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Hort and the Textual Switch

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Nazaroo, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. Nazaroo

    Nazaroo New Member

    Oct 29, 2007
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    Timeline for the Replacement of the Received Text with the Egyptian Text

    1851 : Hort declares the Received Text to be Vile and Villainous at age 23 though he read very little of it.
    1853 : Jan.-Mar. - Westcott and Hort agree upon a plan of a revision of the text of the Greek Testament.
    - Apr. 19th - Hort: "He (Westcott) and I are going to edit a Greek text of the New Testament some two or three years hence, if possible." (Life, Vol.I, p.250).
    - June - Commercial publisher, Mr. Daniel Macmillan suggests to Hort that he should take part in an "interesting and comprehensive New Testament Scheme." Hort was to edit the text in conjunction with Mr. Westcott; the latter was to be responsible for a commentary, and Lightfoot was to contribute a N.T. Grammar and Lexicon. (Life, Vol.I, pp.240,241). When complete the sell 2 million copies in just a few days.

    - Nov. 4th - Hort: "I went down and spent a Sunday with Westcott...We came to a distinct and positive understanding about our Gk. Test. and the details thereof. We still do not wish it to be talked about, but are going to work at once" (Life, Vol.I, p.264).

    1857: Feb. 23rd - Hort to Westcott: "I hope to go on with the New Testament text more unremittingly" (Life, Vol.I, p.355).

    First efforts to secure revision of the Authorised Version by five Church of England clergymen fails.
    1858: Oct. 21st - Hort: "The principle literary work of these years was the revision of the Greek Text of the New Testament. All spare hours were devoted to it." (Life, Vol.I, p.399).

    1861: Apr. 12th - Hort to Westcott: "Also - but this may be cowardice - I have a sort of craving that our text should be cast upon the world before we deal with matters likely to brand us with suspicion. I mean, a text, issued by men already known for what will undoubtedly be treated as dangerous heresy, will have great difficulties in finding its way to regions which it might otherwise hope to reach, and whence it would not be easily banished by subsequent alarms." (Life, Vol.I, p.445).
    1862: Apr. 30th, May 1st - Hort: "It seems to be clearly and broadly directed to maintaining that the English clergy are not compelled to maintain the absolute infallibility of the Bible. And, whatever the truth may be, this seems just the liberty required at the present moment, if any living belief is to survive in the land." (Life, Vol.I, p.454).
    1870: Westcott and Hort print tentative edition of their Greek N.T. for private distribution only. (This they later circulated under pledge of secrecy within the company of N.T. revisers, of which they were members).
    Feb. 10th - Southern Convocation of Church of England resolves that it is desirable to make slight revisions of the Authorized Version. Northern Convocation declines to cooperate.

    -May - Committee of 18 elected to produce a Revised Version.

    The 7 members of the N.T. Committee invite 18 others, making 25.
    -May 29th - Westcott to Hort: "though I think that Convocation is not competent to initiate such a measure, yet I feel that as 'we three' are together it would be wrong not to 'make the best of it' as Lightfoot says. Indeed, there is a very fair prospect of good work, though neither with this body nor with any body likely to be formed now could a complete textual revision be possible. There is some hope that alternative readings might find a place in the margin." (Life, Vol.I, p.390).
    -June 4th - Westcott to Lightfoot: "Ought we not to have a conference before the first meeting for Revision? There are many points on which it is important that we should agreed. The rules though liberal are vague, and the interpretation of them will depend upon decided action at first." (Life, Vol.I, p.391).
    -July 1st - Westcott to Hort: "The Revision on the whole surprised me by prospects of hope. I suggested to Ellicott a plan of tabulating and circulating emendations before our meeting, which may prove valuable." (Life, Vol.I, pp.392,393).
    -July 7th - Hort: "Dr. Westcott and myself have for above seventeen years been preparing a Greek text of the New -Testament. It has been in the press for some years, and we hope to have it out early next year." (Life, Vol.II, p.137).
    -Aug. ? - Hort to Lightfoot: "It is, I think, difficult to measure the weight of acceptance won beforehand for the Revision by the single fact of our welcoming an Unitarian, if only the Company perseveres in its present serious and faithful spirit." (Life, Vol.II, p.140). (Dr. G. Vance Smith, a Unitarian scholar, was a member of the Revision Committee. At Westcott's suggestion, a celebration of Holy Communion was held on June 22nd before the first meeting of the N.T. Revision Company. Dr. Smith communicated but said afterwards that he did not join in reciting the Nicene Creed and did not compromise his principles as a Unitarian. The storm of public indignation which followed almost wrecked the Revision at the outset. At length however Dr. Smith remained on the Committee).

    Year? - Hort wrote to Williams: “The errors and prejudices, which we agree in wishing to remove, can surely be more wholesomely and also more effectually reached by individual efforts of an indirect kind than by combined open assault. At present very many orthodox but rational men are being unawares acted on by influences which will assuredly bear good fruit in due time, (Occult Assistance?) if the process is allowed to go on quietly; and I cannot help fearing that a premature crisis would frighten back many into the merest traditionalism” (Hort, Life of Hort, I:400).

    1881: Bishop Ellicott submits the Revised Version to the Southern Convocation.

    -May 12th - Westcott and Hort's "The New Testament in the Original Greek" Vol. I published (Text and short Introduction).
    -May 17th - the Revised Version is published in England, selling two million copies within four days. It fails however to gain lasting popular appeal.
    -Sept. 4th - Westcott and Hort's "The New Testament in the Original Greek" Vol.II published (Introduction and Appendix).

    The only voice defending the Textus Receptus was Dr Scrivener, probably the foremost scholar of the day in the manuscripts of the Greek New Testament and the history of the Text. But he was systematically outvoted by the Cambridge trio and out-done by Hort’s powerful debating skill. When the revision was completed, they had altered the Greek Text in 5337 places, thus violating the original rule that had been set for the committee of not altering the Greek Text unless absolutely necessary to do so.

    Source: WordFamine - W/H