RGA - BCEME - new questions that arise after March, 2021

Steven Avery


The same for Tertullian, the references are complementary and Mill sees them both as based on the heavenly witnesses.

We will look also at how Augustine is referenced.
And we will plan to mention various evidences for authenticity from Mill that Grantley never mentions.
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Steven Avery

Erasmus says the Latin Vulgate was by a composite of makeshift efforts over time?

BCEME - p. 15
Erasmus deduced that the Latin Vulgate was not all the work of Jerome, a church father he held in great respect, but was a composite of makeshift efforts made over time by fallible humans.

This does not pass my smell test, and would need a reference to even be considered. Is this true, or is this a Grantley hopeful monster?

As an example, Drummond has a good section on Erasmus and Jerome:

Erasmus, His Life and Character as Shown in His Correspondence and Works, Volume 1 (1873)
Robert Blackley Drummond
p. 346-360
p. 307 is the Vulgate with p. 314 an interesting quote

No hints of the idea from Grantley.

If this were true, it would have been an easy defense for Erasmus to use against the Vulgate Prologue.

And if this had been put in RGA, I believe Henk de Jonge or another reader would have stopped the presses.
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Steven Avery

Jacques Lefèvre d’Étaples - translate the Greek text before Erasmus?

BCEME - p. 17
Lee published his own Annotationes on Erasmus’ Annotationes in early 1520 ... Lee could not object that Erasmus had dared print the Greek Scriptures, for Aldus had done the same in 1518, and Lee was not pursuing him. ... He could not object that Erasmus alone had dared to translate the Greek text, for Jacques Lefèvre d’Étaples had done this before Erasmus.

Aldus was essentially printing an Erasmus edition, so that objection to an objection makes no sense.

BCEME p. 56
The Aldine edition of 1518 generally follows Erasmus’ first edition of 1516, augmented by additional details from an important codex in Venice
(Biblioteca Marciana ms gr. Z. 10 (394), GA 209eap).1

As for Jacques Lefèvre d’Étaples translating a Greek text before Erasmus, I have no idea what Grantley is thinking. This is his bibliography:

Lefèvre d’Étaples, Jacques. Commentarii in Epistolas Catholicas. Basel: Cratander, 1527.

Steven Avery

Erasmus was bluffing?

No reason to impugn his integrity, he had seen mss. all over Europe over many years, some of them are even in Grantley's footnote. On p. 320 he does not throw out the bluffing red herring.

BCEME - 19
Erasmus claimed to have inspected more manuscripts than Valla ever did. (In fact Erasmus was bluffing here. His text of the Catholic Epistles was as yet based only on three manuscripts: GA 1, 2815 and 2816.)17

17 P.-Y. Brandt 1998, 121–122; ASD VI-3:1–12; Krans 2006, 335–336; and ASD VI-4:1–6, 484, identify
the manuscripts used by Erasmus. For the first edition he consulted the following manuscripts: GA
1eap (used for proofreading and annotations); GA 2e (printer’s copy); GA 817e (proofreading and
annotations [Theophylact]); GA 2814rK† (the second volume of GA 1, borrowed from Reuchlin);
GA 2815ap (the second volume of GA 2; used for printer’s copy and corrections, and as principal
source for Acts, Heb 12:18–13:25, Catholic Epistles); GA 2816ap (used for corrections; Estienne
used the first volume as his γʹ [= GA 4e]); GA 2817p† (printer’s copy, used for corrections and
annotations). Since Erasmus counted manuscripts comprising multiple volumes as a single manuscript,
his claim to have used five manuscripts at Basel (a claim questioned by Krans 2006, 335
n. 1) is correct. Erasmus also drew on notes taken from manuscripts he had examined in England,
and his edition consequently contains readings taken from GA 69 (text and annotations; see ASD
VI-3:10–11) and 2105p† (annotations [Theophylact; not noted by Brandt]). For the 1519 edition,
Erasmus integrated some corrections from GA 3eap and a manuscript of the Gospels from St Agnes
at Zwolle; see ASD IX-2:191, note to line 461; and Erasmus, Epist. 504, 516. For the 1522 edition,
Erasmus added material from the Aldine edition and Montfortianus (GA 61eapr). The 1527 edition
integrated variants from the Complutensian edition. In the 1535 edition of the Annotations,
Erasmus recorded variants from codex Vaticanus (GA B/03), supplied to him by Juan Ginés de
Sepúlveda, in a letter sent in 1533: see the annotations on Mk 1:1, Lk 10:1, Lk 23:46, and Acts 27:16
(Erasmus 1535b, 113, 187, 216, 331). Erasmus found the agreements between the readings in GA 03
and the Latin Vulgate suspicious, though in the case of Mk 1:1 he thought that Vaticanus had the
correct reading. See also his comments on Vaticanus in 1535a, β3v; and the commentary in Semler
1764, 75–76. In his Apologia to Stunica, Erasmus mentions having used manuscripts in England,
Brabant and Basel; on these manuscripts (one Greek, one Latin), see ASD IX-4:55, note to line
855; and 327, note to line 250. Tregelles, in Horne 1856, 4:108–111; Rummel 1986, 35–42, 195; Elliott
2009c, 244.

BCEME - p. 320
22 Lee had argued that if this variant was so important, it would have been mentioned by Valla, who had seen seven codices of the Greek text; see Erasmus 1520, 200–201. In his reply to Lee (ASD IX-4:323, 326), Erasmus points out that Valla was a fallible human, and that he himself had seen more than Valla’s seven codices, all of them lacking the comma.

Plus, do we even know if Valla's seven Greek mss. all were complete NT texts?

Steven Avery

Stunica and the Complutensian Polyglot

Grantley's analysis looks correct.

BCEME - p. 23
28 There is no evidence for the oft-repeated claim, made for example by Scrivener 1894b, 2:405, that Stunica was the editor-in-chief of the project; see Bataillon 1937, 43; and de Jonge in ASD IX-2:14–17.

Also RGA p. 70

And I add Swete and the superb Basil Hall article for corroboration, and show the incorrect claim made today.

Steven Avery

BCEME - p. 96
Biandrata advocated the rejection of the scholastic theology of the Trinity in favour of that of the earliest Christian theologians, such as Irenaeus, Tertullian and Hilary of Poitiers. He rejected the term ‘Trinity’ in favour of ‘the three’ in order to emphasise the separateness of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and to allow for the subordination of the latter two to the Father.105
105 Lech Szczucki, ‘Antitrinitarianism’, in OER.
(Oxford Encyclopedia of the Reformation)

Does Biandrata specifically mention the three, especially Hilary?
Or is that from OER?
Or neither?

Steven Avery

On p. 97 this comes right after:

BCEME - p. 84
Whereas Biandrata believed that the only father to quote the comma was ‘Jerome’ (that is, the prologue to the Catholic Epistles),

BCEME - p. 97
According to Biandrata and Dávid, Erasmus’ Annotations on the New Testament had revealed the extent to which the church had hoodwinked simple believers about the true nature of the faith. Erasmus’ annotation on the Johannine comma in particular revealed the inconsistency of the fathers (notably Jerome) on this point.

No reference. Did they really write about the inconsistency of Jerome? At this time all sides accepted Jerome's Prologue.

There is some indication from Coogan. (check Biandrata, maybe Gerhard.)

On 1 Jn 5:7-8 , Bellarmine attacks Blandrata who teaches that only in Jerome does one find the three heavenly witnesses . He claims that Blandrata simply follows Erasmus in accusing Jerome of doing somethjng shameful by inserting the Comma p. 113

So he was apparently accusing Jerome in some way. Inconsistency? We would need the primary quote. And why are other fathers accused of inconsistency when he felt they did not reference the verse? Possibly for having Trinitarian doctrine without the verse?

All a bit vague, needs the primary source.
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Steven Avery

Newton Blunders on the Complutensian Note - Henry Thomas Armfield correction

BCEME p. 173 -
(also RGA p. 210)

Covered in a more complex way here:

Newton harboured similar suspicions about the authority of the reading in the Complutensian edition. While the edition was ostensibly based on manuscripts from the papal library, no such manuscripts containing the comma could later be found. Moreover, the marginal note in the Complutensian edition aroused Newton’s suspicions. Admittedly, the annotation gave a justification for the reading in the Latin text:

But this is not the main designe: for so the annotation should have been set in the margin of the Latin Version. It’s being set in the margin of the Greek text shews that it’s main designe is to justify the greek by the Latine thus rectified & confirmed. Now to make Thomas thus in a few words do all the work was very artificial, & in Spain where Thomas is of Apostolic authority might passe for a very judicious & substantial defence of the printed Greek: but to us Thomas Aquinas is no Apostle; we are seeking for the authority of greek manuscripts.197

BCEME 197 Newton 1959–1977, 3:102.
RGA 151 Newton, 1785, 5:521-522.

Newton - 1803
Newton - 1841

Once again, Henry Thomas Armfield, who is not even in the bibliography, gives us the correct understanding, and specifically corrects Newton:

The Three Witnesses. The Disputed Text in St. John: Considerations New and Old (1883)
Henry Thomas Armfield

Sir Isaac Newton seems to understand that the famous Note was inserted in the margin of the Complutensian Polyglott by the editors, as some sort of explanation of the irregularity which they were conscious of introducing into the Greek text, when they introduced the disputed verse.* It may, however, be questioned whether the Note was intended to have anything to do either with this Greek text or with the claims of the disputed verse. It seems rather intended as a justification of their version of the Latin text. The ordinary Latin text had not only a clause—“ These Three are One” (hi tres unum sunt)—with the heavenly witnesses, but also a second clause—“ These Three agree in One” (hi tres unum sunt)—with the earthly witnesses. This second clause the Complutensian editors thought not genuine, and accordingly omitted it. The Note is their defence of this step and is not, as Sir Isaac Newton, and Dr. Davidson after him, seem to have thought, any indication that they felt their Greek text in this part of the Epistle to need apology. The Note may be translated as follows :—

“St. Thomas, in his exposition of the second decretal upon the Supreme Trinity and the Catholic Faith, in treating the following passage against Abbot Joachim—viz., “There are Three who bear witness in heaven, Father, Word, and Holy Ghost,” says as follows :

“And in order to teach the Unity of the Three Persons, there is subjoined, ‘And these Three are One’ ”—which indeed is said on account of their unity of essence. But Joachim, minded to take this perversely, tried to fasten its authority upon a unity of love and consent. For there is added in the same passage : “ And there are three that bear witness on earth—Spirit, Water, and Blood.”

And in some books there is added : “And these Three are One.” This, however, is not contained in the true copies ; but it is said to have been added by the Arian heretics, in order to pervert the true understanding of the foregoing authority about the unity in essence of the Three Persons. Thus for St. Thomas in the place cited above.”

* See Chapter I.

Lateran Council Latin on p. 60, no English
Complutensian - p. 88 Latin, no English
RGA does have a related Aquinas Latin quote on p. 63

neither Latin or English for either

The Newton error should be corrected. (Without a comment, it becomes Grantley's error.)
If the English were included, it would be clear.

Samuel Davidson error


RGA p. 88 goes into this in the context of the Screech cancel-sheet (itself an error discussed above) discussion:

The new marginal note consists of a condensed extract from Thomas Aquinas’ commentary on the decision taken at the Fourth Lateran Council to condemn Joachim of Fiore’s position on the Trinity.35 This new note has two functions: firstly, it gives an authoritative theological justification for the omission of the phrase καὶ οἱ τρεῖς εἰς τὸ ἕν εἰσιν at the end of verse 8 in the Complutensian edition; more importantly, it was supposed to show on the authority of Aquinas that Erasmus’ omission of the comma from his edition and his inclusion of the last phrase of verse 8 betrayed a hint of Arianism. Yet the insertion of this new note required the typesetter to put some of the Greek text on fol. KK2r into line 54, the lowest line available in the forme, usually only used for the signature; this typographical aberration is unique in the entire edition.

35 Reeve and Screech, 1990, XXI, reproduce KK2r-v of the Complutensian New Testament; the marginal note reads as follows (original punctuation):

“Sanctus Thomas in expositione secunde decretalis de summa trinitate & fide catholica tractans istum passum contra abbatem Ioachim videlicet Tres sunt qui testimonium dant in celo. pater: verbum: & spiritus sanctus: dicit ad litteram verba sequentia. Et ad insinuandam vnitatem trium personarum subditur & hii tres vnum sunt. Quodquidem dicitur propter essentie vnitatem. Sed hoc Ioachim perverse trahere volens ad vnitatem charitatis et consensus inducebat consequentem auctoritatem. Nam subditur ibidem: & tres sunt qui testimonium dant in terra, s. spiritus: aqua: & sanguis. Et in quibusdam libris additur: & hii tres unum sunt. Sed hoc in veris exemplaribus non habetur: sed dicitur esse appossitum ab hereticis arrianis ad peruertendum intellectum sanum auctoritatis premisse de vnitate essentie trium personarum. Hec beatus Thomas ubi supra.”

My examination of the watermarks in the copy in the Bibliothèque nationale de France did not reveal any conclusive evidence.
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Steven Avery

Grantley paints abortion, perversion and evolution as the good guys

Grantley McDonald - BCEME p. 9

"But adherence to the textus receptus and translations based upon it, notably the Authorised Version, is not simply a textual or literary preference. It frequently underlies a conservative social and moral program. In recent decades, some who hold such views have attempted to influence public education policy, such as the teaching of evolution in schools, and the regulation of sexual and reproductive issues, such as the availability of abortion and the legality of same-sex relationships. In the last few decades, the Johannine comma, one of the clearest instances of a conflict between academic critics and biblical conservatives, has thus regained its power to raise considerable passions."


Steven Avery
Quite clear where you stand.

Facebook - Textus Receptus Academy

Grantley's strange response can be seen on the Facebook thread.

And this similar confused, perverse quote.

RGA p. 6
Worldwide, biblical fundamentalism is alive and well in Christianity, Islam and Judaism. In its more benign forms it might induce people to climb Mt Ararat in search of Noah’s Ark. In more advanced cases it may lead people to lobby governments to prevent the teaching of evolution in schools, or to influence policy in other ways. In terminal cases it might lead millions to believe that it is more virtuous to spread an incurable disease than wear a condom, or that it is a thing pleasing to God to declare a crusade or a jihad, to enter a foreign country and murder the innocent.
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Steven Avery

Grantley struggles to defend the wacky world of Higher Criticism - Erasmus a German

RGA p. 299-300

An examination of The Fundamentals reveals that its basic impulse is antirationalistic and ultimately anti-intellectual: “No expert scholarship can settle questions that require a humble heart, a believing mind and a reverent spirit, as well as a knowledge of Hebrew and philology,” wrote one of the contributors to The Fundamentals, the Anglican canon Dyson Hague.9 There was a lot of good sense in what Hague had to say, but much of his argumentation is based on nothing firmer than prejudice: “some of the most powerful exponents of the modern Higher Critical theories have been Germans,” Hague asserted, “and it is notorious to what length the German fancy can go in the direction of the subjective and of the conjectural. For hypothesis-weaving and speculation, the German theological professor is unsurpassed.”10 According to Hague, German Higher Critics are given not merely to fancy, but also to apostasy: “the leaders of the Higher Critical movement in Germany and Holland have been men who have no faith in the God of the Bible, and no faith in either the necessity or the possibility of a personal supernatural revelation.”11 (continues)

9 Hague, 1910, 116.
10 Hague, 1910, 90.
11 Hague, 1910, 91.
Hague, Dyson. “The History of the Higher Criticism.” In The Fundamentals. A Testimony to the Truth. Chicago: Testimony Publishing Company, [1910]: 1:87-122.

It is an absurdity for Grantley to criticize the accurate analysis of the German errors as "prejudice". This is actually a superb article by Dyson Hague, today as much as 1910, and Grantley was just fishing for a critique.

Various Versions.

The Fundamentals: The Famous Sourcebook of Foundational Biblical Truths
The History of the Higher Criticism
p. 13-19


And here:


ADDED RGA p. 300

Hague might have been surprised to discover that his own defiant resistance towards professional biblical scholarship was the heritage of a German professor who lived some four centuries previously.

Here Grantley mixes up higher criticism with the textual work of Erasmus.

He also makes a Dutchman into a German.

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Steven Avery

The 1 Timothy 3:16 corrigenda remains a disaster:

Earlier post that likely led to corrigenda, (also discussions with Grantley)

Luther and Erasmus wrongly said to support ὃς, the modern Critical Text solecism corruption


Erasmus never speaks of the relative pronoun "who", nor does he talk of "optical confusion" (given twice by Grantley!). Grantley is actually de facto acknowledging that QEOS is the early Greek reading that led to the ultra-minority Greek corruption "who", which again has nothing to do with what was written by Erasmus.

Whew. What a mess.

So far, Grantley has avoided the important corrigenda, with this one exception.

Steven Avery

Grantley pretends to support the Greek Majority as the Original Text

RGA p.138
The Elzevier editions of the Greek New Testament (1633 and 1641) present what has been dubbed the textus receptus. This text was based on the later editions of Erasmus, Robert Estienne and Bèze, which in turn drew on only a small number of relatively late manuscripts of the Byzantine text type. The textus receptus can thus make only a limited claim to represent the Ausgangstext.74

74 As Wallace 2013, 723–724, points out, and Heide 2006, demonstrates in detail, the textus receptus departs from the Majority (or Byzantine) text in more than 1,800 places.

Why is Grantley claiming that the Majority (or Byzantine) text as the initial text?

That is not his belief at all.

And the Received Text is a far superior text to that Greek Majority text.


Wallace, Daniel B. ‘The Majority Text Theory: History, Methods, and Critique.’
In The Text of the New Testament in Contemporary Research. Ed. Bart D. Ehrman and Michael W. Holmes. 2nd ed. Leiden: Brill, 2013: 711–744.

Note: the Wallace paper was originally written in 1994.

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Steven Avery

Trying to Utilize Evolutionary Nonsense as similar to Textual Criticism Nonsense

RGA - p. 294
The techniques perfected by nineteenth-century philologists like Tischendorf for studying genealogical relationships between textual sources had a surprising parallel in Darwin’s theory of evolution. Darwin’s techniques for tracing the descent of species through homologies and analogies were analogous to those used by textual critics, who used the minute changes from one copy of a given text to another to reconstruct genealogical trees of extant texts and even ‘missing links’ whose existence, form and even location was suggested by the extant evidence. Nineteenth-century philologists used similar techniques to trace the development of families of languages. These similarities were not lost on Darwin.62

62 Dennett 1995, 136–138

Dennett, Daniel. Darwin’s Dangerous Idea. Evolution and the Meanings of Life. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995.

Darwin’s Dangerous Idea. Evolution and the Meanings of Life
Daniel Clement. Dennett

A discussion of Plato. What a nothing.

Confuses study of languages with studies of texts. Has nothing to do with the Bible.
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Steven Avery

Grantley talks of the "excision" of Acts 20:28 and 1 Timothy 3:16 (which are questions of variants)

Acts 20:28
Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock,
over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers,
to feed the church of God,
which he hath purchased with his own blood.

RGA p. 284
Conservatives such as Frederick Nolan (1815) were anxious that the work of critics like Griesbach threatened passages such as Jn 7:53-8:11 (the woman caught in adultery), Acts 20:28 (the command to the bishops), 1 Tim 3:16 (the short Christological creed) and the Johannine comma. Nolan feared that the excision of these passages would undermine several key doctrines of Christianity.

Grantley did not understand that there was no excision involved in two of the passages.

Notice the silly psycho-babble language, anxious, feared, Discussed elsewhere.


Grantley avoided this blunder in BCEME.

BCEME p. 294
Frederick Nolan (1815) feared that the work of critics like Griesbach had undermined doctrine by threatening the textual integrity of passages such as Jn 7:53–8:11 (the woman caught in adultery), Acts 20:28 (the command to the bishops), 1 Tim 3:16 and the Johannine comma.


BCEME p. 254
Aside from the Historical Account of the comma and 1 Tim 3:16, he had also copied a third letter, dealing with further textual corruptions
in the New Testament.564

564 An early fair copy, not in Newton’s hand, is in Oxford, New College ms 361.4, 49r–68r; Newton deals with Mt 19:17, 24:6; Lk 19:41, 22:43–44; Jn 4:24, 19:40; Acts 13:41, 20:28; Rom 9:5, 15:32; 1 Cor 10:9; Eph 3:9, 3:14; Phil 3:3, 4:13; 2 Thess 1:9; 2 Pt 3:18; 1 Jn 2:14, 3:16, 4:3; 5:20; Jude 4, 5; Rev
1:11. This letter is edited in Newton 1959–1977, 3:129–142; a fourth letter is in Newton 1959–1977, 3:144–146.

Newton is generally wrong, but that is another discussion. One reason why the additional letters are rarely mentioned. Grantley does get a nod for mentioning this other Newton nonsense.
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Steven Avery

Grantley wrongly places von Soden as a supporter of the Alexandrine recension

RGA p. 297

The first catalyst of these shifts was the critical work of such scholars as Griesbach, Scholz, Lachmann, Tregelles, Tischendorf, Gregory, Westcott and Hort, von Soden and Nestle. Their support for the Alexandrine recension of the New Testament posed an aggressive challenge to the authority of the textus receptus.1

1 As Wallace, 1997, 306, points out, and Heide, 2006, demonstrates in considerable detail, the textus receptus and the Majority or Byzantine text are not the same thing; the textus receptus departs from the Majority text in over eighteen hundred places.

False for von Soden.

von Soden, 1913. Hermann Freiherr von Soden,

Von Soden's text is based upon a theory of the manuscript tradition which divides witnesses into three basic groups: the Koine text (from Asia Minor), the Hesychian text (from Egypt), and the Jerusalem text. These three are reconstructed by von Soden and put on the same level as witnesses to the original text. Wherever two agree upon a reading he adopts that reading in his text. Consequently, von Soden's text approaches much more closely to the Received Text than any other modern critical edition.


It is fair to say that his edition was not TR, it is wrong to say he supported the Alexandrine recension.


The claim is also questionable for Griesbach, Scholz, Lachmann and Tregelles.
These editions were all over the map:

Griesbach's second edition of 1796-1806 became the basis of the frequently reprinted manual edition of 1805 (see Griesbach 1805), the one usually referred to in citations of Griesbach. As is often the case with scholars, Griesbach's leading ideas are presented most clearly in his first edition, while in later editions and in other works these views are qualified and expressed more guardedly. And so in his first Preface Griesbach speaks of the hypothetical recensions of Semler almost as if they were known to have been made, and also assigns to the various readings in his margin marks to indicate the recension to which they belonged. But these marks are not found in his second edition, and in the second Preface he refrains from employing historical speculations in his argument. For a discussion of this change in Griesbach's theory of recensions, see chapter seven of Tregelles 1856, in which Tregelles shows that Griesbach was finally unable to keep up a distinction between "Alexandrian" and "Western" witnesses. (See also Tregelles 1854, p. 91).
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Steven Avery

How to mess up the Cyprian heavenly witnesses reference, let us count the ways.


In this post, a WIP,
we will study many of the ways that the Cyprian evidence is skewed.
For now, an outline.


Grantley accepts his own ultra-dubious Tertullian to Cyprian allegorical theory.

And Grantley never goes into the huge holes in that theory of interpolation.

The complementary Jubaianus reference is MIA.

Grantley totally messes up John Mill, blunder, to have him with with an allegorical theory, the opposite of the truth, Mill slammed those theories.

Actually, John Mill and others like Pieper use the Cyprian evidence as key to authenticity.

Walter Thiele's incredible analysis is included in RGA (Thiele is a compatriot with the thesis folk) but only as an outlier. And then removed from his more independent work, BCEME.

The incredible "safer and more candid" comment from Scrivener is MIA.

Grantley never goes into this incredibly primary evidence missing from Erasmus and the Annotationes and Valladolid
Yet we have pic from 1520 Erasmus
When was first use in HW. -
perhaps 1500s Jean Hessels, Sirlets, Zanchi, Bugenhagen, Salmeron

Jean Hessels - first Reformation-era reference to Cyprian Unity of the Church


Review of Grantley comments.

ECW historians like Gallicet
Gregory Thaumaturgus


Arthur Cleveland Coxe on Tertullian, Cyprian and the Treatise on Rebaptism

Richard Simon



Best writers .. again Henry Thomas Armfield, Arthur Cleveland Coxe and Franz Pieper

copiously and textually abundantly and accurately.

How does he handle the Fulgentius and Facundus interplay?

Cyprian grammar per Cornwall

Maynard in the Burning Bush

Anything in Adam Ployd, Bill Brown, Tim Dunkin and the Wallace and Marty Shue papers

Cyprian & the heavenly witnesses (Daniel Wallace & Martin Shue articles)

Apparatus entry

triplex testimonium spiritus - Duplicio




Cyprian reference analysis from 1500s to today


More to come and more details to come.
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Steven Avery

Pretending that the Cyprian reference is not any evidence.

Here is one of the most absurd, non-factual claims from Grantley.

Cyprian’s wording does not provide any evidence that the comma was part of the biblical text with which he was familiar. Rather, it seems that he merely understood the phrase tres unum sunt (1 Jn 5:8) to refer obscurely to the Trinity, as Tertullian had done before him.

It is funny reading "does not provide any evidence" followed by the equivocal "it seems".

Any simple reading of the Cyprian reference:

Cyprian - Unity of the Church
“The Lord says ‘I and the Father are one’ [Jn 10:30]; and again, it is written of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost: ‘And these three are one’

Must agree that it is at least SOLID EVIDENCE of the heavenly witnesses. Even if you decide to try to offer an awkward and difficult claim that it was Cyprian allegorizing from a hidden scripture.

Even before going into Mill, Scrivener, Pieper, Thiele, etc.

Grantley seems to be trying to follow Alan England Brooke:


Mentioned also here in the PBF Tertullian post
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Steven Avery

Methodology of the Revision Committee - "list of variants"

While Grantley gets pretty much everything wrong with Westcott and Hort, this one is a real historical doozy:

BCEME p. 296-297
The committee for the revision, headed by Westcott and Hort, decided that it would not construct a new Greek text upon which to base its revision. However, wherever they considered that recent textual scholarship had established a better reading than that presumed to have been used for the Authorised Version, and that such an improved reading would materially alter the English translation, they added it to a list of variants to be used in the revision.

It looks like Grantley just made this up, and he is totally wrong. Westcott and Hort distributed their proposed new text in sections.

That is why there is no reference. It is understandable that Grantley was not well informed. However ... why just make things up? If there is a source, why not give it with the claim?

They actually handed out their Greek text starting in 1870.

As early as 1870-1871, Westcott and Hort, both Anglican clergymen, shared their text of the Gospels and Epistles with the revision committee and (along with F. H. A. Scrivener) were accepted as the authorities on textual matters.

Foreward by Elden Jay Epp

Although Maurice Robinson uses a quote from Hort that places this a bit later.

22. It may be well to state that the kindness of our publishers has already allowed us to place successive instalments of the Greek text privately in the hands of the members of the Company of Revisers of the English New Testament, and of a few other scholars. The Gospels, with a temporary preface of 28 pages, were thus issued in July 1871, the Acts in February 1873, the Catholic Epistles in December 1873, the Pauline Epistles in February 1875, Apocalypse in December 1876.

They may have handed out individual sheets first, in 1870-71. It was all done in secrecy.

ETC post




Here there is a discussion of Scrivener keeping a list of variants for his special 1881 edition, that was designed to keep the original AV text away from the readers of the Revision Greek text.

"a list of places they had chosen to differ from the Greek text presumed to underlie the AV. This list had been kept by Scrivener, who was on the Revision Committee, and who was appointed the task by the Committee."

What is your source for Scrivener working off a list of variants he was keeping during the Revision project?


They therefore communicated to the Oxford and Cambridge University Presses a full and carefully corrected list of the readings adopted which are at variance with the readings “presumed to underlie the Authorised Version,” in order that they might be published independently in some shape or other.

Newth also weighs in on all this intrigue.
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