WESTCOTT & HORT 
Biblical Scholar or Master of Apostasy?
 
Introduction
     There is a cartoon by Larson that shows a physicist addressing a room 
full of farmers at a dairy convention.  The physicist is saying "assume a 
spherical cow."  This situation bears a striking resemblance to the present 
controversy over which Greek text should be used for New Testament translation
into English (text criticism).  The physicist represents Westcott and Hort, 
two text critics who published a revolutionary text of the New Testament in 
1881.  Their methods of criticism are wholeheartedly accepted by most liberal 
text critics today, and their Greek text has been largely used for virtually 
all modern English translations (including NIV, NASB, NKJV, NRSV, NAB, REB, 
CEV, TEV, GNB, LIVING, PHILLIPS, NEW JERUSALEM, & NEW CENTURY).  The farmers 
are the Christians who need to buy Bibles to study God's Word.  

     As with any other theory harbored by hopelessly impractical academics, 
they over-simplify the problem.  Forming conclusions under their unrealistic 
assumptions are much easier than really considering the pertinent evidence.  
They make too much of their own authority, and forbid laymen to weigh the 
conclusions and evidence and form their own opinion.  As usual, the academics 
do everything they can to complicate matters by multiplication of terminology, 
confusion of fact with inference, and confusing repetition of an assertion for 
supplying proof.

     Their conclusions are much more destructive than most eccentric 
scholarly theories.  The motivation for the conclusions in both the case of 
Westcott & Hort, and the modern liberal text critics is apostasy (though the 
nature of the apostasy is different in the two cases).  They reject what God's 
word says about its origin and preservation, so they comb the text evidence 
to find a footing for their rejection of what it teaches.  In this way they 
use the data at their disposal to discredit God's word.  Their false beliefs 
have a very real impact on the words that are included in the modern 
translations.  All modern English Translations use a Greek text that changes 
or casts doubt on about one word in twenty of New Testament Scripture.  These 
changes reflect false doctrines held by early (2nd century) devil-worshipping 
heretics.  If you want to avoid the modern butchers, you must use the King 
James Version.  No other modern translation, to my knowledge, completely 
avoids the modern error.  The assumptions of the modern Greek New Testament 
Text Critics do not represent an approximation to the actual evidence, but a 
negation of the actual evidence.  The dark secret they protect is that the 
scant evidence they offer does not support their claims.

     The purpose of this report is to show briefly, but accurately that the 
conclusions of the moderns contradict scripture (part I), and that the basis 
of their conclusions is blind hope in the face of contrary evidence (part II).

B.  The Scriptures Have Not Been Lost.

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            God's Word                |      Westcott & Hort Conclusion 

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All scripture is God's word. (2 Tim   |  They assume that between 250 A.D. 

3:16).  It can never fail (John       |  and 350 A.D. there was a revision 

10:35, Mt 5:18, 24:35, Mk 13:31, Lk   |  of the Greek text which produced 

21:33), but is true. (Jn 17:17),      |  the traditional text. [1, p. 428], 

                                      |  [2, p. 92 cmpr p. 94 p. 133]  

It does not contain fables (2 Pet     |  

1:16), but scripture is more sure     |  They say this revision caused the 

than if God were to speak directly    |  original text to be lost. [1, p. 

to us from heaven (2 Pet 1:19).       |  426] [2, preface p. xiv]  

                                      |  

God's Word has never been secret      |  They say this was a conspiracy 

but always openly declared (Isa       |  which has successfully suppressed 

45:18,19).  If it is hid, then it     |  the original up to and including 

is hid to them that are lost and      |  the present time. [1, p. 430] [2, 

blinded through unbelief (2 Cor.      |  p. 150-151]

4:3-4).                               |  

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C.  No one May Add to or Subtract from God's Word.

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            God's Word                |      Westcott & Hort Conclusion 

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It is a sin to add to or subtract     |  All text evidence (including the      

from God's Word (Deut. 12:32, Rev     |  traditional text) but for a few       

22:18-19).                            |  ancient manuscripts may safely be     

                                      |  ignored. [1, p. 429-430], [2, p.      

We are commanded not to listen to     |  285].  

those false prophets who do (Jer.     |  

23:16, 1 John 4:1).                   |  Because these disagree with each 

                                      |  other the true text is unknown. [2, 

Every Christian can recognize them    |  p. 150-151] [2, p. 287]  

(Mt 7:15-20, Isa. 8:20, 1 Jn 2:21f,   |  

1 Jn 2:27).                           |  We are left with subjective 

                                      |  considerations to determine what  

The true God is nothing like false    |  we may accept as the true text for 

gods, and it is a sin to mix in the   |  the present time. [1, p. 430]  But 

teachings of false gods (Ro 1:16-     |  these subjective considerations 

28), or to seek out familiar          |  must be those of the most eminent 

spirits (Isa 8:19-20, Lev 19:31,      |  scholars.  They may decide for 

Lev 20:6, Deut 18:11).                |  themselves and you must accept 

                                      |  their results [1, p.420, 426, 428-

To reject Gods word is to call Him    |  430], [2, p. 24].  These scholars 

a liar (1 John 5:10).                 |  never agree however, witnessing to 

                                      |  the shortcomings of their personal 

                                      |  fetishes.  [2, preface p. xi][2, 
                                      |  preface p. xiv] [2, p. 17], [2, p. 

                                      |  32] [2, p. 65] [2, p. 66].  It only 

                                      |  remains to doubt that God's Word is 
                                      |  knowable.  [2, preface p. xiv]  
                                      |  
                                      |  People should be grateful to them 
                                      |  because of the comparative purity 
                                      |  of their texts to the traditional 
                                      |  text which went before [1, p. 430] 
                                      |  [1, p. 452], and never mind that as 
                                      |  a consequence you must abandon hope 
                                      |  of finding the 'right' text for the 
                                      |  present time. [2, p. 285]
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D.  Doctrinal Purity is not Popular in the Last Times.

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            God's Word                |      Westcott & Hort Conclusion 

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It was foretold repeatedly and        |  In these latter times with our 

urgently that shortly after Paul      |  superior knowledge and exact  

died grievous wolves would arise      |  science we have advanced far beyond 

within the outward fellowship of      |  the primitive Christians.  In these 

Christendom (Acts 20:29-31).          |  last times we have a superior 

                                      |  belief that has eliminated the 

That men would reject the truth in    |  fables formerly believed and 

favor of fables (2 Tim 4:4).          |  carried in the traditional text. 

                                      |  [1, p. 430, 452]

That they would secretly bring in     |  

damnable heresies (2 Pet 2:1).        |  

                                      |  

That many would follow them (2 Pet    |  

2:1, Luke 17:27).                     |  

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            God's Word                |      Westcott & Hort Conclusion 

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At the end of the world apostasy      |  They say miracles are not real but 

would be very popular (Luke 17:26-    |  apparent. [8, p. 32]  They say 

27).  This apostasy would deny        |  certainty of the text relies on the 

miracles and be based on the          |  subjective considerations of the 

passions of the false prophets who    |  scholar. [1, p. 430]  They deny the 

are willingly ignorant that the       |  almighty power of God's Word since 

word of God is almighty. They don't   |  they say it has been lost.  They 

believe in the second coming of       |  deny the person of Satan [8, p. 

Christ, or fear judgment (2 Pet       |  13], Hell [8, p. 17], and the 

3:1-10)                               |  sudden coming of Christ for 

                                      |  judgment [8, p. 17E]

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E.  Recent Text Critics Have Modified the Apostasy.
     Modern text critics accept the method of Westcott and Hort whole-
heartedly (see also II D, E). [1, p. 419-420, 430, 452]  They change the set 
of discordant manuscripts worthy of consideration (still eliminating the 
traditional text).  They highly prize the most venerated manuscript invoked by 
Westcott & Hort. [1, p. 430]  They witness against the erroneous nature of 
Westcott and Hort's theory by contradicting their conclusions.  (See section 
II D)  They advance an even greater apostasy (Synoptic Theory) that eclipses 
the first.  They say that since Matthew, Mark and Luke have a common view yet 
have different details, this is not evidence of independent witnesses, but 
Matthew, Mark and Luke are an artful fabrication of two original books that 
are totally unknown at the present time.  One of these they designate as 
Marcan (Mark-like).  The other as Q. [1,p.447 and chapter on Synoptic Problem]

II.  We Know from Their Reasoning that the Modern Theory is False.

A.  The Major Premise of Westcott and Hort is False.

     It is impossible to make sense of Westcott and Hort's text theory unless 
you hold firmly in mind that their most primitive assumption is that the whole 
church prior to 350 A.D. participated in a conspiracy to suppress the original 
text.  Based on this hidden premise, Westcott and Hort derived principles of 
text criticism, and then used these principles to prove their major premise, 
thus closing the loop forming a circle of reasoning that is spread out over 
150 pages of presentation.  It is wrong to say that they didn't offer any 
evidence.  It is perfectly accurate to say that the evidence they do offer 
does not establish the thesis they must prove.  Their thesis is a historical 
thesis which contradicts all previous historical conclusions, and yet they 
didn't offer a single historical observation from the period under 
consideration to prove it.

     This leads us to a paradox.  Why, if the major premise of their theory 
is historical, did they not avail themselves of a single historical fact in 
it's defense?  Two conclusions are possible.  First, it could be that Westcott 
and Hort were wholly ignorant of the history under consideration.  Aside from 
being an absurdity, this hypothesis is much too kind to them, as will be seen 
shortly.  Second, it could be that they knew of it; and were willing to 
believe their theory correct regardless of how strongly the historical 
evidence stood against them.  This second conclusion is supported in the 
biography of Westcott by the fact that He wrote Hort saying "On many things 
when I am in doubt you seem to have clear views, and you generally appear, I 
think, to have a more solid foundation than I can boast of in a kind of 
historic optimism." [12, p. 252]

     The most important historical fact in the period 150-350 A.D. relative 
to text criticism is that heretics mutilated some copies of scripture.  This 
mutilation was performed by Adoptionists late in the second century.  
Adoptionism is a form of gnosticism (the most widespread heresy of the 
period).  This mutilation followed doctrinal lines.  Those who performed it 
claimed to have corrected the text to the apostolic original, and produced "a 
large number" [4, p. 237] of wildly discordant copies (since later Gnostic 
copyists didn't hesitate to further mutilate the text they received from their 
masters).  They treated the standard of faith with contempt.  Their purpose in 
changing the words of the manuscript was to escape the judgment of the 
scriptures very much the same way Jehovah's Witnesses prepared their own 
translation to fit their own doctrine.  Therefore these copies showed wild 
variation compared to manuscripts of similar date and with the traditional 
text. [4, p. 235-238]
     Conspicuously absent from Westcott and Hort's principles of text 
criticism is any warning to avoid these mutilated copies.  This glaring 
omission is frequently repeated in the authoritative critique of Westcott and 
Hort's text critical theory [3].  The reason they fail to warn against 
depraved texts is not far to seek.  The few manuscripts they do not ignore 
have all been rejected as depraved texts because they bear all the marks of 
corrupted texts [3, p. 249].  Instead of listing the characteristics of the 
copies mutilated by the Gnostics, Westcott and Hort warn that it was the 
practice of orthodox church copyists to mutilate the text by blending 
discordant manuscripts to form the traditional text.
     Where history records a mutilation of some copies of the sacred text by 
Gnostic heretics Westcott and Hort are silent.  Where history records that the 
true sacred text survived this assault and is preserved in the traditional 
text, Westcott and Hort counter that the whole church participated in a 
conspiracy to fabricate a blended (and therefore corrupted) text.  
     Westcott and Hort must not have believed the traditional Christian 
church to be genuine, but a sham.  This thesis is supported by the biographies 
of Westcott and Hort.  When J. F. D. Maurice was accused of false doctrine, 
Westcott commented that Orthodox Christians are like a new Islam persecuting a 
revival of the true Christians.  He also said that it was the practice of his 
party not to be open about their views. [11, p. 229]  Westcott said he thought 
most people in his day didn't know what classical theology is.  [11, p. 261]  
He said that there is a "forgotten truth" that Mariolotry bears witness to. 
[11, p. 251].  Westcott wrote to Hort and distinguished between the "old 
Medieval Church" and "the Church" and confessed that he didn't know how they 
were related historically. [11, p. 285].  Hort responded that the true church 
has been greatly injured since the Athanasian creed (400 A.D.), and dead since 
the reformation, and that he believes protestantism to be only parenthetical 
and temporary. [16, p. 31-33]  A year later, and twenty years before 
publication of the revised Greek text he wrote to Hort "More and more we seem 
to need to go to the beginning of things.  Those who hold the truth seem to 
hold it irrationally.  I can dimly imagine a new way for establishing old 
beliefs." [11, p. 293-294]
     Westcott and Hort must have believed that what historians recorded as a 
defense against heretics was in reality a suppression of the true church. They 
believed that what the historians recorded as heretically corrupted texts were 
closer to the true autographs.

     Westcott and Hort did not publicly admit that they thought gnosticism to 
be genuine Christianity.  The private beliefs of Westcott and Hort are not 
primarily at issue here, but rather the evidence that speaks for and against 
their major premise.  The error of their major premise is demonstrated in that 
(1)  Westcott and Hort's favored texts bear all the marks of Gnostic 
corruptions compared to the traditional text, (2)  the evidence they offer is 
extremely weak, (3)  the data speaking against their major premise is abundant 
and powerful.  Although unnecessary to the refutation of their major premise, 
the works of Westcott and Hort, and their biographers have clearly shown that 
(4) the beliefs of Westcott and Hort were biased in favor of Gnosticism.

 (1)  Westcott and Hort's Favored Manuscripts Bear the Marks of Those
     Corrupted by Gnostic Adoptionists in the 2nd Century.

    There were two manuscripts Westcott and Hort favored most.  The first is 
CODEX B (Vaticanus).  The second is ALEPH (Sinaiticus).  They called these 
manuscripts "almost wholly neutral".  They deemed the readings of these 
"strongly preferred," and said they had the "ring of genuineness".  It is 
manifest that these manuscripts bear all the marks of Gnostic corruptions.  
This is evidenced in that they show (a) deviations along Gnostic doctrinal 
lines, (b) wild discordance with each other (c) wild discordance with 
manuscripts of similar age and (d) wild discordance with the traditional text.  
Since ALEPH and B exhibit the marks of Gnostic corruption, it is clear that 
these two manuscripts are depraved.

(a)  These Manuscripts (ALEPH and B) 
     Show Deviations Along Gnostic Doctrinal Lines.

     The changes found in the modern English Bibles are due in large measure 
to the modification of the Greek text to agree with ALEPH and B.  This may be 
proved by considering some sample section of scripture such as Mark 2:1-12.  
In these twelve verses Westcott and Hort adopt 23 variations.  A variation is 
a deviation from the traditional text.  A variation may be any one of the 
standard phenomena of text criticism including omitted words, added words, 
substituted words, transposed words, variation of case, tense, spelling or 
phrase.  Of these 23 variations, in 18 ALEPH and B agree, in 2 ALEPH is 
unsupported by B, and in 2 B is unsupported by ALEPH [3, p. 16].  The reader 
may correlate doctrinal changes himself against the following summary of 
Gnostic doctrine [7, p. 74-79].

     Gnosticism may be summed up into three false doctrines to which all 
others must give way.  These three false doctrines are (I) Spiritism:  the 
belief that the supreme God is unknowable and a hierarchical array of 
intermediary spirits exist the lowest of which is Jehovah (the creator and God 
of the Jews), (II) Anti-Materialism:  the belief that sin resides in matter, 
and (III) Illuminism:  the belief that salvation comes by secret knowledge 
supplied by intermediate spirits.  In essence this system is devil worship 
because it says the lowest spirit is the creator (Jehovah of the Jews).  This 
not only places all devils and Satan above the true God, but also ascribes to 
the true God the multiplication of evil by creating the (evil) material world, 
and robs Jesus of the prophetic office giving it to devils and Satan.
     Some examples of how these Gnostic corruptions have crept into the 
modern versions may be found by comparing the NIV to the KJV.  The former uses 
the Greek text of Westcott and Hort, while the latter follows the traditional 
Greek text.  A comparative study of the first 12 chapters of Luke with a more 
detailed description of Gnostic false doctrine gives the following evidence of 
Gnostic corruption.

     Those Gnostic false doctrines related to Spiritism are:  The Jewish 
Scriptures are looked on as an inferior revelation, and several extra-biblical 
accounts of creation are used.  The trinity is denied.  By substituting a 
pantheon of devils for the true God, the importance of the true God is 
minimized.  Meanwhile the status of the devils is elevated saying that they 
dwell in light.  The miracles worked by God are diminished because they want 
to say that the false wonders produced by devils are better.  Redemption is 
the release of the spirit from the prison house of it's (evil) body. [7, p. 
74-79]

     Spiritism is reflected in the first 12 chapters of Luke (NIV) by those 
passages that diminish the wickedness of the devils, those that diminish the 
authority of Christ over the devils, those that diminish the authority of the 
Father over devils, and those that diminish the opposition of the true God to 
evil.  The wickedness of devils and the authority of Christ over devils are 
diminished in Luke 4:8 where the NIV deletes the words in CAPS from "And Jesus 
answered AND SAID UNTO HIM, GET THEE BEHIND ME, SATAN for it is written, Thou 
shalt worship the Lord."  The authority of the Father over devils is 
diminished in Luke 11:2 when the Lord's Prayer is butchered denying the fact 
that the father dwells in heaven and His will is done there.  The NIV deletes 
the words in CAPS "OUR Father WHICH ART IN HEAVEN hallowed be thy name, thy 
kingdom come THY WILL BE DONE, AS IN HEAVEN, SO IN EARTH".  This is also shown 
by turning the kingdom of God in the KJV into just the kingdom in Luke 12:31.  
The opposition of the true God to evil is diminished when the words "DELIVER 
US FROM EVIL" are cut out of the Lord's Prayer in the NIV Luke 11:4.
     Those Gnostic false doctrines related to Anti-Materialism are:  The fall 
is equated with the creation of matter.  The resurrection of the dead is 
denied.  Two different denials of Christ's Divine or human nature.  (A) Some 
say his body was not real, but a phantom.  (B) Others say that he was a mere 
man prior to his baptism, and after Gethsemane (Adoptionism, which amounts to 
an accusation of demon possession).  Both of these deny Christ's real humanity 
before baptism and during His passion on the cross.
Anti-Materialism is reflected in the first 12 chapters of Luke (NIV) by 
those passages that reflect Adoptionism.  Adoptionism says that Jesus was an 
ordinary mere man before His baptism, and that He was possessed by the pure 
spirit Christ who descended on Him at His baptism.  The adoptionist influence 
is revealed by denial of the virgin birth in Luke 2:33 where the KJV has 
"Joseph" but the NIV has "father" and in Luke 2:43 where the KJV has "Joseph 
and his mother" and the NIV has "parents".  In Luke 9:35 the KJV has God 
calling Jesus His "beloved Son" but the NIV has "Son, whom I have chosen".  
The latter is consistent with Adoptionism, while the former is not.  

     Jesus words in KJV Luke 9:55-56 make Adoptionism impossible "Ye know not 
what manner of spirit ye are of.  For the Son of man is not come to destroy
men's lives, but to save them."  The problem this poses to Adoptionism is that 
Jesus ascribes salvation particularly to His human nature when He says it is 
the "Son_of_man" who is come to save.  This denies the Adoptionist belief that 
the Christ is merely a possessing spirit.  It also directly denies the Gnostic 
notion that the mission of the redeemer is to bring about death to free the 
good spirit from it's evil body.  Instead Jesus says here that His mission is 
to save life.  This wholesale rejection of adoptionistic gnosticism is why 
these words of Jesus were cut out in the ancient corrupt manuscripts, and not 
included in the NIV.

     Those Gnostic false doctrines related to Illuminism are:  Man is saved 
by knowledge not faith, so there is no need for God's Law or repentance.  
Knowledge is given by the redeemer (implying death).  Knowledge is given by 
any of the intermediary spirits who are above scripture.  There are three 
types of men:  those who cannot be saved, those who may or may not be saved, 
and those who can be sure of their salvation.  The knowledge is only given 
secretly to the elite. This implies infiltration and pretended fellowship with 
the uninitiated (Orthodox Christians).  The secret revelation tends toward 
notions of hidden ciphers in scripture.

      Illuminism is reflected in the first 12 chapters of Luke (NIV) by those 
passages that deny the importance of the Word of God and remove the rebuke of 
hypocrisy.  (See also those passages above that diminish God's importance and 
exalt devils).  In Luke 4:4 the words in CAPS are excised from the NIV "It is 
written that man shall not live by bread alone BUT BY EVERY WORD OF GOD".  In 
Luke 6 Jesus said that someone who hears His sayings and does them is like one 
who built upon rock.  Clearly the rock is God's Word.  Where the KJV 
recognizes that the cause of the house standing is that it "was founded upon a 
rock"  the NIV has that it was "well-built".  The hallmark of Illuminism is a 
secret revelation reserved only for the elite.  They condescend to unite with 
the Orthodox Christians even though they don't agree with them in doctrine.  
They think that they are giving us time to be enlightened by their initiation.  
In other words they enshrine hypocrisy.  The NIV, based on the Gnostic corrupt 
Greek of Westcott and Hort, excises the accusation of hypocrite in several 
places, one of which is in the twelve chapters under consideration Luke 11:44.
     A recent work by Taylor [6] makes it very easy for anyone who cannot 
read Greek to compare the more significant variations adopted based on 
variation of the Greek text.  Counting the deviations (listed in [6]) which 
resulted from a difference in the Greek text in the book of Matthew 55 of 94 
deviations favored Gnostic doctrine, while none of the 94 deviations went 
against Gnostic doctrine.  Twenty-four of them favored spiritism, 16 favored 
anti-materialism and 15 favored illuminism.  Counting the deviations (listed 
in [6]) which resulted from a difference in the Greek text in the book of Luke 
62 of 83 deviations favored Gnostic doctrine, while none of the 83 deviations 
went against Gnostic doctrine.  Thirty-two of these favored spiritism, 14 
favored anti-materialism and 16 favored illuminism.  The large number of text 
modifications that don't appear to support Gnostic beliefs may be due to 
"corrective" modification of a later Gnostic hand.  A more likely hypothesis 
that warrants further investigation is that the modifications were made so 
that the text would conform to some hidden cipher system.  At least one author 
has used the numerical symmetry of the Westcott and Hort text as an argument 
for it's authenticity and inspiration [10].  God has never promised numerical 
symmetry, and He expressly denies any hidden meaning [Isa. 45:18-19, 2 Cor. 
4:3-4]. It is significant that in both Matthew and Luke the largest number of 
deviations concern Spiritism (about half that favor Gnosticism).  Can you say 
that it doesn't matter which version is used in light of this?  God says in 
scripture "Thou shalt have no other gods before me". Exodus 20:3.
     The disagreement of the NIV compared to the KJV is often the result of a 
different underlying Greek text.  When this is the case, the English reader 
may compare the difference in content to Gnostic false doctrine and judge for 
himself whether the KJV or the NIV favors Gnosticism.  When this exercise is 
performed it is found that about one out of two changes in the NIV based on 
different Greek favors Gnosticism, and no changes contradict Gnosticism.  The 
changes in the Greek text used for NIV translation are largely based on the 
Greek text of Westcott and Hort.  Since Westcott and Hort put an extremely 
heavy emphasis on two manuscripts heretofore rejected as depraved texts, one 
may conclude that these manuscripts are the result of the Gnostic manuscript 
corruption reported in history.

(b)  These Manuscripts (ALEPH and B) 
     Show Wild Discordance Within the Set.
     Recall that the two favored manuscripts of Westcott and Hort are known 
as ALEPH and B.  Since these two manuscripts originated at nearly the same 
time, and are believed by all to have originated from a common ancestor, a 
high degree of disagreement between the two manuscripts is evidence that they 
are Gnostic corruptions.  This may be concluded because those who report the 
Gnostic corruptions in history tell us that 

    "If anyone will take the trouble to collect their several copies 
     and compare them, he will discover frequent divergences; for 
     example, Ascelepiades's copies do not agree with Theodotus's.  A 
     large number are obtainable, thanks to the emulous energy with 
     which disciples copied the 'emendations' or rather perversions of 
     the text by their respective masters....it is possible to collate 
     the ones which his disciples made first with those that have 
     undergone further manipulation, and to find endless 
     discrepancies." [4, p. 237]

     In order to establish a basis of comparison, two other manuscripts about
he same age as ALEPH will be considered that don't show the marks of Gnostic 
doctrinal corruption.

     ALEPH and B are so closely related that one of their advocates claimed 
the same copyist worked on part of the two manuscripts [3, p. 318].  The two 
manuscripts are believed to be about 50 to 100 years apart in age.  The time 
span is very short and the kinship is admitted on all sides.  Westcott and 
Hort put them in the same class and call them highly preferred.  But in this 
short period of time, these two manuscripts show wild variation given the 
short time between the two.  In the four Gospels alone B has 589 readings 
peculiar to itself, affecting 858 words, but ALEPH has 1460 such readings 
affecting 2640 words.  In perhaps 100 short years the number of peculiar 
readings grew by 871 [3, p. 318].  
     Compare this to two more reliable manuscripts A and C.  About 400 years 
passed from the time the gospels were penned to the time that A and C were 
copied.  Yet in St. Luke's Gospel A has only 90 peculiar readings affecting 
131 words and C has 87 peculiar readings affecting 127 words [3, p. 249].  

     Thus the rate of corruption of either A or C compared to the traditional 
text is less than one ninth of the rate of corruption of ALEPH compared to B.  
The warning from history of wild variation existing within the set of 
manuscripts tainted with Gnostic corruptions allows the determination to be 
made conclusively that ALEPH and B have been depraved through Gnostic 
corruptions.  The high rate of corruption of ALEPH compared to B supports this 
determination.

 
 (c) These Manuscripts (ALEPH and B) 
   Show Wild Discordance With Manuscripts of Similar Age.
     History reports of those who produced manuscripts tainted with Gnostic 
corruptions that "they did not receive the Scriptures in such a condition from 
their first teachers, and ... cannot produce any originals to justify their 
copies." [3, p. 249]

     Consider the ten verses of Luke 8:35-44 collated with the Gnostic 
corruptions ALEPH and B, compared with reliable manuscripts A and C.  Recall 
that a variation is a deviation from the traditional text.  A variation may be 
any one of the standard phenomena of text criticism including omitted words, 
added words, substituted words, transposed words, variation of case, tense, 
spelling or phrase.  ALEPH has 27 variations compared to the traditional text, 
and B has 25.  ALEPH has 8 readings peculiar to itself and B has 6, yet show 4 
common variants.  The variants of B are supported by A in only one place, and 
by C in only one place.  The variants of ALEPH are supported by A in only one 
place, and by C in only one place. [3, p. 17]  
     This illustrates that ALEPH and B are discordant with manuscripts of 
similar date.  Of the 27 variations that ALEPH displays in this passage only 
one is supported by A, and only one is supported by C.  Of the 25 variations 
displayed by B, only one is supported by A and only one by C.  Since 
discordance with manuscripts of similar date is one of the characteristics of 
the Gnostic corruptions, this discordance supports the thesis that ALEPH and B 
are Gnostic corruptions.
(d) These Manuscripts (ALEPH and B) 
    Show Wild Discordance with the Traditional Text.
    The wild discordance of ALEPH and B with the traditional text is a 
further witness to the fact that they are Gnostic corruptions of the genuine 
autographs.  Westcott and Hort concede in their textual theory that the 
traditional text is every bit as ancient as the more ancient of ALEPH and B 

(B).  They further acknowledge that it was the consensus of all Church fathers 
living at the time that the traditional text was identical with the genuine 
autographs.  [2, p. 92]
     From church history we know that one of the characteristics of the 
Gnostic corrupt manuscripts was their wild discordance with the traditional 
text.  In the gospels alone ALEPH and B are shown to be wildly discordant:  B 
shows 7578 variations and ALEPH shows 8972 variations. [3, p. 289]  This is 
surprisingly large since the Gospels contain about 61,400 words, these two 
manuscripts exhibit a variation of about one word in ten. [3, p. 264]

I.  We Know from God's Word that the Modern Conclusions are False.

A.  God Establishes His Word.
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            God's Word                |      Westcott & Hort Conclusion 

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Through faith in the                  |  Only scholars properly equipped 
substitutionary suffering and death   |  with training and a thorough 
of Christ the Holy Ghost enters       |  knowledge of Greek and the ancient 
into the heart (Gal 3:2, Jn 16:14);   |  manuscripts are qualified to sit in 
and He is the Spirit of truth, who    |  judgment over God's Word. [2, p. 
teaches men to recognize His Word     |  285]  
which He spoke through the Prophets   |  
and Apostles (1 Pet 1:10-12) as His   |  A trained critic may through his 
Word.                                 |  superior knowledge know better than 
                                      |  all witness that have gone before. 
It is a mistake to think that we      |  [1, p. 421], [2, p. 13 cmpr preface 
sit in judgment over God's Word and   |  p. viii], [2, p. 17]  He knows 
may decide which Greek text we wish   |  better than the ancient copyists.  
to accept for our own use (2 Pet      |  [1, p. 420]  
1:16).  It is instead the duty of     |  
each Christian to recognize the       |  Without the Holy Ghost or any 
Word of God, to which we owe our      |  evidence what-ever the trained 
allegiance and most devout            |  critic can improve God's Word. [1, 
attention.                            |  p. 426], [1, p. 428], [1, p. 428, 
                                      |  429, 430 where word 'corruption' is 
God's Word has its own authority      |  used] [2, p. 32]
(Jn 10:27-29) and it is foolhardy     |  
to think we need to add credibility   |  
to His Word with testimonials (Ps     |  
50:12, Jn 5:41), but rather it is     |  
God that delivers us (Ps 50:15),      |  
and preserves scripture (Jn 10:35,    |  
2 Pet 1:19, Mt 5:17-18) by His        |  
almighty power (Jn 5:37-47, Ro        |  
4:21, Is 46:10-11).  He is the        |  
author and finisher of our faith,     |  
and uses His own methods to keep us   |  
(2 Pet 2:9)                           | 
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B.  The Scriptures Have Not Been Lost.

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            God's Word                |      Westcott & Hort Conclusion 

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All scripture is God's word. (2 Tim   |  They assume that between 250 A.D. 
3:16).  It can never fail (John       |  and 350 A.D. there was a revision 
10:35, Mt 5:18, 24:35, Mk 13:31, Lk   |  of the Greek text which produced 
21:33), but is true. (Jn 17:17),      |  the traditional text. [1, p. 428], 
                                      |  [2, p. 92 cmpr p. 94 p. 133]  
It does not contain fables (2 Pet     |  
1:16), but scripture is more sure     |  They say this revision caused the 
than if God were to speak directly    |  original text to be lost. [1, p. 
to us from heaven (2 Pet 1:19).       |  426] [2, preface p. xiv]  
                                      |  
God's Word has never been secret      |  They say this was a conspiracy 
but always openly declared (Isa       |  which has successfully suppressed 
45:18,19).  If it is hid, then it     |  the original up to and including 
is hid to them that are lost and      |  the present time. [1, p. 430] [2, 
blinded through unbelief (2 Cor.      |  p. 150-151]
4:3-4).                               |  
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C.  No one May Add to or Subtract from God's Word.
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            God's Word                |      Westcott & Hort Conclusion 
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It is a sin to add to or subtract     |  All text evidence (including the      
from God's Word (Deut. 12:32, Rev     |  traditional text) but for a few       
22:18-19).                            |  ancient manuscripts may safely be     
                                      |  ignored. [1, p. 429-430], [2, p.      
We are commanded not to listen to     |  285].  
those false prophets who do (Jer.     |  
23:16, 1 John 4:1).                   |  Because these disagree with each 
                                      |  other the true text is unknown. [2, 
Every Christian can recognize them    |  p. 150-151] [2, p. 287]  
(Mt 7:15-20, Isa. 8:20, 1 Jn 2:21f,   |  
1 Jn 2:27).                           |  We are left with subjective 
                                      |  considerations to determine what  
The true God is nothing like false    |  we may accept as the true text for 
gods, and it is a sin to mix in the   |  the present time. [1, p. 430]  But 
teachings of false gods (Ro 1:16-     |  these subjective considerations 
28), or to seek out familiar          |  must be those of the most eminent 
spirits (Isa 8:19-20, Lev 19:31,      |  scholars.  They may decide for 
Lev 20:6, Deut 18:11).                |  themselves and you must accept 
                                      |  their results [1, p.420, 426, 428-
To reject Gods word is to call Him    |  430], [2, p. 24].  These scholars 
a liar (1 John 5:10).                 |  never agree however, witnessing to 
                                      |  the shortcomings of their personal 
                                      |  fetishes.  [2, preface p. xi][2, 
                                      |  preface p. xiv] [2, p. 17], [2, p. 
                                      |  32] [2, p. 65] [2, p. 66].  It only 
                                      |  remains to doubt that God's Word is 
                                      |  knowable.  [2, preface p. xiv]  
                                      |  
                                      |  People should be grateful to them 
                                      |  because of the comparative purity                                       |  of their texts to the traditional 
                                      |  text which went before [1, p. 430] 
                                      |  [1, p. 452], and never mind that as 
                                      |  a consequence you must abandon hope 
                                      |  of finding the 'right' text for the 
                                      |  present time. [2, p. 285]
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D.  Doctrinal Purity is not Popular in the Last Times.
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            God's Word                |      Westcott & Hort Conclusion 

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It was foretold repeatedly and        |  In these latter times with our 
urgently that shortly after Paul      |  superior knowledge and exact  
died grievous wolves would arise      |  science we have advanced far beyond 
within the outward fellowship of      |  the primitive Christians.  In these 
Christendom (Acts 20:29-31).          |  last times we have a superior 
                                      |  belief that has eliminated the 
That men would reject the truth in    |  fables formerly believed and 
favor of fables (2 Tim 4:4).          |  carried in the traditional text. 
                                      |  [1, p. 430, 452]
That they would secretly bring in     |  
damnable heresies (2 Pet 2:1).        |  
                                      |  
That many would follow them (2 Pet    |  
2:1, Luke 17:27).                     |  
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            God's Word                |      Westcott & Hort Conclusion 

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At the end of the world apostasy      |  They say miracles are not real but 
would be very popular (Luke 17:26-    |  apparent. [8, p. 32]  They say 
27).  This apostasy would deny        |  certainty of the text relies on the 
miracles and be based on the          |  subjective considerations of the 
passions of the false prophets who    |  scholar. [1, p. 430]  They deny the 
are willingly ignorant that the       |  almighty power of God's Word since 
word of God is almighty. They don't   |  they say it has been lost.  They 
believe in the second coming of       |  deny the person of Satan [8, p. 
Christ, or fear judgment (2 Pet       |  13], Hell [8, p. 17], and the 
3:1-10)                               |  sudden coming of Christ for 
                                      |  judgment [8, p. 17E]
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E.  Recent Text Critics Have Modified the Apostasy.

     Modern text critics accept the method of Westcott and Hort whole-
heartedly (see also II D, E). [1, p. 419-420, 430, 452]  They change the set 
of discordant manuscripts worthy of consideration (still eliminating the 
traditional text).  They highly prize the most venerated manuscript invoked by 
Westcott & Hort. [1, p. 430]  They witness against the erroneous nature of 
Westcott and Hort's theory by contradicting their conclusions.  (See section 
II D)  They advance an even greater apostasy (Synoptic Theory) that eclipses 
the first.  They say that since Matthew, Mark and Luke have a common view yet 
have different details, this is not evidence of independent witnesses, but 
Matthew, Mark and Luke are an artful fabrication of two original books that 
are totally unknown at the present time.  One of these they designate as 
Marcan (Mark-like).  The other as Q. [1,p.447 and chapter on Synoptic Problem]

 I.  We Know from Their Reasoning that the Modern Theory is False.
 A.  The Major Premise of Westcott and Hort is False.
     It is impossible to make sense of Westcott and Hort's text theory unless 
you hold firmly in mind that their most primitive assumption is that the whole 
church prior to 350 A.D. participated in a conspiracy to suppress the original 
text.  Based on this hidden premise, Westcott and Hort derived principles of 
text criticism, and then used these principles to prove their major premise, 
thus closing the loop forming a circle of reasoning that is spread out over 
150 pages of presentation.  It is wrong to say that they didn't offer any 
evidence.  It is perfectly accurate to say that the evidence they do offer 
does not establish the thesis they must prove.  Their thesis is a historical 
thesis which contradicts all previous historical conclusions, and yet they 
didn't offer a single historical observation from the period under 
consideration to prove it.
     This leads us to a paradox.  Why, if the major premise of their theory 
is historical, did they not avail themselves of a single historical fact in 
it's defense?  Two conclusions are possible.  First, it could be that Westcott 
and Hort were wholly ignorant of the history under consideration.  Aside from 
being an absurdity, this hypothesis is much too kind to them, as will be seen 
shortly.  Second, it could be that they knew of it; and were willing to 
believe their theory correct regardless of how strongly the historical 
evidence stood against them.  This second conclusion is supported in the 
biography of Westcott by the fact that He wrote Hort saying "On many things 
when I am in doubt you seem to have clear views, and you generally appear, I 
think, to have a more solid foundation than I can boast of in a kind of 
historic optimism." [12, p. 252]

     The most important historical fact in the period 150-350 A.D. relative 
to text criticism is that heretics mutilated some copies of scripture.  This 
mutilation was performed by Adoptionists late in the second century.  
Adoptionism is a form of gnosticism (the most widespread heresy of the 
period).  This mutilation followed doctrinal lines.  Those who performed it 
claimed to have corrected the text to the apostolic original, and produced "a 
large number" [4, p. 237] of wildly discordant copies (since later Gnostic 
copyists didn't hesitate to further mutilate the text they received from their 
masters).  They treated the standard of faith with contempt.  Their purpose in 
changing the words of the manuscript was to escape the judgment of the 
scriptures very much the same way Jehovah's Witnesses prepared their own 
translation to fit their own doctrine.  Therefore these copies showed wild 
variation compared to manuscripts of similar date and with the traditional 
text. [4, p. 235-238]
     Conspicuously absent from Westcott and Hort's principles of text 
criticism is any warning to avoid these mutilated copies.  This glaring 
omission is frequently repeated in the authoritative critique of Westcott and 
Hort's text critical theory [3].  The reason they fail to warn against 
depraved texts is not far to seek.  The few manuscripts they do not ignore 
have all been rejected as depraved texts because they bear all the marks of 
corrupted texts [3, p. 249].  Instead of listing the characteristics of the 
copies mutilated by the Gnostics, Westcott and Hort warn that it was the 
practice of orthodox church copyists to mutilate the text by blending 
discordant manuscripts to form the traditional text.
     Where history records a mutilation of some copies of the sacred text by 
Gnostic heretics Westcott and Hort are silent.  Where history records that the 
true sacred text survived this assault and is preserved in the traditional 
text, Westcott and Hort counter that the whole church participated in a 
conspiracy to fabricate a blended (and therefore corrupted) text.  

     Westcott and Hort must not have believed the traditional Christian 
church to be genuine, but a sham.  This thesis is supported by the biographies 
of Westcott and Hort.  When J. F. D. Maurice was accused of false doctrine, 
Westcott commented that Orthodox Christians are like a new Islam persecuting a 
revival of the true Christians.  He also said that it was the practice of his 
party not to be open about their views. [11, p. 229]  Westcott said he thought 
most people in his day didn't know what classical theology is.  [11, p. 261]  
He said that there is a "forgotten truth" that Mariolotry bears witness to. 
[11, p. 251].  Westcott wrote to Hort and distinguished between the "old 


Medieval Church

" and "the Church" and confessed that he didn't know how they 
were related historically. [11, p. 285].  Hort responded that the true church 
has been greatly injured since the Athanasian creed (400 A.D.), and dead since 
the reformation, and that he believes protestantism to be only parenthetical 
and temporary. [16, p. 31-33]  A year later, and twenty years before 
publication of the revised Greek text he wrote to Hort "More and more we seem 
to need to go to the beginning of things.  Those who hold the truth seem to 
hold it irrationally.  I can dimly imagine a new way for establishing old 
beliefs." [11, p. 293-294]

     Westcott and Hort must have believed that what historians recorded as a 
defense against heretics was in reality a suppression of the true church. They 
believed that what the historians recorded as heretically corrupted texts were 
closer to the true autographs.

     Westcott and Hort did not publicly admit that they thought gnosticism to 
be genuine Christianity.  The private beliefs of Westcott and Hort are not 
primarily at issue here, but rather the evidence that speaks for and against 
their major premise.  The error of their major premise is demonstrated in that 
(1)  Westcott and Hort's favored texts bear all the marks of Gnostic 
corruptions compared to the traditional text, (2)  the evidence they offer is 
extremely weak, (3)  the data speaking against their major premise is abundant 
and powerful.  Although unnecessary to the refutation of their major premise, 
the works of Westcott and Hort, and their biographers have clearly shown that 
(4) the beliefs of Westcott and Hort were biased in favor of Gnosticism.
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