Okay, this isn’t exactly a news flash. But Westcott and Hort, the respected scholars who published the first major critical edition of the Greek Text of the modern era (in 1881), are the innocent victims of a mind blowing smear campaign. King James Version Onlyism has charged them with all sorts of unbelievable heresies, chief of which is the belief that their text is better than the Textus Receptus, which underlies the KJV.
Westcott and Hort both stood against liberalism in their day, to one degree or another; Westcott particularly authoring excellent, conservative commentaries. Never mind these facts, KJV Onlyists scoured through post-humously published journals and letters, and scanned through the dozens of other published books by these scholars and came up with some gems. When presented in just the right manner, to just the right kind of audience, Westcott and Hort can be successfully transformed into monsters. With ellipses (…), italics and the fundamentalist favorite: the ALL CAPS, Westcott and Hort’s quotes, already removed from their contexts are doctored into such a fashion that they are ready to be included in prominent KJV defending books.
It’s sad that the above is quite true. It’s sad that this is the extreme to which people go to somehow legitimize their view. Of course, Gail Riplinger is proof that you don’t have to stop with this extreme measure. I won’t continue, because my friend Damien Garofalo just posted the next post in a series he’s doing analyzing D.A. Waite’s KJV Only seminar slides. Dr. D.A. Waite is one of the foremost defenders of the King James Bible and in his books as well as his seminars, he makes use of the guilt by association argument concerning Westcott and Hort. I encourage you to check out Damien’s post which exposes some of the fundamentalist smear for what it really is.
Waite may be using these doctored quotes second hand. But that shouldn’t excuse him since this would then reveal shoddy scholarship rather than a fondness for libel. And as a former KJV Onlyist, I can attest that many of us are sadly misinformed about these godly scholars, Westcott and Hort. Feed a person poor arguments and faulty facts long enough, and they’ll believe anything. So forgive me, Westcott and Hort. Thanks for your work in moving us closer to the fine Greek text we have today.