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THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT WESTCOTT AND HORT

By Jay P. Green

 

Before you join in the hordes that are accepting the Westcott and Hort Greek Text, it is important to know who and what they were. The theories of Westcott and Hort are what most of our MODERN TRANSLATIONS are built upon.

*B.F. Westcott rose through the various offices of the Anglican church finally becoming a Bishop. He believed in the apostolic succession of the Anglican priests through the Roman Catholic succession, supposedly from the apostle Peter. He was a worshipper of the Virgin Mary, a lover of ritualistic church services. He did not believe in the vicarious sacrifice of Christ for his chosen people. In 1848, Westcott wrote that he did not dare to assent to the 39 Articles, the confession of faith of the Anglican Church. Westcott did not believe in the first three chapters of Genesis as a history. "No one now, I suppose, holds that the first three chapters of Genesis give a literal history." He believed in the Roman Catholic doctrine which they designate as The Person of Christ. This teaches that Christ entered into everyone after he was resurrected, and as Westcott put it, then `Christ's actions become his, and Christ's life and death in some sense his life and death.' He rejected the atonement of the substitution of Christ for the sinner, denying that the death of Christ counted for anything as a final atonement. He was a lifelong friend of Hort, but he was more careful, not allowing his heretical views to become public. Therefore, as to how much he agreed with Hort's more forthright denials of the teaching of the Scriptures, we cannot say but certainly when Hort revealed these to Westcott in letters, Westcott issued no rebuke in the form of a return letter. [Sources: Life of Westcott, Vol 1., pp. 81, 99, 214, 231, 239, 254, 312: Vol. 2 p. 69; Some Lessons, pp. 44,127,184,185, 187,195,198.]

*F.J. A. Hort was a heretic, or call it merely an unbeliever, of the highest order. He wrote: `I agree with them in condemning many leading specific doctrines of the popular theology... Evangelicals seem to me perverted rather than untrue... still more serious differences between us on the subject of authority, and especially the authority of the Bible.' Hort equated Mary worship with Jesus worship. He was a great believer in salvation by sacraments, including baptismal regeneration. He belonged to a club of spiritualists. He believed that `Christianity without a substantial church is vanity and disillusion... Protestantism is only parenthetical and temporary.' Though being an Anglican, he stated that it had no sound standing, it `seems a poor and maimed thing beside great Rome.'

Hort wrote to Westcott, `I entirely agree with what you say on the Atonement, having for many years believed that the absolute union of the Christian, or rather, of man, with Christ Himself is the spiritual truth of which the popular doctrine of substitution is an immoral and material counterfeit.' Hort believed the Received Text to be vile and he sought revision in order to correct the `error and prejudices' in it. Hort believed in evolution, talked of a ransom being given to Satan; believed in purgatory; scoffed at the idea of an infallible Scripture; denied our guilt for Adam's sin, and denied the Fall through Adam; considered Genesis 1-3 to be a parable, saying that no such place as Eden ever existed; denied the depravity of man by nature, disparaged Christ as the `believer's God'; stated that God's wrath was subservient to His mercy; etc. [Sources: Life and Letters of F.J.A. Hort, A.F. Hort, Vol. I, pp. 50,78,117,213,275,329,330,332, 400,416,420-22, 424,428,430; Vol.II,pp.30,50]

How anyone can trust such a pair as these to tell us which are the words of God, and which the words of heretics, I cannot imagine!

Source - The Australian Beacon, March 1993

The Fundamentalist Digest March/April 1994

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