What about the KJV Only controversy?


What about the KJV Only controversy?
The author of this article has wrestled with the KJV Only controversy for many years. He has read many articles from scholarly men on both sides of the issue. William James had a concept called “cash value”. Basically it went like this: once you get the correct answer of how much practical value is it? Like how much value is it to be able to determine how many angels can dance on the head of a pen? The answer is “practically none”.

What is the spiritual and moral value of determining what the exact original biblical texts were and are?

One is that it gives confidence to the reader that the source is truly from God. With the multiplicity of modern translations the common man might be lead to believe that the Bible is very unreliable and the truth it presents is also unreliable.

Also, I believe that the multiplicity of translations has actually hindered the memorization of Scripture. Also, everytime you attend a new church you may have to use a different translation. Organizations like AWANA have their program in many different translations but that is actually confusing to the students as well as the parents. Note that some alleged translations are actually paraphrases or Dynamitic equivence translations. They do not give a word for word translation from the Greek and Hebrew manuscripts into English.

When it comes to the Word of God I personally would like the exact text of the original Scriptures. But is it necessary for a person to have absolute perfection to be saved and grow in the Lord? The answer is “no”. But that does not mean that we don’t desire a perfect copy of the original autographs.

Sometimes I think the controversy causes more problems than it solves. After considerable study regarding the transmission of manuscripts it is my judgment that the Textus Receptus or Byzantine manuscript family is the most reliable. The work on the Revision of the Greek text of Westcott-Hort is full of problems and contradictions.

The two manuscripts that were used primarily to create the Westcott-Hort Greek text were seriously flawed with many corruptions. Also, Westcott-Hort were very liberal theologians and did not believe in many of the most important essentials of the Faith. The basic argument of Westcott-Hort was that older is better. The two manuscripts were older but there is a serious question as to whether they were better.

The Jewish scholars that copied the Hebrew Scriptures were very exacting and precise about their method of copying the Scriptures. They would count every word on every line and if the number was wrong they would tear up the whole page and start over. Also, when they would come to the sacred name (YHVH) for the G-d the copist would take a complete bath and change their ink pens.

One of my conclusion about the ”cash value” of translations is the result of my assessment of the method of transmission of God’s truth from the beginning (Adam & Eve). Until approximately 1550 B.C. there was no written recorded Word of God. The Mosaic Covenant was the first written recorded Word of God. That bring up the question of “How were people saved and grow in their knowledge of God prior to the Mosaic Covenant?” Apparently the truth of God was passed on by verbal communication and certain direct communication by God to certain individuals, such as Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Also, oral communication was very reliable prior to the Genesis Flood because of the longevity of men. There were five persons who lived over 900 years. Adam himself lived 930 years so he could have directly communicated the truth of God which he had to many others.

More than likely God taught Adam and Eve the necessity of blood sacrifices. Cain and Abel were both taught by Adam and Eve. Cain knew the correct method for sacrificial offerings but through self-will he reject the way of God. Abel knew and offered a blood sacrifice in accord with what he was taught by his parents. We do not know what else God taught Adam and Eve, but from Genesis 3:15 we know that they were taught about a coming redeemer that would take care of sin.

15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. Genesis 3:15 (KJV)

Apparently, the people in the O.T. were saved by faith in the Promise of God to bring a Redeemer to pay for their sins. This was symbolized by their blood offering. There was a debate in the past whether people’s faith in God in the O.T. was Theo-centric or Christo-centric. From reading the account of Abraham’s being declared righteous by his faith in God’s promise of a Messiah coming from him and Sarah and their descendants faith apparently is Christo-centric.

2 And Abram said, Lord GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?
3 And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir.
4 And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.
5 And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.
6 And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness. Genesis 15:2-6 (KJV)

The Apostle Paul uses Abraham as an example of Justification by faith prior to the Mosaic Covenant and David as an example of Justification by faith during the Mosaic Covenant.

So it is very clear that people during the Old Testament period were saved by their faith in the promise of a coming Redeemer (Messiah).

Neither Abraham nor his immediate descendants had the written Word of God. They just had the oral word that was conveyed to them through their godly ancestors.

Romans 4:1-8 (KJV)
1 What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?
2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.
3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

For those of you who value the KJV Mr. Chris Sherburne has produced an updated KJV with the archaic words in the KJV changed.

His information is list below. I created a copy of Romans from his text in Word. I also created the 10 commandments with verses on the meaning of the Law. All of my memory work was completed in the KJV so it is very hard to change to any other translation. One piece of advice. If you are starting your children on the Word of God you need to pick a translation that is literal and which they will be able to keep and read all their life. That advice would also apply to you and any church that is choosing a translation. I believe that every church should take seriously which translation they will use. Almost all of the modern translations since 1881 are based on the Westcott-Hort Greek text which I consider as seriously flawed.

© 2004 Chris Sherburne
Third printing, January 2012
(928) 927-5217
e-mail: armoredsheep7@yahoo.com
web: http://www.armoredsheep.com
May God bless your today and forever!
Rev. Thomas L. Clark – Phil. 3:14


The Solid Foundation


The Solid Foundation is the Verbally inspired Word of God.  Without this Foundation we could know literally nothing about God.  All Christian teaching and doctrine is based on the Verbal, Plenary, Inspired  Word of God.

This is the reason that theological liberals so rabidly attack the Holy Scriptures.  Since the beginning of time, Satan has attempted to pervert the Word of God.   In his temptation of Eve in the Garden of Eden he pervert what God had said to Eve.  

If you are going to be a sound and strong Biblical Christian you must know the Word of God.   The Devil does everything he can to get you to doubt the full authority of the Word of God.

Jesus had memorized the Word of God and used it in his quotations of it to the Devil as his defense.  I believe that every Christian should memorize key passages and verses of Scripture to fortify themselves for the battle with the World, the Flesh, and the Devil.  1 John 2:15-17

1 John 2:15-17 (KJV)
15  Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
17  And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

Scripture Memory Fellowship is a good organization to help you memorize the Scriptures.      http://scripturememoryfellowship.org/

Numbers 6:24-26 (KJV)

24  The LORD bless thee, and keep thee:
25  The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
26  The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.

Rev. Thomas L. Clark – Phil, 3:14

Westcott and Hort Translator’s Beliefs

Westcott and Hort Translator’s Beliefs


The Bible warns that there would be those who would corrupt the word of God (2nd Corinthians 2:17) and handle it deceitfully (2nd Corinthians 4:2). There would arise false gospels with false epistles (2nd Thessalonians 2:2), along with false prophets and teachers who would not only bring in damnable heresies but would seek to make merchandise of the true believer through their own feigned words (2nd Peter 2:1-3).

It did not take long for this to occur. In the days of the Apostles, and shortly afterwards, several doctrinal heresies arose. Their early beginnings are referred to in the New Testament in such places as Galatians 1:6-8; 1st John 4:3; 2nd John 1:7; and Jude 1:3-4. They not only plagued the early Church, but are still with us today, in modern form, in many contemporary Christian cults. These false doctrines influenced the transmission of scripture and account for some of the differences in the line of manuscripts.


Brooke Foss Westcott (1825-1901) and Fenton John Anthony Hort (1828-1892) produced a Greek New Testament in 1881 based on the findings of Tischendorf. This Greek NT was the basis for the Revised Version of that same year. They also developed a theory of textual criticism which underlay their Greek NT and several other Greek NT since (such as the Nestle’s text and the United Bible Society’s text). Greek New Testaments such as these produced the modern English translations of the Bible we have today. So it is important for us to know the theory of Westcott and Hort as well as something of the two men who have so greatly influenced modern textual criticism.

In short, the Westcott and Hort theory states that the Bible is to be treated as any other book would be.

Westcott and Hort believed the Greek text which underlies the KJV was perverse and corrupt. Hort called the Textus Receptus vile and villainous (Life and Letters of Fenton John Anthony Hort, Vol. I, p.211).

If Westcott and Hort are the fathers of modern textual criticism and the restorers of the true text, should we not know something of their beliefs to see if they are consistent with Scripture? This would be harmonious with the teaching found in Matthew 7:17.

Here’s what Westcott and Hort said about…

The Scriptures:

“I reject the word infallibility of Holy Scriptures overwhelmingly.” (Westcott, The Life and Letters of Brook Foss Westcott, Vol. I, p.207).

“Our Bible as well as our Faith is a mere compromise.” (Westcott, On the Canon of the New Testament, p. vii).

“Evangelicals seem to me perverted. . .There are, I fear, still more serious differences between us on the subject of authority, especially the authority of the Bible.” (Hort, The Life and Letters of Fenton John Anthony Hort, Vol. I, p.400)

“Dr. Wilbur Pickering writes that, Hort did not hold to a high view of inspiration.” (The Identity of the New Testament Text, p.212)

Perhaps this is why both the RV (which Westcott and Hort helped to translate) and the American edition of it, the ASV, translated 2nd Timothy 3:16 as, “Every scripture inspired of God” instead of “All scripture is given by inspiration of God” (KJV).

The Deity of Christ:

“He never speaks of Himself directly as God, but the aim of His revelation was to lead men to see God in Him.” (Westcott, The Gospel According to St. John, p. 297).

“(John) does not expressly affirm the identification of the Word with Jesus Christ.” (Westcott, Ibid., p. 16).

“(Rev. 3:15) might no doubt bear the Arian meaning, the first thing created.” (Hort, Revelation, p.36).

Perhaps this is why their Greek text makes Jesus a created god (John 1:18) and their American translation had a footnote concerning John 9:38, “And he said, Lord I believe and he worshipped him,” which said, “The Greek word denotes an act of reverence, whether paid to a creature, as here, or to the Creator” (thus calling Christ a creature).

“The thought (of John 10:29) is here traced back to its most absolute form as resting on the essential power of God in His relation of Universal Fatherhood.” (Westcott, St. John, p. 159).

“I confess I have no repugnance to the primitive doctrine of a ransom paid to Satan. I can see no other possible form in which the doctrine of a ransom is at all tenable; anything is better than the doctrine of a ransom to the father.” (Hort, The First Epistle of St. Peter 1:1-2:17, p. 77).

Perhaps this is why their Greek text adds to salvation in 1st Peter 2:2. And why their English version teaches universal salvation in Titus 2:11, “For the grace of God hath appeared, bringing salvation to all men” (ASV).


“(Hell is) not the place of punishment of the guilty, (it is) the common abode of departed spirits.” (Westcott, Historic Faith, pp.77-78).

“We have no sure knowledge of future punishment, and the word eternal has a far higher meaning.” (Hort, Life and Letters, Vol. I, p.149).

Perhaps this is why their Greek text does not have Mark 9:44, and their English translation replaces “everlasting fire” [Matthew 18:8] with “eternal fire” and change the meaning of eternal as cited by Hort in the above quote.

“No one now, I suppose, holds that the first three chapters of Genesis, for example, give a literal history. I could never understand how anyone reading them with open eyes could think they did.” (Westcott, cited from Which Bible?, p. 191).

“But the book which has most engaged me is Darwin. Whatever may be thought of it, it is a book that one is proud to be contemporary with….. My feeling is strong that the theory is unanswerable.” (Hort, cited from Which Bible?, p. 189)

“I wish I could see to what forgotten truth Mariolatry (the worship of the Virgin Mary) bears witness.” (Westcott, Ibid. )

“The pure Romanish view seems to be nearer, and more likely to lead to the truth than the Evangelical.” (Hort, Life and Letters, Vol. I, p. 77)

It is one thing to have doctrinal differences on baby-sprinkling and perhaps a few other interpretations. It is another to be a Darwin-believing theologian who rejects the authority of scriptures, Biblical salvation, the reality of hell, and makes Christ a created being to be worshipped with Mary his mother. Yet, these were the views of both Westcott and Hort. No less significant is the fact that both men were members of spiritist societies (the Hermes Club and the Ghostly Guild).

Westcott and Hort talked to Spirits of the dead.

I call it Satanism.

Westcott and Hort

Brooke Foss Westcott (1825-1903) and Fenton John Anthony Hort (1828-1892) have been highly controversial figures in biblical history.

On one side, their supporters have heralded them as great men of God, having greatly advanced the search for the original Greek text.

On the other side, their opponents have leveled charges of heresy, infidelity, apostasy, and many others, claiming that they are guilty of wreaking great damage on the true text of Scripture.

I have no desire to sling mud nor a desire to hide facts.

I believe it is essential at this time that we examine what we know about these men and their theories concerning the text of the Bible.
I long sought for copies of the books about their lives.

These are The Life and Letters of Brooke Foss Westcott, by his son, Arthur, and The Life and Letters of Fenton John Anthony Hort, written by his son.

After literally months of trying, I was able to acquire copies of them both for study.  Most of the material in this section will be directly from these sources so as to prevent it from being secondhand.

We cannot blindly accept the finding of any scholar without investigating what his beliefs are concerning the Bible and its doctrines. Scholarship alone makes for an inadequate and dangerous authority, therefore we are forced to scrutinize these men’s lives.

A Monumental Switch

Westcott and Hort were responsible for the greatest feat in textual criticism. They were responsible for replacing the Universal Text of the Authorized Version with the Local Text of Egypt and the Roman Catholic Church. Both Westcott and Hort were known to have resented the pre-eminence given to the Authorized Version and its underlying Greek Text. They had been deceived into believing that the Roman Catholic manuscripts, Vaticanus and Aleph, were better because they were older. This they believed, even though Hort admitted that the Antiochian or Universal Text was equal in antiquity.

Hort said:

“The fundamental Text of late extant Greek MSS generally is beyond all question identical with the dominant Antiochian or Graeco-Syrian Text of the second half of the 4th century.” (Hort, The Factor of Genealogy, pg 92—as cited by Burgon, Revision Revised, pg 257).
Vicious Prejudice

In spite of the fact that the readings of the Universal Text were found to be as old, or older, Westcott and Hort still sought to dislodge it from its place of high standing in biblical history.  Hort occasionally let his emotions show…

Hort said:

“I had no idea till the last few weeks of the importance of texts, having read so little Greek Testament, and dragged on with the villainous Textus Receptus leaning entirely on late MSS.; it is a blessing there are such early ones.”(Life, Vol. I, p. 211).

Westcott and Hort built their own Greek text based primarily on a few uncial MSS of the Local Text. It has been stated earlier that these perverted MSS do not even agree among themselves. The ironic thing is that Westcott and Hort knew this when they formed their text!

Burgon exposed Dr. Hort’s confession. Even Hort had occasion to notice an instance of the Concordia discourse. Commenting on the four places in Mark’s Gospel (14:30, 68, 72, a, b) where the cocks crowing is mentioned said:

“The confusion of attestation introduced by these several cross currents of change is so great that of the seven principal MSS, Aleph, A, B, C, D, L, no two have the same text in all four places.” 87
A Shocking Revelation

That these men should lend their influence to a family of MSS which have a history of attacking and diluting the major doctrines of the Bible, should not come as a surprise. Oddly enough, neither man believed that the Bible should be treated any differently than the writings of the lost historians and philosophers!

Hort wrote, quote:

For ourselves, we dare not introduce considerations which could not reasonably be applied to other ancient texts, supposing them to have documentary attestation of equal amount, variety and antiquity. 88

He also states, Quote: In the New Testament, as in almost all prose writings which have been much copied, corruptions by interpolation are many times more numerous than corruptions by omission. (Emphasis mine.) 89

We must consider these things for a moment. How can God use men who do not believe that His Book is any different than Shakespeare, Plato, or Dickens? It is a fundamental belief that the Bible is different from all other writings. Why did these men not believe so?
Blatant Disbelief

Their skepticism does, in fact, go even deeper. They have both become famous for being able to deny scriptural truth and still be upheld by fundamental Christianity as biblical authorities! Both Westcott and Hort failed to accept the basic Bible doctrines which we hold so dear and vital to our fundamental faith.

Hort denies the reality of Eden:

I am inclined to think that no such state as Eden (I mean the popular notion) ever existed, and that Adams fall in no degree differed from the fall of each of his descendants, as Coleridge justly argues. 90

Furthermore, he took sides with the apostate authors of Essays and Reviews.

Hort writes to Rev. Rowland Williams, October 21, 1858,

“Further I agree with them [Authors of Essays and Reviews] in condemning many leading specific doctrines of the popular theology … Evangelicals seem to me perverted rather than untrue. There are, I fear, still more serious differences between us on the subject of authority, and especially the authority of the Bible.” 91

We must also confront Hort’s disbelief that the Bible was infallible:

“If you make a decided conviction of the absolute infallibility of the N.T. practically a sine qua non for co-operation, I fear I could not join you.”

He also stated:

“As I was writing the last words a note came from Westcott. He too mentions having had fears, which he now pronounces groundless, on the strength of our last conversation, in which he discovered that I did recognize Providente in biblical writings. Most strongly I recognize it; but I am not prepared to say that it necessarily involves absolute infallibility. So I still await judgment.”

And further commented to a colleague:

“But I am not able to go as far as you in asserting the absolute infallibility of a canonical writing.” 92
Strange Bedfellows

Though unimpressed with the evangelicals of his day, Hort had great admiration for Charles Darwin! To his colleague, B.F. Westcott, he wrote excitedly:

“…Have you read Darwin? How I should like to talk with you about it! In spite of difficulties, I am inclined to think it unanswerable. In any case it is a treat to read such a book.”

And to John Ellerton he writes:

“But the book which has most engaged me is Darwin. Whatever may be thought of it, it is a book that one is proud to be contemporary with … My feeling is strong that the theory is unanswerable. If so, it opens up a new period.” 93

Dr. Hort was also an adherent to the teaching of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. His son writes:

“In undergraduate days, if not before, he came under the spell of Coleridge.” 94

Coleridge was the college drop-out whose drug addiction is an historical fact. The opium habit, begun earlier to deaden the pain of rheumatism, grew stronger. After vainly trying in Malta and Italy to break away from opium, Coleridge came back to England in 1806.” 95

“One of Coleridge’s famous works is Aids to Reflection. Its chief aim is to harmonize formal Christianity with Coleridge’s variety of transcendental philosophy. He also did much to introduce Immanual Kant and other German philosophers to English readers.” 96

This man, Coleridge, had a great influence on the two scholars from Cambridge. Forsaking Colossians 2:8, Hort was also a lover of Greek philosophy. In writing to Mr. A. MacMillian, he stated:

“You seem to make (Greek) philosophy worthless for those who have received the Christian revelation. To me, though in a hazy way, it seems full of precious truth of which I find nothing, and should be very much astonished and perplexed to find anything in revelation.” 97
Lost in the Forest

In some cases Hort seemed to wander in the woods. In others he can only be described as utterly lost in the forest. Take, for example, his views on fundamental Bible truths…

Hort’s Devil

Concerning existence of a personal devil he wrote:

“The discussion which immediately precedes these four lines naturally leads to another enigma most intimately connected with that of everlasting penalties, namely that of the personality of the devil. It was Coleridge who some three years ago first raised any doubts in my mind on the subject – doubts which have never yet been at all set at rest, one way or the other. You yourself are very cautious in your language.”

“Now if there be a devil, he cannot merely bear a corrupted and marred image of God; he must be wholly evil, his name evil, his every energy and act evil. Would it not be a violation of the divine attributes for the Word to be actively the support of such a nature as that?” 98
Hort’s  Hell

Hort also shrunk from the belief in a literal, eternal hell.

“I think Maurice’s letter to me sufficiently showed that we have no sure knowledge respecting the duration of future punishment, and that the word eternal has a far higher meaning than the merely material one of excessively long duration; extinction always grates against my mind as something impossible. 99

Certainly in my case it proceeds from no personal dread; when I have been living most godlessly, I have never been able to frighten myself with visions of a distant future, even while I held the doctrine. 100
Hort’s Purgatory

Although the idea of a literal devil and a literal hell found no place in Hort’s educated mind, he was a very real believer in the factious Roman Catholic doctrine of purgatory.

To Rev. John Ellerton he wrote in 1854:

I agree with you in thinking it a pity that Maurice verbally repudiates purgatory, but I fully and unwaveringly agree with him in the three cardinal points of the controversy: (1) that eternity is independent of duration; (2) that the power of repentance is not limited to this life; (3) that it is not revealed whether or not all will ultimately repent. The modern denial of the second has, I suppose, had more to do with the despiritualizing of theology then almost anything that could be named. 101
Also while advising a young student he wrote:

The idea of purgation, of cleansing as by fire, seems to me inseparable from what the Bible teaches us of the Divine chastisements; and, though little is directly said respecting the future state, it seems to me incredible that the Divine chastisements should in this respect change their character when this visible life is ended.
I do not hold it contradictory to the Article to think that the condemned doctrine has not been wholly injurious, inasmuch as it has kept alive some sort of belief in a great and important truth. 102

Thus we see that Dr. Hort’s opinions were certainly not inhibited by orthodoxy. Yet his wayward ways do not end here. For, as his own writings display, Dr. Hort fell short in several other fundamental areas.

Hort’s Atonement

There was also his rejection of Christ’s atoning death for the sins of all mankind.

“The fact is, I do not see how Gods justice can be satisfied without every man’s suffering in his own person the full penalty for his sins.” 103

In fact, Hort considered the teachings of Christs atonement as heresy!

“Certainly nothing can be more unscriptural than the modern limiting of Christs bearing our sins and sufferings to His death; but indeed that is only one aspect of an almost universal heresy.” 104

The fact is, that Hort believed Satan more worthy of accepting Christs payment for sins than God.

“I confess I have no repugnance to the primitive doctrine of a ransom paid to Satan, though neither am I prepared to give full assent to it. But I can see no other possible form in which the doctrine of a ransom is at all tenable; anything is better than the notion of a ransom paid to the Father.” 105
Hort’s Baptism

Dr. Hort also believed that the Roman Catholic teaching of baptismal regeneration was more correct than the evangelical teaching.

…at the same time in language stating that we maintain Baptismal Regeneration as the most important of doctrines … the pure Romish view seems to me nearer, and more likely to lead to, the truth than the Evangelical. 106

He also states that, Baptism assures us that we are children of God, members of Christ and His body, and heirs of the heavenly kingdom. 107

In fact, Hort’s heretical view of baptism probably cost his own son his eternal soul, as we find Hort assuring his eldest son, Arthur, that his infant baptism was his salvation:

You were not only born into the world of men. You were also born of Christian parents in a Christian land. While yet an infant you were claimed for God by being made in Baptism an unconscious member of His Church, the great Divine Society which has lived on unceasingly from the Apostles time till now. You have been surrounded by Christian influences; taught to lift up your eyes to the Father in heaven as your own Father; to feel yourself in a wonderful sense a member or part of Christ, united to Him by strange invisible bonds; to know that you have as your birthright a share in the kingdom of heaven. 108
Hort’s Twisted Belief

Along with Hort’s unregenerated misconceptions of basic Bible truths, there were his quirkish and sometimes quackish personal beliefs. One such example is his hatred for democracy, as he asserts in a letter to Rev. Westcott dated April 28, 1865:

“…I dare not prophesy about America, but I cannot say that I see much as yet to soften my deep hatred of democracy in all its forms.” 109

It is not an amazing thing that any one man could hold to so many unscriptural and ungodly beliefs. It is amazing that such a man could be exalted by Bible believing preachers and professors to a point of authority higher than the King James Bible!

Dr. Hort was a truly great Greek scholar, yet a great intellect does not make one an authority over the Bible when they themselves do not even claim to believe it! Albert Einstein was a man of great intellect, but he rejected Scripture, and so where he speaks on the subject of Scripture he is not to be accepted as authoritative. Possessing a great mind or great ability does not guarantee being a great spiritual leader. Dr. Hort was a scholar, but his scholarship alone is no reason to accept his theories concerning Bible truth.

If fundamental pastors of today enlisted the services of an evangelist and found that this evangelist had beliefs paralleling those of Fenton John Anthony Hort, I believe that the pastor would cancel the meeting. Strangely through, when a pastor discovers such to be true about Dr. Hort, he excuses him as a great Greek scholar and presents his Authorized Version to him to be maliciously dissected and then discarded as Dr. Hort sets himself down in the seat of authority which the Bible once held. Here again I must assert that most often this is done with childlike faith on the part of the pastor, due to the education he received while in seminary. The seminary is not really guilty either, for they have simply and unsuspectingly accepted the authority of two men raised under the influence of a campaign by the Jesuits to re-Romanize England. Wilkenson reports that Hort had been influenced by these Roman Catholic forces: Dr. Hort tell us that the writings of Simon had a large share in the movement to discredit the Textus Receptus class of MSS and Bibles. 119

Problems with Westcott

Unfortunately for the new Bible supporters, Dr. Westcott’s credentials are even more anti-biblical. Westcott did not believe that Genesis 1-3 should be taken literally. He also thought that Moses and David were poetic characters whom Jesus Christ referred to by name only because the common people accepted them as authentic.

Westcott states:

“No one now, I suppose, holds that the first three chapters of Genesis, for example, give a literal history – I could never understand how anyone reading them with open eyes could think they did – yet they disclose to us a Gospel. So it is probably elsewhere. Are we not going through a trial in regard to the use of popular language on literary subjects like that through which we went, not without sad losses in regard to the use of popular language on physical subjects? If you feel now that it was, to speak humanly, necessary that the Lord should speak of the sun rising, it was no less necessary that he would use the names Moses and David as His contemporaries used them… There was no critical question at issue. (Poetry is, I think, a thousand times more true than History; this is a private parenthesis for myself alone.) 120

He also said David is not a chronological but a spiritual person. 121

That the first three chapter of Genesis are all allegory has been believed by liberals and modernists for years. Do today’s fundamentalists realize that those modernists beliefs were nurtures in the heart of this Bible critic?

Westcott was also a doubter of the Biblical account of miracles: I never read an account of a miracle but I seem instinctively to feel its improbability, and discover somewhat of evidence in the account of it. 122

If a great fundamental preacher of our day were to make this statement, he would be called apostate, but what then of Westcott?

Westcott believed that the second coming of Jesus Christ was not a physical coming but a spiritual coming: “As far as I can remember, I said very shortly what I hold to be the Lord’s coming in my little book on the Historic Faith. I hold very strongly that the Fall of Jerusalem was the coming which first fulfilled the Lords words; and, as there have been other comings, I cannot doubt that He is coming’ to us now. 123

Westcott’s Heaven

Wait! This fundamental doctrine is not the last one to be denied by Bishop Westcott, for he believed Heaven to be a state and not a literal place. Note the following quotations from Bishop Westcott: No doubt the language of the Rubric is unguarded, but it saves us from the error of connecting the Presence of Christ’s glorified humanity with place; heaven is a state and not a place. 124

Yet the unseen is the largest part of life. Heaven lies about us now in infancy alone; and by swift, silent pauses for thought, for recollection, for aspiration, we cannot only keep fresh the influence of that diviner atmosphere, but breathe it more habitually. 125

We may reasonably hope, by patient, resolute, faithful, united endeavor to find heaven about us here, the glory of our earthly life. 126

Westcott’s Newmanism

Dr. Westcott was also deeply devoted to John Newman, the Roman Catholic defector who took 150 Church of England clergymen with him when he made the change. Those of his disciples who did not make the physical change to Rome, made the spiritual change to Romanism, though many, like Westcott, never admitted it.

These are the convictions of a man greatly responsible for the destruction of Christian faith in the Greek Text of the Authorized Version. Place Mr. Westcott next to any present fundamental preacher or educator, and he would be judged a modernist, liberal and heretic. In spite of his outstanding ability in Greek, a man of his convictions would not be welcome on the campus of any truly Christian college in America. This is not an overstatement, nor is it malicious. The Christian colleges of today hold very high standards and simply would not settle for a man of such apostate conviction, no matter how great his ability to teach a given subject.



     87 Fuller, David, True or False, (Grand Rapids International Publications, Grand Rapids, 1973), p. 261.

     88 Hills, Edward, Believing Bible Study, (The Christian Research Press, Des Moines, 1967), p. 122.

     89 Fuller, David, True or False, (Grand Rapids International Publications, Grand Rapids, 1973), p. 240.

     90 Hort, Arthur Fenton, Life and Letters of Fenton John Anthony Hort, (New York, 1896), Volume I, p. 78.

     91 Ibid., p. 400.

     92 Ibid., pp. 420-422.

     93 Ibid., pp. 414-416.

     94 Ibid., p. 42.

     95 New Standard Encyclopedia, (Standard Educational Corporation, 1977), p. 450.

     96 Ibid., pp. c450-451.

     97 Hort, Arthur Fenton, Life and Letters of Fenton John Anthony Hort, (New York, 1896), Volume I, p. 449.

     98 Ibid., p. 121.

     99 Ibid., p. 149.

     100 Ibid., p. 122.

     101 Ibid., p. 275.

     102 Ibid., Volume II, pp. 336,337.

     103 Ibid., Volume I, p. 120.

     104 Ibid., p. 430.

     105 Ibid., p. 428.

     106 Ibid., p. 76.

     107 Ibid., Volume II, p. 81.

     108 Ibid., p. 273.

     109 Ibid., p. 34.

     110 Ibid., Volume I, pp. 458,459.

     111 Ibid., p. 458.

     112 Ibid., Volume II, p. 207.

     113 Ibid., Volume I, p. 130.

     114 Ibid., p. 138.

     115 Ibid., p. 140.

     116 Ibid., p. 139.

     117 Ibid., p. 211.

     118 Ibid., p. 377.

     119 Wilkenson, Benjamin, Our Authorized Bible Vindicated, (Takoma Park, 1930), p. 104.

     120 Westcott, Arthur, Life and Letters of Brooke Foss Westcott. (New York, 1903), Volume II, p. 69.

     121 Ibid., p. 147

     122 Ibid., Volume I, p. 52.

     123 Ibid., Volume II, p. 308.

     124 Ibid., p. 49.

     125 Ibid., p. 253.

     126 Ibid., p. 394.





King James debate


KJV Bibles

The Real Story of King James – Phil Stringer

King James Only Debate

Uploaded on Nov 7, 2011

James White debates Jack Moorman on whether the KJV is superior to modern translations due to the manuscripts used. As I said in the title, this debate was very informative and actually persuaded me to change my mind on the subject. I won’t reveal my personal opinion so that you the viewer can decide for yourself based on the evidence that is presented. Glad to see a friendly, well presented debate on the subject to help educate God’s people on such issues.

I believe that the Greek Text behind the King James version is the best text.   The Revision of Westcott-Hort was faulty and based on only two corrupt Alexandrian manuscript.

I also believe that the KJV is the best to memorize.  If you would like to read a critique of the New King James Bible and if you would like a copy of the KJV Bible with all the archaic language updated check out the information from:

Chris Sherburne

kj07 3-30-09.pdf  The KJV Bible updated KJ07-1611

ENOUGH$21$21.pdf  a critique of the NKJV & other modern versions

© 2004 Chris Sherburne

Third printing, January 2012

(928) 927-5217

e-mail: armoredsheep7@yahoo.com

web: http://www.armoredsheep.com

Rev. Thomas L. Clark

Westcott-Hort Greek Text


The below article is an excellent explanation of the problem with the Westcott-Hort Greek text.  Almost all modern translations are based on the Westcott-Hort Greek text.  While I was in Bible college I did not have the tools or resources to examine the Westcott-Hort theory.  Since I retired from full-time employment I have had time to research almost all of the Biblical issues that concerned me.   I have concluded from my studies that the Textus Receptus as it is so named is truly the best Greek Text.   The Westcott-Hort Greek text is seriously flawed because of their extreme reliance of the two manuscripts:

Codex Sinaiticus

Codex Vaticanus

.The basic argument for the use of these two manuscripts is that they are older that most Textus Receptus manuscripts.  To me this is not a sufficient argument.  Dr. Phil Stringer is an expert on this controversy of KJV only.  He understands the history of the Greek Text and the Revision of the Greek text in 1870 by the Revision committee.   TLC


By Dr. Phil Stringer


This message was given at the 33rd Annual Meeting and Conference of the GraceWay Bible Society meeting, Saturday, October 27th, 2001, held at Brampton Ontario, Canada.



I. The King James Only Controversy.
II. The Primacy of the King James Bible
III. The Westcott and Hort Theory.
IV. Westcott and Hort Only?
V. What You Have to Believe to Accept the Westcott and Hort Theory
VI. Were Westcott and Hort Infallible?
VII. Who Were Westcott and Hort?
VIII. The Doctrine of Westcott and Hort.
IX. Were Westcott and Hort Saved Men?
X. The Work of the English Revision Committee.
XI. Were Westcott and Hort Secret Practitioners of the Occult?
XII. The Fundamentalist Defenders of Westcott and Hort!
XIII. In Conclusion.

I. The King James Only Controversy.

You don’t have to read very much in contemporary, fundamentalist, Baptist literature to come across warnings about the “King James only controversy.”

Dr. Jerry Falwell announces that he is hiring Dr. Harold Rawlings to “refute the ‘King James Only’ cultic movement that is damaging so many good churches today.”
Dr. Robert Sumner warns about the “veritable fountain of misinformation and deceptive double talk on the subject of ‘King James Onlyism’.”
Dr. J. B. Williams refers to those who advocate the King James Only as “misinformers” and as “a cancerous sore.”
Dr. Robert Joyner calls King James Bible loyalists, “heretics”.
Dr. James R. White warns about King James Bible proponents “undercutting the very foundations of the faith itself”.

Such references to the King James Only Controversy are very common. Some refer to loyal supporters of the King James Bible as the “King James Only Cult”. Another common term is the sneering reference to the “King Jimmy Boys.”

However the use of the “King James Bible only” wasn’t always so controversial.
II. The Primacy of the King James Bible

God was doing a great work in England in the early 1600’s. The preaching of the gospel of Christ out of the Matthew’s Bible and the Geneva Bible was leading to multitudes of conversions. Evangelicals and Puritans were becoming a stronger and stronger force in the Church of England and in English culture.

Yet many were concerned that the final translation work into the English language had not been done. King James was persuaded to authorize a new translation. The King James Bible was printed in 1611.

At first there were questions and concerns about this new Bible translation. This was as it should be. No one should accept a Bible translation lightly. By 1640 however, the King James Bible was clearly the Bible of the English people. The Geneva and Matthew’s Bible, once greatly used of God, went out of print. There was simply no demand for them anymore.

The Church of England, with its official evangelical doctrinal statement, used the King James Bible exclusively. It was the Bible of the Puritans, both inside and outside the Church of England. In fact the Puritans began to use the distinctive Biblical English of the King James Bible in the day to day speech.

The King James Bible was the Bible of the Presbyterians, the Congregationalists, and the Quakers. It was clearly the Bible of the Baptists. By 1640 it was the Bible of the Pilgrims (some had used the Geneva Bible earlier).

The King James Bible was the Bible of evangelicals in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. It became the Bible of the English colonies across the Atlantic Ocean. The only religious group of any size or importance in England that didn’t use the King James Bible was Roman Catholicism. All non-Catholics could have been referred to as “King James only people.” When the Methodist Revival stirred England in the 1700’s, it did so with the preaching of the King James Bible. John Wesley, one of the founders of the Methodists, made his own translation of the New Testament. However, it found little acceptance, even among Methodists. Only the King James Bible was in common use.

When English colonies flourished in Australia and New Zealand, the King James Bible was the common Bible of the settlers. When President George Washington took the first presidential oath of office in the new United States of America, he did so with his hand on a King James Bible. Every American president since, with the exception of Franklin Pierce, has done the same.

Over one hundred fifty English translations were produced between 1611 and 1880. However, they found no audience except in a few cults. Most went out of print quickly. The English speaking, Christian world was truly “King James only”.

Baptist preachers produced a Baptist translation of the Bible. They replaced the word baptism with the word immersion. They replaced the word church with the word assembly. However, they found no audience, not even among Baptists. Their translation was soon out of print. The Baptists were truly “King James only”.

As hard as it may be for the liberals and secularists to admit, the American public schools were built around the King James Bible. The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States, (not exactly a religious right publication), describes the early public schools this way, “Public schools had a distinctly Protestant flavor, with teachers leading prayers and scripture reading from the King James Bible in their lessons”. The Roman Catholic minority objected to the King James Bible and so they developed their own school system. With the exception of the Catholics, the United States was clearly King James only.

Russell Kirk (a Roman Catholic historian) describes the influence of the King James Bible on the United States, “The book that was to exert a stronger influence than any other in Americas was not published until 1611, a few years after the first Virginian settlement: the ‘King James’ translation of the Bible, the Authorized Version, was prepared by English scholars for King James I. Read from American pulpits and in the great majority of American households during colonial times, the Authorized Version shaped the style, informed the intellect, affected the laws, and decreed the morals of the North American Colonies.” Truly the early United States was King James only.

According to Winston Churchill, ninety million copies of the King James Bible had been printed by the mid-twentieth century.

The King James Bible was the Bible of the great modern missions movement of the 1700’s and 1800’s. The missionaries from England and the United States were saved, called to the mission field, and trained under the preaching of the King James Bible. They traveled around the world, introducing the gospel of grace to millions. Many of these missionaries knew little or no Greek and Hebrew. They translated the Bible into 760 languages from the King James Bible. Truly the modern missions movement was a King James only movement.
III. The Westcott and Hort Theory.

In the 1870’s, a challenge arose in the English world to the primacy of the King James Bible. There had always been a challenge from Roman Catholicism, but this challenge came from men who were officially Protestants: Church of England Bishop Brooke Foss Westcott and Cambridge University Professor Fenton John Anthony Hort.

The heart of the Westcott and Hort theory was that the New Testament was preserved in almost perfect condition in two Greek texts, the Vaticanus and the Sinaiticus. Sinaiticus was discovered in a wastebasket in St. Catherine’s Momentary (near Mt. Sinai) in 1844 by Constantin von Tischendorf. The Vaticanus was found in the Vatican library in 1475 and was rediscovered in 1845.

The King James New Testament was translated from a different family of Greek texts. To Westcott and Hort, the King James Bible was clearly an inferior translation. It must be replaced by a new translation from texts that they considered to be older and better. They believed that the true work of God in English had been held back by an inferior Bible. They determined to replace the King James Bible and the Greek Textus Receptus. In short, their theory suggests that for fifteen hundred years the preserved Word of God was lost until it was recovered in the nineteenth century in a trash can and in the Vatican Library. [Editor RAB: that’s where they belong.]

Hort clearly had a bias against the Textus Receptus, calling it “villainous” and “vile”. Hort aggressively taught that the School at Antioch (associated with Lucian) had loosely translated the true text of Scripture in the second century A. D. This supposedly created an unreliable text of Scripture which became the Textus Receptus. This was called the Lucian Recension Theory.

Hort did not have a single historical reference to support the idea that such a recension took place. He simply theorized that it must have taken place. In spite of the fact that there is not a single historical reference to the Lucian Recension, many Bible colleges teach it as a historical fact. [Editor RAB: sad but true. One of my professors was one of the contributing editors to the NIV, he did one of the minor prophets. I was not even a year old in Christ when I went off to seminary. I was not brought up in church, and never owned a Bible until my girlfriend gave me one as a gift before I went to seminary. The night I was saved I borrowed a Bible from a Muslim, (THAT IS ANOTHER STORY}. What was so disturbing to me was my professor. I felt he was trying to undermine my faith in the Bible and I told him so. By the way, my girlfriend gave me a King James Bible and told me it was the Word Of God. I married her while I was in seminary. Praise the Lord for a godly wife with godly convictions concerning the Bible. AMEN.]

IV. Westcott and Hort Only!

It is clear that the modern movement to revise the English Bible is based completely on the works of Westcott and Hort.

K.W. Clark writes, “…the Westcott-Hort text has become today our Textus-Receptus. We have been freed from the one only to become captivated by the other…The psychological chains so recently broken from our fathers have again been forged upon us, even more strongly.”

E.C. Colwell writes, “The dead hand of Fenton John Anthony Hort lies heavy upon us. In the early years of this century Kirsopp Lake described Hort’s work as a failure, …But Hort did not fail to reach his major goal. He dethroned the Textus Receptus. …This was a sensational achievement, an impressive success. Hort’s success in this task and the cogency of his tightly reasoned theory shaped – and still shapes – the thinking of those who approach the textual criticism of the New Testament through the English language.”

Zane Hodges, a long time professor at Dallas Theological Seminary, writes, “Modern textual criticism is psychologically addicted to Westcott and Hort. Westcott and Hort in turn, were rationalists in their approach to the textual problem in the New Testament and employed techniques within which rationalism and every other kind of bias are free to operate.”

Alfred Martin, former Vice-President at Moody Bible Institute, wrote in 1951, “The present generation of Bible students having been reared on Westcott and Hort have for the most part accepted this theory without independent or critical examination. …if believing Bible students had the evidence of both sides put before them instead of one side only, there would not be so much blind following of Westcott and Hort.” The two most popular Greek manuscripts today, Nestles-Aland and UBS (United Bible Society), differ very little from the Westcott and Hort text.


You have to believe that people who believed in the Deity of Christ often corrupt Bible manuscripts.
You have to believe that people who deny the Deity of Christ never corrupt Bible manuscripts.
You have to believe that people who died to get the gospel to the world couldn’t be trusted with the Bible.
You have to believe that their killers could be trusted.
You have to believe that the Celtic Christians, Waldenses, Albigenses, Henricians, Petrobrussians, Paulicians, the Greek Orthodox Church, the Protestant churches, the Anabaptists and the Baptists all did not have the pure word of God.
You have to believe that the Roman Catholics and the nineteenth century rationalists did have the pure word of God.


Even though many evangelicals treat the Westcott and Hort Theory as proven fact, there have always been serious textual scholars that challenged it.

The brilliant textual scholar, Dean John Burgon, referred to Westcott and Hort’s “violent recoil from the Traditional Text” and “their absolute contempt for the Traditional Text”. He refers to their theory as “superstitious veneration for a few ancient documents.”

Another famed textual scholar and contemporary of Westcott and Hort, F.H.P. Scrivener wrote, “Dr. Hort’s system therefore is entirely destitute of historical foundation. He does not so much as make a show of pretending to it; but then he would persuade us, as he persuaded himself…”.

It is a phony claim to scholarship to simply parrot the ideas of Westcott and Hort and pretend that you are superior to those who don’t accept their ideas. Those who wish to change the King James Bible, so long greatly used of God and cherished by the English speaking people, need to give clear reasons why!

How do you know that the “older” Vaticanus and Sinaticus manuscripts aren’t corrupt manuscripts? How do you know that the Lucian Recension ever took place? Why do you believe that the evangelicals throughout the centuries were using a corrupt text? Why would you trust Westcott and Hort only?


B.F. Westcott was born in 1825. F.J.A. Hort was born in 1828. They were members of the Broad Church (or High Church) Party of the Church of England. They became friends during their student days at Cambridge University. They worked for over thirty years together on the subject of the Greek text of the New Testament.

Westcott went on to become the Bishop of Durham (England) and served for a while as chaplain to Queen Victoria. Hort is best remembered as a Professor of Divinity at Cambridge University.

Both men wrote several books. They are best remembered for their edition of the Greek New Testament entitled, “The New Testament in the Original Greek”. They are also remembered for being the two most influential members of the English Revised Version committee which produced a new English translation. Scrivener thought that they exercised too much influence on this committee.

Westcott died in 1901. Hort passed away in 1892. Both men had sons who collected their personal correspondence and who wrote biographies about them.


The Scripture

It is clear that neither Westcott nor Hort held anything even faintly resembling a conservative view of Scripture. According to Hort’s son, Dr. Hort’s own mother (a devout Bible believer) could not be sympathetic to his views about the Bible. Westcott wrote to Hort that he overwhelmingly rejected the “idea of the infallibility of the Bible”. Hort says the same thing, the same week, in a letter to Bishop Lightfoot.

When Westcott became the Bishop of Durham, the Durham University Journal welcomed him with the praise that he was “free from all verbal or mechanical ideas of inspiration.”


Hort called the doctrine of the substitutionary atonement “immoral”. In doing so he sided with the normal doctrine of the High Church Party of the Church of England. The Low Church Party was generally evangelical, teaching salvation through personal faith in Jesus Christ. The High Church Party taught salvation by good works, including baptism and church membership.

Westcott and Hort wrote many commentaries that include references to classic passages about salvation. Repeatedly their commentary is vague and unclear. Westcott taught that the idea of “propitiating God” was “foreign to the New Testament.” He taught that salvation came from changing the character of the one who offended God. This is consistent with his statement that, “A Christian never is but is always becoming a Christian.”

Again and again, Westcott’s vague comments about salvation are easy to interpret as teaching universal salvation.

The Doctrine of Christ

It was common in the days of Westcott and Hort for those in the Church of England who denied the Deity of Christ to speak in vague terms! To clearly deny the Deity of Christ was to jeopardize your position in the Church of England. Many High Church modernists learned to speak of the Deity of Christ in unclear terms as a way to avoid trouble.

Many statements by both Westcott and Hort fall into that category of “fuzzy” doctrinal statements about Christ. Westcott and Hort were brilliant scholars. Surely they were capable of expressing themselves clearly on the doctrine of Christ if they wanted to. At best they are unclear; at worst, they were modernists hiding behind the fundamental doctrinal statement of the Church of England.

Other Teachings of Westcott and Hort

There are many other areas that cause fundamental Bible believers to have serious questions about Westcott and Hort. Westcott denied that Genesis 1 through 3 were historically true. Hort praised Darwin and his theory of evolution. Both Westcott and Hort praised the “Christian socialist” movement of their day. Westcott belonged to several organizations designed to promote “Christian socialism” and served as President of one of them (the Christian Social Union).

Both Westcott and Hort showed sympathy for the movement to return the Church of England to Rome. Both honored rationalist philosophers of their time like Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Dr. Frederick Maurice, and Dr. Thomas Arnold. Both were serious students of the Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotle.

There is much about the teaching of Westcott and Hort to deeply trouble any objective Bible believer.


The evangelical defenders of Westcott and Hort are quick to assert that they were saved men even if some of their ideas seem a little strange in our day. They remind people that both were ordained preachers in the evangelical Church of England.

However, there is no doubt that there were many Church of England preachers that were not true evangelicals. The High Church party was well known to teach salvation by works. Within the Church of England there was a vigorous debate between true evangelicals and those who taught baptismal regeneration or some other system of works for salvation. In their lengthy writings, neither Westcott nor Hort ever give an account of their own conversion. They never identified with the evangelicals in the Church of England. They were never accepted by the evangelicals in the Church of England. They were associated with various occult figures, but never with evangelicals.

While Westcott and Hort praised evolutionists, socialists, and modernists, they were bitterly critical of evangelical soulwinners. Westcott criticized the work of William Booth and the Salvation Army. Hort criticized the crusades of D.L. Moody. Hort criticized the soulwinning Methodists.

Both criticized evangelicals. Neither gave anyone any reason to believe that he had ever trusted Christ as his personal Saviour.


In 1870, the English Parliament authorized a revision of the King James Bible. Two teams of translators were hired. Most translators were from the Church of England but there were also seven Presbyterians, four Congregationalists, two Baptists, two Methodists and one Unitarian. The translators were instructed to make as few alterations to the King James Bible as possible.

A similar committee was developed in the United States at the same time. The two committee’s exchanged copies of their work. Several thousand Church of England preachers signed a petition protesting the inclusion of a Unitarian, Dr. Vance Smith, on the Revision Committee. They felt that only saved men should be involved in translating the Bible. Proper translation required the illumination of the indwelling Holy Spirit.

Both Westcott and Hort defended Smith and lobbied for his presence on the committee. Westcott threatened to quit if Smith was not included. Westcott and Hort supplied everyone working on the committee with a private copy of their new Greek text. Hort lobbied (some would say intimidated) committee members to follow the Westcott and Hort text. Westcott, Hort, and Bishop Lightfoot pressured the committee to go beyond their mandate for doing a revision of the King James Bible. Dr. Frederick Scrivener opposed many of the changes to be made on the basis of the new Westcott and Hort Greek Text. Committee meetings were referred to as “… a kind of critical duel between Dr. Hort and Dr. Scrivener”.

Arthur Hort described his father’s method for describing the right reading of the text as “to settle the question by the light of his own inner consciousness”. Dean Burgon spoke of Hort’s method as deciding by “the ring of genuiness”. Hort was far more concerned about his feelings than he was about the textual debate over any passage. Westcott referred to the debate over textual readings as “hard fighting” and “a battle royal”.

The original chairman, Bishop Samuel Wilberforce, resigned after referring to the project as “this most miserable business”.

Westcott and Hort eventually won most of the debates. After the new English Revision was published, both Scrivener and Burgon published lengthy refutations of the Revision. Burgon attacked the Revision strongly, calling it “excursions into cloud land” and “blowing smoke”. The people of England largely rejected the new translation. Attempts to make it the new Authorized Version of the Church of England met with such protest that Queen Victoria abandoned the idea.

Neither the English nor the American Revision sold very well. They were both soon replaced by other versions. However, the multitude of new English versions were all based upon the same Westcott and Hort Greek text and upon the theories of Westcott and Hort. Their English translation failed but their principles won the day. Even though vangelicals rejected the English Revision and the Westcott and Hort text, it did find supporters. Modernists and rationalists, both within and without the Church of England, praised their work. Theosophy founder, Helen Blavatsky, wrote at great length in praise of the new Greek text.

The defenders of Westcott and Hort claimed that the evangelicals were too simple-minded and unlearned to understand the work of Westcott and Hort and other English “scholars”. Evangelicalism was presented as unscholarly. After a generation, many evangelicals began to feel uncomfortable at always being labeled as unscholarly and uneducated. Some evangelical leaders began to look for ways to reconcile the historic Christian faith with the theories of Westcott and Hort.

These theories and the Greek text of Westcott and Hort began to find their way into evangelical seminaries and Bible colleges on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

Two generations after the failure of the English Revision, the theories of Westcott and Hort had become majority opinion in evangelical Bible colleges and seminaries in both the United States and England. Their theories were universally accepted in modernist seminaries. The Jehovah’s Witnesses and other cults bragged about having Bible translations based upon the Westcott and Hort theory.

Compromising evangelicals were suddenly proud of having “scholarship” accepted by the world. They used the same Greek text as the Roman Catholic Church, the modernists and the cults.

A relative handful of Bible believers refused to accept the Greek text and theory of Westcott and Hort. Such holdouts became an irritation to the “scholarly” evangelicals. As study of the issue increased, opposition to the Westcott and Hort theory grew. “Westcott and Hort only” no longer seemed an adequate reason for abandoning the King James Bible. The “scholarly evangelicals” began to react harshly to their “King James only” critics.


In 1993, Gail Riplinger published New Age Bible Versions. In this book, she alleges that Westcott and Hort were practitioners of the occult. It is indicated that they provide a bridge between apostate Christianity and the occult and the New Age Movement.

This charge created a sensation and generated a tremendous amount of criticism for Mrs. Riplinger. It is, of course, a very important charge. An objective look at the evidence for such a charge is important.
Along with Bishop Edward White Benson, Westcott and Hort founded the Ghostly Guild. This club was designed to investigate ghosts and supernatural appearances. The club was based upon the idea that such spirits actually exist and appear to men. According to The Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology, the members of the Ghostly Club would “relate personal experiences concerned with ghosts.

This club would eventually become the Society for Psychical Research. According to James Webb in The Occult Underground and W.H. Solter, The S.P.R. – An Outline of It’s History, this club became a major factor in the rise of spiritualism among the elite of English society in the late 1800’s. Many leading occult figures belonged to the Society.

Along the way, Westcott and Hort dropped out of the Ghostly Guild. However, they had plenty of opportunity to be exposed to the occult and demonism before they withdrew.

Westcott’s son refers to his father’s life long faith in spiritualism (Archbishop Benson’s son referred to Benson in the same way). Communion with spirits became quite fashionable in the late 1800’s in British society. Even Queen Victoria, who normally led a responsible Christian life, dabbled in spiritualism. However, it was considered unseemly for Church of England clergymen, and Wescott had to keep his ideas quiet. According to Wescott’s son, Arthur, Dr. Wescott practiced the Communion of the Saints. This was a belief that you can fellowship with the spirits of those who died recently.

Bible translator J. B. Phillips also believed in the Communion of Saints. He believed that the spirit of C.S. Lewis visited him after his death. According to Arthur Wescott, Bishop Wescott also had such experiences with spirits. His son writes, “The Communion of Saints seems particularly associated with Peterborough. He had an extraordinary power of realizing this Communion. It was his delight to be alone at night in the great Cathedral, for there he could meditate and pray in full sympathy with all that was good and great in the past. . . There he always had abundant company.” Wescott’s daughter met him returning from one of his customary meditations in the solitary darkness of the chapel at Auckland castle. She said to him, ” I expect you do not feel alone?” “Oh, no,” he said, “It is full.”

Either Dr. Wescott’s children lied about him or Dr. Wescott was used to meeting with spirits. Bible believers recognize these spirits as demons. Wescott and Hort both joined a secret society called, The Apostles. It was limited to 12 members. One of the other members Henry Sidgwick. He was also stated to have led several professors at Trinity College into secretly practicing the occult. Wescott, his close friend, was also a professor at Trinity College. Strange company for a Christian teacher and Bible translator.

In 1872 Wescott formed a secret society, the Eranus Club. Members included Hort, Sidgwick, Arthur Balfour (future prime minister of England), Archbishop Trench and Dean Alford. Both Trench and Alford would be involved in Bible revision work. Balfour became famous for his seances and practice of spiritualism. The Eranus Club would eventually become known as an occult secret society.

Wescott’s defenders point out that Wescott also eventually dropped out of Eranus. Still he was certainly allied with practioners of the occult in a secret society for a period of time.

Balfour and Sedgwick were involved in several occult organizations, socialism and Theosophy. How many Christians have so many friends prominent in the practice of the occult?

Balfour would also be involved in the founding of the League of Nations and in forming a secret society with Cecil Rhodes (the Round Table and the Council on Foreign Relations).

The evidence for Mrs. Riplinger’s assertions is strong. Would Westcott and Hort’s defenders accept anyone today who had such connections? They were clearly in contact with people who were “familiar” with spirits. There is every reason to suspect that they might also have been in contact with spirits. Based upon their associations, there is no clear reason to reject the suggestion that they were involved in the occult. The balance of evidence creates, at the very least, a strong suspicion of occult influence on both Wescott and Hort (especially Dr. Wescott).


There are fundamentalists who refuse to accept the characterization of Westcott and Hort as liberals (much less occultists)! J. B Williams writes, “I have three of Westcott’s commentaries in my library, and I challenge anyone to find one sentence that would be a departure from Fundamentalist doctrine.”

Keith Gephart writes, “In reality, Westcott had made clear statements affirming orthodox doctrines such as the deity of Christ, in no way was he guilty of heresy and apostasy.” In responding to a critic of Westcott and Hort, Gephart wrote this, “I cannot help but suspect that . . . some blinding presupposition . . .drives you to prove him a heretic at any cost.”

Dr. Stewart Custer writes, “Especially when these men have written in their mature years book after book defending the conservative interpretation of scripture, it is unjust to characterize their whole ministries by a few misinterpretations that they may have been guilty of.”

Evangelist Robert Sumner admits that Westcott and Hort were liberal in theology but he still believes that they were trustworthy to “restore the original text.”

It would be easy to ask at this point if everyone is reading from the same books. How can there be such a difference of opinion about what these men believed and wrote?

It is true that these men (especially Westcott) wrote commentaries in which they used the great doctrinal terms of the Christian faith in a positive way. They used terms that were part of the official doctrinal position of the Church of England (in which they both held prominent positions).

Almost all denominational liberals use the terms expected of them. This is important in maintaining their income, position and influence. The important thing is how they explain those doctrinal terms (or fail to explain them).

Unless you are determined not to see it, it is clear from their commentaries that they put a liberal interpretation on many Christian doctrines. Both of their sons admit that they were accused of heresy because of their books. This understanding of these statements in their commentaries are supported by several external facts.

Westcott and Hort identified with the High Church Party (Broad Party) within the Church of England. In contrast with the more evangelical and conservative Low Church, modernism found it’s home in the High Church Party.

Westcott and Hort constantly praised theological liberals, socialists and other radicals like Coleridge and Darwin.

No similar praise is found for evangelicals or fundamentalists, either in or out of the Church of England. They are normally ignored! When they are mentioned at all, like D. L. Moody, it is with disdain!

Their private correspondence reveals their liberal drift much more clearly then their commentaries. Of course, it was safer for them to admit what they really believed in this forum. Their correspondence also shows that they had concerns that they could not afford to have all of their beliefs known by the general public.

The biographies of Westcott and Hort written by their sons clearly reveal that they were not in harmony with the official positions of the Church of England. Their sons had no reason to lie about them. Certainly their sons had no King James only bias.

It is interesting that some men can’t face the real record about Westcott and Hort. In fact, some who are quick to attack even minor differences with living preachers, take a blind eye to Westcott and Hort.

However, this is easy to understand. Their campaign to replace the King James Bible has been based upon the work of Westcott and Hort only. To admit these men were not trustworthy would be to admit that they have been wrong in a major premise of their entire ministry.

Perhaps we must be forced to suspect that some blinding presupposition drives them to prove that Westcott and Hort were not heretics at any cost. It appears that “scholarship” requires only a shallow reading of Westcott and Hort and ignorance of their personal letters and correspondence. Their defenders do not spend anytime quoting their personal correspondence or the biographies written by their sons.

Their defenders never recount the testimonies of their conversion because no such testimonies exist.


Dean John Burgon was a contemporary and acquaintance of both Westcott and Hort. He was a firm opponent of the Westcott and Hort theory, their new Greek text and the revision of the English Bible that they so heavily influenced. In an article entitled “The Secret Spanking of Westcott and Hort” Burgon wrote: “the text of Drs. Westcott and Hort is either the very best which has ever appeared or else it is the very worst; the nearest to the sacred autographs or the furthest from them. There is no room for both opinions, and there cannot exist any middle view.” In other words things that are different are not the same.

Millions of professing evangelicals have never heard of Westcott and Hort. None the less, their approach to the Scripture is based upon the theory of Westcott and Hort — Westcott and Hort only. No matter how many books, professors, colleges and denominational leaders these theories are filtered through, they are still the work of Westcott and Hort only.

Those who challenge the primacy of the King James Bible in the English speaking world depend on the work of Westcott and Hort.

Westcott and Hort are not a sufficient basis to reject the Textus Receptus or the King James Bible. Their objectivity, scholarship and doctrine are all at best “suspect.” There is no reason to believe that they were saved men. There is more reason to believe that they were influenced by the occult than there is to believe that they were influenced by the Holy Spirit.

Perhaps the “King James Only Controversy” is misnamed. It is really a “Westcott and Hort Only” controversy.

Are you willing to abandon the historic contributions of the Textus Receptus and the King James Bible for Westcott and Hort, Westcott and Hort Only.


If you would like an updated KJV without the Thees and Thous I would direct you to Chris and Trudy Sherburne’s website http://www.armoredsheep.com where you can find a critique of the New King James version “Enough” and a copy of the KJ07 which removes the archaic language from the KJV1611 without changing the essential translation.   Dr. Phil Stringer referred me to this site when I asked him about a good critique of the New King James Bible translation.

Also you should read the article entitled A Paraphrase is not the Bible.

Rev. Thomas L. Clark – Phil. 3:14

Which Greek Text?

Which Greek Text Will You Choose?

The choice is only between two different Greek manuscript families.  Even though there are many varying names for the Textus Receptus I will use that term in order not to confuse you.

Until 1881 the  Greek Textus Receptus was basically the only Greek text from which Bible translations were made.  It is the Greek text which had been used for thousands of years and considered to be the reliable Greek text that had carried and transmitted the Word of God from the beginning.  By the way, there are currently over 5,000 manuscript copies of the Textus Receptus or Byzantine family.  That is why scholars sometime use the term “Majority text”.  There were basically only two manuscripts used for the Westcott-Hort Greek text revision.

Then in the era of theological liberalism and the enlightenment, there were men who wanted to allegedly update the King James Version which had been translated primarily from the Textus Receptus.   The 19th century was the hotbed of liberalism.  Charles Dawin’s book On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life was hailed by many as a great advancement in knowledge of science.   However, Darwin was not totally convinced of his own theory but through it out to the public to see what would happen.   Also note that the book taught racism.  During this time many were hunger to throw off the yoke of theological and conservative bondage as they thought it to be.  So many jumped on this bandwagon.  Many theologians being convinced that the theory of evolution to be true science, felt that they must reconcile the biblical teaching with this new discovery of “science”.  Many compromised their biblical doctrine and teachings regarding Divine Creation in favor of being accepted by the World of alleged scientists.  There were many and various attempts to reconcile the biblical account with the theory of evolution.  Many theological seminaries and biblical institution were theologically liberal during this time.

This was the milieu (environment) in which the Greek Text, the Textus Receptus, behind the KJV Bible was rabidly attacked by so-called theologians.  The revision of the KJV Bible was to be only a minor revision, but it turned out to be a total radical change in the text both of the Greek and English.

The two major powers in this revision were Brooke Foss Westcott and Fenton John Anthony Hort both of which have questionable theological views regarding the reliability of the Holy Scriptures.  From reading about their lives it is doubtful if they were truly regenerate believers.  Basically, they used only two Greek manuscripts to form their Greek text both of which were suspect because of major corruptions and omissions in these Greek texts. These Greek manuscripts are  Vaticanus and Sinaiticus.


Because of the “King James Only controversy” I have been researching many items it the area of manuscript transmission and translations for several years.  The conclusion is rather simple.  There are basically two Greek New Testament texts, the Textus Receptus and the Westcott-Hort critical text.  About the only critical item that Westcott-Hort seemed to use in their selection of Greek texts was the principle “older is better”.

Almost without exception all modern versions are translations from the Westcott-Hort Greek critical text.

I was absolutedly amazed when I viewed an article that showed how much of the Greek Textus Receptus text and ultimately modern translations was removed from the Westcott-Hort Greek text.  If you study the background and history of  Vaticanus and Sinaiticus you will probably come to the same conclusion that I have.  How possibly could this much Scripture be omitted from the Vaticanus and Sinaiticus by honest reliable Bible believing persons?  If these manuscripts were so great and valuable why did God not allow them to be found earlier?   Both were found in Roman Catholic institutions which devalue the Holy Scriptures by their placing their tradition on an equal level.  Vaticanus was discovered in the Vatican Library and stored there and Sinaiticus was discovered at St. Catherine’s Greek Orthodox Monastery of Mount Sinai.


Until Vatican II Roman Catholics were discouraged from reading the Holy Scriptures.  The Roman Catholic Church was responsible for executing many Christians just because they translated the Holy Scriptures into the common language of the people.  The Roman Catholic Church hated John Wycliff so much that they dug up his bones 50 years after his death and burned them.   John Wycliff was the first or primary person who translated the Latin Bible into English.  The Roman Catholic Church believed and taught the Latin-Vulgate only view of Scripture.


The Roman Catholic Church burned Jan Hus at the stake for teaching salvation by grace alone by faith alone.  They would have done the same to Martin Luther if they could have caught him under the right circumstances.  William Tyndale was likewise burnt at the stake for translating the first English Bible from the original Greek and Hebrew.  I will not name any more since you can look them up if you are interested.

Am I anti-Roman Catholic?  Only in the sense that I am convinced that many of the teachings that they have added through the years have no biblical support and are truly anti-christian.  Do I love the people, yes!  I find many Roman Catholic people that truly believe in Jesus Christ payment of sin on the cross personally for them.  Jesus statement regarding the religious leaders of his day is truly applicable to the Roman Catholic Church.

8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. 9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.  Matt 15:8-9 (KJV)

What is the value of using the translation which is from the Textus Receptus?

  1. It has established and of historic authoritative value.
  2. It is not that difficult to read.  For instance, I am and have been a very poor and slow reader.  But once I put my mind and determination to reading and studying I found the KJV relatively easy to read and understandable.  According to studies the King James Version reads at a 12th grade level.  The NIV reads at a 7.9 grade level and the New King James Version reads at a 8.0 grade level.  The NKJV is almost exactly on the same reading level as the NIV and yet it is a literal translation of the Greek and Hebrew text.  The NIV is called a dynamic equivalence which is just one step above a paraphrase.  Do I condemn people who use the NIV?  No!
  3. Personally I have been using the NKJV as well as the KJV.  One value of the KJV is that it is not copyrighted.   All other modern versions are copyrighted which increases the cost of printing them and ultimately this cost is passed on to the customer.  So far I have found the NKJV to be true to most of the KJV version except the removal of the “thee and thou” and other older language.  However, remember that the thee and thou do serve a purpose in that they distinguish whether the word in the Greek is plural or singular etc.  This may not be considered valuable to some Bible readers, but to those who do not know or use Greek it might be helpful.  I have taken courses in Greek so if there is a question, I generally look up the text in the Greek N.T.
  4. It is my decided opinion and judgment that the authority and respect for the Bible is reduced by this multiplicity of these allegedly new and better translations.   In most cases it does not actually increase the true study of the Bible.  Many Christians are just lazy and want instant Christianity which they will never find even if they have another translation.
  5. Also, I would suspect that because of this reduced respect for the Holy Scriptures there is also a corresponding lack of Bible memory work being done today.  This multiplicity probably only creates additional confusion and conflict among Christians.  Seemingly, every local church uses a different version of the Bible.  If you have to move to another church you may have to start using another version of the Bible.  The fox is out of the cage and this will never be cured.  However, I do believe it is wise for a congregation to choose one excellent primary literal translation for use by the church.  This reduces confusion at least in that assembly.
  6. The controversy over translations is not helpful to spiritual growth and maturing of Christians.   With this multiplicity of translations many people are given the impression that the Bible can mean almost anything a person wants.  While we know that this is not true the impression remains that Scripture is somewhat of a “wax nose” that can be turned in whatever way we decide.
  7. We currently have the “King James Only” controversy which seemingly causes division and harm to the body of Christ.   There is no doubt in my mind that the King James Version was do for a revision, but the 1881 was not it.   Even the New King James Version is not good enough for the KJV only people.  I finally found out what the major criticism of the NKJV is.   When Thomas Nelson went to have the NKJV copyrighted they were not allowed a copyright because it was too much like the KJV.  As a result Thomas Nelson the publisher that totally funded the project would have lost millions of dollars.   So the translators had to go back and make some revisions in the NKJV so that it could be copyrighted.   I have attempted to discover what these alleged changes were, but currently I have not been able to find out.  My current unfounded opinion is that these changes were of no theological and biblical consequence.   Having known about the editors, Arthur L. Farstad and Zane Hodges, I seriously doubt that they would have made any serious unadvisable changes.  Both of these men had ambitions for years to create a new translation primarily from the Textus Receptus along with other modern textual discoveries.
  8. Arthur L. Farstad created a translation of the Gospel of John entitled Logos 21 which is basically NKJV.   He did this in order to avoid copyright costs of printing the Gospel of John.   There is an organization called  Living Water http://www.livingwater.org/OpenDoor.html  that provides these beautiful blue Gospels of John for free.  Obviously, his motivation was not monetary reward.

    Beautiful Blue cover reminds us of Heavenly gift of Eternal Life!

  1. The famous Bible memory organization Scripture Memory Fellowship http://www.scripturememoryfellowship.org/ uses the KJV and the NKJV as their primary translations for Bible memory booklets.  I recommend you contact them.   Erwin Lutzer stated that his greatest asset was his Scripture memory work.   Dr. David Jeremiah stated on his radio program that great debt that he owe to Scripture Memory Fellowship.  I can likewise state that my life was extremely enriched by this memory organization of which I became a part in the past.   I was on their Midwest Regional Council.
  2. My final point is that a person can be saved and become a mature Christian through almost any reasonable version of the Bible.  Read Richard Dehaan’s article on this matter.  https://bibleresourceman.wordpress.com/translations/    01 Translations!

9. All my Bible memory work was completed in the KJV which was major.   I find it difficult now to attempt to memorize from any other version.  My advice is to pick the best possible literal translation that will be around for a long time because of the difficulty of attempting to memorize from two different translations.  This is also the reason that a local church should wisely select it’s pew Bible.

I was happy to hear from my friend Don Gunderson when he said that Midwest Bible Church had chosen to use the NKJV as their pew Bibles.  At one point RBC (Radio Bible Class) ministries was using the NKJV as their primary version.    Not sure about now!  A pastor friend of mine took my advice and ordered NKJV pew Bibles for his church.  My hope was that many churches would take this step.   The young people in our churches may or may not value the KJV as we have, but I personally believe it is best for us to give them a good literal translation which is basically from the Greek Textus Receptus which the NKJV is.

It reads at an 8.0 grade level.  It still retains that stylistic phrasing of the KJV and I have seen people read it not knowing that they were not reading the KJV.  From reading this article you may think that I am a KJV only person.  Not truly, but after much research I do believe that the Textus Receptus or the Byzantine manuscript family is the most reliable and full Greek text of the Holy Scriptures.  Have you read the article on the Apograph concept.   Basically the idea is that a copy of an original is just as authoritative as the original.  Personally, I basically believe that we basically have an apographa in the Greek Biblical text that we possess today. https://bibleresourceman.wordpress.com/translations/sola-autographa-or-sola-apographa/

The minor differences in manuscripts do not make a truly significant impact on correct and orthodox theology and thus do not affect faith (doctrine) and practice (deed).  As Richard Dehaan stated in his excellent article God has preserved his biblical doctrines by the very nature of the Holy Scriptures by being repetitious.  https://bibleresourceman.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=642&action=edit&message=1

When an early Christian I wondered why the Scripture tended to repeat some of the very same doctrines over and over.   Now I know partially.

My Christian brethren and sisters, Read God’s Word in whatever translation you possess.  It matters little what translation you use if you do not read it.  Many godly Bible translators gave their live in order that you could have the English Bible in your own language.  It is not my intention to disturb anyone’s faith by my discussions about translations.   We do indeed have the Word of God presently in our hands.

Rev.  Thomas L. Clark – Phil. 3:14