have intro- 
duced the aorist, dcfyijKa/jbev. 

Now the true rendering of that new reading would be 
we forgave : but the Eevisers render it as though, instead 
of the aorist, they had the perfect tense before them ; in their 
English text they say we have forgiven* 

The necessity of thus altering the tense, in direct opposi- 
tion to a rule to which the Eevisers attach great importance, 
adhering to it in many instances where it is scarcely consis- 
tent with English idiom, ought surely to have constrained 
them to question the correctness of the reading. Had they 
given a literal translation, its unsuitableness would have 

* I cannot but call to mind the witty and very true observation of 
Canon Evans: "One may be tempted to examine the rare curiosity of an 
aorif^t buried alive in a perfect." — Expositor, 1882, p. 168. 


been self-evident. It makes the petitioner, at the time when 
he asks for forgiveness, declare that he forgave, or had 
already forgiven. The use of the aorist in such idiomatic 
expressions as iiryveaa, iSe^dfijjv, riadrjv, aTreTrrvo-a, i'x^dprjv, 
efiaOov and the like, rests on a different ground — they are 
used to show the previous impression of the speaker. 

The present tense, on the contrary — that which the Revisers 
retain in St. Luke's report of the Prayer — implies that when- 
ever we offer that Prayer, we plead our will, intention, or 
our habit of extending to all who trespass against us such 
forgiveness as we seek for ourselves. The new reading states, 
as an accomplished fact, that before the petition was offered, 
the petitioner had forgiven all trespasses, or remitted all debts 
due to him from every erring brother. 

But we have to inquire what authority is adduced for this 

Of course we find s*, B, the former, however, corrected by 
a contemporary hand. B is supported by Z and two cursives 
which belong to the same recension, 1, 124. 

On the other side are twelve uncials, five of them, D, E, 
L, A, n, with an old Hellenistic form acjylofji^ev, indicating 
at once the independence of their testimony, and the dissent 
of MSS. which usually agree with B ; the whole body of 
cursives; the old Italic; the best edition of the Vulgate 
(Am.) ; the Syriac of Cure ton without any possibility of 
misapprehension — it has iiashhuq — and so also the edition of 
Schwartze. The Peshito is claimed by Tischendorf for the 
past tense ; it has o^^ the first person plural of Peal, 
which however stands for the present when it denotes a habit 
or condition, and Walton is right in rendering it remittimus. 
(In fact, the Peshito has the same word in St. Luke, where 
all MSS. read a^ie^iev.) To these must be added the ^thiopic, 
the Gothic, and the Coptic, omitted by Tischendorf — it has 
nxen^O? eRoX ; so Arabic uiLjo — both distinctly ^rese/t^. 


There can be no doubt as to the preponderance of the most 
weighty authorities, unless B is accepted as infallible. 

We turn to the Fathers. Cyprian and Chrysostom and. the 
Apostolical Constitutions are admitted by Tischendorf to be 
adverse to the innovation. 

Origen is quoted for both readings. The case stands thus : 

In the treatise on Prayer he cites a(f)i']Kafjiev, but, be it 
observed, not only for St. Matthew but for St. Luke, where 
there is no variation in the MSS., a fact which of itself 
throws suspicion upon his text, a suspicion more tlian con- 
firmed by his own exposition, in which he hvice reads 
dcjilefieif. We cannot but infer that Origen had that reading 
before him, and that the variation in the citation is attri- 
butable to carelessness either on the part of Origen or more 
probably of his transcribers and editors. 

The alleged testimony of St. Basil, ' Hom. de Jejunio,' § 4 
(p. 606 a), would be very weighty, if the homily were ^vritten 
by him, and if, as might be inferred from Tischendorfs 
notice, he were in that passage quoting the words of the 
Prayer ; but he is simply applying its general teaching to a 
special case, in which the petitioner is represented as pleading 
an accomplished act. But the homily itself is spurious and 
ought not to have been quoted at all. Garnier, the Benedic- 
tine editor, says of it (Praf. § xviii.), '' Nihil unquam minus 
Basilianum vidi." 

Gregory of Nyssa, tom. i. p. 753 b, appears to have read 
d<priKa/jL€v, but in the heading of the chapter, he or his editor 
quotes, not d(f)7]/ca/jLev, but d<pLejjLev. I should wish to know 
what is the MS. authority for either or both these distinct 
and irreconcileable readings. 

The general result is surely that this very considerable 
innovation is disguised by a loose inaccurate rendering, and 
opposed to an overwhelming preponderance of authorities. 

(c) The Doxolofiy. — The last and crowning alteration in 


tlie Revisers' text of the Lord's Prayer is the total omission 
of the Doxology. In a marginal note we are told that some 
ancient authorities support it, but with variations, a state- 
ment which of course implies that no dependence is to be 
placed upon their testimony. 

In my ' Second Letter to the Bishop of London ' I have 
referred to this omission. In support of the rejected clause 
I have noticed the immense preponderance of authorities, 
especially the consensus of all the Greek Fathers, from 
Chrysostom onwards, who deal with the interpretation of the 
Prayer, all of whom agree with that great expositor in main- 
taining its important bearings upon the preceding petitions. 
I have also observed that a probable cause may be found for 
its general omission in early Latin Versions and Fathers, viz., 
its separation in all the Western liturgies from the preceding 
petitions by the intercalated Embolismus ; to this I may 
add that in the controversies with the Marcionites, which 
occupied to so great an extent the minds of early Latin 
Fathers, the form of the Prayer found in St. Luke's Gospel 
would naturally be quoted, since no question was raised as to 
the reception of that Gospel. 

I will now briefly state the authorities on which the 
Revisers rely and those which they reject. 

Of course we find n, B, supported however by D and Z 
(Western and Alexandrian), the early Italic, the A^ilgate, 
the Latin Fathers TertuUian and Cyprian, and Origen. 

That is, the Eusebian recension of the third and fourth 
centuries, the Western from the second to the fifth or 

On the other side are all other uncials, including those 
which in doubtful cases, as a rule, agree with B. Unfortu- 
nately two most important witnesses here fail us, A and C. 
Were the missing portion of the MS. of A extant, there can 
be little doubt as to its testimony ; it generally agrees with 


E and G, which are here supported by K, L, M, S, U, V, A, 
and n, independent witnesses ; and by nearly all cursive 
MSS. ; also by one independent and important MS. of the early 
Italic, / (the Codex Brixianus) ; by all the Syriac Versions, 
three independent witnesses, each weighty, and collectively of 
the highest importance ; the Gothic, Slavonic, and, note this, 
the two Egyptian Versions, Sahidic and Coptic, followed by the 
iEthiopic. The variation to which the Eevisers refer suffices 
to prove the absolute independence of this " cloud of wit- 
nesses ; " it certainly does not detract from their authority 
in a passage where the general import is all in all. 

The Eevisers would have been justified had they given a 
marginal note stating an omission from some ancient autho- 
rities ; it might be too much to expect that the critics by 
whom they were guided would consent to add that of the 
MSS. which they follow, two are conspicuous for omissions, 
that one, Z, belongs to the same recension, and that the other, 
D, is notorious for negligence and caprice. 

I have also to add that we now learn from Dr. Kennedy's 
' Ely Lectures ' that Dr. Scrivener, as might be expected 
from his previous statements, holds that there are not 
sufficient grounds for such omission. 

To expunge the whole clause from the text was a stretch 
of arbitrary power against which, in my opinion. Churchmen 
are entitled to remonstrate strongly ; and for which it is 
scarcely conceivable that Convocation will accept the re- 

From the alterations in the text I pass on to alterations in 
the rendering. 

(8) In addition to that alteration which has been already 
discussed, we find (a) bring for lead, a change questionable as 
to English idiom, and generally admitted to be unnecessary. 
The word lead surely expresses the full meaning of elo-eveyfcrjf;, 
whether as regards its etymology, = cause to go (see Miiller, 


' Englische Etymologie/ s.v.), or its general use. The Bishop 
of Durham, a very high authority as to the sense of the 
Greek, states that in his opinion the change is a necessary 
one, but he does not state what precise shade of meaning he 
considers sufficiently important to compel or justify the 
change. In fact, so far as I can judge, most readers will find 
it difficult to ascertain whether bring or lead is the stronger 
term. Dr. Kennedy says that in both Gospels the Greek 
means bring, and that lead is an over strong and painful 
word drawn from the Vulgate; he attributes it indeed to 
Jerome's characteristic violence. It is strange that so learned 
a man should not have referred to the early Italic Versions 
before he pronounced this sentence upon Jerome. In all the 
MSS. of early Italic we have one and the same rendering, ne nos 
inducas — the only one, in fact, which appears to have been 
known to the Latin Fathers, see the expositions of the 
Lord's Prayer by TertuUian, Cyprian, and Augustine. On 
the other hand I should rather have understood the word 
bluing to denote an act independent of, or controlling, the will 
of the petitioner. I believe that readers will generally agree 
in preferring the English of the old translators to that of the 

(b) Daily. — This word is retained, but with an exposition 
in the margin w^hich is scarcely consistent with its natural 
and obvious meaning. The reader may, and probably will, 
understand that exposition, for the coming day, to refer to a 
supply of food sufficient for the day in which the petition is 

* I subjoin this note as expressing the judgment of an able 
scholar : — " I suppose the Eevisers would defend themselves by saying that 
' lead ' implies an action on the will, ' bring ' an action of external circum- 
stances, and the latter is what the Greek implies. But the distinction is 
too subtle for ordinary readers and the change is useless and unnecessary." 
This is in fact the ground taken by Mr. Humphry, an excellent authority ; 
but it certainly implies that " bring " is a stronger and, I should suppose, 
therefore a more painful word than " lead." 


offered. Such, however, is not the meaning attached to it by 
the Eevisers ; if, as may be assumed, they adopt the Bishop of 
Durham's learned and able exposition. He holds that the word 
means " the bread of to-morrow," a meaning which could have 
been clearly stated in the margin, had the Eevisers accepted 
liis arguments as conclusive. 

I will not here enter upon the very difficult contro- 
versy as to the exact meaning and etymology of eViovo-io?, a 
w^ord absolutely unknown in classic or Hellenistic Greek. 
I may observe that in the corrupt so-called Gospel of the 
Hebrews, the word " to-morrow" is adopted, yet that most 
of the old Versions (I believe all but one, the Memphitic, 
which has p^LCX? ^•^- to-morrow^), and, so far as I am aware, 
all early Christian Fathers, understood it to refer to the 
supply of our immediate wants. Chrysostom explains it 
as i(f)r]fjL€po<;, without note or comment, as a point generally 
understood ; and to go much further back, Clement of 
Alexandria (Strom, viii. c. xiii.) regards it as the proper 
antithesis to Trepcovato^.* When, however, the alternative 
derivation from iTndov, with reference to eiriovaa, w^as gene- 
rally adopted, it was as generally understood by the Fathers to 
refer to spiritual food, the food of the eternal morrow. See 
the collection of passages in Dr. McClellan's ' Gospels.' 

Here we gladly welcome the retention of the old word in 
the text ; but the marginal exposition of the Greek, if correct 
in sense, is, to say the least, obscure and misleading in 
expression. To use the words of a learned friend, " The fact 
is that the bread that we pray for is ' future,' in the same 
sense in which all objects of prayer are ' future.' But the 
marginal explanation of the Eevisers leads to a supposition 

* I would specially call attention to the whole context of this passage. 
Clement, like his great namesake of Rome (see my ' Second Letter to the 
Bishop of London,' p. 57), gives what may be regarded as a paraphrase of 
the Lord's Prayer, and, like him, discards all reference to Satan. 


that in tliis instance we are to think of a more distant 

The Syriac of Cureton renders the word mnlna, i.e. con- 
stant, to be relied upon. Cureton in his preface, at p. xviii., 
says truly that "we have, v. 11, 'constant of the day,' amlna 
d'yoma, which agrees exactly with quotidianum of the old 
Latin, a, h, c, and with the reading of Cyprian. The Gothic 
Version also uses a term meaning continual." The Gothic 
word is sinteinan, in the nominative sinteins, which probably 
means continuous, nearly equivalent to daily, as indeed 
Massman renders it in his vocabulary to Ulfila. 

(c) Deliver us from evil. — I must refer to my very long 
discussion of this passage, to which an answer by the Bishop 
of Durham may be looked for. Here I will simply notice the 
facts (1) that the new rendering " the evil one " is an inno- 
vation in language, the word wicked being invariably used by 
the Authorized Version in speaking of Satan; (2) that it 
narrows the broad, comprehensive sense of the Greek; (3) 
that it implies incompleteness in the deliverance already 
accomplished by our Lord; (4) that it has no counterpart 
or justification in the IsTew Testament ; (5) that it is opposed 
to the interpretation adopted by all the Churches of Western 
Christendom ; and (6) that it absolutely ignores the safe- 
guard supplied by the Doxology, on which special stress is 
laid by all the best expositors of the Greek Church, from 
Chrysostom onwards. 

1 must add that so far from the Eevisers being all but 
unanimous in their interpretation of the passage, four have 
publicly declared their dissent. One other scholar,* well 
known for his learning and soundness in the faith, was 

* I refer to Mr. Humphry. In his pamphlet entitled ' A Word on the 
Revised Version of the New Testament,' p. 25, he informs us that " he 
resisted it as long as he could," and that the change was finally adopted 
after the circulation of a paper in its defence by one of the members. 


decidedly adverse to its adoption, and struggled against it to 
the last ; and lastly, Dr. Kennedy, in the Dedication prefixed 
to his * Ely Lectures on the Eevised Version,' published this 
year, writes thus, p. x. : '' Once I voted for placing * evil one' 
in the margin ; later on, feeling the strength of the argument 
for the masculine, I did not vote, and I am afraid I still 
doubt on which side the scale of obligation preponderates." 
In a subsequent lecture he doubts whether the protest of the 
margin ought not to content " those who hold to the concrete 
sense," p. 72. 

The Bishop of Lincoln, who in a brief note on the Gospel 
of St. Matthew had previously adopted the new rendering, 
has lately written to me saying that " there can be no doubt 
that the Eevisers acted ultra vires in making the alteration ; 
and that the general term evil is preferable to the evil one." 

I express no further opinion upon this point. The reader 
will decide whether my arguments or those which have been, 
or will be, adduced by the Bishop of Durham, preponderate ; 
or rather, whether his arguments amount to a proof that our 
Authorized Version is a plain and clear error. 


Few changes are suggested by the Eevisers so far as 
regards the Gospel of St. Matthew. 

(9) One omission, c. vi. 18, rests on good authority ; two, 
of no importance theologically, are noticeable from a critical 
point of view ; in -y. 21, crov for v/jlcjv is adopted from N and B 
against all MSS. and Versions ; and in v. 25, i] for /cat follows 
B alone. In v. 33 the Eevisers omit tov 6eov, following N, B, 
against all MSS. and Versions, and the distinct testimony of 
the early Fathers, Justin Martyr, Clement of Alexandria, and 


(10) vi. 25. — The Eevisers seem to claim and to receive 
much credit for the substitution of " be not anxious" in place 
of " take no thought." It is selected by my old friend Arch- 
deacon Allen, as one of those changes which justify a 
demand for immediate adoption, and Dr. Farrar, in the Con- 
temporary Review, defends the use of the word " anxious " 
— strange, as he admits, to the present New Testament — as 
necessary, on the ground of its correcting a wrong impression, 
and precluding practical misuse. This opinion is shared by 
persons whose judgment is very weighty, both as scholars, 
and as practically acquainted with the impression made upon 
the generality of readers by the words in the Authorized 
Version. To me, however, the old rendering appears prefer- 
able. The word fiepifivdo) comprises all forms of mental 
agitation, whether painful and distressing, or merely specu- 
lative — in short, preoccupation of the thoughts about future 
contingencies. The word " anxious " is not sufficiently 
comprehensive ; it narrows the sense ; it is true as far as 
it extends, but it certainly does not cover the meaning and 
practical bearings involved in the significant but somewhat 
rare word fjueptfivdco as used in classical and biblical Greek.* 

* Apart from this passage and the corresponding clause in St. Luke 
the word occurs but twice in the Gospels : Matthew x. 19, where it means 
turning over in one's mind, casting about for topics in an apologetic speech, 
a process which of course is accompanied with anxiety, but is mainly 
objectionable on the ground of its involving mental distraction. The 
Christian, as St. Peter writes, should be always ready to give an answer^ 
a condition which is the true preservative against undue excitement. In 
Luke X. 41 (where the Revisers have " thou art anxious " in the text, hut 
suggest omission in the margin), it is connected with rvp^d^rj and applies 
to unnecessary worrying about small domestic matters. It occurs four 
times in St. Paul's Epistles : twice in 1 Corinthians, vii. 23-24, and xii. 35. 
In the latter passage it is commended, being an unselfish thoughtfulness : 
so, too, in Phil. ii. 20 ; in Phil. iv. 6 Bishop Elhcott renders it he anxious^ 
a rendering adopted by the Revisers, and also by Dean Gwynne in the 
' Speaker's Commentary ;' a shade of meaning which is appropriate to that 
passage, but is far from exhausting the significance of the verb. 


Our Lord would not merely save His followers from distressful 
thoughts, from painful anxieties, but heal them of the disease 
of worldliness, of which one of the very commonest and most 
mischievous symptoms is the feeling throroughly well ex- 
pressed by the words " taking thought," a process sometimes 
painful, but always attractive and engrossing to the specu- 
lator, the day-dreamer, the busy housewife, the .over-careful 
parent. The Eevisers would scarcely venture to reject that 
phrase as an archaism. It is familiar to the readers of 
Shakespeare, and ought to have been impressed upon the 
minds of Christians generally, with all its train of associa- 
tions and practical bearings. It is said, however, to be 
generally misunderstood. If that be the case, a brief 
marginal note might surely suffice. The removal of the 
word from the text seems to me a palpable infringement of 
one fundamental resolution of Convocation. I trust that 
when the range of language has been fully considered, the 
old, pregnant, comprehensive, and adequate rendering take 
710 tliought will be preserved. If, indeed, it need to be 
explained, great care should be taken that the exposition be 
true, neither narrowing the sense, as the word " anxious " 
certainly does, nor widening it so as to include due care, the 
wise foresight which our Lord repeatedly enjoins, which He 
condemns the careless and thoughtless for neglecting. 

The other alterations in St. Matthew's account of the 
Sermon on the Mount are not of importance. 

(11) In c. vii. 2, ixeTpridrjaerai for avTifxeTprjOrjo-erai is a 
correction supported by all uncial MSS. The old reading is 
evidently a gloss, a good one, but not to be retained in the 

(12) vii. 4. Ik for airo. — The word e'/c is physically correct, 
but cLTTo is better as referring to the intention. 

The new reading follows n, B, against all other uncials. 
In V, 5, Ik is generally adopted. The intention has been 


marked sufficiently by the old reading in the preceding 
clause ; the act itself is now distinctly described. 

(13) vii. 13. — The marginal note suggests the omission of 
77 ttvXt], the gate, which has all uncials but one in its favour, 
and all Versions, except the early Italic. 

The preference thus given to N" is hardly to be accounted 
for save on the ground that omissions, in the Eevisers' 
judgment, have a prima facie claim to acceptance. In the 
Appendix to Westcott and Hort's 'Introduction,' p. 10, Dr. 
Hort has a highly ingenious, but over-subtle, discussion in 
defence of the omission. It can scarcely convince any one 
who has not adopted the general views of the two critics. 

(14) For on in v. 14, the marginal note suggests rl: How 
narrow is the gate. 

For tliis change there is strong support, but it is notice- 
able that neither ^« nor B, the chief authorities with the 
Eevisers, has that reading. The cursive MSS. are divided ; 
Tischendorf says " on al. baud dubie mu." That is, very 
many certainly have the old reading. 

I doubt both the new reading — which seems to me less in 
accordance with our Lord's noble and simple style — and the 
rendering. Can n mean how ? It is a meaning which seems 
to me wholly without support. 

The rest of the discourse is left untouched in St. Matthew. 

(15) But we must here call attention to the treatment of 
the discourse as recorded by St. Luke, vi. 20-49. 

In those twenty-nine verses twenty alterations are made, 
twelve of them omissions of the usual character, resting on 
the usual authorities, but of no material importance. 

In ^. 35, the very difi&cult reading fjLrjSem for fjbrjBiv is 
suggested in the margin as read by some ancient authorities. 
The rendering in the text, never despairing, is not satisfactory ; 
that in the margin, despairing of no man, is intelligible, but 
seems to me to savour of Alexandrian subtlety. 



For the old reading there is an enormous preponderance of 
MSS., including B and its ordinary satellites. 

The new rests on N, with H and IT, authorities followed by 
Tischendorf in his eiglith edition, but comparatively seldom 
by Westcott and Hort. 

But the discourse, as reported by St. Luke, is disfigured 
at its close, v. 48, by an innovation, unsurpassed for its 
absurdity, in most absolute and direct opposition to our 
Lord's own teaching as recorded by both Evangelists. 

Instead of it was founded on a rocJc, or, as the marginal 
note renders the old reading, it had been founded on the 
rock, the Eevised Version introduces into the text because 
it had been well builded. 

A reason for the fall of the house is thus given totally 
different from that which is distinctly pointed out by our 
Lord's words in the preceding verse, and is distinctly 
recorded by St. Matthew. 

The fall of the house, in fact, had absolutely nothing to do 
with the superstructure ; it was simply and entirely owing 
to the insecurity of the soil on which it stood. The choice 
of the foundation is the distinctive characteristic of the two 
classes of builders. 

It may be assumed as an undoubted fact that our Lord's 
own teaching is correctly reported by St. Matthew. Whether 
He delivered the discourse on two several occasions or not, 
has little to do with the present question. One thing is sure : 
His teaching was consistent ; His meaning was not open to 

The question is simply this. Does St. Luke himself report 
incorrectly our Lord's words, does he grievously misrepresent 
them ? or has some tasteless, reckless innovator, whether care- 
lessly or intentionally, introduced, first, probably, a senseless 
gloss, then a mischievous corruption, into the Gospel ? 

The special characteristics of St. Luke's Gospel, remark- 


able for grace, beauty, keen and loving appreciation of our 
Lord's teaching, must be borne in mind ; nor should it be 
forgotten that his whole character was moulded under the 
influence of St. Paul, who above all things enforced the great 
principle of attending, if not exclusively, yet invariably and 
primarily to the foundation. 

For the new reading four uncials, Alexandrian or Eusebian, 
are solely responsible, sc. N, B, L, H, and two cursives. 

The Coptic Version has it ivas well halt, but adds the all- 
important words upo7i a rock, not the rock (exeii OTnexpA.). 
This reading seems to mark the origin of this wretched 
variation. First /€a\(b<; was inserted — useless but not affecting 
the substance — then " a rock " was omitted, giving thus 
exclusive weight to the interpolated /caXw?. 

I venture to assert that such a reading as tliis, having 
regard to all its bearings, is sufficient to impair, if not 
altogether to overthrow, the authority of the MSS. which 
support it. It seems to me very strange that Dr. Hort 
does not state, in the appendix to his 'Introduction,' his 
reasons for adopting a reading so extraordinary. 

(16) What shall we say generally of the treatment of the 
Sermon on the Mount by the Eevisers ? 

What points of any real importance have they amended ? 

Wliat points have they damaged ? They have suggested a 
transposition in the Beatitudes ; they have mutilated some of 
the most characteristic injunctions of our Lord; they have 
left the Lord's Prayer in an incomplete, and I cannot but 
maintain, a corrupt form ; while they have utterly demolished 
the principle set forth forcibly and completely in the con- 
cluding parable as recorded by St. Luke. 

I ask again whether these changes are not wholly incon- 
sistent with the conditions proposed by themselves, formally 
sanctioned by Convocation, and accepted as fundamental in 
the Preface to the Revised Version. 



To THE Close of our Lord's Ministry in Galilee, 
(a.) from the sermon on the mount to the parables. 
Matt. viii.-xiii. ; Mark i. 40-iv. ; Luke viii. 
(1) I will not dwell on points which do not affect the sub- 
stance of our Lord's teaching or the verity of the narrative, 
although in some instances the changes are vexatious, and 
certainly unnecessary. Thus e.g. in St. Mark's account, i. 40, 
of the healing of the first leper the words which are in sub- 
stantial, not verlal, accordance with St. Matthew, express- 
ing deep reverence, " and kneeling down to him " {'yowirerwv 
avTov), are noted in the margin as omitted by some ancient 
authorities. In this case B and D — the two principal autho- 
rities, the latter specially in cases of omission, with Westcott 
and Hort — are supported by two late uncials, G and V, but 
opposed by x and L, and all other MSS. and ancient Versions. 
Westcott and Hort in their own edition enclose the words 
in brackets ; evidently they could not persuade the Eevisers 
to adopt their own reading in the text ; unfortunately it is 
almost equally mischievous in the margin. 

(2) In the account of the healing of the centurion's 
servant, Matthew viii. 6, 8, I notice with regret that in the 
margin hoy is suggested in place of servant. This apparently 
countenances an interpretation, repudiated by most com- 
mentators, that the centurion was entreating on behalf of 
his own child ; a point which alters the character of the 
transaction, and is not without effect upon a grave question 
touching the harmony of the Gospels. 


Nor do I regard the marginal change in v. 10 as satis- 
factory. It is certainly obscure, if it does not alter the sense, 
and the Revisers were evidently unwilling to admit it into 
their text. 

(3) Luke vi. 1. — I must, however, call special attention to 
the extraordinary acceptance of a very indefensible omis- 
sion in the text of Luke vi. 1. There SevTepoirpcoTw is 
omitted altogether in the text, although it is defended in the 
margin. In the first place the omission of the word affects 
the narrative. The word is peculiar, it does not occur else- 
where, but it most probably means the first Sunday in the 
second month (lyar*), precisely the time when wheat would 
be fully ripe, and it thus gives singular vividness to St. Luke's 
account, impressing readers unconsciously with its exact 
veracity. In the next place the omission bears upon the cha- 
racter of the MSS. which alone are responsible for the blunder, jc, 
B, L. Even Tischendorf rejects it, observing truly " ut ab addi- 
tamenti ratione alienum est, ita cur omiserint in promptu est." 

(4) In Mark ii. 16 i<, B, and D omit the w^ords " and 
drinketh " — a point chiefly noticeable as an instance of the 
singular weight attached by Westcott and Hort to D in cases 
of omissions, because it is generally remarkable for interpola- 
tions. In the Gospels that MS. is not less conspicuous for 
careless or hasty omissions. The Eevisers do not accept the 
omission in their English text, but they allow it a place in 
the margin. 

(5) In the 26th verse of this chapter we meet with a very 
serious innovation, presented in the most distinct form in 
the Revised Version. Instead of " in the days of Abiathar 
the High Priest " we are told to read " when Abiathar was 
High Priest." The importance of this change might possibly 
escape the notice of general readers ; but it has been pointed 

* See note in the ' Speaker's Cummeiitaiy.' 


out forcibly and conclusively by the Quarterly Reviewer, and 
by the learned Bishop of Lincoln. The old reading simply 
states the fact that Abiathar, well known as the High Priest 
appointed by David himself at a much later period, was 
present when the young David ^^dth his attendants ate the 
shew bread. What the Revisers make our Lord say, is that 
Abiathar was High Priest at that time. A grosser ana- 
chronism could scarcely be committed, and here it is dis- 
tinctly imputed to our Lord Himself, on the authority of 
St. Mark, the Petrine Evangelist. 

This extraordinary falsification of well-known history is 
effected by the simple omission of the definite article {rov) 
before High Priest. Had e\ddence of very early omission been 
adduced the question would still have been whether the 
gross error was to be imputed to the Evangelist, or to a 
scribe careless or in haste, and probably unconscious of its 
bearings, and that question could surely have elicited but 
one answer. In the case of a secular writer, had such an 
anachronism, resting on a single word, been detected in a 
MS. say of Polybius, or any historian of character, no critic 
w^ould have hesitated to have condemned it as the manifest 
blunder of a transcriber. But in this instance we find it only 
in the two ancient MSS. remarkable for the number of their 
omissions, N and B, followed by two much later uncials, w^ell 
known as their satellites ; against them stand A and C, two 
weighty and independent authorities, but little later in point of 
age, and free from their characteristic defects, mth A and TI, 
and the cursives 1, 33, 69, all five remarkable for their 
general agreement w^ith n and B. 

That this is a ^:>Zam and clear error, is a fact absolutely 
indisputable; and it is attributed by the Revisers, in their 
new text, to our Lord or to the Evangelist. 

Can it be doubted that it is a 'plain and clear error of the 
Revisers ? 


OUK lord's discouese at xazaeeth. — Luhe iv. 18-20. — 
In this most important discourse, in which, in His own 
native place, our Lord formally claimed for Himself the 
fulfilment of one of the most striking Messianic prophecies, 
especially precious as describing the characteristic features of 
His personality, we are startled by the omission of the 
words "to heal the broken-hearted" (v. 19). 

For this omission we have, as we should expect, the same 
authorities 55 and B, supported, however, by later MSS. of 
the same recension, L and H ; and by D with other early 
Western witnesses ; also the Coptic and ^^thiopic ( as edited) 
Versions. These suffice to prove that the omission existed 
at an early period, and that it was accepted, probably because 
it was not noticed, by Egyptian transcribers. 

Against it are arrayed : — (1) The Hebrew original, which 
our Lord had in His hands, and which He undoubtedly read 
in the synagogue without omitting any words, especially 
words expressive of tenderest sympathy. (2) Abundance of 
competent and independent witnesses — nine uncials, five of 
which generally agree with B, most cursives, some of the best 
MSS. of early Italic and Yulgate, the Syriac in all its forms, 
the Gothic, and MSS. of iEthiopic; of the Fathers, the 
earliest, in such a case the most trustworthy, Iren^eus. 

Is it conceivable that any one will venture to assert that 
these most blessed words are a plain and clear error ? As 
for the omission, I attribute it simply to carelessness on the 
part of D and those early Italic transcribers who omit the 
clause, and to the disgraceful habit of cutting down the 
sacred text, probably attributable to haste in this instance 
(see further on, p. 170), on the part of the transcribers, or 
the editors, of the Vatican and Sinaitic manuscripts. 

Then it must be borne in mind, that, while it is certain 
that our Lord did read those words, St. Luke, of all writers, 
inspired or uninspired, was the very last who would fail to 


record them. It would be against the whole tenour of this 
Gospel, of which the special characteristic is the promi- 
nence given to all indications of deep sympathy, of utter 
tenderness and compassionateness, a characteristic which 
elicited from the great representative of cultivated scepti- 
cism the declaration that St. Luke's Gospel is "le plus 
beau livre qu'il y ait" (E. Eenan, 'Les Evangiles,' 
p. 283). 

I note this omission as one among many indications of 
untrustworthiness in the chief ancient authorities followed 
by the Eevisers ; the reader will judge how far it affects the 
character of the Eevised Version. 

It is not within my general scope to deal with points not 
directly connected with our Lord's personal history, but it 
is scarcely possible to pass over the extraordinary historical 
blunder which, in the margin of the Revised Version, is 
imputed to St. Mark (vi. 22). The Evangelist is made to 
say that the dancing girl, daughter of Herodias by her former 
husband, as Josephus tells us, and, as all critics agree, tells 
us truly, was the daughter of Herod the Tetrarch. On the 
absurdities involved in this statement, see the criticism of 
Dr. Scrivener in his ' Introduction.' 

It affects, and that substantially, the character of N, 
B, D, L, A, following some early transcriber, who, doubtless, 
in ignorance or carelessness, is responsible for this idain 
and clear error. 

In Mark vii. 19, we find the reading KaOapl^cov, i.e. in the 
rendering " this he said making all meats clean." I entirely 
agree with the Eevisers as to the high probability of their 
reading. I had some years previously defended it in my 
note on the passage in the ' Speaker's Commentary.' But 
considering the number and the weight of the authorities 
adverse to the change of reading and of rendering, and the 
necessity, if it be adopted, of introducing a parenthesis, I 


should certainly not have ventured to do more than give a 
marginal note. 

Granted the improvement, can the change be defended as 
necessary ? 

(b.) the parables of our lord. 

I am happy to observe that no changes of any importance 
are introduced by the Kevisers into the reports of the 
parables in either of the Evangelists. Minor points I will 
not here dwell upon, but I will call attention to Matt. xiii. 35 
to express my deep thankfulness — a feeling which I am 
sure will be shared by the immense majority of Christian 
readers — that the Eevisers have rejected totally, leaving 
it without mention even in the margin, the reading the 
prophet Isaiah ; especially because this is a corruption not 
only adopted by Tischendorf, but defended at considerable* 
length in the Proleofomena to his edition of the 'ISTovum 
Testamentum Sinaiticum,' p. xxxiv. He assigns to it a 
foremost place among genuine readings attested by early 
authorities, but now extant in extremely few MSS., this 
being found only in K, the Sinaitic MS., and in D. 

There is no doubt as to its existence in the third century ; 
it was quoted by Porphyrins as a proof of the gross ignorance 
of the Evangelist. Jerome, in the fifth century, says that it 
was expunged from the manuscripts which he himself used. 
Eusebius, on Ps. 78 tit., gives a very probable account of 
the origin of the blunder : " Some, not understanding that 
Asaph was the ' prophet ' intended by Matt., added in his 
Gospel 'by Isaiah the prophet,' an addition which is not 
found in the most accurate MSS." 

Westcott and Hort do not adopt this blunder in their own 
text, but insert it in their margin, and defend it in their 
appendix, p. 12 seq. Dr. Hort, in a separate note, says, " It is 
difficult not to think 'Raatov genuine." That is, it is diffi- 


cult to believe that the Evangelist was not guilty of gross 
ignorance or of unpardonable negligence. I cannot imagine 
what the writer of this note thought of the veracity, the 
biblical knowledge, not to speak of the inspiration, of the 
Apostle and Evangelist. Whether or not he recommended 
to the Eevisers a similar course, as he might seem to 
have been bound to do in consistency with his own 
principles, it is clear that in this case the majority of the 
Committee shrank from imputing to St. Matthew a state- 
ment which would imply that the Evangelist was so little 
acquainted with the two books most frequently cited in the 
New Testament, viz. the Psalms and Isaiah, that he assigned 
a prediction, well known as Messianic, to the wrong author. 

We gladly welcome this somewhat rare indication of 

Up to the close of our Lord's ministerial work in Galilee, 
no points seem to call for special attention, save the two 
following, which are of grave import in their bearings upon 
our Lord's teaching. 

The first point is the total omission from the text of 
the Eevised Version in St. Matthew's Gospel (xvii. 21) of 
the passage in which our Lord states that " this kind goeth 
not out save by prayer and fasting," and of the last words 
" and fasting " from St. Mark's Gospel (ix. 29). 

In both cases the old reading is noticed in the margin ; in 
St. Matthew, as resting on 7iiany authorities, some ancient ; 
in St. Mark, as supported by many ancient authorities. 

Before we inquire into the weight of authorities favouring, 
or adverse to, the innovation, we are entitled to ask whether, 
in face of the amount of authorities thus admitted to be 
opposed to it, the Revisers were justified in so serious a 
mutilation of our Lord's teaching, especially in reference 
to a question which has been long contested between Church- 
men of different schools, and to a point which has been 


defended with equal zeal and learning by some of the 
chief representatives of Anglican theology. The rejection 
implies that the word " fasting " is a plain and dear error, a 
sentence warmly applauded by the representatives of one 
school of religious thought, but inflicting a severe and power- 
ful blow upon others. This last consideration would of course 
have no weight, supposing the evidence to be conclusive, but 
it certainly imposed upon the Eevisers the duty of the utmost 
caution ; they are bound to prove a plain and clear error, and 
that in face, as they admit, of many aneient authorities. 

We now have to examine the authorities. What w^e find 
from Tischendorf's eighth edition is, that in St. Matthew 
the whole clause is omitted on the authority of k*",* B, 
one cursive (33), the Sahidic Version, and the Memphitic 
(according to some MS. or MSS. ?). 

Now the clause is given in full by all other uncials (eighteen 
are cited by Tischendorf himself), including those which, in 
doubtful cases, usually agree with B ; all other cursives, all 
the best Versions, sc. Italic, Vulgate, Syriac, and, according 
to the best editions, the Memphitic ; a complete phalanx of 
Fathers, even Origen, Hilary, Ambrose, Augustine, Chry- 
sostom, and all later Greek expositors ; so Tischendorf, to 
whom the Quarterly Eeviewer, p. 357, adds Athanasius, Basil, 
Tertullian, and others. 

Surely the Eevisers must see that their marginal note, 
telling us that some of the authorities which support the old 
reading are ancient, is seriously misleading. 

Tischendorf, whose opinion, as must be supposed, is adopted 
by the Eevisers, regards it as an interpolation from St. Mark. 

* I observe that the omission occurs in fol. 10 of j< ; now this leaf is 
one of those which according to Tischendorf were written by the scribe of 
B ; Dr. Hort (§ 288) accepts Tischendorf s statement We have thus the 
testimony of one scribe only. See further on (p. 234). 


Two Evangelists, it seems, cannot agree in their report of 
our Lord's own words without exposing themselves to the 
attack of captious or unwary critics. If an assimilation had 
been shown on good grounds to be probable, the usual and 
natural course would have been to have looked for it in the 
second Gospel, certainly not in the first, which, above all 
things, is conspicuous for its full and accurate records of our 
Lord's words. 

We turn, however, to the Gospel of St. Mark. There we 
find that the same two uncials, n'' and B, stand absolutely 
alone among all manuscripts — alone, that is, with one singu- 
larly weak exception, k, an inferior codex of early Italic. 
Without any shadow of support from Greek or Latin Fathers, 
they end the sentence with Trpoaevxxi- 

Let the reader consider the varied and complete weight of 
the authorities adverse to this mutilation. Not to speak of 
a corrector of fc^, they include the three ancient and inde- 
pendent MSS., A, C, and D, six uncials, for the most part 
satellites of B, all cursives, and all Versions. 

The process by which this strange mutilation is effected 
calls for notice. First, St. Matthew's account is rejected as 
an interpolation from the second Gospel, so that the reader's 
apprehension as to the effect of the omission is somewhat 
relieved, whatever he may think of the arbitrary assumption ; 
but then on turning to St. Mark he finds that the special 
words about which he felt anxious, or certainly interested, 
whether his prepossessions were in favour of the old or of the 
new reading, are expunged from the text. 

Other innovations are undoubtedly of greater moment, as 
affecting vital doctrines ; but in the entire range of biblical 
criticism I do not remember a more arbitrary or less defen- 
sible mutilation, affecting two Gospels, and an emphatic 
declaration of our Lord. 



Mark ix. 43-50. — We now come to an address to the 
disciples, of singular interest as marking, I may say as 
summarizing, our Saviour's special injunctions to the Twelve ; 
of singular and emphatic solemnity, impressing upon them 
the highest characteristic of Christian ethics, an address 
recorded with peculiar fulness and vividness by St. Mark, 
doubtless in the exact form delivered to him by St. Peter, on 
whose spirit every word must have been impressed in 
characters of fire.* 

(1) We miss the emphatic reiteration, to the importance 
and awful solemnity of which St. Augustine and other 
Fathers called special attention. 

In this case it has peculiar importance as exemplifying a 
marked characteristic of our Lord's teaching, brought out 
most frequently and vividly in St. Mark's Gospel. 

The margin tells us that vv. 44 and 46 are omitted by the 
" best ancient authorities." 

That is ^?, B, of course, supported, however, by C, and two 
of their usual followers, L and A, and four cursives only. 
But the verse stands in A, D '(two perfectly independent 
witnesses), N, X, F, FT, in all nine good uncials, all other 
cursives, the best MSS. of early Italic, the Vulgate, Syriac, 
and ^tliiopic. To these must be added the express and 
pointed testimony of Augustine, " non eum piguit uno loco 
eadem verba ter dicere," quoted by Tischendorf. 

(2) We then miss a sentence, which, if I am not totally 
mistaken as to its meaning and bearing, gives a most 
practical and forcible point to the whole discourse, drawing 
out most distinctly the characteristic which above all others 

* I venture to call attention to my own notes on this passage, Mark ix. 
43-50, in the ' Speaker's Commentary.' See also Jablonski, ed. Te Water, 
torn. ii. pp. 458-485. 


marks the true disciples of Christ. Our Lord has denounced 
in most awful terms the destiny of the impenitent, every one 
(sc. of those named in the preceding verse) shall he salted 
^vith fire ; and (He then adds) every sacrifice shall he salted 
vyith salt. Thus we have two antitheses : (1) the condemned 
sinner, and the accepted sacrifice, the true-hearted disciple, 
whose body is a living sacrifice (Bom. xii. 1), whose prayers 
are spiritual sacrifices ; (2) fire and salt — the fire of Gehenna, 
and the purifying, preserving, saving grace of the Gospel, of 
which the highest manifestation is perfect charity. 

Such appears to me to be the true meaning of the rejected 
verse, but whether that, or any other exposition be adopted, 
we must not risk or tolerate a mutilation, unless we are 
constrained by irresistible evidence.* 

For the omission stand ^<, B, L, A, the recension which 
is specially conspicuous for omissions — proofs of purity 
according to some, indications of haste, or of fastidiousness, 
according to others — but certainly to be distrusted unless 
supported by other independent authorities. 

The clause is found in nine good uncials — note the inde- 
pendence and character of these — A, C, D, N, X, F, n — and 
all ancient Versions of weight. 

But Tischendorf suggests that some transcriber or critic 
took the passage from Leviticus ii. 13 ; a conjecture at once 
arbitrary and irrational, one which savours of the character- 
istic bad taste and defective judgment of that critic, eminent 
as he is for other gifts, for unparalleled industry and tact as 
a decipherer and registrar of MSS. It is surely one which few, 
if any, English critics of character will venture to defend. 
The reader has but to note the direct connection with our 

* For Dr. Hort's account of the matter, see his * Introduction,' p. 101. 
It is of course ingenious and able, but equally remarkable for subtlety and 
boldness. I have occasion again to refer to this point in the section on 
'Conflate Readings,' in Part III. p. 211. 


Lord's words in the next verse: ''good is the salt, i.e. with 
which the sacrifice is seasoned; have that salt in yowselves, 
and have peace one with another." 

I can scarcely realize the feelings of any reader who, 
setting side by side the Ee vised Version with our own 
Authorized Version, can doubt which retains the very words 
of the Saviour. To my mind the statement of St. Mark 
stands out among the most striking instances of his vivid 
appreciation of '' the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God." 



Feom the Close of our Lord's Ministry in Galilee 
TO His Arrival at Jerusalem. 

In this portion of the Gospel narrative the most serious 
damage has been inflicted upon St. Luke, the Evangelist to 
whom we are indebted for the fullest and most deeply 
interesting record of our Lord's discourses and works during 
this period. St. Mark, however, has received some wounds 
of a peculiarly offensive and painful character. 

Luke ix. 54, 55. — At the outset, immediately after the 
last discourse recorded by St. Mark and discussed in the 
preceding section, we have to call special attention to a most 
grievous mutilation. In Luke ix. 54, 55 we note, in the 
first place, the omission from the Eevisers' Version and their 
Greek text of the strikingly characteristic appeal of the two 
Apostles of zeal and love, St. James and St. John, to the 
example of Elias, or, as the Eevisers prefer, Elijah ; * and then, 
secondly, we find to our utter bewilderment that the Ee- 
visers obliterate from their text one of the most heart- 
searching sayings of our Lord, a saying which was specially 
adapted to the new position which the disciples were hence- 
forth to occupy, which at every critical period in the history 
of the Church has been most deeply impressed upon the 
hearts of Christians conscious of the danger of Judaistic 

* If the Revisers intend to represent the Greek text they might surely 
retain the Greek form, with which every reader is familiar. I do not 
understand why they prefer the Hebrew form, which they cannot use 


prejudice in any form, which on the other hand has been 
most flagrantly and disastrously neglected by leaders of 
hostile factions. 

In the margin they tell us that '' some ancient authorities 
add, Ye knoiv not lohat manner of spirit ye are of. Some, 
but fewer, add also, For the Son of Man came not to destroy 
men's souls hut to save them.'' 

Thus rejected from the text, relegated to the margin — in 
part with a notice indicating distrust of the authorities which, 
ancient as they are admitted to be, could not procure admis- 
sion for these words into the Eevised Text ; in part with a 
still more distinct expression of adverse judgment — the whole 
of this most weighty, most precious declaration, so far as the 
Eevisers' influence extends, is withdrawn from the sphere of 
Christian consciousness. Many preachers will refrain alto- 
gether from citing them as genuine ; no preacher addressing 
a congregation of ordinary culture will henceforth be able to 
quote them without a previous statement, necessarily open 
to question, of the grounds on which he ventures to press 
them upon the attention of his hearers. 

Had they been preserved but in a small number of early 
and trustworthy documents, their singular depth and power, 
their special accordance with the whole tenour of the third 
Gospel, ought surely to have saved them from such treat- 
ment, and justified their retention in the place which for 
ages they have occupied in the sacred text. But after all 
how stand the authorities ? 

The authorities which support them are far more ancient 
and, in such a matter, I venture to assert, far more trust- 
worthy, than any extant manuscripts. The old Italic, the 
Syriac Version of Cureton, and the Peshito, occupying the 
highest place among ancient Versions, bear witness to their 
acceptance in the East and in the West before the third 


century.* The Vulgate, the Coptic, ^tliiopic, Gothic, and 
Armenian show they were received throughout all Christen- 
dom during and after the fourth century. These witnesses 
are supported by early Fathers of high authority, Ambrose, 
probably Clement Alex., Optatus, Didymus, Epiphanius, and 

Again, the old reading is found in eight uncials. Among 
these is D, the well-known Codex Bezse, wliich has little 
weight in cases of interpolation attributable to carelessness 
or adoption of loose traditions, but when it is supported by 
the early Italic and early Fathers, unquestionably preserves 
important sayings of our Lord — a fact especially applicable 
in this case ; while the other uncials are weighty either as 
independent witnesses, or as generally following the recen- 
sion of which B is the chief representative. Also the great 
majority of cursives, Tischendorf says aliipermulti ; denoting 
a decided preponderance. 

But on the other side the Eevisers have a right to insist 
upon the array of MSS. of the greatest weight for antiquity, 
and especially important when supported by independent 
witnesses ; as in this case N, B are followed by L, A, S, in 
conjunction with A, C, E, and five other uncials. 

If, therefore, the Eevisers had been commissioned or autho- 
rized to construct a revised Greek text, and if that text was 
simply to set before the student the readings of the oldest 
and best manuscripts, they would certainly have been justi- 
fied in the course which, as we must be assured in this case, 
they have reluctantly adopted. 

But if their first duty was to preserve intact all sayings of 

* Tischendorf, who rejects the whole clause, makes an admission of 
which the importance can scarcely be estimated too highly. On v. 56 he 
says, " Secundo vero jam s^eculo quin in codicibus omnis hsec interpolatio 
circumferri consueverit, pro testium auctoritate, Latinorum maxime et 
Syriacorum, dubitari nequit." 


our Lord, attested on solid evidence to have been recorded 
in the Gospels ; and to reject none attributed to Him, and 
generally received by Christians, unless they be proved to be 
plain and clear error, I do not see how they can be acquitted 
of " exorbitancy," or of what appears to me substantial viola- 
tion of the conditions under which they were entrusted with 
the most important of all works. 

In such a case special weight must surely be assigned to 
internal evidence. We must needs inquire which of possible 
alternatives is the more probable. 

{a) Was such a saying as this at all likely to be invented ? 
was it one which a bold unscrupulous forger would ever have 
thought of inventing? which he would have persuaded 
Christendom to accept as a genuine utterance of our Lord ? 
Or, putting aside all imputations of conscious forgery, was it 
a saying likely to have had its origin in the spirit of some 
unknown teacher of the Church, so placed and so trusted as 
to take the position of an exponent of his Master's mind ? 
Is that alternative, however stated, however modified, one 
which will commend itself to any well-informed and candid 
mind ? Such a teacher must have combined most incon- 
sistent qualities : he must have been at once audacious in 
invention, and at the same time penetrated with the very 
fulness of the spirit which breathes throughout the Gospel, 
and finds adequate expression most especially in this and 
similar sayings recorded by St. Luke, the Pauline Evangelist. 

(1)) On the other side we have an alternative which com- 
mends itself as completely free from such difiiculties, and as 
supplying an adequate and satisfactory answer to the ques- 
tion of genuineness. 

We ask, was there any strong reason which, after the early 
part of the third century, and especially in times and chief 
places of heated controversy, might induce persons in posi- 
tions of considerable influence to shrink from the statement 

G 2 


as it stands before us, and to eliminate it, so far as might 
be in their power, from the field of discussion ? 

Surely all can at least understand the feelings of those con- 
troversialists who stood out in opposition to Marcion, and to 
those early writers who went farthest in maintaining that the 
spirit which animated Elijah and the chief representatives of 
what was called Judaism, was not only diverse from, but dia- 
metrically opposed to, that which pervaded the utterances of 
our Lord, and which He inculcated as the distinctive charac- 
teristic of His true followers. What the maintainers of the 
true. Catholic, and Christian doctrine were especially anxious 
to uphold was the unity of the Spirit which, under all ap- 
parent diversities, pervaded the Prophets of old, whose zeal 
was specially represented by Elijah, and which ruled in all its 
fulness and depth the heart of St. John, the great exponent 
of Christian love. This text must have presented peculiar 
facilities to the skilful opponent, peculiar difficulties to the 
staunch defender, of that great fundamental principle. We 
are thankful to observe that it did not induce the soundest 
teachers of the Church to countenance or adopt this mutila- 
tion, though at some uncertain period it was introduced by 
persons sufficiently influential to mutilate the text currently — 
not universally but generally — found in MSS. of the fourth 
and following centuries. We cannot, moreover, but remark 
that the two most ancient MSS. in which the words are 
obliterated are conspicuous for omissions — a point which, 
notwithstanding Dr. Hort's disclaimer,* appears to me capable 
of absolute demonstration. 

One thing is certain. We have 'to choose one of the two 
alternatives — wilful interpolation, or, whether careless or 

* I have to meet this disclaimer further on ; here I will simply remark 
that Dr. Hort considers that what other critics regard as omissions are 
proofs of purity, of freedom from interpolation. Accepting them as the 
true reading, he cannot admit them to be omissions. 


wilful, wanton deletion of this grand saying. I should not 
have thought it possible that a company of wise, learned, 
and devout men could have hesitated in their choice, much 
less that they should have deliberately expunged the words 
from their text. 

To those who feel a conviction that they are the very 
words of Christ, carrying with them internal evidence of 
their authenticity, all other considerations are as dust in 
the balance. 

Such a decision may give pain or offence to some well 
entitled to deference on matters not touching the faith, but it 
will give relief and comfort to myriads ; and will at any rate 
go far towards liberating our minds from what I cannot but 
regard as a servile acquiescence in a critical system, which 
attaches exclusive importance to the text represented by the 
Eusebian, or Alexandrian, or — by whatever name it may 
ultimately be called — the recension which determined the 
text of the Vatican and Sinaitic manuscripts. 

THE lord's prayer IN ST. LUKE. 

Luke xi. 2-4. — Here we have to notice the alterations 
adopted by the Eevisers in the Lord's Prayer as recorded 
by St. Luke, on a different occasion from that on which it is 
recorded by St. Matthew. 

Three considerable clauses are omitted in the Eevised 
Version, contrary, as the margin informs us, to ''many 
ancient authorities!' 

(1) The Revised Version has "Father" instead of "Our 
Father which art in heaven." This omission follows K, B, 
against all other manuscripts, uncial and cursive (one MS., 
L, which generally agrees with B, has " Our Father ") ; also 
against all ancient Versions, except the Vulgate. 

Origen refers to the clause three times in his treatise on 


Prayer. In c. 18 (p. 227) he expressly distinguishes between 
the reading in Matthew and in Luke, and omits the words 
in question. In c. 22, he quotes " Father " only ; but earlier 
in the same treatise, c. 15 (p. 222 c), he has " Our Father 
which art in heaven," referring, as the context there shows, 
to St. Luke's Gospel. 

It may safely be inferred that Origen had the abbreviated 
form before him in some MS. or MSS., but his citation of the 
omitted words is best accounted for by assuming a different 
reading, which he recognized, though he might not prefer it. 

(2) The omission of the other clauses, " Thy will be done 
on earth as in heaven," and " Deliver us from evil," rests pre- 
cisely on the same authorities. In each case the preponder- 
ance of external authorities in favour of the clauses, so far as 
numbers go, is immense ; no less than seventeen uncials are 
cited by Dr. Scrivener, who adds, " All cursives not named 
above (i.e. 1, 22, 57, 130, 131, 226^ 237, 242, 426), the old 
Latin h, c, /, ff, i, I, q, whereof/ mostly goes with the Vulgate 
(hiant a, e), the Memphitic, Peshito, Curetonian, Philoxenian 
Syriac, and the ^thiopic Versions " (' Introduction,' p. 468). 
Dr. Scrivener is inclined to dismiss the latter clause as an 
assimilation ; but, as he observes, the internal evidence is in 
favour of retention. 

I must here observe that one of the Eevising Company 
accepts the omission of "deliver us from evil" mainly on 
the ground that it supplies a pretext for rejecting the last 
clause of the Prayer in St. Matthew's Gospel also as a gloss. 

It is a perfectly legitimate proceeding to argue as to the 
probability of a shorter recension of the Prayer on the 
occasion which leads to its record in St. Luke, but to omit 
such clauses, as jplain and clear errors, appears to me wholly 
unjustifiable. The utmost that the Revisers had the right 
to do was to give a notice in the margin that some ancient 
authorities omit them. 



Luke X. 1-20. — In -y. 1 a change of no importance in itself 
is suggested in the margin, which tells us that " many an- 
cient authorities add two ; " i.e. seventy-hvo instead of seventy. 
Westcott and Hort in their Greek text enclose the word two in 
brackets. The change, small as it is, is " interesting," as Dr. 
Scrivener remarks (see Introd. p. 474), "being one in 
which B (not ^?) is at variance with the very express evi- 
dence of the earliest ecclesiastical writers." It is, therefore, 
of real importance in its bearing upon the value of the oldest 

In tliis case B is supported by D, and early Western 
documents, Italic and Vulgate, agreeing, as is frequently the 
case, with the Syriac of Cureton ; also by two uncials, M and E. 

It is opposed by the best uncials, N, A, C, independent 
witnesses, with seven others which generally side mth B; 
also by the generality of cursives, and all other ancient 
Versions, including some MSS. of early Italic. 

The early Fathers to whom Dr. Scrivener refers are Ire- 
naeus, TertuUian (in a passage which is remarkably explicit, 
c. Marc. iv. 24), Eusebius twice in the ' Demonstration,' once 
in the H. E., Basil, and Ambrose ; all quoted by Tischendorf, 
who does not adopt this change. . 

In the marginal notices the word many is certainly too 
strong, if not misleading. 

In V. 15, at the close of our Lord's address to the seventy 
missionaries, a change singular for its tone and character is 
adopted in the Eevised Text in this place, without any indi- 
cation of a different reading. It stands thus, "And thou, 
Capernaum, shalt thou be exalted unto heaven ? Thou shalt 
be brought down unto Hades." This extraordinary reading 
is given in place of " And thou, Capernaum, which art 
exalted unto heaven, shall be brought down to Hell." Its 


unsuitableness to the occasion on which it is first recorded, 
Matt. xi. 23, has been forcibly exposed by Sir Edmund 
Beckett. Here the context is at least equally opposed to 
the change. Capernaum had been raised to the place of the 
highest spiritual dignity by the presence of the Saviour, but 
by its coldness and impenitence it forfeited all claims to pre- 
eminence, and was abased to the condition of infidels. 

For the new reading (which in the Greek substitutes 
fit) for rf) stand K, B, D, L, H, the Syriac of Cureton, two 
MSS. of early Italic. 

Against it A, C, with seven uncials, most of them usually 
siding with B, nearly all cursives, the Gothic, the Peshito 
and Philox. Syriac, and Augustine. 

So far as the external authorities are concerned the balance 
is nearly equal. 

The internal evidence appears to me decisive, and in favour 
of the old reading and rendering. 

Luke x. 41, 42. — We have now to consider the singularly 
important account of a great saying of our Lord as recorded 
by St. Luke. The whole transaction is related by the Evan- 
gelist in terms so grapMc and affecting that Eenan, who on 
questions of aesthetic and historic tact is a good authority, 
says of it, " Aucune plume n'a laisse tomber dix lignes plus 
charmantes." See 'Les Evangiles,' p. 282. But in this 
beautiful narrative an innovation is suggested in the margin 
which affects the most solemn and infinitely the most im- 
portant point — the great lesson which our Lord then incul- 
cated upon Martha, and through her upon the hearts of all 
His followers liable to similar temptations. 

After a most useless and vexatious suggestion in the 
margin that " a few ancient authorities " omit " anxious " 
(the word which the Kevised Version substitutes for the 
more comprehensive word "careful") and "about many 
things," we find in the margin a far more serious innovation 


cominendecl by the words, "Many ancient authorities read 
' but few things are needful or one.' " So that the one thing 
needful, that which designates the extreme spirituality of 
Mary's choice, directing the minds of anxious inquirers and 
supporting devout spirits, cannot henceforth be undoubtedly 
quoted as genuine by those who defer to the authority of 
the Eevisers. 

That one thing is needful, — would that the Eevisers had 
borne it in mind, — could not be questioned, never has been 
questioned by any who live on our Saviour's words and take 
their place by the side of Mary. 

The authorities which have so far influenced the Eevisers 
that they give the new reading in the margin (going half- 
way to meet Westcott and Hort, who introduce it into their 
Greek text without any notice indicating distrust, or the 
existence of adverse evidence), are N, B, C^ (a late correc- 
tion), and L, followed by the Coptic, ^Ethiopic, and a late 
Syriac Version. Also Origen, as cited in the Catena of Cor- 
derius, and Basil (but see below). 

Against it are A, C^ all other uncials, nearly all cursives, 
Italic (some good MSS.), Vulgate, and the best Syriac. 

Of the Fathers we have Macarius, an early and good 
authority ; Chrysostom, Augustine, and other Fathers. Basil 
varies — he quotes it as it stands in the old text once, p. 535 — 
in another passage he adopts the new reading, but gives an 
exposition, which, though forced — in fact because forced — 
shows how strongly he felt that " the one thing needful '* 
was the paramount consideration : kvo<^ he rod (tkoitov. 

Matthew xix. 9. — Passing to the records of the earliest 
events on the way to Jerusalem, we have first to notice the 
extraordinary innovation in St. Matthew's account of the 
divorce questions (see Matt. xix. 9). The clause which 
states that he who marries a divorced woman committeth 
adulterv, is marked as doubtful in the margin, which 


tells us that the words " are omitted in some ancient 

We ask in which ? The answer is, in fc? (tvhich in this 
case differs from B), C^, i.e. a late corrector of the old MS., 
L, S, and D, to which may be added the Syriac of Cureton 
and the Sahidic. Origen does not cite the words. 

On the other side are B, already noticed, supported by 
eleven uncials, nearly all cursives, good MSS. of early Italic, 
the Vulgate, both the old Syriac Versions, the Coptic, in good 
editions, the ^thiopic, and Armenian, with Basil. 

Tischendorf rejects the clause as a case of assimilation, 
and this view doubtless had weight with the Eevisers. 
Westcott and Hort, however, attached, as we may assume, 
special importance to the authority of D, who, because he 
is well known as an interpolator, is to be received as a witness 
entitled in their judgment to be heard in preference even to 
B, their all but infallible guide. 

So that St. Matthew, the special recorder of our Lord's 
sayings, is to be noted as giving on this formal occasion an 
incomplete account of His decision, on a point of legislative 


In the account of this transaction, St. Mark x. 17-22 
undergoes one mutilation. The words take iip thy cross (dpa<; 
TOP aravpov) are omitted altogether without marginal notice. 

The authorities for omission are N, B, C, D, A, one cursive, 
some MSS. of Italic, the Vulgate, two editions of the Coptic, 
and three Latin Fathers, Ambrose, Augustine, and Hilary. 

For its retention stand A with eight uncials, most cursives, 
the Peshito, Coptic, Gothic, Armenian, and iEthiopic. 

The testimony of Irenseus is explicit; we have both the 
Greek and the Latin interpretation, quoted by Tischendorf 
In a case like this the authority of Irenseus outweighs any 


single witness ; nay, any combination of witnesses, unless 
they are sustained by strong internal evidence. 

In my own note on this passage I recorded the omission of 
the words in the two oldest MSS. I did not then feel the 
distrust in their authority which a closer examination of 
their readings in important passages has since generated and 

Will any one maintain that these words are to be rejected 
as a plain and clear error ? 

But we turn to the account of this transaction in St. Mat- 
thew's Gospel, xix. 16, 17. 

Here we encounter a most perplexing alteration, one 
which totally changes the import of the young ruler's ques- 
tion, and of our Lord's answer. 

First, the word good before Master is omitted ; the young 
ruler does not there use a word, natural on his lips, but 
calling for correction, as applied without adequate apprecia- 
tion of its force. And then the words put into our Lord's 
mouth are " Why dost thou ask me concerning that which 
is good ? " Then we read, " One there is that is good," — 
omitting the words following. 

In the first place (1) this reading directly contradicts the 
record given by St. Mark and St. Luke. If this is a true 
account, those two very distinct and concurrent accounts are 
a grave misrepresentation. (2) Secondly the reading obliter- 
ates a saying of deep and solemn import; one which was- 
liable to be misunderstood and certain to be misused, suggest- 
ing therefore to some bold innovator the expediency of a 
change which would remove that difficulty. (3) Thirdly the 
new reading implies that the young ruler intended to put a 
question, savouring of the schools, as to the meaning of the 
abstract term rov dyaOov. 

What are the authorities preferred to some which are 
admitted in the margin to be ancient ? 


(1) For the omission of arfaOe, K, B, D, L, 1, 22 ; ^thiopic 
and Origen, torn. iii. 664 seq. 

For retaining it, all other uncials, beginning with C 
(A unfortunately Mat), all other cursives, the Vulgate, the 
Syriac, the Sahidic and Coptic, and the Armenian Versions. 
To this must be added the express testimony of Justin 
Martyr, of Irenseus (i. 26. 2), of Hilary, and of Basil. 

(2) For the transformation of our Lord's own words, the 
same uncials, «, B, D, L, supported by a, h, c, e, ff, the Syriac 
of Cureton, the Coptic, Armenian, and ^thiopic, and Origen. 
Against it eleven uncials, nearly all cursives; the Peshito 
and Sahidic Versions, Justin and Irenseus, Chrysostom and 
his followers. 

The reading therefore is ancient, at first finding place in 
Western texts, remarkable for what Eeiche calls socordia 
and licentia ; then adopted, as it would seem, by Origen, and 
retained in later Alexandrian recensions. 

We have, as can scarcely be doubted, a reading partly 
indicating doctrinal bias or scrupulousness, but resting chiefly 
on Alexandrian subtlety. 


This very important and peculiarly interesting portion of 
Scripture appears to have been left untouched so far as 
regards essential points. 

I must however observe that in the parable of the prodigal 
sou one touch of exceeding tenderness and beauty is lost, not, 
I am happy to say, in the text, but in the marginal reading, 
Luke XV. 21. What St. Luke makes us feel is that as the 
son, held in his father's loving arms, could not choose but 
utter the words of penitential humility, / am no more worthy 
to he called thy son ; so neither could he at that moment add 
the words which were perfectly adapted to his state of 


feelings when first awakened to a sense of unpardonable 
guilt, and far from his father's house, but were utterly incom- 
patible with his actual position. To have then asked to 
be made as one of his father's hirelings would have been 
impossible, an ungracious mockery.* Yet these words are 
added in n, B, D, U, X, and in several MSS. of the Vulgate. 
Westcott and Hort retain them, but bracketed, in their text. 
It is to be deeply regretted that they should appear in the 
margin of the Eevised Version. Considering that they have 
two indications of spuriousness, first as a palpable assimi- 
lation to V. 19, and next as finding place in the MS. most 
notorious for interpolations, we might surely have expected 
that these two critics would have held to their own canons, 
and rejected the words altogether. 

And now, omitting to notice a considerable number of 
slight, and certainly very unnecessary, alterations in St. Mark 
and St. Luke, I pass on to the history of the Last Week. 

* See a striking exposition of this passage in the fragments of Clem. 
Alex. p. 1017 seq. ed. Potter. 



The Words and Acts of our Lord on His Entrance 
into, and during his last visit to, jerusalem. 

Matt xxi.-xxv. ; Mark xi. 1-10 ; Luhe xix. 29-49. — In 
this section the first change of importance occurs at the 
outset — in St. Mark's account of our Lord's advance from 

It touches an event especially interesting in its bearings 
upon our Lord's Personality, the fulfilment of prophecy, and 
the characteristics of the Messianic kingdom. 

Our Lord sent two of His disciples, before He left Bethany, 
giving them instructions concerning the ass — one which St. 
Mark, followed by St. Luke, is careful to record, had never 
borne a rider — which He was now to ride, like kings and 
judges in olden times, intimating at once His dignity, and 
His special character as Prince of Peace. 

What our Lord told them to say to the owner of the beast, 
should their right to take the ass be questioned, was simply, 
" The Lord hath need of it," or as St. Matthew, referring to 
the colt, says, " of them." 

What He added, as St. -Matthew and St. Mark tell us — 
undoubtedly for the sake of the disciples themselves, to 
remove any apprehension they might feel as to the result of 
their mission — was, " and straightway he will send it," as St. 
Mark adds "hither." 

So stands the account in our Authorized Version. It 
enables us to realize the feelings of the disciples, the calm 


exercise of unquestionable authority by our Lord, the com- 
bination of condescension to their weakness with His own 
clear determination to fulfil all that was essential to the 
manifestation of His kingdom. The one word hither, added 
by St. Mark, accords with the style of that Evangelist, ever 
careful to note minute circumstances which add to the 
vividness of his narrative. 

But in the text of the Ee vised Version St. Mark is made 
to give an account of that injunction which totally alters its 

We read there, to our bewilderment, that our Lord 
added words with a view of reassuring the owners of the 

The answer stands thus : Say ye, the Lord hath need of 
them; and straighttuay he tuill send them hack hither ; the 
word " back " in the margin being further explained to mean 
hack again. 

We are struck first by the absolute contradiction to St. 
Matthew's clear and simple account. There the Eevisers 
leave the words and straightivay he will send them untouched. 
I do not suppose that any doubt was ever felt as to their 
meaning there. In the next place the altered reading intro- 
duces a point inconceivably mean and unsuitable. Our Lord 
is actually represented as bidding the disciples assure the 
owners of the beast that He would send it back again 
directly. The mischief is effected by the insertion of one 
word, itclXlv, again, interpreted as meaning " back again." 

This interpolation, as I do not hesitate to call it, rests 
on the authority of six uncials, of course x, B, followed 
by L, A, and supported by D and C, with variations, how- 
ever, noticed by Tischendorf, which materially affect their 

Against it are nine uncials, nearly all cursives (Tischendorf 
says al. pi., but he cites nojie on the other side), all Versions, 


early Italic and Vulgate, Sahidic, Memphitic, Syriac, Gothic, 
Armenian, and ^thiopic* 

Such a consensus of Versions, scarcely ever found in pas- 
sages open to dispute, especially where the Eusebian or 
Origenistic recension is concerned, is absolutely conclusive, if 
not as to the true reading, yet as to the rejection of the inno- 
vation in all quarters of Christendom. 

Will Convocation accept the responsibility for this grave 
innovation ? 

Mark xi. 8. — On the way to Jerusalem, in St. Mark's 
description, we meet with an innovation, which, if not impor- 
tant as regards our Lord's Personality, is of considerable 
importance as regards the good sense and accuracy of the 
Evangelist. The Eevised Version tells us that many spread 
on His way " branches," which they had cut from " the fields," 
but the margin further tells us that the Greek, rendered 
" branches," means layers of leaves, a statement scarcely intelli- 
gible.f The text of the Authorized Version has a clear and 
simple statement, exactly in accordance with St. Matthew in 
sense, but not in form., thus showing that there is no ground 
for assuming a process of assimilation, viz. others cut down 
branches of trees, and strawed them in the way. 

This innovation involves the change of fields for trees, and 
the omission of the last clause. 

The MS. authority for the change is doubtful. N, B, (C,) 
L, A, not without variations, have dypcov for 8evBpo)v. So too 
Origen, iv. pp. 181, 193. The Versions which adopt that 
reading do not omit the last clause, viz. the Sahidic and 

The Authorized Version has for it eight uncials, all cur- 

* The testimony of Origen is doubtful. In torn. iv. p. 181 he omits 
TTiikiv, but inserts it twice or thrice in tom. iii. We have here one instance 
among many of carelessness in that great critic or in his transcribers. 

f The " Two Revisers," p. 51, seem to explain it as meaning *' beds." 


sives, as Tischendorf admits {aL om. '^''^), and all other ancient 

As for the internal probabilities, I would ask whether 
layers of leaves, i.e. leaves made up into matting, are ever 
spoken of in connection with a solemn procession ; whether, 
on the other hand, branches of trees, especially the palm, are 
not invariably accompaniments of such a triumphant march ? 

Mark xi. 26. — In this chapter (Mark xi.) the 26th verse, 
" But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is 
in heaven forgive you your trespasses," is omitted altogether 
from the Eevised Text, although the margin allows that it is 
supported by many ancient authorities. 

The first remark which presents itself is that here we have 
a conspicuous instance of the insensibility of the ancient 
and modern innovators to what I have more than once noted 
as our Lord's habit of emphatic iteration — a habit especially 
illustrated in St. Mark's account of His discourses. 

The question then comes, what are the authorities for or 
against the innovation ? 

For it we find the usual group, i<, B, L, with S, A. Against 
it all other uncials — thirteen are cited by Tischendorf — of 
various and independent recensions, nearly all cursives, the 
Italic, Vulgate, Gothic, ^Ethiopic, and Armenian Versions. 

Is this saying to be rejected as a plain and clear error ? 

I will not here dwell on points of minor importance. 
Changes in the accounts of our Lord's proceedings at Jeru- 
salem given by the Evangelist are sufficiently numerous and 
for the most part, as I venture to think, unnecessary. 

With one change, however, I agree, although the authority 
of ancient manuscripts and Versions is far from decisive. In 
Mark xiii. 14, the name of the prophet Daniel is omitted in 
the text of the Eevised Version, and is not noticed in the 
margin. As I pointed out in my note on the passage, the 
omission is sanctioned by the best commentators. It is of 



importance as illustrating, in fact confirming, my statement 
in reference to the reading in Mark i. 2, that St. Mark does 
not cite the name of a prophet without absolute necessity. 
On that ground the Eevisers, as I said, do well to omit 
Daniel here ; had they omitted Isaiah there, they would not 
have imputed an inexcusable blunder to the Evangelist. 


We are now come to the most solemn, most vital points in 
the whole Gospel; and have first to inquire whether any 
serious innovations are suggested or adopted in the accounts 
of the Institution of the Holy Eucharist. 

In St. Matthew, xxvi. 26-29, two changes are without 
importance ; the article is omitted before apTov in v, 26, and 
ehlhov Kal is changed to Sov?, noticeable only as an instance 
of what Eeiche calls errors originating "a male sedulis 
grammaticis." The most serious change is the omission of 
neio {Kaivr]<^) before covenant. For this omission the authori- 
ties are, as usual, N, B, L, with Z ; against it nine uncials, 
nearly all cursives (Tischendorf says fere omnes), the Italic, 
Vulgate, Coptic, Armenian, and ^thiopic Versions, and those 
Fathers whose testimony is most weighty, even in the Eevisers' 
estimation, Irenseus, Origen, Cyprian, and Chrysostom. 

In St. Mark xiv. (fxiyere is omitted in v. 22, but on good 
authority ; and in v. 24 irepl is changed to vTrep. 

But when we turn to St. Luke's Gospel, c. xxii., we 
observe, with equal surprise and grief, that a mutilation is 
suggested which for extent and importance has few parallels 
in the history of destructive criticism. 

It must be borne in mind that a very special interest 
attaches to the account of the Last Supper which is given by 
St. Luke. No one doubts that the Evangelist received his 
information from St. Paul ; in this point, if in any, we look 


for characteristics of the Pauline Evangelist ; but St. Paul 
tells us expressly, in words ever present to the minds of 
Christians — most especially when they listen to the prayer 
of Consecration, in which our own Church gathers up the 
scriptural intimation of the facts and of their meaning — that 
he received his account directly from the Lord. (See note on 
1 Cor. xi. 23.) Here, if anywhere, we should expect to find, 
as we always have found, the most perfect agreement between 
the Evangelist and the Apostle. 

But on looking at the margin of the Eevised Version we 
read " some ancient authorities omit ivhicli is given for you 
. . . tvhieh is poured Old f 07' you." 

Will Convocation dare to make itself responsible for this 
note ? Can it be doubted that it utterly discredits St. Luke's 
account ? 

Westcott and Hort in their text enclose the words in 
double brackets, indicating total distrust. 

We turn to the ancient authorities, of course expecting to 
find at the head of them t< and B ; but no — here those 
uncials and all other MSS. but one have the words, with 
slight variations. They are supported by Eusebius and Origen. 

For the omission, D, with some copies of early Latin 
Versions, is the authority followed by the marginists. That 
manuscript, notorious for carelessness and caprice, gives a 
garbled and very confused account of the institution of that 
great sacrament ; but it is scarcely conceivable that it would 
be allowed to cast a dark shade on the minds of readers 
trusting to the authority of the Eevisers. 


Throughout this last portion of the sacred narrative the 
deepest feelings of Christians are elicited ; every detail is 
examined with an interest more intense than attaches to any 

II 2 


events in the world's history ; observations which apply with 
special force to what is recognized by all as the last prepara- 
tory act for the Cross, that which bears as its special 
designation the Saviour's " agony and Moody siveat." 

The account of St. Matthew is left without substantial 
alteration. Still it would seem that it could not be left 
untouched. In c. xxvi. 42 three words are omitted from the 
Eevised Text without notice, se. mcjj {irorrjpiov) and from me 
{aiT €/jLov). So far as manuscript authority is concerned, it 
may be admitted that, supposing a new text were contem- 
plated, the innovators might claim a preponderance in favour 
of omitting the former word ; for ^c, B are supported by A 
and C, with three later uncials, and three cursives, 1, 33, 
and 102. We must, however, observe that they neglect the 
testimony of eleven uncials, weighty in their combination ; 
of all other cursives ; and no small number of ancient Ver- 
sions, the best MS. of old Italic, the Vulgate, Coptic, and 
one edition of the Syriac — sufficient to justify retention of 
all the words, certainly to demand notice. When we add 
to this (1) our Saviour's habit of emphatic reiteration, to 
which attention has been repeatedly called, a habit specially 
exemplified on this solemn occasion, and (2) St. Matthew's 
distinct statement that He used the same word on the third 
occasion, there seems to me little room to doubt that the 
omission is another instance of unseemly haste in the action 
of an early transcriber, or of fastidiousness in some early 

Surely no one will maintain that the words in the Autho- 
rized Version are a plain and clear error ; surely the Eevisers 
must have yielded with reluctance to their own very peculiar 
views of necessity ! 

In St. Mark, ch. xiv., the few changes that are made do not 
materially affect the sense. In -z;. 35 the revised Greek text 
has eTnirrev for eirea-ev ; a change unobservable in the English 


rendering ; and in v. 40 fie^apij/jievoc is changed to Kara/Sapv- 
vo/juevoL : I should have thought that the aorist in the one case, 
and the perfect in the other were obviously more appropriate ; 
but in the former case the Eevisers follow x, B, L against 
all other uncials, some, A, C, weighty in themselves, and still 
more weighty in combination, with all known cursives, as 
Tischendorf admits. St. Mark of all Evangelists was least 
likely to substitute the imperfect tense, of very questionable 
significance, for the simple, graphic, vivid aorist. For the 
other change good manuscript authority is adduced: but 
surely, not sufficient to justify an innovation. Yet, as it 
would seem, the fact that St. Mark agrees with St. Matthew 
in stating that the disciples were already heavy with grief, 
as they had now been watching for some time, is to be taken 
as a proof that we have a case of assimilation, and as a 
reason that we are now to understand that at the close of 
the whole solemn transaction they were beginning to be 
borne down by sleep. It is however fortunate that this new 
shade of meaning does not come out in the rendering, '' for 
their eyes were very heavy," which differs from the Autho- 
rized Version only by the proper introduction of the adverb 

But these and other points are lost sight of when we turn 
to St. Luke's Gospel, c. xxii., and find that the margin tells 
us that " many ancient authorities omit verses 43, 44," that 
is, the whole passage which records the appearance of the 
angel strengthening our Lord in His bodily weakness, and the 
great drops as of blood testifying to the intensity of the 
agony. We turn to the Greek text of Westcott and Hort 
and find that these two critics enclose the verses in double 
brackets, indicating untrustworthiness. 

Now it is true that manuscripts of the recension with 
which we have chiefly to deal do omit the words, viz. n* — i.e. as 
corrected by a critical reviser, the so-called diorthota, — and 


B, supported by E and T, and I grieve to add by A, and 
a few cursives : and also that the omission is noticed, though 
not approved, by Hilary, an early and good authority. 

On the other side is marshalled a goodly array of uncials 
and cursives of different recensions, and of the greatest 
weight in their combination : not to speak of early Ver- 
sions which are nearly unanimous in supporting the old 
reading. We will consider the patristic evidence imme- 
diately ; but before we go farther I venture to assert that the 
omisvsion, to whatever cause it is to be attributed, seriously 
affects the authority of the critics who adopt the reading. 

But I ask wdiether the omission did not originate in a 
doctrinal bias ? We have at once the answer. Epiphanius 
tells us, not as a matter of probable conjecture, but distinctly 
and positively as a well-known undisputed fact, that " ortho- 
dox churchmen took away, removed from the text, the words, 
fearful of misapplication and not understanding their bearing." 
The words are singularly clear : opOoho^oi d(f>6i\ovTo to 
p7)deVf (j)o^T]6evr6<^ koX /jlt) vorjaavre<^ avrov ro reXo? (' Anchor.' 
§ 31). The reasons which Epiphanius assigns are striking. 
Eear, at once the weakest and most rash of all motives ; and 
a want of spiritual discernment, common as would seem in 
modern as well as early ages. Epiphanius moreover tells 
us that the passage is extant in the Gospel of St. Luke 
in the unrevised copies (iv toU ahiopOooTOL'^ dvTLypd(f>oi,<;). 
He also mentions the important fact that it was cited by 

There is not in the whole Gospel a clearer case of an 
alteration invented, not, I am thankful to say, by the early 
Church, but by certain critics or revisers claiming the name 
of orthodox. What they feared was that this passage might 
give a pretext for those who seized eagerly on every indica- 
tion of human infirmity in our Saviour. But as for the best 
Fathers there is no reason to suppose that they made them- 


selves accomplices in the mutilation. Tischendorf indeed 
notices the silence of St. Athanasius on two occasions ; * but 
that great teacher always confines himself to the subject in 
hand, and never notices collateral passages or statements 
which do not bear directly upon his argument, which 
throughout the Arian controversy was to prove the divinity 
of our Lord. The proofs of the humanity w^ere distinctly 
recognized by him, but there was no occasion for referring to 
them in the treatise in question. It is true that Cyril of 
Alexandria passes over this passage in his commentary on 
St. Luke; but among all theologians whose authority has 
any weight in the Church, Cjril was remarkable for the 
tendency which soon after his time issued in tlie monophysite 
heresy. He would certainly sympathize with the " orthodox " 
corrupters of the text ; but he is too prudent to give direct 
countenance to their daring innovation. 

On the other hand, supporting the whole passage we have 
an array of authorities which, whether we regard their 
antiquity or their character for sound judgment, veracity, and 
accuracy, are scarcely paralleled on any occasion. We have 
first Justin Martyr, bearing witness to the faith of the Church 
in Palestine, in Asia Minor, and in Eome, the very earliest of 
the Fathers subsequent to the Apostolic age. We have then 
Irengeus, a Father who comes nearest to Justin in point of 
time, who in all questions of authenticity stands foremost 
among the Fathers, attesting the universal faith of Christen- 
dom. His testimony is more especially valuable, since it is 
given not in a mere passing notice, but in a careful enumera- 
tion of the scriptural proofs of our Lord's true and perfect 

* This is a striking instance of the danger of negative assertions. 
Tischendorf naturally trusted to the indices of scriptural quotations, and 
evidently was not aware that on another occasion, where the passage 
bore upon his argument, Athanasius cites its contents. See note, p. 43. 
On neither of the two occasions to which Tischendorf alludes (pp. 456, 709) 
is there any reference to St. Luke's Gospel. 


humanity (in lib. iii. xxii. 92 p. 543 ed. Stieren) ; as Epi- 
phanius remarks " arguing against the Docetse." 

We have these absolute proofs of the existence, and of the 
general reception, of the passage, both by Catholics and by 
heretics — against whom certainly Irenreus would not have 
cited a contested authority — some two hundred years before 
the amended, i.e. mutilated, documents which reject it from 
their texts. 

To these oldest and highest authorities we may add a 
catena of the most illustrious Fathers from the third to the fifth 
centuries — of the Greeks, Hippolytus, Eusebius, Athanasius,* 
Dionysius and Didymus of Alexandria, and Chrysostom ; 
of the Latins, Hilary, Jerome, and Augustine. 

We are thankful to add that this text, so especially dear 
and precious to Christian hearts, soon recovered its position 
even in those parts of Christendom where the Alexandrian 
or Eusebian recension had for a season preponderating 
influence. Uncials which in doubtful cases usually support 
B are here against it ; even N ", i.e. the Codex Sinaiticus, but 
corrected by a contemporary reviser, with L, in most read- 
ings little more than a transcript of B, with D, i.e. early 
Western, E, G, H, K, M, Q, U (with asterisks, wliich prove 
that the transcriber was fully aware of the so-called correc- 
tion) ; and E, S, V, A, 11 — E ranking first among what 
Scrivener calls secondary uncials, and the two last satellites 
of B ; lastly the reading is supported by all the best ancient 
Versions, including even the Coptic, the faithful witness to 
the best Alexandrian recension. 

* Tom. iii. p. 1121, e^ oIkclov iTpocra>nov 6 Xpicrrbs oiKovoynKws eKovcricos 
7r po(T€VX€Tai p,€Tci Kpavyrjs, p.CTa daupvcov, pLcra IdpcoTcov koL dpop^ov aifxaros, 
jjifTa. ayyeXov €vicr)(vovTOs kol olovel napaKaXovvTOs avTou, Kairrep vlos 3cov 
dKT)6(os VTTdpx(^v. I quote this passage, partly because it is overlooked in 
the Benedictine index, and by critical editors, even by Tregelles, but 
chiefly because it presents in a most striking and complete form the 
doctrine of the Church touching our Lord's humanity. It occurs in the 
'Exposition of the Ixviiith Psalm,' v. 17. 


Whether the omission originated with Marcion is purely 
matter of conjecture. The suggestion occurs naturally, as in 
accordance with his system ; but there is no sufficient reason 
to impute it even to him. as Tischendorf justly observes, 
" tacentibus Tertulliano et Epiphanio." 

The history of the innovation is simple and perfectly intel- 
ligible. Up to the fourth century the text of St. Luke, 
dSiopOcorof;, without correction, was received without question. 
It was appealed to, as decisive, in controversy with Docetse 
of various shades ; none of whom dared to meet it by deny- 
ing its authenticity. When Arius, or some of his subtle 
followers, misused it, unscrupulous, over-timid, and at the 
same time over-bold, controversialists dared to expunge it 
from the text, at a time and place when their influence was 
imcontested. But ere long the unanimous evidence of the 
best and earliest Fathers, of ancient Versions, Western and 
Eastern, and doubtless also of independent, uncontaminated 
MSS., all in accordance with the deepest spiritual instincts of 
Christians, prevailed ; the passage was restored to its true 
position, never again to be questioned, or subjected to cap- 
tious objections, until in this nineteenth century a book 
which ought to represent in great measure the deliberate judg- 
ment of the Church of England presents it with a comment, 
which will henceforth make it impossible for theologians or 
preachers who accept the Kevised Version to quote it as 
authority for a fundamental doctrine, or as a subject especially 
fitted for devout contemplation. 

I ask again, will Convocation dare to take upon itself 
this responsibility ? 


We have not even yet reached the climax. In the pre- 
ceding section we had to fasten attention upon the most 
touching fact recorded in St. Luke's account of our Lord's 


agony in Gethsemane, but marked for omission by the 
Eevisers. Here we have to deal with a still more serious 
omission, not of the Evangelist's narrative of events, but of 
our Lord's own words, and not of ordinary words, but of the 
very first spoken by Him on the Cross ; words which in all 
ages, by all students of the Bible, from the most devout and 
thoughtful believer to the most sceptical of rationalists, have 
ever been recognized as the very highest expression of the 
grace, wisdom, and love of the Saviour ; words which stand 
foremost among those which have won for St. Luke the 
special honour due to the recorder of the tenderest and most 
loving characteristics of our Lord's Personality. 

In the text of the Eevised Version we still read in c. xxiii. 34, 
" Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do ; " 
but in the margin stand the words, warning us not to accept 
them as genuine, " Some ancient authorities omit them ; " 
and when we turn to the Greek text of Westcott and 
Hort we find them enclosed in double brackets, implying 

What is the first thought which occurs to the critical 
reader ? Is it not, Here we have a crucial test by which we 
may ascertain what ancient authorities are unsafe guides ? 
How many are there ? To what school do they seem to 
belong ? How are they supported ? 

Here they are, as Tischendorf presents them in his last 
edition : " fc<^ (uncis inclusit), B, D", 38,435, a, h, d, sah. cop.'^^" 
That is, one uncial only without indication of doubt; two 
cursives only ; three MSS. of early Italic — sufficient however 
to show at how early a date the carelessness of copyists 
notorious for " socordia and licentia " committed the error — 
the Sahidic, and one edition of the Coptic. 

In a case where the internal evidence is absolutely con- 
clusive; where we can scarcely believe that the spirit of 
the critics, who marked the words as doubtful, sanctioned the 
conclusion to which they were driven by their system, it is 


scarcely necessary to dwell on external evidence, but it is 
important, because it vindicates from the disgrace of coun- 
tenancing the mutilation authorities to which we attach 
great value on other grounds. Here I give them again 
from Tischendorf : N"-^ (sc. the original text and a corrector 
of later date). A, C, D^"^ (i.e. so in D in the more important 
Greek text), L (the usual satellite of B), Q (one of the 
very earliest MSS.), X, T, A, A, 11 ("sed E asteriscum 
prsepositum habet " — a note to be regretted in the case of so 
good a MS.), al. longe plur. {i.e. by far the greatest number 
of cursives), c, e, f, ff (showing that the early Italic copyists 
are not all guilty of the same unpardonable socordia), vg. 
cop. ''■' ^* P^*"* dz. rec. (cop. ^'''^^ uncis inclusum habet), to which 
I add the edition of the Society for Promoting Christian 
Knowledge edited by Tattam, commended by Stein as ivcrtli- 
volle Ausgctbe, syr.'^" {i.e. the most important ancient Versions 
in perfect unanimity), arm. seth. 

I have quoted this array for its fulness ; but that every 
reader may perceive its full significance I ask him to notice 
these facts. 1st. Among ancient manuscripts B, the Codex 
Vaticanus, in the estimation of Westcott and Hort the 
purest and infinitely the most important, stands alone, as 
presenting the mutilated text without notice of omis- 

2nd. Taking the entire body of ancient Versions we find 
only a small number of early Italic — contradicted by others, 
and after due consideration rejected by Jerome — to which 
must be added the Sahidic, indicating the omission in an 
early Egyptian recension, supporting B. 

3rd. That even the Codex Sinaiticus contained the words 
in its original text, and that although they were marked as 
doubtful by an early corrector, the marks of suspicion were 
removed by a subsequent one. 

-Ith. That the evidence conies from every quarter of Chris- 


tendom, from the East, Palestine and Syria, and probably 
Asia Minor ; from the West, represented by the Vulgate, and 
the Greek text of Codex Bezte ; and from Egypt, as repre- 
sented by MSS. second only to B in antiquity, and some of 
them by a short interval, and by the native and derived 

We turn however to authorities which for certainty of 
antiquity and for explicitness and value of testimony stand 
in the foremost rank of trustworthy witnesses. First we 
take those quoted by Tischendorf, and therefore distinctly 
brought before the minds of all the Eevisers. Irenseus is 
first quoted — a few words, but conclusive ; I will however 
give the whole passage as peculiarly valuable in its bearings 
upon the character of this first of all authorities in questions 
of genuineness. It occurs in the third book, c. 18 § 5 
(p. 247 ed. Grabe, p. 210 ed. Mass., p. 521 ed. Stieren) : " Ad 
tantam temeritatem progressi sunt quidam, ut etiam mar- 
tyres spernant et vituperent eos, qui propter Domini confes- 
sionem occiduntur, et sustinent omnia a Domino prsedicta, 
et secundum hoc conantur vestigia passionis Domini, passi- 
bilis martyres facti (i.e. witnesses of the suffering Christ) ; 
quos et concedimus ipsis martyribus (see Grabe's note — whom 
we hand over to the martyrs as Christ's assertors on the day 
of judgment). Et ex hoc autem quod Dominus in cruce 
dixerit: Pater, remitte eis, non cniin sciunt ffiiod facmnt ; 
longanimitas et patientia et misericordia et bonitas Christi 
ostenditur, ut et ipse pateretur, et ipse excusaret eos, qui se 
male tractassent. Verbum autem Dei quod nobis dixit : 
Diligite inimicos vestros et orate pro eis qui vos oderunt : Ipse 
hoc fecit in cruce, in tantum diligens humanum genus, ut 
etiam pro his, qui se interficerent, postularet." 

It must be borne in mind that if this testimony stood 
absolutely alone it would be sufficient to prove that the words 
were received without question alike by heretics and Catho- 


lies in Asia Minor, where Irenseus passed his youth under 
the teaching of Polycarp ; in Gaul, where he lived as Presbyter 
and Bishop of Lyons ; and at Eome, where he passed some 
time as an honoured ambassador and upholder of the faith. 

But far from standing alone, we find Irenseus supported by 
a witness, to whose evidence the Revisers, and their prede- 
cessors Griesbach and Lachmann, are disposed to accord 
special value. Origen, in the second homily on Leviticus, 
tom. ii. p. 188, speaks explicitly, and in connection with a 
point to which he attaches great importance. He is speaking 
of sins of ignorance, sins committed without knowledge of 
their character and extent, for which Origen holds the High 
. Priest, himself a teacher, could not plead that excuse, but of 
which he concludes from Lev. iv. 5 the whole synagogue 
could be guilty, and adds emphatically, " Quod et Dominus 
confirmat in Evangeliis cum dicit : Pater, remitte illis, non 
enim sciunt quod faciunty 

To these Tischendorf adds the Apostolic Constitutions — 
quoting first a book which is admitted to be of the second or 
third century, ii. 16. 8, and then lib. v. 14. 8, in both passages 
o for TL — Eusebius, who places the words in Canon x. as 
found in Luke only, and of course Chrysostom repeatedly, 
Hilary, Theodoret, and Damascenus. Special weight is also 
to be given to the passage in which Hegesippus puts the 
words into the mouth of St. James, the Lord's brother, at his 

To this long list, additions important for their number, 
separate weight, and mutual independence, are given by the 
Quarterly Reviewer, Oct. 1881, p. 354, including Athanasius,* 

* The reference to St. Atliaucasius is the more important inasmuch as it 
is not noticed in the Benedictine index. The passage is distinct, and 
exceedingl}' interesting, on Ps. Ixviii. 14. Athanasius says that the 
Evangelist represents our Lord Ka\ Tzapa tS aravpm vtvep rcdv crTavpovvroiv 
€vx6fi€vov. See Ed. Ben. p. 1120. 


Basil, Gregory of Nyssa, and a complete catena of Greek 
Fathers to the ninth century; also Ambrose, Jerome, and 
Augustine more than sixty times. 

I believe no modern editor had previously dared to omit 
these precious words, or to mark them as doubtful. Tischen- 
dorf and Tregelles receive them with full acquiescence. That 
it should be reserved to two learned, sound, and conscientious 
English critics, slaves to their own arbitrary rules,* to affix 
to such words a stigma, and that their influence should 
have so far availed as to induce the Eevisers to give it a 
place in their book, is a fact which rouses the deepest 
feelings of regret and astonishment. 

Will Convocation dare to share the responsibility ? 


Luke xxiii. 45. — After this it is but a minor, though in 
itself a serious matter, that the Eevised Version should make 
St. Luke relate a physical impossibility — an eclipse of the 
sun at the full moon. 

This is, however, somewhat disguised in the English ren- 
dering, which gives us the sun's light failing, a phrase which, 
perplexing as it is to the English reader, might leave him 
unconscious of the meaning, even with the marginal comment, 
Gr. the sun failing, but which in the Greek, which is 
rendered thus oddly, is without any ambiguity, "the sun 
undergoing an eclipsed 

This is effected by substituting tov rjKiov eKkelTrovTo^ for 
eaKOTLO-Qr) 6 rj\io<^. 

Observe also that the Eevised Version goes somewhat 

* The neglect of internal evidence in this and similar passages is as 
characteristic of the writer of the ' Introduction to Westcott and Hort's 
New Testament ' as his subservience to the external authorities which are 
recognized by both critics as all-sufficient. 


further than Westcott and Hort. They give the other reading 
in their margin. The Eevised Version implies that it is the 
true and only Greek reading. 

For the alteration the responsibility lies with N, B, and 
L (C is marked by Tischendorf as doubtful), and some few 
cursives, against all other MSS., nine uncial, nearly all 
cursives, the best Italic MSS., the Vulgate, the Syriac of 
Cureton, and others, followed by Tregelles. 

The evidence of Origen is doubtful. On the side of the 
innovation we have explicit statements (tom. i. pp. 414, 415) 
quoted by Tischendorf. Against it we have no less positive 
and distinct repudiation ; he says (tom. iii. p. 923), " Dicemus 
ergo Mt. et Mc. non dixerint defectionem solis tunc factam 
fuisse: sed neque Lucas secundum pleraque exemplaria, 
habentia sic — et obsmratus est sol,'' and he states his opinion 
either that it was changed by an officious scribe or by an 

For the inconsistency of these statements no better reason 
can be given than the active and unsettled mind of the 
greatest and most subtle, but certainly not the most judicious, 
of early expositors. 

For us the real question is this. Did St. Luke, as Sir 
Edmund Beckett observes the most highly educated of the 
Evangelists, commit a blunder so gross as to draw upon 
him.self and his Gospel the derision of the heathen; or 
is it to be attributed to the rashness and ignorance of 
an early scribe, at once anxious and proud to give what 
seemed to him a satisfactory explanation of a strange phe- 
nomenon ? 

I should scarcely have thought it possible that Englishmen 
of character should have chosen the former alternative. I 
should indeed be astonished to find that Convocation accepted 
the responsibility. 



Luke xxiii. 38. — St. Luke's account of the inscription 
being written in Greek, Latin, and Hebrew, is omitted 
altogether in the text, without any mention in the margin 
of ancient authorities which support it. 

It is a statement which has ever been regarded as pecu- 
liarly appropriate to the occasion and to the writer, a Gentile 
by birth, writing for Gentiles in the first place, and careful to 
notice that the three great divisions of mankind found place 
in this inscription. 

Why was it omitted ? Judging by other instances we might 
expect to find K, B, in combination with D, and probably 
asainst a mass of external evidences. 

But no ; in this case D is not responsible. B and L (the 
satellite of B) alone concur positively in the omission, N''" 
and C doubtfully; but B is followed by the Sahidic and 
Coptic, and is supported by Cureton's Syriac* 

The omission therefore is ancient; but to any one who 
considers the general character of these authorities it is 
sufficiently accounted for as originally an omission of care- 
lessness, and adopted by a hasty calligrapher. 

I do not believe that in any secular writing critics of 
sound judgment would have tolerated such an omission in 
face of evidence so preponderating as that which Tischendorf 
records against this. It includes eight uncials of high 
character, all cursives, the Italic, Vulgate, Syriac, Armenian, 
and iEthiopic Versions, and Cyril of Alexandria in his Com- 
mentary on St. Luke. Tischendorf further remarks the 
important fact that here there is no place for the usual 
charge of assimilation to Matthew or Mark. He suggests 

* The " Two Revisers," p. 59, cite this as the old Syriac : but in p. 16 
they say it is " assigned to the fifth century," and call it an " imperfect 
copy," inadequately representing an ancient text. 


that it may be taken from John xix. 20. Surely any rational 
critic would have seen, on comparing the two accounts, 
that they are at once independent of each other, occurring in 
different connections, and that, as is very frequently the 
case with these two Evangelists, they mutually support each 
other — a fact of special interest in the question of evan- 
gelical correctness, and specially exemplified in this trans- 

Will Convocation sanction this omission, this total 
obliteration of St. Luke's evidence ? 

Matthew xxvii. 32-56. — In St. Matthew's account of the 
crucifixion the changes, with one exception, do not seriously 
affect the text. 

In V. 34, instead of vinegar the Eevisers have wine (in the 
Greek text olvov). This I have defended in my own notes in 
the ' Speaker's Commentary,' and have no doubt of its cor- 
rectness. It stands on good authority, and is defended by 
Westcott and Hort (see Appendix, p. 20), on the same 
grounds as those which I had alleged. It is important as 
entirely removing the appearance of discrepancy between two 

Iylv. 35 the English reader will be surprised to miss the 
reference to the 22nd Psalm, which in the Eeceived Text and 
in the Authorized Version occupies a prominent place, 
which has in its favour internal probability, being in full 
accordance with St. Matthew's habit of citing prophecies, 
and in the account of the crucifixion he Avould undoubtedly 
have the words of that great Messianic Psalm before his mind. 
In my own notes, however, I had pointed out the weakness 
of the external evidence, and the probability that it was 
taken from St. John's Gospel. It is, however, questionable 
whether the Eevisers were justified in omitting it altogether, 
without notice in the margin, as a i^loin and dear error. 

In V. 42 we find, to our astonishment, that the margin 



tells us "many ancient authorities add, and another took a 
Spear and pierced Ms side, and there came out water and hlood." 
Few points have been generally regarded by critics as more 
certain than that this most striking and important fact is 
recorded by St. John alone; that it was added by him, on 
his personal attestation, to the accounts preserved by the 
other Evangelists, not only with a view to the completeness 
of proofs of our Lord's death, but to the significance of the 
event. But Westcott and Hort, who print it in their text, 
enclosing it in double brackets, evidently attach much weight 
to the external evidence. 

It is extant in six uncial MSS., &<, B, C, L, U, F, all however 
belonging to one recension, the Alexandrian or Eusebian ; but 
against its reception are twelve uncials, including D — which in 
cases of omission is regarded as a high authority by Westcott 
and Hort — A, 11, of the Alexandrian group, and all inde- 
pendent witnesses ; also the Eusebian Canons, which assign 
it exclusively to St. John. Tischendorf sums up the argu- 
ments against it clearly and decisively. Dean Burgon had 
previously proved both the absence of proper authority for 
its insertion, and the circumstances which account for its 

Theologically the notice which, by the simple fact of its 
presence in the margin, implies a cautious but real com- 
mendation, is of real importance. It does not merely imply 
that St. Matthew records a true and weighty fact, but it 
misplaces the act : according to St. John the piercing took 
place after our Lord's death : a point of great doctrinal 
significance ; but as the Eevisers suggest the insertion, it 
would have occurred previously, and have been in fact 
the immediate cause of death. The testimony of Origen 
is decidedly adverse to the interpolation (tjSt] h'avrov airo- 
OavovTo^ eh twv arparLcoTcbv k.t.X.) — see tom. i. 418 C. It 
must not be overlooked that the " water and the blood " 


present a phenomenon which, according to high scientific 
authority, could not have occurred before death. Critically 
it is important, as showing that i<, B, and L, generally con- 
spicuous, as I venture once more to repeat, for their omissions, 
are capable of very serious,' and exceedingly foolish inter- 
polations ; and also as showing that Westcott and Hort, in 
a singularly weak case, give up their own canon, Avhich here 
might be applied with advantage, as to the weight of Codex 
Bezae (D), when, instead of interpolating, that MS. bears 
witness to the absence of a disputed text. 

In St. Mark's Gospel (xv. 39) the Ee vised Text omits the 
words that he so cried out (Gr. Kpd^a<;). 

This is of real importance, for it gives a special reason 
why the centurion was moved to his great confession. It 
was the Saviour's last cry, with its full significance, with its 
attestation to the inherent power of Life triumphing over 
Death, to the fact that the surrender of Life was in the strict 
sense of the word a voluntary act, which wrought complete 
conviction — a conviction for which the way had been pre- 
pared by all the preceding circumstances, especially by our 
Lord's demeanour and words, but which needed and received 
the confirmation of His last loud heart-piercing cry. 

In this case the Eevisers appear to have been perplexed. 
The course which they adopted seems to me, I scarcely ven- 
ture to say it, but say it I must, the very worst. They omit 
it altogether in the text, showing that at least two thirds of 
them finally agreed in rejecting it, acting, as it may be 
supposed, under the influence of Westcott and Hort, who 
pass it over without any note of doubt in their Greek text ; 
but in the margin it is stated that " many ancient authorities 
read so cried out and gave up the ghost.'' The statement 
implies acceptance of the words, but its supporters could not 
carry with them one third of the Committee in a case where 
they were undoubtedly right. 


But what are the authorities ? For the omission K, B, L, 
supported only by the Coptic, and with that exception stand- 
ing absolutely alone. 

On the other side are arranged all other uncials, the whole 
mass of cursives, all other Versions, and among the Fathers 
the two who specially represent the intelligence of the East 
and of the West — Origen and Augustine, names which, in 
their somewhat rare concurrence on disputed points of 
criticism and interpretation, have a weight which of all men 
the Eevisers might have been expected to recognize. 

I take this to be one of the clearest, if not strongest, cases 
of unjustifiable innovation. 

General Result of tJiis Section. 

So stands the case of the Eevised Version as regards the 
evangelical accounts of the central event in the history of 

We find a mark of distrust, to say the least, affixed to 
the first, the specially characteristic word of the crucified 
Saviour ; 

The supernatural darkness accounted for by an astronomical 
impossibility ; 

An interpolation in St. Matthew's Grospel, involving an 
attempt at conciliation, but in reality presenting a serious 
contradiction of St. John's account ; 

The last solemn cry passed over in silence, just at the 
point where it is specially needed by the context. 

For all these, and other less important innovations, the 
responsibility attaches to the authorities chiefly relied upon 
by the two leaders of the Committee on critical questions. 

Will Convocation dare to take upon itself the responsi- 
bility ?. 

( iiv ) 


The Kesurrection. 

Matt. c. xxviii. — In the account which St. Matthew 
gives of this event, or rather of the circumstances under 
which it was first made known to the disciples, and of the 
appearances of our Lord afterwards, I find no innovations 
which affect the character of the transactions. 

I do not notice the four omissions of words or sentences in 
vv, 2, 6, 9, 16 ; and I must also record my thankfulness that 
the Eevisers have not adopted or noticed one innovation, 
wliich we may suppose was brought under their consideration 
by the two critics. In the 19th verse, left without mark or 
comment in the Kevised Version, the Greek text of Westcott 
and Hort retain ^a7rTl^ovTe<;, but in their margin suggest 
l3a7rTLaavTe(f. It is a singularly unfortunate reading, since 
it would imply that baptism was to precede all instruction 
in the faith. 

Its importance consists entirely in its bearing upon the 
character of two MSS., which stand absolutely alone in 
maintaining it. First B, the infallible and pure Vatican, 
and D, in its Greek text, probably by oversight of a tran- 
scriber, since the Latin of that manuscript has baptizantes. 

We turn to the account of St. Luke, c. xxiv. In it we 
meet with several omissions, some of grave, one at least of 
momentous importance. 

In V. 3 the margin suggests the omission of "the Lord 
Jesus ;" following D alone as MS. against the combination of 
every kind of external evidence. In v. 6, it also suggests an 


omission of the important words, He is not here, He is risen, 
on the same authority and against the same consensus. 

But now we come to an omission so grave, so \T.tal in its 
bearings upon evangelical evidence, that we should indeed 
have been surprised had the Eevisers adopted it in their 
text ; we are only less surprised to find them notice it in their 
margin. The whole of the 12th verse, as the margin tells 
us, is omitted by sorae ancient autlwrities. 

For this omission one manuscript alone, D, of all the most 
capricious and negligent, is quoted by Tischendorf. The 
other authorities are early Italic MSS., indicating early omis- 
sion in the "West, and an inference from the Eusebian 

It would scarcely be supposed that the old Textus Eeceptus 
and our Authorized Version are supported by every other 
ancient MS., uncial or cursive, every other ancient Version, 
and among the Fathers by Eusebius himself in a passage 
where he speaks distinctly (ad Mar. suppl. iv. 286, 293), not 
to speak of Cyril Alex, in his commentary on St. Luke. 
Tischendorf himself says, " Patet hunc versum jam sfficulo 
secundo a plerisque testibus lectum esse." 

The notice is one of very peculiar importance. What it 
gives is the personal attestation of St. Peter to his own ocular 
observation of the state in wliich he found the empty sepul- 
chre. It is precisely a point which he would naturally 
mention to St. Paul, when that Apostle abode with him fifteen 
days at Jerusalem (Gal. c. i.) for the special purpose of 
careful inquiry (laroprjaaL). It is no less probable that St. 
Paul would be careful to impress it upon the mind of St. 
Luke, in order that it might stand out prominently in his 
record of the circumstances attesting the Eesurrection. 

The coincidence of the account, so far as it extends, with 
that given by St. John, agrees with numerous indications of 
a close connection Ijetween the third and fourth Gospels ; 


but on the other hand the omission in this passage of all 
notice of St. John's o^ti presence proves the complete inde- 
pendence of the narrative, and disproves the suggestion, 
which, but for that circumstance, might seem plausible, that 
we have a case of assimilation. 

It may be hoped that in a revised edition of the Ee^ised 
Version, tliis and all similar notices in the margin, which 
leave the number and character of adverse witnesses a 
matter open to uncertain conjecture, will be explained, or 
better still altogether omitted, when the word some means 
an infinitesimally small minority. 

One other omission in this chapter, one indeed of tran- 
scending importance, must be recorded. It is scarcely 
credible thet in v. 36 the margin should tell us some ancient 
authorities omit the whole clause, one of the most beautiful 
in this beautiful Gospel, and Re saith unto tliern, Peace he 
unto you. 

Our astonishment increases when we look at the ancient 
authorities. For the sacred words stand the two MSS. 
which rank first in the revising critics' estimate, ^< and B, 
supported by the whole body of MSS., uncial (with one ex- 
ception) and cursive; the Sahidic and Coptic, in short all 
ancient Versions, and the Fathers who refer to this passage, 
Eusebius (ad. Mar. supp. 293 bis), Chrysostom, and C}Til Alex. 

Against the words D stands again absolutely alone, ^ith 
the exception of some ]\ISS. of the old Italic Version. 

It is a fearful thing thus to deal with the most solemn 
words on the most solemn occasion, on the first meeting of 
the risen Lord with the disciples. 

Two other omissions may be passed over with two re- 
marks : (1) The notice in the margin that v. 40 is omitted 
by some ancient authorities is misleading. The words are 
quoted as of considerable importance by Athanasius, tom. 
iii. p. 90i3, ed. Ben., by Eusebius, Epiphanius, and other 


Fathers, and are found in every manuscript except D, and 
in every ancient Version except the old Italic, and Cureton's 
Syriac. (2) Again the evidence for the last part of v. 42 
greatly preponderates over the authorities, though not unim- 
portant, in deference to which it is omitted in the text of 
the Eevised Version. I must reserve my remarks upon the 
last and crowning mutilation, that of v. 51, for the section 
in which I have to consider the evangelical record of the 

I pause only to ask once more, will Convocation accept the 
responsibility for the mutilated text of St. Luke ? 

St. Mark, however, is the great sufferer, if we may venture 
to apply such a term to the sainted Evangelist in reference 
to the mutilation of his Gospel — a mutilaticfn without 
parallel in the critical history of the New Testament, so far 
as that history concerns those who believe in the veracity 
and inspiration of the sacred writers. The whole twelve 
concluding verses of this Gospel are separated from the pre- 
ceding portion both in the English Eevised Version, and in 
the Greek text published in the name of the Eevisers, at 
Oxford under the superintendence of Archdeacon Palmer, at 
Cambridge of Dr. Scrivener. And here I must at once call 
attention to the very remarkable fact that that most cautious 
and judicious critic, the very foremost among those who in 
England combine reverence for God's word with the most 
thorough appreciation of every point bearing upon the criti- 
cism of the New Testament, should have given the sanction 
of his name to the fonn in which these verses appear in the 
Cambridge edition. That edition claims to give in the first 
place the Eeceived Text, or, to speak more accurately, the 
text which was accepted by the translators in 1611, without 
alteration, subjoining the changes adopted by the Eevising 
Committee. But no edition of the Eeceived Text was ever 
issued, none could ever possibly have been issued, with these 


verses of St. Mark thus separated from the rest. For this 
proceeding we may expect some strong reason may be 
alleged — for my part I cannot conjecture what the reason 
may be, unless indeed, which seems scarcely credible, that 
great critic allowed his own excellent judgment to be over- 
ruled by some person representing the feelings of the Eevising 

As for the enormous importance of the omission we have 
but to refer to the public statements of members of the 
Eevising Committee. I have elsewhere quoted the words in 
which one of the most distinguished expresses his extreme 
gratification at the disappearance from what he calls St. 
Mark's genuine work of one of the very strongest assertions 
of the necessity of a real living faith. Far more important 
is another fact, to which I also alluded in a note on the last 
page of my commentary on St. Mark in the ' Speaker's Com- 
mentary,' viz., that the late Mr. Greg, one of the ablest and 
most influential representatives of modern scepticism, held 
that the omission in St. Mark's Gospel of all reference to 
personal appearances of our Lord after the resurrection 
obliterates the earliest and most authoritative attestation to 
that cardinal event. 

But of all proofs of the importance attaching to the reten- 
tion, or to the rejection, of the passage, none more striking 
can be adduced than the course pursued by Dr. Hort in the 
Appendix to the ' Introduction to Westcott and Hort's New 

He occupies some twenty-eight pages, closely printed in 
double columns, with an elaborate statement of the grounds 
on which he defends the mutilation. What he tells us at 
the end, p. 51, is that "it manifestly cannot claim any apos- 
tolic authority." Previously, in p. 36, he sums up the points, 
Avhich are thus declared to be without apostolic authority, 
under five heads. " They contain (1) a distinctive narrative, 


one out of four, of the events after the day of the Eesurrection ; 
(2) one of the (at most) three narratives of the Ascension ; 
(3) "the only statement in the Gospels historical in form as to 
the Session on the Eight Hand ; (4) one of the most emphatic 
statements in the New Testament as to the necessity of faith 
or belief; and (5) the most emphatic statement in the New 
Testament as to the importance of baptism." 

So that these five points, touching cardinal doctrines, are 
divested of cqoostolic autliority. 

The arguments urged, with great ability, and, I would not 
use the word offensively, but I must say with remarkable 
subtlety, by Dr. Hort, could not here be fully discussed 
without breaking the thread of my own reasoning, in which 
I deal only with positive facts and broad statements ; and 
presently I shall have occasion to revert to those arguments 
which appear to me to demand serious attention ; but I will 
at once press upon all inquirers this general statement. 

Dr. Hort does not impugn the fact, which of itself would 
seem to most inquirers conclusive, that with the exception 
of N, B, L, every ancient manuscript, of all recensions and of 
all ages, has the contested verses ; nor again that N is the 
only manuscript which omits them without any indication 
of a hiatus ; nor, though he notices, does he give any satis- 
factory reason for the very instructive fact that B leaves 
a blank space, contrary to its unvarying usage, thus proving 
decisively that the transcriber had a concluding portion 
before him. 

Nor again does he deny that all ancient Versions, some of 
them 100 or 200 years earlier than the most ancient MS., 
have the missing passage ; a very singular fact is passed over 
sub silentio, that the MSS. include those which are most 
commonly found on the side of B; and that whereas two 
very ancient Versions, the Syriac of Cureton and the Sahidic, 
are grievously mutilated, each preserves just enough of 


the missing verses to prove their existence and their 

ISTor again does he deal fully, I venture to say fairly, with 
the patristic evidence. He relies chiefly on negative evi- 
dence, which is universally admitted to be a very insecure 
foundation for unfavourable judgment in the face of clear 
positive testimony; and he is far from putting before his 
readers the enormous weight which attaches to the distinct 
attestation of Irenseus in the passage which I have quoted 
above (see p. 38), an attestation which, whether we consider 
the position, character, and age of the writer, or the peculiar 
force of his statement — not an oUter dictum, but applying to 
the whole structure of the second Gospel — ought to suffice to 
raise the question far above the range of controversy. 
Nothing indeed can be more striking than the contrast 
between the hesitating, varying, uncertain words of Eusebius, 
on the one hand, uttered with an avowed intention of meeting 
a difficulty, and on the other the plain, strong, clear words of 
the great pupil of Polycarp, speaking in the name of the 
Church, and resting on the authority of what all then ad- 
mitted to be the Petrine Gospel. 

For these and other points I would simply refer to the 
unanswered and unanswerable arguments of Dean Burgon in 
his palmary work, and to the decisive judgment of Dr. 
Scrivener, who vjitliout any hesitation maintains the authenti- 
city of the whole passage. 

I must, however, once more call attention to points 
affected, in addition to those enumerated by Dr. Hort. 

(1) The first appearance of our Lord to Mary Magdalene, 
taken in connection with the very remarkable fact, on which 
the Evangelist lays special stress, that her evidence was not 
received by the apostolic body. 

Both statements are of singular importance ; tlie first 
because it is recorded iit the Petrine Gospel, and refers to a 


fact which St. Peter could specially vouch for, inasmuch as 
Mary Magdalene first addressed herself to him and to 
St. John, and because he knew that although her words 
sufficed to move him to act with his usual promptness and 
inquire for himself, they were far from carrying conviction. 
The second because the incredulity of the disciples is incom- 
patible with the theory, skilfully maintained by the great 
French sophist, that belief in the Eesurrection originated 
with Mary Magdalene. Here too I must remark that Celsus, 
the real originator of that sophistical argument, undoubtedly 
referred to this statement of St. Mark when he tells us that 
the whole story centred in the testimony of a 7rdpotaTpo<; 
'yvvTj, I venture to say undoubtedly ; because (a) it is evident 
that no word in St. John's Gospel, as Origen is careful 
to point out, suggests the view that Mary w^as then, or had 
been previously, in the state here described by the Evangelist 
and well expressed by the Greek Trdpocarpo^ ; and (h) because 
independent, and certainly in this case unbiassed, critics 
unhesitatingly refer the notice of Celsus to St. Mark, e.g. 
Anger in his Synopsis, p. 254, and in the appendix, p. xxvi. ; 
and E. Eenan in his last published work, ' Marc Aurele,' p. 
358, note. 

We must also notice that the condemnation of this passage 
as non-apostolic (see above) destroys the harmony between 
St. Peter and St. John, very much in the same manner and 
to the same extent as the mutilation of St. Luke's Gospel, to 
which attention has previously been directed. 

(2) We have again to notice the omission of the support 
which St. Mark, under St. Peter's teaching, gives to St. Luke's 
account of our Lord's appearance to the disciples — a support 
the more important as being evidently given without direct 
reference to that Gospel, from which this notice differs suffi- 
ciently to prove its independence, especially in the statement 
that the testimony of the two, like that of Mary Magdalene, 


was not received by tlie Apostles. The incredulity of the 
Eleven is indeed indicated by their terror and astonishment 
at our Lord's personal appearance among them, but it is not 
stated directly by St. Luke ; it is stated by St. Mark, and 
it has an important bearing upon a point which ought to be 
recognized as specially characteristic of his record, viz., that 
none of the disciples accepted any testimony to the fact of 
the Eesurrection until they were convinced by a personal 
manifestation of their Eisen Lord. 

(3) If less important, yet not without significance is the 
loss of the most distinct promise of supernatural aid to the 
disciples which is recorded in the Gospels, fulfilled certainly 
in the case of St. Paul at Melita. I cannot but think that 
this promise was not only distasteful to Eusebius, as is 
clearly shown by his contemptuous rejection of the testimony 
of Papias,* but that it weighed with him in his hesitating 
rejection of this portion of the Gospel. 

But putting aside this last point as of secondary import- 
ance, I ask, will Convocation dare to take upon themselves 
the responsibility of practically adopting Dr. Hort's statement 
that the whole section has no claim to apostolic authority ? 


Here the most serious attention is called to the fact that 
in the evangelical narrative, so far as the Gospels are 
concerned, the only record of the last crowning event in the 
history of our Ptedemption — that event to which the Apostles 
St. Peter and St. John refer with peculiar emphasis, which 
St. Paul repeatedly dwells upon with reference to its spiritual 
significance — is found in the last verse but one of St. Mark's 
Gospel and in the 51st verse of the last chapter of St. Luke. 

* See my note on Mark xvi. 17, 18, in the ' Speaker's Commentary,' 


Both attestations are rejected, not indeed in the text of 
the Eevised Version, but in the marginal notices, which but 
imperfectly express, but implicitly accept, the adverse judg- 
ment of the two critical guides.* 

With regard to St. Mark's testimony we should observe 
that it accords with the whole purport of his Gospel, as 
comprehended by Irenseus, and by the ablest modern critics. 
His main object is to show the full manifestation of all 
powers involved in the great and glorious title, " the Son 
of God/' which St. Mark prefixes to his Gospel — a title 
which, to the serious detriment of Christian faith, is noted 
as doubtful in the margin of the Eevised Version : but of 
wliich the complete fulfilment was unquestionably the 
Ascension, that final crowning event to which St. Peter 
points in the first discourse recorded in the Acts of the 
Apostles, where he states fully and succinctly the special 
subject-matter of evangelical teacliing, using the very word 
(aveXri/jbcj^dr)) which we find, as might be expected, in 
St. Mark. 

With regard to St. Luke's testimony we must also remark 
that in the very first words of his "second treatise," the 
Acts of the Apostles, he gives a clear, complete account of 
the purport of the Gospel, which, as he there tells us, con- 
cluded with the Ascension. 

But on what authority is the verse, the only verse in his 
Gospel in which that statement appears, so mutilated as to 
obliterate the attestation altogether — mutilated, that is, so 

* It must not be overlooked that tliese two passages are appointed 
by our Church to be read, one as the second lesson, the other as the 
Gospel in the Communion Service, on the Festival of the Ascension. 
I must also notice the very extraordinary state of the disciples' feelings in 
the account given by St. Luke, supposing that the suggestions in the 
margin of the Revised Version were adopted. The account would stand 
thus ; he parted from them, and they returned to Jerusalem luith great joy : 
i.e. rejoicing, not in their Lord's Ascension, but in His departure. 


far as the right of using it is concerned, for those who 
attach full weight to the marginal notice that " some ancient 
authorities omit and was carried up into heaven " ? 

The omission of the words avecpipero ek rov ovpavov is 
defended, the reader will scarcely believe it, on the ground 
that they are omitted in x =" and D, supported by some early 
Latin MSS. ; whereas they are found in what Westcott and 
Hort call the purest document, B, followed by L, X, A, 11, 
and supported by the perfectly independent testimony of 
^<'^, A, and C : in fact by all other uncials, all known cursives, 
and all ancient Versions. 

So ends the long list of omissions, corruptions, and plain 
clear errors in the first three Gospels chargeable to the 
Kevisers as a body, for which, unless a formal disclaimer is 
put forth, beyond doubt the Southern Convocation will be 
held responsible. 




General Observations on the Eesults of the 
Preceding Inquiry. 

We have thus traversed the entire course of an inquiry, 
which has brought us into contact with cardinal points of 
our Lord's teaching, and with cardinal incidents in His Life 
on earth, beginninsr with the antecedents and circumstances 
of His Nativity, and concluding with that event which all 
the sacred writers, none more distinctly than St. Peter and 
St. Paul, set before us as the consummation, both historically 
and doctrinally, of His Mission, viz., His Ascension, and 
Session at the Pdght Hand of His Father. 

We might have expected innovations in matters of 
secondary importance, in reference to questions which at 
different ages of the Church have been contested among 
Christians ; we were prepared to meet with omissions which 
would test our patience, and demand the most careful and 
earnest consideration : but what we never could have antici- 
pated, considering the conditions under which the work of 
revision was entrusted to the Eevising Committee, and the 
character and position of its leading members — what we 
should have deemed not merely improbable, but absolutely 
impossible — was assuredly that in reference to the central, 
the all-important incidents of our Lord's life, changes should 
have been either introduced into the text of the English 


Version, or suggested in the margin, which would seriously 
affect the character of the sacred narrative ; or that sayings 
of our Lord, especially precious to Christians, should 
either be rejected as spurious, or noted as doubtful, or 
mutilated, or so modified as to be divested of their peculiar 
significance, and thus lose their place, so far as the influ- 
ence of the Eevisers extends, in the consciousness of 

This result, or anything approaching to it, seemed a 
priori utterly incredible.* But on the first hasty perusal 
of the Eevised Version of the first three Gospels, in common 
with the generality of readers, I was at once struck with the 
fact, which indeed lay on the surface, that this utterly 
unexpected result is actually realized ; and that first impres- 
sion was far from removed, it was confirmed and intensified, 
by careful and repeated examination of the passages to which 
I have called attention in the preceding pages. 

N"ow it might perhaps have occurred to the minds of 
those who had viewed with alarm the absolutely unprece- 
dented act of Convocation in admitting the co-operation of 
scholars of any or every school of religious thought, that 
such innovations must be attributable to some adverse 
influence — it might be to the persistent weight of a certain 
number of those scholars, chosen, it may be presumed, as 
representative men. But that impression could not but be 

* I must here refer to the speech of Dr. Wilberforce, Bishop of Win- 
chester, when he advised Convocation to authorize this Kevision. " When 
this great undertaking came to be carried out it would be found that 
really the alterations would be so few, that the volume, though freed from 
errors which might shake its general authority, would be the same volume 
which we have now." I have quoted, at the beginning of this treatise, 
the still more precise and emphatic words of the Bishop of Gloucester and 
Bristol spoken on the same occasion. For both speeches see Chronicle of 
Convocation, Feb. 10, 1870, pp. 74-82. 



dismissed as altogether unfounded, when we considered the 
regulations which the Committee of Eevision at once adopted 
for its guidance. We are informed that no alteration was 
admitted into the text of the English Version, unless it 
was approved by a majority of two thirds of those present ;* 
and that must have comprised in every case a majority, if 
not of Anglican Churchmen, yet of men fully agreed in 
fundamental principles. 

When again we bear in mind that divines of the highest 
eminence, possessing the entire confidence of the Church, 
took part in the proceedings, we feel that a majority so con- 
stituted could not be open to suspicion on theological 
grounds. That fact indeed has been strongly urged by 
the ablest defenders of the Eevised Version, such as 
Dr. Sanday and Dr. Farrar ; and its importance has been 
fully recognized by those assailants who have gone furthest 
in expressing their dissatisfaction with the general result. 
It would indeed have been more satisfactory had we been 
assured that all, or nearly all, those divines had been gene- 
rally present at the deliberations, and had taken part in 
the final decisions of the Committee; and we cannot but 
express our deep regret that some of the most distinguished 
for learning and for soundness in the faith were habitually 
absent from the discussions, and acquiesced at the most but 
passively in the verdict of their colleagues. However this 
may be, we bear in mind that the two critics, whose authority 
in critical questions is generally understood to have been 
predominant, were well known as men of profound learning 
and of deep religious convictions. Both of them stand fore- 

* It appears therefore that the majority consisted of those members 
who alone took an active part in the Revision, being either present at the 
meetings of the Committee or signifying their decision by letter. Some 
changes, as it seems to me, could scarcely have been sanctioned by two 
thirds of the entire body. 


most (together with the present Bishop of Durham, until 
lately their fellow Professor) among the maintainers of sound 
theology in the University of Cambridge. One of them has 
special claims to my own grateful acknowledgments as author 
of a noble commentary on St. John's Gospel ; nor, although 
we might be somewhat alarmed by the epithet of fearless 
applied to Dr. Hort by the late Dean Stanley * — an epithet of 
questionable fitness in reference to dealings with the most 
delicate and grave points in the sphere of spiritual life — can 
we doubt that candour, truthfulness, faithfulness to the 
highest principles were from first to last the animating 
motives which actuated those scholars and the Eevisers who 
followed their guidance. 

To this it must be added — it is a point indeed on which 
Dean Stanley and Dr. Kennedy! lay great stress — that 
Dr. Scrivener was one of the most constant and painstaking 
attendants at the meetings of the Committee. And if we 
had reason to believe that his opinions or his arguments 
carried with them the weight to which they were especially 
entitled, we should have felt there were good grounds for 
confidence in the general result. That weight is indeed so 
great in the estimation of independent scholars, that we 
should have expected him to be consulted, not merely as 
an advocate for his own reading — here I speak exclusively of 
questions of textual criticism — but as occupying a position 
nearly approaching that of an arbiter ; if not entitled to 
claim acquiescence when maintaining his own view, yet 

* In the article published in the Times, on July 20, 1881, to which I 
have referred more than once in my ' Second Letter to the Bishop of 

t See ' Ely Lectures on the Revised Version of the New Testament,' by 
B. H. Kennedy, D.D. This treatise is prefaced by a De<lication to Dr. 

K 2 


as one whose judgment should have sufficed to bar the 
adoption of decisions to which he was adverse, especially in 
reference to changes which, as no one will question, cause a 
serious shock to the great body of Christian readers. When 
however we observe on the one hand that in nearly every 
question of vital importance the adverse judgment of that 
eminent scholar had been previously recorded in his ' Intro- 
duction to the Criticism of the New Testament ;' * and on 
the other hand, that we have the testimony of Dr. Kennedy, 
second to none among the Eevisers in point of scholarship, 
to the fact that at present Dr. Scrivener retains the main 
positions which he then defended, we cannot but see that 
the decision of the majority was little influenced by his 
authority ; and consequently that it is divested of the weight 
which his concurrence would have imparted to it. 

I have felt it right, indeed necessary, to state thus at 
length the general impression made upon my mind by what 
had transpired, and- is now positively known, about the 
proceedings of the Committee of Eevisers. Before I go 
further I will also state briefly another point to which I 
shall have occasion to recur presently. The substantial 
alterations in the text of the New Testament, if not abso- 
lutely confined to the second and third Gospels, occur far 
more frequently and to a far greater extent in them, than in 
other portions which I have been able to examine with 
proper care. The changes in the text of the Acts and of the 
Pauline Epistles are comparatively small in number, and, 
what is of more importance, they do not affect doctrinal or 
spiritual truths, to the same extent, or in the same manner, 
so far as the text is concerned. Take for instance the 
Epistle to the Eomans. We find between 190 and 200 

Strongly adverse judgments of Dr. Scrivener will be found on pp. 
472, 473 ter, 474 bis, 475 bis, and in c. ix. pp. 493-524. 


alterations in the Greek text, of which a small number only 
are perceptible in the English Version, whereas in the 
Gospels of St. Mark and St. Luke, some 1500 changes are 
adopted, many of them of the highest importance. To 
anticipate what I have to say presently, this is simply owing 
to two facts : (a) that the Greek text of Westcott and Hort, 
and of the Eevisers, is founded upon, I may say, virtually 
identical with, that of the Vatican MS. ; and (b) that in the 
Acts and in the Pauline Epistles* that text in nine passages 
out of ten is in accordance with the text of the Alexandrian 
MS., which represents most completely the readings adopted 
by all the great Fathers of the fourth and following centuries, 
and which are generally followed in the cursive manuscripts, 
especially in those which appear to have been the chief 
authorities for what is called the ' Textus Eeceptus,' which, 
as Dr. Scrivener and others have shown, is the foundation of 
our Authorized Version. This is indeed a fact for which we 
have reason to be exceedingly thankful. It saves the student 
of the Epistles many a painful shock ; but it enhances our 
regret that in the very centre and foundation of all Christian 
teaching, the remarkable discordance between the recension 
followed in the Greek text of the Revised Version, 
and that on which our old Version is based, should have 
impressed upon the former a character so strange, and so 
repugnant to the feelings of English Churchmen. 

Here too I may call attention to another fact, too 
frequently overlooked, and certainly not occupying in 
Dr. Hort's ' Introduction ' the place to which it is entitled. 
Manuscripts of the whole of the New Testament were 

♦ Dr. Hort, Int. § 262, gives K, B, 0, D, L as the " primary documents " 
for the Gospels, &<, A, B, C, with some others, for the Acts and Epistles. 
Thus A is excluded as a high authority from the Gospels only. 


excessively rare in the early ages of Christendom. Separate 
manuscripts of some portions were common, especially of the 
Gospels ; so that when we find such manuscripts as A and B 
agreeing closely in some books, and differing widely in others, 
we may fairly conclude that in the one case the scribes had a 
common exemplar, or a copy of one recension before them, and 
that in the other they had wholly independent copies. Apply- 
ing this to the case under consideration we infer that the scribe 
of B — the diorthota of N — had a copy of the Gospels which 
differed from that followed by A, especially in readings 
peculiar to the school of Origen ; and consequently that in 
cases of serious differences we should call for the independent 
testimony of early Versions and the great Fathers of the 

But important as I cannot but hold these considerations 
to be, they are not, in the present state of critical inquiries, 
the most interesting to readers. Men's minds have been 
violently shaken; they have been loosed from their old 
moorings ; they are compelled to inquire into the grounds 
on which innovations have been adopted ; nor, although 
the question cannot be dismissed or shirked as to the 
relations between Convocation and the Eevising Com- 
mittee, will that long occupy men's minds. We must ask, 
we must have our answer to the question, what is the 
character and substantial value of the documents on whose 
authority changes are proposed and defended, which touch 
the veracity or the integrity of the Holy Scriptures, and 
more especially affect the teaching of our Lord. 

In order to put the question fairly before the reader's 
mind it will be advisable, in the first place, to classify the 
innovations to which we have called attention ; in the 
next place, to see how far each class of these innovations is 
supported by or opposed to ancient authorities ; and thirdly^ 


to inquire into the grounds on which " paramount " * if not 
exclusive authority is attached to some few documents by 
the critics who are specially responsible for the most im- 
portant innovations. 

* See Dr. Hort, Int. p. 195 : " The question is whether the documents 
accepted as primary can safely be allowed an absolutely paramount 



Classification of Passages in which Serious Innovations 


THE Margin of the Eevised Version. 

As my special object in this section is to show to what 
extent the two oldest manuscripts and other documents of 
the same order are severally responsible for the innovations 
to which I have called special attention in the second part of 
this work, I have arranged those innovations under distinct 
heads, and to the references showing in what passages of 
Scripture they occur I have subjoined a list of the uncials 
which are alleged in their support. The reader will find full 
notices of other authorities in the detailed examination 
which has been previously given. It must also be kept in 
mind that the uncials which are not here cited as supporting 
the innovations are adverse to them. 

(i.) Passages in which most important words of our Lord 
have been omitted : 

Injunction. Matt. v. 44 (p. 50). 

Two words. Matt. vi. 4 (p. 53). 

The Doxology. Matt. vi. 13 (p. 56). 

The reference to fasting. Matt. xvii. 21 and 
Mark ix. 29 (p. 74). 
N'^ B 


Part of Messianic prophecy. Luke iv. 19 (p. 71). 


Last injunctions to the Twelve in Galilee. Mark 

ix. 44, 46, and 49 (p. 77). 


Warning to Disciples. Luke ix. 54, 55 (p. 80). 


Lord's Prayer. Luke xi. 2, 4 (p. 85). 


On marrying a divorced woman. Matt. xix. 9 

(p. 89). 

K C^ D L S 

In the institution of Holy Communion. Luke 

xxii. 19, 20 (p. 98). 


The first words spoken on the Cross. Luke 

xxiii. 34 (p. 105). 

fc<^ B D'^ 

" Peace be unto you." Luke xxiv. 36 (p. 119). 


(ii.) Incidents of supreme importance omitted : 

The agony in Gethsemane. Luke xxii. 43, 44 

(p. 101). 

«^ A B R T 

The inscription on the Cross as recorded by 

St. Luke, xxiii. 38 (p. 112). 

s^^ B G^ L 

The last cry. Mark xv. 39 (p. 115). 


St. Peter's visit to the Tomb. Luke xxiv. 12 

(p. 118). 


The appearances after the Resurrection as re- 
corded by St. Mark, xvi. 9 scq. (p. 120). 


The Ascension. Mark /. c. and Luke xxiv. 51 
(p. 125). 

(iii.) Passages which alter words of our Lord, substituting 

common-place, incongruous, or incorrect statements for 

utterances specially remarkable for depth, force, and dignity : 

Close of the Sermon on the Mount. Luke vi. 48 

(p. 66). 


Words spoken to Martha. Luke x. 42 (p. 88). 

N B C^ L 

Words concerning the colt. Mark xi. 3 (p. 95). 

t^BC' DL A 

(iv.) Passages which as they stand in the Revised Version 

assert what is either historically incorrect, or physically 

impossible : 

In the Genealogy wrong names. Matt. i. 7, 8, 

10 (p. 23). 


Prophecy assigned to the wrong prophet.* Mark 

i. 2 (p. 36). 


Serious historical error, touching Abiathar. 

Mark ii. 26 (p. 69). 


Another historical error, in reference to the 

daughter of Herodias. Mark vi. 22 (p. 72). 


Eclipse of the sun at full moon. Luke xxiii. 

45 (p. 110). 


♦ N.B. I must here ask the reader to look at the note on Matt. xiii. 35. 
It does not apply to the text used by the Revisers, but to that of Westcott 
and Hort's edition, where the very serious innovation is noticed in the 
marjrin and defended in the Appendix. 


(v.) Alterations objectionable on various grounds stated 
in Part II., chiefly as omissions : 

Mark i. 1, vlov rov 6eov omitted (p. 35). 

Matt. i. 6 (p. 24). 

Matt. i. 18 (p. 25). 

Luke i. 28 (p. 26). 

Luke ii. 14 (p. 27). 

Luke ii. 40 (p. 33). 

Luke ii. 43 (p. 33). 

Luke iv. 4 and 5 (p. 43). 

Mark i. 5 (p. 41). 

N« B D K L 
Mark i. 14 (p. 44). 

Mark i. 27 (p. 45). 

Mark i. 40 (p. 68). 

Mark ii. 16 (p. 69). 

Matt. V. 4, 5, transposed (p. 48). 

Matt. V. 22 (p. 49). 
Matt. vi. 1 (p. 51). 

s-"^ B D 


Matt. vi. 10 (p. 54). 

Matt. vi. 12 (p. 54). 

N'^ B Z 
Matt. vii. 4 (p. 64). 
Matt. vii. 13 (p. 65). 

Luke vi. 1 (p. 69). 

Luke X. 1 (p. 87). 

Luke X. 15 (p. 87). 

&5 B^ D L H 
Luke XV. 21 (p. 92). 

Mark x. 21 (p. 90). 

Matt. xix. 16, 17 (p. 91).* 

Mark xi. 8 (p. 96). 

N B (C) L A 
Mark xi. 26 (p. 97). 

Matt. xxvi. 28 (p. 98). 
Matt. XX vii. 49 — an interpolation (p. 113). 

Luke xxiv. 3, 6 (p. 117). 
To these passages I now add the following, remarkable 
for omissions, or corruptions : 

* See Scrivener, Int. p. 498 seqq. 


Matt. xvi. 2, 3. 

nb vxr 

Matt, xviii. 15. 

Matt, xxiii. 4. 

Matt, xxiii. 38. 

Luke xvi. 12. 

Luke xxi. 24. 



Eesult of Classification, 

The outcome of this inquiry, which is confirmed by refer- 
ence to other changes, some of which have been previously 
noticed, others being omitted as of subordinate importance, 
may be stated as follows. 

(i.) Evidence of MSS. — The two oldest MSS., n and B, 
either separately, or for the most part conjointly, are re- 
sponsible for nearly every change which modifies, and, we 
may say without hesitation, weakens or perverts records of 
sayings and incidents in our Lord's life : in fact, for every 
change of importance, excepting four of the very gravest 
character, for which D, the Codex Bezae, is the only autho- 
rity among uncial MSS. 

It will also be observed that i< and B are very often sup- 
ported by L, a manuscript of the eighth or ninth century, 
which agrees with B in its general character, and in most cases 
of disputed readings agrees with it so closely as to justify the 
conclusion that, if not a direct transcript of that manuscript, 
which is hardly probable considering the number of variants, 
it was a transcript from an early copy. This general agree- 
ment gives special weight to its evidence on some important 
points where it is opposed to the innovations introduced into 
the text of the E. V., on the authority of the Vatican and 
Sinaitic manuscripts. 

In addition to these we find A, F, 11, and X, H, and the 
cursives 1, 3.S, in frequent accord with those two oldest 


manuscripts.* On the other hand A, the Alexandrian Codex, 
is almost invariably at the head of the long list of uncials 
which oppose the readings of tc, B, and their congeners, in 
the passages which have been examined in these pages, and 
in the immense majority of disputed readings in the first 
three Gospels. Twice only in passages of serious importance 
we find A supporting what I must call the erroneous readings 
adopted by the Eevisers in their text, or noticed with com- 
mendation in their margin. 


On further examination the reader will also find that other 
authorities, to which, in some cases, a higher value is to be 
assigned, as being more ancient and better attested than 
any MSS., may for the most part be classified as agreeing 
generally either with the uncials ranged on the side of B, or 
with those which follow or support A. 

(ii.) Evidence of ancient YERSiONS.t Thus he will find, 
as a general rule, that (a) the Syriac Peshito, the Version which 
probably comes nearest to the autographs of the Evangelists, 
especially of St. Matthew, supports the old Eeceived Text in 
the passages which I have dwelt upon as of special import- 
ance: but that at the same time it agrees with B, and the 
recension which is represented by that MS., sufficiently often 
to prove that both the translator and the transcriber had 
before them ancient documents of the same general character. 
When they differ the question must be raised which of them 
represents the original text more truthfully : and for my 

* Dr. Hort names t<, B, C, D, L as the " primary documents " for the 
Gospels. It will be observed that C very seldom supports X, B in the 
passages above cited. 

t For Dr. Hort's views on ancient Versions, see his ' Introduction/ 
§ 213-219. 


own part I do not doubt that the Version is the more trust- 
worthy, especially as evidence against omissions. In fact, 
in the great majority of disputed readings that which has its 
decided support has a prima facie claim to preference, if 
not to absolute acceptance. The other Syriac Versions are 
either much later, as the Philoxenian or Harcleian, or of 
doubtful authority. The Curetonian is most valuable in 
reference to the first Gospel. Some of its readings are 
of considerable importance in reference to St. Mark and 
St. Luke. 

{Jb) Early Italic and Vulgate, — As to the early Western 
Versions it would be incorrect to speak of the recension 
which they represent, for the MSS. vary to an extent incom- 
patible with the theory that they were derived from any 
common source, or were subjected to any critical authority. 
Jerome and Augustine indeed speak of the MSS. most 
common in their age as full of every kind of fault — of 
omissions, perversions, and interpolations — a statement to 
which the Codex Bezae, D, supplies ample corroboration. 
Still their acknowledged antiquity, and, notwithstanding 
those grave defects, the good faith and piety of their writers, 
secure for them a high place among recognized authorities. 
The Vulgate follows them closely throughout the Gospels. 
If the reader would learn what evidence they afford in the 
most important instances, he has to ascertain what side is 
taken by the MSS. marked a, h, the Codex Vercellensis and 
Codex Veronensis, the two best and oldest MSS. of the Italic 
Version, or again by /, the Codex Brixianus, which is to a 
great extent independent of both. The Vulgate is best 
studied in the Codex Amiatinus, lately edited by Tischen- 
dorf : it is cited as «m. 

Speaking broadly these MSS. agree with B more frequently 
than with A ; but that agreement adds considerably to their 
weight when they differ from the former, as is the case in 


some of the most important passages which have come under 
our consideration. 

(c) The Egyptian Versions are of exceeding weight in 
this discussion. They rank among the most ancient, and 
the most carefully preserved.* The Memphitic, generally 
cited as the Coptic, has all the books of the N. T. ; the 
Sahidic or Thebaic has considerable fragments, especially of 
the Gospels. I have compared the readings of both in the 
editions of the ^S'. P. C. K. (see above, p. 33, on its value) 
and of Woide, with n, B, and A. As a general rule both of 
them agree closely with B, an agreement conspicuous in 
minute points of grammar, the use of tenses and the definite 
article, and in readings which often strike us as singular if not 
startling. They agree indeed so closely as to force upon us 
the impression that they not only belong to the same school, 
but that they follow the same recension. 

Here again the conclusion is obvious, I venture to say, 
incontestable, that, in the cases where they differ substan- 
tially from B, where their readings are in fact irreconcileable 
with it, such difference proves that the one or the other 
follows a corrupt document, whether corrupt by omission or 
by interpolation ; and in those cases we have to decide 
between the two by the testimony of other authorities at 
least equally ancient and equally weighty. 

Applying this to a few crucial instances, we see at once 
how it weakens — if it does not absolutely overthrow — the 
authority of those MSS. which omit (1) the leading point in 
the title of St. Mark's Gospel; (2) the Doxology in the 
Lord's Prayer; (3) the most heart-stirring incident in our 

* I say this in reference to the MSS. of the Coptic or Memphitic. 
A critical edition, witli a complete account and correct estimate of the 
various readings, is a desideratum which ought to he supplied by one of 
our universities. 


Lord's agony ; (4) His first word on the cross ; and (5) the 
whole concluding portion of the Gospel of St. Mark. 

(iii.) Evidence of Ancient Fathers. — Here the reader 
may be embarrassed by the multitude, and the contradictory 
character of the citations in Tregelles and in Tischendorf s 
eighth edition. Let him first see what evidence is supplied 
by the earliest and best Fathers of the Greek-speaking 
Church; foremost among whom and by far most weighty 
from age, character, and position, stands Irenseus. Observe 
the testimony which he gives in reference to the beginning 
and the end of St. Mark's Gospel, and to incidents omitted 
or noted as questionable by the Eevisers. Then, passing on 
at once to another and far different school, let him observe 
how many and how important are the points on which 
Origen, of all Fathers the one who, in his numerous citations, 
has the text most closely corresponding to Codex B, casts 
in his unsuspected and momentous weight into the opposite 
scale. Above all, in counting and w^eighing the evidence of 
the ante-Nicene Fathers he should be on his guard against 
the utterly fallacious argument from negatives. Westcott 
and Hort speak strongly upon that point, but do not bring it 
to bear upon some questions of exceeding moment. The 
circumstance that a Father does not quote a passage — 
especially if he wrote at a time or belonged to a school 
in which so-called " diplomatic accuracy " was scarcely heard 
of — proves nothing against its existence. In fact in one 
passage on which, in spite of that dictum. Dr. Hort lays 
great stress,* the omission is accounted for in the simplest 
and most satisfactory manner. Cyril of Jerusalem does not 
allude to the last verses of St. Mark's Gospel in his ' Four- 
teenth Catechetical Lecture,' in which he adduces scriptural 

* See ' Introduction to the Greek Text of Westcott and Hort,' Appendix, 
p. 37. 


proofs of the Eesurrection, Ascension, and Session at the 
Eight Hand of God. Such is the negative evidence. But 
in the opening clauses of that portion of his argument Cyril 
expressly states that on the previous day he had expounded 
the scriptural lesson which contained a complete account of 
the incidents connected with the Eesurrection and Ascen- 
sion of our Lord.* Now it is proved that the most ancient 
lectionary-sys terns, which are more ancient than either B 
or s, contained the last verses of St. Mark's Gospel, in the 
lesson appointed for certain days, especially for the great 
festival on which Cyril appears to have delivered the dis- 
course to which he refers in that lecture. I cannot but 
regard Dean Burgon's argument on the one side, and Dr. 
Hort's on the other, as remarkable instances of the use and 
the misuse of vast learning and of equally remarkable subtlety. 
The facts are simple, incontrovertible; and in my opinion 
they add force to the warning, never to be lost sight of 
by students, that one positive fact is of infinitely more im- 
portance than the most plausible arguments drawn from the 
silence of an early writer. 

In considering the references to the authority of the ante- 
Nicene Fathers, the reader cannot fail to be struck by the 
testimony, all but unanimous, which they supply in refer- 
ence to passages of signal importance, especially to the 
records of our Lord's words, and of incidents connected 
with the last and most solemn portion of the Gospel History. 

* See Burgon's ' Last Twelve Verses of St. Mark's Gospel,' p. 195, where 
Cyril's words are quoted in full. Cyril refers repeatedly to the exposition 
which he had previously given, an exposition which of course made it 
unnecessary for him again to cite Mark xvi. 19, or Luke xxiv. 51, or 
Acts i. 9. 

L 2 


Value of the two oldest Manuscripts, >5 and B. 

We are now brought face to face with one of the most 
difficult and important problems in the history of biblical 

One point comes out distinctly. The two oldest MSS. 
are responsible for nearly all the readings which we have 
brought under consideration — readings which when we look 
at them individually, still more when we regard them col- 
lectively, inflict most grievous damage upon the records of 
our Lord's words and works. 

I repeat that, with two exceptions, to which notice has 
been called, those innovations rest upon the authority of 
N and B, sometimes supported by a minority of other MSS., 
but in many serious instances standing absolutely alone. 

On the other hand, the two critics, whose views are fully 
stated, and supported by arguments equally remarkable for 
learning and ingenuity, in their 'Introduction' written by 
Dr. Hort, hold that the Vatican manuscript is " supreme in 
excellence," that it alone represents " the purest text," that it 
is to a singular extent " free from interpolations," that it has 
" no suspicious colouring," that where it is supported by the 
only other MS. which has claims at all resembling it 
for antiquity and excellence, its authority is final, " absolutely 
decisive," and that even when it stands quite alone it is 
entitled not merely to respectful consideration, but to 
practically unlimited deference. 

And this opinion they have illustrated by the most 


decisive act. They have produced a Greek text, in most 
substantial points identical with that published on the 
authority of the Revisers, but which goes much further, 
inasmuch as, alone of all published texts, with exceedingly 
few and unimportant exceptions, it virtually reproduces the 
text of the Vatican manuscript. In fact, had they given us 
a revised edition of the Vatican, merely correcting the 
itacisms, and other manifest blunders of the copyist* — neither 
small in number, nor unimportant in their bearings — it 
would have scarcely been distinguishable from that which 
now stands before us on their authority. Having compared 
chapter after chapter, book after book in their edition with 
Tischendorf s ' Vatican Codex of the New Testament,' I can 
attest that this coincidence is all but uniform. Nor indeed 
could it well be otherwise; since they tell us sometimes 
distinctly, often by implication, that in this manuscript, 
especially when taken in combination with n, we have the 
nearest approach to a faithful transcript of the very auto- 
graphs of the Apostles and Evangelists. 

The grounds on which this very decided opinion of the 
two critics rests, are, as I have said, fully stated in the 
* Introduction ' to their text of the Greek Testament. That 
introduction was written by Dr. Hort, but it expresses the 
views which they held in common, and which they certainly 
succeeded in impressing upon the minds, if not of all, yet 
of the majority of scholars, either belonging to the Committee 
of Revisers, or in a position which justified their coming 
forward in its defence. 

To examine these grounds with any approach to complete- 
ness would demand a very long, and probably inconclusive 
process of discussion. It must be observed that the argu- 

* And with reference to such blunders Dr. Hort says, "the scribe 
reached by no means a high standard of accuracy," Introd. § 312. Then 
Tischendorf speaks of the vitiositas of B and X. See below, p. 172. 


ments of Dr. Hort are presented in what Dr. Sanday calls " a 
predominantly abstract form," — a form which he admits to 
be at once difficult to follow, and not likely to be generally 
convincing. He tells us that " the reader may rest assured 
that these seeming abstractions rest upon a most solid and 
laborious collection of facts."* 

This call upon the reader's faith involves a severe strain ; 
the facts may be solid and collected with much labour, but 
they are seldom put before us, and throughout the ' Intro- 
duction ' are assumed rather than proved. We must always 
bear in mind that the opinions of the two critics were formed, 
or developed, in a course of most earnest and thoughtful 
study extending over tliirty years, and pursued with every 
advantage, with all the resources of a great university both 
as regards materials and learned co-operation. But the field 
of inquiry which now demands our attention is limited ; we 
have simply to inquire what evidence, external or internal, is 
adduced, or adducible on principles adoj)ted by the Revisers, 
that the two manuscripts are not only generally deserving 
of confidence, for their purity and pre-eminent excellence, 
but so far entitled to deference that the Revisers are justified 
in introducing on their authority innovations into the sacred 
text, which, as we have shown, are derogatory to its integrity 
or its veracity, and materially affect the records of great 
central events and sayings in the Life of our Lord. Proba- 
bilities, conjectures however plausible, inferences from a sys- 
tem whicli, w^hatever may be its fascination for acute intellects 
and speculative minds, is open from first to last to question, 
are as dust in the balance weighed against matters of such 
vital importance. We demand facts, facts which can be 
ascertained, which are not capable of being explained away ; 
and most astonishing facts they must be if they are to 

* Sec the Contemporary Review^ December 1881, p. 986. 


compel us to surrender, or to regard as doubtful, such a 
word as that spoken by our Saviour on the cross, and the 
attestation of two Evangelists to the Eesurrection and the 
Ascension of our Lord. 

We look then first at the historical facts which stand out 
most prominently, about which there is no difference of 

(1) We know approximately the age of the two oldest 
documents. It is admitted that the Vatican, it is all but 
certain that both the Vatican and Sinaitic manuscripts, were 
written about the middle of the fourth century. We know 
also that some other manuscripts, such as A, C, Q, T, Z, 
were written so soon after that date as materially to affect 
the position claimed for those two codices, and repeatedly 
urged by some critics, as though they were entitled to un- 
qualified deference on the ground of what Dr. Hort * calls 
*' their exceptional antiquity." 

This date is of great importance ; it reminds us at once of 
the very long interval — nearly three centuries — which had 
elapsed since the time when our Gospels were given to the 
Christian world, an interval filled with events of singular 
interest, with persecutions, storms within the Church, vicissi- 
tudes and trials of every kind. It reminds us also that the 
very time, at which those two manuscripts are admitted to 
have been written, coincided with a temporary, but complete, 
preponderance of the Arian heresy, and that the person who 
at that time was most conspicuous for learning, and especially 
for ability and reputation as a critical scholar, was deeply 
affected by that heresy — Jerome calls him "propugnator 
Arianse factionis." To these points I shall have to recur 
presently ; here I simply ask the reader to bear both facts 
in mind. We have two manuscripts written some three 

* Intr. to Westcott & Hort's New Testament, p. U2. 


hundred years after the original text was published; we 
have to admit that just at the time when they were written, 
the best, the only sound, part of the Church, was in a state of 
depression without previous precedent or later parallel. 

Looking back from that time, we are surprised at the 
paucity and the uncertainty of facts which might enable us 
to arrive at any satisfactory conclusion on the state of the 
text at any given period. 

(2) The fact nearest in time, and of most importance, is 
that Lucian* — a presbyter of Antioch, a native of Samosata 
who was put to death at Nicomedia a.d. 312 — and about 
the same time Hesychius, an Egyptian Bishop, took special 
pains with the revision of the text of the Septuagint Version, 
and as it would seem also with that of the New Testament. 
We know that when Jerome was occupied with his Version 
he found manuscripts written by, or under the superinten- 
dence of, Lucian and Hesychius, of which in his Epistle to 
Damasus he speaks slightingly, but which were regarded by 
some as presenting a carefully revised and pure text. His 
words are important: " Prsetermitto eos codices quos a 
Luciano et Hesychio nuncupates paucorum hominum adserit 
perversa contentio : quibus utique nee in veteri instrumento 
post septuaginta interpretes emendare quid licuit nee in novo 
profuit emendasse, cum multarum gentium Unguis scriptura 
ante translata doceat falsa esse quse addita sunt." t 

* " Lucianus vir disertissimus, Antiochen^ ecclesi^e presbyter, tantum 
in Scripturarum studio laboravit, ut usque nunc quaedam exemplaria 
Scripturamm Lucianea nuncupantur." Hieronymus, * Catalogus Scriptorum 
Ecclesiast.' 77. 

t Prtef. in IV. Evangelia ad Damasum, torn. x. 661. The adverse 
judgment of Jerome, at a later period, appears to have been generally 
adopted in the West. Thus in the ' Decreta Gelasii et Hormisdae ' (quoted 
by Hilgenfeld, ' Einleitung,' p. 137) we read : " Libri omnes, quos fecit 
Leucius, discipulus diaboli, apocryphi." Innocentius also reckons them 
among apocryphal books. 


From this we have a right to infer (a) that the number 
of copies bearing the name, as issued under the authority, of 
one or the other, or of both those Churchmen, must have been 
considerable, and that some hundred years after the demise 
of Lucian they were maintained as of high authority by what 
Jerome, an impetuous and unfair controversialist, designates 
as the perverse contention of a few persons. (b) We must 
also infer, if we accept Jerome's statement, that the Eecen- 
sion, if that name is properly applied to their work, was 
remarkable for interpolations. But it seems probable, con- 
sidering the character of Jerome, that by addita sunt he may 
refer to innovations generally, especially to statements which 
affected the integrity of the books, and the veracity of the 
narratives, (c) Jerome lays down a principle of the highest 
importance, one to which in this discussion special attention 
is demanded, viz. that all variations and innovations of 
importance can be and ought to be tested by their accordance 
with the ancient Versions, which conveyed the truths of the 
Gospel to different nations. 

The question how far the text thus produced agreed with 
one or the other of the two recensions, which Dr. Hort and Dr. 
Westcott think fit to call Pre-syrian and Syrian, is of course a 
matter of doubtful conjecture. But we have facts which lead 
us some way towards a probable conclusion. Lucian was 
beyond doubt, as a scholar and divine, moulded under the 
influences of a school of which Origen is the chief repre- 
sentative. It is also clear that, at the earlier part of his life, 
he had gone very far in the direction of latitudinarianism : 
he was accused of decidedly heretical opinions, and, though 
recognized by the most orthodox Churchmen as a sound- 
hearted and right-minded Christian man, fully entitled to 
the glorious designation of a faithful martyr, it is admitted 
that traces of old opinions and tendencies were discernible 
to the last. Whether those tendencies affected his recen- 


sion, or, if they affected it at all, to what extent, is of course 
wholly uncertain ; but in addition to the fact that he 
belonged to the school of Origen, we have the no less certain 
and equally significant fact that he found in Eusebius an 
enthusiastic admirer. That historian rises to real pathos 
and eloquence in describing his character, his scholarship, 
his martyrdom ; nor can it be doubted that his labours in 
the criticism and exegesis of the Scriptures were fully appre- 
ciated by Eusebius, with whom he had so many points in 
common, especially as regards the influences under which 
the religious character of both was moulded. 

One fact, at least, is certain. The term Syrian recension, 
if admissible at all, is applicable to the copies written under 
the superintendence of Lucian of Antioch. That is the only 
recension connected with Syria of which any notice occurs in 
ancient documents ; I must add, for which any place can be 
found in the history of the Church between the second and 
fifth centuries. 

Is it too much to infer that the work of Lucian materially 
affected the critical and biblical labours of Eusebius, or 
that, if, as I hold to be all but certain, the two oldest 
manuscripts were written under the superintendence of 
Eusebius, they retain some of the chief characteristics of 
that recension ? If that be the case, we must apply Jerome's 
remark that all innovations should be brought at once to 
the test, whether they are opposed to, or are supported by, 
the best ancient Versions. 

As to Hesychius, less is known, less is even probably 
conjectured ; but I am fully disposed to accept the views of 
some able critics who believe that his work is fairly repre- 
sented by the oldest Egyptian Version.* Whether, however, 

* Jerome says (c. Rufin. ii.) that Egypt followed the Hesychian recen- 
sion. He is speaking of the Septuagint, but there can be no doubt that 
the remark applies equally to the New '1 estament. 


he simply adopted that Version, as it then stood, or modified 
it to some extent, cannot be determined in the absence of 
positive evidence. 

That Version undoubtedly does represent the Alexandrian 
text as it stood early in the third century, or even probably as 
it stood in the second. Comparing it with the citations in 
Origen, we note on the one hand a real independence in 
readings of considerable importance, as may be seen 
by reference to the passages which we have previously 
examined; on the other, so much general similarity as to 
confirm the opinion of critics who regard them as proceeding 
from the same school. Not less striking is the same com- 
bination of general resemblance and special independence, 
when we compare that Version with the Vatican and Sinaitic 
manuscripts : a point to which I shall have to call attention 
presently, but notice here as bearing upon the character of 
what has been called, somewhat boldly, the Hesychian re- 

(3) We go back one step further, a most critical and im- 
portant step, for it brings us at once into contact with the 
greatest name, the highest genius, the most influential person 
of all Christian antiquity. We come to Origen. Now it is 
not disputed that Origen bestowed special pains upon every 
department of biblical criticism and exegesis. His * Hexapla ' 
is a monument of stupendous industry and keen discernment : 
but his labours on the Old Testament were thwarted by his 
very imperfect knowledge of Hebrew, and by the tendency 
to mystic interpretations common in his own age, but in no 
other writer so fully developed or pushed to the same ex- 
tremes. In his criticism of the New Testament Origen 
had greater advantages, and he used them with greater 
success. Every available source of information he studied 
carefully. Manuscripts and Versions were before him ; both 
Manuscripts and Versions he examined, and brought out the 


results of his researches with unrivalled power. But no 
one who considers the peculiar character of his genius, his 
subtlety, liis restless curiosity, his audacity in speculation, 
his love of innovation, will be disposed to deny the extreme 
risk of adopting any conclusion, any reading, which rests 
on his authority, unless it is supported by the independent 
testimony of earlier or contemporary Fathers and Versions. 
The points in which we are specially entitled to look for 
innovations are — (1) curious and ingenious readings, such for 
instance, as those which we have noticed in St. Mark and St. 
Luke ; (2) the removal of words, clauses, or entire sentences 
which a man of fastidious taste might regard as superfluities 
or repetitions ; (3) a fearless and highly speculative mode of 
dealing with portions of the New Testament which might con- 
tain statements opposed to his prepossessions, or present diffi- 
culties which even his ingenuity might be unable to solve. 
In weighing the evidence of his citations for or against any 
doubtful reading, while we should feel assured of his 
perfect honesty of purpose, we ought to be extremely 
cautious in adopting his conclusions. A text formed 
more or less directly under his influence would of course 
command a certain amount of general adhesion; it would 
approve itself most especially to minds similarly gifted 
and similarly developed ; when brought to bear upon the 
course of critical inquiry it would produce an enormous effect, 
especially if it came with the charm and interest of novelty ; 
but not less certainly would it be challenged, and its verdict 
be refused, if it contravened principles of fundamental im- 
portance and affected the veracity of the sacred writers and 
the teaching of Holy Writ. 

Now when we once more apply these observations to a 
text, which on other grounds we maintain to be substantially 
or completely identical with that which was published under 
the influence of Eusebius, we are driven to the conclusion that 


such characteristics are to be looked for ; and that, so far as 
they can be shown to exist, they impair, if they do not over- 
throw, the authority of that text in matters so weighty as those 
to which we have devoted attention in this discussion. That 
Eusebius was an enthusiastic admirer, a devoted adherent of 
Origen, no one need be reminded who knows aught of the 
history of that age, or who has read, however hastily, his 
history of the early Church ; that in all questions he would 
defer absolutely to the authority of Origen, especially in ques- 
tions of criticism, is almost equally undeniable ; nor do I 
hesitate to state my immoveable conviction that in that 
influence is to be found the true solution of the principal 
phenomena which perplex or distress us in considering the 
readings of the Vatican and Sinaitic manuscripts. This point, 
however, I propose to discuss at length in a separate section. 
(4) But have we no earlier authorities than Origen ? I 
have answered this question more than once. There were once 
abundant materials, but unfortunately our actual knowledge 
of them is imperfect and fragmentary. Copies of Holy 
Scripture abounded in Western Christendom; the so-called 
early Italic Versions carry us back to the earliest post- 
apostolic age ; but we can scarcely refuse to accept the 
positive statement of Jerome in his well-known Epistle to 
Damasus, the Bishop of Eome, under whose authority he 
undertook the most formidable and responsible of all works, 
that of producing a new or revised Version of the Scriptures. 
In answer to the attacks of opponents, moved by feelings 
common enough in the case of all new undertakings, and 
imputed, as a matter of course, to all who venture to criticize 
a work remarkable for novelty, Jerome says : "Si latinis 
exemplaribus fides est adhibenda, respondeant, quibus : 
tot sunt enim pene quot codices." A strong, perhaps an 
exaggerated statement, such as accords with the style of a 
controversialist at once unscrupulous and bitter, but winch 


leaves no room for doubt as to the untrustworthiness of 
manuscripts which represent the early Italic recension. 

To state the general result shortly, we have no reason to 
believe that the immense number of copies of Scripture, or, to 
speak more correctly, of portions, especially of the Gospels, 
diffused through the East and West of Christendom were 
at any time subjected to a general superintending authority. 
We may be sure that in every quarter of Christendom they 
were prepared and examined with the greatest care; but 
speculations as to their relative value and mutual inter- 
dependence, however ingenious and plausible, as to their 
" genealogical " and " transcriptional " peculiarities, ought not 
to be allowed to bias our judgment in estimating the value 
of documents now existing, each of which should be tested 
on its own merits with the most careful regard to internal 
and external indications of its intrinsic worth. 

( 159 ) 


The Eusebian Eecexsion. 

Hitherto our inquiry has brought us into contact with 
theories of exceeding interest, but resting on insecure foun- 
dations ; the facts being few in number, and rather gathered 
from incidental notices than from direct statements by trust- 
worthy authorities. These facts suffice to prove that the copies 
of Holy Scripture, both in Eastern and Western Christendom, 
were numerous ; that the diversities of readings had attracted 
general attention, and occupied the minds of theological 
scholars ; but they leave us in a state of considerable em- 
barrassment, and quite uncertain to what extent the inge- 
nious and highly technical system, presented with singular 
ability in Dr. Hort's ' Introduction,' may be applicable. We 
feel the need of some central facts, some statements on 
which implicit reliance can be placed, connected with a 
distinct and critical period in the history of the Church, and 
recorded in documents now accessible and bearing the stamp 
of high official or ecclesiastical authority. 

The epoch at which such facts might be naturally looked 
for is assuredly that in which the Church emerged from its 
condition of external humiliation and desperate struggles, 
and in which the tendencies by which it had long been in- 
ternally disturbed culminated in massive proportions ; on the 
one hand, in a heresy which — owing in part to the ability of 
its chief leaders, but mainly to its subtle appeals to some of 
the strongest feelings of half-Christianized people, and to its 
combination of rhetorical and philosophical artifices with skil- 


ful manipulation of scriptural texts — rapidly acquired and long 
retained a hold upon the minds of some of the ablest and 
most influential representatives of religious thought ; on the 
other hand, in a full development of the principles which 
from the beginning had been more or less distinctly re- 
cognized as fundamental by earnest and devout Christians, 
and which found full and adequate expression when for the 
first time all quarters of Christendom, by the voices of their 
representatives, decided the great question at issue, in the 
great oecumenical council of Nicsea. 

Very few years had elapsed, less than ten years in fact, from 
that central event, when the transaction occurred to which I 
now call attention. When we consider the condition of the 
Church at that time, the clear and uncontested authority on 
w^hich the all-important facts rest, and the position of the per- 
sons with whom we are concerned, we cannot hesitate to assign 
to this transaction not merely a high place, but the very highest 
place in the history of the criticism of the New Testament. 

The date is fixed absolutely within narrow limits. In the 
year 330 Constantine formally celebrated the completion of 
his great work, the foundation of Constantinople. In the 
year 340 at the earliest Eusebius died.* 

In the interval between these two certain dates — probably, 
as we shall see, nearer the beginning than the close of the 
interval — Constantine wrote a letter to Eusebius, then Bishop 
of Csesarea, wliich we have before us in the Life of Constantine 
by Eusebius, book iv. c. 36 ; in the following chapter, c. 37, 
Eusebius gives a full account of the result. 

In this letter Constantine first states a fact of exceeding 
importance t in the history of Christianity, showing the 

* See Bishop Lightfoot's article on Eusebius in the ' Dictionary of 
Christian Biography,' vol. ii. p. 318. 

t See my remarks in the 'Second Letter to the Bishop of London,' 
p. 79 seq., in reference to this fact. 


rapidity of its external progress under imperial influence. 
This fact is that in the city which bore his name an im- 
mense number of people had already joined themselves to 
the Church — note the force of his expression, fji,eyiaTov ttXtjOo^ 
avdpcoTTcov Trj dyicordrrj iKKXrja-ia dvareOeiKev eavro. He 
adds that inasmuch as there is a great and growing develop- 
ment of the city in all respects, it is evidently most 
desirable that many new churches should be established 
in it. 

The Emperor then calls upon Eusebius to order without 
delay the transcription of fifty manuscripts of the Holy 
Scriptures on carefully prepared parchments or vellum (eV 
hi(j)6epaL^ i<yKara(TK6voL<;), written in easily legible characters, 
and in a portable and convenient form (tt/oo? ttjv XPW^^ 
evfJueTaKo/jbLara). The manuscripts were to be written by 
calligraphers, beautiful penmen, thoroughly understanding 
their art (vtto t€')(^i/ltmv KaWiypdcfxov koX dKpijBoi^; ryv Te')(y7]v 

Constantine dwells upon the immense importance to the 
Church of having the Scriptures thus carefully written and 
adapted for common use ; his words are often cited, as show- 
ing the paramount weight attached to the study of the Word 
of God at that critical period in the history of the Church — 
TMV Oelwv SrjXaSrj ypa(j>MV 0)V pbaXiara ti]v t einaKeviiv 
KoX TTjV 'XprjcTtv Ttp T?)? iKK\7j(Ti,a<; Xoyo) dvay/caiav elvai 


The Emperor then tells Eusebius that he has sent instruc- 
tions to the Treasurer of the province, the highest civil 
functionary, to supply all things required for the prepara- 
tion of the parchments, and impresses upon Eusebius the 
duty of getting the manuscripts completed with all possible 
expedition. That no time may be lost in transmitting them 
from Csesarea to Constantinople, Eusebius is formally autho- 
rized to employ two public vehicles, so that the "beauti- 


fully written manuscripts " — a point to which he thus again 
specially refers — may be brought before the Emperor's eyes in 
the most convenient manner. He bids Eusebius entrust one 
of his deacons with the duty of conveying the precious docu- 
ments safely and speedily, and promises to reward that envoy 
in a manner befitting his liberality. The letter closes with 
the affectionate salutation, " May God preserve thee, beloved 

In the following chapter Eusebius records briefly and 
distinctly the speedy accomplishment of the work, avrUa 8' 
€p<yov eTrrjKoXovdec tw Xoyo). He adds a few words which 
are important as showing both the great costliness and the 
peculiar form of the manuscripts. He describes them as 
Tptcraa Kol rerpacradj i.e. according to Valesius, Tischendorf, 
and Scrivener, in quires called in Latin writers "terniones" and 
"quaterniones," that is in triple or quadruple sheets, presenting 
of course twelve or sixteen pages. The words, however, 
as it appears to me, may refer to the arrangement, peculiar 
to the two oldest MSS., s and B, in which each page is 
written in three or four vertical columns respectively.* 

* I advance this suggestion with some confidence, having consulted 
some eminent Greek scholars, who agree with me as to its great proba- 
bility. I observe (1) that the two words are exceedingly rare, and are 
not, so far as I can ascertain, elsewhere used in connection with manu- 
scripts. (2) Their literal meaning is "three by three," and "four by 
four," words which exactly describe the arrangement of the columns 
in each page of B and t?. (3) No corresponding ordinal is derived from 
nevre, such as would have been necessary to describe the arrangement 
of Codex B, to which Tischendorf applies the word " quinio," i.e. fivefold 
quire. (4) It is probable that Eusebius would call special attention 
to the triple and quadruple columns, which are supposed to have been copied 
from a MS. on papyrus, indicating an Egyptian recension, to which, as 
a follower of Origen, he would attach a high value. (5) The conjecture 
of Valesius, that the two words were equivalent to the well-known Latin 
terms " ternio " and " quaternio," was natural, in fact almost forced upon 
him, at a time when no example of an arrangement in three or four vertical 
columns was in existence. (6) Had Eusebius wished to describe the 


Take now the facts concerning these fifty manuscripts. 
First the external facts. 

(1) They were remarkable for the excellence of the materials 
on which they were written. 

(2) They were equally remarkable for the beauty of the 
characters, written by the best calligraphers who could be 
found by the Bishop of Csesarea. 

(3) They were to be executed — and it is recorded that they 
were executed — with the utmost possible speed. 

The combination of extreme care bestowed upon the form 
with extreme speed or haste in the execution is a peculiarity 
scarcely to be looked for under ordinary circumstances. 

As a general rule copies of the Scriptures were prepared 
in separate portions, of course with the utmost care, cer- 
tainly not under pressure of time, by monks carefully trained 
in calligraphy and in habits of exact transcription. A manu- 
script thus prepared would be prized rather for its exactness 
and the authority attached to its readings, than for the beauty 
of its form. When a convent had leisure and means to pro- 
duce costly manuscripts, the excellence of the writing would 
in every case be inseparable from extreme care in the 

To this it must be added that the materials had to be 
procured and most carefully prepared, a process which would 
necessarily occupy a considerable time — as may be inferred 
from the singularly fine vellum on which the Sinaitic Codex 
is written : made of the skins of asses or of antelopes, a single 
animal supplying but one sheet.* The time therefore at 

manner of folding the sheets, he would naturally have used words com- 
pounded of a cardinal number and a termination implying folds, such 
as TpinXoa, TerpanXoa ; such words were in common use and specially 
applicable to the case. 

* See Tischendorf, 'Novum Testamentum Sinaiticum,' Proll. p. xvii. 
The number of skins must have far exceeded any quantity that could 
have been kept in store for ordinary purposes. One hundred and forty- 

M 2 


the disposal of Eusebiiis for the transcription would be so far 
shortened as to make extreme haste in that part of the work 
especially urgent. 

So far we have data, which, by reason of their rarity and 
unquestionable authenticity, must go far towards determining 
the origin of any manuscript of that date in which the same 
peculiarities are admitted or can be shown to exist. 

Before we proceed to this point we must take into careful 
consideration the state of the Church at the time ; the rela- 
tions between the Church and the Empire, and the exact 
position of Eusebius in reference to both. 

We may assume that the letter to Eusebius was written 
soon after the dedication of Constantinople ; but some time 
must have elapsed before the Emperor could be satisfied that 
the number of converts was so great, and increasing so steadily, 
as to make it necessary or expedient to build a considerable 
number of churches. I doubt whether the letter could have 
been sent before the year 332, and allowing a reasonable 
time for the purpose of preparing materials, collecting and 
collating manuscripts for the use of scribes in writing fifty 
copies of the whole Scriptures, I should think a.d. 334 a far 
more probable date than 331, usually accepted for this 

Now in the year 330 Arius was received on terms of amity 
by Constantine, who addressed a courteous letter of welcome 
to him on the 25tli of November.* In the following year 
Eustathius, the orthodox Bishop of Antioch, was deposed from 
his see by the Arian Council of Tyre. In the same year, 

eight skins were required for one copy of the Sinaitic New Testament, 
three times as many for the Old. For fifty copies of the whole work 
an enormous number of skins had to be procured, and prepared with the 
utmost care, for the manuscripts demanded by the Emperor. 

* See M. de Broglie, ' Ilistoire de I'Eglise et de I'Empire,' torn. ii. p. 
284, note. 


A.D. 331, Eusebius of Nicomedia, the ablest and most influen- 
tial leader of the extreme Arian faction, ^^Tote a letter to Atha- 
nasius, calling upon him to receive Arius into communion. 

Eusebius of Csesarea was offered the see of Antioch, but 
was wise enough to decline it.* From that time his influence 
over Constantine was unbounded ; an influence considerably 
strengthened by the assiduous court which he paid to the 
favourite sister of the Emperor, giving her name Constantia to 
a city in his diocese, which he speaks of as lately converted 
from fanatic heathenism ; a course which, he tells us, was 
highly approved by Constantine. 

Turning to Egypt, we observe that Athanasius remained at 
Alexandria, but under the ban of the Arian faction and the dis- 
favour of the Emperor, until he went into banishment, a.d. 336. 

We have thus a clear and full account of the position of 
parties in Christendom at the date when those famous fifty 
manuscripts were prepared and sent to Constantinople. 

The facts so elicited supply solid grounds for the inquiry 
as to what in all probability would be the internal charac- 
teristics of manuscripts prepared at such a time, under such 

In the first place Ave do not hesitate to admit that they 
would be generally remarkable for substantial accuracy ; no 
interpolations are to be looked for. Eusebius was a man of 
honour, too prudent as well as too honest consciously to 
introduce corruptions of the text ; his wide learning was not 
more conspicuous than his conscientiousness in dealing with 
the facts of Holy Scripture. 

* Eusebius has preserved the letter which Constantine addressed to him 
on hearing that he had declined the see of Antioch. The Emperor espe- 
cially commends his wise moderation — rj arj avvea-is, 77 yovv rds re evroXas 
Tov 6eov KOL Tov ^AttocttoXikov Kavova Ka\ t^s iKKkqalas cpyXdrrcLv eyucoKCP 
VTTepevye neTTOLrjKe, TrapaiTovyiivr) rfjv 'Eiria-KOTTiav Trjs Kara rrjv ^Avrtox^tau 
eKKKr](TLas. Vita Const, lib. iii. c. 61, p. 518, ed. Vales. 


If in any work he would be careful to maintain his well- 
earned character for diligence and sound judgment, it would 
be in a work destined, under the imperial influence, to remain 
as a guide and chief authority in the great city of Constan- 

It may be added that afterwards when Chrysostom, the 
ablest and soundest teacher of the Church, occupied the epis- 
copal throne in that city, no imputation of corruption or un- 
fairness is alleged in the homilies in which that great man 
expounded large portions of the Scripture. And I may here 
remark, en passant, that in none of his earlier homilies, those 
for instance which were delivered at Antioch, and are justly 
counted as the most thoroughly sound and complete exposi- 
tions of two Gospels and Epistles, is there any indication that 
Chrysostom was aware of a substantial difference between the 
text which he himself used and that of Eusebius, which must 
have been familiar to all students — such difference as is as- 
sumed by Dr. Hort and intimated in his classification of 
Syrian and Pre-syrian readings. 

Still, on the other hand, there are many passages in which, 
without conscious dishonesty or unfairness, traces of theo- 
logical opinions, strongly and consistently maintained by a 
reviser of the text, might be looked for. In cases of disputed 
or doubtful readings, which could not but occur frequently in 
the actual state of recensions or written authorities at that 
time, it would be too great a strain upon our candour or cre- 
dulity to assume that a preference would not be shown for 
that reading which favoured the views of the party of which 
Eusebius was an avowed partizan, and, with all his discretion, 
an earnest defender.* Consciously, or unconsciously, as is 
unquestionably the case with translators,! critics and even 

* Jei-ome, who follows Eusebius in critical questions closely, not to say 
slavishly, speaks of him as "signifer Ariancefactionis." Cont.Rufiuum,lib.ii. 
t See Dr. Eankc's words, quoted above, p. 42. 


transcribers are influenced by their dominant tendencies and 

For instance, in the most important text, Eomans ix. 5, the 
mere insertion of a stop would go far to eliminate a decisive 
proof of our Lord's true and proper divinity, the very central 
point in the Arian controversy. According to some authori- 
ties, the stop is so inserted in some MSS. — of which we have 
presently to speak — and Dr. Vance Smith points triumphantly 
to the countenance given to that punctuation in the Greek 
text of Westcott and Hort, and in the marginal note of the 
Ee vised Version.* 

Again in passages where the choice lay between 6e6<; and 
words which lower or obliterate the meaning, we might expect 
that the latter would be adopted. Of course all doubtful 
texts, not supported, or weakly supported, by documents pre- 
viously accepted as authorities, would disappear. 

But if there were any one distinct instance, any one crucial 
passage, in which the whole weight of Eusebius, as a biblical 
critic, was thrown into one scale — in which on exegetical and 
harmonistic grounds he would be anxious to rid himself 
and his fellow Christians of any considerable passage which 
countenanced what he believed to be erroneous statements, and 
which he had rejected in other writings as a spurious addition 
to a Gospel — we might calculate to a certainty that the effect 
would be seen in the rejection or total obliteration of such a 
passage in manuscripts written under his absolute control. 

* The discussion of this passage does not properly belong to this 
essay; but I must press upon every reader the duty — I use the word 
" duty " emphatically— of reading the admirable note of Dr. Gifford in 
the ' Speaker's Commentary.' I should scarcely have thought it credible, 
in face of the unanswered and unanswerable arguments there urged, 
that English divines would venture to have given their sanction to one 
of the most pernicious and indefensible innovations of rationalistic 
criticism. For Dr. Vance Smith's statement see 'Revised Texts and 
Margins,' p. 32 scq. 


One other characteristic, and it is of the last importance 
in the inquiry, must be looked for in a recension conducted 
by Eusebius. It would bear evident marks of the influence 
of Origen : not merely because Origen, as we have seen, had a 
well-earned reputation for learning, keen insight, literary 
tact, and spiritual discernment, but because of all authorities 
in such matters Origen stood highest in the estimation of 
Eusebius. To this reference has already been made. I am 
bound to call attention to it here. The position of Eusebius 
is stated completely and forcibly by Jerome, ' Contra Eufi- 
num,' i. § 8 : " Sex libros Eusebius Caesariensis Episcopus, 
Arianse quondam signifer factionis, pro Origene scripsit 
latissimum et elaboratum opus, et multis testimoniis appro- 
bavit, Origenem juxta se catholicum, id est, juxta nos Arianum 
esse." * 

We have now to see whether any manuscripts now extant 
meet all the conditions which are implied in the preceding 
description of the Eusebian recension. 

The first indispensable condition is that of time. The re- 
cension, as we have seen, was made between a.d. 330 and 340 : 
probably some five or six years before the latter date. 

Two manuscripts, and two only, are assigned to the earlier 
half of the fourth century. One, the Vatican Codex, B, is 
admitted by all critics to have been written in or about the 
(lecennium before the middle of that century. The other, the 
Sinaitic Codex, n*, has not commanded the same unanimity of 
critical consensus. Some critics of eminence have disputed 
its antiquity ; still the opinion of Tischendorf, so far as regards 
the proximate age of the manuscript, has been borne out so 
far by close and dispassionate inquiry, that little if any real 

* I do not accept this statement of Jerome so far as regards the impu- 
tation of Arianism to Origen, whose substantial orthodoxy has been fully 
vindicated by Bishop Bull, ' Defensio Fidei Nicasn^,' 2 c. ix. ; but it is con- 
clusive as to the close connection between Eusebius and Origen. 


doubt can reasonably be entertained on that point. The 
further question, whether that critic was right in maintaining 
its priority to the Vatican Codex, stands on different grounds. 
I hold, as a fact which has been demonstrated, that both 
manuscripts were written about the same time and in the 
same country ; but if either was in part copied from the other, 
or written later under the same influences, the Vatican 
was in all probability the older, the Sinaitic the younger. 
This I have to consider further on; here I venture to 
assume as a recognized fact that these two manuscripts, 
alone among extant documents, do satisfy, and fully 
satisfy, the condition of time. They are certainly con- 
temporary with the Eusebian recension, and if so, there is a 
strong 'prima facie probability that they were written at the 
same place and under the same superintendence. 

Two other conditions are equally indispensable. The first 
is extreme care in external form — beauty and excellence of 
materials, beauty and excellence of writing. 

Now in these respects the two manuscripts are admitted 
to hold a foremost, indeed an exceptional position. 

The Vatican Codex is described by all critics who have had 
the opportunity of examining it, as remarkable for the fine- 
ness and beauty of the vellum ; until the Sinaitic Codex 
was discovered, it was AvhoUy without a rival for the 
grace, nobleness, distinctness-, and beauty of its calligraphy.* 
In both respects the Sinaitic Codex equals, if it does not sur- 
pass it. It has been stated above that one antelope supplied 
materials for one sheet only of this manuscript, and Tischen- 
dorf s account of its remarkable beauty is admitted to be 
without exaggeration. As for the beauty of the writing, 
readers have full opportunity of forming a judgment. They 

* " Species libri pro typorum pulchritudine, et charta; pr^estantia satis 
elegans est." Tischendorf, ' Nov. Test. A^aticanum,' Appendix, \\ ix. 


need but compare the facsimiles in Scrivener's ' Introduction/ 
the photographs in Dean Burgon's work on the last verses of 
St. Mark, or the specimens in Tischendorf s edition of the 
two manuscripts, to be fully satisfied that though ap- 
proached in some respects by a few other uncials, yet on 
the whole these two MSS. are by far the best extant speci- 
mens of early calligraphy. 

This first condition must therefore be regarded as absolutely 

But secondly, we have to take into consideration another 
characteristic. As we have seen, the Emperor impressed upon 
Eusebius the duty of getting the work done with all possible 
expedition. He urges him repeatedly to speed, to extreme 
haste. A command so notified, urged by a prince of imperious 
and impatient character, could not fail to override all other 
considerations ; provided that good copies were supplied to the 
writers, that the best and most thoroughly trained calligraphers 
were employed, Eusebius would not be disposed to look with 
much severity upon defects inseparable from rapidity of 
execution. Omissions of words, clauses, and sentences not 
absolutely indispensable for a right understanding of the 
purport of any given passage might escape attention, or if 
noticed might be excused; a sheet faulty in points which 
the critic might regard as of secondary importance would 
scarcely be cast aside, considering the loss of time, not to 
speak of the cost, which would be incurred by an attempt to 
replace it. I hold it to be certain that traces of extreme 
haste would be found in such manuscripts. 

Are such traces found in either or in both the manuscripts 
with which we are specially concerned ? 

The answer is scarcely open to doubt. The omissions in 
the synoptical Gospels, which I deal with exclusively in this 
essay, are perfectly amazing for number and extent. It is 
calculated by a very able and careful critic (quoted by Dr. 


Scrivener, 'Introduction,' p. 108) that Codex B leaves out 
words, or whole clauses, no less than 330 times in St. 
Matthew, 365 times in St. Mark, 439 times in St. Luke. 

This computation does not exceed the result to which my 
own independent examination of the new readings in the 
Greek texts of the Eevisers and of Westcott and Hort had 
led me. In fifteen chapters of St. Mark I found 653 
changes, in St. Luke 837. A very large proportion, more 
than one half, roughly speaking, are omissions ; and for nine 
tenths of these omissions one or both the manuscripts under 
consideration are the principal, in fact all but invariably the 
only, authorities. 

But here I am met by the very weighty and very authori- 
tative statement of the two critics, repeated more than once, 
and in very peremptory terms, that it is illusive to describe 
these variations as omissions ; that so far as they affect pas- 
sages of any importance they are but indications of the singular 
purity, the freedom from interpolations, from " conflate read- 
ings," useless repetitions, which they take to be the charac- 
teristic excellence of both, and of the Vatican MS. more 
especially. Such a dictum it is somewhat hard to deal with ; 
but with the utmost deference to the judgment of those 
critics I cannot but maintain that if the majority of those read- 
ings, which we call omissions, are subjected to any external test, 
if tried by any other measure than that of the manuscripts 
themselves, they will be convicted as defects, or blunders, or 
innovations more or less erroneous, to whatever cause the 
mischief be attributable. The tests to which I would refer 
are, first, the more ancient and trustworthy Versions ; secondly, 
citations in ante-Nicene Fathers ; and thirdly, the consensus 
of manuscripts, including those which in doubtful cases so 
generally coincide with fc< and B as to leave little room for 
doubt that their text was founded on the same original autho- 
rities. To this I must add the very important statement 


of Dr. Scrivener/ Introduction/ p. 108: "That no small pro- 
portion of them — sc. the omissions noticed above — are mere 
oversights of the scribe, seems evident from a circumstance 
that has only come to light of late years, namely, that this 
same scribe has repeatedly written words and clauses twice 
over, a class of mistakes which Mai and the collators have 
seldom thought fit to notice, inasmuch as the false addition has 
not been retraced by the second hand, but which by no 
means enhances our estimate of the care employed in copying 
this venerable record of primitive Christianity." In a note 
upon this passage Dr. Scrivener quotes words of Tischendorf, 
which are conclusive as to that critic's opinion of the careless- 
ness — which I attribute to excessive haste — of the copyist 
of the manuscript. Speaking of gross blunders in the 
recent Eoman edition of the Vatican Codex, Tischendorf says, 
" Tamen haec quoque satis cum tonivei^sa scripturse Vaticana3 
viTiosiTATE conveniunt." Appendix to N. T. Vatic, p. xvii. 

These remarks apply with at least equal force to the 
Sinaitic Codex, of which Tischendorf uses the same expres- 
sion, "magna scripturae vitiositas." See K T. Sinaitic. 
Introd. p. XXXV. § v. One instance of extreme negligence 
occurs towards the end of St. Mark's Gospel, in which that 
manuscript omits v. 47 in c. xv., and the first clause in c. xvi. 
— an omission noticed and supplemented by an early corrector. 

I refer also to the weighty testimony of Dr. Scrivener in 
his Introduction (p. xv.) to the ' Collation of the Sinaitic MS.' 
" This manuscript must have been derived from one more 
ancient, in which the lines were similarly divided, since the 
writer occasionally omits just the number of letters which 
would suffice to fill a line, and that to the utter ruin of the 
sense; as if his eye had heedlessly wandered to the line 
immediately below. Instances of this want of care will be 
found, Luke xxi. 8 ; xxii. 25, perhaps John iv. 45 ; xii. 25 ; 
where complete lines are omitted. It must be confessed, 


indeed, that the Codex Sinaiticus abounds with similar errors 
of the eye and pen, to an extent not unparalleled, but 
happily rather unusual in documents of first-rate import- 
ance ; so that Tregelles has freely pronounced that " the state 
of the text, as proceeding from the first scribe, may be re- 
garded as very roiigli!' 

Two points must here be borne in mind. The Sinaitic 
MS. was written by at least four copyists; a considerable 
portion was at once recognized by Tischendorf as written by 
the calligrapher who appears to have been employed 
throughout the Vatican manuscript. The point is im- 
portant for various reasons : first, if it be accepted as 
a fact, it leaves no doubt, that the two manuscripts 
were written at the same time, the same place, and under 
the same general superintendence. Secondly, it bears very 
forcibly upon a point of even greater importance to be 
noticed in the sequel (pp. 232-5), the mutilation of St. Mark's 
Gospel ; that portion of the work being among the passages 
which Tischendorf fixes upon as certainly written by the 
Vatican calligrapher.* It also shows a singular and very un- 
expected carelessness in the choice or use of documents 
which the calligraphers had to copy, inasmuch as the readings 
vary to an extent which, though it does not affect the substance 
of the text, proves that the same writer actually had before 
him different manuscripts when he wrote the two portions 
now before us. Tischendorf infers from this that they bear 
independent and therefore valuable testimony to the readings 
which he adopts in both; and in this view he is supported 
by Dr. Hort, who regards it as an evidence of their common 
origin from some far more ancient text. I venture to main- 
tain that we have, together with the proof of singular and 

* See Tischendorf s ' Nov. Test. Vaticanum,' p. xxii., and Dr. Hort'i^ 
Introduction,' § 288. 


inexcusable negligence, a clear indication that the copyist, 
under the direction of Eusebius or the " corrector," followed 
two recensions, and most probably gave the preference to 
that which kept the text as received or amended by Origen, 
or by Lucian, of whose labours and influence we have spoken 

But I must further call attention to another fact, which 
surprised me exceedingly, which I could scarcely have ac- 
cepted as probable or possible, but for the decisive testimony 
of Tischendorf, a scholar certainly not biassed by any pre- 
judices against this manuscript. I have noticed above that 
it was usual, in cases of such importance, to employ a 
corrector of the manuscript, generally a professional scribe, 
called in Greek SiopOoorrj^;, Latinized by Tischendorf as 
diorthota. His duties are thus described : he had to correct 
faults in the copy, and to supply any omissions of negligence. 
But I will quote his own words : " Et hoc et illud in librum 
Vaticanum quadrat, cujus primum correctorem sive diortho- 
tam maxime hoc egisse adparet ut omissa suppleret, et vitiosa 
emendaret ; nee vero prorsus ab inferendis lectionibus absti- 
nuit, quas aliunde quam a textu libri descripti sumere 
deberet."* Of both courses Tischendorf gives instances ; and 
so far we certainly might seem to have a security against 
numerous or serious blunders, especially in a document of 
transcendent importance, intended, whether at Constantinople 
or in any other city, to remain as a KTrifxa e? aet, an official 
witness to the true text. 

But, as I intimated, a great surprise awaits us. In the 
following page (xxv.) Tischendorf writes thus : " If however 
any one should believe that that corrector did his work dili- 
gently, he would be grievously mistaken. Eor it appears to 
have been generally the custom of those correctors, as mere 

* See ' Novum Testamentum Vaticanum,' ed. Tischendorf, Proll. p. xxiv. 


hirelings, in order to get through their work rapidly, to be 
satisfied with such corrections and remarks as might be made 
with ease in a hasty perusal and coUaticTn of the manuscript. 
They did just as much as attested the fact that they had 
corrected the manuscript, and did not scruple to leave many 
points untouched which had the greatest possible need of 

Here however we might pause, and look for an exception* 
in the case of a manuscript, which Drs. Westcott and Hort 
regard as one of " supreme excellence," beyond all comparison 
" the purest and most free from errors of all now in exist- 
ence : " but Tischendorf expressly adds, " Quod quantopere 
in diorthotam codicis Vaticani quadret, qucevis inquirentem 
pagina docet ; " that is to say, every page of this manuscript 
bears the plainest evidence of the carelessness and haste of 
the corrector, and of course of the copyist, whose negligence 
called for the most careful and diligent supervision. 

Taking the calculations of the critic quoted by Scrivener 
as granted — and they certainly are borne out fully by my own 
inquiry so far as it has extended — we must admit that the 
omission of not less than 2556 words or clauses in the 
Vatican Codex, which does not go beyond Hebrews ix. 14, 
must have fallen in with the inclinations of a scribe, and 
have been lightly admitted by a superintendent, who were 
acting under imperative directions to produce the work with 
all possible speed. 

For my part, I can scarcely conceive any combination of 
circumstances which could have produced results apparently 
so incompatible as the highest finish in external form, and 
the utmost haste with its concomitant negligence, save that 
for which we have the most positive evidence in the letter 
of Constantine and in the account of the execution of the 
work given by Eusebius. 

In monasteries the transcriptions were always made by 


members of the conventual body; haste and carelessness 
were of all faults least to be looked for in the leisure of the 
convent, in the work ' of men who, whatever may be thought 
of their discretion, were beyond all doubt heartily devoted 
to the Master whose word was thus entrusted to their dili- 
gence; but in the busy city of Caesarea, in the midst of 
harassing controversies and engrossing avocations literary 
and ecclesiastical, Eusebius, himself not improbably acting 
as diorthota, could scarcely have risen above the temptation, 
not to idleness — that was not his temptation — but to hasty 
discharge of an onerous duty under the pressure of imperial 

We have now to ask the reader to consider the very 
peculiar force of arguments which lead to the conclusion that 
the two manuscripts were written under the superintendence 
of Eusebius, which in fact taken together leave scarcely any 
room for doubt that they were written at a time when the 
influence of the school which he represented was completely 
in the ascendant. 

I will not dwell upon indications of Arian tendencies. 
They are not such as we should be entitled to rely upon. 
As I before said, Eusebius was certainly above the suspicion 
of consciously introducing false statements or of obliterating 
true statements. As was the case with many supporters of 
the high Arian party, which came nearest to the sound 
orthodox faith, Eusebius was familiar with all scriptural 
texts which distinctly ascribe to our Lord the divine attri- 
butes and the divine name, and was far more likely to adopt 
an explanation which coincided with his own system, than 
to incur the risk of exposure and disgrace by obliterating or 
modifying them in manuscripts which would be always open 
to public inspection. The student has but to read his 
treatises against Marcellus to be convinced of the fairness 
and truth of this statement. 


Still there are passages in which the choice between two 
readings, each having the support of early recensions, either 
Western, conspicuous for what Eeiche calls "socordia et 
licentia," or Alexandrian, bearing traces of the distinctive 
tendencies of the Origenistic school, would be influenced by 
the avowed preference of Eusebius ; and when we consider the 
very serious list of omissions and corruptions imputing incor- 
rect (not to use a stronger and more offensive word) statements 
to the Evangelists, many of them especially derogatory to the 
character of the Saviour and logically incompatible with 
an entire faith in His proper and true Divinity, we can 
scarcely admit that either of the two manuscripts can be 
exonerated from the imputation, if not of heretical pravity, 
yet of a leaning towards semi-Arian tenets. 

But I speak more decidedly upon two points. Whatever 
may be said of the arguments alleged for or against the 
authenticity of the last twelve verses of St. Mark's Gospel, 
one thing is certain. Eusebius is the earliest writer — I may 
safely assert the only writer up to the end of the fourth 
century — who ventured to impugn them : in this singular 
course he was unquestionably biassed by a desire to rid his 
own mind, and that of Marinus, who had consulted him on the 
subject, of the perplexity, caused by what might seem to him, 
and has been represented by others, and seems to be admitted 
by Dr. Hort,* to be the impossibility of harmonizing the first 
part of that portion with the other Evangelists, especially St. 
Matthew. For my own part, I think it very probable that 
other points in those verses would be exceedingly distasteful 
to him. In my note on v. 18 in the ' Speaker's Commentary,' 
I have noticed the contempt Eusebius expresses for Papias, 
who gave credence to a transaction which literally exempli- 
fied the fulfilment of our Lord's promise. I do not think 

* See ' Introduction,' Notes on Select Readings, p. 51. 



that he would feel less repugnance than that expressed by the 
late Dean Stanley* to the doctrines stated with uncom- 
promising force in the 16th verse; nor can we but remember 
that the removal of those verses, combined with an equally 
bold dismissal of St. Luke's statement, c. xxiv. 51 (see above, 
p. 125), obliterates the testimony of the Gospels to the Ascen- 
sion of the Lord and His Session at the Eight Hand of God. 

However this may be, we have here a positive unquestion- 
able case in which Eusebius, standing out against all ancient 
Versions, all the earliest and best Fathers of the Greek- 
speaking Church, takes the position, which is supported by 
these two manuscripts, and by these alone, up to the eighth 
or ninth century, when they were followed by a single autho- 
rity, the Codex L, which is little more than a transcript of 
the Vatican manuscript. 

But in connection with this point there is a most singular 
and startling peculiarity, for which I can conceive no pro- 
bable or rational explanation save that supplied by the 
hypothesis of Eusebian superintendence. One of the manu- 
scripts, B, omits the verses, but leaves a blank column after 
that which contains the last verse of the mutilated Gospel — 
a proof, as I have elsewhere noted, that in the copy before 
the writer a closing portion was given.f In the other MS., N, 

* I cannot but allude to some remarkable points of resemblance between 
that great and good and genial divine in our own age and Eusebius, both 
courtiers conspicuous for an influence in the palace well earned by noble 
and attractive qualities, both historians remarkable for skilful use of 
materials collected with unusual care and employed with equal dis- 
crimination and skill, and both, it must be added, so remarkable for noble 
qualities as to retain a place of high estimation in the judgment not only 
of those who sympathized with them in latitudinarian tendencies, but 
with the firmest and most consistent maintainers of the old unvarying 
doctrines of the Catholic Church. 

t Dr. Scrivener speaks very decidedly on this point. " By leaving a 
space the scribe has intimated that he was fully aware of the existence 
of the missing verses, or even found them in the copy from which he 
wrote." ' Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament,' p. 98. 


no such space is allowed. The Gospel of St. Mark ends, as 
does every other book of the New Testament, in a column of 
which the remaining portion, and that portion alone, is left 
blank — the following column beginning with St. Luke. 

Now we have seen evidence, as Tischendorf proves, and as 
Dr. Hort admits (§ 288), that a portion of the Sinaitic Codex 
was written by the scribe of the Vatican, and the portion 
containing the end of St. Mark's Gospel from c. xv. 2, and 
the first part of St. Luke's Gospel, is the principal example 
of that very remarkable proceeding. 

What more natural, what more probable, than the con- 
jecture — nay, I venture to ask what more cogent than the 
evidence thus supplied — that Eusebius, superintending the 
scribe of the Vatican when he was copying a part of Scripture 
in which Eusebius felt a very special interest, should interfere 
and order the omission of the verses to which he has recorded 
his antagonism ; or again that the scribe, when he was called 
upon to transcribe the same portion in the Sinaitic manu- 
script, written, as we know, on even more costly and rare 
materials, in much larger characters — both points of import- 
ance taken in connection with the demand for extreme 
haste — should save the extra column, and thus, whether 
consciously or unconsciously, obliterate, so far as the authority 
of that manuscript extends, all indications of the change. 

Of course, all such inferences are open to objection, but let 
not the two facts be ignored : the fact that Eusebius alone in 
that age is known to have impugned the authenticity of the 
verses, and again, that those two manuscripts alone in that 
age, and with one solitary exception (L), alone in all ages 
of Christendom, expunge them from their text. 

One other point need not detain us long. It is, however, of 
crucial importance. I have spoken before of the close con- 
nection between Origen and the school of which Eusebius 
was the head, and of his own personal feelings towards that 

N 2 


greatest and most influential expositor and critic, undoubtedly 
the chief guide of critics until his influence was at once 
confirmed and overshadowed by that of Chrysostom. As 
Eusebius is substantially one with Origen in his views 
touching the criticism of the N. T., so are the readings in the 
two codices for the most part identical with those in citations 
in Origen. The reader will find abundant instances in the 
passages examined in this book — e.g. take the decisive instance 
of the Lord's Prayer in St. Luke's Gospel. Origen alone 
among early Fathers vouches for the omission of nearly one 
half the clauses which we have examined above, p. 85 seq. 
— important clauses in every respect : N and B, followed by 
their constant satellite, alone among ancient MSS. obliterate 
all traces of their existence from their text. It is, however, 
as I said, needless to dwell upon this. The fact of the close 
accordance of the text of the Vatican Codex with that pre- 
sented by Origen, was recognized long since. Griesbach in his 
valuable work, the ' Symbolse Criticae,' established this fact 
and illustrated it by a copious series of quotations. That 
work formed, indeed, the basis of the system, afterwards elabo- 
rated by Lachmann, which was adopted by the generality of 
German critics, notwithstanding the strong warning of Eeiche 
quoted in the first pages of this essay, and which is now pre- 
sented to the English reader in a complete, able, and highly 
technical form in the ' Introduction ' of Westcott and Hort. 

Take the fact simply as a fact. It proves an entire 
identity of critical position in Eusebius and in the Vatican 
manuscript, which in this respect coincides with the Sinaitic ; 
and it completes the series of strong and certainly in- 
dependent arguments, by which I have attempted to show 
that both manuscripts were written at Caesarea, in compliance 
with an imperial mandate, and under the vigilant superinten- 
dence of the Bishop. 

To this identification of both manuscripts with those sent 


by Eusebius to the Emperor, two objections, the only ones 
of any importance, as it seems to me, have to be considered. 

The first refers to the form of the manuscripts ; but it 
applies to one only, B. Eusebius states that those which he 
forwarded were rpiaad and rerpacro-d; and Tischendorf, follow- 
ing Yalesius, explains these terms to be equivalent to the 
Latin " terniones " and " quaterniones," i.e. in sheets folded 
three or four times, whereas Codex B consists of sheets fivefold, 
which in Latin he calls " quiniones." I must observe that in 
that case no ordinal corresponding to rpuaad and rerpaa-crd is 
found in Greek, derived from the cardinal nrevre. This 
objection is met by the explanation suggested in my note on 
page 162 : namely, that Eusebius referred to the most promi- 
nent characteristic of these manuscripts, one in fact which is 
peculiar to them. They are written in triple and quadruple 
columns, three on each page of B, four on each page of n. 
If, however, this explanation were rejected, I should still 
argue that the Sinaitic Codex, which agrees in every respect 
with the description of Eusebius, which is larger in size, 
nobler in its character, and more costly in materials, was 
sent to Constantinople ; and that B, which, as we have seen, 
was written before the other, may have been kept back by 
Eusebius, who of course needed a complete copy for the use 
of his own metropolitan Church. Under what circumstances 
that codex found its way to Eome,* is of course wholly un- 
certain ; probably at an early period and at a time when 
communications between the Churches of Eastern and Western 
Christendom were frequent, in fact uninterrupted. In any 
case we may maintain the conclusion to which we have been 
driven, that the two manuscripts are but variants of one re- 

* Dr. Hort indeed surmises that B and probably K also were written at 
Rome : see his * Introduction,' pp. 266-7. I fail to see the force of his 
arguments ; to me the indications or evidences of Eastern origin appear 


cension, absolutely contemporaneous, with the same pervading 
characteristics of defect or excellence. 

The other objection is of a more serious character. Dr. 
Hort, a high authority especially on such a point, holds that 
the readings, and especially the classification of the several 
books of the New Testament, differ substantially from those 
maintained by Eusebius.* As for the readings, I should be 
disposed to question the fact, or the significance of the fact, so 
far as it can be established. The variations in the two manu- 
scripts, which, it must be remembered. Dr. Hort admits to 
have been in part written by the same scribe, prove how 
little importance the writer or editor attached to readings 
which do not materially modify the sense of statements 
touching on central doctrines ; certainly they show how 
little care was bestowed upon that part of the work. So 
far as I have examined the citations of Eusebius, and 
compared them with the manuscripts, they fall under this 
category, and if this be generally the case, that objection 
is disposed of As to the other jpoint, the classification 
of the books of the New Testament into authentic and 
universally received, and avriXeyofjueva or even v66a, Tischen- 
dorf had already met it by anticipation, and in a way 
which seems to me entirely satisfactory. He observes 
that Eusebius had a choice between two alternatives : he 
might either admit into his revised text those books only 
which were universally received, and which he held to be un- 
doubtedly authentic ; or, on the other hand, he might take all 
those which were received as genuine by the principal Churches 
of Christendom. The first course would, as Tischendorf ob- 
serves, imply great arrogance in the critic, and give great 
offence. I may add that it would have argued a want of dis- 
cretion, utterly alien to the courtier's habit of mind, to cast 

* See his * Introduction,' p. 74. 


such an opprobrium upon portions of Scripture with which 
Constantino and the ecclesiastics by whom he was surrounded 
had been long familiar ; it would have boded ill for the success 
of the Eusebian recension, had the Emperor received from 
him copies of the Scriptures from which those books were 
altogether absent, or were marked as of questionable or 
more than questionable authenticity. It is also observed, 
truly and forcibly, by Tischendorf, that Eusebius does not 
hesitate to quote and to speak in terms of great reverence of 
books which in the passage here alluded to he classes as 

I venture, then, to assume as absolutely proved the follow- 
ing propositions : 

(a) The two manuscripts were written at the same time 
and under the same general superintendence. 

(h) That time coincided with the period at which Eusebius 
executed the commission of Constantino. 

(c) The costliness and beauty of the materials used in 
both manuscripts, more especially in the Sinaitic MS., 
taken into combination with the care and grace of the hand- 
writing, can scarcely be accounted for under any ordinary 
circumstances, while the unquestionable indications of haste 
and even carelessness in readings of secondary, nay some 
of primary importance, are without parallel in manuscripts 
at all rivalling these in the estimation of critics. 

And if not absolutely proved, I hold it to be established 
as in the highest degree probable, that Eusebius was the 
superintendent ; and that we have in these two manuscripts 
the only extant memorials of his recension. 

* See Tischendorf s ' Nov. Test. Sinaiticum,' Proll. p. xxxii. seq. He 
winds up with a remark which completely disposes of Dr. Hort's objection : 
"Quge si recte disputata sunt, exemplar Sinaiticum ad normam Eusebii 
egregie conformatum videtur." 



The Codex Alexandrinus. 

We pass from the consideration of the two manuscripts «, 
B, to that of the Alexandrian Codex, which unquestionably 
conies nearest to them in antiquity ; we have to examine the 
probable date of its production, and the relations in which 
it stands to those manuscripts, and to other documents 
which give us any real insight into the condition of the text 
of the New Testament in different quarters of primitive 

The date may be fixed with some degree of certainty 
between two limits. (1) It must have been written some 
years after the Vatican Codex. (2) It could scarcely have 
been written for public use in the Church — a use to which it 
was undoubtedly destined— long after the promulgation or 
general reception of the 59th Canon of the Laodicean Council, 
about A.D. 367. 

(1) The first point need not be discussed at length. All 
critics accustomed to note and qualified to estimate external 
indications of the date of manuscripts, agree that the style 
of calligraphy and other sure criteria mark a time not far 
distant from, but certainly some years later than, that assigned 
to the Vatican and Sinaitic Codices. But the length of the 
interval is not so easily decided. It must be remembered 
that contemporary or nearly contemporary scribes in different 
countries, writing under different circumstances and under 
different superintendence, adopted peculiarities in the form 
of some letters and in their general style which might easily 


mislead even a practised inquirer and induce him to assign 
their writings to a much later age than that to which they 
really belonged. I may be allowed to notice a very curious 
exemplification of this peculiarity. The charter of Edward 
the Confessor which endows the Cathedral of Exeter with 
the principal part of its landed property, is still retained 
as one of the most precious documents belonging to the 
cathedral body. It was inspected by Henry III., and its 
authenticity was unquestioned until some fifty years ago, 
when Dr. Hickes, an antiquarian of high authority, pointed 
out that the style of writing, especially the forms of some 
letters, could not be reconciled with so early a date, having 
been introduced by Norman penmen after the Conquest. 
This grave objection was for a time regarded as all 
but conclusive, until a keen-eyed critic pointed out, and 
showed the bearings of, the remarkable fact that Edward, who 
had long before' showed his predilection for the Normans, 
employed Norman writers in preference to Saxon. Thus an 
argument which at first told heavily against the document 
became a peculiarly strong evidence of its genuineness. 

Applying this argument to the question now before us I 
infer that while full dependence may be placed upon the 
sound judgment and careful observation of the critics, it does 
not follow that an interval of many years, or of even the 
greater part of a century, elapsed between the production 
of the two oldest manuscripts and of this, which for years was 
our most ancient and trustworthy authority for the text of 
the New Testament. 

I venture to maintain that the limits on both sides may be 
A.D. 380 and A.D. 410, and that the earlier date is more nearly 

I observe, to my great satisfaction, that Dr. Hort, to whose 
keen judgment especial weight must be assigned, and who 


certainly in this case was not biassed by any undue estimate 
of the authority of this manuscript, holds that a few years 
may suffice to account for internal or external indications. 

This however I regard as certain. Whatever may have 
been the interval, it could not have been less than the 
time which intervened between the predominance of 
Arianism, say a.d. 330, and the restoration of Athanasius to 
his see, some years before the death of Constantine. Until 
indeed the permanent restoration of the old Catholic faith 
and ecclesiastical system was completed, no such manuscript 
was likely to be produced at Alexandria, or in any part of 
Egypt. The manuscript is not such a one as a monastery 
would cause to be written for its own use. Manuscripts 
carefully written are not uncommon, but they are limited, 
invariably as I believe, to some portions of Scripture. The 
production of a complete manuscript of the whole Bible, 
written in large uncials, on parchment or vellum of the finest 
and most costly kind, can only be accounted for by its being 
needed for a metropolitan Church, and at a time when the 
Archbishop of Alexandria had leisure and means and full 
opportunity for getting such a work executed. The latter 
years of Athanasius himself were too much disturbed by the 
violence and craft of his opponents, and his own mind too 
much occupied by incessant controversies, to permit ther 
otherwise probable conjecture that he was the editor or the 
superintendent of these manuscripts. I should ;rather say 
that the earliest date at which such manuscripts were likely 
to be prepared in Egypt was A.D. 380. Valens died a.d. 378 ; 
then the extreme pressure of Arianism ceased, but the Arian 
Lucius, who was obtruded upon the see of Alexandria after 
the death of St. Athanasius, was finally expelled after the 
accession of Theodosius in 379. The decree in which that 
emperor formally recognized Peter as the successor of Athana- 


sius was issued in February 380.* That the MS. was written 
at or about that time, at the very latest before the end of the 
first decennium of the fifth century, appears to me by far 
the most probable inference to be drawn from admitted facts. 

(2) With regard to the argument drawn from the decree 
of the Council of Laodicea I have to call attention to these 
facts. In that council, for the first time, the distinction, 
which had hitherto been but partially observed, between 
canonical books received as of apostolic authority by 
Christendom, and edifying works produced by writers fully 
entitled to the reverence of the Church, was strictly defined 
and authoritatively declared. Before the promulgation of 
that decree the Epistle of St. Clement and other works, such 
as the spurious Epistle of Barnabas and the ' Shepherd of 
Hermas,' were read in the public services of many churches. 
Hence in the Sinaitic Codex the only extant Greek text of 
part of the ' Shepherd of Hermas,' and the epistle so called 
of Barnabas, are subjoined to the canonical books, a fact 
which is justly regarded as decisive proof of its antiquity. 
But by the 59th Canon of Laodicea the public reading of all 
such writings was formally and absolutely prohibited, f 

ll^ow the Alexandrian manuscript, as is well known, sub- 
joins the first Epistle of St. Clement of Eome to the canonical 
books, and places it in the index without any mark of 
distinction. It may be assumed therefore that at the time 
when, and at the place where, that manuscript was written 
the old custom had not been interrupted. It is possible, 
indeed probable, that in some Churches, especially in the 

* I take this opportunity of correcting a serious blunder in my ' Second 
Letter to the Bishop of London,' p. 69, where I stated that Peter was 
the immediate predecessor of Athanasius. I should have said immediate 

t The 60th canon gives a complete list of canonical books, in exact 
accordance with the Alexandrian Codex both as regards number and order. 


Church of Corinth, the venerable and universally accepted 
work of the apostolic Clement continued to be read for 
ages ; and had the manuscript been written in Achaia, no 
argument could have been fairly drawn from its retention, 
although even in that case a mark of distinction between it 
and other canonical books was not likely at a late date to 
have been absent. But that in Alexandria, at a time of 
vehement controversy, under bishops who were con- 
spicuous for fiery zeal, not to say bitter intolerance, such 
a system should have been continued, in face of a formal 
decree of the Church, appears to me incredible. I have 
therefore no hesitation in assigning the date, as approxi- 
mately certain, to the latter part of the fourth, at the latest to 
the first decennium of the fifth century. 

But of this too we may feel tolerably certain. The text of 
a manuscript produced at that age and under these circum- 
stances would present unmistakeable characteristics. In the 
first place it would in all probability differ from the Euse- 
bian recension in one respect. It would bear no trace of 
extreme haste and consequent carelessness. Omissions 
would therefore disappear, except to the extent in which 
they were borne out by the authority of ancient and gene- 
rally received documents. 

This characteristic stands out prominently in the Alex- 
andrian manuscript. Look through the long list of omissions 
on the preceding pages, or, if any doubt remains, compare the 
authorities in Tischendorf s eighth edition, for the omission 
on the one side, for the retention on the other, of the enor- 
mous number of passages marked as doubtful, or rejected 
as innovations in the Greek text of the Eevised Version, and 
still more so in that of Westcott and Hort, and you will 
find, with very rare exceptions, so far as the Gospels of 
St. Mark and St. Luke are concerned, that N and B are for 
omission, A for retention. 


Now this is of the highest importance. It constitutes, as 
we have seen, one main argument on which the revising 
critics rely : on the other side it supplies an argument, in 
my opinion of far greater force, in favour of the recension 
which preserves the integrity of Holy Scripture in passages 
of transcendent interest. This is the more striking, inas- 
much as in some of the very gravest cases the testimony of 
this manuscript is supported by the citations of Fathers of 
the highest authority. Thus St. Athanasius cites, among 
others, the following passages : the first great word on the 
cross ; and the statement in Luke xxiv. 40 — marked as doubtful 
in the Eevised Version — that our Saviour showed His hands 
and His feet to the disciples, a citation the more valuable 
inasmuch as St. Athanasius adduces it as a formal and 
decisive proof of the reality of our Lord's bodily existence 
and as subversive of the Manichsean heterodoxy. He would 
certainly not have ventured to adduce that text had he 
entertained any doubt as to its genuineness, or had he known 
that his opponents could reject it on tenable grounds.* 

There is perhaps no point upon which Dr. Hort has 
bestowed more pains than the question as to the character 
and bearings of this feature in Western manuscripts. I shall 
have occasion presently to consider his ingenious argument 
founded on the assumption that what I call restorations, 
what he calls interpolations, are simply instances of " conflate 

* 1 quote the passage as one of great interest. Ka\ tovto (the humanity 
derived from Mary) ovk av ris dii(f)i^akoi fiinja-dels av cypaylrev 6 Aou> 
Kas' fiera yap ro dvaari^vai €K vcKpav, ^o<ovvt(ov Tiva>v firj ev ra ck 
Maplas aoDfiari ^Xenctv tov Kvpiov, akXa dvrl tovtov npevfia decopclv, 
eXeyev "idere ras \f7pds /xov, koI tovs nobas p-ov, Koi tovs tvttovs rayp 
TJXaVf oTt iyoa elfii avros. ^r;Xa(^j)o-aTe /xe, koi tdere, on irvevfjia adpKa 
Koi ocrrea ovk ^x^i, Kad(os e'/xe Oecopelre e'xovTa. Koi tovto (Ittmv, enebei- 
^ev avTols Tas x^tpas" ^ai tovs nobas. Ad Epictetum, Cor. Ep. Epistola, 
§ 7, p. 906 D, ed. Bened. 


readings." Without anticipating the general argument, I 
must here remark that even were Dr. Hort's theory 
accepted, it would not support the innovations to which the 
most serious importance must be attached. The strongest 
cases are cases of omission. The manuscripts which omit 
the most striking details in the history of our Lord's suffer- 
ings, His death, and, I must add. His resurrection, stand 
in a diametrically opposite position — I must be allowed 
to say a far inferior position — to those which retain those 
details in a form attested both by ancient Versions and 
by the most ancient and most trustworthy Fathers of the 

If we compare one by one the passages in which the Alex- 
andrian and the two other manuscripts are at variance — 
passages, be it noted, occurring most frequently in the second 
and third Gospels — with more ancient authorities, or again 
with the highest authorities of the same age, or of the age 
immediately preceding, it will be found in the great majority 
of instances that their evidence preponderates in favour of the 
former. I cite with peculiar satisfaction the statement of 
Dr. Hort, Introd. p. 152, that the Alexandrian Codex repre- 
sents most fairly the text commonly occurring in citations 
by the Greek Fathers of the fourth century. Now when we 
consider who those Fathers were, that they comprise nearly 
all the greatest names in primitive Christendom, the learned 
and acute Basil, the profound theologian Gregory of Nazi- 
anzus, the di\dnes of Asia Minor, of Palestine, of Syria, of 
Egypt, with Athanasius at their head, I could scarcely desire 
a stronger proof of excellence. For my own part it would 
need very strong and substantial evidence to induce me to 
doubt the genuineness of a text so supported, or to admit the 
superiority of a text ignored or expressly contradicted by 
such authorities. 

But, as we have seen, the harmony between Origen and 


the Vatican Codex is held to outweigh that consideration. 
To this there are two replies : first, that in some points of 
crucial importance Origen goes against the readings in that 
codex, * and that in others where all support is needed he 
does not supply it. It is inferred indeed f that Eusebius may 
have learned from Origen to distrust the evidence for the 
integrity of St. Mark's Gospel, but no passage is adduced 
from Origen's extant writings in support of that inference, 
which rests chiefly on the ground that Eusebius recognized in 
Origen his master : and to keep to my main point, I will ask 
the reader to look at the authorities which favour the old 
reading or the innovations respectively in the passages pre- 
viously examined, and see how slight a claim the Eevisers 
have to the support of Origen. 

Here again I must be pardoned for repeating a statement 
which the reader may have noticed above. I mean that the 
divergences between the Alexandrian and the Vatican MSS. 
occur for the most part in the synoptical Gospels. In the 
Acts and the Epistles by far the greater number of altera- 
tions in the Greek text adopted by the Eevisers are sup- 
ported by A as well as by K and B. Westcott and Hort 
indeed follow B throughout in every detail, however minute, 
so closely that slight alterations are made, sufficiently nume- 
rous at first sight to indicate a difference of recension ; but the 
substantial identity of the two texts in that part of the 
New Testament is scarcely open to serious question. I do not 
for my part doubt that Eusebius, who superintended the one 
recension, and the Egyptian critic who superintended the other, 
had one and the same original text for the Acts and Epistles 
before them : a statement which I would further extend to 
the later recension of the Memphitic and Sahidic Versions, 

* See pp. 29, 96, 99, 109, 111. 

t This is suggested by Dean Burgon in his work on the last tweh-e 
verses of St. Mark's Gospel. 


and to some of the later uncials, which agree in the main 
with the Vatican Codex, but maintain an independent position 
in cases of peculiar interest. 

For my own part I can scarcely understand the low esti- 
mation in which Drs. Westcott and Hort hold the other 
uncials (with the exception of C, Z, Q, and A, of which 
presently) and the entire mass of cursives. One point is 
certain: the preponderance of their testimony in all, or in 
nearly all, the passages here in question, is in favour of A, 
and the MSS. which come nearest to it (sc. E, F, G, M), and 
against &5, B, L, singly or in combination. Another point can 
scarcely be denied : those cursives, between 400 and 500 in 
number for the Gospels, represent the text, substantially 
identical, used in all quarters of Christendom from the eighth 
century down to the introduction of printing. 

I very much doubt whether a good cursive manuscript, 
such as that used by the compilers and revisers of the Old 
Textus Eeceptus,* does not present a sound, fairly accurate, 
and trustworthy text, not inferior to that of the later uncials, 
equal in many respects to the Alexandrian, and far superior 
in all respects to the very ancient Western Codex D. I 
venture further to maintain, so far as regards the mutilated 
and corrupted passages which I have dealt with in this essay, 
that such cursives, when virtually unanimous, especially when 
supported by good uncials, are much to be preferred to the 
Vatican and Sinaitic Codices. 

For the expression of this opinion I shall of course incur 
the charge of singular obstinacy, or blind prejudice. I can 
only say that it is an opinion gradually formed, reluctantly 
entertained, and in the issue forced upon me by repeated 
examination of the very numerous and all-important state- 
ments disfigured, mutilated, or obliterated, in the two oldest 

* See Scrivener, ' Introduction,' p. 192 seq. 


manuscripts, but retained with singular unanimity in the great 
mass of cursives. 

One other point I must notice in reference to the Alexan- 
drian Codex. It has passages which completely disprove 
the assumption that its scribe or editor was influenced by 
doctrinal prepossessions. It has some remarkable omissions, 
omissions which could not have been adopted by any writer 
who was solely bent upon maintaining the position of the 
party of the Church to which he belonged, or who was 
actuated by any other motive but that of faithfulness to his 
trust. We need only refer to John vii. 53-viii. 11, where A 
and C agree with t5, B, L, T, X, A, i.e. the uncials of the 
Eusebian recension and their satellites ; and again to the 
omission of the great trinitarian text, 1 John v. 7, 8. Their 
authority indeed decides the question, if not of genuineness, 
yet of the non-existence of that passage in the text known to 
the critics and writers of manuscripts in the fourth century.* 
The omission of this passage is the more remarkable, inas- 
much as the Georgian Version has clear traces of its existence 
in the eighth century, and therefore probably at a still earlier 
period. However that may be, the omission proves the point 
with which we are more specially concerned, the independent 
value of this manuscript. I do not refer to the vexata 
qucestio as to the reading deo^ or 09 in 1 Tim. iii. 16 ; I agree 
with Dean Burgon that it is a question which cannot be 
settled by reference to our manuscript in its present condi- 
tion; but I must observe that the earnest and ineffectual 
efforts of controversialists on both sides to appropriate its 
authority prove the high and very general, not to say 
universal, estimation in which it is held by critics. Not less 
conclusive would be the argument for more than imparti- 

• We must never forget that it is one thing to show that a reading was 
common or rare in the fourth century, another to conchide that it rests 
upon apostolic authority or is destitute of it. 



ality, for at least a tendency in the opposite direction, were 
Dr. Vance Smith's statement * borne out that the punctuation 
by the first hand in this manuscript justifies the very painful 
and offensive note on Eomans ix. 5 in the margin of the 
Eevised Version. That statement, I believe, is not verified or 
likely to be verified ; but the simple fact that it is advanced 
by a controversialist in Dr. Vance Smith's position corrobo- 
rates my assertion as to the weight attached by all scholars 
to the authority of the Alexandrian Codex. 

* See ' Revised Texts and Margins,' p. 34, note. 

( I'y^ ) 

Theory of a Syrian Recension. 

The interval between the production of the Vatican and 
Sinaitic Codices on the one side, and on the other of the 
Alexandrian Codex, is, as we have seen, a period of uncertain 
duration, and yet determinable within certain limits ; we may 
assume that it covers the latter half of the fourth century. 

It is admitted on all hands that the text presented in the 
two older manuscripts differs from that in the latter, each 
having marked and unmistakeable peculiarities ; not however 
so clearly marked in other portions as in the Gospels, espe- 
cially in the three commonly called synoptical. It is further 
admitted that the readings in the Alexandrian manuscript 
are substantially identical both with the very numerous 
citations in Chrysostom, and with the text which, as Dr. Hort 
expressly states, was commonly used by the great divines of 
the fourth century. He further agrees with those critics — 
and his opinion is confirmed by the examination of disputed 
passages — who hold that the great majority of the later 
uncials, and the great mass of the cursives of all ages, present 
a text evidently founded on the same documents, and pre- 
senting the same general characteristics. On the other hand, 
it is not denied — great stress indeed is laid upon the fact — 
that many peculiar readings of the older manuscripts are 
found in the extant writings of Origen, and it may be 
fairly assumed that the text which that Father adopted 
was the same which formed the basis of what I have 
called the Eusebian recension. 

o 2 


So far we have positive data, facts patent on the face of 
existing documents, and confirmed by historical records. 

I must however be permitted here to observe that the 
agreement, which Dr. Hort recognizes, between the text of 
the Alexandrian Codex and all other authorities from the 
early part of the fourth century downwards, can be proved 
also to exist between that text and the majority of the 
earliest and best Fathers of the Greek-speaking Church, if 
not in all points, certainly so far as regards the points 
specially dealt with in the preceding inquiry. The reader 
has but to cast his eye over the long list of omissions and 
innovations in the three Gospels, or the classification in 
pp. 136-141, to come to the conclusion that, if the authorities 
are correctly stated — they are given by Tischendorf — they cast 
their weight into the opposite balance. It is not too much to 
say that in nine passages out of ten — nay, to go further, in every 
passage of vital importance as regards the integrity of Holy 
Scripture, the veracity of the sacred writers, and the records 
of our Lord's sayings — nearly all ancient Versions, and with 
very few exceptions all ancient Fathers, support the readings 
rejected by the Eevisers. 

I have no hesitation in maintaining that if we take the 
text, nearly a continuous one, which is presented in the 
voluminous writings of Chrysostom — among the Fathers by 
far the soundest, most accurate, and judicious expositor of 
the New Testament — we shall have an entirely trustworthy 
witness to the mind of Christendom, so far as regards all 
crucial points, not merely in his own time, but in all pre- 
ceding times. The differences between that text and the 
singularly divergent readings in the early Latin Versions 
and Fathers, which are classified by Dr. Hort as Western, 
and those which, independently of Codex B, are found in 
writers and documents which may be termed Origenistic, or 
Alexandrian, are, with few exceptions, of very subordinate 


importance : they affect the style, the tone, the manner of 
the various writers, but seldom if ever touch central facts or 
central doctrines in the New Testament. So far as those 
facts and doctrines are concerned, I claim for our Eeceived 
Text, in contradistinction from that presented by the Sinaitic 
and Vatican manuscripts — substantially identical with that 
of the Eevisers — the general consensus not only of the later 
authorities, as conceded by Dr. Hort, but of those to which 
the greatest weight is attached by all critics, in all quarters 
of primitive Christianity. 

But we have now to consider the most characteristic point 
in Dr. Hort's ' Introduction.' At a time which must certainly 
be within the interval between the two classes of MSS., 
and in a quarter of Christendom distinctly marked by 
the presence and influence of certain great teachers of the 
Church, it is assumed, as a fact proved by internal evi- 
dence, by an exhaustive examination of all existing docu- 
ments, that a new recension of the Scriptures, especially of 
the New Testament, was produced, and Dr. Hort assumes 
that the recension was completed by 350 or thereabouts (p. 
137) ; and, as it would seem, that new recension is held to have 
been at once accepted by all the Churches of the East, at least 
by all the great representatives of those Churches, in the same 
century, apparently at the same part of the same century, 
which witnessed its completion. 

I will however quote Dr. Hort's own words (see his ' Intro- 
duction,' § 185, p. 132 seq.) : 

" The Syrian text, to which the order of time now brings 
us back, is the chief monument of a new period of textual 
history. Whatever petty and local mixture may have pre- 
viously taken place within limited areas, the great lines of 
transmission had been to all appearance exclusively diver- 
gent. Now however the three great lines were brought 
together, and made to contribute to the formation of a new 


text different from all. The Syrian text must in fact be the 
result of a * recension * in the proper sense of the word, a 
work of attempted criticism, performed deliberately by editors 
and not merely by scribes." 

The internal " evidences " by which Dr. Hort supports this 
theory are stated fully in that * Introduction.' They have 
evidently convinced or silenced the members of the Eevising 
Company whose combined influence might have been relied 
upon as suflftcient to counteract tendencies to innovation, if 
not in minor matters, such, for instance, as Dr. Hort describes 
as " verbal transposition of adopted readings," yet in all 
passages which affect the substantial integrity of Holy "Writ, 
and specially our Lord's own utterances. 

To deal with these alleged evidences as minutely as Dr. 
Hort, would require years of study, and very special qualifi- 
cations, to which I make no pretension ; * but so far as regards 
the only points with which I am now concerned, I feel con- 
fident that the internal as well as external evidence tells in 
the opposite direction. I do not fear that the readings in 
which A is supported by old Versions, early Fathers, and a 
great majority of independent manuscripts, will come under 
Dr. Hort's highly technical description of his " Syrian text," 
either as " interfusion of adjustments of existing materials 
with a distinctly innovative process," or as " assimilative or 
other interpolations of fresh matter." Neither these, nor any 
other statements occurring frequently throughout his ' Intro- 
duction,' apply to those passages which occupy the foremost 
place in this inquiry. 

But I must ask serious attention to the following con- 

The " recension " of which Dr. Hort speaks, had it been 

* Since these words were written an exhaustive and siuguhirly able 
article has heen published in the Qunrterly Rcvteiv, April 1882. 


executed at all in the manner which he intimates, would be 
a historical fact of signal, I may say unparalleled, importance 
in the development of textual criticism. Editors of known 
character, eminent for learning, ability, and soundness in the 
faith, holding positions which secured to them commanding 
influence, must have combined to produce what Dr. Hort 
designates as " a new text different from all " which had 
previously been received in any quarter of Christendom, 

Those editors must not only have produced such a text, 
but procured its transcription in numbers of manuscripts, 
sufficient to take possession of the minds of Churchmen not 
only in Syria and Palestine — Antioch being assumed to be 
the head-quarters of the new recension — but in the Churches 
of Asia Minor on the one side, presided over by the greatest 
divines of the early Church, such as Basil and Gregory of 
Nazianzus ; and on the other side, of Alexandria, where the 
Church, after the death of Athanasius, was under the influ- 
ence of prelates more or less antagonistic to the schools of 
thought represented by those great names, and still more so to 
that which, under the guidance of Chrysostom, within a few 
years became the most permanently influential in Eastern 

At what place, at what time, can it be probably conjectured 
that such a recension could have been undertaken? Who 
were the persons, which were the Churches, that could claim 
and actually vindicate for their work such authority ? 

This we must remember. A transaction of such transcen- 
dent importance must have left some traces, some record, 
more or less distinct, of its proceedings ; some great manu- 
scripts, or body of manuscripts, must have been recognized in 
all controversies as representing the results of that authorita- 
tive " Recension." Were we indeed dealing with some very 
early period it might have been plausibly assumed that such 
a transaction might have escaped notice, or have been passed 


over as of slight historical importance, not bearing upon the 
external organization of the Church, or upon controversies 
which occupied almost exclusively the minds of its chief re- 
presentatives. But the age and portion of Christendom in 
question is especially remarkable for the fulness and minute- 
ness of information supplied in voluminous writings touching 
every point which could interest the minds of churchmen. In 
fact, it may be safely affirmed that until we come to the period 
of modern historical literature, there is no period at which all 
movements of the Christian world are presented to our 
minds with equal vividness and completeness. For the first 
time in the history of Christendom, an unbroken series of 
letters between Basil and all his great contemporaries, sup- 
plemented by writings of every description, especially by 
controversial writings in which the exact bearing and 
accepted authenticity of every scriptural text involving- 
points of doctrine or ecclesiastical order underwent the most 
searching investigation, give us a complete survey of the 
inner life and outward proceedings of the Church ; a flood 
of light especially is thrown upon those quarters and that 
age at which Dr. Hort holds that this recension was 

Is any trace, any minute trace, of such a recension to be 
found ? Had it existed, it would not have escaped the 
notice of men so learned, so keen-sighted, and so deeply 
interested in the maintenance of tlieir hypothesis. I venture 
to affirm that no indication, however slight, is adducible from 
the writings of contemporary divines, or, to speak broadly, of 
any ancient author. 

On the contrary, I will venture to affirm, and I will ask 
the learned reader to inquire whether the affirmation can be 
refuted, that we have abundant indications, not to say proofs, 
that no such recension could have been contemplated, much 
less executed, at that period. 


We have before us every kind of writing by which we 
can ascertain the feelings of the Fathers of that century 
touching the text of the New Testament. Now I say deliber- 
ately, with a full sense of the hazardous character of a 
sweeping negative assertion, that neither the great Cappa- 
docian, nor the Alexandrian, nor the Syrian, nor the Pales- 
tinian divines evince any consciousness that a change had 
passed over the great documents to which they appealed 
incessantly, either within their own times, or indeed at any 
time with which they were specially concerned and about 
which they had ample opportunity of forming a judgment. 
They quote passages occasionally in which the true reading 
was matter of discussion ; they deal freely with arguments 
for or against the genuineness of whole books or portions of 
books ; biblical criticism occupied their minds pretty nearly 
to the same extent as scriptural exegesis. It is evident that 
each of the lines of transmission to which Dr. Hort frequently 
refers, under the designation of Western and Alexandrian, 
was familiar to the divines of that age, the one to the masters 
of the East, the other to such men as Hilary and Ambrose. 
But one thing is certain. None of them appealed to any late 
authoritative judgment of the Church, of any special Church, 
to any recension of editors recognized as competent, and as 
witnesses of that judgment. Had it been favourable or un- 
favourable to their own cause, it is impossible that it should 
not have been alleged as an authority, or controverted as 
insufficient. I cannot but conclude that so far from its 
existence being shown to be probable, its non-existence is 
proved by the total absolute silence of all the writers 
from whom alone we can draw trustworthy information 
touching the proceedings of the Church at that period.* 

* Br. Hort, § 190, assumes that the final recension was completed about 
the year 350 : his arguments throughout apply to the complete recension ; 
but he further holds that there was an earlier stage, about the close of the 


I would further remark, that although the divines in 
question evince the utmost earnestness in inquiries touching 
the statements and bearings of Holy Scripture, they do not 
appear to have felt that between what Dr. Hort calls the 
divergent lines of transmission any such antagonism existed 

third century, and also that " of known names none has a better claim to 
be associated with the early Syrian revision than Lucianus." This claim 
he looks upon as finding some little support in the statement of Jerome, in 
his preface to the Gospels, which I have quoted in a preceding section (see 
page 152). From the facts which I have there alleged it is clear that a re- 
cension conducted or influenced by Lucian would have presented charac- 
teristics the very reverse of those which Dr. Hort attributes to what he 
designates as the Syrian recension. It would have agi-eed substantially 
with that text which is represented'by citations in Origen, and, as Dr. Hort 
and other critics hold, by the Vatican manuscript. I may here observe 
that it is not easy to reconcile the different statements of Jerome, who 
speaks of Lucian at one time as a man of remarkable learning, and tells us 
that his copies of Scripture were commonly received at Constantinople ; 
whereas in the Epistle to Damasus he speaks of his revision as maintained 
only by the perverse contention of a few. But whatever explanation may 
be given of the statements of a Father, conspicuous for instability and 
perversity, one thing is sure : Lucian could not possibly have inaugurated, 
or impressed his own character upon, such a recension as that which Dr. 
Hort describes. I may add that if, as Jerome asserts, the recension of 
Lucian was used at Constantinople, the fact can only be accounted for by 
the reception of the Eusebian manuscripts, which, as I have shown above 
(Section iv.), undoubtedly followed the text adopted by Lucian, as a 
follower of Origen. 

I have to thank a learned Prelate for the following suggestion. " We 
cannot but contrast the absolute silence with which the Church must 
have received this hypothetical recension of the Greek text, with the 
clamour raised for and against the recension of the Latin Version by 
St. Jerome. This recension, of infinitely less importance, made an enormous 
sensation, was praised, blamed, talked of, written of, attacked, defended, 
throughout all Christendom. We are to believe that in the preceding 
century, at a period of intense excitement, when earnest attention was 
given to questions touching the faith of Christians, especially a question 
which touched the very foundations on which all faith rests, a work to 
which Jerome's was as nothing in fundamental moment was undertaken 
and accomplished without a syllable being said. The supposition is a 
manifest absurdity."' 


as would make an authoritative recension necessary or de- 
sirable. They were quite content to quote Origen and his 
followers on the one hand and his opponents on the other, 
without impugning their good faith when they differed, 
without giving up their own independent judgment when 
these and other authorities were in accord with each other. 
A recension of the character and influence described by Dr. 
Hort would have appeared to them, if I am not mistaken, 
an encroachment upon the liberty of the Church. They 
would certainly not admit that any editors or any body 
of editors had the power or the right to impose their own 
judgment upon their fellow Christians, who had the same 
materials before them, and many of whom were equally 
entitled to form and maintain an independent judgment. 
The schools represented by Basil, by Chrysostom, by Epi- 
phanius, by Cyril of Jerusalem, by Hilary and Ambrose, were 
neither likely to surrender, nor would they have been justi- 
fied in surrendering, their convictions to the dictum of a 
central authority. If, as Dr. Hort admits, upon the whole, 
the inference drawn from their citations is that those Fathers 
coincided in the main with the readings of the Alexandrian MS., 
and of the great majority of later documents, that coincidence, 
if not conclusive as to the supreme excellence of the codex, 
is certainly incompatible with the supposition that such a 
text as that presented by the two older manuscripts had been 
previously recognized by the highest authorities in the Eastern 

For my own part, I am contented with the conviction that 
the Alexandrian Codex owes its special value and importance 
to the fact that it does represent far more fully and fairly 
than N or B, or both conjointly, the text of the New Testa- 
ment in all those passages which in the East and in the West, 
in Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Asia Minor, Africa, and Italy, 
were held to be of vital importance ; and I reject without 


hesitation the notion that it was the outcome of any new 
recension, such recension being assumed to have been exe- 
cuted in a district which at the time in question was far 
from being in harmonious union with the Alexandrian 
Church, to which this manuscript is now generally admitted 
to have belonged. 

( 205 ) 


The Question of so-called Conflate Eeadings. 

I have said that it was not my intention, in entering upon 
a subject which involves a great variety of difficult and 
complex questions, to discuss the highly ingenious theories 
presented to us in the ' Introduction to Westcott and Hort's 
Greek Text' It sufficed for my purpose to bring out some 
chief results of their system, to show its bearings upon 
central and fundamental points, and in each particular 
instance to adduce the attestation of ancient and trustworthy 
authorities to words, clauses, and statements which were 
materially affected by the text of the Eevised Version, or 
by the marginal notes — notes which carry with them the 
weight of a critical judgment, if not adopted by the Eevisers, 
yet deemed by them worthy of special notice. 

The question of conflate readings however seems to demand 
consideration. It may be dealt with separately ; its results 
can be examined on their own merits ; and it stands foremost 
among the grounds on which the two critics maintain the 
superior purity and excellence of the text presented in the 
Vatican and Sinaitic Codices, and the interpolated character 
of the so-called Syrian text — that text which has hitherto been 
received, and which is now admitted to be supported by the 
authority of the majority of uncial, and the mass of cursive 

It is a great advantage in this part of the discussion that 
the passages which we have to consider, with one exception, 
do not affect great doctrines or contested points of historical 


significance. Questions as to bias in any direction are not 
likely to disturb our judgment; and we have before us a 
careful and elaborate discussion by Dr. Hort, thus feeling 
assured that no consideration of any importance will be 

I must first quote Dr. Hort's own account of the matter. 
After a very ingenious and highly speculative discussion of 
what he calls " complications of genealogy by mixture " — 
that is to say, the difficulty of tracing the relations between 
texts presented in different manuscripts owing to the con- 
scious or unconscious tendency of scribes and editors to 
adopt readings derived from different sources — Dr. Hort 
proceeds thus (p. 49) : " We have next to inquire what 
expedient can be employed when mixture has been ascer- 
tained * to exist. Evidently no resource can be so helpful, 
where it can be attained, as the extrication of earlier unmixed 
texts or portions of texts from the general mass of texts now 
extant. The clearest evidence for tracing the antecedent 
factors of mixture in texts is afforded by readings which are 
themselves mixed, or, as they are sometimes called, ' con- 
flate,' that is, not simple substitutions of the readings of 
one document for that of another, but coilibinations of the 
readings of both documents into a composite whole." 

Practically the application of this process of " extrication " 
issues in the following results. 

We have before us one or more manuscripts, or classes of 
manuscripts, presenting divergent texts, and evidently pro- 
ceeding from different recensions. In the one case we find 
comparatively short sentences ; words or clauses to which 
our ear has been accustomed disappear ; the question is, 
whether in this case we have before us an incomplete or 

* The word " ascertained " is characteristic ; it means that the writer 
feels certain of it, or has proved it to his own satisfaction. 


mutilated text, or one free from interpolations, coming nearest 
" to the pure unadulterated text as it stood in the autographs 
of the sacred writers." In the other we have a fuller, appa- 
rently more complete, and, to the general reader, a more 
satisfactory text, but one which, to the critical eye under the 
influence of the system which Dr. Hort commends to our 
adoption, bears evident marks of interpolation. 

One thing is clear. The decision will not be doubtful in 
any case, if it depends upon the prepossessions of the in- 

The course invariably pursued by Dr. Hort is to reject 
the readings in the latter alternative, as " conflate." He 
applies fearlessly a method of so-called extrication to each 
special case ; and infers the comparative lateness, and there- 
fore the untrustworthiness, of the text which presents the 
double or multiple reading. 

This I venture to call a technical and highly hazardous 
proceeding ; but it cannot or ought not to be met by a mere 
reference to external authorities. On both sides the inquirer 
must be on his guard against his own tendencies, habits of 
thought, and previous bias. 

It appears to me a truth, so obvious as to be a truism, 
that each particular case should be examined on its own 
merits ; and further that the following points especially 
should be taken into consideration. 

(1) It is of course possible — I hold it to be more than 
possible, in some cases certain — that the omission of words 
or clauses is attributable, not to the purity, but to the 
characteristic brevity of the document in which it occurs ; 
in some cases it may be, and probably is, owing simply to 
the negligence or recklessness of a hasty transcriber. 

Dr. Hort, so far as I am aware, stands alone in denying 
that the Vatican Codex, in this respect on the same footing 
as the Sinaitic, is conspicuous for omissions, so much so that 


the critic quoted by Dr. Scrivener (' Introduction/ p. 108) calls 
that text an " abbreviated Gospel." Such omissions, however 
they may be accounted for, occur most frequently in the 
Gospels of St. Mark and St. Luke, from which the instances 
here to be examined are taken. 

(2) The internal evidence in every case demands most 
careful and impartial investigation. Among such evidences, 
the very foremost is that which is derived from a study 
of the general style of the writer — his usns scribendi 
both as regards form and matter. We have to inquire 
whether it is probable or not, judging from other pas- 
sages, that he would supply a detail, which might be 
passed over as superfluous or indifferent by a careless tran- 
scriber or a fastidious critic, but which adds vividness to 
the narrative, or, what is far more important, impresses more 
forcibly the spiritual significance of the words or transactions 
in question. Again, it may be ascertained whether, in passages 
which suggest association with old religious forms, the writer 
is in the habit of employing Hebraisms, especially the most 
characteristic feature of Hebrew composition, namely, paral- 
lelisms, or repetitions of a leading thought, varying slightly 
in form but identical in substance, intended and calculated 
to give full and adequate expression to religious feelings. 

Other kinds of evidence, external and internal, will be 
recognized as necessary or useful ; but these will suffice for 
my immediate purpose. 

The first passage is discussed with great care and at con- 
siderable length, by Dr. Hort, pp. 95-99. 

(a) Mark vi. 33. — We read in the Authorized Version, " And 
[the people] outwent them, and came together unto him." 

For the reading which underlies this statement we have 
the authority (1) of all uncials, except K, B, D, L, A ; (2) of the 
great mass of cursives ; (3) of the Syriac Peshito and 
^thiopic Versions. 


The account is clear and graphic. St. Mark, with his 
usual attention to details, with what Dr. Hort calls his 
" characteristic abundance of detail," has before his own 
mind and sets vividly before our minds two facts : (1) that 
the multitude ran on rapidly in advance of the boat which 
bore our Lord and His disciples away from the place where 
they had met ; and (2) that on arriving at the opposite 
shore, where the disembarkation w^ould take place, they came 
together to meet Him. In the next verse, St. Mark, as usual, 
calls our attention to this act — " He came out," or came forth 
from the ship, and found the multitudes there awaiting Him.* 

We have thus a complete series of acts — the rapid pursuit of 
the people, the attainment of their object, and the effect of 
their zealous search ; the people were rewarded by His com- 
passion. He " taught them many things," and afterwards 
wrought a miracle of transcendent significance and im- 

But on looking at the ancient texts we find that manu- 
scripts representing the Western recension, D, 28, h, omit 
the first clause, and in the second have a variant, avrov for 
Trpo? avTov, preserving the leading word avvrjXOov, but entirely 
perverting the sense : the one is a point of importance as an 
attestation to the true reading, the other as an instance of 
the carelessness and want of perception which characterize 
the Codex Bezpe. 

On the other hand B, with s, followed as usual by L and 
A, omit the second clause. If the editor or copyist had 
avTov before him, he must of course have been struck by its 

* Dr, Hort introduces an utterly alien point ; assuming that " He 
* came out ' of His retirement in some sequestered nook to meet them," 
p. 99. This interpolation seriously affects the narrative. Of com'se the 
multitude could not have come together to Him had He been in such 
retirement ; on the other hand, they would naturally come together at the 
place where the boat, which they doubtless kept in sight, reached the shore. 



unsuitableness and therefore might think fit to omit the 
clause altogether. In fact whichever reading he found, 
whether avrov or tt/jo? avrov, it is just such a clause as we 
might expect to miss in a recension which abounds in abbre- 
viated statements. In such a case as this a clear-headed 
editor might of course agree with our modern critic that 
the people would needs do what they proposed, and that a 
statement to that effect was superfluous. 

The arguments adduced by Dr. Hort in his elaborate exa- 
mination of this passage leave us in this position : we 
have to choose between two alternatives, careless or fas- 
tidious omission on the one side, or characteristic fulness 
of detail on the other. That I hold the latter to be far 
more probable and satisfactory will of course lay me open to 
a charge that I too, in common with the great majority of 
ancient editors, " am under the influence of an impulse to 
omit no recorded matter." See ' Introduction,' p. 97. I can 
only say that I accept that imputation in every case where 
the " recorded matter " is supported by good authority ; where 
it harmonizes with the general style of the recorder ; espe- 
cially where, as in this instance, it gives a more complete 
and graphic picture of proceedings connected with a memor- 
able incident in our Lord's life. 

May I be pardoned for expressing my deep regret that the 
Eevising Committee in this and in all similar instances were 
not under the influence of that impulse ? 

(b) Mark viii. 26. — The old Eeceived Text has fjLrjBe ek rrjv 
kcd/jL7]v elaeXdrj:; firjBe 6lL7rr}<; Tivl ev rfj kco/xt). This rests on 
the authority of sixteen uncials, of all cursives except eight, 
the Syriac, the Vulgate, ^thiopic, and Gothic Versions. 

The construction is explained clearly and authoritatively by 
Winer, " Mr. 8. 26 — kann nicht heissen neque — neque, son- 
dern das erste fMyBi ist ne-quidem, das zweite audi nicht ;" 
i.e. the first /jurj^i is " not even," the second " neither also." 
' Grammatik,' § 55, p. 456, 8th edition. 


It is difficult to see why this should cause any objection. 
The reiteration of the injunction, or rather the addition of a 
secondary injunction, is quite in accordance with St. Mark's 
style, but was surely most unlikely to be introduced into the 
passage by an interpolator. The second clause was evidently 
struck out by some scribe, or corrector, who argued, like our 
modern critic, that it was superfluous. That it stood in its 
present form before the time assumed by Dr. Hort to have 
been that of a Syrian recension, is proved by the admitted 
fact that it is supported by the Peshito. 

But 6<, B, L, two cursives, and the Coptic Version omit the 
last clause altogether. 

Therefore it must be discarded, notwithstanding the strange 
harshness of the construction with what Dr. Hort rightly 
calls " the peculiar initial fi7]Be." It is so " peculiar " that if 
another instance was adducible it ought to have been ad- 
duced. I remember no similar instance. 

I feel no hesitation in imputing the omission to the 
ordinary negligence, or specially to the habit of abbreviation, 
conspicuous in the Vatican and Sinaitic manuscripts. 

(c) Mark ix. 38. — With reference to another case, Mark 
ix. 38, 1 will only say that the words omitted by Dr. Hort, 
but retained even in the Eevised Version, are supported by 
ample authority — by all uncials except &?, B, C, L, A, by all 
cursives except twenty ; by the best ancient Versions, and in 
the ' Moralia ' ap. Basil, tom. ii. p. 252 A, ed. Ben. The 
clause ought to be retained as one among many clear 
instances of St. Mark's characteristic habit of emphatic 
reiteration. The Apostles dwell upon the fact that the 
miracle-worker did not belong to their company. St. Mark 
is careful to bring out that point fully and distinctly, as 
casting a strong light upon their feelings and upon the direc- 
tions given to their thoughts by our Lord. 

(d) Mark ix. 49. — This is followed by a still more serious 

p 2 


omission, for which the Eevised Version makes itself respon- 
sible. In V. 49 the entire clause, " and every sacrifice shall be 
salted with salt," is rejected; of course in deference to N, 
B, L, with A, and a few cursives of the same recension ; of 
course also against all other MSS., uncial or cursive, and the 
best ancient Versions. To this point I have already called 
attention, but I may here be permitted to repeat my state- 
ment that, if I am not wholly mistaken as to the significance 
of the clause, it expressed our Lord's mind on a question of 
paramount importance, and at a most critical point in His 
ministry. Whereas the evildoer is doomed to be salted with 
penal fire, every true and acceptable worshipper, as a living 
sacrifice, will be salted with the salt — the preserving, sancti- 
fying salt — of the New Covenant ; in other words, with the 
charity which is its essential principle, with which all 
spiritual life is inseparably bound up. I must express my 
regret that Dr. Hort and the Eevisers should have lent their 
countenance to the conjecture that this deeply spiritual 
utterance is a mere interpolation, suggested by a reminiscence 
of Lev. vii. 13. See above, p. 77 seq. 

I must notice very briefly the two passages which follow, 
taken from St. Luke. 

(e) Luke ix. 10. — The A. V. has, " And he took them and 
went aside privately into a desert place belonging to the city 
called Bethsaida." 

This follows the reading of fourteen uncials, all cursives 
but three, the Peshito Syriac, ^Ethiopic, Armenian, and Gothic 

Each point appears indispensable to the right understand- 
ing of the statement : the desert place was needed for the pur- 
pose of rest and retirement, the name of Bethsaida to mark 
the district, with tlie distinction between the city or town 
and the place to which our Lord retired. 

Yet this is a " conflate reading," according to Dr. Hort, 


because one ancient MS., B, followed by its late satellites L, 
X, S, and one cursive, 33, with the Coptic and Sahidic, has 
only " to a city called Bethsaida :" and other MSS. and 
Versions have either " a desert place " alone or combined 
with Bethsaida. 

That it is a complete and accurate statement is unquestion- 
able. The only question is whether the varying and incom- 
plete and more or less inaccurate statements in MSS. notice- 
able for omissions or for negligence, or the great mass of 
manuscripts, are most likely to have represented St. Luke's 
account correctly. 

(/) Luke xi. 54 — The same remarks will apply generally to 
this passage. The same uncials, fourteen in number, and all 
cursives but five, with the Vulgate and Syriac, support the 
Authorized Version, " laying wait for him, and seeking to catch 
something out of his mouth that they might accuse him." 

The Eevised Version follows three manuscripts found all 
but invariably on the side of abbreviation, i?, B, L, with the 
Coptic Version ; and condemns the statement of the A. V. 
in which every word has a distinct and emphatic sense, by 
the omission of the clauses " and seeking " and " that they 
might accuse him." 

Whether omission or interpolation is the more probable, 
having regard to St. Luke's style, and the force of the state- 
ment as it stands in the A. V., may be left to the reader's 
judgment. Admitting the ingenuity of Dr. Hort's combina- 
tions, I fail to see the cogency of his argument, and cannot 
but deprecate the course adopted by the Eevisers. 

(jj) Luke xii. 18. — The old Textus Eeceptus has ra ^evrj- 
/jLard jjbov koX tcl ajyaOd fjuov. So sixteen uncials, all cursives 
but twelve, and the majority of ancient Versions. 

But for yevrj/jLard fiov Dr. Hort has persuaded the Eevisers 
to adopt the reading rov atrov : following ^*, B, L, T, X, 
and a few cursives. 


Bui surely the first and most natural conclusion is 
that alrov, an exceedingly common word, was not unlikely 
to be substituted by a calligrapher, especially when writing 
hastily, for yev/jfjuara, a word which does not occur elsewhere 
in the New Testament in the sense of " fruits of the earth." 
That <yevvrjfiaTa (not jepij/jLara) is used frequently in the 
Septuagint is a fact which sufficiently accounts for its 
adoption by the Evangelist, and therefore should be regarded 
as corroborating the evidence for the Keceived Text ; but to 
scribes and to readers in the fourth century the word alrov 
would be far better known, and might probably be adopted 
by the scribe or editor in the first place as a useful gloss, 
and afterwards introduced into the text. 

For my part I feel no doubt as to the origin of the change, 
viz. the carelessness or the officiousness of the transcriber of 
Codex B. 

(h) Luke xxiv. 53. — I would now call special attention to the 
last instance in Dr. Hort's discussion. St. Luke, c. xxiv. 53, 
after telling us that our Lord ascended into heaven and received 
the worship of His disciples, w^ho were witnesses of that event,* 
adds that they were then continually in the temple " praising 
and blessing God." The word " praising " is rejected without 
notice from the text of the Eevised Version, on grounds to 
which Dr. Hort refers, but which he deems it unnecessary 
to discuss. 

The authorities for omission are N, B, C, L. The word is 
found in all other uncials, in all cursives, and is well attested 
by ancient Versions. 

On the other hand, D, of all MSS. the least trustworthy, 
keeps alvovPT€<; and omits 6v\oyovvT€<i. 

The question is a very simple one. Which is the more 

* I must refer to p. 125 for a discussion of the omission of the state- 
ment that " our Lord was carried up into heaven," as suggested in the 
margin of the R. V. 


probable of the two alternatives, (a) that the word was in- 
serted by injudicious scribes, or formed a conflate reading 
under editorial recension at a time and place for which Dr. 
Hort must be consulted ; or (b) that it was actually written 
by St. Luke ? Of course the omission does not materially 
affect the statement. To modern ears generally, and probably 
to the ears of a calligrapher, especially to one writing under 
pressure for time, the statement might seem complete with 
one word only : an argument, however, which, so far as it 
goes, is unfavourable to the theory of a conflate reading, 
omission being far more probable than interpolation. 

We have recourse therefore to internal evidence. Here we 
observe that in details connected with religious observances 
customary among the Hebrews, St. Luke, whose general style 
is more classical than that of any other writer in the New Tes- 
tament, indulges in Hebraisms to a most remarkable extent. 
Both in the early part of this Gospel, and in the earlier parti- 
culars recorded in the Acts, the Hebraistic tone, with its special 
characteristics of parallelism and repetition, is recognized by 
all critics as a striking peculiarity. In a passage, therefore, 
which refers specially to attendance and acts of worship in 
the Temple — at that time the head-quarters, so to speak, of 
devotional observances for Hebrew Christians — we might 
expect such a modification of style as is presented by the. 
old familiar form in this passage. 

To this I must add the fact, surely of importance though 
unnoticed by Dr. Hort, that the combination of the two verbs 
alvelv and evXoyelv, is in strict conformity with Hebrew usage, 
especially in reference to public devotions and on occasions 
of special solemnity. Thus in Ps. xxxiii., we read in the 
LXX. Version, used by St. Luke, euXoyrjaco rov Kvpiov iv 
rravrl KatpS. hiairavrb'^ rj alv6<n<i avrov iv tS crrofMarL fMov, 
Here the reader will observe the word hiaTravTo^, common 
to the Psalmist and the Evan^^elist. Other instances will be 


supplied by Tromm's Concordance, e.g. Ps. Ixii. 5, 6, and 
Ixv. 8. 

The double expression is in fact emphatic. To praise God 
and to Uess God present two distinct acts or aspects of wor- 
ship. The former recognizes His goodness shown in special 
acts of favour. The second declares His glory and inherent 
majesty. The two aspects would present themselves with 
peculiar force to the minds of the disciples after the 
stupendous manifestation of that goodness and that majesty 
in the Ascension of the risen Saviour. 

The summary statements of Dr. Hort in reference to 
" conflate readings " give these results. 

(1) For the abbreviated form we have " a small handful of 
uncials, including the two oldest, and a few varying cursives, 
sometimes wanting." 

That is, one recension, which is thus marked as con- 
spicuous for unsupported abbreviations, to whatever cause 
the fact is to be referred. 

(2) For loose inaccurate readings, whatever may be the 
direction to which they point, we have D (the notorious 
Codex Bez8e), " and sometimes a few varying cursives, with 
the rare accession of K or another uncial." 

(3) For the third class, or so-called " conflate readings," 
Dr. Hort ranges " nearly all the later uncials, with two or 
three of the older, especially A, and nearly all the cursives." 

I may adopt this classification in its broad rough outlines : 
nor should I feel much doubt as to the choice between 
the first and the third set of authorities which would ap- 
prove itself generally to impartial students within our own 
Church. The choice of scholars under the influence of other 
systems of criticism or religious thought may fall upon 
the first. 

I must however pr6ss upon all inquirers the following points. 


(1) Dr. Hort agrees, I will not say admits, but is satisfied 
that the interval between the date of the two older manu- 
scripts t5 and B, and that of the Alexandrian Codex A, 
was by no means a long one. I have shown above that it 
probably coincided with the interval between the predomi- 
nance of Arianism in the Empire and the restoration of 
Catholicity, extending from the decennium before the middle 
to the close of the fourth century. 

(2) Still more important is the statement of the same critic, 
i.e. that " A, both in the Gospels and elsewhere, may serve as 
a fair example of the MSS. that, to judge by patristic quota- 
tions, were commonest in the fourth century." 

At the risk of repetition I must call special attention to 
the significance of this statement in its bearings upon the 
present argument. The fourth century, or, to speak still 
more exactly, the middle of that century within some very 
few years, is the time when, according to Westcott and Hort, 
Tischendorf, and other critics of high authority, the two manu- 
scripts K and B, and when B according to all critics, were 
written, a point, be it noted, wholly independent of the ques- 
tion at what place or under what recension. So that A, the 
Alexandrian Codex, the representative, according to Westcott 
and Hort, of the Syrian recension, actually represents the 
text which was adopted, and used without the slightest 
indication of doubt, by the great divines, the masters of early 
Christian thought in that very century. 

I do not think that I can be mistaken in the assumption 
that with such data, which are not contested, nay which are 
supported by those two eminent critics, few English Church- 
men will hesitate in their choice between the two recensions, 
or, to speak more accurately, the two sets of authorities. On 
the one side we find Eusebius, and the two manuscripts which 
ignore or reject some of the most striking incidents in the life 
of our Lord, some of the words most specially dear to the 


hearts of Christians ; on the other side we have the enormous 
preponderance of MSS. uncial and cursive, the best ancient 
Versions, and the very greatest names in ancient Christendom, 
from Iren?eus onwards, and, with the solitary exception of 
Origen,* the long list of glorious Fathers, Athanasius, Basil, 
the Gregories, including Chrysostom, in whom the critical and 
exegetical teaching of the Church found its ablest and com- 
pletest representative. 

* In some must important passages even Origen is in accordance with 
these Fathers, e. g., see above, p. 109, and note, p. 191. 

( 219 ) 


Answers lately given by Members of the Eevising 
Committee to Charges of unjustifiable Innovations. 

The most important publications by Eevisers in defence of 
their proceedings in reference both to the text and the version 
have been the three letters of the Bishop of Durham published 
in the Guardian; a short pamphlet by the Eev. W. G. 
Humphry, B.D., published under the direction of the Tract 
Committee of S.P.G.K., and entitled ' A Word on the Eevised 
Version ; ' and lastly, a tract published by Macmillan, with 
this title, ' The Eevisers and the Greek Text of the New 
Testament, by two members of the New Testament Company/ 

My reply to the Bishop of Durham's letters, which referred 
exclusively to the innovation in the last clause of the Lord's 
Prayer, was published some months ago in the form of a 
second letter to the Bishop of London, with the heading 
" Deliver us from evil." An answer to that reply is to be 
looked for, having been in fact promised by the Bishop of 
Durham last autumn in a letter to the Guardian. Some 
additional points bearing upon that question will be found in 
pp. 61, 62 of tliis treatise. The tract by Mr. Humphry has 
been referred to in some notes added while these pages were 
passing through the press. 

But the last publication reached me too late to be used in 
the preceding sections. The points with wMch it deals 
demand separate and careful consideration ; they are weighty 
both as regards their subject-matter and as regards the posi- 
tion of the writers, if the statement in the Times is correct, 


informing us that the "two members" are the Bishop of 
Gloucester and Bristol, the Chairman of the Revising Com- 
mittee, and Archdeacon Palmer. To the former special 
responsibility for the whole work must needs attach, as the 
seconder of the original application to Convocation, and as 
having presided at every meeting from the commencement 
of the work. Archdeacon Palmer, who joined the Committee 
long afterwards, is undoubtedly a fitting representative of 
the scholarship of his own university. 

I must first call attention to a fact of very considerable im- 
portance which seems to be commonly overlooked. It refers 
to the distinction between the conditions under wliich the 
work was entrusted to the Committee, and the instructions 
which the original members of the Committee drew up for 
their own guidance. 

Now these are two entirely distinct points. 

The conditions rest upon the authority of Convocation ; 
I have cited them verbatim in the first pages of this treatise. 
They are precise and distinct ; they mark the exact limits 
within which the members of the Committee were bound to 
confine their critical and revisional work. The Bishop of 
Gloucester and Bristol, as I there pointed out, calls them 
" fundamental resolutions." They directed the Committee to 
correct plain and clear errors, to make no changes that were 
not neccessary. 

But " the instructions " to which the Two Revisers refer did 
not come from Convocation, and were never submitted to that 
body. They rest wholly upon the authority of the Committee 
of Revisers appointed by Convocation. They were doubtless 
intended to bring the " fundamental" resolutions into a prac- 
tical form ; but they eannot be pleaded in defence of any charge 
brought against the Committee as having exceeded " their 
instructions," or, as the Two Revisers ought to have stated 
the charge (p. 32), exceeded the limits fixed by Convocation. 


Now it may fairly be alleged on the part of those mem- 
bers of the Eevising Company who joined it after the work 
was commenced, that those instructions were naturally 
regarded by them as authoritative. It would of course be 
assumed that they were not intended to contravene or to 
modify the " fundamental resolutions ; " nor should we be 
surprised if special stress were laid upon the rules cited 
p. 33, that the Eevisers are " to introduce into the text of the 
Authorized Version as few alterations as possible consistently 
with faithfulness ; " and in respect of the Greek text " to 
adopt that text for which the evidence is decidedly pre- 
ponderating." But those rules are very different things from 
the resolutions which they purport to carry out : a fact 
which would scarcely be inferred from the statements in the 
Two Eevisers' treatise, and of which one of the Eevisers 
might not be fully cognizant, but which, with all deference 
be it said, the Chairman ought to have kept constantly before 
his own mind and the minds of his Committee. 

I can only apologize for what may appear a somewhat 
unnecessary repetition on the ground that the confusion 
between the resolutions of Convocation and the rules and 
instructions drawn up by the Eevisers themselves is common, 
and likely to be perpetuated by such statements as those 
wdiich we find confidently advanced in their treatise.* 

The next point which calls for attention is the admission 
that the mode of procedure at the meetings of the Company 
has been correctly described by Principal Newth in his 
' Lectures on Bible Eevision,' which were quoted in the 
Quarterly Eevieiv of October 1881. 

Such a proceeding appeared to me so strange, so certain 
to result in unsatisfactory decisions, that I fully expected 

* Convocation never holds itself responsible for the proceedings of its 
committees, but only for its own formal resolutions. Great importance is 
attached to this principle. 


the account would be corrected, or that some explanation 
would be given which might remove the very unpleasant 
impression. As it now stands, we learn on the highest 
authority that at each meeting the Chairman called upon the 
two representatives of schools of textual criticism to allege 
reasons for the retention of the old text or for the substitu- 
tion of a new text. Dr. Scrivener and Dr. Hort were 
unanimously accepted as the best authorities on the two 
sides. When they had stated their reasons, the question was 
put to the vote, and the decision of the majority was given, 
as the Two Eevisers state (p. 34), " in most cases at the First 
Eevision ; " but when such questions were " reopened at the 
Second Eevision," a majority of two thirds was required " to 
sustain decisions which at the First Eevision had been 
carried by a simple majority." 

Now when we bear in mind the facts — that Dr. Scrivener 
was the only member of the Company who had previously 
produced any considerable works in textual criticism ; that 
nearly six thousand changes in the Greek text* were 
adopted finally by the Eevisers ; that in nearly every weighty 
text which has been examined as affecting the records of our 
Lord's words and acts, we have certain proofs of that critic's 
judgment being adverse to the final decision ; and that a very 
long discussion would be required to state and to examine 
the authorities on either side, especially since the scholars on 
the Committee, eminent as they might be for other depart- 
ments of theological literature, were confessedly inexperi- 
enced in this most technical and embarrassing of all depart- 
ments; we cannot but reaffirm our conclusion that a less 
scientific, less satisfactory process could not easily be devised. 

We ask, how can the results which stand before us in the 
new Greek text be accounted for ? How did it come to pass 

* 5788 according to Pr. Scrivener's notes. 


that Dr. Scrivener, the solitary representative of conservative 
criticism, was systematically outvoted ; outvoted at least to 
the extent indicated in our detailed examination of the most 
important texts ? 

The answer to this question involves several points to be 
considered presently. Here I may at once say that there 
appear to be good grounds for the very general impression 
that Dr. Hort was supported in most cases by members 
of the Committee who were strongly prepossessed in favour 
of his system, and who constituted a very large proportion 
of the average attendants ; and that the decision arrived at 
was generally a logical conclusion from the adoption of the 
general principles advocated in his ' Introduction.'* 

For my own part, I venture to repeat my own words, that 
in every case where Dr. Scrivener and Dr. Hort arrived at 
diametrically opposite conclusions, those members of the 
Committee who had not previously made a special study 
of textual criticism would have done well to abstain from 
voting at all. " The critical experience that had been slowly 
and surely won," to use the Two Eevisers' words, was of 
course inapplicable to the great mass of questions which 
were settled, as we are told, finally at the earlier meetings ; 
when acquired, such experience could scarcely be accepted 
as so sure as to justify a final vote on some of the most 
difficult and intricate questions which have been decided by 
the Committee. 

Surely the very fact of an irreconcileable difference between 
those representatives of two schools of criticism should have 
been held as conclusive against the rejection of readino-s 
maintained by the most experienced and best known scholar 
in the whole Company, a rejection which implied that they 
involved plain and clear errors. 

* See the statements of tlie ' Two Revisers,' p. 34. 


This brings us into contact with another point. It was 
assumed by the Quarterly Eeviewer, and on grounds wholly 
independent of that authority it has been assumed through- 
out the preceding inquiry, that the influence of Drs. Westcott 
and Hort was all-powerful with the Eevisers, so far as regards 
the Greek text. The Two Eevisers say, p. 31, "The reviewer 
often speaks as if Dr. Westcott and Dr. Hort were respon- 
sible for all the results at which the Eevisers arrived." I 
believe that the reviewer, and I know that I, in common with 
the generality of outsiders, are far from asserting that of all 
the results. For the greater number of results, I must further 
say, for the most serious results, those two eminent critics 
are so far responsible that they had adopted them in their own 
Greek text and defend them strenuously in their * Introduction.' 
Whether they are responsible for the decisions of the Com- 
mittee is another question ; that depends of course upon the 
extent of their personal influence. That influence was great, 
and deservedly so, considering that they had devoted more 
than thirty years of close study to this special subject. We 
do not of course question the assertion of the Two Eevisers, 
who claim (on p. 31) for the whole body, " complete inde- 
pendence in the final determination of the Greek text :" but 
we scarcely feel that such shifting of responsibility, from 
persons so well known and so fully competent, to a general 
committee, is calculated to give us greater confidence in 
the result. 

We cannot, however, but remark that their " complete inde- 
pendence " does not exclude an amount and kind of help 
which, as stated by the Eevisers, amounted to something 
nearly approaching superintendence or direction. We are 
told that " these eminent critics did indeed place instalments 
of their Greek text in the hands of each member of the 
Company in the manner indicated by Dr. Hort," and on 
referring to that scholar's own account of the matter we 


read, " The Gospels, with a temporary preface of twenty-eight 
pages, were thus issued in July 1871, the Acts in February 
1873, the Catholic Epistles in December 1873, the Pauline 
Epistles in February 1875, and the Apocalypse in December 
.1876," It is indeed true, and it has been noticed more than 
once in this essay, that the " passages " in which the Greek 
text of the Eevisers differs from the results that are to be 
found in the edition of Dr. Westcott and Dr. Hort, " are by 
no means few " (p. 31) ; but it is equally true that in nearly 
all the passages which have been here selected as instances 
of serious innovation, there is a general and substantial 

Passing, however, from this general statement, we have 
before us the grounds on which the Eevisers based all such 
determinations as we have called in question. 

Those grounds may be briefly stated. 

The Eevisers were convinced, as a body, or as the majority 
of a body, that the purest, the only thoroughly trustworthy 
authority for the Greek text, speaking generally, is that 
supplied by the two oldest manuscripts, the Vatican and the 
Sinaitic. Upon' this part of the question I have already 
dwelt at great length. I do not find any new grounds for 
this exclusive preference in the Two Eevisers' treatise, apart 
from their acceptance of the theory of a Pre-syrian text and 
an authoritative Syrian recension. 

But I must protest against their statement that scholars 
who object to their innovations are biassed by a superstitious 
reverence for the old Textus Eeceptus. The Quarterly 
Eeviewer needs no defender. He has fully vindicated his 
own position in an unanswerable article published in the 
April number, 1882. But speaking on my own behalf, and 
on behalf of others who hold the same views, I say this : 
the Textus Eeceptus is entitled to such preference as is claimed 
for it, not so much on the ground that it has been generally 



accepted by scholars and others for more than three centuries, 
but because those of its readings which are of supreme im- 
portance, so far certainly as the first three Gospels are con- 
cerned, have in their favour a decided preponderance of 
ancient authorities, as compared with the readings of the 
Vatican and Sinaitic manuscripts. That Textus Eeceptus 
was taken in the first instance from late cursive manu- 
scripts : but its readings are maintained only so far as they 
agree with the best ancient Versions, with the earliest and 
best Greek and Latin Fathers, and with the vast majority of 
uncial and cursive manuscripts. 

We have in fact the formal admission that the old Eeceived 
Text agrees in the main with that used by the Fathers of the 
fourth and following centuries in the Eastern Churches : 
especially with the text used by Chrysostom throughout his 
homilies. This has been previously noticed as a fact re- 
cognized by Dr. Westcott and Dr. Hort; it is satisfactory 
to find that it is formally recognized by the two representa- 
tives of the Committee of Eevision. 

The Two Eevisers, in p. 28, state the grounds on which the 
" textual decisions " of the Committee were based. " It was 
a conviction that the true text was not to be sought in the 
Textus Eeceptus, or in the bulk of the cursive manuscripts, 
or in the late uncials (with or without the support of the 
Codex Alexandrinus), or in the Fathers who lived after 
Chrysostom, or in Chrysostom himself and his contem- 
poraries, but in the consentient testimony of the most 
ancient authorities. That this was the conviction of Lach- 
mann, Tischendorf, and Tregelles, is plain from the character 
of the texts which they gave to the world. These texts 
show, beyond controversy, how far they were from regard- 
ing the Eeceived Text as a standard, and how high a 
value they ascribed to the oldest manuscripts, Versions, and 


I might refer to the preceding sections in this treatise for 
an answer to this series of statements ; but it will be more 
satisfactory to say a few words upon each point. 

The main point is the statement, that the true text was 
sought by the Eevisers in the consentient testimony of the 
most ancient authorities. But it is precisely on this ground 
that I have throughout maintained the wrongfulness of the 
innovations introduced into the Eevised Version, so far 
as they affect leading facts and great words recorded in 
the first three Gospels. The reader need but look at the 
passages enumerated in the classification given above, 
p. 136 seq., to be convinced that so far from resting upon 
the consentient testimony of ancient manuscripts, Versions, 
and Fathers, by far the greater number of innovations, 
including those which give the severest shocks to our minds, 
are adopted on the authority of two manuscripts, or even of 
one manuscript, against the distinct testimony of all other 
manuscripts, uncial and cursive. Those two manuscripts are 
supported in some instances — in about one third of the 
passages now in question — by a very small number of uncials 
and cursives all but invariably belonging to the same school, 
in other words, to the Eusebian recension. 

In some instances they are supported by early Italic, the 
Vulgate, and the Egyptian Versions ; but in the most 
important of all passages the reading adopted by the 
Eevisers is disproved even by those witnesses, as for instance, 
in St. Luke's records touching the last scenes of our Lord's 
Passion, and the whole concluding portion of St. Mark's 
Gospel, in respect to which, I must be excused for once 
more stating, that every ancient Version, even those which 
are seriously mutilated, the Gothic, the Syriac of Cureton, 
and the Sahidic, give an absolutely unanimous attestation 
to its existence, and general reception by the Churches of 
Eastern and Western Christendom. 

Q 2 


Nor must I here omit to notice the fact that the term 
late uncials does not apply either to the Alexandrian Codex 
or to C, D, and other manuscripts which belong either to 
the latter part of the fourth, or to the fifth and sixth 
centuries. As I have more than once noticed, Dr. Hort 
admits that the two oldest manuscripts are separated from A 
by a very short interval of time, and I have assigned reasons 
for my belief that they were written under circumstances 
which seriously affect their testimony, especially in cases of 
omission. The attestation of the general mass of uncials and 
of cursives ought not to be disregarded on the mere score of 
inferior antiquity. They record the tradition of the Churches 
in every quarter of Christendom for some ten or twelve 
centuries, and, as Dr. Hort admits, they represent the text 
used not only by " the Fathers who lived after Chrysostom," 
but by the Fathers of the fourth century. For my own part 
the reception of that text by Chrysostom, unless it be deci- 
sively rejected by a consensus of earlier Fathers, appears all 
but conclusive. But so far from being opposed to such a con- 
sensus, in every passage which has come under consideration 
in this treatise, it is in accordance with clear, distinct, 
unmistakeable quotations of the best ante-Nicene Fathers, 
especially with the earliest and most important witness to 
the views and principles of the Churches of Asia Minor, 
Gaul, and Italy, in the second century, viz. Irenseus, the 
pupil of Polycarp, who was himself the pupil of St. John. 
It is also a fact which ought specially to have weighed with 
critics who profess to follow Griesbach and Lachmann, that 
in some passages of the highest importance the old reading is 
found even in Origen and Eusebius. 

It would be wrong to jeopardize the text of Holy Writ 
by an appeal to any single authority or set of authorities ; 
but were we dealing with ordinary waitings, were we consider- 
ing disputed passages in secular or ecclesiastical writers, I 


should scarcely hesitate to accept or to propose this 
challenge : 

Prove that any such passage is rejected by the ancient 
Versions, by distinct quotations of ante-Mcene Fathers, in 
substantial accordance with the two oldest manuscripts, and 
I will at once surrender it, if not as spurious, yet as open to 
serious doubt. On the other hand, if the bulk of uncials, 
including those nearest in age to «, B, and of cursives, pre- 
sent the reading in the form attested by one or more ante- 
Nicene Fathers of recognized authority, and by the most 
ancient and trustworthy Versions, let that reading be 
regarded as authoritative. 

I do not see how such a challenge could be refused, or how 
it could be met, save by disproof of the citations alleged in 
support of the old readings. 

The Two Eevisers, as miglit be expected, protest against 
the ''charges of textual corruption and depravation made 
against certain MSS. e. g. x, B, C, L." These charges, so 
far as they have been advanced in this essay, apply, with 
few exceptions, to omissions, attributed to haste and negli- 
gence on the part of the transcriber and editor, and they are 
supported by most distinct and positive statements of critics 
to whose authority the Two Eevisers assign the very highest 
importance, such as Scrivener and Tischendorf : see pp. 171- 
175. Those few exceptions, however, touch questions of signal 
importance, and in each case present readings repudiated by 
the highest authorities, ancient and modern. As for the 
general character of three of those codices — I do not think 
that C should come under the same category — it is not 
necessary, nor would it be becoming in me, to express a 
decided opinion. It is a question which will probably, which 
certainly ought to, occupy the minds of scholars skilled in 
textual criticism, but which I venture to assert cannot be 
settled until that department of theological literature has 


made far greater advances. Up to the present I am not 
aware that in England any scholars except Tregelles, Dr. 
Scrivener, and Dean Burgon, have produced works which 
prove or indicate extensive acquaintance with original MSS., 
with the great mass of uncials and still less of cursives.* 
In Germany, so far as I am aware, Tischendorf stands 
alone in that special department. We owe to him the best 
and most complete account of variants ; but years of patient 
labour, careful examination of all existing documents, and 
an impartial comparison of their testimony with the cita- 
tions in ante-Nicene and other Fathers, will be needed 
to supply materials for a final judgment, which after all 
may be seriously affected by doctrinal or antidogmatic pre- 

I acknowledge that the statement that a company of 
Eevisers, who are described by members of their own body 
as inexperienced in textual criticism, should have given their 
votes after a discussion which must in most cases have 
occupied but little time, considering the total number of 
hours employed on the 6000 Greek and the 36,000 English 
alterations, appears to me to savour of temerity : nor can I 
attach much weight to the statement (p. 30) that " the results 
at which the Company arrived were communicated in due 
course to the American Committee, on which there were 
some textual critics of known eminence." I may be very 
ignorant, but I confess that I was not at all aware that any 
American critic had attained to eminence in this special 
department. Men of learning, great ability, keen and vigo- 
rous intellect, America certainly produces, but unless they 
have enjoyed and used opportunities of long and earnest 

* Tiie Two Revisers say, " The number of living scholars in England 
vi'ho have connected their names with the study of the textual criticism of 
the New Testament is exceedingly small." 


study of manuscripts in various countries of Europe, they 
could scarcely claim to be regarded as competent authorities 
in regard of the Greek text. 

The Two Eevisers dwell upon the " constitution " of the 
Company as a guarantee of impartiality. But the question 
really is, were the members severally or collectively com- 
petent to form a correct judgment ? We may admit that 
" the fancies and predilections of individuals were not able to 
usurp the place of evidence :" but we may fairly ask whether 
one or the other of the schools represented severally by 
Dr. Hort and Dr. Scrivener had not a preponderating in- 
fluence. Judging by the results, by the excision of texts 
attested by ancient Versions, ante-Mcene Fathers, and an 
immense majority of manuscripts, which are retained and 
admirably defended by Dr. Scrivener, but rejected, or enclosed 
in brackets, in the edition of Dr. Westcott and Dr. Hort, 
it is hard to resist the impression that the general body of 
Eevisers, at least those who happened to be present when 
each point was decided, moved altogether in one direction. 
The Two Eevisers point out that the bias in favour of one 
particular manuscript (n) "is to be traced with unmistake- 
able clearness " in the last edition of Tischendorf A bias 
certainly not less distinct is avowed by Dr. Westcott and Dr. 
Hort in favour of the Vatican Codex. That MS., sometimes 
alone, generally in accord with the Sinaitic, is responsible for 
nine tenths of the most striking innovations in the Eevised 
Version. Can it be supposed that the decisions of the general 
Company, or two thirds of the general Company, were free 
from that bias ? The Two Eevisers do not, and cannot, deny 
the important statement of the Quarterly Eeviewer's first 
article (vol. 152, p. 350), that " so intimate proves to be the 
sympathy between the labours of Drs. Westcott and Hort and 
those of our Eevisionists, that lohatever the former have shut 
up luithin double brackets the latter are found to have branded 


%vith a note of suspicion, conceived invariably in the same 
terms, viz. : * some ancient authorities omit.' And further, 
whatever those editors have rejected from the text these 
Eevisionists have rejected also." Yet, though not a word of 
this conclusive proof of identity is denied, the Two Eevisers 
actually add a postscript to their pamphlet of a single short 
page noticing their unexpected anticipation by the third 
Quarterly Review article, with the remark that " in this 
controversy [between Westcott and Hort and the Keviewer] 
it is not for us to interfere " — as if Westcott and Hort's 
theory of Greek revision could be refuted or seriously 
damaged without cutting the ground from under the Com- 
mittee of Eevisers on the whole of this subject. 

The question as to the so-called " Syrian Eecension " has 
been fully considered in a preceding section. Here I will 
simply call attention to the fact that so far as historical 
notices extend, the only recension, if recension it may be 
called, which is in any way connected with Antioch, is that 
which is associated with Lucian (312 a.d.) ; but, so far 
from being in the direction indicated by Dr. Hort, that 
recension unquestionably belonged to the school of Origen. 
This is a circumstance of exceeding importance inasmuch as 
it shows that some of the chief inferences drawn by Dr. 
Hort, from a long study of texts, are diametrically opposed 
to the facts most certainly known and most credibly attested 
in ancient and all but contemporary documents. 

The Two Eevisers deal in a very summary manner with one 
of the most important questions in the whole subject. In 
reference to their treatment of the last twelve verses of St. 
Mark's Gospel they say (p. 52) first, " The textual facts, as 
in countless other passages, have been placed before the 
reader, because truth itself demanded it." And again 
(p. 53), after referring to their habit of noticing " in the 
margin facts of textual importance," they say, " We totally 


decline to enter with the Eeviewer into topics and arguments 
irrelevant to the course adopted by the Eevisers." 

The topics and arguments to which they allude appear to 
me the very reverse of " irrelevant." They rest upon external 
evidences of the highest authority and unquestioned anti- 
quity: but as I have noticed some of the most important 
previously, I will here confine myself to the statement that 
" the textual facts " have been placed before the readers. 

This is precisely the point upon which I should fix as open 
to the gravest objection. The textual fact on which the 
Eevisers mainly rely is stated thus : " The two oldest Greek 
manuscripts, and some other authorities, omit from verse 9 
to the end." Thus also Dr. Hort puts at the head of his 
authorities X, B. ('Introduction,' Appendix, p. 45.) 

But have we the testimony of those two manuscripts, 
which are thus cited as independent witnesses, and without 
any indication of doubt attacliing to the evidence supplied by 
one or the other ? 

With regard to B, the fact that it presents a blank space 
entirely peculiar to this passage, indicating, indeed proving, 
the existence of a close omitted by the scribe, ought to have 
been noticed. As it seems to me " truth itself demanded " 
reference to a circumstance which so materially affects the 
evidence of that manuscript. 

But there is a still more important fact, most important in 
itself, and peculiarly important in reference to the course 
adopted by the Eevisers. 

Tischendorf in his Prolegomena to the 'Novum Testa- 
mentum Vaticanum,' p. xxii., records a discovery, to which he 
refers repeatedly both in that work and in his edition of the 
Sinaitic Codex, that certain portions of the Sinaitic manu- 
script were written by the scribe of the entire Vatican ; who, 
according to Tischendorf, acted as " corrector " (BiopO(OT7]<i) of 
the former. 


This discovery might of course be questioned. It rests 
upon facts of which experienced textual critics alone can 
appreciate the full significance ; but for our present purpose it 
sufiices to state that it is accepted unreservedly by Dr. Hort. 
(See liis ' Introduction,' § 288.) I quote his own words : 
" The two manuscripts are really brought together as to their 
transcription in a singular manner by the fact observed by 
Tischendorf, that six leaves of the New Testament in fc<" 
are from the hand of the same scribe that wrote the New 
Testament in B. The fact appears to be sufficiently established 
by concurrent peculiarities in the form of one letter, punc- 
tuation, avoidance of contractions, and some points of ortho- 
graphy. As the six leaves are found on computation to form 
three pairs of conjugate leaves, holding different places in three 
distant quires, it seems probable that they are new or clean 
copies of corresponding leaves executed by the scribe who 
wrote the rest of the New Testament, but so disfigured either 
by an unusual number of corrections of clerical errors, or 
from some unhnoion cause, that they appeared unworthy to be 
retained, and were therefore cancelled and transcribed by 
the ' corrector.' " 

The words thus printed in italics are of considerable 
importance. Considering the extreme haste with which the 
scribes and the " corrector " of the Sinaitic Codex worked, the 
costliness of the materials, the fact that an entire sheet in 
each case, i.e. the skin of an antelope, was to be sacrificed, and 
that this sheet was to be replaced without delay by the 
transcriber, whose time was especially precious, we may 
feel assured that a very strong cause indeed must have 
acted to bring about such a result. In this special case the 
most obvious cause, one certainly sufficient to account for 
the admitted fact, was the determination to obliterate from 
the later and apparently the more valuable manuscript all 
traces of the last portion of St. Mark's Gospel. 


The first point whicli I would here press is, that in each 
instance of such transcription we have the witness of one 
person only, the scribe of B, so that to allege the authority 
of two manuscripts without noticing the identity of the 
transcriber is seriously misleading. 

But Dr. Hort in that section of his ' Introduction ' does not 
notice the fact, to which special importance must be attached, 
that a most conspicuous instance of a pair of leaves written 
by the scribe of B, and substituted for those written by the 
scribe of N*, occurs at the close of St. Mark's Gospel, extend- 
ing from the latter part of the fifteenth chapter to a portion 
of St. Luke.* 

Surely had Dr. Hort borne that fact in mind, had he not 
overlooked it when he enumerated evidences for the spuri- 
ouvsness of the passage in question, he could scarcely have 
cited N and B as two " independent witnesses " (see App. p. 46). 
I cannot conceive how the Eevisers, had they been cognizant 
of the fact, could have claimed the authority of the two 
oldest manuscripts as justifying their proceeding. 

As it seems to me, " truth itself demanded " notice of both 
facts — (1) that B supplies evidence against its own hiatus, 
and (2) that from " some unknown cause " the testimony of 
N is absolutely obliterated. 

This proceeding is a strong example of a course adopted, 
as the Eevisers say truly, " in countless other passages," to 
which there is serious objection. 

The notices in the margin, sometimes that many, some- 
times that some, ancient authorities, or that the two oldest 

* Tischendorf, I.e. enumerates the places thus : " Matth^ei fol. 10 et 15 ; 
Marci ultimum et primum Lucse, prioris ad Thess. epistulje alterum et 
epistula3 ad Hebraos tertium cum initio Apocalypsis." The first of these 
places, fol. 10, is of considerable importance, see above note on p. 75. The 
second sheet, 15, authorizes a reading in Matt. xxiv. 36, adopted by the 
Revisers, but suspicious as probably a case of assimilation. 


manuscripts, favour a reading adopted or commended by the 
Revisers, ought surely to be accompanied by some explana- 
tion. As they stand they leave the reader without any means 
of ascertaining the value of the documents thus noticed, or 
the strength of the authorities to which they are opposed. 
They produce a general impression unfavourable to the 
authenticity of passages, some of which are of vital impor- 
tance, and thus cast a deep shadow upon the reader's mind. 
The only excuse alleged for such a course appears to me singu- 
larly weak. It is simply that any attempts at explanation 
would have encumbered the margin. That excuse was cer- 
tainly not contemplated when the Eevisers drew up their 
own instructions. 

If the Revisers find it necessary at any future time to 
publish a revision of their own work, I trust they will 
give full and satisfactory explanation in the notes which they 
retain, unless indeed they follow the safer, and, in my humble 
opinion, the only right course, and omit such notices alto- 
gether in reference to passages of gravest import, which are 
amply supported by ancient and trustworthy witnesses. 

Some other statements in the treatise of the Two Eevisers 
call for a notice. With reference to the defence of the reading 
evhoKia^, Luke ii. 14, the Quarterly Reviewer is said to be 
" ignoring Lachmann, Tischendorf, Tregelles." I should be 
content to answer that the only appeal admissible in such 
cases is to ancient authorities, which the reader will find fully 
stated in the second part of this treatise, pp. 27, 28. I 
might also notice the fact that the authority of each of these 
critics is often ignored both by Westcott and Hort and by the 
Eevisers, who discard or mark as doubtful some most im- 
portant texts which are retained without hesitation by 
those critics; but as a rule I have abstained in this essay 
from quoting modern authorities. The other changes in 
St. Luke's Gospel defended by the Two Eevisers, pp. 53-61, 


have been similarly discussed, with the ancient authorities 
on both sides. But I must observe that the most important 
changes of all adopted in the text, or commended in the 
marginal notes, are passed over altogether by the Two Re- 
visers. No defence is offered, no defence is suggested, for the 
grievous mutilation in St. Luke's account of the Institution 
of the Holy Communion, of the incidents in Gethsemane, 
of the first great word on the cross, of St. Peter's visit to the 
tomb, and of the Ascension. 

Was it that the long array of evidences on which the 
Reviewer laid special stress, and to which I have referred in 
these pages, was too overwhelming to admit of a satisfactory 
or plausible answer? However this may be, I am quite 
content to leave it to the judgment of every impartial reader, 
whether those changes, apart from all other considerations, 
are not sufficient to justify the charges which I have most 
reluctantly, but with entire conviction, felt myself constrained 
to bring against the Revising Company. 

One other point I must notice before I conclude this part 
of my subject. In pp. 17, 18, the importance of the testimony 
of the ante-Nicene Fathers, especially the Greek Fathers, 
Irenseus, Hippolytus, Clement, and Origen, is formally recog- 
nized ; on p. 26, we are told that the " second reason [sc. the 
reason for adopting innovations] is based upon a close obser- 
vation and a careful analysis of ante-Nicene patristic evi- 
dence," and in the note reference is made to " Westcott and 
Hort's 'Greek Testament, Introduction,' § 152-162, pp. 107 

Such an analysis is indeed a desideratum. Considering the 
learning and ability of the two editors, and the length of 
time which they had devoted to the subject, we might have 
reasonably expected that it would be supplied in an introduc- 
tion so elaborate as that of Dr. Hort. But in sections 158 
-162, which deal specially with this subject, we find no 


details, no attempt at a real analysis. Dr. Hort speaks, as 
might be expected, of the " strong light cast by the four emi- 
nent Fathers on textual history back\Yard and forward ; " but 
he leaves to the reader the work of examining their testimony. 
Now, I do not profess to have accomplished, or to have 
attempted to accomplish, that work, so far as the general 
criticism of the Greek text is concerned ; but this I have 
done, I have compared the readings in all the passages which 
have come under consideration in this work with citations in 
the ante-Mcene Fathers, so far as I could avail myself of the 
indices in the best editions, and notices in critical editions of 
the New Testament ; and I have found in the great majority 
of instances, I may say in every instance of primary impor- 
tance, that these Fathers do not favour the innovations. 
Irenseus is the chief voucher for the genuineness of the most 
signal of all passages mutilated or marked as suspicious by 
the Eevisers. Clement of Alexandria does not appear to have 
cited the passages with which I am specially concerned ; 
Origen, whose authority is adverse on several points, not, 
however, very serious ones, su^Dports some readings to which 
I attach exceeding importance ;* and as a general conclusion 
I must affirm that whatever may be the result as to the 
relative value of the two oldest manuscripts on the one side, 
or, on the other, of those which come nearest to them in age, 
and are supported by the vast majority of uncials and cur- 
sives, no evidence is adduced, in my belief no evidence is 
adducible, that those manuscripts which omit, modify, or 
mutilate the statements attributed to the Evangelists in the 
Eeceived Text of the first three Gospels represent the text 
generally received in the second or third centuries and pre- 
sumably identical with that delivered to the Church by St. 
Matthew, St. Mark, and St. Luke. 

• See above, p. 191, note. 

( 239 ) 


Summary Statement — Eecapitulation of Facts and 

The number and exceeding intricacy of the questions which 
have been discussed in this treatise may be fairly pleaded 
in extenuation of its very serious defects and shortcomings. 
Had it been possible for the writer to amend and complete 
his work, it would have been advisable to postpone its publi- 
cation, whatever time might have been required. But, on 
the one hand, it is obvious that every one who has made up 
his mind on the plain broad facts, and the necessary infer- 
ences from those facts, is bound to declare his convictions, 
and, so far as may be in his power, to bring them to bear 
upon the minds of others who are specially interested in the 
discussion. On the other hand, the writer is conscious at 
once of his inability under any circumstances to deal ex- 
haustively with the whole subject, and of the hopelessness 
at his advanced age of doing what he might otherwise 
attempt. What is to be done must be done quickly or be 
relinquished altogether ; and I am confident that whatever 
may be thought of the cogency of the arguments which are 
based upon the facts here presented to the reader, the facts 
are in themselves of vital importance, and amply sufficient 
to guide every careful and unbiassed inquirer to a right 

The reader may, however, reasonably expect that these 
facts should be brought together, extricated from the mass of 


statements more or less questionable, and presented in a 
clear, compact, and so far as may be practicable, in a tolerably 
complete form. 

I will therefore now, in conclusion, ask him to consider 
well the bearings {a) of the facts admitted by all critics, or 
capable of exact determination and proof ; (h) of inferences 
which may be logically deduced from these facts ; and (c) the 
alternatives between which it is absolutely necessary that he 
must take a choice, under pain of remaining in a condition of 
hopeless embarrassment, in doubt as to the true solution of 
problems which now occupy the minds of earnest searchers 
after truth. 

(a.) recapitulation of facts. 

1. The two oldest manuscripts, referred to as such through- 
out the marginal notes of the Eevised Version, date at the 
earliest from about the middle of the fourth century. 

2. The manuscripts nearest to them in point of antiquity 
belong either to the latter part of the fourth, or at the latest, 
to the first part of the fifth century. 

3. The oldest Versions are far more ancient than the oldest 
manuscripts. Some of them date from the beginning of the 
second century ; others, which have been quoted as primary 
authorities in the preceding discussion, belong either to the 
third century, or at the latest are contemporary with the 
oldest extant manuscripts. 

4. The testimony of the earliest Greek Fathers begins with 
the latter part of the first century, and from the second 
century continues without interruption down to the latest 
period which has been taken into consideration. The Latin 
Fathers begin somewhat later, but give a clear and con- 
secutive view of the state of Christian thought in the West 
from the beginning of the third century. 

5. The authority of tliose Fathers, as adduced in reference 


to the passages discussed in the second part of this work, 
preponderates in favour of the text on which the Authorized 
Version is based, and preponderates to this extent, that the 
oldest Fathers on the one side, and the most weighty Fathers 
of the fourth century on the other, decidedly, and all but 
unanimously, support the passages which are here maintained, 
and are adverse to the most serious innovations. 

6. About the middle of the third century attention was 
strongly drawn to the state of the Greek text, especially to 
the divergences in different classes or recensions, and tlie 
question was discussed with especial interest in the school 
of which Origen was the ablest and most influential leader. 

7. In the same century, or in the beginning of the follow- 
ing century, numerous copies of the New Testament were 
made by Pamphilus in Palestine, by Lucian, Presbyter of 
Antioch, in Syria, and by Hesychius in Egypt. The copies 
made by Lucian were commonly used in Constantinople 
in the time of Jerome.* Those prepared by Pamphilus, or 
under his superintendence, were current in Asia Minor and 
Palestine ; those by Hesychius, in Egypt. In short, through- 
out the East pupils or followers of Origen took the lead in 
what may not improperly be called a recension of the Greek 

8. So far as historical notices extend, no indications can be 
found at that period that any other recension was under- 
taken in Syria, Palestine, or in any quarter of Christendom ; 
in fact the well-known history of that time negatives the 
assumption that a critical revision of the text was executed 
under the authority of persons qualified and authorized to 
act as representatives of the Church. 

9. In the middle of the fourth century, between a.d. 330 
and A.D. 340, a period when Arianism was in the ascendency. 

* See however on this point the note on pp. 201, 2. 


fifty copies of the Septuagint Version of the Old Testament 
and of the Greek text of the New Testament were written at 
Csesarea, under the superintendence of Eusebius. This was 
done in obedience to an imperial mandate from Constantine, 
with the special view of supplying the churches then about 
to be erected in Constantinople with good, legible, and 
thoroughly well-executed copies of Holy Scripture. 

10. Those copies were remarkable for the costliness of the 
materials, and for the beauty of the writing ; the expenses 
were defrayed by the Emperor, and the best calligraphers were 
employed in obedience to his instructions. 

11. The utmost haste in the execution was expressly and 
repeatedly enjoined by the Emperor, an injunction which, as 
Eusebius informs us, was strictly obeyed. 

12. Two manuscripts, and two alone, of those now extant 
were written at that period — the Vatican, as all agree, and 
the Sinaitic, as is generally agreed. 

13. These two manuscripts rank highest among those now 
extant for the excellence of the materials, and for the beauty 
of the writing. 

14. Both of them are equally conspicuous for the number 
and character of their omissions, repetitions, and other 
blunders, attributable for the most part, in the judgment 
of able critics, to extreme haste on the part of the tran- 
scribers, and of their employers or superintendents. 

15. The text of these two manuscripts, especially of the 
Vatican, corresponds, more closely than any other, to that 
which numerous citations in the works of Origen prove that 
he used habitually. Both manuscripts must have been pre- 
pared under the superintendence of a scholar closely con- 
nected with the school of which Origen was the head. 

16. The text, thus identified with that adopted or moulded 
by Origen, differs in many points of more or less importance 
from that which was commonly used by Greek Fathers of 


the fourth century. The difference is conspicuous in reference 
to the omissions and innovations to which special attention 
has been directed in this essay. 

17. The Alexandrian Codex, A, comes nearest to the two 
oldest manuscripts in point of antiquity. It is admitted by 
critics to be the best representative of the text used during 
and after the fourth century by the Greek Fathers. In the 
Epistles it agrees generally with the Vatican Codex, but in 
the Gospels it differs from it widely, retaining with exceed- 
ingly few exceptions the passages obliterated, mutilated, or 
materially altered in the text which is founded mainly upon 
the authority of that manuscript. 

The facts thus stated appear to me indisputable; I do 
not believe that they will be questioned by readers con- 
versant with early ecclesiastical history. From these and 
from other well-supported statements which have been con- 
sidered in connection with them, the following inferences 
may, in my opinion, be safely drawn ; but as they are in- 
ferences only I present them here separately. 

(b.) inferences from certain facts. 

1. I have for some time been strongly impressed with the 
conviction that the two manuscripts, which have furnished 
the Eevisers with their new Greek text, were among those 
which Eusebius prepared by the order of Constantine. The 
combination of facts, external and internal — costliness of 
materials, beauty of writing, extreme haste accounting for a 
general habit of abbreviation, the character of the readings 
so closely connected with the citations in Origen, and other 
points previously discussed — appears to me incompatible with 
any other hypothesis. This view I now present as a fair, if 
not an inevitable, inference from the facts stated in the 9th 
to the 15th paragraphs of the preceding list. 


2. But even if the reader should be so far moved by the 
authority of Drs. Westcott and Hort, and by the objections 
which have been urged by other critics, as to doubt whether 
either of those manuscripts, or both, were written at that 
time and place under the superintendence of Eusebius, the 
other facts stand fast, and the necessary inferences from them 
suffice for my main contention. Both manuscripts w^ere 
certainly written under the same state of religious movements, 
at a time when Arianism was in full ascendency, when Euse- 
bius of Csesarea was the most prominent and the most in- 
fluential leader of that party, when the transcriptions re\'ised 
by Pamphilus, Lucian of Antioch, and Hesychius, all three 
representing the school of Origen, were received throughout 
the East from Constantinople to Egypt. At that time there 
was no indication of similar movements in other parts 
of Christendom ; no notices or references to recensions or 
carefully re\dsed transcriptions of the Greek text are 
found in connection with Italy, where Dr. Hort holds 
that the Vatican MS. may have been written : on the con- 
trary, some fifty years or more after that time, Damasus, 
Bishop of Eome, found the text in a state of hopeless 
confusion, proving the absence of any recognized autho- 
rity, such as Codex B would have supplied, ha;d it then 
been produced under episcopal sanction. This was the 
special motive which induced him to call upon Jerome at 
once to supply a new Version, and to rectify erroneous 
readings prevalent throughout the West ; readings most 
common in Codex D, which is supposed to represent the 
state of the Greek text in Western Christendom up to the 
fifth or sixth century. 

Taking these facts into account I cannot but maintain 
that the only alternatives fairly open to our choice, with 
reference to the origin of those two MSS., are either that 
which I hold myself as all but certain, viz. that they were 


written at Csesarea, between 330 and 340 a.d. under the 
direction of Eusebius ; or that they were written at Alex- 
andria, during one of the long intervals when Athanasius 
was in banishment, and the see occupied by Arian intruders. 
This latter alternative, however, is open to objections which 
seem to me insurmountable. 

3. But what after all is the real authority of manuscripts 
produced at that time under such circumstances ? Are they 
entitled to outweigh the testimony of the numerous manu- 
scripts which, as Dr. Hort repeatedly admits, represent the 
text commonly used by the great divines of the fourth cen- 
tury ? Are they entitled to a hearing when they are opposed 
to ancient patristic citations — not mere ohiter dicta, but 
adduced as decisive in gravest matters of controversy, such 
as we have alleged from Irenfeus, Athanasius, and even from 
Origen ? When the old Peshito, the Syriac Version, which 
must surely be regarded as the most trustworthy witness to 
the state of the text as received from the beginning in Pales- 
tine and all the adjoining districts, gives us distinct intima- 
tions of the existence of words, clauses, entire sentences 
which are obliterated or mutilated in those two manuscripts, 
can we hesitate as to which testimony has the best, the only 
rightful claim to acceptance ? Whatever may be the result 
of an inquiry in reference to other portions of Scripture, I 
cannot doubt of the result in reference to the most important 
points, those which concern our Lord's own words, and 
incidents which are connected with the culminating period 
of His life. 

4. I have above stated that my own inquiries have been here 
limited to these points, and I have also stated that, so far as 
I have observed, the same discrepancy between the evidence 
of those manuscripts and all other ancient authorities does 
not exist, certainly not to the same extent, in the case of 
the Pauline Epistles. The results of my own inquiry into 


one portion of the New Testament are however so grave 
that I should look with apprehension to the results of close 
and careful investigations carried on by unbiassed and com- 
petent scholars in any other part of the New Testament ; but 
upon that point I am not entitled to express — indeed I have 
not formed — a decided opinion. I have previously observed 
that in that portion of the New Testament, the Alexandrian 
Codex, and other uncials as well as cursives of the same 
school or recension, generally support the Vatican and 
Sinaitic Codices. But this would simply prove, or lead us to 
suppose, that in the case of the Epistles, especially the 
Pauline Epistles, there was at an early period a general 
agreement in manuscripts ; owing, it may be, to some 
extent to their comparative paucity, or to the preser- 
vation of the Apostles' autographs in Churches to which 
these Epistles were severally addressed; or to the fact 
that they presented special difficulty to the student, and 
awakened special interest in reference to controversies 
which agitated the mind of Christendom. In each respect 
the evangelical records stood altogether on a different 
footing. The manuscripts both of the Greek text and of the 
early Versions of the Gospels were, so to speak, innumerable. 
No Christian of any means or position could dispense with a 
copy of some, if not all, the Gospels : whereas even in the 
time of Chrysostom other portions of the New Testament 
appear to have been little known. That great preacher tells his 
hearers that few of them knew even the Acts of the Apostles, 
many of them did not even know of the existence of that 
book. The Pauline Epistles were doubtless far better known, 
but in comparison with the four Gospels — needed by every 
Christian, and having a paramount right to his attention — 
the copies must have been small in number. 

5. In fact, the immense number of manuscripts of the 
Gospels, once current but no longer extant, constitutes the 


principal argument, the one most frequently urged by the 
counsellors of the Eevisers. The three hundred years which 
elapsed before any manuscript now extant was written allow 
abundant space and opportunity for systematic constructions 
of conjectural history. Highly probable accounts of the 
distribution and classification of MSS., of so-called " genea- 
logies," of modifications, corrections, innovations, and omis- 
sions, owing to " transcriptional errors," suggest themselves 
naturally to thoughtful students ; and when they are 
patiently elaborated, skilfully put together, having occupied 
a powerful and singularly ingenious mind for many years, 
they present an appearance of reality which fascinates con- 
genial spirits and may command the acquiescence of general 
inquirers ; more especially when they are satisfied as to 
the perfect good faith of the critic, and are assured by com- 
petent judges that his theories rest upon a solid foundation 
of ascertained facts. 

But when we put together all that has been urged in 
defence of that position, and see what would be the result if 
all that could be fairly demanded of us were conceded ; we 
shall still have to pause, we should still have to answer 
such questions as the following : 

6. When existing texts underwent critical recension, say 
by Origen or one of his school, have we reason to believe 
that the revisers were infallible ? A¥ere they guided by a 
spiritual instinct so sure that they could not be tempted, or, 
if tempted, could not give way to the temptation, to choose 
those readings which harmonized with their peculiar views, or 
satisfied their peculiar tastes ? Given two readings, the one 
somewhat diffuse — as they might tliink — involving some 
repetition, presenting details which might seem to them 
superfluous, bearing in short the features which are recognized 
as characteristic of the second and third Gospels ; and the 
other brief, somewhat obscure at first sicrht, containino: some 


detail or suggesting some notion from which commonplace 
readers might recoil, but which a subtle critic would be dis- 
posed to recognize as a mark of genuineness, can we doubt 
which would be preferred by a mind of the stamp of Origen ? 
Would not the same motives bias his mind which have so 
powerfully influenced our modern critics ? 

7. But would the decision be always, would it be generally 
right ? One thing is sure, it would be on the side of abbre- 
viation or of concision (KararofMij) : it would welcome inno- 
vations, even startling innovations, commended by the 
appearance of unconsciousness — in short it would issue in a 
text approaching to that which we have before us in the 
Vatican Codex. 

I say approaching to it ; but magno intervallo. I do not 
believe that the numberless omissions in that manuscript can 
be accounted for save by the extreme haste and consequent 
recklessness of the transcriber. Several omissions, as we have 
seen, are not countenanced by Origen. The Vatican manu- 
script may, .it certainly does, bear close and unmistakeable 
indications of being revised under Origenistic influences, but 
in those respects it goes far beyond the utmost bounds 
reached or contemplated by the great master of speculative 
spirits in the early Church, 

8. For my own part I am quite content to bear the impu- 
tation of adherence to old convictions slowly formed and re- 
peatedly examined. I confess that even if there were a 
preponderance of manuscripts in favour of some of those 
innovations I should have felt that their evidence, standing 
alone, must be open to grave suspicion. Most thankful 
am I to know that in every passage but one the prepon- 
derance is on the other side : that the two manuscripts, 
to use the words of their advocates, in many instances stand 
alone, that in the great majority of instances they have but 
few supporters. But considering the infinite preciousness 


of some incidents and words, either omitted in tlie Kevised 
Version, or marked as doubtful in the margin, and the abso- 
lutely overpowering internal evidence by which they are 
supported, I should regard external evidence opposed to them 
as comparatively worthless, except in cases vdiere there 
might be a practical consensus of the most ancient and trust- 
worthy authorities. 

The reader may of course feel that the impression made 
upon myself is a matter of indifference. Be it so. Let him 
look at the facts themselves, setting aside all prepossessions. 
These are the alternatives between which he must choose : — 


On the one side he has a long series of words and actions 
attested by ancient Fathers, by ancient Versions, by some 
three fourths of the older manuscripts, and by nine tenths 
of so-called cursive manuscripts, written under different 
circumstances, in different quarters of Christendom, and pre- 
senting independent testimony as to the mind of the Church : 
and those words and actions, be it ever remembered, are 
associated with the deepest and holiest thoughts, the most 
heart-stirring incidents in the Life of our Saviour. 

On the other side, he has two manuscripts, with rare 
and doubtful supporters in antiquity ; manuscripts which, 
were the very highest claims of their upholders ad- 
mitted, give us a text marked by peculiarities which 
specially account for the great majority of the innovations 
— a text which cannot be proved, or shown on probable 
grounds, to be an exact reproduction of primitive documents. 

Will he hesitate as to his choice ? 

This he may well do ; he may withhold acquiescence in 
any judgment which attaches a lower value to the two manu- 
scripts in question than that which is assigned to them by 




able critics. He may be disposed to accept their evi- 
dence in cases where other external or even internal proofs are 
not adducible ; or, more wisely still, he may wait the issue of 
the controversy now fairly raised as to the real value of one 
or both ; whether they are to count among the best or the 
least trustworthy of all existing documents. But one thing I 
do not fear that he will do. He will not accept or tolerate 
the assumption that they are virtually infallible ; and nothing 
short of infallibility could justify acceptance of their evi- 
dence, where it impeaches the veracity of the sacred writers 
and the integrity of Holy Scripture, obliterates most precious 
words that fell from the lips of the dying Saviour, and 
expunges the records of crowning events of His Life. 



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Dr. Livingstone's Last Journals 

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Further Penetration into Equatorial 
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Dictionary of Greek and Roman 

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Student's Manual of Ancient 

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Mr, Murray's List of 



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AN ATLAS OF ANCIENT GEOGRAPHY, Biblical and Classical. 
Intended to illustrate the ' Dictionary of the Bible,' and the ' Dictionaries 
of Classical Antiquity.' Compiled under the superintendence of WM. 
SMITH, D.C.L., and GEORGE GROVE, LL.D. Folio, half-bound, 

1. Geographical Systems of the Ancients. 

2. The World as known to the Ancients. 

3. Empires of the Babylonians, Lydians, 

Medes, and Persians. 

4. Empire of Alexander the Great. 

5. 6. Kingdoms of the Successors of Alex- 

ander the Great. 

7. The Roman Empire in its greatest extent. 

8. The Roman Empire after its division 

into the Eastern and Western Empires. 

9. Greek and Phoenician Colonies. 

10. Britannia. 

11. Hispania. 

12. Gallia. 

13. Germania, Rhaetia, Noricum. 

14. Pxonia, Thracia, Moesia, Illyria, Dacia. 

15. Italy, Sardinia, and Corsica. 

16. Italia Superior. 

17. Italia Inferior. 

18. Plan of Rome. 

19. Environs of Rome. 

20. Greece after the Doric Migration. 

21. Greece during the Persian Wars. 

22. Greece during the Peloponnesian War. 

23. Greece during the Achaean League. 

24. Northern Greece. 

25. Central Greece — Athens. 

26. Peloponnesus. — With Plan of Sparta. 

27. Shores and Islands of the .(Egean Sea. 

28. Historical Maps of Asia Minor. 

29. Asia Minor. 

30. Arabia. 

31. India. 

32. Northern Part of Africa. 

33. iEgypt and ^Ethiopia. 

34. Historical Maps of the Holy Land. 

35. 36. The Holy Land. North and South. 

37. Jerusalem, Ancient and Modem. 

38. Environs of Jerusalem. 

39. Sinai. 

40. Asia, to illustrate the Old Testament. 

41. Map, to illustrate the New Testament. 

42. 43. Plans of Babylon, Nineveh, Troy, 

Alexandria, and Byzantium. 




Abercrombie's Works - 20 

Acland's India - - 8 

Admiralty Manual - 16 

-(Esop's Fables - - 22 

Agricultural Journal - 25 

Albert (The) Memorial - 18 

Speeches - - 21 

Army Lists - - - 24 

Austin's Jurisprudence - 20 

Barbauld's Hymns - 29 
Barclay's Talmud - - 14 
Barkley's Turkey - - 10 

My Boyhood - - 25 

Barrow's Autobiography 7 
Barry's (Sir C.) Life - 7, 20 

(Canon), Witness for 

Christ - - - - 15 

(E.) Architecture - 19 

Bates' River Amazon - 11 
Bax's Eastern Seas - 8 
Beckett's (Sir E.) Revised 

N. T. - - - .15 
Bees and Flowers - - 25 
Bell's (Sir Charles) Letters 6 
Bell's Tower of London 5 

Bertram's Harvest of the 

Sea - - - - 17 
Bible Commentary - 2 

Bigg Wither's Brazil - 11 
Bird's Sandwich Islands 10 

Japan - - - g 

Rocky Mountains - 10 

Bisset's Sport in Africa 9, 25 
Blackstone's Comments - 20 
Blunt's Works - - 15 
(Lady A. ), Bedouins, 

&c. - - - - 10 
Borrow's Works - 11, 22 
Boswell's Johnson - 7 
Brewer's Studies 4, 5, 22, 27 
British Association - 16 
Brugsch's Egypt - - 3 
Bunbury's Geography - ii 
Burbidge's Borneo 10, 17 
Burckhardt's Cicerone 12, 19 
Burn's Nav. & Mil. Terms 24 
Burrows' Constitution - 20 
Buttmann's Works - 29 
Buxton's Memoirs, &c. - 6 
Buxton's Political Handbk. 20 
Byles on Religion - - 15 
Byron's Life - - - 7 
Poetical Works - 23 

Campbell's Chancellors 
and Chief-Justices - 8 

Life ... 8 

Campbell's Napoleon - 7 
Carnarvon's Athens - to 

Agamemnon - - 23 

Cartwright's Jesuits 4, 16 

Cathedral (The) - - 15 
Cathedrals of England i, 4, 19 
Cesnola's Cyprus - 10, 18 
Chaplin's Benedicite - 16 
Chisholm's Polar Seas - 11 
Choice of a Dwelling 20, 25 
Church and the Age - 15 

Churton's Poetical Works 23 

Classic Preachers - - 15 

Clode's Military Forces 24 

Martial Law - - 20 

Coleridge's Table-Talk - 22 

Cookery - - - 25 

Cooke's Sketches - - i 

Cook's Sermons - - 16 

Crabbe's Life and Works 23 

Crawford's Argo - - 23 

Cripps on Plate - - 18 

Croker's Geography - 29 

Crowe's Flemish Painters 19 

Painting in Italy - 19 

Titian - - - 7, 19 

Cumming's South Africa 9, 25 

Currie, Divinity of Christ 15 

Curzon's Monasteries - 10 

Curtius' Works - - 22 

Cust's Annals of the Wars 24 

Darwin's Works - - 17 

(Erasmus), Life - 8 

Davy's Consolations - 21 

Salmonia - - 25 

De Cosson's Blue Nile - 9 

Dennis' Etruria - - 19 

Dent's Sudeley - - 5 

Derby's Homer - - 23 

Derry's Bampton - - 15 

Deutsch's Talmud - 21 

Dilke's Papers of a Critic 22 
Douglas's Gunnery and 

Bridges - - - 24 

Horse-Shoeing - 25 

Ducange's Dictionary - 21 

Du Chaillu's Africa - 9 

Midnight Sun - 11 

DufFerin's High Latitudes 11 

Speeches, S:c. 20, 22 

Duncan's Artillery - 5, 24 

English in Spain - 5, 24 

Durer, Albert - - 7, i9 

Eastlake's Essays - 7 

Eldon's Life - - - 8 

Elgin's Letters - - 7 

Ellis's Madagascar - 9 

Memoir - - - 6 

Ellis's Catullus - 23 

Elphinstone's India - 5 

Elphlnstone's Turning - 17 

Elton's Eastern Africa - 9 

Elze's Byron - - - 7 

English in Spain - - 5, 24 

Essays on Cathedrals - 15 

Fergusson's Architec- 
tural Works - - 19 
Forbes' Burma - - 8 
Forsyth's Hortensius - 20 

Novels and Novelists 21 

Foss' Biographia Jurldica 8 
Frere's India and Africa 21 
Deccan Days - - 22 

Galton's Art of Travel 11 

Geographical Journal - 11 

George's Mosel & Loire 11 

Gibbon's Roman Empire 3, 27 

Giffard's Naval Deeds - 24 
Gill's Ascension - 9, 16 

River of Golden Sand 8 

Gladstone's Rome - - 16 

Essays - - 20, 22 

Gleig's Waterloo - - 5 

Washington - - 5 

Glynne's Churches - 19 

Goldsmith's Works - 23 

Gomm's Life - - - 7 
Grey's Wm. IVth - - 6 
Grote's Histories - - 3 

Works - - 20, 21 

Life - - - 7 

Mrs. - - - 7 

Hallam's England - 4 

Middle Ages - - 4 

Literary History - 22 

(Arthur), Remains - 23 

Hall's English Grammar 28 

First Latin Book - 29 

Hamilton's Rheinsberg - 6 
Handbooks for Travellers 12, 14 
Hatch's Aristotle _ - - 21 
Hatherley on Scripture - 15 
Hay ward's Statesmen - 6 
Head's Engineer - - 24 

Burgoyne - " 7 

Bubbles from Nassau 11 

Stokers and Pokers 22 

Heber's Poetical Works 15, 23 
Herries' Life - - 6 

Herschel's Memoir - 8 
Hollway's Norway - 11 

Home and Colonial Library 30 
Homer's Iliad, Odyssey 23 
Hook's Church Dictionary 14 
Hook's (Theodore) Life 6 

Hope's (B.) Worship - 16 
Houghton's Monographs 6 

Poetical Works - 23 

Houstoun's Wild West - 11 
Hutchinson's Dog-Breaking 25 
Hutton's Principia Grseca 29 
Jameson's Ital. Painters 7 
Jennings' Field Paths and 

Rambles - - 11, 
Jervls's GalHcan Church 4, 
Jesse's Gleanings - 
Jex-Blake's Sermons 
Johnson's (Dr.) Life 
Julian's i)ictionary 

Junius' Handwriting 
Kerr's Country House '20, 25 
King Edward Vlth's 

Grammars - - - 29 
Kirk's Charles the Bold 4 
Kirkes' Physiology - 17 
Kugler's Italian Schools 19 
German Schools - 19 

Lane's Modern Egyptians, 

Lawrence's Reminiscences 7 
Layard's Nineveh - - 9 
Leathes' Heb. Grammar 29 
Leslie's Hbk. for Painters 19 





Levi's British Commerce 21 
Lex Salica - - - 21 
Liddell's Rome - - 3, ^7 
Lispings from Low Lati- 
tudes - - - - 22 
Little Arthur's England 27 
Livingstone's Travels - 9 
— Life ... 6 
Livingstonia - - - 9 
Loch's China - - 5 
Lockhart's Spanish Ballads 23 
Loudon's Gardening - 25 
Lyell's Works - - 18 

Life - - - 8 

Lyell's HaiWLbook of Ferns 17 

Lytton's Julian Fane - 6 

M'Clintock's Arctic Seas 11 
Macdougall's Warfare - 24 
Macgregor's Rob Roy - 10 
Madras, Letters from - 8 
Mahon's Belisarius - 7 

Maine's (Sir H. S.) Works 21 
Malcolm's Persia - - 10 
Mansel's Lectures - - 21 

Bampton Lectures - 15 

Letters, Reviews, &c. 21 

Marco Polo's Travels - 8 
Markham's Histories - 27 

(C. R.), Cinchona - 25 

Marryat's Pottery - - 18 
Masters in Theology - 15 
Matthiae's Greek Gram. 29 
Mayo's Sport in Abyssinia 9, 25 
Meade's New Zealand - 10 
Melville's Typee and Omoo 10 
Meredith's New So. Wales 10 
Michel Angelo - " 7, 19 
Middleton's Rembrandt ig 
Millington's Land of Ham 14 
Mllman's Histories - 4, i6 

St. Paul's - - 5, 14 

Christianity . - 4, 16 

Latin Christianity - 4, 14 

Fall of Jerusalem - 23 


7, 23 

—7- (Bishop), Life of - 6 

Mivart's Essays - - 17 

The Cat - - 17 

Moore's Life of Byron - 7 

Moresby's New Guinea 10 

Mossman's Japan - - 8 

Motley's Histories - 4 

Barneveld - - 4, 6 

Mounsey's Satsuma Rebel- 
lion .... 8 
Mozley's Predestination 15 
Muirhead's Vaux-de-Vire 23 
Murchison's Siluria - 18 

Memoirs - - 8 

Music and Dress - - 25 

Musters' Patagonians - 11 

Napier's English Battles 5 
Nautical Almanack - 24 
Navy List - - - 24 
New Testament - - 14 
Newth's Works on Science 16 
Nicholls, Sir G., Poor Laws 21 
Nicolas' Historic Peerage 5 
Nile Gleanings (Stuart) 3, 9, 18 
Nimrod - - - - 25 
Nordhoff's Commuuistic 

Societies - - 11, 20 
Northcotes's Note-Book 5 

Owen's Modern Artillery 24 

Oxenham's Latin Elegiacs 29 

Paget's Crimea - - 24 

Palgrave's Taxation - 21 

Palliser's Monuments - 22 

Parkyns' Abyssinia - 9 

Peel's Memoirs - - 6 

Percy's Metallurgy - 16 

Perry's St. Hugh - - 6 

Phillip's Literary Essays 22 

Philosophy in Sport - 16 

Pollock's Family Prayers 14 

Pope's Works - - 23 

Porter's Damascus - 10 

Prayer-Book - - - 14 

Privy Council Judgments 21 

Puss in Boots - - - 29 

Quarterly Review - 21 

Rae's Barbary " ■ 9 

White Sea - - 11 

Rassam's Abyssinia 
Rawlinson's Herodotus 

Ancient Monarchies 

Russia in the East 

Redcliffe (Lord S. de). East- 
ern Question - - 20 
Reed's Shipbuilding, &c. 16 

Japan - - - 9 

Rejected Addresses - 23 
Reynold's Life * - 7 
Ricardo's Works - - 21 
Robertson's Church His- 
tory - ' - 4, 15 
Robson's School Archi- 
tecture - - - 20 
Robinson's Palestine 10, 15 

Physical Geography i S 

(y^), Alpine Flowers 25 

Sub-Tropical Garden 25 

Wild Garden - - 25 

Rochester's (Bp.) Charge, 

i88r - - - - 15 
Rowland's Constitution 20 
Laws of Nature - 20 

10, 20 

St. James' Lectures 
St. John's Wild Sports - 

Libyan Desert 

Saldanha's Memoirs 
Sale's Brigade in Affghan 
istan - - - - 
Scepticism in Geology - 
Schliemann's Troy and 

Mycenae - - 9, 18 

Schomberg's Odyssey - 23 
School and Prize Books - 29 
Scott's Architecture - 19 
Seebohm's Siberia - 11, 17 
Selborne on the Liturgy 4, 15 
Shadows of Sick Room - 15 
Simmons' Court-Martial 20 
Smiles' Popular Biographies 
and Works 

5, 6, 8, 18, 22, 25, 29 
Smith (Dr. G.), Geography 

of India ... 8 
Smith (P.) Ancient History 3,4 
Smith's (Dr, Wm.) Diction- 
aries 3, 4, 6, 7, II, 14, 26 

Ancient Atlas 11,30 

Educational Course 3, 28 

Smaller Histories i6, 26 

Somerville's Life - - 8 

Somerville's Physical Sciences, 
&c. - - - 16, 18 
South's Household Sur- 

gery - - - 17, 
Stael, Madame de - 
Stanhope's Histories 


Miscellanies - 

Retreat from Mos- 
cow - - - 5, 
Stanley's Sinai 

Bible in Holy Land 

Eastern, Jewish, and 

Scottish Church - - 4, 


Westminster Abbey 

Sermons in East - 

at Westminster 

the Beatitudes 

Arnold - 


Christian Institutions 

Stevens's Madame de Stael 6 
Stephens's Chrysostom - 6 
Stories for Children - 29 
Street's Architectural Works 19 
Stuart's Nile - - 3, 9, 18 
Student's Manuals' 14, 26, 28 
Sumner's Life - - 6 

Swainson's Creeds - 15 

Swift's Life ... 7 
Sybel's French Revolution 5 
Symonds' Records of the 
Rocks - - - - 18 

Temple's India - - 8, 21 
Thibaut's Musical Art 19 

Thielmann's Caucasus - 10 
Thomson's Sermons 15, 16 
Titian's Life and Times 7, 19 
Tocqueville's France - 5 
Tomlinson's Sonnet - 23 
Tozer's Turkey & Greece 10 
Tristram's Land of Moab lo 

Great Sahara - - 9 

Truro (Bp. of), The Cathe- 
dral, &c. - - - 15 
Turkey, Lady's Life in - lo- 
Tylor's Primitive Culture 21 
Tylor's Hist, of Mankind 21 

Van Lennep's Asia Minor 9 

Bible Lands - - 15 

Vatican Council - - 16 
Virchow's Freedom of 
Science - - - 17 

Wage's Gospel and its 

Witnesses - - - 14 
Weigall's Princess Char- 
lotte ... - 6 
Wellington's Despatches 5, 24 
White's Naval Architecture 24 
Whymper's Matterhorn - 11 
Wilberforce's Life - - 6 
Wilkinson's Egyptians - 3 
Wilson's Life and Diary 7 

(Dr. John), Life of 6 

Wilson's Michel Angelo - 7, 19 
Wood's Oxus - - - 8 
Words of Human Wisdom 22 

Young's Nyassa - - 9 
Yule's Marco Polo - - 8 
(A. F.), Crete - - 21 











The revised version of the first three 

Princeton Theological Semmary-Speer Library 

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