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View Full Version : Westcott's Thirteen Principles of Textual Criticism



Steven Avery
01-08-2019, 07:09 AM
This can be compared to the Introduction to the Revised Version given by Hort.

A Dictionary of the Bible (1863)
http://books.google.com/books?id=HIXGbKjboKIC&pg=PA527
https://books.google.com/books?id=wDYXAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA2136 (1973)
https://books.google.com/books?id=hZU9AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA616 (1889)
https://books.google.com/books?id=iz5W7j32-7UC&pg=PA622 (1908)

Summary list, followed by Lachmann, De Wette, Tischendorf, general principles of Davidson, critical principles of Tregelles,and rules of Scrivener. (Nothing from Gerhard von Mastricht to Bengel. Or use in general literature or poetry, such as Bentley on Milton, Paul Maas, Alfred Edward Houseman and Martin Litchfield West. Also we should show how sacred criticism morphed to textual criticism. We will try to put up a page with a general history.

Here is the Westcott summary, rarely even referenced today.


The Historic Origin of the Bible: A Handbook of Principal Facts from the Best Recent Authorities, German and English (1889)
Edwin Cone Bissell
https://books.google.com/books?id=amo2AAAAMAAJ&pg=PA136

(1) The text must throughout be determined by evidence, without allowing any prescriptive rights.
(2) Every element of evidence must be taken into account before a decision is made.
(3) The relative weight of the several classes of evidence is modified by their general character.
(4) The mere preponderance of number is in itself of no weight.
(5) The more ancient reading is generally preferable.
(6) The more ancient reading is generally the reading of the most ancient manuscripts.
(7) The ancient text is often preserved substantially in recent copies.
(8) The agreement of ancient manuscripts, or of manuscripts containing an ancient text, with all the earliest versions and citations, marks a certain reading.
(9) The disagreement of the most ancient authorities often marks the existence of a corruption anterior to them.
(10) The argument from internal evidence is always precarious.
(11) The shorter reading is generally preferable to the longer.
(12) The more difficult reading is preferable to the simpler.
(13) That reading is preferable which explains the origin of the others.