The Truth About Westcott and Hort

Does no one in the KJV Only camp fear God? These men are our brothers in Christ just as much as Paul and Peter are! What does God say to us about slandering our brothers?

Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the Law and judges it. And if you judge the Law, you are not a practitioner of the Law, but a judge of it. ~ James 4:11 (see bottom of page for commentary)

But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. ~Revelation 21:8

Yes, we are to expose false teachers and teachings and anything that harms the Christian faith but we should tremble when it comes to believing lies as truth! We are too ready to take at face value what someone teaches because they have a higher theological education than we do. We must do the research and that may require listening to those who make us uncomfortable in our own beliefs. Let us be mindful that we will answer to God for all of our actions and beliefs.

Let me lay down a simple example of believing a lie as truth: Many call on Charles Haddon Spurgeon to ease their conscience about celebrating the Christ Mass because they see this great preacher’s many sermons on the subject at that time of year. He did not renounce it until later in his life and he never preached another Christ Mass sermon after that. So, the truth in the end was that Spurgeon despised that popish and pagan so-called holy day. We cannot judge a man on his earlier beliefs but on his latter years’ beliefs.

To call Westcott and Hort heretics is absurd but to believe it for the sake of preserving the lie that the KJV is the only inspired/ preserved Word of God as the KJV onlyists do is as idolatry.

From: Westcott & Hort: Victims of KJV-Only Smear Campaign

Okay, this isn’t exactly a news flash.   But Westcott and Hort, the respected scholars who published the first major critical edition of the Greek Text of the modern era (in 1881), are the innocent victims of a mind blowing smear campaign.   King James Version Onlyism has charged them with all sorts of unbelievable heresies, chief of which is the belief that their text is better than the Textus Receptus, which underlies the KJV.

Westcott and Hort both stood against liberalism in their day, to one degree or another; Westcott particularly authoring excellent, conservative commentaries.   Never mind these facts, KJV Onlyists scoured through post-humously published journals and letters, and scanned through the dozens of other published books by these scholars and came up with some gems…

The whole article is a good and brief read so please click the link and read the rest of it (and the comment line, too).

The only thing worse than believing lies as truth is to believe those lies despite the truth to the contrary.

  • Matthew Henry’s Commentary on James 4:11 – Our lips must be governed by the law of kindness, as well as truth and justice. Christians are brethren. And to break God’s commands, is to speak evil of them, and to judge them, as if they laid too great a restraint upon us. We have the law of God, which is a rule to all; let us not presume to set up our own notions and opinions as a rule to those about us, and let us be careful that we be not condemned of the Lord…He that does not the good he knows should be done, as well as he who does the evil he knows should not be done, will be condemned. Oh that we were as careful not to omit prayer, and not to neglect to meditate and examine our consciences, as we are not to commit gross outward vices against light!

Just a thought: If someone has to tear down a person’s character to advance their agenda shouldn’t we double up on the research before taking it at “face value” what is said? Shouldn’t we disregard the man who speaks evil of another despite all of his education in theology?  An old saying goes like this: The worst of men must cut down to size their opponent in order to lift up themselves before him and others. In other words, when one wants to pass off their lies as the truth in order to give their agenda credibility they must trash the one(s) that can expose their lies.  A pre-emptive strike, so to speak, against the integrity of those these liars despise.







11 responses to “The Truth About Westcott and Hort

  1. Did you click on the link within the above linked article? Here it is, in case you didn’t!

    An Analysis of Dr. D.A. Waite’s King James Only Seminar, Slides #37-47: Guilt by Association

    FTA: That is, Westcott finds that the evidence for the absolute truth of the Bible is overwhelming. Now there is a great quote for the testimony of the Bible! Here is a late 19th century Greek New Testament scholar saying that the Bible has overwhelming evidence that it is absolute truth! Yet, Dr. D. A. Waite turns this statement around to mean something heretical. Either he is mislead and should change it, or he is purposely lying and must repent. In either event, Christians need to be aware of this ungodly tactic.

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  2. FTA: The KJV Movement

    Along with the scholarly resurgence of the Majority Text is a popular movement emphasizing tradition while not being characterized by strong scholarship. There are many fine people in this group, but one gets the impression that the only reason for their support of the Byzantine text-type is that it forms the textual tradition from which the King James Version was translated.

    There exists an unfriendly element within this movement that deserves attention due to its emphasis on the influence of Alexandria on textual tradition. It vehemently attacks the Alexandrian text-type with a biting rhetoric and holds religiously to the Textus Receptus as divinely provided. One of its major spokesman offers what he calls the Creed of the Alexandrian Cult quoted below in part:

    There WAS a series of writings one time which, IF they had all been put into a BOOK as soon as they were written the first time, WOULD HAVE constituted an infallible and final authority by which to judge truth and error . . . However, this series of writings was lost and the God who inspired them was unable to preserve their content through Bible Believing Christians at Antioch . . . So God chose to ALMOST preserve them through Gnostics and philosophers from Alexandria, Egypt (emphasis is the author’s).(46)

    An advertisement in the same publication offers eight cassette tapes on the Alexandrian Cult.(47) This movement disdains the School of Alexandria and is hateful in its presentation against those with whom it disagrees. One must be careful not to associate such literature with the work of such men as Pickering and Hodges. However, such work does point out the need to study the connection between the city of Alexandria and the Alexandrian text-type, if any exists.


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    • Proverbs 21:28 A false witness will perish, but the man who hears him will speak endlessly,

      ,,,and so lies of a person’s character will continue to be spoken as though it is truth…but they will perish who spreads the slanders. It is not good to allow a person to speak to us about others in an ill manner without our searching the matter out to see if it is of truth or of envy.

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  3. FTA: All KJV-only literature will have an extended section detailing the alleged heresies of these two men. They are in a sense the key theological villains in the KJV-only mythology. Their work on NT textual criticism is proclaimed to be practically satanic: an attempt to corrupt the NT documents and replace them with a sinful, demonically inspired production designed to destroy the souls of men. They are blamed for the shift away from the Textus Receptus and the embracing of a modern, eclectic Greek text used for the translation of all modern versions of the 20th century. They are also accused of being the root of every theological woe and doctrinal deviancy we experience in our modern Church. No KJV advocate ever treats them with the least bit of kindness or sympathy. Even the tamest KJV-onlyist will hurl contempt upon their character.

    For example, Bible For Today president and KJV advocate, D.A. Waite, writes (with bold letters, mind you) that “these two men were apostates, liberal and unbelievers” (Defending the KJB, pg. 41). He has even compiled a booklet titled The Theological Heresies of Westcott and Hort, in which he allegedly cites extensively from five of their books in order to demonstrate his charge of heresy. He charges them with denying the deity of Christ and rejecting the inspiration and infallibility of the Bible among other things.

    Another KJV proponent, William Grady, claims to have read their biographies and in his book titled Final Authority, he devotes an entire chapter to them called Vessels of Dishonor. He writes that Westcott and Hort were “a pair of unsaved liberals, whose open Vatican sympathies cast them as the consummate Jesuit priests.”

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  4. FTA: Whatever virtues Westcott displayed in life, he had, by his own admission, many faults. Dealing with those faults as a means of protecting others against them would be no vice. Imputing to him against all clear evidence faults that he did not possess is wicked and malicious and totally unbecoming of any who profess the matchless name of Jesus Christ. Are there any problems with Westcott’s view of Scripture? Most assuredly there are, but his faults (which we have not discussed) do not negate the positive aspects of his theology in this area. His view was essentially conservative with several noteworthy blemishes. Why have we not covered the blemishes? Because our concern here is not with Westcott, but rather with the credibility of the King James Only leadership. They are entirely unable to do what we have not attempted to do, that is, present a balanced view of Westcott. The problem with a balanced view is that it will reveal a flawed man, but not the villain that their corrupted Bible theory requires. What the KJO have done with the multitude of their false accusations is to destroy their own credibility. We have applied an important test to the King James Only leadership, and they have failed it miserably. The simple fact is that their books are filled with the same kind of false information concerning every aspect of their position.

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  5. FTA: Finally, I wish to address very briefly Mrs. Riplinger’s confident statements about Westcott and Hort. A few points. 1) Modern Greek texts are not mere copies of the Westcott and Hort text of 1881. Modern scholars have recognized various errors in the work of Westcott and Hort, and have modified their views accordingly. 2) Mrs. Riplinger never once mentions the fact that many of her confident statements about Westcott and Hort being “spiritualists” are based upon pure speculation on her part. Note reference 128 on pages 676-677. Here Mrs. Riplinger admits that in point of fact, she is not referring in her statements to B.F. Westcott, the textual critic, but to W.W. Westcott, a London mortician! She asserts that B.F. Westcott was in fact W.W. Westcott, and that based upon the statement of B.F. Westcott’s son that his father wrote his “B’s” like “W’s”! Note the final statement she made: “The connection between B.F. Westcott and the activities attributed to the possible allonym W.W. Westcott are speculation on my part.” Did Mrs. Riplinger ever note this on Action 60’s? Did she ever say “Now, what I’m saying about Westcott and Hort is in fact merely speculation on my part”? No, she made her assertions directly and without qualification. What is more amazing is the fact that the very sources Mrs. Riplinger cites indicate that B.F. Westcott was born in January of 1825; W.W. Westcott was born in December of 1848. B.F. Westcott died in July of 1901; W.W. Westcott died in June of 1925. Indeed, the book Mrs. Riplinger cites most often about B.F. Westcott, The Life of Westcott, was published 22 years before W.W. Westcott died! Furthermore, W.W. Westcott published his work, Sepher Yetzirah, the Book of Formation in 1911, a full decade after B.F. Westcott was dead! How she can maintain that B.F. Westcott is actually W.W. Westcott, I have no idea.

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  6. “We cannot hurt, slander, mock, despise, or in any way offend one of our brethren without at the same time hurting, slandering, mocking, despising Christ in him. We cannot be at variance with our brethren without at the same time being at variance with Christ. We cannot love Christ without loving him in our brethren.” ~John Calvin

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