Should We Trust The Westcott and Hort Greek Text?

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

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

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

Hort wrote to Westcott, “I entirely agree with what you say on the Atonement, having for many years believed that the absolute union of the Christian, or rather, of man, with Christ himself is the spiritual truth of which the popular doctrine of substitution is an immoral and material counterfeit.” Hort believed the Received Text to be vile and he sought revision in order to correct the “error and prejudices” in it. Hort believed in evolution; talked of a ransom being given to Satan; believed in purgatory; scoffed at the idea of an infallible Scripture; denied our guilt for Adam’s sin, and denied the Fall through Adam; considered Genesis 1-3 to be a parable, saying that no such place as Eden ever existed; denied the depravity of man by nature; disparaged Christ as the “believer’s God”; stated that God’s wrath was subservient to His mercy; etc. [Sources: Life and Letters of F. J. A. Hort, A. F. Hort, vol. 1, pp. 50, 78, 117, 213, 275, 329, 330, 332, 400, 416, 420-422, 424, 428, 430; vol. 2, pp. 30, 50].

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


Jay P. Green – “The Australian Beacon” – March 1993.

Hort rejected the Genesis account of creation and the fall of Adam

“I am inclined to think that no such state as Eden (I mean the popular notion) ever existed, and that Adam’s fall in no degree differed from the fall of each of his descendants.” (Life of Hort – Volume 1 – Page 78)


In 1886 Hort wrote the following in response to an Oxford University undergraduate’s questions on article 9 of the 39 articles of the “Church” of England concerning Original Sin.

“The authors of the article doubtless assumed the strictly historical character of the account of the Fall in Genesis. This assumption is now, in my belief, no longer reasonable.” (Life of Hort – Volume 2 – Page 239)

Hort: The Darwinian

In a letter to Westcott in 1860 he has this to say regarding his view of Charles Darwin’s ‘Origin of Species.’

“…Have you read Darwin?…In spite of difficulties, I am inclined to think it unanswerable. In any case it is a treat to read such a book.” (Life of Hort – Volume 1 – Page 414)


In 1860 in a letter to his friend John Ellerton he wrote:

“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…at present my feeling is strong that the theory is unanswerable.” (Life of Hort – Volume 1 – Page 416)

Hort Claims The Textus Receptus is “Vile”

December 29th – 1851: “I had no idea till the last few weeks of the importance of texts, having read so little Greek Testament, and dragged on with the villainous Textus Receptus. Think of that vile Textus Receptus leaning entirely on late MSS.; it is a blessing there are such early ones” (Life of Hort – Volume 1 – Page 211)

Westcott Rejects the first 3 chapters of Genesis

March 4th – 1890: “No one now, I suppose, holds that the first three chapters of Genesis, for example, give a literal history-I never could understand how any one reading them with open eyes could think they did.” (Life of Westcott – Volume 2 – Page 69)


Most of the so-called scholars of the religious world have accepted the Westcott and Hort Greek text. These were 2 supposed biblical scholars who lived in the 1800s. Mr Hort at 23 years old called the Textus Receptus a “vile text”. And he spent his entire lifetime in opposition to the Word of God much like certain men in our day who are motivated by filthy lucre attempting to prove that the Textus Receptus was an incorrect text. The Textus receptus is a Latin phrase which means the received text. It was called this because for 1600s years, until these 2 men came on the scene, it was received by the majority of the world and it is very closely aligned with what is called the majority text. In former times it was called the Byzantine Text, this was because it came out of the Byzantine Empire, or Constantinople, now known to us as Turkey. And this is where the Textus Receptus evolved from. And of course we know that originally this is where the assemblies of the Lord Jesus gathered. There was the assembly at Ephusus, the assembly at Colossi, the assembly of Troaz and there is of course Galatia. When Paul went on his first journey that we read about in Acts 13 and 14 to Galatia, we read that he went to Antioch. After he was thrown out of Antioch by the rabbis at the synagogue, he then went about 75 miles east to Iconia the following Sabbath, preached there, and these same Rabbis who were so angry that he drew such a large crowd that he outgrew them, they went over, stirred the people up, and had him thrown out of Iconia. Then he went down to a pagan city Lystra, the same rabbis stirred the people against them and had him thrown out of Lystra where they stoned him and left him for dead. He then went down to Derby and then back to Lystra, back to Iconiam, back to Antioch. The point is, they would have used the same text as that found in the Textus Receptus, which is the inspired word of God, preserved by God and read by the assemblies. This is where the Textus Receptus came from. So what happened in the 19th century? Hort recruited Westcott and they came together and on Hort’s pursuit to prove that the Textus Receptus was the incorrect text, they dug up the Codex Aleph (the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet). Then they came up with the Beyth (The second letter of the Hebrew alphabet), and they called them manuscript A and Manuscript B. Where did they get these manuscripts from? They got it out of what was called the Vaticannus and the Alexandrian text in Egypt.

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