Monday, June 28, 2021

John W. Burgon on the Received Text

XIII. The one great Fact, which especially troubles him and his joint Editor [i.e. Westcott & Hort],—(as well it may)—is The Traditional Greek Text of the New Testament Scriptures. Call this Text Erasmian or Complutensian,—the Text of Stephens, or of Beza, or of the Elzevirs,—call it the ‘Received,’ or the Traditional Greek Text, or whatever other name you please;—the fact remains, that a Text has come down to us which is attested by a general consensus of ancient Copies, ancient Fathers, ancient Versions. This, at all events, is a point on which, (happily,) there exists entire conformity of opinion between Dr. Hort and ourselves. Our Readers cannot have yet forgotten his virtual admission that,—Beyond all question the Textus Receptus is the dominant Græco-Syrian Text of A.D. 350 to A.D. 400.

Obtained from a variety of sources, this Text proves to be essentially the same in all. That it requires Revision in respect of many of its lesser details, is undeniable: but it is at least as certain that it is an excellent Text as it stands, and that the use of it will never lead critical students of Scripture seriously astray,—which is what no one will venture to predicate concerning any single Critical Edition of the N. T. which has been published since the days of Griesbach, by the disciples of Griesbach’s school.
John William Burgon, in The Revision Revised (1883)

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