The Revision Committee of 1871 1885
In February 1870, a motion to consider a revision of the King James Version was passed by the Convocation of the Providence of Canterbury.
• Two committees were selected with 27 scholars each for the New and Old Testaments.
• The New Testament committee met 407 days over a period of 11 years. The New Testament was released May 17, 1881.
• The Old Testament committee met 792 days over a period of 15 years. The Old Testament was released May 19, 1885. English and American scholars joined together in this revision. Some of the English scholars included: Dr. Fenton J.A. Hort, Brooke Foss Westcott, G. Vance Smith and J.B. Lightfoot.
On this committee a statement of faith was set:
One of the statements included that no member could be on the committee if they rejected the deity of Christ (that Jesus was God in the flesh). When the revision committee started there were not enough corrections to update the King James. The committee decided not to use the Majority Text, which had been used for centuries. Instead they used manuscripts which were contrary to the King James. These manuscripts would later be the foundation of all modern versions excluding the N.K.J.V.
Unlike the translators of the King James, the revisers did their work a little differently.
1) The Old Testament committee met together and sat as one body secretly throughout the translation period which lasted 10 years. The New Testament committee did the same.
2) Each committee was left at the mercy of a determined leader to lead the weak and to dominate the rest.
3) No one from the outside was allowed to be a part of the translation.
4) All reports indicate that an “iron rule of silence” was imposed upon the revisers until the completion of the work.
5) At the completion of the work, the revisors had altered the Greek text in 5,337 places.
6) During the revision, ninety percent of the divisions that arose from the New Testament committee were caused by Hort’s determination that the New Testament Greek be based on the Codex Vaticanus (B).
Let's take a closer look at some of the men on the revision committee who were responsible for the changes that were made.
Fenton J.A. Hort – (1828 1892) Hort graduated from Cambridge, as did his partner in crime Westcott, as well as Charles Darwin, who mightily influenced Hort in the area of Creation. Later, it can be assumed that both Hort and Westcott became Theistic Evolutionists (the belief that God used Evolution to create the heavens and the earth), a popular theory which is held by many scholars today. In Matthew 7:20, Jesus said, "Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them."
The following is just some of Hort's fruit:
1. While he was only 23 years old, Hort referred to the Received Text as "villainous and vile". By his own confession, he had at the time read little of the Greek N.T. and knew nothing of Texts and nothing of Hebrew. His hatred was based on the false assumption that Textus Receptus was based only on late Manuscripts.
2. Hort writes to Westcott, October 17, 1865: "I have been persuaded for many years that Mary worship and Jesus worship have very much in common in their causes and their results."
3. Hort rejected the Blood Atonement of Christ.
4. In 1851, Hort joined the "Philosophical Society" in which he spent much of his time reading the works of Plato and Aristotle, this later influenced him in his study of the Scriptures.
5. Hort rejected the infallibility of the Holy Scriptures overwhelmingly in a letter to Lightfoot written in 1871.
6. In the same year, Hort joined the New Testament Revision Committee (1871). He was asked by the Bishop of Ely's to be a chaplin. When he replied to the Bishop, he admitted of his disbelief of the Scriptures, as well as the Blood Atonement and other doctrines and in spite of all this he was still hired as chaplain. For the next six years he lectured at Emmanuel College. The subjects were Origen...Clement of Alexandria ...etc.
7. Even Hort's mother, who was a strong Christian for many years, tried to get her son to realize the error of his ways. This later caused a barrier between them.
8. Hort’s purpose It is almost universally affirmed by modern scholarship that Hort's greatest and enduring achievement was to dethrone or kill the Textus Receptus.
Brooke Foss Westcott – (1825-1901) Westcott was one of the leaders of the Revision Committee along with Hort. Much that is said of Hort, can also be said of Westcott.
1. Westcott, at the age of 15, took an interest in Mormanism and started studying the Book of Morman. Two years later he went on to become a wizard.
2. In 1845, at the age 20, Westcott along with Hort, started a club in which they named the "Hermes" club. It is here where they practiced the occult. Even it’s name had pagan origins.
3. One year after the club started Westcott was interested in metaphysics. In that same year, he refers to evangelicals as “dangerous and unsound.”
4. In 1870 Westcott loses his voice and is bearly understandable.
5. Westcott referred to his Bible (R.S.V.) and his faith as a mere compromise.
G. Vance Smith
1. A Unitarian scholar who also denied the Deity of Christ, as well as the inspiration of scripture was allowed to be included on the New Testament Committee.
2. When others complained about his appointment, both Hort and Westcott as well as Bishop Thirlwall, threatened to resign if he (Smith) left.
3. We can only assume that these men denied the Deity of Christ as well. Some would think that Smith would have compromised his principles to be on the revision committee, but Vance Smith received Holy Communion with fellow revisors in Westminster Abbey on June 22, 1870. It is said that afterwards he did not join in reciting the Nicene Creed (the creed states that Jesus Christ is God the Son) and did not compromise his principles as a Unitarian.
Served on the American Standard Version committee. He was also a Unitarian. In the publishers introduction of Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon, page VIII, it is cited that:
1. Thayer denied the Trinity
2. Considered Christ as a mere man
3. The Holy Spirit was a force emanating from God.
4. Rejected the sinful condition of man, eternal punishment of the wicked and Biblical inerrancy. His work indicated that, “one did not need Christ as a Savior, but only as an example.”
It is interesting to see that there was another scholar on the English revision committee by the name of Dr. F.H.A. Scrivener who told of numerous omissions, 5,337 to be exact. He stated how the abuse men took liberties in changing the word of God.
"But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ." 2 Cor. 11:3
In other words, he made her question God's word. Did God really say that? Through doubt, which led to her disbelief, which led to her sin it affected the world to come.
In the New International Version, as well as other versions, many times either in the footnotes or even in the scriptures they say, "The most reliable early manuscripts and other ancient witnesses do not have...". One of these places is Mark16:9 20 which deals with the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Many of the people responsible, either in writing the modern versions or manuscripts themselves, were written by some of those who did not believe that Jesus rose from the dead. Some of these were Hort, Westcott, Smith, Origen, etc…
One could think that if Mark did not really record it, maybe the others didn't either. Maybe Christ was not raised from the dead at all. Some of the manuscripts that the modern versions are based on, mainly three, were believed to be influenced by Origen who was considered by many to be a heretic.
Many times I have been in churches where a portion of scripture is being read and total "confusion" comes over the congregation because their Bible does not say that.
How about you’re Bible? Do some investigation on your own.