Some of the extremely rabid KJVOs obscure the issue with Westcott and Hort by personal attacks about their belief in Ghosts and so on.  The real issue with them was their textual theory.  I read the article or whatever it was where they put forth their theory once before.  The theory is basically that the church of the fourth century standardized the text of the New Testament around 350 AD or so and that this is where the Byzantine text-form came from.  But since they don’t trust the fourth century church (why they don’t is not made clear) therefore this standard text is evil.  So, therefore, they say we must scour the earth and dig up every Egyptian trash dump in existence to find every scrap of supposedly pre-4th-century papyrus to reconstruct what the New Testament said before the 4th century.

Its not Westcott and Hort themselves that are the problem, but those who carried on their theory, namely the guys behind the Nestle-Aland/UBS texts.  They’ve modified the theory slightly, but its still basically the same theory.

But if the 4th century church standardized the text, they must have had a reason.  Like, for example, that lots of bad and disagreeing manuscripts were floating around (the very manuscripts that Westcott and Hort, Nestle, Aland, and friends, have based their editions on).

The truth is, We need a standardized text.  Who should we trust to standardize it?  I personally think the 4th century church could do as good of, if not a better job, than Westcott and Hort, Nestle-Aland, and the rest of the modern gurus.

So the fact is, you can agree with the basic gist of the WH theory (that the Byzantine text-form is not the original text per se but is a standardization done in the 4th century by the church) and yet disagree with their conclusion (that this text is not good enough and we need them to create a new one for us).  I can accept that the Byzantine text IS a standardization done by the fourth century church, and I can still trust it a billion times more than the standardization (or 28 different standardizations) created by Nestle-Aland.

Advertisements