Westcott-Hort Quotes re The Scriptures: and the problems with these

The Scriptures:

“I reject the word infallibility of Holy Scriptures overwhelmingly.”

Westcott, The Life and Letters of Brook Foss Westcott, Vol. I, p.207

“Our Bible as well as our Faith is a mere compromise.”

Westcott, On the Canon of the New Testament, p.vii

“Evangelicals seem to me perverted. . .There are, I fear, still more serious differences between us on the subject of authority, especially the authority of the Bible.”

Hort, The Life and Letters of Fenton John Anthony Hort, Vol. I, p.400

Dr. Wilbur Pickering writes that, “Hort did not hold to a high view of inspiration.”

The Identity of the New Testament Text, p.212

Perhaps this is why both the RV (which Westcott and Hort helped to translate) and the American edition of it, the ASV, translated 2 Timothy 3:16 as, “Every scripture inspired of God” instead of “All scripture is given by inspiration of God,” (KJV).

It is one thing to have doctrinal differences on baby-sprinkling and perhaps a few other interpretations. It is another to be a Darwin-believing theologian who rejects the authority of scriptures, Biblical salvation, the reality of hell, and makes Christ a created being to be worshipped with Mary his mother. Yet, these were the views of both Westcott and Hort. No less significant is the fact that both men were members of spiritist societies (the Hermes Club and the Ghostly Guild).

source: http://www.alcorne.free-online.co.uk/w_and_hQ.htm

 

Fully Accurate Quotes1)http://www.westcotthort.com/quotes2_scripture.html

Scripture

Here is a growing collection of contextually accurate quotes from Westcott and/or Hort about Scripture:

“However imperfectly this design has been carried out, I cannot but hope that such a method of inquiry will convey both the truest notion of the connexion of the written Word with the living body of Christ, and the surest conviction of its divine authority.” (A General Survey of the History of the Canon of the New Testament, 7th ed.; London: MacMillan & Co., 1896, p. vii)

“The books which are the divine record of Apostolic doctrine cannot be fitly considered apart from the societies in which the doctrine was embodied. A mere series of quotations can convey only an inadequate notion of the real extent and importance of the early testimonies to the genuiness and authority of the New Testament.” (History of the Canon of the New Testament, Westcott, p.2)

“a belief in the authority of the books of the New Testament so widely spread throughout the Christian body, so deeply rooted in the inmost consciousness of the Christian Church, so perfectly accordant with all the facts which we do know, can only be explained by admitteing that they are genuine and Apostolic, a written Rule of Christian Faith and Life.” (History of the Canon of the New Testament, Westcott, p.14)

“It was natural that a break should intervene between the inspired Scriptures and the spontaneous literature of Christianity, between the teaching of the Apostles and the teaching of the philosophers…” (History of the Canon of the New Testament, Westcott, p.20)

“The same Divine Power which watched over the fragmentary recital of the acts and words of the Lord and His disciples, so that nothing should be wanting which it concerns us to know, acted (as far as we can see) in like manner in preserving for our perpetual instruction those among the writings of the Apostles which had an abiding significance.” (History of the Canon of the New Testament, Westcott, pp. 42, 43)

“Their [the Holy Scriptures] catholicity is the constant mark of their divine origin; and the undesigned harmony which results from every possible combination of their different parts is the surest pledge of their absolute truth.” (History of the Canon of the New Testament, Westcott, p. 46)

“The testimony of the Apostolic Fathers is not however confined to the recognition of the several types of Christianity which are preserved in the Canonical Scriptures: they confirm the genuineness and authority of the books themselves.” (History of the Canon of the New Testament, Westcott, p. 47)

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“My design in all change has been to place in a clearer light the great laws of the interpretation of Holy Scripture, which (as I believe) alone vindicate most completely its claim to be considered as a message of God through men and to men.” (Introduction to the Study of the Gospels, Westcott, preface to the second edition)

“At the same time, it is gratifying to see the evidence everywhere apparent of the author’s [Westcott’s] convictions as a devout Christian, and a firm believer in the authority and inspiration of the Sacred Word. A tone of hearty confidence in the Scriptures, as true and the source of truth, pervades the work.” (An Introduction to the Study of the Gospels, London: MacMillan & Co., 1902, p. viii)

“We have a Bible competent to calm our doubts, and able to speak to our weakness. It then becomes not an utterance in strange tongues, but in the words of wisdom and knowledge. It is authoritative, for it is the voice of GOD; it is intelligible, for it is in the language of men.” (Introduction to the Study of the Gospels, Westcott, p.8)

“the personal conviction of the Inspiration and Completeness of Scripture depends in a great measure upon the accurate study of the Sacred Writings themselves” (Introduction to the Study of the Gospels, Westcott, p.36)

“Mere mechanical infallibility is but a poor substitute for a plenary Inspiriation, which finds its expression in the right relation between partial human knowledge and absolute Divine truth.” (Introduction to the Study of the Gospels, Westcott, p.41)

“The various proofs which may be adduced in support of the doctrine of the plenary inspiration of Holy Scripture, according to the sense in which it has been already explained, are various in kind, and will necessarily appear more or less forcible at different times and to different minds.” An Introduction to the Study of the Gospels, London: MacMillan & Co., 1902, p.43)

“The world which was at first good is now full of evil; man who was at first blessed has fallen under the curse of sin; and such contingencies seem to be involved necessarily in the idea of a finite existence. But a redemption has been wrought for both; and so too on the historical side of our religion an uncorrupted Bible lies before us if we patiently and candidly search for it, and a true personal interpretation may be gained by sincere and faithful study.” (Introduction to the Study of the Gospels, Westcott, pp.43-44)

“To speak of the proof of the Inspiration of the Scriptures involves, indeed, an unworthy limitation of the idea itself. In the fullest sense of the word we cannot prove the presence of life, but are simply conscious of it; and Inspiration is the manifestation of a higher life. The words of Scripture are spiritual words, and as such are spiritually discerned.” (An Introduction to the Study of the Gospels, London: MacMillan & Co., 1902, p.45)

Westcott had a “firm conviction of the unerring truthfulness of the Sacred writers” (Introduction to the Study of the Gospels, Westcott, p.45)

“But if we know by the ordinary laws of criticism that our Gospels are the only authentic records of the Saviour’s life, while we believe that Providence regards the well-being of the Christian Church, are we not necessarily led to conclude that some divine power overruled their composition, so that what must otherwise seem a meagre and incomplete record should contain all that is fittest historically to aid our progress and determine our faith?” (An Introduction to the Study of the Gospels, London: MacMillan & Co., 1902, pp.46, 47)

“…and it cannot but seem that the same Power which so definitely circumscribed its [the Gospels’] limits determined its contents.” (An Introduction to the Study of the Gospels, London: MacMillan & Co., 1902, p. 47)

“The same divine messengers who committed to writing the original records of revelation, embodied their teaching in a visible society. The Bible and the Church trace back their claims to the same source, and each can appeal to the other to bear witness to its permanent integrity.” (An Introduction to the Study of the Gospels, London: MacMillan & Co., 1902, p. 56)

“From what has been said, it follows that the personal conviction of the Inspiration and Completeness of Scripture depends, in a great measure, upon the accurate study of the Sacred Writings themselves;” (An Introduction to the Study of the Gospels, London: MacMillan & Co., 1902, p. 59)

“Mere mechanical infallibility is but a poor substitute for a plenary inspiration, which finds its expression in the right relation between partial human knowledge and absolute Divine truth.” (An Introduction to the Study of the Gospels, London: MacMillan & Co., 1902, p. 64)

“The same Providence who guided the composition of the Bible, has also furnished a Commentary on it in the fortunes of mankind.” (An Introduction to the Study of the Gospels, London: MacMillan & Co., 1902, p. 65)

“…for as the Son of God was made man for our redemption, so the Spirit of God spoke through men for our instruction.” (An Introduction to the Study of the Gospels, London: MacMillan & Co., 1902, p. 219)

“…if we can trace, under various forms, one great idea of inspiration in the scattered societies of ancient Christendom – if we can find it incorporated into distinct systems and acknowledged by the most incongruous minds – if the universal consent of antiquity lead us to Scripture for the groundwork of our creed – we shall surely acknowledge that tradition has done for us a noble and necessary work, by maintaining an inspired Bible, a definite canon, and a general method of interpretation.” (An Introduction to the Study of the Gospels, London: MacMillan & Co., 1902, p. 403)

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“If the Bible were only a collection of ancient writings its readers would have a right to claim that those who deal with it should be conversant with the laws of literary criticism, and the methods of historical inquiry. And if it is, as we devoutly believe, the very source and measure of our religious faith, it seems impossible to insist too earnestly on the supreme importance of patience, candour and truthfulness in investigating every problem which it involves. The first steps towards the solution of a difficulty are the recognition of its existence and the determination of its extent. And, unless all past experience is worthless, the difficulties of the Bible are the most fruitful guides to its divine depths. It was said long since that ‘God was pleased to leave difficulties upon the surface of Scripture, that men might be forced to look below the surface.'” (The Bible In The Church, Westcott, Preface p.x)

“The subject [(the Bible in the Church)] is one on which it is impossible to write without misgiving. If I have said anything which can be rightly construed as derogatory from the divine majesty of Holy Scripture, I am the first to wish it unsaid. If I have said anything inaccurately (and with all care it can scarcely be otherwise), I sincerely trust that I may be corrected. If I have said anything which may lead one student of the Bible to just and faithful views of its Divine authority, I thank God humbly for this fruit of painful and anxious work.” (The Bible In The Church, Westcott, Preface p.xiii)

“Thus it is that the whole Bible is rightly claimed as the pledge and type of the comprehensiveness and unity of the Christian Faith” (The Bible In The Church, Westcott, p.2)

“It is only by acknowledging the variety and distinctness of the parts of which the Bible is composed that we can gain any adequate sense of its real unity, of its inherent completeness, of its internal witness to its proper Divine authority.” (The Bible In The Church, Westcott, p.11)

“the Bible contains in itself the fullest witness to its Divine authority….legibly stamped with the Divine seal as ‘inspired by God’ in a sense in which no other writings are.” (The Bible In The Church, Westcott, p.14-15)

“The utterance of Scripture is treated as the voice of God conversing with men. Through the written word the Wisdom of God addresses us.” (The Epistle to the Hebrews, p.399)

“The Bible is the record, the inspired, authoritative record, of the divine education of the world.” (The Epistle to the Hebrews, p.493)

“From first to last God is seen in the Bible conversing with man. He speaks to man as man can hear, and man replies as he can use the gift of the Spirit.” (The Epistles of St. John, Westcott, Preface p.vii)

“The Law could not but bear witness to the truths which God had once spoken through it. The people could not do away with the promises and privileges which they had inherited. Side by side with the words of Christ which describe the Law as the special possession of its false interpreters (viii. 17, x. 34, xv. 25), other words of his affirm the absolute authority of its contents.” (The Gospel of St. John, Westcott, p.vii)

“And there is nothing arbitrary in the supposition that the Evangelist’s style may have been deeply influenced by the mode in which Christ set forth the mysteries of His own Person. Style changes with subject, according to the capacity of the speaker; and St John’s affinity with his Lord, which enabled him to reproduce the higher teaching, may reasonably be supposed to have enabled him also to preserve, as far as could be done, the characteristic form in which it was conveyed.
However this may have been, such a view of St John’s record of the Lord’s discourses as has been given derogates in no respect from their complete authority and truthfulness.” (The Gospel of St. John, Westcott, p.lviii)

“The commandment of God is the expression of absolute Truth.” (The Gospel of St. John, Westcott, p.187)

 

 

References   [ + ]

1. http://www.westcotthort.com/quotes2_scripture.html

Noah Moses

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