Chronology of the Revision
1825 Jan. 12th – Brooke Foss Westcott born at Birmingham.
1828 Apr. 23rd – Fenton John Anthony Hort born at Dublin.
1851 Dec. 21st – Westcott ordained “priest” in Church of England.
1853 Jan.-Mar. – Westcott and Hort agree upon plan of a joint revision of the text of the Greek Testament.
Apr. 19th – Hort: “He (Westcott) and I are going to edit a Greek text of the New Testament some two or three years hence, if possible.” (Life, Vol.I, p.250).
June – Mr. Daniel Macmillan suggests to Hort that he should take part in an interesting and comprehensive ‘New Testament Scheme.’ Hort was to edit the text in conjunction with Mr. Westcott; the latter was to be responsible for a commentary, and Lightfoot was to contribute a N.T. Grammar and Lexicon. (Life, Vol.I, pp.240,241).
Sept. 29th – Westcott to Hort: “As to our proposed recension of the New Testament text, our object would be, I suppose, to prepare a text for common and general use…With such an end in view, would it not be best to introduce only certain emendations into the received text, and to note in the margin such as seem likely or noticeable – after Griesbach’s manner?…I feel most keenly the disgrace of circulating what I feel to be falsified copies of Holy Scripture (a reference to the A.V.?), and am most anxious to provide something to replace them. This cannot be any text resting solely on our own judgment, even if we were not too inexperienced to make one; but it must be supported by a clear and obvious preponderance of evidence. The margin wiil give ample scope for our own ingenuity or principles…my wish would be to leave the popular received text except where it is clearly wrong.” (Life, Vol.I, pp.228,229).
Nov. 4th – Hort: “I went down and spent a Sunday with Westcott…We came to a distinct and positive understanding about our Gk. Test. and the details thereof. We still do not wish it to be talked about, but are going to work at once, and hope we may perhaps have it out in little more than a year.” (Life, Vol.I, p.264).
Westcott and Hort start work on their Greek text.
1856 Feb. ? – Hort ordained “priest” in Church of England.
Mar. 20th – Hort: “I think I mentioned to you before Campbell’s book on the Atonement, which is invaluable as far as it goes; but unluckily he knows nothing except Protestant theology” (Life, Vol.I, p.322).
1857 Feb. 23rd – Hort to Westcott: “I hope to go on with the New Testament text more unremittingly” (Life, Vol.I, p.355).
First efforts to secure revision of the Authorised Version by five Church of England clergymen.
1858 Oct. 21st – Hort: “The principle literary work of these years was the revision of the Greek Text of the New Testament. All spare hours were devoted to it.” (Life, Vol.I, p.399).
1860 May 1st – Hort to Lightfoot: “If you make a decided conviction of the absolute infallibility of the N.T. practically a sine qua non for co-operation, I fear I could not join you, even if you were willing to forget your fears about the origin of the Gospels.” (Life, Vol. I, p.420).
May 4th – Hort to Lightfoot: “I am also glad that you take the same provisional ground as to infallibility that I do.” (Life, Vol.I, p.424).
May 5th – Westcott to Hort: “at present I find the presumption in favour of the absolute truth – I reject the word infallibility – of Holy Scripture overwhelming.” (Life, Vol.I, p.207).
May 18th – Hort to Lightfoot: “It sounds an arrogant thing to say, but there are very many cases in which I would not admit the competence of any one to judge a decision of mine on a textual matter, who was only an amateur, and had not some considerable experience in forming a text.” (Life, Vol.I, p.425).
1861 Apr. 12th – Hort to Westcott: “Also – but this may be cowardice – I have a sort of craving that 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 hope to reach, and whence it would not be easily banished by subsequent alarms.” (Life, Vol.I, p.445).
1862 Apr. 30th, May 1st – Hort: “It seems to be clearly and broadly directed to maintaining that the English clergy are not compelled to maintain the absolute infallibility of the Bible. And, whatever the truth may be, this seems just the liberty required at the present moment, if any living belief is to survive in the land.” (Life, Vol.I, p.454).
1870 Westcott and Hort print tentative edition of their Greek N.T. for private distribution only. (This they later circulated under pledge of secrecy within the company of N.T. revisers, of which they were members).
Feb. 10th – Southern Convocation of Church of England resolve on desirability of revision of A.V. Northern Convocation declines to cooperate.
May – Committee of 18 elected to produce a Revised Version.
The 7 members of the N.T. Committee invite 18 others, making 25.
May 29th – Westcott to Hort: “though I think that Convocation is not competent to initiate such a measure, yet I feel that as ‘we three’ are together it would be wrong not to ‘make the best of it’ as Lightfoot says. Indeed, there is a very fair prospect of good work, though neither with this body nor with any body likely to be formed now could a complete textual revision be possible. There is some hope that alternative readings might find a place in the margin.” (Life, Vol.I, p.390).
June 4th – Westcott to Lightfoot: “Ought we not to have a conference before the first meeting for Revision? There are many points on which it is important that we should agreed. The rules though liberal are vague, and the interpretation of them will depend upon decided action at first.” (Life, Vol.I, p.391).
July 1st – Westcott to Hort: “The Revision on the whole surprised me by prospects of hope. I suggested to Ellicott a plan of tabulating and circulating emendations before our meeting, which may prove valuable.” (Life, Vol.I, pp.392,393).
July 7th – Hort: “Dr. Westcott and myself have for above seventeen years been preparing a Greek text of the New Testament. It has been in the press for some years, and we hope to have it out early next year.” (Life, Vol.II, p.137).
Aug. ? – Hort to Lightfoot: “It is, I think, difficult to measure the weight of acceptance won beforehand for the Revision by the single fact of our welcoming an Unitarian, if only the Company perseveres in its present serious and faithful spirit.” (Life, Vol.II, p.140). (Dr. G. Vance Smith, a Unitarian scholar, was a member of the Revision Committee. At Westcott’s suggestion, a celebration of Holy Communion was held on June 22nd before the first meeting of the N.T. Revision Company. Dr. Smith communicated but said afterwards that he did not join in reciting the Nicene Creed and did not compromise his principles as a Unitarian. The storm of public indignation which followed almost wrecked the Revision at the outset. At length however Dr. Smith remained on the Committee).
1881 Bishop Ellicott submits the Revised Version to the Southern Convocation.
May 12th – Westcott and Hort’s “The New Testament in the Original Greek” Vol. I published (Text and short Introduction).
May 17th – the Revised Version is published in England, selling two million copies within four days. It fails however to gain lasting popular appeal.
Sept. 4th – Westcott and Hort’s “The New Testament in the Original Greek” Vol.II published (Introduction and Appendix).
Oct. – first of Dean Burgon’s three articles in the Quarterly Review against the Revised Version appears.
1882 May – Ellicott publishes pamphlet in reply to Burgon, defending the Westcott and Hort Greek text.
1883 Burgon publishes The Revision Revised, including a reply to Ellicott.
1890 May 1st – Westcott consecrated Bishop of Durham.
1892 Nov. 30th – death of Hort.
1901 July 27th – death of Westcott.
1908 The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopaedia discusses the Westcott-Hort theory: “Conscious agreement with it or conscious disagreement and qualification mark all work in this field since 1881.”
This is still almost literally true. ______________________________
Hort, A.F., Life and Letters of Fenton J.A. Hort, MacMillan and Co., London, 1896, vols. I,II.
Westcott, A., Life and Letters of Brooke Foss Westcott, MacMillan and Co., London, 1903, vols. I,II.
The unmitigating emergence of unauthorized Bible versions is risen up to challenge and remove the Authorized Version of the Bible (which thing cannot be done for the Lord said that his words shall not pass away. There will be a true church awaiting his return. The Authorized Version of the Bible is the precepts of a mighty nation whose king is the LORD. This proliferating emergence of unauthorized versions is a full frontal attack launched (and sustained) against the word of God to remove it and replace it with something else. Satan knoweth that he hath but a short time. As for the saints, we are exhorted to
Jude 1:3 “…earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.✞✞✞✞
Chronology of the Revision