RE: Scrivener

Date: Sat Oct 14 1995 - 15:56:44 EDT

The following is a reply from Dr. Robinson, prof. of Greek and New Testament
at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, to the current thread redarding
the Scrivener text that I have been forwarding to him.


You might want to send these corrections to the b-greek group to resolve
the problems. Mention my name if you desire and that I am responsible
for the OLB Scrivener text etc.

On Fri, 13 Oct 1995 wrote:

> Edward Hobbs wrote:
> > ADDITION: Scrivener did NOT reconstruct the Greek text used by the AV
> > translators (though for all practical purposes he had to). He published
> > the 1598 edition of Beza. He then exhibited itAs differences from TWO
> > different translations' Vorlagen: (1) the differences from (his
> > calculation of) the Greek text actually followed by the 1611
> > translators, in an Appendix (pp. 648-656), and

This is a wholly erroneous statement, since those Appendix pages listed
make it clear that Mr. Hobbs is referring to the 1881 Scrivener text (of
which I have a copy). Mr. Hobbs simply did not read the Introduction or
the heading of the Appendix carefully.

Scrivener did publish a number of different editions of the Greek NT.
Nowhere do I know did he publish a complete unaltered copy of Beza 1598.

He did publish in 1881 the Greek text underlying the KJV, which he
admitted was the text of Beza 1598 EXCEPT for 191 readings which were
specifically listed in the Appendix, which Appendix shows their actual
source. His main text WAS constructed to be as close as possible to the
Greek text underlying the KJV, so long as such could be constructed from
printed Greek editions before 1611. This rule also precluded Scrivener
from translating Latin Vulgate readings back into Greek when no printed
Greek text before 1611 supported the KJV rendering (Scrivener did not want
to become Erasmus redivivus).

> Can you be so kind as to post a couple of examples from the
> Scrivener's Text where the Greek text followed by the AV
> translators differs from Beza's 1598 edition? I'd like to find
> out just what kind of a "Scrivener's Text" I own.

I have the appendix in my reprint copy of the 1881 edition, but it is too
extensive to list in toto. Sample readings by reference only include for
all of Matthew 1:8-9, 23; 2:11,17; 3:3; 9:18; 10:10,25; 11:21; 13:24;
20:15; for all of Mark 1:21; 4:18; 5:38; 6:45,53; 8:22; 9:38,42; 10:46;
13:9; 14:21; 15:3; 16:14,20. If you own a Scrivener text (whether 1881 or
1894), the text is identical and it is NOT a mere reprint of Beza 1598.

Scrivener himself states in the preface to the 1881 edition:

  Wherever therefore the Authorised renderings agree with other Greek
  readings which might naturally be known through printed editions to
  the revisers of 1611 or their predecessors, Beza's [1598] reading has
  been DISPLACED from the text in favor of the more truly representative
  reading, the variation from Beza being indicated by * [an asterisk].
  . . . All variations from Beza's text of 1598, in number about 190,
  are set down in an Appendix at the end of the volume, together with
  the authorities on which they respectively rest. (pp. viii-ix; emphasis
> The "Scrivener's Text" that is distributed with the Online Bible
> is clearly labeled to be an 1894 edition, not 1881 as your copy
> indicates. I did an author search in my university's library
> system and found out that F.H.A.Scrivener died in 1891, just three
> years prior to this "Scrivener's Text." Is it possible that most of
> the computerized bible's "Scrivener's Text" versions come from a
> later edition, where perhaps this appendix of differences had been
> integrated into the main text?

And the answer is an unequivocal "no". The 1894 text and the 1881 text
are identical. I suspect that Scrivener's 1894 edition simply contained
the Greek text of the 1881 edition without the boldfaced main text
variants from the Greek underlying the ERV or the footnotes showing such
variant readings. I.e., I suspect the 1894 to be the bare text only in a
"Reader's edition" type of text (with or without the Appendix as well).
The primary aim of the 1881 edition was to show (in heavy bold type) the
differences made in the Reviser's Greek text underlying the 1881 English
Revised Version from the text which presumably underlay the KJV. These
differences were all noted at the foot of the page and the main text
boldfaced to alert the reader of the change.

My own copy of the 1881 edition (D.A. Waite's xerox) is from the 1949
Cambridge University Press reprint of the 1881 volume (yes, it stayed in
print that long!). Its reprint history goes 1881 (3 printings), 1883,
1884, 1886, 1890, 1908, and 1949. No changes were made in any reprint

Note that the 1894 edition is not listed in this lineage, but (as the
Trinitarian Bible Society reprint of Scrivener 1894 states in its

   The present edition of the Textus Receptus underlying the English
   Authorised Version of 1611 follows the text of Beza's 1598 edition as
   the primary authority, and corresponds with "The New Testament in the
   Original Greek according to the text followed in the Authorised
   Version" edited by F. H. A. Scrivener ... and published by Cambridge
   University Press in 1894 and 1902.

Neither the 1894 or 1902 dates are in the 1881 reprint lineage. My guess
is that the 1894 edition was merely a separate printing which did NOT
emphasize in bold type the differences between the KJV and ERV as did the
1881 edition, but merely presented the reconstructed text of the
underlying KJV Greek from the 1881 edition. I also am not certain whether
the 1894 edition included the Appendix, and would have to check the
library on that.

> Given that the quote that started this thread explicitly connected
> Scrivener's Text and the KJV, I wonder which Scrivener's Text the
> original writer was referring to.

One and the same, regardless of edition, it appears.

> In fact, it is Beza's 1598 edition of the Textus Receptus, printed
> oddly: The readings adopted by the (English company) Revisers are at the
> bottom of each page, while the readings IN THE TEXT which were displaced
> by the readings adopted by the Revisers are printed in boldface type.
> He then gives an Appendix which lists the passages where the 1611
> did NOT follow Beza's text but instead translated readings from previous
> editions of the TR (total number: 190 readings)--pp. 648-656.

Again, Scrivener admits that the text is basically Beza 1598. Scrivener
also clearly states that he DEPARTED from Beza 1598 exactly 191 times to
insert readings followed by the KJV translators which did NOT come from Beza
1598, and the
original Beza 1598 readings are contained in the Appendix, together with
the source editions of the readings followed by the KJV translators,
which readings Scrivener placed INTO his 1881/1894 edition main text.

> Scrivener himself shifted from a pro-TR position, gradually, to
> the point where he basically affirmed the text adopted by the Revisers
> of 1881 (i.e, in the main, the text of Westcott and Hort).

Been reading Daniel Wallace I see. The truth is
that, while Scrivener DID adopt some non-Byzantine readings (specifically
due to his methodology which did not include manuscript testimony beyond
that of the 10th century, thus eliminating most of the minuscules), he
still continued to favor in the main the earlier form of the Byzantine
Texttype. The total number of reading where Scrivener departed from the
Byzantine Texform are probably less than 200, whereas Westcott and Hort,
following a purely Alexandrian text, departed probsably 3000 times from
the Byzantine Text. (And note especially, Scrivener NEVER was a "TR"
defender, but a pro-Byzantine supporter. The TR is NOT equal to the
Byzantine text, and it is unfair to charge Scrivener with
defending the TR per se).

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