| || |The Berean Expositor
Volume 29 - Page 186 of 208 Index | Zoom | |
It has been too readily assumed that the scholars of the nineteenth and twentieth
centuries were in possession of material for the revision of the Greek text that warrants
the setting aside of the Received Text upon which the A.V. is based.
Kenyon, whose connection with the Department of Manuscripts at the British
Museum lends weight to his words, writes:
"A correspondent of Erasmus in 1533 sent that scholar a number of selected readings
from Codex B (The Vatican MS) as a proof of its superiority to the received Greek Text."
Erasmus, however, rejected the readings of the Vatican Manuscript because he
considered the massive evidence of his day proved the Received Text to be correct.
When Constantine in A.D.312 adopted the Christian faith, as it was then presented,
and had to choose between the conflicting editions of the Greek Text that were in use in
his day, he had before him three types of manuscript.
The Constantinopolitan. This is the Received Text of the A.V.
The Palestinian or Eusebio-Origen.
The Egyptian of Hesychius.
The defenders of the Constantinopolitan text were the humbler classes. The
Eusebio-Origen text was intermingled with philosophy. Constantine adopted this as the
official text and asked Eusebius to prepare fifty copies. The Vatican Manuscript belongs
to this group; many authorities believe that it is one of the actual copies, and that the
Sinaitic is another. (See Swete, Intro. to O.T. in Greek; Dr. 1: M. Price, The Ancestry of
our English Bible; A. T. Robertson, Intro. To Textual Criticism).
Scrivener in his introduction writes:
"That the worst corruptions, to which the New Testament has ever been subjected,
originated within a hundred years after it was composed; that Irenĉus (A.D.150) and the
African Fathers, and the whole Western, with a portion of the Syrian Church, used far
inferior manuscripts to those employed by Stunica or Erasmus, or Stephens thirteen
centuries later, when moulding the Textus Receptus (i.e. The Text of the A.V.)."
In spite, however, of the prestige of Constantine's adopted version it was unable to
hold its own, and what is now called the Received Text (the Greek Text of the A.V.)
early became the Bible of the Greek Empire, Syria, North Italy, South France and the
The Syriac Version (A.D.150) follows the Received Text.
"The Old Latin Versions were used longest by Western Christendom who would not
bow to the authority of Rome."
The two main streams of Greek Manuscripts and their relation to the two versions may
be set out as follows: