HORT & WESCOTT - BIBLE TRANSLATORS

 

BROOKE FOSS WESTCOTT

&

FENTON JOHN ANTHONY HORT

 

One of the early pioneers of modern Spiritualist inquiry was the Ghost Society at the University of Cambridge, England. Alan Gauld has recorded in The Founders of Psychical Research the founding and objective of the Ghost Society:

"In 1851 was founded at Cambridge a Society to 'conduct a serious and earnest inquiry into the nature of the phenomena vaguely called supernatural,' and a number of distinguished persons became members." (56)

The Society For Psychical Research directly succeeded the Cambridge Ghost Society. The Society for Psychical Research: An Outline of its History, written in 1948 by the president, W. H. Salter, provides the following record:

"Among the numerous persons and groups who in the middle of the nineteenth century were making enquiries into psychical occurrences may be mentioned a society from which our own can claim direct descent. In the Life of Edward White Benson, Archbishop of Canterbury, by his son, A. C. Benson, will be found, under the year 1851-2, the following paragraph:

'Among my father's diversions at Cambridge was the foundation of a 'Ghost Society,' the forerunner of the Psychical Society [meaning the S.P.R.] for the investigation of the supernatural. Lightfoot, Westcott and Hort were among the members. He was then, as always, more interested in psychical phenomena than he cared to admit.'

"Lightfoot and Westcott both became bishops, and Hort Professor of Divinity. The S.P.R. has hardly lived up to the standard of ecclesiastical eminence set by the parent society." [parenthesis in original] (57)

The following are excerpts from The Life And Letters Of Fenton John Anthony Hort, published by his son Arthur Hort. These statements are representative of his theological beliefs, personal attitudes, and occult affiliations during his commission with B.F. Westcott to edit the New Greek Text. Many of the letters were written to B.F. Westcott, whose affinity for Roman Catholicism can be seen in the excerpts from his biography, The Life and Letters of Brooke Foss Westcott, written by his son, Arthur Westcott. The information revealed in these volumes renders both Hort and Westcott suspect as a qualified Bible translators.

 

THE LIFE AND LETTERS OF

FENTON JOHN ANTHONY HORT

 

Cambridge: Graduate Life -- 1851

"In June (F.J.A. Hort) joined the mysterious Company of the Apostles . . . He was mainly responsible for the wording of an oath which binds members to a conspiracy of silence . . . Two other societies. . . were started . . . in both of which Hort seems to have been the moving spirit . . . the other called by its members ‘The Ghostly Guild.' The object was to collect and classify authenticated instances of what are now called ‘psychical phenomena’ . . . the 'Bogie Club' as scoffers called it, aroused a certain amount of derision, and even some alarm; it was apparently born too soon." (58)

July 6, 1848 -- to Mr. John Ellerton -- On Roman Catholicism

" . . . almost all Anglican statements are a mixture in various proportions of the true and the Romish view . . . the pure Romish view seems to me nearer, and more likely to lead to, the truth than the Evangelical." (59)

November 16, 1849 -- to the Rev. F. D. Maurice -- On Substitutionary Atonement

"Thus there is the question of Substituted Punishment, which, as it seems to me, is quite distinct from the Atonement and reconciliation of the person of sinning man and God. I can at most times thankfully contemplate the fact of God's forgiveness (in the strict sense of the word; that is, removal of estrangement from the offender, irrespective of the non-enforcement of penalties) and His delight in humanity as restored through its Head; but surely this has little to do with the principle that every offence must receive its just recompense. The Father may forgive the child, and yet cannot justly exempt him from the punishment of disobedience;

"'Amen!' says the evangelical, 'the penalty must be paid somehow by somebody. The penalty is tortures to all eternity for each man. Christ, in virtue of the infinity which He derived from His Godhead, was able on earth to suffer tortures to be suffered by all mankind; God must have the tortures to satisfy His justice, but was not particular as to who was to suffer them, -- was quite unwilling to accept Christ's sufferings in lieu of mankind's suffering.'"

"O that Coleridge, while showing how the notion of a fictitious substituted righteousness, of a transferable stock of good actions, obscured the truth of man's restoration in the Man who perfectly acted out the idea of man, had expounded the truth (for such, I am sure, there must be) that underlies the corresponding heresy (as it appears to me) of a fictitious substituted penalty!...Nor, as far as I can recollect, have you anywhere written explicitly upon this point; even on the corresponding subject of vicarious righteousness, I know only of two pages...and they have not been able to make me feel assured that the language of imputation is strictly true, however sanctioned by St. Paul's example. The fact is, I do not see how God's justice can be satisfied without every man's suffering in his own person the full penalty for his sins." (60)

October 15, 1850 -- to B.F. Westcott -- On Evolution

" . . . I do not see why the inconceivableness of a beginning is any argument against any theory of development. The contrary theory is simply a harsh and contradictory attempt to conceive a beginning. That we are in doubt about the early history of organic life arises not from an impotence of conception, but from the mere fact that we were not there to see what, if it were taking place now, we certainly could see. The beginning of an individual is precisely as inconceivable as the beginning of a species...It certainly startles me to find you saying that you have seen no facts which support such as view as Darwin's...But it seems to me the most probable manner of development, and the reflexions suggested by his book drove me to the conclusion that some kind of development must be supposed." (61)

April 19, 1853 -- to Rev. John Ellerton -- On Bible Revision

"One result of our talk I may as well tell you. He (Westcott) and I are going to edit a Greek text of the New Testament some two or three years hence, if possible. Lachmann and Tischendorf will supply rich materials, but not nearly enough; and we hope to do a good deal with Oriental versions. Our object is to supply clergymen generally, schools, etc., with a portable Greek text which shall not be disfigured with Byzantine corruptions." (62)

October 21, 1858 -- to Rev. Dr. Rowland Williams -- On the Authority of Scripture

"Further I agree with them [authors of Essays and Reviews] in condemning many leading specific doctrines of the popular theology. . . The positive doctrines even of the Evangelicals seem to me perverted rather than untrue. There are, I fear still more serious differences between us on the subject of authority and especially the authority of the Bible . . . If this primary objection were removed, and I could feel our differences to be only of degree, I should still hesitate to take part in the proposed scheme. It is surely likely to bring on a crisis; and that I cannot think desirable on any account. The errors and prejudices, which we agree in wishing to remove, can surely be more wholesomely and also more effectually reached by individual efforts of an indirect kind than by combined open assault. At present very many orthodox but rational men are being unawares acted upon by influences which will assuredly bear good fruit in due time if is allowed to go on quietly; but I fear that a premature crisis would frighten back many into the merest traditionalism." (63)

April 3, 1860 -- to Rev. John Ellerton -- On Evolution

"But the book which has most engaged me is Darwin. Whatever may be thought of it, it is a book that one is proud to be contemporary with. I must work out and examine the argument more in detail, but at present my feeling is strong that the theory is unanswerable. If so, it opens up a new period in -- I know not what not." (64)

May 2, 1860 -- to B.F. Westcott -- On the Inerrancy of Scripture

"But I am not able to go as far as you in asserting the infallibility of a canonical writing. I may see a certain fitness and probability in such a view, but I cannot set up an a priori assumption against the (supposed) results of criticism." (65)

August 14, 1860 -- to B.F. Westcott -- On the Divinity of Man

"It is of course true that we can only know God through human forms, but then I think the whole Bible echoes the language of Genesis 1:27 and so assures us that human forms are divine forms." (66)

August 16, 1860 -- to B.F. Westcott -- On Substitutionary Atonement

"Perhaps we may be too hasty in assuming an absolute necessity of absolutely proportional suffering. I confess I have no repugnance to the primitive doctrine of a ransom paid to Satan though neither am I prepared to give full assent to it. But I can see no other possible form in which the doctrine of a ransom is at all tenable; anything is better than the notion of a ransom paid to the Father." (67)

October 15, 1860 -- to B.F. Westcott -- On Substitutionary Atonement

"I entirely agree--correcting one word--with what you there say on the Atonement, having for many years believed that 'the absolute union of the Christian (or rather, of man) with Christ Himself' is the spiritual truth of which the popular doctrine of substitution is an immoral and material counterfeit. But I doubt whether that answers the question as to the nature of the satisfaction. Certainly nothing can be more unscriptural than the modern limiting of Christ's bearing our sins and sufferings to His death; but indeed that is only one aspect of an almost universal heresy." (68)

April 12, 1861 -- to B.F. Westcott -- On Heresy

"Also -- but this may be cowardice -- I have sort of a craving our text should be cast upon the world before we deal with matters likely to brand us with suspicion. I mean a text issued by men already known for what will undoubtedly be treated as dangerous heresy, will have great difficulties in finding its way to regions which it might otherwise reach, and whence it would not be easily banished by subsequent alarms." (69)

December 4, 1861-- to B.F. Westcott -- On Greek Philosophy

"My chief impression is a strong feeling of incapacity to criticize, partly from want of knowledge, and still more from not having fully thought out cardinal questions, such as the relation of ‘philosophy’ and ‘faith’; e.g., you seem to me to make (Greek) philosophy worthless for those who have received the Christian revelation. To me, though in a hazy way, it seems full of precious truth of which I find nothing, and should be very much astonished and perplexed to find anything, in revelation…Without condemning anything you have said on the Stoics, I yet feel you have not done them justice. The spiritual need which supported, if it did not originate, their doctrine is, I think, profoundly interesting, above all in the present day." (70)

September 23, 1864 -- to B.F. Westcott -- On Protestantism

"… and I remember shocking you and Lightfoot not so very long ago by expressing a belief that Protestantism is only parenthetical and temporary. In short, the Irvingite [Catholic Apostolic] creed (minus the belief in the superior claims of the Irvingite communion) seems to me unassailable in things ecclesiastical." (71)

NOTE: David J. Engelsma writes in "Try the Spirits -- A Reformed Look at Pentecostalism" (1988)

"It is noteworthy that the Irvingite movement, a precursor of Pentecostalism in England in the 1800s, named after its leader, Edward Irving, did appoint twelve apostles. In doing so, the movement was consistent. It is also worthy of note that, although it hesitates to call them apostles, Pentecostalism today is ascribing to its leaders powers that only apostles possess: a personal, absolute authority over the church, or fellowship; new revelations of His will for the church from God; extra-Biblical teachings which are binding upon the saints."

This was written in 1988; today the Latter Rain Movement claims it will soon have 35 Apostles. Westcott and Hort also belonged to the mysterious "Company of Apostles." Vera Alder's New Age handbook, When Humanity Comes of Age, foretells a Council of Twelve which would reign with Antichrist in the New World Order:

"[T]he World Government and its Spiritual Cabinet of 12, headed by 'the Christ' will study all archaeological archives… From it, the Research Panel would develop the 'New' Bible of a World Religion which would be the basis of future education." (72)

April 28, 1865 -- to B.F. Westcott -- On Democracy

"I dare not prophesy about America, but cannot see that I see much as yet to soften my deep hatred of democracy in all its forms." (73)

October 11 and 12, 1865 -- to B.F. Westcott -- On The Cross

"I am very far from pretending to understand completely the ever renewed vitality of Mariolotry. But is not much accounted for, on the evil side, by the natural reverence of the religious instinct to idolatry and creature worship and aversion to the Most High; and on the good side, by a right reaction from the inhuman and semi-diabolical character with which God in invested in all modern orthodoxies -- Zeus and Prometheus over again? In Protestant countries the fearful notion 'Christ the believer's God' is the result." (74)

October 17, 1865 – to B.F. Westcott -- On Roman Catholicism

"I have been persuaded for many years that Mary-worship and ‘Jesus’-worship have very much in common in their causes and results…we condemn all secondary human mediators as injurious to the One, and shut our eyes to the indestructible fact of existing human mediation which is to be found everywhere. But this last error can hardly be expelled till Protestants unlearn the crazy horror of the idea of priesthood." (75)

May 14, 1870 -- to Rev. J.Ll. Davies -- On The Trinity

"No rational being doubts the need of a revised Bible; and the popular practical objections are worthless. Yet I have an increasing feeling in favor of delay. Of course, no revision can be final, and it would be absurd to wait for perfection. But the criticism of both Testaments in text and interpretation alike, appears to me to be just now in that chaotic state (in Germany hardly if at all less than in England), that the results of immediate revision would be peculiarly unsatisfactory…I John 5:7 might be got rid of in a month; and if that were done, I should prefer to wait a few years." (76)

July 7, 1870 -- to a Friend -- On Bible Revision

"It is quite impossible to judge the value of what appear to be trifling alterations merely by reading them one after another. Taken together, they have often important bearings which few would think of at first . . . The difference between a picture say of Raffaelle and a feeble copy of it is made up of a number of trivial differences . . . We have successfully resisted being warned off dangerous ground, where the needs of revision required that it should not be shirked . . . It is, one can hardly doubt, the beginning of a new period in Church history. So far the angry objectors have reason for their astonishment." (77)

November 12, 1871 -- to the Bishop of Ely -- On Substitutionary Atonement

"But it does not seem to me any disparagement to the sufferings and death of the Cross to believe that they were the acting out and the manifestation of an eternal sacrifice, even as we believe that the sonship proceeding from the miraculous birth of the Virgin Mary was the acting out and manifestation of the eternal sonship. -- So also the uniqueness of the great Sacrifice seems to me not to consist in its being a substitute which makes all other sacrifices useless and unmeaning, but in its giving them the power and meaning which of themselves they could not have... He (Mr. Maurice) may have dwelt too exclusively on that idea of sacrifice which is suggested by Hebrews x. 5 - 10, and he may have failed to make clear that Sacrifice is not the only way of conceiving Atonement..." (78)

 

THE LIFE AND LETTERS

OF BROOKE FOSS WESTCOTT

 

January, 1852 -- On Spiritualism

"His devotion with ardour is indicated in a 'Ghostly Circular' authorized by him. 'The interest and importance of a serious and earnest inquiry into the nature of the phenomena which are vaguely called 'supernatural' will scarcely be questioned.' . . . My father ceased to interest himself in these matters not altogether, I believe, from want of faith in what, for lack of a better name one must call Spiritualism, but because he was seriously convinced that such investigations led to no good. But there are many others who believe it possible that the beings of the unseen world may manifest themselves to us in extraordinary ways, and also are unable otherwise to explain in many facts the evidence for which cannot be impeached." (79)

Second Sunday after Epiphany, 1847 -- To His Fiancée -- On Mariolotry

"After leaving the monastery, we shaped our course to a little oratory which we discovered on the summit of a neighboring hill…Fortunately we found the door open. It is very small, with one kneeling place; and behind a screen was a ‘Pieta’ the size of life [i.e., a Virgin and dead Christ]…Had I been alone I could have knelt there for hours.’" (80)

November 17, 1865 -- To Rev. Benson -- On Mariolotry

"B.F. Westcott promoted visions of ‘the Virgin’ in LaSalette, France… ‘As far as I could judge, the idea of LaSalette was that of God revealing himself now, and not in one form but in many.’" (81)

May 5, 1860 -- To F.J.A. Hort -- On Infallibility of Scripture

"For I too 'must disclaim settling for infallibility.' In the front of my convictions all I hold is the more I learn, the more I am convinced that fresh doubts come from my own ignorance, and that at present I find the presumption in favor of the absolute truth -- I reject the word infallibility -- of Holy Scripture overwhelming." (82)

June 14, 1886 -- To the Archbishop of Canterbury -- On Heaven

"No doubt the language of the rubric is unguarded, but it saves us from the error of connecting the presence of Christ's glorified humanity with place: heaven is a state and not a place." (83)

March 4, 1890 -- To the Archbishop of Canterbury -- On Creation

"No one now, I suppose holds that the first three chapters of Genesis, for example, give a literal history -- I could never understand how any one reading them with open eyes could think they did -- yet they disclose to us a gospel." (84)

November, 1895 -- Address at Manchester to the Christian Social Union -- On Christian Socialism

"The Christian Law, then is the embodiment of the truth for action, in forms answering to the conditions of society from age to age. The embodiment takes place slowly and can never be complete. It is impossible for us to rest indolently in conclusions of the past. In each generation the obligation is laid on Christians to bring new problems of conduct into the divine light and to find their solution under the teaching of the Spirit." (85)

Backgrounds and Quotations from Robert Baker' copyrighted article in
Another Bible,Another Gospel


Another Bible, Another Gospel with Tables of Comparison of Selected Scriptures is available in a 30 page bound booklet which is a helpful tool for those interested in comparing Scripture verses in the major versions. The booklet is available upon request from: Watch Unto Prayer, P.O. Box 2323, Wayne, NJ 07474-2323 or you may e-mail Watch Unto Prayer.

* * *

The Modern Bible Versions

 

ENDNOTES

  1. Kenneth Barker, The NIV: The Making of a Contemporary Translation, (Zondervan Corp., 1983), p. 18.
  2. G.A. Riplinger, New Age Bible Versions,(A.V. Publications Corp., Box 280, Ararat, Va., 24053, 1993 #800-43504535), p. 534.
  3. David Otis Fuller, Which Bible?, (Grand Rapids International Publications, 1970, #616-456-8190), pp. 187-88.
  4. Ibid., 192.
  5. Ibid.
  6. Ibid., pp. 195, 220, 197.
  7. New Age Bible Versions, p. 526.
  8. Ibid., pp. 549-50.
  9. Which Bible?, p. 193.
  10. Which Bible?, pp. 225-26.
  11. Ibid., p. 215.
  12. Ibid., p. 227.
  13. Robert J. Sargent, Landmarks of English Bible: Manuscript Evidence, Bible for Today Press, 1992, 1-800-JOHN 10:9, pp. 74-75.
  14. Ibid., p. 228.
  15. Ibid., p. 236.
  16. Ibid., p. 248.
  17. D.A. Waite, Th.D., Ph.D., Defending the King James Bible, Bible for Today Press, 1992, #1-800-JOHN 10:9, pp. 40, 45-49, 54, 57. bft@juno.com
  18. Which Bible?, p. 34.
  19. Landmarks of English Bible: Manuscript Evidence, p. 75.
  20. Samuel C. Gipp, Th.D., An Understandable History of the Bible, Macedonia Ohio, 1987, pp. 111-12.
  21. Benjamin Wilkinson, Our Authorized Bible Vindicated, Takoma Park, 1930, p. 136.
  22. An Understandable History of the Bible, p. 114.
  23. Which Bible, p, 283.
  24. Defending the King James Bible, p. 41.
  25. John William Burgon, The Revision Revised, (Dean Burgon Society Press, Box 354, Collingswood, NJ, 08108), p. 509. bft@juno.com
  26. Arthur Hort, Life and Letters of Fenton John Anthony Hort, Volume I, (New York Macmillan and Co., 1896), p. 250. (Available through The Bible For Today Press, #1-800-JOHN 10:9) bft@juno.com
  27. Arthur Hort, Vol. I, p 250.
  28. David Cloud, Way of Life Encyclopedia, 1219 North Harns Road, Oak Harbor, WA 98277. http://wayoflife.org/~dcloud
  29. New King James Version, (Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1982), Preface, "The New Testament Text."
  30. The Revision Revised, p. 319.
  31. Which Bible?, p. 295.
  32. The Revision Revised, pp. 11, 12, 16.
  33. Which Bible?, p. 284.
  34. The Revision Revised, p. 506.
  35. Ibid., p. 24.
  36. Defending the King James Bible, p. 39.
  37. New Age Bible Versions, p. 498.
  38. Ibid., pp. 131-148.
  39. Ibid., front page.
  40. Burton Goddard, The NIV Story, (Vantage Press, C. 1989), p. 37.
  41. New Age Bible Versions, p. 548.
  42. Ibid., p. 499.
  43. New Age Bible Versions, p. 380.
  44. Life of Hort, Vol. II, (New York Macmillan and Co., 1896), p. 128.
  45. New Age Bible Versions, p. 379.
  46. Ibid., p. 28.
  47. Report by Michael J. Penfold, Box 26, Bicester, Oxon, OX6 8PB, England, UK as cited in "Two Homosexuals and the NIV," Dec. 4, 1997, David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, 1701 Harns Rd., Oak Harbor, WA 98277.
  48. Ibid.; Virginia Mollenkott, Sensuous Spirituality, Out From Fundamentalism, (Crossroad Publishing Co.), 1992, pp. 12, 26, 144, 115.
  49. Defending the King James Bible, p. 23, 124, 125.
  50. New King James Version, Preface, "The New Testament Text."
  51. Which Bible is God’s Word?, Gail Riplinger, (Hearthstone Publishing Ltd., 1994), pp. 26, 47, 76.
  52. Ibid., p. 38.
  53. Defending the King James Bible, p. 249.
  54. "Catholics and Protestants, Can We Walk Together?," Charisma Magazine, July, 1995, p. 23.
  55. David F. Wells, No Place For Truth, (William B. Erdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, Mich., 1993), p. 296.
  56. Alan Gauld, The Founders of Psychical Research, (Schocken Books, New York, 1968), p. 66.
  57. W.H. Salter, The Society For Psychical Research: An Outline of its History, London, 1948, pp. 5,6.
  58. Arthur Hort, Vol. I, pp. 170-172.
  59. Ibid., p. 76.
  60. Ibid., pp. 119, 120.
  61. Ibid., pp. 430, 431.
  62. Ibid., p. 250.
  63. Ibid., p. 400.
  64. Ibid., p. 416.
  65. Ibid., p. 422.
  66. Ibid., p. 427.
  67. Ibid., p. 428.
  68. Ibid., p. 430.
  69. Ibid., p. 445.
  70. Ibid., p. 449.
  71. Arthur Hort, Vol. II, p. 31.
  72. Vera Alder, When Humanity Comes of Age, New York: Samuel Weiser, 1974, p. 39.
  73. Arthur Hort, Vol. II, p. 34.
  74. Ibid., pp. 49, 50.
  75. Ibid., pp. 50, 51.
  76. Ibid., p. 128.
  77. Ibid., pp. 138, 139.
  78. Ibid., p. 158.
  79. Arthur Westcott, Life and Letters of Brooke Foss Westcott, (New York Macmillan and Co., 1896), Vol. I, p. 118, 119. (Available through The Bible For Today Press, #1-800-JOHN 10:9.) bft@juno.com
  80. Ibid., p. 81.
  81. Ibid., p. 251; New Age Bible Versions, p. 123.
  82. Arthur Westcott, Vol. I, p. 207.
  83. Arthur Westcott, Vol. II, p. 49.
  84. Ibid., p. 69.
  85. Ibid., p. 197.

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