John William Burgon
Institute for Study of Ancient
Manuscripts, Texts and Papyri



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    The worst corruptions to which the New Testament has ever been subjected, originated within a hundred years after it was composed.                        – Frederick Henry Scrivener

    I am utterly disinclined to believe, so grossly improbable does it seem—that at the end of 1800 years, 995 copies out of every thousand, will prove untrustworthy; and that the one, two, three, four or five which remain, whose contents were till yesterday as good as unknown, will be found to have retained the secret of what the Holy Spirit originally inspired.     
    I am utterly unable to believe, in short, that God’s promise has so entirely failed, that at the end of 1800 years, much of the text of the Gospel had in point of fact to be picked by a German critic out of a wastepaper basket in the Convent of St. Catherine; and that the entire text has  to be remodeled after the pattern set by a couple of copies which had remained in neglect during fifteen centuries, and had probably owed their survival to that neglect; whilst hundreds of others had been thumbed to pieces, and had bequeathed their witness to copies made from them….             

                                                                  – John William Burgon 

    I... confess that ... the wholesale adoption by the Chairman of the Revising body [Bishop Ellicott], of the theory of two of the Revisers [Westcott & Hort],—and then, his exclusive reproduction and vindication of that theory, ... all this ... to me, looks very much indeed like what, in the language of lawyers, is called “Conspiracy.”    – John William Burgon

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