Also a post was placed in to Juan Hernandez, Jr. on Facebook where he had mentioned the Hoskier occultism:

Facebook - Juan Hernandez, Jr.

Thanks for bringing this up, I have been discussing the occult connections of a few famous textual men since about 2008, including Hoskier, where the connections are strong and definite. With Hoskier, I am curious of the date of the first indication of occultism and if there is any sort of bio that might be helpful. I know he met with Burgon once in his youth.

Possibly Christian David Ginsburg, at least it seems he was working on a Zohar translation under a pseudonym for the Blavatsky people. Again, there is very limited biographical information.

And the information from Hort, in the Letters, about the seance attendance with Augustus and Sophia DeMorgan is one element from Westcott & Hort to consider. (Also the way that Westcott is involved in the "communion of the saints" has a ring of spiritism.)


On your paper about Hoskier, you talked about theories of Aramaic origins for the Gospels and Revelation.

Yet in Codex B and its Allies, an earlier book, Hoskier forcefully argues that Latin was either the original langauge, and the strong possibility of dual editions in Latin and Greek. He also references Graeco-Latin dialect possibilities.

This is actually part of a long and rather fascinating tradition of scholarship that places Mark as writing in Latin for Rome. Since our textual theorists like to think in terms of Greek ms. primacy, this is rarely discussed today, even though there has never been a strong defense of Greek as the one original language of Mark.

Did his position change later? Do you have any references about his Aramaic theories? Especially re. Mark.


Steven Avery
Hernandez talks of a Hoskier theory of Aramaic origin.
Yet I am familiar with a very interesting case he makes for Mark having written a Latin edition.

This is on hold at New Testament Scholarship Worldwide:

Hoskier's Contribution to the Apocalypse's Textual History:
Collations, Polygots, Groupings
Hoskier Conference, Dublin, Ireland, 28 August, 2017
Juan Hernandez, Jr. istory_Collations_Polygots_Groupings

This is an interesting paper. Even from my Reformation Bible perspective, I would have liked to see a bit more about his occult dabbling. (A similar question arises with Christian David Ginsburg, although not as clear-cut.)

However, there seems to be a glaring omission.


Juan Hernandez, Jr.

"Aramaic Originals
Hoskier’s theory also serves to bring us closer to the original. That is to say, to the original language * or languages * of the New Testament. Hoskier thought it probable that books like Matthew, the Apocalypse, Mark, and even Luke were originally written in Aramaic. ... The idea of Aramaic originals, of course, was not distinctive to Hoskier." p. 4

Now I realize that this review is focusing on his Apocalypse writings,

When we go to:

Codex B and Its Allies (1914)
Chapter IV. Concerning the Genesis of the Latin Version of St. Mark's Gospel

We get a strong linguistic and historical case (one made by numerous other scholars over the years) that Mark was written in Latin. (Allowing alternative possibilities like two editions or a Graeco-Latin dialect.)


Hoskier Quotes on Mark

"To put the matter into as few words as possible, before the new Greek ms W was discovered my studies had already led me to consider that the ancients were probably right when they said that St. Mark had both preached and written his Gospel in the Latin tongue [see subscription to the Syriac vulgate and to some of our Greek manuscripts].

My impressions to-day are that the Gospel of Mark was written originally in Latin and in Greek, and circulated separately*that the Latin went to Latin Africa*thence to Greek Egypt, where it was translated into Greek. [But see the quotation further on from St. Jerome in connection with the testimony of Clement of Alexandria.] Hence a double Greek recension visible all along the line. .......

Thus Blass. I do not think there is much which points to an Aramaic original. - p. 126

It is quite unnecessary to repeat that St. Mark probably wrote his Gospel at Rome for Roman readers, and it is beside the mark to say that Greek was the current or polite language of the city or that the names of the early leaders and Popes were Greek names. The oral Gospel appealed first as thoroughly to the oppressed servants and slaves of the Roman households as to their masters; and what was the language of the common people ? Of the converted butchers, bakers and purveyors to these households? Of the masons, blacksmiths, carpenters etc? Of the Christian attaches and employes of the baths and places of public entertainment ? The catacombs tell us, and the inscriptions speak in no uncertain voice that the Latin and Greek tongues were in a state of flux in St. Mark’s day. ... p. 130

This is totally different than what is said about the language of Mark in the paper.
Did Hoskier simply do a 180 turn-around? Did Juan Hernandez Jr. miss something?

In the bigger picture, I do not believe the Mark in Latin understanding is given proper consideration in New Testament Scholarship -- worldwide !

Your help on this appreciated!

Steven Avery
Asheville, NC

There are two threads on this forum involving the Westcott-Hort seance information:

Westcott and Hort occultism - seance and "communion of saints"

Hort's seance attendance - ad hominem argumentation

Steven Avery