Category: Critical thinking
Alvan A. Ikoku, MDIntroduction
In 1853 Herman Melville published “Bartleby, the Scrivener,” his now most well-known piece of short fiction, which over a century and a half later we can certainly read as an illuminating dramatization of conscientious objection . There are, of course, important differences between Melville’s approach to refusal and how we have come to discuss it in medical ethics. The story’s setting, for instance, is not clinical; the central exchanges are between the head of a law office and an employee who politely but insistently refuses to carry out his understood duties. The stakes of each demanded task are not as clear and urgent as those in medicine. But Melville was writing figuratively here, at a moment in his own career when he decided not to write the kind of fiction expected of him and not to fulfill the presumed duties of his profession [2-5]. He persisted, instead, in making his case for literature as a means to explore the period’s more vexing philosophical questions. And his mode of objection—a literary one—produced for readers of his time and ours an opportunity to understand the texture of refusal and to examine its moral dimensions in the formal setting of narrative.
Melville’s objection also has ethical resonances for scholars of the mid-to-late nineteenth century, who have regularly emphasized how central conscience, duty, and religion were to the period’s debates on slavery, war, and capital punishment [6-8]. It is no coincidence, then, that by the time of his death in 1891 Melville had been more openly thematizing conflicts between individual character and societal obligations. His work in this vein is often identified in Billy Budd. a last unfinished novella , in which moral conflict is set at sea, in the struggles of a ship captain to abide by the law and execute a comparatively innocent, though legally mutinous, sailor . In this novella we are taken through a series of deliberations to something like a culminating insight on consciences, that though they remain “as unlike as foreheads,” each and every intelligence, “not excluding the Scriptural devils who ’believe and tremble,’ has one” [11, 12]. Melville’s narrator here famously recognizes the plural nature of conscience, its relationship to intelligence, its place alongside religion, and the universal access to it humans are meant to enjoy. But that insight is also fleeting, and there remains a sense that Melville’s work on the matter was unfinished, that in its unresolved qualities his novella describes the unfinished project of post-Civil War society, that it prefigures an ongoing effort to ascertain the conditions under which one may exercise private morality in the setting of contested law, and that it maps out fiction’s promise as a method for further deliberation. It is a promise carried through by present-day scholars in the field of law and literature, who have taken up the novella as a source text for a branch of ethics examining the moral limits of professional obligations and the moral costs of dutifully attending to what one may not believe to be right .
As may be clear already, there is much that the field of literature and bioethics can say on the matter of conscience. My own comments will center on the contemporaneous intervention of narrative ethics in bioethics and medicine, and then on the insights a further reading of Melville could offer to our current discussions of refusal for conscience reasons.Narrative Ethics and the Dialogic Imagination
The debate on conscientious objection raises a number of issues to contend with: namely, questions about the form and content of what we may define as a rigorously ethical referral—questions, that is, about the extent of an objector’s responsibility to not only fully inform but also empower a patient to access care elsewhere; questions, too, about aspects of authority conceded by a physician when explaining refusal in both medical and moral terms; and questions about the different quality of duty met when objecting clinicians remain open to persuasion by patients. I would argue that addressing these questions would be difficult without an approach to dialogue that has for some time been illuminatingly characterized in literature and its theorization—in humanistic writing that has since the nineteenth century not only honed several literary means for dramatizing the complexities of conversation in the setting of refusal but also thought through the obligations to engage with an other in ways that dutiful forms of dialogue demand [14-16].
The claim I am making here is central to the fields of literature and medicine, narrative medicine, and narrative ethics, in which scholars and practitioners such as Howard Brody, Tod Chambers, Rita Charon, Arthur Frank, and David B. Morris have endeavored to translate ethics insights from literary study to the clinical encounter [17-21]. Their projects are admittedly disparate and evolving, but they share the effort to bring literary attention to bear at moments when medical narratives are listened to, written, and read—the effort, in other words, to do for discourse in the clinic what theorists like Mikhail Bakhtin have done for discourse in the novel [22, 23].
The general temptation has been to conflate advances in narrative ethics with advances in teaching communication and cultural competence at medical schools and residencies. This temptation, and its power, emerge from medicine’s understandable emphasis on procedural skills to be perfected and incorporated rather than on theoretical insights that call for profound shifts in practice and approach. That emphasis has helped generate ways to make narrative ethics immediately useable by physicians and more easily folded into established methods for handling the difficult conversations conscientious objection may now require. Yet the reduction of narrative ethics to a set of extractable skills comes at a great loss, particularly when the reading of its source texts—literature—no longer seems essential. The more difficult and potentially instructive goal would be to have dialogue remain a site of interdisciplinary engagement, where several understandings of the term dialogic (derived from scholarship in the ethics of reading as well as the ethics of medicine) may intervene on equal footing and thus make clear the critical value of the medical humanities [24, 25].
To put it another way, the more robust response of narrative ethics to the questions raised by the conscientious objection debate would be to insist that ethical conversations between providers and patients are not possible without a concern for how we responsibly engage with others in person and in representations. That the hoped-for shift in contemporary bioethics away from universalizing principlism to microethics, away from applying broad precepts to enabling individuals to think through the particularities of their positions, necessitates not just an exchange of values but also a translation of their meaning—and that this ideal dialogue cannot easily occur in the absence of an exercise in reading or of the imagination. Nor can physicians and bioethicists become adept at it without continually returning to literature.
If we were to accept this strong argument for narrative ethics, we would take up as a clarifying example Melville’s open invitation to read his fiction allegorically, and reexamine the dynamics of conscientious objection with “Bartleby, the Scrivener” as a focalizing lens. Again, literary criticism teaches us to approach the story as a dramatization of refusal that is no less conscientious for the mysterious nature of its rationale. Bartleby famously communicates little more than what he “prefers not to do.” Yet the presumption of the narrative, and of the lawyer who tells this case, is that there is a temporarily inaccessible reason for Bartleby to not “come forth and do [his] duty,” and to not comply with a request made “according to common usage and common sense” that he serve as scrivener and carefully reproduce the expected discourse of the profession. There is value, then, in maintaining a reader’s sympathy with the lawyer, who responds to Bartleby’s refusal in the terms and stages given to him by a professional code of expectations, moving from surprise and query and complaint to indifference and preoccupation, repulsion and pity, departure and return, dismissal and punishment. What comes next is death: by the story’s end, Bartleby has refused to do his duties, refused to leave the premises (or profession), been arrested as a vagrant and sent to the Tombs, where on being visited by his former employer he refuses to eat.
This is obviously refusal pushed to an unlikely extreme by Melville, but it magnifies for us aspects of professions that reproduce profound failures in handling objection and the fact that these failures recur even when—or especially when—the intent is an exchange of reasons and values. “Bartleby” makes evident the impasse that arises when opposing attitudes to dialogue meet and the consequences of that impasse in the absence of any overlap in understanding. Fiction here does not imagine away the way structural relations within professional communities frame dialogue or how our handling of those relations may be reproduced when the profession meets with outside society. And given privilege of place is the poignancy—felt at the end by lawyer and reader—of dismissing from the profession members who do not reach or participate in consensus . In this reading, Bartleby’s death would not represent the actual passing of an objector, but it does crystallize the moral injury of marginalization as borne by the refuser and the profession that rejects him.
Still, to read “Bartleby” only as a negative example would be to miss the critical reading and writing practices the story demands and the lawyer models, the insights about form and language they both provide, and the opportunity to notice several aspects of what we may now readily see as the ethical texture of refusal: namely that Bartleby’s repeat objection disrupts the normal proceedings of a profession (one central definition of an ethics case) , that his willed death haunts the conscience of a professional (another core definition) , and that both compel the lawyer to reflect via narration, to review his encounters with Bartleby using an alternative mode of analysis, employing conventions of telling not commonly understood as legal, and producing writing that no longer fits within the professional discourse he had repeatedly asked Bartleby to reproduce.
The story itself therefore enacts a discursive irony and reversal, an unraveling of the lawyer’s established ways of writing, and if we were to follow this reversal from the story’s chronological end back to the textual beginnings, we would be reminded of its central place in the lawyer’s own ethical turn. We would notice that though he sets out to give account of a “more than ordinary contact” with the “strangest” scrivener he had ever seen, he frames the account to follow with an acknowledgment of its incompleteness, of his inability to provide “a full and satisfactory biography of this man,” and of the “irreparable loss to literature” that the lacuna represents . Loosened from the surety of legal contract and case, the lawyer admits to the fallibility of his representation, and he does so as an early act of responsibility to Bartleby. So in lieu of a biographical history explaining Bartleby’s recalcitrant nature comes the setting of a different scene—an extended review of “my life, my employe[e]s, my business, my chambers, and general surroundings”—a laying out of his profession that he provides because it is now “indispensable to an adequate understanding of the chief character about to be presented” .
This is an archetypically narrative convention, and the move sets aside the desire to ascertain the characterological origins of Bartleby’s objection for the more self-reflective project of describing its conditions. And what it places on display, what it permits us to recognize and examine, are the various rhetorical forms objection can assume; the effect of expressing refusal as Bartleby does, in terms of a negative preference; how this nuanced resistance serves as an entry point, a way in which objection has often been introduced into professions; how it serves as a means of negotiating past the powerful rhetoric of policy and duty to articulate an internal critique; how, too, such language alters the scene of practice, permeates the diction of colleagues, and eventually becomes essential to the lawyer’s means for shaping his own ethical voice and conscience. Here below is a notable passage, worth quoting at length because it effectively dramatizes how confluent moral provocation and moral deliberation become in scenes of objection:
Nothing so aggravates an earnest person as a passive resistance. If the individual so resisted be of a not inhumane temper, then, in the better moods of the former, he will endeavor charitably to construe to his imagination what proves impossible to be solved by his judgment. Even so, for the most part, I regarded Bartleby and his ways. Poor fellow! thought I, he means no mischief; it is plain he intends no insolence; his aspect sufficiently evinces that his eccentricities are involuntary. He is useful to me. I can get along with him. If I turn him away, the chances are he will fall in with some less indulgent employer, and then he will be rudely treated, and perhaps driven forth miserably to starve. Yes. Here I can cheaply purchase a delicious self-approval. To befriend Bartleby; to humor him in his strange wilfulness, will cost me little or nothing, while I lay up in my soul what will eventually prove a sweet morsel for my conscience .
There is here both the reenactment of forms of reasoning provoked by instances of refusal and the overlay of belated insight produced upon retelling and revisiting the encounters. Both kinds of thinking are often placed under the rubric of “ethics,” though it is the latter that makes it possible for the lawyer to see charity, judgment, self-interest, self-approval, conscience, mood, and even the imagination, to be able to review and assess these facets of encounter in a manner akin to the processes of critical reflection advocated by “medical ethics.” The belated nature of the lawyer’s review points to a number of missed opportunities, a different set of admissions to have made to Bartleby, and a different way to have entered into conversation. Yet the insight also readily reveals how ethical understanding during actual encounters is often articulated in silence in large part because it is often being produced at that moment, as an integral part of the response to, and being in relations with, an other.
Melville’s story essentially narrativizes the development of a moral imagination through the act of fallible, nonprofessionalized, and self-aware representation. Reviewed in this way, dialogue in the setting of refusal no longer features an ethics of the self, distinct from the other, nor does it rely on a set of personally held values to be explained and exchanged. Conscience, however varied its manifestation, is formed and reformed in relation. And this is another fact of conversation that “Bartleby” refuses to let readers imagine away or as a qualification. Extrapolated out from fiction, then, the conditions for a productive and ethical instance of conscientious objection would start with an acknowledgement of the values being constituted at moments of encounter.Conclusion
“Bartleby, the Scrivener” ends with the lawyer’s gaining something like empathy and understanding—his oft-quoted insight into humanity—when he learns of Bartleby’s previous employment in the Dead Letters Office, where his duties would have been to burn correspondence that hadn’t reached its intended destination. Much has been written about the possible content of that understanding, but I would again focus on the methodological import of that moment and on the characteristically literary insights it offers to our ongoing discussion of conscientious objection. The bleak light at the demise of Bartleby certainly exemplifies for readers a kind of conscience and consciousness that may develop when an exchange of values has failed, when death has resulted instead of care. But it is also worth reiterating that the lawyer arrives at that place via a textual shift in practice and an imaginative shift in perspective. Giving account of self and Bartleby in an alternative mode has awakened in him an ethical form of “curiosity” to think through an imagined circulation of texts, in order to consider the possible effects, even the meaning, of Bartleby’s placement and displacement within that circulation. This form of empathy is not simply interpersonal, though it cannot help but be, precisely because it is openly imaginative and enables the lawyer to both recognize and see past the contours of his struggle with Bartleby.
The mode of perception at Melville’s ending thus presents a model for developing different ways for society to handle refusal—the kind of reading and writing that could produce different endings to similar cases as they occur just outside the borders of fiction. The recent situation of Savita Halappanavar in Ireland, for example, only clarifies rather than confuses matters [30-32]. For even as—or if—inquiries make evident that no “Catholic ethos” factored into the nonprovision of care and that this was not a case of physicians uncertain of the legal consequences of carrying out either duty, the case still foregrounds the difficulty and even incapacity of law and medicine’s professionalized approaches to bring about the brand of dialogic ethics that care demands, which must occur simultaneously at the level of encounter and society.
Alvan A. Ikoku. MD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Population Health at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and associate director of graduate studies at Montefiore-Einstein Center for Bioethics in New York City.Related in VM
The viewpoints expressed on this site are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the AMA.
© 2013 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved.
This article uses embedded SP fonts (SPIonic and SPDoric) for non-Roman text. Another version which uses Unicode is located here .Crossing Boundaries in New Testament Textual Criticism:
"Textgeschichte und Textkritik sind nicht beliebt." Ernst Haenchen, ZNW 54 (1957) 22.
1. Frederick Henry Ambrose Scrivener (1813-1891) was a leading figure in the field of NT textual criticism during the nineteenth century. His name stands equally with those of Griesbach, Lachmann, Tischendorf, Tregelles, and Westcott-Hort during that tumultuous era of new manuscript discoveries and ever-changing theories regarding the developmental history of the NT text and its hypothetical original form. Yet, in contrast to the above-mentioned names, Scrivener, the judicious textual scholar, never produced an edition of the Greek NT which demonstrated his textual theory or preferences. 1 Scrivener instead devoted his text-critical life 2 primarily to collating numerous MSS (mostly previously unknown minuscules), 3 and to writing and repeatedly revising what in the nineteenth century was considered "the" standard handbook on textual criticism, utilized by generations of scholars and students. 4 Scattered within his larger works dealing with manuscripts, collations, and textual theory in general, Scrivener cited and discussed a large number of variant units, for most of which he offered his opinion regarding the original reading of the NT text. His more extensive theoretical discussions outlined and established his own particular theory of textual transmission and restoration which remains unparalleled to the present day.
2. In an interesting article 5 published in 1995, Daniel Wallace correctly pointed out that Scrivener's text-critical views were not identical with those of his close friend and contemporary Burgon; 6 also, that it is misleading for certain "majority text" supporters (more accurately, those within the so-called "KJV-only" camp) 7 simply to lump Burgon and Scrivener together as though they supported the traditional text in precisely the same manner or degree.Specific Problems Noted
3. I would suggest, however, that Wallacewhile making a point regarding the revisionist misuse of Scrivener by some who hold a more extreme and unscholarly viewpointhas himself caricatured Scrivener in a revisionist manner, and this to an extent that Scrivener himself would have disputed what is claimed concerning his theory and textual views. Scrivener's uniqueness and memory within the NT text-critical field needs to stand on its own merits, without being filtered through revisionist glasses of any hue. The present essay thus attempts to correct certain misleading impressions given by Wallace, and thereby to reinstate Scrivener as very much his own text-critical theorist. In this process a brief delineation of Scrivener's actual theory and predilections will necessarily be stated, usually in contrast to specific remarks made by Wallace in the course of his article. 8
4. With all due respect to Dr. Wallace, the present writer would suggest that an excess of factual, historical, and interpretative errors appears within Wallace's article. 9 Not all of these relate directly to Scrivener, but some of those which do require detailed discussion. 10 They will be enumerated under various heads as noted below (all main text page numbers in parentheses reference Wallace's 1995 article).1. Factual errors
5. The items within this category require no extended discussion. They are included merely to clarify and to set the record straight.
6. Wallace (280) states that Scrivener as well as Hoskier "are somewhat more recent than Burgon." While Hoskier was in fact an understudy of Burgon, Scrivener on the other hand was an exact contemporary of Burgon, both being born in the same year (1813). 11 It is true that Wallace later (282) does state correctly that "Scrivener. [was] a contemporary of Burgon's [sic ]," but the term "contemporary" remains so wide-ranging as to continue camouflaging their identical chronological ages. (Hoskier, though 51 years younger than either, could still be termed a "contemporary" of both Burgon and Scrivener.) 12
7. "Neither Scrivener nor Hoskier followed in Burgon's steps" (281). Since Scrivener is not "more recent" than Burgon, it should be no surprise to find that, unlike Hoskier, Scrivener was not initially influenced by Burgon before devising his own theoretical approach to the criticism of the NT text. Neither was he influenced by Burgon as an after-fact, but continually maintained his own theoretical views quite separately from those of Burgon. Scrivener thus had not "deviated from [Burgon's] views" (281). In contrast, Burgon clearly stated that, in regard to Scrivener, "the best living master of Textual Criticism. I desire to be understood to speak as a disciple of his master." 13
8. In terms of initial exploration and inquiry into the text-critical field, Scrivener preceded Burgon by at least sixteen years. Scrivener's Supplement to the Authorised English Version was published in 1845, and discussed a large quantity of variant readings; this was followed in 1853 and 1859 by the publication of two volumes containing his collations of approximately 70 MSS as well as a detailed explanation of his text-critical theory and principles. In contrast, Burgon's initial foray into the field did not occur until the 1861 publication of his Inspiration and Interpretation volume 14 and the limited textual discussion which appears therein 15 indicates no awareness of either Scrivener's Supplement or collation publications. (Given the time frame involved for typesetting and publication, one should not expect Burgon to reflect any knowledge of Scrivener's Plain Introduction 1st ed. also published in 1861.)
9. "Burgon was able to apply his text-critical principles toward the creation of his own NT text only to Matthew 1-14" (281, n. 6). This is not the case, unless the comment is limited to what was actually published in a separate volume. Not only had Burgon discussed numerous variant units from throughout the NT in his other published works, but upon his death, all of his unpublished papers had been bequeathed to Edward Miller, with the intent that these should be edited and published posthumously. 16 Among the items so bequeathed were Burgon's textual notes covering the entire NT. Miller was able to publish only a first installment covering Matt 1-14 before his own death, 17 following which no one else either was interested or financially able to continue the publication of these data.2. Faulty charges regarding historical revisionism
10. This issue is more serious, and is directly pertinent to the main thesis stated in Wallace's title. Proponents of the so-called "majority text" theory are accused of misstating the factual historical data regarding Scrivener's theory and praxis in order illegitimately to link it with their own myopic preferences. Whether such indeed has occurred, either merely out of ignorance or due to deliberate misstatement, is not the issue; 18 it is enough that such allegedly occurred, and this mistaken result is then relied upon by various traditional text advocates in order to establish an unwarranted link with one of the great textual scholars of the past. This is done apparently in an attempt to garner respectability for what otherwise would have been a supposedly "weak" position. It matters not which term is used"majority text" or "Byzantine-priority"all have become equal at this point.
11. The problem is twofold: first (as Wallace states), "MT [Majority Text] apologists. appeal to the writings of F. H. A. Scrivener. for a scholarly defense of their position" (280). While such a claim might appear significant, most surprising is the fact that Wallace provides no supporting evidence. One finds various names cited in footnote references addressed to this point, but of these almost all are KJV-only defenders and propagandists, or text-critical non-experts. 19 None of the persons so cited reflect bona fide "majority" or Byzantine text supporters, 20 yet Wallace makes the devastating claim that "The MT proponents' invocation of their names [Scrivener and Hoskier] is an instance of historical revisionism" (281).
12. Of course, if such a charge were indeed true, and scholarly advocates of the traditional text have indeed misused Scrivener (whether these are proponents of the "majority text" or "Byzantine-priority" is not an issue), then one rightly may wonder whether other portions of their theories might suffer from similar distortion. The result would be that no confidence could be placed in any such theory which had to resort to deliberately falsified or erroneously-stated data in order to gain a viable hearing.
13. This brand of historical revisionism not only affects the traditional text advocates who supposedly have distorted and altered the facts regarding Scrivener, but even "those outside the MT camp have seen Scrivener and Hoskier as advocates of the traditional text" (281). Yet Wallace does not directly accuse these other scholars of historical revisionism, but simply states that "MT advocates want Scrivener on their side, and reasoned eclectics grant him leave" (283).
14. Something is very wrong here: if Scrivener truly has been "historically revised" and misapplied by advocates of the traditional text, why should anyone outside such a campparticularly an honest scholarsimply acquiesce in "granting leave" to what is supposedly a misleading and dishonest assertion? Wallace quotes only two "reasoned eclectic" scholars on this point: Alexander Souter (from 1913) and J. Harold Greenlee (from 1964). 21 Yet Souter and Greenlee do not reflect particular exceptions; rather, one finds a near-unanimous consensus that Scrivener is to be placed on the same side of the issue regarding the traditional text as is Burgon. 22 One need only compare the citations in this regard, not merely from more recent scholars, but from those who were themselves contemporary with Burgon and Scrivener and who were better acquainted with the essence of the ongoing debate than more modern interpreters. A lengthy appendix at the close of this essay presents a non-exhaustive inventory of scholarly citations which provide a representative sampling of opinion regarding Scrivener's text-critical views, beginning with the present day and going back to those who themselves were contemporaries in the heat of the debate.
15. Given such a litany of authors and textual scholarsincluding opponents, contemporaries and even personal acquaintances of Scrivenerwho all seem to speak with one voice regarding the point at issue, it seems quite difficult to accept that all and sundry of these are guilty of their own brand of historical revisionism. 23 Yet one necessarily must conclude that all the scholars listed are either correct, misled, or engaging in historical revisionism in their statements. The litany more likely suggests that Wallace's claim on this point is faulty, and that neither the scholars listed nor the "majority text" or Byzantine-priority proponents reflect anything historically incorrect regarding this matter. 243. Errors regarding Scrivener's evaluation of readings
16. Wallace states, "The list of variae lectiones athetized by Scrivener includes several hallmark MT readings such as the doxology in Matt 6.13, John 5.3b-4, John 7.53-8.11, and qeo/j in 1 Tim 3.16" (283).
17. While it is correct that proponents of the "majority text" or Byzantine-priority hypothesis include in their text all the readings listed by Wallace, it is not correct to state that Scrivener "athetized" all of these readings, nor to imply that his opinion did not fluctuate at various times in difficult cases. 25 Despite a good deal of posturing and cautious expression of concern regarding the balance between internal and external evidence (including versional and patristic testimony) in regard to these variant units, Scrivener does not appear finally to have absolutely rejected the possible authenticity of any of these passages, although in some cases he preferred a particular theoretical alternative not commonly held. Yet his statements are clear enough in each case. Let the reader observe how Scrivener viewed each of these passages within the most recent framework of his theory: 26
18.Matt 6:13. It is right to say that I can no longer regard this doxology as certainly an integral part of St. Matthew's Gospel: but. I am not yet absolutely convinced of its spuriousness. Versions have much influence on such a question. it is found in all the four Syriac. the Sahidic. the Ethiopic, Armenian, Gothic, Slavonic, Georgian. the Old Latin [f g 1 k q ]. It is probable that the doxology was interpolated from the Liturgies. ; it is just as probable that it was cast out of St. Matthew's Gospel to bring it into harmony with St. Luke's (xi. 4). The adverse case [for omission]. ought not to be looked upon as conclusive. Those who are persuaded. that ACP, or at least two out of the three, would have preserved a reading sanctioned by the Peshitto, by Codd. f k. by Chrysostom, and by nearly all the later documents, may be excused for regarding the indictment against the last clause of the Lord's Prayer as hitherto unproven. 27
19.John 5:3b-4. To a certain extent, this variant unit has to be considered together with the discussion concerning John 7:53-8:11, since Scrivener has linked them by a particular point of his own theoretical views (for which see the following discussion). Miller reports 28 in 1894 that the first clause [John 5:3b] can hardly stand in Dr. Scrivener's opinion, in spite of the versions which support it. [since] it bears much of the appearance of a gloss brought in from the margin. Yet Miller likewise reports that, in Scrivener's conjoined opinion, "the succeeding verse is harder to deal with," particularly since "Cod. A and the Latin versions. are not very often found in unison, and together with the Peshitto, opposed to the other primary documents." Scrivener concludes that at least John 5:4 "was early, widely diffused, and extensively received"these in context being strong hallmarks pointing to the authenticity of verse 4. He does caution, however, that if the passage as it stands in our common text [i.e. including both John 5:3b and 5:4] can be maintained as genuine at all, it must be, we apprehend, on the principle suggested above, Vol. I. Chap. I. § 11, p. 18. 29
20. On turning to the referenced location, one discovers Scrivener's nearly unique theory regarding the composition and subsequent transmission of the Gospel of John whereby he presumes to resolve the textual difficulty: It may be reasonably thought that a portion of these variations, and those among the most considerable, had their origin in a cause which must have operated at least as much in ancient as in modern times, the changes gradually introduced after publication by the authors themselves into the various copies yet within their reach. Such revised copies would circulate independently of those issued previously, and now beyond the writer's control; and thus becoming the parents of a new family of copies, would originate and keep up diversities from the first edition, without any fault on the part of transcribers. It is thus perhaps we may best account for the omission or insertion of whole paragraphs or verses in manuscripts of a certain class. 30
21. Scrivener thus proposes an authorial two-edition or multiple-revision hypothesis to account for part of the ongoing phenomena which appear within the textual apparatus. 31 Since he explicitly allows this possibility in regard to John 5:3b-4 as well as the pericope adulterae (as discussed below), he cannot be claimed utterly to have rejected or athetized these passages.
22.John 7:53-8:11. In every edition of his Plain Introduction. Scrivener declared in the initial pages that the long ending of Mark and the pericope adulterae were the "only two instances, [in which] the genuineness of whole passages of considerable extent. has been brought into question." Scrivener then continues, We shall hereafter defend these passages. the first [Mark 16:9-20] without the slightest misgiving, the second [John 7:53-8:11] with certain reservations, as entitled to be regarded authentic portions of the Gospels in which they stand. 32
23. Although within his primary discussion of external evidence in regard to the pericope adulterae Scrivener says, "on all intelligent principles of mere criticism the passage must needs be abandoned," he qualifies this assessment by suggesting, On no other grounds than those just intimated when discussing ch. v. 3, 4 [i. e. the multiple-revision hypothesis] can this celebrated and important paragraph. be regarded as a portion of St. John's Gospel. It must be in this way, if at all, that we can assign to the Evangelist chh. vii. 53 - viii. 11. 33 He further supports this judgment on internal grounds: The arguments in its favour, internal even more than external, are so powerful, that we can scarcely be brought to think it an unauthorized appendage to the writings of one, who in another of his inspired books, deprecated so solemnly the adding to or taking away from the blessed testimony he was commissioned to bear (Apoc. xxii. 18, 19). Why should not St. John have inserted in this second edition both the amplification in ch. v. 3, 4, and this most edifying and eminently Christian narrative? 34
24.1 Tim 3:16. On a review of the whole mass of external proof, bearing in mind too that os. is grammatically much the harder reading. we must consider it probable (indeed, if we were sure of the testimony of the first-rate uncials [e.g. MS A], we might regard it as certain) that. qeo/j of the more recent many [should] yield place to o(/j of the ancient few. Yet even then the force of the Patristic testimony 35 remains untouched. I dare not pronounce qeo/j a corruption. 364. Statistics and Misrepresentations
25. With significant statistical effect, Wallace states, "In his discussion of scores of passages Scrivener sided with Nestle-Aland 26 against the Majority Text (if we can be permitted an anachronism) in two-thirds of the instances" (283). Further, "In his A Plain Introduction. he discusses virtually the same passages with almost identical conclusions (2.321-412)." 37 Yet by Wallace's own count, the "scores of passages" amount to but 22 instances wherein Scrivener is claimed to side with NA 26 versus 11 which tell in favor of the Byzantine. 38
26. The problem here is that statisticsparticularly with a small sample of test passagescan be misleading and overlook other pertinent data. In the Plain Introduction 4 which had "virtually the same passages with almost identical conclusions," Wallace overlooks the discussion of at least 42 additional readings of significance which appears as the "Appendix to Chapter X" on 2:302-311. That Appendix more strongly favors Byzantine readings, since its intent is to "subjoin a select number of those many passages in the N. T. wherein the two great codices and B, one or both of them, are witnesses to readings, nearly all of which, to the best of our judgment, are corruptions of the sacred originals." 39 Most of these rejected readings remain prominent in the main text of the current NA 27 and UBS 4 critical editions.
27. On the other hand, in Scrivener's 1874 Plain Introduction 2. 62 sample variant units are discussed (50 directly; 12 indirectly). He there prefers 34 Byzantine versus 28 non-Byzantine readingsa ratio of 55% to 45% (if one counts only direct citation, the score is 27 to 23 in favor of the Byzantine, or 54% to 46%)and these quite opposite data appeared within one year of the Six Lectures. 40 Beyond this, in another section within that same second edition, Scrivener cites an additional 43 favored readings, of which 34 read with the Byzantinea 4:1 pro-Byzantine ratio! 41
28. An author's text-critical predilections cannot be characterized merely from select sample passages, particularly when his discussions appear in a number of sources spanning many years. The data are readily available, but a complete tabulation of Scrivener's textual preferences remains a desideratum .5. Scrivener and the "Five Fundamentals" of Majority Text Theory
29. Wallace (282) lists, "in a seed-plot," what purports to be the five "main arguments of the MT theory to this day." While the wording and connotations of each of these points would likely not be accepted by Byzantine-priority or "majority text" partisans, this is not the primary issue: 42 Wallace has led his judicious reader to presume that Scrivener would not have supported any of these points. On the contrary, Scrivener does offer support to each of these principles. One need only compare Wallace's five "seed-plot arguments" with what Scrivener has directly stated:
30.Wallace: "(1) a theological a priori that God has preserved the textand that such a preserved text has been accessible to the Church in every age" (282).
31.Scrivener: The Church of Christ. has had her faults, many and grievous, but she never did nor shall fail in her duty as a faithful 'witness and keeper of Holy Writ.' 43 God's Providence has kept from harm the treasure of His written word, so far as is needful for the quiet assurance of His Church and people. 44
32.Wallace: "(2) an assumption that heretics have, on a large scale, corrupted the text" (282).
33.Scrivener: Besides the undesigned and, to a great extent, unavoidable differences subsisting between manuscripts of the New Testament within a century of its being written, the wilful corruptions introduced by heretics soon became a cause of loud complaint in the primitive ages of the Church. Nor was the evil new in the age of Dionysius [Bishop of Corinth AD 176-183]. Clement of Alexandria. complains of those who tamper with (or metaphrase) the Gospels for their own sinister ends. The worst corruptions to which the New Testament has ever been subjected, originated within a hundred years after it was composed 45 We have the strongest proof the nature of the case will admit, that no important change has taken place in the received text, since the rise of the Arian heresy, and the final recognition of Christianity by the Roman Emperors. The deep anxiety to procure correct copies of Holy Scripture. and the perpetual watchfulness of rival parties, seem to preclude the possibility of extensive alterations from the fourth century downwards. It was far otherwise in the earlier history of the Church. 46
34.Wallace: "(3) an argument from statistical probability. that the majority is more likely to contain the original wording. " (282).
35.Scrivener: That mere numbers should decide a question of sacred criticism never ought to have been asserted by any one; never has been asserted by a respectable scholar. But I must say that the counter-proposition, that numbers have "no determining voice," is to my mind full as unreasonable, and rather more startling. The reading of the majority is so far preferable. Not that a bare majority shall always prevail, but that numerical preponderance, especially where it is marked and constant, is an important element in the investigation of the genuine readings of Holy Scripture. 47 In the ordinary concerns of social life, one would form no favourable estimate of the impartiality of a judge (and such surely is the real position of a critical editor) who deemed it safe to discard unheard eighty-nine witnesses out of ninety. unless indeed it were perfectly certain that the eighty-nine had no means of information, except what they derived from the ninetieth. 48
36.Wallace: "(4) a pronouncement that all early Byzantine MSS must have worn out" (282).
37.Scrivener: It has never I think been affirmed by any one. that the mass of cursive documents are corrupt copies of the uncials still extant. the fact has scarcely been suspected in a single instance, and certainly never proved. 49 Many codices of the tenth and following centuries were very probably transcribed from others of a more early date than any which now exist; the incessant wear of the older copies in the services of the Church rendering a fresh supply indispensable. Our present cursive manuscripts are but the representatives of venerable documents, which have long since perished. 50
38.Wallace: " a fifth point to be inferred from these four: arguments based on internal evidence. are invalid since determination of the text is based on the 'objective' evidence of quantity of MSS" (282); "Scrivener embraced standard internal criteria such as proclivi scriptioni praestat ardua and brevior lectio praeferenda est " (283).
39.Scrivener: If I have hitherto said nothing on the important head of internal evidence, it is from no wish to disparage its temperate and legitimate use. Yet how difficult it is to hinder its degenerating, even in skilful hands, into vague and arbitrary conjecture! 51 This excellent rule [preference for the harder reading] may easily be applied on a wrong occasion, and is only true ceteris paribus. 52 It is just as true that words and clauses are sometimes wilfully omitted for the sake of removing apparent difficulties. and that the negligent loss of whole passages through o(moiote/leuton is common to manuscripts of every age and character. On the whole, therefore, the indiscriminate rejection of portions of the text regarded as supplementary, on the evidence of but a few authorities, must be viewed with considerable distrust and suspicion. 53 The application of internal reasons, when external authorities are almost evenly balanced. is surely very far removed from wanton conjecture. At the same time we cannot be too much on our guard against substituting ingenious speculation in the place of positive testimony, and treating as a co-ordinate power what is useful only in the character of a subject-ally. 546. Quotations taken out of their proper context
40. "[Scrivener] explicitly stated that the Byzantine cursives on which the MT theory rests are without much value: 'The Received Text cannot stand, as it has for it only. the great mass of cursives'" (283). 55
41. The reader who checks Wallace's footnote on this point (283, n. 16) will see that Scrivener's comment from Six Lectures is actually an isolated statement made only in regard to the variant unit at Col 2:2. However, the readings in that complex variant unit are divided among at least nine plausible alternatives, each supported by what under the circumstances might be considered a significant level of external evidence. The nearly equal division of the external witnesses, here spread among multiple readings, has thus led Scrivener to declare, in effect, that no reading in that unit "can stand" merely on the merits of its external support. Scrivener grudgingly concludes, It were almost like guess-work to act upon testimony such as this, and we prefer to fall back upon Cod. B in the last resort. noting this text to our readers as one that would be involved in hopeless confusion [based on external testimony], if we possessed not the clue of internal evidencethat is, of common sense matured by experience, to guide us, however uncertainly, through the tangled maze. 56
42. That where there is a real agreement between all documents containing the Gospels up to the sixth century, and in other parts of the New Testament up to the ninth, the testimony of later manuscripts and versions, though not to be rejected unheard, must be regarded with great suspicion, and UNLESS UPHELD BY STRONG INTERNAL EVIDENCE, can hardly be adopted (Scrivener as cited by Wallace, 283, n. 16). 57
43. Although the quotation is exact, and this principle always remained a mainstay from the time of Scrivener's early works, 58 one cannot ignore Scrivener's other related statements concerning the likelihood of such "real agreement": No living man, possessed of a tincture of scholarship, would dream of setting up testimony exclusively modern against the unanimous voice of antiquity. The point on which we insist is briefly this:that the evidence of ancient authorities is anything but unanimous; that they are perpetually at variance with each other, even if we limit the term ancient within the narrowest bounds. Shall it include, among the manuscripts of the Gospels, none but the five oldest copies Codd. ABCD? The reader has but to open the first recent critical work he shall meet with, to see them scarcely ever in unison; perpetually divided two against three, or perhaps four against one. 59. If our search be extended to the versions and primitive Fathers, the same phenomenon unfolds itself, to our grievous perplexity and disappointment. Where the oldest of these authorities really agree, we accept their united testimony as practically conclusive. It is not at all our design to seek our readings from the later uncials, supported as they usually are by the mass of cursive manuscripts; but to employ their confessedly secondary evidence in those numberless instances wherein their elder brethren are hopelessly at variance. We do not claim for the recent documents the high consideration and deference fitly reserved for a few of the oldest; just as little do we think it right to pass them by in silence, and allow to them no more weight or importance than if they had never been written. 60 If you shew us all, or nearly all, the uncials you prize so deservedly, maintaining a variation from the common text which is recommended by all the best versions and most ancient Fathers, depend upon it we will not urge against such overwhelming testimony the mere number of the cursive copies, be they ever so unanimous on the other side. But are we not discussing a purely abstract proposition? Do we ever find the "united" testimony of the ancients drawing us one way, that of the juniors another? I will not assert that such instances may not occur, though at this moment I can hardly remember one: it is enough to say that principles. must be designed to meet the rule, not the exception. The elder authorities being thus at variance, common sense seems to dictate an appeal to those later authorities, respecting which one thing is clear, that they were not copied immediately from the uncials still extant. Such later codices thus become the representatives of others that have perished, as old, and. not improbably more old than any now remaining. These views appear. reasonable and sober. 61
44. ". we must assign the highest value not to those readings which are attested by the greatest number of witnesses. " (Scrivener as cited by Wallace, 283, n. 16).
45. The problem here is the extent to which the quote is truncated. The full statement reads as follows: That in weighing conflicting evidence we must assign the highest value not to those readings which are attested by the greatest number of witnesses, but to those which come to us from several remote and independent sources, and which bear the least likeness to each other in respect to genius and general character. 62
46. One might not perceive here Scrivener's view that "remote and independent" for him applies also to the vast mass of minuscule manuscripts, and this certainly changes the resultant impression left by Wallace's citation. Consider the following statements from a variety of Scrivener's writings: No one who has at all studied the cursive MSS. can fail to be struck with the individual character impressed on almost every one of them. It is rare that we can find grounds for saying of one manuscript that it is a transcript of some other now remaining. The fancy which was once taken up, that there existed a standard Constantinopolitan text, to which all copies written within the limits of that Patriarchate were conformed, has been [quoting Tregelles] "swept away at once and forever". by a closer examination of the copies themselves. Surely then it ill becomes us absolutely to reject as unworthy of serious discussion, the evidence of witnesses (whose mutual variations vouch for their independence and integrity) because their tendency on the whole is to uphold the authority of one out of the two most ancient documents [i.e. Codex Alexandrinus] against the other [Codex Vaticanus]. 63 Our present cursive manuscripts are but the representatives of venerable documents, which have long since perished. 64 [The readings of] the great majority of cursive records. are absolutely fatal to the scheme of those persons who have persuaded themselves that a process of gradual change and corruption of the sacred writings was silently yet steadily flowing onwards in the same direction during the middle ages, till the sacred originals passed from the state exhibited in the most venerable uncials. into the stereotyped standard of the Constantinopolitan Church. Thus easily is rooted up from its foundations the system which would revise the text of the New Testament on the exclusive authority of the most ancient books. 65 The cursive or junior copies of the Greek New Testament have, in their proper place and due subordination, a real and appreciable influence in questions relating to doubtful readings. The Biblical critics. may think I have a little exaggerated their value and importance. I am not so sanguine as to the degree of popular acceptance my views may obtain, nor (without affecting absolute indifference on the subject) am I by any means so anxious on this head. 667. Three Faulty Summary Claims 47. Wallace offers three summary observations which are telling in regard to the directional flow of historical revisionism: 67
48. It has been demonstrated from Scrivener's own consistently-held statements made throughout his career that each of Wallace's conclusions is in error. They apparently result from an inadequate acquaintance with Scrivener's published works. Scrivener must be examined from a perspective which takes the entire scope of his writings into consideration. Further, one must consider the specific and overall context applicable to any excerpted quotation. Finally, one must be ever conscious of changes in opinion reflected in Scrivener's writings, particularly with his most recent works.
49. Wallace's third statement has an explicit rebuttal from Scrivener. In a letter to Edward Goulburn dated 18 Nov 1889, less than two years before Scrivener's death (30 Oct 1891), Scrivener states the following: I reject Dr. Hort's baseless theories as earnestly as he [Burgon] does, and am glad to see they are not gaining ground. [even though] I stand midway between the two schools, inclining much more to Burgon than to Hort. 68
50. Although Wallace may have overlooked this statement, 69 it provides an essential contrast to any claim that Scrivener's "views, and resultant text were far closer to Hort's than to the textus receptus. " Rather, it strongly suggests thatcontrary to WallaceScrivener indeed remained closer in his views and resultant text to a predominantly Byzantine view (tempered of course by his own theoretical predilections) than anything which would disparage or generally reject the mass of Byzantine testimony. Other quotes from Scrivener make his position and general text-critical alignment even clearer: It is not necessary at the present day to enter upon a prolix discussion respecting the sources of the Textus Receptus. It will now be admitted on all hands that the learned persons who superintended the earlier editions of the New Testament, both possessed a very limited critical apparatus, and did not always avail themselves as they ought of the resources which were within their reach. It is therefore most satisfactory to discover that the text which they formed bears, in all probability, a closer resemblance to the sacred autographs, than that of some critics very much their superiors in Biblical science; who, moreover, had access to a vast treasure of materials, which was entirely unknown to their predecessors. 70 He [Griesbach] considered the testimony of the Byzantine class inferior in weight to that of either of the others. [which] may balance or even outweigh the unanimous voice of hundreds of witnesses of every kind, should they happen to belong to the unfortunate Byzantine recension. It is easily seen how extremely fallacious every system of classification must be, which excludes from our consideration half the families of manuscripts, which are known to exist. This preliminary objection [is] fatal. to the whole theory. 71 A no less mistaken theory grew up. which, under the seemly profession of recurring to ancient authorities alone for the remodelling of the text, deliberately refuses so much as to hearken to the testimony of the vast majority of documents that freely offer themselves to the researches of patient industry. Like some other short routes, it may prove the longest in the end. 72 If I may venture to express an opinion formed after long and repeated consideration, I believe that in its main features Scholz's theory is correct. The distinction between the Alexandrian and Byzantine texts is too broadly marked to be controverted; and no hypothesis which has yet been suggested is so simple as Scholz's, or so satisfactorily explains the leading phenomena of the case. At the same time I am unwilling to commit myself to the reception of all his details; and his historical demonstration of the truth of his system. is likely to carry conviction to few, who really know what historical demonstration means. At all events, one thing is clear. If we consult the monuments of the Byzantine class, we find their testimony regarding the sacred text uniform and consistent; exhibiting no greater degree of variation than is sufficient to establish the independence of the several sources whence it is derived. Whereas the Alexandrine manuscripts and versions, on the contrary, abound in the most serious discrepancies; many of them are full of interpolations, omissions, and critical corrections; so that they often agree as little with each other, as with their adversaries of the rival family. 73 The leading principles by which my criticisms are directed may readily be gathered from the foregoing remarks. I would adhere as much as possible to the text of the editions of Stephens, Beza and the Elzevirs; not indeed because it is the received text (as Lachmann so unfairly insinuates); but because I believe it to bear, on the whole, a close resemblance to the best manuscripts, which have been used by the Greek Church from the earliest ages. The schemes both of Griesbach and of Lachmann I feel bound to reject, since their direct tendency is to overthrow the testimony of the vast majority of our critical authorities, on grounds too precarious to admit of satisfactory defence. By conceding some weight to internal evidence, and by following out Scholz's hypothesis more consistently than he has done for himself, we may hope to purge the received text of its grosser corruptions, and to approach more nearly to the Apostolic autographs than any of the illustrious scholars whose attempts have passed under our notice. 74 If in my judgment the Elzevir text approaches nearer on the whole to the sacred autographs than that formed by Tischendorf, it is only because I believe that it is better attested to by the very witnesses to whom Tischendorf himself appeals; the MSS. the versions, the Primitive Fathers. I enquire not whether this general purity (for it is but general) arises from chance, or editorial skill, or (as some have piously thought) from Providential arrangement: I am content to deal with it as a fact. What we do resist is a scheme, which, however guardedly proposed, shall exclude the cursive MSS. from all real influence in determining the sacred text. 75Concluding Observations
51. The rejection of the Byzantine MSS from consideration was the great accomplishment of the 19th century. It was assumed by many that, because the TR editions were poorly-executed, based on "late" MSS, and clearly pre-critical, any MSS which tended to support the bulk of variant readings found in those TR editions were also of lesser quality and value, and therefore useless for determining the original text. In the nineteenth century, Scrivener consistently attempted from 1845 until his death in 1891 to establish a true weight for the Byzantine witnesses in regard to the establishment of the text. His never-changing goal was to allow these Byzantine witnesses a "determining voice" 76 whenever the leading early uncial witnesses were divided (which Scrivener frankly admitted was most of the time). No one but Burgon and Miller seemed to heed Scrivener's call, and Burgon's later bombastic defense of the traditional text tended to obscure Scrivener's main point. Almost by default, the anti-Byzantine viewpointwhich had been so strongly espoused from Griesbach and Lachmann until Westcott-Hortbecame dominant, not only during the late 19th century, but even into the present day.
52. Burgon commenced his text-critical ventures long decades after Scrivener, and even then with initial serious intent only in regard to the matter of the closing verses of Mark's gospel (a passage which Scrivener always defended consistently). While much of Burgon's later theory clearly reacts to those who radically departed from the traditional text (in particular Griesbach, Lachmann, Tischendorf, Tregelles, Alford, and Westcott-Hort), the positive scholarly influences in favor of the traditional text which preceded Burgon were very limited. In an era when most non-specialists would have accepted the TR without alteration, Burgon's daring move toward a "mostly-correct-but-not-perfect-TR" hypothesis would have been unlikely without some form of scholarly encouragement. Among Burgon's text-critical predecessors in this regard, only Scholz and Scrivener could have had strong theoretical influence upon Burgon, but Scholz was severely critiqued by Scrivener and others for inconsistency in both theory and application. 77 It thus seems quite reasonable to assume that it was Scrivener's theory and writings which provided the basic elements later incorporated into Burgon's own theory, albeit with further modifications. There appears to be no question that Scrivener and Burgon were allies possessing a similar outlook, each combating on his own terms what appeared to both as a common enemy.
53. Wallace's use of only two works of Scrivener suggests an inadequate familiarity with the full scope of Scrivener's writings. The errors thereby generated lead to a selective use and consequent misinterpretation of the remaining evidence, thus leaving Scrivener to appear as virtually the collaborator of Westcott and Hort. Mutatis mutandis. Wallace's closing statement (285)cited in relation to pro-Byzantine supporterscan be redirected to address a quite different view of historical revisionism: The use made of Scrivener. reveals a disturbing twofold pattern: on the one hand. perception of results determines allegiance. Questions of method rarely surface. On the other hand. perception of results is not based on an examination of a given scholar's writings. Proponents have been repeatedly misled into soliciting unwitting support from the dead voices of the past. Such not only is intellectually dishonest, but also raises questions as to what drives this need for champions. 78
54. To conclude: one should never trust any source uncriticallyeven if such be found in a prestigious journalwithout personal verification of claims and references regarding source material quoted and conclusions drawn therefrom. There certainly is no need to pursue any form of continuing historical revisionism, and especially not when attempting merely to discuss the relative merits of competing textual theories. Such a "new revisionism" no one really needs nor desires.Appendix: Scholarly Opinion Regarding Scrivener's Textual Theory
55. The quotations which follow provide a non-exhaustive chronological summary of scholarly opinion regarding Scrivener's textual theory. The list begins with those most recent, and ends with those who were themselves contemporary with Scrivener.
56.1995, Keith Elliott and Ian A. Moir: Voices were heard in favour of retaining the traditional Greek text of the NT. Chief among the champions were F. H. A. Scrivener, Vicar of Hendon, and J. W. Burgon, Dean of Chichester. 79
57.1992, Bruce M. Metzger: [Besides Burgon,] two other British scholars, F. H. A. Scrivener and George Salmon, were also critical of Westcott and Hort's theories, but were far more temperate than Burgon in the expression of their dissent. The former [Scrivener] objected to Hort's total rejection of the testimony of the Syrian [= Byzantine or majority] text. 80
58.1987, Graham Patrick: There were some members of the [ERV] panel who were much more conservative on textual matters than the Cambridge trio [Westcott, Hort, Lightfoot], but it appeared that they could all work together in harmony. This was not to last, however, for within a year, opinion in the company became divided between the conservatives, led by Scrivener, and the more radical element, who in textual matters were closer to Westcott and Hort. 81
59.1965, John H. P. Reumann: Conservative scholars, like the Englishman F. H. A. Scrivener, a man who vigorously defended the traditional text. 82
60.1961, F. F. Bruce: To a very large degree [W-H's] findings on the text were approved by the majority [of the Revision Company]Dr Scrivener, it is said, being repeatedly outvoted by two-thirds of those present. 83
61.1958, Frederic G. Kenyon: [Speaks of] the learning with which the Dean [i.e. Burgon] maintained his arguments, and of the support which equally eminent but more moderate scholars such as Dr. Scrivener gave to his [Burgon's] conclusions. 84
62.1956, Ira M. Price: Proponents of the traditional text continued active in the nineteenth century. It was championed by the learned and belligerent Burgon and the scholarly Scrivener. 85
63.1953, F. F. Bruce: It was not without a struggle that the claims of the 'Received Text' to represent the original text of the New Testament were given up; these claims were defended in particular in the closing decades of last century [sic ] by two great English scholarsmoderately by F. H. A. Scrivener and immoderately by J. W. Burgon. 86
64.1953, Kirsopp Lake and Silva New: One school refused immediately to agree with the general outlines of the [Westcott-Hort] theory. These were the followers of Scrivener and Dean Burgon. 87
65.1952, Hugh Pope: Only four [members of the ERV Committee] could be described as having first-hand knowledge of the textual problem involved, Bishop Wordsworth and Doctors Westcott, Hort, and Scrivener. Dr. Scrivener, who was as experienced in matters of textual criticism as any of the other membersperhaps even more sowas persistently overridden at all the meetings. 88
66.1947, Ernest C. Colwell: Westcott and Hort's genealogical method. sounded convincing against the appeal of Burgon and Scrivener to the majority of the witnesses. 89
67.1930, B. H. Streeter: The difference of temperament and method which divided Hort and Scrivener in the nineteenth century, existed also in the fourth. 90
68.1917, Dictionary of National Biography: Scrivener held firmly to the traditional text of the New Testament, declining to accept the theories of modern critics as to the comparative lateness of the textus receptus. His arguments have not found general support as against those of Westcott and Hort. 91
69.1913, E. Jacquier: Avec F. H. Ambrose Scrivener, nous revenons au Texte reçu. John William Burgon était du même avis que Scrivener sur les questions de critique textuelle du Nouveau Testament. 92 [With F. H. Ambrose Scrivener, we return to the Received Text. John William Burgon was of the same opinion as Scrivener regarding the questions of textual criticism of the New Testament.]
70.1911, E. A. Hutton: Internal evidence tells us to accept the more difficult reading. It is upon this point that Dean Burgon seizes and picks out about two or three dozen readings, some of which one feels are really blunders. Upon these he (and Scrivener) ring the changes and take them as true specimens of the Alexandrine text instead of as quite exceptional. 93
71.1899, Marvin R. Vincent: The reverence for the Textus Receptus, and its unhappy effect in retarding the progress of a sound textual criticism, may be seen in Dean J. W. Burgon's Revision Revised. London, 1883, in the works of Dr. Scrivener, and in the views of the Rev. E. Miller. 94 Tregelles found himself in conflict with the leading representative of the conservative school of Textual Criticism in England, Dr. Frederick Henry Ambrose Scrivener. 95 Scrivener [was the] leader of the conservative textualists in England. 96 Dr. Scrivener was possessed of large learning on textual questions, but fought every inch of the ground yielded by the Received Text. 97 With Dean Burgon, he [Scrivener] stood for the position that all available authorities, and not the most ancient only, should be considered in the settlement of the text, and earnestly combated the tendency to rely too exclusively on the testimony of and B. He was, however, more moderate than Burgon. 98 Westcott and Hort's New Testament. was severely attacked by the conservative critics, notably by Dr. Scrivener and Dean Burgon. 99 In the English committee, Dr. Hort and Dr. Scrivener were the recognised authorities on textual questions. The traditional text and the later text had therefore each a fair hearing. 100
72.1897, O. von Gebhardt: Die bereits erwähnte [i.e. Scrivener's] Introduction to the criticism of the N. T. vertritt im Gegensatz zu Tischendorf, Tregelles und Westcott-Hort den Anspruch der jüngeren Handschriften auf Berücksichtigung beim Zeugenverhör und fordert die Rückkehr zu einem der rezipierten Gestalt sich mehr nähernden Texte. 101 [The previously-mentioned Introduction to the criticism of the N. T. makes the claimin opposition to Tischendorf, Tregelles and Westcott-Hortthat the more recent manuscripts should be considered as valid witnesses and demands a return to one of the received models as a closer original text].
73.1897, Edward Miller: The chief principle of [Burgon's and Miller's method] is this, which I will state in the words of Dr. Scrivener. [quotation follows regarding use of all evidence, 'shutting out from the mind no source of information' which would be of significance]. Dr. Scrivener advocated a view which was supported by the large mass of MSS. against the few. He estimated the vast mass of those MSS. as nineteen-twentieths, and he asks how can it be that one-twentieth shall be supposed to override the verdict of all the rest. 102
74.1886, Edward Miller: Strong opposition was made within the Revisers' Company by a stout minority headed by Dr. Scrivener, the first textual critic of the day, and tacitly supported by Members of the Company who had ceased to act, as well as by other deep students of the subject, such as Dean Burgon. The line taken by Dr. Scrivener has uniformly been that all evidence must be employed in comparative or Textual Criticism. Yet not all indiscriminately; but each being assigned its proper value. Thus he by no means accedes to the proposal of neglecting the Received Text. Of about the same age as Dr. Scrivener, but in the enjoyment of better health, the Dean of Chichester [Burgon] is a redoubtable champion upon the same side. 103
One of the revising body, the only one among the Revisers who had previously published works of sterling value on the criticism of the NT. proceeded on a totally different system in his 'Introduction to the Critical Study of the New Testament.' Dr. Scrivener. allows very considerable, certainly not too great, weight to the enormous mass of cursive MSS. when they support a majority of uncials, especially when, as is frequently the case, those which generally agree with B or present a different reading.
There is no evidence that Dr. Scrivener acquiesced in the decisions of his colleagues [on the ERV Committee];. it is scarcely possible that he should have surrendered his own convictions, or have departed from the principles so clearly stated and so admirably illustrated in his 'Introduction' 104
I am very happy to learn from Dr. Kennedy's 'Ely Lectures on the Revised Version' that I was right in believing that Dr. Scrivener maintains the chief, if not all the positions which he had long and consistently defended. 105
76.1880, C. E. Hammond: Numerical superiority does not of itself count for anything, unless the MSS. can all be shewn to have equal claims upon our attention. There have been other critics [i.e. Scrivener and Burgon] who. assume that the cursive MSS. are the representatives of other early correct codices, now lost, of a different type from those early ones that now exist, but more worthy of consideration. 106
77.1874, Henry Alford: I should say something of the principles of recension of the text enounced and defended by Mr. Scrivener. that of seeking our readings from the later uncials, supported as they usually are by the mass of cursive MSS. for to this his practice really amounts, after all the explanation which he has given of it. 107
1 Scrivener did edit and prepare various editions of the Stephens 1550 Textus Receptus during the third quarter of the nineteenth century. Typical is his Novum Testamentum Graecum, Textus Stephanici, 1550. Accedunt variae lectiones editionem Bezae, Elzeviri, Lachmanni, Tischendorfii, et Tregellesii (Cambridge: Deighton, Bell, and Co. 1872). He also created an edition of The Greek Text underlying the Authorized Version with footnoted variants to indicate the text followed by the English Revised Version (ERV) of 1881. Neither of these editions, however, reflected Scrivener's own textual preferences, nor were such noted therein.
2 Scrivener's expression of text-critical views and theory began with his first publication: Frederick Henry [Ambrose] Scrivener, A Supplement to the Authorised English Version of the New Testament: Being a Critical Illustration of its more Difficult Passages from the Syriac [,] Latin [,] and Earlier English Versions with an Introduction, Vol. 1 (London: William Pickering, 1845). In this work, Scrivener provided comments on scattered variant units as well as more detailed comments on textual variants considered sequentially within the Gospel of Matthew. Unfortunately, only the first of this projected two-volume work was completed, thus depriving history of a more systematic presentation of Scrivener's early opinions regarding variant readings in the remainder of the NT.
3 See Frederick Henry [Ambrose] Scrivener, A Full and Exact Collation of about Twenty Greek Manuscripts of the Holy Gospels (hitherto unexamined), deposited in the British Museum, the Archiepiscopal Library at Lambeth, &c. With a Critical Introduction (Cambridge: University Press, 1853); idem, An Exact Transcript of the Codex Augiensis [F/010], a Graeco-Latin manuscript of S. Paul's Epistles, deposited in the Library of Trinity College, Cambridge: To which is added a Full Collation of Fifty Manuscripts containing various portions of the Greek New Testament in the Libraries of Cambridge, Parham, Leicester, Oxford, Lambeth, the British Museum, &c. with a Critical Introduction (Cambridge: Deighton, Bell, and Co. 1859); idem, Adversaria Critica Sacra, with a Short Explanatory Introduction (Cambridge: University Press, 1893) [posthumously published]. In addition to his minuscule collations, Scrivener also produced A Full Collation of the Codex Sinaiticus [ /01] (Cambridge: Deighton, Bell, and Co. 1864) and a direct transcription of Codex Bezae Cantabrigiensis [D/05] (Cambridge: Deighton, Bell, and Co. 1864).
4 F. H. A. Scrivener, A Plain Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament: For the Use of Biblical Students (Cambridge: Deighton, Bell, and Co. 1861). This first edition was followed by two more editions from the same publisher: the second edition, "thoroughly revised, enlarged, and brought down to the present date," appeared in 1874; the third edition, bearing the same information on its title page, appeared in 1883. A final fourth edition appeared posthumously from George Bell & Sons, London, 1894, as a 2-volume set, "edited by Edward Miller." In addition to these more technical works, a lighter popularization also appeared, entitled Six Lectures on the Text of the New Testament and the Ancient Manuscripts which Contain It, Chiefly Addressed to those who do not read Greek (Cambridge: Deighton, Bell, and Co. 1875).
5 Daniel B. Wallace, "Historical Revisionism and the Majority Text Theory: The Cases of F. H. A. Scrivener and Herman C. Hoskier," NTSt 41 (1995) 280-285. Similar opinions regarding both Scrivener and Hoskier appear in much briefer form in his other essay published that same year, Daniel B. Wallace, "The Majority Text Theory: History, Methods, and Critique," in Bart D. Ehrman and Michael W. Holmes, eds. The Text of the New Testament in Contemporary Research: Essays on the Status Quaestionis, Studies and Documents 46 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995), 300, and 300, n. 14.
6 Wallace's article deals with not only Scrivener and Hoskier, but also gives a good deal of space to John W. Burgon and Edward Miller. In fact, the paper is unequally divided: Burgon and Miller (along with certain contemporary "majority text" partisans) are the focus of the first half of this six-page article (280-282), with Scrivener (282-284) and Hoskier (284-285) sharing the final half. For the purposes of the present paper, the matter of Hoskier is not discussed; the focus will be solely on the views of Scrivener in relation to those of Burgon, and how these relate to modern views regarding the traditional, Byzantine, or "majority text" positions.
7 Wallace mentions in passing certain of those perceived as KJV-only defenders, including Benjamin Wilkinson, E. F. Hills, David Otis Fuller, and D. A. Waite. He also mentions several "majority" or "traditional text" advocates who in their writings tend to equate Scrivener's views with those of Burgon; these include J. P. P. Martin, Alfred Martin, Wilbur Pickering, and Jay P. Green, Sr. (see Wallace, "Revisionism," 280, nn. 2, 3; 283, n. 12; 284, n. 22). Also noted are some who have no vested interest in the traditional text yet who similarly appear to equate Scrivener and Burgon; these include Alexander Souter, J. H. Greenlee, D. A. Carson, and Jean Duplacy (283, n. 13).
8 One cannot pretend that a brief paper such as this can adequately discuss the entire scope of Scrivener's theories, let alone his preferences regarding all variant readings he discussed over the course of an approximately 50-year publishing career (1845-1894). A more complete and detailed analysis of the totality of Scrivener's textual theories and opinions regarding variants remains an easily-accomplishable desideratum for further study.
9 The present writer finds within Wallace's six-page article more than 20 statements which reflect either erroneous interpretation, faulty misreading of data, or plain and clear historical/factual error. For the purpose of the present paper, many of these instances cannot be discussed, since they transcend Scrivener per se and relate instead to the theories and methodologies of various "majority text" or Byzantine-priority advocates of the present day.
10 Due to various limitations, the present paper does not provide a detailed response even regarding all errors concerning Scrivener. One should note that Wallace cites only two works by Scrivenerthe 1875 Six Lectures volume and the 1894 Plain Introduction. fourth edition. Wallace thereby neglects a good deal of significant material relating to Scrivener's textual theory and preferences which appear in his many other works, (i.e. those cited in notes 2 and 3 above) as well as in the earlier editions of his Plain Introduction (cf. note 4 above).
11 See The Dictionary of National Biography [DNB], ed. Leslie Stephen and Sidney Lee (Oxford: University Press, 1917), s.v. "Scrivener, Frederick Henry Ambrose" by Edgar C. Marchant, 17:1064; and s.v. "Burgon, John William," by Albert F. Pollard, in the Supplement, 22:335. Not to be neglected is Edward Meyrick Goulburn, John William Burgon, Late Dean of Chichester: A Biography. 2 vols. (London: John Murray, 1892); sadly, no comparable biography of Scrivener appears to exist. Hoskier was born in 1864, 51 years after Burgon and Scrivener, outliving them by 50 and 47 years respectively. He died in 1938.
12 The matter is not helped by Wallace's statement in "History, Methods, and Critique," 300: "Traditionalists. allege frequently that F. H. A. Scrivener and Herman C. Hoskier carried Burgon's torch through the first decades of the twentieth century." While Hoskier indeed lived into the fourth decade of the twentieth century, Scrivener died in 1891, only three years after Burgon.
13 John William Burgon, The Last Twelve Verses of the Gospel according to S. Mark, vindicated against Recent Critical Objectors and Established (Oxford: James Parker and Co. 1871), 9, note g. Burgon should be heard further on this point: in his The Revision Revised (London: John Murray, 1883), 238, continued note 3, Burgon thus commends Scrivener (despite their differences) to his readers: Himself an exact and elegant Scholar,a most patient and accurate observer of Textual phenomena, as well as an interesting and judicious expositor of their significance and value; guarded in his statements, temperate in his language, fair and impartial (even kind) to all who come in his way:Dr. Scrivener is the very best teacher and guide to whom a beginner can resort, who desires to be led by the hand, as it were, through the intricate mazes of Textual Criticism. We strenuously recommend the three prefatory chapters of his Full and Exact Collation of about twenty Greek Manuscripts. and the two prefatory chapters of his Exact Transcript of the Codex Augiensis. to the attention of students. Ordinary English readers should enquire for his Six Lectures on the Text of the N. T.
14 John William Burgon, Inspiration and Interpretation: Seven Sermons preached before the University of Oxford, with Preliminary Remarks: Being an Answer to a volume Entitled "Essays and Reviews" (Oxford: J. H. and Jas. Parker, 1861). According to DNB. 22:336a, 337b, prior to the appearance of this volume in 1861, Burgon by age 48 had published only (!) the following: (1) a translation of a French study of Greek vases (Paris, 1833); (2) several short entries in a biographical dictionary (1839); (3) a biography of Thomas Gresham (1839); (4) prize-winning poetry ("Petra," 1845); (5) Ninety Short Sermons for Family Reading (1855); (6) a personal memoir of P. F. Tytler (1859); and (7) a History of the Colleges of Oxford (1859). During the same period, Scrivener by age 48 had published his Full and Exact Collation of about Twenty Greek Manuscripts in 1853 and his Codex Augiensis [plus] A Full Collation of Fifty Manuscripts in 1859, as well as the first edition of his Plain Introduction in the same year as Burgon's Inspiration and Interpretation. There thus can be no doubt who was the predecessor and who the (very) late "follower."
15 Burgon, Inspiration and Interpretation. 118-120, provides but general statements regarding the overall integrity of the text of Scripture. He mentions in passing (134) the variation unit 1 Tim 3:16, stating surprisingly (for Burgon) that there is some uncertainty about the text, and that "If a single word in the text of Holy Scripture be even uncertain. that word becomes without absolute authority. We cannot venture to adduce it in proof of anything" (emphasis original). Burgon clearly at this point (1861, age 48) was not seriously involved in the field of NT textual criticism, and would not be until a decade later with the publication of his The Last Twelve Verses of Mark. Even three years later, in writing his A Treatise on the Pastoral Office (London: Macmillan and Co. 1864), Burgon initially rejected the Matt 6:13 doxology (p. 76), then reversed himself in a concluding appendix (p. 459).
16 The primary result of this bequest was the two posthumous volumes edited and published in rapid succession by Edward Miller: (1) John William Burgon, The Traditional Text of the Holy Gospels Vindicated and Established (London: George Bell and Sons, 1896); and (2) John William Burgon, The Causes of the Corruption of the Traditional Text of the Holy Gospels (London: George Bell and Sons, 1896).
17 Edward Miller, A Textual Commentary upon the Holy Gospels, Largely from the use of Materials, and Mainly on the Text, left by the Late John William Burgon, B. D. Dean of Chichester. Part I. St. Matthew; Division I. i.-xiv (London: George Bell & Sons, 1899). Note that while this volume is attributed to Miller, Burgon's literary effects were the primary source, and Miller speaks in the preface as a joint author: "On a small proportion of passages where we do not follow the Textus Receptus, Burgon and myself present results which are printed in spaced type, and are accounted for in the notes" (p. vii, emphasis added). For the record, Miller was born in 1825 and died in 1901.
18 Wallace courteously suggests that this is due primarily to simple ignorance rather than deliberate dishonesty: "They venerate Scrivener because they think he agrees with them, not because they have read him or know his views" (284). While such might apply to many within the KJV-only camp, scholars who support a critically-determined Byzantine, "majority," or traditional text should not be tarred with the same brush. Those same members of the KJV-only faction appeal also to Burgon, Miller, and Hoskier in support of their position, even though all these scholars stand quite apart from anything paralleling the KJV-only claims. Charges of "historical revisionism" should stop there, and not be applied to others who do not fall under the same condemnation.
19 After stating, "MT advocates want Scrivener on their side" (283), the names of the "advocates" cited in 283, n. 12 arewith one exceptionthose normally perceived in varying degrees as KJV-only advocates (Robert Anderson, David Otis Fuller, E. F. Hills, D. A. Waite). The sole exception is a reference to Alfred Martin's doctoral study, "A Critical Examination of the Westcott-Hort Textual Theory" (Th. D. Dissertation, Dallas Theological Seminary, 1951), 54-57. Martin, however, is careful to point out clear differences between Burgon and Scrivener, stating that neither were they parallel peas in a single pod, nor did they support a single "majority text" theory: "The quotations that have been given from Burgon and Scrivener indicate the different temperaments of these two friends and colleagues. Scrivener was much more temperate than Burgon" (Martin, 57); also, "Scrivener allowed more weight to the old uncials than Burgon did"(Martin, 56).
20 In a further instance, when one consults the footnote supporting the "veneration" statement cited in note 18 above, the names Wallace provides in 284, n. 21, are once more those perceived as KJV-only defenders (Robert Anderson, D. A. Waite) and not those known to be "majority text" or Byzantine-priority scholars.
21 Wallace, 283, n. 13. Wallace quotes Alexander Souter, The Text and Canon of the New Testament (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1913), 102: "They [Burgon and Scrivener] were both, on the whole, defenders of the textus receptus. " This is followed by a quote (here stated more fully) from J. Harold Greenlee, Introduction to New Testament Textual Criticism (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1964), 81, regarding "The final substantial scholarly defense of the Textus Receptus. This defense rested largely in the hands of F. H. A. Scrivener and especially J. W. Burgon and Edward Miller." Wallace's excerpted quote begins with "This defense [of the TR]," thereby omitting Greenlee's characterization of all three defenders as not only "substantial" but "scholarly."22 I have been able to find but two sources which oppose such a position, and even then not in the same direction nor to the extent claimed by Wallace:
23 Wallace states that his essay was written "to correct the impression that students of the NT largely have of these two scholars [Scrivener and Hoskier]," because "those outside the MT camp have also seen Scrivener and Hoskier as advocates of the traditional text" (281), with the result that "[Scrivener] is almost always perceived as an advocate of the traditional text" (283). Given the list of scholars and quotations cited, it seems difficult to object to such an impression.
24 This is not to suggest that those from within the KJV-only camp are exempt from the charge of historical revisionism. That faction does appear to accept uncritically the concept that Burgon and Scrivener held identical views, even though Burgon himself acknowledges theoretical differences with Scrivener (e.g. Burgon, Traditional Text. 135, where Burgon objects to Scrivener's view regarding the origin of the Old Latin version). Of course, the KJV-only camp also tends to view Burgon and Scrivener as defenders of the TR underlying the KJV, despite their many statements and examples to the contrary.
25 Wallace supports his views regarding Scrivener's opinion on these four passages primarily from statements made in the Six Lectures of 1875. Scrivener's later writings demonstrate that some of his opinions changed over time. It is therefore inappropriate to cite only the earlier source and not to mention Scrivener's other writings which might supply contrary information.
26 The essential portion of Scrivener's conclusions is stated primarily from his Plain Introduction 4 (1894), although this has been compared against his earlier works. Scrivener's lengthy discussion of evidence is generally omitted. Of significance is the fact that Scrivener's Six Lectures of 1875from which Wallace tends to cite most of his datatends to differ frequently from what appears in both Scrivener's earlier and later works.
27 Scrivener, Plain Introduction 4. 2:323-325, emphasis original. Almost identical wording appears in the 1874 Plain Introduction 2. 495-497. One seriously should wonder how. in light of such a consistent opinion in the Plain Introduction volumes, Scrivener came to take an opposite view in his Six Lectures addressed to laypersons: "It is hard to suppress the growing conviction that modern editors have done right in removing it [the doxology] from the text. It can hardly be upheld any longer as a portion of the sacred text" (Scrivener, Six Lectures, 122, 124). Perhapsand this is pure speculationScrivener did not want to create undue concern among laypersons who were expecting great things from the ERV (which would not appear until 1881, six years after the Six Lectures ), preferring to reserve the more complex issues for discussion among text-critical students and specialists. In this regard, one should note that the ERV in fact did omit the doxology in Matt 6:13 as well as the troubling of the water in John 5:3b-4; it bracketed the pericope adulterae and it also read "He who" instead of "God" in 1 Tim 3:16. This supposition is supported by the anonymous writer of "The Revised Version and its Critics," Church Quarterly Review 15 (1882-1883) 356-357. While discussing Scrivener's divergent statements in Six Lectures regarding (among other units) Matt 6:13, John 5:3b-4, and 1 Tim 3:16, that author suggests that, in preparing his Greek NT underlying the ERV along with its list of rejected variants, Scrivener "would be debarred from expressing there his own opinion by the nature of his trust" (356 n. 2).
28 All the quotations in this paragraph are from Scrivener, Plain Introduction 4. 2:362, although they remain substantially identical (except for the editorial mention of Scrivener) in Plain Introduction 2. 527-529. Note once more that the statement in Six Lectures reflects a greater uncertainty during the era of the ERV Company sessions: "It is evident that the passage [John 5:4] was known early, widely diffused, and extensively received: but it is well-nigh impossible, in the face of hostile evidence so ancient and varied, to regard it as a genuine portion of S. John's Gospel" (Scrivener, Six Lectures. 158).
29 The location of the referenced statement varies between editions of the Plain Introduction .
30 Scrivener, Plain Introduction 4. 1:18. Miller (apparently) here inserted bracketed references which point to the following passages: (1) Mark 16:9-20 and John 7:53-8:11; (2) the (non-Byzantine) spurious additions to Matt 20:28 and Luke 6:4; and (3) a wide range of suspected glosses which "from the margin have crept into the text" (Scrivener, Plain Introduction 4. 1:8). Within this third category "that remarkable verse, Jn v. 4" is mentioned, along with the Matt 6:13 doxology and the Luke 22:43-44 account of the bloody sweatyet Scrivener suggests "we may well hesitate before we assent to [other critics'] views" which regard these as mere glosses (Scrivener, Plain Introduction 4. 1:9). Virtually the same discussion appears in Scrivener, Plain Introduction 2 (1874), 7-9, except at that time the Matt 6:13 doxology was not included in the "hesitate" statement.
31 One finds the same hypothesis in Scrivener, Six Lectures. 127: Examples of this kind. suggest the suspicion that the Holy Gospels, like other works both in ancient and modern times, may have circulated in more than one edition, the earlier wanting some passages which the sacred writers inserted in the later. Sufficient attention has hardly been paid to a supposition which would account for discrepancies otherwise very perplexing; and it is evident that transcripts might have been made from the first issue which, being propagated in distant lands, would always keep up the difference between the several recensions, each as it came from the author's hand. Burgon on the other hand differed sharply from Scrivener's "two-edition" hypothesis; see Burgon, Causes of the Corruption. 242-243, and especially 262-264, referencing Scrivener: The assumption. has been, that there must have existed two editions of St. John's Gospel,the earlier edition without, the later edition with, the incident. It has been further proposed to regard St. John v. 3, 4 and the whole of St. John xxi (besides St. John vii. 53 - viii. 11), as after-thoughts of the Evangelist. But this is unreasonable. The cursives fortified by other evidence are by far the more trustworthy witnesses of what St. John in his old age actually entrusted to the Church's keeping.
32 Scrivener, Plain Introduction 4. 1:7, emphasis added. This statement, as well as Scrivener's subsequent variant unit discussion of both the pericope adulterae and John 5:3b-4, has remained virtually identical in all editions of the Plain Introduction from 1861 through 1894.
33 Scrivener, Plain Introduction 4. 2:364.
34 Scrivener, Plain Introduction 4. 2:364. Once again, Six Lectures reflects an earlier doubtful opinion: The great preponderance of the best Greek manuscripts against it, the wide variations observed between the copies which contain it, the ambiguous verdict of the best translations [i.e. ancient versions], and the deep silence of the Greek Fathers about so remarkable a narrative, forbid our regarding this most interesting and beautiful section as originally, or of right, belonging to the place wherein it stands (Scrivener, Six Lectures. 163).
35 In favor of qeo/j Scrivener cites Ignatius, Hippolytus, Didymus, Gregory of Nyssa, Theodoret, John of Damascus, Theophylact, and Oecumenius; these for him outweighed the opposing testimony of Hilary, Jerome, Augustine, Cyril of Alexandria, Epiphanius, and Theodore of Mopsuestia.
36 Scrivener, Plain Introduction 4. 2:394-395, emphasis original. Scrivener fluctuated on this particular reading over the years. This is no surprise, given that he termed it the "crux criticorum" (2:390). His 1845 Supplement (16) objected to Griesbach's preference for o(/j. This opinion was reversed in the first three editions of the Plain Introduction. as well as in his Six Lectures. in which latter work he states Slowly and deliberately, yet in full confidence that God in other passages of His written word has sufficiently assured us of the Proper Divinity of His Incarnate Son, we have yielded up this clause as no longer tenable against the accumulated force of external evidence which has been brought against it (Scrivener, Six Lectures, 193). Yet his most recent statement quoted in the main text signals a return to a more cautious estimate: matters remain in flux, but without rejecting qeo/j absolutely.
37 Actually, in Plain Introduction 4. 56 variant units are discussed in 2:321-412. Some units which previously had appeared in Six Lectures are omitted, and a larger number of additional units has been inserted.
38 In light of Scrivener's later shift of opinion, one might wish to exclude from this total the cases of Matt 6:13, John 5:3b-4, 7:53-8:11, and 1 Tim 3:16. However, given the particular historical context, the data has to reflect exactly what appears in Six Lectures. Note that the text of NA 26 is basically identical to that of NA 27. UBS 3. and UBS 4 .
39 Scrivener, Plain Introduction 4. 2:296-297. Scrivener's discussion of these 42 readings concludes with a list of 21 additional references, "which passages the student may work out for himself." This is followed by the further significant comment, "The foregoing list of errors patent in the most ancient codices might be largely increased" (2:311). Five additional references then are provided, with the overall effect showing Scrivener continuing to reject numerous passages which are currently accepted by NA 27 .
40 Scrivener, Plain Introduction 2. 493-570.
41 Scrivener, Plain Introduction 2. 472-479.
42 Point 1 could pertain to almost any legitimate textual theory, presuming proper limitations and qualifications by those who espouse such. As regards point 2, our extant MSS appear to reflect a basically orthodox text from which most if not all heretical corruptions apparently have been eliminated. Point 3 should be more concerned with "transmissional likelihood" than "statistical probability." Point 4 has a certain validity, but requires much additional explanation and qualification. Point 5 fails to recognize that internal considerations do play a significant role where Byzantine testimony is divided, and remains mandatory even when external testimony appears to be sufficient. The issue under discussion, however, is what Scrivener may have stated on those points, regardless of their later use, misuse, modification, or reinterpretation by various Byzantine or "majority text" supporters.
43 Scrivener, Plain Introduction 4. 2:252.
44 Scrivener, Six Lectures. 119. Compare these later (1874, 1894) views of providential preservation with what Scrivener suggested in 1845 regarding even the early printed TR editions: I hope it is no presumptuous belief, that the Providence of God took such care of His Church in the vital matter of maintaining His Word pure and uncorrupted, that He guided the minds of the first editors, in their selection of the authorities on which they rested. It is easy to declaim on the low date and little worth of the manuscripts used by the Complutensian divines, by Erasmus, or Stephens; but what would have been the present state of the text of the Gospels, had the least among them conceded to the Cambridge MS. or Codex Bezae, the influence and adoration which its high antiquity seemed to challenge? (Scrivener, Supplement. 6, emphasis original).
45 Scrivener, Plain Introduction 4. 2:259, 262, 264. Irenaeus and Origen are also mentioned in regard to complaints against heretical tampering with the Scriptures. Also, in 2:252, n. 3, Scrivener approvingly quotes Tischendorf from the introduction to his English New Testament. "I have no doubt. that in the very earliest ages after our Holy Scriptures were written, and before the authority of the Church protected them, wilful alterations, and especially additions were made in them." Note that, while Tischendorf did not explicitly attribute these alterations to heretics, Scrivener, in his main text to which that footnote was attached, in fact did so attribute them.
46 Scrivener, Supplement. 26-28.
47 Scrivener, Augiensis. vii-viii, emphasis original.
48 Scrivener, Augiensis. vii, emphasis original.
49 Scrivener, Augiensis. vii-viii, emphasis original.
50 Scrivener, Full and Exact Collation. xxi. Compare in this regard the earlier and more nuanced comment in Scrivener, Supplement. 27 (differences italicized): Many codices of the ninth or tenth century were probably transcribed from others of a more early date than any which now exist: and the incessant wear of the uncial Constantinopolitan [= Byzantine] manuscripts in the public services of the Church will abundantly account for their general disappearance at present.
51 Scrivener, Augiensis. xx, n. 1. Wallace (283) fails to note the strict limitations which Scrivener imposes on the application of internal principles, particularly their secondary role in contrast to matters regarding external evidence. One should note in this regard Scrivener's comment regarding the harder reading canon in his discussion of Matt 11:19, where he favors the "easier" Byzantine reading (Scrivener, Six Lectures. 125): Those who defend the variation 'works' naturally press into their service Bengel's canon. that the harder reading is to be preferred to the easier; but, this is just an instance in which the interests of common sense compel us to set bounds to its operation. Similarly, in regard to the "shorter reading" canon, Scrivener often favors the longer Byzantine reading, e.g. the inclusion of "without cause" in Matt 5:22 over against the omission of that term (Scrivener, Six Lectures. 121). Paradoxically, in his Six Lectures. 128, 135-136, Scrivener rejects the longer Byzantine "and fasting" in Matt 17:21 while accepting the identical Byzantine reading in the parallel Mark 9:29 (to which cf. Scrivener, Plain Introduction 2. 441, n. 1, where the Byzantine reading is accepted in both cases).
52 Scrivener, Plain Introduction 4. 2:247-248.
53 Scrivener, Plain Introduction 4. 2:250.
54 Scrivener, Supplement. 29, emphasis original.
55 Scrivener, Six Lectures. 188. Scrivener's quotation (regarding the variant unit at Col. 2:2) is given as Wallace cites it; however, an additional set of ellipsis dots should be inserted between "Text" and "cannot." By use of the ellipsis, Wallace misleads his reader to infer that the Received Text throughout the NT was supported solely (and hence rejected) on what appears to be the isolated evidence of the "great mass of cursives." The complete quotation is as follows: The Received Text 'of God the Father and of Christ' cannot stand, as it has for it only the third hand of D (with E against its parallel Latin, see p. 71), two later uncials, the great mass of cursives, the Philoxenian Syriac, Theodoret, John Damascene, and some others. The full quotation coupled with the restriction of the comment to evidence cited in a seriously-divided variant unit presents quite a different picture than Wallace's ellipsis suggests.
56 Scrivener, Six Lectures. 189, emphasis added. When the reader compares the discussion of the same variant unit in Plain Introduction 4. 2:387-389, the only comment regarding the Received Text relates to the actual evidence cited in its favor and a suggestion that all of the generally longer readings in this unit except for that shared by B and Hilary reflect "accretions to the genuine passage" (yet Scrivener does not favor the shortest reading in this unit, which is supported by D 1 H P 1881 2464 pc ). He still concludes that "in the presence of so many opposing probabilities [in this variant unit], a very small weight might suffice to turn the critical scale" (2:389). The now-known alignment of 46 with B and Hilary in this unit perhaps would have reassured Scrivener in his "last resort" decision.
57 The quote is from Scrivener, Plain Introduction 4. 2:301, with all emphasis original.
58 Almost the same paragraph appeared in Scrivener, Augiensis. xx, but with the time frame extended to "all the documents prior to the tenth century" throughout the NT. In the various Plain Introduction volumes, the blanket statement was first reduced to the ninth century, and finally for the Gospels to the sixth century. Of interest in regard to this principle is that in Augiensis. xx, Scrivener also stated, "I do not lay down these propositions as any new discovery of my own, but as being (even the second of them [i.e. the portion quoted by Wallace from a later work]) the principles on which all reasonable defenders of the Textus Receptus [!] have upheld its GENERAL INTEGRITY" (emphasis original).
59 It is in this light that Wallace's further claim taken from Scrivener must be understood: "[When and B] were joined by A, C and D, 'there can be no doubt that we are bound to follow them. 'regardless of the evidence against their combined testimony" (Wallace, 284; the excerpted quote is from Scrivener, Six Lectures. 178, stated in relation to the variant unit at Rom 16:5). It further should be noted that MS D in Paul (Codex Claromontanus) is not the same as MS D (Codex Bezae) in the Gospels. Nevertheless, if the five old uncials are not all in agreementwhich Scrivener bluntly says is their "normal" situationthe later uncial and minuscule testimony then becomes a significant determining factor.
60 Scrivener, Plain Introduction 4. 2:277-278. Scrivener further stated in Augiensis. xx, In the far more numerous cases where the most ancient documents are at variance with each other, the later or cursive copies are of great importance, as the surviving representatives of other codices, very probably as early, possibly even earlier, than any now extant.
61 Scrivener, Augiensis. xviii, emphasis original. The passage is addressed as a challenge to Tregelles. It is not without significance that Scrivener, Adversaria Critica Sacra. xxviii, n. 1, quotes with approval James Rendel Harris (Origin of the Codex Leicestrensis. 1) on this point: It is not a little curious to the person who commences the critical study of the documents of the N. T. to find that he can discover no settled proportion between the age of a manuscript and the [critical] weight attached to it. A little study soon convinces the tyro of the impossibility of determining any law by which the value of a codex can be determined in terms of its age only without reference to its history.
62 Scrivener, Plain Introduction 4. 2:301.
63 Scrivener, Augiensis. xiii, emphasis original. This statement continued with only minor alterations into the 1894 Plain Introduction. The more closely the cursive copies of Scripture are examined, the more does the individual character of each of them become developed. With certain points of general resemblance, whereby they are distinguished from the older documents of the Alexandrian class, they abound with mutual variations so numerous and perpetual as to vouch for the independent origin of nearly all of them, and their exact study has [quoting Tregelles] 'swept away at once and for ever' the fancy of a standard Constantinopolitan text, and every inference that had been grounded upon its presumed existence (Scrivener, Plain Introduction 4. 2:230).
64 Scrivener, Full and Exact Collation. xxi.
65 Scrivener, Full and Exact Collation. lxviii, emphasis original.
66 Scrivener, Augiensis. xx.
67 These statements appear according to their logical sequence, but in reverse order from their presentation in Wallace.
68 Quoted in Goulburn, John William Burgon. 2:229, emphasis added. Burgon had died the previous year (4 Aug 1888), and Scrivener's letter was sent while Goulburn was preparing Burgon's biography. This explicit statement from Scrivener also establishes the fallacy in C. R. Gregory's 1907 claim (cited above, n. 22): once Burgon was dead, Scrivener would no longer be bound to express himself "less distinctly in public" merely due to "a kind consideration for his friend and staunch adherent" (Gregory, Canon and Text. 461).
69 While one may not be aware of a personal letter buried deep within the pages of a lengthy and relatively obscure biography dealing with a separate person, the quotation cited is given in block format in Alfred Martin's "Critical Examination" dissertation (Martin, 56, center). Wallace (283, n. 12) had specifically cited the short range of pages in Martin which deal with Scrivener and his views (Martin, 54-57).
70 Scrivener, Supplement. 6-7, emphasis added.
71 Scrivener, Supplement. 11, 13.
72 Scrivener, Augiensis. i-ii.
73 Scrivener, Supplement. 19-21. To this compare Supplement. 30: The researches of Scholz have done much towards removing the obloquy and undeserved contempt which had been cast on the received text by critics of the last century.
74 Scrivener, Supplement. 31-32.
75 Scrivener, Augiensis. vi, emphasis original.
76 Compare Scrivener, Augiensis. viii: It is not essential to our argument that the fact of [the Byzantine minuscules] being derived from ancient sources now lost should be established. though internal evidence points strongly to their being so derived: it is enough that such an origin is possible. to make it at once unreasonable and unjust to shut them out from a 'determining voice' (of course jointly with others) on questions of doubtful reading (emphasis original).
77 See Scrivener's discussion of Scholz in his Plain Introduction 4. 2:226-231, particularly the most telling criticism: "The text which its constructor [Scholz] distrusted, can have but small claim on the faith of others" (2:231). Note also that Scrivener's most recent opinion (1894), stated in opposition to a key point of Scholz' theory, restates his earliest views nearly exactly: If (as we firmly believe) the less ancient codices ought to have their proper weight and appreciable influence in fixing the true text of Scripture, our favourable estimate of them must rest on other arguments than Scholz has urged in their behalf (2:230; compare the close paraphrase in Scrivener, Augiensis. xiii, as well as Scrivener, Full and Exact Collation. xv-xvi, lxviii, lxix).
78 Emphasis original. The entire paragraph containing Wallace's closing statement not only concluded the "Revisionism" article (285) but also appeared in his "History, Methods, Critique" essay (300, n. 14) in a form identical save for gender neutral language in the latter.
79 Keith Elliott and Ian Moir, Manuscripts and the Text of the New Testament: An Introduction for English Readers (Edinburgh: T. and T. Clark, 1995), 84.
80 Bruce M. Metzger, The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration. 3rd enl. ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992), 137.
81 Graham A. Patrick, F. J. A. Hort: Eminent Victorian (Decatur, GA: The Almond Press, 1988; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1987), 84-85.
82 John H. P. Reumann, The Romance of Bible Scripts and Scholars: Chapters in the History of Bible Transmission and Translation (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1965), 161.
83 F. F. Bruce, The English Bible: A History of Translations (New York: Oxford, 1961), 139.
84 Frederic G. Kenyon, Our Bible and the Ancient Manuscripts. rev. by A. W. Adams (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1958), 204.
85 Ira Maurice Price, The Ancestry of our English Bible: An Account of Manuscripts, Texts, and Versions of the Bible. 3rd rev. ed. William A. Irwin and Allen P. Wikgren, eds. (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1956), 208.
86 F. F. Bruce, The Books and the Parchments: Some Chapters on the Transmission of the Bible. rev. ed. (New York: Fleming H. Revell, 1953), 177-178.
87 Kirsopp Lake, The Text of the New Testament. 6th ed. rev. by Silva New (London: Rivingtons, 1953), 71.
88 Hugh Pope, English Versions of the Bible. rev. and amplified by Sebastian Bullough (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1972 rep. ed. [St. Louis: B. Herder, 1952]), 563-564.
89 Ernest Cadman Colwell, "Genealogical Method: Its Achievements and its Limitations," in his Studies in Methodology in Textual Criticism of the New Testament. NTTS 9 (Leiden: Brill, 1969), 75 [this article originally appeared in JBL 66 (1947) 109-133].
90 Burnett Hillman Streeter, The Four Gospels: A Study of Origins, Treating of the Manuscript Tradition, Sources, Authorship, & Dates. 4th rev. ed. (London: Macmillan, 1930), 121.
91 DNB. s.v. "Scrivener, Frederick Henry Ambrose," 17:1064.
92 E. Jacquier, Le Nouveau Testament dans L'église Chrétienne, Tome Second: Le Texte du Nouveau Testament. 3rd ed. (Paris: Librairie Victor Lecoffre, J. Gabalda, 1913), 448, 450. Bracketed translation by the present writer.
93 Edward Ardron Hutton, An Atlas of Textual Criticism: Being an Attempt to Show the Mutual Relationship of the Authorities for the Text of the New Testament up to about 1000 A.D. (Cambridge: University Press, 1911), 35.
94 Vincent, History. 61 n. 1. Of amusing interest in the same note (as continued on p. 62) is the statement, In order to counteract this [the continued reprinting of the TR as a matter of preference], the Württemburgian [sic ] Bible Society at Stuttgart published last year a Greek Testament with a critically revised text [i.e. Nestle 1. 1898]. It is an admirable specimen of typography, and can be purchased for about twenty-five cents.
96 Vincent, History. 139, marginal subheading.
101 Realencyklopädie für protestantische Theologie und Kirche, begründet von J. J. Herzog. 3rd rev. ed. by Albert Hauck (Leipzig: J. C. Hinrichs Buchhandlung, 1897), s.v. "Bibeltext des NT," by Constantine von Tischendorf and Oscar von Gebhardt, 2:766, lines 52ff. Bracketed translation by the present writer.
102 Edward Miller, ed. The Oxford Debate on the Textual Criticism of the New Testament, Held at New College on May 6, 1897: With a Preface explanatory of the Rival Systems (London: George Bell & Sons, 1897), 4. This quotation occurs within the transcript of the actual debate. Had Miller misstated Scrivener's position, or had Scrivener at all been considered closer to Hort or any other non-Byzantine partisan, those on the opposing side had ample opportunity to make an issue out of any glaring faux pas on Miller's part. No objection to this point was made by any speaker, whether opponents such as William Sanday, A. C. Headlam and W. C. Allen, or supporters such as G. H. Gwilliam or A. Bonus.
103 Edward Miller, A Guide to the Textual Criticism of the New Testament (London: George Bell and Sons, 1886), 31, 32-33. This volume was published when both Burgon and Scrivener were still alive. Given that Miller was closely acquainted with and became literary executor to both Scrivener and Burgon, his comments are significant, particularly in cases where he suggests an opinion which differs from that which some currently assume. Of particular significance is Miller's comment regarding Burgon, which stands in stark contrast to the common caricature stated by Wallace ("[Burgon's] method. amounted to, with few exceptions, a defence of the readings found in the majority of manuscripts" ): Miller wrote, Dean Burgon has incurred much misrepresentation. He does not maintain the faultlessness of the Received Text;. he does not simply count his authorities, or follow the largest number, irrespectively of their weight and value. But he urges that all should be taken into account. ; that all the existing Copies must be assembled and accurately collated;. and that all must be rested upon definite external attestation, not upon the shifting sands of conjecture, opinion, taste, and other internal sources of inference (Miller, Guide. 33-34). Note that, had the name Scrivener been substituted for Burgon in that quotation, no significant difference would exist in regard to the points mentioned.
104 F. C. Cook, The Revised Version of the First Three Gospels (London: John Murray, 1882), 10.
105 Cook, Revised Version. 10n.
106 C. E. Hammond, Outlines of Textual Criticism applied to the New Testament. 3rd rev. ed. (Oxford: Clarendon, 1880), ix, 2, emphasis original. In this edition, Hammond generally refrained from citing names of various critics. Yet, given the historical context and date of publication, Scrivener and Burgon appear to be the only living scholars who would have made the stated assumption. Compare Scrivener, Full and Exact Collation. xxi, "Our present cursive manuscripts are but the representatives of venerable documents, which have long since perished" idem, Augiensis. xiii, regarding the cursive MSS. It is rare that we can find grounds for saying of one manuscript that it is a transcript of some other now remaining. It ill becomes us absolutely to reject as unworthy of serious discussion, the evidence of witnesses (whose mutual variations vouch for their independence and integrity). Burgon in 1883 continued to "strenuously recommend" Scrivener's theory as stated in his Full and Exact Collation (see Revision Revised. 238, continued note 3, quoted above, n. 13), and openly restated Scrivener's position in his own posthumous Traditional Text. 46-47, Of multitudes of them [i.e. Greek MSS] that survive, hardly any have been copied from any of the rest. Every one of them represents a MS. or a pedigree of MSS. older than itself. I venture to thinkand shall assume until I find that I am mistakenthat, besides the Uncials, all the cursive copies in existence represent lost Codexes of great antiquity (cf. also Traditional Text. 8, 36).
107 Henry Alford. The Greek New Testament: With a Critically Revised Text; a Digest of Various Readings; Marginal References to Verbal and Idiomatic Usage; Prolegomena; and a Critical and Exegetical Commentary. For the Use of Theological Students and Ministers. 7th ed. 4 vols. (Cambridge: Deighton, Bell, and Co. 1874), 1:91* (Prolegomena).
© 2002 TC: A Journal of Biblical Textual Criticism
http://purl.org/TC/vol07/Robinson2002.html Last modified: Wed Jul 10 17:32:22 EDT 2002