Which Textus Receptus Do You Hold To?

19 Aug

Several days ago, I joined another Christian forum.  In my introductions, I had stated that even though I personally consider the Authorized King James Version to be the superior English translation, this does not make me a KJV-Only adherent. I concluded by claiming to be a TR-Only person, holding to the conviction that the Received Text is superior over the liberal's Critical Text.

An immediate sharp reply came in the form of the query, "Which Textus Receptus do you hold to?"

Now, I have danced with enough scorners and pseudo-Bible Scholars enough to know, that they really are not interested in my answer, but only to show their intellectual prowess. Yet, setting their motivations aside, it really is a good question.

Allow me to explain:
1. Today's copy of the Textus Receptus (which is published by the Trinitarian Bible Society) is actually Scrivner's Text (circa. 1881 and 1894). At first, he along with many of his colleagues were duped by Westcott and Hort until he realized the true impact of their heresy. Though it is claimed that Scrivner "reverse-engineered" his Greek Text from the King James, he did more than this in a different direction, of which I will explain later.

2. Before Scrivner's Text we then have Beza's Greek Text of 1565. Beza was Calvin's successor, and was a popular Reformed Scholar of his time.

3. Going back further, we have Stephanus Greek Text of 1550. This was compiled by Robert I Estienne, who was also known as Robertus Stephanus in Latin.

4. The predecessor to Estienne was Desiderius Erasmus himself. Erasmus was commissioned by the pope to recompile the Latin Vulgate. Yet, he thought best to also include in his text the original Greek text. He had the impression that scholars in different countries, speaking different languages would receive better profit from the original text than from a Latin translation of the Greek. This work began in 1512, and was printed in 1522. This is where the title Textus Receptus came from, which is Latin for "Received Text".

Erasmus took the overwhelming collection of Byzantine Manuscripts as his source (and possibly referred to the Complutensian Polyglot <who knows?> which also came from the same manuscripts). Approximately 50 to 60 years earlier, the Byzantine Empire fell to the Muslims, which caused a massive exodus of the Eastern Empire to the West, bringing with it the Greek texts, and fresh ideas of the culture, which I personally believe ignited the Renaissance Period. With the deterioration of these manuscripts Erasmus thought it wise to compile them together which gave birth to the TR.

The Complutensian Polyglot came several years earlier, and did not officially bear the title Textus Receptus, but is useful in textual criticism.

So you see where this individual is coming from. As a scholar I firmly hold to not only the doctrine of Plenary Verbal Inspiration of God's Word, but I also strongly believe that God dynamically and personally preserved His Word through time. This "skeptic", in an attempt to derail me, tosses the question (of which I will expand), "Which Textus Receptus do you believe is 'pure' since there are a handful of Received Texts through time?"

My answer to him is, "yes, all of them."

Now, before I allow this scorner to jump up and shout "ah-ha!" allow me to steal his thunder. Between Erasmus and Scrivner, there are words that differ, If you open up a Critical text and TR side-by-side, you will notice variants. Words are spelled differently, and some add to, and some take away whole phrases. This is the same between the TRs, BUT TO A MUCH LESSER DEGREE.

The biggest gripe the liberal scholars hear, coming out of the TR Camp is that the Critical Text (aka Westcott-Hort Text, Nestle-Aaland Text, UBS Text) and the Textus Receptus has too many differences. They chortle over the fact that the varying TRs also contain differences. What they don't tell you is that these differences are far less significant than found in the inferior texts of the codices Siniaticus and Vaticanus.  While the difference between the Critical Text is several thousand, the differences between the various recognized texts which have been referred to as "Textus Recpetus" is just a scant handful.  And these variances can be quickly identified and make no impact on interpretation.

I'll give you one such example, and it is found in Luke 2:22. In the TR as a whole, the phrase we need to focus on is, "…the days of her purification…." In the Stephanus Text, he uses the feminine plural pronoun, which reads in English, "…the days of their purification…." Between the TR and the Critical Text, this is a minor variance, but it is significant to those who believe that God preserved His Word! But let's take a look at it.

In the computer networking world, there is a term called CRC-Check Sums. A checksum is usually a bit or two of data, attached to a larger data packet which is a key sort of. When a data packet comes in, the receiving computer tally's up all the data in a number and compares it to the check sum. If they agree, then the data is accepted. If they do NOT agree, the receiving computer requests that the data packet gets resent. This retains the integrity of the data traveling across the Internet.

The Bible does the same thing! <w00t to all you Christian geeks out there!>

If you've been in a Bible-Believing church long enough, you will hear a preacher say, "The very best commentary for the Bible, is the Bible itself!" This is a true saying.

Now, Luke 2:22 is referring to an Old Testament Ceremonial Law, which is found in Leviticus 12. In Lev. 12:1-4, it talks about how a woman who has just given birth is ceremonially unclean. She needs to wait 8 days, then her son is circumcised, and she can bring an offering to the temple (or tabernacle). Yet, look at verse 4, "…until the days of her purifying be fulfilled."

So, which pronoun should be used? That's a no-brainer: "her."

Also is the fact that while all of these texts have been dubbed, "Textus Receptus", the ones who bear the most variants have never been used to translate another Bible, ergo, not truly being a Received Text.

Once again, the scorners, and godless are quick to jump up and proclaim, "That is only evidence of the Lucian Recension!"

I now have to pose the question, "who taught you about Lucian of Antioch and the Lucian Recension?"

The source of this lie stems from none other than the liberal theologians themselves! There never was a Lucian of Antioch. There never was a Lucian Recension! It was made up to give a false-credence to the Westcott and Hort Text. It was conjured up by those who refuse to see God's protective hand and Satan's diabolical plans to corrupt the text. Rather, they want to impress each other by their massive intellect. They love to be patted on the backs by their godless peers, rather than seek after God's approval.

But what about the accusation that Scrivner doctored his text to crow-bar it to the King James? Who told you he did that? Ah… the liberal theologians.

The translators of the Authorized Version didn't just pull their translation out of thin air, as the godless would like you to believe. Neither did Scrivner hap-hazardly concoct a new Greek Text from the King James Bible.

The whole point of standing for the Textus Receptus over the Critical Text is that God promised to preserve His Word.  Do you cling to men who cannot help but mock and ridicule God's Word, or will you believe the Bible:

Psalms 12:6-7
6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
7 Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.
Psalms 119:89
89 For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.
Isaiah 40:8
8 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.
Matthew 5:18
18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
1 Peter 1:23-25
23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:
25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

The text itself apart from God's Holy Spirit is just a book.  But it's what we do with this book, and the influence of God's Holy Spirit is what the true value is.


Who do you believe?


The choice is yours.


Posted by on 19-August-2010 in Uncategorized


7 responses to “Which Textus Receptus Do You Hold To?

  1. Form Script

    23-August-2010 at 11:36 AM

    I am just making a blog related to this. If you allow, I would like to use some of your content. And with full refernce of course. Thanks in advance.

    – Josh

    • johncalvinhall

      23-August-2010 at 8:47 PM

      Hello Josh,

      Yes, I did receive your letter, and to be honest, I am still thinking on the matter. I don’t know who you are, and what your purpose for it is. And your email address ( is bogus.

      What is your website on?
      How would my material be used?
      Do you have a more “dedicated email address, I can reach you at?

      Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  2. ultrasound technician

    23-August-2010 at 6:29 PM

    Keep posting stuff like this i really like it

  3. information technology

    4-September-2010 at 1:23 PM

    Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!

  4. linda michalak

    14-September-2010 at 1:29 PM

    i  am apostolic believer in i will not change churches or believe any other
    i am apostolic believer
    i like a answer back ok

    • johncalvinhall

      21-September-2010 at 7:19 PM

      Hello Linda,
      You mentioned that you would like an answer back.
      What is the question?

  5. Dieter Thom

    18-December-2010 at 3:18 AM

    The Center for Study and Preservation of the Majority Text (CSPMT)


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