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Charl(S5 J. Edicoir 

Edwin r^lvner 

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A BOLD assault has been made In recent numbers 
of the Quarterly Review upon the whole fabric of 
criticism which has been built up during the last fifty 
years by the patient labour of successive editors of 
the Greek Testament. The subject of the articles to 
which we refer is the Revised Version ; their undis- 
guised purpose is to destroy the credit of that Version. 
The first article is entitled ' The New Greek Text/ 
the second ' The New English Version :' in both, 
however, textual questions are discussed, in the first 
textual questions only. By the ' New Greek Text' 
the Reviewer must be taken to mean the choice of 
readings made by the Revisers, as they did not con- 
struct, or undertake to construct, a continuous and 
complete Greek text. This ' New Greek Text' (for 
we will not insist on a verbal question) he pronounces 
' entirely undeserving of confidence.' He assails with 
especial vehemence Dr. Westcott and Dr. Hort, whom 
he represents as the chief guides of the Revisers in 
this department. He condemns in the strongest terms 
the edition of the Greek Testament ^ which was pub- 
lished last year by these two Professors : — a work, we 

^ The New Testament in the original Greek— the text revised by 
Brooke Foss Westcott, D.D., and Fenton John Anthony Hort, D.D. 
Cambridge and London : Macmillan and Co. 1881. 

B 2 


must observe, wholly Independent of the Revision In 
its inception and In Its execution. He does not hesi- 
tate to stigmatise the text printed In that edition as 
' a text demonstrably more remote from the Evangelic 
verity than any which has ever yet seen the light.' 
The Professors need no defender. An elaborate 
statement of their case is contained In the second 
volume of their Greek Testament, which was pub- 
lished before the Reviewer came into the field, al- 
though it appeared two or three months later than the 
first volume. The Reviewer censures their text : in 
neither article has he attempted a serious examination 
of the arguments which they allege In Its support. 

We do not intend to reply to these articles in detail. 
To follow the Reviewer through his criticisms, and to 
show how often they rest ultimately (whether aimed at 
the ' New Greek Text ' or at the ' New English Ver- 
sion') upon the notion that it Is little else than sacri- 
lege to impugn the tradition of the last three hundred 
years, would be a weary and unprofitable task. There 
is something, moreover, in his tone which makes con- 
troversy with him difficult. Silence is the best reply to 
flouts and gibes. But the questions which are connected 
with the Greek text of the New Testament are so im- 
portant, and lie so far out of the track of the ordinary 
reader, that we cannot allow the Reviewer s observa- 
tions upon this subject to remain wholly unanswered. 

First of all, we desire to call attention to the fact 
which we mentioned at the outset. The Reviewer's 
attack is not confined to positions occupied exclusively 
by the Revisers. His fire Includes in its range a 
multitude of other scholars also. Some of these he 
censures by name ; others he does not name at all, or 
names as though he believed them to share his 


own opinions. A single illustration of this statement 
will suffice. The Reviewer has devoted five pages to 
the famous diversity of reading in i Tim. iii. i6. He 
employs his heaviest artillery against the reading (o? 
€<pai'€pcoO}]) which the Revisers have adopted in this 
verse. It would be natural to suppose that here at all 
events the Revisers (with the two Cambridge Pro- 
fessors) stand alone. In point of fact, however, the 
same reading is found in the critical editions of Gries- 
bach, Lachmann, Tischendorf, and Tregelles ; it was 
adopted by the late Dean Alford in his Greek Testa- 
ment ; it was adopted by Bishop ElHcott in his Com- 
mentary on the Pastoral Epistles, after a personal 
inspection of the Alexandrian manuscript ; it was 
adopted by the Bishop of Lincoln (then Canon Words- 
worth) in his Commentary ; it was adopted again by 
the Bishop of London in a volume of the Speaker's 
Commentary which appeared last year. Nor is it 
matter of surprise that the Reviewers projectiles 
should strike down friends and foes alike. While 
he denounces by name Lachmann and Tischendorf 
and Tregelles, and describes the ancient authorities 
which they deemed of most importance as *a little 
handful of suspicious documents,' it would be difficult 
to find a recent English commentator of any consider- 
able reputation who has not been influenced, more or 
less consistently, by one or other of these three editors, 
or by the evidence which they have brought forward. 

We have called these articles an assault on the 
criticism of the last fifty years. We might call them 
without injustice an assault on two centuries of cri- 
ticism. If the Reviewer is right, Mill and Bentley at 
the beginning of the eighteenth century (not to men- 
tion any of the critics who came after them) were in 


pursuit of an ignis fatuus. Mill, the founder (so far as 
the Greek Testament is concerned) of textual criticism, 
did not construct a new text himself, but provided 
materials for the use of others. It was his hope, as he 
tells us ^ in his Prolegomena, that the large stock of evi- 
dence which he had accumulated and had placed at the 
foot of his pages would enable those who used his book 
to see without difficulty what was the genuine reading 
of the Sacred Text in almost every passage. Bentley 
proposed to construct a new Greek text which should 
be founded exclusively on the most ancient documents 
then accessible. The plan which he sketched was the 
very plan which Lachmann carried out in the present 
century with better materials than Bentley could have 
obtained. According to the Reviewer there was no 
room for such hopes or such an ambition. Mill and 
Bentley had in their hands a text — the Texttcs Receptus 
— which, though not absolutely perfect, needed at all 
events but little emendation. 

Our concern, however, is not so much with the 
Reviewer as with his readers. The main task which 
we propose to ourselves is twofold : — first to supply 
accurate information, in a popular form, concerning 
the Greek text of the New Testament ; secondly to 
establish, by means of the information so supplied, the 
soundness of the principles on which the Revisers 
have acted in their choice of readings, and by con- 
sequence the importance of the 'New Greek Text' 
(as the Reviewer calls it) of which the Revised Version 
is a translation. For a full and plain exhibition of 
this * New Greek Text ' we must refer our readers to 
the Greek Testaments edited for the University Presses 

^ HKAINH AIAGHKH. Novum Testamentum Studio et Lahore Joannis 
Millii. Oxonii, mdccvii. Prol. p. clxvii b. 


by Archdeacon Palmer at Oxford^ and Dr. Scrivener 
at Cambridge ^. 

I. In reference to the first part of this task, It is 
absolutely necessary to begin with what is simple and 
easily understood, and thence to pass onward to the 
more difficult questions which will present themselves 
at each successive stage of our progress. Textual criti- 
cism, it must not be disguised, has become highly 
technical and intricate, and it is impossible for any one 
to discuss such a subject properly without a consider- 
able amount of carefully-digested knowledge as to the 
facts and details which have been slowly and labo- 
riously ascertained during the last fifty years. 

I. We begin then with a broad question in which 
every intelligent Christian reader must needs feel him- 
self especially interested. What is the nature and literary 
history of that Greek text which presumably underlies 
our Authorised Version, and which is popularly known 
by the name of the Received Text ? What is that text, 
and whence was it derived ? When this question has 
been answered, we will proceed to consider what, by 
the nature of the case, would seem to be its critical 
value, or, in other words, how near it may be considered 
to approach to the original documents traced, or dic- 
tated, by Evangelists and Apostles. Those original 
documents it will be convenient to designate by a 
single term : we will henceforth entitle them the Ori- 
ginal Text or Sacred Autograph. 

^ H KAINH AIAGHKH. The Greek Testament with the Readings 
adopted by the Revisers of the Authorised Version. Oxford : at the 
Clarendon Press. 1881. 

* The New Testament in the original Greek according to the Text 
followed in the Authorised Version, together with the Variations adopted 
in the Revised Version. Edited for the Syndics of the Cambridge Uni- 
versity Press by F. H. A. Scrivener, M.A., D.C.L., LL.D., Prebendary of 
Exeter and Vicar of Hendon ■. Cambridge : at the University Press. 1 88 1 . 


The Greek text which was used by the Translators 
of 1611 appears, almost certainly, to have been the 
fifth edition of Beza's Greek Testament, published in 
the year 1598. The variations from this edition which 
are to be traced in the Authorised Version are only 
about a hundred and ninety in all, and are, compara- 
tively, of but little importance. The reader will find 
them set down in the Appendix to that edition of the 
Greek Testament which we have already mentioned as 
edited by Dr. Scrivener in 1881 for the Syndics of the 
Cambridge University Press. 

This fifth edition of Beza, which thus becomes our 
starting-point, may be considered, in common with 
the other editions of the same learned editor, to have 
been for the most part a reproduction of the third 
edition of the famous French printer Robert Estienne 
(Stephanus), which appeared in 1550, and which has 
been treated as the standard text of the Greek Testa- 
ment in this country till very recent times. Both 
Stephanus and Beza had access to manuscripts, of 
which two or three at least ^ were of considerable 
critical value, but of these neither editor made any 
real or consistent use. The beautiful folio of 1550 at 
which we have now arrived exhibits indeed in its 
margin a regular collection of various readings, but 
they formed little more than the embroidery of a 
handsome page— though it was an embroidery which 
gave such offence to the doctors of the Sorbonne^ that 
the great printer thought it convenient to leave his 
native city that same year, and to spend the remaining 
nine years of his honourable life in practical exile at 

* See Scrivener's Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament, 
pp. 112, 124, 150 (ed. 2). 
^ See Nouvelle Biographic G^ndrale (Art. Estienne), vol. v, p. 513. 


This edition of Stephanus leads us another step 
backward to the fourth and best ^ edition of Erasmus, 
pubHshed in 1527; and this again to his first edition, 
pubhshed in 1516, which has the distinction of being 
the first pubhshed (though not the first printed^) 
edition of the New Testament in Greek. 

On that edition, as the ultimate basis of the Re- 
ceived Text, the first parent of all the editions which 
were used by English Translators or Revisers in 
the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, we may pause 
to make a few critical comments. It appeared in 
March 15 16 from the printing-press of John Froben 
of Basle, little more than ten months from the time 
when Froben first proposed the undertaking to Eras- 
mus. The manuscripts from which it was printed 
(two of which retain to this day the printer's marks 
and the corrections of the hurried ^ editor) have 
been all identified, and are all, we believe, with 
one exception, now to be found in the public library 
of Basle. The manuscripts principally used were as 
follows : — for the Gospels a manuscript of the fifteenth 
century, for the Acts and Epistles a manuscript of 
the thirteenth or fourteenth. For the Apocalypse, as 
is now well known, Erasmus had only a mutilated 
manuscript, said to be of the twelfth century, in which 
the text is so intermixed with the Commentary of 
Andrew of Csesarea, that it would have been no matter 

' The fifth and last edition, published in 1535, differs from the fourth, 
according to Mill, only in four places. 

"^ The New Testament which is contained in the Complutensian 
Polyglott was printed in 15 14, but not published till 1522. 

^ Wetstein (Prolegomena in N. T. p. 124) says, ' Ouis ipsum eo 
adegit, ut festinaret .'" He of course knew quite well that good John 
Froben and Erasmus had one great and common anxiety, to get their 
book out before the appearance of the splendid Complutensian edition. 


of wonder if the representation of it in his first edition 
had been even worse than it actually was. This 
manuscript was rediscovered \ twenty years ago, in the 
library of the Prince of Oettingen-Wallerstein, and has 
been identified beyond all reasonable doubt. 

It is proper to add that Erasmus appears to have 
occasionally referred to two other manuscripts, one of 
which has been ascertained to be of considerable 
interest : this last, however, to quote the words of Dr. 
Scrivener ^, he ' but little used or valued.' The same 
learned and accurate writer describes ^ the manuscript 
on which Erasmus relied for the Gospels as 'an inferior 
manuscript.' Michaelis, he says, went so far as to ex- 
press an opinion that the two Rhenish florins originally 
given for it by the monks of Basle were more than it 
was worth. Dr. Scrivener adds, however, that some 
at least of the worst errors which Erasmus made in 
his first edition cannot equitably be referred to this 
unsatisfactory document. 

We have entered into these details, because we 
desire that the general reader should know fully the 
true pedigree of that printed text of the Greek Testa- 
ment which has been in common use for the last three 
centuries. It will be observed that its documentary 
origin is not calculated to inspire any great confidence. 
Its parents, as we have seen, were two or three late 
manuscripts of little critical value, which accident 
seems to have brought into the hands of their first 

But we shall not do it full justice if we stop here. 
The text which these manuscripts substantially repre- 

^ Scrivener, Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament, p. 245. 
2 Ibid. p. 165. 3 ibjd^ 


sent has claims on our consideration which must not 
be passed over in silence. Those claims have been 
brought out by the most recent opponents of the Re- 
ceived Text more clearly and forcibly than by any of 
its defenders. The manuscripts which Erasmus used 
differ, for the most part, only in small and insignificant 
details from the bulk of the cursive manuscripts, — that 
is to say the manuscripts which are written in running 
hand and not in capital or (as they are technically 
called) uncial letters. The general character of their 
text is the same. By this observation the pedigree of 
the Received Text is carried up beyond the individual 
manuscripts used by Erasmus to a great body of 
manuscripts of which the earliest are assigned to the 
ninth century. 

More than this : it may be traced back on good 
grounds to a still higher antiquity. What those 
grounds are we will state in the words of Dr. Hort ^ 
himself : — 

* A glance at any tolerably complete apparatus 
criticus of the Acts or Pauline Epistles reveals the 
striking fact that an overwhelming proportion of the 
variants common to the great mass of cursive and late 
uncial Greek MSS are identical with the readings fol- 
lowed by Chrysostom (ob. 407) in the composition of 
his Homilies. The coincidence furnishes evidence as 
to place as well as time ; for the whole of Chrysostom's 
life, the last ten years excepted, was spent at Antioch 
or in its neighbourhood. Little research is needed to 
show that this is no isolated phenomenon : the same 
testimony, subject to minor qualifications unimportant 
for the present purpose, is borne by the scattered 

^ Westcott and Hort, The New Testament in Greek, Introduction, 
§ 130, pp. 91 sqq. 


quotations from these and other books of the New 
Testament found in his voluminous works generally, 
and in the fragments of his fellow-pupil Theodorus of 
Antioch and Mopsuestia, and in those of their teacher 
Diodorus of Antioch and Tarsus. The fundamental 
text of late extant Greek MSS generally is beyond all 
question identical with the dominant Antiochian or 
Grseco-Syrian text of the second half of the fourth 

This remarkable statement completes the pedigree 
of the Received Text. That pedigree stretches back 
to a remote antiquity. The first ancestor of the Re- 
ceived Text was, as Dr. Hort is careful to remind us, 
at least contemporary with the oldest of our extant 
manuscripts, if not older than any one of them. 

2. At this point a question suggests itself which we 
cannot refuse to consider. If the pedigree of the Re- 
ceived Text may be traced back to so early a period, 
does it not deserve the honour which is given to it by 
the Quarterly Reviewer ? With him it is a standard 
by comparison with which all extant documents, how- 
ever indisputable their antiquity, are measured. It is 
in his mind when he censures such documents for 
' omissions,' ' additions,' ' substitutions,' and the like. 
He estimates^ the comparative purity and impurity of 
manuscripts written in the fourth, fifth, and sixth cen- 
turies by the number of ' deflections from the Received 
Text ' which may be found in each of them. Why 
should not we do the same ? 

One answer to this question is obvious. The high 
lineage of the Received Text does not establish its 
purity. According to all experience of transcription, 
corruptions must have come in at every step in its long 

^ Quarterly Review, No. 304, p. 313. 


pedigree. It is only in the general character of their 
text that the bulk of the cursive manuscripts agree 
with the Antiochian Fathers. It is only in general 
character that the Received Text ao^rees with the bulk 


of the cursive manuscripts. It was immediately de- 
rived, as we have seen, from inferior representatives 
of that class. It contains, moreover, false readings 
which the manuscripts from which it was printed do 
not justify. A notable instance is the insertion con- 
cerning the Three Heavenly Witnesses in the First 
Epistle of S. John, which is unknown to almost all 
Greek manuscripts, late or early. 

But fatal as this answer would be to the contention 
that the Received Text deserves to be treated as a 
standard, it does not go to the bottom of the contro- 
versy with which we are concerned. We have another 
answer to give, and an answer of a very different 
character. If there were reason to suppose that the 
Received Text represented verbatim et literatim the 
text which was current at Antioch in the days of 
Chrysostom, it would still be impossible to regard it as 
a standard from which there was no appeal. The reason 
why this would be impossible may be stated briefly as 
follows. In the ancient documents which have come 
down to us, — amongst which, as is well known, are 
manuscripts written in the fourth century, — we possess 
evidence that other texts of the Greek Testament ex- 
isted in the age of Chrysostom materially different 
from the text which he and the Antiochian writers 
generally employed. Moreover, a rigorous examina- 
tion of extant documents shows that the Antiochian 
or (as we shall henceforth call it with Dr. Hort) the 
Syrian text did not represent an earlier tradition than 
those other texts, but was in fact of later origin than 


the rest. We cannot accept it, therefore, as a final 
standard. There are materials in our hands which 
enable us to approach nearer to the Sacred Autograph 
than it would carry us. 

3. We are aware, of course, that for the general 
reader this brief statement will require expansion and 
illustration. It will be necessary for us to give some 
account of the extant documents upon which all critics, 
to whatever school they may belong, depend for the 
ascertainment of the Greek text of the New Testa- 
ment, and to indicate, in some sufficient manner, the 
nature of the examination to which these documents 
must be subjected, and the results to which such an 
examination will conduct the student. Our task will 
involve us at once in matters of detail : but it is a task 
from which we cannot shrink. We shall endeavour 
to be as brief and plain as the subject permits. 

4. The documentary sources of the Greek Text are 
of three kinds ^ : — 

{a) Manuscripts, uncial (or written in capital letters), 
and cursive (or written in running hand), of the whole 
or parts of the New Testament. 

Of uncial manuscripts we have about ninety, nearly 
two-thirds of which are copies (whole or fragmentary) 
of the Gospels. Of cursive manuscripts we have 
nearly a thousand. In these estimates we take no 
account of Lectionaries or Service-books containing 
Lessons from Scripture, known to the learned as 
Evangelisteria and Praxapostoli'^, 

With the exception of one lately-discovered manu- 

* See Westcott and Hort, Introduction, §§ 97 sqq., pp. 73 sqq. 

"^ For the description of the manuscripts enumerated below and in 
subsequent pages we must refer the reader to the current handbooks, 
and especially to Dr. Scrivener's full and accurate Introduction to the 
"Criticism of the New Testament. 


script, all the more important uncials have been pub- 
lished in continuous texts. The various readings 
of the others may be found at the foot of the page in 
the Greek Testaments of Tischendorf and Tregelles. 
Two of these uncials (B and k) belong to the middle 
of the fourth century; four (A, C, and the fragments 
Q and T,) to the fifth century; eight (D, 2, Dg, Eg, 
and the fragments N, P, R, Z,) to the sixth century; 
the remainder to the seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth 
centuries, — those of the ninth and tenth centuries 
being nearly as numerous as those of all the foregoing 
centuries together. 

The cursive manuscripts extend from the ninth cen- 
tury to the sixteenth. They are far less completely 
known than the uncials. According to Dr. Hort's 
computation, 'the full contents of about 150 cursives, 
besides Lectionaries, may be set down as practically 
known.' A much larger number have been more or 
less perfectly collated. The Reviewer expresses a 
desire, with which we heartily sympathise, to see still 
more work done in the same direction. But there is 
no reason to suppose that the labours of collators, 
although they should collate, as he desires, ' 500 more 
copies of the Gospels, Acts, and Epistles, and at least 
100 of the ancient Lectionaries \' would disturb in any 
appreciable degree the conclusions of textual critics. 
We know already, from a tolerably large induction, 
that the bulk of the cursives represent upon the whole 
the Syrian text, while a small minority represent, more 
or less consistently, texts of an earlier character. If 
all the cursives were collated, it is in the highest de- 
gree improbable that the proportion would be reversed, 
although we might expect to obtain a few more wit- 

^ Quarterly Review, No. 305, p. 6. 


nesses against the Syrian text. On the other hand, 
that text would gain nothing in point of authority by 
the addition of 500 newly collated cursive witnesses in 
its favour. Such a discovery would be no more than 
a further verification of a conclusion which is regarded 
by critics as established sufficiently already. 

{d) Versions, i. e. early translations of the New 
Testament into different languages, of which the most 
Important are the Latin, the Syriac, and the Egyptian. 
The Latin Version exists in two forms ; the earliest, 
which can be traced back to the second century and 
bears usually the name of the Old Latin, and the later 
form which owes Its existence to the revising labours 
of Jerome about a.d. 383 and is known as the Vulgate. 
The Syriac Version exists also in what may be called 
two forms \ an earlier and a later. Of the earlier, or 
Old Syriac, we have, unfortunately, only an inadequate 
representation in the imperfect copy of the Gospels 
found by Dr. Cureton, and assigned to the fifth cen- 
tury ; of the later, or Syriac Vulgate, we have the well- 
known Peshito (or ' Simple ') Version, which bears in- 
disputable traces of being a revision of the earlier 
(like the Latin Version of Jerome), and was executed 
probably in the latter part of the third or in the fourth 
century. The Egyptian Versions are three : the Mem- 
phitic, or Version of Lower Egypt, containing the 
whole of the New Testament; the Thebaic or Sa- 
hidic, or Version of Upper Egypt, of which only con- 
siderable fraorments remain ; and the Bashmuric, of 
which only about 330 verses from S. John's Gospel 
and the Epistles of S. Paul have as yet been dis- 

'} In this popular sketch we do not notice either the Philoxenian Version 
or what is usually called the Jerusalem Syriac. 


Beside these great Versions we have the Gothic 
Version, containing, with many gaps, the Gospels and 
the Epistles of S. Paul, and dating from the middle of 
the fourth century ; the Armenian Version made early 
in the fifth century, but represented by manuscripts of 
late date, and in itself bearing some traces of having been 
accommodated to the Latin Vulgate ; and the iEthiopic 
Version, dating, according to Professor Dillmann, from 
the fourth century, but, in its present forms, so confused 
and unequal, and represented by such late manuscripts, 
that it is practically of very little critical use. 

(c) Quotations from the writings of the Greek and 
Latin Fathers, and especially comments made by them 
on differences of reading. 

On the importance of this source of critical informa- 
tion it is hardly necessary to enlarge. The evidence, 
however, derived from these ancient writers requires 
to be carefully sifted before it is used ; and this for 
two very sufficient reasons, which have been stated by 
Dr. Hort^ with great clearness and cogency : — first, 
the tendency of transcribers to alter the text in con- 
formity with some current text of the New Testament 
which was familiar to themselves ; secondly, the loose 
way in which the writers themselves often refer to 
the Sacred Text, and the consequent difficulty of de- 
termining in each case whether we have direct quota- 
tion or only general allusion. 

The Ante-NIcene Fathers are, obviously, of very 
great importance ; but the only period which is ade- 
quately represented in the writings that have come 
down to us is, as Dr. Hort^ notices, the period extend- 
ing from A.D. 175 to A.D. 250. During that period we 

^ Westcott and Hort, Introduction, § 156, p. no. 
2 lb. § 158, p. 112. 



have the remains of four eminent Greek writers, 
Irenaeus, Hippolytus, Clement, and Orlgen. We have 
also, of the Latins, Tertullian, Cyprian, and Novatlan. 
The Greek Fathers subsequent to Euseblus must 
plainly be deemed of secondary importance. The 
quotations in their works exhibit usually such a mixture 
of different textual traditions that their evidence for or 
against any reading stands at best on no higher level 
than the evidence of inferior manuscripts in the uncial 

5. These then are the materials out of which the 
text of the Greek Testament has to be constructed; and 
these materials, as we have already said, furnish 
evidence of the existence of several distinct types or 
characters of text besides that type which we call 
Syrian. It is thought now that they are separable 
into four groups, each group disclosing a primary text 
of very great antiquity, to the existence and character 
of which all the members of the group bear in varying 
degrees their individual testimony. The process by 
which this vast mass of documents has been reduced 
to such simple and manageable dimensions has been 
going on almost from the very earliest days of sacred 
criticism. From the year 1716, at all events, when 
Bentley was corresponding with Wetstein, down to the 
year 1881, when the elaborately-constructed Text and 
exhaustive Critical Introduction of Dr. Westcott and 
Dr. Hort were given to the world, the problem how 
to master and use properly the accumulating mate- 
rials has been that which each generation of critics has 
been labouring to solve, and labouring (we may fear- 
lessly say) with steadily increasing success. When we 
remember how Bentley's hints and prelusive sugges- 
tions of 1 7 16 and 1720 were expanded by Bengel in 


1734, recruited by the materials of Wetstein In 1751, 
developed and systematised by Griesbach in 1796, 
practically set forth by Lachmann in the text of his 
Greek Testament of 1831, and recognised, illustrated, 
and solidified by Lachmann's great successors Tis- 
chendorf and Tregelles in our own days, we may cer- 
tainly feel that we have now reached firm critical 
ground, and that what were once surmises and theories 
have become acknowledged facts and verified and ac- 
cepted principles. 

6. The great contribution of our own times to this 
mastery over materials has been the clearer statement 
of the method of genealogy, and, by means of it, the 
corrected distribution of the great mass of documentary 
evidence which we have just placed in outline before 
the reader. For the full explanation of the method of 
genealogy we must refer the reader to the Introduction 
which we have mentioned as a special feature in the 
Greek Testament of Dr. Westcott and Dr. Hort. 
That method, it will be observed, involves vast re- 
search, unwearied patience, and great critical sagacity, 
and will therefore find but little favour with those who 
adopt the easy method of making the Received Text 
a standard, or of using some favourite manuscript, or 
some supposed power of divining the Original Text, as 
the only necessary agents for correcting the Received 
Text in the few places where correction is admitted to 
be necessary. The broad principle of the method is 
by rigorous investigation of the documents, and close 
study of their relations to each other, to separate those 
which can by analysis be proved to owe their origin to 
some common exemplar, lost or extant; and to con- 
tinue this process in reference to the ancestral ex- 
emplars, until the genealogical tree of transmission is 

c 2 


completed, and a point reached where the particular 
character of text which belongs to the whole family of 
documents can be traced no further. We have already 
given a rough illustration of this method in the pedi- 
gree of the Received Text, which we have found to 
stretch backward beyond the days of Chrysostom and 
to link that text to * the dominant Antiochian or Grseco- 
Syrian text of the second half of the fourth century.' 

7. The application of this method has conducted 
Dr. Westcott and Dr. Hort to the following results, all 
of which, let it be observed, rest upon a searching 
examination into the contents and character of existing 
documents, and a severe and rigorous induction from 
the facts which that examination has brought to light. 

Largest^ In bulk of all the groups, into which the 
documentary authorities for the text of the New 
Testament are separable, is a group which includes A 
(the Codex Alexandrinus of the British Museum) in 
the Gospels but not In other books of the New Testa- 
ment, the later uncials, the mass of the cursives, the 
Versions of the fourth century and of later centuries, 
and the Antiochian writers of the fourth century. 
We m.ight add perhaps, roughly, the majority of the 
post-Nicene Greek Fathers, although we find^ in them, 
as Dr. Hort observes, ' infinitely varying combina- 
tions of all the ancient forms of text' The author- 
ities above mentioned present to us. In a more or less 
pure form, the text which Dr. Hort calls Syrian. He 
considers this text to have been the result of a de- 
liberate recension. The sources from which it appears 
to have been derived are certain other texts, the 
existence of which is attested by the remainder of our 

^ See Westcott and Hort, Introduction, §§ 185-195, pp. 132 sqq. 
2 Ibid. §§ 193, 223, pp. 140, 161. 


documentary authorities. We recognise in this Syrian 
text all the features of a studied combination of various 
elements, — in short, of an eclectic text. It is copious in 
matter, rich in connecting particles, smooth, lucid, and 
complete, but (as might be expected) deficient in 
vigour when compared with the texts out of which it 
was formed. This Syrian text, after a period of con- 
fusion during which different forms of text were often 
blended together in manuscript copies of Scripture and 
in the writings of the Fathers, obtained at last the 
supremacy. It became dominant at Antioch, and 
passed from Antioch to Constantinople. Once estab- 
lished there, it soon vindicated its claim to be the 
New Testament of the East. Under the form of the 
Texttcs Receptus, or Received Text, it has held for the 
last three hundred years almost undisputed sway in 
the West. 

After the large group of documents which exhibit 
generally the Syrian text has been deducted from the 
sum total of the authorities, no great amount of critical 
material remains on our hands. The remainder admits, 
in consequence, of close and minute examination. And 
such an examination is well repaid. The importance 
of the material is as great as its bulk is small. A 
rigorous examination of it discloses, according to Dr. 
Hort, the presence of three early and comparatively 
independent texts, from which (as we have already 
said) the Syrian text appears to have been derived. 

{a) The first ^ of these three texts has been called 
the Western text since the days of Griesbach. It ob- 
tained that name from the fact that it was most con- 
spicuous in bilingual (Grsco-Latin) manuscripts and 

1 See Westcott and Hort, Introduction, §§ 170-176, pp. 120 sqq. 


in the Old Latin Version. But it seems to have been 
very widely diffused during the second and third cen- 
turies, as every ancient Version appears to have been 
influenced by it, though not all in the same degree. 
It may be traced back to the beginning of the second 
century. After the close of the third century its 
influence waned, and it disappeared rapidly in the 
East, although it lingered in the West awhile longer. 
The documentary authorities in which it is chiefly 
found are D of the Gospels and Acts (the Codex Bezae 
which is at Cambridge), D^ and G3 of S. Paul's Epistles, 
E2 of the Acts (the Oxford Codex Laudiamis, which 
exhibits it in a later and less pure form), a few cursives, 
the Old Syriac Version, some African and European 
forms of the Old Latin, the Gothic Version (in part), 
Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Hippolytus, Eusebius, and (to 
some extent) even Clement of Alexandria and Origen. 
Its chief characteristics are stated by Dr. Hort to be 
two in number : — first, a love of paraphrase, which 
leads to frequent changes of words, clauses, and sen- 
tences, when the meaning seems capable of being brought 
out with greater definiteness ; and secondly, a tendency 
to interpolation from traditional sources, of which the 
passage at the beginning of the eighth chapter of 
S. John's Gospel concerning the woman taken in 
adultery is probably an example. 

(d) To the second^ of these three texts Dr. Hort 
gives the name of Alexandrian, which was employed 
by Griesbach ^ in a wider sense. This text does not 
possess equally striking characteristics with those which 

^ See Westcott and Hort, §§ 181-184, pp. 130 sqq. 

^ Griesbach distinguished only three texts (or, as he called them, recen- 
sions) in all; Constantinopolitan (which is identical with Dr. Hort's 
Syrian), Western, and Alexandrian. 


belong to the Western text. ' There is no Incor- 
poration of matter extraneous to the canonical texts of 
the Bible, and no habitual or extreme license of para- 
phrase.' Its variations 'have more to do with language 
than matter, and are marked by an effort after correct- 
ness of phrase.' There are also traces, especially in 
the Gospels, of attempts to harmonise and to assimi- 
late. ' The only documentary authorities attesting 
Alexandrian readings with any approach to constancy, 
and capable of being assigned to a definite locality, are 
quotations by Origen, Cyril of Alexandria, and oc- 
casionally other Alexandrian Fathers, and the two 
principal Egyptian Versions, especially that of Lower 
Egypt.' No extant Greek manuscript has an approxi- 
mately unmixed Alexandrian text ; but Alexandrian 
readings are recognised frequently in the Gospels of L, 
in the Acts of E^, in the cursive manuscript 6i, and in 
the Acts and Epistles of A. 

(c) The third ^ of these texts is, for critical pur- 
poses, by far the most interesting and valuable. It 
is a text which appears to be free alike from Syrian, 
Western, and Alexandrian characteristics, and is there- 
fore called Neutral by Dr. Hort. Strong evidence 
is produced for the existence of a text which deserves 
this name and character. If the evidence be admitted 
to be sufficient, it is impossible to exaggerate the im- 
portance of the phenomenon. It has been brought to 
light by the only sure method which can be adopted 
in questions of such intricacy, — the minute examination 
of documents. What the documents are in which this 
text is to be found we will state in Dr. Hort's own 
words ^ : ' B very far exceeds all other documents in 

^ See Westcott and Hort, Introduction, §§ 177-iSo, pp. 126 sqq. 
'^ Ibid. § 235, pp. 171 sq. 


neutrality of text, being in fact always or nearly always 
neutral, with the exception of the Western element 
already ^ mentioned as virtually confined to the Pauline 
Epistles. At a long interval after B, but hardly a less 
interval before all other MSS, stands ^. Then come, 
approximately in the following order, smaller fragments 
being neglected, T of S. Luke and S. John, S of S. 
Luke, h, 33, A (in S. Mark), C, Z of S. Matthew, R 
of S. Luke, Q, and P. It may be said, in general 
terms, that those documents, B and ^ excepted, which 
have most Alexandrian readings have also most neutral 
readings. Thus among Versions by far the largest 
amount of attestation comes from the Memphitic and 
Thebaic ; but much also from the Old and Jerusalem 
Syriac, and from the African Latin ; and more or less 
from every Version. After the Gospels the number 
of documents shrinks greatly ; but there is no marked 
change in the relations of the leading uncials to the 
neutral text, except that A now stands throughout 
near C. In Acts 6i comes not far below ^^, 13 being 
also prominent, though in a much less degree, here and 
in the Catholic Epistles. The considerable Pre-Syrian 
element already^ noticed as distinguishing a propor- 
tionally large number of cursives in this group of books 
includes many neutral readings. In some of the 
Catholic Epistles, as also in the subsequent books, an 
appreciable but varying element of the text of P^ has 
the same character. For the Pauline Epistles there is 
little that can be definitely added to ^BAC except 17 
and P2 : the best marked neutral readings are due to 
the second hand of 67.' 

As the whole question relating to this third, and (as 

^ See Westcott and Hort, Introduction, § 204, p. 150. 
2 Ibid. § 212, pp. 154 sq. 


It is thought) most genuine form of the ancient text 
is of the greatest critical importance, and as we may 
have to allude hereafter, in some closing illustrations, 
to the documents which have been just enumerated, we 
have deemed it necessary to quote at full length the 
above technical list of authorities. It is to be observed, 
moreover, that the manuscripts which hold the place of 
honour in this list, especially B and ^ (the Codex 
Vaticaims and Codex Sinaiticus), held the same place,, 
for the most part, in the estimation of textual critics 
before the publication of Dr. Hort's treatise on grounds 
wholly independent of his theory. As we have already 
said, a description of the manuscripts which are repre- 
sented, here or elsewhere in these pages, by letters or 
by Arabic numerals will be found in Dr. Scriveners 
Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament. 

8. Three reasons are given by Dr. Hort for the 
belief that the Syrian text is posterior in origin to 
those which he calls Western, Alexandrian, and Neu- 
tral. The matter is one of so much consequence that 
we will recapitulate them briefly. 

The first reason appears to us almost sufficient to 
settle the question by itself. It is founded on the ob- 
servation, to which we have already alluded, that the 
Syrian text presents numerous instances of readings 
which, according to all textual probability, must be 
considered to be combinations of earlier readings still 
extant. To illustrate this in detail would not be pos- 
sible in an essay like the present. We must refer the 
reader to Dr. Hort's own pages. He will find there ^ 
abundant illustration of it in eight examples rigorously 
analysed, which seem to supply a proof, as positive as 
the subject admits, that Syrian readings are posterior 

1 Westcott and Hort, Introduction, §§ 1 32-1 51, pp. 93 sqq. 


both to Western readings, and to other readings which 
may be properly described as Neutral. 

The second reason adduced is almost equally cogent. 
It is based upon a close observation and a careful 
analysis ^ of Ante-Nicene patristic evidence. The testi- 
mony which these early writers supply is particularly 
striking. While they place before us from separate 
and in some cases widely distant countries examples 
of Western, Alexandrian, and Neutral readings, it 
appears to be certain that before the middle of the 
third century we have no historical traces of readings 
which can properly be entitled distinctively Syrian, 
that is to say of readings which are found in documents 
that exhibit pre-eminently the Syrian text, and are 
not found in documents that mainly present the other 
forms of text. 

Yet a third reason is supplied by Internal Evidence, 
or, in other words, by considerations (to use Dr. Hort's 
language) of Intrinsic or of Transcriptional Probability. 
A reading is said to possess intrinsic probability when 
it seems on its intrinsic merits the likeliest of two or 
more various readings to have been the choice of the 
author; it is said to possess transcriptional probability 
when it seems the likeliest to have given occasion to 
the other reading or readings in competition with it 
according to the laws which are observed to govern 
transcribers in their aberrations. Here it is obvious 
that we enter at once into a very delicate and difficult 
domain of textual criticism, and can only draw our 
conclusions with the utmost circumspection and re- 
serve. Still even here, if the truth-seeking reader will 
take the trouble carefully to note down what appear 

^ Westcott and Hort, Greek Testament, Introduction, §§ 152-162, 
pp. 107 sqq. 


to be distinctively Syrian characteristics, as established 
by a long induction of instances, and, with this know- 
ledge in his mind, will minutely compare readings that 
have these characteristics with readings of another type, 
in cases in which they come into competition, he will 
find that the claim of the Syrian readings to be 
considered the true and original readings will gra- 
dually melt away under the tests which we have just 
mentioned. 'Often,' says Dr. Hort\ 'either the tran- 
scriptional or the intrinsic evidence is neutral or divided, 
and occasionally the two kinds of evidence appear to 
be in conflict. But there are, we believe, no instances 
where both are clearly in favour of the Syrian reading, 
and innumerable where both are clearly adverse to it.' 
These three reasons taken together seem to us to 
make up an argument for the posteriority of the Syrian 
text which it is impossible to resist. The reasons are 
widely different in their character. Each in itself is 
strong ; but when taken together they form a threefold 
cord of evidence which, we believe, will bear any 
amount of aro^umentative strain. Writers like the 


Reviewer may attempt to cut the cord by reckless and 
unverified assertions, but the knife has not yet been 
fabricated that can equitably separate any one of its 
strands. Till that is done all attempts to elevate the 
Syrian text into a standard, whether in the form of the 
Texhis Recephis or in any other less adulterated form, 
will be found to be hopeless and impossible. 

9. It will be remembered that the treatise which we 
have quoted so largely, we mean the Introduction to 
the Greek Testament of Dr. Westcott and Dr. Hort, 
was not published until after the publication of the 
Revised Version. Nor was it at any time, we must ob- 

^ Westcott and Hort, Introduction, § 163, p. 116. 


serve, privately communicated to the Revisers. It was 
impossible for the Revision Company, therefore, to 
pronounce (if it had been so inclined) a corporate 
opinion on its merits. In all that we have said of it 
we have been speaking for ourselves alone. It is right 
to add in this place that the Company never expressed 
an opinion on the value of the genealogical method 
itself, which was first employed in the last century by 
Bengel, and afterwards developed largely by Gries- 
bach, although the world is indebted to Dr. Westcott 
and Dr. Hort for a full display of its capabilities. 
Indeed the Company did not lay down for the govern- 
ment of its action any formal theory of textual criticism. 
It was impossible, however, to mistake the conviction 
upon which its textual decisions were based. It was a 
conviction common to all the great critical editors from 
Griesbach downwards, however variolisly they might 
state this or that argument in its favour. It was a 
conviction that the true text was not to be sought 
in the Textus Receptits, or in the bulk of the cursive 
manuscripts, or in the late uncials (with or without the 
support of the Codex Alexandrimcs), or in the Fathers 
who lived after Chrysostom, or in Chrysostom himself 
and his contemporaries, but in the consentient testi- 
mony of the most ancient authorities. That this was 
the conviction of Lachmann, Tischendorf, and Tre- 
gelles, is plain from the character of the texts which 
they gave to the world. Those texts show, beyond con- 
troversy, how far they were from regarding the 
Received Text as a standard, and how high a value 
they ascribed to the oldest Manuscripts, Versions, and 
Fathers. The consequence of this fundamental agree- 
ment is a close similarity in textual results. An over- 
whelming majority of the readings adopted by the 


Revisers will be found to have been adopted before them 
by one or all of these three editors. A similar relation 
will be found to exist between the Revisers' choice of 
readinpfs and the Greek text of Dr. Westcott and Dr. 
Hort. The ' New Greek Text' (as the Reviewer calls 
it) is not based, as he seems to suppose, on the text of 
the two Cambridge Professors, nor on the text of any 
one of the three great editors who preceded them. 
Its similarity to all these four texts is the natural conse- 
quence of general agreement in respect of the authority 
to be ascribed to the several documents, or classes of 
documents, which make up the apparahts critiacs of 
every editor of the Greek Testament. 

II. We have thus completed the first part of our 
undertaking. We have endeavoured to supply the 
reader with a few broad outlines of textual criticism, 
so as to enable him to form a fair judgment on the 
question of the trustworthiness of the readings adopted 
by the Revisers. To this question we now more im- 
mediately address ourselves. 

I. Before we enter into details it will be necesary to 
say a few words about the composition of the body 
which is responsible for the ' New Greek Text.' 

The average number of those who were actually 
present each day that the Company met is stated in the 
Preface to the Revised Version to have been sixteen. 
If the records of the Company were examined they 
would show that among the most regular attendants 
were to be found most of those persons who were pre- 
sumably best acquainted with the subject of textual 

It Is not for us to appraise our own qualifications or 
the qualifications of our colleagues for this or for any 
other part of the work. But thus much It may be right 


to say. The number of living scholars in England 
who have connected their names with the study of the 
textual criticism of the New Testament is exceedingly 
small. Three of that exceedingly small number, Dr. 
Scrivener, Dr. Westcott, and Dr. Hort, were members 
of the Revision Company and constant in their attend- 
ance. There were other members of the Company 
who had for many years paid special attention to this 
subject; and some of these had given evidence of their 
familiarity with such questions in published commen- 
taries upon parts of the New Testament. The rest 
had learned, at all events, in their several departments 
of study, one lesson of primary importance, often 
reiterated but often forgotten, ponderari debere testes, 
non numei^ari. 

Further, it must be remembered, 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, and that 
the places in which hat Committee has desired to put 
on record a difference in judgment from the English 
Revisers in regard of the Greek text are singularly 
few and unimportant. 

Two more points deserve notice in this connexion. 

First, the largeness of -the Company, — though it 
might at first sight seem unfavourable to the preserva- 
tion of uniformity in the special work of textual criticism, 
■ — had at least one great advantage. The fancies and 
predilections of individuals were not able to usurp 
the place of evidence. The disturbing element which 
subjective criticism has introduced into questions re- 
lating to the text of the Greek Testament is not con- 
fined to the writings of the Reviewer. Even in editions 
of great value, like those of Tischendorf, the bias, not 


wholly unnatural, in favour of a newly-discovered 
manuscript is to be traced with unmistakeable clear- 
ness. From such an influence the Company, by its 
very constitution, was to a great extent free. 

Secondly, there were no corporate prejudices or 
preconceptions in favour of any particular school of 
criticism, or any particular edition of the text. The 
composition of the Revision Company precluded such 
a danger. Oxford, Cambridge, London, Dublin, the 
Scottish Universities, were all represented. Heads of 
Nonconformist Colleges were combined with University 
Professors, Bishops, Deans, and Archdeacons. The 
Reviewer often speaks as if Dr. Wes'-cott and Dr. 
Hort were responsible for all the results at which 
the Revisers arrived. This is absolutely contrary to 
the facts of the case. These eminent critics did indeed 
place instalments of their Greek Text in the hands of 
each member of the Company, in the manner that Dr. 
Hort specifies ^ By doing this, however, they sought 
to help, not to direct the Company. Their kindness 
enabled their colleagues to see the readings which they 
preferred in full connexion with their context, and thus 
to form a better opinion concerning them than it is 
possible to form of readings which are suggested only to 
the mental eye by critical notes at the foot of a page. 
The passages in which the Company arrived at different 
results from those that are to be found in the edition 
of Dr. Westcott and Dr. Hort are by no means few, 
and would suffice in themselves to prove (if proof were 
necessary) the complete independence of the Revisers 
in their final determination of the Greek text. 

2. We pass next to a subject of more importance, 
perhaps, to ourselves than to the generality of our 
^ Westcott and Hort, Introduction, § 22, p. 18= 


readers. We have spoken of the composition of the 
Revising body, and of their general qualification for 
the textual part of their work. We desire now to 
speak of the rule under which this part of the work 
was to be done, and the manner in which that rule was 
carried out in practice. 

And here, at the very outset, let it be said that 
nothing can be more unjust on the part of the Reviewer 
than to suggest, as he has suggested in more than 
one passage, that the Revisers exceeded their instruc- 
tions in the course which they adopted with regard to 
the Greek text. On the contrary, as we shall show, 
they adhered most closely to those instructions, and 
did neither more nor less than they were required to 
do, — unless it is to be brought as a charge against them 
that they suffered the University Presses to decide on 
the most convenient mode of placing before the public 
their deviations from the text presumed to underlie the 
Authorised Version, and did not insist upon encumber- 
ing the margin of the Revised Version with them. 

But let us turn to the rule. It is simply as follows : 
* That the text to be adopted be that for which the 
evidence is decidedly preponderating ; and that, when 
the text so adopted differs from that from which the 
Authorised Version was made, the alteration be indi- 
cated in the margin.' Of the second portion of this 
rule we have already spoken sufficiently. Practical 
convenience forbade literal compliance with it. Our 
real concern is with the first portion of it, which pre- 
scribes ' that the text to be adopted be that for which 
the evidence is decidedly preponderating.' 

What can these words possibly mean except that 
Avhich the Revisers state in their Preface that they 
understood them to mean ? Nothing, surely, can have 


been intended by them but that the Revisers were to 
follow the weight of evidence and not to hold them- 
selves bound by any printed text whatever. By the 
nature of the case, as we have shown in the earlier part 
of this essay, the Revisers had before them the text of 
Beza, since it is his text, practically, which underlies the 
Authorised Version ; but it was not suggested in the 
rule that they were to pay to this text any critical 
deference. Our point will be made still more clear 
if we bring into comparison with the rule of which we 
are speaking another rule which concerns the amend- 
ment of the English translation. There the Revisers 
are bidden ' to introduce into the Text of the Au- 
thorised Version as few alterations as possible consist- 
ently with faithfulness/ In respect of the Greek text 
they are bidden 'to adopt that text for which the 
evidence is decidedly preponderating.' In the first 
case a standard text is mentioned, which is to be pre- 
served, so far as possible, unaltered : in the second 
case there is no hint of a standard already existing ; 
the Revisers are simply bidden to adopt such a text 
as the preponderance of evidence may require. 

Evidence for texts is of two kinds ; internal and 
documentary. Under this rule it was the plain duty 
of the Revisers to attend to both. They had to de- 
termine in each case, as It came before them, on which 
side the evidence decidedly preponderated. We need 
not, however, speak here of internal evidence. Great 
as its importance is, especially in estimating the value 
of documents, its use, when there is occasion to decide 
between two or more competing readings, is rather 
subsidiary than primary. Moreover the difficulties 
which beset its employment in relation to the text of 
all authors whatsoever are multiplied Indefinitely when 


the text of Scripture is in question. Documentary 
evidence claimed, of necessity, the chief attention of 
the Revisers. How were they to determine on which 
side it preponderated ? They all knew, as we said 
above, that this was no mere arithmetical problem. 
It could not be settled by counting the Manuscripts 
or Versions or Fathers which were to be found on 
this side or on that. The history and characteristics 
of the authorities which might be alleged were of 
more importance than their number. We have said 
already that the genealogical method, which has been 
so fruitful in the hands of Dr. Westcott and Dr. Hort, 
was never formally adopted by the Revisers as a Com- 
pany. But on the other hand the facts, on which that 
method rests, were continually before the Company, 
and had a great effect on its decisions. We mean such 
facts as the observed alliances of authorities mutually 
independent, — the frequently recurring convergence or 
divergence of witnesses that occupy representative 
positions in regard of the earliest texts, — the plain traces 
of a common origin in the case of the greater number 
of the later uncials and the large mass of the cursive 
manuscripts. All these phenomena were present to 
the minds of the Revisers, and they produced deep 
and lasting impressions, and led to final adjudications 
which it will be found easier to rail at than to disprove. 
And this examination of textual evidence extended, 
in common with the rest of the Revisers' work, over 
eleven years. It is true that the questions which con- 
cerned the Greek text were decided for the most part 
at the First Revision : but they were often reopened at 
the Second Revision, and the critical experience that 
had been slowly and surely won was tested by the 
requirement of a majority of two-thirds to sustain 


decisions which at the First Revision had been carried 
by a simple majority. 

Moreover, the course of the work led the Revisers, 
naturally, to look further than the settlement of a 
Greek text which should be represented in the text 
of the Revised Version. Again and again it was 
found indispensable to notice in the margin readings 
that rested on evidence hardly inferior to that which 
supported the readings adopted or retained in the 
text. It was felt that, if this course were not followed, 
the state of the evidence would not be placed honestly 
before the reader. There were three principal cases 
in which the presence of such marginal notes appeared 
to be necessary. First when the text which seemed to 
underlie the Authorised Version was condemned by a 
decided preponderance of evidence, but yet was ancient 
in its character, and belonged to an early line of trans- 
mission. Secondly, when there were such clear tokens 
of corruption in the reading on which the Authorised 
Version was based, or such a consent of authority 
against it, that no one could seriously advocate its 
retention, but it was not equally clear which of two 
other competing readings had the best claim to occupy 
the vacant place. In such a case there was not in 
truth decidedly preponderant evidence, except against 
the text of Beza, and some notice of this fact seemed 
to be required by critical equity. The third and last 
case was when the text which was represented in the 
Authorised Version was retained because the com- 
peting reading had not decidedly preponderant evi- 
dence (though the balance of evidence was in its 
favour), and so could not, under the rule, be admitted. 
In such a case again critical equity required a notice 
of the facts in the margin. 

D 2 


This is the history of the marginal annotations which 
give so much umbrage to the Reviewer. He seems to 
forget that Hke annotations are to be found in the 
margin of the Authorised Version of 1611, although 
the poverty of the apparatus critictis which was then 
accessible to scholars and the undeveloped state of 
textual criticism made them comparatively few in num- 
ber. Dr. Scrivener ^ has counted sixty-seven marginal 
annotations which relate to Various Readings in the Old 
Testament, a hundred and fifty-four in the Apocrypha, 
and thirty-five in the New Testament — besides others 
which were added without known authority subsequent 
to 161 1. But we do not care to rest upon precedent. 
The annotations for which the Reviewer cannot find 
sufficiently hard names are in reality guarantees of the 
honesty and completeness of the work. They are not 
intended, of course, for uneducated readers, nor will 
an uneducated reader concern himself with them. 
To educated readers they will show that the Revisers 
were aware of the facts relative to the Greek text 
which are recorded in critical editions of the Greek 
Testament, that they did not fail to consider these facts 
themselves, and did not desire to conceal their exist- 
ence from others. 

4. On the exact mode of procedure at the meetings 
of the Company it is not necessary for us to enlarge. 
It has been correctly described by Principal Newth in 
his ' Lectures on Bible Revision.' The Reviewer cites 
this description, and takes exception to the fact that 
the members who were present at each meeting were 
called upon ' to decide at a moment's notice ' upon the 
critical questions submitted to them. This is not, we 

^ Cambridge Paragraph Bible, edited by F. H. Scrivener, M.A., L.L.D., 
Cambridge, at the University Press, 1873, Introduction, Sect. ii. 


must observe, Dr. Newth's description of the process. 
* After discussion/ he says, ' the vote of the Company 
is taken, and the proposed reading accepted or rejected.' 
But we will suppose (for argument's sake) the discus- 
sion to have been often brief Our readers will 
remember what we have said already about the com- 
position of the Company. For many of its members 
the particular questions raised on such occasions had 
no novelty. Their own studies had made those ques- 
tions long familiar to them. Nor did those of whom 
this could not be said fail to prepare themselves before- 
hand to the best of their power for this as for other 
parts of their work. It should be added that readings 
of importance were often reserved for consideration on 
a future day on which by special notice a full attendance 
could be secured. 

•III. We may now finally pass to a few critical de- 
tails by means of which the trustworthiness of the 
Greek text adopted by the Revisers will be more 
completely substantiated. 

It may be best first to examine two continuous 
portions, in order to illustrate the amount of the criti- 
cal changes that have been introduced, and the co- 
incidence of these changes with the results arrived at 
by the best critical editors of our own times. In the 
second place we may consider, more in detail, the 
chief passages which have been selected by the Re- 
viewer as examples of a choice of readings whereby the 
true text has been perverted or obliterated. This 
would seem to be a fair way of meeting the charges 
that have been urged, not without vehemence, against 
the readings adopted by the Revisers. When the work 
has been tested in these two ways, its general quality 
will be brought clearly out, and the justice or injustice 


of the criticisms that have been passed upon it will be 
distinctly recognised. 

I. The two continuous passages which we have 
chosen for our consideration are the Sermon on the 
Mount as set forth by S. Matthew, and the First 
Epistle of S. Paul to Timothy. In the former portion 
of Scripture the documentary authorities available for 
settling the text are numerous ; in the latter they 
are limited in number. In the former portion the 
venerable manuscript on which the Revisers have 
been charged with placing an undue reliance — the 
Codex Vaticanus known as B — is present ; in the latter 
it is absent. We appear therefore to have two portions 
sufficiently different in respect of documentary attesta- 
tion to supply fair samples of the Greek text adopted 
by the Revisers. 

In the portion from S. Matthew there are a hundred 
and eleven verses. In these verses the Revisers have 
changed the Greek text from which the Authorised 
Version was made in forty-four places. If we examine 
these readings, and compare them with the readings 
adopted by Lachmann, Tischendorf, and Tregelles, we 
find that in thirty-eight out of the forty-four places the 
reading of the Revisers is identical with that of the 
three eminent critics just mentioned ; and that in the 
remaining six places the Revisers are in accordance 
with two out of the three critics with whom we are 
comparing them. There is thus in these one hundred 
and eleven verses not a single instance of any change 
peculiar to the text adopted by the Revisers. 

Let us now turn to the other portion which we have 
selected. The First Epistle to Timothy contains as 
nearly as possible the same number of verses, and pre- 
sents about the same number of changes. There are. 


in all, a hundred and thirteen verses, and the changes 
introduced by the Revisers in the text from which the 
Authorised Version was made are forty-ei'ght. Of these 
forty-eight changes, as many as forty-one are found to 
have been adopted by Lachmann, Tischendorf, and 
Tregelles : and of the remaining seven there are two 
only (koi omitted after woravTMg, ch. ii. 9, and top omitted 
before GeoV, ch. v. 5) which are not supported by two 
out of the three critics above mentioned. In the former 
of the two cases, Lachmann is with the Revisers, — 
Tregelles placing the Kal in brackets ; in the latter, 
Tischendorf is with the Revisers, — Lachmann placing 
the Tou in brackets. In both cases, we would submit, 
the Revisers have decided rightly. In the first passage 
the combination of A and t^ (not otherwise a strong 
combination) receives the support of the important 
cursive manuscript^ numbered 17 (33 of the Gospels), 
and of the later (palimpsest) uncial P : in the second 
passage the union of CFG with P seems to be weighty 
as against the division existing among the remaining 

The above examination must, we think, be accepted 
as a sufficient proof that the text of the Revisers is, in 
all essential features, the same as that text in which 
the best critical editors, during the past fifty years, are 
generally agreed ; and that thus any attack made on 
the text of the Revisers is really an attack on the 
critical principles that have been carefully and labo- 
riously established during this last half-century. What 
has been found true of these two passages, which have 
been taken without any carefully premeditated choice, 
would, we believe, be found true, upon the whole, of 
every two hundred and twenty-four verses throughout 

^ Scrivener, Introduction, pp. 169, 238. 


the Greek Testament. What the Revisers have done 
has been simply this, — to decide the questions which 
came before them upon the evidence which the labours 
and diligence of the eminent critics whom we have 
named had accumulated, and on principles which had 
been established by their investigations and reasonings. 
Results so arrived at can certainly not be set aside by 
mere denunciation, nor indeed by anything else than a 
refutation of the principles 'of textual criticism which 
are accepted and recognised by the great majority of 
modern textual critics. We have no right, doubtless, 
to assume that these principles are infallible ; but we 
have a right to claim that any one who summarily re- 
jects them and contends that such a text as the Re- 
ceived Text needs but little emendation, and may be 
used without emendation as a standard, should confute 
the arguments and rebut the evidence on which the 
opposite conclusion has been founded. Strong ex- 
pressions of individual opinion are not arguments. 

2. We now proceed to notice some of the passages 
which the Reviewer has selected as containing read- 
ings, introduced by the Revisers, which call for especial 
condemnation. In thus turning however more par- 
ticularly to the Reviewer, we feel it necessary to record, 
on three points, our deliberate protest against certain 
of his utterances. In the first place we protest against 
the Greek text adopted by the Revisers being repre- 
sented as a text for which Dr. Westcott and Dr. Hort 
are in any special way responsible. Such a representa- 
tion is unjust alike to the Company and to the two 
eminent critics who have been mentioned. It is unjust 
to the Company because it implies that all the other 
members put themselves, in this most important por- 
tion of their labours, into the hands of two individuals 


only, and did not attempt to examine and decide con- 
scientiously for themselves. It is unjust to the two 
editors in question, because it makes them responsible 
for a text which is very frequently at variance with 
their own. Let a competent reader examine the Greek 
text as set forth in the Oxford edition of Archdeacon 
Palmer, and as edited by the two Cambridge Pro- 
fessors. He will find, we believe, if he looks through 
the whole volume, not more than sixty-four readings in 
the Greek text of the Revisers which are to be found 
in the text of Dr. Westcott and Dr. Hort, and are not 
to be found in the Received Text or in the text of 
Lachmann or Tischendorf or Tregelles. 

We have, secondly, to protest against the unqualified 
charges of textual corruption and depravation made 
against certain manuscripts, e. g. ^^BCL, tvhich the 
majority of modern critics, after careful and minute in- 
vestigation, have declared not only to be wholly unde- 
serving of such charges, but, on the contrary, to exhibit a 
text of comparative purity. To attempt to sustain such 
charges by a rough comparison of these ancient autho- 
rities with the Texttcs Receptus, and to measure the de- 
gree of their depravation by the amount of their diver- 
gence from such a text as we have shown this Received 
Text really to be, is to trifle with the subject of sacred 
criticism. Nor is much more achieved by a computa- 
tion of the number of places in which they differ among 
themselves. Without such differences they would lose 
the character of independent witnesses which they now 
possess. Until the depravation of these ancient manu- 
scripts has been demonstrated in a manner more con- 
sistent with the recognised principles of criticism, such 
charges as those to which we allude must be regarded 
as expressions of passion or prejudice, and set aside by 


every impartial reader as assertions for which no 
adequate evidence has yet been produced. 

The third protest which we have to make is against 
the intrusion into purely critical and textual matters of 
the imputation of disregard for the religious feelings of 
others. Again and again we find the Reviewer asking 
with indignation why the faith of readers is to be 
disturbed by the statement of critical details which 
from his point of view it is wholly superfluous to 
notice. If the question is asked in good faith the 
answer is easy. The Revisers looked at the matter 
from a different point of view. In their eyes the first 
thing to be considered was absolute truthfulness in the 
setting forth of Holy Scripture. They believed this 
principle to lie at the root of the demand for a 
Revision. They felt themselves constrained by this 
principle to adopt the readings and insert the marginal 
notes which displease the Reviewer. Those readings 
and those notes are of course open to criticism : nor is 
criticism unwelcome to the Revisers. That against 
which they protest is not criticism : it is an appeal, 
conscious or unconscious, to the passions and prejudices 
of readers ; it is the importation of odium theologicum 
into discussions from which it ought to be kept as far as 
possible away. 

3. We now proceed to discuss briefly a few passages 
which the Reviewer appears to have singled out as 
containing readings especially deserving of censure. 
To deal with all the readings which he condemns is 
impossible on his own showing. * The Texhis Receptus', 
he says\ 'has been departed from by them' (the Re- 
visers) 'far more than 5000 times, almost invariably 
for the worse! We are forced, therefore, to make a 

^ Quarterly Review, No. 304, p. 366. 


selection. We select, deliberately, those examples on 
which the Reviewer appears to lay the greatest stress. 
If they are almost exclusively taken from the Gospels, 
the responsibility is with the Reviewer and not 
with us. 

The first passage, in the order of the sacred volume, 
is S. Matthew i. 25, in which the Reviewer notes ^ that 
certain ' important words ' have been ' surreptitiously 
withdrawn ^.' What are the words in question ? They 
are the word t6v before woV, and the words avrrj^ tov 
irpwTOTOKov after it. Now, although we are told by the 
Reviewer that ' a whole torrent of Fathers attest the 
genuineness of the reading,' — in addition to the much 
more weighty evidence of C, and (with respect to tov 
wpcoTOTOKov) of D, — we cannot hesitate to express our 
agreement with Tischendorf and Tregelles who see in 
these words an interpolation, derived from S. Luke 
ii. 7. The same appears to have been the judgment 
of Lachmann. At any rate, he deemed it critically 
right to reject the words for which the Reviewer pleads. 
These words, be it observed, are unknown to ^^ and 
to B, to the important palimpsest fragment Z, to two 
good cursive manuscripts, i and 33, to some Old Latin 
documents (among which is the valuable Codex Colder- 
timis), to the Curetonian Syriac, and to the Memphitic 
Version, — save only that this last appears to have read 
not f/oV, but TOV vlov. 

We have here our two oldest manuscripts (manu- 
scripts on which, as we have already said, the vast 

- ^ Quarterly Review, No. 305, p. 5. 

2 An instructive contrast to this language may be found in Canon 
Cook's note in the Speaker's Commentary on this passage. It is as 
follows: — '' her firstborn^ Or, "a son," so the two oldest MSS. and later 
critical editions.' 


majority of critics set a high value) supported not only 
by another uncial and two cursive manuscripts, but by 
ancient Versions from Italy, Syria, and Egypt, — a fact 
v^hich, though recorded in Tischendorfs notes, is 
passed over in silence by the Reviewer. If we con- 
sider the internal evidence, it may be said, perhaps, 
with truth that either reading is equally probable 
intrinsically. But the well-known tendency of tran- 
scribers to assimilate parallel passages makes it far 
more probable that S. Matthew was assimilated to 
S. Luke in the process of transcription than that so 
considerable a difference of expression between the 
two Evangelists was introduced by transcribers when 
it was not found in the Original Text. No impartial 
critic, we are persuaded, will doubt that the weight of 
evidence is decidedly in favour of the shorter reading. 
If this be so, our first example illustrates the weakness 
of the Reviewer's main position. A reading may, it 
seems, be supported by the bulk of the cursive manu- 
scripts, and by some uncials of fair age and authority, 
and by 'a whole torrent' of post-Nicene Fathers, and 
yet be false. 

We pass onward to S. Matthew xvii. 21. The 
omission of this verse is strongly condemned by the 
Reviewer \ Here it might be thought that the case 
for the Revisers was less clear than in the former 
instance. Lachmann retains the verse ; Tregelles places 
it in brackets ; Tischendorf alone of the three omits it 
entirely. But it must be remembered that here Lach- 
mann and Tregelles were not acquainted with t^, the first 
hand of which omits the verse. They had only before 
them the presumption that it might have been an 

* Quarterly Review, No. 304, p. 357. 


interpolation suggested by the common ^ reading of 
S. Mark ix. 29, and that documentary evidence for 
the omission which was then known. That evidence, 
indeed, was strong. It consisted of B, 33, two Old 
Latin manuscripts, the Curetonian Syriac, the Thebaic 
Version, and some manuscripts of the Memphitic, 
besides other authorities. When it was ascertained 
that the first hand of ^^ was on the same side, the 
majority of the Revisers rightly deemed that there 
was a decided preponderance of evidence in favour 
of the view that the verse was an interpolation. On 
the other hand, they seem to have been also right in 
considering this to be a case where a marginal anno- 
tation was equitably required. 

The reader may profitably compare our statement of 
the evidence in this place and in S. Matthew i, 25, and 
observe how, in perfectly different passages, we find 
nearly the same ancient authorities agreeing in support 
of the better reading, while the great bulk of the 
cursives and the later uncials, though in both cases 
led by C and D, are found together on the side 
against which it is impossible to deny that there is 
internal evidence of distinctly appreciable weight. 

One other omission, censured by the Reviewer^, 
may be briefly noticed, — the omission of verse 1 1 in 
the eighteenth chapter of S. Matthew. Now here there 
is even less room for doubt than in the preceding 
cases. The three critical Editors are all agreed in 
rejecting this verse. The probability that it was 
an interpolation, derived from S. Luke xix. 10, or from 
some oral or written source, is certainly strong, and 

^ Irx Mark ix. 29 the first hand of ^<, together with B and two other 
authorities, omits the words koL vrjcrTeia. 
2 Quarterly Review, No. 304, p. 358. 


the authorities that reject the verse are of high 
character. Again we have the same weighty combi- 
nation V^B, and moreover the first hand of L, a late 
uncial of well-known value. The two cursives on which 
we have already seen some reason to rely, i (first 
hand) and 33, and a manuscript rich in various read- 
ings, though still imperfectly collated, 13, are on the 
same side. With them are the same two Old Latin 
manuscripts that we had before us in the last example, 
the Jerusalem Syriac, the Memphitic, the Thebaic, and 
the ^thiopic, and (apparently) the weighty testimony 
of Origen in his comments on the passage. On the 
other side there is D and the same aggregation of later 
uncials, except that in this case the valuable manu- 
script C is not, as in the two preceding examples, 
associated with them. There is a gap here in that 
unfortunately fragmentary palimpsest. 

In this last example we have found for the first time 
L in conjunction with t^B. It is, however, a frequent 
conjunction, and always deserves attention. Usually, 
as in this last case, one or two good cursive manuscripts 
and ancient Versions, — Lat'n, Syriac, Egyptian, — espe- 
cially the Memphitic, will be found associated with 
these three uncials. The Reviewer is naturally hard 
upon this group, as it is in frequent conflict with the 
Textics Receptus. He calls it 'a little handful of 
authorities, of which nothing is known with certainty 
except that, when they concur exclusively, it is often 
demonstrably only to mislead.' We have already 
seen occasion to doubt the correctness of this 
dictum, and we shall see more as we proceed. Mean- 
time we will only say that other critics think very 
differently from him. Dr. Scrivener, for example, in 
a passage to which we shall have occasion to refer 


immediately, speaks of ^^BL and the Memphitic as 
' first-rate authorities.' 

We may now pass to a few instances from the 
Gospel of S. Mark. 

The first case we have to notice is S. Mark vi. 20, 
where the Revisers rightly read ^Tropei, noticing in 
the margin that many ancient authorities exhibit the 
reading eirolei. Now if ever there was a case^ in 
which intrinsic probability was against a reading it is 
against eiroleL here. What are the ' many things ' that 
Herod did after he had heard S. John the Baptist ? 
Meyer tells us that they were the many things which 
he heard from S. John, though how this can be 
elicited from the words we do not clearly see. That 
excellent commentator, however, had far too good a 
critical sense not to add^ that the reading rjiropei, though 
(as he thought) only weakly attested, had the appear- 
ance of being the genuine reading. In this case 
again the Revisers have Tischendorf only on their 
side, and not Lachmann nor Tregelles ; but it must 
be remembered, as we said in the last case, that these 
two critics had not the reading of b^ before them. 
The four authorities on which the Revisers relied 
were ^^BL and the Memphitic Version, and the reader 
has probably already seen enough to lead him to doubt 
whether such authorities are to be summarily disposed 
of as ' all of bad character ^,' or whether such a reading 

^ So Dr. Scrivener in his Introduction to the Criticism of the New 
Testament, p. 505 sq. His estimate of the evidence in this case, ex- 
ternal and internal, is very unlike that of the Reviewer. 'We do not 
hesitate,' he says, ' to receive a variation supported by only a few first- 
rate authorities, where internal evidence pleads so powerfully in its 

^ Meyer, Kommentar iiber das Neue Testament, in loco (ed. 4). 

^ Quarterly Review, No. 304, p. 345. 


as that adopted by the Revisers deserves in any way 
the title of a ' fatal substitution.' If fc^B and L when 
conjoined with the Memphitic Version are of the 
weight which all critical scholars unanimously assign 
to them, — still more, if the union of ^B alone is of the 
great critical importance assigned to it by recent 
critics ^ — we venture to think that it would not have 
been possible for the Revisers, consistently with faith- 
fulness, to have retained the more than doubtful read- 
ing of the Texttis Receptus, 

Let us turn next to a passage in the same Evan- 
gelist a little further on, viz. ch. xi. 3, in which the 
Reviewer^ seems to consider that the mere enumera- 
tion of authorities adverse to the reading of the Re- 
visers renders any argument completely unnecessary. 
' Quid plura ?' he asks. We will endeavour to answer 
his question. 

For this purpose, however, we must ask the reader 
to look closely at the facts of the case. The verse ends 
in the Textus Receptus with the words airocrreKel wSe, in 
the Revisers' text with the words uTroa-reWei iraXiv 
wSe. Even the Reviewer will not defend the Future 
airoa-reXei. But on what authority have the Revisers 
added the word ttolXiv ? On the authority of t^BL (a 
combination on which we have more than once already 
found reason to rely), supported in this instance by 
the first hand of C (although it places TrdXiv before and 
not after aTroa-TeXXei), by D, and by an important 
witness (at any rate in this Gospel) of which we have 
not hitherto made use, the Codex Sangallensis, known 
as A. Origen also is cited as quoting this passage 

^ See Westcott and Hort, Greek Testament, Introduction, §§ 287-303, 
pp. 212 sq. 

^ Quarterly Review, No. 304, p. 339. 


twice with the word TrdXiv. To this external evidence 
we must add two other considerations. First, tran- 
scriptional probability is distinctly in favour of the 
genuineness of ttoXiv, because it is apparently super- 
fluous, and therefore not likely to have been inter- 
polated, but very likely to have been omitted by a tran- 
scriber who had a turn for correction. Secondly, it is 
impossible to be quite confident that in the case of all 
the Versions which are cited for the omission of TrdXiv 
the word was really absent from the Greek manuscripts 
which the translators used. They may have simply 
omitted the word in translation, as we have said that 
Greek copyists may have omitted it in transcription, 
because it was in their judgment superfluous. It is 
not, of course, really superfluous. On the contrary, 
it is an example of that exactness of detail which has 
often been recognised as characteristic of S. Mark. 
Upon the whole, we cannot doubt that this adverb was 
improperly extruded, and that the Revisers were per- 
fectly justified in recalling it, as Tischendorf and Tre- 
gelles had done before them. 

Five verses lower down, in ch. xi. 8, the Reviewer 
avows frankly that he stands alone among critics. 
Here, he tells us\ 'the calamitous circumstance is that 
the critics have all to a man fallen into the trap.' 

Let us look at the place. The text of Beza, which 
seems to be followed in the Authorised Version, stands 
thus : TToXXof ^e ra IjuLOLTia avrwv ea-Tptocrav elg t*]v oSov" 
aXXot Se (TTOi^dSa(} eKOirrov e/c rwv SevSpcav Kai ecrrpwuvvov 
eh rhv o^dv. The Revisers have preferred to read, with 
Tischendorf and Tregelles, ttoXXoI ^e ra If^dria avrwv 
earTpoocrav eig rrjv oSov' aXXoi Se cTTilBdSag, Ko^avre^ e/c twi/ 
dypwv. There is a manifest gain of terseness and 
^ Quarterly Review, No. 304, p. 341. 


vigour at all events. Four changes have been made. 
'ZiTi^dSag is adopted for a-roilBdSag, Koy^ai/reg for eKOirroVy 
aypoou for SevSpcov, and the words Kai ea-rpoowvov eU Trjv 
oSov are omitted. All four changes have the support 
of SBLA. Moreover cm^dSag has five other uncials 
in its favour, and three more practically support it 
(since D reads ea-ri^d^aq, EG G-reijSdSas;), while for CTTOi- 

^dSag ACSVXr are alleged: Koyl^avres has the sup- 
port of Origen : dyp^v is supported by Origen again 
(who seems to note it as a point of difference between 
S. Mark and the other Evangelists), by C, and by the 
Memphitic and Thebaic Versions : the omission of the 
last clause is supported by C, the Thebaic, and the 
^thiopic Version. On the other side there is the usual 
aggregation of the later uncials and the cursive manu- 
scripts : and they are supported throughout by A ; in re- 
spect of (TToi^dSag and etcoirrov by C ; in respect of ckotttov 
and SevSpwv hy ID ; and, generally, by a numerical majority 
of the Versions. So stands the documentary evidence. 
What is * the trap' into which the critics are supposed to 
have fallen ? The Reviewer imagines that S. Mark 
wrote (TToipdSag, that some copyist, who was perplexed 
by this ' unique word,' changed it into the familiar w^ord 
o-TilSdSa^, and then (finding himself confronted by a 
fresh difficulty) changed SevSpcov into aypwv, — and finally 
made the other two changes to round off his work. 
This curious theory rests on two assumptions, (i) that 
S. Mark wrote o-roilBdSag, and (2) that the words aroi- 
pdSa^ and ornPdSas are ' distinct in sense as in origin.' 
We have already seen that there is an overwhelming 
preponderance of uncial evidence against a-roi^dSag, — 
and this is a case in which no other evidence is of real 
importance. We may observe, however, that in Ori- 
gen's references to this passage we find o-rot/SdSag in 


one place and a-TijBaSag in another. We must now add 
that there is every reason to believe a-roi^ag and a-Tifia^ 
to be distinct neither in sense nor in origin. The fact 
is that o-TOf/Sa? is only ^ known to Lexicographers (i) as 
a various reading for an^ag in this very place, and (2) 
as a word explained in the Lexicon of Zonaras. His 

gloss is as follows : ^TOljBd?. rj a-rpcjOjULvrj' ?7 TpV(prjg 

Opv^lng. irapa to cttoi^oCw. Its sense, then, according to 
our only authority, is a bed or mattress, — which is the 
usual sense of cmPag also. As for its origin, it is 
plainly derived from a-Teipw, as is also o-n^dg. In short, 
if (TToilSag is a real word at all, and not a mere figment 
due to the uncertain orthography of copyists, it is 
neither more nor less than a bye-form of a-n^dg. But 
the second part of the Reviewer's theory is, to a certain 
extent, independent of the first. At all events others 
have thought before him that the word a-nlSdSag (or 
a-Toi^dSag — for nothing turns on the spelling) may have 
suggested the change of SevSpcov into aypcov. Is this 
really probable ? lln/Sdg, no doubt, usually meant a 
couch or bed ; sometimes a mattress, sometimes (as the 
Reviewer says) ' 2. floor-bed constructed of grass, rushes, 
straw, brushwood, leaves, &c.' Plato speaks of yew 
and myrtle branches as employed for this purpose 
(Rep. ii. 372 B, KaraKkivivreg Itc\ (rrilSdScov eo-rpcoiuLevcDu 
(T/mlXaKL re Kai imvppivaig^). In Hesychius and Suidas 
pdjSSoi and SevSpwu aKpe/moveg (shoots and twigs of 
trees) are mentioned among the materials of such a 
bed. This being so, we fail to see why any copyist 
should have been tempted to alter ShSpcov into aypwv. 

^ See Stephani Thesaurus, ed. Dindorf, Paris 1848 -1854 in voce. 
^Ti^ds, 2roi3af. 
^ Cp. Walter Scott, Lady of the Lake, Canto L xxxiii : — 
' The hall was cleared — the stranger's bed 
Was there of mountain heather spread.' 

E 2 


The difficulty lay in the use of a-nPaSag for materials 
which were not intended on that particular occasion to 
serve for a bed, not in its use for materials derived 
from trees. The employment of SevSpcov in the passage 
would lighten this difficulty and not aggravate it. 
Moreover it would go well with the word /co\|^ai/Te?, and 
would tend to bring S. Mark into closer harmony with 
S. Matthew, who has KXdSovg airo twv SevSpcou, and S. 
John, who at an earlier point in the same narrative 
speaks of ra /3aia twp (poiviKwv. A transcriber, we are 
persuaded, was far more likely in this place to change 
aypoov into SepSpcov than the reverse. 

On the celebrated passage, S. Mark xvi. 9-20, to 
which the Reviewer has devoted several pages, we do 
not feel it necessary to say much, as the passage is 
retained by the Revisers, although it is separated from 
the foregoing verses by a small blank space. There is 
a critical note appended to it in accordance with the 
practice which the Revisers usually followed when 
ancient authorities differed to an extent that was deemed 
by them to require notice. These being the facts of 
the case, we protest very strongly against the language 
that has been used by the Reviewer ^ He recognises 
' the gravest blot of all' (that in his mind disfigure the 
Revised Version) in 'the marks of serious suspicion' 
which he finds ' set against the last twelve verses of 
S. Mark's Gospel.' What does this language mean ? 
The textual facts, as in countless other passages, 
have been placed before the reader, because truth 
itself demanded it. Can the Reviewer be unwilling 
that any allusion should be made to the evidence 
against the genuineness of these verses, — evidence suf- 
ficient to convince TIschendorf ? Was it really the duty 

^ Quarterly Review, No. 304, pp. 325 sqq. 



of the Revisers, in his opinion, to suppress all reference 
to the existence of textual difficulties in such a passage 
as this ? 

All that the Revisers have done, we must repeat, 
is first by the form of their printed text to indicate 
their belief (a belief shared by Tregelles and almost 
every critic of eminence who has considered the pas- 
sage) that there is a breach of continuity between the 
first eight verses of this chapter and the last twelve ; 
and in the second place, to notice, as usual, in the 
margin facts of textual importance. We totally de- 
cline to enter with the Reviewer into topics and ar- 
guments irrelevant to the course adopted by the 
Revisers. We do not even feel it necessary to place 
before our readers the external evidence connected 
with this paragraph. A reader who desires to see it 
will find it set forth fully and clearly in the Appendix 
to Dr. Westcott and Dr. Hort's Greek Testament 
(Notes on Select Readings, pp. 28-51), — and with it 
other arguments, general and transcriptional, which are 
of great importance in this passage. 

We now turn to a few places in S. Luke's Gospel 
in which the Reviewer appears to consider that the Re- 
visers have introduced especially censurable readings. 

We begin with the well-known reading in ch. ii. 14, 
avOpwTToi^ €vSoKLa9, — a change which the Reviewer permits 
himself to designate ' a grievous perversion of the truth 
of Scriptures' though he must be aware that in so 
speaking he is censuring Lachmann, Tischendorf, and 
Tregelles, and, we believe, the great majority of the 
best modern interpreters — not to mention the entire 
Latin Church from the earliest times. That there are 
difficulties in this reading, first from the obscurity of 
. ^ Quarterly Review, No. 304, p. 328. 


the expression, and secondly from the rhythmical In- 
equality of the clauses (if the first be considered to end 
with Bew), we frankly admit ; but, as both of these diffi- 
culties become sensibly diminished by closer considera- 
tion, as the transcriptional probabilities are, to say the 
very least, in equipoise ^, and as the documentary 
evidence is strongly in favour of the genitive, we can 
hardly conceive it possible for the Revisers to have 
come to any other decision. If this be not a case in 
which the evidence is ' decidedly preponderating,' the 
cases where such evidence is to be found must indeed 
be few. For what is the external evidence ? The first 
hand of t^, ABD, all the Latin Versions, the Gothic 
Version, the Latin of Irenaeus and Origen, Hilary and 
all the Latin Fathers, and the Latin ' Gloria in excelsis,' 
— a combination of unusual strength, representing the 
convergence of different lines of textual tradition. 
To place in opposition to this ' every known copy of 
whatever sort ^,' excepting the great manuscripts above 
mentioned, is simply to fall back upon the old principle 
of number, and to set aside all the critical knowledge 
of our materials that has been laboriously acquired 
during the last fifty years. 

In the next passage on which we have to comment, 
S. Luke ix. 55, it is hard to think that the Reviewer 
is serious when he censures the Revisers for omitting 
the ancient but indisputable interpolation after the 
words iireTiiuLtja-ev avroig. When he States that * manu- 
scripts, Versions, Fathers from the second century 

* The probability that a copyist would change the last word of the 
clause into a nominative, so as to conform it to the terminal nominative 
of the preceding clause, is, to say the very least, quite as great as the 
probabihty that the last letter was mechanically assimilated to the last 
letter of the foregoing word. Add to this the natural tendency to sim- 
plify a difficult expression. '^ Quarterly Review, No. 304, p. 329. 


downwards (as Tischendorf admits) witness eloquently 
In its favour ^' are we to understand that the Reviewer 
honestly believes the added words to have formed a 
part of the Sacred Autograph ? If so, it must be on 
the ground of some power of divination which makes 
all appeal to documentary evidence idle and unneces- 
sary. If however it is to be understood that we are 
still in the lower realm of textual criticism, then it must 
be enough to remind any candid and Impartial reader 
that the authorities which reject the first clause of the 
interpolation are b^ABCLXS, six later uncials, several 
cursives, copies of the Old Latin and Vulgate, and 
copies of the Memphitic and ^thiopic Versions ; and 
that, In the case of the second clause, D joins the 
foregoing band of witnesses. 

It is almost unnecessary to add, except that the 
mention of Tischendorf s name by the Reviewer might 
possibly mislead, that this eminent critic, like Lachmann 
and Tregelles, retains no such interpolated words In 
his text. The words probably come from some early 
extraneous source, oral or written, but they certainly 
form no part of the Gospel according to S. Luke. 

We pass onward to a striking passage in the next 
chapter, S. Luke x. 15, where in the solemn address 
of our Lord to the unhappy town in and around which 
so many of His miracles had been wrought, the Re- 
visers, with Lachmann, Tischendorf, and Tregelles, 
adopt the Interrogative form of words, m ewg ovpavoO 
vylrcoOva-yj ; Here the Reviewer, after noticing the au- 
thorities that have rightly led the above-mentioned 
critics and the Revisers to adopt the interrogative, 
permits himself to speak of them as * a consensus of 
authorities which ought to be held fatal to any reading \' 
^ Quarterly Review, No. 304, p. 338. 


Against such misleading and prejudiced language we 
are constrained once more to protest. The authorities 
thus described are NBDL3, the Old Syriac, the Old 
Latin, the Memphitic, and the^thiopic, — a combination 
representing convergent textual traditions of the great- 
est critical importance. Their consensus, instead of 
being fatal to any reading, has been seen to be, even 
in the few examples that have come before us in these 
pages, in a very high degree confirmatory of its genu- 
ineness and truth. 

The next passage to which we may properly call 
attention is one of great importance and of singularly 
instructive critical interest, — the Lord's Prayer as 
found in S. Luke xi. 2-4. Here, as might be antici- 
pated, the Reviewer^ censures the Revisers for having 
adopted a form which differs considerably from that 
found in the Received Text, but which, we sincerely be- 
lieve, the following considerations will abundantly] ustify. 

To put the matter in a form as devoid of technicalities 
as the nature of the case will admit, let us suppose 
that we had a treatise on the subject of prayer, written 
just one hundred years before the probable date of our 
earliest manuscript of the Greek Testament, in the 
second part of which the forms of the Lord's Prayer as 
handed down to us by S. Matthew and by S. Luke were 
considered and compared. Let us further suppose that 
this treatise was written by one who had especially de- 
voted himself to critical and textual studies, and was so 
keenly alive to the corruption of the text in his own 
days 2 that he had apparently made for himself what he 

^ Quarterly Review, No. 304, pp. 324 sq. 

^ See Redepenning's Origenes, Part II, pp. 182 sq., where the reader 
will find some useful comments on the labours of Origen in the cause of 
textual criticism. 



deemed to be a truthful copy of the Greek Testament ; 
and let us also assume that this supposed treatise was 
written at a time when the writer s powers were most 
fully matured ^ and after he had had an opportunity of 
acquainting himself with more than one leading type of 
the Sacred Text and so of forming on the subject a 
trustworthy judgment. Let us suppose all this, and 
ask ourselves whether express comments on the read- 
ings of the passage before us by such a writer and in 
such a treatise would not command our especial atten- 
tion, and predispose us to accept the readings which he 
gave as the nearest approach to the Sacred Autograph 
that we could ever hope to attain. 

Now we have such comments, such a treatise, and 
such a writer. In the treatise of Origen De Oratione^ 
we have a comparison between the forms of the Lord's 
Prayer as handed down to us by S. Matthew and 
by S. Luke, and the express statement that the 
words riixodv 6 €v Toh ovpavoh, and the two petitions yevrj- 
OrjTM TO OeXfjima crov, w? iu ovpavotg kol eirl Trjg yrj^, and aWa 
pvarai ^fiag airo rod Trovrjpov, are not a part of the Prayer 
as found in the Gospel of S. Luke. With a statement 
of such unusual critical importance in our minds we 
turn at once to the general documentary evidence. 
And what do we find ? In favour of the omission 
of the first words {^fxcov k.t.X.) are the important 
authorities b^BL, the valuable cursive i, (33 omits 
rjiiicou but retains the rest), the Vulgate and Armenian ^ 
Versions. In favour of the omission of the first of the 

* On the probable date of the treatise, see Redepenning, Origenes, 
Part II, p. 32, note. 

^ Vol. i, pp. 227-265 passim (ed. De la Rue). It may just be added 
that if the reader will carefully consider the last-quoted page he will 
hardly be able to doubt what gender Origen assigned to rod TroprjpoO, 

' This Version retains ^fiwv. 


two petitions {yevijOrjra) K.T.X.) we have BL, i, the 
Vulgate, the valuable Old Latin manuscript called the 
Codex Coi^beiensis^ the Old (or Curetonian) Syriac and 
the Armenian Versions, and Augustine, in a reasoned 
passage in his Enchiridion (cap. cxvi). Here it will 
be observed that K deserts the authorities with which 
it is usually associated ; but its place is supplied by 
evidence scarcely less valuable. The second of the 
two petitions, which Origen more than once expressly 
mentions as not found in S. Luke (aXXa pvdai k.tX), is 
omitted by KBL, i, and the Vulgate and Armenian 

When this evidence is carefully considered there 
must, we think, be few impartial critics, and indeed 
few readers who have looked through the foregoing 
pages of this essay, who will not come to the con- 
clusion that the Revisers were fully justified by their 
rule, even on external grounds alone, in rejecting, with 
Tischendorf and Tregelles, the words and clauses of 
which we have been speaking. We have hitherto said 
nothing about the internal evidence ; but this, it is 
obvious, is here of great weight. The tendency to 
assimilate in the Lord's Prayer would have been, by 
the very nature of the case, so peculiarly strong, that 
we may well wonder that it was ever resisted. 

We may notice two other passages in S. Luke, one 
of less and the other of greater importance, viz. ch. 
xxiii. 38 and 45, in both of which the reading adopted 
by the Revisers is censured by the Reviewer. 

In the first passage the Reviewer^ objects to the 
omission of the words yey pa juLimevtj and ypdjULjuLaa-iv ''EXXtj- 
viKoi^ Koi'^oo/uLaLKoif KOL KjSpa'iKotg. Here perhaps some- 
thing might be said for the reading e-myey pafxixevri which 
^ Quarterly Review, No. 304, p. 355. 


is found in the texts of Lachmann and Tregelles, 
though the latter editor has enclosed it in brackets ; but, 
when the divided state of the authorities is considered, 
and the fact that yeypajULimevtjv is found in the parallel 
passage of S. Matthew, and eiriyeypaixiJievri in the 
parallel passage of S. Mark, and that in neither is 
there any difference of reading, the transcriptional 
probability (viz. that the reading was derived from the 
parallel passage) combined with the documentary 
evidence of ^^BL, the Memphitic and the Thebaic 
Versions, appears to constitute a clear preponderance 
of evidence in favour of the texts of Tischendorf and 
of the Revisers. 

The omission of the words ypd/uL/uLaa-iv k.t.\. is still 
more clearly borne out. Though in this case K deserts 
its usual associates, its place is supplied by the first 
hand of C, the Old Latin manuscript called the Codex 
Vercellensis, and the Old (or Curetonian) Syriac, — the 
remaining authorities being, as before, BL and the 
Memphitic and Thebaic Versions. When it is re- 
membered that these words may very easily have been 
suggested by John xix. 20, and that there is some 
division among the authorities as to the words them- 
selves, there can, we think, be little doubt that the 
Revisers were perfectly justified in rejecting them. 

The reading in Luke xxiii. 45 is of greater interest 
and importance, as the words adopted by the Revisers, 

viz. Tov rjklov eKKelirovTO<s (instead of Koi ecrKOTLO-Qr} 6 i]\i09), 

might seem to leave the Evangelist open to the charge 
of having attributed the darkness to an astronomical 
phenomenon (an eclipse of the sun) which could not 
by the nature of the case have then taken place. The 
Reviewer, in consequence, does not miss the oppor- 
tunity of using some of his strongest language and of 


denouncing as a 'gross fabrication^' a reading which, 
as we shall soon see, is supported by testimony that 
cannot possibly be set aside. 

In the first place we emphatically deny that there is 
anything in the Greek word iKXel-Treiv when associated 
with the sun which involves necessarily the notion of 
an eclipse^. It is rightly observed by Dr. Hort^ that 
the varied use of this verb in the Septuagint is enough 
to show that, when used by a Greek-speaking Jew, 
it might easily preserve, when applied to the sun, 
its original sense, and not become technical. There 
is also evidence that it was understood by some ancient 
writers to be so used in this place. Secondly, the great 
authority of Origen, who specially comments* upon 
these words, and considers that the change from the 
ordinary reading was due to enemies of the Church, is 
not only attenuated but almost set aside by his remark 
that the Evangelists made no mention here at all of 
the sun, and further by the fact that in other and con- 
temporary portions of his works he certainly adopted 
the reading for which we are here contending. We 
may therefore not inequitably treat the testimony of 
Origen on this passage as inconclusive, save only to 
show that ' certain copies ' known to him contained the 
reading tov ^Xlou c/cXe/xoi/ro?. 

Let us now see what further external testimony can 
be adduced. This we find to be t^B, the first hand of 
C, L (b^ and L read e/cXtTroVro?), some Lectionaries, the 
Memphitic and the Thebaic Versions, and some later 
writers, — in itself very important evidence. When 
however we add to this the high transcriptional proba- 

* Quarterly Review, No. 304, p, 343. ^ Ibid. p. 344. 
^ Westcott and Hort, Appendix (Notes on Select Readings, p. 71). 

* Here, unfortunately, we have Origen in the Latin translation only. 


bility that words which, it is clear, had caused a 
difficulty in the very earliest times, would be changed 
into a known scriptural form of expression (comp. 
S. Matthew xxiv. 29, S. Mark xiii. 24) implying 
the same thing, and bringing the passage nearer to 
the aKOTog of the parallels in S. Matthew and S. 
Mark, we can hardly doubt that we have here that 
decided preponderance of evidence which the Revisers 
were instructed to follow, and that the ' gross fabrica- 
tion,' as the Reviewer has termed it, is really a portion 
of the Sacred Autograph. 

Two or three other passages still remain to be 
mentioned. It will be observed that the vast pre- 
ponderance of the passages selected by the Reviewer 
for censure are from the first three Gospels. It 
seems natural for us to follow his example. We think 
it enough, therefore, to notice S. John xiv. 4, Acts xviii. 
7, and to conclude our essay, as he concluded his first 
article, with i Tim. iii. 16. 

In S. John xiv. 4 the Reviewer censures the omis- 
sion of the word kqI before Trjv 6S6v, and of the word 
oiSare after it\ The interpolated words are fairly sup- 
ported, since AD, N^ A, and the good cursives i and 
69, together with the Vulgate, Syriac (Peshito and 
Harklean), Gothic, and Armenian Versions, contain 
them, as well as the later uncials, and the mass of the 
cursive manuscripts. A careful consideration, how- 
ever, of the clause and of the context leads us at once 
to surmise that we may here recognise the enfeebling 
hand of some early interpolator, who broke up the 
vigorous sentence kq). ottov iyw vTrdyw o'lSare rrji/ ooov mto 

' Quarterly Review, No. 304, p. 348. 

"^ A very beautiful manuscript of the sixth century, of which fragments 
onlv remain. See Scrivener, Introduction, p. 126. 


two clauses, answering to the two clauses in the en- 
suing question of the Apostle. Intrinsic probability is 
here certainly strong against the Received Text. But 
to trust to this without good documentary evidence 
would be utterly uncritical. This evidence, however, 
is by no means lacking. For the shorter reading we 
have NB, the first hand of C, L, Q (an important but 
fragmentary palimpsest of the fifth century), X, the good 
cursive 33, one Old Latin Version {Codex Vercellensis), 
the Memphitic and (apparently) the ^thiopic Ver- 
sions. Here again we have the decided preponder- 
ance of evidence by which the Revisers were to be 
guided. This passage is a good instance of the im- 
prudence of relying too confidently upon mere pre- 
ponderance of numbers. It illustrates also the im- 
portance of intrinsic evidence when it is employed 
with proper caution. 

In Acts xviii. 7 we have an interesting example of 
diversities of reading. It is a case in which the 
two leading authorities ultimately differ, though they 
are in harmony as regards the substance of the 
correction which has been adopted by the Revisers 
against the Received Text. The question relates to 
the name of the Corinthian Christian to whose house 
S. Paul went after the opposition on the part of the 
Jews to his earnest preaching in the synagogue. In 
the original text of B, in the corrected Greek text of 
the ancient bilingual manuscript D {Codex Bezce), 
and in the Harklean Syriac, we have the reading 
TiTiov 'lovorrov. In K and in the very valuable manu- 
script Eg {Codex Laudianus), and in the Vulgate, 
Memphitic, and Armenian Versions, we find T/roy 
ToJo-TOf. In the Syriac (Peshito) and the Thebaic 
Versions the second word '\ovcttov is dropped ; while 



in A, the second hand of B, the first hand of D, 
the later uncials HLP, the good cursive manuscripts 
13 and 31, the Latin text of D, and the ^thiopic 
Version, followed by the Textus Receptus, the word 
T/tou is omitted. 

On carefully considering this division of authorities 
we can hardly doubt the decided preponderance of 
the evidence for the fact that this host of the Apostle 
bore two names. The evidence that the second of 
these two names was Justus is overwhelming. The 
Reviewer 1 urges that the first name simply arose from 
transcriptional error. It was formed, he thinks, by 
the Ti of the ovo/mari and the lov of ToJo-rov, but he 
does not tell us how it happened (as it must on this 
theory have happened) that the transcriber repeated 
not the Ti only but also the initial lov. Transcriptional 
evidence may be urged in the question between Tlrov 
and Tir/ou, but, so far as we can see, in the question 
between two names and one. it cannot be urged with- 
out imputation of larger error than seems likely. We 
think therefore that the Revisers were perfectly right 
in deciding on two names. In the difficult choice and 
nicely-balanced evidence between Tlrov and Tirlov we 
think they were right in adopting the former, though 
Tischendorf and Westcott and Hort adopt the latter : 
it appears more probable that the iota was mechani- 
cally inserted by a transcriber whose eye rested on 
the lov of the 'lova-rov instead of the ov of the Tlrov 
than that it was dropped by way of a correction, 
because Titius was a well-known family name. The 
fact that the Syriac and Thebaic Versions represent 
Tlrov may also equitably be claimed in favour of 
the Revisers, although these Versions omit 'lova-rov. 

^ Quarterly Review, No. 304, p. 336. 


We submit, therefore, that here again the Reviewer 
has failed to substantiate his charge. 

We come now to i Tim. iii. i6. From what has 
been said already^ it might seem almost unnecessary 
for us to discuss this celebrated passage. As, how- 
ever, the Reviewer has treated it at great length and 
has presented the evidence in a manner which we 
cannot allow to pass unquestioned, we feel that it may 
be well for us, for the sake of the general reader, to 
put forward once more the true facts of the case. 

Three different readings are found in the extant 
documents : Oeog, o?, and o. In uncial manuscripts these 
readings are represented by 0C, OC, and O respec- 
tively. Only nine uncials are extant which contain 
this verse. They are K, A, and C, with which the 
reader is already familiar ; and the following which 
contain the whole or a portion of S. Paul's Epistles 2, 
viz. D {Codex Claro^nont antes) of the sixth century; 
F (Cod, Augiensis), G {Cod. Boernerianus), K {Cod. 
Mosquensis), L {Cod. Angeliacs), and P [Cod. Porphy- 
ria^iics) of the ninth. D, F, and G are bilingual 
(Graeco- Latin) manuscripts. F and G are very closely 
related ^ in respect of their Greek * text, and must be 
taken as the representatives of a single manuscript 
now lost. Of these nine uncials three only, KLP, 
support 0eo9. Five, NACFG, support o?. One, D, 
supports o. On the other hand, all the cursive manu- 
scripts which have been collated support ^eo?, except 

* Page 3, supra. 

^ KLP contain also the Catholic Epistles, to which L adds a part of 
the Acts, P the Acts and the Apocalypse. Scrivener, Introduction, p. 150. 

^ Scrivener, Cod. Augiensis, Introduction, p. 8. 

^ The Latin Versions found in F and G are quite different. But in 
this place both exhibit quod. 


17, "j^, and 181, which give o?, and i^] (a fourteenth-cen- 
tury manuscript now at Leicester) which gives 6 Oeo?. 

Turning to the ancient Versions we find them almost 
unanimous against Oeo?. All the Latin, all the Syriac, 
all the Egyptian agree. The Gothic, Armenian, and 
^thiopic Versions are on the same side. In all of 
them a relative pronoun is found, never the equivalent 
of Oeo?. The gender of this relative pronoun is neuter 
in the Latin Versions and some others : in others 
again it is indeterminate : in the Memphitic and 
Thebaic Versions it is distinctly masculine \ The 
Georgian and Slavonic Versions ^ stand alone for the 
reading Q^6<i. 

We turn next to the Fathers. For the reading ^eo? 
the Reviewer professes to call twelve witnesses, of 
whom the earliest belong to the latter part of the 
fourth century. We have examined his references 
carefully. Gregory of Nyssa^ Didymus of Alexandria, 
Theodoret, and John Damascene (who died severally 
about 394,396,457, and 756 a.d.) seem unquestionably 
to have read 0eo?. Severus of Antioch (who died 
about 540 A.D.) is not unambiguous. The citations of 
the Reviewer from Gregory of Nazianzus are incon- 
clusive. We pass over names brought in to swell the 
number, — such as Euthalius, for whom no reference is 
given ; the second Macedonius, who is claimed on the 

^ In these Versions the usage of the language would have required the 
adoption of the feminine form, if the translators had wished to re- 
present o. 

^ Dr. Scrivener (Introduction, p. 271) places these Versions in 'the 
third rank ' of importance. The Georgian Version is ascribed to the 
fifth century, the Slavonic was made (as is well known) in the ninth by 
Methodius the ' Apostle of Bohemia ' and his brother Cyril. 

^ In the passage quoted by the Reviewer Gregory has 6 ^cdy, like the 
cursive yj. 



Strength of a story to which we shall refer pre- 
sently; an unknown interpolator^ of Athanasius, and 
an equally unknown author^ of a work falsely ascribed 
to the same Father. Two celebrated names remain, 
on which we must pause for a moment : Chrysostom 
and Cyril of Alexandria. We believe that Chrysostom 
read Oeh in this place on the faith of his HomiHes ^ on 
S. John and on this Epistle, to which the Reviewer 
does not refer us. The passage which he does allege * 
deserves to be placed before our readers in full as an 
illustration of the precarious character of patristic 

CyriVs case is very different. The Reviewer alleges 
a passage^ from that Father's work De Recta Fide, 
which would be inconclusive if it stood alone. It does 
not stand alone. Earlier in the same treatise our text is 
quoted twice on one page ^ in a manner which seems to 
show that Cyril had no other reading than o? icpavepcoOtj 
in his mind throughout this treatise. If he appears to 
quote the text with Oeog elsewhere '^, this shows at the 

^ Athanasius, Opp. i. 796 (ed. 1698). The interpolation is found in one 
MS only, and there only in the margin. 

^ Athan. Opp. ii. 3$. Here the Benedictine editor remarks that the 
author seems to have Hved in the times of the Nestorian controversy, i.e. 
about 431 A.D. [a.d. 330 in the Review must be a misprint.] 

^ Chrys. Opp. ed. Montfaucon, viii. 85, xi. 606. 

* i. 497* To 8e 6ebv ovra avOpwnov deXTJaai ycveadai koL ava(TX!£(Tdai KaTa^rjvai 
TOcrovTOV ocrov ovSe bidvoia Be^aadai dvvarai, rovTo icm to (^piKOibiararov Koi 
€Kn\r}^e0S yefxov. 6 8rj Koi UavXos Oavfid^oiV eXeyev' Koi dixoXoyovfxevcas [xeya 
i(TTL TO TTJs evae^ecas fJLva-Trjpiov' rrolov peya', Oeos i(^av€pa>6r) iv aapKi' Koi 
TToKiv dWaxov' ov yap drjTTov dyyeXcov emXap^dveTaL 6 deos' dXXd o-ireppaTOS 
'A^paa/x emXap^dveTai' odep (w0et\e KaTO. ndvTa Tols ddeXcfiols opoicoOrjvai. If 
this passage attests the reading 6e6s in i Tim. iii. 16, does it not also 
attest the reading 6 O^os in Heb. iii. 16, where no copyist or translator 
has introduced it ? 

° Cyril. Alex. ed. Aubert. Opp. vol. v. part ii. p. 154. ^ Ibid. p. 6. 

' E. g. De Incarnatione Domini, cap. 29, Nova Bibliotheca Patrum, 
Romae 1844, ii. 68. 


most the uncertainty of patristic evidence. But we 
cannot stop here. Wetstein observed long ago that 
Cyril does not produce this text, while he does produce 
Rom. ix. 5, in answer to the allegation which he 
quotes from Julian ^ that S. Paul never employed the 
word 0609 of our Lord. And similarly, in a treatise ^ 
first published by Mai in 1844, where Cyril is con- 
cerned to show on ovK avQpwTTOv 6 Tiavko^ eK^purre rov 
Xpia-Tou, he brings in evidence Rom. ix. 5, 2 Cor. iv. 5, 
and Tit. ii. 1 1 sqq., but not our text, although twice in 
the same context he quotes the First Epistle to 
Timothy. We believe that Cyril cannot safely be 
cited as an authority for the reading Oeog. 

For Oeo?, then, we have Gregory of Nyssa, Didymus, 
Chrysostom, and Theodoret, in the fourth and fifth 
centuries, besides later Greek writers. We may, 
perhaps, add Diodorus of Antioch and Tarsus (who 
died about 393 a.d.), on the faith of an extract in 
Cramer s Catena ^. For 09 we have Epiphanius *, 
whose evidence stands the test of examination, and 
Theodorus^ of Mopsuestia, — not to Insist upon our 
right to claim Cyril on the ground which we have 
mentioned above. For o, as might be expected, all the 
Latin Fathers who have occasion to quote the passage 

^ Cyril, contra Julian, lib. 10, 0pp. ed. Aubert. vi. p. 327. 

'^ Quod Maria sit Deipara, Nov. Bibl. Patr. ii. p. 85 sq. 

^ Cram. Cat. Ep. ad Romanes, p. 124. 

* Adv. Haereses, lib. iii. 0pp. i. p. 894, ed. 1622. 

^ De Incarnatione, lib. 13, in Migne's Patrologia Graeca, torn. 66, 
col. 988. We have here the Greek original of the passage which occurs 
twice over in Latin in the history of the Second Council of Constan- 
tinople. It is worthy of note that in the Acts of the Council itself we find 
gui inanifestatus est, while in Pope Vigilius' Constitutmn (which precedes 
the Acts) we find quod manifestatum est, though the context plainly 
requires the masculine. See Harduin, Concilia, tom. iii. pp. 32, 84 
(Paris, 17 14). 

F 2 


are witnesses. We will concede to the Reviewer that 
the occurrence of the words Qui apparidt in car7ie 
justificahcs est in spiritu in Jerome's Commentary on 
Isaiah liii. ii is inconclusive as to the gender of the 
relative pronoun in the Greek which he had then 
before him. Gelasius of Cyzicus, who lived in the 
fifth century and wrote a history of the Council of 
Nice, reports ^ Macarius of Jerusalem as quoting the 
text at that Council in the form o ecjyavepcoOt], and the 
same reading occurs in a homily by an unknown author 
appended to the works of Chrysostom. This is all the 
Greek patristic evidence which is alleged for o. One 
quotation of our text remains to be noticed, which is 
remarkable as the only unmistakeable reference to it 
in an ante-Nicene writer. Origen ^ (as translated and 
abridged by Rufinus, who died a.d. 410) has the 
following words in his commentary on Rom. i. 5, zs 
qui Verbuin caro f aches appartiit positis in carne, sicut 
Apostohcs dicit, qttia inanifestatus est in came, jus tifi- 
catus in spiritti, appartiit A ngelis. It seems fair to infer 
that Origen did not read ^eo? in this place. 

The result of this lengthened inquiry is that the 
Latin Fathers are entirely for 0, and seem to have 
one Greek bishop of the Nicene Council with them, 
while the Greek Fathers who lived at the end of the 
fourth and the beginning of the fifth century are 
divided between 09 and Qe6<i, The majority, however, 
of these Greek Fathers, and the mass, perhaps, of those 
who followed them, are in favour of Oeo?. We have 
jstill a remarkable fact to mention. It was the distinct 
belief of Latin writers as early as the sixth century 

^ Gelas. Cyzic. Comment. Actorum Nicxni Concilii, pars ii, cap. 24, 
p. 152 (Paris, 1590). 

2 Orig. Opp. iv. 465; ed. Benedict. 1759. 


that the reading of this passage had been corrupted by 
the Greeks. Liberatus, a deacon at Carthage cir. 
530 A.D., relates^ that Macedonius, the second Constan- 
tinopoHtan patriarch of that name, was deposed [cir. 
511 A.D.] for falsifying this very passage. The present 
text of Liberatus says that Macedonius changed o? 
into o)?. But Hincmar of Rheims, who repeats^ 
the story at length In the ninth century, says expressly 
that he changed o? into 6e6g. The story shows, at all 
events, that the Latins in the sixth century believed o? 
to be the reading of the older Greek manuscripts, and 
regarded Oeo^s as a false reading made out of it. 

And now we will briefly sum up the evidence. Geo? 
rests exclusively on the testimony of three uncial 
manuscripts of the ninth century, the mass of the 
cursives (which are in this case nearly unanimous), and 
a majority of Greek Fathers from the end of the fourth 
century downwards. ''O? Is supported by five uncials, 
among which are the three oldest, three cursives, the 
two Egyptian Versions, and some Greek Fathers of 
importance. '^O rests on one uncial manuscript, the 
Latin Versions, and the Latin Fathers : but it has a 
considerable amount of support In other Versions also, 
though an amount which it Is apparently difficult to 
determine with exactness. The testimony of the 
ancient Versions against Oeog Is In itself almost fatal to 
that reading. It seems inconceivable that It should be 
represented in none of them (except the Georgian and 
Slavonic) If it is genuine. And this consideration gains 
additional weight when we remember (i) that Jerome 
professedly corrected the Old Latin Versions by the 
help of ancient Greek manuscripts, and (2) that the 

1 Liberat. Breviarium, cap. 19, Paris 1675. 
"^ Hincmar. Opp. torn. ii. p. 465, Paris 1645. 


Latin Version was brought by his revision, and the 
Syriac by that revision to which the Peshito is beUeved 
to be due, into a degree of conformity with the Greek 
text that seems to be represented in Chrysostom's 
quotations, which was unknown to the Old Latin 
and Old Syriac. When we add to this testimony of 
the Versions the unanimity against the reading of 
our oldest uncials (for D is with ^^AC as against 
Oeog) the evidence against O^og seems conclusive. When 
it is considered, moreover, that there is no clear indi- 
cation of it in the Fathers before the latter part of the 
fourth century, that Athanasius, as his Benedictine 
editor observes \ never used it in the controversy with 
the Arians, that Cyril (as we have already remarked) did 
not use it in his controversial writings on occasions on 
which it would have been especially important, and, 
finally, that the Greek Fathers who are distinctly 
shown to have employed it in the fourth and fifth 
centuries are, after all, few in number, it seems im- 
possible to question the statement in the Margin of the 
Revised Version, that this reading ' rests on no sufficient 

It is a harder matter to decide between the claims 
of the other two readings. We will give briefly the 
grounds which seem to us to turn the scale, i. 00 
will account for the reading 00 more easily than O. 
Only the insertion ^ and superposition of horizontal 
lines was needed to effect this change. If O had been 

^ Athanas. 0pp. ii. S3 (ed. 1698). 

^ In making such additions a copyist may have honestly thought that 
he was correcting an accidental defect in his exemplar, as was no doubt 
the case with those who gave its present appearance to the OC of the 
Codex Alexandrinus (see Mill in loco, and Wetstein, Prolegg. p. 22). 
Moreover theological expressions used by Greek Fathers may have been 
construed into authorities for such an emendation. 


the primitive reading, he who added C must have felt 
that he was altering the text. 2. OC will account 
more easily for O than O for OC. No theological 
importance attached to this change either way. But 
the apparent difficulty of construction involved in the 
reading OC might easily have tempted a corrector to 
accommodate it in gender to the preceding word 
/uLvcrrripLov. 3. OC has a decided preponderance of 
manuscript evidence. Not only are t^AC combined 
against D, but FG are on the same side ; and all 
the manuscripts which read 6e6g, from KLP down- 
wards, are witnesses in favour of the final consonant. 

We have already examined at length the Reviewer's 
statement of the patristic evidence. With regard to 
the Versions his statement is fair, so far as Oeog is con- 
cerned, unfair with respect to 09. 'The Versions,' he 
says ^, ' — all but the Georgian and the Slavonic, which 
follow the Received Text — favour o unquestionably.' 
We have already shown that this is not the case. But 
we are content to refer our readers to Tischendorf and 
Tregelles, who unhesitatingly claim the Memphitic and 
Thebaic for 09, and speak of some other Versions as more 
or less doubtful. With his treatment of the manuscript 
evidence, however, we cannot deal so briefly. He 
states ^ that the reading o? ' is not to be found in more 
than ^wo copies (^e and 17) of S. Pauls Epistles.' He 
claims for Oeog A, C, F, G, which are alleged by Tischen- 
dorf and Tregelles for 09. ' Of the three cursives usually 
cited for the same reading' {09), ' the second,' he says, 
(i. e. 73) ' proves, on inquiry at Upsala, to be merely an 
abridgment of QEcumenius, who certainly read 0€o? ; and 
the last ' (181) ' is non-existent' We might be content 

1 Quarterly Review, No. 304, p. 362. 

2 Ibid. p. 364; cp.note 2, p. 362. 


to demand whose word on such matters is entitled to 
most credit, — the word of the Reviewer or the word of 
the most famous manuscript collators of this century. 
But we prefer to go more fully into the matter. 

First as regards the two cursives. Those who have 
had occasion to seek in public libraries for manuscripts 
which are not famous for antiquity or beauty or com- 
pleteness know that the answer * 7ion est inventus ' 
is no conclusive reason for believing that the object of 
their quest has not been seen and collated in former 
years by those who profess to have actually seen and 
collated it. That i8i *is non-existent' must be con- 
sidered unproven. In like manner the letter which 
the Reviewer seems to have received from Upsala is 
quite insufficient to dispose of the cursive numbered ^ 
73. But this question is of comparatively small im- 
portance. We turn, therefore, to the four uncial 

* A and C,' he says 2, * exhibited 00 until ink, dirt, and 
the injurious use of chemicals obliterated what once 
was patent. It is too late, by full 150 years, to contend 
on the negative side of this question.' Some of his 
readers may be surprised to learn that, although beyond 
all controversy A and C have been made by later hands 
to exhibit 00 more or less plainly, there is no sufficient 
evidence that there was ever a time when this reading 
was * patent ' as the reading which came from their 
original scribes. On the contrary it was matter of 
dispute throughout the last century whether in either 
manuscript any marks were visible, derived from the 
hand of the original scribe, which indicated that 0eo? 

^ See Scrivener, Introduction, pp. 228, 239. 
"^ Quarterly Review, No. 304, p. 362. 


was Intended. With regard to A, Mill, as he tells ^ 
us, thought at first that there were none ; afterwards 
he seemed to himself to discover traces of such marks. 
And this was nearly a hundred and eighty years ago. 
Dr. Berriman, who wrote a Dissertation on the subject 
in 1 741, agreed with Mill. Wetstein ^ inspected the 
manuscript in 171 7, and saw no such traces. He re- 
examined it in 1747 with great care, after he had seen 
Berriman's Dissertation, and discovered the real nature 
of the 'traces' of which Mill and Berriman had spoken. 
When the leaf was held up separately, part of a letter 
written on the opposite side of it was seen through the 
parchment and appeared to belong to the O in question. 
Tischendorf, then, and Tregelles have not * contended 
on the negative side of the question a hundred and fifty 
years too late.' They have but added their suffrages ^ 
to those of the best collators in the last century. We 
know not whether any scholar of repute in the present 
generation has differed from them, save Dr. Scrivener. 
The exception is important. We must refer the reader 
for his opinion on this point, and on the whole question, 
to his Introduction ^ to the Criticism of the New 

With regard to C the Reviewer's language is still 
more surprising. That this manuscript was a palimp- 
sest and contained portions of Holy Scripture under 

^ Nov. Test. Graec. in loco. 

^ Wetstein, Prolegg. in Nov. Test. pp. 20, 22. 

^ See especially Tischendorf, Codex Ephraemi Syri Rescriptus, Prolegg. 
p. 42, note. 

* Page 552 sqq. Dr. Scrivener states the manuscript evidence thus : 
*A11 manuscripts (D tertid 77tanu, KLP, some 200 cursives) read eeo? 
with the common text, except N* A* (?) C* (?) FG. 17. 7:^. 181, which have 
6y, D* which (after the Latin Versions) has 6: the Leicester codex, 37, 
gives 6 6s. ^ [The asterisk denotes t\iQ first handoiXhQ manuscript named.] 



its later writing was first discovered by Peter Allix^ 
about two hundred years ago. Wetstein, who was 
informed of the discovery by AlHx himself, collated 
thoroughly in 1716 (for Bentley's projected edition) 
those parts of it which were concerned with the New 
Testament. He tells us himself that he went over it 
'once and again' with care. Of course he employed 
his collation in his own New Testament of 1751. He 
pronounced ^ the original scribe to have written 09, and 
not 6€69. A different opinion was expressed after- 
wards by Woide and Weber. Griesbach examined 
the question minutely, and agreed with Wetstein. 
In 1845 Tischendorf published at Leipsic a com- 
plete edition of those portions of both Testaments 
which were found in the palimpsest. He went into 
the question of this reading ^ at great length, and de- 
cided unhesitatingly that the original scribe wrote 09, 
and not Oeog. If the Reviewer sets aside that verdict 
as pronounced ' too late,' we may fairly ask on what 
ground he sets aside the judgment which Wetstein 
pronounced more than a hundred and sixty years ago. 
But in truth the special qualifications of Tischendorf 
and his elaborate treatment of this difficult palimpsest 
give him a right to be heard* upon its readings to 
which no other critic can pretend. 

Before we pass to the later manuscripts it is important 
to remark that N and D also have been made by cor- 
rectors to exhibit the reading Oeog, although in these 
two cases the fact that the original scribes wrote 09 
and o respectively is so clear that it is not disputed by 
the boldest champions of the Received Text. 

^ Wetstein, Prolegg. in Nov. Test. p. 27. "^ Nov. Test, m loco, 

^ Codex Ephraemi Syri Rescriptus, Prolegg. 39 sqq. 
* See Scrivener, Introduction, pp. no, 553. 


F and G are, of course, far less important than A 
and C, both because they belong to the ninth century 
instead of the fifth, and because they are copies of one 
manuscript. But they are of considerable interest, as 
they belong to the Western group of documents, of 
which the chief, D, exhibits o. Both F and G exhibit 
OC. On these manuscripts Dr. Scrivener has a special 
right to be heard. He published F (the Codex Au~ 
giensis) in 1859, and subjoined a careful collation of G 
from Matthaei's edition of that MS. ' There are no 
signs,' he says ^ ' of the ordinary breathings and accents 
in this manuscript. Codex F occasionally, and G more 
often, places a straight line nearly horizontal over the 
initial vowel of a word, which may be designed for the 
aspirate, but is found in some few places where the 
vowel takes the lenis. This mark is of some import- 
ance from the circumstance that both in F and G it is 
placed over OC in i Tim. iii. 16. Yet I do not believe 
that the line was intended to denote that OC was the 
familiar abbreviation for 0eo9, for not only is there not 
the faintest trace of such a line within the O as shall 
make it become 0, but the line is placed over too many 
initial and aspirated omicrons to render it probable 
that anything more was intended here.' He gives a 
number of examples, among which we find o represented 
twice in one verse (i Tim. vi. 15) by O both in F and 
in G. The Reviewer sets aside the editor of the 
Codex Atigiensis as boldly as he sets aside the editor 
of the Codex Ephraemi Syri Rescriptus, He seems to 
think it enough to say that 'there is no single example of 
09 written OC in any part of either manuscript I i.e. 
either F or G. We will only add that Wetstein (at 
whose suggestion Bentley purchased the Codex Au- 
^ Codex Augiensis, Introduction, p. 27. 


gieiisis), Griesbach, Lachmann, Tregelles, and Tlschen- 
dorf agree with Dr. Scrivener in this matter. 

We have treated this reading at great length, but 
we have been compelled to do so by the Reviewer. 
He has made an elaborate effort to shake conclusions 
about which, we suppose, no professed scholar has any 
doubt whatever, but which an ordinary reader (and to 
such we address ourselves) might regard as still open 
to reconsideration. Moreover this case is of great im- 
portance as an example. It illustrates in a striking 
manner the complete isolation of the Reviewer's posi- 
tion. If he is right, all other critics are wrong ; — 
wrong in their deciphering of manuscripts, wrong in 
their interpretation of Versions, wrong in their esti- 
mate of patristic testimonies, wrong in the textual 
conclusions which they found upon all these different 
kinds of evidence taken together. It illustrates also, 
no less strikingly, the central point of this essay : we 
mean the impossibility of trusting the mass of the 
cursive manuscripts, or of making the form of text 
with which Chrysostom was familiar — if that were now 
recoverable in its entirety — a final standard. 

We now bring these remarks to a close. We trust 
that we have fully done what we undertook to do. 
We have endeavoured to give the general reader such 
outlines of a difficult and intricate subject as may 
enable him to judge for himself concerning the trust- 
worthiness of the Greek text adopted by the Revisers. 
We believe that in our discussion of the examples 
which we have noticed we have done something towards 
disproving the sweeping charges of the Reviewer. In 
the choice of those examples we have followed his 
guidance. We have addressed ourselves to the con- 
sideration of those readings which he himself, so far as 


we could judge from the vehemence of his language, 
seemed to regard as worthy of the greatest reproba- 

As to the completeness of our answer the reader 
must judge for himself. On two points, however, we 
desire to insist. First, if the Revisers are wrong in 
the principles which they have applied to the deter- 
mination of the text, the principles on which the 
textual criticism of the last fifty years has been based 
are wrong also. Secondly, no equitable judgment can 
be passed on ancient documents until they are care- 
fully studied, and closely compared with each other, 
and tested by a more scientific process than rough 
comparison with a text which (as these pages have 
shown concerning the Received Text) was uncritical 
and untrustworthy from its origin. 

If we have established these two literary facts, we 
have substantially answered the Reviewer. We ven- 
ture to hope that we have done something more than 
this. We hope that we have shown cause for the belief 
that the Revised Version does not rest on a foundation 
of sand, but on a Greek text which is consistent in its 
principles and pure in its general results. In times of 
controversy like that in which we live it is not enough 
that the vernacular New Testament should be 'a well 
of English undefiled : ' it must represent with the 
utmost accuracy which is attainable the documents 
which were left behind by the Evangelists and the 
Apostles. It is true that the Articles of the Christian 
Faith do not depend on such variations of the Greek 
text as are in controversy between critics of different 
schools. The ancient manuscripts and the manuscripts 
of the Middle Ages, the printed editions of the six- 
teenth and the nineteenth centuries, bear witness to 


the same Gospel, to the same Creed. But nothing is in- 
significant which concerns the truth of Holy Scripture. 
There are grave interpolations in the Received Text 
which it would have been worth eleven years of toil 
to remove if nothing else had been done. There are 
innumerable blemishes and corruptions of less import- 
ance which have become known during the last cen- 
tury to all careful students. In great things alike and 
small it has been the desire of the Revisers to bring 
back the text to its original shape. They do not 
claim the title of discoverers. They have done little 
more than verify and register the most certain con- 
clusions of modern textual criticism. In this as in 
other respects they have endeavoured to make know- 
ledge which has hitherto been accessible only to the 
learned a part of the common heritage of Englishmen. 


Since the foregoing pages were in type, a third 
article has appeared in the Quarterly Review entitled 
' Westcott and Hort's Textual Theory/ In this con- 
troversy it is not for us to interpose. The Revisers, as 
we have already stated, are not in any way responsible 
for the writings of their learned colleagues. For our- 
selves we will only say that our estimate of the im- 
portance of those writings remains unshaken. On the 
work for which the Revisers are responsible there is 
nothing substantially new in this third article. We 
observe the admission that there are ' known ^ textual 
errors ' in the Received Text, the correction of which 
the Reviewer ' eagerly expected ' from the Revisers, 
and that ' it cries aloud ^ for Revision in many of its 
subordinate details.' The Reviewer did not speak so 
plainly on this subject in his former articles : he was 
only careful to disclaim the belief that the Received 
Text is absolutely faultless. If we have attributed to 
him a greater veneration for it than he entertains, the 
general tone of his two first articles is our warrant. To 
those two articles — so far, at least, as they are con- 
cerned with the Greek text adopted by the Revisers — 
our essay is intended for an answer. We find nothing 
in the Reviewer's third article to require a further 
answer from us, or to make this present answer un- 

^ Quarterly Review, No. 306, p. 311. 
^ Ibid. p. 331. 










The revisers and the Greek text of the 

Theological Seminary-Speer Library 

1 1012 00061 5254