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A COMPLETE BIBLE OR A TENTATIVE BIBLE?

David C. Bennett (DCB), D. Min.

After a person comes by faith to the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour from the penalty and power of sin (Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace are ye saved through faith…” and Romans 10:17 “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”), their new life is basically wrapped up in faith; faith in God and faith in God’s Word (2Corinthians 5:7 “(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)” !

The believer then (or at least) should have a desire to memorize God’s Word so as not to sin against Him (Psalm 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”). They take His Word as a comfort when the world opposes them (Psalm 119:42 “So shall I have wherewith to answer him that reproacheth me: for I trust in thy word.”) and they allow His Word to guide them as they walk in this darkened sin cursed world (Psalm 119:105 “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path”). 

With these things in mind, I ask, is it therefore, important whether God’s Word is complete and completely true or simply tentative? Most would say yes, it is very important that God’s Word is complete and in that, it is also completely true. As another has written “How can we be sure that anything in the Bible is true? How can we be sure that Jesus Christ is who he said he was, or even that he existed, if the Bible is not inerrant?”[1] By inerrant is meant without error or mistake. Now this might be an appropriate time to interject that “inerrancy” for our English Bible does not mean that there may be no printing mistakes but it does mean the 1611 translators have accurately translated (brought across) those words from the original inspired Words in Greek over into the English language. Therefore, I believe, a person can take by faith the absolute accuracy and truthfulness of the King James Bible. Otherwise how could one, know what place or places in the Bible can or cannot be trusted? How could anyone rest their eternal soul upon the Words of a Bible if it is not true and accurate in its entirety?

However, there are those who like Satan ask “Yea, hath God said…?”[2] What is surprising to this writer is that those scholars who question the accuracy and authenticity of the Words of the Bible are what some even claim to be evangelical.[3]

Let it be known these “scholars” are not just questioning the accuracy and trustworthiness of the translation of the King James Bible but the accuracy, authenticity, completeness and truthfulness of the Greek Text underlying the King James Bible; and this they question in numerous places.

One such Scripture under the cloud of suspicion for these scholars is the last twelve verses of the Gospel of Mark. For instance this “evangelical scholar” Dr. Bruce Metzger has written “How did Mark end his Gospel? Unfortunately, we do not know (Emphasis added by DCB); the most that can be said is that four different endings are current among the manuscripts but probably none of them represents what Mark originally intended.”[4]

You read it correctly! Here is a “scholar” who some claim to be an evangelical, writing that we do not know the true ending of the Gospel of Mark! In fact he doesn’t STOP there he says there are four current endings and NONE of them are probably correct! If none of the four endings are true where is that original true ending?

Well, do not worry someone is out there searching for it. For instance the sixth point under the Mission for The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts is “To cooperate with other institutes in the great and noble task of determining the wording of the autographa of the New Testament.”[5] This organization is searching for God’s Word and when they find a copy of a New Testament manuscript they will study it in the hope of “DETERMINING THE WORDING OF THE AUTOGRAPHA OF THE NEW TESTAMENT.” This IS one of their points for existing in 2012!

This writer is not against gathering manuscripts and studying them, but if its sole purpose is solely done to ascertain the true reading of God’s Word because they believe we do not yet have a complete Bible then I am against it. Think about it, if we do not presently at this time in 2012 have what God has said and particularly in this case what Mark wrote, what kind of a Bible do we have? Do we have a complete Bible or a tentative Bible? The answer to that is; those who are searching with the intent of hopefully someday restoring the Words of the Bible only possess at this present time a tentative Bible, whether in Greek or English.

Now, because the “scholars” question the authenticity of numerous Scriptures but in particular the last twelve verses of Mark, in April of 2007 Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary hosted a debate about this very question entitled; “The Last 12 Verses of Mark: Original or Not?”[6]  

The participants “included Dallas Theological Seminary's Darrell Bock, a New Testament professor, and Daniel Wallace, a New Testament and Greek professor; Keith Elliott, a professor of New Testament at the University of Leeds in England; and two professors of Greek and New Testament at Southeastern, Maurice Robinson and David Alan Black.”[7]

The last two men defended the authenticity of Mark’s gospel while Elliot and Wallace argued against its authenticity. “Bock responded to both views with a final presentation on the state of current research.”[8]

For this writer it was no surprise what position Daniel Wallace would take but sadly the Baptist Press News article did not give Bock’s response and what he believed. Nevertheless, a little searching of the internet found one source who seems to have either been there or had first hand-knowledge of how Bock responded. This source has written “I think Dr. Bock spent too much time refuting the longer ending than responding to all of the presenters. I wonder why he had nothing negative to say about Dr. Wallace’s position – a position to which he holds.”[9]  Therefore, Bock’s position concerning the last twelve verses of Mark is that of Wallace’s which should come as no real surprise since he too is a Dallas Seminary professor.

From that debate it seems to come down to basically two views which a person can take when it comes to the last twelve verses of Mark’s gospel. Those two views are that those verses are either authentic or not authentic.

Taking that last view, that they are not authentic; it seems to be saying that by faith one believes that God moved certain men to write what is called Scripture (inspiration) so that those Words could and would eventually be lost? Therefore in taking this view the result is, there must be a continual search for those Words with the hope of someday restoring Scripture to the form it took when the original authors wrote?

Or do we by faith believe that God protected and preserved His Words after they were written by the human authors and then copied and recopied many times over so that today, 2012, we have an accurate, authentic, complete copy of those original inspired Greek Words? Based upon that premise those of us who hold to the superiority of the King James Bible can say we have an accurate complete English translation of those original inspired Words from a complete Greek Text! 

But again, there may be some who ask “In the end does it really matter which view a believer makes?”  Well, as Dr. Floyd Nolen Jones has written “Until the matter is settled in favor of ‘preservation,’ the worker will always have a ‘tentative’ Bible.”[10]  A “tentative” Bible! A tentative Bible is not a settled Bible. A tentative Bible is not a complete Bible. A tentative Bible is an uncertain Bible.

Let’s take time to refresh our memory in the fact that God’s Word in the New Testament was originally written in Greek. So the dispute today is not just about what English Bible one should use it is also about the Greek Text from which that English Bible was translated.

So what Greek Text should underlie an accurate, English or any other language translation? Generally speaking most consider there being two Greek Texts, the Textus Receptus (TR or often called the Received Text) and the Critical Greek Text birthed by Westcott and Hort.

Here we will again reiterate the question “In the end does it really matter which view a believer makes?” The answer is “yes” it does matter for there is a great difference between the two Greek Texts. Let an advocate of the Critical Greek text answer whether there are any differences between the two or not. Daniel Wallace writes “the differences between the New Testament of the King James Version, for example, and that of the New American Standard Version are not just differences in the English; there are also differences in the Greek text behind the English—in fact, over 5,000 differences!”[11] Note Wallace agrees there is a difference and that it is not just one or two or even one hundred BUT there are over 5,000 differences in these two Texts. Mind you, this is someone who supports the Critical Text saying this!

In all probability this present discussion would not be happening if it was not for those two Anglican churchmen, Westcott and Hort. As early as “At the age of 23, in late 1851, Hort wrote to a friend: ‘I had no idea till the last few weeks of the importance of texts, having read so little Greek Testament, and dragged on with the villainous Textus Receptus. . . . Think of that vile Textus Receptus leaning entirely on late MSS.; it is a blessing there are such early ones.’”[12]

Villainous and vile, Hort wrote! There was no love lost here and the outcome was the Critical Greek Text. The Textus Receptus had always had its enemies but it was the Westcott and Hort Critical Greek Text that really birthed what is seen today with the publication of a multitude of English Versions. Not only has there been a massive publishing of new English Versions but the Critical Greek Text has not been untouched either. These people are in search of God’s Word and are hoping to someday have it in their possession but until then they continue to publish new Versions and Greek texts.

For instance when I was in Bible College in the early seventies we used the United Bible Societies Second Edition of The Greek New Testament. In the Preface of this Edition it said that the Committee responsible for this Text had four stages in which it carried out its work. The first stage was “on the basis of Westcott and Hort’s edition of the Greek New Testament.”[13] The United Bible Societies now have a 4th Revised Edition of The Greek New Testament.[14]

In my UBS Edition on page ix it mentions the 25th edition of the Nestle-Aland Greek Text. But since then it too has been revised and there is now a 27th edition. Will this searching of “manuscripts in order to weigh which reading is thought closest to the original”[15] ever cease? Probably not?

In fact Westcott and Hort’s Critical Greek text became so popular with those who despised the Textus Receptus that one has said “For the first two-thirds of the twentieth century, NT textual critics could speak with one accord: The textus receptus (TR) had finally been laid to rest. In 1899 Marvin Vincent referred to it as an ‘historical monument’ that ‘has been summarily rejected as a basis for a correct text.’ A. T. Robertson in 1926 declared: ‘The Textus Receptus is as dead as Queen Anne.’ Eight years later Leo Vaganay similarly pronounced last rites over the corpse. And just three decades ago Bruce Metzger could justifiably dismiss the contemporary defense of the Byzantine text in a mere footnote.”[16]                          

Bruce Metzger who may have reviled the TR as much as Hort did, wrote that “The year 1881 was marked by the publication of the most noteworthy critical edition of the Greek Testament ever produced by British scholarship. After working about 28 years on this edition of Peterborough and regius professor of divinity at Cambridge (consecrated bishop of Durham in 1890), and Fenton John Anthony Hort (1828-92), Hulsean Professor of Divinity at Cambridge, issued two volumes entitled The New Testament in the Original Greek.”[17]

The first English Version translated from this Westcott and Hort Critical Text was the Revised Version of the New Testament. Both saw the light of day in 1881. However, take a moment and go back up to the last paragraph to observe Metzger’s words “most noteworthy”.  Bruce Metzger views this Greek Text of Westcott and Hort’s that omits numerous portions of Scripture as “most noteworthy”. Why? Because it promotes what seems to be his own view that all we can ever really possess is a tentative Bible.  

Daniel Wallace bestows upon the Critical Text as the “epoch-making publication”[18] of Westcott and Hort. Here Wallace agrees with Metzger for he too argues that if we continue our search for manuscript evidence we can then “…have relative certainty that we can get back to the wording of the autographs.”[19] Note the word “relative”. An antonym of “relative” used in conjunction with certainty is absolute! Will these people EVER have a COMPLETE Bible? 

Westcott and Hort were the parents of this New Greek Text which has become known as the Critical Text, and in their opinion it is “the most free from later corruption and mixture and the nearest to the text of the autographs. It is best represented by Codex Vaticanus (B) and next by Codex Sinaiticus (א). The concurrence of these two manuscripts is very strong and shows that they cannot be far from the original text.”[20]

In the high esteem for these two manuscripts (especially B) they wrote “It is our belief (1) that the readings of א B should be accepted as the true readings until strong internal evidence is found to the contrary, and (2) that no readings of א B can safely be rejected absolutely, though it is sometimes right to place them only on an alternative footing, especially where they receive no support from Versions or Fathers.”[21]

The followers of Westcott and Hort continue the adoration of these two manuscripts and especially that of Vaticanus B. For example Bruce Metzger wrote “One of the most valuable of all the manuscripts of the Greek Bible is Codex Vaticanus.”[22] To be fair Metzger did write later that “…most scholars have abandoned Hort's optimistic view that Codex Vaticanus (B) contains the original text almost unchanged except for slips of the pen, they are still inclined to regard the Alexandrian text as on the whole the best ancient recension and the one most nearly approximating the original.”[23]

Westcott and Hort placed so much confidence in these two manuscripts, א & B that they were willing to mutilate numerous passages including the impugning and complete deletion of the last twelve verses of Mark. In defense of these last twelve verses John Burgon (1813 – 1888) justly wrote “The text of the sacred deposit is far too precious a thing to be sacrificed to an irrational, or at least a superstitious devotion to two MSS.,--simply because they may possibly be older by a hundred years than any other which we possess.”[24] YES, the Word of God is too PRECIOUS to allow what these two men did and what their followers continue to do!

In fact in the Gospel of Mark Chapter 16 this venerated Westcott and Hort “B leaves a whole blank column –‘the only blank one in the whole volume’ –ie., of the New Testament, as well as the rest of the one containing v. 8, thus showing that a passage was left out.”[25][26]  

Westcott and Hort could rightfully be called the father of those today who are continuing the critical search for the lost Words of God. Westcott and Hort wrote in the Introduction to their Greek New Testament that “This edition is an attempt to present exactly the original words of the New Testament, so far as they can now be determined from surviving documents.”[27]

Note the words “an attempt” and “so far as they can be determined”. Is this “an attempt” simply “a stab in the dark”?[28] Using the words “An attempt” and “so far as can be determined” are not words that would give confidence in a Bible produced by these people!

These two, Westcott and Hort, set out to produce their own Greek Text because of what they thought they saw and believed was the “unworthiness of the Received texts…”[29] Now this Received Text that was so unworthy in the eyes of Westcott and Hort was and still is based on the majority of manuscript evidence. This critical view of the majority of evidence was also held by others before Westcott and Hort. In Germany, which is infamous for two world wars, its “scholars” such as Johann Jakob Griesbach (1745 – 1812) are infamous as well but for their textual criticism. For example Metzger wrote that “Griesbach showed great skill and tact in evaluating the evidence of variant readings. For example, his judgment, based on patrisdc and versional evidence, that the shorter form of the Lord's Prayer in Luke 11.3-4 is to be preferred was remarkably confirmed a few years later when the readings of Codex Vaticanus were published, for it was found that all of the omissions are supported by that early manuscript.       

The importance of Griesbach for New Testament textual criticism can scarcely be overestimated. For the first time in Germany a scholar ventured to abandon the Textus Receptus at many places and to print the text of the New Testament in the form to which his investigations had brought him.”[30]

All this manuscript evidence was abandoned and shoved aside by Westcott and Hort as well and it continues to be abandoned and shoved aside by their followers. These followers of Griesbach, Westcott and Hort continue their critical search hoping to restore God’s Word someday. Why do they abandon and thrust aside the majority of manuscript evidence? It is simply because (1) they despise the TR and (2) the majority of manuscript evidence is not dated as early as B and א.

Surprisingly Westcott and Hort do admit that “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 readings followed by Chrysostom (ob. 407) in the composition of his Homilies.”[31]

They continue in confirming the early date for those manuscripts underlying the TR by writing that “The fundamental text of the late extant Greek MSS generally is beyond all question identical with the dominant Antiochian or Graeco-Syrian text of the second half of the fourth century.”[32] So from the pen of Westcott and Hort themselves one can go back as far as the second-half of the fourth century to find an identical text that is today known as the Received Text!

It is well known that the published text which became known as the Textus Receptus preceded the Critical Greek Text of Westcott and Hort by over three hundred years. This TR was first published by Erasmus in 1516 and according to Bruce Metzger the printed text of Erasmus was so popular that “Within 3 years a second edition was called for, and the total number of copies of the 1516 and 1519 editions amounted to 3,300. The second edition became the basis of Luther's German translation.”[33] People were hungry for the Words of God and what they received was the Received Text!   

However, it is very important to mention here that the King James Bible is not reliant solely on any single TR text. As G. W. and D. E. Anderson write “F. H. A. Scrivener (1813-1891) attempted to reproduce as exactly as possible the Greek text which underlies the Authorised Version of 1611. However, the AV was not translated from any one printed edition of the Greek text. The AV translators relied heavily upon the work of William Tyndale and other editions of the English Bible. Thus there were places in which it is unclear what the Greek basis of the New Testament was. Scrivener in his reconstructed and edited text used as his starting point the Beza edition of 1598, identifying the places where the English text had different readings from the Greek. He examined eighteen editions of the Textus Receptus to find the correct Greek rendering, and made the changes to his Greek text. When he finished he had produced an edition of the Greek New Testament which more closely underlies the text of the AV than any one edition of the Textus Receptus.”[34]

This writer has a copy of Scrivener’s Annotated Greek New Testament printed by the Dean Burgon Society.[35] The inside cover of this Greek New Testament states that this is “the exact Greek Textus Receptus that underlies the King James Bible”. It goes on to affirm that this Greek New Testament shows “the E.R.V. 1881/Westcott and Hort Erroneous Departures from the Textus Receptus.” It is this Greek Text that gave us English speaking people a COMPLETE ENGLISH BIBLE!

So in the end it really then comes down to faith, as to whether or not God has protected and preserved His original inspired Words so they can be faithfully translated into other languages. As far as the Authorized Version’s Greek Text Dr. Floyd Nolen Jones believes “this preserved Text has best and most faithfully been rendered into English by the AD 1611 King James translators.”[36]

Today the Critical Greek Text folk recognize there is a movement afoot promoting the view that the King James Bible is the superior English Bible due to its underlying Greek Text. Those within this movement believe they are the preserved inspired Greek Words of God. In fact some of those within the movement have prompted Daniel Wallace to write that the days are gone when those who hold this view are supposedly only found in “the backwaters of anti-intellectual American fundamentalism.”[37]

According to Wallace this movement in defense of Burgon’s view and the TR was so miniscule and ignorant that “…just three decades ago Bruce Metzger could justifiably dismiss the contemporary defense of the Byzantine text in a mere footnote”[38] But all of that has now changed Wallace says for “in the third edition of The Text of the New Testament it was now necessary for Metzger to devote five pages to a discussion of the resuscitation of John Burgon's views.”[39]

Wallace goes on to state that “Although there was a hiatus of almost seven decades between Burgon and the next scholarly defender of the traditional text, virtually all such defenders today rely on Burgon for impetus and articulation.”[40] The words to note in what Wallace has to say here are “next scholarly defender”. Wallace does see within this movement those who are capable students of the Greek language of the Bible.

Now this writer is not one of those which Wallace would probably consider a scholarly defender of Burgon or the Greek Text but he is one which has read to some extent on the subject but beyond that reading he has come to his position by faith that God in His providence gave us His preserved inspired Words in the Greek text used by our 1611 King James translators and they accurately brought over into our English language those very Words.  Therefore today we do not have a TENTATIVE Bible but a COMPLETE Bible!

It has taken this writer longer than he intended to, but it has been referred to in various places in this paper, that Daniel Wallace, Metzger and others like them have been saying that the Greek Text (TR) believers had before the 19th century was corrupt! Metzger echoes this sentiment  when he wrote that “For almost two centuries scholars ransacked libraries and museums, in Europe as well as the Near East, for weaknesses to the text of the New Testament. But almost all of the editors of the New Testament during this period were content to reprint the time-honored but corrupt Textus Receptus…”[41] Poor sods those early believers were, in that they believed they had the Words of God in the TR but they only had a CORRUPT Text! Or so says Metzger!

Again calling the TR corrupt and poking his finger at Burgon Metzger wrote that “What Burgon was apparently unable to comprehend was the force of the genealogical method, by which the later, conflated text is demonstrated to be secondary and corrupt.”[42] Why did Burgon do this? Well as Metzger said “…Burgon preferred the readings supported by the majority of the later witnesses.”[43] One will find when reading Burgon and Miller’s books that Burgon’s reliance on the majority of manuscript evidence is only part of his confidence for the Greek New Testament but he also looked to the witness of the Fathers, Lectionaries, and Versions.  

Metzger adds “Consequently, so far from sharing Westcott and Hort's high regard for the testimony of Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus, Burgon maintained that, with the single exception of D, which exhibits the wildest text of all, the two manuscripts honored by Westcott and Hort are the most depraved.”[44]  Metzger is truthful here in the fact that Burgon looked upon Westcott and Hort’s venerably honored manuscripts as “depraved”! 

This writer has never found a man with whom he has totally agreed (outside of those whom God moved to write His inspired Words) and that goes for Dean John William Burgon. While I am but a pigmy and he a giant there are a few areas I would disagree but in the whole I would rather side with brother Burgon than with Westcott and Hort.

Having said that, and not desiring to wear out the reader, let us allow brother Burgon to speak for himself concerning the work of Westcott and Hort (Emphasis added is by DCB). “WHATEVER may be urged in favour of Biblical Revision, it is at least undeniable that the undertaking involves a tremendous risk. Our Authorized Version is the one religious link which at present binds together ninety millions of English-speaking men scattered over the earth’s surface. Is it reasonable that so unutterably precious, so sacred a bond should be endangered, for the sake of representing certain words more accurately, — here and there translating a sense with greater precision, — getting rid of a few archaisms? It may be confidently assumed that no ‘Revision’ of our Authorized Version, however judiciously executed, will ever occupy the place in public esteem which is actually enjoyed by the work of the Translators of 1611, — the noblest literary work in the Anglo-Saxon language. We shall in fact never have another ‘Authorized Version.’ And this single consideration may be thought absolutely fatal to the project, except in a greatly modified form. To be brief, — As a companion in the study and for private edification: as a book of reference for critical purpose, especially in respect of difficult and controverted passages: — we hold that a revised edition of the Authorized Version of our English Bible, (if executed with consummate ability and learning,) would at any time be a work of inestimable value. The method of such a performance, whether by marginal Notes or in some other way, we forbear to determine. But only as a handmaid is it to be desired. As something intended to supersede our present English Bible, we are thoroughly convinced that the project of a rival Translation is not to be entertained for a moment. For ourselves, we deprecate it entirely.

On the other hand, who could have possibly foreseen what has actually come to pass since the Convocation of the Southern Province (in Feb. 1870) declared itself favourable to ‘a Revision of the Authorized Version,’ and appointed a Committee of Divines to undertake the work? Who was to suppose that the Instructions given to the Revisionists would be by them systematically disregarded? Who was to imagine that an utterly untrustworthy ‘new Greek Text,’ constructed on mistaken principles, — (say rather, on no principles at all,) —would be the fatal result? To speak more truly, — Who could have anticipated that the opportunity would have been adroitly seized to inflict upon the Church the text of Drs Westcott and Hort, in all its essential features, — a text which, as will be found elsewhere largely explained, we hold to be the most vicious Recension of the original Greek in existence? Above all, — Who was to foresee that instead of removing ‘plain and clear errors’ from our Version, the Revisionists, — (besides systematically removing out of sight so many of the genuine utterances of the SPIRIT,) — would themselves introduce a countless number of blemishes, unknown to it before? Lastly, how was it to have been believed that the Revisionists would show themselves industrious in sowing broadcast over four continents doubts as to the Truth of Scripture, which it will never be in their power either to remove or to recal?”[45]

Westcott and Hort were not working with just any book but as Burgon states “…what makes this so very serious a matter is that, because HOLY SCRIPTURE is the Book experimented upon, the loftiest interests that can be named become imperilled; and it will constantly happen that what is not perhaps in itself a very serious mistake may yet inflict irreparable injury.”[46]

“They had a noble Version before them, which they have contrived to spoil in every part. Its dignified simplicity and essential faithfulness, its manly grace and its delightful rhythm, they have shown themselves alike unable to imitate and unwilling to retain. Their queer uncouth phraseology and their jerky sentences: — their pedantic obscurity and their stiff, constrained manner: — their fidgety affectation of accuracy, — and their habitual achievement of English which fails to exhibit the spirit of the original Greek; — are sorry substitutes for the living freshness, and elastic freedom, and habitual fidelity of the grand old Version which we inherited from our Fathers, and which has sustained the spiritual life of the Church of England, and of all English-speaking Christians, for 350 years. Linked with all our holiest, happiest memories, and bound up with all our purest aspirations: part and parcel of whatever there is of good about us: fraught with men’s hopes of a blessed Eternity and many a bright vision of the never-ending Life; — the Authorized Version, wherever it was possible, should have been jealously retained.”[47]

Allow me to offer a (few) more words of John Burgon. Speaking of Westcott and Hort he writes that “As Critics they have had abundant warning. Twelve years ago (1871) a volume appeared on the ‘last Twelve Verses of the Gospel according to S. Mark,’—of which the declared object was to vindicate those Verses against certain critical objectors, and to establish them by an exhaustive argumentative process.Up to this hour, for a very obvious reason, no answer to that volume has been attempted. And yet, at the end of ten years (1881),—not only in the Revised English but also in the volume which professes to exhibit the underlying Greek, (which at least is indefensible,)—the Revisers are observed to separate off those Twelve precious Verses from their context, in token that they are no part of the genuine Gospel. Such a deliberate preference of “mumpsimus” to “sumpsimus” is by no means calculated to conciliate favour, or even to win respect. The Revisers have in fact been the dupes of an ingenious Theorist, concerning whose extraordinary views you are invited to read what Dr. Scrivener has recently put forth. The words of the last-named writer (who is facile princeps in Textual Criticism) will be found facing the beginning of the present Dedication.[

“sump·si·mus [suhmp-suh-muh s]

noun, plural -mus·es for 2.

1. adherence to or persistence in using a strictly correct term, holding to a precise practice, etc., as a rejection of an erroneous but more common form ( opposed to mumpsimus).

2. a person who is obstinate or zealous about such strict correctness ( opposed to mumpsimus).”[49]

As for mumpsimus;

“mump·si·mus [muhmp-suh-muhs]

noun, plural -mus·es for 2.

1.adherence to or persistence in an erroneous use of language, memorization, practice, belief, etc., out of habit or obstinacy ( opposed to sumpsimus).

2.a person who persists in a mistaken expression or practice ( opposed to sumpsimus).”[50]

The origin of the word mumpsimus is said to come “from a story, which perhaps originated with Erasmus, of an illiterate priest who said mumpsimus  rather than sūmpsimus  (1st plural perfect indicative of Latin sūmere  to pick up; see consume) while reciting the liturgy, and refused to change the word when corrected.”[51] Perhaps something was learned here with these two words but as to whether it will be remembered is another story. 

Hurrying on to a conclusion, when Westcott and Hort felt confident that the time was ripe they published their New Greek Testament and in the same year the English Revised Standard Version was published as well. From then on there was no stopping the floodgate!

So it is safe to say that those who hold to the Westcott and Hort theory continue to critically search and those who hold to the Greek Text underlying the King James Bible believe we possess already God’s inspired, preserved original Greek Words and that those Words were accurately brought over, translated, into our King James Bible in 1611.

In summation the Westcott and Hort followers believe MAN will someday RESTORE God’s Word! Reiterating but hopefully not laboriously, those holding to the underlying Greek Text of the King James Bible believe by faith and the manuscript evidence, that God INSPIRED, PROTECTED AND PRESERVED His Words in that Greek Text used by our 1611 translators.

Therefore Critical Text folk will always have TENTATIVE Bibles whereas those who hold to the Greek Text underlying the King James Bible HAVE now and will always have a COMPLETE BIBLE both in Greek and English! Yes, “The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad” Psalm 126:3.



[1]Daniel B. Wallace, MY TAKE ON INERRANCY, August 10, 2006, p.2, www.bible.org

[2] Genesis 3: 1

[3] Daniel B. Wallace, MY TAKE ON INERRANCY, August 10, 2006, p. 4 “Bruce Metzger is an evangelical scholar”, www.bible.org

[4] Bruce Metzger, THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT ITS TRANSMISSION, CORRUPTION, AND RESTORATION, FOURTH EDITION, OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS, 2005, p. 322.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Ibid.

[10] Floyd Nolen Jones, The Chronology of the Old Testament, Master Books, Green Forest, AR, page 10.

[11] Daniel B. Wallace, Inspiration, Preservation, and New Testament Textual Criticism, Originally published in Grace Theological Journal 12 (1992) 21-51; also published in New Testament Essays in Honor of Homer A. Kent, Jr. (ed. Gary T. Meadors; Winona Lake, IN: BMH Books, 1991): 69-102.

[13] THE GREEK NEW TESTAMENT, 2nd Edition, United Bible Societies, 1968, Preface p. v.

[16] DANIEL B. WALLACE, THE MAJORITY!TEXT THEORY: HISTORY, METHODS AND CRITIQUE, JETS 37/2 ( June 1994)  p. 185.

[17] Bruce Metzger, THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration, FOURTH EDITION, OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS, 2005, p. 174

[18] Daniel B. Wallace, THE MAJORITY!TEXT THEORY: HISTORY, METHODS AND CRITIQUE, JOURNAL OF THE EVANGELICAL THEOLOGICAL SOCIETY, June 1994, pp. 186, 187

[19] http://www.csntm.org/

[20] Bruce Metzger, THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration, FOURTH EDITION, OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS, 2005, p.179

[21] Ibid.

[22] Ibid., p.67

[23] Ibid. p. 312

[24] Dean John Burgon, The Last Twelves verse of Mark, The Dean Burgon Society, Box 354, Collingswood, NJ 08108, p. 76

[25] Edward Miller, A Guide to the Textual Criticism of the New Testament, Dean Burgon Society Press, Box 354, Collingswood, NJ, p. 126.

[26] http://images.csntm.org/Manuscripts/GA_03/GA_03_0037a.jpg This blank column may be viewed at this site.

[27] The New Testament in the Original Greek, Introduction, p. 2

[29] The New Testament in the Original Greek, Introduction, p. 16

[30] Bruce Metzger, THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration, FOURTH EDITION, OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS, 2005, p. 167

[31] The New Testament in the Original Greek, Introduction, p. 91

[32]The New Testament in the Original Greek, Introduction, p. 92

[33] Bruce Metzger, THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration, FOURTH EDITION, OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS, 2005, p.145

[34] G. W. and D. E. Anderson, The Received Text A Brief Look at the Textus Receptus, Quarterly Record no. 546, January to March 1999, Trinitarian Bible Society

[35] Scrivener’s Annotated Greek New Testament,  Dean Burgon Society Press, Box 354, Collingswood, NJ, 08108, USA, 1999

[36]Floyd Nolen Jones, The Chronology of the Old Testament, Master Books, Green Forest, AR, page 17.

[37] Daniel B. Wallace, THE MAJORITY!TEXT THEORY: HISTORY, METHODS AND CRITIQUE, JOURNAL OF THE EVANGELICAL THEOLOGICAL SOCIETY, June 1994, p. 185

[38] Ibid.

[39] Ibid., p. 186

[40] Ibid.

[41] Bruce Metzger, THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration, FOURTH EDITION, OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS, 2005, p. 153

[42] Ibid., 181

[43] Ibid., 182

[44] Ibid.

[45] John Burgon, The Revision Revised, Conservative Classics, Box 308, Paradise, Pa., pp. 114, 115

[46] Ibid., p. 197

[47] Ibid., pp. 225, 226

[48] Ibid. p. vii

[50] Ibid.

[51] Ibid.

 

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