"Phantom Manuscripts"?

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Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Professor
Someone here at PB (signed initials c.t. – would you identify yourself, please?) requested a response to an article by one of Dr. James White’s colleagues, Alan Kurschner, titled, “Dean Burgon and His Phantom Manuscripts” http://www.aomin.org/index.php?itemid=1938.

It is a critique on the King James Bible by means of denying the priority of the Byzantine textform. Mr. Kurschner makes some statements which indicate he holds to the Westcott-Hort paradigm, and from that vantage deprecates the Byzantine-priority view. This really is a critique of that view and not the KJV per se, although to successfully demolish the Byz would greatly affect the defense of the KJV/TR position.

What do I say to this? First, there has been a lot of discussion of just these things on threads here at this board over the past half a year; has it not been sufficient to give earnest enquirers an understanding of the Byz and KJV/TR positions vis-à-vis the Hortian and Alexandrian-priority views?

Second, as this critique of Mr. Kurschner is aimed at the Byzantine view (aka the Traditional Text) – which is what Burgon primarily supported – the best defense against Kurschner’s views would come from the Byzantine textform’s best defender, Maurice Robinson. For those who are disturbed by Mr. Kurschner’s article I suggest reading Maurice A. Robinson and William G. Pierpont’s Introduction to The New Testament in the Original Greek According to the Byzantine / Majority Textform: http://www.skypoint.com/~waltzmn/RobPier.html.

Please note, this is for serious enquirers as to the status of the views of Burgon and the Traditional or Byzantine Text. As Mr. Kurschner’s arguments involve text-critical theory, familiarity with responsible opposing views is essential to an understanding of the issues. In particular, Robinson and Pierpont deal with the invalidity of the Westcott and Hort tenets of text criticism in light of current scholarship, and they provide a point-by-point refutation of Hort’s foundational premises. I will append also two other outstanding Byzantine-priority defenses available in their entirety online:

Dr. Jakob van Bruggen’s, The Ancient Text of the New Testament http://web.archive.org/web/20030428225220/www.thescripturealone.com/VanBrug.html

Dr. Wilbur N. Pickering’s, The Identity of the New Testament Text II http://www.revisedstandard.net/text/WNP/index.html

Anyone seriously concerned about the NT text – its most authoritative form – must consider the arguments of the three major views: the “critical text”, which is primarily Alexandrian, the Byzantine text, and the King James/TR 1894. (The first two do not acknowledge the authenticity of the latter, but that is a different discussion.) It does involve careful study and consideration. Was Hort wrong? Has he been proven wrong? Do today’s text critical scholars in general repudiate his critical hypotheses? Is there a reasonable – even compelling? – defense of the Byzantine textform?

These are the issues in question in Mr. Kurschner’s arguments. Go to the sources, and diligently consider them. You may be greatly rewarded with clarity of mind.



Puritan Board Junior
James White and the Hittites?


Did not the liberals during the late 19th Century argue that the Bible must be wrong because there is not one shred of Archaeological evidence that proves the existence of the Hittites? I think it was the same liberal/modernists who formulated the Critical Text Only philosophy.


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