Scrivener's NT. A Correction & an Apology (& more facts)

From: Edward Hobbs (
Date: Fri Oct 13 1995 - 23:41:43 EDT

                  Correction, and Apology for Mistake

     Stephen Carlson's question about examples of the
divergences between Beza 1598 and the (presumed) Greek text underlying
the AV listed in the Appendix led me to examine my original 1881
Scrivener with care. Checking a few examples against the AV caused me
to re-study Scrivener's 7-page Preface. Now I must apologize for
having mis-read his slightly roundabout prose, and thus misleading you
who read my earlier posting.
     (Since all later "editions" of Scrivener's text are actually
reprintings of the original 1881, those of you who have the OnLine
Bible version said to be the 1894 printing almost certainly have his
1881 text.)
     His text was produced at the instance of the Sydics of the
Cambridge University Press, to fulfil in a rather extensive manner a
"Rule" laid down when the Revised Version (of 1881) was first
authorized, a Rule which originally had to do with the margin of the
English translation. The decision was made to produce a Greek text
which exhibited "a full and carefully corrected list of the readings
adopted which are at variance with the readings `presumed to underlie
the Authorized Version...'." Scrivener explains that publishing the
actual text underlying the AV would be impossible, but that something
approximating it might be done. Since "Beza's fifth and last text of
1598 was more likely than any other to be in the hands of King James's
revisers, and to be accepted by them as the best standard within their
reach", no important edition having appeared between its publication
and 1611, he decided to print that text as "the text followed in the
Authorised Version," subject to certain alterations. Since the 1611
translation was not a fresh one, but a revision of the Bishops' Bible,
which revised the Great Bible, which in fact incorporated much of
Tyndale, oftentimes the revisers simply passed on translation(s) based
on Greek texts other than Beza 1598, including Erasmus's 2nd and 3rd
(1519, 1522), earlier editions by Beza, and even Beza's 1556 Latin
     Scrivener's decision was to "displace from the text" any reading
in Beza 1598 where the AV translation seemed clearly to correspond
with a reading in one of the earlier editions "which might naturally
be known ... to the revisers of 1611 or their predecessors." This
certainly is not the same as producing the text which the AV revisers
followed; it rather is producing the text best known to them but with
those places altered where manifestly they or their predecessors
translated a different Greek reading.
     The Appendix lists Beza's readings in those 190 places where
Scrivener judged that the AV revisers (or their predecessors) had
followed a different (earlier) printed Greek edition, such passages
being marked in the text with an asterisk.
     (This last point is what I had backwards in my previous post.
     I humbly apologize to one and all for this hasty misreading.)

     I believe everything else is as I posted it previously.

     Thanks to Stephen Carlson for catching me up on this.

     Scrivener concludes his Preface with a single line of Greek, in
uncial style, capitals without spaces between words, all in the
lovely-quaint font used by Cambridge for OT quotations in the original
Westcott and Hort text (with C used for sigma):


--Edward C. Hobbs

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