When Dr Vance Smith, a Unitarian, was appointed to the Committee to revise the Authorised Version, public opinion objected to the appointment and Drs Westcott and Hort (Hort, also, leaning towards Unitarianism) said that if Dr Smith was not allowed then neither would they be involved in the revision.

All three were permitted to contribute to the revision and during that revision Drs Westcott and Hort approached other members of the committee, singly, seeking to influence them in regard to the Greek text being translated - the Received Text, also called the Textus Receptus.

The ensuing revision resulted in the imposition of a new Greek text (that of Drs Westcott and Hort) in 1881, something not envisaged by the purpose of the revision. Many objected to this, among them Dean John Burgon who, in his book ‘Revision Revised’, pointed out that between the two manuscripts upon which the W&H text strongly depended, Codex Aleph (Sinaiticus) and Codex B (Vaticanus), there was disagreement in over three thousand places in just the four gospels.

Hermon Hoskier, in his book ‘Codex B and its Allies’ demonstrated that there had been a recension (a supposed ‘reversion’ to the original) in the fifth century, based on Egyptian and Coptic influence, resulting in a corrupted text.

The correction of this recension, of the fifth century, resulted in the Received Text.

Hermon Hoskier further demonstrated that the two manuscripts upon which Drs Westcott and Hort so much relied were, in fact, proof of the corrupt recension. The reason they survived, say Dean John Burgon and Hermon Hoskier, is that they were recognised for their fault and were little used, just retained as reference.

The resulting Greek text of Westcott and Hort can be seen to be weakened, compared to the Received Text, in many places where the Deity of Christ and where the relationship of Father and Son are in view. (See below for just a few of those places.)

Overall, about 9,000 alterations, additions and deletions were made to the Received Text (see Dr Scrivener’s comparative text of 1881) amounting to about 7% of the text. And it is noticeable to anyone who studies these changes in detail that there is a definite bias appearing in regard to the deliberate favouring of Codices Aleph and B on these particular occasions.

What is the response of those who favour the so-called ‘Critical Text’ above the Received Text to the overall changes in emphasis seen in these texts - the bias evidently towards Unitarianism ?

A full explanation of the following texts and the effect of changing them is available here. (See the PDF version for a much better display of the Greek letters.)

  • ... and they worshipped him ... Luke 24:52

  • ... the only begotten Son ... John 1:18

  • ... the Son of man, which is in heaven ... John 3:13

  • ... purchased with his own blood ... Acts 20:28

  • ... Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever ... Romans 9:5

  • ... neither let us tempt Christ ... 1 Corinthians 10:9

  • ... singing to the Lord ... Colossians 3:16

  • ... God was manifest in flesh ... 1 Timothy 3:16

  • ... the dead ... stand before God ... Revelation 20:12

Note (edit)

I have used the word 'bias' in its second meaning as listed by the Oxford English Dictionary - 'to exert an influence unduly'. This is exactly, precisely, a description (as demonstrated in detail by Herman Hoskier in 'Codex B and its Allies' and Dean John Burgon in his book 'Revision Revised') of placing undue preponderance on just two manuscripts against the vast weight of evidence contained in over 5,000 other Uncials and miniscules, the Patristic Citations, the Versions and the Lectionary quotations. It results in a bias introduced in the fifth century and reproduced in the Critical Text as the above examples clearly indicate.

  • 1
    I found the following "LONG" article by Wallace and he address this issue at length. He also addresses Westcot and Hort. bereanpatriot.com/… It's really detailed but relatively easy to understand. I did not read the whole thing but I hope it helps as it relates to your question. Lastly, and this is a question I have? Your thread states for "Unitarians," yet Biblical Unitarians believe the Bible is the only source of truth where Unitarian Universalists deny the Bible is the source of truth, just saying!
    – Mr. Bond
    Apr 2, 2022 at 18:08
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    @Mr.Bond The article to which you refer states (towards the end) that it is 'personal opinion' : and indeed it is. It does not cover the depth that it is expressed by such devoted, lifelong experts as Dean John Burgon and Herman Hoskier. I did not find an answer to the question in that article, I am afraid. (Though I did read it, as you suggested.)
    – Nigel J
    Apr 2, 2022 at 18:30
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    I have just finished reading the entire article from the link given by Mr. Bond. What it says about Westcott and Hort is interesting, especially since they stuck to the "older is better" rule on textual criticism. Because of this their N.T. relied heavily upon Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus. Yet in the last ~140 years since the Westcott & Hort 1881 Critical Text, papyri from the 300s, 200s, and even a few from the 100s have been discovered. Despite this, the Critical Text of the New Testament remains virtually unchanged from ~140 years ago. Hort said the Textus Receptus "was vile".
    – Lesley
    May 12, 2022 at 16:38

3 Answers 3


There are many scholars who advocate for the Critical Text and reject the claim that it preserves an anti-Trinitarian corruption:

  • Bruce Metzger - Metzger was a prominent New Testament scholar and textual critic who was involved in the production of several major editions of the Greek New Testament. He argued that the evidence for the anti-Trinitarian corruption is weak and that the Critical Text is the most reliable representation of the original text.

  • Bart Ehrman - Ehrman is a well-known New Testament scholar and author who has written extensively on textual criticism. He has argued that the evidence for the anti-Trinitarian corruption is unconvincing and that the Critical Text is the most accurate representation of the original text.

  • Daniel Wallace - Wallace is a professor of New Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary and a leading authority on textual criticism. He has written extensively on the topic and has argued that the Critical Text is the most reliable representation of the original text.

  • Michael Holmes - Holmes is a textual scholar who has worked on several major editions of the Greek New Testament, including the SBL Greek New Testament. He has argued that the charge of anti-Trinitarianism is unfounded and that the Critical Text is the most reliable representation of the original text.

According to proponents of the Critical Text, the claim that it preserves an anti-Trinitarian corruption is based on a misinterpretation of the evidence. The textual variants in question are relatively minor and do not have any bearing on the doctrine of the Trinity. In addition, the textual variants are not unique to the Critical Text but are found in other manuscript traditions as well. The specific textual variants that have been cited as potentially anti-Trinitarian by some scholars are primarily found in certain manuscripts of the New Testament and include passages such as 1 John 5:7-8 and John 1:18:

  • 1 John 5:7-8 is a disputed passage that reads, For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one (ὅτι τρεῖς εἰσιν οἱ μαρτυροῦντες, τὸ Πνεῦμα καὶ τὸ ὕδωρ καὶ τὸ αἷμα, καὶ οἱ τρεῖς εἰς τὸ ἕν εἰσιν). This passage is absent from the majority of Greek manuscripts but is found in some later manuscripts such as the Codex Montfortianus and in Latin manuscripts such as the Codex Monacensis and the Codex Ottobonianus.

  • John 1:18 is another disputed passage that reads, No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him (Θεὸν οὐδεὶς ἑώρακεν πώποτε· μονογενὴς υἱός, ὁ ὢν εἰς τὸν κόλπον τοῦ πατρὸς, ἐκεῖνος ἐξηγήσατο). Some manuscripts, including the Codex Sinaiticus, read "God only begotten" (μονογενὴς θεὸς) instead of "only begotten Son" (μονογενὴς υἱός) which has led some scholars to suggest that this reading is anti-Trinitarian.

However, it's important to note that the overwhelming majority of textual variants in the New Testament are minor and do not have any significant impact on Christian doctrine. While some scholars may interpret these textual variants as evidence of anti-Trinitarianism, others argue that they do not undermine the core teachings of the Christian faith.

Furthermore, proponents of the Critical Text argue that the charge of anti-Trinitarianism is historically unfounded. The doctrine of the Trinity was well established by the fifth century and there is no evidence to suggest that the scribes who produced the variant readings had any intention of altering the doctrine.

  • 1
    This skirts the subject and makes claims but without hard reference, without direct quotes of authorities 'He has argued ; He has argued ; He has written extensively.' But where is the direct quote ? This is hearsay, not evidence of the actual argument put forth with a substantial foundation. Nor is there any textual evidence presented, only - yet again - assertions but without the direct evidence.
    – Nigel J
    Apr 12, 2023 at 19:39

The question itself seems to make some unwarranted assumptions. As a non-Trinitarian, I support the Received Text (Textus Receptus) and/or the Majority Text. There is no need to think that the revised versions, as meddled with by Westcott and Hort and others, are either more accurate, or necessary to a proper understanding of God the Father and the Son of God.

Jesus taught that the Father was in him. He did not, however, teach that he was the Father. None of the passages touching on the deity of Christ say that it was Christ himself who was God--and, as far as I know, this holds true regardless of the manuscript in question. Many seem to think that "son of God" is the same as "God." But this is neither true in English, nor in Greek. The reference to John 1:18 is an interesting case in point--the alteration is that which changed "son" to "God" such that the ESV, for example, has translated it as "No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, he has made him known." This is a ridiculous translation, and contradicts the rest of the book of John which identifies the Father as God. If "the only God" is "at the Father's side," then, obviously, the Father cannot be God. Therefore, the corruption is easy to identify, because it is a corruption which will introduce a contradiction.

The word "son" has a meaning, and the expression changes in its significance if this word is dropped. If the full expression were "the son of the Father," dropping "Father," and saying just "the son," would change its meaning very little, but dropping "son," and saying just "the Father," would change it completely.

The son of the Father = the Son
The son of the Father ≠ the Father

The changes made in the modern revisions with reference to Christ, his lordship, and his identity, are both unnecessary and specious. It is these changes which constitute a corruption of the text, and not the other way around. Nothing is "preserved" in the critical text, but rather it is destroyed.

The Catholic church, never one to be shy about its accomplishments, publishes quite openly regarding the changes it made to the Biblical manuscripts. The work of editing those manuscripts was documented during the late nineteenth century / early twentieth century1.

Catholic Revisions

Here is what they say about these manuscripts.

(2) Ancient Versions

Several are derived from original texts prior to the most ancient Greek MSS. These versions are, following the order of their age, Latin, Syriac, Egyptian, Armenian, Ethiopian, Gothic, and Georgian. The first three, especially the Latin and the Syriac, are of the greatest importance. (I) Latin version.—Up to about the end of the fourth century, it was diffused in the West (Pro-consular Africa, Rome, Northern Italy, and especially at Milan, in Gaul, and in Spain) in slightly different forms. The best known of these is that of St. Augustine called the “Itala”, the sources of which go as far back as the second century. In 383 St. Jerome revised the Italic type after the Greek MSS., the best of which did not differ much from the text represented by the Vaticanus and the Sinaiticus. It was this revision, altered here and there by readings from the primitive Latin version and a few other more recent variants, that prevailed in the west from the sixth century under the name of Vulgate. (2) Syriac Version.—Three primitive types are represented by the Diatessaron of Tatian (second cent.), the palimpsest of Sinai, called the Lewis codex from the name of the lady who found it (third cent., perhaps from the end of the second), and the Codex of Cureton (third cent.). The Syriac Version of this primitive epoch that still survives contains only the Gospels. Later, in the fifth century, it was revised after the Greek text. The most widespread of these revisions, which became almost the official version, is called the Pesitta (Peshitto, simple, vulgate); the others are called Philoxenian (sixth cent.), Heraclean (seventh cent.), and Syro-Palestinian (sixth cent.). (3) Egyptian Version.—The best-known type is that called Bohairic (used in the Delta from Alexandria to Memphis) and also Coptic from the generic name Copt, which is a corruption of the Greek aiguptos Egyptian. It is the version of Lower Egypt and dates from the fifth century. A greater interest is attached to the version of Upper Egypt, called the Sahidic, or Theban, which is a work of the third century, perhaps even of the second. Unfortunately it is only incompletely known as yet.

These ancient versions will be considered precise and firm witnesses of the Greek text of the first three centuries only when we have critical editions of them; for they themselves are represented by copies that differ from one another. The work has been undertaken and is already fairly advanced. The primitive Latin version had been already reconstituted by the Benedictine D. Sabatier (“Bibliorum Sacrorum latinm versiones antiquae seu Vetus Italica”, Reims, 1743, 3 vols.); the work has been taken up again and completed in the English collection “Old-Latin Biblical Texts” (1883-1911), still in course of publication. The critical edition of the Latin Vulgate published at Oxford by the Anglicans Wordsworth and White, from 1889 to 1905, gives the Gospels and the Acts. In 1907 the Benedictines received from Pius X the commission to prepare a critical edition of the Latin Bible of St. Jerome (Old and New Testament). The “Diatessaron” of Tatian is known to us by the Arabic version edited in 1888 by Msgr. Ciasca, and by the Armenian version of a commentary of St. Ephraem (which is founded on the Syriac of Tatian) translated into Latin, in 1876, by the Mechitarists Auchar and Moesinger. The recent publications of H. Von Soden have contributed to make the work of Tatian better known. Mrs. A. S. Lewis has just published a comparative edition of the Syriac palimpsest of Sinai (1910); this had been already done by F. C. Burkitt for the Cureton codex, in 1904. There exists also a critical edition of the Peshitto by G. H. Gwilliam (1901). As regards the Egyptian versions of the Gospels, the recent edition of G. Horner (1901-1911, 5 vols.) has put them at the disposition of all those who read Coptic and Sahidic. The English translation, that accompanies them, is meant for a wider circle of readers.

Notice how, strangely, the Catholic encyclopedia considers these other-language manuscripts to be more "original" than "the most ancient Greek MSS"? This was because the Latin, etc. were in their own hands and were edited/altered by them, as they document in the record. Notice how many times they reference a "revision" and speak of the work of correcting and revising these texts.

When they say "The work has been undertaken and is already fairly advanced," they refer, of course, to a work that is now completed, as this encyclopedic entry is about a century old. They were documenting what was taking place in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century. It was during about this time that Westcott and Hort did their work. It is interesting that the Catholic record does not mention their names, nor does it record who was doing the work they referenced.

Clues from the Dead Sea Scrolls

Dr. Bill Barrick, a Hebrew professor who has served as a consultant to nine Bible-translation projects, explains that the scribes who copied the Biblical manuscripts regarded them as so sacred that even when they had made copying errors, and were forced to reject the flawed manuscript, they would not burn it, nor destroy it. Because it contained portions of the sacred scripture, they still handled it carefully. They placed these manuscripts in earthen jars, and gave them an honorable burial. The Dead Sea Scrolls, found in Qumran, are these flawed manuscripts. We know they are incomplete because the Jews considered the name of God to be so sacred that a separate scribe would write it, and there are many blanks in the manuscripts where the name was not yet added.

The Dead Sea Scrolls are considered to be as much as 1000 years older than the Masoretic texts used to translate most Bibles today (certainly any Bible pre-dating their discovery in about 1947). They were well preserved in their earthen vessels within those desert caves.

The fact that these manuscripts have many flaws, and yet appear older, is of considerable interest in the discussion of which manuscripts are actually superior: those appearing "more ancient," or those which appear newer, likely because they were worn out from being copied and were replaced. The ones chosen to be used, and copied, would certainly be the ones deemed superior by the scribes, who had very strict policies with the work of copying. Errors were not tolerated. Even if a "typo" had crept into the text, it was forbidden to correct it--the scribes would make a marginal note to indicate if they had observed another version of the manuscript to have had a different spelling, but they would not make any change to the manuscript being copied. In many cases, those other manuscripts referenced have not survived, and these marginal notes are all we have to help us understand the possible changes as well as the strict culture among the scribes of preserving the text exactly.


A careful review of the manuscripts will show that in most cases the "anti-Trinitarian" versions are actually the most reliable. The "corruptions" are those of the "critical text" line, and this line is well-known for its origination in Egypt. The codex siniaiticus, codex vaticanus, and codex alexandrinus, the three dominant minority texts used in the modern translations, are all part of the "critical text" which Westcott and Hort promoted following their edits.

1 A footnote on the Catholic encyclopedia website says: "Catholic Answers is pleased to provide this unabridged entry from the original Catholic Encyclopedia, published between 1907 and 1912."

  • 1
    I would have expected which addressed my question, namely, the matter of the Coptic Recension and its subsequent effect, which requires revision. It is the Coptic Recension which alters the emphasis of scripture.
    – Nigel J
    Dec 2, 2022 at 22:47
  • 1
    " He did not, however, teach that he was the Father." The trinitarian claim is exactly that the Son is not the Father and great care is taken in claiming it. If you understand that trinitarianism teaches that the Son is the Father then you do not understand trinity doctrine. Dec 3, 2022 at 23:02
  • 1
    Do you think ""the Father" is God's name? Jesus' controversial claim is that "God is his own personal, private, particular Father" (John 5:18 - The adjective ιδιος (idios) means one's own or private as opposed to public, or peculiar as opposed to normal or general.) God is not Jesus' Father in the same general sense as He is ours, by dint of creation. Common sense tells us that what is begotten is equal in nature to what begets. The Bible is clear that the Jews understood this perfectly and wanted to stone Him for blasphemy. Dec 4, 2022 at 13:43
  • 2
    It seems pretty clear that Jesus' claim to be the son of God, or that God was his Father, is distinct from the sonship of, say, Adam. The clarity comes from just what the link you provided describes. A normal claim of sonship would never have enraged the Jews as it did but, as it stands, they accused Jesus of blasphemy which is not a reaction that the term (as you understand it) would ever provoke. The claim Jesus made was understood by them as a claim of equality with God and that does not indicate a common usage of "son of God". My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. Dec 6, 2022 at 13:44
  • 2
    If it was common usage they wouldn't have thought he was claiming equality with God. Dec 6, 2022 at 15:24

The variants can be explained without personal attacks on the integrity of genuine Textual Critics, they should start questioning the integrity of traditional and orthodox corruptors of scriptures. There are some anti-KJV people attack the KJV because King James was reportedly a homosexual; the attacks against WH made by the KJVonlyists are on the same line. The allegation would be true if there were real evidence of sexual licentiousness found in the KJV; or if there were really anti-Trinitarian bias found in the WH. The TR and Syrian/Byz edition have been followed by the Unitarian JWs as well, should we start accusing the TR as having a Unitarian bias for that?

The Textus-Receptus and Byzantine proponents cannot exercise the science of TC or ecclecticism unless they abandon their man man tradition of dogmas which acts as a golden calf; the problem is methodological and fundamental. The fleshly motivation comes from the desire to form a physical tangible thing to base their faith upon, thus, they presuppose a certain Bible version (KJV/Textus-Receptus etc) as their definite text or an earthly divine organization or council (Vatican/Sanhedrin), whereas the followers of truth base their faith upon God, and admits that their Bible is indefinite or uncertain. Their arguments do not hold any water in light of evidence. The inferior variants in those select mss can be explained as bias for or against certain Christology such as Adoptionism and Modalism; or to enforce Christ's deity generally against the Gnostics.

Daniel Wallace thoroughly refutes the KJVonlyist/TR position by exposing holes in the arguments of John Burgon who began this movement. See this long article The Majority Text Theory: History, Methods and Critique (1994). Wallace, cites the key "vitriolic" beliefs from the "acid pen" of that irrational man:

Here, in seed plot, are the main arguments of the MT theory to this day (1) a theological a priori that God has preserved the text, and that such a preserved text has been accessible to the Church in every age, (2) an assumption that heretics have on a large scale corrupted the text, (3) an argument from statistical probability related to the corollary of accessibility (viz that the majority is more likely to contain the original wording), and (4) a pronouncement that all early Byzantine MSS must have worn out There is also a fifth point to be inferred from these four (5) Arguments based on internal evidence (e g canons such as preference for the harder and shorter readings) are invalid since determination of the text is based on the "objective" evidence of quantity of MSS

There is no question of either Scrivener's or Hoskier's scholarship. And although it is true that neither Scrivener nor Hoskier embraced the Westcott-Hort theory, it is equally true that neither of them embraced even the fundamentals of Burgon's views. Scrivener, for example, athetized several hallmark MT readings such as John 7:53, 8:11 and theos in 1 Tim 3:16, 28 embraced standard internal criteria, 2 and explicitly stated that the Byzantine cursives on which the MT theory rests are without much value. None of this is compatible with Burgon's views. (p 190)

The motivation of KJV/TR-onlysts hailing of Hoskier and Scrivener is akin to the reason why Muslims hail Bart Ehrman as a hero in their agenda against Christianity; because they did not actually promote the TR/MT theory, but rejected various key text from the TR.

Their methodology reveals that they work under circular presuppositions of dogmas, not reason or the methodology of Textual Criticism, hence, they are easily proven as dogmatic fundamentalists, accompanied by fringe handful of debunked scholars. Scholars have never taken this dogmatic camp seriously.

The use of Scrivener and Hoskier by modern day traditional text advocates reveals a disturbing twofold pattern. On the one hand, their perception of results determines allegiance. Questions of method rarely surface. All that matters is that the traditional text is affirmed. On the other hand, their perception of results is not based on an examination of a given scholar's writings. Typically, little more is known about his views than that he is theologically conservative, makes positive references to the TR, and criticizes Hort's preferred MSS. Because of such shibboleths MT proponents have been repeatedly misled into soliciting unwitting support from the dead voices of the past. Such is not only intellectually dishonest but also raises questions as to what drives this need for champions (Page 191)

TR advocates (Hills, Letis) are the only ones who can claim any kind of consistency in this regard, for they do, at least, advocate one printed text. For them, textual criticism does not exist. Rather, all of their energy is expended in apologia, not investigatio. MT advocates are unwilling to make quite such a fideistic leap, recognizing (perhaps subconsciously) to one degree or another that a wholesale defense of the TR is stripped naked at the bar of logic and empiricism. What is at stake, too, is results: There are 1838 differences between the TR and the MT. (Page 198)

Wallace refutes them by explaining how the traditional-text proponents (like Pickering) believe their dogma of inspiration necessitates preservation dogma. It is not based on reasoned eclecticism or science, but it resists logic (logos). "Hence the MT position is based on a corollary (accessibility) of a corollary (preservation) of a particular dogmatic stance (verbal inspiration)". (P 201).

Also see this short article The Majority Text and the Original Text: Are They Identical?

The traditional-text proponents cannot reasonably explain why the traditional Syrian text appeared only after 4th century, or why did it magically vanish in the early centuries.

When Westcott and Hort developed their theory of textual criticism, only one papyrus manuscript was known to them. Since that time almost 100 have been discovered. More than fifty of these came from before the middle of the fourth century. Yet not one belongs to the majority text. The Westcott-Hort theory, with its many flaws (which all textual critics today acknowledge), was apparently still right on its basic tenet: the Byzantine texttype—or majority text—did not exist in the first three centuries. The evidence can be visualized as follows, with the width of the horizontal bars indicating the relative number of extant manuscripts from each century.

The Variants

The listed variants from the few early manuscripts and WH edition, as mentioned in the misguided article which claims that those early mss undermines or attacks the deity of Christ, can be easily explained without biased conspiracy. The reason for these changes or a lower Christology bias, not about Trinity vs Unitarianism.

Although it is possible that the phrase "who is in heaven" was awkward enough to cause copyists to omit it or change it, it is also possible that it was added by copyists who wanted show the divinity of Christ.

  • John 1:18 the only God, not Son. The article states,

Arians employ the “only begotten god” reading to affirm that Christ is a secondary deity that was created by the true God. Furthermore, classical Trinitarian truth affirms that Christ is begotten as Son, not as God—the Person of the Son, not the Divine essence, is begotten.

It can be conversely explained that the 5th century Syrian scribes found the reference of Jesus being called God like that objectionable, thus they wanted to change it to their lower Christology, or perhaps Unitarian bias. (The same with all other changes from Jesus being identified directly as God in a way that maybe conflicting to their own Christology, such as Jude 1:5, 25). The author of that article misrepresents Nicene and related creeds by ignoring the fact that it describes the deity as well as the sonship by virtue of being begotten from the father alone. The author view that the Son's divine essence is not begotten comes from those who didn't know such Roman creeds, such as Ignatius, who said Jesus was "begotten and not begotten", implying begotten only in human nature, not begotten in deity. It is possible that the later scribes saw the "only God" reference to be a support for Arianism, though their own doctrine was hardly different, which resulted in the corruption of God to Son.

The John 1:18 "only God" variant is very ancient, and seems to be correct in light of the proper understanding of the Greek word monogenes and since it is a difficult variant, and less likely to have been introduced intentionally, it is accepted as authentic, as used in a few Bible versions. The fact that some traditionalists still attack that reading to have come from some Unitarian bias only strengthens its authenticity. One of the Revised Version 1881, George Vance Smith has been accused of having a Unitarian bias by TR followers:

Smith stated in relation to the John 1:18 reading "only-begotten God" which the RV revisers only placed in the margin that "there is nothing at all unlikely in the supposition that this may be the true original reading of this verse" (p. 19). Yet he nevertheless regarded that reading as "a greater blow than the popular or orthodox theology of our day would have been able to bear" (p. 17).

The attack against John 1:18 apparently go against their own agenda, it is anti-Trinitarian attack or bias against the text.

  • Luke 24:52 "they worshipped him"

The omission can be explained by "scribal tendency is called homoioteleuton, meaning "similar endings". Homoioteleuton occurs when two words/phrases/lines end with the similar sequence of letters. The scribe, having finished copying the first, skips to the second, omitting all intervening words. Homoioarche refers to eye-skip when the beginnings of two lines are similar". That is skipping the phrase due to confusing two similar words και αυτοι προσκυνησαντες αυτον

The Student's Guide to TC commentary states,

Although it is possible that the reference to worship could have been added by copyists from Matthew 28:17, this does not seem likely. The omission may have been caused by a mistake of the eye when copyists' eyes jumped from "them" in verse 51 to "him" (there is only one letter difference between these words in Greek). At any rate, the fact that the words are found in most early manuscripts of several types of ancient text indicates that they are original.

  • Acts 20:28 Church of God which he purchased
    with his own blood Vs with the blood of his own

Bart Ehrman explains this interpolation (along with the variant of- church of Lord vs God) in the chapter Anti-Adoptionistic Corruptions of the Scripture, in Orthodox Corruption:

The balancing act that ensued is evident in some of the textual changes of the New Testament manuscripts. Perhaps the most striking example occurs in the manuscript tradition of Acts 20:28, where a variety of corruptions appear to circumvent different misconstruals. There is little doubt concerning the original form of the passage: Paul speaks to the Ephesian elders about “the church of God τὴν ἐκκλησίαν τοῦ θεοῦ which he obtained through the blood of his own (Son)” τοῦ αἵματος τοῦ ἰδίου

There is another corruption where "a number of witnesses has been changed to read “of the Lord.” This latter phrase (“church of the Lord”) is almost certainly a corruption". The scribes feared of potential misconstruals like a higher Christology, or modalistic interpretations like Patripassianism which is a version of Sabellianism in the Eastern church (and a version of modalism, modalistic monarchianism, or modal monarchism); that God the Father suffered on the cross in the person of Jesus Christ. The term comes from the Latin words "pater" (father) and "passio" (suffering). Thus, they changed God to Lord, since the Greek τοῦ αἵματος τοῦ ἰδίου "blood of his own" could be naturally understood as "his own blood" (as translated in [most Bible](https://www.biblegateway.com/verse/en/acts 20:28) versions). The second change from "blood of his own", to "his own blood" was to enforce Christ's deity.

For this final phrase has been changed in a number of witnesses precisely along the lines of the “exchange of predicates” mentioned earlier, making the text appear not to discourage a Patripassianist misconstrual so much as to encourage an orthodox interpretation that Christ, as God, obtained the church by shedding his blood. Thus, in the majority of Greek witnesses, the “blood of his own (Son)” (τοῦ αἵματος τοῦ ἰδίου), has been changed to read “his own blood” (τοῦ ἰδίου αἵματος). Most witnesses to this reading support the earlier conflation “church of the Lord and of God,” making “his own” in this case refer back to “God.” Now the text states that God has obtained the church through the shedding “of his own blood.” The text is nonetheless secondary: it survives in none of the early witnesses to the text and serves a clear theological function.

Another example is from a 3rd century Papyrus P72, which reads in 1 Pet 5:1 "sufferings of God" instead of "Christ".

Such statements serve two distinct orthodox functions: they affirm that the one who suffered was God (against adoptionists) and they stress that this God, Christ, really did suffer (against, e.g., various groups of Gnostics).
Exchanges of predicates can occur in the opposite direction as well; that is, rather than attributing Christ’s activities to God, they can attribute God’s activities to Christ. In corruptions of the New Testament manuscripts, this other kind of interchange occurs most frequently in contexts that speak of God’s judgment of his people, a judgment that orthodox Christians frequently portrayed as the judgment of Christ. This appears to be the best explanation for several interesting changes within the Pauline corpus.

  • Romans 9:5 punctuation and translation issue:
    TR: ὁ Χριστὸς τὸ κατὰ σάρκα· ὁ ὢν ἐπὶ πάντων θεὸς εὐλογητὸς εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας
    SCR/Byz: ὁ χριστὸς τὸ κατὰ σάρκα, ὁ ὢν ἐπὶ πάντων, θεὸς εὐλογητὸς εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας
    KJV: ..Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever
    Douay-RheimsC ...whom is Christ, according to the flesh, who is over all things, God blessed for ever.
    vs ESV: ...Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever

Though, the text is identical, the translation may differ, thus, the punctuations. The article misrepresents the 16th century TR with the Scrivener's 1894 TR edition for the KJV. The TR (like various major mss) puts a fullstop and separates Christ with God. Also, he also misrepresents the KJV, since it doesn't state Christ is called God in this verse, but it is a bit ambiguous, Christ may have been intentionally separated from the God clause; or the introduction of commas was done to make it ambiguous. Otherwise, it could have been unambiguous as the Wycliffe, Tyndale, Geneva etc. in describing "Christ, who is God", but the KJV has "Christ is over all, God [is] is blessed forever. The KJV clearly follows the Latin tradition as shown in the Douay-Rheims. It seems the traditionalists were uncomfortable that such a high Christology giving Christ equal status with God the father. Some commentators like John Gill doesn't defend Christ as God in this verse.

Metzger in his TC commentary cites that the UBS3 decided for the point/period after flesh, due to the external evidence of various uncial and some later mss, though going against all Church writers' commentaries that Christ is the subject of the clause. However, this reading was changed in both NA and UBS later editions. The general hesitancy among the scholars, as Metzger says, "In fact, on the basis of the general tenor of Paul's theology it was considered tantamount to impossible that Paul would have expressed Christ’s greatness by calling him God blessed forever", could well have resulted from the traditional or "orthodox" corruption which lowered the Christology.

  • neither let us tempt Christ Vs Lord ... 1 Corinthians 10:9

This changed could've been caused by the same reason for bias against Christ being the God of the OT, a high Christology, some changed it to "God" and some to "Lord". There are widespread witnesses of both variants; Ehrman supports "Lord", due to internal evidence that God is the better candidate for being the judge; and that the adoptionists could've wanted to remove Christ from the OT.

  • Col 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly...singing to the Lord Vs God

Sinaiticus also has "word of the Lord dwell in you". Perhaps, it is for the same reason of discomfort against high Christology or simplification to the more common phrases. Student's Guide to TC comments, on "singing to the Lord" in the later mss "Apparently the reading "the Lord" was borrowed by copyists from the parallel passage in Ephesians 5:19."

  • 1Tim 3:16 God Vs who was manifested in flesh

Greek OC can be confused with ΘC abbreviation for Theos, or it was developed from the neuter pronoun O found in some mss. No uncials earlier than 8-9th century supports theos. The external and internal evidence easily explain this one.

  • Revelation 20:12 the dead ... stand before God Vs throne

θΡΟΝΟC can be confused and corrupted as θΕΟC. Even the Byz or Majority Text has thronos here, so this is a good point where the TR camp must have attacked the MT camp. Wallace writes in the article about MT, fn 56,

Furthermore the charge could be reversed: Pickering and Hodges apparently disagree over 150 times on the wording of the text of Revelation (let alone the rest of the New Testament), for Hodges’s stemmatics led him to adopt a minority text more than 150 times for the Apocalypse.

For the Erasmus TR blunder in Revelation 22:16-21, especially Rev 22:19 "tree of life" to "book of life" (KJV), he backtranslated the Greek from Latin, as he did not have the any mss of that passage for being in a hurry. See details here.

As for 1John 5:7-8, we know that actually there are zero Greek mss that contain that trinitarian formula, which was a margin note in the Latin that got into a back translation to a Vulgate Greek translation, and then the religious authorities threatened Erasmus to include it in his printed edition, and hence, they forced a new forged Greek mss to justify their demand.

The tendency among scholars in general against the high Christology today, may well be the result of the "orthodox tradition" bias and corruption for the text that describes Christ as the God of the Exodus, and the true eternal God. Textual criticism decisions are not made on theological whims as the presuppositionists do.

The standard textbook for TC by Metzger and Ehrman, is highly recommended, and any such mainstream reputed impartial books, The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration or just watch this video series on NTTC by Daniel Wallace.

  • 2
    I felt obliged to struggle through all of this and so I did. But it does not answer Herman Hoskier's book Codex B and its Allies which is the definitive exposition of the Coptic (false or mis-guided) 'recension' in the fifth century. I have corresponded (briefly) with Daniel B Wallace and I was quite open with him that I do not respect his position on the TR and Critcal texts. He has gladly capitulated where Dean John Burgon stood faithfully.
    – Nigel J
    Apr 22 at 21:33
  • 2
    On a second reading, it became noticeable how many epithets and derogatory remarks were being made :- 'unless they abandon their man man tradition of dogmas' 'biased conspiracy''the fleshly motivation''akin to the reason why Muslims hail Bart Ehrman as a hero' 'circular presuppositions of dogmas' 'debunked scholars''. And then a surprising admission . . . . the followers of truth base their faith upon God, and admits that their Bible is indefinite or uncertain. So, a bible that is 'uncertain' yet a supposition of one's own assessment of whom 'God' truly is. I find that very revealing.
    – Nigel J
    Apr 22 at 22:34
  • We can have a new topic on Critical Text being uncertain or the motivation behind making a definite concrete Bible version KJV or TR, or the infallible Roman church organization. If dogmatism and presuppositionism are seen as insulting to their own proponents then they need challenge those dogmas which acts as golden calf. The details of Hoskier objections can be found if we study deeper into TC and related Wallace articles etc. I will see if I get those info. Scholars aren't keen on responding to the those kinds of people so material are not much about it.
    – Michael16
    Apr 23 at 4:38
  • The philosophical problem with the desire to make a definite bible or church is that it's arbitrary, and subjective whereas truth is objective. Wallace touches the point of certainty in the Preservation and Inspiration article. ": the quest for certainty is not the same as a quest for truth. There is a subtle but important distinction between the two. Truth is objective reality; certainty is the level of subjective apprehension of something perceived to be true. But in the recognition that truth is objective reality, it is easy to confuse the fact of this reality with how one knows what it is"
    – Michael16
    Apr 23 at 5:06
  • 2
    The word of God, communicated from God himself, is the only possible revelation of himself. 'Truth' can only be found from Him. Objective truth cannot be known otherwise than His communication of Himself. And the capacity to receive truth is a gift granted by Him. Everything is of God Himself - within and without.
    – Nigel J
    Apr 23 at 6:36

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