A Brief Summary of The Traditional Text of the Holy Gospels
Vindicated and Established By Dean John William Burgon
Edited by Edward Miller 1896

I. Introductory Remarks
II. Background and Principles
A. Dean Burgon's Scholarly Legacy.
Rev. Miller wrote of Dean Burgon's thorough New Testament scholarship: "The death of Dean Burgon in 1888, . . . cut him off in the early part of a task for which he had made preparations during more than thirty years. . . he examined manuscripts widely, making many discoveries at home and in foreign libraries; collated some himself and got many collated by other scholars, encouraged new and critical editions of some of the chief Versions; and above all, he devised and superintended a collection of quotations from the New Testament as he found in the words of the Fathers and in other ecclesiastical writings, going far beyond ordinary indexes, which may be found in sixteen thick volumes amongst the treasures of the British Museum." [Dean John William Burgon, The Traditional Text of the Holy Gospels Vindicated and Established, pp. v-vi]
B. Dean Burgon's Position on The Preservation of God's Words. Many people are saying today that God abandoned His Hebrew and Greek Words rather than preserving them. Dean Burgon disagreed. He wrote: "There exists no reason for supposing that the Divine Agent, who in the first instance thus gave to mankind the Scriptures of Truth, straightway abdicated His office; took no further care of His work; abandoned those precious writings to their fate." [Dean Burgon, The Traditional Text, p. 11]
C. Two Irreconcilable Schools of New Testament Textual Criticism. The two rival schools are those who defend the Traditional Text and those who defend the false Westcott and Hort Text. Dean Burgon wrote: "Indeed there exist but two rival schools of Textual Criticism. And these are irreconcilably opposed. In the end, one of them will have to give way: and, vae victis! unconditional surrender will be its only resource. When one has been admitted to be the right, there can no place be found for the other. It will have to be dismissed from attention as a thing utterly, hopelessly in the wrong." [Dean Burgon, The Traditional Text, p. 18] The battle lines are still drawn to this day as these comments are being written (1997). They will be drawn right on into the 21st Century. There can be no turning back from the Hebrew and Greek Texts that underlie the King James Bible and from the King James Bible itself in the English language. The other Hebrew and Greek texts of Westcott and Hort, and their modern counterparts, are in error and must never be accepted as the truth. They are, as Dean Burgon so aptly phrased it, "hopelessly in the wrong.

III. Dean Burgon's Seven Tests of Truth
A. Introducing the Seven Tests of Truth. These are Dean Burgon's seven tests or notes of truth in determining proper readings in the Greek New Testament. He wrote: "I proceed to offer for the reader's consideration seven Tests of Truth . . . where these seven tests are found to conspire, we may confidently assume that the evidence is worthy of all acceptance, and is to be implicitly followed. A reading should be attested then by the seven following NOTES OF TRUTH 1. Antiquity, or Primitiveness; 2. Consent of Witnesses, or Number; 3. Variety of Evidence, or Catholicity; 4. Respectability of Witnesses, or Weight; 5. Continuity, or Unbroken Tradition; 6. Evidence of the Entire Passage, or Context; 7. Internal Considerations, or Reasonableness [Dean Burgon, The Traditional Text, pp. 28-29]
B. Explaining the Seven Tests of Truth. Here is a summary of some of the more important explanations of Dean Burgon's Seven Tests of Truth. 1. Antiquity as a Test of Truth. Dean Burgon wrote: "The more ancient testimony is probably the better testimony. That it is not by any means always so is a familiar fact. To quote the known dictum of a competent judge [Dr. F. H. A. Scrivener]: ‘It is no less true to fact than paradoxical in sound that the worst corruptions to which the New Testament has ever been subjected, originated within a hundred years after it was composed; that Irenaeus and the African Fathers and the whole Western, with a portion of the Syriac Church, used far inferior manuscripts to those employed by Stunica, or Erasmus, or Stephen, thirteen centuries after, when moulding the Textus Receptus.' Therefore Antiquity alone affords no security that the manuscript in our hands is not infected with the corruption which sprang up largely in the first and second centuries." [Dean Burgon, The Traditional Text, p. 40] In other words, the African Fathers and Irenaeus used corrupt Greek texts. Even though they were early and therefore a part of "antiquity," they were corrupted through the actions of many heretics. Their WRITING MATERIAL was OLD, but their WORDS were filled with CONTEMPORANEOUS CORRUPTION. The manuscripts that Erasmus, or Stephens, or Stunica used, though they were YOUNGER, they were, nevertheless, founded upon the WORDS of the original text which were THE OLDEST POSSIBLE. This was possible because they had accurate copies. Their WRITING MATERIAL was YOUNGER, but their WORDS were OLDER and PURER.
2. Number as a Test of Truth. Dean Burgon wrote: "‘Number' is the most ordinary ingredient of weight, and indeed in matters of human testimony, is an element which even cannot be cast away. Ask one of Her Majesty's Judges if it be not so. Ten witnesses (suppose) are called in to give evidence: of whom one resolutely contradicts what is solemnly deposed to by the other nine. Which of the two parties do we suppose the Judge will be inclined to believe?" [Dean Burgon, The Traditional Text, p. 43] Obviously, in the foregoing set of circumstances, "Her Majesty's Judges" would believe the nine witnesses. We have, in our day, over 99% of the evidence of our manuscripts favouring the type of text that underlies our King James Bible. Some 5,210 of the 5,255 of our manuscripts favor the Traditional Text that underlies our King James Bible. Less than 1% of the manuscripts side with the false texts of Westcott and Hort and their modern counterparts, the Nestle-Aland and the United Bible Societies. The Westcott and Hort people despise this test of truth because the number of manuscripts on their side is so small.
3. Variety as a Test of Truth. Dean Burgon wrote: "Witnesses of different kinds; from different countries; speaking different tongues:--witnesses who can never have met and between whom it is incredible that there should exist collusion of any kind:--such witnesses deserve to be listened to most respectfully. Indeed, when witnesses of so varied a sort agree in large numbers, they must needs be accounted worthy of even implicit confidence." [Dean Burgon, The Traditional Text, p. 50] This is what we have in our Traditional Text which underlies our King James Bible. We have variety. Dean Burgon wrote further on this test of truth as follows: "It is precisely this consideration which constrains us to pay supreme attention to the combined testimony of the Uncials and of the whole body of the Cursive Copies. They are (a) dotted over at least 1000 years: (b) they evidently belong to so many divers countries,--Greece, Constantinople, Asia Minor, Palestine, Syria, Alexandria, and other parts of Africa, not to say Sicily, Southern Italy, Gaul, England, and Ireland: (c) they exhibit so many strange characteristics and peculiar sympathies: (d) they so clearly represent countless families of MSS., being in no single instance absolutely identical in their text, and certainly not being copies of any other Codex in existence,--that their unanimous decision I hold to be an absolutely irrefragable evidence of the Truth." [Dean Burgon, The Traditional Text, p. 50-51] This is a tremendous testimony in favour of the Traditional Text! Twelve or more countries, and parts of the world, witness to this same kind of text without collusion, cooperation, or complicity of any kind. This is true "variety."
4. Respectability or Weight as a Test of Truth. Dean Burgon wrote: "In the first place, the witnesses in favour of any given reading should be respectable. ‘Respectability' is of course a relative term; but its use and applicability in this department of Science will be generally understood and admitted by scholars, although they may not be altogether agreed as to the classification of their authorities." [Dean Burgon, The Traditional Text, p. 53] Any witnesses, such as "B" (Vatican) and "Aleph" (Sinai), which disagree one with the other in over 3,000 substantial places in the Gospels alone would certainly not be respectable witnesses. Certainly such false witnesses cannot be "respectable" by objective standards.
5. Continuity as a Test of Truth. Dean Burgon wrote: "When therefore a reading is observed to leave traces of its existence and of its use all down the ages, it comes with an authority of a peculiarly commanding nature. And on the contrary, when a chasm of greater or less breadth of years yawns in the vast mass of evidence which is ready for employment, or when a tradition is found to have died out, upon such a fact alone suspicion or grave doubt, or rejection must inevitably ensue." "Still more, when upon the admission of the Advocates of the opinions which we are opposing the chasm is no longer restricted but engulfs not less than fifteen centuries in its hungry abyss, or else then the transmission ceased after four centuries, it is evident that according to an essential Note of Truth, those opinions cannot fail to be self-destroyed as well as to labour under condemnation during more than three quarters of the accomplished life of Christendom." [Dean Burgon, The Traditional Text, p. 59] The Textus Receptus has continuity right on down the line. There are at least thirty-seven tremendous historical links of continuity. [See Defending the King James Bible by Dr. D. A. Waite, pages 44-48] The "transmission" of the B and Aleph type of texts "ceased after four centuries" and the worship of these false texts did not resume for another "fifteen centuries." It is evident that B and Aleph, and their allies, were not continuous and therefore are worthy of "condemnation."
6. Context as a Test of Truth. Dean Burgon wrote: "A word,--a phrase,--a clause,--or even a sentence or a paragraph,--must have some relation to the rest of the entire passage which precedes or comes after it. Therefore it will often be necessary, in order to reach all the evidence that bears upon a disputed question, to examine both the meaning and the language living on both sides of the point in dispute." [Dean Burgon, The Traditional Text, p. 61] This is an obvious and essential test of truth.
7. Internal Evidence as a Test of Truth. Dean Burgon wrote: "Accordingly, the true reading of passages must be ascertained, with very slight exception indeed, from the preponderating weight of external evidence, just according to its antiquity, to number, variety, relative value, continuousness, and with the help of the context. Internal considerations, unless in exceptional cases they are found in strong opposition to evident error, have only a subsidiary force." [Dean Burgon, The Traditional Text, p. 67] Though this test of truth is less objective and more subjective, it is one of the essential elements to consider.

IV. The Superiority of the Traditional Text
A. Various Statements on the Superiority of the Traditional Text
. 1. The Traditional Text Was a 3 to 2 Favourite with Those Church Fathers Who Died Before to 400 A.D. Dean Burgon wrote: "No one, I believe, has till now made a systematic examination of the quotations occurring in the writings of the Fathers who died before A.D. 400 and in public documents written prior to that date. . . . The testimony therefore of the [76] Early Fathers is emphatically according to the issue of numbers in favour of the Traditional Text, being about 3:2. But it is also necessary to inform the readers of this treatise, that here quality confirms quantity. A list will now be given of thirty important passages in which evidence is borne on both sides, and it will be seen that 530 testimonies are given in favour of the Traditional readings as against 170 on the other side. In other words, the Traditional Text beats its opponent in a general proportion to 3 to 1." [Dean Burgon, The Traditional Text, pp. 94, 101-102] Some of the leading Westcott and Hort followers of today are very bold to say that the Traditional Text, or the Textus Receptus type of readings, did not exist prior to 400 A.D., and certainly not before the 6th Century A.D. Here you have statistical data on 76 Church Fathers who died prior to 400 A.D., showing, not only that the Textus Receptus readings did exist prior to 400 A.D., but that they were in the majority. This was not merely a simple majority of barely over 50%, but it was a majority of 60% to 40% over the Westcott and Hort false text. Dr. Jack Moorman’s recent and careful research on this same subject revealed an even greater percentage--70% to 30% in favor of the Textus Receptus as opposed to B and Aleph. This can be found in his excellent book, Early Church Fathers’ Witness to the Antiquity of the Traditional Text, pages 34-35.
Don't believe any of the Westcott and Hort/B and Aleph devotees if they tell you that the Traditional Text readings or the Traditional Text itself was not in existence before 400 A.D. This is one of the falsehoods which D.A. Carson and other Westcott and Horters have put in their books.
2. The Traditional Text Was in Existence and Predominant from the Earliest Years of the Churches. Dean Burgon wrote: "As far as the Fathers who died before 400 A.D. are concerned, the question may now be put and answered. Do they witness to the Traditional Text as existing from the first, or do they not? The results of the evidence, both as regards the quantity and the quality of the testimony, enable us to reply, not only that the Traditional Text was in existence, but that it was predominant, during the period under review. Let any one who disputes this conclusion make out for the Western Text, or the Alexandrian, or for the Text of B and Aleph, a case from the evidence of the Fathers which can equal or surpass that which has been now placed before the reader." [Dean Burgon, The Traditional Text, p. 116] Dr. Dan Wallace, a professor at Dallas Theological Seminary, disagrees with Dean Burgon and Edward Miller on this point. He has written to the effect that we may have Byzantine or Traditional Text "readings," but not a Byzantine or Traditional "text." As Dr. David Otis Fuller used to say, "He is playing antics with semantics!" How can you have readings if you don't have a text from which those readings were derived?
3. Why The Traditional Text Does not Now Have Many Older Manuscripts. Dean Burgon’s editor, Rev. Edward Miller, when talking about B and Aleph, wrote: "How is it that we possess no MSS. of the New Testament of any considerable size older than those, [that is, B and Aleph] or at least no other such MSS. as old as they are? Besides the disastrous results of the persecution of Diocletian, there is much force in the reply of Dean Burgon, that being generally recognized as bad MSS. they were left standing on the shelf in their handsome covers, whilst others which were more correct were being thumbed to pieces in constant use." [Dean Burgon, The Traditional Text, p. 154] What is meant by "the disastrous results of the persecution of Diocletian"? This Roman Emperor burned both the Christians and their Bibles. What kind of Bible did these believers have in their hands when they were hunted down to be tortured and slain? They had Textus Receptus or Traditional Text kind of Bibles. These kinds of Greek manuscripts were the ones that were destroyed by the multiplied hundreds. 4. Why The Traditional Text Later Manuscripts are Better than the Older Ones Like "B" and "Aleph." Dean Burgon wrote: "Nay, it will be found, as I am bold enough to say, that in many instances a fourteenth-century copy of the Gospels may exhibit the truth of Scripture, while the fourth-century copy in all these instances proves to be the depository of a fabricated text." [Dean Burgon, The Traditional Text, p. 8] This is precisely the case with B, Aleph, and the some 43 other Greek manuscripts that follow them. They were depraved texts which had been doctored by heretics and others who were false in their doctrines.
5. The New Testament Is Unique in Attempts at Doctrinal Depravations. Dean Burgon wrote: "In fact, until those who make the words of the New Testament their study are convinced that they move in a region like no other, where unique phenomena await them at every step, and where seventeen hundred and fifty years ago depraving causes unknown in every other department of learning were actively at work, progress cannot really be made in the present discussion." [Dean Burgon, The Traditional Text, p. 9] Unlike secular documents, theological heretics purposely and maliciously perverted New Testament documents. B and Aleph, and the other so-called "Old Uncials" (Aleph, A, B, C, and D), are examples of such perversion. Since this is true, those early copies are not to be trusted. If the perversions took place within the first hundred years after the New Testament was composed, then those early copies, such as B and Aleph, were the ones on which the heretics operated. This is what Dr. Scrivener and Dean Burgon both believe. 6. The New Testament Was Doctrinally Corrupted by Early Heretics. Dean Burgon wrote: "And the Written Word in like manner, in the earliest age of all, was shamefully handled by mankind. Not only was it confused through human infirmity and misapprehension, but it became also the object of restless malice and unsparing assaults. Marcion, Valentinus, Basilides, Heracleon, Menander, Asclepiades, Theodotus, Hermophilus, Apollonides, and other heretics adapted the Gospels to their own ideas." [Dean Burgon, The Traditional Text, p. 10] If these nine above-named heretics adapted the Gospels to their own ideas and they lived during the first few centuries of the church age, it is entirely possible that B and Aleph and their allies might have been samples of some of their depravations. B and Aleph both were from Egypt. According to Dr. Bruce Metzger, "Every deviant Christian sect was represented in Egypt during the second century." [Bruce Metzger, Early Versions, p. 101, quoted in Dr. Jack Moorman, Early Manuscripts, p. 40] He then listed no less than eleven such "deviant Christian sects." Egypt abounded with theological heresies. It is not unreasonable to assume that some of such heresies were transferred over to the New Testament texts which the heretics had in their possession.
7. The Traditional Text Is Incomparably Superior to the Westcott and Hort Type of Text. Dean Burgon wrote: "Accordingly, the text of which we are now treating, which is that of the later Uncials and the Cursives combined, is incomparably superior under all the external Notes of Truth. It possesses in nearly all cases older attestation: there is no sort of question as to the greater number of witnesses that bear evidence to its claims: nor to their variety: and hardly ever to the explicit proof of their continuousness, which indeed is also generally--nay, universally--implied owing to the nature of the case: their weight is certified upon stronger grounds: and as a matter of fact, the context in nearly all instances testifies on their side. The course of doctrine pursued in the history of the Universal Church is immeasurably in their Favour." [Dean Burgon, The Traditional Text, pp. 206-207] All of these attestations refer to the Traditional Text which underlies our King James Bible. This text matches virtually all the seven tests of truth.
8. The Traditional Text Has an Unbroken Succession. Dean Burgon wrote: "The history of the Traditional Text, on the contrary, goes step by step in unbroken succession regularly back to the earliest times. . . . Erasmus followed his few MSS. because he knew them to be good representatives of the mind of the Church which had been informed under the ceaseless and loving care of mediaeval transcribers: and the text of Erasmus printed at Basle agreed in but little variation with the text of the Complutensian editors published in Spain, for which Cardinal Ximenes procured MSS. at whatever cost he could. No one doubts the coincidence in all essential points of the printed text with the text of the Cursives." [Dean Burgon, The Traditional Text, p. 236] Unbroken succession is necessary. Can you really trust a text that arose in about 350 A.D. and was not copied and re-copied for the next 1500 years? Inasmuch as Westcott and Hort raised this discarded text from the dead, why should we believe it is the true and original text of the New Testament? It was, in fact, a text rejected by the churches as being corrupted? Erasmus had a text which had but "little variation" with the text of the Complutensian Polyglot of Cardinal Ximenes, yet one used manuscripts from Basle and the other used manuscripts from Spain. Why did they have so little "variation"? It was because the cursives from which they were taken were identical in "all essential points." You could pick any of those Traditional Text cursives and you would find that they agree with each other in "all essential points." This is why both Ximenes and Erasmus were right on target with their agreement between themselves because they were both based on the same stream of the Traditional Text. The vast numbers of New Testament Greek manuscripts are like a river. Anywhere you might collect samples of the water, they would test out the same. So with the Traditional Text manuscripts.

V. The Inferiority of the Westcott and Hort Text
A. Introductory Words About The Westcott and Hort Text.
In this section, I have identified the "Westcott and Hort" type of Greek text with that of manuscripts B and Aleph, since these were the two major manuscripts from which Westcott and Hort derived their New Testament Greek text. This Greek text was first brought out in 1881 by Anglican Bishop Brooke Foss Westcott and Anglican Professor Fenton John Anthony Hort.
B. Various Statements on the Inferiority of the Westcott and Hort Text.
1. The Westcott and Hort (B and Aleph) Text Was Based Only on the "Crime" of Partial and Unrepresentative Evidence. Dean Burgon wrote: "To cast away at least nineteen-twentieths of the evidence on points and to draw conclusions from the petty remainder, seems to us to be necessarily not less even than a crime and a sin, and only by reason of the sacrilegious destructiveness exercised thereby upon Holy Writ, but also because such a method is inconsistent with conscientious exhaustiveness and logical method." [Dean Burgon, The Traditional Text, p. xii] Westcott and Hort used only partial evidence and a very unrepresentative sample agreeing with less than 1% of the manuscript history. Ximenes and Erasmus, on the other hand, though also using partial evidence, had a representative sample agreeing with over 99% of the manuscript history.
2. Professor Hort Tampered with the Facts of History in order to Sustain the Westcott and Hort (B and Aleph) Text. Dean Burgon wrote: "Again, in order to prop up his contention, Dr. Hort is obliged to conjure up the shadows of two or three ‘phantom revisions,’ of which no recorded evidence exists. We must never forget that subjective theory or individual speculation are valueless, when they do not agree with facts, except as failures leading to some better system. But Dr. Hort, as soon as he found that he could not maintain his ground with history as it was, instead of taking back his theory and altering it to square with facts, tampered with historical facts in order to make them agree with his theory." [Dean Burgon, The Traditional Text, p. 93] This is an inexcusable tampering with truth and historical facts. It is an example of what they call "historical revisionism." It was to be deprecated as much then as it should be today!
3. The Westcott and Hort (B and Aleph) Text Is in Error Because it Favored the Error-ridden Old Uncials. Dean Burgon wrote: "Now I submit that it is a sufficient condemnation of Codexes B/Aleph/C/D as a supreme court of judicature (1) That as a rule they are observed to be discordant in their judgements: (2) That when they thus differ among themselves it is generally demonstrable by an appeal to antiquity that the two principal judges B and Aleph have delivered a mistaken judgement: (3) That when these two differ one from the other, the supreme judge B is often in the wrong: and lastly (4) That it constantly happens that all four agree, and yet all four are in error." [Dean Burgon, The Traditional Text, pp. 36-37] Not only are these four old uncials distorted and mistaken, but they contradict each other as well as the Traditional Text. Dean Burgon also said of these old uncials: "No progress is possible in the department of ‘Textual Criticism’ until the superstition--for we are persuaded that it is nothing less--which at present prevails concerning certain of ‘the old uncials’ (as they are called) has been abandoned." [Dean Burgon, The Traditional Text, p. 68] Unfortunately, our modern self-styled "textual critics" failed to heed this word of warning. Instead, they continue the "superstition."
4. The Westcott and Hort (B and Aleph) Text Used Ingenious Speculation Instead of Facts. Dean Burgon wrote: "We oppose facts to their speculation. They exalt B and Aleph and D because in their own opinion those copies are the best. They weave ingenious webs, and invent subtle theories, because their paradox of a few against the many requires ingenuity and subtlety for its support. . . . In contrast with this sojourn in cloudland, we are essentially of the earth though not earthy. We are nothing, if we are not grounded in facts: our appeal is to facts, our test lies in facts, so far as we can we build testimonies upon testimonies and pile facts on facts." [Dean Burgon, The Traditional Text, p. 238] You have to be ingenious to convince people that 1% of the evidence is true and 99% of the evidence is false. Hort was a master at this. So is Satan! Dean Burgon did not deal in "cloudland," nor does his defense of the Traditional Text. Because of Westcott and Hort’s "paradox" referred to by Dean Burgon, they have based their position purely on subtle theories and rank speculation.
5. The Westcott and Hort (B and Aleph) Text Dwindled Down in Numbers of Manuscripts by the End of the 4th Century. Dean Burgon wrote: "During the life of Eusebius, if not under his controlling care, the two oldest Uncial Manuscripts in existence as hitherto discovered, known as B and Aleph, or the Vatican and Sinaitic, were executed in handsome form and exquisite caligraphy. But shortly after, about the middle of the fourth century--as both schools of Textual Critics agree--a text differing from that of B and Aleph advanced in general acceptance; and, increasing till the eighth century in the predominance won by the end of the fourth, became so prevalent in Christendom, that the small number of MSS. agreeing with B and Aleph forms no sort of comparison with the many which vary from those two." [Dean Burgon, The Traditional Text, p. 2] By the fourth century, and certainly by the eighth century, those few manuscripts which agreed with B and Aleph were not in existence. What happened to them? On the other hand, the manuscripts which agreed with the Traditional Text and also agreed one with another, were in abundance. They were and are the true texts.
6. The Westcott and Hort (B and Aleph) Text Should not be Followed, but Rather We Should Follow the "Main Body of New Testament MSS." Dean Burgon wrote: "Are we for the genuine text of the New Testament to go to the Vatican and the Sinaitic MSS. and the few others which mainly agree with them, or are we to follow the main body of New Testament MSS., which by the end of the century in which those two were produced entered into possession of the field of contention, and have continued in occupation of it ever since?" [Dean Burgon, The Traditional Text, p. 3] This is a good question. We should follow the main body of New Testament manuscripts which form the Traditional Text. They won the battle with B and Aleph and their associate manuscripts. The churches recognized that the Traditional Text was the true text and copied and re-copied this text into hundreds and hundreds of manuscripts. To have approximately 5,210 Traditional Text kind of manuscripts in the Greek Language alone plus 8,000 in Latin, confirms that Christians believed these to be the true Bibles. Would you copy a Bible you thought to be false? I would not, and I don’t believe the Christian copyists would have either.
7. The Westcott and Hort (B and Aleph) Text Rejected 995 copies out of Every 1,000 as Being Untrustworthy. Dean Burgon wrote: "I am utterly disinclined to believe--as grossly improbable does it seem--that at the end of 1800 years, 995 copies out of every thousand suppose, will prove untrustworthy; and that the one, two, three, four or five which remain, whose contents were till yesterday as good as unknown, will be found to have retained the secret of what the Holy Spirit originally inspired. I am utterly unable to believe, in short, that God’s promise has so entirely failed, that at the end of 1800 years much of the text of the Gospel had in point of fact to be picked up by a German critic out of a waste-paper basket in the convent of St. Catherine; and that the entire text had to be remodelled after the pattern set by a couple of copies which had remained in neglect during fifteen centuries, and had probably owed their survival to that neglect; whilst hundreds of others had been thumbed to pieces, and had bequeathed their witness to copies made from them." [Dean Burgon, The Traditional Text, p. 12] This German critic mentioned was Tischendorf. The text found in the waste-paper basket was manuscript Aleph (Sinai). Recently retired 89-year-old Pastor Carl Drexler, of Runnemede, New Jersey, used to refer to such higher critics as Tischendorf by a descriptive term. He called them "the higher liar, critics." This, in too many instances, is correct. The disuse of B, Aleph and a few others explains why they were preserved instead of being "thumbed to pieces."
8. The Westcott and Hort (B and Aleph) Text Is Based Upon a Number of False Theories Rather than Facts. Dean Burgon wrote: ". . . the testimony is not only that of all the ages, but of all the countries: and at the very least so strong a presumption will ensue on behalf of the Traditional Text, that a powerful case indeed must be constructed to upset it. It cannot be vanquished by theories grounded upon internal considerations--often only another name for personal tastes--, or for scholarly likes or dislikes, or upon fictitious recensions, or upon any arbitrary choice of favouring manuscripts, or upon a strained division of authorities into families or groups, or upon a warped application of the principle of genealogy." [Dean Burgon, The Traditional Text, p. 13] Westcott and Hort’s text is simply theoretical rather than factual. They did not come up with the "powerful case" needed to supplant the Traditional Text.
9. The Westcott and Hort (B and Aleph) Text Is Based Upon a "Very Little Handful of Manuscripts" Rather than on the "Vast Multitude of Copies." Dean Burgon wrote: "Does the truth of the Text of Scripture dwell with the vast multitude of copies, uncial and cursive, concerning which nothing is more remarkable than the marvellous agreement which subsists between them? Or is it rather to be supposed that the truth abides exclusively with a very little handful of manuscripts which at once differ from the great bulk of the witnesses, and--strange to say--also amongst themselves?" "The advocates of the Traditional Text urge that the Consent without Concert of so many hundreds of copies, executed by different persons, at diverse times, in widely sundered regions of the Church, is a presumptive proof of their trustworthiness, which nothing can invalidate but [by] some sort of demonstration that they are untrustworthy guides after all." [Dean Burgon, The Traditional Text, pp. 16-17 ] There is an amassing of a tremendous amount of evidence by Dean Burgon in his masterful defense of the Traditional Text and in his demolition of the B and Aleph and Westcott and Hort errors. He combines logic with facts.
10. The Westcott and Hort (B and Aleph) Text, Though on a "Pedestal," Is Nevertheless Very Corrupt. Dean Burgon wrote: "It will be found in the end that we have been guilty of no exaggeration in characterizing B, Aleph, and D at the outset, as three of the most corrupt copies in existence. Let not any one suppose that the age of these five MSS. [B, Aleph, A, C, and D] places them upon a pedestal higher than all others. They can be proved to be wrong time after time by evidence of an earlier period than that which they can boast." [Dean Burgon, The Traditional Text, p. 25] Earlier versions and quotations of Church Fathers have proved B & Aleph and the Westcott and Hort text, therefore, to be corrupt and in error time and time again.
11. The Westcott and Hort (B and Aleph) Text Was Formed by a Simplistic, Easy Process. Dean Burgon wrote: "To abide by the verdict of the two, or five, or seven oldest Manuscripts, is at first sight plausible, and is the natural refuge of students who are either superficial, or who wish to make their task as easy and simple as possible." [Dean Burgon, The Traditional Text, p. 26] With the system of Westcott and Hort, you don't have to do much thinking. If B is the best manuscript, then you just go along with B as Westcott and Hort did. If Aleph goes along with B then it has to be right. After they had decided manuscript B was the best, they made their "canons of textual criticism" to corroborate B in every instance. They say the shortest is the best because B is the shortest. They say the most difficult reading is the best because B is the most difficult. They say the one that explains the rest is the best because B explains the rest. It is like going on a treasure hunt, that you yourself have constructed. You know where the treasure is located, so you make up the clues to match the location of the treasure. That’s an easy game to play.
12. The Westcott and Hort (B and Aleph) Text Was the Result of Habitual "Depravation" and "Persistent Mutilation." Dean Burgon wrote: "But when we study the New Testament by the light of such Codexes as B/Aleph/D/L, we find ourselves in an entirely new region of experience; confronted by phenomena not only unique but even portentous. The text has undergone apparently an habitual, if not systematic depravation; has been manipulated throughout in a wild way. . . . There are evidences of persistent mutilation, not only of words and clauses, but of entire sentences. The substitution of one expression for another, and the arbitrary transposition of words, are phenomena of such perpetual occurrence, that it becomes evident at last that what lies before us is not so much an ancient copy, as an ancient recension of the Sacred Text." [Dean Burgon, The Traditional Text, p. 32] B and Aleph are mutilated, depraved, and recension texts. That word recension comes from two Latin words, "Re" and "Sensio," to censure again, or to look over as an editor would do. It is amazing that thinking people still buy into this false Westcott and Hort textual theory.
13. The Westcott and Hort (B and Aleph) Text Differs Within itself Internally. Dean Burgon wrote: "The consent without concert of (suppose) 990 out of 1000 copies,--of every date from the fifth to the fourteenth century, and belonging to every region of ancient Christendom,--is a colossal fact not to be set aside by any amount of ingenuity. A predilection for two fourth-century manuscripts closely resembling one another, yet standing apart in every page so seriously that it is easier to find two consecutive verses in which they differ than two consecutive verses in which they entirely agree:--such a preference, I say, apart from abundant or even definitely clear proof that it is well founded, is surely not entitled to be accepted as conclusive." [Dean Burgon, The Traditional Text, p. 33-34] 990 out of 1000 copies from the 5th to the 14th centuries from every region of the world characterizes the Tradition Text. Why cling to the 4th Century B and Aleph which have internal differences on every page?
14. The Westcott and Hort (B and Aleph) Text Contains Fragments of Many Other Texts. Dean Burgon wrote: "Although for convenience we have hitherto spoken of Codexes B/Aleph/D/L as exhibiting a single text,--it is in reality not one text but fragments of many, which are to be met with in the little handful of authorities enumerated above. Their witness does not agree together. The Traditional Text, on the contrary, is unmistakably one." [Dean Burgon, The Traditional Text, p. 34] Again, Dean Burgon repeats his charges of major disagreement between the texts of B, Aleph, and their followers. This shows that they are "fragments of many" other manuscripts rather than being unified. Not so with the Traditional Text which is "unmistakably one."
15. The Westcott and Hort (B and Aleph) Text Constructed a Short Text from a Fuller One. Dean Burgon wrote: "There is no difficulty in producing a short text by omission of words, or clauses, or verses, from a fuller text: but the fuller text could not have been produced from the shorter by any development which would be possible under the facts of the case." [Dean Burgon, The Traditional Text, p. 34] The Westcott and Hort theory of taking their short text and making it into a longer Textus Receptus is illogical. How can you begin with a short text and then, all of a sudden, make a long text where each verse and word of that longer text agrees with hundreds of other manuscripts at the same book, chapter, and verse? For example, how could all twelve verses of Mark 16 be constructed in the same order and with the same words in hundreds of copies if the ORIGINAL of Mark’s Gospel did not contain them? On the other hand, it would be simple to take a full text, like the Textus Receptus or Traditional Text, and have B and Aleph’s scribes cut out the last twelve verses of Mark’s Gospel which, of course, they did.
16. The Westcott and Hort (B and Aleph) Text Is "Fabricated," "Depraved," "Refuse," and "Untrustworthy." Dean Burgon wrote: "Codexes B/Aleph/C/D are the several depositaries of a fabricated and depraved text: . . . [and] are probably indebted for their very preservation solely to the fact that they were anciently recognized as untrustworthy documents. Do men indeed find it impossible to realize the notion that there must have existed such things as refuse copies in the fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh centuries as well as in the eighth, ninth, tenth, and eleventh? And that the Codexes which we call B/Aleph/C/D may possibly, if not as I hold probably, have been of that class? [Dean Burgon, The Traditional Text, p. 36] What would you do with what you considered to be an untrustworthy document? Would you have it in your library? Would you give it to your children? If a New Testament document is untrustworthy, you would probably not touch it. This is why B and Aleph were in such good condition. They were not used by the Christians and the churches. They were rightly considered to be depraved copies.
17. The Westcott and Hort (B and Aleph) Text Is Not the Oldest Witness to the New Testament, Because Much Older Evidence Exists. Dean Burgon wrote: "But though there are in our hands as yet no older manuscripts [than B or Aleph], yet we have in the first place various Versions, viz., the Peshitto of the second century, the group of Latin Versions which begin from about the same time, the Boharic and the Thebaic of the third century, not to speak of the Gothic which was about contemporary with your friends the Vatican and Sinaitic MSS. Next, there are the numerous Fathers who quoted passages in the earliest ages, and thus witnessed to the MSS. which they used. . . . So that there is absolutely no reason to place these two MSS. upon a pedestal by themselves on the score of supreme antiquity. They are eclipsed in this respect by many other authorities older than they are." [Dean Burgon, The Traditional Text, p. 74] Anyone who says "the oldest is the best," will have to say the Traditional Text is the best because the witnesses to it are older than B or Aleph which have been "eclipsed" by it.
18. The Westcott and Hort (B and Aleph) Text Is Proved to Be a Bad Witness. Dean Burgon wrote: ". . . there is a continual conflict going on all through the Gospels between B and Aleph and a few adherents of theirs on the one side, and the bulk of the Authorities on the other, and the nature and weight of these two Codexes may be inferred from it. They will be found to have been proved over and over again to be bad witnesses, who were left to survive in their handsome dresses whilst attention was hardly ever accorded to any services of theirs." [Dean Burgon, The Traditional Text, p. 77] My Jehovah Witness Bible is in perfect condition. It is on my shelf because I never use it. It is still in its handsome dress. This is why B and Aleph were so carefully preserved as well. They were not used by the churches, but were rejected as the counterfeits they are.
19. The Westcott and Hort (B and Aleph) Text Is the Only Text In Dean Burgon’s Day that Omitted Mark 16:9-20. Dean Burgon wrote: "Copies much more numerous and much older than B and Aleph live in their surviving descendants. . . . No amplification of B and Aleph could by any process of natural development have issued in the last twelve verses of St. Mark. But it was easy enough for the scribe of B not to write, and the scribe of Aleph consciously and deliberately to omit, verses found in the copy before him, if it were determined that they should severally do so." [Dean Burgon, The Traditional Text, p. 78] The scribes who copied B and Aleph in Mark 16 were probably told by their editors not to copy these verses. Aleph left a blank space large enough to contain Mark 16:9-20. This bears witness to the authenticity of these last twelve verses of Mark. At that place, manuscript B copied fewer letters per line than in the rest of the book, making it entirely possible that Mark 16:9-20 could fit in there in its rightful place. So even B and Aleph bear witness to Mark 16:9-20 in a sense, even though they both omit the 12 verses. These were the only two manuscripts in Dean Burgon's day that did not contain Mark 16:9-20. For the full documentation favouring the verses, see Dean Burgon’s book, The Last Twelve Verses of Mark You can find the documentation in tabular form in my Summary of Dean Burgon’s book. This is B.F.T. #2506, 39 pages, @ $3.00+P&H). 20. The Westcott and Hort (B and Aleph) Text Has Many Omissions. Dean Burgon wrote: "First then, Codex B is discovered not to contain in the Gospels alone 237 words, 452 clauses, 748 whole sentences, which the later copies are observed to exhibit in the same places and in the same words." [Dean Burgon, The Traditional Text, p. 78] Dr. Jack Moorman found that, because of these many omissions, the B and Aleph/ Westcott and Hort text is shorter than the Textus Receptus by 2,886 words.
21. The Westcott and Hort (B and Aleph) Text Contains Semi-Arian Heresies in Them. Dean Burgon wrote: "The fact is that B and Aleph were the products of the school of philosophy and teaching which found its vent in Semi-Arian or Homoean opinions. . . . In the first place, according to the verdict of all critics, the date of these two MSS. coincides with the period when Semi-Arianism or some other form of Arianism were in the ascendance in the East, and to all outward appearance swayed the Universal Church. In the last years of his rule, Constantine was under the domination of the Arianizing faction; and the reign of Constantius II over all the provinces in the Roman Empire that spoke Greek, during which encouragement was given to the great heretical schools of the time, completed the two central decades of the fourth century. It is a circumstance that cannot fail to give rise to suspicion that the Vatican and Sinaitic MSS. had their origin under a predominant influence of such evil fame. At the very least, careful investigation is necessary to see whether those copies were in fact free from that influence which has met with universal condemnation." [Dean Burgon, The t, pp. 160-161] " Homoi-ousia" is a Greek term that means "like" nature, but not the "same." "Homo-ousia," on the other hand, means the "same" nature, not merely "like." The Lord Jesus Christ had the same nature with God the father and He was "Homo-ousia." The Arians and the Semi-Arians said he was "Homoi-ousia" or of like substance, but not exactly the full substance of Deity. These documents, because of their readings, represent Semi-Arian or "Homoi-ousian" readings. The Westcott and Hort (B and Aleph) text, according to Dr. Jack Moorman, has 356 doctrinal passages which differ from the Textus Receptus. All of these 356 passages are in error in the B and Aleph manuscripts. On the other hand, all 356 passages are proper and doctrinally orthodox in the Textus Receptus.
22. The Westcott and Hort (B and Aleph) Text Sank in Acceptance with the Churches as Arianism Sank into Condemnation. Dean Burgon wrote: "Now as we proceed further we are struck with another most remarkable coincidence, which also as has been before noticed is admitted on all hands, viz.,. that the period of the emergence of the Orthodox School from oppression and the settlement in their favour of the great Nicene controversy was also the time when the text of B and Aleph sank into condemnation. The Orthodox side under St. Chrysostom and others became permanently supreme: so did also the Traditional Text." [Dean Burgon, The Traditional Text, p. 161] When the churches got their doctrines straight, they got their Bible Texts straight. The result was that the early churches condemned the Westcott and Hort/B and Aleph text because of its propensities toward Arianism. They knew what was right and what was wrong so far as the true New Testament was. They knew that B and Aleph were wrong.
23. The Westcott and Hort (B and Aleph) Text's Three Reasons for Superiority Are all False. Dean Burgon wrote: "Of course, they have their reasons for dismissing nineteen-twentieths of the evidence at hand: but--this is the point--it rests with them to prove that such dismissal is lawful and right. What then are their arguments? Mainly three, viz. [1] the supposed greater antiquity of their favourite text, [2] the superiority which they claim for its character, and [3] the evidence that the Traditional Text was as they maintain formed by conflation from texts previously in existence." [Dean Burgon, The Traditional Text, p. 205] Dean Burgon has proved that all three of these reasons are false. The Westcott and Hort or B and Aleph text (1) does not have "greater antiquity" than the Textus Receptus; (2) does not have superior character; and (3) has not proved "conflation" for the Textus Receptus. These three falsehoods are still being told in our day.
25. The Westcott and Hort (B and Aleph) Text Was Condemned by the Generations that Followed. Dean Burgon wrote: "B and Aleph . . . may be regarded as the founders, or at least as prominent members of a family, whose descendants were few, because they were generally condemned by the generations which came after them." [Dean Burgon, The Traditional Text, p. 233] That is why there are so few New Testament Greek manuscripts that concur with B and Aleph, because they were condemned by the churches. Why do you think the English Revised Version of 1881 is no longer around? It is because it had been condemned by the churches that were using it. Why is the King James Bible of 1611 still around? Because it has been accepted and approved by the churches and Christians who use it.
26. The Westcott and Hort (B and Aleph) Text Is from a Small, Lost Family of Misguided Texts. Dean Burgon wrote: "But I suspect that in the little handful of authorities which have acquired such a notoriety in the annals of recent Textual Criticism, at the least of which stand Codexes B and Aleph, are to be recognized the characteristic features of a lost family of (once well known) second or third-century documents which owed their existence to the misguided zeal of some well-intentioned but utterly incompetent persons who devoted themselves to the task of correcting the Text of Scripture; but were entirely unfit for the undertaking." [Dean Burgon, The Traditional Text, p. 234] This is what we have in B and Aleph. We have "corrections" of the Words of God in these mistaken and false manuscripts.
27. The Westcott and Hort (B and Aleph) Text Has Many Serious Defects. Dean Burgon wrote: "We have with us width and depth against the narrowness on their side. They are conspicuously contracted in the fewness of the witnesses which they deem worthy of credence. They are restricted as to the period of history which alone they consider to deserve attention. They are confined with regard to the countries from which their testimony comes. They would supply Christians with a shortened text, and educate them under a cast-iron system. We on the contrary champion the many against the few: we welcome all witnesses and weigh all testimony: we uphold all the ages against one or two, and all the countries against a narrow space." [Dean Burgon, The Traditional Text, pp. 237-238] B & Aleph have no continuity. They have one country, Egypt! The Traditional Text/Textus Receptus was found in countries all over the then-known world. We don't fear facts. We take all the manuscripts under consideration.
28. The Westcott and Hort (B and Aleph) Text Had Been Once and for All Condemned By the Early Churches and the Traditional Text Had Been Settled. Dean Burgon wrote: "In the Nature of the Divine Word, and the character of the Written Word, were confirmed about the same time:--mainly, in the period when the Nicene Creed was re-asserted at the Council of Constantinople in 381 A.D.; for the Canon of Holy Scripture was fixed and the Orthodox Text gained a supremacy over the Origenistic Text about the same time:--and finally, after the Third Council of Constantinople in 680 A.D., at which the acknowledgment of the Natures of the Son of Man was placed in a position superior to all heresy; for it was then that the Traditional Test began in nearly perfect form to be handed down with scarce any opposition to future ages of the Church." [Dean Burgon, The Traditional Text, p. 173] The Divine Word is the Lord Jesus Christ. It is important to see that when His Person and Work were clarified, the true New Testament Greek text was also clarified. Which text of the New Testament do you want? That of Origen with all of its heresies and false doctrines contained therein? Or the Traditional Text which has been attested as the true text from the very first of the Apostolic Age? This is the question here. Praise God we have a text which we can defend and for which we can stand. It is the text which underlies our King James Bible. It is a Superior Text, it is a Traditional Text, and it is a text which God has been pleased to bless down through the centuries.
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