1. GOD
ANTICHRIST, by Russell Earl Kelly, PHD
LAW: The Ten Commandments are not for All Mankind
PRETERISM: Rebuttal to Gary DeMar's End Times Fiction
Reformed Theology

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                 Russell Earl Kelly, PHD
                   September 16, 2011 


1.  The Original Bible
2.  A. D. 100 to A.D. 200 Corruptions
     Ebionite Corruption               
Gnostic Corruption
     Arian Corruption
3.  Origen (d254)               
Catechism School of Alexandria
Origen’s Probable Corruptions
     Origen’s Theology
4.  Lucian
     Eusebius of Nicomedia
     The Greek Orthodox Decision
5.  A. D. 384 to A. D. 1453               
Jerome (d430) and the Latin Vulgate
6  The Alexandrian Manuscripts
  Vaticanus B
    Sinaiticus Aleph
    Comparison Facts
    Bodmer Papyri
7. Erasmus to 1604
    Erasmus (1516)
    Luther (1517)
    Tyndale (1522)
    The Great Bible (1526)
    Stephanus (1550)
    The Geneva Bible (1560)
    The Bishops’ Bible (1568)
    Beza (1598)
8. The King James Bible (1611)
    Rules of the King James Version
    Elzevir Brothers (1624-78)
    Editions, not Revisions
9. Textual Criticism
    Prelude to 1881 ERV
    Disobeying the King
    Westcott and Hort Biography
    Work Ethics on the 1881 ERV 
10.  Textual-Critical Rules
    Shorter are Better Rule
    Harder to Read is Best Rule
    Smoother and Longer is Bad Rule
    The Most Likely Sources are Best Rule
    Alexandrian Manuscripts are Best Rule
    Readings with Two or More Text Types Rule
11.   Text Types and Families
   Byzantine Text Type
   Western Text Type
   Alexanddrian Text Type
   Are Text Types and Families Real
12.  The Strongest Argument Against Alexandrian Texts
13.  Dating the Traditional Text (Byzantine, Textus Receptus)
14.  Early Bible Versions
     Old Latin
     Old Syriac, Diatesseron
     Syriac, Peshitta
     Early German
     Gothic Bible

Selected Author Information

*Numbers in ( ) are page numbers from Floyd Nolen Jones, Th. D., Ph. D., Which Version is the Bible?, Kings Word Press, 1999. 



Conservative evangelical Christians from the Textus Receptus view believe that God inspired the autographs, the first original copies of the Bible, without error. That is also what the Bible claims for itself.  


Modern "liberal" text critics reject the Textus Receptus and also deny inspiration. Their stated goal is to recover the earliest Bible(s). However, mdern "conservative" text critics reject the Textus Receptus but do not assign variants and errors to the original autographs. It is their special mission to recover the autographs by detecting and removing errors and incorrect variants. They teach that the oldest, shortest, and most difficult to understand Alexandrian manuscripts are usually nearest the originals. They believe that their own methods and systems of analyzing texts can restore the original autographs to an incredible level. 


2 Peter 1:21 “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” 

1 Peter 1:25 “But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.” 

The Bible teaches that the original autographs of the Word of God were produced by the moving of God upon holy men (2 Pet 1:21).  Therefore the original documents of God’s Word must have been holy, pure, easy to understand, and without error of any kind.  

The original autographs would reflect the character of God Himself as their Originator. Coming directly from the mind of God, those original written words must have been as perfect as possible in every way. Nothing else makes sense. Anything less demeans the character and ability of God.   



Following the death of the last of the Apostles around A.D. 100, many portions of the original inspired Word fell into the hands of uninspired and unregenerate men who deliberately changed them to match their false theology.  

It is evident that between the end of the first century (100) and the end of the second century (200) many, but not all, manuscripts of the Bible had been severely corrupted. At one extreme were manuscripts deliberately corrupted by second century Gnostics, Ebionites, and Arians.
And at the other extreme were the inspired preserved longer and easier to understand Syrian and Greek texts. 


The very rare and oldest Alexandrian manuscripts contain the originals. A long and slow process is necessary by highly educated linguists in order to glean the truth because many of the oldest manuscripts are severely corrupted.  

They claim that no Syrian-Byzantine-Textus Receptus documents existed prior to Chrysostom’s time around 350. They admit that the Western text-type contains very long texts, but deny that those long texts are the same as the Byzantine. 


After inspiring inerrant copies of His Word, it makes no senses that an Omnipotent and Omniscient God would then allow it to be so lost and so distorted that its restoration was necessary over 1800 years later.

Common sense concludes that an Omnipotent and Omniscient God would miraculously and providentially preserve his Word and make it available to all generations.
 Textus Receptus advocates say that they do not need a complicated system of filtering errors and variants. They contend that (aside from spelling, punctuation, and archaic word replacement) the original autographs have always been miraculously present.  

Textus Receptus advocates believe that the earliest Bible translations such as the Diatesseron, Old Latin, Old Italic and Aramaic Peshitta were written between 100 and 200 and clearly demonstrate the originals (of the Textus Receptus). They conclude that the papyri from 100 to 400 are a mixture. Some like the Alexandrian are very choppy and corrupt. Others, like the Greek behind the earliest Bible translations, reflect the originals. T-R advocates claim that the Alexandrian text-types are scarce because they have been corrupted and were obviously rejected and very seldom copied by Church leaders since the middle of the fourth century.  


The Ebionites were Jewish Christians who never understood the full impact of the Gospel and never stopped being zealous of the Law. They made drastic changes to the originals. They only accepted Matthew’s Gospel, revered James the Just and rejected Paul as an apostate. They taught that a human Jesus only became the Messiah after His baptism. And they did not fellowship with other Christians.  

[135] Aquila of Sinope had been excommunicated for astrology and worship of dead bodies. He even supervised the building of the temple of Jupiter on the Temple site and helped to place the emperor's idol there. Wallace (see below) accused Aquila of Sinope of deliberately changing the OT to remove references to Christ). In the N.T. he changed the Greek word parthenos (virgin) in Matthew 1:23 to pantheras, a blond German soldier, and father of Jesus through Mary.  

Between 175-195 Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, accused Aquila of Sinope of being a wicked perverter of the Scriptures, Ante Nicean Fathers, Vol 1, Roberts and Donaldson edition, 1867; Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Bk III, chap 21, 451 quoted by Wallace (93). See more at Origen.  


Gnostics taught that Jesus was only a spirit being and did not come in the flesh. Their peak of influence in the second century almost destroyed early Christianity and forced them to compile an early list of inspired books.  

It is well known that the Gnostic Marcion deliberately altered biblical manuscripts to agree with his theology in 140. Dionysius, Bishop of Corinth (168-176) said that the scriptures had been deliberately altered in his day. Eusebius Ecclesiastical History, Book IV, chapter 23 (134). 

In 1898 John Burgon wrote that the Gnostic Valentinus (c 140) corrupted some texts. J.W. Burgon, The Causes of the Corruption of the Traditional Text of the Holy Gospels; Edward Miller, 1896, 214-218, 287-291 (157).  


ORIGEN (d254) 

Origen taught and wrote from this school while living in Egypt. Its influence on his theology and writing cannot be overlooked.  

[190] Pantaenus (d190) was the first teacher of the Catechism School in Alexandria. He was a classical Stoic who taught the allegorical method. He also taught that Plato was just as inspired as the Bible. 

[175-200] GAIUS named four heretics who altered texts and had disciples copying them who could not produce the originals. Wilbur Pickering pointed out that Gaius' accusations that the scribes had deliberately changed Greek manuscripts would have been hollow unless he (Gaius) could produce the originals to prove his point! J. W. Burgon, The Revision Revised, 1883, 323-324 (148). Pickering, The Identity of the NT Texts, 1977, 109-110 (148). 

[220] Clement of Alexandra (155-220) succeeded Pantaenus from 190-215. He is called the first Christian scholar and opposed Gnosticism. 

[d220] TERTULLIAN: In 1896 F. C. Burkitt wrote that Tertullian (160-220) and Augustine of Hippo (354-430) both testified that the scribes in Africa were constantly editing and revising the manuscripts. Burkitt, The Old Latin and the Italia, Cambridge, 1896 quoted in ISBE, Vol 4, 970 (167).  

Coming from prominent theologians of the early church, this is significant evidence that scribes in Egypt had actually "changed" the manuscripts. It may also be a reason why Jerome's Latin Vulgate had not been readily accepted. 

[243] Ammonius Saccas (d243), the founder of Neo-Platonism, taught Origen. He also taught that the world was an emanation from the impersonal one (Egyptian theology in cuneiform) (94). 


With the exception of Westcott and Hort, Origen (d254) is the most controversial person in the KJV-Modern Bible debate. His father died as a martyr in 202. While teaching for 28 years at the Catechism School of Alexandria, Origen was extremely ascetic and pious and even castrated himself according to his interpretation of Matthew 19:12.  

Origen studied with the founder of Neo-Platoism, Ammonius Saccas and heard Hippolytus in Rome. After his own bishop, Demetrius of Alexandria, deposed him as a priest in Egypt, he spent his last years in Had. From his new school in Had he was imprisoned by Emperor Decius in 250 and died soon afterwards. The books included in Origen’s Hexapla cause Textus Receptus advocates to conclude that Origen most likely corrupted Alexandrian manuscripts by including material from obviously corrupted Ebionite writings.  

Origen’s Hexapla was a parallel Bible with 6 columns: the Hebrew O. T., 3 Ebionite O. T.s by Aquila, Symmachus and Theodotian, a Greek O. T. Septuagint and a (controversial) Greek New Testament which many believe spawned Sinaiticus Aleph and Vaticanus B.  

That which disturbs Textus Receptus advocates is the fact that Origen obviously highly regarded the Ebionite manuscripts enough to include them among sacred literature. Ebionites rejected Paul, had no fellowship with other Christians and never abandoned zealous obedience to the Law of Moses.  At the very least, this evidence reveals the mind of Origen. He chose for his New Testament the much shorter and much harder-to-understand Alexandrian manuscripts as the ones he considered to be the most accurate and the closest to the originals. His favorites were the predecessors of Vaticanus B and Sinaiticus Aleph. Origen's extremely unorthodox theology and lifestyle would pre-dispose or encourage him to alter texts to agree with his own views. Jerome and Epiphanius later accused Origen of Subordinationism (a form of Arianism). He was much later condemned by the Synod of Constantinople in 543 for his Arian theology. 

Knowing those who influenced Origen and the many accusations of contemporary Church Fathers just quoted (Irenaeus, Dionysius, Gaius, Tertullian, Jerome and Epiphanius), it is highly likely that he and/or his school also inserted false theology into the Hexapla. 

It is extremely difficult to reconcile two ideas: (1) that Origen believed 3 Ebionite OT documents included in his Hexapla were inspired enough to be included and (2) that Textual-Critics claim that these corrupted texts did not influence Origen's revision of the Alexandrian texts. 


Many believe that Origen's theology was radical enough to predispose him to change the Bible. (95) 

1. The Bible must be interpreted allegorically.
2. In Genesis 1-3, Adam and the fall of man are not literal. 
3. The temptations of Jesus by Satan are not literal. 
4. Jesus was created (Arianism). 
5. The soul sleeps in the grave until a spiritual resurrection. 
6. There is no physical resurrection of the body. 
7. Baptismal regeneration is essential for salvation. 
8. Non-baptized babies go to hell. 
9. Eventual universal salvation of even Satan will occur. 
10. Purgatory purifies for heaven. 
11. Transubstantiation: the literal blood and flesh of Jesus is consumed at communion. 
12. Ascetic men must be castrated. 
13. Salvation is maintained by goad works 
14. The Holy Spirit does not indwell until later. 
15. The least sinful fallen souls are the stars. 
16. The second least sinful souls are animals. 
17. Man has a more sinful soul than animals. 
18. The demons and Satan possess the most sinful souls. 

In 1962 Moyer and Reumann wrote that Origen edited and changed scripture to fit his doctrine. Elgin S. Moyer and John H. P. Reumann, Who Was Who in Church History?, 1962, p315 and John H. P. Reumann, The Romance of Bible Scripts and Scholars, 1965, 98-103 (93). 

In 1963 Kilpatrick wrote that Origen changed Mt 19:19 and changes were not tolerated after the 4th century. He said that Tatian was the last author to make deliberate changes in the text about which we have explicit information." G. D. Kilpatrick, Atticism and the Text of the Greek New Testament, 1963, 129-131 (155-156).  




HISTORY: Lucian of Antioch, the father of Arianism [Christ was created by the Father], was head of the theological school in Antioch, Syria. A contemporary of Origen, Lucian taught Arius of Alexandria and Eusebius of Nicomedia. Though an Arian, he opposed Origen's allegorical interpretation. 


Westcott and Hort attributed the compilation of the Textus Receptus to the Eastern Church between 250-350 with Lucian (d312) as its probable initiator and overseer. They called it the Lucianic Recension. 

Westcott and Hort taught that Lucian deliberately combined Western and pre-Syrian text types to create the Byzantine text. They say that it was longer and smoother because of deliberately combined texts. They then stated dogmatically that no inversions (opposite influence) occurred. WH, Introduction, 49, 133, 137-138 (123-127).

Modern Textual-Critics attribute the creation of the Textus Receptus to Eusebius around 350.


1. The Textus Receptus is not the product or Lucian, Eusebius, or any other man. It is the original autograph miraculously guided and preserved by God and watched over by the Greek Church.  

2.  Textus Receptus advocates seriously disagree with this malicious accusation by Westcott and Hort who offer absolutely no historical proof for their assertions because none exists.  

3.  While Church Fathers complained about scribes who tampered with manuscripts, not a single word exists where any of them complained about such a large-scale tampering like that text-critics accuses Lucian and Eusebius of Nicomedia of accomplishing. E. C. Colwell, The Complex Character of the Late Byzantine Text of the Gospels, Journal of Biblical Literature, LIV, 1935, 212-213 (144).  

4.  Furthermore, if monks had enlarged the text at that time in history, they would have almost certainly also added texts which supported their views about the Virgin Mary and prayers requesting intercession from the saints.  

5.  By assigning the dates of 312 by Lucian and 350 by Eusebius of Nicomedia, text critics have inadvertently made the Textus Receptus a contemporary of their own favorite Alexandrian texts. It is clear that the long and smooth texts existed as far back as the second century. Text critics call the earliest texts Western while T-R advocates call them Byzantine.

6.  It is disturbing that W-H's completely un-documented theory has turned into accepted biblical history in some reputable Christian source books. For example, The New International Dictionary of the Christian Church cites Westcott and Hort as proof for the theory they originated!  


Roman Emperor Constantine filled two roles. While claiming to be a convert to Christianity he was, at the same time, the high priest of the Roman mystery religion and was worshipped as a god with his own statues. His conversion was doubtful, especially since he later murdered his wife and son and mixed both Christian and pagan rites. Constantine's political goal was to unite his empire under one religion. The Greek letter chi (X) carried by his armies was also a symbol of life in the mystery religions. Arianism was the heresy that Jesus was the first creation of the Father. It is also part of the heresy of today’s Jehovah Witnesses and Mormons. Arianism began by a Christian philosopher Arius (d336) of Alexandria, Egypt. He was condemned by the Council of Nicea (325), exonerated by the local First Synod of Tyre (335), and condemned again by the Council of Constantinople (381). Emperors Constantine II (d361) and Valens (d378) were Arians. 

In 325, Constantine (the Great) called the Council of Nicea in an effort to unify Christians. However, the Council condemned both him and Eusebius of Nicomedia as Arians. Though questionable, Broadbent claims that the consequence was that every bishop in the Catholic Church was Arian for the next 300 years. Broadbent may have been correct if he had been only referring to the churches of the Eastern Roman Empire. E. H. Broadbent, The Pilgrim Church, 1931, 21-22 (103).  


Eusebius of Nicomedia was Lucian's student. He is credited with revising the Greek LXX and was martyred. Eusebius wrote that Constantine [in 331] asked him to make 50 copies of the Bible for distribution to the churches. Although there is no historical or scientific evidence, advocates from both the modern textual-critical camp and the T-R camp agree that  the 50 copies mentioned by Eusebius used the Alexandrian text. 

In 1925 A. T. Robertson wrote that Vaticanus B and Sinaiticus were from these original 50 copies prepared by Eusebius for Constantine. Eusebius, iv, 36. A. T. Robertson, An Introduction to Textual Criticism, 1925, 80 (103, 105). 

In 1949 Ira M. Price wrote that Eusebius considered Origen to have been the greatest of men. He owned 800 of his documents. Price said that Eusebius used all of Origen's Hexapla columns, including his edited Greek New Testament and Apocrypha Ira M. Price, The Ancestry of Our English Bible, 2nd ed, 1949, 79 (104). 

In 1970 D. O. Fuller agreed with Robertson that Vaticanus B and Sinaiticus Aleph were two still-existing manuscripts of the original 50 produced by Eusebius. Fuller added that both Hort and Tischendorf also believed that these were two existing copies which Eusebius had prepared. Fuller, Which Bible?, 1970, 163, (105). 

If W-H are correct and the Byzantine text completely replaced them within 50 years, why were they replaced by a Syrian text type? If the Church around A.D. 350 had even temporarily accepted the Alexandrian text-type as the best nearest to the originals (and copied from even older documents), why were they evidently rejected, not widely copied, and not widely distributed throughout both the Western and Eastern Roman Empire? This was still centuries before the Muslims destroyed Bibles only in the southern half of the Empire. There were still almost 300 years to become widespread.


By 350 the Eastern Greek Church seems to have decided that its longer and smoother text was the best text to be used in the Eastern Roman Empire. Perhaps the presence of the 50 Alexandrian-text Bibles triggered this decision. T-R advocates believe that this choice was God-guided and God-preserved. The text type chosen by the Greek Church is variously called the Syrian, the Byzantine and/or the Traditional Text. These terms are all almost synonymous with the Textus Receptus (T-R). It is important to note that Erasmus much later chose the Greek Orthodox-preserved manuscripts and deliberately rejected older text types as corrupted.  

A. D. 384 TO A. D. 1453 

From 384 until 1453 the status quo of text types was little changed. The Eastern Roman Empire and the Greek Church used the Traditional Text. Arabic-speaking Christians preferred the Aramaic Peshitta. Old Latin, Old Italic, Gothic, and Gaelic Bibles (mostly from the Traditional Text) survived on the fringes of Roman Catholicism in Europe. Most of the Church Fathers and all of the Lectionaries used the smoother and longer T-R which means that they rejected the rougher and shorter Alexandrian texts.

In 1453 Ottoman Turks conquered Constantinople and ended the Roman Empire. The result was that the West was flooded with Greek Traditional Text manuscripts.


HISTORY:  Jerome (d430) is considered by both Roman Catholics and the Greek Orthodox Church as a saint and Doctor of the Church.  

Pope Damasus (d384) was one of the most aggressive advocates for the authority of the papacy. This was easy to assert in his day when Arian Christian "barbarians" were invading and the Roman Imperial authority had been severely weakened in the West.  

Upon his election Damasus massacred his opponent's supporters for three days. Pagans liked him because of his lavish life-style. It was Pope Damasus who established Latin as the principal language of the Western Church. Richard McBrien, Lives of the Popes, 1997, 63-64. 

In 383 Pope Damasus commissioned his secretary Jerome, the former Hermit of Bethlehem, to produce a New Testament Latin Bible to replace the Old Latin Bible. Jerome completed the Gospels around 384 and the complete revision, The Latin Vulgate, in 405. 


Internal evidence from Jerome's Latin Vulgate of 384 to 405 suggests that he used mostly Alexandrian texts. This demonstrates that the 4th century Western Church recognized that the Alexandrian texts were nearest to the originals and accepted them. 


1.  The fact that Jerome heavily used the Alexandrian manuscripts only proves that a very corrupt pope approved Jerome’s use of them.  

2.  Rome was not the center of Christianity in
384-405. Constantinople in the East was the center of Christianity and Pope Damasus, by commanding that Latin be the official language of the Western Church, was opposing the Eastern Church Patriarch.

The Western Roman Empire was being overrun and ruled by barbarian Germanic Arian Christians who had learned Arianism from Eastern Church missionaries.

3.  The Eastern Roman Empire endured until 1453 and never stopped using the Greek Bible. Since it never accepted the Alexandrian texts as legitimate, it must be concluded that they had been rejected. 

4. if Jerome had indeed used Vaticanus B, the Roman Catholic Church in the West must have certainly thought very little of it because it failed to command its monasteries and scribes to widely reproduce and widely distribute it to its territories. 

5. The Latin Vulgate is not all Alexandrian. It has many texts from both the Old Latin and the Byzantine Greek. These attest to the fact that the Byzantine was present and used even in the West when Jerome wrote the Latin Vulgate.  

6. For some reason, Jerome's Latin Vulgate suffered abuse within Roman Catholicism for over 1500 years. It was not officially made the Bible of the Roman Catholic Church until the Council of Trent in 1546 --- after the Protestant Reformers had begun using their own German Bibles from the  Traditional Text. History does not explain this treatment of the Latin Vulgate by the Catholic Church.  

7.  It is important to note that, beginning in A.D. 405 the Western Roman Catholic Church began using the Latin Vulgate derived from a mixture of the Old Latin T-R Byzantine, Alexandrian, and other Greek texts while the Eastern Roman Empire through the Greek Orthodox Church was only using the Byzantine text.  

8.  As far back as 386 Helvidius, a contemporary of Jerome who argued against the perpetual virginity of Mary, accused Jerome of using corrupted texts. Post Nicean Fathers, Vol VII, Schaff, 1892/1983, 338 (108).

Did Jerome use Origen's Hexapla which contained three corrupted Ebionite manuscripts? If he did use Origen's Hexapla to translate the Bible into Latin, how much did those Ebionite documents contribute to His Latin Vulgate?

9.  Westcott and Hort admitted that Jerome's Latin Vulgate in places disregards Vaticanus B and Sinaiticus Aleph in favor of Codex A for 22 significant agreements with the Traditional Text. After looking at Codex A, Edward Hills agreed with Westcott and Hort. Jerome must not have had as high an opinion of Vaticanus B and Sinaiticus Aleph as did W-H. Since W-H believed that where B and Aleph agreed, the originals existed, it is difficult to understand why Jerome would abandon B and Aleph for the TT equivalents in Codex A. WH, Introduction to the NT in the Original Greek, 1882, 187-188 (167). Hills, The King James Version Defended, 1956. 

10.  In 1979 The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia said that Jerome revised the Old Latin NT using Origen's Hexapla and all of the other columns. In his letters Origen referred to using the Greek 'original' to correct and amend the unskilled scribes. ISBE, 1979, Vol III, p1841, Vol IV, p972 (167).

11. AUGUSTINE (d430): In 1896 F. C. Burkitt wrote that Tertullian (160-220) and Augustine of Hippo (354-430) both testified that the scribes in Africa were constantly editing and revising the manuscripts. Burkitt, The Old Latin and the Italia, Cambridge, 1896 quoted in ISBE, Vol 4, 970 (167).

12. The Latin Vulgate contains John 7:53 to 8:11, the Pericope Adulterae from the Traditional Text and it was blessed by the Council of Trent. This is a blow to text-critics who claim it was not in the best manuscripts. .   


It is common knowledge that the minority manuscripts upon which the Alexandrian texts (Beatty, Bodmer and Uncials such as B, Aleph, A, H and W) are upon papyri or parchment which came only from Alexandrian Egypt. Wilbur Pickering, The Identity of the New Testament Text, 1977, 116-117 (157). 

Papyrus 45 (3rd cent) has 90 misspellings and 245 singular readings of which 10% make no sense; he shortens the text over 50 times. Colwell, Scribal Habits in Early Papyri, 1965, 374-379, 387. 

P46 (circa 200) was discovered in Cairo, Egypt.  
In 1953 Gunther Zuntz wrote that Papyrus 46 abounds in scribal blunders, omissions and additions. Gunther Zuntz, The Text of the Epistles, 1953, 18, 212 (158).

P47: According to one of the leading text-critics, Kurt Aland, "oldest" does not necessarily mean "best." In 1965 he wrote that papyrus P47 is not the best text of the Revelation. "The oldest manuscript does not necessarily have the best text. P47 is, for example by far the oldest of the manuscripts containing the full or almost full text of the Apocalypse, but is it certainly not the best." The Significance of the Papyri, 1965, 333 (158). 

This noticeable exception to the rule should challenge the rule. If P47, the oldest text of Revelation, is admittedly corrupted, the same process which corrupted P47 could also corrupt Vaticanus B or any other text.   

P66 (circa 200): In 1965 E. C. Colwell said that Papyrus 66 editorializes and is very poor and sloppy.  

P75 (early 3rd century) has over 400 mistakes including 145 misspellings and 257 singular reading with 25% of them nonsensical.  

In 1977 Edward Hills agreed that the Bodmer Papyri, P75, B and Aleph are error-ridden and have been tampered with by Arian heretics. Hills, Believing Bible , 1977, 77-78 (157). 

In 1977 Wilbur Pickering wrote that A. C. Clarke, Professor of Latin at Oxford, showed in his  of classical texts that scribes were most likely to accidentally omit rather than add." He also detailed the mistakes found in P45, P66, and P75. Pickering, The Identity of the New Testament Text, 1977, 79-85, 117-120 (127, 158). 

Pickering pointed out that Alexandrian Codex D was evidently so different from Vaticanus B and Sinaiticus Aleph that it was evidently corrupted within its own family. In 1977 he asked "How can any value be given to the depraved testimony of Codex D in Luke 22 to 24, much less prefer it above the united voice of all other witnesses?" When compared to W-H's final text of Luke 22-24, Codex D omits 329 words, added 173, substituted 146 and transposed 243. Yet W-H omitted material from the T-R in eight places because it was not found in D! Pickering, The Identity of the NT Text, 1977, 136 (162). 

Question: Would an All-Powerful and All-Knowing God have inspired His Word and then NOT allowed it to be widely copied and distributed for over 1800 years (as is the case for the Alexandrian documents)? 

Question: Would God have inspired His word and then not have preserved it (for example only ONE copy of Vaticanus B and Sinaiticus Aleph)?

Question: If a single copy of Vaticanus B were the most accurate copy of God’s Word, a) Why would it be allowed to gather dust until 1481? And b) Why would the Roman Catholic Church NOT command that it be copied?

VATICANUS B (350-380)
(See Wikipedia article) 

In 1481 a single copy of Vaticanus B was discovered in the Vatican library. It had been copied from 350-380. It contains 759 pages of very expensive Greek vellum 10 1/2 x 10 1/2 inches per page. It had originally contained almost all the Greek O.T. Septuagint (LXX) except for 1-4 Maccabees and the Pray of Manasseh. It includes the Apocrypha and Epistle of Barnabas. 

  Vaticanus B is missing Genesis 1-46, Psalms 106-138, Matthew 16:2-3, Romans 16:24, 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Revelation and Hebrews 9:15 to13:25.

There is a curious blank space at Mark 16:9-20 as if the scribes left space for a possible insertion. It is the only empty column in the Codex (92, 106-107).

Consistent with the Alexandrian text-type, the following are also missing: Luke 17:36; 22:43-44; John 5:4; 7:53 – 8:11; Acts 8:37; 15:34; 24:7; 28:29; Romans 16:24 and 1 Peter 5:3.

Portions of the following texts are missing: Mt 5:44; 10:37b; 15:6; 20:23; Mk 10:7, 19; Lk 9:55;11:4; 23:34.

The column arrangement is different from that of Sinaiticus A. It appears that 71 pages have been lost. 

In the Old Testament Ezekiel has a received text [very interesting], Isaiah had a rejected one [also very interesting], Judges agrees with the Old Latin, Job is longer and most of the O.T. agrees with Origen’s Hexapla. 

Unlike the O.T., the N.T. gospels are Alexandrian like that of Bodmer’s early third century and the Pauline Epistles are longer Western. In 1796 Griesbach accepted Mark, Luke, and John as Alexandrian but considered Matthew as Western. All critical editions of the New Testament published after Westcott and Hort were closer in the Gospels to the Codex Vaticanus text than to the Sinaiticus… All editions of Nestle-Aland remain close in textual character to the text of Westcott-Hort, which means Vaticanus was the basis for the translation. According to the commonly accepted opinion of the textual critics, it is the most important witness of the text of the Gospels, in the Acts and Catholic epistles, with a stature equal to Codex Sinaiticus, although in the Pauline epistles it includes Western readings and the value of the text is somewhat less than the Codex Sinaiticus. Wikipedia 

In 1882 Frederick C. Cook wrote that the 1881 Revised Version has 8-10 changes every 5 verses and that 3 changes every 10 verses were made for “critical purposes” based almost entirely on Aleph and B. Frederick C. Cook, The Revised Version of the First Three Gospels, 1882, 227, 231 (153). 

In 1956 Edward Hills wrote that Vaticanus B was probably kept because it was written on very expensive vellum. It was not re-copied but remained undisturbed. Hills, The King James Version Defended, 1956/1984, 185-186 (198). 

It appears that the scribes had an assortment of manuscripts before them and chose whatever ones they thought best. How else can Joshua follow the Old Latin, Isaiah follow a very corrupt text, Ezekiel follow the Received Text, the Gospels follow Alexandrian, and the Pauline Epistles follow the Western text? All of these text types probably emerged in A. D. 200 – the good, bad, and very bad. 

The fact that Vaticanus B had not been widely copied suggests that it had been rejected as corrupt and retired in the Vatican library.  


Codex Sinaiticus is an Alexandrian text-type manuscript written in the 4th century in uncial letters on parchment. The Codex was found at the Greek Orthodox Monastery of Mount Sinai in the mid 19th century. Originally, the Codex contained the whole of both Testaments. Approximately half of the Greek Old Testament (or Septuagint) survived, along with a complete New Testament, plus the Epistle of Barnabas, and portions of The Shepherd of Hermas. The apocryphal books present in the surviving part of the Septuagint are 2 Esdras, Tobit, Judith, 1 & 4 Maccabees, Wisdom and Sirach. 

The text of the New Testament lacks Matthew 16:2b-3, 17:21, 18:11, 23:14, 24:35; Mark 7:16, 9:44, 9:46, 11:26, 15:28, 16:9-20; Luke 17:36; John 5:4; 7:53-8:11;  16:15, 20:5b-6, 21:25; Acts 8:37; 15:34; 24:7; 28:29; Romans 16:24. 

Portions of the following texts are missing: Matthew 5:44; 6:13; 10:39a; 15:6; 20:23; 23:35; Mark 1:1; 10:7; Luke 9:55b-56a; John 4:9. 

Texts have been added from other Gospels at Matthew 8:13; 10:12; 27:49. Rare Variants are found at: Matthew 7:22; 13:54; Luke 1:26; 2:37; John 6:10; Acts 8:5; 11:20; 14:9; Heb 2:4; 1 Pet 5:13.

And Matt 8:12; 16:12; John 2:3 have a variant found only in two other places.
 Sinaiticus departs from Alexandrian and agrees with the Majority Text at: Mark 10:19; Luke 8:48. It has Mark 13:33 while B and D do not. It contains part of 1 John 5:6 which is missing from B.  

John 1:1-8:38 Codex Sinaiticus differs from Vaticanus and all other Alexandrian manuscripts. It is in closer agreement with Codex Bezae in support of the Western text-type 

There is a number of differences between Sinaiticus and Vaticanus; Hoskier enumerated 3036 differences: Matt–656; Mark–567; Luke–791; John–1022; Total—3036. A large number of these differences are due to iotacisms and variants in transcribing Hebrew names.

It could not have been written before 325 because it contains the
Eusebian Canons. It could not have been written after 360 because of certain references to Church fathers in the margin. It was discovered by Tichendorf in 1844, partially published in 1869, and fully published by Kirsopp Lake in 1911 (New Testament), and in 1922 (Old Testament).  It is the only uncial manuscript with the complete text of the New Testament. For the Gospels, Sinaiticus is generally considered among scholars as the second most reliable witness of the text (after Vaticanus); in the Acts of the Apostles, its text is equal to that of Vaticanus; in the Epistles, Sinaiticus is the most reliable witness of the text.

In the
Book of Revelation, however, its text is corrupted and is considered of poor quality, and inferior to the texts of Codex Alexandrinus, Papyrus 47, and even some minuscule manuscripts. 

Westcott and Hort taught that, where B and Aleph agree, they are nearest the originals. Yet, while modern textual critics usually agree with their conclusions, no reason is given for them being nearest the originals when they could just as easily have been corrupted. Greenlee, Introduction, 81.


The Sinaiticus Aleph version of Revelation is admittedly extremely corrupt. How can this be explained that an admittedly corrupt Revelation is side-by-side with text which must be nearest the originals? 

Of great significance to textual critics, B differs from Aleph 652 times in Mark alone and with A 1944 places. In comparison Stephanus’ TR from 1550 and the Elzevir brothers’ TR in 1624 only differ in 19 places in Mark and 287 places total. Robertson, Introduction, 18-20, 1925 (65). 

In 1896 Burgon wrote that Tischendorf made a scandal of the science of textual criticism. After Sinaiticus Aleph had been discovered following seven editions of his New Testament, Tischendorf then made 3572 changes to his eighth edition based solely on Aleph. Burgon, The Traditional Text, 160 (105). 

Sinaiticus Aleph dates to the 4th century. It follows the Western text in John 1 to 8. [How is this explained if T-R did not exist at that time?] Acts and Epistles are a mixture of B and Aleph. It has both Epistles of Clement of Alexandria which deny the literal resurrection of bodies (108). Yet modern text critics will not admit it has been corrupted.

Burgon (1896) wrote that since B and Aleph keep company with A, C and D which are evidently corrupted, [If one is to be judged by the company one keeps], then they are in bad company. Burgon, The Revision Revised, 1883, 16-18, 30-31 and Burgon, The Traditional Text, 1896, 84 (161). 

In 1914 Herman Hoskier wrote over 500 pages to detail the errors of Vaticanus B and another 400 pages to detail the errors of Sinaiticus Aleph. Vaticanus B and Sinaiticus Aleph differ from EACH OTHER in the Gospels 3,036 times. (153, 161). Hoskier, Codex B and its Allies, Vol II, 1914. Herman Hoskier, Codex B and Its Allies, Vol II, 1914, 1 (153, 161). 

In 1977 Pickering wrote that since there is only one existing copy of both B and Aleph. The evident fact that they were not copied (in comparison to the T-R) suggests that the early church rejected them. Pickering, The Identity of the NT Text, 1977, 127 (162). 

BODMER PAPYRI In 1922 the Bodmer Papyri, a collection of 22 papyri, were discovered in Egypt. 

They contain segments from the Old and New Testaments, early Christian literature, and Homer and Menander. The oldest, P66, dates to 200. There are parts of 35 books plus letters in Coptic and Greek.
 Papyrus 66 (P66), is a text of the Gospel of John,[5] dating around 200CE, in the manuscript tradition called the Alexandrian text-type.  Aside from the papyrus fragment in the Rylands Library Papyrus P52, it is the oldest testimony for John; it omits the passage concerning the moving of the waters (John 5:3b-4) and the pericope of the woman taken in adultery (John 7:53-8:11).  P72 is the earliest known copy of the Epistle of Jude, and 1 and 2 Peter.  Papyrus 75 (P75) is a partial codex containing most of Luke and John. Comparison of the two versions of John in the Bodmer Papyri with the third-century Chester Beatty Papyri convinced Floyd V. Filson that "...there was no uniform text of the Gospels in Egypt in the third century. There are also Christian texts that would become declared apocryphal in the fourth century, such as the Infancy Gospel of James.  There is a Greek-Latin lexicon to some of Paul's letters, and there are fragments of Melito of Sardis. Among the works is a Christian Vision of Dorotheus, son of "Quintus the poet" assumed to be the pagan poet Quintus Smyrnaeus, written in archaising Homeric hexameters, the earliest Christian hexameter poem (P29). The earliest extant copy of the Third Epistle to the Corinthians is published in Bodmer Papyri X.all were part of a monastic library.[7]The latest of the Bodmer Papyri (P74) dates to the sixth or seventh century. (Wikipedia) Significant remark: The Bodmer Papyri convinced Floyd V. Filson that "...there was no uniform text of the Gospels in Egypt in the third century.  


ERASMUS: 1516 

Desidius Erasmus was a Dutch monk and the leading humanist of his day who lived mostly in Basle, Switzerland. John Colet of England urged him to become a Bible scholar and restore early Christianity. He was the first best-selling author in the history of printing. He defended free will against Luther's predestination theology. 

Erasmus kept busy visiting libraries, reading Church Fathers and exposing the ignorance of the priests and Church. The key rulers of his day wanted Erasmus to work for them. He refused employment from the King of England, the Emperor of Germany and the Pope. As a scholar he was without peer -- an intellectual giant in Europe. D. O. Fuller, Which Bible?, 1972, 225-226. James Anthony Froude, Life and Letters of Erasmus, 1906/1894, 294 (52). 

From 1510 to 1514 Erasmus taught Greek at Cambridge and, unlike many text critics, professed that the Bible was the absolute Word of God. He opposed an overemphasis on ritual and said that the Godly life could be improved by giving the Bible to everybody. To be a humanist in his day meant to humanities and liberal arts. Though critical of abuse in the Church, he was true to his ordination vows. 

Erasmus rejected the Alexandrian documents behind much of Jerome's Latin Vulgate and preferred the Greek manuscripts which had been preserved by the Greek Orthodox Church. He wanted to reform his church from within (52-62). 

After consulting many documents (almost certainly including Vaticanus B) and gathering several hundred variants, Erasmus settled on a 15th century copied manuscript for the Gospels, a 12th-13th century copied manuscripts for Acts and the Epistles, a 12th century for Revelation and the Latin Vulgate for the last 6 verses of Revelation.  

It is almost certain that Erasmus knew of Vaticanus B and rejected it. In 1854 Samuel Tregelles wrote that Erasmus had been in regular correspondence with Paulus Bombasius, the Papal librarian, who sent him any variant readings which he desired. Samuel Prideaux Tregelles, An Account of the Printed Text of the Greek New Testament …, 1854, 22 (84). 

In 1516 Erasmus’ first edition of the Greek New Testament was printed. Being hurried and unedited, it contained many typesetting and lack-of-editing errors. He published his second edition in 1519. Neither of the first two editions included John 5:7-8.  

The fact that he was familiar with almost all of the important variant readings known to scholars today may be proven from his notes.

After 28 years of research, Frederick Nolan (1784-1864), a Greek and Latin scholar and historian, concluded that it was "indisputable" that Erasmus knew about the Alexandrian documents. Hills, The King James Version Defended, 198. Frederick Nolan, An Inquiry into the Integrity of the Greek Vulgate. 1815, 413-415 (63).

Later, in 1533, a Catholic priest named Juan Sepulveda sent Erasmus 365 selected readings from Vaticanus B as proof of its superiority and offered to make the entire text available. Erasmus rejected all of these and maintained that the Textus Receptus was correct. Marvin R. Vincent, A History of the Textual Criticism of the New Testament, 1899 and F. H. A. Scrivener, A Plain Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament, edited by Edward Miller, 2 Vol., 1894, Vol. 1, 109 (84).  

LUTHER: 1517 

In 1519 Martin Luther used Erasmus' 2nd Greek edition to write the German Bible. Like all of the Reformers, Jerome's [Alexandrian-based] Latin Bible was rejected and Erasmus' Greek New Testament was preferred.   

TYNDALE: 1522 

In 1525 William Tyndale (d1536) used Erasmus' 3rd edition (1522) to publish the first English printed Bible New Testament (and part of the O.T). Tyndale was an English priest who left Oxford for Cambridge to  Greek under Erasmus. He was fluent in 7 languages. His unauthorized translation so angered Roman Catholic leaders that in 1536 he was strangled as a heretic and his body was burned in England (64). 


The Great Bible was printed by King James VIII to be the official Bible. Its N.T. was mostly Tyndale’s and its O.T. came from Tyndale, the Latin Vulgate, and the German Bible. 


In 1550 Stephanus (Robert Estienne) edited Erasmus' third Greek edition. His third edition is the Textus Receptus which has almost no changes with Erasmus' but did number verses for the first time (65).  


The 1560 Geneva Bible was translated from Stephanus’ Greek edition of Erasmus’ 3rd edition. It was “great” in size because it was full of Calvinistic footnotes which offended the High Church bishops of the Church of England. 

BISHOPS’ BIBLE: 1568, 1572, 1602, 1617 

The English Bishop’s Bible removed many Presbyterian-style notes from the Geneva Bible which offended Anglicans. It became the preferred Bible of the Puritans. 

In 1587 an O. T. version of Vaticanus B was printed by the Roman Catholic Church and was rejected by Protestants in favor of the Masoretics’ preserved text. (83) 

BEZA: 1598 In 1598:

Theodore Beza, a French Protestant scholar, published several editions [not revisions] of Erasmus’ 3rd edition Greek through 1604. His 5th edition became the basis of most of the KJV (65).



In 1604 the King James Version began when 1000 Puritans within the Church of England lead by John Renyolds, President of Corpus Christi College at Oxford, signed a petition, called the Millenary Petition. The Geneva Bible of 1539, they argued, was very difficult to read and had too many offensive footnotes. The petition requested an easier-to-understand version and was approved by King James I of England (himself a trained theologian). The new version was not supposed to have footnotes. 

Forty seven (47) scholars worked in six (6) groups at Westminster, Cambridge and Oxford. Of the 47, 4 were college presidents, 6 were bishops, 5 were deans, 39 had master's degrees, 30 had doctorates and 41 were university professors. The 47 included 13 Hebrew and 10 Greek scholars who had been 1trained to an extraordinary degree. Eldred Thomas, Bible Versions, 1978, 12 (67). 


(1) INADIVIADUAL STUDY: First, each man spent three years on his own assignment. 
(2) SMALL GROUP STUDY: Second, each man contributed to his own group.  
(3) LARGE GROUP STUDY: Third, each man in the company contributed to the work of larger groups. 
(4) ALL 47 STUDY TOGETHEER: Fourth, all groups contributed to each other’s work. 
(5) Finally, two men from each group (12 from 6 groups) made the final decisions. 
(6) OF UTMOST IMPORTANCE, each of the 47 believed that the Bible was the infallible Word of God and over 90% of the final document agreed with Tyndale’s 1522 translation. The translation used Theodore Beza's Greek edition of Erasmus and Stephanus. Italics were used for words added for clarity (67-69). 

The individual committees had completed their work by 1608 and the General Committee Review began in January 1609. The initial printing of 1611 was made before English spelling was standardized. It also had so many printing errors that litigation followed for decades. In 1629 and 1638 Cambridge printed editions (not revisions).  


Between 1624-1678 the Elzevir brothers of Holland printed seven editions [not revisions] also based on Stephanus and Beza. Their second edition in 1633 became the standard text used in Europe. Their introduction in Latin called it the Textus Receptus, the Received Text for the first time. The Elzevir brothers also believed that they were working with the infallible Word of God. This means that, if they had considered the Vaticanus B superior, they certainly would have used it. 


Critics of the KJV argue that it has undergone several major "revisions." Actually there were many "editions" but no "revisions." The 1629 and 1638 editions were to correct errors by the printers. The 1762 and 1769 editions updated spelling and punctuation. And the change from Gothic to modern type involved thousands of spelling edits.

Textus Receptus advocates have always emphasized that God promised to both inspire and preserve His Word for all believers.
 In 1675 and again in 1742, first the Helveticus Consensus and then the Philadelphia Confession declared that God had "preserved" His Word so that it could not be corrupted (81). 

In 1707 John Mill also used Stephanus' 3rd edition to publish an edition of the Greek New Testament. Although he had only a few changes, the difference was that he included a critical apparatus with variants from 78 manuscripts other than the Textus Receptus. This did not replace other versions.  


KJV-Modern Bible Debate 


Most textual critics today describe themselves as restorers of the original documents. They claim that by using their rules of textual criticism they can discern which words are nearest the originals and which variants must be rejected. They steadfastly claim that the message of God has been preserved in all sincere group revisions from the KJV to the most recent. The KJV, they say, is not a "bad" text, but it is also not the "best" text. Their mission is restoration to the very best text possible. THE


The Textus Receptus, or Received Text, is the underlying Greek of the King James Bible. Scholars who defend the Textus Receptus are just as well-educated in Greek and Hebrew as their counterparts in the textual-critical viewpoint. They believe that the KJV and its foundation in the Greek Textus Receptus are God's words because God has kept His promise to preserve His Word to win souls throughout all generations.  

They claim to produce evidence that most of the rules used by textual critics are questionable and unscientific. While rejecting the critical interpretation of biblical history concerning the creation of the Textus Receptus, they point out many documented accusations by Church Fathers that scribes in Africa had deliberately changed their copies of the scriptures.   


In 1734 Johannes Albert Bengel, called the father of modern textual criticism, published a Greek edition which notably only deviated from the Textus Receptus when a reading he preferred had already appeared in print. Harold Greenlee, Introduction to New Textual Criticism, 1964, 72-73. Thus began the trend to discard the conclusions of the 47 Bible scholars who produced the KJV with the opinion of a single man.  

In 1752 John Jacob Griesbach was the first to actually challenge the Greek Textus Receptus (TR) with what he considered to be the true readings in his non-textual apparatus. Between 1774 and1806 Griesbach broke the tradition of T-R-only Greek Bibles. He classified the Pauline Epistles as either Alexandrian or Western. Introduction, Greenlee, 73-74. 

In 1870 the southern convocation of the Church of England decided to edit the King James Bible. A committee of scholars was selected to make minor cosmetic changes in the wording of the King James Version.

They were charged to
(1) change obsolete spelling,
(2) update punctuation,
(3) replace archaic words and
(4) update the language. The Church of England did not want an overhaul of the text itself and only wanted minor changes. Floyd Nolen Jones, Which Version is the Bible?, 1999 (49).


Contrary to their charge by the Church of England to make minor cosmetic changes, the committee: 
(1) Produced an entirely different Bible version based on entirely different foundational Greek and Hebrew texts. 
(2) Included three Unitarians who had no vested interest in maintaining Trinitarian texts: Vance Smith, Coleridge and Maurice. 
(3) Worked in secret eleven years. 
(4) 7% of the words from the Textus Receptus were changed or deleted ---9970 of 140,521 words in 5604 places.  
(5) A great majority of the changes came from a single document, Vaticanus B, which remains in the Vatican library and also contains the Apocrypha In 1958 Frederick Kenyon expanded the above numbers and wrote that the W-H Greek text actually differs in 5788 (not 5604) places from the T-R. Kenyon, Our Bible and the Ancient Manuscripts, 1958, 312-313 (109). 

Of major concern to KJV advocates, the W-H text omits 40 major texts about the virgin birth, resurrection, deity of Jesus and Jesus' authority.  

and F. J. A. HORT 

The architects behind the 1881 English Revised Version were Bishop B. F. Westcott and F. J. A. Hort, Anglican professors at Cambridge in England. They had been ordered to edit the English of the King James Version. What kind of Christians were these two men who were entrusted with "restoring" the Word of God to its original purity? The following are from their own biographies. 

1. Both were high church. Their theology was pro Roman Catholic with emphasis on the adoration of Mary and the intercession of the saints. Westcott, Life, Vol 1, 81, 251. Hort, Life, Vol 2, 50. 

2. Both believed that atonement through incarnation was more correct than atonement through crucifixion. Westcott, Life, Vol 1, 52. 

3. Both questioned or denied miracles. Westcott, Life, Vol 1, 52. 

4. Both denied that the first three chapters of Genesis were literal. The fall was not literal. Westcott, Life, Vol 1, 8, 78. Vol 2, 69. 

5. Both were influenced by Cardinal Newman's Gnostic-type teaching that there were many intermediaries between heaven and earth. Hort, Life, Vol 2, 55. 

6. Both agreed with Unitarians Smith, Coleridge and Maurice in their emphasis on pantheism and metaphysics. Hort, Life, Vol 1, 42. 

7. Both accepted Darwin’s theory of evolution. Hort, Life, Vol 1, 416. 

8. In their own book both denied that the original autographs were inerrant. WH, Introduction, 280. 

9. Both belonged to a society which believed in ghosts. Westcott, Life, Vol 1, 117, 312-313. Hort, Life, Vol 1, 211. 

10. Hort called the Protestant doctrine of the priesthood of every believer a "crazy horror." Hort, Life, Vol 2, 51. 

11. Hort wrote to Westcott that Protestantism was "parenthetical and only temporary." Hort, Life, Vol 2, 31. 

12. Hort told Westcott that Greek philosophy was "precious truth." Hort, Life, Vol 1, 449. 

13. Hort denied the final authority of the Bible. Hort, Life, 400. 

14. Hort prayed to statues he carried with him. Hort, Life, Vol 1, 50. 

15. Hort believed that being ordained gave one supernatural powers. Hort, Life, Vol 22, 86. 

16. Hort said "Methodism is worse than popery, being more insidious." Hort, Vol 1, 49. Arthur Westcott, Life and Letters, Vol 1, Vol 2, 1903. George H. Coy, The Inside Story, 1973, 79-88. A. F. Hort, Life and Letters, Vol, 1, Vol 2, 1896 (56-60). 


1. PRE-EXISTING HATRED OF THE KJV: Even before studying Koine Greek, in 1851 Hort, at the age of 23, with only a Classical Greek background, already had a negative conclusion towards the Textus Receptus. He called it "vile" and "villainous." A. F. Hort, Life and Letters, Vol 1, 1896, 211 (91). 

2. PRE-EXISTING PLAN TO DISOBEY REVISION RULES: Both violated the charge made to them to only make minor changes in the existing version --such as capital letters, punctuation and the replacement of archaic words. 

3. SECRECY: They convinced the committee to work in secrecy for eleven years. In stark contrast to the way the King James Bible came into existence, they did not want the public to know how drastically they were changing the Greek behind the King James Version. 

4. AUTHORITARIAN DEMEANOR: Hort convinced the members of the committee to accept his and Westcott's translation almost to the exclusion of any other opinion. 

5. OPPRESSION OF DISSENTERS: F. H. A. Scrivener, the most capable textual critic on Hort's committee was systematically out-voted as Hort manipulated the others. D. O. Fuller, Which Bible?, 1970, 120, 290-295. Sir Robert Anderson, The Bible and Modern Criticism, 1905, 104-105 (119-120). 


The following information is the core of the controversy. It comes from a seminary textbook by Harold Greenlee of Oral Roberts University, Introduction to New Testament Textual Criticism, 1964, 78-82, 86-91, 114-116. Greenlee obtained his material from Kenyon’s Handbook, 295-306 and Metzger, Text, 129-135. 

Westcott and Hort devised a set of rules which are constantly being revised by modern textual critics. Therefore modern textual critics often dismiss arguments against the Westcott-Hort theory by saying that current methods are quite different. Greenlee's book was first published in 1964 – 83 years after W-H's 1881 publication. He has a separate section for the W-H rules on pages 78-82. Next he discusses the modern text types from pages 86-91 and the modern rules from 114-116. In my opinion, other than the combination of W-H's Neutral and Alexandrian and the addition of one text type, there is very little substantive change between W-H and modern textual criticism.  

"The textual theory of W-H underlies virtually all subsequent work in N. T. textual criticism. Although both the work of recent scholars and the manuscripts discovered since W-H have brought about modifications of their principles, their work is so fundamental that it is appropriate to give a summary of their theory." Greenlee, ibid, 78.  



Intentional changes were more likely to be additions, as explanations or from other traditions, rather than omissions; thus a shorter reading is generally preferable.” Introduction to New Testament Textual Criticism, Greenlee 78. 

"If a scribe makes an intentional change in the text, he is more likely to add than to omit. He made add a note of explanation, add a phrase from a parallel account (harmonization), or he may combine two or more readings (conflation). Greenlee 114-115 (122-123). 

On the other hand an unintentional change may either add by conflation, harmonization, or repetition; or may omit by failing to repeat letters which occur twice or by accidentally passing from a word or syllable to the same or similar-appearing letters farther on.” Greenlee, 115. 


1. It can just as easily be demonstrated that many intentional changes have greatly shortened many.   

2. Heretics like Marcion deleted entire books of the Bible and deleted all references to the Old Testament God. Some of his second century changes could have affected the first Alexandrian manuscripts.  

3. Twentieth century text-critic leader Kurt Aland contemplated removing six books from the New Testament canon. 

4.  There is very good reason to suspect second century Gnostics of removing references to the humanity of Christ. 

5. There is very good reason to suspect Arians of removing references to the Deity of Christ. 

6.  There is very good reason to suspect scribes of deleting portions of the Bible which they thought could not be true. For example the stirring of the water by an angel in John 5:3-4. 

7.  There is very good reason to suspect self-righteous scribes of removing texts which they could not agree with. For example forgiving a woman caught in adultery s in John 8:2-11.  

8. There is very good reason to suspect scribes of removing texts which they thought were  not authentic such as the Mark 16:9-20. Yet it is amazing that the Latin Vulgate has this passage and Vaticanus B has its only void in this very spot. That is no accident! 

9. The argument that the shortest texts are nearest the originals forces a conclusion that the original was short, choppy, and difficult to understand.  

"… or may omit by failing to repeat letters which occur twice or by accidentally passing from a word or syllable to the same or similar-appearing letters farther on” 

10. This quasi-afterthought either downplays or ignores perhaps the greatest reason for shorter texts. “Farther on” could include many lines of text. Since every copyist makes this mistake, it causes choppy and hard-to-understand readings. 

11. Is there a corresponding statement that “accidental changes were more likely to be long deletions; thus a longer reading is generally preferable"? Of course not. Yet common sense and observation demonstrate that scribes will almost always eventually miss a line and delete rather than add.  

12. It would take willful negligence for a scribe to add material to the text itself which was clearly placed outside the text as a correction or note. The accusation that Lucian or Eusebius did such around A.D. 350 to create the Textus Receptus has absolutely no support either from historians or Church Fathers.  

13. What logic makes the shortest-are-best correct?This logic means that scribes who tend to leave text out are creating the originals while scribes that tend to add text are creating the Byzantine text. 

14.  To demonstrate this Westcott and Hort gave eight (8) examples of additions (conflation) (from 8000 texts). They asserted dogmatically that no inversions [transfer of longer to shorter text types] appeared. W-H, Introduction to the New Testament in the Original Greek, 49, 106 (122-123). 

Does WH's evidence prove their theory? In 1883 John Burgon, Dean of Chi Chester at Oxford, asked "If after 30 years of searching, why could W-H only find 8 instances of conflation out of nearly 8000 verses?" Burgon, The Revision Revised, 1883, 256-265 (138). 

In 1894 William Boussett, a German text-critic could only agree with W-H on one of their eight "conflated" texts. He stated with Burgon that, if the principle were legitimate, hundreds of examples should have been found. Boussett, Texte Una Unter …, 1894, 97-101 (139).  



“It is recognized that many errors in the manuscript are due to the fact that a scribe misunderstood his text and changed it to a reading which seemed to him easier to understand or more natural. Thus the reading which is at first glance harder to understand in the context often proves to be original.” Greenlee, 78. A scribe is more likely to change a difficult word into one which is easier to understand. WH Greenlee, 78-79. Modern, Greenlee, 114-115 (123). 

On the one hand modern text-critics teach that the Textus Receptus has been proven to have been altered (using their methodology) because it is too smooth, too easy to read and too easy to understand. On the other hand they teach that their favorite Alexandrian texts have been proven to be preserved from the originals because they are more terse, rougher, shorter and harder to understand. 


1.  Paradoxically, the current goal of modern textual-criticism is to produce with every new Bible version a smoother and easier to read and understand text. Paradoxically, they have produced that which they have opposed. Their "almost original" underlying Greek texts which are "rough, terse, choppy, hard to read and hard to understand" are now the smooth and easy to understand NAS, RSV, NIV, and New English Bible -- their own 21st century equivalents of the King James Bible! While they cannot admit that an Omnipotent God could have inspired such an original smooth easy-to-read and easy-to-understand text, it seems permissible for themselves to do what they deny God could have done Himself. 

2.  The fact that God is capable of both inspiring AND PRESERVING His Word seems to have no bearing on modern textual criticism. Divine inspiration and preservation does not appear in any of their rules for determining the final text and they do not seem to mind that many self-appeasing heretics have controlled the modern text types. 



Modern text critics assert that the original autographs were terse, short and difficult to read and understand. They then assert that the Traditional Text did not exist before 350 and was deliberately smoothed out, lengthened, harmonized and made the official Bible of the church around 350. 

(The arguments repeat.) 

1.  Textus Receptus (T-R) defenders insert God into their equation and claim that an All-Powerful God would not inspire His originals to be terse, rough, hard to read, and hard to understand. They assert that a personal God would inspire a Bible which is the smoothest, longest, most harmonized and easiest to read and understand. 

2.  There is absolutely no evidence either from historians or Church Fathers That Lucian, Eusebius, or anybody else created the Textus Receptus by combining text types. Any such great change would have surely been noted and documented. Westcott and Hort simply invented this theory and presented it as fact.  

3. It is incredible to follow the text-critics’ logic which concludes that an All-Powerful God would inspire His originals to be short, terse, choppy, and hard to understand. 



"Similarly the reading from which the other readings could most likely have developed is to be preferred as the original. WH Greenlee, 78. Modern, Greenlee, 115. 


1.  Taken at face value, this rule can only be applied within a text family. 

2. If this rule means that the reading which is most apparent or most common is best, the Alexandrian texts would be overwhelmed by the Byzantine text type. 



When deciding which text to use: “If the text types are considered individually the Alexandrian is generally the most reliable single text.”Greenlee, 115. 


1.  This rule is an insult to the scientific method. Nobody has proved that the oldest texts are unequivocally the best texts.  

2.  Nobody has satisfactorily answered the question of why were the Alexandrian texts not widely copied and widely distributed for 400 years preceding the Muslim conquest if the early church had accepted them as best. 



“A reading which is supported by good representatives of two or more text types is generally preferable to a reading supported by one text type exclusively.” Greenlee, 114-115. 


1.  This rule is meaningless if all text types except one have been corrupted.  

2.  If all of the corrupted text types agree, the truth is still not among them.  

3.  The text types which agree could have originated from the same corrupted text. 

4.  This rule, like others, treats God’s Word exactly like uninspired literature. It does not consider the fact that an All-Powerful God who inspired His originals to be perfect would also preserve copies of His originals to be used by the Church in all generations. 


“If therefore the manuscripts of a given text type are divided in their support, the true reading of a given text type are more likely: (1) the readings of the manuscript which are most faithful to the text type. Greenlee, 116. 


This would only be a “true reading” of “the given text type” itself Each text type would have its own “truth” by being true to itself. 


(2) The true reading “differs from that of the other text types.” Greenlee, 116 


1.  In other words, if most of the Alexandrian text types agree on a particular word or phrase and the other text type agree on a different word or phrase, the Alexandrian is correct. It is obviously a rule invented to support the Alexandrian theory. 

2.  Another possibility is that only the Alexandrian text type had been corrupted by a change of word or phrase. 


(3) The true reading is “the reading which differs from the Byzantine text.” Greenlee, 116. 


1.  This is another unscientific subjective rule invented by modern text critic to support their own theory: The Byzantine text is automatically wrong if it disagrees with the consensus of the Alexandrian texts.  

2.  This rule implies that God is incompetent. God inspired perfect originals and then hid them from his church until the late 1800s and allowed a corrupted version of the originals to be the most widely copied and most widely distributed. 



Much has been said about text types in the previous discussion. The favorite of modern text critics is the Alexandrian, followed by the Caesarean, Western and Byzantine. 


“Still more assurance may be gained if the various mss and witnesses are grouped together into families which have a closely related text." Greenlee, 79 (120-122). 


This discussion will end with serious doubts about the use of text types at all.   



The most corrupt text type is the youngest SYRIAN-ANTIOCHAN-BYZANTINE TEXT TYPE. It contains most of the minuscule (small Greek letter manuscripts), later uncials (large older Greek manuscripts), many later versions and Church Fathers. None exist which are older than Chrysostum. Greenlee, 91 [350].  


1. The longest, smoothest, and easiest to read and understand view has been miraculously guided and preserved by an All-Powerful God. 

2. Common sense teaches that the original autographs would have been smooth and very easy to read and understand because of the nature of God to communicate. 

3.  A. D. 350 is also within a few years of the dating of Vaticanus B and Sinaiticus Aleph. With many monasteries copying, replacing and distributing worn out copies of the Byzantine text, there would have been no reason to store up old copies. 


Modern text critics teach that, after Christianity attained official status in the fourth century, attempts began to be made, to deal with the divergences in the texts, aiming at combing readings where appropriate, removing obscurities, harmonizing parallels and in general to produce a smooth text free from difficulties. Thus arose the Syrian text which was smooth and sensible, yet lacking in the vigor and ruggedness of the original." WH VIEW, Greenlee, 79-80. 350 WH, Introduction, 133, 137-138 (125-126). 


1. There is no evidence that any of this occurred. It is the invention of Westcott and Hort. If this had been done, scores of secular historians and Church Fathers would have mentioned such an important event. 

2. The fact that the Alexandrian texts were not widely copied nor widely distributed from A.D. 200 until A.D. 632 is proof that the early church rejected them. 


In order to distinguish this from the Syriac Bible it is often called the Antiochan or Byzantine text. It is generally agreed by modern text-critics that this is a late text type.  


It is generally agreed by Textus Receptus advocates that this is the text which God had used the Greek Orthodox Church to miraculously preserve. 


It is likewise possible that in some instances the true reading can be found only in the Byzantine. Greenlee, 91. 


What they mean is that it is the original when it is shorter than all the other text types. How convenient. It is the youngest but somehow the original failed to show up in the three older text types! This could only happen if all four existed side by side. 


The general impression is that the Byzantine text is inferior and not likely to be original. … One of the most common characteristics of the Byzantine text type is the harmonization of parallel passages. Modern View, Greenlee, 91. 


1.  The harmonization of parallel passages is most easily explained by the fact that Matthew, Mark, and Luke are writing about the same event or perhaps the same sermon preached by Jesus many times with slight alterations as do modern traveling evangelists.  

2. An exhausted scribe might be tempted to omit material which he has already written almost word for word elsewhere. 



According to Westcott and Hort, the Western text type is a small group. It is longer and smoother than the Alexandrian and Caesarean but not the Byzantine text. It contains a few minuscules, the Old Latin Bible and almost all Fathers of the 2nd and 3rd centuries. Those who accepted the conclusions of W-H largely tended to dismiss the Western text as corrupt. W-H themselves, however, had recognized that the Western text could be traced back to the second century, which meant that it was attested at an earlier date than any other text. Greenlee, 80, 87-88.


From A. D. 100 to A. D. 200 most of the corruptions had appeared. It is important to note that, while the Alexandrian may have (or may not have) already existed before Origen, Church Fathers such as Tertullian, Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Cyprian and Augustine evidently rejected it and preferred the longer Western text. 


By the end of the second century it appeared characterized by extensive variations from the original [Alexandrian] text. Although this text is very early in origin the principles of intrinsic probability weigh against it. It is generally longer than the [modern text critics’] preferred [Alexandrian] text. Greenlee 80. 


“Your ‘preferred’ text”! If the Western text emerged alongside the Alexandrian text around A. D. 200, there is no “rule” which makes it inferior. 


In a number of notable instances, however, it has a shorter reading in which the Western text alone may have preserved the original reading while all others have incorporated additions of interpolations. Greenlee, 80, 88.  


Again, this is an admission that the original text somehow bypassed the Alexandrian and existed at the same time as the Alexandrian at the beginning of the second century.  


Westcott and Hort said that no reading with solely Western support could be accepted as original without serious question. WH VIEW, Greenlee, 88. 


This may be true because it is between the Alexandrian and Byzantine. However, it contradicts the previous statement “In a number of notable instances, however, it has a shorter reading in which the Western text alone may have preserved the original reading …” 


Modern text critics add that the Western has long paraphrases and long additions to the ordinary [Alexandrian] text, especially in Acts but also elsewhere. The Western text also substitutes synonyms. The Western text is not generally preferred where it stands alone. Cyprian and other early Fathers quoted a Western text type." The origin of this text type has many theories and is a mystery. The Old Latin and Old Syriac are Western. While some scholars have a high opinion of it, most have a low opinion of it. It is a mixture of Alexandrian and Byzantine. Greenlee, 87-88. 


On the surface it sounds just as valid as does the Alexandrian.  



That which modern text critics call the Alexandrian test type, Westcott and Hort divided into the Neutral and Alexandrian text types. "One numerically small group of witnesses seems to have escaped the corruptions of all three other text-types and to have preserved the text virtually in its original form. It is represented especially in the agreement of Vaticanus B and Sinaiticus Aleph. Greenlee, 80-81. 


This is highly prejudicial subjective opinion. Oldest does not automatically mean the truest. Since most of the equally-old Alexandrian texts are considered corrupted by modern text critics, there is no justification for concluding that Vaticanus B and Sinaiticus Aleph did not appear in the second or third century as corrupted also. Vaticanus B itself contains the Received Text in Ezekiel. And Sinaiticus Aleph follows the Byzantine text in most of John 1 to 8 and is admittedly very corrupted in Revelation. 


In frequent instances the text of B is decisive over all other witnesses. The text of WH is therefore essentially a 'Neutral' or B-Aleph text, or even a 'B' text." WH VIEW, Greenlee, 80-81. 


Vaticanus B is decisive over all other witnesses because the rule-makers decided to make this the rule.  


Coming from the home of classical criticism, these had been altered by minor stylistic changes when compared to the Western and the essential accuracy of the text was undisturbed. WH VIEW, Greenlee, 79-80. 


There is no evidence given. 


Further studies have indicated that Westcott and Hort were somewhat too optimistic in their designation of a 'Neutral' text. The agreement of B-Aleph remains one of the most highly regarded witnesses to the NT text, but it is generally doubted that the text is as pure as WH believed it to be. … It is now common to combine both of these [Neutral and Alexandrian] under the designation of Alexandrian. As such it is probably the best single text of the local texts. … The Alexandrian retains original readings which are terse or somewhat rough and readings which are superficially more difficult but which commend themselves on further study."Greenlee, 87. 


An All-Powerful God would not make His originals “terse, somewhat rough, and difficult to understand.” 


As mentioned earlier, the entire discussion about text types and families of texts is meaningless if there really is no obvious text types at all. If the various text types all emerged at the beginning of the third century (A. D. 200), they previous discussion is worthless. Some text-critics object to using text types at all.  

In 1947 E. C. Colwell wrote that the genealogical method "cannot be applied" to the New Testament. E. C. Colwell, Genealogical Method, 1947, 111-112 (135). 

In 1952 Merrill M. Parvis wrote: "We have reconstructed text types and families and sub families and in so doing have created things that never before existed …" Parvis concluded that the use of text-types did more harm than good in attempting to restore the originals. Merrill M. Parvis, The Journal of Religion, XXXII, 1952, 152 (136). 

Also in 1952 E. C. Colwell reversed his earlier position and then agreed that most variants were deliberately changed. If true, then the rules of internal evidence are worthless and the genealogical tree is voided. E. C. Colwell, What is the Best New Testament?, 1952, 49, 53, 58 (134). 

Again in 1953 Gunther Zuntz said that the genealogical method was inapplicable. He agreed with Parvis that the family divisions were not scientific. Zuntz, The Text of the Epistles, 1953, 155 (135). 

In 1965 Kurt Aland, one of the leading modern textual-critic scholars, wrote that the genealogical method cannot be applied to the New Testament. Aland, The Significance of the Papyri .., 1965, 341 (135). 

In 1969 F. J. Klign, the world’s foremost authority on what textual critics call 'Western text, wrote "Such a text did not exist." "This classical division [into 4 families] can no longer be maintained …. If any progress is to be expected in textual criticism we have to get rid of the division into local texts. F. J. Klign, A Survey of the Researches into the Western Texts of the Gospels and Acts, Netherlands, 1969, 36, 64 (137). 



Today’s text critics claim that Vaticanus B and Sinaiticus Aleph are the best survivors of the original autographs and had been copied from arlier manuscripts dating back to the early second or third century. 

The historical facts reveal that Church Fathers living in and around Alexandria, Egypt in the late second century and early to middle third century were all using and quoting a longer Western text type. This includes Irenaeus (c202), Clement of Alexandria (d215), Tertullian (d220) and Cyprian (d258). If they even knew of the Alexandrian text type, they certainly did not use it and chose to reject it. It is even possible that Origen (d254) was creating it. 

If Vaticanus B had been recognized as nearest the original circa 350, why would the Roman Catholic Church,  NOT command scribes in monasteries to copy and widely distribute it when it was received? This was 300 years before the Muslims would destroy Bibles outside of Europe. There was never a time limit to widely distribute this throughout Western Europe and it was not done.  

The same logic applies to Sinaiticus Aleph. If it had been recognized as nearest the original circa 350, why would the Greek speaking churches in the Eastern Roman Empire NOT command scribes in monasteries to copy and widely distribute it when it was received? This was 300 years before the Muslims would destroy Bibles in Africa and south of Constantinople. It do not affect Constantinople and Greece. Why did not the Greek Orthodox Church accept these instead of the Byzantine text which it has protected throughout the centuries?   

If the early church had recognized the Alexandrian texts as nearest to the originals, there would be no controversy today. Everybody would be using the Alexandrian text type and the Traditional Text would have never existed. The lack of this in history is proof that the early church clearly rejected the Alexandrian text type as corrupted.   




Discovered in a jar which had been walled up in a house around A. D. 250, most date the Magdalen Papyrus between A. D. 66 and 200. It contains a portion of Matthew 26:22 which agrees with the Textus Receptus rather than the Alexandrian "family." Carsten P. Thiede and Matthew d'Ancona, Eyewitnesses to Jesus, 1996, 124-125. London Times, 12-12-1994. International Papyrologists Association, 8-15-1995 (207-208). 

In 1881 Bishop C. J. Ellicott, friend to and Chairman of the W-H 1881 Revision Committee, issued a pamphlet admitting that the "pedigree" or "the first ancestor of the Received Text (T-R) was at least contemporary with the oldest of the extant manuscripts (i.e. Codices B, Aleph, C and D) if not older than any one of them." [See page 197 for the entire quote.] Burgon, The Revision Revised, 1883, 390 (197).  

By 1883 Burgon had collected 86,489 Bible quotations from 76 Church Fathers before 400. He was called the leading religious teacher of his time and was the leading opponent of Westcott and Hort.

In 1896 Burgon and his editor Edward Miller published the following information about the Church Fathers:

Before 200: Irenaeus (c175-c195) quoted 63 Syrian and 41 Neologian texts.  

Before 250: There is a 2 to 1 ratio of T-R Fathers' quotes before Origen (A. D. 250). Origen quoted 460 Fathers' quotes agreeing with the Syrian text. Origen quoted 491 Fathers' quotes agreeing with the Neologian text. …..

Before 400: Of 86,489 quotes from 76 pre A. D. 400 Fathers, there is a 3 to 2 ratio of T-R over all other variants (2630 to 1753).  

Conclusion: both kinds of text-types existed in the century of Vaticanus B and Sinaiticus Aleph. This research is contrary to the Westcott and Hort claim that the earliest Fathers before A. D. 250 did not quote the Textus Receptus. William Burgon, The Revision Revised. 1883 (137). Burgon and Miller, The Traditional Text, 1896, 99. 116 (139-141). 

In 1953 Zuntz wrote "A number of Byzantine readings, most of them genuine which previously were discarded as 'late,' are anticipated by papyrus P46." "Most of the Byzantine text's readings [in P46] existed in the second century." Gunther Zuntz, The Text of the Epistles, 1953, 55 (142).

And in 1964 E. C. Colwell agreed with Zuntz's conclusion. Colwell, The Origin of Texttypes of New Testament Manuscripts, 1961, 132 (142).

Perhaps the best recent evidence that the Byzantine text is as old at the Alexandrian comes from the very-reputable modern text-critic Gordon Fee in 1968. He studied papyrus P66 and inadvertently proved that there was a strong Byzantine-Syrian text-type alongside the Alexandrian text-type in the first centuries! In comparing only John 1 - 14, he pointed out the following agreements with the Byzantine Text: 

47.5% of second century P66 agrees with the T-R 

51.2% of P75 agrees with the T-R 

50.4% of Vaticanus B agrees with T-R 

44.6 of 4h century Sinaiticus Aleph agrees with the T-R 

45.6% of fifth century A agrees with the T-R 

48.5% of fifth century C agrees with the T-R 

38.9% of sixth century D agrees with T-R 45.0% of fifth century W agrees with the T-R! Gordon Fee, Papyrus Bodmer II, 1968, 56 (151). 

In 1984 Harry Sturtz, Chairman of the Greek Department at Biola University, found 150 Byzantine readings in pre-200 papyri-- "though not supported by the early Alexandrian and Western uncials, are present in the bulk of later manuscripts and by the early papyri.

Sturtz listed 170 additional Byzantine readings which also read differently from the B-Aleph text but are supported by Western manuscripts. He found 839 Byzantine readings in all of the papyri. The obvious conclusion is that the Byzantine text-type goes back to the 2nd century. Harry Sturz, The Byzantine Text Type; 1984, 97, 61-62, 143-159 (142, 156).

D. A. Waite, a scholar from Dallas Theological Seminary published his research in 1992.

(1) Of 88 existing papyri, 73 (85%) support the T-R and 15 (13%) support B and Aleph
(2) Of 267 Greek uncials 258 (98%) follow T-R and only 9 (2%) follow B and Aleph
(3) Of 2764 Greek minuscules 2741 (99%) follow T-R and 23 (1%) follow B and Aleph
(4) Of 2134 Greek lectionaries 100% follow T-RD. A. Waite, Defending the King James Bible, 1992, 54-55 (50-51). 

Waite's research reveals the complete dominance of the T-R over the Alexandrian text-types since the 4th century.

If they had any credibility at all, why were the Alexandrian manuscripts not widely copied and widely dispersed before A. D. 632? The only credible answer is that the early church rejected them as corrupt.  

Conclusion: The claim of modern textual critics that the Byzantine-Textus Receptus text does not exist prior to A. D. 350 has been proven to be false by many scholars! Both viewpoints claim that their favorite Greek texts (Textus Receptus or Vaticanus B) descended directly from the autographs and [miraculously] survived the corruptions of the second century mostly intact. Yet neither camp has provided scientific evident that the "other" camp did not exist in A. D. 200.

Again, faith in the ability of an All-Powerful God to both inspire and preserve His Word must be the determining factor. After all, we are not discussing secular literature here – God must be
incorporated into the decision.



This chapter explores, from the perspective of early Bible versions, Westcott and Hort's claim that the Syrian-Byzantine text did not exist prior to Chrysostum around A. D. 350. 


“Vaudors” who lived in the alpine valleys of northern Italy would much later be known as the Waldenses. Allix quoted Beza’s opinion that the Vaudors had the Itala (The Old Latin Bible) which had been translated from the Textus Receptus as far back as A. D. 157 before Jerome removed much of it. Peter Allix, The Ecclesiastical History of the Churches of Piedmont, Published 1690; Republished 1821, 177 (167-168). 

In 1815, after 28 years of research Frederick Nolan reconfirmed that the Vaudor Bible of 157 was Byzantine in nature and was translated from Greek into the Old Latin Bible. Nolan concluded that his work overthrew Griesbach to establish that the Byzantine, and not the Alexandrian texts, are more reliable. F. Nolan, An Inquiry, xvii-xviii; 320-321 (169). 

In 1831 W. S. Gully agreed with Allix that Waldensian doctrines reflect the use of the Byzantine text. W. S. Gully, Waldensian Researches During …., 1831, 118-119 (169). 

In 1894 F. H. A. Scrivener also wrote that the Waldensian Bible, the Itala, or Italic, he argued, represents the Received Text and was translated from the Greek no later than A. D. 157. F. H. A. Scrivener, Introduction, Vol II, 1894, 43 (168). 

In 1970 P. S. Ruckman wrote that Tertullian (d220) mentioned a complete Latin Bible (Old Latin) produced around 157. He also wrote that the Albigenses continued to use the original Old Latin even after Jerome had revised it in 384. P. S. Ruckman, The Christian's Handbook of Manuscript Evidence, 1970, 77-79 (166-167). 

Four different scholars have concluded that the Waldensian-Old Latin Bible dates back to 157 (and possibly even 120) and that the Bible was translated from the Received Text rather than Alexandrian texts. One scholar, Nolan, spent 28 years in his research. While it is true that many modern text-critics disagree, the declaration by W-H that the Received Text is not older that 350 is at least in doubt and not scientifically demonstrated. 


Between 153-172 Tatian, a possible convert of Justin Martyr, combined the four gospels into one Old Syriac (still-existing) narrative, The Diatesseron. Although it omits John 7:53 – 8:11, Ira Price wrote that its agreement with the Traditional Text instead of the Alexandrian text proves that the Traditional Text existed from the second century. Theodoret (390-458) found over 200 copies of the Diatesseron in Asia Minor. Ira M. Price, The Ancestry of our English Bible, 1949, 189 (166). Diatesseron, Ante Nicean Fathers, Hendrickson Publishers, Volume 9.  


Up until Westcott and Hort questioned it, everybody agreed that the Syriac Peshitta was from the 2nd or 3rd century and that it agreed with the Traditional Text. While admitting that the Syriac Peshitta text is Byzantine instead of Alexandrian, in 1881 Westcott and Hort said that it was written by Rabulla, Bishop of Nicomedia who died in A. D. 435." W-H, Introduction, 136-137 (164).  

As early as 1871 John Burgon argued that Rabulla's opponents would not have accepted a text known to have been translated by their opponent. Burgon, The Last Twelve Verses of the Gospel of Mark, 1871, 56 (164-165). 

Again in 1883 Burgon questioned Westcott and Hort's theory by writing "There is a total lack of evidence that the Peshitta is late and part of the Lucianic Recension." Burgon, The Revision Revised, 1883; 275-277 (162). 

Yet in 1904 text critic F. C. Burkitt once more repeated the story that Rabulla, Bishop of Nicomedia in Syria wrote the Peshitta. E. F. Hills, The King James Version Defended, 172 (164). 

Fifty years later in 1954 Arthur Voobus complained that the critics' reconstruction of history to push the Peshitta to a late date is "pure fiction without a shred of evidence to support it." A. Voobus, Early Versions of the NT, 1954, 100-102 (164-165). 

In 1956 Edward Hills explained the TR defense by saying that both sides of the divided Syriac Church probably accepted the Peshitta as its official Bible simply because it had already been established instead of having been written by Rabulla, the enemy of one faction. Hills defended the TR from the suggestion that monks in the Middle Ages had changed the Peshitta text. If so, he said, they would have also added references to the worship of Mary, saints, images, etc. Hills, The King James Bible Defended, 1956, 174, 185-188 (145, 165). 

The back and forth continues. In 1977 W. N. Pickering complained that he could not understand how F. F. Bruce, Colwell and Kenyon could still conclude erroneously that Rabulla had written the Peshitta. W. N. Pickering, The Identity of the NT Text, 1977, 91 (165). 


Martin Luther referred to the Tepl manuscripts which agreed with the Old Latin and were used to translate the Waldensian Bible into early German. This may explain why he had been accused of being Waldensian. Ernesto Comba, History of the Waldenses of Italy, 1889, 190-192 (168). 


About A. D. 350 Bishop Ulfilas (Wulfilus) travelled beyond the N.E. part of the Roman Empire from the Eastern Roman Empire and invented the Gothic language in order to write an early Bible for the area of Ukraine, Bulgaria, and Romania. The Gothic Bible followed the Traditional Text. 

To conclude, the Syrian Aramaic Peshitta, Old Italic, and Gothic Bibles were all translated in the earliest centuries and reflected the underlying text similar to the Byzantine which became the Textus Receptus. Floyd Nolen Jones, Which Version is the Bible?, 1999 (ix­).  


ALLIX, Peter; 1690. French Protestant pastor and writer who fled to England in 1685 after the Edict of Nantes had been revoked. Because of his level of learning he was given the D. D. degree from two universities and was canonized at Salisbury Cathedral. Some remarks upon the Ecclesiastical History of the Churches of Piedmont. 

BURGON, John William (ad1888). He was Dean of Chi Chester Cathedral at Oxford. He was born in Smyrna, Turkey -- Turkish father and Greek mother. Degree from Worchester at Oxford; Vicar of the University Church of St Mary. In 1867 he was appointed Gresham Professor of Divinity. In 1871 began opposing Westcott and Hort and defending the King James Version and Textus Receptus. In 1876 became Dean of Chi Chester at Oxford. His extensive collection of Church Fathers is in the British Museum. The Dean Burgon Society continues his opposition to modern textual critics. 

BURKITT, F. C. (1834-1935) was a British theologian and scholar, Norris Professor of Divinity at Cambridge. The Old Latin and the Itala, 1896. 

COLWELL, Ernest ( ) held posts at Chicago, Emory and Claremont. He was Dean of the Theological Seminary at Chicago. Called the Dean of NT Textual Criticism in North America in the 1950s. The Complex Character of the Late Byzantine Text of the Gospels, 1935. Genealogical Limitations: Its Achievement and Limitations, 1947. What is the Best New Testament? 1952. The Origin of Texttypes of New Testament Manuscripts, 1951. Hort Redivivus: A Plea and a Program, 1967. Scribal Habits in the Early Papyri: A  in the Corruption of the Text, 1965. External Evidence and New Testament Criticism: Studies in the History and Text of the New Testament, 1967. 

In 1970 D. O. Fuller wrote "Is it not incredulous that we are expected to believe God would allow the true text to sink into oblivion for fifteen hundred years only to have it brought to light again by two Cambridge professors who did not believe it to be verbally inspired?" Fuller, Which Bible? 1970, 149 (133).  

HILLS, Edward F. (1912-1981) was a Latin scholar at Yale before receiving a Th. B. from Westminster Seminary and a Th. M. from Columbia Seminary. His Th. D. was begun at Chicago and completed at Harvard. The King James Version Defended, 1956. 

HOSKIER, Herman (1911-1929). The Authorized Version of 1611; 1911. Codex B and Its Allies, 1914. The John Rylands' Bulletin, 1923. Concerning the Text of the Apocalypse, 1929. 

JONES, Floyd Nolen, Th. D., Ph. D. twice taught at the Continental Bible College, Brussels, Belgium and is an ordained SBC minister. He has degrees in Physics, Geology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Education and Theology. The Septuagint, A Critical Analysis, 1989. Which Version is the Bible?, Kings Word Press, 1999. 

Frank (1992-93) was a very close friend of Lockman, the founder and publisher of the New American Standard Version. He participated in early preparations by interviewing some of the translators for the project and he even wrote the first foreword. However, after the NAS had been published Logsdon was persuaded by arguments from his pro-Textus Receptus friends that the Alexandrian texts used to translate the NAS were corrupt. Afterwards, Logsdon renounced every attachment to the NAS. Logsdon is on record (Internet, written and audio) saying that he could not refute the arguments, that the many deletions are absolutely frightening, that the product is grievous to my heart and I don't want anything to do with its corrupted Greek text. Logsdon concluded "You can say the KJV is absolutely, 100%, correct; I believe the Spirit of God lead the translators of the KJV (62). 

NOLAN, Frederick: An Inquiry into the Integrity of the Greek Vulgate or Received Text of the New Testament, 1815. 

PICKERING, Wilbur: The Identity of the New Testament Text, Thomas Nelson; 1977. What Difference Does It Make? 1990. 

SCHRIVENER, F. H. A.: A Plain Introduction into the Criticism of the New Testament, 1894. 

STURTZ, Harry: Chairman of the Greek Department, Biola University. Doctoral dissertation at Grace Theological Seminary. The Byzantine Text-Type and New Testament Textual Criticism; Thomas Nelson, 1984. 

VOOBUS, Arthur: Early Versions of the New Testament, Manuscript Studies, Estonia Theological Society in Exile, 1954. 

WAITE, D. A.: A University of Michigan and Dallas Theological Seminary graduate with 66 semester hours in Greek and 118 hours including Hebrew and French. Waite is acknowledged as a leading Greek scholar. He grew up with the Westcott-Hort theory but changed his mind after 21 years and now promotes the T-R as the true text. Waite, Defending the king James Bible, 1992 (117, 129)

WESTCOTT, B. F. AND HORT, F. J. A.: Introduction to the New Testament in the Original Greek, 1882. Life and Letters of Brooke Foss Westcott, 1903. 

ZUNTZ, Gunther: The Text of the Epistles, Oxford Univ, 1953.