Video Placeholder

Saturday, July 2, 2016

The Textus Receptus -- The True Majority Text

As a King James Bible Believer, I kept hearing the statistic that the Textus Receptus underlying the King James Bible was the Majority Text (i.e. the Majority of Greek manuscripts supported it), and that the Westcott-Hort text is a minority text. While I could see visible evidence of the latter, I couldn’t find any documentation for the former claim. It seemed to me to be just a rumor that nobody had looked into. Other KJB Believers agreed with me on that.

BUT, I recently found the evidence I was looking for. While browsing one of these websites promoting this claim, I decided to look over again the sources for it: The Four-Fold Superiority of the King James Bible by D.A. Waite. I found this webpage version of that book with the same statistics. It further directed me to Forever Settled by Dr. Jack Moorman. I found an online copy of that book and read it carefully. I finally found my answer: this is no rumor, this is fact. Dr. Moorman basically surveyed old and new books written against the Textus Receptus. These various books written by various authors and scholars, who certainly had access to all the Greek manuscripts and their readings, were specifically about the differences between the Alexandrian text and the Byzantine text (as expressed by the Textus Receptus). They were collations of non-Byzantine texts that read against the Textus Receptus. The rest presumably are pro-Byzantine texts lining up with the Textus Receptus. Dr. Moorman counted all the manuscripts these anti-KJB authors could find and published his results in his book. Then, D.A. Waite decided to make a statistics chart to see how much percentage wise of manuscripts lined up with the Textus Receptus. It turns out (as shown below), that over 99% of the Greek manuscripts in existence are pro-Byzantine and pro-Textus Receptus. The rest (less that 1%) lined up with the Alexandrian Westcott-Hort Greek text. Dr. Moorman in his book admitted that the exact numbers are not written in stone, and that there were undoubtably a few Alexandrian manuscripts not mentioned as being Alexandrian by all the scholars he researched, but those differences would be minor. They wouldn’t change the overall picture of 99% to 1% in favor of the Textus Receptus. The Textus Receptus being the majority text doesn’t mean that all it’s particular and unique readings are supported by the majority of manuscripts, but that the text type as a whole was supported by the majority of Greek manuscripts.