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[18] Bp. Ellicott's claim that the Revisers were guided by the consentient testimony of the most ancient Authorities,—disproved by an appeal to their handling of S. Luke ii. 14 and of S. Mark xvi. 9-20. The self-same claim,—(namely, of abiding by the verdict of Catholic Antiquity,)—vindicated, on the contrary, for the Quarterly Reviewer.

You labour hard throughout your pamphlet to make it appear that the point at which our methods, (yours and mine,) respectively diverge,—is, that I insist on making my appeal to the Textus Receptus; you, to Ancient Authority. But happily, my lord Bishop, this is a point which admits of being brought to issue by an appeal to fact. You shall first 420 be heard: and you are observed to express yourself on behalf of the Revising body, as follows:

It was impossible to mistake the conviction upon which its Textual decisions were based.

It was a conviction that (1) The true Text was not to be sought in the Textus Receptus; or (2) In the bulk of the Cursive Manuscripts; or (3) In the Uncials (with or without the support of the Codex Alexandrinus;) or (4) In the Fathers who lived after Chrysostom; or (5) In Chrysostom himself and his contemporaries; but (6) In the consentient testimony of the most ancient authorities.—(p. 28.)

In such terms you venture to contrast our respective methods. You want the public to believe that I make the Textus Receptus a standard from which there shall be no appeal,—entertain the notion that it is little else than sacrilege to impugn the tradition of the last 300 years,916916Page 4.—and so forth;—while you and your colleagues act upon the conviction that the Truth is rather to be sought in the consentient testimony of the most ancient Authorities. I proceed to show you, by appealing to an actual instance, that neither of these statements is correct.

(a) And first, permit me to speak for myself. Finding that you challenge the Received reading of S. Luke ii. 14, (good will towards men);—and that, (on the authority of 4 Greek Codices [א a b d], all Latin documents, and the Gothic Version,) you contend that peace among men in whom he is well pleased ought to be read, instead;—I make my appeal unreservedly to Antiquity.917917See above, pp. 41 to 47. I request the Ancients to adjudicate between you and me by favouring us with their verdict. Accordingly, I find as follows:

That, in the IInd century,—the Syriac Versions and Irenæus support the Received Text:


That, in the IIIrd century,—the Coptic Version,—Origen in 3 places, and—the Apostolical Constitutions in 2, do the same:

That, in the IVth century, (to which century, you are invited to remember, codices b and א belong,)—Eusebius,—Aphraates the Persian,—Titus of Bostra,—each in 2 places:—Didymus in 3:—Gregory of Nazianzus,—Cyril of Jer.,—Epiphanius 2—and Gregory of Nyssa—4 times: Ephraem Syr.,—Philo bp. of Carpasus,—Chrysostom 9 times,—and an unknown Antiochian contemporary of his:—these eleven, I once more find, are every one against you:

That, in the Vth century,—besides the Armenian Version, Cyril of Alex. in 14 places:—Theodoret in 4:—Theodotus of Ancyra in 5:—Proclus:—Paulus of Emesa:—the Eastern bishops of Ephesus collectively, a.d. 431;—and Basil of Seleucia:—these contemporaries of cod. a I find are all eight against you:

That, in the VIth century,—besides the Georgian—and Æthiopic Versions,—Cosmas, 5 times:—Anastasius Sinait. and Eulogius, (contemporaries of cod. d,) are all three with the Traditional Text:

That, in the VIIth and VIIIth centuries,—Andreas of Crete, 2:—pope Martinus at the Lat. Council:—Cosmas, bp. of Maiume near Gaza,—and his pupil John Damascene;—together with Germanus, abp. of Constantinople:—are again all five with the Traditional Text.

To these 35, must be added 18 other ancient authorities with which the reader has been already made acquainted (viz. at pp. 44-5): all of which bear the self-same evidence.

Thus I have enumerated fifty-three ancient Greek authorities,—of which sixteen belong to the IInd, IIIrd, and IVth centuries: and thirty-seven to the Vth, VIth, VIIth, and VIIIth.


And now, which of us two is found to have made the fairer and the fuller appeal to the consentient testimony of the most ancient authorities: you or I?... This first.

And next, since the foregoing 53 names belong to some of the most famous personages in Ecclesiastical antiquity: are dotted over every region of ancient Christendom: in many instances are far more ancient than codices b and א:—with what show of reason will you pretend that the evidence concerning S. Luke ii. 14 clearly preponderates in favour of the reading which you and your friends prefer?

I claim at all events to have demonstrated that both your statements are unfounded: viz. (1) That I seek for the truth of Scripture in the Textus Receptus: and (2) That you seek it in the consentient testimony of the most ancient authorities.—(Why not frankly avow that you believe the Truth of Scripture is to be sought for, and found, in the consentient testimony of codices א and b?)

(b) Similarly, concerning the last 12 Verses of S. Mark, which you brand with suspicion and separate off from the rest of the Gospel, in token that, in your opinion, there is a breach of continuity (p. 53), (whatever that may mean,) between verses 8 and 9. Your ground for thus disallowing the last 12 Verses of the second Gospel, is, that b and א omit them:—that a few late MSS. exhibit a wretched alternative for them:—and that Eusebius says they were often away. Now, my method on the contrary is to refer all such questions to the consentient testimony of the most ancient authorities. And I invite you to note the result of such an appeal in the present instance. The Verses in question I find are recognized,


In the IInd century,—By the Old Latin—and Syriac Verss.:—by Papias;—Justin M.;—Irenæus;—Tertullian.

In the IIIrd century,—By the Coptic—and the Sahidic Versions:—by Hippolytus;—by Vincentius at the seventh Council of Carthage;—by the Acta Pilati;—and by the Apostolical Constitutions in two places.

In the IVth century,—By Cureton's Syr. and the Gothic Verss.:—besides the Syriac Table of Canons;—Eusebius;—Macarius Magnes;—Aphraates;—Didymus;—the Syriac Acts of the Ap.;—Epiphanius;—Leontius;—ps.-Ephraem;—Ambrose;—Chrysostom;—Jerome;—Augustine.

In the Vth century,—Besides the Armenian Vers.,—by codices a and c;—by Leo;—Nestorius;—Cyril of Alexandria;—Victor of Antioch;—Patricius;—Marius Mercator.

In the VIth and VIIth centuries,—Besides cod. d,—the Georgian and Æthiopic Verss.:—by Hesychius;—Gregentius;—Prosper;—John, abp. of Thessalonica;—and Modestus, bishop of Jerusalem.... (See above, pages 36-40.)

And now, once more, my lord Bishop,—Pray which of us is it,—you or I,—who seeks for the truth of Scripture in the consentient testimony of the most ancient authorities? On my side there have been adduced in evidence six witnesses of the IInd century:—six of the IIIrd:—fifteen of the IVth:—nine of the Vth:—eight of the VIth and VIIth,—(44 in all): while you are found to rely on codices b and א (as before), supported by a single obiter dictum of Eusebius. I have said nothing as yet about the whole body of the Copies: nothing about universal, immemorial, Liturgical use. Do you seriously imagine that the testimony on your side is decidedly preponderating? Above all, will you venture again to exhibit our respective methods as in your pamphlet you have done? I protest solemnly that, in your pages, I recognize neither myself nor you.


Permit me to declare that I hold your disallowance of S. Mark xvi. 9-20 to be the gravest and most damaging of all the many mistakes which you and your friends have committed. The textual facts, (say you, speaking of the last 12 Verses,)—have been placed before the reader, because Truth itself demanded it. This (with Canon Cook918918Pages 17, 18.) I entirely deny. It is because the textual facts have not been placed before the reader, that I am offended. As usual, you present your readers with a one-sided statement,—a partial, and therefore inadmissible, exhibition of the facts,—facts which, fully stated and fairly explained, would, (as you cannot fail to be aware,) be fatal to your contention.

But, I forbear to state so much as one of them. The evidence has already filled a volume.919919See above, p. 37, note 1. Even if I were to allow that in your marginal note, the textual facts have been [fully and fairly] placed before the reader—what possible pretence do you suppose they afford for severing the last 12 Verses from the rest of S. Mark, in token that they form no part of the genuine Gospel?... This, however, is only by the way. I have proved to you that it is I—not you—who rest my case on an appeal to Catholic Antiquity: and this is the only thing I am concerned just now to establish.

I proceed to contribute something to the Textual Criticism of a famous place in S. Paul's first Epistle to Timothy,—on which you have challenged me to a trial of strength.

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