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From Sacred Text to Religious Text: An Intellectual History of the Impact of Erasmian Lower Criticism on Dogma as a Contribution to the

English Enlightenment and the Victorian Crisis of Faith

-----Original Message----From: PAGAN Sally [] Sent: Monday, February 27, 2012 3:19 AM To: Subject: RE: Letis Dissertation Hello Thank you for your email. I can make you a paper copy of this thesis but the British Library Ethos project already has a digital copy on line. I will give you their email address. I believe it is free to download!!! Hope this helps Sally Pagan

By Theodore P. Letis, B. A., M. T. S.

Doctor of Philosophy University of Edinburgh 1995





A religious belief in verbal inspiration gavethe Christian Bible its sacred text statuswithin the matrix of the Church. The lower,or textual criticism, first Church by Erasmusand developedftirther the the sanctionof practiced outside by non-Trinitarians initially, offered the first significant direct challenge to this belief in the early modern period. This, the dissertationargues,was the proper beginning, phenomenologicallyspeaking,of the processof desacralization. Moreover, it is arguedthat the desacralizing lower the role of criticism was
further manifested when it was discovered that certain theologically significant by Erasmian have from later the those to perceived in school passages, resulted interpolation into the text of Scripture, illegitimately lent support to dogmas Trinity, deity birth. lower Christ The the the the of and such as practice of virgin before higher the the criticism, a rather arrival of criticism set in motion, well developmental historical the consciousnessabout significant awakening of a full-blown T. in later N. text, recensionsreflected a more which stagesof the lower The that the themes. criticism role orthodox expression of christological. been has historical in introducing this readily not consciousness played lower discipline historians by of or practitioners of the either acknowledged criticism. The dissertation argues that this is becauseof an ideological framing of the historical details of the discipline in development. This ideological component into brought it historical revealing relief are the prompting circumstances and into Enlightenment during English on carried the and two arose schools why directions: in data two one of text criticism the Victorian era, responding to the interpreting the data as affecting dogma, the other interpreting the data as not helps dissertation In to dogma. the this about came answering why affecting for in for historical the how the quest the text the culminated quest explain historical Jesus -

I should like to make public my indebtedness to the following folk without bumanitas display this project would never have been. M. H.; of whose ample A. H.; D. K. M.; Rcv. A. S.; D. P.; J.L. V.; J.D.; P.D. D; W. &K. R.; D. F.; W. E. B.; W. &C. B; R. J.R.; Rev. S.P.; E. S.; J.S.; J.A. W.; T. Mc.; N. &C. M.; Dr. C.E. C.; L. N. jr.; D. F.; D. &W. F.; C.H. G; Rev. H. L. R; E. W. P.; E. S.; J.M.; R. S.; A. S.; Rev. D. M.; Rev. D. T. S.; with a particular thanks to Eldred Thomas and Wayne Johnson. I want to offer my earnest thanks and heart-felt gratitude for the gentle but firm and invaluable guidance of my Supervisor, David Wright (lbrtiter in re, like in I to thank Prof John O'Neill for pushing me suaviter modo). would also into the eighteenth-century and Prof Stewart J. Brown for his constant for first bringing J. to encouragement and my attention C.D. Clark's important Society decisive 1688-1832, Englisb in I at a moment my research. work can pay New College Library higher is to tribute than to there staff say no simply no institution in British Isles finest the to this the compare with preserveof other for history in Englishthe the study of ecclesiastical collection of materials is in its Norma that every way equal, particularly speaking world and a staff (long may her speciesflourish! ). I should also like to thank Douglas Taylor for helping with proof reading and Diane Jarvie for typing corrections. Finally, journey. for Theodore Grace Susan, this thanks to cheerfully sharing and

Table of Contents Title Page Pledge Abstract Acknowledgements Table of Contents Abbreviations
1. Introduction A. Preliminary Remarks B. Ideology, the History of Religion and the Historical Task C. The Phenomenology of the SacredText 1. General Overview 2. The Determinative Trait of the Judeo-Christian SacredText: Verbal Inspiration 3. Sources Found Useful D. Chapter Synopses 1. Part One: Prolegomena--Major Thematic Categories of Dissertation Harnack's Dogmengescbicbte a. b. Erasmus: Ailological RestorationistImpulse (Erasmianism) Catbolic Ecclesiastical Confessionalism: Preserpationist Impulse c. d. Socinianism: The Questfor the Historical Text 2. Part Two: The Speclic Use of Textual Variants by Eighteenth Century Antitrinitarians 3. Part Three: The Contribution of the Lower Criticism to the Victorian Crisis Faith of PART ONE Prolegomena 1. Erasmus and the Revival of the Academy: The Genesisof Restorationism A. Introduction B. Erasmus's Me nuence itimacy 1. Agricola' s 2. Scaliser's Attack 3. Illegitimacy a Hindrance to Gaining Benefices C. Monastic Days Christi D. Antibarbari and the Development of the philosapbia E. The Influence of Valla F. Erasmus and the Greek New Testament 1. Conflict with Dorp, 2. pbilosaphiaChristi and Erasmus's New Hermeneutic 3. Origen's Influence 4. The commajohanncum 5. Translation Controversies and Errors in the SacredText G. Luther and the Erasmian Project H. The Protestants and the New SacredText I. Summary Response Tridentine The to II. Die A uspingedesDoemasim ro'WischenKatholicismus. Erasni-ianism: The Vu(qata Latina as SacredText. A. The Vu4qataLatina: Verbal Icon of the Western Church B. Trent

C. Sixtus V and the Revision of the Vulqata Latina D. Robert BeHarmine and the Correction of the Vuqata E. Summary 111. Die Ausgange desDogmasim Protestantismus. The Protestant Dogmaticians in Response to Trent: The Greek Vulgate as SacredText. A. Definitions 1. Protestant Dogmaticians 2. The SacredApographa B. The Lutheran D'ogmaticians 1. Chemnitz 2. The Hebrew Vowel Points 3. Gerhard 4. Quenstedt 5. Hollaz 6. The Status of the Auqqrapba ,, C. The Reformed Dogmaticians 1. John Owen 2. Francis Turretin 3. Reformed Confessions D. Summary IV. Die Asqange desDogmasim Antitfinitarismus und Socinianismus. The Progress of Erasmianism in the Quest for the Historical Text A. Introduction
B. Erasmus, Servetus, and the Continental Antecedents C. Textual Variants and Later Theological Disputes 1. Hugo Grotius 2. The Trinitarian Variants in Grotius's Annotations: I John 5: 7-8 and I Tim. 3: 16 3. Stephanus Curcellaeus lected Roots of English SoCMianism, Arianism and Deism D. Nc Isaac E. Sir Newton

F. Anthon Collins G. RicharTBentley H. Summary

PART TWO The SpecificUseof Textual Variants by Eigbteentb CenturyAntitfinitarians V. Jean LeClerc, Lower Criticism and a Shift in the Dogmatic Paradigm of Biblical Inspiration A. B. C. D. Biographical Background Le Clerc and the Erasmian/Grotian View of Inspiration Responsesto Le'Clerc Summary

for Orthodoxy A Crisis Among Newtonians: Dogma Criticism Textual VI. the and Tolerance. for Religious Plea and a A. Newton's Text Criticism: TwoNotable Corruptions 1. Newton's Religion

2. Newton, Text Criticism and Primitivism B. Bentley's Ideology of Harmless Engagement C. Gibbon's Scepticism D. Summary VIL In the Erasmian Tradition: Communicatin the Significance of Textual Variants adpopulum--the English Parapgrlases Annotations. and A. Introduction B. The Paraphrasesand Annotations C. Summary VIII. From Lower to Higher Criticism: Joseph Priestley and the Use of Conjectural Emendation in an Early Quest for the Historical Jesus. A. Introduction
B. Conjectural Emendation and the Xhraculous Conception C. Hennell and Strauss D. Summary

PART THREE The Contribution of the Lower Criticism to the Victorian Crisis ofFaitb IX. Samuel P. Tregelles, Constantine Tischendorf and Samuel Davidson: NfidCentury, Non-Conformist Adjustments and the Dismantling of the Second Phase Ideology Engagement. Harmless the of of A. Introduction
B. Samuel Davidson C. Horne's Introduction D. Inspiration Again E. Davidson, Textual Variants and the Trinity F. Tregelles and the Second Phase of the Ideology of Harmless Engagement G. Tischendorf, Inspiration and the Deconstruction of the Second Phase of the Ideology of Harmless Engagement H. Summary

X. Conclusion: The Triumph of Erasmianism. Bibliography


BiograPhisch Woordcnbock dcr Ncdcrland

CorresPondence of Erasmus CambridgeHistoty of the Bible Contemporaries Erasmus of CollectedWorksofErasmus Dictionary of National Biography

Library of Christian Classics Luthcr's Works

New Catholic Encyclopcdia

N. B. I have employed the "Author-Date System" of documentation found in The Cbicago, Manual ofStyle 13th ed. University of Chicago Press, 1982, as my for Because, however, model composition. the Introduction was quite working literally the last chapter of this dissertation composed, and becausethe bibliography was already M place, and finally becausemost of the sources in to the Introduction are modern rather than historical in nature, I referred have opted to give fairly full citations of sourcesfound *inthe text of the Introduction and to omit placing these sources in the Bibliography. This should data the to the also allow reader gain a quicker grasp of arguments and at this dissertation Bibliography. the to to the early stage of without needing refer Also, becauseso many of the book reviews in the eighteenth and nineteenth literature have included I these reviews under the century journal are unascribed book the the reviewed. name of author of

bring before Grotius, I wouldhave loved Erasmus thegreatfigures to my readers of.. ... .. humanists. Wetstein Tischendorfand othereminenttranslators, But it editors and .. ... domain in history, this to the a separate except volume relating not of wasuseless explore but in in New Testament textual criticism general, critcism particular.
C. Conybeare, Histmy Testament ofNew --F. Criticism 1910, vi.

1. Introduction

I am tntrigued by the questionof the response [sacred] of the communitywhose " Of course done, is text has been"critically edited. it no longeris a sacred this when text, because is longer the text which the communityhasalwaysregardedassacred; it no it ts text. a scholars' Ricoeur "The'SacredText Community" in the and --Paul W. D. O'Flaherty, ed. The Critical Study ofSacredTexTs 1979, p. 271.

A. Preliminary Remarks Toward the close of the last century there appeareda popular work treating the history of the then yet emerging post-Enlightenment scienceof textual Christian Greek Testament. New the text the criticism as practised on sacred of It was written by the premier English authority in the field at the time, one who had yet to earn his knighthood, but who had attained a German Ph.D. from HaUe and who at the time was curator of the Department of Manuscripts at the British Museum. If the proof of how well one has mastered their material is by how is simply one able to communicate a specialist'ssubject to measured Ancient Manuscripts Our Bible George Kenyon's Frederic the and non-initiates, (1895) is proof that the author was, indeed, in command of the terrain. '

lKenyon: "It is the object of this volume to present, within a moderate for knowing have that our the means we as possible, clearly as compass and ... Bible, as we have it to-day, represents as closely as may be the actual words used by the writers of the sacredbooks.... [A] ny intelligent reader, without any knowledge of either Greek or Hebrew, can learn enough to understand the 4). " (1895: processesof criticism...

On the third pageof the opening chapter of this classic2he addressed what he knew would be the nagging concern of his readers:to what extent had defects discovered in Christian the text the authoritative, criticism sacred of Church? He soon had his readershipcomforted and sharing a collectivesigh of harshly he he first Putting the the as could, caseas relief. admitted that "Besides in is larger discrepancies there is scarcely there a verse which not some variation ... in No one can saythat theseadditions or omissionsor of phrase somecopies. he indifference" happier however, (3). On note, a alterations are matters of mere went on to reassuringlyaffirm
It is true (and it cannot be too . rnphatically stated) that none of the fundamental truths of Christianity rests on passages of which the is doubtful (3-4). genuineness Put another way, none of the textual variants affects the received dogmas is in The the to this clue a wonderful quote content parenthetical of orthodoxy. be "emphatic" feel did Kenyon Why dissertation. to the on need theme of this in dispute had been he is because It the very assertion wishes to make this point? day. Kenyon's from far Enlightenment English own in settled and was the since Kenyon's conviction was stated in good faith and with earnestness, no doubt. Nevertheless, the assertion that no essentialdogma- -particularly of by discovered by textual the variants threatened christological significance--was It ideological fact, in a was assertion. an the end of the nineteenth century, was, English) (mostly the to British approach the to perspective nearly unique it Kenyon's In European case discipline of lower criticism within the context. in had been derived from the most formidable theoretical work produced

in 1958, 21twould seea fifth edition published posthumously

for in years. sixty-three cOntinuously print remaining

England on the subject during the Victorian era, Fenton John Anthony Hort's Introductian to tbc New Tcstamcntin tbc Original Grcck (18 8 1) 3 Here Kenyon was deliberately countering the German method which by the early nineteenth century had as one of its tenets the conviction that a major source of corruption in the Greek manuscripts of the N. T. was the result of for the text theological, or dogmatic purposes. Griesbach had scribes altering in this stated clear terms:

When there are many variant readingsin one place,that readingwhich more than the others manifestly favours the dogmasof the orthodox is deservedly (Johann Jakob Griesbach, NopumTestamentum Graece regarded as suspicious 6: 1 62). 4
In response to Griesbach's canon Hort had precluded the very possibility having by ideological the the text of orthodox corrupted countering with an had in back Richard Bentley that to a pedigree extending all the way assertion in in it Hort's (and the eighteenth century own century the manifested yet again following: Tregelles). Hort Samuel the affirmed person of It will not be out of place to add here a distinct expression of our belief that New the urious readings of even among the numerous Unquestioned sfalsifications for Testament there are no signs of deliberate oPthe text dogmatic purposes (Hort 1881: 282).

his is Kenyon 10 to 3Cf. also p. even more careful reinforce where Here " Doctrine. Endanger do Errors heading "Textual not conviction under the be further: "One he maintains word of warning, already referred to, must faith Christian doctrine fundamental No in the rests of emphasised conclusion. his bolster further 5: In 10). 189 (Kenyon disputed claim to order reading" on a Hort Introduction footnote Hort's in Kenyon then refers a offers a to where in the same vein. comment "Of formulated had Wettstein two various 4Earlier still a similar canon: forthwith be is to preferred" the not orthodox more seems that which readings 118). 1937: Wettstein 1693-1754 James jObn (Hulbert-Powell

As will be demonstrated hereafter, this is an unwarranted assertion--akind dogma itself. 5 It will be one of the purposes of this dissertation to establish of that this is so while offering an Ideologiektitik of what I will hereafter refer to as

is, the ideology ofbannless that engagement, the conviction that the textual variants
Greek T. N. the within manuscripts never affects essentialdogma within the

Christian belief system.

That this ideology prevails right to the present can be witnessed in a recent up-dated edition of an important French Introduction to the discipline of lower first in but 1933 brought back life by Cambridge criticism to published recently University Press (1991). Here Leon Vaganay carries on the tradition into the twentieth century: The great majority of the divergences in readings are to do with details of do in spellmg, grammar or style and not affect any way the meaning of the text.... Some are particularly interesting either becausethey involve a because the text considerable portion of or of their theolo, ical significance. In the latter case,though, as would be eipected[! ], the LTstance of Christian doctrine is never affected... (Leon VaganayAn Introduction to Ncw Tcstamcnt Taxtual Criticism 2nd ed. 1991: 3). 6 5onthe dogmatic temperament of the Victorians seeHoughton's The Victorian Frame ofAfind 1830-1870, particularly chapter six, titled "Dogmatism, " (1957: 137-160). 6Metzger also admits minor doctrinal alterations, but such a concession is almost a barrier to getting at what is really at stake by, in almost red-herring fashion, leaving the impression that variants were of no serious dogmatic On 201-206). 1992: 3rd Testament New Text The (Metzger ed. oftbe consequence is Metzger Kenyon, in quick to tones not unlike those of this score note also that foregoing "Lest the his give should the of alterations examples audience: calm impression that scribes were altogether wilful and capricious in transmitting be it Testament, New that to other evidence noted the ought of ancient copies faithful copyists" the many of part on painstaking work the and to careful points (206). The Alands, on the other hand, admit that there was editorial activity in by "primarily philological concerns. motivated" the pre-Nicene era that was not It interests. " by was revised It was "prompted rather ecclesiasticalor theological for for "not so much with a concern establishing or restoring the original text as Text The from (Aland/Aland 'best' text determining the a particular perspective"

Such ideological judgemcnts/asscrtions arc not confined to manuals treating the prolegomena of text critical theory and practice. This ideology looms larger in certain specific contexts, namely, contemporary Evangelicalism, James Barr is happy to call Fundamentalism. Here the intent to keep or what is the historic and organic relationship between the lowercriticism and the bigber criticism surgically severed.This is for the purpose of sanctioning the former disallowing the legitimacy of the latter. Barr is correct when he observes while that 'lower criticism3, the study of the history and variations of the text, is ... by accepted conservatives,while 'higher criticism-, the reconstruction of datings different sources and and authorships, is not (Barr FundamentaUsm 1978: 279). In fact, such Evangelical "believing criticism"--a phrase used by Mark Noll

(Between Faith and Criticism:Evangelicals, Scholarship, Bible America the and in 1986: 117)--chooses longer lower to to textual no refer work as criticism, the word textual criticism, thus no longer preferring to usenearly exclusively fact historically lower foundation the that making clear the criticism was on higher framework. William Peterson the theories which rested critical and this relationship: acknowledges
higher critics seek k e most primitive recoverable form of a given pericope-in his her Although reerdless of where it occurs. or own each works bfliwick, a synthesis is necessary (Petersen Prologue in GospelTraditions in the SecondCentury: Origins, Recensions,Text, and Transmission ed. by W. L. Petersen 1989: 1-2). The Textual critics occu themselves y with cataloging, collating, and editing.

51). 2nd 1989: Nevertheless, is discussion Testament New there ed. of no oftbe involved in implications. dogmatic these their cases nor specifics possible the

Once separatedfrom higher criticism by Evangelicals in the nineteenth lower domesticated became by then tamed century, criticism and means of the barmless ideology In Noll's of engagement. words While doubts about modern text-critical researchcontinue to plague the fundamentalist have these f enerality of evangelical and churches, scruples been (Noll to o'ng set rest among academically qualified conservatives 117). 7

It is my contention that the source of this modern twentieth-century is lower that the task the relatively critical perception consensusregarding harmless, had its roots in an eightecrith-century debate. That it has become long-standing, is I nearly uncritical axiomatic, will argue, the result of a both in its the of the recollection sufficient of a absence validity assumption of historical circumstances that gave rise to its original purposefulness, and the lack historical intellectual those analysisof of a systematic and comprehensive heat ideological it That the of stanceconnected with was an circumstances. demonstrated discourse, debate can postulate, than critically a rather rhetorical historical by illuminated the be the recapturing and ground retracing only backdrop of the debate and the rhetoric. just is ideology demonstrate that this I am greatly assistedin my task to by historical the appearance ideology reality, than established an that, an rather

Noll, the of sorts of 7Another way of putting what an apologist "... Hobbs: Edward the is since has of Evangelical cause, said, the assessment has America tended to attract [nineteen] thirties textual criticism M doctoral fundamentalists for a very simple reason: when they want to get a in interested the fundamentalists more are usually degree in Biblical studies, the Harvard like have or But to to place in good a go you Bible than anything else. there, degree, radicals those people there wild all are and Chicago to get a good Criticism" Textual is Bible in that safe? the study liberals, can you so what and 22). 1979: (O'Flaherty

of a work, the timelinessof which can hardly be overestimated, appearingasit did just as I was bringing my research to a close.Bart Ehrman3s monumental The OrtbodoxCorruptionof Scripture:TheEffectof Early Cbristological Contropersies an the Text of theNew Testament (OUP 1993), hasforever put to bed the debateas to whether or not dogma has beenaffectedby deliberate,theologically motivated, textual alteration and interpolation. Ehrman hasestablished both as historian an of the patristic era aswell asone of the the foremost N. T. text critics in the American context today,8 that there has beena near culpableignoring of this phenomenon though the data were well in reach:
The gepast kind. uestion mark of significance has long bedeviled analyses this of For century many textual scholars have stood beneath the mesmerizing gaze of the mighty Hort, who judged that apart from Marcion, did scribes not effect theolo gical changesin their copies of Scripture. ' dutifully demurred, and Naturally, other scholars have interesting produced if scattered eamplesof just this disputed phenomenon.... But no full... length investigations have been fortlicoming. Nor is the reason hard to find: have those even who recognized the phenomenon have underplayed its scope (Ehrman 1993: 276)9

8Ehrman is a protege of Bruce Metzger, the undisputed dean of N. T. text criticism in America, and Ehrman currently servesas Chair of the New Testament Section of the Society of Biblical Literature, perhaps the leading international forum in the discipline today. Terhaps Ehrman himself has not fully escapedthis propensity as well: for kind is it is "scarce this that there of ulterior motive need to posit any why kind of scribal activity" [i. e. theological alteration of the text]?. Why must it be "enough to recognize that when scribes modified their texts, they did so in light Surely 279). (Ehrman: believed Scriptures this taught" their of what they already is to beg the question. Where in Sctipturc do we find the christological defmitions found in the Nicene Creed or in Athanasius's theology? As Ehrman himself admitted " is never easy,from the historian's perspective, to determine whether the text led Christians to embrace a doctrine or whether the doctrine led Christians to modify the text (either in their minds or on the page) In this religion, in particular, texts and beliefs coalesceinto a messysymbiotic discrete the to the of categories susceptible conceptual always relationship, not historian" (279).

Ehrman has finaUy fflled this gap: The importance of theologically oriented variations far outweifhs their ... We by begin ications for their actual numerical count. rcflecting on can imp The Christian have doctrine. the textual exegesisand rise of problems we familiar historically the the examined affect of many of interpretation and Testament: birth New Matthew the the significant passages of narratives of Luke, baptismal Prologue Fourth Gospel, the the the and of accounts of the familiar in Acts, Paul, tics, the rebrpcws, 059. passa es s passion narratives and other instances, Catholic In the interpretations of the and epistles. some found--hinge books the these passages--and on the within which thFy are demonstrate. decision; in the textual variant readings virtually every case, by how the passages "read" their interpretations wereunderstood scribes who in it, but they the modified into as words actuall Ucen n not only out of the text (276) to they mean were accordancewith what Moreover, the specifics of the dogmatically significant textual alterations data in found Ehrman's interpolations and 10 'aws Christian basic doctrinal the and, concerns of early relate to the Old Messiah Jesus Was laypersons the the predicte(fin alike: presumabl, he Was human? born Was Jesus h his father? Was Jose Testament. as a ge God be Son he Was Was the at of adopted to able to sin? really tempted? his baptism? At his resurrection? Or was he himself God? Was JesusChrist his body have he Did after a physical one person or two persons? The And these questions answered scribes ways others. many resurrection? And transcribed they the texts. their transcribed way they the way affected degree, has the way modern exegetesand to their texts affected, some (281-282). have theologians answered these questions historical important be Ehrman's study may well piece of the single most in field in this century. text the criticism of produced work (if I dissertation in His conclusion is one which this will argue was reached by broad in detail, the real the in prcmise) the certainly the specifics of all not Two Biblical English critics. Biblical the antitrinitarian criticism: pioneers of Antitrinitarians it Ehrman's who before hundred years study appeared was before his in Biblical well boundaries toward conclusions criticism the pushed had their touch sacred to divines enough courage the of the established church data the from implications that it signalled textual such text. Moreover, was

advanced stagesof the process of desacralizationlOwhich would culminate in the nineteenth-century German higher criticism. It will be the purpose of this dissertation to trace the roots of the ideology of

hann1css (which Ehrman has helped to finally discredit), cngqgcmcnt explainthe historical conditions that gaverise to it, and in doing, demonstratehow it has so functioned to cloud a more accurate understandingof the sourceof desacralization.
Often it has been argued that the real crisis of Biblical authority within believing Protestant communities was the result of the nineteenth-century German higher critical project. 11This, in turn, is considered to be primarily the fruit of German Idealistic Philosophy rather than the necessary legitimate and result of a genuine Biblical criticism. 12While I fully acceptthat German Idealism did influence the higher critical project (certainly Baur is a classicexample), I believe an earlier issue must be addressedto fully understand the historical development and relationship between Biblical criticism and speculative influences. philosophical below believe 101 I be decisive treat to the will what characteristic that defines how and why the Christian Bible is a sacredtext which then will also serve to explicate what desacralization means in the context of this study. "Typical of this argument is Nigel Cameron's study, Biblical Higher Criticism and the Defense in Infallibilism Nineteenth Century Britain (19 87). of 12Thefollowing is a familiar way of treating the subject: "It was not Pietism but the Rationalism of the Enlightenment that causedthe collapse of the Orthodox theory of Verbal inspiration. Rationalism meant a critical approach dominance Bible Due towards the on philosophical grounds.... especiallyto the Immanuel Kant, the concept of revelation was naturalized: of the philosophy of in is Bible be the that the revelation contained must understood as something Divinitus human, (Mikka Ruokanen, Doctrina and reasonable moral" commonly Inspirata: Martin Lutber's Positionin the EcumenicalProblemofBiblical Inspiration 1985: 137).


Here we come upon a circle that must be broken: which camefirst, speculative philosophy which then paved the way for the higher critical negation of the sacredness of the text; or was there a prior process of desacralization which then allowed a free handling of the text, analogous to any other historical document, inviting the viability of speculative philosophy to German offer Idealism as a replacement for the hermeneutic of the Church?13Certainly these are mammoth questions which many have taken in hand to answer. Various recent attempts to answer these questions have all made their Peter Harrison has recently highlighted the impact of eighteenthcontribution: English Deism in reducing the unique quality of the Bible and century Christianity, in his important Religion and the Religionsin the Englisb Enligbtenment (Cambrid 9, 1990). Klaus Scholder, late Professor of Modern e, Church History at the University of Tiibingen, pushed the genesisback even further, into the seventeenth century. He argues in his TheBirtb ofModern Oitical Tbeology (Eng. trans. SCM, 1990) that it was the signing of the treaty Thirty Years War, for the to the to ending agreeing put religion one side interpretations then purposes of a political settlement, which sanctioned various Christian Faith. the of one Certainly the beginning of the process of desacralization started even in in factthe confidence earlier still--very early an absolute -undermining inviting historical Biblical an autonomous narrative and epistemological value of is It human for the thesis of this reason. quest certainty within the realm of Forscbung,more dissertation that the nineteenth century German Leben-jesu

13HansFrei has certainly produced the definitive study of this process in his The EclipseofBiblical Narrative (19 74) which I will mention at a latter stage.


known Questjor HistoricaIjesus, began 14actually the the popularly as with the first halting stepstaken by Erasmustoward the Questjor theHistoricalText.15 Moreover, it was, I maintain, Erasmus'somission of the commajohanneum in his NopumInstrumentum (1516) that signalsthe beginning of the processof
desacralization for the Judeo-Christian Bible, rather than the later developments Deism, German higher the or nineteenth-century, of either eighteenth-century in critical project which were, many respects,the results of and responsesto the desacralization. fully engaged process of already Hence, Idealism was not the prime mover initiating the processof desacralization, or leading to a naturalistic view of the Bible. Rather, the by nineteenth century quest to construct a moderntheology, necessitated the higher German criticism, was an attempt to reconstruct a new and results of the Sitzdemands for from Bible and the new epistemological the relevant meaning im-Leben produced by Idealism:

desacralization.=>higher criticism =>German Idealism

rather than:

German Idealism =>desacralization=>higher criticism

by English Jesus" "Lives Victorian published of 14Therewere a seriesof in from those produced divines but these were of a completely different genus "Lives" Victofian The Pals L. Daniel ofjesus Germany and France. On this see (1982). Erasmus has Reventlow to as 15Henning Graf also rightly pointed Bible Authority The his in Bible oftbe the to approach the to modern rise giving 5), does but 8 (19 World the Modern specific address not Rise ofthe and the Erasmus's text criticism. of contribution


Nor was Deism and the legacyof scepticismthe beginning of desacralization. According to the model I propose, Salvatoreffi,in his detailed "From Locke Reitzenstein: The Historical Investigation of the Origins to study, Christianity" Harpard TbeologicalRepiew 22: 4 (October, 1929): 263-369, also of he the misstates point when arguesthat the eighteenth-century sceptics were for initiating desacralization: responsible
The historical investTeing . ation of the origins of Christianity began with the English deists, who. historians, philosophers and not professional for first forward impulse that to the to the were very reason able give historical study of Jesusand of primitive Christianity. Nopurely bistorical interest could baveinduced Cbristian Europeto applycriticism to its sacred books (emphasis mine) (Salvatorelli 1929: 263). .. As a matter of fact the Deists made appeal to historical evidenceprovided

from by Erasmus Grotius text working apurely critics were and earlier who as bistoricalinterestwhen publicly acknowledgingthe christologicallysignificant interpolations/alterationsfound in the Greekand Latin MSS. of the N. T. The Deists had a prior dependence on thesesixteenthand seventcenth-century Biblical scholarswho were practising lower critics, philologists, aswen as historians--though not sceptics--doingfor the text of Scripture what Valla had Hence Constantine. Donation his my model of critique of the with accomplished looks like this:

lower critics (historical consciousness) => Deists/sceptics => natural religion rather than: Deists/sceptics => historical consciousness => natural religion

In fact, it was the historical criticisms of dogmatically significant textual Their Deistic for the the project. the to of way opening that contributed variants by This in Bible. turn the conditioned was of view naturalistic a project assumed desacralizing by-product the historical the of liberating natural consciousness, a


results of the earlier text critics. Peter Byrne in his Natural Religian and the Nature of Religian: the Legacyof Deism puts it quite rightly: The deistic criticism of the claims for Christianity's uniqueness and authority focuses Biblical for it the the naturally on character of witness, was on the Biblical Witness that eighteenth-century theology rested these claims. To question the status of Christianity as a uniquely divine dispensation was to question the status of the Scriptures as divinely inspired writings recording in In deistic Bible, the the events supernatural character. onslaught on discussion of the alleged miraculous, supernatural character of the events it divine its inextricably (Byrne the relates and of status of words are connected 1989: 93). Text critical evidence provided by reliable and progressive thinkers such as Erasmus and Grotius, demonstrating that a stratum of the Biblical text had been dogmatic fed impulse toward the material, certainly over-laid with interpolated, documents Biblical the of as a whole. a naturalistic assessment In what follows I will explain my understanding of Ideologiekritikand how it will be used in this study. I will then treat my understanding of the JudeoChristian Bible phenomenologically understood as a sacredtext within the I Religionsgeschichte. will then addressthe major thematic categories context of his in by Harnack informed dissertation by the as they are employed (4th ed. 1905). Finally, the last section will provide a brief Dogmengeschichte to they my contribute as the chapter of each content and purpose statement of thesis. One of the fruitful results of this study will be the highlighting of the dynamics involved in the historical process of desacralization as concerns the Judeo-Christian Bible. It was the perceived threat of such desacralization within ideology Christian the ofbarmless communities, that post-Reformation, Hence, this offer will research of to aspects counter. meant engagement was further insight on the process of secularization within the early-modern European context.


Others will find it offers additional light for those with an interest in

comparativereligions, particularly regarding such contemporaryreligious social developmentsasthe Fatwa againstSalmanRushdie because his The of novel SatanicVerses (1988). Eighteenth and nineteenth-centuryChristian communities felt an analogousthreat from the lower criticism of the N. T. to that expressed by
Islamic Fundamentalists Rushdie's "blasphemous" as a result of contemporary novel. Furthermore, there will be implications for those interested in the theme of

lower first because development 16) the antitrmitarians--who the practised ofdoctrine, had detected freedom--were that they the clear convinced greatest criticism with deity Trinity dogmas development for late of and the of the of the evidence the New Christ within the Greek and Latin ecclesiastical the of recensions
Testament. B. Ideology, the History of Religions and the Historical Task

In order to attain as large a degree of objectivity as possible so that one being is ideology used to does not fall victim to the accusation that one merely

frame German its in forth rationalist 16Asclassicallyset quintessential ibrer in Glaubenslebre Die his in by Strauss cbristliche radical exceedingly of mind Wissenschaft der im IQmpfe Entwicklung modernen mit und geschichtlichen Newman 1840-1841), (Tiibingen, gave a responseon dargestellt,2 vols to which Essay An his in Roman fold into his communion the of the the eve of gathering by (1846), 2nd Doctrine Christian recently more Development and ed. the of on Development Idea The Newman: Bossuet From to ofDoctrinal Owen Chadwick, Idea The Congar. Newman From Nichols, ofDoctrinal to Aidan (1957) and (1990); Council Vatican Second the Victorians and the to Develo the pmentfrom Doctrine: Christian his Development in Pelikan Jaroslav of Harnack of our age, (1969), and even the more popular treatment of Historical Prolegomena Some Church (1979). in Development The the his in ofDoctrine Peter Toon


criticise another, I intend to employ a phenomenologicalmethod, aswell as an intellectual history approachto my subject.Hence, descfiptive a method will be employed when defming the significanceof the Bible as a sacredtext in this study and when engagedin the critique of ideology, and an explicative treatment be will usedwhen discussingintellectual influencesin the historical narrative. Kurt Rudolph, in his seminalessay "The History of Religions and the Critique Ideologies " in his HistoricalFundamentals of and the StudyofReligions (1985), encourages me to considerthe potentially fruitful resultsof this approach:
The extent to which it is advisable for the history of religions to engagein the critique of ideologies is shown by reflections that attempt to medi. ate between the "scientific" and the "hermeneutical," or between "exvanation if as by the natural sciencesand "understanding" as sought Kuman racticed t y the Thus, hermeneutics and the criti ue of ideologies sciences.... inter Figions, From [the] enetrate. concerns of the philosoPTy of history, the history ht to incorporate e critique of ideologies too, can derive its ri 1985: of n into its investigations (Rudolph 67). What do I mean by ideology? The word has its own seriously tainted history, political particularly the Marxist use of it defined as the specific sum of communal perceptions, to which belonf philosophy, religion, music, and science,the so-called super-structur t servesthe interests of individual classes or of the "communal consciousness" of the class Whether is false is determined by its in powers. an ideology correct or place the classstruggle, which also determines its contents (64). But Rudolph rightly suggeststhat there is also a more neutral understanding of the term, "that is, as a scientific term denote 'the teaching for historians ideas"' better definition is But "human (64). the of scienceof a still concepts as they are constituted historically and stamped with a particular world decisively determine human they thoughts, perceptions, and view and as behaviour" (64). Yet, in order to be successful,at every stage the critique of historically conditioned ideology "will have to engagein self-critical reflection, to been inherited itself ideologically" it has (65). seewhether 1 shall address below specifically why I believe my critique of the ideology does from ideological harmless not stem yet another point of engagement of


but for full I Rudolph view; that now must make clear my agreement with historical is is factual "a the within context of an study what sought critique for historical that striving objectivity arisesout of work as such" and that this includes criticism of sources and traditions as well as the critical reflection about the world of religious conceptions, together with that reflection's emancipating (65). to traditions consequences, which a criticism of sourcesand gives rise And importantly, "A pragmatic critique of ideologies, that is, a critique be destroy from the task of the that seeksto religion political motives, cannot history of religions" (67). But these qualifications aside, the true value of Ideologiektitikis to be found in "reclaiming a critical attitude toward religious traditions and interpretations free help doing "ideological In ". by criticism can so setting aside prejudices... and (74). from history theology the clutches of and missiology" the of religions Furthermore "the practice of critiquing traditions would have an enlightening and emancipating effect on the self-understanding of contemporary religions, Rudolph (75). dogmatic" then in part rigidly orthodox and which are still invokes Gadamer who succinctly observed interpenetration belong[s] historical of critical To the essence the sciences of for the traditions, and the respect naive explanation, which criticizes determine help be the to and which effective traditions, which continue historical horizon (75). is "When by Riidiger Buber adds to the theme reflection prepared noting (Signatur) historical ideologies, for by a critique of character the concrete, Dilthey's in And, (75). words, becomes transparent to the object of reflection" last the breaks natural and philosophy "Historical consciousness the chains which for The destroy" (75). our been particularly have result, to end able not sciences "investigate Ideologiekritik the changing be to critically to employ study, will

in ' 'state, to 'church' regard especially and politics, and religion of entanglement


the various religious ideologiesof dominancethat haveleft religion open to manipulation" (75).

C. The Phenomenology of the SacredText

1. A Gcncral Ovcrvicw

It is not an all together surprisMg developmentthat within the historiography of lower criticism17therehasneverbeenfound eventhe slightest
hint of prolegomena addressing the phenomenology of a sacredtext; nor, implications be for the criticism of the sacredtext the consequently, what might in Judeo-Christian Bible. Georgi his Interest Dieter "The the of evocative essay in Life of JesusTheology as a Paradigm for the Social History of Biblical Repiew85 1992), rightly noted Criticism" (Harpard Tbeological Historians, including biblical critics, arc not known for exposing.themselves historical kind to the same of criticism that they apply to everything and The historical situation of contemporary exegetesand their everyone else. historicalsocial conditions usually remain uninvestigated and thus--from a 51). 1992: (Georgi critical and socio-historical perspective--unquestioned Moreover, with specific reference to the history of the discipline of N. T. American leading Epp, Jay Eldon text critic, are to a text criticism, the words of

the point:
History, theory, and practice are interwoven in most realms of human its little field knowledge, yet students approaching a about often care is discipline how its history; they are concerned with the application and likely NT first Students textual not are criticism p in wi ElOWgthe gra f practiced.... basic " "rules, " "jargon, the and the to be different--they want to (as they more are the to and them art ctice that pr permit will methods

in be 17Thistends to short surveys--sometimes not so short--embodied T. in N. last discipline the or the century, of the since close treating manuals in be found Before the prolegomena. introductions then such sketcheswould . Erasmus from T. N. Greek the editions of the published various associatedwith



likely to view it) the scienceof textual criticism. In this particular subfield of NT studies, however, the history and the practice of the discipline cannot easily be separated. After all, the canons of criticism--the so-called "rules" in textual criticism--are anything but objective standards that can be applied in a rigid, mechanical fashion. Rather--oftcn as not--they are overlappiig or competing guidelines, or they involve principles that depend on elusive historical information or reconstructions, or on theoretical judgments about developments largely lost to us in the remote past.... These canons have not appeared randomly, nor do they operate independently, but they issue from interact history (Epp "New Testament Textual and with their own on-goin Veflections Criticism Past, Present, and Future: Alands' TexToftbe the on New Testament, " Harvard Theological Review 82 1989: 213). This lost dimension of historical self-criticism within the discipline N. T. of text criticism exists becausethe discipline, at least since its more systematic from the nineteenth century forward, has been too busy attempting expressions from the text in its own self-interest to get on to dislodge a senseof sacredness with the work of criticism. In the name of scientific endeavour, the goal of the discipline to gain legitimization for the critical reconstruction of the Greek N. T. was too single-minded to be concerned about the actual religious nature of the text itself. This provides one of the reasonswhy the ideology barmless of engagement found expression--it was a witness to the fact that at least potentially there might be a loss of content, by way of textual criticism, that historically was considered to be sacred and hence authoritative in some religious sense.One can quickly implications involved in the this when one considers perceive potential political the facts that there were those who advocated that Erasmus--along with his "critical" edition of the Greek N. T--should be burnt at the stake for omitting a 5: for Trinity John 7-8); (I text the proof and that the non-Trinitarian, Wettstein, was deposed from his ministerial post by the BaselTown Council for his in Tim. 16) for deity Christ (I 3: the of challenging a traditional proof text Greek T. N. for the a critical edition of proposal Hence, when Antitrinitarians offered a critique of christologically it be did that they admitted so many times with significant textual variants must


the collateral intention of pointing out the illegitimacy of the established church's intolerance toward their theological perspective; but their critique was first of all a matter of historical criticism, not a product of ideology. The descriptive truth of the matter stood whether it was pointed out by Trinitarian, Whereas, the more cogent the Antitrm'itarian casebecame or non-Trinitarian. the more evident it was that the orthodox claim (that textual variants never affect dogma) was ideological rather than a descriptive state of affairs. Hence, the ideological component stemmed in one direction only.

2. The Determinative Trait of the Judeo-Christian SacredText: Verbal Inspiration

This near complete absenceof consciousnessregarding what might be the is T. N. the text as a sacrcd not confined to phenomenological characteristics of text critics. It was found even in others with highly developed critical incapable Karl Barth. Barth theologically of submitting sensibilities, such as was its because he feared Bible traits to a phenomenological study the certain of To in be found be to common with other texts of other world religions would be Christian Bible to risk texts would with other sacred compare the his that a paradigm reconstructing of project post-critical own, undermining from Bible nineteenth century modernism. would retrieve the Hence, in order to launch his own project, earlier paradigms were deemed heretical by him particularly that of the seventeenth-century Protestant dogmaticians. This is becausethey seemedto have given the Judaeo-Christian texts to of other world religions, similar other sacred text characteristics sacred had been found in he the of admitted valuation nevertheless characteristics Scripture in early catholic tradition as well:


form [verbal inspiration as understood by the Protestant this in ... dogTaticians] the Bible becameso like the holy books of other religions, for which somethint similar had always been claimed, that the superiority of its claim could not e assertedin relation to them or to the many achievements human the of The Doctrine ofthe sirit generally (Barth Church Dqqmatics. Word ofGod 19,6 vol. 1, part 2: 525-526). 18 For Barth, therefore, the Protestant dogmaticians' view of Scripture as

inspired it presupposed verbally was, paradoxically,"naturalistic" because that God had actually usedhuman languageasa vehiclefor divme revelatory propositions. Consequently,Barth's final judgement was that "thereforewe haveto resist and I 7th-century doctrine of inspiration asfalsedoctrine" (Barth:525). the reject
In an unguarded moment, however, Barth frankly admitted that the position of the Protestant dogmaticians was "merely a development and systematization of statements which had been heard in the Church since the first

(525). centuries"
Edward Hobbs has captured the reasonsfor this paradoxical resistanceto a phenomenological approach amongst modern, critical theologians, in rather straight-forward terms: different the texts study of sacred imposes another yet set of problems ... from those of the classics,becausehere people have axesto grind that extend beyond their scholarly opinions (O'Flaherty 1979: 24). A clear example of this axe grinding can be found in the postulation of Paul Ricoeur who suggeststhat "Maybe in the caseof Christianity there is no because it is it is but One text, the text the sacred not about which which sacred,

180ther scholars with a critical capacity have, nevertheless,also fallen because to of reasonssimilar to prey resisting a phenomenological approach in like did "inerrancy" Barth. Piepkorn the those of as used not word who fundamentalist communities offered his criticism to what might be the results of ["inerrancy"] begin "... take the term to a phenomenological analysis: when we literally of the Sacred Scriptures as such, a student of comparative religion might be impelled to observe that we are perilously close to the threshold of a tendency Piepkorn Mean? " "What Does 'Inerrancy' in which exists other world religions" Concordia TbeologicalMontbly 36 (September 1965: 580).


is spoken" (O'Flaherty: 271). 19Surely this is a wholly moderntheological paradigm, sharing more in common with Barth than with patrist1c, medieval, Reformational or post-Reformational thought. It was during these periods that the verbal inspiration of the Christian Bible was held to be its most decisive

it, characteristic,making indeed, a sacrcd text.

Pamstic andMcdicval Eras. John Barton, in his reccnt Bampton Lectures for 1988, confirms Barth's understanding of the early Church: We have to acknowledge that the authority of the books in the "canon" was [for the early Church] clearl ZItmuchgreater than it is for most modern This to inhere in the exact verbal form of the eople. authority was ibfical text to an extent now scarcelybelieved even by fundamentalists (Peo ple of the Book:TheAuthoiity of the Bible in Cbfistianity 1988: 28). Moreover, R. P.C. and A. T. Hanson have recently admitted the same

The Fathers' treatment of the Bible is essentially atomic. It rests. upon the level that there assunption, of course, is a retty similar of inspiration and The be found in Bible Witbout Illusions (Tbe to text revelation every part 1989: 30).
In fact, R. P. C. Hanson has insisted that verbal inspiration has always been

doctrine Church the official the of and that, No alternative meaning of the word 'inspiration' when applied to. the Bible has been produced which has any connection with the root meaning of the Scripture itself,... [inspiration], We speaking of still cling to the word word but we give no meaning to it which does not alter it into an entirel different concept unconnected with the traditional one (Hanson in Cbristian Doctfinc 1973: 2 1). Attractimncss of God., Essays

19Hebasesthis on the fact that the Christian Bible was never restricted be bit But language. this to any one sacred of a straw man since the may a Qur'an is this the on point not a universalcharacteristic of restriction concerning both has been Moreover, there certainly resistanceto translations a sacred text. from the Hebrew Bible as well as from the Greek Christian Bible and the VuqataLatina, thus illustrating the significance of the sacredtext in its most it, in Latin in dress in Bible, dress, the the the caseof which or primal verbal indeed, attained its sacred status.


Medieval/Late Medieval Eras.,Richard Muller in his Post-Reformation ReformedDogmatics.Holy Scripture has summed up the medieval view as follows: A further dcvelo inspiration Imes the the concept of Xquinas along ment of by in fifteenth the adumbrated occurred century.... God raisesthe higher level by the to mind of prophet or a E ostle a of understanding, individual to truths that the speaking oraictating soul rophet or formulate into inward apostle will or mental words and suEsequentlyeither did however, Such theorizations not, write or speak.... rule out or even by dictation the traditional the ultimately conflict with more concept of a found in Holy Spirit to an amanuensis,secretar "penman" (calamus) niddle 7,or later Ages diverse Wyclif Biel, theologians the such of as and D'Ailly, but rather reinforced the understanding given to the traditional dictation b Aquinas--namel lanauaLye elevation of an inward Mind and of , instruments s it ratherthan use oTZ prophets"anYapostles;as mindless 1993: 36-37). uller Reformation Era: Frederic Farrar in his History of Interpretation uses ,: for Protestants he language the that states when phenomenologically accurate Scripture dogmaticians Protestant the was of orthodox era, sacred and the Socinians, Anabaptists, "against be against against appealedto something to Romanists as a decisive oracle" (Farrar 1886: 370). Again Muller helps here as ... deep lie formulation Protestant "The roots of scholastic well, acknowledging that in the tradition of the church, reaching back through the Reformation into the is This 241). (Mullerl993: into Ages Middle the patristic period" and even formulation: following in the constituted both Inspiration, according to the orthodox writers, was a.matter of be Scri form--so to as ture understood is the that of entirety substance and both (integra) Ifentireir "whole" to is, Inspiration extending thus, or inspired. both in the meaning of the words and the words themselves,and consists by biblical "direction" the "immediate revelation" and the authors of the Spirit (Muller 1993: 255). 20

Reformers' in deal is the tension 20Certainly there a good of Bible language the the way texts and of the original of theological assessment Erasmian, philological they went about their exegeticaltasks where the more because But be detected humanism throughout. Renaissance can methods of Word than and Scripture was the sole repository of sacredrevelation, rather Tradition, the verbal content was generally treated with the utmost seriousness. Divinaus Doctfina Nhikka. Ruokaiien, inspiration see On Luther's view of


Hence, indeed, the Scripture was sacredto As final vocable--an oracle3as

Farrar mockingly assessed it. This verbalparadigm lost its significanccduring the Enlightcnmcnt the of
eighteenth century. In Pelikan's words dictation inspiration had been theory once a of there surrendered, arose a ... due to need give recognition to the place of the human component M the divine action of inspiration (Pelikan The Cbristian Tradition: A History oftbe Depelopment 5 ofDoctrine vol. 1989: 244). This desacraliZation--for this is what it was--led to those whose leading principle in interpreting Scripture was 'that the Bible is book for language the a written men, in of iien' and who therefore used it to repudiate the trinitarian. doctrine of the orthodox churches (Pelikan 1989: 245). Hence, to discuss the loss of the verbal view of inspiration is to discussthe desacralization.of Scripture; and to discussthe birth and development of the Imer criticism of the New Testament documents is to discussthe loss of verbal inspiration. Therefore to discussthe rise and development of the discipline of lower criticism is to discussthe history of the processof dcsacralization within the Christian tradition. What Barth--and others--have tended to avoid becauseof the inconvenience the paraflels with other sacredtexts causedtheir own working

Inspiration Inspirata. in Ecumenical Problem Martin Lutber's Position the ofBiblical (1985). Ruokanen also dealswith Calvin and citescurrent literature on him here, pp. 134-135. It cannot be disputed, however, that it was the postReformation dogmatic tradition that gaveclearand explicit definitional how Christian be Bible the to to understood asa sacredtext was understanding The latter were busy with the prior task in a way the Reformers neveraddressed. Scriptura. later On the the prerogatives of sola exclusive of asserting dogmaticians' articulation of the sacredtext characteristics of the original languagetexts of Scripture seeRuokanen (121-135) and the literature cited there.


I discovered Allan Menziesembracedwith open arms in an early paradigm, attempt to construct a cursory phenomenologicalstudy treating "The Natural History of SacredBooks" M the AmcricanJournal of Tbcology (1897):
The study of comparative religion is destined to exercisea profound influence on every branch of Christian theolog We , are coMing to see that g . doctrines the many of cherished of our own reTijion are not peculiar to Christianity, but have their parallels in other faiths.... The Christian student be led to admit that he cannot fully understand a must more and more doctrine in his own religion till he has studied the parallel instancesin which it is found... (Menzies 1897: 71). Certainly in light of this present study Menzies's remarkable early is his for due to the need a phenomenological approach a credit anticipation of name.

3. Sources Found Useful

In my orientation to the subject of phenomenology I have been assisted,of 5 8) (19 Pbenomenology Pure General Introduction Ideas, by Husserl's to and course, (1964). Edo Pivccvc has also helped me with his The Idea ofPbenomenology (1970). Joseph Dabney Bettis's Husserl with his Husserl and Pbenomenology Cbristianity Pbenomenon The Smart's Ninian Religion, Pbenmnenology of of and A PbenomenologicalMopement. The Spiegelberg's H. have (1979) also assisted. Historical Introduction 2 vols. (1971) is perhaps the most exhaustivesurvey of the its international/intellectual in all of phenomenon of phenomenology manifestations. if James More specifically regarding the phenomenology of sacredtexts, (1982) Sacred Text Story Sacred From to and Sanders gave attention to the theme in Scripture Text. Sacred Sacred Word drew Harold Coward and attention to in be 1 (1988), World ReUgions addressing the next stage the process: will is, That Text. Religious Sacred Text From the process that leading to desacralization


in Paul Ricoeur's words "began in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries" which resulted in the production of "critical" texts "which are not texts of any community, except perhaps of the community of the academicworld" (O'Flaherty: 271). A few significant works have recently appearedtending in the direction of a phenomenological analysisof the Christian Bible. Daniel Patte finally takes in hand to addressthe ironic sounding theme of. TheReligiousDimensionsofBiblical Texts (1990): This book arose out of the puzzlement: wh is it that, in most instances,our exegesiselucidates everything about biblicYtextS except their religious this [A] in book, the basic reason is that most exegetes character?... sI argue. from biblical by the texts the are prevented Perceiving religious character of "theory of meaning' upon which their rigorous critical studies are based: the historical paradigm (or "morality of knowledge, " in Harvey's words) that for historical-critical 1990: ix). (Patte the provides criteria exegesis While Patte is more interested in the phenomenology of religious meaning his is in itself, tendenz text the text, than the rather phenomenology ofthe within the same direction as my own. Frederick Denny and Rodney Taylor have edited a brief collection of essays (1993). Sandra M. Schneiders's titled: TheHoly Bookin ComparativePerspective 1) Sacred Scripture (199 New Testament Interpreting TheRevelatmyText. the as is but it be it treatment a phenomenological sounds as though might well actually a modern attempt to reconstruct yet one more prescriptive paradigm. With a foreword by the always insightful George Steiner, David Jasperhas Texts (1993). Religious Translating important theme of edited a text treating the A rather extensive recent monograph addressing "how Scripture arose in the first human "the involvement" (44), human to tendency Le place as a significant "at C. Smith's is W. (ix), scripturalize" Approacb is Scripture:A Cmnparative

(1993). Echoing Menzies's sentiments of nearly a hundred years ago Smith rightly asserts


For a time Westerners, including secularists, consciously or inadvertently depended on their underst[t d' f Bible the or expanding their senseof of scripture around the world7re ave reached a stage. where we may rather use our new awarenessof the world situation to attain a geater understanding of the Bible and of much else both in the West and in other cultures (Smith 1993: x).

This, too, however, is not directly addressing the phenomenologyof sacred

texts; it is more concerned directly with Scripture as a product of human need, a Scripture for "what it the study of rise of as a means understanding means be human--what it has to ultimately meant, and could or should mean" (x) and is in direction Moreover, I the so more of anthropology/psychology/sociology. differ with Smith in his analysisthat the "Qur'an is to Muslims what Christ is to Christians" (46). Rather, it is my contention that for both Jews and Christians it is also"difficult to exaggeratethe centrality, and the transcendence, " (46) of their books in for however, Quran Muslims. Smith, that the sacred parallel with of is in for Christians "God's the person to contrast central revelation wants whom "the (emphasis Christ, Bible mine) with of as recordof that revelation" with the Christ, between Qur'an the and as the two paramount motifs" genuine parallel ... (46). But surely a firm grasp of the place of Scripture in the early Christian Smart different Ninian reminds us that: picture. communities would give us a It is important to recognize that even if the scriptures became5 naturally enough, objects of study and commentary, they were primarily encountered, in the life of the christian, as the basis of public liturgical acts and known iconostasis behind from by honoured the a procession preaching.... form Here in " "Little Entrance. was expresseda way of very clear as the looking at the Gospels as more than a set of books, or more even than bringing in They the to this us as act seen still, and are were, readings. Redeemer. Christ is made present again to the faithful in the reading. The kissing, hymns, the whole numinous the candles, the procession, the for This himself. Christ is the the reverence of glory with replete occasion himself... Christ in Gospels recognizes them something of the substanceof Cbristianity 222). 1979: (Ninian Smart The Pbenomenon of Oddly, Smith admits that contra his own opinion Muslims pay Jews and Christians the compliment of calling them also "People of the Book, " by which they mean that these roups have what in in distorteffashion, to religion or partially closely whether approximates,


its true and proper form--as distinct from pagansand idolators who, divine book form, in form, lost (emphasis this without this revelation are (47). mine)
Ninian Smart and Richard Hecht in their SacrcdTcxts oftbc World.,A UniversalAnthology (1982), have provided what I think is the best definition, from a history-of-religions stand point, of what constitutes a sacredtext: lo k being texts those which contain a power and ay ;d at sacred as Such Oj given ri ty are certain status within a given community. held together most typically through traditions communities and are is liturgical acts, which help to focus life u that which ultimate and to Tenstatus is the texts the text sacred of sacred ive testimony. which it is being for tradition, also a community or canonical: as well as normative has The 'canon' term that community or tradition's canon or canonical text. defMed it in but texts the the means context of sacred a varicy of meanings, does for texts tradition.... the not add to or one community or grouping of from (Xiii-xiv). them subtract The given community we have in view, of course, is the Christian Church; from broadly liturgy the the speaking, reflecting catholic orthodoxy is that, fourth century, which in turn, reinforced the sacredtext standard.21 Since (and before) the emergenceof catholic orthodoxy, until the Reformation, the Bible was forever to be found within the context of church use fact, in It 22 its that use text. ecclesiastical Was, status as a sacred and so retained

Councils by is, the early 2'That reinforced a the orthodoxy arrived at best T. N. this orthodoxy text reflected the which of configuration canonical (1993). Ehrman On floating this see from among the several textual recensions. during than Bible Latin the era medieval 22The to more suffer seemed death, Jerome's following "In did the Greek Bible. R. Loewe noted, the centuries Latin Old [Jerome's] both remained and the the new version the spread of textual by the responsible of canons or self-conscious consistency ungoverned be interpolations the to Heterogeneous meet included would criticism.... immediate thus would text the modified and situation, the requirements of " "The in diffused it the course of missionary activity. become perpetuated as was Bible Histmy Cambridge in " The Vulgate, Latin ed. oftbe Medieval History of the 1092, Vol. Lampe H. W. by G. p.


determined actually the macro canon (books) as well as the micro canon (the textual form of those books). 23 Not only was the Bible regarded as a sacredtext in litUrgical or
fimc-tions but in the process of reproduction. We find that catechctical also habits became from scribal the fourth century onward-much more conservative the century that witnessed the emergence of the canon24--particularly within the Greek tradition, if not always in the Latin. 25

As the Church divided into the Eastern (Greek) and Western (Latin) dimensions diversity. the the text communities, canonical of sacred experienceda A Greekvulgate becamethe standard in the Eastern Church, corresponding to a

2-3AdolfJifficher spoke ofAnagnosis, or public reading in the Church, as for developing By Justin Martyr the the the tune earliest criteria of canon. one of (150 C.E. ), Jifficher notes, "the first act in the worship of God on Sundayswas from Scripture, before the whole congregation a portion of to read aloud either It Apostles Prophets. 'Memoirs' the the the the seemsto me of or writings of '... Testament Canon, is here New 'germ the that there more than a mere of the Gospels and the writings of the Prophets are placed on an equal footing. " An Introduction to tbc Ncw Tcstamcnt,trans. by J.P. Ward (1904), pp. 480; 484. Cf Cbristian Bib1c (1972), Formation Tbc Hans Campenhausen, p. oftbc also von 331.
24onthe point of scribal habits after the establishment of the canon see Maurice A. Robinson, "Scribal Habits Among Manuscripts of the Apocalypse, " Theological Seminary, Baptist Southwestern Ph. D. Dissertation, unpublished 1982. Fort Worth, TY...,

25The Greeks disparaged the Vu4qataLatina becauseit was merely a Jerome because Testament New Greek inspired from and the translation of the have Old Testament LXX Greek the to of text--thought sanction the abandoned Jerome On favour Hebrew Church--in that the criticism text. of the the apostolic hand, On Apologia Rufinum 11,24-25. his for the other contra this, see received Pope by Jerome's the Latins the and to standard as sanctioned regard the came Eastern distrusted Church Western the therefore the of and editions the of usage Church when they differed from Jerome.


Latin vulgatc in the West. Eventually the antagonism between these two bodies beyond doctrinal disputes to the belief that the canonical texts used to extended affirm each opposing community's distmctlvcs were themselvescorrupted: the Greeks distrusted the Latin Biblical texts and the Latins were convinced the Greeks had altered their texts. Each textual standard continued to be authoritative, however, for their given community and constituted a sacredtext. In both communities these texts interpreted, read, studied, were as well as conceptualiZedin icons and mosaics (in the East), or in images and stained glass (in the West). Moreover, in an extended definition of sacredtext, offered by Robert Detweiler, "What is a SacredText?," Semeia31 (1985: 214) he includes the role "privileged interpreters of --priests, shamans,prophets, preachers, divinity to the thus to ayatollahs...enjoying a special relationship and able ... disclose the text's 'true' meaning." It was within the Christian communities that the Bible was interpreted, multiplied and distributed as the unique possessionof the Church, by churchmen- -monks, priests, and bishops--as a sacredtext. And its inspiration determinative trait the sacredness. establishing verbal was I say this lasted until the Reformation, which may seemsurprising at first. Was not the Reformation just another form of ecclesialcontinuity? Was it not domain from liberated Biblical Enlightenment texts the the that truly of church Reformation debate Without the the to whether engage and theology? wanting in beginning of modernity or a continuation of medievalism, many was the is, to these questions yes. respectsthe answer Nevertheless, I believe it was the Christian humanist, Desiderius Erasmus, T. N. in decisive disrupted himself a disaffected the canon of a way, monk, who Eastern in its T. Greek N. Church--putting Western the the place canon of the Church--and thus set in motion a process that by the nineteenth century,


in the loss of the Bible as a sacredtext in the West. What emerged culminated Bible the was as religioustext, the reconstructed text of the academy. By religious text I mean a text which still retains a "traditional specialness" but has lost its status as a sacrcdtext. Once it was removed from the ecclesiastical its dimensions interpretation longer determined by matrix, and were no theologians who were preeminently churchmen. Leaving the context of the Church, the interpretation of the Bible becamesubject to a "new hermeneutic"-the hermeneutic of the university. Detweiler observesthat the "history of secularization in the west is, in one important sense,the story of readerslearning to read our sacredtexts in a different way" (225).

D. Chapter Synopses

1. Part One--Prolegomena and the Major Thematic Categories of Dissertation

Harnack's Dogmengescbichte a.

Harnack organized his Dogmengeschichte (book 111, 2) part of postReformation communities into what he called the Threefold Issueoftbe History of Dogma: those issueswhich concerned Roman Catholics, Protestants and Socinians. This corresponds exactly to the results of my own researchregarding the three-fold impact of and responseto the issue of textual variants and dogma. While Harnack began with Catholicism and proceeded to Socinianism and then to Protestantism, I have chosen in my alter the steps, treating Protestantism after Catholicism and Socinianism last. Moreover, in that I seeErasmus as the pivotal influence in all three developments, but culminating


more comprehensively in that of the Socinian, I begin my first chapter with a treatment of him as the fount of restorationism.In Harnack's words: What is at least a very one-sided and abstract View of Luther is taken, when honour in him the man of the new time, the hero of an aspiring age, or we the creator of the modern sx1rit. If we wish to contern late such heros, we Erasmus turn to must and is associates...(Harnack 109 vol. 8: 170)

b. Erasmus:Pbilological Rcstorationist Impu1sc

In Erasmus, I will argue, we have the very fountainhead of an impulse I call pbdologicalrcstorationism,which I maintain was the driving engine that would bring in the full-blown historical criticism of the Enlightenment as well as higher by be German 26He nineteenth century criticism. no means can seenas the exclusive, nor the most decisive influence in these developments; but he was in inspiration direction. In the terms the earliest and the most pervasive of and it biblical Jerry Bentley Valla/Erasmus to the studies, approach words of was detached Testament for first "rendered New time, the the an object of which literary, historical, and philological analysis, as well as a source of theological

261tis almost superfluous to state that it is perhaps the most common dissertation-writing to want to make one's caseso strong that the ailment of in historical in dimension study gets minimized any complexity or multi-factor by fades looking comparison to the way that print outside the radius of a glass leave have lens. I the to tried not that enlarged through the magni6,ring impression that my theme is the only one in operation over the ground that I is important (and is My to enlarge on my theme as one which cover. point in been has date determinative) but in treated to which even sense some perhaps is by intellectual-historical It less no means the way. than a systematic, or a force times the though of my at exclusive causeof modernity's secularity, it isolation in that at any given point, might seemto suggest argument, taken was.


doarine" (BentleyHumanistsand Holy Mit., New Testament Scholarship in the Renaissance 1983:217).

Ecclesiastical Confessionalism:CatbolicPreservationist Impulse c.

Walter H. Conser, Jr. in his important study Churcb and Confcssion: ConscrPativc in Gcnnany, England andAwfica, Thcologians 1815-1866 (1984) has

both to the profiled a cross-cultural manifestation of an ecclesiastical response independent, the the rise of non-corporate onset of modernism as well as in first half Evangelicalism This the the of nineteenth century. propensity of intellectual institutional to and crises is a recurring theme-confessional response history With Christian thought. themes the the regard of major M surely one of highlightedhas dissertation find Conser 1. that this to the themes of what -this impulse to preserve by way of confession, creed and dogmatic formulation, with in high ecclesiology--manifests two parallel catholic a stresson a corporate, for Trent Council lower Renaissance of criticism: the responsesto the threat of dogmaticians in Roman of the the communion, and the seventeenthcentury Protestant scholastic era. With regard to Rome, Harnack saw dogmatic concentration, as expressed in the decreesof Trent, as a direct contribution of the Reformation: The dogmatic Decreesof Trent are the shadow of the Reformation. That it itself, Catholicism to its to to expression give. to understand was givFn distinctive dogmatic character, and thereby to rescueitself from the Reformation debt it Ages, Nfiddle ii to the owed was a uncertainties of the (Harnack 1899 vol. 8: 36). What I will be treating in my second chapter is how this tendency, Latina Vuqata Trent, as gave explicit and official sanction to the manifested at Catholic Western final the text the sacred of the and exclusive embodiment of Church. I will argue that this was more a responseto the legacy of Erasmus than


even a reply to Protestantism. This Tridentine decreealso served the ecclesiastical further to concern sanction the exclusive legitimacy of Western Catholicism: the true church is always in possessionof the authentic recension of the sacredtext as well as the correct corresponding hermeneutic (ecclesiastical tradition). Regarding the Protestant catholic tradition, I believe Harnack was correct in saying: The Reformation on the other hand, as represented in the Christianity of Luther, is in many res Mitects an Old Catholic, or even a medieval be judged of in view of its religious kernel, this phenomenon, while be cannot assertedof it, it being rather a restoration of Pauline Christianity in the spirit of a new age (Harnack 1899 vol. 8: 169). Surely this is so: a blend of catholic continuity (e.g. christological orthodoxy) and restoratiOnism (in terms of the N. T. doctrine of iustificatio). The Reformers, nearly all of whom began as disciples of Erasmus, concluded with him that the sacredtext had been preserved in the original language texts of the Eastern Catholic tradition and the Jewish synagogue. Hence, my third chapter how Protestant dogmaticians of the seventeenthcentury countered treat the will the Tridentine claim that the Latin Bible was the sacredtext of the Church, with their arguments in defenseof the original language texts. These they regarded as the locus of the sacredtext.

d. Socinianismand the Questfor theHistorical Text

The fourth chapter, that dealing with the Socinian tradition and the final part of the prolegomena, corresponds to Harnack's assessment of the in fact, development Antitrinitarianism dogma. has, He to the contribution of of Antitrinitarian his the traditions around these two treatment of organized organizing motifs: dogma Within the histo 7etermine there are two main points that must be kept in of importance in (1) the to these their of order movements: view


relation to the formal authorities of Catholicism; (2) their relation to the doctrines of the Trinity and of Christ (Harnack 1899 vol. 8: 128). Harnack goes on to mention almost M passing what will be an important theme of this dissertation: the Antitrinitarian critique of the dogma of the

Trinity in the goal of attaining a more primitive expression Christian the of religion and as a meansof gaining tolerancefor their religious opinions:
Here [among the Antitrinitarians] the doctrine of the Trinity was broken indeed, discarding it the up: faded as the most im ortant means of was re, for securing purity and freedom for re igion. It s place was tien by the ,i doctrines of the one God and the created Christ (Harnack 1899 vol. 8: 132). One of the most effective means for making the Antitrinitarian casewas to key both Trinitarian Christological the textual concentrate on variants which Romanists as well as Trinitarian Protestants well knew. Becauseof Lutheranism's dogma--"Lutber Harnack's the old calls more comprehensive attachment to what deal dogma" better (174) to the the equipped with was restoreroftbe old were --they Socinian project than were the Reformed, among whom "enormous weight was befit it does Christian to use expressionsthat that to the a not argument attached 1). found in (134. Scripture" n. are not Hence, ironically, it was Luther who could afford to be ever so humanistic for the Trinity, I John 5: 7-8, (even Erasmian! ) in rejecting the key locusclassicus in contrast to Calvin who argued for its authenticity. Harnack was awake to this aspectas well: did Reformed From the beLyinninLy the not take their stand so congregations & Lu&ran Chalcedonian Trinity doctrine and of the on the strongly as Reformation Christology, the reason bein?rrom the not as that the Ltholic Tthought of but Church, distinguishing the as meaning a them merely breacbwith the Church. just on that account it was much more difficult for fmd there to a strict adhesion to ecclesiastical sufficient grounds Scripture to create allowed were of passages some when antiquity, especially gatand unquestionably. the conviction that the matter was not so plainl Swiss in It Bible.... in the some of was really the case contained the How being Antitrinitarianism Churches National approved. came ver near by is [15]50-[15]60 between the the shown years the was crisis great by Trinitarian letters that time the at question written on numerous Epigones of the Reformation.... The decision lay in Calvin's hands, and he declared Antitrinitarianism heretical.... By his draconian measuresagainst


the Antitrinitarians Calvin protected faith--i. e., Luther's faith (Harnack 1899 vol. 8: 134, n. 1). Hence, the quest for the bistwical text was for the Sociniannot just an It for the exercise. was academic means attaining, ultimately, their religious freedom by forcing orthodox Christians to be true to the resultsof their own both In I theological. this critical aswell as principles, chapter establishthat the Antitrinitarian qucstfortbc bistoricaltcxt gains its initial momentum from the Annotationcsof both Erasmus,and his later and enthusiasticprotege, Hugo
Grotius, and culminates in the loss of consensusregarding the locus of an determined In text. the place of this consensusemergesthe sacrcd ecclesiastically joint endeavour of both Antitrinitarians and Catholics in the eighteenth and be bistorical The for the text. remaining chapters will nineteenth century quest historical development the taken up with of this theme. The prolegomena will act as backdrop to the remainder of the dissertation less to than offer attempt an they rather survey as a more or serve and as such To to say the themes attempt addressed. on research original or primary be developments would something original about sixteenth/seventeenth century dissertation attending to the completely outwith the scope of a backdrop Nevertheless, no real without such a eighteenth/nineteenth centuries. be sensecan made of the significance of the eighteenth and nineteenth century developments.

2. Part Two: The Specific Use of Textual Variants by Eighteenth Century Antitrinitarians

In chapter five I addressone of the earliest treatises attempting a systematic inspiration because with incompatibility of its of the view verbal refutation of by in French This lower treatise, data originally written criticism. the the of


Newtonian, jean Le Clerc, and translated into English by John Locke, another for beginning in earnest during the English Enlightenment the the occasion was reconsideration of the theme: in just what senseis the Bible inspired, and therefore a sacredtext, in light of the data coming from the lower criticism? In chapter six I will be treating Isaac Newton and those other Newtonians in for their quest rational religion were greatly aided by the phenomenon of who textual variants. Newton himself was quite convinced that he had discovered Trinitarian N. T. both Eastern traces of the the corruption within manuscripts of Western Catholic Churches. Newton Antitrinitarian Newtonians and and other data both Deistic to the argue such sceptics against used --apologetically allowing that such doctrines as the Trinity actually bred scepticism--aswell as against the intolerance of the established Church of England orthodoxy. In chapter sevenI will illustrate how a strict understanding of solaScfiptura has in all probability never worked in practice. Here I establish how Erasmus's Annotationes and his paraphrasesof the N. T. were models for how both Antitrinitarians as well as orthodox divines fought for dominance in the popular Both Church Scripture the communities pulpit. and outwith the exegesisof English found in data this treated the sametext critical seriesof popular as in annotations and paraphrases ways that would support their given theological orientation. In chapter eight I treat the textual work of Joseph Priestley and his decisive in in T. N. both general and--as to the advancement of criticism contributions his his Newton reputation as a scientist-cleric own age--how of some ways the developed further the archaeological quest to peel away the layers of dogmatic highly T. As Greek N. MSS. found the most of the within the accretion his Unitarian the the turn theologian of nineteenth century at celebrated


from the textual variants againstthe virgin birth had considerable arguments influence on the later Germanhigher critical Questfor theHistopicaIjesus.

3. Part Three: The Contribution of Lower Criticism to the Victorian Crisis Faith of

In the ninth chapter I addressthe second major phase of the ideology of 4-1.1 harmless engagement as advocated by Samuel Tregelles in his popular An Account of tbc Pfintcd Tcxt of the GrcckNcw Tcstamcnt (18 54). This work was an initiate Evangelicals to orthodox churchmen and non-conformist alike attempt into the mysteries of lower criticism without their feeling the historic senseof threat to the classicdogma of verbal inspiration or orthodox christology. Trcgelles's project was an attempt to legitimize lower criticism as an expression In irnpulse--as Plymouth Brother--toward his restorationism. a own theological of Erasmus, in integral he the this original project of an way was carrying on howbeit, by retaining the classicProtestant dogmatic view of inspiration. In this concluding chapter I also treat Samuel Davidson and his goal to latter's Tischendorf Constantine German the and advancethe textual work of the Jointly, Tregelles. his Evangelical T. in Britain N. Greek rival, over that of critical Davidson and Tischendorf succeededin eclipsing both Tregelles' Greek N. T. and his project to join traditional orthodoxy with lower criticism. This deconstructing of the final phase of the ideology of harmless engagement meant Faith Crisis Victorian lower in of the ushering criticism's contribution to the of inspiration dogma both text the sacred of a notion and the of verbal wherein be consigned to the memory of an earlier, pre-critical era. would


Erasmus and the Revival of the Academy: The Genesisof Restorationism

A. Introduction insists Erasmus that Unguistic thegrammaticalsense skillsopen of thepassage and by its dogma in thes that onediscovers pifitual sense traditional neither context nor-important--by hasfirst itsphilological allegorical equally conjecture until one established breaking biblical humanism descended Tbcfury the coherence. of storm out against but Adnotationes RcuchUn's Rudimenta Hebraica Vallas on neitheron nor on Erasmus' Annotationes. Erasmuspbilological tbrougbout tbc mabod,manifest Me Greek Latin Annotationes requires a not only oftbc and codices and masteq , knowledge but Greek Greek Latin Fatbcrs the an cx ert ofsecular cxcgesis of and also .p bis biblical bumanism literature. Consequently, Latin themedieval makes classical and Erasmus' In the tradition use anachronistic.... addition... radicalreformers exegetical Annotationes to establisb their revolution eseciallyfora revivalofArian-like

,p bad been Cbristologies tbeologyfor almost a millenium. absentfrom wbicb

Correction Vuqate: Lee Coogan, Erasmus, the the of and --Robert 15; 13 (1992). TheSbakingoftbe Foundations pp.

I am indebted for the title of this chapter to a passagein Erasmus's Antibarbari, where Erasmus invites his friends in dialogue to "set up an do I By 39). 23: (CNNT Plato's" not academy vol. academy...on the model of Academy Platonic Renaissance institutionalized of as the mean anything as "The Erasmians did not form a secret Florence,' for as jedin rightly assesed,

'For a recent treatment of the Platonic Academy of Florence see, Hankins (1991) 38


did freemasons in the era of Enlightenment; they were linked the society as together by the same community of thought as were the ecclesiastical rationalists two centuries later" (jedin 1957 1:364). It is the quality of this shared consciousness,which I believe was analogous in significance to the role played by the Academy in Greek society in Olympian undermining ancient religion, that I wish to highlight. As David Friedrich Strauss put it, The religion and sacredliterature of the Greeks and Hebrews had been developed development it the the graduall of with nation, and was not until the inteTectual culture of the people had outgrown the religion of their fathers, and the latter was in consequenceverging towards decay, that the discrepency which is the source of varying interpretations becameapparent .. (Strauss 1892: 44). 2 In Erasmus's day when religion had reached a critical state of external decay, it was, I believe and wish to argue, an approach to the textual criticism deliberate dogmatic interpretation Bible to the the reference of and without a tradition of the Church that earnestly set in motion the process of desacralization within early modern Christendom. Furthermore, this Erasmian its because Academy link of with the ancient consciousnesssharesan organic interest in the ancient, classical,intellectual traditions as a new matrix for Biblical the message. understanding By Academy, therefore, I mean something roughly analogous to the ideas his Erasmus by and our twentieth-century university. climate cultivated but he in to the alternative early an represents as ours modern as were no way for And this potentiality. autonomous-like quo with religious/educational status Erasmus did find, to some degree, institutional expression for the philological


Cornford (1957). this theme see,


his in side of program the contributions he madeto the founding of the Trilingual College at Louvain.3 The scholarshipswirling around the nameErasmusis so vast and the
interpretations so diverse that one enters troubled waters in taking up the David Tracy subject. admitted, "Becausehis thinking was so rich in subtlety, Erasmus will perhaps never be fully understood. For the samereason the effort to understand him will never ceaseto be rewarding" (Tracy 1972: 9). 4 Moreoever, since this dissertation treats primarily eighteenth and nineteenth Britain, lays being Erasmian the to century author no claim an expert. Nevertheless, because,"the figure of Erasmus of Rotterdam must be included helped for biblical in those thinkers to the among prepare criticism who Enlightenment, " (Reventlow, 1985: 39) he can hardly be avoided in this study-5

30n this seeBentley (1979) and de Vocht (1951-55) and Allen (1934). On Erasmus and education in general seeWoodward (1904). Here Woodward rightly observed, "Indeed it may be reasonably maintained that of all his activities none was more congenial to him, none more characteristic, none of in his influence own age and subsequently than that which was concerned more (v). Education" with 4Lucien Febvre has rightly observed: "There is not one phrase that Erasmus employs that is not susceptible of two interpretations thoroughly ... different in spirit. Which is to say that people find in Erasmus--and this was found The is in in his their themselves. orthodox own time--what already true found found Reformation, Reformed their the their the skeptics orthodoxy, " Erasmian This does thinking... way of not preclude the existenceof an irony. (Febvre 1982: 325). Anthony Levi recognized Erasmus's "knack, and even a hobby, of insinuating what he felt he wanted to say, and, while making himself be that could vulnerable to theological odium, avoiding any overt statement hallmark is 1974: 15). It (Levi heretical" this subtelty, perhaps the construed as but is No Luther inspired "Erasmus Erasmianism, to say, that one an eel. of Christ can catch hold of him"(Augustijn 1988: 224). 5Yet, most studies treating the roots of biblical criticism, such as V. P. Furnish's (1974) otherwise fairly complete study, ignore the contributions of


Erasmus, alone in the sixteenth-century, was motivated to the revolutionary act of being the first to substitute the Greek New Testament of the Eastern catholic church for the Latin Vulgate of the West. Concentrating on the consequencesof this for the history of Biblical criticism has allowed me to be in selective my treatment of him. Consequently, a rather radical Erasmus emergeswhen full attention is given to an act that at the time was seenas a threat to the very dogmatic foundation of the Roman Catholic Church. 6 Furthermore, Erasmus was not motivated in his interest to replace the Latin New Testament of a thousand year reign in the Western Church, with the Greek New Testament, solely by canons of disinterested philology. As C.H. Turner recognized, he was as "dominated by controversial almost as much as by in scientific motives, " and "the Greek Testament might have become accessible less friction, if a good many of its print some years earlier and with much had belittling taken the Vulgate by enthusiasts not every opportunity of (Turner 1924: 7). comparison" Turner's point was that, had the task not been entered from the motive of theological conflict, perhaps a recension of the Greek text could have been ironically, have Latin the produced which, much would more closely confirmed

both Valla and Erasmus. Furthermore, there is also a tendency on the part of biblical Klauber/Sunshine (1990), to trace the some, such as roots of criticism to Lelio Sozzini (1525-63) and Fausto Sozzini (1539-1604), his nephew, as the both in his Erasmus, them than critical prime movers, rather who ante-dated hand, Bentley Jerry (1976); (1977); (1978); (1983); On the and work. other in have discovered (1985) Graf Reventlow Henning the roots correctly recently, Erasmus. 6While Bentley (1983) made significant strides in establishing this has Coogan, Erasmus, recently appeared, point an even more concentrated study Lee and the Correctionof tbc Vulgate: Tbc Sbaking of the Foundations(1992).


Vulgate, such as nineteenth and twentieth century scholars have produced, based MSS by Erasmus: than those on older used No doubt the defenders of the Vulgate were very ignorant and very irritating to a learned critic. But it is no use overlooking the fact that, on the better ignorant the text the two, the question which was of people were ibid)7. (Turner: the right and critic was wrong D'Amico adds further to this, contrasting Erasmus's approach to text Erasmus's Beatus R-henanus: that of student, criticism with

Erasmusdid not developa theory that incorporated textual criticism into a His the generalview of past. practical attitude toward textual criticism and historical betrayed limited Restored texts orientation. a editing generally information because the they provide and the aid they things of ood were forstylistic 'in development. But the to establish past its integrity, offer h historically the restoredancientarchetype,was not one throu or whether 8 (WAmico 1988: 38). Erasmus-s of chief concerns
Rice adds the observation that, Erasmus was more of a philologist and a rhetorician than a thinker. His his humanistic textual criticism, and education, to contributions to

7Turner may have slightly over stated the caseregarding the Vulgate becauseof his own convictions regarding the "Western" text as found in the his legacy in the following terms: "We Latin manuscripts. Kilpatrick assessed his develop him had interests Turner's to encouraged own may suspect that Latin Cyprian, did. he His in the the of versions the on work research way had Canons Latin Sbepberd Hermas, and other material the collections of of (Orchard for Latin him and the versions and manuscripts" a great respect given Longstaff 1978: 149). Nevertheless, Turner's point is generally correct that the VuqataLatina was not always wrong and the Greek text was not always correct. 8This was not absolutely the case,however, since his omission of the Testament New Greek his were resorting to the commajobanncum, as well as form bisto? ically the thereforepurcr of and to earlier recapture an attempts Christian Faith. In fact, the radicalnessof this omission can hardly be it into helps it but that notes to one perspective when put appreciated today leanings, Valla, Lorenzo not would of antitrinitarian suspected was who even he Bentley because Adnotationcs, in his suggests, as perhaps, this passage omit doctrine for impolitic it the so "considered too to meddle with a proof-text Trinity 44-45). (Bentley, 1983: Church Roman the that important to the of as Not so for Erasmus.


interpretation of Greek culture must be treated with some reserve (Rice 1969: 183).

Erasmus'ssupremepractical concernwas to posit a Greek textual standard in opposition to the Latin-reading religious statusquo.He confessed that "he into Greek in the plunged study of order to achieve'a solid glory, something I
few have done' see men and to cover with shamethose who ridiculed him as a
(Tracy 1972: 61). 9 mere orator"

I will call attention to one possible influence on Erasmus, which may have him to contributed pushing outside of the ecclesiastical mainstream, thus him boldness fitted the temperament to replace the equipping with special and Latin Vulgate of the Western Church with the Greek New Testament of the Eastern Church. But the essence be by to that of my contention will show by implication Testament Greek (usually Latin New the the replacing when with his Annotationes) he for in Vuqata also placed correcting the offering arguments the Bible, for the first time, within a non-dogmatic hermeneutical context, thus 10 Bible than text. the a sacred as a religious, rather precipitating a view of

dishonour, 9 Barth provides another example of how fan-. or lily for high dishonour theological ground the motivation can provide personal breaking. He confessedin his lectures on Schleiermacherthat part of his from Romans his for such stemmed commentary on writing motivation in had died father, did begin I "Only to regard my who now considerations: 1912 with, as I put it in the preface to the first edition of Romans,'respect and disregarded belonged He and to those who were gratitute' theologically as well. his halls lecture in disdained time. of rooms theological seminar the and slightly And regardless of the warning at the end of Mozart's Seragliothat 'nothing is so hateful as revenge,' I will not conceal the fact that for a moment the thought from kind I head that could and would now exact a of reprisal raced through my just he had been in father had the shadows, even though as those who placed my learned as they (only from a different point of view) (Barth 1982: 264-265).

definitions I in introduction. loAccording to the offer my


B. Erasmus's Megitimacy

"Erasmus, Desiderius--Humanist, classicaland patristic scholar, first editor Greek New Testament [sic]; b. Rotterdam, Holland, Oct. 27,1466; d. the of Basel, Switzerland, July 12,1536. He was an illegitimate child... ". So begins the Erasmus in Catholic New Encyclopcdia (NCE, Vol. 5: 508). treating the entry Megitimacy in the fifteenth century was not, of course, a precondition to lives Pope Clement VII, Leonardo da Vinci, and Don Juan the obscurity, as of (Dolan, 1964: 17). fact, In Erasmus's heroes make clear one of earliest shared beginning him, Dutch Humanist, Rudolphus Frisius Agricola, the such a with from whom Erasmus took his foundational category ofpbilosapbiaCbristi (Levi 1971: 33). 11

1. Agricola's Influence

The visit of Agricola to his school at Deventer had a profound effect on the his Erasmus. Erasmus Hegius Sinthis, young considered school masters, and Agricola's "intellectual sons and he, [Erasmus] through them, the grandson of this Northern scholar who came back from Italy via Deventer trailing clouds of have Agricola just More Greek" (Phillip: 3). than must a model, glory and of taken on life-giving significance for Erasmus: a new parentage; a new brotherhood; a window to a new world-view that could bear up under a lifebirth. Erasmus's from ignominy the circumstancesof time of scorn and resulting Mangan hints at this: Agricola, visiting the school examined the work of Erasmus, and was so ... if he him, caressed and predicted that struck with its general excellencethat he continued he would be a great man some day. Praise from this celebrated deeply, in Erasmus for he have took many occasions moved scholar must Found in Agricola-s Deformando studio 1484. 11


life to praise the memory of this great and kindly man (Mangan, 1928: after 12). 12 Vol. 1,280, n.

2. ScaligersAttack

That Erasmus must have suffered dearly in his youth from the whispers his illegitimacy became surrounding publicly evident at the very end of his life. Mansfield reminds us that, "Erasmus lived an embattled life. Born illegitimate, he had to find his own footing in a world where family connection counted above everything else" (Mansfield 1979: 3). Erasmus's worst fears were realized when as his a result of attack on the Ciceronians--those pedants who slavishly attempted to reproduced Cicero's Latinity--he angered one of his most vociferous critics, Julius CaesarScaliger. A retired soldier, Scaliger saw himself as the arch-saviour of Cicero and his cultus in Italy, from the abusehanded out by Erasmus against the "Ciceronians."1-3 When Erasmus did not respond to Scaliger'sfirst "Oration" him in fact Aleander it) (Erasmus Scaliger thought against wrote wrote another letter. first, found in Erasmus Erasmus's the after reading comments on a private he dearly. "mad. " For the this the author paid made mistake of calling

12Schoeckdoubts that this ever happened but offers no compelling 41) Schoeck (1988: for doubting reasons its veracity, cf. 13On Erasmus's relationship with the Southern humanists see D'Amico (1983: 138-143).


Scaligermade inquiries regarding Erasmus'sbackground and wrote the following in a letter to Le Ferron, addressingErasmus: Did 1, in truth, lie because in that oration I did not venture, you grovelling wretch, to call you a bastard?Although this was true, it was not certainly established;so it did not becomeme to publish what might havebeena falsehood.Erasmus,you were then and arenow a bastard.Thus many of my in comrades arms told me but I did not trust the rumours. Nor did I throw it in your facelest the true and proven things I told about you might have beendiscredited.Now, however, your fellow countrymen and someof your neighbours who are men of characterand distinction havetold me that you incestuous birth are of and of sordid parents,your father being a priest and your mother a prostitute. Further, your father after having beenpunished f6r his disorderl life, and found incorrigible wasfinally times several banishedfrom his country (U, 1951:113). Scaligerhad more than a passinginterest in Erasmus'sbloodline: he was
for notorious exerting great pains to prove that he himself was of a princely lineage. By "incesto" Scaliger had referenceto the violation of canon law, damnatoquecoitu, committed by Erasmus's father, as a priest, deacon or 5). (Mangan, Vol. 1: subdeacon It is uncertain if Erasmus lived to read this. Scaliger later did some

his Erasmus dead, he had that grovelling of own, expressing regret, after was Dutchman. Scaliger's by he the attacked this son was so chagrined affiir buy both final letter, to the attempted up all published copiesof attacksand be destroyed his death. They instead that they asking after published. were
C. Megitimacy a Hindrance to Gaining Benefices

If a foe such as Scaliger could find such information so late in Erasmus's life it certainly must have been common public knowledge in Erasmus's youth fact, home In Erasmus Gouda, Erasmus's in town. reflects and after, and around in Hollanders a telling passage: on the The number of those distinguished in letters is not great, perhaps because because integrity is life this too the easyand perhaps people consider more (Bamton 1970: 19). estimable than erudition


There are other indications that his humiliating backgroundwas a Mangan be psychological recurring problem, which may overstatingwhen he it "a says was thing of shamewhich poisoned his whole life" (Mangan,Vol. 1:4). Periodicallyhe would changethe date of his birth. 141nhis Compendium Vitae, for friend, Conrad Goclenius, it the a supposedlywritten that under conditions be kept in confidence,the circumstances Erasmus's birth fabricated of were
(Olin, 1965: 22-30). Whether this was actually written by Erasmus, or fabricated by a friend, it "represented a concern for Erasmus' reputation and a desire to dissipate scandal about him in intellectual circles in Leiden, Gouda, and Rotterdam" (Mansfield, 1979: 126). Olin remarked on this account of Erasmus's birth, "Deeply sensitive to the illegitimacy of his birth, Erasmus in later years in imaginative have depicted his family background somewhat origin and may terms. But even this is revealing, and it would be wrong to dismiss the memoir fabrication" 1965: 23). (Olin, as a And then there were his dealings with Julius 11who was Pope during his immortal in disgust for his Julius in In 1509 Erasmus Rome. the expressed stay fromMmia: words This the holy fathers in Christ, who are in fact the vicars of Christ, launch devil's to ting the nibble those seek prom at as who so savagely none against for Christ Fired Peter.... they with zeW away and reduce the patrimony of flows blood Christian fire fight to preserve them with and sword, and will freely while t1ey believe they are the defenders, in the manner of the having boldly bride Christ, Church, through the routed of C Na ostles, of the deadliest if indeed foes. As her the the of they enemies call ose whom Church were not these impious pontiffs who allow Christ to be forgotten laws, him fetter misrepresent through their silence, with their mercenary

14Thishas led A. C.F. Koch (1969) to a quite strained interpretation of Erasmus's motives for this. It is much more easily accounted for when the Albert impact fully birth Erasmus's appreciated. and its are circumstances of Rabil, Jr. (1972: 3), usually of sound judgement, seemsto have been convinced by Koch.


him with their forced interpretations of his teaching, and him slay with their 1971: 180-181)15 noxious way of life! (Erasmus, Three yearsearlier it was to this man, sitting in the fisherman's chair, that Erasmuswas compelledto divulge the circumstances his birth. This, in order of to gain a dispensationfrom the dreadedindictment of medievalcanonlaw, because his illegitimacy him from which of prohibited acceptingecclesiastical bcncficcs.
He told Julius that he was born out of wedlock, not that his father was a This priest. meant two things: there were those raising the issue of his birth, barring him from the benefices; and, by divulging the issue to "the Warring Pope" he was certainly exposed to the scorn and whispers of the Vatican court. The pope granted this, though Erasmus never used the dispensation.16 The issue arose again in 1517. With a new Pope on the throne, Leo X one more compatible with Erasmus's own agenda,Erasmus made yet another This he his father's He time petition. acknowledged clerical status. again asked for a full dispensation to receive benefices and to abandon his monk's garb he had illegally, first England his to probably since which already given up, visit (Mangan, Vol 2: 63-64). He also wanted to be delivered from the requirement his For to to the of returning original vow. a price, all of monastery, according from fmally freed dependence He this was granted. on, or responsibility to, was the ecclesiasticalhierarchy

15There was also, of course, Erasmus'sTulius exclusus,on which few, if TbejuUus Erasmian On have doubts this consult, authorship. concerning any, Exclusus ofErasmus with a critical introduction by J.K. Sowards (1968).

16Mangansuggeststhat since Erasmus was duplicitous in not his birth Julius, if he had to used the providing all the circumstancesof dispensation he might have been challenged regarding his father's clerical status. Erasmus would then have been found guilty of holding back the truth in his Vol. 1: 61). (Mangan, original request


Furthermore, we know the issue of his birth did not die with Erasmus. Within a month of Erasmus's death, an admirer, Fridericus Nausea (14801552) published his commemorative Afonodia. In this work, , Nausea touches I-Iffhtly on the strictly biographical problems. Erasmus' illegitimacy, whil Scaliger denounced with savagerancour and which later biographers were to handle with differing deg-rees incredulity, of b)a veil of words: only the embarrassment, and candour, was covend have fruit the of parents worthiest could produced such a son; proves the gality of the tree; in any case,true nobill ) stems not from his parents but himself,... (Mansfield 1979-. the rc rom man While Bainton (1988: 19-20), Smith (1923: 6) et al. dance around the Erasmus's birth deference, Protestant the circumstancesof with a sensitive Roman Catholic Mangan, with all the searching scrutiny of a sibling, provides life, detail Erasmus"s telling this the most of in an unvarnished aspectof insightfully, concluding

This we think, is the secretof his terrible animosity againstthose priests by disordered lives, their of shameand were the cause and monks who, (Mangan, 1: 6). Vol. to misery others...
Christopher Hollis, another Roman Catholic interpreter of Erasmus, further observations on this theme: makes Erasmus, always sensitive concerning his illegitimacy, tried to comfort himself with the belief that he was, as it were, only illegitimate per accidens. But the wish was father to the thought.... The restion is of more than a be it f be interest. For, to one of was ou as will merely scandalous Erasmus's most frequent contentions that the vow of celibacy Piposed upon it bear, for human burden that to would and too grievous nature the priest a be best to abandon the experiment of a celibate priesthood. If we can believe is his incontinence, himself Erasmus passion the victim of priestly that was 14-15). 1933: (Hollis intelligible much more easily Why then has only Mangan and Hollis made the probable connection between the circumstances of Erasmus's birth and its influence as at least one Catholic Roman from him in factor the the status quo of alienating contributing father, in Erasmus's Phillips dogma? hierarchy and passing that saysonly "scholar turned priest, has not perhaps received his due in considerations about "illegitimacy Erasmus's " to Erasmus's youth, contributing seaof troubles"


(Phillips, 1970:2). Perhapsthe thought of venturing into the murky watersof highly debated biography--has blocked to psychohistory--a approach the way (Johnson 1977). Nevertheless, being sensitiveto this factor may help to provide some
insight into Erasmus's graduaUy emerging agenda, beginning with his monastic days at Steyn. It will be a subtext of this thesis that it has been the marginalized, dissenting and non-conformist traditions since the Reformation that have tended

in to pioneer the practiceof Biblical criticism, both because they haveno overt
because desire to the the to attain of aRegiance status quo; sense orthodox and by has Biblical toleration tended to them to religious push challenge, means of jurisdiction the criticism, political of the religious orthodoxy establishment. Working as a non-partisian philologist, marginalized and alienated to some his birth, be by Erasmus to the circumstancesof an early, would seem extent howbeit cautious, expression of both impulses.17

17Woodward has aptly captured Erasmus's unique (for the sixteenth less by than sympathetic reader: a century) platform, so easily misunderstood "Erasmus can only be called a coward by those to whom partisanship is the one Erasmus As Bainton 1904: 25). (Woodward rightly observed, note of courage" for between distinction first thefundamenta and the adiaphora to make a was the "The later sum antitrinitarians would, purposes of religious toleration, arguing as but is these can scarcelystand unless we of our religion peaceand unanimity, dcfmc as little as possible, and in many things leave each one free to follow his for Erasmus One 224). 1988: (Bainton judgment" these non-essentials of own his he While 226). Trinity (Bainton: to certainly made certain submit was the (cf. McConica 1969) with Ecclesiae final opinions to the authority of the consensus just him it Arianism, issues to what was was not always so clear as regard to such Arians the the since sometimes outnumbered the church early the consensusof Trinitarians (cf. Tracy 1981).


C. Monastic Days With Agricola before him as a towering father-figure/model Erasmus no

doubt found inspiration to transform his monastic environment into his

haven for development humanistic Kaufman the personal of studies. observed, Although he later alledged that his guardians had pressured him, at the time he was probably compelled more by the leisure and literary culture afforded by the cloister.... Erasmus, when we first hear from him, has apparently learning the ursult of secular For mistaken and the conveniencespermitted him in his retreat the religious life and devotion customarily expectedof medieval monks (Kaufman 1982: 113-114). Erasmus recreated the classicalworld in his cell, saturating his mind and Greek Tracy Roman and orators, poets and philosophers. spirit with relates, "Becoming disaffected with monastic life, he sought to form a circle of literary disciples who would fmd solacein friendship and common studies" (Tracy: 11). This, no doubt, provided him with a new point of referencefrom which he law. inculpation disapprobation the the of canon of society and could escapethe DeMolen observes, It seemsobvious from the earliest corres ondence that Erasmus turned the diverted into tRe unhappiness that characterized a classroom and novitiate . of gooaletters.... Ster offiered his personal life into a passionatepursuit Erasmus the opportunity to effect a reformation in the curricu I um ur pursued by the canons, but few of them were equal to it (DeMolen 1987: 180). Erasmus himself records,
Some secret natural im ulse drove me to good literature. Discouraged even by my masters, I stealthpillydrank in what I could from whatever books came lists I hand; I the to enter to my practiced my pen; challenged my comrades 6-7)18 (Rabil, 1972: with me....

18Though they are literally worlds apart in many respectsone in fascinating finds parallels the emergenceof this sixteenth-ccntury nevertheless Greek Lucian and the nineteenth-century Greek Dionysus, Friedrich Nietzsche. Though Nietzsche was drawn to a dramatically different aspect of classicalpagan I from his by it driven Lutheran he, away pious roots, as too, was thought, believe Erasmus was from the principles of late medieval scholasticism and the The 181). 1930: (Hyma, DepotioModerna grandson and son of Lutheran pastors,


While in the monasteryErasmus'sprimary inspiration camefrom reading

friend in 1489, He theology. classicalauthors, not writes a

My authorities in poetry are Vir il, Horace, Ovid, Juvenal, Statius,Martial, 11' Claudian, Persius,Lucian, Tibulus and Protservance Cicero, ertius; in prose, is Quintilian, Sallust,Terence.Then, fo there s of elegance, in have is I Lorenzo Valla, so much confidenceas no one whom who

in searchof a new identity within the walls of the highly charged environment of his Nietzsche, German too, the nineteenth century exchanged parochial academy, Christianity for the calling of the Muses. With all the zeal of a convert, like Erasmus, he attempted to take his friends along with him. A classmaterecalls, "Nietzsche's personality had exerted a strong influence during the six years of our life together.... Since he feared that I might revert to theology, he constantly it, he later bearskin, once expressed and as urged me strip off the theological had 25). Erasmus 1987: lion" (Gilman like prodded to act a young philological his closest friend, Servatius Rogerus, toward classicalliterature in a similar vein: "there is nothing that does not encourage you to apply yourself to study letters. See have incentives that to you cultivate that enough to you seems me have languor laziness that plagued you and shakeoff all the remnants of hitherto" (CE Vol. 1: 13). Neither Erasmus nor Nietzsche could be dispassionate identity, distinctive believe, I it both For a provided, about classicalthought. itant Concom this new with their to transcend roots. them own allowing identity, both came to feel a call to project programmes for transvaluating direction in thought--very the of classical culture and order religion, social different aspectsof classicalthought, for sure. Mansfield remarks that Erasmus " Christian for "publicist and society, of reconstruction and vast a renewal was a interests, to bound "he provoke to to vested irritate enmities, arouse was as such for defenders establishedways" the of entrenched positions and the apologists for "enthusiasm Erasmus's the work (Mansfield 1979: 3). Phillips remarked that for hopes the linked [was] the vision with young, with continually of restoration both is in irony The 17). that (Phillips: wanted men this all great of a new age" "barbarism" implement to aspectsof pagan thought against the perceived Christianity institutional the (Nietzsche) "philistinism" and (Erasmus) and of hopeful, day. Erasmus, the the Christian of advocate their of cultures resultant highwater mark of classicalPlatonic/Stoic morality, reflected the optimism of the Dionysian Nietzsche, the Renaissance; principle came to the advocate of " "will the to onset the reflecting power, the of to value one subsume everything despair. inclination toward of modernity's existential


both in the sharpness his intelligence unrivaUed of and the tenacity of his memory. Whatever hasnot beencommitted to writing by those I have ". I named, confessI dare not bring into use (Rabil:
In a very early composition, On Contempt ofthe World (1488 or 89),

by him written shortly after entering the monastery,he reflectedan early for life the affection of a monk, employing seventyquotations from classical five from the Bible (Hyma: 179). In the first edition of his On authors with only f Instruction, written in 1497, "There is nothing on the Bible, theRigbt Afetbodo the Christian fathers, or the Christian poets" (Rabil: 31). 19
No doubt, Erasmus envisioned the monastery as a possible centre to in realize a revived senseof academy--not the senseof the medieval university, dominated by scholastic dogma; 20nor like the Reformed academythat would

in Geneva Calvin dogma; Protestant but 21 to emerge under giving expression

19Fourteen years later, in 15 11, he would "Christianize" the work fathers, "the Greek Latin Platonic the recommending and philosophers, and the Christian poets," warning also against immoral texts in classicalliterature (Rabil: 3 1). 20Cf Evans (1980). Tracy has noted "The founders of colleges at from Jan Standonk, Robert Sorbonne to presumed an medieval universities, of The training. student was expectedto submit essentialmonastic notion of moral his will to the rules of the college, like the monk to the rules of his monastery, in by Humanist discipled be theory, educational on the practice of virtue. order to in lay The not submission path to virtue contrast, rested on optimistic premises. human latent in in but to authority rather the unfolding of moral possibilities (62). personality" 21Contra Bouwsma's identi6ying of Calvin as an Trasmian" after becoming a Reformer (cf. Bouwsma, 1988: 14). Calvin's theology put a great distance between himself and Erasmus. Certainly humanistic studies were in but Geneva, always the context of and in service to theological pursued at dogma. van Gelder has correctly noted: "The whole distance separating him [Calvin] from the humanistic view, and his relationship with the orthodoxy of by he defmed Calvin in 1533 days the clearly shown when those already were

Cbfisti).... Calvin Erasmus'pbilosopbia Here (opposite pbilosq pbia cbristiana , doctrine Christian as a concerned
appears to view religion with personal


something akin to the atmosphereof the modern university, free of dogmatic Kaufman necessity. again:
One looks in vain in Erasmus'sDe contemptumundi for an inventory of traditional asceticvirtues. Tranquillity, peaceof mind, freedom have supplanted obedience, poverty, celiba , and constant prayer. Still, this is irreligion. Erasmus broaYy conceived of religion as the pursuit notiiowledg a sign of in God's of service, and he yearned for worthy men to join him in a community of scholars sheltered from worldly concerns by Steyn and by other monasteries in the Low Countries (Kaufman: 114). In fact, great strides were made in this direction, so that, "aUthe brothers began to devote themselvesto study and Steyn.was being converted into a (Bainton 1988: 35). veritable university" When it becameapparent that this alien academywas emerging within the walls of the monastery the authorities stepped in and ordered Erasmus to

His correspondence is full of exhortations to study and fellowship. But years did his 'community' the passedand not materialize.... superiors grew his interests they the tried to intolerant of pursuits and possibly sup ress 114-115). that originally led their young colleague to Steyn (Kau=: This would be the first important confrontation between the Church and Erasmus's quest for "academicfreedom. "

from long being Christ, the view taken a way salvation through the mystery of by the modems at that time, namely that religion is above all a philosophy of life.... Calvin seldom quotes from the classicalauthors and then it is often to basis" Gelder lack (van their of religious show their anti-Christian nature or 1964: 271-273). Strictly speaking neither Calvin nor his academycould be called "Erasmian," though they were both greatly indebted to the tools of humanism in



D. Antibarbati and the Development of the Pbilosopbia Cbristi Erasmus "revenged himself' (Bainton 19 88: 3 5) writing his Antibarbari ("Against the Barbarians"). This work decisively placed Erasmus out of the pale forms Christian humanism. Here he advocated not just "the of earlier of Christian humanism in the 'idiom of the Renaissance, 311 expression of perennial (Boyle: 9), but rather a significant departure from it. Marjorie O'Rourk Boyle has interpreted this work as placing Erasmus beyond what we traditionally understand as Christian humanism. Like certain Alexandrian Erasmus is found thought strands of early patristic giving a renewed emphasis to a natural theology, viewing it as a result of common grace: For Erasmus, philosophy was for the pagans of antiquity, just as the Mosaic law was for the Hebrews, the instrument which Christ dispensedto men for the knowledge of God before his advent in flesh aniongetween them. Philosophy in Creator and the was a manifestation of covenant common grace creature (Boyle, 1981: 17). Tracy concurs, arguing that Erasmus distinction between is If 'grace' the term makes no clear nature and grace. lied is it by Creator, to the the 1] not a P11 gifts with which man endowed be. itself Since is Augustinian be God, shoufd nature a gift of no need if by human the concerned someone sa process of salvation is initiated will Prasmus s by had Pelagius than that rather grace.... seemsunaware used the Augustine (Tracy: 231). same argument against Boyle adds further regarding Erasmus's disputation with Luther in Diattiba, that Erasmus "argues in elucidating his inductive method that he did because he had distinguished 'grace' that not yet not expresslystate the word term into its range of operations, from the natural to the justi6,ring" (Boyle 1984: 63, n. 23). She assesses that later, in Hyperaspistes, Erasmus himself considered it probable that in those lacking such particular grace as the orthodox professed, the power of the will was not utterly inefficacious By but toward the rather was morally upright. extinguished, for law the the ancient philosophers, will of example, was the of nature,


inclined in some manner to the good, but inefficacious for eternal probably salvation unless through faith grace should befall them (Ibid.: 72). 22 Certainly, as Boyle acknowledges, in some respectsthis reflects the early patristic practice of adapting the pagan philosophy of the Logosto a notion of Erasmus is but to grace, common which returning. 23The early fathers, however, normally attributed this wisdom among the pagans to a reading of the Hebrew Scriptures.24For Boyle, "Erasmus exceedsthe tradition of Christian humanism in Antibarbati he when welcomes pagans to the divine economy" (Boyle: 10). 25 The implications of this for Erasmus are what setshim apart from both the early Alexandrians as well as from Augustine. The contrast can be seenbetween Erasmus and the two greatest theologians in the Western Church, both of whom were also greatly influenced by pagan literature: Jerome is rebuked and scourged by God in a dream for

22This was also the position of Clement of Alexandria as well, cf. Strom i. 7.3 8. McConica adds: "Erasmus' debt to Stoic thought was immense, and he fully shared the Stoic conviction that nature is animated by universal reason. At by it is is original sin, root, moreover, man3snature good, although corrupted but through the will of God and his own free will submitted to the discipline of his for inner aptitude regeneration and transformation" reason, man can realize (McConica 1969: 90). Here one hears echos also of one of Erasmus' favorite fathers, Origen. Clement Ap. ii. 10.8; 13. 46; 8.1-3; Martyr, of In Alexandia, Protr. 117; Strom. vi. 8.67. i. 7.38 and Origin, Comm. injob. i. 34. 246; dc Pfinc. i. 3.1 f. 24Clement also used the argument that the fallen angels communicated for had daughters heavenly taken wives, the of men whom they mysteries to the Strom. v. 1.10. 25Whether he actually exceedsthe earlier patristic precedent on this Clement A. by M. Screech disputed is of who cites parallels with point rightly Alexandria, Justin Martyr and even Abelard, cf. Screech(1983). Perhaps it is in his Renaissance Erasmus this on point, as own age unique was to safer say Boyle (1981: 9). Augustine, Jerome cf. and compared with
23 Cf JUSt*


Cicero and so puts him away. 26Augustine in later life writes his RetractatianCS. 27 On the other hand, Erasmus, Has Christ allot in Antibarbati the historical achievement 'nearestto the highest good' of his Incarnation not to the Hebrews in their law and but prophets, to the pagansof Greeceand Rome in their learning (Boyle:12).
In his Colloquies Erasmus can speak, in the person of Eusebius, of Cicero-s inspired, "divinely " (Phillips 1970: 28) Hebrew as works to the referring while Bible as "those Jewish books," which if need be, could be destroyed in order to Church. Spitz indicates 28Furthermore, the the peaceof that for preserve

261nhis letter to Julia Eustochiurn Jerome warns her against reading Horace, Vergil, Cicero and such authors who would be incompatible with the Christian Faith. It appearshe retained this opinion for about fifteen years after he from (Kelly time time to time to the probably returned reading classics which 1975: 42-43). 27"He afterwards, in his Retractations, withdrew many things in like Platonic [his them the earlier works], view of the preexistence contained is knowledge idea Platonic the that the the a acquisition of of soul, and The in knowledge hidden the the mind. recollection or excavation of Philosopher in him afterwards yielded more and more to the theologian" (Schaff 1956: 14). C.N. Cochrane sums up the significance of Augustine's Rctractationcs, in the following terms: "With a curious and disarming candour, the product of a Augustine surveys the detachment amounting almost to selflessness, development of his mind as he seesit mirrored in the works of forty-two years. And what he therein discerns is a progressive emancipation from pagan had he in ideology, the pcssimaconsuetudo of thought and expression which he Exact the to point of meticulousness... urges the need of a grown up.... (Cochrane language thought" to clothe the new way of purged and purified 1944: 383). For a further contrast between Augustine and Erasmus on the value 5-25). Boyle (1981: learning cf. and place of classical 28AIong with his dislike of the ceremonial, part of Erasmus's aversion it his inability Or be learn Hebrew. Bible Hebrew to attributed to might to the Testament his dislike for Old have the may worked the other way round, may have worked against his learning Hebrew. On this seeHall (92-93)


Erasmus the Church fathers were second only in importance to Scripture (Spitz: 214). 29 Erasmus's classicalideal of humanitas even led him to think that perhaps "God was better represented in some pagan fables--falseas they were--than in Old Testament stories of an angry and thundering Yahweh." (Tracy 1967: 12) More than just a thoroughgoing defenseof classicalstudies, here Erasmus

become his reflectedwhat would mature position, "not merely allow[ing] that Christiansmay study pagans,but rather insist[ing] that they must" (Boyle 1981:9). Certainly this is because "grammar him in classical and rhetoric...aid interpretation its in (Boyle the the text to of sacred and persuasion men" 1981:18). Paganwisdom/morality, however, in a sense, alsoservedto normaiszvJesusand the Gospel, which epitomized of the Logos found also in pagan learning from which he abstracted his philosophiaChristi. His argument went like

There are innumerable things which we hold in common with pagan lovers but but does diminish the authority of our truths, this ratber not of wisdom, it, because light Hebrew Bible] [not those through the the CTms of nature hilosophers saw something of our truths, which Scripture hands us. 18) (Boyle: emphasis mine] He offers the obligatory qualification that their revelation is fragmentary
it is but in bar Scripture, it be brought to the precisely practice of and so must bears Faith in Christian that the that which pagan wisdom confirms a close in is Cbristi. There Erasmus's 30 then philosopbid matters of a sense resemblance to

be, 1) 29According to Boyle's assessment, perhaps the order might N. T.; 2) Pagan authors of Greeceand Rome; 3) O. T.; 4) Church Fathers. 30Spitz remarked, Trasmian spiritualism did not go beyond an almost Platonic and moralistic interpretation of St. Paul. Christ is the victor of the spirit The freedom law.... heavenly the real earthly, of over over over nature, of the kingdom is Christ" ideas this the the of spiritual caveof world outside world of (Spitz: 220).


importance, in which, like the father who came to have the most practical influence on Erasmus, Origen, Erasmus is found "paganizing Christian
"31 mysteries.

Erasmus had an earlier model for this in Marsilio, Ficino (1433-1499)

light Neoplatonism in through the who of argued his ConfinnatioCbtistianorum did, indeed, confinn Christ (Seznec 1953:98). 32 per Socratica that Socrates
An interesting example of Erasmus at work in this project of "paganizing Christian mysteries," in order to confirm the essence Christianity by of means of the natural theology of classicalwisdom, can be seenin his Contem ptus Mundi (1521). E. Rummel demonstrated that Erasmus used as his model for

31Tracy has sensedthis, remarking, "One's final impression must be that Erasmus has reluctantly and without too much success attempted to Pauline derived from theology the classics superimpose a on a moral optimism Greek Fathers" (Tracy 231). But perhaps it is more accurateto say the the and Paul Christ, Levi traditions classical were superimposed on and as seemsto "Erasmus's dependence Platonist the tradition.... explains much argue: early on Erasmus's for Origen Plotinian the about preference and more works of the early Augustine.... The achievement of Erasmus in particular, was to be the .. by Platonist the transmitted the tradition and anchoring of values which were have heterodox in implications firmly in their the text might otherwise seemed Church's (Levi 1971: 24-25). the of own revelation" humanists hermeneutic Ficino 32Seznec of explains the of and other the Florentine Academy as follows: "Interpreting by means of symbols, in fact, lofty beneth fictions discern it to of the most made possible not only a wisdom diverse character and the most unedi6jing appearance:it further led to a grasp of its between in fundamental (variable this the profane wisdom relationship in its immutable Bible. Just but form, teaching) the the and wisdom of outward is Moses, Socrates "confirms" Homer's Christ, Plato and so voice as accords with This that of a prophet.... will explain certain strange utterances, among them Erasmus' suggestion that more profit is perhaps to be derived from reading the literature of fable with its allegorical content in mind than from the Scriptures 98-99). 1953: Erasmus (Seznec from literally" also quoted verbally taken more Ficino's translation of Plato in his Embiridion (Lcvi 1971: 24).


composing this, sometimeswith exactverbal conformity, a letter from

Eucherius, a fifth century Bishop of Lyons. Both works were intended to

influencesomeoneaway from a secularto a contemplative,religious life. While, however,

Eucherius seekshis ins in bible his the Frasmus iration and gives explanations a theological overtone, relies on popular wisdom and the moral in literature. is * It rhilosophy contained classical le nificant ...Eucherius sees God divine riendshi as a gift of Isr natural goodness as result of ... ile diWens Erasmus friendship r2 w1th this metaphysical aspect,makes human appear a natur anclntaracteristic emotion, talent and inclinations a matter of good fortune. (Rummel, 1983: 506) Ironically, it was Eucherius's purpose in bis letter to admonish his reader to in favour "the of the exclusive study of abandon wisdom of ancient philosophy" Christian doctrine. The early emergenceof a shared senseof academyin the monastery for Erasmus to taste the sweet results of seeing others animated, a allowed
bonae litterae. fuelled his This by goal of creating such a surely season, his "Humanism in larger Paul Joachimen, classic essay: scale. community on a has Mind" (1972) German Development the assessedthis aspect of of and the Erasmus's project as succinctly and as accurately as anyone. For this reason I

length: him quote at

The question now was the reorganization of the entire westerncultural in cbristiana--inother words, community asrepresented the respublica The lifework of Erasmuswas directed toward European culture asa wbole. hierarchy, forms--a in the transformation of this res,ublicacbfistiana all three institution, ang an organic sociqy--into a community of a sacramental learning. The hierarchy was to becomean institution for educatingmen to institution a genuine Christian community, and the Christ, the sacramental Christian based the on generalagreementabout organic society a socialethic fresh b be All this was to achieved7e meansof a purpose of society. background Christs the new of teachings set against of representation learning, life Humanitas, and as a conception of understanding of antiquity. distortions freed ' Christian be and of-all related to a view of was to 1901972: bumanitas=na joachimsen become It accretions. was to 191).
How rewarding it must have been, thererfore, when the most powerful

become Erasmus's Manutius, Aldus Europe, in to publisher. agreed printer


Aldus invited him to come to Venice, where Erasmus joined his household, along with a group of other scholars, all of whom made up what Aldus called his "New Academy." In order to be part of this elite group one had to pledge to in Greek speak only at meals and special gatherings, fines being imposed for lapsesin grammar (Rabil: 66). There, Erasmus gained a genuine community his Adagia. to the contribution new edition of It was while associatedwith another printer, however, the Froben press Basel, Erasmus formed important lasting that of an and working relationship Beatus Rhenanus. Mansfield the importance of this with aptly assesses relationship: They were associatedfor five years in the Froben press in Basel. Beatus Rhenanus had already done editorial work for Estienne in Paris and Schiker in Strasbourg; he belonged to the world of the scholarly printers who kind lay, bourgeois to the offered a of alternative university society of the tune. Between him and Erasmus there grew up a comradeship of work on this intellectual frontier (Mansfield: 17). 33 But if Erasmus was to have the kind of impact on Christendom he had be done A to envisioned, something on a grander scale. popular and had be (now to that the mass-mediapossibilities of compelling contrast made the printing press were available), between the self-evident grandeur of classical ia, late barbarism learning Mo? the of of medieval and religion. wisdom and

became the answer. course,

Within the pages of this popular satire Erasmus emerged as the Christian Lucian, indicting every classand station of late medieval life. In contrast, the lowly Christ--the supremely SocraticChrist34--washeld up, behind whom

33For further information on the life and work of Rhenanus, see D'Amico (1988). 34The Socratic Christ image is found even more deliberately in Erasmus's adage SileniAlcibiadis of the 1515 edition of theAdagia (Fokke 1977: 244-245). Pelikan mentions Erasmus returning to the "Christian


Erasmus could repudiate all of European society in a single act of selflegitimating self-preservation.35Phillips wrote that from Basel Erasmus could critise the world and its masters, turn the spotlile ht of his irony on the money-grubbing, and the exploiting of superstition, abuseof power, characteristic of-his time as of others, and build up for all to seea dream of 56). (Phillips 1981: peace ... Erasmus's Christ resonates,here as in his other works, with the values Erasmus loved best from the classicalworld, over against the thousand year Christ Roman Church. 36Tracy notes, the the of reign of

SocratiSm"of certain early church fathers (Pelikan, 1985: 155-56). After Erasmus's death one of his earliest written tributes interpreted him as the Socratesof his age (Mansfield 10). 350n the concept of self-preservation seePacini (1987). Perhaps Hollis was needlesslycruel but neverthelessclose to the truth when he argued, "Erasmus had thought of an effective technique with which to challenge the it. he Church temptation of exploiting great ones of the and could not resist the He would contrast their magnificence and worldliness with the Gospel is Nothing simplicity.... easierthan to write on a piece of paper that somebody his life Christ, that to on of nothing more absurd than to elseought model imagine that people who write like this are necessarilymore Christlike than their disliked heartily have lived There the more never a man who would ncighbours. he he When life Erasmus. Apostolic than wrote as a satirist, simplicity of he but, luxurious, being lives Churchmen too wrote as a when as of criticised the for being he invariably the wholly menu complained of guest or a gastronomer, insufficient" (Hollis 1933: 121-22). 36McConica rightly observes, "Thus, despite the emphasis on fallen in Christ it is less the the redemptive than ethical who prevails the nature, Erasmian gospel. The continuous referencesto the 'example', the 'wisdom', and be impression Christ, 'teaching' which cannot the create a cumulative of This for a scholastic vocabulary. explained simply as the substitution of a classical bridging between his the the easy of gap creed made possible aspect of Christianity and pagan classicism,admitting the generalized classicalview which informs his approach to educational and social problems" (McConica 1968: 33in Cbfisti Erasmus's that 34). Reventlow concurs, commenting while _Pbilosapbia


As he shifted the major focus of his interest from the classicsto theology Erasmus interpreted scripture from the standpoint of bumanitas. Christ himself, the perfect man, was a model of bumanitas; he exemplified patience and mildness and gentleness,but not "spiritedness" (animositas)....In this bumanitas becamethe positive norm against which the situation imperfection of Christian society could be measured (Tracy: 12).

The community of theologiansfelt the "bitterness,if not invective"

(Levi: 41). 37 But the Church stood firm; the hierarchy intact; the status quo unscathed. There was yet no institutianal academyto offer an alternative, just Erasmus boxing his own shadow. Moreover, for all his efforts, Erasmus won for himself the reputation of a dangerous, irreverent, anti-theological dissident. The Church rested firmly on an unshaken hermeneutic, grounded upon the sacredtext of the Latin Vulgate. The theologians acted the part of shamans, theprivileged interpreter class.But as the ancient Platonic Academy had emptied the Greek Pantheon, Erasmus was soon to send shock waves up through the in dual legacies Protestant the the ecclesiasticalstructure, culminating of Reformation and the Enlightenment. He would do so by profaning the sacred text that lay at the foundation of this structure. Lorenzo Valla would lay the egg; Erasmus would hatch it.

"the notion of redemption through Christ is not fully absent the role of Christ ... important" 1985: 42). is by far (Reventlow the most as teacher and model 37The sting reachesto modern times for some. H. Jedin, in his Histmy it Erasmus's "shyness Council Trent, that of technical was not of mentions oftbe brought him, it "far 'Hypostasis"' the that terms, such as suspicion upon was irony" his had deadly Praise "he "more dangerous" ofFolly, wherein of and more had held in institutions been tiff then which up exposed to ridicule persons and 1957 (jedin, From such a spirit no genuine reform could proceed" reverence.... 1:160).


E. The Influence of VaUa

As Agricola inspired Erasmusto embracehumanistic studiesinitially, Valla him final inspiration launch his most revolutionary the to provided with Certainly the publishing of an edition of the GreekN. T. was not itself stratagem. fact, In Jimenez de Cisnerosand a most distinguished such a revolutionary act. faithful of scholars,who were also assembly churchmen,gatheredat Alcala,had
by already produced an edition

The difference was that Erasmus, working independently, would produce his own Latin translation basedon the Greek as a correction to the Latin

Vulgate39(Screech,1986:IX-XMV). By contrast when the edition produced by the churchmenat Alcala was completed,the editor referredto the Latin Vulgate in the Old Testament,placedbetweenthe Hebrew text on one side and the
Greek text on the other as "Christ hanging between two thieves."40 Though Valla was regarded as an "immoral pedant" by some churchmen (Bentley, 19 77: 11, n. 9) Erasmus found in his Adnotations to the New Testament drop Bible the curtain on that would eventually a method of approaching the have "Lorenzo Wilson Reynolds significantly noted, and medieval exegesis.

38The ComplutensianPolyglotprinted between 1514 and 1517 but not invited Erasmus Cisneros 1522. 1521 on two occasionsto or published until Vol. (COE, both invitations declined but Erasmus in the project take part 2: 236).
Erasmus important to all nearly corrective offering a essay an -39For literature on the date of Erasmus's Latin translation see Brown (1984: 351-380).

by Valla, influenced least There 40 one editor, also profoundly was at de Nebrija Antonia Nebrija. Elio Erasmus's to wanted persuasion, who was of but forbidden do by Cardinal Greek from Vulgate to the so was correct the Cisneros. As a result Nebrija played only a marginal role in the project (COE, Vol. 3: 10; Bentley, 1983: 88-91).


Valla's Adnotationes in Nomm Testamentum treated the text of the Bible if not as ... but like any other literary monument" (Reynolds/Wilson, it were sacred 1974: 142). Consequently, VaHa was keen on pointing out that even in Jerome's day the Latin Bible was full of variant readings in the MSS; how much more so after a thousand years of mishandling by theologians (Bentley, 1977: 12). In approaching the text of the Vulgate as a philologist, Valla provided Erasmus with a mass of data revealing countless occasionsof mistranslation from the Greek text in the Vulgate, leading to serious misunderstandings on the part "The leaks it it 41 the theologians. temple of of scripture when rains; must needs be patched up" was Valla's sentiment (Bentley, 1977: 12). This attack on the sacredtext of the Vulgate--for so were Valla's by corrections perceived much of the theological community- -along with certain Church led teaching to Valla's answering to the unguarded comments about Inquisition in 1444 (COE, Vol. 3: 373). He later made amends taking defense language42and Curia Latin the the and writing a of of employment with the Church as guardians of true civilization43 (COE, Vol 3: 374).

41For example, Thomas AquMas interpreted "Sacramentum hoc Ephesians " To Eariv ro^'uro [ttycc at gu(nilptov magnum est, as a rendering of 5: 32 in the Vulgate as justification for marriage being one of the seven less felt 153). Erasmus 1985: (Pelikan, Church than this a sacramentsof the

helpful rendering.
42For Valla's support of the cultural ideology of Roman Humanism 115-143). (1983: DAmico see 43Erasmus, too, was given an opportunity to make a public affirmation hierarchy Church his final the the the to cardinal's of offered when allegiance of hat late in life, but unlike Valla declined the offer to align himself in any such

official capacity.


Referred to as "Erasmus' Inaugural Lecture as Professor-at-large to

Christendom" (Harbison 1956:85) Erasmusanticipatedcriticism from the Church when he published Valla's data in 1505:
As I was hunting last summer in an ancient library, for those coverts offer by far the most enjoyable sport, luck brought into my toils a Vestamcnt. rey of no At once ordinary importance: Lorenzo VaHa'snotes on the New I was eager to share it with the world of sch I hi But I was a little put .. by the entrenched unpopularity0ofsMa's name but by his off, not only face it is the subject as well, a subject which on of singularly apt to generate (CE Vol. 2: 80). antagonism Erasmus knows exactly who he will unsettle--the theologians: I foresee that there may be some who having barely read the title of my before learn it is immediately heaven '0 they about will cry what work and fashion.... And inclined believe 'in I to the tragic that and earth! approved am the most unpleasantly hostile demonstrations of all will be made by the theologians. They will say it is intolerable presumption in a grammarian, loose let his department learning, has to impertinent pen of upset every who it be it is Hol ScrTture But sad, sinful to change anything itself... will on goly is for jot in the and tittle therein without some special no Scripture; import (Ct Vol. 2: 93; 95). Rummel saysof Erasmus'sAnnotations, which were modeled after Valla!s Testament, his New Greek example and appeared at the sametime as They were not a biblical commentary in the usual sense,that is, they do not by backed historical the up and spiritual sense, offer an interpretation of the lanation. In Erasmus'Annotations occasional antiquarian or philological e is He the priorities are reversed. primarT concerned with textual and literary criticism; exegeticalmaterial is aYded when necessary.Erasmus was (Rummel but a reluctant theologian" an enthusiastic philologist 1986: 185). 44

"His Annotations: Erasmus's 44Renaudet assessed the significance of digressions, by long broken thought a religious expresses up commentary, from Nfiddle the stripped of all reminiscencesof theological and mystical notions Ages, as well as of scholarly speculations of Italian humanism; it reduced itself to ' Christ, to 'philosophy the propositions moral and of religious a summary the of be drawn from the Gospel and St. Paul, and sufficient to form a basis for that he had in Embifidon he in the and which proclaimed which spirit worshiping fundamental be the spiritual principles of reconciled easily with thought could 88). 1968: (Renaudet the ancient world"


In fact, Spitz records that Erasmus "emphatically refused the name of theologian for himself' (Spitz 1963: 210).

How this new approachwas perceivedby the leading theologiansof the

day is typified in the remarks of Beda.,representing the University of Paris: The man who complains of the style in which holy books are written comes Blaspfiemy; for he implies lacks God To Erasmus it to that very close skill.... beautiful thing ...and very useful in promoting religion to treat may seem a Holy Writ in a new style, that is, in a more refined and polished manner, but prudent and knowledgeable men have always judged it to be a very rash thint and apSoctrine roachmg sin and sacrilegezealously to introduce into pious blandishment letters, if the and umblc arrogance and of pagan as they by themselvesled to salvation (Rummel 98). Whether one could ever find a text in Erasmus that would support Beda's
last claim or not, his fear nevertheless reflects the common impression Erasmus's left in the minds of the theologians. project

Nevertheless, if Erasmus's philological approach to the New Testament his for Vuqata Latina Greek the text the substitution of went was a scandal, beyond even Valla. F. Erasmus and the Greek New Testament

1. Conflict with Dorp

Erasmus fully understood the implications of touching the Vulgate. When Erasmus produced his own edition of the Greek N. T. he was certain to dedicate it to Leo Y, thus hopefully placing himself beyond the reach of the Inquisition. 45

45"In his responseto Erasmus's dedication of the Greek New Testament, Pope Leo X remarked that it would be useful for students of sacred however, faith" This (Spitz: 216). for the orthodox would not, theology and index from Erasmus's Greek Trent Council the text of placing on of the prevent forbidden books. On this seePutnam (1906: Vol. 1,166-67; 328-340).


But evenbefore his text emerged,Erasmus'sfriend, Martin Dorp, protested, representingthe sentimentsof the University of Louvain (Bentley, 1979:53-79):
But what sort of an mration this is, to correct the Scriptures, and in particular to correct e Latin copies by means of the Greek, requires careful thought.... Now I differ from you on this question of truth and integrity, Ifaim that these are qualities of the Vulgate edition that we have M and it is For common use. not reasonablethat the whole Church which has always used this edition and still both approves and usesit should for all bable that all those holy these centuries have been wrong. Nor is it Ko'se fathers should have been deceived, and all saintly men who relied on this version when deciding the most difficult questions in general councils, defending and expoundj*ua faith, the In and publishing canons to which even kings submitted their civirpower. And that councils of this kind duly in far deal faith, is they the constituted never err, so as with generally agreed both lawyers. (CE, Vol. 21) 3: theologians among and To Dorp, Erasmus was calling for nothing Icssthan the dissolution of the foundation Roman Church. Furthermore, the there was the tacit of very her Text had Greek Church Sacred Rome the that admission and primacy over Vuqata: the and Had the Greeks any greater concern than the Latins for preserving the Scriptures undamaged, when you think of the blows Christianity has how firmly hold Greeks, that everything except the they suffered among and tride Latins St. John's Gospel contains some error while among the the of ... Vol. 3: 21)?46 Christ, the Church, has continued always inviolate krf%--jj-PL,, As a matter of fact, not only was Erasmus convinced that the Latin was but he from Greek, it differed the passedthe same generally corrupt when Vulgate (Bentley, had Greek the any affinity with codices that judgment on 1983: 135). 47

46Dorp went on to pose the question that Richard Simon would ask how "And later, little Protestants their text thus precipitating crisis, the sacred a in fact have lighted be that you on correct copies, assuming can you sure you have found several,however readily I may grant that the Greeks may possess " some copies which are correct? 47This was not absolutely the case,however, becauseoccasionally he

he in letter Greek, Vulgate the as made clear a reading over gaveway to the defending himself to Antonio Pucci: "Although I havemade a complete in do Greek I Greek the text every text, still not approveof translation of the


2. Pbiloso phia Cbfisti and Erasmus's New Hermeneutic

Erasmus had no intention of necessarilygiving credenceto the theology of the Greek Church. But he did seehimself in the role of a new Jerome, producing basis for textual 481none the establishment of the Erasmian acaderny. a new he stroke would circumvent the entire medieval Latin exegeticaltradition while EccIcsiac fathers by the the conscnsus reviving of early erecting the Greek text as a The knew Greek, be theologians, new standard. most of whom no would into insignificance. 49 effectively marginalized Erasmus and other humanists within the Erasmian orbit would be free to hermeneutic, but first the the construct a new as editor and annotator of T. had jump in direction. Greek N. Erasmus this published a on everyone Erasmus was quite self-concious of the role he was assuming, in a letter to Antonio Pucci in 1518:

I prefer our Vulgate version, though I instance.In fact, in somepassages disagree Latin Writers indicate agreeor with the regularly where the orthodox Greek" (Hillerbrand 1970:129). 48MargaretMann Phillips has done a fascinatingstudy of Quentin Metsys's1517 portrait of Erasmus,in which sherecreates the occasionof the Erasmus be like how he has Erasmus "Quentin to painted. would asked sitting: hasjust finished editing St. Jerome,who is usually depictedasengagedon his New finished has just Erasmus Bible; a translation of the translation of the and Testament.It would be natural for him to adopt the samepose,thus beginning a long seriesof 'writing' portraits" (Phillips 1975:21).
itself Latin "emphasis Erasmus's 49McConica.notes even on good was it laicism, the repudiated specialized automatically since of an expression between discourse language of the schools and emphasized clarity of theological heritage 8). (1968: laymen the the of classics" cultural sharing educated


If it is desirable for us to have the text of SacredScripture in the most accurate state possible, my work not only removes the errors from the sacred texts, but will also prevent further corruptions in the future. If it is desirable I have disclosed the meaning of more that the text beproperly understood, than six hundred passap which were not understood previously even by eminent theologians. I hey admit it themselves; they cannot deny it. If it is desirable that a knowledge of the sources be added to the disputatious type has in theology too of the schools, Ty work is which almost much authority for that purpose. Therefore no intellectual activity is espe ally valuable harmed this work of mine; rather every kind is helped.... In conclusion, love for the work completely deceivesme, or it is destined to be of either my little for no sacredstudies... [emphasis mine] (Hillerbrand: 129-130). value As Reventlow has recognized, Erasmus's hermeneutic "could virtually ignore the dogmatic views which were put forward in the Catholic Church at that time" (Reventlow, 1985: 47). Reventlow distils Erasmus's hermeneutic in

Various elements belong to this a proach: a dualistic view of the world and devaluation 'flesh', the the the man as a startlZ 0111t and c ore a of in favour invisible. From th4 the this there corporeal, arworld of follows consistently a rejection in principle of the visible cult, of 'ceremonies', which at best can be tolerated as aids to a piety which has not (Reventlow: 47). yet come of age Coogan's recent study of Lee's attacks on Erasmus highlights the fact that implications by Erasmus's impression its this most and were grasped one of bothersome critics:

ificanceof the dispute [betweenLee and Erasmus]asa focal point The siWistory In has been humanism in the neglected. examining and theology of full impact in detail first foretold discovers Lee the that on this conflict, one first fall Hard Vulgate. of this theology of the correction of the upon the domino,he predicted assaults authority of the not only on the sacrosanct but Fathers,on the doctrine of original sin, and on the sacramental system define Chalcedonian Nicean the nature of which confessions and evenon the Christ and that of the Trinity. And Lee foresawboth the schismaticshock authority of markin the greatestruin of the century--that of the ecumenical Pelagianism Church--as Cal the threat the and rebirth of the of well as olic its from Christianity Arianism, revivalsthat mark the defnogan arture of modern 1992:13). Nicean and Chalcedonianheritage
Erasmus had already hinted at his "new hermeneutic" in the Embiridion, is "a sensible reading of the pagan poets and philosophers a admonishing that, his In Paraclesis, life" 1964: 36). (Dolan, Christian for the good preparation


his first prefacing edition of the Greek text he exhorts A men to read the Greek N. T. in order to study the pbilosopbiaCbristi, which he describesas, located as it is more trul 'in disposition the Maute, of the mind than in syllogisms, life means more than inspiration is preferable to erudition.... The Stoics understood that no one was wise unless he was good.... According to Plato, Socratesteachesin many different ways that a wrong must not be Epicurus repaid with a wrong.... also acknowledgesthat nothing in manIs life can br 21S, * delight unless the mind is conscious of no evil.... What shall Socrates, Diogenes Epictetus have that say of we many notably and presented a good portion of His [Christ's] teaching.... But Christ both taught and presented the same doctrine so much more fully.... (Olin, 1965: 100-101). McConica adds to this: The Christianity of the Embiridion is both un-sacramental and untheological.... The novelty of the religious view which the Embiridion in its layman's in the proclaimed was complete acceptanceof given vocation flic world and the tacit deposing of clerical authority. With this went the humanism to classicalwriters and in general, partly as warm attitude for intelligent Scripture, the preparation study of partly as a separatesource blending laicism In the these two themes, of practical moral wisdom. of and humanism, Erasmus captured in his writing and his own person the his day (McConica the educated classes of strongest impulses moving 1968: 23). legacy. This is a most satis6jing assessment Erasmus's of How this struck theologians in Erasmus's day may be fairly stated in Jedin's personal judgement that "There can be no question but that this lay is Platonic definitions Ficino's in deficient theology"50 theology is as as clear-cut Jcdin 1957 1: 161).

50"Erasmus commanded the allegianceof the best minds of his day for fuse into his It the thought to converging of a single stream genius was a reason. Florentine humanistic fifteenth late textual scholarship, century: currents of the depotio Windeshcim Netherlands the the modernaand piety of nco-Platonism, discontents the manifold of a middle classsuddenly aware reform movement and 1968: 14-15). (McConica its its needs" power and of


3. Origen's Influence

Erasmus found an early patristic echo to his own project in Origen (Levi 1974: 23-24). And, as would happen to Erasmus himself at the Council Trent, of this Greek father was declared outside the pale of orthodoxy by Jerome and the Synod of Constantinople (553 C.E. ). 51Origen was the quintessential model for Erasmus. Frend acknowledges that "Origen had only refuted Gnosticism by accepting some of the basic tenets of his opponents. His Trinitarian views moreover reflected those of contemporary Platonists" (Frend 1985: 80). Erasmus, too, held to a subordinationist Christology. 52 Trigg records, "The most important figure in the Renaissance revival of interest in Origen was the great Dutch humanist Erasmus who valued Origen ... 51A revival of Origen studies was underway by 1486 when Pico hundred in defense in Origen, theses, that published nine many of which were of 52, (Rabil 1). On Wind (1954). For Pico's like Origen this year n. see, efforts, before him and Erasmus after him, he, too, was considered a threat to orthodoxy "was index, inter for defending Origen" (Chadwick the and placed on alia, 1966: 155, n. 4). 521n Coogan's words: " finds in the Annotationes arguments for Arian-like defend Christology an absolutism and a subordinationist which can the exclusion of all relation from the primary unity and can arm antitrinitarian issues, he doubt Introducing exegetes. skeptical positions on crucial casts not but testimony, only on patristic also on the creeds, councils, and confessions, God Holy Spirit. basis for Christ the the to to name and scriptural assigning Becausethe philological nature of his hermeneutics leads to infra-textual dogmatic dissolve he to the tries accretions of the centuries meanings, steadfastly that prejudice and restrict exegesis.And, although he will say that the Church has the last word in disputes, solascriptura becomes,in effect, the focus for inspiring ethics and beliefs.... In sum, in spite of his repeated insistence on his Erasmus puts at risk the whole enterprise of systematic theology own orthodoxy, in order to purchase an evangelical Christoccntricity" (Coogan 115-116).


Christian 1983: (Trigg 255). As a precedent from all other above authors" Erasmus invoke in Origen his project of antiquity, patristic could confidently Platonist thought as a legitimate legacy of early reappropriating aspectsof Christianity. This was a dangerous legacy, however, that antedated the classic Church. Well doubt the of this, this post-Nicene orthodoxy aware of no for Erasmus did accounts why not attempt to edit Origen's works until the very his life. Henry 53 Chadwick in Erasmus "tended that to end of aptly remarked see Origen a reflection of his own humanist face" (Chadwick 1966: 123). Erasmus regarded Origen as "the most skillful in theological furnished for 105). On [who] Greek (Rabil: material almost all matters... writers" first is found his first T., Greek N. Origen's the the title page of name edition of in the list of fathers consulted. By the 1519 edition Origen is quoted more than in 117). Erasmus (Rabil: Church Father, a writes seventy-eight times any other letter, "Among the ancient interpreters of Scripture, Origen the Greek and Tertullian the Latin writer seemespecially outstanding" (Rabil: 117). He wrote in Origen from he learned Eck John ten pages of than that to one page of more Augustine (Trigg: 225)54 Erasmus was indebted to Origen for his Christology, the fun development of his philosaphiaUtisti (Fokke: 244-257), and his exegesis(though

for "Were 53Peterssuggeststhe samething: there not other reasons Erasmus-'hesitancy to publish? He knew well the long drawn out controversies He his Origen's soul. orthodoxy and the present whereabouts of concerning knew also of the troubles in which Pico had been landed becauseof his defense for his his forsook Erasmus, Discretion Origen.... concern and never quite of (Peters his in is patristic scholarship as elsewhere" self-preservation reflected 1967: 261). Origen's On 267). (1989: Crouzel in this vein see other passages Godin (1982). Erasmus influence see on overall


he did think Origen went too far with his use of allegory), particularly in his debatewith Luther regarding the freedom of the will (Crouzel, 1989:239-265; Trigg 255-56). Like Origen, Erasmushad a subordinationist christology which him freedom the to question the orthodox interpretations of many of allowed the major passages traditionally used to defend the deity of Christ (Payne, 1970:54-70). 55

4. The Commajohanneum

When Erasmus did not add the commajobanncum to the First Epistle of John it opened the way for theologians to accusehim of contributing to a revival Arianism 53-116). (Bentley, 1983: 202; Coogan: 560f course, Erasmus's of had do his judgement to to omit this passage christology probably nothing with (although its orMssion from all the Greek codices he had surveyed probably his Trinity late dogmatic that the reinforced conviction was a reflection of the Church rather than a Biblical teaching). It was simply missing from all the Greek he drop it. Alcala, But to the witnesses consulted, reason enough churchmen at for Erasmus Greek MS this than passage with probably no more evidence from because it had it Greek Vulgate, 57added to their text the possesscd, gained,


Origen's Christology seeRowe (1987).

56For a detailed treatment of all those who criticized Erasmus's text Boyle briefer 425-569). For Bludau (1902: treatments see and annotations see (1986: 123-171), Bentley (1983: 194-219) and Rabil (94, n. 158). For a definitive treatment of the data surrounding Erasmus and the commajohanncum, 381-89). (1980: de Jonge see 570n this point seeTregelles's excellent treatment (1869: 358-361).


from around the year 800 CE onward, canonical status as part of the sacredtext Latin Bible. the of
Erasmus was, however, certain it was a corruption, by to the text added the

Western Church, a witness to him of yet one more form of dogmatic corruption influencing the Latin Bible. Luther seems to havebeenin rare agreement with Erasmuson this point. In Luther's commentaryon John'sfirst epistlehe from Erasmus's Annotatianes: observes
The Greek books do not have these words, but this verse seemsto have been inserted b the Catholics becauseof the Arians, yet not aptly; for wherever John spel about the witnesses, he speaksabout those on earth, not about those in heaven (LW Vol. 30: 316). Luther never put the verse in his Bible even after Erasmus added it to his Testament. Greek New 58 third edition of the The commajobanncum takes on great significance from this time forward in the history of text criticism becauseit remains as proof positive to future Erasmians that the Church has expanded the New Testament messageat places to accommodate emerging dogmatic concerns.

581t was added after Luther's death. There have been attempts to later in it had Luther come to see as genuine prove that reconsidered and lectures on the epistle but this seemsto have been answered by Ezra Abbott (1888: 458-463). In his own words, Luther addressedpossible future revisions foes, friends his I text: request my my masters, printers, and readers, and my of it, let in fmd faults If Testament let New them make to this continue mine. they But I I know I this another. well what make, seealso well, what others make. 1823: 439). Testament" (Nhchaelis, German Luther's testament shall remain Nevertheless, contrary to his wishes, the verse was first added in the Frankfurt Alcala, John hand, like On ) (ibid. 1574. the churchmen at the other edition of Calvin and Theodore Beza both treated it as genuine. Even the French humanist, Lefevre, defended it against Erasmus (Rice 1969: 180), based on the erroneous Jerome's prologue to the catholic epistles, assumption of the authenticity of 2, (1894: Scrivener begin did the to ninth century, cf. vol appear until not which 4043 n. 2).


S. Translation Controversies and Errors in the SacredText

Erasmus's translation of the Greek kopq assennorather than verbum, as Jerome had translated it, led to another storm of criticism. Acting the role of a he Jerome, he had been the that text new risked that accusations changing was a in Western Church for he in fact, the thousand that entire read a years; and was, itselfl it Gospel John by (for the of so was perceived the unlearned correcting did because He Boyle is in his judgement "sermo so, as suggests, clergy). not a doctrinal issue, but a grammatical one. It is the province of translators, not of bishops" (Boyle, 1977: 12). 59The sacredtext of Scripture was slipping from the hands into Church, the of the philological grasp of the theologians and the technicians and the province of the academy. However, not even the Greek text reaUyfunctioned for Erasmus as a new from but for Protestants, it text the merely as a religious sacredtext, as would On imperative. fashion his 60 he Platonic-like, occasionsthe moral could which 59Erasmus probably preferred senno,becauseas jarrott suggested, it literary forms "one between discourse of of the most popular persons means a There 35). 1964: jarrott, Renaissance" dialogue-conscious in was, the activity however, an antecedent to this with christological significance. Marsilio, Ficino, Greek had Academy Florentine than the senno translated rather as the also of Christ the "thereby as traditional of the conception off whole verbum sloughing Eternal Word (Logos, Verbum) in a philosophical senseas the Mind and Instrument of God, and substituting the idea of Christ as merely the voice of God" (Wifliams 1962: 25). flared Erasmus Reuchlin 60When the controversy over commented: up I would prefer the New Testament to be left untouched and that the whole of be destroyed be Testament rather than that peaceshould should the Old No 47). 1985: books" Jewish (Revcntlow because Christians of shattered among doubt this is what Jedin has in mind when he saysErasmus's "'Philosophy of (jedin deeps Christian lightly the the Christ' glided all too mysteries" over of 1957 1: 161).


theologianscaught him in a vulnerableposition. From his teachingpost at the University of Ingolstadt JohannEck askedErasmusin a friendly letter, why at Matt. 2: 6 Erasmushad said of the inspired author of Matthew's Gospel,that he "trusted asmen will to memory and had made a mistake. " (In the N. T. Bethlehemis referred to as "not the least, " in the O.T. "asthe least. ") (Benson, 1985:158). Eck admonishes the humanist,
Listen, dear Erasmus: do you suppose any Christian will patiently endure to be told that the evangelistsin their Gospels made mistakes?If the authority Holy. Scripture is this of point -at shaky, can any other passagebe free from the suspicion of error (Benson: 15 8)? Erasmus-'s is response to point out that he was but offering an opinion held by others as a possible solution to the problem. But then goes on to reveal his true conviction, Nor, in my view, would the authority of the whole of Scripture be instantly imperilled, as you suggest, if an evangelist by a slip of the memory did. put for Isaiah for instance instead of Jeremiah, for this is not one name another, a point on which anything turns (Benson: 159). 61 Even Peter had lapses,so Erasmus argued, as Augustine and Ambrose acknowledged.62 Erasmus, with VaRa'shelp, had provided A the raw ingredients for dislodging confidence in the Latin Vulgate and in turn scholastic theology which based it. Huizinga his during that through was upon maintained publications 61It is fair to say that the Reformers probably shared this view with Erasmus concerning various minor discrepanciesin the texts of Scripture Cf. Bainton (CHB, Vol3: 12-13). Bainton points out that while they held to a verbal inspiration did inerrancy it in later, this view of not entail as would especially the dogmaticians the though nineteenth century, seventeenth-century make various On dogmaticians harmonization. Lutheran Preus (1957) the attempts at see and Muffer (1987; 1993). Reformed the on see 621 find it difficult to reconcile this with Spitz's judgement, "Erasmus held that all of the canonical Scriptures were free from errors, for they were Holy Spirit himself... inspiration " (Spitz: by 216). the the of produced


the years 1514-1516, Erasmus became "the center of the scientific study of divinity, as he was at the sametime the center and touchstone of classicerudition
literary (Tracy: 13 1). 63He did everything in his power to suggest an taste" and alternative philosophical agenda. In spite of all of his critics this one man's in direction formidable. They would this accomplishments were nothing short of have even carried the day, but for Luther.

G. Luther and the Erasmian Project

Luther, yet another from the priest-class, had his own, new Biblical When Erasmus distance himself from this theologian by to agenda. attempted his "determinism, his " favourite Origen, to theologian, attacking resorting Luther sensedthe vulnerability of Erasmus's hermenuctic and held Origen up to scorn: You see,therefore, that the controversy here is not about the text itself, nor is it any longer about inferences and similes, but about tropes and interpretations. When, then, are we ever Lyoinirto have a text pure and inferences.... Scfiptura] Look [sola tropes ana simple, without what happened to that master of tropes, Origen, in his exposition of the Scriptures! What fitting objects of attack he provides for the calurnnies of Porphyry, so that even Jerome thinks that the defenders of Origen have an impossible task (LCC, Vol. 17: 220-221). Luther's BecauseErasmus had "picked on the essence position, the of denial of any autonomous power of self-determination in man" (LeVi:29), 64 Luther gave vent to his suspicion of what MIght lie at the bottom of Erasmus's


for Tracy indebted this quotation. to am

64AIways interpreted by Erasmus as the results of common grace. On 59-77). (1984: Boyle this see


mishandling of sacred Scripture: a hidden athcism.65Luther becamelivid over Erasmus's scepticism regarding the perspicuity of Scripture on this issue of the power of the will: By such tactics you only succeedin showing that you foster in heart your a Lucian, or some other pig from EEvue having belief in God icurus' sty who, no himself, secretly ridicules all who belief a and confessit. Permit be assertors, to be devoted to assertions and delight in them, while you. stick to Sceptics Academics till Christ calls you too. The Holy'Spirit is no your and Sceptic... (LCC: 109)66 In a letter to WenceslasLink, Luther is even more blunt asserting that "Christ will judge this atheist and Epicurean Lucian" (LW, Vol. 49: 216). 67 Erasmus responded to Luther at one point by saying, "I, Epicurus, if I had survived to the time of the apostles and had heard them preaching the gospel so scurrilously, I am afraid I should have remained Epicurus" (Boyle, 1981: 92).


the use of the word "atheist" in the sixteenth century seeFebvre

(131-146). 66For a good analysisof Erasmus's use of skepticism in this debate see Popkin (1960: 1-16) and Boyle (1983). 67Erasmushad in fact said in his colloquy, Epicurcus(1535) "There are deserves better Epicurean Christians the than no people more godly and no one ... founder head Christian Epicurean than the name of philosophy' revered and of (Boyle, 1981: 68). Luther saw Erasmus, as with nearly everything else, in his In he Epicurcan Genesis terms. the apocalyptic commentary on used word follow different "ungodliness totally connotations, asserting, with and smugness is despised is become God People Word and not made use of. of when the bereft in letter (LW, 4: 391). In 1543 Epicureans, of reason" and a atheists, vol. followed he Link Wenceslas to up on this theme, "Now is the time which was fall Antichrist, be Epicurcans the of to when people will predicted come after Christ 50: be fulfilled" (LW, Vol. 243). the that of word might and atheists, so


H. The Protestantsand the New SacredText

Erasmus's wish that the new-born babe of the Greek N. T. might be

in wrapped the swaddling clothesof ancientpaganwisdom, asdistilled in his Chfisti, was foiled by Luther. 68TheGermansnatchedher up and philosophia her in the vestmentsof a new order of theological dogma: the Greek wrapped N. T becamethe new sacredtext for the new ProtestantChurch. The Greek-andHebrew-reading Protestantclergy became the new privileged interpreter class (the so-called"priesthood of all believers"notwithstanding).69
Many of the humanist stars formerly shining in the heaven of Erasmus's began fall into to the gravitational pull of Wittenberg, such as new academy Melanchthon, Calvin, Bucer, and to a lesserextent, Zwingli, et al. Nietzsche, looking back at this critical juncture toward the end of his life, bemoaned Erasmus's failed project with great despair becausehe felt that had it

68Both Erasmus and Luther were perhaps equally responsible for Chfistianity initiating the modern quest for the csscncc of which would so historians Bainton (cf. theologians preoccupy nineteenth-century and 1988: 226). Erasmus'spbiloso Pbia Cbristi gave expression to the non-dogmatic dawning for from traditions the the ancient classical option, providing guidance hand, be Luther, he thought would was on the other a new golden age. of what his iustificatiopeccatofis guiding principle which could even as concerned with in his biblical quest to continue canon marginalize aspectsof the received in issue by For a treatment of the essence answering questions raised medievalism. Essence "Analysis Sykes's history Christian the thought, see the of chapter, of Discussion," in Tbc Identity of Cbristianity (1984: 211-238). While Sykes'srightly in Luther's "The case,operated as a critical seesthat creation of priorities, hermeneutic of received traditions" (225), he has altogether neglected Erasmus's development. this to contribution Italian 69john Owen records in his classicThe Skeptics ofthe "In one senseProtestantism is the offspring of Romanism; and it Renaissance: her had if lineaments been have the not manifested some of of curious she would 417). 1908: (Owen parent"


been successful,it would have brought the West much closer to his own goal, the eventual dissolution of the Christian tradition: Is it at last understood, is there a desireto understand, what the Renaissance The revaluation of Christian values,the attempt, undertaken with every was? expedient, with every instinct, with genius of every kind, to bring about the What happened?A the victory of opposing values, the noblevalues.... German monk, Luther, went to Rome. This monk, all the vindictive instincts of a failed priest in him, fulminated in Rome against the Renaissance....And Luther restored the Church (Nietzsche, 1895: 184-85). 70 As for the Roman Church, Erasmus was also defeated by the great Trent (1546) declaring that council met at the Vulgate, in spite of Valla and Erasmus, the only authoritative text of Scripture. Like his guide, Origcn, Erasmus, too, would become tagged unorthodox and placed on the Index of forbidden books by the council. Becauseof his particular threat to the Church the Jesuits came to regard him as "a pestilence greater than Luther or Calvin" (Mansfield 1979: 119). I. SUMMARY

Perhaps another look at the circumstancesof Erasmus's birth and its influence on Erasmus will help us to better understand why he was so passionate in offering what he saw as a sound alternative to Roman Catholic intellectual his life in late fifteenth From the and spiritual and early sixteenth centuries. felt keen from Church he have the earliest years must a alienation which was no doubt reinforced by his early exposure to the DepotioModerna.

Nietzsche no doubt had in mind the Southern brand of humanism 70 Luther Nevertheless, Erasmus's directly than overmediating position. more humanism, On branches both of reasserting a refonnedcatholicism. shadowed humanism D'Amico Roman (1983). On the general the see the paganism of Renaissance Owen (1908). Southern see scepticism of the


His desireto discovera community, a new academy, his exemplifying Cbfisti was never realizedin his lifetime. His time spent in Thomas pbilosopbia More's home was perhapsthe closesthe ever cameto his idealizedsocietyof kindred spirits He describedthis experience in the following terms: You might say that he [More] had in his house another academyof Plato if I did not insult him by the comparison; for in that academythey used to dispute concerning numbers and figures, sometimes concerning virtue and You house this the school and might more properly call morality. Though Christian family the the the gymnasium of religion. all members of fmd for liberal the their they time principal object of make piety concern, yet for is house In that the profitable readin. studies and voice of contention heard, is does his duty Every no one ever seen idle. one never with alacrity, That distinguished temperate cheerfulness. man secures and not without a harsh his household by treatment, the pod order of V and overbearin not discharge of their but by gentlenessand kindness. All are diligent in duties, and exhibit, while engyd in them, a spirit of sobriety and 355). (Pennington IR: cheerfulness By contrast, Erasmus came to seemost theologians and the theological be in death-dealing. He dangerous caught their and would never enterprise as device, his it His nulli was conccdo personal motto, as appearedon web. (McConica 1968: 13-14). In 1521 he writes, "Not all have strength enough for Peter's follow St. in it in fear I I that shall, case results a tumult, martyrdom. Thomas friend his When 159). 1957: (Huizinga., and colleague, close example" More, was executed, Erasmus exclaimed, "Would More had never meddled with left business, dangerous the theological causeto the theologlans" that and (Huizinga: 183). Likewise, Luther's theological passion was never fully "Luther from dear is to him, by to me seems as, comments such as understood behave as though he did not wish to be kept alive" (CE 1988: 212). "Not his fact, In be kept Erasmus, of course, wished to maxim was alive. life his By 571: 1). 15 7, 19 " (jedin Martyrs but Doctors quietly spending n. he implications doing the work of a philologiSt, 71 the accomplished were of what

instinct "By Erasmus: has the 71jedin a scholar and of essence captured for him interest his the of culture culture and was culture, was one philologist,


fiffly by realized the corporate Church until Trent, long after he had not is It impossible, 72 from our "post-modern" standpoint to almost passed. appreciate the radicalism of Erasmus's project. Rummel brings into focus this Erasmus's lasting legacy: of aspect His referencesto discrepanciesin the accounts of the apostles, his attention to the grammatical and stylistic flaws in their writings, and his criticism of the translator of the Vulgate (whoever he was') aroused the ire of conservative theologians, who saw the authority of the Bible endangered by (Rummel 1986: 184). such remarks Erasmus both disrupted confidence in the Vulgate as a sacredtext and in doing hermeneutical had it from the tradition that also negated so the enveloped AIiddle Ages. In its place he submitted the Greek text of the Eastern (heterodox)

571: by has Christianity" jedin 19 15 7). Breen antiquity, crowned and perfected humanists in the sixteenth century: to the two types called our attention of "Civic humanists were the Moderns; those who did not participate in civil life but remained aloof in their ivory towers were the Classicists.... Some of the Valla, humanists Moderns: Petrarch, Classicists than rather greatest were Erasmus, whose accomplishments argue sufficiently that the Classicistswere not to be scorned" (Breen 1968; 168, n. 83). In France, Basil Hall discerned three he divided into humanists The first he two groupswhich groups. calls the court Royal Library had Francis, the the at established of under patronage who -those Fontainebleau and the LecteursRoyaux at Paris; and those under the patronage of Marguerite of Navarre. Some of these latter humanists, influenced by Platonizing mysticism, eventually becameadvocatesof reform, like Jacques Lefevre dEtaplcs. A final group he tags the philologists, followers of Erasmus (Hall, 1956: 7). In the long run, it would be this latter group who would prove in Church be the progress toward modernity. the to to the most menacing 72Except by those critics, such as Lee, who seemedto sensethe direction Erasmianism would go. Although, his Colloquia was condemncd by the Sorbonne in 1526 as were thirty-two propositions from his paraphrasesthe next 33, 1968: (McConica n-2). year


Church,73andhis pbilosopbia Cbfistj asthe new hermeneutic.asBasil Hall says, this hermcnueticwas "without referenceto the dogmatic definitions of (Hall 1970: 81), and it was from theseingredients that Erasmus scholasticism" hoped to seea new acadcmy emerge,what van Gelder calledthe Afajor Rcfonnation,in contrast to Luther's minor Reformation (Van Gelder 1961),74 Margo Todd "Utopia" (Todd 1987:260). and what called
All of this activity was accomplished without the invitation of the

Church, by someonewho may haveneverfinished his first theological degree. 75

The Roman Church rejected both his text and his hermeneutic; the Protestants his it but his hermeneutic. text, text accepted giving sacred status, also rejected The debate that surrounded his rejection of the commajobanncum (as weH dynamic between Church's the the the as entire of conflict claim over the Bible Erasmus's it tcxt the province of as a sacrcd versus claims over as a for in the tone that take philologist) set every such exchange place the would future. From the sixteenth century to the present, the Church has been her in to the text, perennially concerned conserve exact configuration of sacred her dogmatic legacy is it. The Biblical order to preserve which grounded upon

73"The Greek original was regarded as the biased authority of favour if heterodox, Greek Greeks: to to use their original was schismatical, not their dangerous opinions" (Hall 1970: 85). 74Later,Edward Gibbon would refer to Erasmus's as "the secret in later (I to this a chapter). reformation" will refer 75AIthough J.K. Sowards is persuaded that "The presumptive evidence for his baccalaureatdegree is too strong. " Others, however, point out that his illegitimacy probably forbade his receiving a degree becauseof a faculty statute his he fmished is hard indeed if there course at all, of which no prohibiting this, 29-30). 1989: (Sowards evidence


philologist wittingly or unwittingly is forever "on a quest for the historical " Erasmus opened the wound; others would pour in the Jesus. salt.76

76Augustine fled to the comforting bosom of the Church thus his identity life had dissolute, itinerant. This escaping prior as a academic earlier resulted in the birth of his illegitimate son. Erasmus, on the other hand, fled from the dogma and structure of the institutional Church whose medieval for his to prohibition against marriage clerics probably contributed own illegitimacy. Erasmus, in turn, becamean itinerant scholar who found comfort in the rhetorical categories and moral teaching of classicalantiquity. Here he found the liberating possibilities of a self-affirming, self-preserving identity, even if his in dissolution the eventual advocacyof the same resulted of aspectsof the in Augustine, fleeing laid foundation Church. Latin this tradition, the medieval for medievalism. Erasmus, in returning to it, paved the way for modernity.


Die Ausyange desDogmasim romiscben Katbolicismus. The Tridentine Response to Erasmianism: The VuqataLatina as SacredText

Now togive tbccalsointclligcnce in particular, mostgcntIc rcadcr,ofsucbtbingcs bcbouctb it know Translation: tbcc Wc translatetbc old to as spccially conccrning our Latin Grcckc It is bcttcr tcxt, not tbc common tcxt,for tbese vuqar causes... not only but tbcn tbc Grcckc in tbosc than al otbcrLatin translations, tcxt itsc6C, placcs wbcrc tbcydisagrcc.
Rhemes New Testament, 15 82 to the --Preface

A. The VuqataLatina: Verbal Icon of the Western Church One feature that makes a text sacredis how it is communicated into human language. The Decalogue was produced by the very finger of God; the Septuagint was produced miraculously by seventy-two Jewish Elders, in seventy days; the Holy Qur'an was revealedfrom heaven, a portion at a time, directly to the prophet Mohammed by the angel Gabriel. While not sharing such an explicitly miraculous origin, the VuqataLatina have been by thought to produced, one of the was, nevertheless,produced, or ' The Jerome. important Western Church--Saint the common most saints of theme intended to be assertedin each of these accounts was the quality of inspiration. dictated, verbally or communicated

IFor an argument that Jerome may well have produced the entire N. T. A. Bell, Jr., 'Jerome3s in Translation Albert Vulgata, the of the role see of the Vulgate New Testament', New TestamentStudies,33 (1977: 230-33). 86


Jerome's Bible soon replaced the VetusLatina as the official Bible of the Latin Church. The magnificent monastic tradition of manuscript illumination, first by Hiberno-Saxon followed by the produced then school and the monks of the Carolingian and Anglo-Saxon religious communities, bears witness to the Vuqata in text the the early middle ages. status of sacred These were never meant to be mere ornamentations or decoration. Instead, they were, "an integral part of the metamorphosis from reality to image, to "2These intended designate to to these elementaryforM. symbol, symbols were texts, like the holy icons themselves,as sacredwindows to the transcendent. To adorn the manuscripts of the Vuqatathe Carolingian school iconographic holy the eventually produced representations of evangelists by dictation imitation Gospels Holy Spirit. In the their the of clear composing Byzantine Eastern Church, the the of classical style of with some modification, the evangelists' portraits are found more often in these manuscripts than any in other early medieval art. These portraits of the evangelistswere again a means of pictorially dictated inspiration idea the the of the sacredtext. of communicating verbally The means for showing this were usually a dove hovering around their head, from heaven, down fingers Holy Spirit; pointing symbolizing the or two is impartation; Divine or at times an angel shown providing the representing inspired content. In this way, the icon of the evangelist helped to convey the idea divinely inspired text. of the of the unique sacredness

2Hans Hoffinder, Tbc Hcrbcrt Histmy ofArt and Arrbitcaurc: Early Mcdicval (1990: 23). On this further consult O. K. Werckmeister, Ifiscb, dcs. 8. Spifitualitjit Bucbmalcrci und monastiscbc nortbumbriscbc _14brbundcrts (1967).


It was the Eastern Father, however, St. John of Damascus (c.675-c. 749), bowing who placed together as objects of veneration(TCPOCFK^OVTICYI; --litcrafly down to), the holy books, relics and icons, arguing that a "relative worship" was due to "objects dedicated to God, such as the holy Gospels and other books, for they have been written for our instruction, upon whom the end of the ageshas 113 come. For St. John Damascene,not only was Holy Scripture put in the same icons the sacred category with as an object worthy of veneration, the text itself icon functioned in icon. the verbal seen as a sameway as apictorial was which Again, visible things are corporeal models which provide a vague intangible Holy describes Scripture God things. understanding of and the inability having descriptive form.... Anyone that our angels as would say immediately to direct our thoughts to contemplation of. higher th mifs makes it necessarythat familiar evepa media be utilized to give suitable orm to depicted, is formless, be so that we are and make visib: e what cannot what God, If, Word therefore, the to of able construct understandable analogies. by is intangible for to in oviding our every need, always presents us what by it form, does it this rnmt an image using not accomplish cloptMg with for brings which we within our reach at what is common to nature and so 4 long but are unable to see? With this understanding of the Bible as, indeed, a verbal icon, it is easyto include how Scripture retaining a would part of the veneration of understand fixed form of the Scripture text, Just as innovation in the reproduction of icons was taboo.

Against Apologies Tbree On theDivine Images. 3St.John of Damascus, Those WboAttack theDivine Images(1980: 10; 86). For an excellentintroduction "St. Dragas, D. George Icons Damascus's St. John teachingon consult, to of Eternity: Teachingabout Holy Icons," in IconsWindows John Damascene's on 53-72). Color in (1990: Spifituality Tbeology and

John of Damascus (20).


Furthermore, this iconographic reverencefor the Scripture took on a

further tangible expressionin the liturgy. The four Gospelsparticularly were the most elaboratelyproduced manuscripts:
Unquestionabl the most sumptuous manuscripts of any part of the Scriptures proTuced in the middle ages the co les of the four Gospels ... bound in one volume, frequently with splendi7covers of ivory and metal The Gospels by faithful, the regarded work. were with particular veneration and an eight-century writer compares the entry of the gospel book of Mass to the entry of Christ himself (Wormald CHB 2: 326). Furthermore, High esteemfor the word of Christ is seennot only in the care and wealth decorating binding book, Gospel the the expended on writing, and of which beean with the Celtic and Analo-Saxon civilizations, but also in the fact that it the the sacramentaryor missal, was allowed to rest on the altar.... with book dc into Gradually the carryin o the to the j- of ambo gospel eloped a formalprocession.... the procession were added, at tir'nes, a cross bearer durin book ' the the was placed and a cleric carrying a cushion upon which -book handed After Gospel, b the subdegacon the the round MB2: reading.... was 229-230). to the attendant clergy for veneration by a kiss (van Dijk For nearly a thousand years it was the VuqataLatina that fulfilled this role icon in Western Church. the of a verbal

With the advent of the mechanisticprinting pressin the fifteenth century,

5 illumination. beginning Biblical manuscript of the end of one also seesthe

50n the impact of the printed book on the west, seethe standard Impact Cmning Book: The Martin, Henri-jean Lucien Febvre the oftbe and work, [first 1990 by Gerard (London, David 1450-1800 trans. published qfPrinting French edition, 1958]). It is true that after the twelfth century and into the Age Secular beginning Thomas Marcel the thirteenth, what of of called the introduction founding of universities and the manuscript production, with the bookmakers books for demand produced a secular trade of of paper, the greater for fact does This illuminators. that the religious not negate and even Period in Secular "Monasteries the continued to copy ecclesiastical use, in had done just for the they their own use, as manuscripts they needed 'monastic' period. The rules of the monastic orders prescribed a certain number important intellectual for day hours part of work, and copying was an of each learning lines, Organised the scriptoria produced works of this. on traditional doing finally books, so until printing relegated the and went on and service beyond, for, from indeed tradition as as much manuscript to the past-and


Stripped of its sacreddressof illumination and now produced by a secularbook Bible begins the trade, to resembleany other text, all of which are now from squeezed the sameprinter's mould, not primarily for the uniformly out for 6 their new found purchasingpoWer. of men's souls as edification Moreover, the sacredtext is now also subjectto the necessary but mundanepracticeof manuscript collations for the purpose of constructing a definitivepinted edition. Because of the closescrutiny to which the manuscripts humanists like Lorenzo Valla and DesideriusErasmusbegan were now subject, Latina to discoverthrough their collations of Greekexemplars that the Vu4qata had many textual flaws, someof which brought into question certain dogmas.It is my belief that thesetwo developments, in the loss of monasticpiety expressed Biblical illumination and the advent of printing, signal the beginning of the desacralization in Bible in Vuqata in Latina the the the of general west, and of particular.

B. Trent Erasmus's project of replacing the sacredtext of the Western Church with the Greek text of what was considered to be the schismatic Eastern Church, was by Roman Catholic be feature theologians to the troublesome seen many most

necessity,monasteries still continued to copy missals, antiphonaries and breviaries until well into the 16th century, " Marcel Thomas, "Manuscripts, " in The Cming oftbe Book, (18 -19). Moreover, certain monasteries continued, even into the secular period, to be in demand for their calligraphy or illumination, as

income (19). this provided a sourceof

6"One fact must not be lost sight of. the printer and the bookseller beginning from for (Febvre Martin:. 249). the profit" and worked above all and f-J Lop


dual humanism 7This Protestantism. is highlighted by the the threat of of and fact that Erasmus's edition of the Greek text was placed on the index of forbidden books, even though it had the earlier approval of Pope LeoX. 8

It was not until the fourth sessionof the Council of Trent, held on 8
April 1546, that the Latin Church gave her official judgement on the Erasmian The Synod declared that the project.

longo tot saeculorumusu m ipsa ecclesia vetus et vulgata editiO, quae in lectionibus, disputationibus, probata est, publicis praedicationibuset habeatur; iuam expositionibus pro authentica et ut nemo rejicerequovis 9 praetextuaudeatvel praesurnat.

7M.A. Screechhas rightfully emphasisedthat Erasmus's first published Latin edition, accompanying his Greek recension (1516), was intended to be a is from Greek. He Vulgata the correction of the rather than a new translation fully into its 'The Greek that own when all other convinced original came Testament failed, New ' Anne Reeve, ErasmusAnnotations the on authorities ed., (1986: xvii). Nevertheless, when one surveys the arguments of Erasmus's many Catholic critics (Dorp, Lee, Stunica, et al.), it is always his use of the Greek N. T. disapprobation. is Vulgata their the the that causeof as a superior authority over On this seeErika Rummel, Erasmusand His Catbolic Critics 2 vols. (1989). Cf. Testament des Neuen A. beiden Erasmus Bludau, Die also ersten -Ausgaben (1902); Jerry H. Bentley (1979: 51-79) (1983: 194-213); and of course Coogan (1992) mentioned in the previous chapter.

Church 2 80n this seeG.H. Putnam, TheCensorship the ofRome vols of (1906:328-40). In the Index of Paul IV (1559) Erasmus'sblanket Calvin. Luther that than or of either condemnationwas greater
77: 82), Cburcbes (18 Greek Latin Thilip Schaff, The Creeds oftbe and long is by "ancient the translation use of so that the which recommended vulgate lectures, be in Church, in regarded as authoritative public many centuries the disputations, sermons and expository discourses, and that no one may make bold " it or presume to reject on any pretext.


But just what did the Council mean when it said the old Latin edition be regarded as autbentica?'O must In a papal encyclical by Pope Pius YJI, titled Divino afflante spifitu, and

in September it 1943, decree first that the published of was explained of all "concernsonly the Latin Church and her public useof Scripture." But had not Professio Fidei Didentinae, by in Pius IV 1564, required the the prepared order of be holy Apostolic "the Catholic Roman to those saved profess who would all The twentieth century 11 Church asthe mother and mistressof all churches"
"This 'authenticity, " to assert, pre-eminent authority, or of the encyclical went on Vulgate was determined by the Council not primarily on critical grounds. " Rather, it is approved only because"it may safely and without danger of error be be does lectures, Not in discussions, " this to a appear only and sermons. cited further informed Trent, language that we are, the of we are minimizing of indeed, now "almost required" to depart from the Vulgata for reasonsof 121athis, one sensesa "corroborating" doctrine "by means of the originalteXtS. 11 demythologizing of the language of Trent. 11

101 do not find Edmund F. Sutcliffe's, S.J. argument very compelling he Moreover, intent dogmatic had decree Council's on this subject. that the no his "The See define autbentica. usesa twentieth-century papal encyclical to Council of Trent on theAutbentica of the Vulgate, " Tbejournal of Tbeological Studies49 (1948: 35-42). 77: 96-9). (18 Cbristendom "Philip Schaff,A Histmy of the Creeds of
12PjUS X11,

Encyclical Letter, Divino afflante spiritu (1945: 17-18).


literature treating the interpretation of Trent on this point since

Legate Papal H. Jedin, the Divino at afflantespiritu, see the promulgation of Councilof Trent trans. by F.C. Eckhoff (1947:283-300); R. Draguet, 'Le maitre louvanisteDriedo inspirateur du decret de Trent sur la Vulgate,' in Miscellanea DeMeyer (1946: 836-54); B. Emmi, 'IRDecreto bistoiicain bonoremAlberi Tridentino sulla Volgata nei commenti della prima polemicaprotcstanti


May I suggcstthat the way to discovcr the authorial intcnt of the Tridentine decreeis to examineit not in light of the developments of modernity, but rather, in light of the mediepal Vuqata? By employing the the view of Vu4ffata the of categories asa sacredtext, asthe verbal icon of the Western Church, we may hope to arrive at a more reasonable interpretation of Trent as
illuminating well as a more understanding of the significance and role of the Latin Bible in the sixteenth century. On I April, 1575, nearly thirty-five years after the Council was Robert Bellarmine Cardinal Sirleto, a sctiptor of the Vatican to concluded, put Library, the following question: come now to some questions which are own mind. The first is, did Council Trent in its them the and chief of what of intend when fourth sessionit decreedthat the Latin Vulgate was to be held authentic? For I find that there is the greatest divergence of view on this Hinportant highest Some the matter among men of eminence. openly affirm that our Latin Vulgate edition has been so approved by the Council that it is not is in to that there now permissible, on any account, say a single sentence this does is false edition which or which not convey the mind of the original These Hebrew to the the men would prefer writer. slight authority of and Greek codices rather than admit any lapse in the Vulgate text, and they teach that we possessthe true and genuine senseof the Scriptures in this edition, if had in the sacredautographs of the original writers just as much as we our hands. Other authorities, on the contrary, hold that nothing of the kind was decreed decreed by According Council. to. thcm, that the ever all it was that this ancient Vulgate edition was to be retained in the Church, as being the best, and that no other was to be used in scholastic lectures, in sermons, or in the liturg TYct though nothing whatever is to be found in this edition its it be denied Latin translator that th to contrary , or morals, cannot

The Bible, J. Levie, S. J., 107-30; 228-272); 30 (1953: 3Angelicum cocattolica, Word ofGod in WordsofMen (1961: 133-55). Cf. also an earlier work treating de Trente, 'Revue le H. Rongy, Ta Vulgate 1943, before this subject et concile 19-31). de 19 (1927-28: Liege eccMsiastique


sometimes nods like the rest of men, 14and more than once has missed the 15 true sense of the Scripture ....

Bellarmine never receiveda satisfying answerto his question. Almost a year later, however, the sacredCongregation of the Council
definitive interpretation Tridentine decree. their the ruling on the published of They, declared that in order to incur the penalties laid down in the decreeof the Tridentine Fathers it was sufficient to change a sentence,a clause,a phrase, a iota word, a syllable, an even, contrary to the text of the Vulgate (Brodrick 298-9). While this would seemto be consonant with the actual language of the

decree, it. Instead,he conductedhis own research Bellarminenever accepted on

the subject resulting in his posthumous work, De editioneLatina vuyata, quo Concilio definitum babeatur. 16M Tfidentino pro ter citing a sit, ut sensu autbentica had been he in the present at council, concluded, many authors, some of whom Congregation Council, the the to opposition sacred of

All the writers whom I havehad a opportunity of consulting up to the be following Vulgte the to the must present,seem arrive at conclusion: faith free from Catholic and morality consideredas error on all questionsof lectures in be it schools,cpen and alonemust usedin Eublic worshi and 299). it may avcitsfaults emphasis (Brodrick: tbougbin otberrespects mine] c
How could Bellarminc come away with a different interpretation from that

Congregation? the of sacred

Bellarmine had discovered and accurately described, in both his question had decree, interpretation in his Cardinal Sirleto there that to of the and own

14Aphrase also used by Erasmus in referenceto the Vuqata. Robert Francis Cardinal 15J.Brodrick, S.J. The life and Work ofBlessed Bellannine, S. J. 1542-1621 2 vols (1928 1: 298). 16Thiswas written sometime between 1586-1591 but was not discovered until after Bellarmine's death and was then published in 1749, (Brodrick: 299).


beentwo approaches to this question and that they were hotly debatedat the Council. We know this because of the accountgiven to us of the debatesby Paolo Sarpi.
Sarpi was the Italian monk and canonist responsible for the brief that defeated Pope Paul Vs interdict against Venice in 1606.17Itis he who provides debates behind decrees in his Histmy oftbe the the earliest the us with account of Council of Trent (published not in Italy, but in London and in English in 1620). 180n the subject of the Vuqata Sarpi identifies two opposing groups at Trent:

170n this see,F.A. Yates, 'Paolo Sarpi's "History of the Council of Trent, "'Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 7 (1944: 123-143). 180n the life and work of Sarpi, seeA. G. Campbell, TheLife ofFra PaoloSarPi (1869); A. Robertson, Fra PaoloSarPi the Greatestof the Venetians (1894); J.L. Lievsay, Venetian Phoenix: Paolo Sarpi and Some of his English Friends 1606-1700 (1973); David Wootton, PaoloSarpi: Between Renaissance in Enlightenment (1983). Sarpi's History England and and was published first in London by The James 1. Italian sponsored edition was also published (1619), one year earlier than the English edition. On the sourcesof Sarpi's history seeCampbell (205-09) Robertson (144-46) Yates (133) Wootton (104by Austin Sarah 17) and Leopold Ranke, ThePopes 4th 3 trans. ofRmne ed. vols (1866 3: 209-27). Sarpi's was the first history of the council and was translated into most major European languages, seeing severaleditions in English. Samuel Johnson almost gave it new life, proposing a new translation, but never Catholic definitive Roman Jedin's the completed the project. modem and work, history of the Council basedon all available Vatican archival material, offers in Sarpi's but is detail this account, cf, more not essentialconflict with on point Jedin,A Histaq oftbe Council of Trent trans. by D. E. Graf 2 vols. (1957-61 in light of the evidence 2: 83-98). Furthermore, Wootton mentions, 'reassessed be him, Sarpi's to account appearssurprisingly exact and careful, and availableto basedindeed, as he had claimed, on careful researchin the original documents.... it does seem to me reasonableto hold that Sarpi's is essentially an honest work' ...

(Wootton 105).


There was much differenceabout the Latin Translation of the Scripture, betweensomefew who had good knowledge of the Latin, and sometaste of the Greek, and others who were ignorant in the tongues.19 One of thesetwo groups, those who had somefacility with Greekand
had undoubtedly been influenced to some degree by aspectsof Erasmianism, Cajetan as a model churchman on this issue. Cajetan had spent the last cited his life, dealing language the elevenyears of texts of Scripture so as with original to defeat the Protestants on their own terms. This group argued, on the strength Cajetan's Latin that opinion, of only a edition, corrected to the original Hebrew Greek, be have could the sanction of the Holy Spirit. and called authentic and This was, however, a minority opinion at the Council. The majority of the churchmen, who were not at home in Greek or Hebrew, were of a decidedly different persuasion. In Sarpi's words, On the contrary, the major Elch Divines it the that art of said, was necessaryto Translai formerly hath been read in the Schools, to that account , be divine and Authentical; otherwise they should yield the causeto the Lutherans, and open a Gate to innumerable Heresies hereafter, and contmuall trouble the Peaceof Christendom. That the Doctrine of the Church o7iZe, Mother and Mistress of all the rest, is in a great part, founded by the Pppes, and by the School Divines, upon some passageof the Scripture, which it every one had liberty to examine whether it were well Translated, running to other Translations, or seeking how it was in Greek or Hebrew, these new Grammarians would confound all, and would be made Judges and Arbiters of Faith: and instead of Divines and Canonists, Pedanties should be preferred to be Bishops and Cardinals. The Inquisitors be in know Lutherans, to the the not able proceed against case 7ext will not is not so Hebrew and Greek, becausethey will suddenly answer, the is false 156). Translation (Sarpi: that the and Furthermore, it was argued, If the Providence of God hath. given an authentical Scripture to the Synagogue, and an authentical New Testament to the Grecians, it cannot be beloved Church Rome, Derogation, than the that the more of said, without Ghost, Holy benefit, hath and therefore that the same rest, wanted tfils great holy hath dictated Books, did dictate the also that translation which who by be Church Rome (Sarpi: 156). the to of ought accepted

19P. S. Polano [Paolo Sarpi] TheHistory oftbe Councelof Trent 2nd ed., 155). (1629: Brent by N. trans.


Some said this was going too far to claim that the Holy Spirit dictated Vuqata. Therefore, the the Holy Spirit's influence was shifted from dictating the Vuqatato sanctioning the authority of the Council itself, which would approve Latina Vulgata the exclusively. Here they could be certain the Holy Spirit was speaking. Finally, a mediating voice was raised. Andrew de Vega, a Franciscan Friar, set forth that the Vu(qata Latina should be understood asAutbentica faith in it be in and manners, while some small matters could error. concerning This would also allow for consulting the Hebrew and Greek texts in these later by Bellarmine. find Here taken the up minimalist view we problem areas. Yet, as the final draft of the statement on the Vuqatamakes clear, this decree. 20 The become did the majority opinion not part of compromise position by by is further This those the great protest made substantiated prevailed. decree After the the was resolved, read to the minority positions. advocatesof Croce, Cardinal Santa congregation and approved, Assembled those that had opposed the Vulgar Edition, and shewed they. free but left because to correct it, it was not prohibited could not complain forbidden it but have to say that only was recourse to the original; and to be it for Faith, in it to rejected there were which ought errors of (Sarpi: 161). This qualification, however, as I have said, never becamepart of the actual is "And decree decree. Instead, to that no one the said: actuaUy the wording of (emphasis dare or presume to reject it [ Vu4qata] under anypretext wbatsoeper"

20Sutcliffe acknowledges this: "Many of the fathers desired an explicit but decree, in inserted be Greek Hebrew the the to the the and approbation of The (40). [emphasis majority mine] majority considered this unecessary" be believed because it to they such approbation considered unnecessary Here treatment to what explicating the refers another also author unfounded. Trent meant as understood in the early eighteenth century, H. Hody, De BibUorum Textibus Ofiginalibus (1705: 509 ff).


And Jedin mine). reminds asthat while "many wanted to seethe Vulgate basis ipsos) others set greater the correctedon of the original texts (adfontes ... its text than on that of the original languages"Jedin 19612: 84). This valueon latter opinion was that of the majority. Rome did not respondfavourably to the decree.The Roman commission Vulgate decree. Farnese 29 May, in the of cardinalsresisted the year of wrote on decree the
it would have been better to leave out the chapter on the authenticity of the Vulgate, but since it has been drawn up we must look for as and means to tone it down (temperara), that is, to explain it further (dicKiarare), for it is impossible to deny that in many passages the Vulgate dep ts from the Hebrew Greek fails its These text to certain and and render meaning. more defects, be back himself, traced to the translator must serious which are not to be removed b merely correcting the copyist's and printer's mistakes-bre however desirab be in itself--but by c such a correction may a revision of the Vulgate, on the basis of the original texts (jedin 19612: 96-97). The qualification that the Vulgata was autbentica with regard to "faith and force down" be "tone the to of morals" only, must original viewed as an attempt the decree.Furthermore, in 1546 an attempt was made to revise the decree, failed had "Pius been by But Pope. the this and attempt which not yet confirmed IV confirmed the decree of the fourth sessionjust as he confirmed all the other 19612: 96-97). decrees, (Jedin conciliar without any alteration" Clearly two views emerged from this debate: an official view, expressing debate in (of this the position of the majority of the churchmen whom probably found in in Greek Hebrew) had facility the wording of the as or none either any decreeitself; and an unofficial position, held by the minority who had been influenced by humanism to some degree, and who wanted the Vuqatarevised had They bid. in The latter this according to the original texts. were unsuccessful decree, language in interpretation, for to settle of the conflict with the actual an be in faith Vuqata it down to to mean only that toned and morals was the


21 These as autbentica. regarded two opinions were championedrespectivelyby Pope Sixtus V and the learnedJesuit, Robert Bellarmine,both of whom would producetheir own edition of the Vuqatain fulfilment of their understandingof Trent. the claimsof

C. Sixtus V and the Revision of the Vulgata Latina In 1586, just about the time that Robert Bellarmine may have begun his treatise on Trent's decree on the Vuqata, Sixtus V appointed a commission to Vuqata. This kind the the produce a new edition of was not of revision demanded by those who insisted the Greek and Hebrew texts be employed. Instead, it was intended to be a revision in keeping with the wishes of Trent, namely, a cleaning-up of typographical and minor transcriptural errors. After two years, it was completed. When, however, Cardinal Carafa he harsh Pope, "ordered the to the the presented results was out of room with (Brodrick: 279). It words" seemsthe eight to ten thousand changeswere more

210n this minority interpretation of the decree,note the opinion of Rongy, expressed before the official ruling of the encyclicalof 1943: Ta Vulgate
&re Bible frelatee, dans les; ne peut pas non plus une meme parties qui ne 0 directement la f6i les I'Eglise I'a concernent pas et moeurs: employee comme un dc I'Ecriture les du Peres Concile toutes exemplairc correct pour cesparties, et la du decret n3ont pas songe'a restreindre portee aux seuls passages qui e0noncent des verite'sdogmatiques, ' (1927-28: 27-8). Also, Emmi admits after 1943, 'C'e da chiedersi se questa netta distinzione tra autenticita giuridica c autenticita il Tridcntino, Volgata Concilio critica, applicata alla risponda secondo dovuta del intenzioni Concilio effettivamente alle al stessoo non sia piuttosto lento maturarsi d' una critica. esegeticasempre piU' esigente, la quale, trovati decreto. li del i abbia voluto rendere attuali con unabenigna anacronistici termini Nposto ha la sua ragion d'essere,perche ne A interpretazione. E dubbio cosi decreto stcsso ne gli atti ufficiali della sedute conciliari contengono elementi o detcrminati dati che suggeriscano con evidenza la distinzione adottata dai 5 110). 3: ' (19 moderni,


Sixtus than was expecting.This would call into question Trent's decreethat the Vuqata faithful. Sixtus decided the earlier was authentic, aswell asunsettle to do it himself An insomniac, Sixtus,with the help of a few assistants, day worked and
for The Pope the threw all the weight of his revision eighteen months. night on Me behind fmishcd his bull, Aeternus the project, as reveals: office We, weighing the importance of the matter, and considering careflly the hold God, legitimate true great and singular privilege we of and our and from blessed Apostles,... Peter, Prince the of succession are the projer and decide 22 (Brodric 279). to this specially constituted person whole question .

Here the pope claimedpapal authority for determining textual variantsand

declared The Vulgata Latina Vu4qata. Council the translation the the correct of had fixed Rome Sixtus be Bishop the to reality. now provided autbentica; the of dedared further in his buH that, B the fullness of Apostolic power, we decreeand declare that this be is by Lord, by delivered to the to us the authority elition. ...approved in lawful, held authentic and unquestionable all public as true, received, and [emphasis discussion, mine] reading, preaching and explanation andpfivate (Brodrick: 281). By adding the word private Sixtus made his meaning, and what he felt to be the intention of the Council, perfectly clear. Contrary to the minority Bellarmine, Trent Cardinal that no private consultation of the of and opinions at he be Instead, Hebrew Greek to texts seems effectively allowed. original and disallowed those who might be inclined to an interpretation that "watered down" the force of Trent's language. 22This bull was at one time thought never to have been promulgated however, The was original, and therefore was without official authority. discovered in 1907 and it was found to have evidence of official promulgation 1590 SixTina Die Vuqata P. M. Baumgarten, On April 10 1590. von this see, on herausgegeben Abhandlungen, (Alttestamentliche ibre Einfiibrungsbulle von und Nikel, III. Band, 2 Heft), Miinster, 1911; and F. Amann, Die VuqataSixtina 1912. Breisgau, im. Freiburg 1590 von


Furthermore, the penalty for attempting to revisehis edition, was not but temporal punishment, only also excommunication.Sixtus'sBible was intended to embody, as a printed edition, all the sacredness traditionally accordedto the manuscript editions of the medievalLatin Bible. This Bible from the transition would make manuscript to printing press,through the crisis by humanists icon, the the and reformers produced and would, asa verbal Roman indeed, the that the the true neededcertainty provide communion was Church. catholic and apostolic We now view his bull in a rather ironic light, however, because assoon as it camefrom the pressprinting errors and omissionswere discovered. 23The
Pope himself spent six months attempting to make all needed corrections on the hand, he By pasted piecesof paper with with painstaking effort, printed copies. be finished, Sixtus Before the the errors. entire project could corrections over died. Still a correct edition of the Vu4qatadid not exist and now there was a from bull attempting the project. prohibiting anyone papal

D. Robert Beflarmine and the Correction of the Vuqata. The bull of Sixtus V was circumvented by claiming it was never officially definitive Bellarmine the task to the produce promulgated. was now given has judged "of Ryan the theologians of the counter-Reformation, that edition. historical by is the advancesof the there perhaps no one who profited more he studied for some time at humanists than Bellarmine. 1124Furthermore, Louvain, where Erasmus had supporters. While he knew Erasmianism first hand

50Religieuses Etudes ' de Prat, Ta Bible Sixtus F. 230n this see, -Quint, 51 (1890: 565-84;205-24). (1936: SaintBellarminc A. Ryan ST, TbeHistofic Scbolarsbip 24E. viii). of


its he Erasmian. Early after to sensitive and was criticisms was, nevertheless, no his arrival at Louvain, he madeit clearthat St. Thomas was his guiding light. In he this, reflectedthe dual influencesof both Ignatius Loyola and the Spanish (Ryan: 60). of scholasticism revival Bellarmine'splan was to collect all the copiesof the Sixtus edition that be located, by buying them up, and so suppress could
it. 25In

the meantime,

Bellarminewould produce his own edition, working along different lines, and it release
asSixtUS'S. 26The

title pageswere nearly identical.

Bellarmine'sgoal, working with a commission,was to produce an Vuqata he the edition of and was most anxiousto completethe work acceptable from keep He the to to project asquickly aspossible avoid scandal. wanted This would only result in disintegrating into a sourceof debateand dissension. being Beflarmine to the turned the project wanted over universities-something to avoid at all costs. in order to hastenthe project, Bellarminewanted a small conu-nission,
"a languages, knew Biblical the three who could provide, made up of those who Greek Hebrew by Vulgate the and a collation with correction of the text of the ... Beflarmine denied by Commission. 27This 169). (Ryan: the also texts" was The denied. Again, in displayed this was the margins. wanted textual variants in 1592. project was completed

bun, Sixtus's for in 25The collecting sameplan was probably operation few discovered Baumgarten a printed copies. since

(209-24). Prat between differences the two editions, see the

27It iSimportant to realize that had Bellarmine gotten his way, his is "His been have to manifestly conservative, since, object very edition would defend the Vulgate, " having respect for the Greek text, but believing those copies (Ryan: 170). be day in his to corrupt extant


The Sixtine edition, however, would not go away.Eventually the differencesbetweenthe two editions spawneda number of Protestantpolemical 28The polemics did not end until the encyclicalof 1943. tracts.
E. Summary Even into the sixteenth century a medieval notion survived that, "the

Vulgate is the work of St. Jerome,and was written in the samespirit in which the sacredwriters wrote" (jedin 1947: 283). To admit that Jerome,who worked
Church, deceived in his the the authority of under was production of the Vulgata was to admit that councils, dogmatic statements, and, indeed, the Church, could be in error, since all were grounded on this text. Furthermore, it be Erasmus, to that admit would who worked outsidethe sanction of the Church, and who proposed that the Greek text of the schismatic Eastern Church Rome, to that of was correct. was superior This was fimdamentally an ecclesiological issue--the true Church possesses the true sacredtext. Rome did not care to enter into a theoretical searchfor the had Latin Church the already assuredthat original text: continuous usagewithin the Vulgata was authentic. Moreover, with the advent of printing came the loss of the sacred illumination reflecting the piety of the monastic adornment of manuscript direction in further With the this one encounters of the steps scriptorium. desacralization of the Bible of the Western Church. Trent's decreewas a way of

humanists, to the aswell asa way of reaffirming what religious sayingno by for believed a thousand yearsand expressed way of manuscript communities Latina was the verbal icon of the true catholic.and illumination- -the Vu4qata Church. apostolic

28onthis seeBrodrick (289-309) and Prat (213-221).


Finally, Sixtus'sedition, a magnificently bound and imposing folio, was intended to take the placeof the now lost manuscript tradition, providing the before the crisis produced by the Church with the samecertainty shepossessed humanists,the Reformers, and the arrival of printing. In the end, it only served in the modern era, the sacredness it to prove the Bible would never again possess held in an earlier ageof faith.


des The Protestant Dogmaticians in e usgange Dogmasim Protestantismus. Trent: The Greek Vulgate Sacred Text to as I-Lesponse
P, -

" is undisputed doctrineof verbal thatfrom the 16tb to the 18th centuryortbodaxy's inspirationassumedftbel TextusReccptus. It wasthe only Greek knew, text tbcy and .. it asthe 'original' text." thcyregarded
Aland, "The Text Church? " Trinityjoumal the of --Kurt 1987): 131. 8 (Fall

A. Defmitions 1. Protestant Dogmaticians

By Protestant dogmaticians I mean those much maligned heirs of Luther from ' They Calvin the the and post-Reformation era of seventeenthcentury. have been discounted since the Enlightenment for two reasons: 1) they resorted to system building beyond what is considered the dynamic genius of the formulation This, in Reformers. turn, the of creeds prompted sixteenth-century for by to overand confessions, considered reflect a propensity most today definition. 2) They resorted to the Aristotelian method of the medieval 2 battles Rome. in schoolmen their post-Tridentine with

lThe best treatment of the Lutheran dogmaticians on Scripture is Preus (1957). For Reformed scholasticism in general the most recent treatment is Muller (1987) and on Scripture Muller (1993). 2For a survey of recent literature on this as well as a fresh assessment of Protestant scholasticism seeMuller (1986).



What we sometimes fail to realize is that their era demanded such

Theirs, response. after all, was a different agerequiring a different response to freshly Romanism Trent, the articulated of rather than that of the medieval
Schoolmen with whom Erasmus, Luther and Calvin had to contend. It was the burden of the seventeenth-ccntury Protestants to make certain the special Reformation experiment of the sixteenth century continued to thrive within the

new context of a now militant counter-Reformation age.

Most of the Protestant theology written at this time, along with the by the systematic challengespresented to confessionsand creeds, was prefigured them by counter-Reformation theologians fighting for the very life's breath of the Latin Church. 3 If we fail to sympathize with what Frederic Farrar in his Bampton Lectures in in liberty 1885 "a characterized as period which was for bondage; for beggarly for truth exchanged universal principles elements; dogmatism; independence for tradition; religion for system..." (Farrar 1886: 358), perhaps it is becausewe need to reacquaint ourselveswith their age its demands. and peculiar

3Regarding the Lutherans, Preus maintains, "It is worth remembering that scholastic method was to some extent thrust upon the Lutheran dogmaticians of the seventeenth century. Tholuck has pointed out that a in by first Wittenberg the theologians an effort to used scholastic method was fight the Jesuits with their own weapons" (Preus:xvi). Muller remarks regarding late "Note Reformed, the the sixteenth and early seventeenthalso that many of developing devote to considerable energy a theology technically century systems (Muller 1986: 194, 6). Bellarmine" n. capableof refuting


Apograpba 2. The Sacred

By sacredapographa I meanthe final referent of Biblical authority in the Protestant dogmaticians Lutheran Reformed. These the opinion of and --both faithful inspired The latter is the the copiesof originally autograpba. are word derivedfrom the Greeknoun avroypa(pa, original manuscriptswritten with hand; former is derived from Greek the the own one3s word noun (x'7coyp(x(p(x from By I transcripts, copies an original manuscript. sacredapographa meaning
dogmaticians faithful Protestant those the copies regarded as and mean inauthentic the to original as opposed corrupted or authoritative copies of

4 copies.
It is not my intention to addressto what extent the dogmaticians fairly

is Reformers that the quite another issue,though an since reflectthe position of

important one.

4For an excellent definition of these terms seeR. Muller (1985) under " 4pograpbadoes not pertain to translations. Translations were "autographa. faithfully inspired the content of the they to the reflected extent regarded as languages in Scripture however, Because, the can original only sacredapograpba. be the norm for theology, the Lutheran Quenstedt argues, "Versions of the Bible Word but in Word God the the of apographa are content and words, are the of God in content, words and very idiom" (Preus:138). The Reformed Turretin believers, instruction for "Although no other the of they are of great value says, less be as regarded as on par with the original, much version can or should Hebrew has (1) Because the or any weight which no other version superior. Greek source does not possessmore fully, since in the sources [apograpba]not directly but (res spoken also the very words, were et sententiae), only the content (dictata) by the Holy Spirit, which cannot be said of any version.... Although a be is beings human by to regarded as subject to error not given translation made divine and infallible verbally, it can be properly so regarded in substanceif it faithfiffly renders the divine truth of the sources [apogra Pha]" (Turretin , 1981: 152; 154).


I will begin with the Lutheran dogmaticians.I wifl then treat the Calvinists,establishingthat on the point of the sacred Pbawe haveone apogra , fmds that more rare category near complete agreementin both families of the

B. The Lutheran Dogmaticians

If the first generation of Lutheran reformers could be called "ink theologians," to use Eck's words (Preus:207), becausethey believed an Christian doctrine should be derived from Scripture alone, the Lutheran dogmaticians be "traditio" 5 Protestant Scfiptura. those seen as must who appended a onto sola

5Ladd has observed, "Protestantism thus came very near to adopting false hermeneutics, the substantially and of the nature of same principles of in To large Roman Catholics the themselves. scriptural authority, as a extent theory, and to a yet larger extent in practice, the Protestant theologians set up the tradition of dogma in the place of the fictitious tradition of unwritten its influence doctrine, through apostolic upon the as a supreme authority interpretation of the Bible" (Ladd 1883 vol. 2: 180-181). The key words here are is "Only dogmaticians Preus Regarding Lutheran to the verynear. careful note, Scripture in the original languagesis the norma normansof theology" (Preus:13 8). The important parallel between Rome and the Protestants, however, is found in their both making ccclcsiastical determinations as to the Biblical locus Biblical Specific the recensions of exact ecclesiastical of authority. texts were sanctioned. The Reformed did this by way of their confessions, e.g. The The (1658), Savoy Declaration (1646), Westminster Confession the Helvetic ConsensusFormula (1675), as did Rome in The Decreesof Trent (1564). The Lutherans, however, made such determinations in the persons of As Scripture. dogmaticians their and their published statements on the texts of however, Protestants Scripture, maintained that they were with the canon of in Church, God's through the and while providence working recognizing Roman Catholics maintained it was the Church's authority itself which gave the texts their authority and sanction.


The most valuablestudy of the Lutheran dogmaticianson Scripture is Robert Preus's The Inspiration Sciipturc: A Study Tbeology probably still of oftbe of CcnturyLutbcran Dogmaticians. 6The first to respondto the tbc Scvcntccntb Council of Trent, however, and so begin Protestantscholastictendencies, was Martin Chemnitz (1522-1586) who is not treated by Preus.This is because, for Preus,the dogmaticiansdo not emergein their fullest expression until the Therefore, Preus's look to century. seventeenth we will return study after a at Chemnitz.
1. Chemaitz (1522-1586)

ChemnitZs statement on Scripture is critical, appearing in his exhaustive four volume Examm ConciIii Tridcntini, which appearedduring the years 15651573.7As a tribute to the importance of this work it is said in Lutheran circles, "if the second Martin (Chemnitz) had not come, the first Martin (Luther) would 8 have (Kramer 1971: 24). scarcely endured"

6This was a Ph.D. dissertation, The Inspiration of Sclipturc as Taugbt by Ontury Lutbcran Dogmaticians, 1952, written under the direction tbc Scvcntccntb It Edinburgh. University Torrance New College, Thomas Professor the of at of in 1957 A in in 1955. Edinburgh second edition appeared was then published is 1981 Louis, Series, St. Heritage by Concordia and the and this was reprinted know. in far I still as print so 71will be referring to the English translation (Kramer 1971).

8A good monograph treating Chemnitz view of Scripture ascompared Scripture Klug (1971). is Klug Luther's their as sumsup relationship on with follows: "Chemnitz standsbetweenLuther and the theologianswho followed Word, Luther's bridge him the theology, especially of over which after as a true led in ladder to that the a as an evolutionary not rung and carried, wascarefully Word different from the that of the quite structuring of a theology of


In Chemnitz's treatment of the Decrees of Trent, he recorded the Council's statement on a given tenet and then responded accordingly. On Scripture, Trent set forth its casein the First and Second Decreesof the Fourth Session,on April 5,1546. In the Second Decree, the Vu4qataLatina was be to the only authoritative edition of Scripture. The newly restored asserted Greek text of Erasmus was officially put on the index of forbidden books even though the first edition had been dedicated to Pope Leo X and was commended by him. Chemnitz spent most of his cffort refuting the claims of Trent regarding the Roman Catholic Church's prerogative to be the sole interpreter of Scripture. This also included the claim that the Church had a fuller body of authoritative beyond Scripture alone, as found in the on-going oral tradition. Hence, teaching for Chcranitz, the issue at stake is still the Reformation tenet of solaScriptura. In section seven,however, he begins to addressthe issue of translations language their to the texts: and relationship original But what if that common edition [the VuqataLatina] has not rendered it be is in Hebrew Greek, the sources, whether what or correctly, suitably, be fountainheads Will to the to the and adequately.... one allowed Prefer brooks (Chemnitz 1971: 201)? The answer that Chemnitz derives from the decreeof Trent is "no, " to he which replies: Truly, this must not be tolerated in the church, that in place of the things in Hebrew Greek Holy Spirit the sourcessomethin and which wrote been badl has be foisted rendereT.. and LJ should onto us as authentic which has in that examined such a way that one may not reject them even after 9 202). (Chemnitz: the sources

Reformer.... There is no real advanceor development, other than a sharpening (247). formulation" of thought and


Chemnitz then refersto the findings of the Renaissance humanists,

Erasmus and Valla, on the many problems with the Vulgate. He lists examples in distortions Vulgate distinctives in the the that to seem support various of belief and practice of the Roman Church.

9There has been much controversy over the years as to just what the Council of Trent meant by, "precisely the ancient and widely current [vuqata] long had been by for Church the that use within approved so many edition This in be held be " (emphasis treated mine) as autbentic. will centuries...should in following but for it be detail the chapter now must made clear that there some dogmaticians be little doubt Protestant that the understood the postcan Tridentine theologians' interpretation of autbcntica as referring to the Vulgate as differed. In Hebrew Greek texts these to sources extant and when superior September of 1943, however, Pope Pius All releasedan encyclical,Divino, Latin Church "only Spiritu, defining "authentic" the to and to as applying afflante its public uses of the Scripture; that it diminished in no way the authority and in decree Hebrew Greek; that the texts, effect affirmed and value of the original faith in from free Vulgate and morals that the any error whatever matters of was lectures, in disputations, be and quoted with complete authority and so could juridical in had been in rather a used primarily short, the term preaching--that, been intention had to prohibit the making there that than a critical sense;and no " Vulgate. from from the the original texts rather than of vernacular versions first Roman 454) Nevertheless, "Bible, ": (New Catbolic Encyclopedia the s.v. Catholic English translation, the Rhemes New Testament, 1582 (Old Testament Tbc 1609), Douay, but Rhemes title page, translated at reads on the published at Cbiist, translatedfaitbfully into Englisb, out of the autbentical New TestamentofJesus languages. divers in Greckc Latin diligently conferred tbc otber editions and witb ... This would have left the impression that priority was given to the Vuqata Latina over the Greek. Furthermore, even the young Bellarmine did not possess later by finally just the provided the clarity on what autbcntica meant, as development indicate This 47). the (Brodrick: to on all seems encyclical interpretation of Trent's decree as found in the later papal encyclical not unlike had it Westminster Confession fundamentalist reinterpretation of the claiming Both this than modern rather extant copies. the autographs to original reference for Providence MIs 1943 Encyclical Pius Protestant adjustment and appealedto development. for this an explanation


Up to this point it looked as though the Protestants had everything their

This lived. A important was short way. shift was precipitated by a new very debateconcerning the pointing of the Hebrew text. I will not go into detail on but 10 this controversy, allow me to sum up what was at stake.

2. The Hebrew Vowel Points.

Both Luther and Calvin had admitted the pointing in the acceptedHebrew day be felt times text of their could wrong at and so nothing crucial was at stake (Muller 1980: 53-54). When once it was suggested,however, that the system of Masoretes Moses because Ezra; the the result of pointing was and not or and of Jewish hostilities towards the Christian interpretation of the Old Testament the had Scriptura been influenced by began look Jews, the to sold pointing adversely has debate: John Bowman the tenuous. of provided a good assessment It would be quite erroneous to form th Yeinion that the Protestants and ... Roman Catholics held opposing views one pomts5 merely to be consistent in their opposition to one another. The skein is more tangled than that. In Catholics late Roman saw a way claiming the origin of the vowel-points, the Vulgate translation as more reliable than the present the of championin ff ffegrew by latter Protestants Massoretic text, which as the very was regarded Word of God. Further, if the introduction of the Massoretic points was late, have learned Scriptures the without the oral tradition of the no one could Jewish church. The Protestants were professed antitraditionalists; the ge Rome, Church the the tradition of yet accepted of refused to accept Catholics In Jewish the this way church. results of the tradition of the 47). inconsistency (Bowman: Protestant sought to show In fact, John Morinus, a former French Protestant turned Roman Catholic he desired because Testament Old "God without vowels priest argued, gave the

100n this debate seeLadd (vol. 2: 189-191); Bruce (1970: 154-62); Freiday (1979: 9-11; 89-95); Bowman (1948); Gundry (1967); Mufler (1980); Letis (19 8 7A: 35- 70).


follow the church's interpretation, not their own, for the Hebrew tongue men to it without vowels as was given is a'very nose of wa)e" (Bowman: 51-52). It was the Jesuit Bellarmine who used this argument with the most force. He argued that an earlier, authentic and uncorrupted form of the Hebrew text by Jerome for that reason only the VuqataLatina can now be was employed and trusted (Muller 1980: 56). 11As Richard Muller has recognized, this lifted the issueof the cowca edition of the original language texts "to doctrinal status" (Muller 1980: 63). For Protestants this was the ecclesiastical recension of the Greek Church; for Roman Catholics it was a theoretical textual the medieval baseunderlying the medieval Latin recension.

3. Gerhard (1582-1637)

In responseto this claim of Bellarmine and others, Gerhard argued for the

providential preservationof the apographa:

Divine Providence did not permit those books to be corrupted and fall.... foundation the the totter W erverted; otherwise, of church would and in Holy Scripture that to ere one grant something was changed, most of hand, however, disappear. Christ On the its enuine authority would other decfares,Matt. 5: 18 "Until heaven and earth passaway, not a iota, not a dot, Luke is Also 16: 17: It from law is " the until all accomplished. will pass for dot Law for heaven to the one of easier and earth to pass away than become void. "... Just as Paul testifies that "the Jews are entrusted with the Testament, books described in Old God, " the of the oracles of namely, those Rom. 3.2; so too, we can say in regard to the primitive Christian Church books described in it is God the the that of the oracles of entrusted with New Testament. You see,it has received the autographs from the very in has faithfully the gtriarchal p! eservedthem evangelists and apostles and [apograpba] they the that el versions and o er les could correct cOMhard churles so 502). 505; 12 s 1978: according to the tenor of the autograph

Beflarmine as "only an amateur "Beflarmine's biographer assessed Hebraist. " (Brodrick 1961: 46)


4. Quenstedt (1617-1688)

Quenstedt took up the theme of preservationof autographicquality in the it further and apograpba gave specificity:
Our argument runs as follows: every. holy Scripture which existed at the Paul Oeonve^uaw; (2 Tim. 3: 16) and authentic. Not the time of was (for had long before), but they the a ographic autographic perished Paul Therefore ic Scripture also the time the existed at writings of apogra is OF-oicwvno; and authentic.... For although inspiration .p and divine inhered in the autographa, these attributes belong to the authority originally by derivation [radicaliter], Ila their apogra r virtue of since they were f2MY transcribed from them so that not only the sense but also the 13 (Preus: 48). the words were precisely same

Elsewhere,Quenstedtwas evenmore detailed:

Not only the Canonical books of the sacredvolume themselves,but even the letters, points, and words of the original text survive without any

121 believe J.K. S. Reid missesGerhard's meaning when he argues, "Gerhard, on the other hand, is rather stricter, holding that only the original Hebrew and Greek manuscripts are authentic" (Reid 1957: 89). Rather, Gerhard Greek "We Sixtus Sena that this codex say quotes with approval of who said, Greek is in the which we are now reading the church the very sameone which Church used at the time of Jerome and all the way back to the days of the falsehood, fault by faithful it is true, genuine, of no apostles; and contaminated 553) It " (Gerhard fathers Greek : shows very clearly. as a continual reading of all favor in dogmatician's Lutheran has Reid of the arguments appears confused the language texts against versions, with an exclusiveauthority of the original decidedly for the exclusive authority of the original autograpbictexts, a argument later position.

BReid also missesQuenstedt'smeaning, asserting,"Quenstedt holds inspiration appliesto original manuscriptsor autographa,not properly to ... for few he lines later 88). Yet 1957: (Reid that the apographa" a admits Quenstedt,"a good copy is inspired like the original writing"(? ) (89). G.W. Bromiley agreeswith Preusand myself: "Quenstedt,however, took the even fully inspired because difficult the the words as that apographsare position more in the autographsare substantiallyretained them" well asthe content of
(Bromiley 1978: 320).


is, Hebrew that the corruption, text of the O[ld] T[estament]...and also the Greektext of the N[cw] T[estament]...havebeenpreservedby the divine 1965: 589). (Piepkorn providencecomplete and uncorruptcd Preusrecordsthat both Baier (1647-1695) and Musaeus(1613-1681)
were of the same mind: Baier, followIn Musaeus, maintains that the apographa can rightly be called fonna, the same inspired since ey possess or content, as the autographic Scriptures. All the apograKha have been either mediately or immediately D from Hence day, in the to autograp a. spite of the many codices copied extant with their many material variations, the meaning or the inspired sense is (Preus: 48). the autographa with us of

5. HoRaz (1648-1713)

Hollaz, "seemsto go further. He assertsthat the very words as well as the

A in the today apographa. good copy of an content of the autographictexts are 48). inspired writing is inspired like the original writing" (Preus:

6. The Status of the Autograpba

Prcus notes that the decisive issue for Lutherans in this debate with Rome 14thiS text; never centered around the nature of the theoretical autographic Roman theologians: the to would grant precious ground Most Catholic teacherswould have granted that the ancient Greek and MSS Hebrew autographa were authentic. The aargued the that which we have today, however, cannot be regardeYas authentic because,after many This become have thought impure. they and corrupt years of copying, 'integrity discussion led back the the of to regarding a naturally Vulgate Bellarmine err the not that could text contended contemporary ... becauseit enjoyed the approbation of the Church (Preus:139).

14"Dannhauersaysthat it is as needlessand foolish to suppose that we from have think the to that which cup we need the autographa today as must Christ drank before the Eucharist can be rightly celebrated" (Prcus:49).


One of the major criticisms directed at Erasmus by Roman Catholic dogmaticians was that he was returning to the corrupted Bible of the schismatic Greek Church. Rome's theologians believed, based on the unerring authority of the Papal Church, that the VuqataLatina alone preserved the original content In the texts. autographic of responseto this clear-cut position of Rome Qucnstedt offered the definitive Protestant response,aptly capturing both the Lutheran and Reformed sentiment in the seventeenthcentury: We believe, as is our duty, that the providential care of God has always Scriptures in the texts the original and primitive watched over of canonical bavc be in that that the wbicb wc now such a way sacredcodices we can certain bands Augustine, Jerome those the time our of and nay are which existed at his 15 [emphasis (Preus: 48). Christ Himself time the apostles mine] of and at To this, Preus adds after surveying eighteen of the most important Lutheran dogmatiClans of the seventeenth century, "This was the Lutheran in 1116 a nutshell. position

15Therewere minority positions. Preus mentions that Huelsemann in inspiration "properly referenceto the original spoken of only relegated Cappelus, Curcellaeus, Also, in Reformed 48). (Preus: the camp manuscripts" integrity be Ussher of and argued that while we could not always certain of the disturbed faith Christian fundamental tenet of the was the apographic text, no by textual variants. Curcellaeus seemsto be the author of this perspective (although most attribute it to Bentley in his responseto Anthony Collins) that dogmaticians. Protestant would eventually undermine the position of the Bentley again takes up the position in England, Bengel does so in eighteenth in in it England Tregelles Germany the mid employs again century and become it has Hort Westcott By a near the time of and nineteenth century.

English churchmen. undisputablepoint among most

is understandably a bit apologetic about the dogmatician's 16Preus [Quenstedt] "He for the texts: apographic the absolute authority of arguments his in have hardly the same category as time the apographa of considered would is he his indicates However, Timothy Paul that used. those which statement and believe, fact I 49). (Preus: the of variant readings" not alive to the significance of however, that this position of the dogmaticians was in fact fashioned as a specific


However, because the Lutheran dogmaticiansalso sharedthe seventeenth developing, independent,philological tradition--the seeds century with a of in Erasmus--the "the text of the Bible has gone through were which argument belong the to all other ancientwritings, " (Ladd essentially samechanges which began 188) its 2: G. T. Ladd to take toll. vol arguedthat with the arrival of John Gottlob Carpzov, "The necessity for transferring the quality of verbal ... infallibility from any extant manuscript or manuscriptsto an ideal non-existent became text, more and more apparent" (Ladd vol. 2: 188). This new view, however,by no meansprevailedwithin Lutheranism until late in the nineteenth beginning the of the next. century or
C. The Reformed Dogmaticians

1. John Owen (1616-1683)

The publishing of Brian Walton's London Polyglot (1657) provided the by for defenses Reformed the the occasion apograpba a one of most systematic of dogmatician. John Owen, the leading Puritan theologian at the time of the

between Vulgata differences the responseto textual variants--those textual Latina, which Roman Catholic theologians claimed came from superior editions by Hebrew Greek texts, and the apographic texts employed of the original and the Protestants and given to them by the Greek Church. Someone as early as Gerhard (d. 1637) spends time treating these and other textual variants raised by Bellermine (Gerhard: 556-564). Furthermore, from Erasmus, Grotius and the London Polyglot, Quenstedt knew of an entire plethora of textual variants -I believe the arguments in favor of the absolute quality of the apograpbawere (the Greek Church) favor in traditio preserving the arguments of ecclesiastical (Erasmus believed but Greek text this the also perhaps not correct recension of dogmaticians) in deliberate the responseto textual with the same specificity as variants.


Polyglot distressed Walton's the display of publishing was at naked of every N. T. to the text--sometimeswith a significant degreeof redundancy-variant known at that time. Owen bemoanedWalton's list of textual variantsthat took
in Walton's Polyglot did his many pages up as as entire N. T. text. To Owen, this both a crisis and a scandal: a crisis becausethis left the impression constituted the very wording of the N. T. was greatly in doubt, a scandalbecauseWalton had indiscriminately for this the world to see.Owen responded to so published Walton in his essay,"Of the Integrity and Purity of the Hebrew and GreekText of the Scriptures,1659. " In this work, Owen argued the polyglot gave material support to the Roman Catholic position by leaving the impression,

the original [language]copiesof the Old and New Testamentare so 111eydoctrines, that corrupted... arenot a certain standardand measureof all inventions Of draw Satan the touchstone translations.... the to or of all all of decrying from Word God, theautbmity oftbe the the this off minds of men of (Owen 1850to the originals[the apograpba] seems me most pernicious 53:285). Owen clearlyunderstood the implications for Protestantauthority in this threat from the polyglot:
Besides the injury done hereby to the providence of God towards His Church, and care of His Word, it will not be found so easy a matter, upon a for, is to evince tion the supposition of such corru in orignals. as pleaded from first doctrine the that given out unquestionably itself, at wTole saving God, continues entire and incorrupt [sic] (Owen: 3 02). 17

17HereOwen is addressing the more moderate position of Cappellus, Usher, et al. which is while the traditional apographic text is not a near perfect doctrine is Ladd the notes correctly, autographa, no at stake. replication of however, the rationale of the dogmaticians who argued contrariwise, "the Bible is throughout the infallible Word of God, and that, if its text do [sic] not lie before us in autographic integrity, it cannot be the medium for this infallible Word.... It was urged that, if a single concessionwere once made to the critics, ... discoveries demands had in their they they would not stop and captured until 188). 2: (Ladd field" the entire vol


Richard Kroll has correctly seenthe significance of the Landon Polyglotas [that] "critical method the served at once scholarly, epistemological, and political forming Arminian Latitudinarian Catholic and an early and assaulton purposes, Puritan claims to absolute certainty" (Kroll 1986: 21). This was a continuation of his begun Erasmian critical edition of the the project with the publishing of GreekNew Testament, which was "an avowed part of his desire to recall the Church to its pristine origins and to permit the individual to make probable judgements for himself' (Kroll 1986: 11). Brian Walton, the editor of the Polyglot,had dearly declared in the preface that "Now care is taken that every his (Kroll have [the them own" as original texts], and use private man may 1986: 21). That Walton dearly saw his project as a furthering of Erasmus's is stated Considerator The in Walton's Owen, John his in reply to quite explicitly (1659): Considered be This is no new thing, that endeavours to promote the public good should laboured find, in former for that those who ageswe thus [poorly] rewarded; God, their to and them primitive to restore the of oracles sacred most about by dust time lustre, and of that injuries to which off wipe and original . transmit to so and transcribers contracted, was of negligence or ignorance iKem? been have incorrupt slandered, and aTersed to yet posterity ure and ... Erasmus's their perverted.... aims their abours calumniated, and a by Testament Greek ancient comparml the extraordinary pams in publishing friars by Translations, an Copies and some was sufficiently railed at God; Word him if he the appears as to of cowca took upon ignorant zealots, as 3-4). 1821: (Walton 1535... his Annotations in his preface to of Polyglot, in that the In responseto the claims of the editors employed Greek did had the than common times at authority translations greater certain defended Owen Hebrew the apograpba: texts, and

Let it be rememberedthat the vul le ar copy we usewas the public.possession invention actual in it was printin of that upn of many generations, that that them anfunderstood used authority throughout the world with for let language,asfar as any thing ap earsto the contrary; that, then, pass God due, its is shall, we and and right CrY'11 conf the standard,which ---


assisting,quickly seehow little reasonthere is to pretend suchvarietiesof readingsaswe are now surprisedwithal (Owen:366). 18 Against the claim there is a superior original languagetext underlying Owen for, translations, certain argues the purity of the prcscntoriginal copics of the Scripture, or rather copies in the original languages, [apograpba] Church doth God the which now of hath for her and many agesenjoyd as chiefesttreasure(Owen:353). [emphasismine]

2. FranciSTurretin (1623-1687).

On the Continent, a contemporary of Owen's, Francis Turretin, was in his Institutio his (1688). From tbeologiae the samepoint elencticae making post Theology in University Professor he Geneva, the of at as of where was appointed 1653, Turretin argued in his chapter "The Purity of the Original Text, " This question is forced upon us by the Roman Catholics, who raise doubts in the the concerning purity of sources order more readil le to establish the lead Vulgate (Turretin their to the tribunal and us of church authority of 1981: 113). Like Owen, Turretin refers to the "original texts" as a tcrminus tcchnicus: hands from do "original the the texts" we of not mean AB very autographs be known to non-existent. oses,the prophets, and the apostles, which are [autograpba] have in We mean copies (a their So name come Trapha),which ror into in because they recor, Word God the same words which of us that

Holy immediate it the the the sacred writers committed inspiration of under Spirit.... Faithful and accurate copies, not less than autographs, are norms for all other copies and for translations [emphasis mine] (Turretin: 113; ... 128). 19

18Notethe parallel in language between Owen's appeal above to the Trent's Church Council Greek that the appeal of of and common tradition of the it Trent in Western Church. Latin that the tradition to the common was argued "precisely the ancient and widely current [vulgata] edition that had been be held for Church long by the so many centuries...should use within approved " as authentic.


for all other copies and for translations [emphasis mine] (Turretin: 113; ... 128). 19

3. Reformed Confessions

While the Lutherans never codified this position on the sacred in apographa
did. Thirtcen before Reformed Owen the statement, confessional a years his Walton, Westminster Confession drafted to the response published was (1646) affirming, The Old Testament in Hebrew and New Testament in Greek being ... ... immediately inspired by God, and by his singular care and providence kept in Chapter Section (Leith therefore ure all ages,are authentical. one, eight 973: 196). Note that by using the word autbentical, the Westminster Divines were Testament New Greek Church's the the and the recension of sanctioning in Trent Jewish, Masoretic text to response which referred to the common Vuqata Latina as authentica. Later, in 1675, Turretin of Geneva, Lucas Gernler of Basel and John Helvetica, which Henry Heidegger of Zurich, composed the Fonnula Consensus stated: God, the supreme Judge, not only took care to have His Word, which is the "power of God unto Salvation to everyone that believeth" (Rom. 1: 16),

19Some have argued that the words "immediately inspired" meant that Turretin Whereas, inspired while and authoritative. only the autographs were him for WCF, language the apograpbaalso share this usesthe same as the direct in Turretin Thus opposition to this modern stands quality. by the authors of reinterpretation of the meaning of these words as they are used like Turretin, Owen, John WCE Furthermore, the also affirmed explicitly the inspiration and authority of the apograpbaand so recognized no distinction in immediate inspiration between WCF language in the the and the providentially

his language in Savoy this exact own preserved copieswhen adopting Declaration (1658).


committed to writing by Moses, the prophets, and the apostles, but has also watched and cherished it with paternal care ever since it was written up to the present time, so that it coUd not be corrupted by craft of Satan or fraud Therefore the church justly ascribesit to His singular grace and of man. has, have that to the end of the world, a "sure word of goodness she and will it "holy Scriptures" (2Tim. from 3: 15), heaven prophecy and though which, "one jot in tittle earth perish, and or one shall no wise pass" (Matt. 5: 18). Chapter one (Leith: 309-10) Since the late nineteenth century there has been considerable debate intent Westminster Confession 20 We the the this authorial of about on point. know for certain, however, that the Fonnula, just quoted, was directed against developments at the University of Saurnur regarding the authority of the Hebrew vowel points. Moreover, considering all the previous testimony far it be is Westminster Confession but thus that the must evident surveyed in historical both the theological that air at reflecting what was moment, within Lutheranism Calvinism. Ladd as well as confessional confessional well summed dogmaticians Protestant the up and their confessions on the status of the sacred apograpba: No relief was allowed to the dreadful pressure of the post-Reformation dogma by way of attachin th eq i4ity of infallibility only to the riginal 1P further for, text; to maintain th ey, its efficiency, it was clZmed that form in infallible biblical had been text the supernaturally preserved (Ladd: 182). John Robinson did a conunendable job in treating these subjects within Reformed orthodoxy in his Ph.D. dissertation, TheDoctrine ofHoly Scri ture in 'P Seventeentb Century ReformedTbeology (1971), and here we wiU just survey his conclusions. He clearly states that while Calvin held to the infallibility of Scripture, have "Calvin because must this was always assumedto adhere to extant editions, felt the tension between his doctrine [of Scripture] and the problems he honestly deal his best he did hold but in to to the one and the text, confronted

20onthis seeRogers (1966).


(Robinson 1971: Unfortunately, 37). because Robinson's desire the other" with to prove that sixteenth and seventh century Reformed orthodox theologians held doctrine inerrancy, this theme tends to dominate how he uses to the modern of his data.21Nevertheless, the evidence is clearly set forth by him (though he

its fiffl to times miss significance): at seems

The streno of the Reformed position lay in demonstrating the successful ... day. Some Re the texts to their transmission of original own ormed theologians were so convinced of the Bible's textual purity and authenticity that they apparently did not even refer to the received texts as apographs. Many referred to them as "original texts" which conveyed the impression that they were speaking of the autographs (Robinson: 9 8). Here Robinson has misunderstood the nomenclature of the dogmaticians When " "original fundamentalist because autographs. emphasis on of the modern have "original dogmaticians they texts" as their nearly always the refer to the language "original texts, as opposed to original referent the extant apograpbaor in in The " a modern confusion was never their minds, only autograpbictexts. debates. lens of twentieth century categories and reading them through the Nevertheless, in spite of this confusion, Robinson does eventually get it by right acknowledging: for Reformed theologians were not ar in the obvious authenticity of the ] Ey for 11nsteFd, longer the authenticity claiming were extant autographs. no inal the to Og"first manuscripts, 0, received texts which they viewed as e uivalent " " "auTentic the editions, to the sources, they referred as and which "Greek and Hebrew originals, " the "original texts," etc. The authenticity of Greek and Hebrew "sources"was held to be absolute both in form and

21For example when he argues that "the main point concerning textual infallibility was that no errors of any kind were admitted to have been present in he does (41) this ever address not text the recorded" was when original dogmaticians, issue that a such to the namely, that the paramount was context dogmaticians (what in found the the called editions extant quality was lost autographs such as modern apographa)and was never relegated to fundamentalists argue. Robinson does treat this issue elsewherebut never seems dogmaticians. for its fiifly the to significance grasp


In content.... summary, the Reformed theologiansheld that only the Hebrew text of the Old Testamentand the Greektext of the New received Testamentwere authentic, authoritative editions of the Scripture (98; 101102).
Like most moderns, however, Robinson passesa bad judgement on the

Reformeddogmaticianshere because this was

in the counter-attack upon the Vulgate developed from the a weak point Reformed conviction of the full authenticity and integrity of the Greek and Hebrew texts. This provided a vulnerable point for textual criticisms which were to affect not only the status of the versions but the authority of Scripture as well (102). 22

According to Robinson, the defenseof the apograpba was carried on the

basis for key dogmatic.... that the as the canon-2the same arguments were demonstration was completed by an appeal, explicitly or implicitly, to the This God" (103). dogmatic by Scriptural then providence of claim was validated Ecclcsiology by: faithfulness "The Christian the exegesis. was also always close of Church, the religious views of the Jews, the carefulnessof the Masoretes, and the multitude of the manuscripts were also added to the proofs of non-corruption" (104). Not unlike the Roman Catholics when Louis Cappel published his Oitica Text, integrity Reformed (1650), Hebrew the the the sacra of chaRenging

22Thisin turn prompted the modern fundamentalist adjustment which have they now claims that only the original autographs are authoritative, once been reconstructed. Muller has commented on this: "It is important to note that the Reformed orthodox insistence on the identification of the Hebrew and Greek texts as alone authentic does not demand direct reference to autograpba in those languages; the 'original and authentic text' of Scripture means, beyond the The legitimate Hebrew Greek tradition of apograpba. autograph copies, the and faith infallible for Scripture case rule of and practice and the separate as an from free (i. for text arguments major e., non-scribal) errors rests on a received does lost infinite the not seek an examination of apograpbaand regressof infallibility" for (Muller 1993: On 433). textual this also see autograpbaas a prop Letis 1991).


dogmatic responsewas the Formula Consensus, discussedabove, which Robinson judges, "represented the general Reformed position" (116).

D. Summary

In summary then, the seventeenth-century Protestant dogmaticians located in MS by the the text the tradition of attributes sacred the extant all passedon Greek Orthodox Church and the Jewish synagogue and which prevailed during This becamethe localised sacredtext for Protestants. In the Renaissance. the leading Richard Muller, the authority on this subject words of By "original and authentic" text, the Protestant orthodox do not mean the in but the apograpba the.origiiial autograpbawhich no one can possess tongue which are the source of all versions.... The orthodox discussion of ba designed, therefore, to point toward a qra#a and apogrq was autq? between text-tralition the original authors and the present-day continuity of texts (Muller 1993: 433-434). Moreover, this was an explicit response both to Tridentine Rome and its Latina for Vu4qata the as well as a responseto the early emergenceof claims Biblical criticism amongst Protestants both on the continent as well as in Britain. This position was dogmatically maintained in the isogogics of the day as well as being codified in certain of the Reformed confessions.Moreover, it was also The itself. Scripture the text extant, ecclesiastical exegeticallygrounded within of for Protestant language the the texts, apograpba,were, recensionsof the original orthodox communities, the sacredtext. Finally, an assumedlegitimization. of a catholic ecclesiology was affirmed in this dogmatic stance: the Church was seennot only as the vehicle of received but books Bible, Christology the the also as the canonical of orthodox and of "witness and keeper of holy writ" (Thirty-Nine Articles, 29: 6).


Die Ausgange des Dogmas Antitrinitarismus Socinianismus. The im und Progressof Erasmianismin the Quest for the Historical Text
A. Introduction

"Webyour diligence bavcsmoothed previously a roadwbicb wasruggedand but fide troublesome, in whicbbcnccfortbgrcat theolqgians; ay morecastly witb stccds bavc IcvcIIcd We Me Me tbey soil. and cbariots. of arena,in wbich,witb ftwcr obstacles, 4ispla Webavccleansed processions y tbosc splendid maynow of tbcir wisdom. witb Mcfallow land wbicbheretofore barrows bliars burs. bavc We wasIM cdcd witb and impediments, ficVwbcrein the C, tbcywbomaybercafter rty swc aw, and opcncd a wisbto in Scrip frecdom, lay th turc togctb c secrets of maycitberp er witb grcatcr orI otn bttlewab moreconvenience. 11
his in his to readers --Erasmus's preface Napum Instramentum, CWE Vol. 3, Epistle 373.

Farrar was quite right to say that "Erasmus may be regarded as the chief founder of modern textual and Biblical criticism" (Farrar 1886: 320). But

Christi was just asimportant for providing a non-dogmatic Erasmus's philosophia

hermeneutic in an era fraught with theological disputes between Protestants and Roman Catholics. just as much as Erasmus's non-dogmatic tolerance would be perceived as formula Protestants by both and a recklessand revolutionary confessional it inspire just Catholics Roman a vital third phalanx, confessional alike, so would his a new via media, that would continue philological/non-dogmatic approach to Scripture.I This third-way eventually manifested itself in two directions, what 1R. Bainton suggeststhat Erasmus may have been the first to formulate the expression the "articles by which the church stands or falls," and for him salvation required only a simple affirmation of the the Apostles' Creed (Thompson 19 79: viii-vxi. ). On this seeErasmus's Inquisitio deFide and C. Thompson's introduction to this volume. Thompson aptly observed that "an Erasmus'sjudgment of what constituted the "essence Christianity" of was Erasmian solution [which] appealsonly to Erasmians," (48) of which the 126


Hans Frei categorizedin his TheEclipse ofBiblical Narrative:A Studyin Eighteentb Century Nineteentb Henneneutics, 1) and as the mediating theology and 2) the left-wing. Both groups took much of their inspiration from the theology of Erasmus. The first group was a mildly dissident, non-confessional, 2body of
I beginning Hugo Grotius, thinkers that and see with scholars a non-clcrical jurist, who like Erasmus, published his own annotations to both the Old and the New Testaments.3From within the Remonstrants, whom Grotius supported, did find intolerance the not creedalism and accompanying others emerged who in its Protestant Catholic dress, Roman or of orthodoxy compelling, whether

One of the most reliable seventeenthand eighteenth centuries would abound. brief surveysof Erasmus's influence on what Williams called "the Third Church" 41-59). The Radical Reformation (1992: his third edition of remains 2By non-confessional I mean anyone or any group that does not subscribeto either the classicecumenical christological creedsor the Reformation creeds,the latter of which assumedthe validity of the former. The Arminians might hold to the ecumenical christological standards but not to the The Declaration holding Reformed to their of own rather orthodox confessions, drawn up by Episcopius and signed in 1622. The Socinians theRemonstrants, held to neither the ecumenical standards nor to the Reformation confessions, Poloniam but rather to their, Catechesis in congregatt, coctuspcr ct confessiofidei, 1574, Cracow, Christi, Tcsu Domini authored nmninc, nostri crucifixi et resuscitati, by George Schomann (G. H. Williams, 1962: 703). This is better known as The Latin for English Catechism first readerswas a edition intended ofRacow, and the by Moskorzowski Jeromos Polish from of the edition edition, translated Moskorzow in 1609 with a dedication to JamesI. It was publicly burnt in 1614 (Bonet-Maury: 195). The Unitarians hold to no confession but look to Doctor Lardner's Letter on the Logos(Butler: 22 5). The English Arians repudiated creeds. The Deists not only held to no creedsthey also felt no allegianceto Scripture. 3Annotationesad vetusTestamentum(1644); Annotationes in Navum Testamentum(between 1641 and 1650).


Stephen de Courcelles, filled Episcopius as the such who placeof at the

Remonstrant Seminary in Amsterdam from 1643 to 1659.

In England this spirit was expressed by the CambridgePlatonists,and in luminary Enlightenment, Sir IsaacNewton.4They the the greatestscientific of
Erasmianism in tangible a expression the and continuation of represent

and eighteenth centuries. seventeenth The secondgroup was more thorough-going in offering systematic
Christian faith, Socinians to the the orthodox expressions of such as alternatives 5A&chael Arians, in Continent Deists Unitarians England. and the and on the Servetuscan be viewed as a kind of romantic archetype of this group. But for the exception of the continental Socinians who had their own, independent expression, both of these groups differed from the Radical Reformation of the sixteenth century growing mostly out of the bosom of the dogmatic in Reformation to the and usually conscious opposition magisterial formulations of post-Rcformation orthodoxy. For neither of these two groups did the text of Scripture function as a bore became it Rather, witness to the potential a religious text which sacredtext. beyond higher the orthodox-creedal understanding of a religious consciousness both has Frei Christianity. Protestant Catholic Roman summarized or of either

in f6flowing hcrmencutics, history tcrms: the of groups, within the

4While Newton certianly was an antitrinitarian, of the Arlan sort, lu. left-wing. him do list I for the that reason with not was not so publicly and


5Lambe has noted one more possible group he terms hacks and Rcs in These pubUca the seventeenth-ccntury of criticism sceptics. are popularizers Litcratia, who trafficked in "rationalism for the masses,purveyed by the printing bad " in "a name to giving pressesand misused on a grand scale, resulting in 'license' by than their method warrants, criticism giving themselvesmore for (1988: 291; 286). themselves" order to gain reputations


Mediating and left-wing parties were agreedthat the criteria for what makes be as sense, well aswhat can religiously or morally significant, were general: Bible the whether or not provides us with reliablefactual information, and information is it this the texts whether or not what providing are re y.all does Bible by the not provide us with specialcanons which religious about, ideasor claims becomemeaningful that wouldn't makesense in a wider is It no exaggerationto saythat all acrossthe context of meaning. theological spectrumthe great reversalhad taken place; interpretation was a fitting biblical the story into another world with another story matter of incorporating into biblical (Frei: 13 0). than that the rather world story This new world was the world of scientia,a discipline in which truth for Church, the the medievalorthodox asrationally verifiable, whereas appears ProtestantReformers,Tridentine Rome, and the Protestantscholastics after them, "theology restsessentially on testimony rather than upon the evidenceof Scripture For Rome 1986: 196; 201). (Muller testimony this the of was reason" The it Scriptura. Protestant for Protestants Tradition; creeds, wassola and
however, provided the proper hermeneutic, acting as a new traditio. Ihe new "creed"of this third force was aptly expressedin the words: "If we cannot by hearts, 1826: 259) " (Butler let a us reconcile all reconcile all opinions, common appeal to what was reasonable. As Luther and the Reformers (and Erasmus) challenged the "traditions of for interpreting inappropriate the matrix an scholasticismmen"--late medieval -as Bible as practiced within the Roman Church, this tbird-way challenged the "traditions of men" as expressedby the Council of Trent, the Protestant his in Rossington, Rector John Jackson, epistle of scholasticsand their creeds. dedicatory (1716) to a work written in defenseof Dr. Samuel Clarke, the Arian, English gave classicexpression to this revolt celebratedeighteenth century "tradition": Protestant against Religion is built on this I. cannot but observe, that though the Reformed God, Word Scriptures the Ic Foundation, the and the that of only are r N(e 1, Doctrines, bumane Determination Faith; Christian of and that all of declares Cburcb And fallible tho' the ofEngland expressly and uncertain: are Tbings in her 6th, 20th, and 21 st Articles, that the Scriptures contain all Church to Salvation; not Klievcdjor therefore the onl that not ouqbt, to and necessary be Tbing but Tbem, decree to TbingAgainst any not to enforce any is 1'd in Them, BESLDES Salvation, Necessity or what clearly rcvea. of


indisputably provd by Them; and that all bumane Decisions, even those of GeneralCouncils, because they may err and baveerredbaveneitber Strelwtb nor Autbority in Tbings ordaind by Them as necesary it may be to Salvation unless declar'd [or provd] that theyare taken out ofHoly Scnyture: Yet nevertheless, there have been, and are now many amongst us, some of these even wise learned Men, and vertuous and who ascribe a sort of Infallibility to our Reformers, and think that Cbristianity was by them brought to that fun and beauteousProportion, that either to add to or diminish any Thi from That '11 Stature, is to render it monstrous and deformd.... Nothinj; - Cnntemore destructive Reformation, in itself, to the and contradictory of or more absurd than to own that the separation from the Church of Rome is built and Sbe is Infallible imposeth Errors this, that on maintain'd and as necessary Terms of Communion and Articles of Christian Belief; and yet to plead for implicit We Doctrines, if to submission our own and exact such an as were infallible. (Jackson 1716: 1-2; 4)6 Jacksonwent on to praise Clarke becausehis "Explication of the Doctrine is Thus, Dinity Scripture Reason. " "Natural to the most agreeable and and of have been by learned immortal Religion, eminently supported and your reveal'd " Labours against their two grand Enemies, the Atheists, and Deists. Of course, these latter two enemies, who also opposed that "scbolastick
Notion" of the Protestant dogmatists and creedalists, made an equally strident however, finding, Scripture that to was unable to appeal reason as a substitute, bear up at all under their SCrutilly. 7

6The German Pietists were animated by the sameanti-creedal spirit (though generally orthodox and with less emphasis on reasonand more on Spener, "We Jakob Philip by the perience),as evidenced reUgious sentiments of ex blame the Papists for making the authority of the Scriptures dependent ab depart forbid Lord May too that we the should auctoritate eccleside. graciously from our principium of the Holy Scriptures and allow nothing of them to be libri in found, iisdem is be more stiff symbolici, verbis, our valid except what to -by Scriptures but by Scriptures interpret the that we should not the creeds the (Reuss, Church" in Popery the midst of our the creeds,and thus set up genuine 578). On German Pietism F. Ernest Stoeffler's GermanPietism 1884 Vol. 11: During the Eighteentb Century (1975) remains an important introduction. Reviews 7Mark Pattison, in his contribution to the famous Essays and (1860), "Tendencies of Religious Thought 1688 to 1750, " rightly assessed Jackson'sage: "Rationalism was not an anti-Christian sect outside the Church habit It of thought ruling all minds, under was a making war against religion. the conditions of which all allc tried to make good the peculiar opinions they


Theseanti-dogmatistsdiscovered,asdid Erasmusbefore them, that an Scriptures be to the themselves appeal could usedto overturn misplaced in human 8The confidence ancient creeds. confessionalists madean appealto the fathers as a witness to the orthodox/creedalinterpretation of Scripture. church The anti-creedalists were apt respondentswho, like Erasmusand Servetus, went beyond,to the era before Nicene orthodoxy, to earlierpatristic witnesses, which kind to them to the seemed not offer of orthodox consensus that emergedin the 9 post-Niceneera. One of the most significant areasof dispute--but little treated-centered
in textual on certain variants the Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. Erasmus first brought these to light, as did others after him, allowing the antidogmatists to suggest that perhaps certain textual data used in traditional interpretations of basic orthodoxy, such as the Trinity, or the deity of Christ, have been later developments appended to the N. T. text to support a later may Here hard, factual data confessionalunderstanding. that proved was a realm of

happen The differed from Churchman Socinian, to the might cherish. and the Socinian from the Deist, as to the number of articles in his creed; but all alle consentedto test their belief by the rational evidencefor it" (Pattison: 257).

8SamuelClarke'sScripture Doctrineoftbe Trinity 1712, was typical of this approach.

9Cf. Dr. Whitby's A Discourse Evpositions that the shewing wbich the Ante-NiceneFatbershavegiven of the Textsallegedagainst the Reverend Dr. Clarke bya learnedLaymen, are moreagreeable to the Interpretations of-Dr. Clarke, than to the Inter pretationsof that learnedLayman, 1714, for an example of how these polemics were conducted.


to be no smaUchaUengeto Protestants in the sameway that Erasmus had

Rome. 10 challenged
Unrestrained textual criticism, practiced on the Church's sacredtext, came be both Protestant the to great nemesis of orthodox confessionalists, viewed as Catholic. demonstrated In Roman I how Council Trent two the chapter of and Erasmus's In demonstrated how I to text three the criticism. chapter responded Protestant dogmaticians responded to both Erasmus and Trent. In this chapter I development the of the anti-confessionalists against the will now address Protestant dogmaticians. It was the Roman Catholic, Richard Simon, " who presented to the Protestants the question put to Erasmus by his friend Dorp: how is one to determine the correct variant or correct Greek MS. when there are a variety of Simon MSS. made the grand assertion, available? readings and conflicting backedup with skill and hard data in his Histoire cfitiquc du textc du Vieux Testament (16 8 5), Histoirc critique du textc du Nouveau Testament(16 89) and du Nouveau Testament(1690) where finally from his Histoirc critique desversions he observesthat, in have taken that the great changes place the manuscripts of the Bible since the first originals were lost, completel destroy the principle of ... these samemanuscripts consJt C the Protestants and the Socinians, who onlicimmel, 41). 1972: form in Bible they are today.... the of the It was this charge that becamethe perennial nemesisto the Protestants'

Erasmus's Sctiptura just the in threatened textual that the studies sola sameway Protestants Earlier, in Church Roman the sixteenthcentury. authority of the

10A comparable crisis was precipitated in Old Testament studies over (1980). Muller On Hebrew this see the problem of the vowel pointing. IlFor an interesting overview of Simon's legacy and French resistance (1985). Lambe J. P. his to work, see


had begun to challenge the Protestant Biblical texts as a result of themselves University Saumur, Ludovicus the produced at scholarship of particularly Cappellus's Critica Sacra (1650), 12which "tended to show how untenable was the theory of verbal dictation" (Farrar: 38 7). The Protestant confessions, as Trent before them, had reflected a self-

belief it is Cburcb that the the to promise certainty regarding role of conscious fmal, is how interpret the textual to authoritative, standard,and what properly longer felt it. The anti-confessionalist Church for the trustworthy the task. no
These challenging, anti-confessional groups and individuals had two basic factors in common: 1) their Erasmian hatred of religious intolerance and their dislike of the creedsthat gave rise to it; 13 2) their involvement with and use of data Protestant their text critical as a means of maintaining perspectivesagainst history Testament Most New the text criticism accounts of of confessionalism.

haveneglectedthe latter point. 14

120n this development seeMuller (1980); Armstrong (1969) and Bowman (1948). 13Lucien Fcbvrc understands Erasmus on this: "Just as he rejected the literal meaning in interpreting the Old Testament, just as he dared to say that his boldest Tcstamcnt--this New statements a man of even the was one of the had it historical however Testament, New a time could make--even the seemed, life-giving spirit that transcended its literal meaning and its corruptible flesh, so he could envision the possibility that truly superior minds might one day interpretation Creed imperative-sounding for the of the an substitute articles of the higher truths they represented that was at once more profound, more 1982: humane" (Febvre 309). personal, and more

14That textual variantsbrought forward by thesedissentinggroups for level degree of alarm on the popular aswell asthe scholarly caused no small British is confessionalists usually treated seventeenth and eighteenth century Metzger, 2); (1968: 108, degree today or asa cf. n. with some of amusement 63Tregelles 47-48; 36-40; (1854: in by scandal some the nineteenth century cf.


What Patrick Lambe has recently noted in regard to the history biblical of history T. N. to in general the also text criticism, "this history criticism applies of is written almost exclusively by heirs of the liberal Protestant tradition ...extremely rare dissenting accounts of biblical criticism come from the Roman Catholic camp" (Lambe 1988: 271). Traditionally, the acceptedaccount is usually couched in terms of a conflict between a free spirit of scientific enquiry involving the use of hard documentary data; and obscurantist, ecclesiastical dogmatists who are forever resisting such tendencies, out of sheer ignorance or 15This finds its roots in the intial conflict between Erasmus perspective neglect. Catholic Roman in theologians the sixteenth century. and While examplesof this scenario can be provided in abundance, both in the caseof Erasmus and in seventeenth and eighteenth century Britain, it does Lambe has illuminated historical forces tell the the not entire story. that some of in development liberal Protestant interpretation the the played a role of of the history of biblical criticism, noting, Protestants were particularly vulnerable to overtones of skepticism which accompaniedeighteenth-century ideas of criticism, becausethey had in principle rejected ecclesialstructures of authority such as the Roman church individualism, Ideas though not at this stage entirely represented. of developed, were more easily stimulated by the 'think-for-yourself gopularism encouraged b the Enlightenment. This vulnerability became into Protestant theoTofy and produced a peculiarly Protestant uilt deve biblical The dialectic base the characterization of 01 opment of criticism.... that evolved within Protestantism was part of a wider recasting of intellectual perceptions, subject to the commercial forces of the ress and to Controversy religious considerations. was endemic to the perioS, as was

65; 71-73; 234). It is this judgement, what I call the ideology of harmless engagement,that I wish to correct. 15Lambe's point is that becauseof the confusion of "skepticism" with in the seventeenth century, generally criticism was perceived as a criticism"



In the eighteenth century Protestantism gradually interiorized popularism. this spirit, as its own defensive scholasticism crumbled (Lambel988: 296). While Lambe paints Protestantism with broad strokes and seemsto have in

Protestantism it the resultant nineteenth century mind particularly, certainly was Protestantism that made a way for the dissenting,non-confessional groups. More importantly though, he is correct in discoveringthat it has beenby and largethe nineteenth century, liberal Protestantperspective history the on of Biblical criticism that hasprevailed.
In light of this analysisit will be my purpose in this chapter to show that Protestant traditional the view of the rise of textual criticism in the seventeenth

be full dynamics the and eighteenthcenturiesmay an oversimplification of of the history. From a phenomenologicalperspective Bible the of asan ecclesiological
it data text that the to textual recourse sacred we will see was on the part of dissenting sectsand unorthodox communities, reconfiguring the text and it from reinterpreting within a non-confessional, and at times, non-ecclesial both Protestant Roman Catholic that context, alarmed and sensitized and in In I bodies to the text-critical confessional opposition enterprise. short, will lay behind historical the that to the seek rediscover and contextual rationale
confessionalists resistance to textual criticism.

This threatening processwas begun by Erasmus, probably giving inspiration to Serverusin the sixteenth century. It was then taken up by a fellow Dutchman, Hugo Grotius, in the seventeenth century and carried forward by the Remonstrants. By the eighteenth century it had significantly influenced the English Socinians, Arians, and Deists.

B. Erasmus, Servetus, and the Continental Antecedents

Jerry Bentley, in his important study on the RenaissanceHumanists and

the rise of Biblical criticism, put the work of Erasmusin a fresh light:


Erasmus recognized that the Christology of New Testament authors was far from that of the patristic and medieval Church, that New removed Testament authors simply did not think Jesuswas divine in the same sense did Fathers Nicaea. One describe the at this historical as might even demythologization New Testament.... as an the earl attempt at approach of (Bentley 1983: 21616

Erasmushimself had beencautious in giving expression to this new

hermeneutic. He was clearer on this in his learnedAnnotatians than in his more

but he Paraphrases, for the alwaysadvocated samecaution others who popular he did: thought as
In ny opinion many could be reconciled with the Roman Catholic Church if, instead of wishing to fix and define every detail, we were to let that in-dispensable in is Scrigeture to commanded and gings suffice which is clearl few in however, Nowadays, But these are num r. we make salvation. be these are such as could out of one article six-hundrcd--and some of loss If doubted of piety. anyone wants to without any readil, assedover or find fau t with the divine nature, the hypostasis of Christ, or any abstruse let him do let him the so; only not try to sacraments, matters concerning force his opinions upon others. For the more we pile up defmitions, the is because lay foundations the the nature of mortals of controversy, more we has been once establishedthey cling to it stubbornly. such that when a thing By these and in-numerableother fme-spun arguments, of which some are from those things which alone are proud, the minds of men are called away issue. 1953: 21-22) (Cassirer at The one would-be Erasmian who needed to take heed to this advice and Servetus. did, Alichael never was Von Julia Gausshas made an interesting and important connection between Erasmus and Servetus (Gauss 1966: 417-425). She has noted that even for such a gifted and creative mind as Servetus's,his De Trinitatis Errotibus (1531) was a very sophisticated work for a twenty year old. She suggeststhat a

16Bentleyhas suggested, "Only a thorough study of New Testament determine Wettstein between Erasmus scholarship and would enable one to development directly influenced humanists of the preciselyto what extent the This 215). Testament" New (Bentleyl983: philological scholarship on the in direction. be that chapter can considered a modest attempt


lay behind his Erasmus scholar research seasoned and seemsthe most likely 17 candidate. During the surnmer of 1527, Erasmus was being investigated in

Valladolid by the Inquisitor General,Alonso Manrique, on his views of the 18One of those involved in the inquiry was Juan Trinity and on other topiCS. Quintana,to whom Servetuswas employedas Secretary. In this capacity, have had documents Servetus Erasmus's to the access all would of accusers as his Apologia. Erasmus's 19 response, well as kept quotations from Erasmusin the margins of his work on the Servetus few, Trinity. While the references Gauss Erasmus this to are suggests was save from undue criticism. Servetusdeliberatelysought out Erasmuswith the greatest him finished declined his but Erasmus to the with work, secrecy present had finished his in 1529/30 When Servetus Errors the and winter of attention.
he looking for he in Basel, the a printer. arrived early next summer was probably He no doubt also wanted to visit Erasmus in nearby Freiburg. He never realized him, but desired Servetus Erasmus tells us a consultation with either goal. Erasmusprudently showed him the door (Gauss:425). Servetusno doubt 20). (Gauss: 419, Erasmus's n. wanted approval

17Bainton had suggested a connection in 1953: "To him [Erasmus] Servetusmay well have owed his first religious awakening" (Bainton 1953: 3334). 180n this seeRummel (1988) and (1989). A good casecan be made for Edward Lee's criticism of Erasmus's edition of the Greek New Testament Rummel investigation. On Annotations this see and as the causeof this (1988: 1); (1989: 84-86); and Coogan (1986: 476-505). Hispanos (15 2 8). For 19Apologia a general treatment of ad monacbos Gilmore 62-88) Erasmus'srather voluminous apologiac (1971: and more see 69-78). (1988: Rummel recently


The main issue in Erasmus's debate with the Spaniards rested on his

Scripture did Trinity; that teach simply not a assertion rather this was a doctrine by the Church in response developed to the Arians. He referredto the position Church late developments fourth to the the as early superior the of of century, because the early church left such doctrines open-ended.
Thus, both Erasmus and Servetus shared a preference for the pre-Nicene 419). Church (Gauss: For Erasmus, the commajobanncum (I jn 5: 7-8), was evidence of the late development of the doctrine of the Trinity, since it was found in neither the old Greek, nor old Latin MSS. This influenced his exegesis.John 10: 30 reads &YC'O 6 Erasmus interpretation the FiN Ekytev. MAI icaTi'lp abandoned catholic which being divine Erasmus, that the the one shared maintained was essence. on the hand, interpreted in his Here this as meaning one agreement. other nondogmatic, philological hermeneutic shows through. Servetus argued for the interpretation in his Trinity Erasmus the same and cited as a precedent work on (Servetus1932: 37). 20 Erasmus even resorted to an Islamic argument in refutation of the doctrine of the Trinity. He suggestedthat by reciting the baptismal rite in is discovers that the reverseorder one same rank not given to three persons, supposedlyidentical in nature.

In the secondpart of his ApologiaErasmusdefendshimself againstthe

chargeof denying the deity of Christ. He points out, as Servetus also would later, that the word God is always used in referenceto the Father, two or three times in referenceto the Son, but never in referenceto the Holy Spirit.

Servetusnever challengedthe commajobanncum probably because him. interpretation this also served

20 In



Furthermore in the early church, most prayerswere directed to God the Father, but Son, Holy Spirit. Jesus the to to the none neverworshiped the Holy some Spirit. Moreoever,the references to Christ as God are confined to John's Gospel. EvenJohn'sprologue, though, is not for him an overt declaration,but a passage from which one might dcducc the deity of Christ. At best, this is a possible reference. Erasmuswent on to Point Out that Paul alwaysreferredto the Father as
God, and Christ as Lord--this also had important significance for Servetus. Although Erasmus eventually conceded three possible referencesto the deity of Christ (John's prologue, Thomas's confession, and Paul at Romans 5: 17) all Christological. deity Christ's denied traditional to passages used prove other were 5: by Erasmus (e. Colossians 2: 9, Philippians 2: 6,1 Jn 7-8), g. suchmeaning including Isaiah's prophecy of the virgin birth (Isaiah 7: 14). Regarding the passagein Isaiah 7: 14, Servetus also found occasion to his in interpretation Once the this. undermine orthodox of reputation was jeopardy, becauseof his De Dinitatis Erroribus, he assumedthe pseudonym Nfichel de Villeneuve and took the job of corrector and editor with the his firm Trechsel in Lyons. One publishing of of projects was to edit a new 542). busy Sacra 2lServetus Pagninus's Biblia (Gauss: on this edition of was it is Servetus, for four final project work ran to sevenvolumes. years and the believed,wrote the preface. As Bainton observed, "the edition served only to ... his doctrinal derelictions" 97). (Bainton: augment

21 A copy of the contract betweenServetusand the publisher can be found in Bainton (97). SanctusPagninustook thirty yearsto produce this Latin Old Testament,translatedfrom the Hebrew text in 1528. This was the first divisions in T. O. the to edition of the verse contain now commonly use. his Servetus from edition. omitted these


In his preface, Servaus rejected the four-fold method of Miterpretation, holding only to the historical. In this he was in agreement with the Reformers. Unlike the Protestants though, he also rejected the prophetic element in the Old Testament.Here we seefirst hand, an early expression of a non-dogmatic exegesis. A few of Servetus'svery small-typed annotations in the margin of this Bible are most significant. At Isaiah 7: 14 he recognized the traditional Jewish interpretation of the Hebrew word almab asyoung wMnen,rather than as the Greek Old Testament--used by the early church--had rendered it, as 7ccCp0Evo;, "virgin" (Trapnell: 94). Furthermore, at the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah his comments were: The incredible and stupendous mystery refers to Cyrus becausethe sublime hid lies beneath humble Christ history the types sacrifice of of (Bainton: 100). While Erasmus felt the doctrine of the Trinity to be against reason, with few statementsfrom scripture that could be used to support it, he nevertheless bowed to the authority of the Church:
Convinced that the Trinity could neither be founded on Scripture nor demonstrated, he followed le [Erasmus] the rationall exam of earlier No... *. in fideistic taking of authority -, refuge a submissic L LO L%3 dogma.... Their attitude was apologetical, however, and his was critical (Trapnell 1982: 94). 22

22Bonet-Maury observed, "If we examine the passages In the writings find Erasmus bearing Trinity divinity Jesus Christ, of we upon the and the of ourselvesconfronted by two sets of utterances in direct opposition to each other. Those in the one set tend to destroy the chief Scriptural arguments invoked in aid of these dogmata; those in the other, on the contrary, protest with animation against accusationsof Arianism, and display the official dogma.... Erasmus resemblesan astronomer who should come and tell you, 'All my observations lead me to think that there is but one sphere in the sun; but the Church teaches that there are three, so I bow to its decisions"' (Bonet-Maury 1884: 41-42).


Servetusaccepted Erasmus'scritique, but rejectedhis final solution. Servetus took the logical step Erasmuswas prudently unwilling to
take. 23

Servetus was not content, like Erasmus, with assuming the role of a

He heart He was at a religious zealot. was convincedthe reasonJews philologist.

did Moors Christian Faith because Trinitarian the the not accept was of and heresy.For Serverus,the international successof the Christian causedepended Trinity. became Servetus Protestants the the upon opposing worst nightmare. George Williams observed, A4ichaelServetus, of Navarre, was indeed, the veritable effigy for Catholic in Protestant Radical that the alike of all seemedmost execrable and Reformation (Williams: 3). Had not the Protestants withstood Rome by appealing to an earlier, prein his Had Luther, not one of earliest public medieval catholic consensus? disputations with John Eck, appealedto "the Christians of Greeceand the Orient before Nicaea, " Rome Council the to of as proof that the who were not subject head (Fife been Church has the the of regarded as papacy not always visible 1957: 362)? Had not Calvin, early in his career, answered Cardinal Sadolet in a similar vain: Our argument with antiquity is far closer than yours, but that all we have As form Church.... has been to our to renew that ancient of the atternpted

doctrine, we hesitate not to appeal to the ancient Church.... In condemning have dogma not acted without the of transubstantiation ...we your gross in Church, under whose shadow you endeavor concurrence of the ancient (Calvin here hide addicted the very vile superstition to which you arc vain to 1958 Vol. 1: 37; 39; 46). 24

23Rccall Erasmus's rationale as expressedin a letter to the Archbishop We for life inclination have I Canterbury, "As truth. the to risk my to me of no havenot all strength for Martyrdom; and if trouble comes, I shall imitate St. Peter. Popes and emperors must settle the creeds. If they settle them well, so keep " ill, I if better; the the on safe side. much shall 24David Steinmetz noted regarding the appeal of Calvin and Luther to Protestant "Hence, the the attempt of reformers to recapture ancient antiquity,


Thesecould have beenServetus's words againstCalvin regarding the Trinity, so similar is the indignation. It was Servetus's in goal, line with Erasmus's to further rid the Church of yet one more superstition own exegesis, he Erasmus believed and to be absentin the early Church, namely,the which dogmaof the Trinity. Servetusfound the further he went backin the history of betweenprimitive, apostolic the Church, the greaterthe discontinuity appeared teachingand the Trinitarians. Because Servetus Erasmus the threat of posed, was pushedto affirm his final allegiance to the judgement of the Church. In fact, until the Servetus affiir, Reformers it is fair to say,held a lessthan adamant the themselves, most of Christological Servetus the position on early creeds. provoked two responses from Protestantcommunities, "the one tending to more carefullydefmed orthodoxy, and the other to bolder heresy"(Wilbur 1932:xvi). Wilbur continues:
Until now it had not b . OUte clear what attitude the newly reformed part Christendom fmaby take toward the traditional trinitarian of would dogma.... Erasmus had expunged from the New Testament the chief proof text. Luther disliked the terms in which the doctrine was stated, and feft them out of his catechisms; Calvin had disapproved of the Athanasian Creed and spoken slightingl Lseven of the Nicene, and had only lig4ti; touched doctrine in Catechism; Melanclithon in his Loct cologiciin the U gon 21 had hardly mentioned the doctrine except to pronounce it not

doctrine and discipline is labeled innovation by a Church which has lost contact its faith identifies belief with the own past and which modern and practice with and discipline of the early Church.... In point of fact, the Protestant reformers are attempting to keep faith with the ancient teaching of the apostles as understood by the fathers against the later unwarranted innovations and novelties introduced by the medieval Catholic Church" (Steinmetz 1986: 92). Servetusjust wants to dispensewith more novelty than do the magisterial Reformers.


essentialto salvation; while Zwingli and Farel, Butzer and Oecolampadius, 1932: from far being XVii)25 sound upon it (Wilbur were

Once Servetus's Errorsappearedin print, however, things changed. (with whom Servetushad lived for somemonths before), at a Oecolampadius, in Zurich, by Zwingli, Bullinger, Capito Bucer, attended conference and his alarm at the effect Servetusmight haveupon their relations with "expressed (Williams: 199). Furthermore, Catholic Protestants had the the cantons" once
finally given full vent to their Catholic impulse26and bloodied their hands with Servetus'sexecution, the doctrine of the Trinity took on a new found

In the face of the Catholic criticism which the reformers stiff feared might have such serious results for their movement, they made haste to assert their

521-522). 250n this assessment, Newman (1925: Wilbur also cf. disliked homoousios being human further, "Luther the term as a relates invention, not found in Scripture, and he preferred to say "oneness".Trinity, he Trinity. it be far better God has He to than say said, a cold sound, and would invocation from his Catechism, the these terms therefore omitted of the and Trinity from his Litany. Hence, Catholic writers did not hesitate to call him an Arian" (Wilbur 1946: 15). SeeLuther's Against Latomus (WA 8: 117-118) on his disinclination toward the word Trinity. This may be one of the areasReardon has in mind when he says,"Luther owed more to Erasmus than he ever wished for his debt Erasmus Luther's 1966: 2). Recall (Reardon to to acknowledge" opinion on the commajohanncum.
26"Inits basic orthodoxy, an inheritance from Christian antiquity it in Protestantism Reformation the main never questioned, was at one which Where dear-cut. differed issues Catholicism.... The were with on which they teaching arose which undermined their shared positions they vied with one in it. is It their zeal to repress another no exaggeration to say, therefore, that despite the great doctrinal cleaveage of the sixteenth century and the bitter theological controversies to which it gave rise, the fundamental unity of Christian thought in the west continued unimpaired until the latter part of the is dissolution 3). It (Reardon: that the eighteenth century" my contention Erasmus's Testament It New textual started much sooner. was nearly always in Biblical in impulse the to criticism criticism that gave general, starting sixteenth century onward.


Melanchthon in his Loci of 1535 treatsthe this. orthodoxy on point. doctrines in question asabsolutelynecessary to salvation; Calvin ivs them ftill treatment in his Institutesin 1536; and all the ProtestantcoYcssionsare henceforthunequivocalon this article. Protestanttheology, indeed is more ... Athanasian (Wilbur: xvii). 27 than ever Newman expandson this:
Ihe Attempt of Servetus to uncover Christian errors concerning the Trinity in both Catholic the almost universal opposition awakened cam Cyond of and Reformers. Oecolampadius was scandalizedand measureoffended declared it; its " Bucer deserved be that to torn in pieces; Luther with writer it "fearfiffly book; " Melanchthon "Servetus wicked called a wrote: plainly e Old New Testament, he text the misinterpretin&,! of raveswhen, and denies to the Prophets the Holy Spirit... (Newman: 521). 28 It was the wise old Farel, however, who made the connection between Servetusand Erasmus's teaching. In a letter Farel wrote in 1553 he relates the
29He Servetus's execution. also observed, account of

But though I do not doubt of Erasmus having been infected in no trifling degreeby the writings of the Rabbins [against the deity of Christ], I know himself in least, he in his later than those that otherwise expressed works, at be date. Servetus But the made to could not readily unhappy of earlier imbibe the truth and put it to increase; neither could he be cured of his 30 (Newman: 603-604). by teachings the sound of others errors Calvin's own theological position on the Trinity was called (604). Newman into question as a result of the Servetus; affiir, see 28Newman observed further, "Anti-Trinitarianism was a logical by Reformation; the pioneers of the tendencies outcome of set underway Reform, however, were unwilling to go beyond their early pretensions; hence bitter (522). Servetus the extreme position of enmity" aroused their
29Farel recounts in the letter the last moments of Servetus's life, desired "he Trinity, him how Farel me relating on the subject of the urged when is in Christ in Scriptures to point to a single place the spoken of as the which Son of God, before his birth" (Newman: 603). Yet, in 1525, when Farel had doctrines, Christian important in French produced the earliest statement of the "In this he made not the slightest reference to the Trinity or the dual nature of Christ" (Wilbur 1946: 16).
27 In fact,

Errors Anaba 30In Melanchthon's Refutation of Servetus ptists' and the (1559?), his opening sentenceis, 'Mchael Servetus (1511-53), who was a Spaniard who was a follower of Erasmus..." (Melanchthon 1988: 169). Oddly Comma former humanist, invoking Melanchthon, finds the the enough, one


Bainton reminded us that in an unguarded moment, Erasmus had

According to dialectical logic, it is possible to sa U there are three gods. But to announce this to the untutored would give oMse (Bainton: 30-3 1). Servetus,on the other hand, was not concerned about giving offense him doctrine Trinity because the to the of was the greater offense, therefore, "He 5). (Trapnell: 9 the tritheism" mystery as scorned Servetuswas convinced that the doctrine of the Trinity could not be found in Scripture (even witb the commajobanneum). To Erasmus, the late indeed, doctrine later the that the comma was, evidence addition of was a development away from the primitive belief of the early Church. On this last in Servetus Erasmus and point, were complete accord.

C. Textual Variants and Later Theological Disputes The Cmnma becamethe watershed for those who pledged themselvesto be catholic. To question its authenticity, even on purely textual grounds, as Erasmusdid, was to open oneself up to the charge of Arianism and heresy. One Erasmus's had Spanish of said, opponents Anyone who assertspertinaciously [that the Cmnmajobanneum is to be Erasmus's heretic burned [and] be the all of omitted] must on stake as a ... books in which the testimony is omitted are to be burned (Rummel 1989: Vol. 11: 91). Another verse that came to play a decisive role in a sin-Iarfashion was I Tim. 3: 16. The Eastern Church text reading, as found in Erasmus's recension
There flesh. in " t(pavcpcoOij & Oco`q the were, was (Y(xpKt--"Godwas manifest

Jobanneum in this treatiseagainstthe position of Servetus,eventhough both its Erasmus denied he knew. had Luther authenticity, as well and


however,other, and older GreekMSS. that were not part of the official Church Some which read otherwise. of theseread simply Ogrecension -"wbowas flesh. in The " Vuqata Latina the read, quodmanifiestatum manifest estin carnein flesh" did (as few Greek 11wbicb MSS.). the manifest was some The Latin edition did not have ascleara witnessto the deity of Christ at
did the official ecclesiasticaltext of the Greek Church. Likewise, the this point as Greek Church text lacked the clearestwitness to the Trinity, the comma jobanncum. These two variants, one each from both the Latin and the Greek hard data later Antitrinitarians texts, the that provided ecclesiastical convinced doctrines later developments both branches these were within of catholic It Erasmus's Annotations that usually first provided this damaging tradition. was By debates from the these the surrounding evidence. concentrating on variants discovers to the nineteenth century, one sixteenth century a window to the during To these times. the text perilous nature of critical enterprise admit these for historical fabrications, invite the the modern quest variants were was to Jesus. 1. Hugo Grotius (1583-1645)

Grotius, another Hollander, is best known for his work in international law.31 He was, however, a formidable classicistwho also wrote theological treatisesand produced a monumental series of annotations on both testaments Reformed branch Dutch Bible. for Arminian His the the the of of advocacy Church placed him in bitter conflict not only with ecclesiasticalauthorities, but

31On the life of Grotius, seeDe Burigny (1754); and Knight (1925). A complete listing of his principal works can be found in Knight (291-293) and Butler (1826).


Thrown into for his theological convictions, the With state. consequently prison for he (his by his two remained there years wife side) until smuggledout in a largetrunk, usedto supply him with books.321nthis conflict, Grotius was able for feel the trials sufferedby his kinsmen,Erasmus.Mansfield to somesympathy highlights this: Essentialto the self-consciousness Arminians Grotius--was the of the and ... feeling that their controversywith orthodox Calvinistswaslike, indeed in somewayswas a continuation of Erasmus'scontroversywith monks and (Mansficld: 298). theologians scholastic BasilHall referred to Grotius as "a new Erasmusfor his time" (Hall: 112).
Grotius's most recent biographer in English remarked "his treatment of Scriptures was in fact, an active revival of the humanism of Erasmus.... not only but, his Erasmus, the and continuator of a successor work and spirit of perhaps immediate heir" (Knight 1925: 252). Trevor-Roper seesGrotius as, "The Erasmusof the seventeenthcentury: in him, Erasmus lives again" (Trevor-Roper 1987: 192). 33 While Grotius wrote severalimportant theological treatises, all of which breathethe spirit of Erasmus'shumanitas, and are expressionsof his pbilosopbia Cbristi, he is perhaps most Erasmus-like in his Annotations on the New Testament (Amsterdam 164 1). Modeled after Erasmus's own Annotations to the

320ne is reminded of Katherine von Bora's escapefrom the convent by hiding in a fish barrel. Grotius, no doubt, had the better time of it, the fragrance fish. books being to that of of much preferred 33itGrotius honoured Erasmus as the man who had been first to

distinguishbetweenessential faith" (Meyjes and unessentialarticlesof 1988:162).


New Testament, which he studied while in prison, (Meyjes: 64, n. 163), 34 Grotius continues a Biblical commentary tradition begun by Valla. 35Before he his Annotations him to the press with same apprehension gripped that was went by Erasmus before he Valla's Annotations. In a letter he published experienced complained,

I am at a loss what to do with my notes on the New Testament. I shall ... fmd bookseller here; but I a easily am afraid of meetin YL with some difficulties from the Divines, who will have nothing kind published f I in their ap and or my own art, cannot submit without lKobation: C of the parties, nor can IQ silent when I have something er everything to ei ' be deliver 5). (De Burigny: 26 that may to of use Grotius's only contentment is in the Erasmian via media. When his Annotations finaHy rotled off the press, Grotius was so dismayed by his likenessappearing in a book designed to inspire humility, he tore the his done have to others sold. to the copies and attempted portrait out of same An advertisement appeared in this work, stating that it was begun while Grotius he finished by him was was a prisoner, while a private man and published when an ambassador(De Burigny: 267).

34AIong with the works of Calvin and the Annotations of Theodore Beza.No doubt he was doing a comparison between the methods of the Calvinists and that of the humanist. 35AIthough de Jonge credits Erasmus as the progenitor of this method: "The New Perspectivesopened up in sixteenth and seventeenthcentury biblical dearly in exegesis are seen the number of philological commentaries of the by doctrine, fit documents They longer to twisted ancient a modern period. no Aristotelian from distinctions drawn logical dialectical tradition, meansof and but instead considered the writings of the New Testament as ancient texts which had to be understood in the context of the period in which they were composed. This approach was founded by Erasmus, and its fundamental method was Jonge (de literature" comparison--comparison with other works of ancient 1981: 118). Perhaps the best way to put it is to say Valla was the mediating force betweenthe medieval Glossa Ordinaria commentary tradition and Erasmus, who

truly set the philological tradition in motion.


Grotius, a layman, practiced in his Annotations, like Erasmus before him,

Biblical de jonge to approach extra-ecclesial studies, an what callsthe pbilological jonge (de 1980: 39-41). 36This developed approachwas commentary along side
but "the difference between the ecclcsiastical-dogmatic commentary, the two of is great" (de Jonge 1980: 39). In the dogmatic approach, The exegetealways takes the dogmatics from Scripture which he adhered to before he started the dogmatic exegesiscan be quite a vicious circle: it gives ... he he knew (de jonge 1980: 39). the exegetewhat wants and what already The pbdologicalcommentary tradition, started by Valla, furthered by Erasmusand continued by Grotius "does not so much analyseas illuminate.... [It] explains the biblical text with the help of facts from 'neighborinp literature" (de Jong 1980: 39). Ladd expandsfurther on Grotius's method:
Grotius placed many citations from classic authors parallel with biblical Sermon he left Mount; the the them passages,especially with on and, since diminish they to served without any coTprehensive principle of comparison, the apparent originality of the Bible (Ladd 2: 198).

This causedRichard Simon to say of Grotius's Annotations: He abounds too much in quotations from poets, and many profane authors; in which he seemsrather to affect appearing a man of learning and erudition than a man of judgement and a critic (De Burigny: 26 8). On this point, however, Simon misses Grotius's intention (perhaps out of
Erasmian Grotius is to the envy). amassing extra-Biblical sources, essential for hermeneutic, the project of excluding the ecclesiastical-dogmatic making way philosapbiaCbfisti hermeneutic of ancient classical wisdom. Neither Simon, nor

36"Itwas only outside the church professions that there was freedom to use one's eyesand powers of induction and deduction upon scripture without Ladd 409). foregone 1962: (Grobel necessityof arriving at conclusions" Grotius Hugo by 'Annotations' Chiefly "It that the acknowledgesthat of was... ... the ferment of rationalism in exegesiswas introduced into the age" (Ladd: 197). de Jonge credits Grotius's Annotationes to be "the best commentary produced in 120). (1981: Europe" seventeenth-century


Grotius, however, could haveimagined the direction this new hermeneutic Religiansgescbicbte, developed further by toward take the Deists. once would Ladd rightly observed,
The work of Herbert [of Cherbury] 'De reli W, ie Gentilium', announces be severalviews which would now acc !pted y most students of comparative . fu-ndamental beliefs of all rcliion to that there religion: such as are certain be diSt'a 11'hed, that there has been a 'universal divine providence, and that the enlixtened religious consciousnessaffords a test of religious truth (Ladd 2: 201). In short, this tradition did not searchfor an over-arching Biblical theology, but rather searchedfor significant parallels with Greco-Roman intellectual traditions. This distinctly non-ecclesiasticaltradition of Biblical commentary was history in Bible in his Rudolf Pfeiffer Histwy the of study. new seminal of Scbolarsbip Classical (vol. 2) acknowledged, it was on the Erasmian model that true scholarship Frotestant that rospered, not on ... biblical the of exegesisof the reformers and the ni Scholasticism,still less in the narrow traditionalism of the Catholic counter37 (Pfeiffer 1976: 82). reformation With Grotius's Annotations, we discover it is seventeenth-century, Arminian Holland where first, "the nursery of critical and exegeticalfreedom is to be found" rather than nineteenth century, Lutheran Germany (Knight: 246). Furthermore, while in exile in France Grotius stayed in touch with the Arminian Church in Holland, allowing him, to carry on and develop the original Arminian tradition and to reject Calvinists-fear inspiration both Lutherans idol the and without of of verbal the first great obstacle to progress... (Knight: 246). The foundational principle that set the Valla/Erasmus/Grotius Annotations

deliberate tradition apart from the ecclesiastical of the suspension approachwas a The findings Bible text. notion of the of a text critical study of the as a sacred

371aMindebted to Jerry Bentley (1983) for this reference.


Bible allowed for this liberation, negating the possibility for a verbal view of inspiration. It was the doctrine of verbal inspiration that gavethe Bible its it it Instead, Grotius treated, "the text that took was criticism status; away. Scriptureasif they were no more than a mere literary work. He approached he them as would any work of classical antiquity" (Knight: 250).

2. The Trinitarian Variants in Grotius's Annotations: I John 5: 7-8 and I Timothy 3: 16

On the two textual variants under consideration, Grotius follows Erasmus'sjudgement. Regarding the commajohanneum, Grotius notes that the he lacks MS. Trinity. Furthermore, he has this to the uses ancient witness both Syriac Arabic in he has the the this and checked surpassed versions,--and Erasmuswho had no facility in these languages--andneither do they contain this He bold for flies directly in theory to this, that passage. next offers a account one the face of the traditional orthodox version of the story. He posited that the Arians did not omit this passage,as supposed by the in do Trinity. Arians Rather, to the the orthodox, corrupted the order away with text by interpolating the commaat this place, from which they could infer that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are not one, except in their concord, analogous to the Spirit, water and blood who together bear the sametestimony (Grotius 1756: 1104). It was, therefore, the Catholics who removed the commaoriginally, leaving, however, "three are one" becausethis supported their theology. This is a brilliant and hitherto unheard of interpretation of the data. He provided both the Erasmian interpretation of the comma (i. e. a concord of witness, not essence)


it its Trinity, to stripped the of witness which while making way for the excising heretical asan corruption of the text. of the passage Regarding I Tim. 3: 16, Grotius is certain the orthodox reading, OeO'; is
because in Greek MSS. he has surveyed, along with the Latin, the all suspect Syriac,Arabic and Ambrose, all read either O"g, "who" or quod "which. " He has discovered by an ancient reference which claims OEO'; even the was added Nestorians (Grotius: 766-767). Grotius's rejection of these two key proof texts for the Trinity and the deity of Christ naturally led to charges of Socinianism. Grotius did read Sociniansand corresponded with them as well. Moreover, while Grotius was in he in Paris, Socinian 549). (Wilbur 1946: Yet met regularly with exile students be from he learned for this than that tolerance no more can said a and respect Socinians. Nevertheless,his non-confessional approach to Biblical studies was a Socinian By to the service cause. questioning the authenticity of the two most important Orthodox proof texts, he invited severecriticism from churchmen, lessacquainted with the first-hand textual data. The Lutheran, Abraham Calov, in his Biblia illustrata (4 vols. 1672-1676), "was full of hatred of Grotius, " whom he regarded as nullis religious (Knight: 25 1). The Calvinist, John Owen, while his Annotations freely his Grotius Socinian, that never calling a expressed opinion supported Socinianism: I know no reason why our students should with so much diligence and hands labour books Socinus these to their the charge seeing of get into ... Annotations as to the most im ortant heads of Christian religion, about the deity of Christ, sacrifice, priesTood, and satisfaction of Christ, original sin, free will, justification, etc. afford them the substanceand marrow of what is 1850-1855 Vol. 12: by (Owen 629). them spoken Specifically regarding the deity of Christ, Owen concluded, The consideration of the charge on the Annotations relating to their taInpering with the testimonies given in the Scripture to the Deity Pf Cbnst the sum of what is to this purpose by me affirmed is, that in the ...


Annotations on the Old and New Testament,Grotius hath left but one place giving testimony clearlyto the deity of Christ (Owen 12:629; 630-631).38 Grotius's non-dogmatic, extra-ecclesial, Annotations pushed pbdological forward the Erasmianproject a bit further. Suchprogresscould alwaysbe in how by churchmenand terms of much outrage was expressed measured theologians within the catholic tradition, whether Roman or Protestant. had found only two clearreferences Erasmus to the dcity of Christ; Grotius had The for Grotius is not that there still this to this one. significanceof reduced but positivc evidence, that the many other traditional proof texts canno remained longer bearthe weight of the orthodox tenets.Someof thesearenow suspectas lateinterpolations, key textual evidencethat theologicaldevelopmenthastaken place. Moreover, because Grotius was working from an earlyReligionsgescbicbtc form handed down by the there the text approach, was nothing sacredabout of Annotations, had the Church. His investigations,aided by Erasmus's own development issue Trinity. finds Catholic Kiimmcl the the revealed on of great in follows from for history Biblical this the significance what of criticism:
Grotius undertakes to explain the inherent difficulties of a text on the ... has been handed down form in it that the text the assumptions in which does not correspond to the original, or that the traditional view concerning the time of composition or the-authorship of a letter must be abandoned.... What is important in this connection is that Grotius makes any use at all of ... historical conjecture as a tool of New Testament interpretation, and does so because he b6lievesthat only so can the historical setting of a New Testament document be clearly understood (Kiimmel 1972: 35-36). This lesson he has learned from Erasmus. Once textual criticism exposes the fact that the sacredtext is not sacrcd,one is pushed to reconstruct original if Furthermore, literary based texts. content on the analogy of other religious or is dogma the ecclesiastical them the texts are untrustworthy, now resting on

38For other referencesto Grotius in Owen, seeof his collected works (Vol. 5: 201; 182); (Vol. 15: 13); (Vol. 3: 34); (Vol. 16: 352; 387-88; 420-21).


This is if dogmata have to Particularly revision, or the negation. these case subject blight from beenthe sourceof religious strife and persecutionwhich -the
Erasmus,Grotius and A Antitrinitarians suffered. Grotius pushed open a little further the door leading to a more primitive, Erasmian catholicism: Erasmus had tried to preserve the endangered catholicitX of religion and learning, and had devoted all his scholarship and humanism to the its leadership the universal church and spiritual oftlic whole promotion of (Pfeiffer: 127). Christendom of And it was Grotius's goal in his work in international law, to offer a "secularizationof the Erasmian ideas in the place of the lost universality of the ...
humanistic desires "a Christian Grotius "39 society of nations" church.

(Pfeiffer: 128). Here we have a clear development of Erasmus's project, served in a large by measure textual criticism.

3. Stephanus Curceflaeus (1586-1659)

Stefan de Courcelles, or Stephanus Curcellaeus, as he liked to be called,

from forward important the ecclesiastical approachto away step offeredanother in long family French in Geneva Biblical Born established the text. of a noble by brought Picardy,because his father died while young, Curcellacus a up was Calvinisticpastor, CharlesPerrot. He was tutored in Greekby the famous

39While Grotius was not the founder of the modern theory of natural Deum (natural law law (seeChroust: 1943), in his dictum etiamsi daremusnon esse did " Grotius' if God its to aim was not exist), even would retain validity in in laws an age which construct a system of which would carry conviction (d'Entreves do losing the power to theological controversy was gradually so" 1967: 52).


TheodoreBeza.He becamea pastor, but because he refusedto sign an oath to Dort, he forced Synod The of to the was resign. oath was changed,however, he doctrinal then to the was able sign andso statement,only to find his interest to some. orthodoxy still of perennial
Like so many others who chafed under the seventeenthcentury credalism, he left his home in France and moved to the more tolerant climate of Holland. Kemonstrance
T? 40

He soon gained a professorship at the Arminian

in Amsterdam. seminary Curcellaeus'sworks played a major role in assisting JeanLe Clerc, his (1657-1736), from Calvinism Arminianism (Le Clerc 1712: 7) to nephew great friend (Mansfield:248). Curcellaeus; and admirer of Descartesand was also a first his Latin DiscourscUponAfabod (1644) "Thus the translation produced of , for 51). Europe" (Colic 1957: the to textbook enabling essay serve as a all Hulbert-Powell observed of the three great Arminian scholars, De Courcelles, le Clerc and Wettstein, all three sought freedom in the interpretation of Scripture from the bias of ecclesiastical formulae, and they f6und from All it in Remonstrant Brotherhood.... the three the all suffered opposition of the Contra-Remonstrants" (Hulbert-Powell 1937: 142-143). Wettstein "attributes to him [Curcellacus] the revival of interest in the 52). 41 Testament" 1954: Greek (Fox the text of the critical study of

40Erasmus's eighteenth-century biographer, Jortin, records Erasmus's opinion of the Dutch of the sixteenth century as "sordid, unpolished, despisers learning, " He of which meets there with no encouragement, and much envy. then adds that by Le Clerc's day, however, Holland had "become the asylum of letters since the beginning of the seventeenth century; and it may be affirmed, that, during that age, no country hath furnished so many succours to Europe for the advancementof literature" jortin 1758: 15-16). jortin's biography was basedon that of Le Clerc's. For a further treatment of the Dutch academies,see de Jonge (1981). 41For brief treatments of Curcellaeus, seeHulbert-Powell (1937: 137, n.4; 139-142); Fox (49-52), and B.W. D. N. (1858: 780-783). A monograph on


In 1658, Curcellaeus famous Elzevir Press,his own the published at Greek New Testament. It was the first edition, produced by a the of edition known editor, to regard the commajobanncum inauthentic (he placedthe as in brackets), Erasmus left it his first since passage out of two editions (1516 and
1519). 42

Curcellaeus his prepared readersfor the somewhatdifferent approachhe

intended to take toward textual variants (as compared to his teacher, Theodore Bcza), in a highly celebrated preface to his edition (Curcellaeus: 1675). He begins by expressing his displeasure that textual variants have not been in sufficiently acknowledged previous editions. This is important for him he because as reads the early fathers he notes their testimony of carelessscribes have into textual that the text. Furthermore, previous creating variants crept have between these textual variants in a rather arbitrary editors made a choice have in their editions, the various textual options way, and not provided Curcellaeus full disclosure to them. available of these variants so that all wants a in Only Remonstrance Holland, at this point in their may make own choice. history, could such an appeal seem reasonable.He is not, however, demanding this for purely theoretical reasons. Curcellaeus,like Erasmus and Grotius before him, had suffered at the hands of nervous confessional churchmcn. 43For orthodox Protestants, as well as

Curcellaeusis in preparation by two University of Leiden scholars, Professor E. J. Kuiper and Dr. Chr. Berkvens-Stevelinck. 42An anonymous edition was produced in Paris in 1534, published by Simon de Colines, which left out the cmnma,but the editor is unknown. On this seeParker (1971: 97-102). 43Fox speaksof his having been "persecutedout of France" (49).


Roman Catholics, the very bedrock of their theological certainty was the verbal dictation theory of inspiration. It was this view that gave the Bible its in Church It the text. as a sacrcd uniqueness was this paradigm that textual Farrar, in his into focus: unsettle. characteristic this variants style, puts Among the extravagances of reformed theology [and Lutheran theology as had been an assertion as to the miraculously perfect.integrity of the well] Robert Stephens said that he had found 2,384 variations in the oldest text.... MSS. of the New Testament.... these facts tended to show how untenable dictation (Farrar: 387). theory the of verbal was It was against this ecclesiasticalconcept of the Protestant texts as a divinely dictated "Oracle" that Curcellaeus wrote. His goal was to emphasizethe need to take seriously the many textual variants M the New Testament MSS and therefore the characteristicsthey shared with other kinds of literature. Curcellaeusis concerned about the suppression of these variants in earlier He Reformed his former Greek the theologian editions. cites scholastic and teacher,Theodore Beza, particularly as one who has deliberately suppressed is He be Biblical textual that the text certain concerned variants. approached, not but have 44 text, asa sacred as critics worked with profane authors. While this desacralization of the Bible may be distressful to the orthodox, Curcellaeus feels that only if an unrestrained, full disclosure of all textual variants is followed will it become apparent that certain passages from ancient times are been has in in Hitherto this nowadaysnot read the sameway all copies. by facts. the addressed covering-up Nevertheless,he assureshis readers that while the orthodox may try to hold on to certain questionable passages for answering heretics, e.g. the comma Jobanneum,they need feel no loss if they prudently let them go, since important

he 441t is not just within the Protestant ecclesiastical that texts wants a fiffl disclosure of textual variants, but in the Roman VuqataLatina as well.


doctrinesare alwaysfound in a clearplurality of passages. No important facet of Religion be lost by Christian this process.This is a vital point. the will Within the history of the discipline of New Testamenttext criticism, it is Richard Bentley is the who credited with this original emphasis, this usually safe in his response ideologyof harmlessengagement, to the Deist, Anthony 45Here, nearly fifty yearsearlier, we havethe SocinianCurcellacus Coflins. in fear to the the to textual variants point, order encourage orthodox not making Ironically, Bentley in to their threat the orthodoxy. samepoint will make asa Deist to who arguedthat textual variantscompletelyundermine the reply a possibility of a revealedreligion. doeshis best to gather asmany variantsashe can collect and Curcellaeus;
displaysthem in his edition (at the foot of the page as well as in a section at the have been doctrinal With to the text). two the regard passages we end of highlighting, the one supporting the Trinity in the Latin Bible, and the other both. 46He in Greek Bible, Curcellaeus Deity Christ them the the places rejects of in in brackets, the commajobanncum a note that the words are not mentioning found in the early Greek and Latin MSS., nor in the Syriac, Arabic, Ethiopic by fathers. in He concludes saying they are even versions,nor most church Testament (these New Greek from the would missing early published editions of be Erasmus'sfirst two editions and that of Colines). On I Tim. 3: 16, in his textual note he mentions, like Grotius, "the ancient flesh in "God" "he" the and that the manuscript" reads was manifest rather than

Free45This is found in Bentley's RemarksUpon a Late Discourse of Tbinking Cambridge, 1713.1 will be treating this under the heading Richard Bentley. 46AIthough, interestingly, he defends the long ending of Mark's Gospel, believing heretics were responsible for its omission in some sources.


Latin, Arabic and Syriac versions also leave out "God. " Furthermore, he notes

has discovered in Morinus the margin of an ancientMS. an attempt to that

insert the word "God, " but that the false emendation is easily spotted. Moreover, like Grotius, Curcellaeus was criticised as a Socinian (for Erasmus,it was as an Arian). Maresius, a Groningen Professor, accusedhim of being a Socinian and an anti-trinitarian. 47AIso, the Lutheran J.W. Rumpaeus, in his CommentatioOitica (1757: 260-261) noted that it was Curcellacus-sthird Testament his Greek New followed (1685) by Socinian that the was edition of Felbinger, in his German translation of the Scriptures. Furthermore, Rumpaeus because he Curcellaeus needlesslymultiplied the number of variant criticizes freely in his from Curcellaeus admitted preface, arose readings,many of which,

Socinians to the those which arepleasing conjecture, and especially sheer

261). (Rumpaeus: Rumpaeus cites specifically the cmnmajobanncum and other proof texts, by deity for Christ had been the of also rejected as supports most of which Erasmusand Grotius. 49He fears, ironically, that Curcellaeushas chosen variants Curcellaeus's from MSS. indiscriminately at random and --this was precisely accusationof the orthodox--with no prior consideration as to whether they were


de dissertationum Quaternio Curcellacus's, 47Thiswasin response to Sam. Marcsi by um tnnitatis, pcrsonac, postascios, advcrsus vocibus csscntiac, Amsterdam, 1658 (B.W.D.N. 1858:780-783).
48Theseare reconstructions of the text without any referenceto MS evidence,basedon the assumption that at this point, all copies are corrupted. Wettstein discovered no less than forty of these conjectures in Curcellaeus's 5 (Fox: 1). edition 49For example, John 10: 30; 17: 11-22; Romans 9: 5; 1 John 5: 20; John 17: 3.


inpublic use,or merelyptivatc use. In turn, it is Curcellaeus has who suppressed lictioncm). (sanam that the would support received evidence reading It is important to recognizethe significanceof Rumpaeus's distinction
betweenprivate MSS. and public MSS. The public texts usually represent those by MSS. independent ecclesiastical usage, while private sanctioned with variants be by treated with some suspicion would a churchman. An entire dissertation was written in Germany discovering the Socinianism in Curcellaeus'sedition of the Greek New Testament, prompted no doubt in part by the German Socinian translation basedupon Curcellaeus's 50 The by Curcellaeus's his alarm raised textual edition. edition, particularly Tregelles S. P. in the mid-nincteenth century to admit that conjectures,caused sincethese conjectures, ical had theolo touched their Sl and such as were appearance vit an for it unhappy effect, causedcriticism (wiltgoints, which such conjecture was thus dangerous be deprecated (Tregelles 1856: 125). to confounded) as What Tregelles failed to grasp in the milder climate of mid-nineteenth is in later in Britain Holland (and that the century non-confessional scholars Germany) were convinced they had evidence of textual interpolation supporting orthodox theology. These data convinced them that one must acknowledge textual, and consequently, theological development. If such development could be proven on the lower critical level in certain key passages, this evidencewould beg the suspicion that other such corruptions have taken place, perhaps with less,or no evidence remaining. Thus conjecture was not only appropriate, it was in behind texts the official church absolutelynecessaryto get order to reconstruct the Urtext. Such suspicion was always first bred at the lower, or text

50 in editioneoriginalis Novi Testamenti John Gottlieb Moller, Curcellaeus locorum Saipturae textusvatiantium lection parallelorum um et additamenta vestita, Socinizans, Rostock 1696.


This level. in Tregelles felt it the explains part why, very conservative critical deprecate Curcellaeus's to efforts. necessary

D. Neglected Roots of English Socinianism, Arianism and Deism

Thus far, I have plotted the development of an Erasmian influenced text Not find influence be the this to continent. unexpectedly we one of criticism on inspiration for British, the primary movers and sourcesof a extra-ecclesial biblical Antitrinitarian Bonetthe tradition of studies, particularly among sects. Maury rightly observed, If Erasmus was not Unitarian, in the proper senseof the term, he at any b his rate, Unity, f strictlyphilological exegesis,supplied weapons to the adversaries Anabaptists Low Countries (43). to the the of particularly of the Furthermore, Among scholars, his [Erasmus's] text of the New Testament, in a far wider diffused Annotations, his anti-trinitarian modes of thought. exegetical circle If ever the Dutch and English Anabaptists, who disowned for the most part *d Scripturalism far from Triity, de doctrine their as the ri tis Weir arted so of the it defense, human to cite a writinfs that was under authority in into influence, heresy. His aactor they sheltered their moreover, enteri into directly, Holland, Arminianism the the and through this, as well as of Socinianism of Poland, and thence again into the Latitudinarianism of England (xii). One very clear example of Erasmus's influence amoung the Transylvanian Antitrinitarians is found in Ferenc David (1510-1579). The author of Defalsa ct began he 7), (156 Sancti Spintus Dei Patris, Fi1ii as a cognitionc veraunius ct Roman Catholic, moved to the Lutheran camp and eventually becamethe bishop of a Calvinist community in KolozsVar and court preacher to King John Sigismund, himself a Unitarian. Converted to Unitarianism with the help of the Italian Gcorgius Blandrata by 1567 he was on his way to transforming the hotbed into Unitarianism. Kolozsvar a community at of


For a seasonhe was able to achieve religious toleration from the state, but Mthory Catholic Stephen David the to the throne came once was arrested and for life blasphemer for Christ. to prison to as a refusing condemned worship After a year in prison, he died there for his faith In search of a primitive Christianity, "he set out with the idea of going backto the Scripture and, on that basis, restoring Christianity to something Christianity" his he like (Erdo 1982: 48). In early quest read, among other more Novum Erasmus's Instrumentum (15 16). Originally holding to the things, inspiration, influence "the traditional catholic view of verbal as a result of of humanist philology, " he gave up this view. It was specifically Erasmus's text criticism that David highly praised, it was in Erasmus's Greek N. T. that he learned of the critically important because data regarding the interpolation of the cmnmajohanncum, referring quite 49). Here in (Erdo: to this we seesuch textual an extant sermon specifically for for him purely academicpurposes, something reserved studieswere not level, in demonstrating, important the on a popular role rather, they played an belief in the Catholic corruption of even the Biblical manuscripts themselvesin favor of Trinitarianism. That David is not untypical. of the kind of influence Erasmus's N. T. had in Transylvania,the Jesuit, Antonio Possevio, who had first hand knowledge of the declared during in Transylvania that one of the sourcesof time, this conditions Antitrinitarianism there "was to be found in Erasmus' teaching" (Erdo: 49). In the sixteenth century and beyond, Erasmus was forever being claimed by the advocatesof Antitrinitarianism as the founder of their movement. Another Transylvanian Antitrinitarian, Biandrata, along with Ferenc David, saw "Erasmus fitted into a kind of apostolic succession"(Mansfield: 109) leading to ... their community. In Defalsa et vera David stated that, "Indeed in our own time


did not Erasmusof Rotterdam, a most learnedman, neglectnothing to uncover God [i. Trinity], this teaching of the the vanity about e. as readersmay seein his " (Mansfield:110). Annotations?
Bcllarminc also found Erasmus a hclpcr of the Arian causc,calling him, Lo, the distinguished protector of the Arians who vindicates them from heresyand makes them more learned than the Catholics. What else remains but to call the Arians Catholics and the Catholics heretics (Mansfield: 54). 51 BcIlarmine is typical of much of the polemical literature hurled at Erasmus he his 52 "Arianism. " to alive, nearly all of was which eventually got around while The sameproved to be so in England where again Erasmus and Grotius, in Sullivan's words, head the "alternative apostolic succession": Above all, the Unitarians looked to Erasmus, 'who, 'tho he lived before Socinus ' first that the considerably commonly interprets way, as The English Unitarians their thereby sought modern exponant of position. Erasmian demonstrate to that they, too, acceptedthe strain of piety (Sullivan 1982: 86). The seventeenth-centuryEnglish Jesuit, Robert Persons, in his Certamen "scoffers, MS., Erasmus, unpublished ecclesiaeAnglicanae saysof only heretics,and atheists read his books; the pious do not" (Thompson 1969: 63). Moreover, he reminds us that Erasmus's tomb remains unhonored. by "both disappointed). in be Basel (at Erasmus sides" neither surprised nor which would Personsattributes Erasmus's obedient submission to the authority of the Roman Church, solely to the prayers of his friend, St. Thomas More. In spite of this, however,

51 While Richard Simon did not doubt Erasmus's essentialorthodoxy, because, like Simon himself, Erasmus remained faithful to the Church, Simon Annotations in Erasmus's the source that contributed to a nevertheless also saw revived Arianism (Mansfield: 177).

520n the polemical literature againstErasmuson this point see Gilmore (1971:62-88) and Rummel (1989).


Erasmus had much to answer for not only Luther and Lutherans, but all ... Arians days began the, estilent sect of new of our own upon certain douPul questions and interpretations of Erasmus (Thompson ... 1969: 63): 53

This was not just an exampleof a Jesuitexercisinghis polemic against

Erasmus.He is describing a reality. Rev. Stephen Nye, the first to employ the Unitafian in English (McLachlan 1951: 320)54 the title on page of a work word in Sabellian, 1687 in his himself A DiefHismy a wrote and CalledalsoSocinians55:
D. Erasmus, the restorer of learning, hath given occasion both to his friends him Arian. He Phil. 2: 6 was the principle to think that an and enemies saith, Fathers Arians; but the the that to say true, itproves of against argument 5: 5 He Eph. God being them. that the against notes on nothing used word doth in Apostolic Writings his Fatber. In the the absolutely, always signifies Scbolia on the third tome of St. Jerome's epistles, he denies that the Arians he heretics; ffirther, in that they to adds, our men were were superior learning and eloquence. 'Fis believed, Erasmus did not make himself a 9)arty his to that which he esteemed the ignorant and dull side of the question. he Bilibaldus, to speaks as o enly as the times would permit a wise epistles be Arian if I (saith Erasmus) to the co3ulyd of persuasion, the man speak, Church approved it (Nye 1687: 31). 56

ofthe Unitatians

Nye also treated Grotius, saying he was, "Socinian aUover," and that, There is nothing in all his Annotations, which they [Socinians] do not [sic] His Annotations system of approve and applaud.... are a compleat Socinianism (Nye: 32). Other historical accounts of the rise of Antitrinitarianism, written by later Unitarian historians, seemalways to begin with Erasmus. Wallace in his Antitrinitarian Biographyremarks:

53Evidenceof Erasmus'sAnnotations inspiring antitrinitarianism in Italy as well has been demonstrated by Menchi (1987: 206-208).
Henry however, first to employ the word altogether, was -4The Hedworth. (1626-1705) in his ContropersyEnded (1673) (Wilbur 1952: 199).

55 This book is sometimes wrongly attributed to John Biddle, e.g. Mansfield (305). 56For a fuller treatment of this seeTracy (1972: 154-155).


Erasmus has given occasion, both to friends and foes, to consider him an Antitrinitarian.... That he is rightly classedby the Ministers of Poland and Transylvania, among those of the early reformers, who were instrumental 'in inculcating a knowledge of the true God and Christ, ' appearsfrom remarks ... Rilary. in Preface Dedicatory his [They] to edition of which occur the had in for their the effect smoothing certainly way (Wallace Vol. 3: '39). 57 Antitrinitarianism ... The Unitarian scholar, J. Estlin Carpenter, in his essay"Unitarianism, "

Encyclopacdia for Ethics, the ofRcligion and which was subsequently written Unitarianism: An Historical Surpcy, begins his in treatment as reprintedseparately following terms: the
The general movement of humanism at the opening of the 16th cent. led to largel by thepublication of stimulated Lasmus a variety of speculations which was Testament b His New (1516). Greek text of the the omission of , 5: his Trinitarian I John famous the and aversion to the scholastic verse, (Carpenter disputations, type of produced a marked effect on many minds 022: 2). Erasmus Commonwealth the as period, with turer the religious wars of for desire flourished religious their guide, these antitrinitarian sects when a life: Cbristi fronts. felt Erasmus's pbilvsopbia experiencednew tolerancewas on all Here again, in the midst of the serious religious and sectarian disputes of the English iritual the crisis of political and s seventeenthcentury, of Puritanism, the old humanism ideal of religion reappearsin all its purity and 58 1853: 34). (Cassirer power One causeof this development can be found in a press free of ecclesiastical Also, 95). (Trevclyan 1932: control in had its by in limited Act, Toleration text, though strictly scope the like its been actual provisions, practice extended to persons outside
A r-

57Antitrinitarian appropriation of Erasmushas beenthe occasionof But Erasmus such someoffenseto those who View asperfectly orthodox. bit in Erasmus opinions of can sometimesresult treatmentsthat are a from Erasmus e.g. tendentiousin the excercise such associations, of saving Backus(1991). This issuewill be briefly treated in the conclusionof the dissertation.
580n Richard Baxter's responseto the Grotian religion, seeNuttall



Unitarians and Papists,and had createdan atmosphereanti Sath etic to th e highly persecutionevenof ugopular opinion. England ha moved far since . had the daysof Elizabeth, wh beenburnt at the stake nitarians 95). 59 (Trevelyan:
The Erasmian connection can also be traced back to just after the turmoil

Marian Queen Elizabeth the reign. ordered everyparish church to haveon of Parapbrases. This work represented handcopiesof Erasmus's the practical, Erasmus' Cbristi. As opposedto the pbilosopbia expression of peaceful exegetical Mary's Erasmus of conflicts reign, religious was perceivedto represent, Christianity, by to an appeal primitive as interpreted the exactscholarshipof by human but in the Renaissance and reason; it alsoaccepted essentials, the historic Church (Trevor-Roper:42). tradition the continuing of The Arians and Socinianswere also eagerto makesuch an appeal,but the
times allowed them, if they chose, to abandon the "historic tradition of the Church.

Trevor-Roper has recently made more explicit the fact that above -allelse, it was Erasmus who at this time inspired English Socinianism, which also

floweredduring this springtime of new religious tolerance. 61He understands

59For a good treatment of the intellectual roots of this new tolerance Cragg (1950). see

60Pullan has suggestedreasonsfor why Antitrinitarianism found such foothold America in Calvinist "Calvinism England a and was within churches: dogged by Unitarianism. The divorce from nature, the depreciation of outward things in the service of God, the reduced value attached to sacraments,combined to deprive the doctrines of the Atonement, of the Incarnation, of the Trinity, of their proper lines of defense,and minister after minister, congregation after for idols Testament Christ New the congregation, abandoned the of the fashioned by Arius, Socinus, and Priestley" (Pullan 1923: 65). This, however, doesnot tell the complete story. Trevelyan has also noted that this was "a marked feature of English as distinct from Scottish Presbyterianism" (Trevelyan: 99) where credalism seemsto have served well in preserving the authentic sixteenth and seventeenth century traditions. 61 H. John McLachlan had earlier noted, "The influence of Erasmus of Rotterdam in this respect was most powerful. His edition of the text of the New


in the wide sense Socinian human in those as who use reason treating matters of "in the strict sense, faith. There is also the Socinianism is which the application of that reasonto a particular article of faith, namely,the doctrine of the Trinity" (Trevor-Roper1987: 189). Erasmusis "founder of this tradition--the father of in both the wide and narrow sense"(189). Socinianism Trevor-Roper has alsohighlighted the very ErasmianAcadcmy of the GreatTew Circle, "a group of young men who lived together in a kind of ... Oxfordshire houseof Lucius Cary," the seminar or reading party at continuing beforethe daysof the civil wars and revolution (Trevor-Roper:166). Those Erasmus Grotius Sheldon, Clarendon, Hammond, there on nourished and were Hobbs and Chillingworth, et al.:
Grotius' Annotations were eagerly read by the Great Tew circle.... Hammond would publish his own annotations in 1653. Though less radical than Grotius, he agreed substantially with him.... [He] followed the example Erasmus of and studied the whole Bible thoroughly, not as a theologian but humanist its to true meanin , Without as a schola, seeking extract divine (Trevor-Roper: 222-0). presupposing inspiration In his study treating the connection between the Cambridge Platonists Dutch Arminians, Colie Erasmus it link between And, the the them. and saw as is, in Colie's opinion, the Cambridge Platonists who paved the way for Deism: The Cambridge Platonists.surely were, as they have so often been called, the heirs of Erasmus; in their irenicism. and broad theology they were, whether liked it forerunners deism (Colie the the M7: j or not, also of eighteenth-century 3)62

Testamentand his exegeticalparaphrasesand Annotations helped to spread unorthodox opinions amongst Dutch Anabaptists, and later Arminians, Polish Socinians,and English Latitudinarians[, ] all owed something of their free and 5). handling Scriptures him" 1951: (McLachlan antitrinitarian to of the 62Colie noted further this development at Cambridge: "The more humane God of Erasmus and Hooker could not help making Himself known to theologians dissatisfied with Calvin's God" (23).


Like Erasmusin searchfor a via mediain the sixteenthcentury, the

Cambridge Platonists also turned to classicalantiquity for a new model that

between both Laudianism Calvinism. For them the guide extremes of and would them, A new approachwas necessary and additional matter was neededto be used. So they turned naturally evento thepagan philoso hers for light on the faith. Christian Because igion is the of the problem re essential reasonable, 'bestthoughts of the best men of all agesand faiths' cannot help but illuminate it (Cragg 1950:43).
Certainly it was their intention to use reason to confinn what was really in Christian Religion. however, Because, "the Cambridge Platonists the essential had in various ways helped to focus men's attention on the demands of natural theology," eventually "public opinion was ready to consider seriously the deists (Cragg: 13 9). the raised" problems which

E. Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727)

Perhapsthe most important Socinian of them all-both in the narrow sense be he broad (though aswell as the sense properly speaking would probably knew Newton 63David Hume's Arian) Isaac Newton. termed an adulation of was bounds is from Hume following typical of the reverence no quotation and the Newton's name was able to invoke in the minds of seventeenth/eighteenthintellectuals: British century

In Newton this island may boast of having produced the greatestand rarest the (Smith for the ornament and instruction of species eniusthat everrose 949:52). It is nearly impossibleto over-estimateNewton's influence in the
Newton Isaac Pope's Epitapb Intendedfor Alexander captures seventeenthcentury.

63Newton will receive a fuller treatment in chapter six.


Newton optimism the wonderful occasioned:"Nature and Nature's laws lay hid in night: God said, 'Let Newton beP and all was light" (Mossner 1936:xi).
Certainly in the world of sciencehe has long been revered, but Newton

Christian Joseph Butler, with generations provided of apologists,such as also just the kind of criteria with which to substantiatethe rightnessof the Christian Religion.64Both Richard Bentley, the first Boyle lecturer (his topic wasA 1692) Samuel Clark in Confutation his Boyle Lectures, A OfAtheism, and Demonstration ofthe BeingandAttributes of God,1704, dependedheavily on Newton'sphysics.On 10 December1692 Newton wrote his first letter to
Bentley on the occasion of Bentley's lectures: When I wrote my treatise about our system, I had an eye upon such for belief Deity, the principles as migyt work with considering men of a and find it for than to that purpose nothing can rejoice me more useful (Alexander 1956: xv).

641n this regard, Mossner rightly noted, as with Butler, "The author [Newton] of the Pbilosupbiae (1687) naturalisprincipia, matbematica and with him most of the other leading scientists of the day used the latest knowledge as a bulwark to Christianity" (Mossner: 32). Regarding Butler specifically, "the Analogy illustrates admirably the religious temper of its day.... In this he [Butler] by Isaac his down Sir laid the showed agreement with rules of philosophying Newton" (Mossner: 104). There was another side to this alleganceto the new by Pattison however, to science in and appeal to natural theology, as witnessed his contribution to Essays is Repiews: "There and a saying...circulating to the effect ' All that the Analogy is a 'dangerous book; it raisesmore doubts than it solves. that is true in this is, that to a mind which has never nourished objections to first book be the means of revelation a suggesting them" of evidencesmay (Pattison:306).


Newton also provided a scientific framework for another group of however, became who so attractedto the God of Nature, they apologists, God Rcvelation. 65 the abandoned of completely Nevertheless, Newton hastraditionally beeninvoked by the faithful as luminary Christian Religion his the to the greatest ever grace perhaps with It learn, to therefore, someyearsafter his death,that allegiance. was a surprise "privatelyhe denied the doctrine of the Trinity and the deity of Christ asboth (McLachlan 1951: 330). This and unscriptural" unintelligible was revealed when by MS. Newton discovered. It devoted treatise anunpublished was was a to proving the spuriousness specifically of the commajohanncum and the Tim. I 3: 16 (the have been highlighting), two orthodox variant at variantswe Scriptures, in a the titled: An HistoricalAccountof the TwoNotableCorruptions of Letterto a Dicnd (c.1687-c.1690). Not discoveredand published until 1754, Newton's death biographer (d. 1727), thirty almost yearsafter one callsthis Newton's"most important theological tract" (More 1934:632). While he was alive there were alwaysruniours about Newton's
Even in his day, be found denying Trinity, to the unorthodoxy. while not as dangerousas in Erasmus's day, could stiff mean one would be deprived of a teaching post at the University. At worse, one might face imprisonment (More 1934:630). This explains why it was Newton's original purpose to have this he Then, if language. in French work published anonymously, the all went well, would also have it published in English. Newton's thorough refutation of the authenticity of these two proof texts, "the two on which the doctrine of the Trinity is principally based"

de la Pbilosapbie deNewton (174 1) that 65It was Voltaire's -gkments servedto popularize Newton on the Continent (Alexander 1956: x1ii), thus helping Voltaire's cause.


(More: 632), coming from the very father of the new science,was nothing short devastating to the causeof orthodoxy: of His knowledge of the Greek and Latin Fathers, the theologians of the history learning,. displayed in the ages, and of sacred middle this work, as impressesthe reader with amazement at the universality of his powers and (Sparks 1823: 230). attainments lhis work represents the capstone to the now two -hundred-year-long Antitrinitarians loose from influence the the to part of the on shake attempt of by faulty its base. They the tradition, textual revealing evidence at catholic now had the most important advocate, perhaps since Erasmus, arguing their side.66 Erasmus had disrupted confidence in the Vulgata Latina by discovering its textual corruptions, thus precipitating the Protestant tradition. Analogously, the Protestant theological tradition was now shown to be basedon a faulty text longer have in Churcb, If the text confidence sacred of the aswell. one could no held for Newton look out the promise of certainty elsewhere. one must now If God Deism the scicntia. of rcvcaledreligion could no was one ultimate result. longer be trusted, surely the God of natural religion could.

F. Anthony Coflins (1676-1729)

large Deism has been assessed to as a mostly aristocratic religion, and a independent it 67Generally, means could extent was. only those who were of an in Religion Christian a afford to truly speaktheir mind on the nature of the

later in detail in 66This be treated chapter. a more will 67For an excellentsourcetreating current literature on the rise and Jacob Sullivan (1982). Other Deism significance recentsourcesare see of (1969), Daniel (1984), Byrne (1989), and Harrison (1990). On the life and thought of Collins, seeOHiggins (1970), and Gawlick (1965).


Deist manner, without suffering social and professionalrecriminations 311-312). While it is true that "deismof a kind may be said to have (Pattison: beenalive sincethought began" (Stromberg 1954:32), Newtonianism actedasa for its in doubts emergence a new age,agitatedwith catalyst and criticisms about Faith. Trevelyan has traditional the noted the relationship betweenthe Deists Universities, the who stood outside mainstreamculture and where Newtonianismheld sway:
It may be questioned whether the Universities were not themselvesat the bottom of the trouble. Collins, Tolland and the professed deists made the did but not carry the weight; more profoundly and ultimately noise, by influential was the system of exact reason.n te i- conducted such giants as Barrow, Newton, Locke and Bentley, and Ro Society, in the at work of More learning the the mere and oratory of the academicworld place of (Trevelyan: 92). restoration At first, Newtonianism seemedto suggest a wonderful harmony between it Faith. In traditional time, the new scienceand the ate away at the miraculous. It soon cameto provide those disillusioned with religious conflict and debate-both genuine critics and those looking for an easyroute to celebrity by denouncing traditional belief--with a desire to searchfor a new horizon of
Arians, Socinians The Biblical the and certainty. paraphrases of popular


New Greek fresh flowing from data the the the new critical editions of textual TestamentTestament for New European textual the centre now was -England

in important the equation role studies--were the components that played an 69 in Deism. resulting popular

68Thesewill be treated in chapter six. 69Inthis, the Deists "realized that they owed a more immediate debt to dogmas Latitudinarians. Because the the many of their opinions clashedwith diversity habituating divines the church to accept enjoined on them, these were infer belief As it fundamentals. those that to of a reasonable result, seemed about formulas Anglicans free to construe the church's who choseto worship as were 1982: 227). (Sullivan they as wished"


Much has beenmadeof the sloppy scholarshipof the Deists in presenting This includes the foundational principle presented againstorthodoxy. their case by Lord Shaftesbury,claiming that orthodoxy was the result of, The pious frauds of ancientfathers and modern clergy, and their forging, have that they corrupting, and mangling of authors;... alteredand corrupted best 1798 interests (Leland tures, their the Scri E) as served own purposesand Vol 1:9
Nicean theology and the Trinity, Erasmus, Grotius, the Arians ReLyardingy C' f-Y

Deists Socinians bad the that textual agree would with such and corruption takenplacewithin Scripture. The textual critics, Wettstein and Bentleywould
concur. Anthony Collins was one of the earliest to hold up the issue of textual in justification for vatiants general, as one abandoning the project of revealed independent Of Collins library. At his religion altogether. means, collected a vast death it numbered six-thousand, nine hundred and six volumes, including every in Biblical Reformation. the the major work published area of criticism since This provided Coffins with a great advantage: sitting atop of such

he had devastating it, leisure to thoroughly the array scholarship, a engage with 21). 1989: data his dismantling (Drury bring to to religion of cause of revealed Among his many works, which included those of Grotius, Hobbs, Spinoza, Simon,Le Clerc, Whiston and Locke, was the Omnia Operaof Erasmus,edited
in 1703-6 by that "most conspicuous living Erasmian" jean Le Clerc, (Sullivan:227). Collins acknowledged his debt to Erasmus at the end of his famous Discourse by listing an "apostolic succcssion"of thosc Frcc-Thinkers who had influenced him, begin-ning with Erasmus as the progenitor: I mi0t in like manner have instanced in Erasmus, Father Paul [Paolo Sarpi], Joseph Scaliger, Cartesius [Descartes], Gassendus,Grotius, Hooker, Chillingworth, Lord Falkland, Lord Herbert of Cherbury, Selden, Hales, Milton, Wffldns, Marsharn, Spencer, Whitchcote, Cudworth, More, Sir W.


Temple, and Locke; but that I am afraid I havebeenalreadytoo tedious (Collins 1713: 139).70 In exegetical matters, what Collins had to sayin denouncingthe prophetic in Scripture was, element development Arminians, Grotius, Episcoplus Leclerc. that the of of a and They, in fact, bear something of the rclationshi to Collins here, that the Latitudinarians had had towards him in his earfierwritings 6). 71 (O'Higgins: 15
Coffins was also indebted to Erasmus and Grotius for data touching on found in Annotations. It Erasmus their to that textual variants respective was Collins looked for his data regarding the fact that Isaiah 7: 14 could be rendered (Collins 1741: 37). than virgin youngwman rather Furthermore, the early, non-confessional text critics had revealedto him development be detected in MSS. Bible. the the that christological of could By Collins's day, however, the sheer number of the textual variants discoveredseemedto disallow the possibility that the Bible was the result of the The inspiration Bible dictation God. the of was, after all, the of verbal verbal By Roman Churches. both Protestant the the and official ecclesiastical view, of eighteenth century, scicntia, or the results of actually comparing the cxtant documents,had now proven this to be an impossible reality. Certainly Collins was not the first to discover the implication textual variants had for a verbal view of inspiration. In fact, on this point, he was probably Clerc. Le Jean Erasmus's immediately indebted to the editor of works, most Le Clerc had addressedthis issue in his FiveLetters Concerningthe Inspiration of the Holy Scriptures1690:

70Collin's biographer tells us this "is a list of the names of men he had friends deist his him;... These had a admiresand who as well as affected Discoursc" in led forming the to the writing of share the of the opinion that (O'Higgins 1970: 95-96). 71Collins was particularly indebted to Grotius and in his The Scbcme of UtcralPropbccy Grotius defense 1726, of a chapter is taken up with a considmd, (O'Higgins: 156- 15 7).


They believe [the confessional theolo'Sians],first, that the sacredhistorians And i the thin themselves. inspired with were next, that they were inspired iii hicgs have terms the the them. In a word, that the 1w ic alsowith e gy 7or ressed ex dictated hol histo, Holy Spirit, the 7ose was word word and that the it bears, names aMors, were no other than secretaries of that spirit, dictated (Le Clerc 1690: 30).72 exactly asit who wrote
Le Clerc, following both Erasmus and Grotius, felt that such inspiration for history. Faithful human recording unneccesary and accurate was ability job done (31). Like Erasmus Grotius, he in the get and would cites problems the narratives as evidence that these accounts are not always inspired:

It is veg plain that the historians of the Scripture were not MS d by Fistories the found in that are severalcircumstances contradictions of their a ... dear proof that everyparticular was not inspired (35).
The most devastating argument against the notion of verbal inspiration, however, are textual variants: There is in St. Matthew, for example, more than a thousand divers readings in lessthan eleven hundred verses: but whereof there is not perhaps fifty, but in in the too things that can make any change sense;and that change is V little had Piety [an Erasmian God to thought it of im. ortance concern]. His into historians the to the or good of mis ire sacred nece church, the terms which they ought to use, he woulTundoubtedly have taken more is he designed It therefore that to them. care preserve principally to plain (39). the preserve sense Now Coflins demanded to know, based on the coflection of variants by the text critic John MiU (1645-1707), how thirty-thousand variants could exist in a document divinely inspired by the verbal dictation of God?73 Certainly Collins's was a sensationalistic challenge, but the evidencewas John by it by him, Deist; not contrived a churchman, or another was provided Mill. Coffins also discovered in Mill's research,an account that claimed the four

Le Clerc's 721 detail into treatiseon shall go more on the significanceof inspiration in chapterfive.
73Collins certainly saw this as the paradigm he fights against, "And tho the books of the Old and New Testamentare the immediate dictates of God himself, even the Priests of the same sect differ endlessly in opinion about their .. 1713: 45). (Collins sense and meaning"


Gospels were subjectto an official, ecclesiastical recensionin the sixth century, derived (Collins: 72 73). 74This is current copies our were whence significant by the nineteenth century, textual critics would claim just such an official because had fourth taken though the place, much earlier, in revision century, thus giving its Greek flavor. text particular orthodox the medieval
Coffins's final master stroke was to highlight the remarks of another it later became (who, Antitrinitarian), seems, an churchman who was still laboring under the traditional, Protestant view of Scripture, and who drew from Ntill's did Collins thirty-thousand textual conclusions sirnilar variants as himself. Collins quoted Dr. Daniel Whitby as follows: 'Ihe vast quantity of various readings collected by the Doctor [.M] must of le doubtful be the that mind coul or suspicious nothing certain can from books, expected where there are various readings in every verse, and in almost every part of every verse.... How will th papists triumph over the text of Scripture, when they seethose readings.... moreover, it does not a little hurt our causeof Protestantcy, that the Doctor confidently affirms, that not a few corruptions and interpolations have happen'd almost from the beginning of Christianity, and in the Apostolic Age (Collins: 71-72). There is a kind of poetic justice to be found in Whitby's complaint. Had Protestant from Reformation the not every onward, shamed confessionalist, Roman Catholic theologians with an Erasmian glee over the corrupt state of the Vuqata Latina?

74Here we must point out that Stromberg may not have been aware of the implications of Collins's argument, when he claims, "Textual criticism of the New Testament advanced,but the approach remained textual, and not historical.... The problem of scholarship, then [in the eighteenth century] was almost purely one of ascertaining and expounding the meaning of the text, not of discovering the origin and date of it" (Stromberg: 30-3 1). Regarding the theologically significant textual variants we have been treating, it is evident from Erasmusforward, that there has been an interest in the source of these textual for history has implications variantsand the the understanding of these variants the development of the rest of the Bible.


Collins, of course, did not go unchallenged. For all his sloppy scholarship (Pattison:307-312), his efforts earned him no lessthan seventy-nine responses (Ellis 1980: 124). 75The most important response, was that of Richard Bentley.

G. Richard Bentley (1662-1742)

In responseto Collins, Bentley wrote under the pseudonym, Pbileleutberus

intending to leavethe impressionthat the tract was written by a Lipsiensis, 76Bentley, friend Protestant Lutheranin Germany. the no of old confessionalism, but a closefriend of Newton, begins by castigatingthe churchman,Whitby, for in first has Whitby trouble the the to the old all place. given expression causing
is doctrine Scripture. It this the the providential preservation of notion of Whitby seesunder threat from NMI's collection of variants. This doctrine has he has, in in Whitby, turn, revealedthis and produced a panic and alarm is The Bentley, Coffins 1725: 63). (Bentley to to answer, concludes weakness Hebrew debate the the the origin of recall surrounding old post-reformation by it is bothered but i. now. no one vowel points, e. this was a problem once, Bentley was, however, the leading light in text critical studies in the British Isles at the time. In the name of Science,therefore, and not to mention

XM, a response the reputation of his colleague was called

for. 77

75 Itshould be mentioned that most of these responsesprobably dealt fiilfffled in Collins's with other points many arguments, such as the point of have Bentley, Richard Only offered prophecy. could a trained text critic, such as a sufficient answer to Collins on textual variants. 760n the actual intention of his anonymity, see.Fox (1954: 113). 770n Bentley's, and other responsesto Collins, seeFox (107-115).


This response has echoed down the corridors of time and has been invoked on every occasion in the last two hundred years, when either the integrity of the text, or the practice of text criticism are maligned. With a reckless brute in Church final the to the role of science now the replace as confidence Biblical Bentley Coffins following text the the offered of challenge: guarantor Make your 30,000 [textual variants] as many more, if numbers of copies can better knowing who is the to that sum: all a and serious reader, ever reach furnished he 78But to thereby more richl select what seesgenuine. even put hanTs knave fool: into the them of a or a and yet with the most sinistrous he light the shall not extinguish of an one chapter, nor and absurd choice, but Christianity, disguise that everyfeatureofit will stille the same so [emphasismine] (Bentley: 76). It is no accident that Bentley's calming method sounds very much like his Testament. Greek New Bentley Curcellaeus's to mentioned preface is it I Curcellacus Curcellaeus, two that pages earlier. am certain with approval, Bentley's that servesas model. Perhapsa knave might not be able to chose a textual variant that but Faith, Christian the the traditional we already challenges understanding of know that a genius like Newton was certainly able to do just that. Nevertheless, Bentleycertainly drew popular sentiment in his favor. His responsesaw eight 5 The Bishop 115). late (Fox: 182 of editions and was republished as as Chichesterpublished a thank-you tribute to Bentley's answer, which probably Tbanks Clergyman's his in The for Anglican bewildered spoke most of the clergy, Tbinking: FreeFor His Remarkson the Late Discourse to Pbileleutberus of You have pulled up this panic by the very roots; and a man must be afraid of his own shadow, who can hereafter be in pain about a various reading, or

78Here we find echos of Curcellaeus'soriginal plea to have all textual is he feels in individual variants reach so an original, a reader can choose what decidedlypost-ecclesiasticalapproach to the Bible as an authoritative and sacred text.


think the number of them any prejudice to the integrity or authority of the books (Hulbcrt-Powefl 1937: 305). sacred
Bentley had another respondant that was not so euphoric about his ill. Matthew Tindal (1657-1733), this curing of perhaps the most astute of the Deists,again raised the issue of the variants. In his Cbristianity as Old as Creation,or The Gos Pela Republicationoftbe Religion ofNature (173 0), he set up a dialoguebetween himself and a would-be orthodox, in a similar way in which Erasmusarranged his dialogue in his Antibarbari in responseto the churchman day: his of The manner of debating a subject dialogue-wise (as this between A. and B. ) by Ancients the the most proper, as well as most prudent way was esteemd 1730: (Tindal iv). prevailing of exposing absurdities Writing from the opposite end of the theological spectrum, Tindal, Whitby: the that troubled raises nevertheless, samepoints A.... Must not the people be at a loss when they seehow differently the texts in the most momentous parts are interpreted? Dr. S. Clark has reckon'd up more than 1250 texts relatin doctrine to the Me Trinity; how few by the them the of and of are interpreted And had Bible by Unitarians, translated contending parties.... we a be differently from texts translated many would very what they are at left forgd [ g. the commajohanneum].... e. pfesent; and some out as Nay, must not that uneasinessbe very much increas'd by Divines, by their criticisms severalcapital to perpetuall mend e endevouring in daily to make new and places sacredwriters; nay, who pretend discoveries? hearers be How their momentous must edify'd, when they tell them 'tis thus or thus, in such an antient Manuscript, Father, or AssembkofFatbers; or cry, 'tis renderedmoreagreeable to the mind of the Holy G ostin the Se Vu4qarLatin, Syriack,Chaidaick, EthiqPick, 'ptuagint, CoPtic, Gothick,or some de Version?... How end other can we absolutely in things of the greatest moment, on voluminous writings, whicE have been so often transcrib'd b men who never saw the original; (as did).... And thol they the none, even of most earT-% writers pretend there have been innumerabTecopies of the NewTestament lost which, doubt, had different it their no readings, ye as stands at present, we less 30,000 told, there than are are no various readings. The orthodox churchman then replies: B..Tho' there are so many various readings,.yet does not. that in his Dr. Bcntlcy, for by great cntick, subscription, a proposal jprintmg New Testament, "that the there the will new edition of assure world ... be scarce200 out of so many thousands, that can deservethe least consideration


To this Tindal scoffs,

A.... Dr. Bentley, certainly, ouht to go on with his proposal; becausethe world will hardly take the Doctor's word, that in a book, where most things are own'd to be of the greatest moment, there be so many various readings of no moment; tho' one or two should be of that consequence,as to destroy the design of the whole may book.... If the doctrine of the Tfinity is of the greatest moment, was Church highly the not concern'd to prevent various readings in that important point, as well as some forgd texts? In his final comments, Tindal knew he had found the critical weaknessof he knew doctrine inspiration the the orthodox system: of verbal was the dominant understanding of the Christian Bible as a sacredtext--30,000 various in disposed into the this, mind of any reasonably person, serious readingscalled Moreover, Trinity the texts treating the very obvious corruption of question. dogma late it development. of suggested was a Bentley promised to put all right with his own recension, but in the his Christian Bible Tindal the to own end, to reveal that even used meantime, here,rightly interpreted, we discover, as Erasmus had, what really matters is Tim Exegeting II 3: 16 Christian to as nearly all conformity morality. correct Antitrinitarians did since Erasmus, Tindal stressed, And does not St. Paul suppose no Scripture to be.diviney inspir'd, but what for in fightcousncss? isprofitablifor doatinc, for rc I rooffor corrcction, instruction And if this be the test, ougtt we to admit an thing to be writ by in Scripture, it tifl we are certain it Will tho' inspiration, occurs ever so often bear this test? (Tindal: 297). Bentley had, nevertheless,with his promise, for the moment anaesthetised the clergy of the Anglican Church from the pangs presented by textual criticism dark The his harmless ideology side of with engagement. articulation of the of by faithful, both by been however, had this science, the as well as glimpsed, now the advocatesof an alternative natural religion.


H. Summary

Antitrinitarianism was at this time and would be on into the nineteenth destabilising force in English J. C. D. Clark has and radical a society, as century, 1983: 277-346). (Clark What have in to clear we attempted establish this made Antitrinitarianism's important is be that some of more roots can traced chapter Erasmianism lower he the and criticism to sixtcenth-century practiced. Because of continuous controversy, as well as other reasons,Bentley himself would never complete the critical edition he had promised the world. Furthermore, the lower criticism would not find another advocateon British soil 79as for (Tregelles), text critical the centre until the mid-nineteenth century for 801 believe from Britain, Germany. the to extra-ecclesialquest studiesshifted in Holland, begun by Grotius Socinians Erasmus, historical the text, the was and

79jshall be treating Tregefles and his re appropriation of Bentley's ideology of harmless engagement in the final chapter of this dissertation. 80Bishop Christopher Wordsworth would admit later, in the Germany Mysticism Rationalism "The are not of and nineteenth century, that, British but in luxuriance flourished ground.... exotics, many years ago on rank Here is reasonfor self-abasementand repentance; but here is also ground for hope. A reason there is for self-abasementand repentance; for we ourselves The harvest. errors now propagated sowedthe seed,of which we are reaping the Let in England English among us us therefore acknowledge growth. are of God'sjustice, and pray for His forgiveness. 'Remember not, Lord, our iniquities, nor the iniquities of our forefathers, neither take Thou vengeanceof had for hope. is If ' Here taken root, which theories the our sins. also ground have hundred in now werepropagated this country more than a years ago, and beenrevived among us, there would be reason for alarm. But this was not the Those speculations at their first appearancestartled and shocked the case. in it So 1879: 29-30). (Wordsworth England" religious mind of was the The Bishop's by latter but the eighteenth century, part of the nineteenth. not so its This, however, is hope own optimistic a subject worthy of was never realized. treatment but outwith the scope of this dissertation.


because in Britain English Deism. In Germany, in the of rise of radical aborted Pietists (beginning with the the among century, non-confessional the next in Bengelus developed further by the Semler, eighteenth century and orthodox Griesbachand culminating in Strauss), the Soci-nian-Delstictraditions would find a greater foothold, and the quest for the historical text, would then become historical 81 bigber for Jesus. The fully the then the quest criticism would emerge from the lower.This would complete the process, begun in the sixteenth century, from Bible Cburcb, the the text the to the religioustext of sacred to transform of impeccable I Cassirer the last word: the theAcademy. give
Erasmus, not STnoza, is the real leader of this movement [historical ible] his In Testament New the the the critical edition criticism of of humanism found first their religious attitude and ethos of classic expression. Erasmus is convinced that the restoration of the pure text of the Bible would doctrine. in Christian If the restitution of pure we succeed also mean later falsifications, text then the of all puri6jin this additions and arbitrary Christianity in its sublime simplicity and in its ori ginal moral image ofpure ' forth. The inspires his the same sentiment meaning will shine work of The Hugo Grotius. reatest pupil, complete plan of scientific criticism of the ible first arises in the comprehensive mind of Grotius which is nourished by all the sources of humanistic and theological schol hi and his Annotations on the Old and New Testament marked oaurst t-L path, even in detail, of eighteenth century research (Cassirer 1951: 187). 82

81J.C. O'Neill has wasted no words in getting to the point: "Nineteenth-century critics of the New Testament worked as they did because of late idea: idea Catholic Christianity the that synthesis which one simple was a it" historical less that produced more or process seriously misrepresented the (O'Neill 1985: 143). The lower criticism provided the earliest evidence of this.

82Cassireris right to seeSpinoza's contribution to Biblical criticism as debt, Spinoza's demonstrated has Yovel Erasmus. secondaryto that of recently beginning Portuguese "At by Marranism: Jew, Erasmus the of the asa to way of in Spanish hold Erasmus sixteenthcentury.... the teachings of gained a strong Luis Juan including intellectuals, monastic circles...and among certain major Vives and Juan de Valdes. Both of these men--and a surprising proportion of demanded Jewish The followers Erasmus--were other of origin. movement of the return to the pure origins of Christianity- -to the gospel of Jesusand his disciples institutional bureaucracy, the corruption, and --overcoming heart true and overemphasison external, mechanical cult at the expenseof the


inner religious awareness,with which the established Catholic Church was supposedto be affected" (Yovel 1989 Vol. 1: 25). Moreover, Erasmus's christology would naturally have a greater appeal to converted Jews than would traditional Trinitarianism. Yovel. argues forcefully that it was not heterodox ideas preservedfrom the medieval Jewish philosophers which Spinoza read, nor the decisive impact he had personal of certain scepticswith whom socialized that was for his thought; but rather, he suggeststhere was a prior influence at work here: "If Spinoza turned to the books and the company he did, it must be explained by a propensity for rationalist quest and religious disquiet, drawn from his psychocultural milieu and throwing the nonconformist potential of Marranism into strong relief' (29).

PART TWO Useof Textual VariantsbyEighteenthTheSpeciflc CenturyAntitrinitarians


jean Le Clerc, Lower Criticism and a Shift in the Dogmatic Paradigm of Biblical Inspiration

in wbicbwebavebeen Frm thediscussions Ins irati two conccptions p engaged of on Traditional [verbal] pcctivcly tbc to wbicb we may call rcs emerge, and tbc zcm Critical.... Tbc little descri Inductive it traditional tbcory ption. Fifty years or needs ago bavc been Me belief be Cbristian least in to this country.... said common of men,at may in itsparts God, Word [TIbeBibleasa wbole it the that and all was of and assucb was Word... it [AjIlparts thepcrfections that of of wereequally with all endowed bcldfifty This And it the to was view commonly years ago. wbcn comes authotitative.... diflerentfrom beexamined it isfound to besubstantially bcId that not very wbicbwas Me inductive inspiration is Cbrist.... Birtb tbc twocenturies view, not after of on books in differentbooks in inbcrent in MeBibleassucb,but ispresent andparts of different digrees... If I am rigbt in supposing that Mepresent a transition agewill see ftom Metraditional conccption that to onewbicbis morestrictlyaccurate and scientific, be bas be in God too to themetbod would only accord and mannerof witb wbat willcd in regardto manyotberlike conceptions. progress Early Eigbt Lecturcs Sanday Inspiration: tbc on --WiRiam Historyand Origin of tbc DoctrincofBiblical Inspiration (The Bampton Lecturesfor 1893) 3rd ed., 1903, pp. 391; 392; 393; 400; 424.

A. Biographical Background

Le Clerc was a Geneva-born Calvinist cleric who like many in the

Arminianism. his Calvinism for seventeenth a more rational century gaveup Readingthe works of his uncle, StephenCurcellaeus, had a decisiveinfluenceon this development(Le Clerc 1712:7) aswell ashis study of Grotius'sAnnotatianes


(6). Having studied at Geneva, Grenoble, Saumur and Paris he was invited to leaveSwitzerland after publishing, at the tender age of twenty-two (under the de Liberius St. Amore), Trinity in his dc Libciii the an attack on pseudonym (1679). sanctoAmorcEpistolacThcologicac Moving to Amsterdam there he met John Locke with whom he formed a

lastingfriendship and who would be his link with the English Newtonians.1He
Professor of Philosophy (1684) and later of EcclesiasticalHistory became (1712) at the University of Amsterdam. Le Clerc's Erasmianism was captured explicitly by an early autobiography, Vita et Operaad Annum AMCCU (1711), translated into English asAn Account

CIcrc YearsMDCCU Jobn Lc Mitings To This Present Life tbc ofMr. and of (London 1712) where he commented extensively on the monumental editing of Erasmus's works: a modern edition of Mr. Le Clerc had always an affection for this Second Eye of Holland [Erasmus] (for Hugo Grotius was the other, as he used to call him) and, important he taken occupations, at the up with several notwithstanding was importunity of the bookseller, he willingly undertook this burden and brought it to conclusion. He began the work with praises of the author, in beyond his deserts. Erasmus, those times, which, though great, were not his desire learning, his and of extreme was an extraordinary genius, and, to his did he his by in service to unwearied patience studies, which judgement, joined had a a piercing and sound contemporaries and posterity, love of pleasantwit, a wonderful candor, and at so young an age, a singular it And therefore was no truth and virtue, and an admirable eloquence. him, in delighted if friend Clerc] [Lc and reading wonder, our was always 50). (1712: exhorted the young gentlemen to the same

One aspectof Erasmus'scareerthat particularly caught Le Clerc'saffection

his Erasmus's fathers was critical work on the and editing of the early church Biblical texts, where Erasmus "with a critical penetration separatedthe spurious

lLe Clerc wrote a biography of Locke in 1706.


from the genuine....And to crown all, he translatedthe New Testamentwith book" (51). As in and paraphrases on every the sixteenthcentury so annotations in the eighteenth,Erasmuswas seenas one who was fearless in discovering deliberate documents as ecclesiastical as well alterations careless of and so
inspired in other Erasmians the like desire to get at the purest form of literature. It Erasmus, Le Clerc believed, who had drawn "the theological was Christian theology out of its primitive or clearer fountains" (52). In Le Clerc's eyesErasmian religion in its primitiveness was simple and

But Erasmus without neglecting mysteries and rites, by which religion becomesmore decent, and human imbecility is assisted,chiefly required the fear of God, and observation of his most holy commandments, which flow from interpretation necessarily a right of mysteries and ceremonies,and God never remits to any one... (52). which He offered a summary of his Erasmianism as found in an edition of Hugo Grotius's de Vetitate Cbristianx Religionis, edited, annotated and expanded by Le Clerc in 1710: Therefore in this book Mr. Le Clerc [Le Clerc speaksin the third person] himself to that to endeavors show ... a man ought a member of that, enter it, imposes Christians, to their compliance which nothing upon as to oblige is by Divine Revelation, to only what assured unquestionable memorials of be the Doctrine of our saviour; that is, what anyone who is not void of for has love find Testament, if he in New the common sense,may any Truth; and exactsnothing of them, as necessaryto salvation, but a belief therein, and a life suitable to that belief. And if all Christian societies would feuds hands their to this, we should soon seean end of those cruel set and dissentions unbecoming all who profess the Name of Christ, and the return from desirable been banished has for the of a peace,which so many ages 59). (1712: 2 world

20n Le Clerc's role as a populizer of Grotius seede Vet (1984: 160-



The language concerning holding only to "what is assured by unquestionable Divine Revelation, " Locke in his An Essay of the echoes memorials words of Human Understanding (1690), published the sameyear as Newton's Concerning TwoNotableCorruptians appears.Here Locke had judged that Divine Revelation be must always accorded unquestionable authority over other sourcesof knowledge.Nevertheless be it be divine Revelation5 that sure, must a we and that we understand it right: elsewe shall exposeourselves to all the extravagancyof enthusiasm, if have faith in the error of wrong principles, we and all and assurance what is not divine Revelation. And therefore in those cases,our assentcan be higher its being Revelation.... If the than the evidence of rationally no a its being be a revelation ... only probable proofs, our assentcan evidenceof higher diffidence, from than the more, or an assuranceof reachno arising lessapparent probability of the proofs (Locke 1975: 667-668). Locke most certainly had Newton's two Trinitarian corruptions in mind in There is (as this the penning next chapter). when a sense, we will see devastating therefore, in which Locke's An Essay was an earlier and perhaps more Trinitarian his later The Reasonableness than undermining of of confessionalism. Cbfistianity (1695) becausethe former laid the epistemological groundwork for the later. Obviously, becausethere was now undisputable evidence (a la Newton's important textual study) that Trinitarianism. in Scripture was the result of textual interpolation reflecting later ecclesiological dogma, this doctrine could no longer be viewed as resulting from "unquestionable memorials of Divine Revelation. " Le Clerc informs us that he had read Locke's Essay in 1688, before it was published, and as a result was confirmed in the conclusion that some metaphysicians abusethe Holy Scriptures, while they vainly endeavor to establish their own dreams by some te"s.... The sum of all lies in this, that it is plain, we can never be more safe, than when we acquiescein Repelation fathom Divine Nature, to the the only; and pretend not and mystery of by God has fit to reveal to us, other abstruser matters, which not thought


[emphasis reasonings,and remoter consequences our metaphysical (16). mine] Le Clerc perceivedErasmus'slegacyas one of disseminatingthis nonTrinitarian primitivism not just to the
learned and good man but left it in common to any one, who had occasion ... it.... But since there is such an inequality in mankind, that the to make use of learned in the cannot come competition with the multitude of the good and illiterate, this excellent man on consequenceraised the whole wicked and latter him (53). the of against posse

Le Clerc'sinvitation to leaveSwitzerlandfor his hereticalviews concerning

have him feel he Trinity Erasmus's Le Clerc the must made reliving was plight. wasquite explicit on this point: [I]n our own time there are Robortelli, who practice the sameagainst those, learning; have deserved friend has [Le Clerc] who well of which our inferior Erasmus. If though to sufficiently experienced, much anyone views histories the of mankind, with an ordinary attention, or only that which belongs to the condition of learned men and learning, he will easily observe, that in the theater, there were persons very instrumental for the good of the Republic of letters; there were likewise severalwho endeavoured to obscure The detract from their merit. samepersons are now, and such there will and be for ever (56). To reach these massesErasmus's design was to popularize Scripture and so

hewascarefulto cause level: this no offenceat

he In his version of the New Testament, in his Annotations and Paraphrases for but took care to give no offence to any, on the contrary to serve all, he has deserved the praise and thanks of all posterity, which the which learned of all nations have and will give him, while value shall be paid to holy letters, and good intention (53). Le Clerc, following in Erasmus's path, worked equally hard to popularize Erasmianismin his own age by similar means:

In thesetimes, while Mr. Le Clerc was wholly taken up in translating and his illustrating theHistoricalBooks Old in Testament, oftbe or writing Bibliotheque Cboisie, [he] did [not] so much asstir out of Amsterdam.... (57).


Colie, in her masterful study treating the influenceof the Dutch Arminians Platonists, Cambridge Le Clerc less first the sees than as something on a rate intellect:"Le Clerc was no Bayle.Neither his intellect nor his style was the equal (Colic 1957: 34). But his Le Clerc had the that countryman" advantage of over a knowledge English. 3His Locke Bay1c Gilbert Burnet of a contactswith was and he had favourable that the meant through which to most of channels andothers English Enlightenment. Moreover, like Erasmus, he had for the a passion affect ideals, "in defence Erasmian liberty the taking of and toleration, of in human life" (Colic: 34), to the reading and consideration reasonableness judgement Though I Colic's be harsh has think to too she rightly masses. his captured significance:
Le Clerc was an eighteenth-century man of letters, a publicist, eternally in Activity, active, universal--and consequenceoften superficial. universality, for ideas, these the transmission superficiality: are essentialqualities of and Le Clerc was a master in that art (Colie: 3 1). Le Clerc was the first to publish Locke, whose essay,"Mitbode Nouvellede dresser des in Recueds, " appearedin Le Cleres BibliotbequeHistorique et Universelle 1686 (Colie: 31). 4Hence, not only was Le Clerc a significant source of continental ideas into the British Isles, but "His periodicals were a principal agentof transmission of English the continent at the turn of the his MSS Therefore, Newton (Colie: 32). treating the two century" sent when he Trinitarian by Locke, Le Clerc, notable was exposing corruptions to way of

3Actually Bayle had no liking for Le Clerc, accusing him in a letter of 66). 1988: in (Woodbridge "a sowing thousand seedsof atheism people's minds"

Kroll 4For an interesting analysisof the significanceof this essay see (1986:3-9).


his research and the conclusionsto which it pointed to a significant audience letters. the century republic of seventeenth within
B. Le Clerc and the Erasmian/Grotian View of Inspiration Le Clerc understood Erasmus's view of inspiration, taking seriously the
human element, and therefore the defects both of the translator(s) of the Vuqata Scripture human In his Tim 2 themselves. the authors of paraphrase of aswell as &pCktgo; 06onve-u(no; "All 3: 16 Erasmus rendered Tc(x(y(x yp(x(pTI K(XI as

Scripturegiven by inspiration of God, is profitable, " and so does Grotius hint in his Annotatianum, is Syriac "all Scripture the than to rather with reference inspired by God and is profitable" (Erasmus 1549; Grotius 1646). Hence, some be inspired Scripture might while other portions may not, which could of
for errors, ctc.. account

It was Locke who returning Le Clerc's favour, translated from two much deHollande sur P Histoire Critique de que1ques Theologiens larger works, Sentimens du vieux Testament(16 85) and Difense desSentimens(16 86) what in English became Le Clerc's Five Letters Concerningtbc Inspiration of tbc Holy Scriptures (1690).5 Locke had earlier expressedhis own doubts about inspiration to his Dutch friend, Limborch, in a letter, in 1685: If everything in the holy Scriptures is to be indiscriminately acceptedby us be deal divinely inspired, given to as of opportunity will a great hand, If faith for doubting the any other philosophers and sincerity. on our

5Golden seemsnot to have known that the letters were taken both is from Le Clerc's Sentimens (even from his Difense though this made as well as found Reader by Translator Advertisement in to the at the the abundantly clear the beginning of the Five Letters) and the latter does not appear in Golden's bibliography. Moreover, he does not seemto be aware that Locke was the translator of the Five Letters (Golden: 134-13 5).


is human regarded as of merely part composition, what becomes of the divine authority of the Scriptures,without which the Christian religion falls (Cranston 1957:255). to the ground Lockemust surely havefelt that Le Clerc'streatment was a sufficient dilemma. resolutionof this The two abovetreatiseswere critical assessments Richard Simon's of Critique du VieuxTestament (1680).6Le Clerc and Simon had originally Histoire fallenout over a proposal that Simon published pseudonymously regarding a Bible (Noporum Bibliorumpolyglotorum 1684). He askedother synopsis polyglot for for Le Clerc his their suggestions such a project scholars and when submitted Simonrejectedthe younger scholarout of hand (Woodbridge 1988:70). Locke,in his introduction to theseFiveLettersConcerning theInspirationof theHolyScriptures, published the sameyear asNewton's TwoNotableCorruptions his An Essay, he did in disputes that to take the and own says not wish sides between Simon and Le Clerc but wanted what Le Clerc had to sayon inspirationto be well known because
though on the one side he sufficiently overthroughs the pretended necessity of oral tradition [Simon's thesis] ...on the other side, [he] ingenuously learned difficulties the that the acknowledgesall about the text are amongst Scriptures.... he [He] the of conceives propounds a middle way, which proper to settle in men's minds a just esteemof the Scriptures, upon a solid foundation (Le Clerc 1690: 4-5). Locke argues that Le Clerc wants to answer the objections "which the Deists and Atheists have used to make against the stile of Holy Scripture" (9) and claims that Le Clerc is espousing the views of Mr. N. on the subject. [Mr.

60n the debate between Le Clerc and Simon seeSole (1985), Woodbridge (1988) and Reventlow (1988).


N. maybe IsaacNewton but I haveyet to confirm this]. 71n short, the sceptics be by longer brute The Newtonian answered to a appeal no authority. can be implemented: must now approach
The doctrine of implicit faith has lost its vogue. Every man will judge for himself, in matters that concern himself so nearly as these do. And nothing is now admitted for truth, that is not built upon the foundation of solid (7). reason But to do this Le Clerc had to also distance himself from the received doctrine of verbal inspiration as maintained by the dogmatic traditions of both Roman aswell as Protestant catholics. This, Locke anticipates, win scandalize "the simplc-hearted pious, " but the treatise is not intended for them in any case, but for those "more curious and less religious" (8). First, the history recorded in Scripture can be trusted not becausethe historians were necessarilyinspired, but becausethe authors were sincere and fact, it is In believe historians "groundless to the and useless" careful. were either "inspired in the things themselves, " or "were inspired also with the terms in inspiration doctrine is (30). It they the classic of verbal which expressedthem" that Le Clerc disparages,arguing against [i]n a word, that the holy history was dictated word for word by the Holy Spirit, and that the authors, whose names it bears, were no other than it is it dictated.... I secretaries affirm that of that spirit, who wrote exactly as false, that we can-notbe perfectly certain of the main substanceof a history it inspired.... In the second place, this opinion supposes unlesswe suppose (30it Scripture self saysnothing without necessitya miracle, of which the 31).

Tor a general treatment of Newton's views on Biblical historical narrative, seeManuel (1974: 83-104).


One of the reasonsLe Clerc is certain that the Scriptureswere not verbally like Erasmus,he saw clearerrors madeby the penmenwho inspiredis because, but infallible: wereanything
It is very plain that the historians of the Scripture were not inspired by the found in that are severalcircumstancesof their histories. The contradictions Evangelistsagree perfectly among themselvesin what concerns the main of the history of JesusChrist, but there are some circumstanceswherein they disagree,a clear proof that every particular was not inspired (35). Examplesare then cited. Then, again like Erasmus, he calls forth this sameopinion as it is found in fathers, Chrysostom, for the early such as whom such errors were a witness to God, historical to that the the providence of allowing us see narratives within Scriptureare genuine and not contrived with perfect agreement.8 It is the sensethat has been preserved by providence, not the words. This is dear from textual variants alone, where providence has allowed "men to put in in hindered for the slipping of a great synonymouswords one another; and not little but the to manyvarieties, considerable as sense, remarkable as to words and has Le Clerc (39). Here text order" with tangible proof that criticism provided data. for inspiration be forced the to verbal all account maintained when cannot Surprisingly at this point, Le Clerc chose not to raise the issue of Trinitarian his fear from texts, corruptions within the orthodox arguments of a perhaps being dismissedas coming from a sceptic. In summary:

If God had thought it necessary, for the good of his Church, to inspire into historians the terms which they ought to use,he would the sacred is It have that therefore them. taken to undoubtedly plain more care preserve he designedprincipally to preservethe sense. Thus neither the words, nor

qlrff .

Grotius's this opinion on point. cites He


have been inspired into those who havegiven us the sacred the things, history; although in the main that history is very true in the principal facts (39). C. Responses to LeClerc
To what extent Le Clerc's treatise was influential may be judge from the formal responseshe received. William Lowth's, Vindication ofthe Divinc Authoity Ncw Tcstamcnts (1692), Old him the chaplaincy to the and which earned oftbc Bishop of Winchester and a prebendary stall in that cathedral, was the first in English. This reply was a particularly nasty attack, intending to answer those ignorant "by by religion a rude and profaneness, a confident pretence assaulting by (Dcdicatory, Moreover, to reason,and sceptical sophistry' no pagination). these"enemiesof God and goodness" attack religion, until its "mysteries are by heretics, if intended invite they to to as atheists to their assistance, ridiculed join a helping hand to the carrying on [ofl so good a work, as the exposing [ofl here And it (ibid. ). religion, and making appear absurd and contemptible" we havean exampleof one of those Locke had anticipated would be "scandalized"at Le Clerc'shonest assessment. Lowth has completely misrepresented Le Clerc's motive but accurately understood the implications of his arguments: The Bible will with such

lose its statusasa sacrcd text: arguments

My Lord, the Design of the Letters which I have undertaken to answer, is to difficulties perplex men's minds with about the nature ofinspiration, and thereby render the divine authority of those writings suspected,which the Church has always look upon as the sacredDepositof divine truth, which God has committed to its trust, and designed for its guide and oracle (ibid. ) By his second edition of this work Lowth spends two hundred and fifty-

He Le Clerc's eightpagesand never answers objection regarding textual variants. Scripture his spends that claimsto time all of assertingwith circular arguments


beinspired;the Church has alwaysrecognizedits inspiration--therefore, is inspired: "The Scripture must be divinely inspired to makeit the Scripture foundationfor a divine faith" (250). "Both the matter itself, and the authority of inspiration Prophetical (251). He the the of thewriters, prove then writings" Le Clerc's insists, to the contrary, that without evenacknowledging evidences "theuseof inspiration is chiefly to supply the defects,and prevent the mistakes holy liable" (250). He doesgive ground the writers were naturally to which however, in inspiration in from the received 1) position, qualifying several ways: "Fromhenceit follows that there aredifferentdegrees ofinspirationin theboly Me Me less is tbings treated nature as of wbicb according arc of moreor wfitings, is "there the to that naturalfacultiesoftbc writers"and no reasonto think adcquate dictate did Spirit to any of the the very words and phrases that the ordinarily inspiration is longer inspiredwriters" (emphasis (25 1). In mine) short, no a
it Protestant to the specificproviding and ordering of words, as was most of but have Scripture to that scholastics, rather, we now only acknowledge was is "writ with such a degree of divine assistance, as sufficient to make an unerring believers" (253). to rule and guide divinesSuch would be the kind of adjustment which most ecclesiastical but for those high churchmen and Puritans most self-consciously attached to the be dogmatic scholastic tradition- -would now making with the advancementof text-critical data and the application of such data to the dogma of verbal inspiration and the Trinity. This is a major factor which has received little


in "the Anglicanism" in transformation addressing of the seventeenth attention century-9 Two other works addressingLe Clerc'streatisewere C.G. Lamothe's The New Testament (1694) John Williams's Boyle lectures,The inspiration ofthe and Expediency Necessity Revelation (1708). Lamothe was a possibility, and ofDivine lawer educatedat the University of Orleanswho fled Francefor London French Edict Nantes. In he had the the the time of of revocation mean abandoned after for Law Congregationalists. While a the the the practiceof ministry among he dialogue in London the soon entered with the antitrinitarians, pastor his, Two Discourses Relating Divinity Saviour (169 3). to the ofour publishing Lc Clem'sopinion that orthodox churchmenheld to Lamothechallenges dictation by Protestant theologiansto the citing several prominent verbal "the (Rivet, Witsius, Cappelus), that common and and asserts rather contrary beliefof ProtestantDivines is, that the Apostlesmadeuseof their reason,their
language favoured memory, and a much of their education and their which has According Lamothe, 1694: 101). (Lamothe the to natural genius" confusion language divines Protestant the of the enteredwhen metaphorical employed is dictation fathers, lends itself that theory, to a earlychurch when all which in involved intended is Holy Spirit to assertthat the really all aspectsof the was direction immediate in divine ("under Revelation the of the process recording Holy Ghost") (102). When we come to Larnothe's own position, we discover that not only were the apostlesinspired when given Revelation, but they were also guided by the

91allude to J.W. Packer'simportant work, The Tr=ormation of AngUcanism Reference 1643-1660 Witb Special to Henry Hammond (1969).


Holy Ghost in the recording of this inspired content. This in contrast to Le Clcrcand those who reduce"all religion to reasonpurely natural" (107), who former Lamothebelieves to the will agree proposition while disallowing the latterbecause they
know well that the number of these revelations is not considerable. And should we oppose against them any one that annoyed them never so little, from infirmities Apostles derive the the they would of an argument which bring Revelations (107). their to the trial should While coming short at this point of acknowledging that the very words of inspired he does Apostles the were affirm that there "was then in the written Revelationswhich they left us, two sorts of inspiration: inspiration of inspiration direction" (109), direction of suggestion,and which rendered them "itift1lible in their writings" (ibid. ). 10Moreoever, there are times when the Holy Ghost gives the very words, by suggestion, or even dictation, to the Apostles, but on other occasions,such as when they expressdoubt--even while under the Holy Ghost--that do Finally, (118-120). the they their guidanceof so on own Lamothe does grasp the nettle and clearly statesthat even under mere direction from the Holy Ghost, "there is no room for the distinction which is usually between because (120), made words and things" The words and the things depend upon one and the samesort of inspiration: both the one and the other proceed from the samespring, and faculties, human from by hand: they proceed equally the same are guided and are equally directed by the same Spirit of God (120).

in 1OHe Ghost "presided Holy the choice of maintains clearly that the the matter which was to be put into the work, not suffering the Apostles to write any thing but what was true, and to the purpose. This is the inspiration of direction: nor does there need any more to be said, as to the Trutbs which they hadbeard and seen"(112).


Moreover, to allow that "there is no exactnessin the terms" and to

disbelieve that thought must be confmed "to the meaning of the words" is "a for heretics" (159). Furthermore, rampart all manner of wonderful We makea diligent searchafter the true meaningof the terms which they [the Apostles] makeuseof. And when we havefound out their true and decision, if to their sence, we submit genuine as the Holy Ghost had spoken (161). to us
While Lamothe has steadfastly repudiated the model of dictation, he has, by his direction of the Holy Ghost, arrived at the same nevertheless, means of dictation, namely, every word was the result of the Holy Ghost, the resultsas doctrine Le Clerc wishes to exposeto scorn. Having affirmed the classicProtestant orthodox understanding of inspiration in its verbal dimension, he, nevertheless,does so without ever Le Clerc's from the textual variants. addressing challenge Lamothe treats specificaUyErasmus's contribution to the debate regarding the latter's assertion--based also on Jerome's precedent--that the Apostles did at times have a lapse of memory. Lamothe's reply to this is rather weak, however, attempting to releaseErasmus with the argument that Erasmus was merely repeatingthe opinion of others and not perhaps his own, which argument Erasmushimself had used in responseto his own critics, but was no more convincing in that context than in the present (146-147). Interesting here is the fact that Larnothe knows of the argument that

perhaps the errors in the text crept in during scribaltransmissionand were however, dismisses He therefore this argument, neverpart of the original text. hath bringing "But is Providence asserting, this answer. there no needof guarded the Holy Scripture, so that after a slight examination,scruplesvanish" his (149-150).Nevertheless, he equivocates last bit pageof a on the next to the hand in he finally Le Clerc's treatise to takes address objection of textual when


inspired Lamothe's the is originally of material. alteration only reply to poo-poo He issue. Jesus Himself spoke,though that the allows some that of words the inspiredat the time, havenot beenpreserved,sincenot everythinghe said has Moreover, it been recorded.
is in that appears, what objected referenceto the variety of evidently first inspiration the no prejudices way readings, of the SacredWritings. Nor find how be in least by they should the prejudiced we can saying, that God Apostles the the words made use of under the direction of the permitted Holy Ghost, in process of time to suffer some slight alteration, through the (178-179). the transcribers or carelessness of presumption But while he has now taken back his claim that there is no need "of bringing this answer" [of scribal corruption] because"Providence hath guarded Holy Scripture, the so that after a slight examination, scruples vanish," he never implication his "in the that the processof time ...some of addresses admission slight alteration, through the presumption or carelessness of the transcribers" both inspiration Providential to would seem negate original as well as I lies in his that the protection. suspect minimising the significance of the answer ignoring "some them to alterations,reducing exclusively slight alteration" and the possible doctrinal significance of such alterations. But this in no way answers his critic's objection on this score. John Williams had a go at Le Clerc in his Boyle Lectures of 1708. He was Bishop of Chichester and a vigorous polemicist, attacking both dissentersas well divine Roman Catholics. While the the of to as nature clearly maintain wanting Holy Scriptures, when treating textual variants he suddenly wants to appeal to the analogy of all literature alike, as one class,in dismissing the problem obviously presented by variants: The issue of all this is, that if this will invalidate the Truth of Scripture, it but 'Tis invalidate that of all writings whatsoever.... reasonablethen will also that we should give the same quarter to the Scripture, that we allow to other

(12 8). writings


But then WiUiamshasnot beenarguing that Scripture is like other it is inspired but different from that rather therefore and writings, other writings Moreover, he for in an essential way. textual variants,in spite of plainly allows document, because inspiredness the this will allow him to explainthat of the him, is inconsistencies in to concern more of namely, errors and the which
account: [A] nd if there should be found in his book [Joshua] any literal errors, one for different another, or a reading of the samenames, we cannot nameput in reasonjudge it to be an oversight of so sufficient and so careful a writer, but that it might proceed from some one that transcribed it after the in Avc6'yp(x(pcov, or original copy, some successive generations, and which in reason'tis impossible wholly to prevent (131). Unlike so many other confessional churchmen, Williams does not want to for me to enter uPon a invoke Providence on this issue: "'Tis not here necessary debate,how far the Providence of God doth herein concern itself in preserving issue he free from (132); to treat this the text all corruptions" rather wants "humanly speaking, and of the truth of it separatelyfrom its Divine authority. " Here he has come very dose to Le Clerc becauseif he allows that during the transmissioncertain errors could come in, as with all other books, why could they not have been original, as with all other books. His answer is in fact Le Clerc's:the Biblical authors were careful historians (132). Nevertheless, even

be it "a thing of no moment" either these admitting variants, will always "a "omittedor inserted,exchanged " Such or altered. variantsneverconcern
disease in the vitals, that affects the heart or the brain. " Certainly this was not the

Newtonians. perspective the of most of

Summary Le Clerc was a pre-eminent Erasmian. As editor of Erasmus's collected

his in in Erasmus himself he have works must surely a similar role to that of seen day.Le Clerc tackledthe sensitiveissueof verbal inspiration and usedthe


lower drive home his force. He the to criticism of point with some evidence but that those a such view was not only untenable, who continued to argued hold to it could do so only by an intolerant resistanceto the very evidencethat longer dwelt them to those accept who no within citadel of the would compel Clerc Le Enlightenment made explicit what nearly all old orthodoxy. Newtonians believed and the lower critical data played a major role in producing for from limited them to a verbal a more or modified View of the paradigm shift inspiration.


Lower Criticism and Dogma Among the Newtonians: A Crisis for Orthodoxy and a Plea for Religious Tolerance

Mereas the Trinitarian Doctrineisfoundeduponobscure Te"s... it or mistaken isunjustand unchristian,to lay the Unitarians or SociniansunderPenalLawsor Hardships, Conscience the here, their on account of otber and Doctrine.For wemaysee honest Man in in that an and sincere may thePursuit ofbis ownSalvation, and Protestant Principles Clearness Sufficiency Scripture in to the of adbering and of in held Fundamentals, forth in theApostolic Faith the asalso reverence of ancient Church be Creed, (I the in his tbcfirstAyes, of and of may say)with clearSatisfaction disbelieve Conscience, Trinitarian Doctrine.But bowcan Christians the own with Satifaction Alan? to their Conscicncespunish sucha Nye, A BfiefHistmy Unitarians, the of --Stephen CalledalsoSocinians 1687, pp. 168; 172.

A. Newton's Text Criticism: Two Notable Corruptions By the latter half of the seventeenth century in Britain, textual variants Greek Testament beginning be New the to within were perceived as a serious threat to establishment Protestantism. 1 Chillingworth had said "TI-IE BIBLE, I

1Hulbert-Powell captured the mood: "The suspicion aroused in England [with the publishing of M's New Testament] was very similar to that which disturbed the orthodox Christians in Basel M 1730, greatly to Wettstein's discomfiture. In England, as later in Switzerland, many Fundamentalists feared that the vast number of variants found in different MSS., and the use which scholarswould make of them, would endanger the authority of the pure Word God" (1937: 302-303). Hulbert-Powell's anachronistic use of the word of "Fundamentalists"is unfortunate and unhelpful. As he himself had admitted earlierin this samework: "Holy Scripture was considered in the period circa 1600 to 1750 as identical, even to its minutiac, with the Word of God. The critic of the text was suspect, and was subject to persecution and misrepresentation" (1). As we have demonstrated thus far this attitude tended to be the majority position for confessing churchmen and not just a hardened 202


BIBLE is Protestantism" (Chilling-worth 1638: 56), the the only, religion of say, but Richard Simon argued in his Histoire critique du Textedu Nouveau Testament (Sirnon 1689: ), that the Bible's many variants demanded ecclesiastical authority Anthony it Collins in his A Discourse out; all while to sort would argue of Freetbinking(1713), that the variants meant the very demise of revealed religion invited the arrival of the age of natural religion. altogetherand so Between these two options of extreme conservatism and the radical notion Christianity had its that supernatural run course, was a group of Enlightenment, Christians, mostly non-Trinitarian who argued that the textual variants merely in Taking that their inspiration from some adjustment was order. meant Christianity, Erasmus's John Locke, Richard Bentley, restorationist primitive, SamuelClarke, Jean Le Clerc and William Whiston, shared in a common from Sir Isaac Newton's Principia 2 (1687). nurturing

few Hulbert-Powell's obscurantismof a malcontents, as use of "Fundamentalists"might suggest. 21 demonstrated in a previous chapter the influence of Erasmus and Grotius on the Latitudinarians. Nevertheless, at times it becomesa challenge to demonstrateconclusively the influence of Erasmus on an individual's thought. As M. A. Screechdiscovered: "As a young man I was struck by the frequency with which I came acrossnot merely ideas derived from Erasmus but his very words and phrasesin the writings of English or Continental authors who never None for him looked by The I mention solutions. name. matter puzzled me and were immediately forthcoming, except for those English authors.... Erasmus in This be 343). 1990: (Screech remainedavailable and could read at will" contrast to those countries where the Tridentine Index librorumprohibitorum was in force. Erasmus becamethe archetypal representative of tolerant simplicity in religious matters during the Enlightenment and so his influence in circles where suchvalueswere highly praised would be nearly impossible to always demonstrate,white neverthelessbeing a factor; just as the direct or indirect iafluence of Freud, Darwin or Einstein would be difficult to demonstrate in the



Newton's Religion

Jacobrightly assessed the stateof English Christianity after the revolution

in her important The Newtoniansand the Englisb Repolution1689-1720 (1990): The Revolution demanded from churchmen a redefinition of the role of in providence political affiirs, and it also required a reinterpretation of the In mission. church's consequenceof the Toleration Act and the new Parliament, to accorded authority only a broad natural theology, anchored on sound natural philosophy, could enable the church to propose an Protestantism acceptable suited to an open society wherein rival religious, for their share of profits and preferment and and social political, groups vied therefore for their own power and self-interest.... The latitudinarians realized that their natural religion, if property articulated, could forge among Protestants a consensusupon which the church's moral leadership would (Jacob 1976: 143-144). rest secure Once before, such a political settlement signalled an advancein the developmentof religious toleration and the blunting of dogmatic distinctives which would tend toward a more Erasmian consensuson religion, just after the Thirty-Years War. With the signing of the Instrumentum Pacisin 1648 the problem of divided Christianity was in principle given a political As longer be hoped for from the confessions, solution. no union could any in future political agreementshad to be made which left out any theological inherent in them.... Faith was something which could not be problems if But this conceivedof without certainty. certainty, two churches where was which appealedto the sameLord, the sameholy scripture, the sameearly Christian tradition, were making fundamentally different statements about the way to salvation? (Scholder 1990: 10-11). The Newtonians of the seventeenth century had a vision for producing a bore hallmarks Erasmus's new consensus the which all earlier aspirations. of

thought of a modern today who would largely assume the paradigmatic significance of thesethinkers.


being Now that confessions were seriouslymarginalizedasa meansof attaining Newtonian fill religion would to quickly the vacuum. come consensus, IsaacNewton's contribution to the early developmentof the dogmatic
implications of certain theologically significant textual variants has been all but ignored by have history missed; or those worse yet, treated the completely who Testament A New text criticism. survey of modern manuals treating N. T. text of knowledge Newton's ( Vaganay 1991; no reveals virtually of work criticism Vaganay1937; Aland and Aland 1989; Metzger 1964; Greenlee 1967; Bruce 1950; Souter 1935; Souter 1965; Taylor 1961; Lake 1959; Robertson 1925;
Gregory 1907; Vincent 1903; Nestle 1901; Kenyon 1912; Kenyon 1953; Kenyon 1958 ). 3Moreover, after Tregelles's treatment of Newton in the former's contribution to Horne's Introduction (1869: 359-360; 376; 385-386)

brief Davidson's (1839: 141-142; 156) Samuel treatment earlier and even the become Newton (Scrivener then silent regarding nineteenth-century manuals 1861; Scrivener 1883; Scrivener 1894; Hammond 1880; Warfield 1890; Schaff 1894; Kenyon 1895 ). 4

What is all the more interesting is that two monographs intended to be dose studies of text critical development in the period in which Newton worked

he alone has at least 3 To Metzger's credit, bibliographer par excellence, his Introduction Newton's in in footnote the noted treatise a second edition of (1968:270), but offers no judgement as to its significance and seemsnot to know that it was addressedoriginally to John Locke. 4Tregelles, however, made no mention of Newton in his earlier and Tcstamcnt Grcck New TcxT An Account Printcd tbc rather comprehensive of of tbc (1854). Surprising is Conybearc's (1910) omission since his intention was to history show the theological significance of textual variants within the of the discipline.


be his (Hulbert-Powell to 1937; Fox even aware of not contribution seem 1954).5 It wiU be the burden of this chapter to demonstrate that Newton's

in England, played the as supreme scientific mind eighteenth-century reputation in English Enlightenment in decisive his the role textual research carrying to all a interested 'in historically the either establishing were most who accurate edition Greek New Testament for the of apologeticpurposes(Bentley); or who possible involved in Trinitarian debates day Antitrinitarian (the the the of wereactively Newtonians).
Kroll has addressedhow a gradually emerging scepticism about the state of in T. N. text the seventeenthcentury would eventually result in the the developmentof the scienceof palaeography. And it was palaeography that established for impossibility the text, once and all of recuperating the past as a seamless historical both the and signals a new consciousnesswhich recognizes discreteness includes necessityand of particular materials or evidences,which indiscriminately a study of the "sacred"and "secular"past, and which only derivescoherencefrom the mind of a critic, or narrative of an historian (Kroll 1986: 13). Newton's turning his attention to the theological significance of various GreekN. T. MS sources and versions in order to prove that some had been

5Therecan be no excusefor Hulbert-Powell becausehis subject, J.J. Wettstein, was responsible for the publishing of Newton's important text critical treatisein London in 1754.1 believe that had he spent as much effort in (175 1), (which explicatingthe final and faller form of Wettstein's Prolegomena have he important being his final judgement wasmore would on the subject), discoveredWettstein's account of the discovery of Newton's very important treastise(1751: 185). Nor does the author list the 1754 edition of Newton's work (which probably contained Wettstein's edited additions) in the list of Wettstein's works which I would take to mean that Hulbert-Powell simply did

not know of ffiis aspectof Wettstein's activities.


doctrinally altered, played no small role in stimulating the scientific study of the Biblical tcxt. Regarding the eighteenth-century debatesconcerning the Trinity, Colligan Locke Newton important the two and assessed as most rightly contributors to both the antitrinitarian cause, of whom used the very means resorted to by the (Butler, Reid orthodoxy, of namely, reason apologists and Paley) and text Locke (Bentley). Newton dual threat to the orthodox and provided a criticism from "Locke between the the philosophical quo, side, status where relationship Revelationand Reason is defmed," and "from the textual side the caseof Sir ... IsaacNewton, where two material texts for the doctrine of the Trinity were 1913: (Colligan 19). critically examined" It is my argument that orthodox churchmen as well as non-Trinitarians felt the paradigmatic significance of Newton's argument that dogmatic development, Trinitarianism, late, theologically motivated textual supporting rested on interpolation. Both groups came to seethat adjustment was now absolutely be fresh For it the necessary. orthodox would a exegeticalreentrenchment, basinga defenseof the Trinity on other proof texts, less explicit than the two traditionally used which were now called into question by Newton's research;or elseon other arguments altogether (such as the somewhat controversial "Granville Sharp Rule" of grammar)6. For non-Trinitarians Newton's study 6This topic is worth its own independent treatment and was meant to bepart of this study but contriants prevailed against this. With the loss of these two classicproof-texts what remained in support of the Trinity and the deity of Christ had to servedouble-duty and so took on even greater significance. And but in dispute sincesuch passages textually, that remained were not grammatically (e.g. Rom. 9: 5), Granville Sharp, a Victorian Evangelical created have a rule of grammar for assuring that such passages a reference would always Greek in Article Definitive to Christ's deity. Seehis Remarkson the Uses the of the Te& oftbe New Testament(1798,2nd ed, 1802; 3rd ed. 1803). Also seeC. WinstanlcyA Vindication of Certain Passages in the CommonEnglisb Versionof the


for to new opportunity a call a changedattitude of toleranceon behalf provided Newton's those non-conformists who shared conviction that the established of Church,and her Trinitarian orthodoxy, were seriouslyundermined by Newton's Two Notable Corruptions discovery of which had madetheir way illegitimately into the text of the Greek aswell asthe Latin New Testaments. It really is not too surprising that the importance of Newton's work has
beenmissedby recent scholarship--sorne of Newton's information and dated, less fully than are now or accurate,though this in no way arguments his have been, the to negates enduring evidencewhich proves case nevertheless, The however, lies real reason, accurate. elsewhere. The entry in the Dictionary ofNational Biograpbyshows a complete lack of Newton's understanding of genuine antitrinitarian views and so also seriously his In doing textual the the author of this entry misses significance of study. so Newton's in his In textual this alsomissed own motivation producing study. instancethe author reflects rather typically a later, modem position of adjustmentwhich tends to down play the significance of the two variants Newton challenged. The one scholar who has done the most to explicate Newton's theological views and cast Newton's textual work in its true context, H. John McLachlan, put this erroneous judgement in its proper light: Such an observation indicates that the writer [of the DNB article] hardly in decisive by biblical the the construction of realized part played proof-texts

New Testament (19 0 5), and G. Blunt, Six More Letters to G. Sharp on His Remarks UPonthe Usesof the Article in the Greek Testament (1803), and finally, G. Sharp, A

Dissertation ly Tract Supreme Divine Dignity In Re to the theMessiah: a on of ,P Entitled, 'A Vindication of Certain Passages in the CommonEnglish Versionof the NewTestament(18 06). On Sharp's life seeP. Hoare, Memoirs of Grandville Sharp Comp from His own Man uscrip ts ( 182 0). osed


Protestant doctrinal systemsfrom the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries. Bezaonce said it was the foul work of the devil to deprive Christians of the in "God" I Timothy iii. 16, "There is as word scarcelyanother passagein which all the mysteries of our redemption are explained so magnificently or (McLachlan 1941: 164). 7 so clearly" So valuable had Newton's reputation been for those in the eighteenth looked him for Christianity to who the a scientific truth validation of century of Humean Deistic few inner that and scepticism outside of an against circle of Newton's friend's either knew or were willing to admit his radically unorthodox That Newton, Locke, the most of orthodox viewed christology. and sometime as faith, the traditional the greatestallies of while non-Trinitarians rightly viewed important Christianity the them as most pioneers of a restored, primitive could in be following than the two and contrasting assessments. not more clearly seen First, the orthodox view (expressedby a Unitarian, however): In an age when old opinions were fearlesslycast aside, and the freest its the two to truth stimulus was given greatest pursuit of philosophers-... the one leading on the van of moral science,the other conducting discovery firmly triumphs through the with unexampled physical creation--stood and devotedly by the religion of JesusChrist: not simply paying it the respectful homage due to a venerable and beneficent belief, but subjecting its history high documents to thoughtful their powers and a scrutiny, and consecrating its illustration and defense (Tayler 1845: 361-362). to 'Ihe Unitarians generally had quite a different view. For them Locke and Newton were,
A solvent to the harsh Calvinism of those times, with its rigorous views of Justification and Atonement, a corrective to irrational and intolerant dogmatism, a standing criticism of the Athanasian and scholastic dogma of the Trinity, this stream of Socinian ideas from abroad was to merge with bear length English native protests against the prevailing orthodoxy and at

7This passagein Beza will be treated later in the chapter when addressing the paraphrasesand aanotations


fruit in the rational Christianity of a John Locke and an IsaacNewton, and in the Unitarianism of a JosephPriestley (McLachlan 1951:144).8 For yearsafter Newton's death the orthodox madeeveryeffort to keephim
his the the of confmes orthodoxy, even after publication of treatise on the within E. Henderson attempted to reply to an 1830 edition of textual corruptions. Newton's treatise published by Socinians, who had publicised its saleby from depository in St. Paul's Churchyard: "Sir Isaac Newton their announcing Corruptions. This " Newton's Trinitarian Henderson sale of work prompted on Incontropertible,or Sir IsaacNewton and the in his The GreatMystery of Godliness (18 30), to reaffirm Newton's orthodoxy while refuting his conclusions Socinians Henderson these very sensitive variants. was greatly offended at the on implications the Socinians wished to draw from Newton's study, implications but himself had intended Henderson Newton to affirm completely which which missed: Theseterms, as boldly labelled on the windows of the Socinian Depository are: "Sir IsaacNewton on Trinitarian Corruptions of ... Scripture;" on which it may be proper to remark, that they are obviously designedto answer a twofold purpose. First, they are intended to imbue the in belief, Trinitarians, the that order to support their public mind with divine falsify truth; and, that this to the system,scruple not records of falsification is not confined to a few solitary instances,but has been practised to some considerable extent.... Secondly, the celebrated name of Sir Isaac Newton is put forth to support with its high sanction the causeof Antitrinitarianism; and superficial thinkers, or such as may not possessthe first "the determining of meansof what were the real sentiments of he " that philosophers, will naturally suppose, espousedthat cause,and that a systemof opinions which commanded the approval of so mighty a mind 1830: 3). but be (Henderson true cannot

81n this quote McLachlan doesnot intend to excludeNewton or Lockefrom the categoryof Unitarian, rather, the term was not aspopular in their day asit was in Priestley's.Cf. McLachlan (1941:69-114; 117-172).


This, of course,is exactlywhat the Sociniansintended5asdid Newton

9 but Henderson ignorantly went on to claim himself,

he [Newton] Socinian, in the modern acceptationof the term, is that was no beyonddispute.... He animadverts,indeed, but it does the orthodox; ---on from hostility that this to their views respectingthe arose any not appear, Trinity (Henderson 1; 2). 10 ... This explainsto someextent why only aspects Newton's le have of 9, acy
history in Christian With his the the thought. annals of of to regard survived his historical into Christology, McLaci-Aan and textualstudies research primitive for disappearance the of the evidenceof these offersanother partial explanation influenceson later Christian communities: No single stream of Newton's influence can be traced in any Christian is but because his biblical his that simply church, whilst chronology and 91nNewton's The Tbird Letter written at about the sametime as Newton's two other studies, never published before the appearanceof the twentieth century edition of his collected works, Newton went on to make just the claim that Henderson wanted to deny, namely, that the two Trinitarian just the most significant examplesof an array of alterations variantswere introduced by orthodox churchmen into the text of Scripture (Newton 1959-77 3:129-144). Horsley, the nineteenth century editor of Newton's works have MSS Newton's this and many other of theological supressed. which would madeperfectly clear to the world that Newton was an Antitrinitarian. 101picalof such treatments of Newton in surveys of religious thought in the eighteenth century is Abbey and Overton in their The Englisb Cburcb in theEigbteentbCentury 2nd ed. 1902, "From the beginning to the end of the century, theological thought was mainly concentrated on the effort to make use divinely of reason--God'splain and universal gift to man--as the one appointed instrument for the discovery or investigation of truth.... Newton himself, like his contemporaries,Boyle, Flamsteed, and Halley, was a thoroughly religious man, his by his faith Christian and general as a was confirmed rather than weakened perception of the vast laws which had become disclosed to him. On many others the effect was different" (22). But the effect on Newton was significant as well in terms of significant adjustment, leading to his rejection of Trinitarianism, a

Pointmissedor ignored in this assessment.


interpretation of prophecy, with the scriptural foundation of theology on based, have beyond they are perished which a peradventure,many of his his doctrinal have becomethe of criticism and someof principles positions heterodox possession of churches, common and orthodox alike (McLachlan 1941:172). Newton's unpublished religious writings, were voluminous, draft after draft of works spanningmost of his life. When his works were first catalogued Hutton he discoveredthat "Many of them [were] copiesover and by Charles four 5). (McLachlan 1950: A friend thousand upwards of sheets" again over of ... Newton'scommentedshortly after Newton's deaththat the physicist
in his into Religion into Natural than more solicitous enquiries was much Philosophy.... Sir IsaacNewton, to make his inquiries into the Christian had read the ancient writers and ecclesiastical religion more successful, historians with great exactness,and had drawn up in writing great both how he in he had to collections out of and show earnest was religion, long Old New the a explication of remarkable parts of written and Testaments,while his understanding was in its greatest perfection, lest the infidels might pretend that his applying himself to the study of religion was the effect of dotage. That he would not publish these writings in his own time, becausethey showed that his thoughts were sometimes different from those which are commonly received, which would engagehim in dispute; he (McLachlan this thing and was a avoided as much as possible which 1950:2). The reason he did not want to enter into disputes is becausemany of these friend Trinitarianism. Hopton Haynes, works were critical of of another

Newton's,commentedin more explicit terms:

The spirit of Popery is not quite exorcised. It kept in awe, and silenced some extraordinary persons amongst us...and the greatest man of our age, glory of the British Nation, I mean, the renowned Sir I[saac] N[ewton], who, discourse has left behind him MSS., amongst other upon the a short 1950: 6). St. John (McLachlan text pretended of

A dual conspiracyof ignoranceand designleft Newton's true theological viewsa mysteryuntil a critical biography produced by Louis TrenchardMore, Isaac Ncwton: A Biograpby(1934), set the record straight earlier in this century.


Thefirst editor of Newton's collectedworks, Bishop Horsley, was a bitter public Unitarian Joseph Priestley, that of other scientist, opponent and chosenot to Newton's his theological Unitarianism treatises which would publish reveal 1950:7). And Newton's first biographer, in sheerignorance, (McLachlan Newton a Trinitarian (Brewster: 1831) though in a later Afemoirs declared ofSir Newton,2 vols. 2nd ed. he modified his views claiming now that Newton's Isaac (Brewster 1855 Vol. 2: 339-340),11a simply not was proven unorthodoxy based judgement technical on Scottish law.
Two, more recent treatments of Newton's religious beliefs, have provided a dearerand cogent picture. Again McLachlan must be credited with leading the his important brief, The Religious Opinions though way with ofAfilton, Lockeand Newton(1941), followed by Frank Manuel's more detailed treatment: The Religianof IsaacNewton: the FremantleLecturesof 1973. McLachlan's treatment is helpful in many ways not the least of which was his astuteconnection of Locke with the thought of Newton. Moreover, he is quick to point out that Newton's published works offer no hint of his christological convictions- -except in his omission of any referenceto the Trinity, in Newton's fifth Apocalypse John the treatment of the suchas of chapter of regardingthe worship of God (McLachlan 1941: 131). Not until the Two NotableCorruPtions does Newton's view on the Trinity become manifest. And oncehis other unpublished theological treatises were made public it became obvious to McLachlan and all subsequent biographers of Newton that plainly,

1IBrewster: "Although a traditionary belief has long prevailed that Newton was an Arian, yet the Trinitarians claimed him as a friend, while Socinians wished it to be believed that he was a supporter of their views.... we ... arebound to believe that our neighbour is not a heretic till the charge against him has been distinctly proven" (Vol. 2: 339-240). This has now been achieved.


"Thecontroversyabout his [Newton's] religious opinions is ended.Sir Isaac Newtonwas a Unitarian, and, for his day, of an advanced school" (McLachlan 172). 1941:
But in order to put to rest any impulse to claim that McLachlan's by tainted was a tendentious treatment we shall now observe the assessment by Unitarian bias--and to alluded earlierwork one second with no the -written biographical Newton in English. treatment modern of major Manuel, known for his two earlier works, IsaacNcwton Histmian (196 3) Newton has Portrait (1968), of1saac earned the reputation of a first-rate and Newton, Westfall. is It to on perhaps second only authority of no small he Newton in therefore, that the role of a seventeenth-century casts significance, Erasmus(without ever actually invoking the name of the humanist): Most of Newton's theological writings are devoted to exposing falsifiers of New Testament texts, prevaricators in Church Councils, corrupters of befuddlers primitive natural religion, metaphysical of the true relations between God and man (Manuel 1974: 65). Moreover, for Newton only through a circumstantial account of the degradation of the Church in a its doctrinal deviation from the primitive creed could seriesof stagesand Christianity be stripped of its spurious accretions. The original Christian learning heathens, Cabbalists, but in 'men the religion was plain, of skilled it it Schoolmen and corrupted with metaphysical senseand thereby making unintelligible' (68). As Erasmus, so for Newton: In the early Church, as interpreted by Newton in his histories, the original formula of Christian belief, the milk for babes,had been contained in a few directly God Creator, Resurrection Christ, taken the phrasesabout and the out of Scripture. Any later deviations were corruptions (54). In Newton's own words: We are commanded by the Apostle (I Tim. 1: 3) to boldfast theform ofsound words.Contending for a language which was not handed down from the


Prophetsand Apostles is a breachof the commandand they that break it are disturbances the alsoguilty of and schismsoccasioned thereby. It is not faith be to that say an article of enough may deducedfrom Scripture. It be form the in must expressed very of sound words in which it was delivered by the Apostles. Otherwise there can be no lasting fixity nor peaceof the for dispute, into to catholick. men are church apt vary, and run partings deductions. All Heresies lay in deductions; the old about the true faith was in the text (54-55). 12
For Newton, the Trinity was one of these "old Heresies." Furthermore, in belief, text the alone was authoritative establishing since rather than tradition coupled with the text, the need to ferret out textual ecclesiastical important Newton it had been for Erasmus, had to as was corruptions as who learnedto develop a settlement which allowed for tradition but as distinguished from teaching found in the text alone. kp Trinity in Newton's works Manuel reminds the treatment the egarding of "the Christ, that the us manuscripts on nature of written over a period of nearly half a century, remain largely unpublished to this day" (Manuel 1974: 57). Newton was no doubt indebted to severalnon-Trinitarian scholars and

in his friends, churchmen closecircle of such as SamuelClarke,William

Whiston, Thomas Emlyn, Hopton Hayes and Samuel Crell, but, nevertheless, Manuel rightly acknowledgesthat Newton "invariably tried to find his own way" (58). Like Erasmus, Newton contended that the word God was only ever properly used in referenceto the Father in Scripture. In his own words taken

12LikeErasmus, the Apostles' creed was a useful tool for Newton because it was "short and free from repetitions as a symbol of religion ought to be easyto be understood and remembered by the common people" and because ... "it contains not mere theories like some of those articles which we have omitted but all its Articles are practical truths on which the whole practice of religion depends"and no one should suffer persecution for holding to other religious opinions outside the clear statements of this creed (Manuel 1974: 55).


Qucstions Conccrning from Newton's Paradoxical theAforalsandActionsof His Follawcrs, Newton Atbanasius and affirmed the f6flow-ing:
The heathensmade A their Gods of one substanceand sometimes caffed God, them one and yet were polytheists. Nothing can make two persons one God but unity of dominion. And if the Father and the Son be united in dominion, the son being subordinate to the father and sitting in his throne, be Gods king his be two then they can no more caHed a and viceroy can kings (60). calledtwo Moreover, prayers were to be directed to "God in the name of the Lamb, but not to the Lamb in the name of God" (61). In short, though Newton "was his history from "continuaUy treatments the the and of orthodox" of church far beliefs" his he (62), his be to never allowed reiterated antitrinitarian views made invitation become Luther his Calvin the to the or of age, public, resisting it die death. Trinitarianism believed He to a natural would preferring to allow doctrine be Roman day the of transubstantiation considered as untenable as one (63). The consensuson Newton's antitrinitarianism is now well establishedin the many modern biographies treating his religious views. A. Rupert Hall in Thougbt (1992) Advcnturcr in his Ncwton: Isaac that concludedon this matter just asNewton saw himself as the restorer of truths known to the Pythagoreans,forgotten during the long reign of Aristotelian and Ptolemaic long-hid he himself truths of religion. the error, so also saw as restorer of 'Ihe very Greek word which was chosen at Nicaea to expressthe true faith as As fraud.... by Athanasius (hmnoousios='of the samenature) was a seen Newton read history, the corrupt victory of the Trinitarians had led to the had for Arianism Rome, Bishop always won most evil ascendancy of of the followers in the Hellenized portion of the Roman empire. The Reformation had reduced this evil but not corrected the root mistake in belief (Hall 1992:240-241). Newton Creator. Isaac Gale E. Christianson in his In the Presence and the of His Times(1984), has not failed to underscore the irony of Newton's post at Trinity College, Cambridge:


When Henry VIII issuedroyal letters in 1546 calling for the creation of a Cambridge in honour "Holy Undivided Trinity, " the the college of new and dreamed its that most gifted scholarwould one day rejectthe monarchnever doctrine Christian for institution Sometime in the which very was named.... 1670s, but himself, Newton became to unbeknownst anyone the early a heretic,hardly a laughing matter in a century marked by profound religious fervour and sectarianstrife. He did so by embracingthe teachingof Arius, fourth Alexandrian denied the priest of century that Jesus an who steadfastly God (Christianson 1984: 248-249). the same substance as of was Derek Gjertsenin his TheNewtonHandbook(1986) recordsunder the entry "Athanasius" the following:
Newton came to seethe fourth century as the time in which the church its divine become by human to revelation allowed original corrupted At he Council Nicaea the this the centre of conspiracy saw additions. of and the figure of Athanasius. Newton soon becameobsessedby the period and largely frequently literature the to master polemical and meretricious set out by (Gjertsen 1986: 42). the period spawned Under the heading "William Whiston" he further noted that Whiston have been first Newton's the to to seems explicitly and publicly reveal Arianism. In his A CollcctionofAutbcntic rccords BcIongingto tbc Old and New Tcstamcnt(1727-8) he noted that Newton had long held that "Arianism is This Christianity.... Old no other than the was occasionally uncorrupted known to those few who were intimate with him all along; from whom, Temper, he his fearful, notwithstanding cautious, and suspicious prodigious 42). important Discovery" (Gjertsen: could not always conceal so a Finally, the classicNewton biography of our age, Richard S. Westfall's NeverAt Rest.A BiograpbyofIsaacNewton (1980), addresses Newton's Newton's detail. in Westfall that christological views some notebooks observes to suggestthat "almost the first fruit of Newton's theological study was seem doubt about the status of Christ and the doctrine of the Trinity, " probably the fruit of his contemplation of ordination (Westfall 1980: 311). After Newton surveyedthe works of the early fathers, in a rather comprehensive manner, Westfall also notes along with the observations of others, that eventually


him that a massive The conviction beganto possess fraud, which began*in fifth fourth had and the centuries, pervertedthe legacyof the early church. Centralto the fraud were the Scriptures,which Newton beganto believe had beencorrupted to support trinitarianism. In the notebook, he recorded doubtsabout a number of passages, I 5: John 7 and I Timothy not only 3:16, on which he later wrote an essay called"Two Notable Corruptions of but " Scripture, in a the also a number of other passages that appeared further study (Westfall 1980:313). Furthermore,Newton had detecteddoctrinally motivated interpolations Trinitarianism in Ignatius; Athanasius, he believed, the works of and supporting hadalsocorrupted the proclamation of the Council of Serdicato the sameend.
For Newton, "worshipping Christ as God was idolatry, to him the fundamental had fallen into hence " the this, one of the worst possible errors, early church sin, in which would culminate the wholesale corruption of the medieval church (Westfall:314-315). Finally, Westfall corrected assessed that before 1675 "Newton had become in Arian (Westfall: 3 15). the the term" an original senseof Certainly Westfall is correct when he assuresus that "Newton concealedhis has become in day full knowledge them that viewsso effectively of only our beyond be historical (Westfall: 3 19). But today available" more no point could doubt than that Newton was no Trinitarian and that his understanding of textual corruption played a significant role in inspiring the quest for a more primitive text, as well as a more primitive, Erasmian Christianity.

2. Newton's Text Criticism and Erasmian Primitivism

Not only had Newton discovered the laws of the universe, with the help of Erasmus's Annotationes he had also uncovered TwoNotable Corruptionsoftbe Scliptures (1690), used traditionally to support the Trinity. Newton and the Newtonians then provided this textual data to others who would use it positively


for faith, a simple, non-Trinitarian which would trickle down to the to call discovered Reedy by Socinians in his this use the of variants masses. study The Anglicans Scripture Reason: in Late SepenteentbCenturyEngland: Bible and and [TJheSociniantracts fulfil the anxiety that Sociniansmight pressthe new ... into Again textualcriticism service. and again,the tracts arguethat the Unitarian texts of Scripture arc incorruptible and that key Trinitarian texts faulty Socinian higher copies.... reston criticism comesinto its own in the in 1690s.... is It the tractswritten probable that thesetracts exhibit the first integration in Scripture into textual of modem successful scholarship a (Reedy 123-124). theological project sustained
What he seemsto have missed, however, was the significance of Newton's fountainhead for how the the they used of evidence antitrinitarians and study as his data on the variants in popular paraphrasesof the English Bible. This was a had his Chfisti Erasmus Philosophia to to the reading used communicate method These in in the sixteenth century. paraphraseswould play a major role public fostering both non-conformist religion, and also a new climate of religious tolerance:if the textual variants.spefled the dissolution of a sterile orthodoxy, they also invited the discovery of a new, more scientific and invigorating Christianity. We will begin by directing our attention to Newton's contribution forward. his in Newtonians and then turn addressthe other project who carried Margaret Jacob has provided us with a seriesof concentrated social and intellectualstudies treating those in the tight circle surrounding Newton and influencedby his ideas.13AIichaeI Hunter is lessconvinced that these "Newtonians" can be so clearly defined and classed(Hunter 1981 [1992]: 185186) in terms of their common social interests, designs, or debt to Newtonian footing. firmer little This help Jacob's science. to put thesis on a chapter will 13"John Toland and the Newtonian Ideology, " (1969); TheNewtonians and theEnglishRepolution1689-1720 (1976 [1990])); The Radical Enlightenment. Pantheists, Republicans (19 8 1). Freemasons and


Here I will demonstrate that those in Newton's orbit who had an interest in a determination best Greek N. T. the of the recension of scientific were nearly all interestedin gaining a degree of political religious tolerance through such Biblical criticism (Locke, Whiston, Le Clerc, Clarke); but at the very least they in desiring, like Newton himself, Deistic mind one to of all off-set were by (Bentley). Neither Jacob means of such scientific criticism scepticism nor Hunter have treated this dimension in the discussion. A. J. Ayer observed concerning Voltaire's Lettrespbilosopbiques (1734), 14 that, In some ways, the most interesting of the letters in which Voltaire treats of the state of religion in England at the time of his visit is the seventh and last, is be Socinians, Arians, Anti-Trinitarians.... to the subject said of which or Voltaire did not claim to have discovered any Socinians but he did assert ... that the Arian Heresy was gaining ground in England and named Isaac Newton and Samuel Clarke as its most illustrious adherents (Ayer 1986: 4243). As a matter of fact Voltaire arrived only in time to attend the funeral of Newton in April of 1727 but discovered Newton's theological views from SamuelClarke who was an Arian pastor and a dose friend of Newton's (Westfill 1980:825). Voltaire made his observation about Newton and other nonTrinitarian Newtonians in his letter in the following terms: There is a small sect here composed of priests and a few very clever laymen but Arians Socinians, do are not at all of who nor of not adopt the name of the opinion of St. Athanasius in the matter of the Trinity, but tell you is faction Arian is Son.... Father the straight out that the greater than the beginning to revive in England as well as in Holland and Poland. The great

MAn English version of these,Lettersconcerning theEnglisbNation by M. deVoltaire,was published in London a year earlier. Voltaire greatly admired %-I W Englandnot just for its freer atmosphereascomparedto the feudal like intolerance like Locke had he for but France, and more respect thinkers also of Newton over the purely abstractphilosophy of Descartes.


Mr. Newton honoured this opinion by favouring it: this philosopher Unitarians the that thought reasonedmore mathematicallythan we do.... It is not amusingthat Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, writers nobody can read,have foundedsectsthat divide up Europe, that the ignorant Mahomet hasgiven a Asia Africa, but Newton, Clarke, Locke, Leclerc,the to that and religion finest have hardly thinkers their and writers of age, greatest managedto little flock, dwindles day by day (Voltaire 1980:42that a and even establish 43).
The closestNewton ever came to making public his non-Trinitarian views he Locke sent a manuscript which contained one of the most waswhen text-critical studies ever conducted up to that time, produced comprehensive day that the the the rigour and precision greatest scientific mind of with all discipline. brought 15 have Here Newton had discovered he to the could what Corruptions Two Notable demonstrated his to ofScfipturc, which called: mind that indeed, later development Trinity The Church. theological the the a was, Within hard evidencefor this was to be found in theologically significant textual variants that had been interpolated into the text of the New Testament at different stages This line of reasoning had been around since the days of Servetus, Socinus and significantly, even earlier in Erasmus, but this was usually routinely dismissed by the orthodox as the results of a tendentious treatment of the hard data late Not there the evidence. enough until seventeenth century was derivedfrom MS collations and investigations of the Scripture quotations of the earlychurch fathers, for a scientific argument to be made. John Mill's Novum Testamentum data MS its at that time, most comprehensive collection of with begun 1707, 1675 while seventeenyears after as early as would not appear until the completion of Newton's Two Notable Corruptions.

150n the weight of this study, H. W. Turnbull, one of the editors of the critical edition of Newton's correspondence, rightly judged that this "places Newton in the forefront among biblical scholars of the time" (Newton 1961 vol. III: xiv).


have Newton appears, been in touch with Mill regarding to nevertheless,

Testament New his latter's project as extant correspondence reveals.Here we the does Newton that not readily come to mind as a natural association, seea side of Newton Returning Greek New Testament the text the critic. a copy of namely, letter, his dated in 29 Jan. 1693, Newton Mill, cover to gives us a glimpse at the text critic at work: I fear you think I have kept your book too long: But to make some amends for detaining it so long I have sent you not only my old collations so far as from but Dr. Covils two MSS. for I they vary yours, also some new ones of havecollated them anew and sent you those readings which were either in your printed ones or there erroneously printed. In collating these omitted MSS I set the readings in the margin of your book and thence transcribed into find in book them a sheet of paper which you will at the end of your the Apocalypse, together with my old collations and a copy of a side of Beza'sMS [the famous Codex Bezaeor "D"].... In your little MS book, Testament, I New tied together up you will which return, you with your find those transcripts you desired out of MSS, except two which were in did it hands imitate I that them, nor seemworth the such running could not being 111: 303-304). MSS (Newton 1961, the while vol. very new ones

for in Newton thanking the coflations: was most gracious

I have received the N. T. together with lections, out of the 2 copies of Dr. ... Covel: and those other readings you have observed in the Complutentian. Apocalypse.... Oriental Fathers Versions, the and the upon and some of the And now it comes to my turn to give you once again my most hearty ... have I kindness for instance to me and the work thanks this singular of your in hand (Newton 1961: 305-307). 16 While the printing of AM's N. T. began as early as 1686 it was not completeduntil 1691 (the proof copy, not for publication) (Fox 1954: 61-62); his last defence and prolegomena, the of the comma which contained perhaps Johanncumby an English editor of the Greek N. T., was not printed until 1706.

16Cf. alsoAM's earlier and very interesting letter to Newton from Novemberof the sameyear,Newton (1961:289-290).


Moreover, it seemsthat Newton had not made AUPs acquaintanceuntil 1693 Cambridge 506). (Westfall 1980: Therefore, it they at met when would appear in indebted for Newton AM information in his Two to the no was way that

(if anything, AM was indebted to Newton for someof his collation Corruptions data).Newton was more than capableof collecting it all from earlier collations Greek directly, MSS by aswell aseditions of the versionsand and consulting first hand. fathers It appears that Locke first raisedthe issueof the statusof the comma heavenly Newton three thus the to sendhim his treating witnesses, prompting had know Locke high for We Newton's in that a very regard ability study. he commentedin a letter to his cousin that "Mr. Newton Biblicalstudiesbecause but is reallya very valuableman, not only for his wonderful skill in mathematics, in divinity too, and his knowledge in the Scriptures,wherein I know no equal" Conccrning Human Undcrstanding (King 1830 Vol. 2: 39); and in his Essay
Locke speaksof Newton as one of the master-builders of the age, "the incomparableMr. Newton" in contrast to whom Locke is content to "be little, in Ground Under-Labourer employedas an and removing some a clearing 1975: 10). knowledge" (Locke Rubbish, lies in the the way to that of In a letter from Newton to Locke, in reply to one from Locke which is no longer extant, Newton speaksof sending Locke "the papers which you desire" (Newton 1961 vol. 3: 79). The papers were his "letters" to Locke treating the TwoNotableCorruptions.In my opinion it was Locke who prompted Newton to do the study. In this sameletter we read that Newton has yet to complete the work, complaining that "the consulting of authors [was] proving more tedious then I expectedso as to make me defer sending them till the next week." The tone is one of expressing regret at not fulfilling an obligation sooner.


No doubt Locke has askedNewton to preparethis MS for publication in

Univcrsclle, founded Bibliabcquc by Jean La Le Clerc the and contributed to by Locke (Aaron 1973: 22), becausein his next letter to Locke Newton remarks:

I sendyou now by the carrier the papersI promised. I fear I madethem ... ... by long For too an addition. upon the receipt of your letter, reviewing what I had by me concerningthe text 1 John 5.7 & examiningauthors a little further about it, I met with something new concerningthat other of I Tim. 3.16, which I thought would be acceptable to inquisitive men, & might be in little fear down I length the a room.... of what I sayon both texts may set & if too trouble, therefore much you occasion at presentyou get only what first done into French, the that of the other may staytin we see concerns first have (Newton 1961: 82). the will what success
Newton is concerned about the length, both becauseit must be translated into French, and becauseof the spaceconstraints of a journal. Moreover, his Tim. lead "that 1 3.16" other of one to think that this comment about would from been has had in letter Locke. Locke perhaps also raised a previous variant heardthat Newton has done some researchon these versesand has askedhim to for journal journal length Le Clerc's together the and so put a essayon subject Newton is quite content to seethe treatment appear in two instatments. Newton would have his work appear anonymously, following the example la his by Erasmus Locke in his (as a of also practiced so many of publications JuUusexclusus) becauseto question the authenticity of the commaeven in the find Bentley AU seventeenth would soon so well understood and as century--as from bar being Arian, out--was to admit to university one an which would posts,civil posts and obviously ecclesiasticallivings. This was of no small concern to Newton whose post at Trinity College Newton's deplorable him barest On provided this situation subsistence. with the Principal, University Edinburgh biographer, most celebrated the educated and of Sir David Brewster, complained in bitter tones:


We do envy the readerwho perusesthesesimple detailswithout a blush of his for That Locke for country. could not shame obtain an appointment ... Pfincipia, hardly be believed in but the the author of will any country our ingratitude The his disturbed, of country aswe shall see,the own.... tranquillity of a mind sensitivelyorganized,and intellectuallyoverwrought. found himself the inmate of a At the ageof fifty, the high priest of science but for friend, he have died the and, generous patronage of a college, would its (Brewster 1855 2: 118). walls vol. within
Brewster's euphemistic allusion to the disturbance of Newton's mind was

brcak-down less Newton in than a mental experienced the summerof to nothing 1693,the result of not finding a suitableliving combined with what can only be 17Traces form be described this of paranoia. of severe stateof mind can seen asa in earliercorrespondence to Locke from early in 1691:
Being fully convinced that Mr. Mountague, upon an old grudge which I him.... have is false have done I had been I to thought me, with worn out, be kind fair so as to prospect of seeing you any more unless you will no hope for favour I last If I I this the pray may year. repaythat visit made you bring my papers with you. Otherwise I desire you would send them by (Newton someconvenient messengerwhen opportunity shall serve 1961: 192-193). The papers he requires from Locke are his treatises treating the TwoNotable Corruptions. We do not have Locke's letter in reply but in Newton's next letter he forward: had dismay that the project expresses already gone Your former letters camenot to my hands but this I have. I was of opinion Let is heare had lain & them. there news about my papers am sorry to still for impression & so soon as you can me entreat you to stop their translation I designeto suppressthem (Newton 1961: 195). Locke had already made a copy and sent it on to Le Clerc. Le Clerc then

in been had just Simon's published suggested that Newton review work which
17For treatments of this see,Brewster vol. 2: 183-186; More 1934:380-392; Hall 1992: 242-246; WestfaU 1980: 533-540; Gjertsen 1986: 8890; Johnson and Wolbarsht 1979: 1-9; Spargo and Pounds 1979: 11-32; Ditchburn 1980: 1-16.


1689 and translated into English that sameyear and had an extended treatment heavenly After Locke back MS Newton he three witnesses. the the sent to of have Simon in then to read and made additional notes the margin of his appears MS which can still be seen in the New College MSS. at the Bodleian Library. When Locke informed Le Clerc that Newton now desired the MS to be Le Clerc regretfully remarked, suppressed,

It is a pity that thesetwo dissertationsshould be suppressed. I do not think find that any person could out that they were translated,unlessit were said kind, I fail In this to seizethe meaningof where would not so. a matter of it have I the author, would given an original air which would not have (Brewster 1855 2: 326). translation of a savoured vol. From this we gather that Newton was afraid of being found out, which his losing his in Trinity because his College Arian post at of views. would result William Whiston. Whiston had Suchis just what happenedto his closeassociate, Mathematics Newton's Lucasian Professor been to at old chair of of appointed in Arianism 1710. in 1703, and was deposedon charges Cambridge of The imperfect copy of Newton's MS sent to Le Clerc was depositedby him
in the Library of the Remonstrants where it was eventually found and ascribed to Newton by the Socinian text critic Johann Jakob Wettstein in the Prolegomena 18Wettstein 137-140). his 1941: Novum 1730 (McLachlan Testamentum of of for in Basel Town by Council deposed from his the wasalso ministerial post claiming, just as Newton had, that I Tim. 3: 16 had been corrupted to support Trinitarianism, the sameyear his Greek Testament appeared (Hulbert-Powell 1937:47).

Wettstein's discover have been first 18McLachlanappears to to the biographer, MS Wettstein's Newton's acquaintance and point out that with Hulbert-Powell (1937), seems important have point. to completelymissedthis


believe, I it McLachlanspeculates, Wettstein that correctly was who was for from defective MS the this adding missing parts and who was responsible for its being first in London, in 1754. So in published anonymously, responsible in Latin than the treatise appearing either theend,rather or French in Holland in 1691,a Dutchman has arrangedto haveit published in England, sixty-three its in English. I later, Wettstein's MS from original the give you account of years hisProlegomena:
That illustrious man, Sir Isaac Newton, wrote in English two Letters on the John I 7 I Timothy iii. 16; true reading of v. and with such critical judgement and such diligence, having collected from every quarter all the by be the evidence means of problems recorded which could elucidated , from codices, versions, Latin and Greek Fathers and ecclesiastical history, that he almost reduced the question to a mathematical demonstration; a task be by least by to effected any man, of all a which scarcely seemed possible in different line These John Locke totally engaged person a of study. epistles transcribed with his own hand, and communicated to Le Clerc, who made in in his letter 1708, Kuster's NE11.... them to mention of prefixed reprint of After the death of the learned Professor Le Clerc (1736). these two Letters , but unfortunately mutilated, the one at the beginning, the other at the end, him, in into hands, bundle letters were put my along with a of written to be in Remonstrants Library the that they the order might placed of (McLachlan 1941: 137-138). 19

Why so much controversy surrounding two text critical studies of two in Newton T.? Greek N. While the they variants and the supplied only two, Newtonians of the seventeenthand eighteenth centuries with hard evidencethat the foundation on which Establishment Protestantism was basedin England was forged fabrication, discovery Valla in a made of the analogous their minds to the Donationof Canstantinc, on the basis of which the Roman Church had argued so long for her primacy over the civil powers. The implications were just as important to non-Trinitarians: if the basis for establishment orthodoxy was in

19Cf.also Wettsteili's Prolegomena (1751: 185).


doubt, surely the religious intolerance that followed from it was thoroughly just And Erasmus his New Testament as used the paraphrases of unjustified. as a Christianity, 'in a simple, communicating non-dogmatic, of non-ritualistic way Britain thesepost-revolution Newtonians saw these textual variants as one means All to their eventual social and political acceptance. the more reason for the implications. textual to scholars resist such conformist The Deist Anthony Collins had demanded to know how one could still

in verbalins believe piration with Mill having acknowledged there were over Bentley'sreply was that, chooseas 30,000textual variantsnow well established. doctrine be the among many possibilities, no would ever affected. you may Newtonhad done just that and doctrine bad beenaffected,in his judgement and thejudgementof others, in a profound way. In his conclusionto his third letter (cir. November1690) in the seriestreating the TwoNotableCorruptions, Newton hadsaid:
By these instancesit's manifest that the scriptures have been very much in first in fourth in & Century the the the times of the corrupted ages chiefly Arian Controversy. And to the shame of Christians be it spoken the Catholics are here much more guilty of these corruptions then the heretics.... The Catholics ever made the corruptions (so far as I can yet find) & then to justify & propagate them Heretics & the old exclaimed against Interpreters, as if the ancient genuine readings & translations had been hatred have All I I to pious the corrupted.... great which mention out of


frauds, & to shame Christians out of these practices (Newton 1961: 138139).20 In these discoveries Newton was significantly indebted to the data in Annotationes; in his playing out of the drama involved in bringing Erasmus's learned he to the the corruptions thesescriptural attention of world, was for tolerance and reflection that was so much a part of the continuing the plea legacyof Erasmus.21If Erasmus had liberated the church from medieval Newtonians in liberating the themselves saw a similar role, corruptions, Protestantismfrom the textual corruptions of Trinitarianism. As Westfall became impatient "Newton interruptions from diversions with observed, minor had He himself to a reinterpretation committed suchasoptics and mathematics. European (Westfall: 15). 3 the tradition to the central whole of civilization" of The TwoNotable Corruptionswas the most important contribution to this process in the eighteenth century.

201t is a point of some interest that the most recent monographic treatmentsof the history of New Testament criticism (Kiimmel 1972; Reventlow 1985; ONeill 1991; Baird 1992), while careful to note the influence English Biblical development Deism Newtonian of of and physics on the criticism, neverthelesshave nothing to say about Newton's contribution to textual criticism which was both fundamental in its trajectory and much more in the long run becauseof Newton's attachment to a traditional piety persuasive and reverencefor revealed religion. 2'Westfall rightly points out that Newton actually "identified himself with Arius, both intellectually and emotionally. He relived the terrible struggles of the fourth century, when doctrine counted for more than charity, came to see Athanasiusas his Personal nemesis3 him fiercely" hate learned to and (Westfall:3 18). This would be analogous to the animosity Erasmus felt for the Spanish caretakers the clergy. of orthodoxy among certain of


B. Bentley'sIdeology of HarmlessEngagement

There is evidenceto suggestBentley was not completelyin the dark Newton's Christological treatise unpublished the addressing regarding variants. he knave if this is the case, the to "chooseashe might" among when challenged because doctrine be he themanyvariants no would ever affected, may havebeen doingso by way of bad faith and by way of argumentumadpopulum.This would beyond Bentley's 22 be personality. not Therewas a bit of a calculatingside to Bentley, along with his "lively style,
derisive" (DNB: 30 8). he While had combative or often already earned a his day the supreme classicalscholar of reputation as perhaps with the his Epistola Millium 169 1, his forgery the ad publication of uncovering with of Letters Phalaris (in William Wotton's Rftctions onAncicnt and Modcrn the of of Lcarning, 1697 and in his own Disscrtation on tbc Lcttcrs qfPbalafis, 1699) he had alsoearnedmarks as one who was relentless in treating the issue of the historical integrity of a document. Nevertheless, this was combined with a gift for making enemies. Ellis took note of Bentley's many controversies at Cambridge and with in others the following terms: It was remarked by Dr. Bentley's adversaries,that whenever he was placed in forward for his his peril mal-administration of college, practice was to come in favour literary interest the public of with some production which might its author, and that therefore a share of the merit of his works was due to his

220n Bentley's life and work seeMonk, 1830; Jebb, 1882; Bartholomew, 1908; Ellis, 1862; White, 1968; Fox, 1954: 105-126; HulbertPowell, 1937: 302ff; Brink, 1985: 21-83.


A dates does certainly tend to establish in many persecutors. comparison of instancesthe truth of this observation (Eflis: xi, n. 3). 23 Before Bentley presented his famous Boyle Lectures arguing the scientific

based for the existence God, Newton's Ptincipia, he consulted defense of on his Newtonto assure the correctness of presentationand four letters from Newtonresulted (More: 376).24Newton'sPfincipia was not readily accessible to because: is It the to Bentley,therefore, of mathematicalproofs. thegraspof most having "belongs been the the first to lay open undoubted merit of to whom in form, discoveries irresistible force in the to their these a popular and explain Deity" (Monk: 32). proof of a Moreover,Harris poins out that
It is worth noting also Bentley's link with Newton; when the former lived in London as Royal Librarian Newton was one of that remarkable group--the Evelyn, Wren and Locke--which met weekly at other members were Bentley'slodgings in St. James(Harris 1962: 215). Bentley and Newton shared a mutual respect for one another's in be While Bentley the only prominent member the achievements. end would inner Newtonians Biblical the textual variants not to of circle of concerned with be an Antitrinitarian he neverthelessfelt a kinship with Newton and the others in their mutual goal of offering a scientific basis for defending the faith against the many various manifestations of scepticism.That Bentley must have known of Newton's treatise discovering the Trinitarian textual corruptions is almost certain,the following evidencewould suggest.

23Anepitaph proposed for Bentley by Hilaire Belloc was, "His sins werescarlet, but his books were read," found on the title page of White (1968).

24These letters are extant and are locatedin Trinity College, Cambridge.


Newton had completedhis critique by 1690 and their correspondence Perhaps it 1692. Newton's began treatisethat activelyprompted Bentley in was is least 1717. It Newton lecture the that comma on in at possible to secretly Bentley. 25More his Bentley's lecture in treatise with about the on comma shared
a moment. Further evidencethat Bentley probably did know of the treatise, however,
is provided by William Whiston (1667-1752) in his HistoricalMcmoirs ofthc Lifc

Clarkc Samucl (1730). Whiston Newton's to who was appointed ofDr. in 1703 Arian himself (he Eusebian) was an called an and was professorship banished from the University in 1710 because of this. In this work he provides friends Imew Newton's its the that treatise a circle of about and author evidence

doubt least 1719 (and as early as no earlier): at The next year, 1719, Dr. Clarke desired me to write a Commentary on the first Epistle of St. John: which request I complied with. He also at another famous Genuineness that time recommended to me to write against the of text in the first Epistle of St. John, Chap. v. 7 concerning the three that bear be But in he knew believed Interpolation. Heaven, I to as record an which both had Dissertation knew Sir Isaac Newton that already, we written such a in I I then and was engaged other pursuits, excusedmy self at that time; and he both Mr Emlyn: to which work we agreed to recommend that matter (Whiston impartiality undertook and performed with great and accuracy 1730: 100). 'Ihomas Emlyn (1663-1741), an Arian, 26 spent over two years in prison (from 14 June 1703 to 21 July, 1705) in addition to being fined a thousand he had Newton letter Locke, to was sending said that cover Locke the original and had "no entire copy besides".It is difficult to believe he did not savea draft and that perhaps he said what he did to make certain what he was sending did not get lost and fall into the wrong hands (More: 632).
26"Mr. Emlyn settled down into a kind of Arianism, which it does not appear that he ever afterwards deserted, though he classed himself under the 507). his 3: in 1850 (Wallace Unitatian, general title of publications" vol.

251n his


pounds (later reduced to seventy Pounds) for his beliefs, having been found

libel blasphemous in After his 1703. conviction, of cmilty 0The pillory, he was told, was the punishment due, but, on accountof his beinga man of letters, it was not inflicted! He was then led round the Four Courts, with a paper on his breast,for the purpose of exposinghim to disgraceful by this treatment and even odium; the spoken public was of, in Spain or Portugal the sentence Lord Chief Justice,asmerciful, because been less have burning (Wallace 522). 1850 Vol. 3: than nothing would
He had indeed written just such a treatise as referred to by Whiston, his, A FuUEnquiry into the OriginalAutbority of that Text,Jobn v.7, Thereare TbreeThat in Heaven, 1715 which was as careful and judicious as Collins's BearRecord , bold. No surprise, therefore, that at the conclusion of this work was rash and important in history English Antitrinitarianism the the most of works one of Assembled" for "Both Houses Convocation En-Ayn to of now political and pleads Antitrinitarians, for For Emlyn, this was tolerance. as so many other social bit debate: than theological a of arcane obviously much more With all the respect due to so venerable a Body, and with the Humility of a God; in beseech I the to this sight of suppliant, matter, as consider of here be whether not sufficient evidence that this text either certainly, or at leastvery probably never was originally in the Holy Writings of St. John, but unwarrantably thrust in in later times (Emlyn 1746 vol. 2: 151). late He went on further to say that if it was agreed that the passage was a interpolationMill's John in his to the evidence response command of -and

longer in favour arguments their certainly seemedto suggest such--it should no beprinted in the Bible (or at the least it should be put in different type making known to the massesits doubtful status):

Mit: keeper Our twentietbarticle tells us, Thecburrb is thewitness ofHoly and in bearfalse therefore and or uncertainwitness so solemna matter, must not is judge has Writ, is Holy not the greatestreasonto wbicbshe asto saythat Lord, have it flocks, Tis dismal tbc wbCn tbus thing to saitb sucb. said to your a in it., hard it is him batb Lord th e this tbc that reads pokcn and a task on not s In doth be believe it St. for Jobn's to sucb.... the case church not words, who


beforeyou, 'tis toolate to concealthe evidence againstthete& I havetreated long has been it observd, oft objected, and much needssatisfaction.And of; Reperend Clergy ifyourLordsbips the and shall pleaseto instruct us, bybetter is done that there to the text of St.John; or being nowrong epidence, is, hereupon there that shall convinced promote a just alteration of this in our books, Greek to the according all printed manuscripts, that soyourpeople may least, doubt it for 1; take that, this at you see will not upright method shew Ifu to the world, that you arefair and ingenuousbeyond exception,and that in love (Emlyn 1746 truth 2: 153; the 155)? after seek ofit you vol. The Antitrinitarians were convincedthey had the data on their side, if only intervene fair between them and the church minded relationship would a Richard Bentley just help. provided authorities. such In 1717 Bentley was appointed to the academic post most valuableaswell
dignified in University, "Regius Professor Divinity" the most as of (Monk: 343).

To such a post goes the requirement of a Prx1cction or probationary lecture. On the first day of May Bentley gave his lecture addressing the subject of the Three Heavenly Witnesses--the commajohanncum. In denying its authenticity, he was doing so "as the prince of critics upon such a question" (Monk: 348). 27.

It was Emlyn's treatise that had focused attention on this question, giving riseto Bentley's authoritative denunciation of the passage,28to the great delight Antitrinitarians. his Trinitarianism It Bentley the of matters not that retained while giving up the verse becauseas an esteemedmember of the University and the establishedChurch he could hardly have done otherwise. Nevertheless,he maywell have been the first English text critic of such status to publicly

27Monkadds,"The composition excitedgreat sensationat the time and long afterwards"(348). It was written in Latin but neverPublishedand Monk in in it be locate he believed MS, wasneverable to to the though stiff existence his day (1830). 28AIthough,Bentley had beendebating the issue,probably with Joseph Craven(seeBartholomew: 20), in 1715. The accountof this is found in Two Letters Dr. BentleyLondon, 1717. to theReperend


denounce this proof text for the Trinity as a corruption. Prior to this those had usually also given up the Trinity. denouncing the passage in carrying the day for the Antitrinitarians, though this Bentleysucceeded
his intentions. from By far development theological own admitting such was at level he did Bentley's their textual cause a of world good. the protest that the dogmaof the Trinity did not need such a false support and yet the dogma in Antitrinitarians, beg in to untouched was, minds of the remained question the The however, in It treatise, terms. strangely, never appeared print. starkest can be conjectured that such an important treatise having never seenthe light of day in published form may well have been in order to deny the Antitrinitarians from Dinitatian a support Churchman. Anglicans still had the props of the

liturgy Trinitarianism. But Antitrinitarians to their the and support creeds were its it that the the cmnma, would carry once concessionwas made about certain force in it in fresh direction time thinking toward own and a would set minds the problem of the Trinity in terms of its Biblical predication. William Whiston dependence Emlyn's Bentley's this, acknowledged on while also pointing out Newton's (and earlierwork perhaps on as well) on the subject: This treatise [Emlyn's], as I have been informed, was alluded to by Dr. Bentley in his own famous lecture at Cambridge soon afterward, when he he Divinity: Regius Professor Candidate for Chair the wherein of stood of Which be it spurious .... also entirely gave up that text, and publicly proved to in so zealous and warm a Trinitarian deservesto be taken great notice of, as 100-101). 1730: instance honesty impartiality (Whiston a singular and of Moreover, however, Bentley had suggestedthe verse might be deleted in his proposed edition of the Greek N. T. in his responseto TwoLetters to the Reverend Dr. Bentley (1717). This prompted the author of the two letters-probably Dr. Joseph Craven, D. D. --to suggest in reply that The Enemies of the Orthodox Faith assumegreat Advantages to themselves, from a supposed want of Authority, in that of St. jobn, I Ep. v. 7. which


Commerce: And OPations to this they occasion make repeated gave over that Defect; for Occasions from Report, take them, and suppositious a that Dr. Edition will omit it.... And then the Enemies of Revealed Religion Bentley's ... find their Account in that which they desire may be An Uncertainty in the Rule ofFaith ([Craven] 1717: 2-3). On this very point Edward Gibbon would seemto be an apt fulfilment of


C. Gibbon's Scepticism

If we return to Lambe's two categories of critics and sceptics,while

Newtonclearlybelongsto the former, he bearssomeresponsibility for inspiring fit latter. What was perceivedby Newton and the Newtonians asa thosewho the by Christianity to to attempt return primitive challenging scientific
Trinitarianism and the authoritative institutionalized expression of orthodox Christianity, others saw as the occasion for the coflapseof Christianity proper. Ironically, Newton's pbysicasacrawas intended, in Manuel's words, to harmonize the book of nature (natural theology) with the book of sacredScripture (revealed theology), for some the result was the gobbling up of the one into the other. A "SecularNewtonianism" emerged, betraying "the coupling of the two fantasy the the realms--thereligious and of a scientific syncretistic scientific--in geniusand a God seeker" (Manuel 1974: 49). The secularNewtonianism would destroy the sacredview of science--as by Ncwton--and bring religion to the bar of a secularisedscientific advocated criteria. Edward Gibbon was perhaps the most celebrated, popular expression of

theearlyresultsof secularNewtonism.
Gibbon's strange and volatile relationship with religion has been given a

fair treatmentby ShelbyMcCloy in his Gibbon's Antagonismto Cbristianity (1933).Like Erasmus,he also saw the suprememoral worth of Jesus's teaching


Socrates (Gibbon 1899 5: Vol. 206). 29Erasmus that for of with asparallel was

him the founder of "a secretreformation" which

Sincethe days of Luther and Calvin has been silently working in the ... bosom of the reformed churches; many weeds of prejudice were eradicated; disciples Erasmus diffused freedom the of a spirit of and and moderation. The liberty of consciencehas been claimed as a common benefit, an inalienable right: the free governments of Holland and England introduced the practice of toleration.... the predictions of Catholics are accomplished; is by the Arminians, Arians, and Socinians, the web of mystery unravelled be from their separatecongregations computed whose numbers must not (Gibbon 1895 vol. 6: 253-255. ). In a footnote he comments further, "Erasmus may be considered as the father of rational theology after a slumber of a hundred years, it was revived by ... the Arminians of Holland, Grotius, Limborch, and Le Clerc; in England by Chillingworth, the Latitudinarians of Cambridge... "(254). When treating the Nicene Creed's pronouncement that Christ was God, Gibbon noted in his Decline and Fall in a footnote that: This strong expression might be justified by the language of St. Paul J Tim. iii. 16), but we are deceived by our modern Bibles. The word o" (which) was in beginning OFO'q (God) Constantinople the to of the sixth altered at Syriac is in Latin the the true and versions, century: reading, which visible fathers; Latin in Greek, the the the and still exists reasoning of as well as of this fraud, with that of the three witnesses of St. John, is admirably detected by Sir IsaacNewton.... I have weighed the arguments, and may yield to the in deeply first authority, of the skilled critical and of philosophers, who was theological studies (Gibbon 1895 vol. 5: 207 [x1vii, IV]). Obviously, Gibbon's thought was informed to a significant extent by footnote in judgements by McCloy Newton. argumentsand a mentions made

29Theedition I employ is the Bohn's Standard Library edition with notesby Guizot, Wenck, Schreiter, and Hugo, published by George Bell and Sons1895-1899.


busts in Gibbon's library Lausanne, the at thatamong consistingof Rousseau, Voltaireand Locke, was to be found one of Newton (McCloy 1933:40).
Not only was Newton's Two Notab1cCorruptionspublished in 1754, by Gibbon but both Porson Travis, debate to their and in extensive referred Gibbon's comments on the spuriousness of the commajobanncum, surrounding

knewof Newton's work on this variant.

UnUe Newton, Gibbon expresses for the Arians in his no sympathy historical treatment of that movement but notes with Newton in his Dcclinc and Fall that the efforts of the orthodox party to defeat the Arians' theology resulted in "fictions, which must be stigmatized with the epithets of fraud and forgery" Here clearly are echoesof Newton. Ihe (Gibbon vol. 4: 145, chp. xxxvii, VIII). -30 full though extensivemerits a quotation: passage The Catholics, oppressed by royal and military force, were far superior to their adversariesin number and learning. With the sameweapons which the Greeksand Latin fathers had already provided for the Arian controversy, they repeatedly silenced, or vanquished, the fierce and illiterate successors of Ulphilas. The consciousnessof their own superiority might have raised them instead Yet, of assuming abovethe arts and passions of religious warfare. by honourable the such pride, the orthodox theologians were tempted, be fictions, impunity, to compose stigmatized with assurance which must of the epithets of fraud and forgery. They ascribe their own polemical works to the most venerable names of Christian antiquity; the charactersof Athanasius and Augustin were awkwardly personated by Vigilius and his disciples; and the famous creed which so clearly expounds the mysteries of from Trinity is deduced, Incarnation the with strong probability, and the by African Even their this the scriptures themselveswere profaned school. rash and sacrilegious hands. The memorable text which assertsthe unity of the THREE who bear witness in heaven is condemned by the universal silenceof the orthodox fathers, ancient versions, and authentic manuscripts.

30Fora stimulating contemporaryreflection of the significanceof Gibbon'sclassic, Fall The Pelikan's The Empire: Jaroslav Excellent ofRomeand see tbe Tfiumphof the Church (1987).


It wasfirst allegedby the catholic bishops whom Hunneric summonedto Carthage. An interpretation, in the form, of the conference allegorical invaded Latin Bibles,which were the text of a marginal note, the perhaps of dark After corrected ten and in a period of centuries. renewed the invention Greek Testament the the editors of of printing, yielded to their own fraud, those the times; the or of and pious prejudices, which was embraced Rome Geneva, has been infinitely in at equal zeal and at with multiplied language Europe. This and every country of modern every exampleof fraud by African the suspicion; and the excite specious miracles must which Catholicshavedefendedthe truth and justice of their cause, be may ascribed, industry, heaven to their than to the reason, more with visible protection of (Gibbon 1899 vol-4: 145-147 [chap. 37]). in thesewords the sameindignation that animatedValla, One senses Luther "Donation Constantine. The " Erasmus the regarding and of sense of had far havingfound out that ecclesiastical corruption reachedas as Scripture itselfmust surelyhaveleft in the minds of intelligent readersthe feeling of logical The regarding the generalclaimsof revealed religion. mistrustand unease Newtonianism consideration of a secular was one result.
And as for those who could not bear to consider such textual corruption Trinity, foundational the only the theological tenet on so sensitiveand as a recourse was to challenge the claims of corruption. George Travis, Archdeacon of Chester, took up the challenge of answering Gibbon's claims in a seriesof letters which appearedin the The Gentleman's Magazineand which were subsequently expanded into a book titled: Letters to EdwardGibbon (1784) This called forth one of the most extensiveand by briefly debates acrimonious theological of the eighteenth century, treated McCloy (132-142). Nearly everyone who had pursued text critical studies in England at the time had something to say on the controversy. Gibbon, in his Autobiographies judged one responseto Travis, that by Richard Porson--onc of the finest minds of the day--as


the most acuteand accurate pieceof criticism which has appeared sincethe daysof Bentley. His strictures are founded in argument enrichedwith learning,and enlivenedwith wit; and his adversary deserves neither nor finds any quarter at his hands.The evidenceof the three heavenlywitnesses be in justice: but rejected now any court of would prejudice is blind, is dca bibles 1 be and our vulgar wiI. ever polluted by this spurious authority The 'sedet ' learned indeed aeternumque sedebit. text, more ecclesiastics win havethe secretsatisfactionof reprobating in the closetwhat they read in the Church (Gibbon 1970:107).
It is of interest that Travis's early contention in the debate had to do with Erasmusas the source of this grave occasion to scepticism: Erasmuswas secretly inclined to Arianism: a circurnstancc, which rendered him by no meansan indifferent editor of this fifth chapter of St. John. Upon his face Erasmus in instance then, the this the own apology, of conduct of his having kept back from his Upon the the supposition of world was mean. disingenuous it If Erasmus true motives of action, wasgrossly and unworthy.... had not possessed the merit of casting the first public imputation of imposture on this verse, which others have since been industrious to prove; " hardly have his, "reposuimus, met with so would -his subsequentrecantation, from 1794: 10-11). Mr. Gibbon (Travis mild a rebuke

D. Summary

And so the debate was to be forever coloured by these considerations: the Arianism, by to those so many of the orthodox versewas omitted sympathetic by fraudulently it interpolated the would claim; and was maintained and orthodoxso the legitimate critics--the Newtonians--and the scepticswould claim. One could not lay a finger on this and other theologically sensitive being from tainted as one passages, a purely critical standpoint, without furthering the process of scepticism and desacralization.

Not, that is, until the establishmentof the ideology of harmless foundation lay Trinitarian by Bentley, the engagement a who would advocated for retaining Trinitarianism while engagingin a critical reconstruction of the


N.T. He would provide a theoretical basisfor such work but would never Greek bring sucha project to life. 31The Germanswould now pick up where Bentley
left off. 32

31See Conyers Middleton's RemarksParagrapb byParagrapb uponthe Proposals Lately PublisbedbyRicbard Bentleyfor a New Edition of the Greek Testament Proposalsfor Bentley's Latin Version 2nd (172 1); Richard and ed. Ptinting a New Edition oftbe GreekTestament(172 1); Conyers Middleton's Some FurtberRemarks(1721). The task proved to be more daunting, perhaps, than Bentleyhad anticipated. Moreover, the possibility of inviting accusationsof Arianism for omitting the commamay have also added to his final disinclination to bring the project to fruition. 32Gibbon saw the cmma as a kind of test for the progress of liberal andcritical studies: "In 1689, the Papist Simon strove to be free; in 1707, the ProtestantIAM wished to be a slave; in 175 1, the Arminian Wetstein used the liberty of his times, and of his sect" (Gibbon vol. IV: 146, n. ).


In the Erasmian.Tradition- -Communicating Textual Variants adpopulum: Erasmus, Newton and the English Paraphrases

"Thereis no doubt that in spirit the Protestantswhopretendt bat Sc is pture ri ignorant itse6C, Since have prijudiccd. they the tradition of the or arc of rejected clear Ourch and havewished to recognize no otherprincipleof religionthan this verysame Scripture, tbcyhavehad to makethe supposition that it [the Scripture]is clearof itse6C faitb, independently to the truth the that establish sufficient of alone and and of the Socinians that Protestants tradition.But whenonercflcctson the conclusions the and from oneand the same draw principle, oneis convinced that their principle is by no imagine, different, thcy these since conclusions soclearas arewry means and the oneset denies " the what otheraffirms. absolutely Critical Simon, History Principal the of --Richard Commentators 1693 ofthc New Testament Wehave Arians conjecturingin spiteofthe Trinity; and the Socinians, in a bold defiance have Athanasians We the making reprisals on the one,and of atonement. dubious Calvinists from is Infidel, the the the other; wbilst strife, on standing aloof indifferent long loses day! the whowins,so asreligion
Critical Conjccturcs WiRiam Bowyers' and --A review of Obscrvationson tbc Ncw Tcstamcnt 3rd ed. 1782 in Tbc

Montbly Review 1782

A. Introduction

The model of the paraphrasewas a method Erasmus had used to

in his Cbristi communicate pbilosopbia to the reading public the sixteenthcentury, both the medievaldogmatic tradition of Romanism, aswell asthe circumventing dogmatic tradition of the magisterialReformers.The seventeenth and emerging both fostering in like eighteenth-century a nonrole paraphrases would play a conformist,Erasmianreligion--what Hugh Trevor-Roper broadly characterized



Socinianism Anglicans (Catholics, Putitans Erasmian 1989)and as -and also a tolerance. religious of climate new If the textual variantsdisplayedin theseparaphrases --which were more
likely than not also accompanied by annotations --spelled the dissolution of a invited discovery they the also of a new, more scientific and sterileorthodoxy, invigorating, Newtonian Christianity. In turn, these paraphraseswere countered by orthodox churchmen producing their own editions of the Scripture in defending Christological the annotations usuatly with orthodox paraphrase All variants. of this activity amounted to a tacit admission that no one was now, if they ever had been, operating from a truly solaSctiptura hermqneutic. I will begin by highlighting the significance of Erasmus's English for both the establishment churchmen the and annotations as model paraphrases Newtonian Erasmians. I aswell as will then addressthe significance of the for paraphrases communicating these theologically significant variants to the Antitrinitarians, layman, by with the educated almost always, when produced intolerant, poUtical the establishment status of ultimate intention of undermining Trinitarian orthodoxy. B. The Paraphrasesand Annotations The technique of annotating the sacredtext goes all the way back to the in T. N. (Xlj, coyp(x(p(x authors amended a sentence the when any one of the margin or in the text before despatching his narrative or epistle. The medieval Glossa Ordinaria was an attempt to retain those qualities which had developed since the Arian controversy and the other theological skirmishes on the way to the catholic consensusof the early middle-ages, well delineatedby Smalley in the folloWIng remarks: [U]niversity men busied themselvesin organizing and standardizing the teaching of Scripture itself. The unity of medieval culture is nowhere more


here. The Latin Vulgate than the same of version visible with the same formed the subject of statutory lectures, prepared standard apparatus according to the samemethods, throughout Catholic Europe. We may see in this a reflection of the fact that masters and students were all clerics, belonging to the same church (CHB 2: 199). It was one of the legaciesof the Reformation that this wonderful by became modern standards-soon nothing more than a consensus-surely day be known "Dark that an era memory, would some the simply as vague " Moreover, the English Enlightenment served the samenotice to creedal Ages. Protestantism,both conformist and non-conformist alike, that no medieval-like find here a place would ever again within the now rapidly multiplying consensus Protestantism. faces of Thesemedieval glosseshelped to maintain the exegeticalbasisfor medieval if And Luther in Scripture is that theology. the the was correct cradle which we find the baby Jesus,than the glosseswere the hand that rocked the cradle. Erasmuswell understood that in order to place his blueprint for reform into action he had to get the content of Scripture before the averagecitizen, demystifyingthe nature of the sacredtext in Latin, surrounded with arcane theologicaland scholastic annotations. Hence, not only was Erasmus the New Jerome Scripture he fresh when produced a and more accuraterecension of foundedon a Greek arch-typq he also provided a substitute for the Glossa Ordinatia in his own paraphrasesof the Scripture with his own annotations. While many of the Protestant Reformers preferred the term commcntarius, Erasmus Ordinaiia Glossa Annotationcs, in keeping uses more with the medieval andretaining associationswith the first early modern, philological approach to Latin Biblical texts, Valla's Adnotationcs (1505, edited by Erasmus) "Valla's -1

lKenneth Hagen seemsto have overlooked this point in his otherwise informative essay,"What did the Term CommentatiusMean to SixteenthCenturyTheologians?" (1990). Cf p. 37 where he confesses,I could not find


Vulgate he least the text, that on which show used three Greek notes at brief are concerned with grammatical analysisand avoid theological manuscripts, interpretation" (CHB 3: 80), and Erasmus, Like Valla, to whom he often referred, gave concise interpretation of the Greek the meaning of almost verse by verse; the humanists could feel at home from the first.... And on occasion up to two pagescould be given to the spiritual application of a passageby that mellow "philosophy of Christ" Erasmus tempered evangelical zeal (CHB 3: 81). with which Erasmus'sparaphrasesreceived a special place in the life of Protestant Englandunder Edward VI's reign, although under Henry's reign it was decreed be Annotations "There Preambles in Bibles or New Testaments that shall no or in English I'2Thomas Cranmer decreed that along with the Great Bible and the ... Erasmus's Book ofHomilies, paraphrasesof the Gospels and Acts were required in One everychurch. result was that Instead of thinking of an "Erasmian" party we might instead want to envision a community of men with shared educational backgrounds, shared goals, and shared methodology, for which Erasmus loomed as the most articulate spokesman (Booty 1981: 49). Hence, it was only natural that his influence on first the English Reformation and post-Reformation would be significant (seeMcconica 1968; Todd 1987), as well as his influence on the English Enlightenment ( seeTrevorRoper 1989). But little has been done in giving specific attention to the influenceof his paraphrasesor annotations on those English paraphrasesand

anyother common denominator, nor could I (as Erasmus did not differentiatc between a commentary and, say, an annotation. "
2StatUteS IlUdeat

Dom. 1542-3, cap. 1.

Westminster, Anno 34 & 35 Hen. VIII and Anno


English demise produced on soil, particularly the after of the ageof annotations Protestant orthodoxy It is my contention that Erasmus'sapproachto Biblical his Parapbrases, irresistible popularizing offered an exposition-particularly during for English Enlightenment the those who wanted to promulgate a model Christianity. Hence, follows is tolerant and non-Trinitarian, what a simple, English issue those to paraphrases or the annotations of used either raise survey in of textualvariants order to challengethe orthodoxy suchvariantswere intended to support; and other such editions which were usedto counter such Trinitarian both In traditional, to establishment, orthodoxy. attempts undermine begin Erasmus's data. instances nearlyall would usually with Little substantialwork, that I havebeenableto discover,hasbeendone on
the English paraphrasesand annotations. One helpful essay,however, that by ThomasPreston, "Biblical Criticism, Literature and the Eighteenth Century Reader" in Books in Century 97Eigbteentb England (1982: Their Readers and 126), notes that such paraphrasesand other popular commentaries were vehicles for "receivedinterpretations. " While this is undoubtedly true, one must make a distinction between two received traditions, antitrinitarian, as weff as orthodox, for the since paraphrasesand annotations were one means such popular propagandizingfrom both communities. I have consulted thirty of these paraphrasesand/or annotations from the 1582 Rhemesto Ostervald's TheNew Testament Illustrated witb Annotations .. 1795,astouching these two theological variants. What f6flows arc the results. 1. The GenevaBible (1560) knows of no variants at all in either caseand Nevertheless, full Trinitarian gives readings. orthodox exposition to the received the accusationof Arianism was lodged against the Puritan annotators later in the Bishop become Howson, in by John 1619 of seventeenth who would century


oxford. In 1612 he preacheda sermon from St. Mary3s pulpit citing several broke the annotations where with patristic consensus and which passages Howsonbelievedwould open the door to Arianism. There were, obviously, but implications I to this is the after reading sermon am there convinced political his intended Arian to though arguments over stated; merit and were no some (Howson 1612). 3 the the on part of annotators sympathies 2. The Rhemes(1582) doesnot evenknow of the Greekreading

I at

Tim. 3: 16 and as we would expect I jn. 5: 7-8 is defended as authentic, the locus for Trinity, indicates: "Three the the classicus as marginal note supreme in Trinity. & B. [lessed] Arians the corrupt the text of persons one substance " The annotation proper reads as follows: Scripture. ] An for Tbree distinction testimany. the wbicbgive expressplace of three & in B. [lessed] Trinity: the the unity of nature and essence persons, against the Arians and other like heretics, who have in divers agesfound themselves it is have Scriptures, (as these that they thought) so pressedwith plain both in Greek Latin the text alteredand corrupted and many ways: even as the Protestants handle those texts that make against them. But becausewe Calvinism, Arianism troubled arenot now we need so much as with with See S. this passage. not stand upon the variety of readings or expositions of I-Iierom in his epistle put before the 7 Canonical or catholic Epistles. The last referenceis to a further corruption of Jerome altered to provide Richard for by Father proof the authenticity of the cmnma,revealedpublicly Simon. 3. Bishop Joseph Hall, Bishop of Exeter and Norwich, an orthodox divine, in 1633 in his A Plaine and Familiar Evplication by way qfParapbraseretains the 5: 7-8. both I Jn. I Tim. 3: 16 received reading at and

3Nicholas Tyacke deals briefly with this in his Anti- Calvinists: The fisc Of EngUsbAnninianismc. 1590-1640 (1987: 69-70).


4. John Diodati, an Italian, Reformed divine had his Annotationstranslated fromthe Italian into English in 1643. At I Tim 3: 16 he knows of no variant and locus for full deity Christ: "God: the this classicus a as of sees namely,the Son God, God his Father, hath true of with taken upon him human everlasting For " he knows the comma again of no variant and sees this asa proof nature... Trinity: bcar "tbat for Of the the sametruth by glorious effects, rccord: text holy Trinity the in three to the of each persons of proper arc onc: namely, ... " and perfect operation... essence 5. The 1645 edition titled simply, AnnotationsUponall tbc Books Old tbc of
New Testament (sometimes Geneva The Annotations) and called which was a by Anglican divines based certain collectiveeffort upon the annotations of the Bible holds to OF-6;at I Tim. 3: 16 and the received reading at I jn. 5: 7-8 Geneva discussion of variants. with no 6. Edward Leigh who had a seat in the Assembly of Divines in his AnnotationsUponthe New Testament(1650) does not addressthe variants at eitherI Tini. 3: 16 or I jn. 5: 7-8 but assumesthe received readings. 7. TheDutcb Annotations by Theodore Haak (16 57) hold to the received readingsat both places, but does recognize that the Three Heavenly Witnesses "seems to have been left out of some copies by the Arrians. " 8. Henry Hammond, an orthodox divine in his Parapbrase andAnnotations (1659), affirms both received readings with no discussion regarding alternative variants. 9. Matthew Poole'sAnnotations (16 8 5) knows only the received readings 10. With Richard Baxter we begin to seesome stirrings. His 1685 Parapbrase both New Testament Witb Notes the on received while affirming readingsthe Three Heavenly Witnesses are negotiable: "Note, though much of thesewords, ver. 7,8 be not in many antient copies of the bible, we have more


Arians Icft the think in;... them than to that the out, orthodox them put reason faitbful, the therebein somanyotbertextswbich Buthowever,it need not offend (emphasis Dinity" the mine). assert I wiU now treat thosc non-Trinitarian paraphrases and annotationswhich fonowafter this date of 1685, aswell astheir orthodox opponents. 11. Le Clerc'sSupplement Parapbrase Annotations to Dr. Hammond's and
(1699). Le Clerc begins by saying that Hammond "has often acted the part of a divine, interpreter. And is than therefore rather to an or supply what preacher him, in I here English Gentleman, shall subjoin out of another wanting a by Dr. Hammond. discourse " He than thing ctitical then more any much said four from Pearson Apostles' Creed, the pages citing nearly on spends where ironically, Pearsondcfcndsthe received reading but in so doing rehearses the in long the contraryevidence,which run assiststhe causeof the antitrinitarians. But Le Clerc has the last word correcting even Pearsonand leaving the 5: mpression I jn. 7-8 Regarding that the non-orthodox reading is the oldest. Le Clerc complains that Hammond has spent too much time explaining words he ought to have first "endevoured to shew are genuine." He then spendsfive ... is demonstrating Le Clerc the spuriousness of the passage. miles aheadof pages his Anglican contemporaries in exercising a critical approach to the data of text criticism. 12. John Fell, an orthodox Churchman, who was both Dean of Christ Church, Oxford as well as Bishop of that city produced an edition of the Greek N.T. (1675) and was responsible for ejecting John Locke from Christ Church in 1684. In 1702-incorrectly Bible Histoiy Cambridge in as oftbe the noted

Epistles 1708-a third edition of A Parapbrase St. Paul's Upon Annotations all and issued from the press under Dr. Fell's editorship. Originally published in 1675 for I it in dons, Oxford by anonymously three no proper annotation appears


Tim. 3: 16 but a marginal note seemsto acknowledge the Latin Vulgate alternative. 13. In 1703 Daniel Whitby, an Oxford-trained Postmillennialist, produced

Commentary New Testament 2 vols. Whitby includes*inthe the hisA Paraphrase on fourth edition (it may haveappearedin an earlier edition) of this work (1718) a in 1710, Examen Variantium Lectionumjohannis published originally treatise Millii wherehe well illustratesthe prevalentbelief that verbal inspiration held had be the text that that of a to every view word sacred was and required Hence,he argued,right on the title page,that in everyinstanceof a defended. be defended: in iis lectionem text the textus textual received may omnibus variant This well celebrated defendiposse. Min's the thirtyattackupon compilation of textual variantsin his edition of the GreekN. T. waswhat prompted thousand debate between Bentley the and Collins. Whitby usedhis paraphrase Papists, Calvinists and asa meansof attacking
but oddly at the end of his life he was converted to the Socinian Socinians, bxrcscs Socini 1) dc Arii (169 Cbristi His Dcitatc Tractatus ct position. advcrsus vcra days in how Antitrinitarian his knowledge reveals scholars the extensivewas of has is he Almost when was their antagonist. certainly this a casewhere someone beenwon over to a position in the very attempt to refute it (seehis Last Tbougbts, 1727, published posthumously "by his expressorder, " DNB). 4 Regarding the variants in question Whitby interacts with a good deal of is he 16 Tim 3: in I his Regarding material coming to aware of conclusions.

41nhis own words: "And this my retraction,or changeof my opinion, deserves doctrine, former afterall my to assertand establisha contrary endeavors it proceeds(and indeed canproceed)from themore to be considered,because mefor no other reason,but purely from the strong and irresistible convictions, 1822: I [1722] (Whitby whicharenow upon me, that was mistaken" vill).


Grotius'sarguments but defers to Pearson's reply to these, concluding: "In a follows, is by translation Greek the reading our which owned the word, all Theodoret, Chrysostom, Oecumenius, Theophylact, is found and scholiasts, and in all the manuscripts, excepting that of Clermont and Lincoln College." Regarding the commain his paraphrase Whitby gives a sound orthodox "For bear [to Trutb] in [andftom] there three that this are record rendering: Heaven,the Father the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one [as in his Essence]. " In he he in Testimany, so annotation says will not comment instead defense his INM's he to then readers though and proceeds, as referring his hardly resist, offering response to the objections to this verse, taking could folio in two columns of space the process. up nearly
Samuel Clarke's The ScriPturc-Doctrine ofthe Trinity (1712) was of some ,

influencein bringing him to the Arian position (Whitby 1822: 101) and this his Text defending Received treatise the combinedwith original would seemto indicatethat the textual variants must have played a role in his reorientation. Nothing could be further from the truth. While his Christology becameas had Trinitarian forth in his his former "raractions" orthodoxy adamantlyset as beenin nearly all his earlier writings, the sentiments he expressedin his original divinely A i. reply toAM's thirty-thousand variants remained unaltered: e. inspiredtext must by consequencebe a providentially preserved text, kept pure from all textual corruption: Now becausethe end we are speaking of, is the conveyanceof the knowledge of Christ's doctrine, to all those who are concerned to know it, in such a manner as they may be sufficiently certain and securethat it hath first it it from receivedno change or corruption what was when was delivered.... we may be fully satisfied concerning it, that it hath received no 174). 1822: [emphasis (Whitby corruptionor a1tcration mine]


Hence,when it cameto treating I Tim 3: 16 in his retractionshe never but it in f6flowing the orthodox reading, instead rendered the questioned fashion:
for in Timothy, 'God in the flesh,' it is the as words and was manifest ... God, it there, the though that word signify one who was truly God, by plain having a true dominion over all things in heaven and earth imparted to him, having all perfections requisite to the exerciseof that dominion, yet and God, is that signify sclf-existent it cannot whose power absolute and (Whitby 1822: 124). underived... Whitby was one of the few Antitrinitarians never to have questioned these famous Trinitarianism. This is because two passages while still arguing against hefelt the force of Locke's argument about the unreliability of revelation dogma founded to the the necessaryconsequenceof uncertainty of pointing for Whitby Christian the the exclusivity of upon such a revelation; and system it be left to the that possibility was vulnerable wasparamount and could not textuallydubious at any point. Hence, the pristine nature of revelation must be held at all costs: for if it [revelation] be not certain, we cannot be assuredthat that doctrine ... is (Whitby for doctrine Christ, it brings down the to us really such of which 1822:174). St. Paul Epistles 14. John Locke's A Paraphrase Notes to the the of on and Galatians, (170 7) while not treating either I and 2 Cotintbians, Rmnans,Epbesians influencing in decisive books the of the containing these verseswas, nevertheless, kind of exposition conducted by other non-Trinitarians who were influenced by it, suchas Peirce, Benson, and Hallett. In 1702 Locke showed his work in it Locke Oats. had Newton Locke to then sent progressto paid a visit at who Newton at a later date to have a further look at it. Newton suggestedan did Locke Cor. 7: I 14 interpretation not, alternative at and other corrections. however,accept Newton's criticism at this point. Nevertheless, Newton was of


Locke's "Paraphrase Commentary that and theopinion on thesetwo Epistles [I is done ] Cor. judgement" 11 (Wainwright 1987 vol. with very great care and and Erasmus's Annotationesand makesreference 1:5). Lockepossessed to his (87). parapbrases 15. Edward Wells, a mathematicianaswell asyet another editor of an
Greek T. N. is found his the together of which with edition paraphraseof the N.T., published in ten parts between 1709-1719, a-adtitled: An Hefor theMore Clear Understanding Holy Scriptures. And Easy the of then according to which and T. he be N. in follows the treating of would any given volume what section be BeingAll St. Paul's Epistles Paraphrased, With Original typical: the would or Greek TextAmendedAccording to the BestMSS. J 709). Wells is often credited beginning in because, has Metzger the critical process earnest with as noted, "Wellsdesertedthe Elzevir text 210 times, almost always agreeing with the judgementof nineteenth century critical editors" (Metzger 1992: 109). But Le Clerc be Locke honour inspired by Newton's this surely and should given as ffindamentallyimportant treatise. Their work antedated that of Wells and on truly critical dogmatic matters they were well in advanceof Wells. Wells was of the opinion that Locke's Paraphrase"too plainly falls in with the Socinians" (Wells1709: preface).Wells, however, not only does not challenge the 066; 16 Tim. 3: in I his his in his "critical" reading text, nor translation, paraphraseof is an exposition of the orthodox dogma of the incarnation: The truth I spoke of (v. 15) which was hid to former ages,or not made known then so clearly as now it is of which mysterious truth the principal ... Lord, blessed heads God Son, was the articlesor our are these, viz. that flesh.... in by his dwelling the manifested to us men among us I believe this clearly revealsthe point I have been establishing thus far: the Orthodoxtend to use their paraphrasesto reaffirm orthodox dogma; while the Antitrinitarians' purpose is to reveal the dubious nature of such dogma by


highlighting the dubious textual evidenceon which such dogma rests.Part of in direction reactionary, is either one thisprocess or the other; either the disruptive data to the of the antitrinitarian paraphrases, orthodoxyreacting or lack full disclosure important, to the the reacting antitrinitarians the of of else by doctrinallydecisivetextual variantsin the paraphrases produced orthodox within the established church. theologians 16. ThomasPyle, an Arian, in his Paraphrase Notes with on theActs of the Upon Epistles New Testament Apostles Beinga Supplement the the to Dr. all of and Gospels Four Para (1725), oddly retainsOco; at IT im 3: 16, Clarke-Is the phrase on . but refersto Jesus, aswas the wont of the Newtonians, asthe "True Messiah"
God" "the Jesus him "upon human Perhaps " took that as son of our and nature. he is able to retain his Arlan exposition without challenging the word "God, it lesser is in his he Jesus God Regarding it, but the comma retains a economy. since "three Divine Persons" Trinity to to refers without making any reference a or of in is his like Arians the to oneessence, stress agreement rather, concern, most witness. 17. Daniel Mace, an Arian, produced a critical edition of the Greek N. T. andan accompanying English translation in 1729 which has received critical few but for development, boundaries praise pushing the seemto of text-critical know his edition was produced as one means of furthering the Arian cause.A identity his his Arianism William Whiston, contemporaryof was very as well as neverdearly established in the various sourcestreating his Greek text and translationover the years becausehe published it anonymously. H. McLachlan hasprovided a very helpful correction to this (H. McLachlan 1939). Hence, he is merely referred to as a Presbyterian minister by Metzger (1964: 110), though mention is made of the attack Mace received from Leonard Twells in his A Clitical Ewmination (173 1) as favouring Arianism in his conjectures and


has Mace Oco; his in Tim I 3: 16 in his text at and annotation on emendations. for judgement judiciously Mill's allows to pass,that though the oldest the place day, Codex Greek Alexandrinus, has been manuscript the of tampered extant hand, " "some Oeo; by be beneath the orthodox reading could the seen with Nevertheless, Mace Mills OFO; stresses that puzzlement the alteration. reading hadnot been used in theological debatesuntil "Gregory Nyssen, anno 380 bravely brandished himself it Eunomius" (Mace this text with and against armed 1729:773). As for the commajohanneum, the story is much different. His largest for (fifteen Moreover, this pages) is reserved controversial passage. annotation is omitted both from the text and the translation. In this rather the comma data dealt from the the evidenceof all note are amassedand comprehensive with the Greekand Latin codices, to patristic evidence, to the use of the passageby the Council of Lateran, to the pseudo-prologue ascribed to Jerome, and the have is: in Newton's the orthodox verdict agreement with original argument, dogma the to text of the expanded--and corrupted--the support of scripture Trinity. Mace was publicly opposed by Leonard Twells, a Cambridge educated Prebendary Late his A Critical Examination in St Paul's, London, ofthe of who NewText and Versionof the New Testament"erein the Editor's CorruPt Text, False , Mace's Version, 1) Censured (173 Fallacious Notes Detected opposed and and are

judgementon the comma.In part two of Twells' critique he notes Mace's heavy dependence his for data in Grotius the textual annotations and spendsthirtyon is Mace's (pp. defending 123-154) onepages the comma. edition a significant but fraud in how led Arian example the way exposing textual textual scholars of divines dismissed England by Church in were as mere these early attempts of tendentiouspropagandists.


18. William Wall, an Oxford divine who was rector of Milton-nexthis Critical Bricf Now Es pccially on th,, VariousRcadin Gravesend, published gs of Books in his 173 0. In Testamcnt Ncw preface the author acknowledgesthe tbc have discovering in that textual arisen as a result of variants the sacred problems in for William Whiston He Jews have that particular the suggesting attacks text. "by compact,perverted, altered, forged, corrupted" the books of the O. T. in Hebrew (xviii). This, he fears, "and a great many other profane and unseemly "Atheists [ofl, discrediting take that to the advantage of the words"are such booksboth of the Old and New Testament; both the Jewish and Christian This in in belief God Christ. " him from or almost prevented religion; all fear lections" for further "those the of use to which they various publishing histon's fears W by Wall Mr. be tendency towards sceptics. might put primitivism: No body suspectsMr. Whiston of any ill meaning to the Christian books; but, partly by adding and mixing some spurious ones, whichprimitive Christiansrejected[emphasis Mine], with true ones; and partly by breaking Testament Old between difference the the connection, and widening the books and those of the New, and inveighing with religious fury against the disguise have, he, former of strengthening, undera copiesof the which we 6i). (x: Christian the weakens cause Mr. Whiston's reply would no doubt be that it was only orthodox Trinitarianism.that could suffer any reprisals for what the textual variants reveal. On specific points he is particularly disturbed ("The foulest work that he hasmade") at Whiston's early suggestion that Matt. 1:23, a proof text for the virgin birth, is a corruption: Now this was all that the atheistical reader wanted. Do but yield and be is it bible, to condemned as corrupt; confess,that your as now stands, impertinent, New, Testament in Old the inapt, and the citations out of the bible etc. and we will venture the credit of any new composition of any book frame On to a this may which you shall make, or amend. cessionwe both Cbristian of religion, and get rid of overthrow the grounds and reasons


Testaments. This have his those the use refmers made of materials, and he better from reasonably not expect any usage could men of their principles ()Ddx) -

Coming to our two variant passages under question, Wall assumes the
believing OFOq, Latin Church the assimilated a corruption at some validity of lkm transrMssion the the text, the of and to refers of reader at this place. stage surprisingly, however, when dealing with the commaWall assumes the very he has in Whiston-the condemned posturewhich charge that the text of

Scripturehas been corrupted by means of interpolation. But in typical fashion, for discussion this than the see alteration as a cause reopening as to the rather dogma foster, he falls back the the to corruption was meant on what validity of day forward from be "enlightened" ideology this the to the adjustment of would is in "The doctrine it harmless the that namely, argument engagement, plain of (374). other places" 19. John Guyse, an independent minister, though orthodox, produced Tbc Or, An Evpositionof the New Testamentin the Form of a Practical Ev positor., 9173 Parapbrase; Occasional in Vols. London, Notes Proper Places 3 their witb 1752 (1 had access only to a nineteenth century, sixth edition, six vols., debates Trinitarian in during heyday in Edinburgh 1818) the when published of "Arian sentiments were-revived, and zealously disseminated by Whiston, Clark, [sic] and others" (TheLife of Dr. John Guyseas found in his An Evposition1818 his by 1: ii). Trinitarian "distinguished Guyse the vol vigour of was an adamant his in blind Arianism" He (DNB). attacks old age with the upon went his his improved, to consequence parishoners that of one prompting preaching inform him that she "wished he had become blind twenty years earlier" (DNB) In his paraphraseof I Tim. 3: 16 he leavesno doubt as to his understanding of the orthodox nature of this Christological passage:


And it must be confessedly owned...that the true doctrine of the gospel, is incomprehensible is a great, glorious, which accordingto godliness and ... That the some of these, principal articles of which mystery are the namely, ... God, Son God, of strictly who is and properly together with the eternal Fatherand Spirit, evenGodoverall blessedfor his ever..was manifested in ... Immanuel, God incarnate state; and so was with us (Guyse1818 Vol 5: 167).
How all this was supposed to have been derived from the text is surely a how This "paraphrases" intended for these to reveals the were work wonder. insulate from to the the text completely expositors, popular reading of orthodox Certainly is non-Trinitarian rendering. no mention of any variant to anypossible befound here. As for the comma,we learn from it that divine habitation heaven, is in the three there are persons, of whose glory that bear their united testimony to the incarnate Saviour from thence. The himself, first is God the Father.... The sccond Word the is eternal uncreated The God Father.... Heavenly third the these of with witnesses who ever was is the Holy Spirit, who gave abundant attestations to our blessedLord.... distinct in a manner And thesethree heavenly witnesses, though _wsonally being, divine that infinitely transcends all our ideas, are csscntially one one thing ...or one God, in distinction from, and in opposition to all normal or Vol. 6: 161-162). by 1818 (Guyse deities, naturc arc nogods pretended which For a dissenting minister he shows to what extent he was, nevertheless, for As Trinitarian dependent for his the understanding. upon catholic orthodoxy learn, the the textual matter of passagewe uncertainty of It would be to little purpose to trouble the common English reader with the disputesthat critics, especiallyof later ages,have raised about tbegenuineness Doctor in loc. Mill The learned the gives of this verse. where may consult the fullest and fairest account I have any where met with of the pleas that are both from the of sides on urged ancient copies, versions, and quotations, he from the whole of which question; concludes, that the arguments broughtfor the autbority oftbis text seemto him strong, that it ought by no be dropped 161). (ibid., to means r 20. Robert Withams version will be a welcome relief from the point/counter-point between orthodox Protestant clergymen and antitrinitarians. Witham camefrom Yorkshire, descendedfrom an important Roman Catholic


family, and was educated at the English College at Douai where he also became in divinity. He became its philosophy and eventually professor president, taking into isolation. While he President, however, Dr. Challoner near college was the hatched they together and professor the plan to revise the English wasalso in 1730, was called: Annotations on the Douai Rhemes5 which when published Cbfist. This NewTestament ofJesus edition, "differs from that of Rheims in (Pope 1952: 347). Though almostevery verse" we are now on fresh ground, interestinglythe topic of discussion is the same: the problem of textual variants Witham in his draws theology. the reader's attention to a Protestant preface and by the textual variants: of crisis precipitated critic'sassessment A Protestant author[ Gerhard v. Mxstricht] 5 in his prologom. [to an ... Wetstein, Amsterdam, 1711 ] gives us an account of the edition of ... indefatigable labours of the learned Dr. Mills.... [H]e tells us that out of he 120 MSS. [AIM] in 1707 [there are] above thirty about published thousand different readings and moreover, that the said Dr. AM in his he looks be that thousand two these, to true prologom. owns upon above of and genuine readings, according to which all printed copies ought to be he, corrected,and present readings cast out, which, says would occasion no small changesin our books. This said critic, in the sameplace blames Dr. Mill for not attending to the consequencesand advantages,which he apprehendsthe Papists may pretend to draw from thence, who always cry the foundations are corrupted; secondly the Socinians; thirdly the Atheists and all they who make a jest of all revealed Religion (Witham preface5 no pagination). Here we learn that not just the Englishman Whitby, but a conservative Germanchurchman as well felt that Mill's tabulation of textual variants would be the causeinviting the desacralization.of Holy Scripture. The problem is that the Protestants, in Greek Witham, the according to place much too much credence

5Reussinforms us that in a treatise by this author, Specimcn nopxcd. (1706), he "laid down thirty-seven canons for the estimation of variants, the ... ... first attempt at a theory of N. T. criticism" (Reuss 1884 vol 2: 425).


hence father The folly this the strategy of misguided and this source of was, text. Erasmus: been have arguing, we as
It may be observed that neither S. Jerome, nor any of the Fathers, thought it from GreekMSS. 6They translations the to contented convenient make new faults inevitably happened in those to the which themselves correct due They had for had that a veneration version which manuscript copies. beenmade use of from the beginning of Christian Religion in all the Latin first from Erasmus the translation the who undertook a new was churches. by Cardinal Ximenes, by Robert Stephens. Greek and published printed BezablamesErasmus for abandoning in many placesthe Latin Vulgate, Erasmus Greek MSS. is he, which more conformable to many which, says (Witham, preface) wanted The answer to this crisis is not to endlesslypursue some fanciful ideal of a because Greek text, pure Protestantsset too great a value, and lay too much stressupon the Greek different have from it they made so many text, such as now is, which Beza, Calvin, Luther, language and so that even translations into vulgar King Jamesthe First, when he ordered a new translation made loud and just by the of the of word purity them corrupted that shamefully was complaints God (ibid.). This Protestant experiment could only end in disaster, his in down opinion private that which reading translator set[ting] every ... he judges best, or rather which agreesbest with the principles of his sect.... God their to is creed the conformable to that ...endeavouring make word of ). (ibid. God not their creed to the word of And here Witham sums up the legacy of the English Enlightenment.

intention Jerome's it 6This,of course,is non-sense, original since was On MSS. Greek best from this see, to producethe best recensionpossible the Kelly D. N. J. See 412). F.C. Burkitt, journal of Tbeological Studies 30 (1929: also him the Damasus to he "it out informs sort where who requested us that was fresh the discrepancies.... of translation multitudeof not a completely Among the (emphasis all based but the oiginal mine).... original on a revision ... determine he text the which [Jerome] he to competing alone was and versions , 86-87). 1975: Greek" (Kelly agreed most closelywith the


The orthodox Roman Catholic responseto this crisis was to return to the VuataLatina asthe sacredtext: I know English Protestantsarc apt to blameus for translating from the Latin-Vulgatc, rather than from the Greek.Is not the Greek,saythey, the fountain?Were not the Originals of all, or almost all the new Testament, in They Greek? But desire first know then were so. to written we where find fountain Greek this they,or we, may pure, clear,and unmixed, asit was in the beginning?Where we may be able to meet with those Original, or by divinely Authors? is It those 6owcoypocy(x, written Inspired certain they have been heard for They extant, nor now seen not or of are many ages.... Decree Council Trent.... [I]t belongs the the to of neednot quarrel with of judge Church to the of the sense of the Scripturesand to recommendthis faithful. The Depositum Church in has Council to the sacred a general declared the ancientLatin-Vulgate authentic; but we do not find any Greek Edition, to us such aswe can meet with at present,recommended copyor by the Church (ibid.).
Hence, here we find the three camps clearly delineated in a three way Text; Latina Sacred Roman Catholics Vuqata contrast:the revering the as the Greek text as Sacred the Protestant catholics adhering to the common reccivcd Text; and the Erasmian antitrinitarians engaged in the quest for the bistorical Cy" text, repristinating a non-Trinitarian, primitive Christianity and beginning the in desacralization the process. process of As might be expectedWitham has the Latin reading WiCh" was he his In in Tim. in his flesh 3: 16 1 translation. manifested the annotation at interpretsthe passageas a classicreferenceto the incarnation, but is happy to turn to the Greek codices for complete clarity:

incarnation A Greatmystery Meaning the of the son of the MYsteryof ofpiety, in God. And so in most Greekcopies,and in S. Chrys. we read Godappeared (Witham vol. 2: 264). tbeflesb The comma is presenthere with the following note:
[O]ne in nature, in substance,and in all perfections, in the samesense,as Fatber tbing. John 10: 0: 1 3 Christ himself one the one, or are when and said, The Socinians object that this verse is wanting in many Greek MSS. And


in Erasmus [actually one edition it was two, the first two] and Masr. even Simon in his Cfitics, have questioned it, or, as a false reading, but hath been many any sufficient proofs and grounds, as without learned Catholics, and also by Protestant writers, who receive in their Canonical (Ibid. 431). this translations verse as 21. William Whiston published his own annotations in his Pfimitivc New in 1745. A thorough-going Newtonian, he followed his mentor as Testament Professor and was a Boyle Lecturer. Earlier he had published his Lucasian ptimitive Cbtistianity Repived(1711). In this most advancedcritical recension Whiston leavesout the ascensionat Lk. 24: 51, as well as the act of worshipping by the Apostolic community in the following verse. At I Tim. 3: 16 he Jesus 5, At "God. " I John "who" 7 8 be than to rather verses and are nowhere reads found asthe numbering goes from 5 to 9. Whiston theorises that "the old Heretics,the followers of Simon Magus, frequently interpolated the copies of the books of the New Testament; which they put into the hands of the Catholic Christians,in order to confound them. And that by consequence', Beza'sdouble I is far [Codex Bezx, "D"], the than rest, and copy any of or more ancient which think, written at the latest within 30 years of the death of John the Apostle, later interpolations be free from the than must much more uncorrupted and such Here be" be 1). (appendix: to copiescan supposed we seethe complete congruity betweenthe primitivists' impulse to get behind late institutional orthodoxy and for MS inclination from the the earliest sources to accept only the verdict arising the biblical documents, one of the foundational principles of modern textual criticism. Interestingly, Whiston offers a passing comment about Wall's annotations: As to the numerous mistakes in our modern copies, both of the Old and New Testament, we have a very large catalogue of them from that eminent, Old NotcS Critical his in the Dr. Wall, upon sagacious,and very good man, I be he Ncw Tcstamcnt: though even could never and made sensible of what haveplainly proved elsewhere,that many of those mistakes were voluntary,


by by Jews heretics the the wicked or and made either old wicked who ... ... business it forge books, interpolate their to spurious made or the genuine (appendix: 15). true ones And finally, to answer Wall's fears as to where the variants must tend: And thus by my observation it has ever been, and will ever be with the most formidable objections against the primitive Christian religion, that they still deeper length such enquiries as at occasion will silence, I wish I could add also,and convert those scepticswhich propose them, to the sameprimitive Christianity. Amen. Amen (16). This sentiment epitomises the optimism shared both by rational apologetes for classical orthodoxy as well as antitrinitarian Newtonians. 22. George Benson, a dissenting Arian. pastor in his A Parapbrase and Notes Epistles (1752 2nd. Paul's )-and ed. on basedon Locke's method-leaves out

the receivedorthodox reading at I Tim 3: 16 in his paraphrasewhile retaining it in his text. He is convinced that OeO;is a corruption because,"Our Saviour, Jesus Christ, himself, hath informed us, that hisfatber is the only true God....Now theFatberwas never said to be manifest in the flesh.-That, therefore, would

makeone doubt of the common reading and interpretation" (272). 23. John Wesley produced his Lxplanatmy Notesuponthe New TestamentM 1754.He statesas one of his principles that those various readings likewise which he [Bengel] has showed to have a vast have I their majority of ancient copies and translations on side, without incorporated (preface). the text scruple with Here he follows the lead of his guide, Bengel, after whose edition of the GreekN. T. Wesley produced his own English translation (1790). Wesley's his instincts, here his Anglican, conscrPatism while catholic as expressed matches indcpcndcncc from that tradition is manifest in his attempt to produce a rival translationto that of the established Church--perhaps the two factors that best He Wesley's the validity sulnup the very essence assumes of reform movement.


Tim. 3: 16 I OcO; the and exegetes at passage asa proof of the orthodox view of incarnation: of the in "Themystery qfgodliness-Afterwards specified six articles,which sum up Christ Is the whole economyof upon earth. tbepillar andground--The foundation and support of all trutb taught in his church. Godmanifest in the flesb_In the form of a servant,the fashion of a man, for three and thirty years .
He fiffly acceptsthe commaand seesthe unity of the three heavenly in in "one knowledge, in in essence, as will, and their testimony. " witnesses Moreover, in a sermon he preached in Cork on 8 May, 1775 (sermon 55), Trinity, he his " "On In the text the titled: used as sermonic cmmajobanncum. he issue the this sermon addresses of what constitutes afundawntal of the faith andasserts there have been so many warm disputes about the number offundamentals. But surely there are some which it nearly 7concerns us to know, as having a dose connexion with vital religion. And doubtless we may raak among these that contained in the words above cited: "There are three that bear record in heaven,the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: And these three are " one. Hence, for Wesley, the truth of the Trinity is beyond dispute becauseof the clearteaching of this passage.The Trinity is, for him, a fundamental of the Faith, evenif we need not demand the use of classicterms such as Dinity or Person: I dare not insist upon any one's using the word Trinity, or Person. I use them myself without any scruple, becauseI know of none better: But if any him has to use them? man any scruple concerning them, who shall constrain

71originally put a question here as to whether or not this should be "dearly informed He the that than me concernsus" rather nearly. promptly The Dictionary. Oxford English I answer was no and that should consult the is leaves experience one with a clear example of why conjectural emendation hazardous always a enterprise.


Much less burn I would a man alive, and that with moist, green cannot: for "Though I believe Father is God, the Son is God, and saying, the wood, is Ghost God; Holy I the yet scruple using the words Dinity and Persons, I do not find those terms in the Bible. " These are the words which because John Calvin by Servetus in letter himself. I cites as wrote merciful to a insist direct just the lie in only on words, unexplained, would they the as bear "There in heaven, three that are text: record the Father, the Word, and Ghost: And Holy these three are one." the Yet, later in the sermon he raisesthe issue--asdid nearly all the nonTrinitarian expositors-of the autbenticity of this passageon which rests the Trinity dogma the teachingof as afundamental of the Christian Faith: "As they lie in the text: "--But here arisesa question: Is that text genuine? Was it originally written by the Apostle, or inserted in later ages? Many have doubted of this; and, in particular, that great light of the Christian Church, lately removed to the Church above, Bengelius,--the most pious, the most judicious, and the most laborious, of all the modern Commentators on the New Testament. For sometime he stood in doubt of its authenticity, because it is wanting in many of the ancient copies. But his doubts were removed by three considerations: (1) That though it is wanting in many copies, yet it is found in more; and those copies of the greatest authority: -- (2) That it is by St. John from to that of train the time cited a whole of of ancient writers, Constantine. This argument is conclusive: For they could not have cited it, had it not then been in the sacredcanon: -- (3) That we can easily account for its being, after that time, wanting in many copies, when we remember that Constantine'ssuccessorwas a zealous Arian, who used every meansto in his bad Arianism throughout the empire; promote cause,to spread his into fen [ofl this text out of as many copies as particular, the erasing hands.And he so far prevailed, that the age in which he lived is commonly being Seculum Arianum, Arian " then there one only styled, age; --"the it life. So his him that was a eminent man who opposed at the peril of (Wesley Atbanasius "Athanasius proverb, against the world" contra mundum: Works3rd. ed. 1820 Vol. 6: 200-201). This is a classicmodel of how the orthodox swept aside all the critical form historically for efforts of antitrinitarians to push not only more accurate an of the N. T. text, but also for the realignment of theology to reflect the teaching of a more faithful recension. Wesley states ahead of time, before making any he faith; Trinity reference to Biblical evidence, that the is afundamental of the


has the been comma to as evidence support cites what then already asserted;he thenrepliesto the evidence against the authenticity of this passageof Scripture by summoning Bengel, whose orthodoxy and picty matches his own and that of his Methodist constituency. Finally, he suggeststhe scenario that nearly all invoked: divines by Arians in the fourth the passage the excised was orthodox leaving inevitable be drawn the thus to conclusion that those who century, be doing because, the text the removal of now must they, too, are so wished heirsof Arius and wish it removed from mere prejudice. What he has failed to address,and what would have been clear as day to Wesley's antitrinitarian scholars was contemporary own tendentious treatment by (1): assumingthe doctrine to be true without first determining it to be so from Biblical evidence; (2) the invoking of Biblical evidenceto substantiate the dogma, first determining the validity of that textual already affirmed without his in favour (3) by then the textual evidence; arguing of evidence referenceto divine, Newton's treatise, which appeared oneorthodox without ever addressing in 1754, nor the arguments of Wettstein, who answeredBengel in a decisive way in 1752. Finally, (4) the use of guilt by association to taint anyone who might for doing to attempt raise the evidenceagainst the commaas so purely prejudicial "Arian. " reasons they are --because 24. Philip Doddridge, a non-conformist tolerant toward Arians but not Parapbrasc himself, Evpositor his immensely Tbc Family one or a produced popular 8173 from Version Critical 6 Notes, New Testament and of tbc witb vols. published 56, the last appearing posthumously. 8 He was influenced by John Le Clerc

81fear I must take issue with Malcolm Deacon when he saysthat "Doddridge's translation of the New Testament from the original Greek, juxtaposingthe four Gospels with commentaries and devotional exercises, was the first work of its kind designed to give to the public an opportunity of studying the scriptures with open and alert minds" (Deacon 1980: 106). It could


his inspiration. the Regarding on modification of I verbal view of particularly Tim. 3:16, Doddridge surelymust haveknown the controversysurrounding this is found here but Typically he fmds here to that a not word end. variant a proof incarnation: "God in for Redeemer, the wasmanifested tbeflesb:of our blessed text he placesthe in whosehuman nature the incarnateDeity dwelt." On the comma following brackets in the with accompanying note: passage
As it would be altogether unfit, to introduce into such a short Notesas these be, dissertation intended to a critical upon the authority of this celebrated are Text; I shall content myself with referring to what so many learned persons in have have the engaged controversy, as written on each side: but I thought intimate doubt least, its to obliged such a remaining myself at concerning have done I by inclosMg it I as authenticity, M crotchets. am persuadedthe important but have been by truth; they words contain an whether added by I the to or omitted others, contrary original copy, will not pretend some, to determine. 25. Robert Goadby, yet another Arian, 9 rejected OeO;in his annotation at I Tim. 3: 16 while retaining the reading in his text M his An Illustration oftbe New byNotesand Evplications (1759), relying on the evidenceprovided by Testament

GOD wasmanifestin tbeflesb: ] There is great reason to supposethat this is interpreters, because the not the antient and true reading, all the antient Latin, Syriac, Arabic, and Ambrosius, all appear to have read it not GOD was Gospel.... Godliness, but Mystery the the or manifest, of wmcHwas manifest, viz.

bearguedthat each of the already listed twenty-one earlier attempts to Doddridge's biblical had in popularise content all their own way anticipated effort. 91have determined this based on his exposition of John'sprologue, is information determination if for always a safesource sufficient such a his in length in Goadby is provided the annotation. wont to write at great annotationsas opposed to those who offer just the briefest of comments.


Somethink it should read, HE THATwas manifestin tbeflesh,viz. that Person in beginning St. is John's Gospel, God... Our LORD the of called who jESUS CBRIST hath himself informed us, that his Father is the only True God,John xvii.... Now the FA=Rwas never said to be manifestin theflesh; doubt Reading the therefore, make one of would common TmT, and Interpretation. And what increaseth the suspicion is, that for three hundred Chtistianity was planted, this text was never alleged to and eighty years after Christ Divinity (Goadby 1759: 753). the of prove

And hereafterhe givesthe data found in NM. Wonderfully typical of nearly

far, Goadby fits in Arians his thus the consulted pattern perfectly all other because it lacked because its this passage early attestation and rejectionof fit Church. did that the of pre-Nicene theology not As for the commajobanneum Goadby begins by offering a non-orthodox himself interpretation, Erasmus Erasmian. since exposition-one could say an it does it Goadby"-before rejectmg as an interpolation'O: understood as That is, One in consent of testimony; or they all agree in bearing the same is here jobn St. for it is that speaking. testimony; of a record or testimony And to beone,John xvii. 21. evidently signifies, to be one in consent or agreement,and not an unity of nature.... Now comesthe well expectedlanguage: "But there are the strongest CY 4LY to conclude, that" reasons for death; John's St. hundreds thesewords... were added some of years after before Greek in be found the they are not to the text of any manuscript, invention of printing, or before the sixteenth century; nor in the text of any Manuscripts; in Latin, nor some antient version except the and that, only 902). (Goadby: Cbfistian by cited writers any of the antient Erasmus fact: forgotten become have by He then rehearses then a what may first left it out in both his first and second editions of his Greek N. T. and did

IOIt is true that both Calvin and Beza interpreted the text in the way that Goadby does but when I say "orthodox" I generally mean orthodoxy as definedby the Protestant dogmaticians of the seventeenthcentury.


in Greek it his 1522 11 the text Hence, third, proper until place cdition. not Erasmus Goadby asthe progenitor of a critical text which became rightly sees later Protestant by just Christianity had orthodoxy, as early medieval overlaid Latin Bible interpolation. the recension the earlier of an with same overlaid
26. Anthony Purver, a Quaker and a self-taught man, produced his A Ncw Translation Books Old Literal New Testament the the of all of and witb Notes and Ctitical and Explanatmy 2 vols. in 1764. Under his heading, "Additional he addresses Remarks" the issue of textual variants and inspiration: "If we by inspiration, Scripture Divine if the that given was as we must we confess it Tim. 2 3: 16. be denied believe there think, to says can scarce,one might what it the lesserregard of Providence for its preservation...". He, nevertheless,notes that there are variants, far fewer in the Hebrew O. T. manuscripts than *inthe GreekN. T. because,"the oldLaw lying in the letter, required an exactness there, , has it does latter being though the not require; spiritual which the new but does Tim 16 in is He OEO; I 3: "). at sufficiently what material... retains he knows INM's Latin Regarding the the comma acknowledge alternative. it have in in its favour but Le Clerc's to thinking treatment arguments notes beena late interpolation. Purver simply makes no judgement, no doubt feeling for bit his have been depth. however, he Also, other out of reticent a might is his he "As In introductory there reasons. an establishedand remarked: material English Version of the Scripture, whoever makes another, seemsunder received least, for his to satisfy somenecessityto give the principal alterations at reasons

"He even makes the interesting point that earlier English translations in being italics its in "to in the original: placedthe verse question wanting signify which distinction came afterwards to be neglected" (902). This signifies the dominance progressive of seventeenthcentury orthodoxy on nature and ultimate this point.


did himself. " For dissenting Quaker be they as a to public, the challenging have lead hanging to would possibly variants a cloud of suspicion over orthodox histranslation. 27. John Worsley, yet another dissenter,producedhis TheNew Testament
Lord Saviourjesus Covenant Christ Translatedfrom New Greek of our the and or Rcfcrcncc, 1770. According to the PresentIdiom of the English Tonguewith notes and Worsleyadmitted in his introductory material that while he knew his translation be for legally Bible, the employed as a substitute establishedchurch could not hoped he "some benefit by is private that persons may receive which nevertheless, he he has Also, in his " that notes supplied alternate variant readings now offered. Al. for He has I by the to alitcr. abbreviation nothing say about notes use of Tim. 3: 16, but in his note on I jn. 5: 7-8 usesthis notation to explain why he hasomitted from the text the comma. 28. In 1776 Edward Harwood produced his TheNew TestamentCollated

Critical in Select Notes Englisb Approved Manuscripts Most the and witb witb Evplanatory 2 vols. 1776. Harwood was an Arian and his critical edition of the N.T. ranksasone of the more highe-profile attemptsto communicatethe falsity both He Trinitarianism. used of the established church edition usedto maintain Codices Bezx and Claromontanus,both of which he was convincedwere very
doseindeed to the original transcripts of the N. T. books (other Arians/Unitarians who also worked on the text of the N. T. were of this "the degree Thus he that conviction). of confidence maintain could with some text of the inspired writers here exhibited will approve itself to every scholar who is a judge of sacredcriticism, to be as near to the original autograph of the he Moreover, " Evangelists hitherto Apostles published to the world. as any and laid in "The could good conscienceassert: me under any obligations world never " to espouse any party, or to vindicate any set opinions.


Harwood subsequentlyreceivedapprobation for his efforts from both Marsh, Michaelis thus advancingthe causeof furthering a critical approach and N. T. Hence, he the text of could with somepride announceto the world to the in hisIntroduction(noted below) that "Learning hath rcpivcd, in and, probably, flourisb, Protestant Dissenters, eminently the ages will among subsequent sincethe in London,Dawntry, Warrington,Exeter, institutionof those excellentseminaries Caermarthcn5 by have superintended and conducted personswho made and in branches " In the all attainments of polite and useful science. addition singular Harwood Greek text, to this also produced a more popular A Liberal Translation in Testament 2 176 7 his A New New Study Introduction the to the and vols. and of Testament New 2 1767-1771, he lists Knowledge the sometimes ofthc vols. for he bring it into line text the to received altered arguments why extensive with This last into doubt forms German translated and no earlier witnesses. work was
dependence link German of nineteenth century scholarship on the onemore of At I English antitrinitarians. ground-breaking work of the eighteenth century Tim 3: 16, as we might expect, Harwood has 6 rather than Oe0q.And the comma is simply omitted with no comment. Harwood knew Newton's treatise, noting it in his appendix as "an extremely curious and most excellent pamphlet. " 29. Zachary Pearce,a friend of Isaac Newton, had his Commcntarywith Notes f Apostles, 2 Acts Four Evangelists the the the on q vols. posthumously and does in by While Pearce 1777 John Derby. published not treat the two passages under investigation here, there is in this work an interesting personal account home by by him Isaac Newton's related the author of a visit to where a " discussion "Chronology. famous Newton's held was regarding the publishing of Moreover, throughout his annotations Pearceshows his willingness to accept the judgementof Grotius, Le Clerc and others when they judge, on the basis of


later that interpolations the certain alone, of received readings were conjecture (Matt. 1:8; Luke 23: 33; Jn. 6: 4; Jn 19:31). 30. John F. Ostervald, a Swissclergymaninfluencedboth by the
Enlightenment and Pietism had his The New Testament Illustrated witb ... L into English in 1795. A derivative work, he synthesised Annotations translated from least English at sixteen other prominent the comments He Samuel Clarke's Tim. I to refers comments on commentators/annotators. 3:16 with no referenceat all to the variants here. For the cmma he acceptsit as in 2not 8 but in testimony, only agreeing as ver. unity ofnaturc"--and authentichas, in a completely uninformed way goes on to comment: "Though this passage been design, left it is by carelessness or out of some copies, yet sufficiently demonstrated,by many of the most ancient ones, that it belonged originally to the sacredtext. " Thomas Emlyn, who for the heresy of Arianism was sent to prison from 14 June 1703 to the 21 July 1705, found the retaining of the commajohanncum in the establishedchurch Bible to be one of the root causesof intolerance toward his he by his biography, in England. In the words of son, antitrinitarians written complainedin vain: There were two particulars so generally allowed to be wrong, and yet no despair it of public attempts to amend them, that made our author quite These be were the everseeingany thing rectified, it never so plainly amiss. Athanasian Creed and the supposed text of I John 5: 7 (Emlyn 1746 Vol. Llviii). Even among the reasonably disposed within the ranks of the established En-ilyn church,who were ready to recognize the spurious nature of the comma discovered

These be do indeed to that the text given up, aspast all men confess ought just defence;but 'tis very wrong to say,'tis enough that a few learnedmen know it. The Bible is apublic book, for the useof all, and is translatedfor


for the their good it should be set out free from all unlearned; and the use of known corruptions. And the learned, who know this text is to be given up, honestly let know it the too, who are as much concerned as world should 'tis But fairly, given till it be left out of our printed copies; nor never up they. is it declaredto be dubious,till it be again marked in small letters.... But alas! Itis vain to say 'tis given up, while 'tis read undistinguished in the church, from the pulpit, in proof of afundamental point of religion: and and urged deliver it still as their opinionthat 'tisgenuine, and according wbilecommentators to the true original of St. John (emphasis mine) (Emlyn 1746 Vol. 11: 163). It was, indeed, as I have demonstrated with the former survey, among the Bible during the and paraphrases annotators of the eighteenth century, various debate in the that was carried on earnest, as En-ilyn is careful to note (using Wells'sannotations as a specific example).121t was here that the antitrinitarians wereable to alert the public to the status of the evidencesurrounding the comma here had final the to established their where church and commentators wage Biblical defensefor both the commaand Trinitarianism. C. Summary In Newton's two textual studies he was significantly indebted to the data in Erasmus's Annotationes; in his playing out of the drama involved in bringing thesescriptural corruptions to the attention of the learned world, he was continuing the plea for tolerance and reflection that was so much a part of the legacy from Erasmus. had liberated Church If Erasmus the of medieval corruptions, Newton and the Newtonians saw themselvesin a similar role, liberating Protestantism from the textual corruptions of Trinitarianism. Because of the stature that Newton held during the English Enlightenment the Two NotableCorruptionswas the most important contribution to this processin the

1211 Which Dr. Wells, tho without answeringthe argumentsagainstit, in defend do has [ feared andthereforewithout just reason, the comma], to not hislateExposition of this epistle" (163).


The became century. paraphrases and annotations the most popular eighteenth adpo wayof communicatingthesevariants and their significance, pulum.

13Interestingly, Christopher Hill's recent rather monumental work coveringmuch of the sameperiod as this chapter, TheEnglisb Bible and the SePenteentbCentury Repolutions(1993), though rightly recognizing that "Failure to which the to prevent continuing discussion by the middling and lower classes, survivalof dissent testified, was perhaps as important in preparing the intellectualclimate of the Industrial Revolution as the political changesand liberation of the revolutionary decades"(432), neverthelessshows no recognition of the role played by the paraphrases/annotationsas contributing factors,both to the encouragement of dissent as well as to popular scepticism.


From Lower Criticism to Higher Criticism: Joseph Priestley and the Use of

ConjecturalEmendation in an Early Quest for the Historical Jesus Meanwhile theindustq of the moreunprejudiced themore scholars wasapplied increase disadvantage It the to the sifting and of critical apparatus. wasno zealously [in 1 8th 7thll hindered the that prevailing prejudice the themore centuries] whatever for hasty; frequent it the text, tran$rmations theywere too of yet always wasthus freer to collect possible up, with moretime and care,the treasures and store with whicha fresh begin in it Here power, might more a enduring work.... again wasthe century, horror led but EngUsh the to the to too way, of all whoclung custom, unfortunately who forgotten by bit Several those them. then whocame and ungraciously after even soon interrogating idea the oldest the payingnoattentionto others. of witnesses alone, upon however, Some, their researches continued and theannouncement of their results, and due found,instead ofsoberjudgement and acknowledgment, onlyclamour and suspicion.
Sacred History Withelm Eugen Reuss, ofthe --Eduard 5th 1884, 423Scriptures New Testament pp. oftbe ed., 424; 426. has been deem be Christianity I to a a corruption of Everythingwhich departureftom have in ifI And innovation.... the original scheme, succeeded this or an investigation, this historical method will befound to beoneof the mostsatisfactmy is I in tion of to to that prove modes really a corrup of argumentation order what object genuineChristianity and nopart of the original scheme Corruptions An History Priestley, of oftbe --Joseph Cbristianity 2 vols. 1782, vol. I xiv.

A. Introduction

Henning Graf Reventlow, in his close study of the impact of biblical from in has criticism the early modern period, rightly turned our attention away 275


Germany Britain (Revcntlow 1985). to eighteenth-century nineteenth-century Erasmus he Moreover, sees as perhaps the real progenitor of what would become the thoroughly modern approach to reading the Bible (39-48). On both have been I I he is One his throughout, think arguing as correct. points, of these English Dcism--in important is that eighteenth-century some respects themes lower by Erasmian to criticism--did much awaken nineteenth-century affected from their dogmatic slumber: Germans The direct influences of English Deism on the German Enlightenment are ... Enlightenment differed from in German that the f reat, especiallysince basically English Deism.... by the same apologetic position as rance sharing by Deistic [W]e cannot overestimate the influence exercisedb thought, and e Deists Humanist the the principles of made the world-view which historical-critical biblical the exegesisof the criticism, on criterion of their 1985: 412). (Reventlow ninteenth century My interest, however, has been to highlight the unique contribution of yet by influenced Erasmian dissenting English text community- -also another Biblical criticism--namely, eighteenth-century antitrinitarian Pioneers of following Priestley, Joseph the career criticism, of which the scientist-historian, important Isaac Newton, the example. most of was perhaps Not only was it the Deists who influenced the Germans, but the more Biblical English Unitarians, critics.. moderate were often more serious Consequently,not only did the Unitarians pave the way for the Germans in manyrespects,they were also the most responsive when the nineteenth-century flow of influence changed direction from Germany back to Britain. Dodd rightly this: assessed [A] s JamesMartineau noted, the Unitarians were the only Dissenters who in investigators fearless and earnest reformers could produce a "classof Morals and Religion. " That the first work on Strauss in England was Vnitarian in Unitarians connectedwith and with those touch with a intellectual bears inquiry of vigor the to tradition of untrammeled witness the sect (Dodd 1981: 434). Repiew Patrick Lambe brought to our attention in his Harpard Tbeological impact 1988, essay the of the popular press on the seventeenth-century of


in letters Europe. This impact in popular of press made a significant republic

data biblical the One to the of criticism reading public. communicating of the

the the emergence of popular scepticalongsidethe seriouscritic. was results This popular presshad much to do with the success of the Deists in
learned their profound scepticism about to revealed the religion communicating Priestley, Antitri-nitarian5 does to the though as masses. well as an classes not belongto this sceptical class.He was a most devout believer in revealedreligion. in his memoirs he confessed: But I hope that riy always avowing myself a Christian, and holding myself defend it, to the genuine on. all occasions principles ready of was not Having home conversed so much with unbelievers, at without its use. and be I I thought should able to combat their prejudices with some abroad, I I Lord Shelburne, this the andwith view wrote, while was with advantage, first part of my "Letters to a Philosophical Unbeliever, " proof of the doctrines of a God and a providence, and to this I have added during my Birmingham, in defense a secondpart, reisidenccat of the evidencesof Christianity.... I can truly say, that the greatest satisfaction I receivefrom the hical from . ht it the success of my philoso pursuits, arises may give to defeng Christianity, free it frowellose to to and corruptions Mmattempts its ch prevent reception with philosophical and thinking persons... (Priestley 1809: 67). His view of the Christian faith was weff summed-up by his most recent biographer: Priestley wished to make it clear that it was only simple Christianity he ... defending, for hindrances. 'Ihe the t. principal was corru 'El o'ns were in corruptions were a trinity oTpersons the godhead, original sin, arbitrary death Christ, by for the the and of predestination, atonement sins of men (which has perha been as.great a causeof infidelity as any other) the did ' doctrine of the p What therefore enary inspiration of the scriptures. )Fs e Priestleysuppose Christian faith to be? His answer is, 'a belief of all the in Testament, historical New facts in Old which we great and recorded the history informed of the are of the creation and government of the world, the discourses,miracles, death and resurrection of Christ, and his assurance of is life future dead the resurrection of all the to a of retribution; and this the doctrine that is of the most consequence,to enforce the good conduct of (Holt: 140)1 men

Lettersto a 'Thesepoints are principally drawn from Priestley's Ailosophical Objections the to Examination Unbelieper, theprincipal of containingan Doctfine in Rcligion, tbosc ofNatural and cspccially containd tbc wtitings ofMr. Hume. tbc Also,a Statcof tbc Evidcncc Rcligion, on ofRcvcalcd witb animadvcrsions


Prcistley embodied a radicalhistorical consciousness a good scientist

him Christianity firmest historical to the place pushed on which ground possible Institutes Revealed his Religion, first (e. ofNatural and g. published in 1772 and Relating to Evidences Religion 1796). 2 It is therefore, his his Discourses ofRcpealed believer, development to the contribution as a conu-nitted of an early quest for in Jesus, I histotical that treat this study. the It is recorded that on a certain day the orthodox bishop, Samuel Horsley, freethinker Monsey, in "These dreadful the the physician, times! " park: met are bishop. "Not do Deists but, it the only think abound, commented would you

Gibbon-s History of the Declineand Fall of tbefirst twolastcbaPters of volumeofMr. theRomanEmpire;and an.Answerto the Letters ofMr. William Hammon 2 vols. (1780). 2jfmd it therefore quizzical that Ann Holt should suggest that Priestleyin his History oftbe Corruptionsof Cbristianity (1782), "scandalizes the historian, for he had his modem made up mind already as to what were the he He did his to corruptions. not read authorities and then come conclusions; first of all arrived at his conclusions and then read his authorities for support" (Holt 1931: 133-134). But she herself acknowledged that Priestley originally held to the virgin birth and that only after "collecting material for the Early Opinions [1786] that he came to disbelieve the doctrine of the miraculous conception" (138). So what merits the statement: "Had he found the evidence he collectedcontrary to his belief in the humanity of Christ, he would have is it he 8)? Her had his faith in 13 (Holt: rejected as criticism orthodoxy" damning beyond repair for Priestley's reputation. She never seemsto have addressed the question as to why and how he did arrive at his conclusions particularly when they entailed his altering his opinion on something as significant as the virgin birth. This would seemto suggest that perhaps her mind wasmadeup before hand. As a scientist Priestley understood the principle of it disprove longer Once has discovered axioms. seeksto one an axiom one no but to draw as many conclusions from it as the evidencewill suggest. How he be is his treated. arrivedat axiomatic certainty on various points what should This I will attempt to do in what follows, particularly as it concerns the virgin birth.


deny is God! " I that there Doctor--some people a can tell you", replied the believe Doctor,"what is equally strange--some that there arc tbreell(Holt people 136).3Such was the common theological discoursein Priestley3s 1931: age. Priestleywas not, however, born into the Unitarian tradition. Whilc his
held they to typical eighteenth century, orthodox parentswere non-conformists, English Presbyterianism. Nevertheless, they shared in common with other dissentingreligious bodies, the ignominy of abiding under the marginalizing TcstAct,passedin 1673 and not repealed until 1828. Like the Act of Unifonnity (1559) which demanded whole-hearted and exclusivesubscription to the prayerbook in public worship, the TestAct was originally intended to exclude Roman Catholicsfrom the public institutions of the state, church, university and had its It, Protestants those effect on who were nongovernment. nevertheless, conformists. Priestleywas the eldest of six children and his father was a tradesman few in in others producing the popular working cloth who employed a homespun.Priestley learned to repeat the Westminster Catechism by the age of four and because he was a sickly child he soon learned the friendship of books. This suited his parents who aspired to enlist their eldest son in the ministry. As non-conformists, excluded from both Oxford and Cambridge, they sent Daventry, Joseph dissenting young academyat off to the new Northamptonshire.4To prepare himself beforehand young Priestley sat at the

30n Horsley, one of Priestley's many opponents, seeF. C. Mather, High ChurchPropba. BishopSamuclHorsIcy(1733-1806) and the Carolinc Tradition in the Latcr Gcorgian Church (1992). 40n the significance and place of this academy,and others amongst the Bcing Acts. Tcst the Undcr English Education McLachlan's the non-conformists see Histmyofthc Non- ConformistAcadcmics1662-1820 (1931), and the earlier and


feetof a local dissentingminister who instructed him in Hebrew, Chaldee, Arabic. Having Syriac early picked up the habit of studying on his own, he and foundthe Academy'scurriculum insufficient for his purposesand so it his independent in with own readings history, philosophy, supplemented daily folio as, as well producing ten some science, pagesof Greektranslation.
AR of these ingredients put him at a disadvantageonce he entered the in 1755--his Presbyterian pastorate congregation soon detected that they had a "Free-Thinker"on their hands. Priestley would soon find the orthodox view of Atonement the unsatisfying and some of Paul's arguments illogical. Becauseof he had John Walker (1719-1805), and other Baxterians, by conversations with the ageof eighteen he was no longer a Calvinist, but an Arminian. When he attemptedto gain membership in his home church he was rejected becausehe feeling for Adam's confessed no guilt sin. While at the academyhe was taught by the son of the celebratedArian, Samuel Clarke (1624-1750), a former close associateof IsaacNewton. It was underhis tutelage that Priestley then moved from Arminianism to Arianism. Because defect his Arianism he left his of a speech and unabashed pastorate in 1761. In that year he becametutor of languagesat the then newly founded dissentingAcademy at Warrington. In 1767, he then took another ministerial post at Mill Hill Chapel M Leeds and it was here that Priestley's Christological viewsfinally came to rest. A thorough reading of Nathaniel Lardner's Letter on theLogos (1759, but written thirty years earlier), an anti-Arian treatise written

briefer I. Parker, DissentingAcademies Progress in England. Their Rise and and , tbeirplace Me Systems Me Educational Country (1914). among of


from a Socinianperspective,finally provided Priestleywith what would be the his bedrock theology--Unitarianism. of What allowed Priestleyto so freely evolveto his final position was not just keen intellect he It which possessed. theobviously was this, combined,however, involved in in dissenting, the circumstances growing up a non-conformist with he Furthermore, Locke Deist, Anthony a the was student of and environment. Collins.One provided him with the new hermencuticof reasonableness and the him with, among other things, evidence and argumentsthat otherprovided light traditionally the to the received of view verbal Mspiration exposed of an Biblical documents the the phenomenaof examinationof unrestrained themselves. All of this impelled Priestleyto the sameproject that animatedmany of the during Newtonians Christianhumanistsduring the Renaissance the the and EnglishEnlightenment. Erasmushad taught that Christianity had to be fathers be better (or, the the early reinvented recovered might word) calling on be done. A for how this should andancientclassical cluesasto wisdom
for restorationist optimism recapturing aprimitive, simpleand tolerant Christianity provided a high motivation, both in the sixteenth-century as well as 5As Erasmus was amongmany of the non-conformists of the eighteenth-century. the most gifted of the former age, Priestley may well have been of the latter. Not everyone appreciated Priestley's Christianity becauseit camewith no lingering Anglicanism. If creedand a radical political vision. represented a his in his had Priestley Christianity, corruption of own satisfaction proved to as

50n Erasmus's humanistic primitivism seeP. joachimsen, "Humanism Origins Tbc Littell, H. F. Development (1972); German Mind" of andthe the of TbC Sectarian Protcstantism (1964), and C. A N. Eire, WarAgainst tbc Idols. ' Reformation Erasmus Calvin (1986). Worsbipftom to of


A History Corruptions Christianity (1782), opus: ofthe of magnum the Statethat blame. The democratic this to was equally social sponsored Impulseof the Revolution found a warm advocatein Priestley.It was this dimension of French Priestley`s theology that most insulted Edmund Burke. In Burke'sRflections on in he France, Priestley's Revolution to the referred threat to "King and Church," him French Republicans, had, in fact, the with who grouping conferredon FrenchCitizenship in 1792. Burke could not tolerate the fact that Priestley had boastedhimself "a Citizen of that Republick of Robbers and Priestley him in following the terms: and characterized assassins"
A man amongst them [Priestley] of great authority, and certainly of great talents, speaking of a supposed alliance between church and state says, thefall before this most unatural we must waitfor ofthe civilpowers I" erha s iancep be broken. Calamitous no doubt will that time be. But what in be lamentation, if it the to political world ought convulsion a subject of be attended with so desirable an effect?" You seewith what a steady eye thesegentlemen are prepared to view the greatest calamities which can befall their country! (Burke 1989: 108). It was Burke's rhetoric combined with a natural animosity that drove a drunkenmob to the Priestley home in the early hours of 15 July, 1791. The Priestleys having been forewarned were able to leavejust hours before. Nearby dimly acrossthat distance [Priestley] could hear the roar of wild voices and the rude shattering blows that a fierce mob were showering upon the walls and crash of falling masonry. He knew that in those.moments, the treasures that he had gathered around him in all those years, including those unique scientific instruments that had made his name a household word throui out the world, were all at the mercy of a gan of ruffians and were being destroyed beyond possible recovery. AnYwhat he valued much more than his scientific linstrumentsin on religion and -his manuscript writing gew in Testament, which F rticular a seriesof notes on the whole of the left for days have leted been the press,were time would jave and ready com 122-123). 1932: (Allen to the tender mercies of this fanatics C riotery A contemporary who stood at Priestley's side while this took place related that he showed no sign of anger and "in this hour of anguish displayed a solemnity of derneanour that she had never seenin him before." While Priestley is sometimes regarded as someone who attacked the very heartof Christianity this could not be further from the truth. He saw himself


in Christianity. 6 He the authentic role of an apologete of was preeminently if Christianity--a Christianity late that a pre-Nicene with christological convinced be forth, faiththen those away--could set the pealed real enemies of corruptions Paine Gibbon--could be invited to rethink Deists, such as sceptics and and -the theclaimsof revealedreligion. What provided him with the certainty that Catholic orthodoxy--Eastern, Protestant--was Christianity, Western a vast corruption of primitive were and Newtonian Lockean influences dual and of canonsof reasonableness and the the Biblical Newtonian criticism of the receivedtexts of scripture. accompanying Newtonhad boldly admitted that "homoousion is unintelligible...what cannot be had discovered belief' 1950: 17). Newton (McLachlan is understood no object of
Annotationes, Erasmus's by that such which suggested evidence, means of C-7c-l doctrinesas the Trinity were late corruptions of Christianity and could be by meansof textual criticism. Priestley was equally certain that other detected data hard detected be textual the of variants even without corruptions could

B. Conjectural Emendation

In the very first volume of the journal founded by Priestley, The Tbeological bold Repository, find the practice of conjectural a very early advocacy of we emendation: If then, by only ch clauseof a sentence, or the sentence, a of situation in 19 hofyl the in a passage writers, which appearsat present confused and of force and obscure,we can render it regular and ea , and produce a new be beau to in conclude presumption no Is the sentiments; certainly, it wj MSS may versions the and though that the all original reading, was 5 0). 1: Vol 1769 Rcpository Tbcological (Tbe exhibit the present reading

6Perhapshis most evident work in this apologetic mode against such (1782). UnbeUeper Ailosopbical Letters Priestley's to a sceptics as Gibbon was


In this samearticle there was an allusion to a significant precedentfor the New Testament found the in text the conjecture such on of of as practice a work by important in 1763 English William Bowyer, Ctitical an printer, produced ObscrPations New Tcstamcnt(London) which was Conjccturcs the and on by his Greek N. T. This the own recension of accompanied was greatly expanded by the fourth and definitive edition in 1812 (seconded. 1772, third ed. 1782) however, like by Bowyer, died in the third edition, was, edited not which who Bowyer's. 1777,but by John Nichols, a closeassociate Here Bowyer collected of important he locate from learned conjectures as could asmany commentatorson T. N. (Barrington, Landaff, Nhchaelis, Greek Weston, Wettstein). the Bowyergavea brief justification for consideringconjectures in the preface
to his secondedition. He begins by noting that corruptions have made their way into the text and cites Wetstein's remarks regarding the intrusion of I Tim. 3: 16 These interpolations he (Bowyer 1812: 6). the commajobanncum and and most believedto have originated as marginal glosses.He then posesthe question: But what shall we do for want of older MSS. which might give us the true readingsbefore corruptions crept in? Shall we sometimes trust to versions fear I (7). Too MSS. than which are older precarious, any now remaining? ... 'Ihc Itala version (vaus Latina) was "no sooner published than Marcion, ... the heretic, and his followers seized it, and converted it to their own purposes" (7). And the oldest Greek MS in his day, Alexandrinus, was felt by Wetstein to havebeen "made to conform to the Vulgar Latin" (12), which leads Bowyer to in best be I do know but suggest that guide our that a critical sagacitymust not publishing a Greek Testament at last... " (13). Although he argues that never should such conjectures be used to replace a readingwithout further MS evidence of some kind and yet there are several [pure: conjectures] which are highly probable, though the in for is lost.... Many the course authority them of them are taken notice of disposal, left but to to the of this work; reader's inted out, are when oncerinks be rejected or adopted as he fit (18).


Bowyer'scautious approachwas well thought out in light of the criticism heknewhe might receive.In a review of his third edition asit was found in the 1782 Bowyer lectured Review montbly to posthumouslyin the following of was tonc:
We observed in the beg ".L. is this that g of article, conjectural too criticism ". hazardousto be ventured on without great caution, and a very distin. ished [s'El - knowledge. Infidels acuteness, natural and acquired of share will avaTu licence bD this themselvesof when rashly exercised Aole (criticsand commentators Scriptures; from the the the freedom sacred and will question on taken with the part .... ...when a person, without such authorities, alters the difficulty, he to text to pfeasure, serve at a system, or get rid of a sacred betraysan irreverence for the Divine oracles; and, instead of removing, only infidelity, increases the cavils of and gives some colour to the cautionary Popery (Montbly Repiew 1782: 123). pleasof When the reviewer mentioned that such a practice would be serving a his he had Unitaxianism. he had Earlier "the to as referent alluded antisystem Trinitarians confidently availing[ing] themselvesof the support of [a] very ... ... Testament" It Greek (121). the was this method of antient copy of by Christian the message reconstructing a more primitive expression of original in development final led Priestley theological to yet one way of conjecture that his own thought. While he had moved some distance from the Westminster Catechism that he had memorised and recited as a child he neverthelessretained a belief in the in After birth. NT taking up the subject the miraclesof the including virgin 3 "miraculous the conception" of earnest while compiling early patristic, opinion on Jesus for his journal the Theological RcpositmyPriestley abandoned this doctrine as its both because because it emergence well, of evidence of was unreasonable and asa late tradition. He records how this came about in his An Histaq ofEarly OPinions ConcerningJesus Christ, CompiledFrom Original Writers 3 Vols - (178 6): in Ther. have is I this enlarged much e one particular subject on which began I to had I treatise, and about which when to all, at write no intention Jesus, is for It concerning the miraculousconccption of collect materials it. knew hI doubt; that had I thou well time that which entertained any not at learned times, anYmodern severalvery eminent and christians, of ancient


had disbelievedit. The case was that, in perusing the early christian writers, Cbnst, found I to opinions conccrning with a view collect all so much on this help I being that could not giving particular to attention it; and it subject, impossiblenot to be struck with the absurdity of their rcasoning it, I about led degrees by better be in to think thing whether any could said proof was length my collections and speculations, of thcfact; and at grew to the size before (Priestley is 1786Vol LXVII-XVIII). the reader that now for how The commajobanncum this theologically servedas a model dogmatic material could havebeeninterpolated into the Gospel dctcrminative narratives:
The famous verse, [1] John, v-7., concerning the three that bear record in heaven,has been sufficientlK proved to have come into the istle in this it been done in A, iep and ad manner; an early per 0 there would unauthorised haveappearedno more reason to have suspectedthe genuinenessof it, than introductions does the that of to the gospels of Matthew and there now 105). Luke (Priestley 1786 Vol. 111: Furthermore, there was an important apologetic advantageto be gained by dispensingwith this corruption of the virgin birth becausethe Jewsmake it a Jesus, that according to the genealogies to the membership of seriousobjection from been descended David have does he Luke, Matthew to not appear of and (Ibid.: 115). The issueof the virgin birth had been raised in a serious manner in 1771 by John Williams in his A FreeEnquiry into theAutbenticity oftbe First and Second keeper Cbapters dissenting A Gospel Mattbews (London). of minister and a ofStDr. Williams' Library, the work was originally published anonymously but by Williams (1789), improved, "corrected, the secondedition and much enlarged" wasthe acknowledged author. Williams' argument was that Matthew wrote his original edition in Hebrew (Syrio-chaldaic) and that this edition did not contain the geneology found in the later Greek edition. Hence, the only explicit teaching of the virgin birth was a later addition. To call the section into question was not motivated by desire Rather birth. dogma a to undermine the of the virgin by St. Gos Syrio-chaldaic ' inal for el the chief reason why I contend an Tegcontents first Matthew is, that unbelievers object to ang second of the


Greek that of gospel in our present chapters copies; and it must be owned, difficult discordant the they are most that and parts in all the New Testament(42-43).

The author of this publication hath only to add, that he is a Christian upon he believes in divine that a revelation; and that his soledesignin principle; dear from inconsistencies difficulties to the sacredvolume writing, is and (44).
Hence, Williams is no sceptic, but like Newton and Priestley, a believer,

by motivated an apologeticconcern.
That such a large block of material made its way into the gospel account is

The discipline lower has firmly an occurrence. strange so of criticism not that established
interpolations in the sacredvolume, which, there are severaladditions and though they do not weaken the foundation of any doctrine, yet very often disturb the sense.They who are acquainted with Christian antiquity well know that there are severaltexts, in the present copies of both the Old and New.Testament, the authenticity of which cannot stand an impartial is lamented, books have, It that the these enquiry.... much printers of sacred distinguish between doubtful late to texts, and those which of years, omitted (7; 8). were never questioned Williams argues, in light of the fact that I John v. 7. is evidently a late interpolation; and when we recollect the destroyed Trinity, for the peace the controversy about so many years which its insertion for (156). be difficult the to of account church, it cannot It was Emlyn and IsaacNewton who alerted him to this and "These authors,it is presumed, will convince every impartial enquirer, that the passage is not a genuine part of scripture" (14). Surprisingly, Williams does not want to draw any theological conclusions based on the assumption of the spuriousness of the material containing the harmless ideology he Bentley's birth. Instead accountof the virgin of resorts to

instead engagement, affirming

by be fact in doctrine, Christianity the that no one omission affected will or for Matthew; first St. the as to the genealogy, of and second chapters of birth, &c. of Christ, we have, in St. Luke's Gospel, a full and consistent


accountof them: whereasthesechapterscontain scarcely any thing but what is attendedwith almost inexplicabledifficulties (163). 7 Priestley,of course,by his very temperament,could neverbe governedby Too much was at stake. subtlety. such He approached Repository, founded the subjectin his journal the Tbeological
by hirn in 1769 as a popular forum for airing theological debate and issuesof Biblical criticism as they touched on dogma. Here one finds severalessays for both emendation conjectural testaments, thus various passages of suggesting in journal its In four this advance well of all of contemporaries. putting volume (1784:245-305) of this seriesunder the pseudonym Ebionita Priestley first raised Matthew's issue the the spuriousness of of account of the virgin birth, in an "Observations Conception, " before he titled: the two on miraculous article years it in his Opinions Conccrningftsus Histmy Early Cbrist 4 Vols. tbc of addressed 1786 (Birmingham). In volume five a Nazaraeusattempted a rebuttal of but Priestley's arguments, most replies to the original essayexpresseda conviction affirming the unshakable nature of the evidence and the arguments illegitimacy first Matthew, thus the againstthe genuinenessof the and chapter of first is dogma far birth. I So the this the tell the of major piece of as can of virgin historical researchto explicitly denounce the dogma of the virgin birth basedon the argument that it had been interpolated into the text by a later hand than that of the author. Within the pages of his major treatise Histmy oftbe Early Opinions (1786 Vol.3: 100-123) he makes clear that his desire is to make Christ's messialiship evidentto the Jews by dispensing with this bit of fable:

7Whether Williams believed what he was saying, or simply did not want to risk drawing the conclusions that both orthodox and non-orthodox alike would naturally be forced to come to, can only be guessedat.


The Jewsmake it a seriousobjection to the messiahship Jesus, that, of Matthew Luke, he does to the geneaologies of and according not appearto from David, or evenJudah; sinceit is only the havebeendescended his Joseph, father, is that of reputed given, and not his own, or Kcneaology is mother's (Priestley 1786 vol. 3: 115). He then goeson to quote various Rabbis who, indeed,makejust this point. That the apologetic concernunderlay Priestley'sgoal to allow a primitive,
Christ (and from New to the miraculous) the yet emerge pages of non-dogmatic Testamentis never more clearly evident than when we seehim actually engage his his In Letters Pbilosopbical UnbeUeper Two) (Part 1787 to a age. the scepticsof (Birmingham) he confronts the unbelievers with the samecool rigours with dismantles To he Gibbon he his orthodox accretions. and others puts case which in theseterms: Ihat the history of Christ and the appstles could not have establisheditself is from truth, the the evident most rigid enquiry into its without. its first which began immediately after persecution of christians, In itself, in Jerusalem the transactions. the very sceneof promulgation, and for had thesecircumstancesmen every motive, and eveZ opportunity, enquiring whether they sacrificed their reputation, eir properties, and their lives, for an idle tale, or for a truth of the greatest certamty and importance. All thesethings being considered, it appearsto me that no facts in the whole history, CO: )m assof are so well authenticated as those of the miracles, the deN, and the resurrection of Christ, and also what is related of the apostles in the book of Acts (Priestley 1787: 62) It was Priestley's landmark criticism of the virgin birth, however, based

both on his perception of its irrationality aswell ason the text-critical appealto it asa corruption of original Christianity which furthered the project beganby Newtonto strip Christianity of its many late corruptions in order to give it a freshhearingin a new scientific age.Cragg hasnoted of the relationship between Priestleyand Newton: He [Priestley] had taken Newtonian physicsashis point of departure,and for demand theory his doctrine of a a essentially merely of materialismwas humannature in conformity with the principles of science(Cragg 1964:233).


Newton's text-critical work on the New Testamentwas equally influcnctial development historical Priestley's of an method. on

C. Hennefl and Strauss

Another Unitarian who took Priestley's project further yet in the early full-scale for Victorian the signalling century, onset of a crisis nineteenth Though Charles C. Hennell. Hennell's contribution to the religion, was Biblical has been little Bernard Reardon modern of criticism noted, advancement in his accomplishedtreatment of nineteenth-century religion in Britain, From Coleridge to Gore.A Century ofReligious Tbouqbt in Britian (1971), has called it "a landmarkin the history of biblical study in this country" (Reardon 1971: 254). This is becauseHennell. was perhaps the first in Britain to advocatea thorough-going, naturalistic, or bigber critical approach to understanding the Bible--independentof German influences--a method directly inspired by dismissal Priestley's Testament, Priestley's New of the work on the particularly his An first in birth Hennell edition of virgin account as spurious. confessed the EnquiryConcerningthe Origin of Cbristianity (18 38) that doubt The samemethod of free investigation which led Priestrle throw to Lie, Matthew the may allow truth the and upon opening chapters of of history (Hennell, Gospel from further the other enquirers to make excisions 2nd ed. 1841: 111). And further excisions he did make, resulting in a non-miraculous, by depend did his Christianity. While this stage of naturalistic not arguments developmenton hard textual evidence of the lower criticism, a sensitivity to earlierforms as opposed to later forms of N. T. accounts were certainly a his historical Hennell's to significant part of method and contributed overall argumentsfor a non-miraculous Christianity. Regarding the resurrection while


involved in he did the the many contradictions out various accounts pointing fail that to note not It is remarkablethat, if theseverses[in Mark's longer accountof the have be done in the as seen omitted, we generally was early resurrection] tbe birtb, Afark, tbefollower the ofPeter,relates neitber miraculous copies, Cbrist (Henncfl: 24 7). the of ascension nor resurrection, DasLebenjesu2 vols. 1835, Appearingonly three yearsafter Strauss's
Hennell'swork was produced independently of German influences and as such impulse but English distinctly the samecritical with advancement of a represents in developments links English this the native exclusive with perhaps and explicit field going back to Priestley himself. Hennell was part of a unique Unitarian community that included his sister, Hennell, author of Cbiistianity and Infidelity (18 57), and Essay Sara an the by latter Analogy (1859)--the Tendency Sceptical of which was praised ofButler's Charles Caroline, his former Methodist Bray, Gladstonand and wife a -Charles be Eliot It Eliot. fmally, George translate Sara's would who would sister, and German fourth from into English Strauss's the edition monumental work 1846). (3 Latin himself (1840), to which Strauss preface vols. contributed a Brit half first in fact This witnessesto the the of nineteenth century that higher German Unitarian nearlyalone scholars stood apacewith the advanceof her in this Valerie Dodd period treatment of commendable criticism. produced a 1841-1845" Unitarianism, Politics "Strauss's English Propagandists and the of (1981). Here she points out that yet another English edition of Strausswas by however, This, was a cheaperedition produced producedat this time. "atheisticpamphleteers who, in the 1830s and 1840s, were eager to argue the falsity of the biblical narrative" for purposes of political intent to gain tolerance behind for religious dissidents (Dodd: 425). This parallels one of the purposes the eighteenth century Antitrinitarian paraphrases She neverthelessskews things a bit when she generalizesthat


Although German higher criticism did not "merelyattackthe Scri tures" but "studied it them in a new55 Tecades iirit was to be censured feareT.Yingland rather 1 nored, in of the nineteenth century in or misunderstood the early (Dodd 1981:415). If shehad added"and anticipated by English Unitarians" shewould have
hit her mark in a more comprehensive and informative Way.8 She is correct when "In [Unitarians'] the their early nineteenth century religious views, shesays English the those any of of other sects,possessed affinities with the unlike Germanhigher criticism" but nowhere in her otherwise most helpful and insightful essaydoes she mention that it was specifically Priestley's legacy that formed the very seedbedfrom which this German/English collusion would in emerge the nineteenth century. I believethis to be one result of over-periodization in historical writing. To having devoted deal Priestley to a good of one attention and the eighteenth developments, Priestley's looms large century shadow over the players on the looking to nineteenth-centurystage; one only at nineteenth century developments he (unless their on own, may well not appear at all one took very in Hennell's indebtedness the this theologian-scientist to carefulnotice of note of to Hennell's ground-breaking work). preface Finally, like Priestley, Hennell dispensed with the barrier to genuine historical criticism: the dogma of verbal inspiration: The doctrine of the divine inspiration, or of the unquestionable veracity, of free lication fiffl Gospel has hindered hitherto the the of this ap ge writers, in believers Testament, New method of investigation to the part of on Christianity; and unbelievers seem generally to have been more intent upon in than searching raising objections and cavils to the narratives as they stand, out the real truth. Hence it has frequently been observed, that no clear and intelligible account has been given of the life of JesusChrist on simply

8Shefurther clouds things a bit when she adds "Just as the whole topic in England" higher it fading in Germany, of started to surface criticism was (416). What she means is among those of the established church. Unitarians had led the field since the days of Priestley.


it has been argued,that no alternativeremainsbut naturalgrounds; whence him as the miraculous endowed personage to regard presentedto us in the four Gospels(Hennell: v).

D. Summary

Hennell, under the direct inspiration of Priestley'sconjecturaldismissalof

in had birth (which been its turn the virgin given rationale basedon the by the commajobanncum of and secondarily phenomenon other such variants 9 Tim. 3: 16), Priestley's direction I further took toward than as naturalism such Priestleyhimself felt it necessaryto go. In so doing Hennell properly introduced bigbcr England direct development lowcr to the the critical method as a of his In words: criticism. The reasonsgiven by those eminent critics [Priestley and Belsham] for far hich be for than proceeding so may appear more valid an can urged where did. -The in they stopping right ofprivate juYgwment the separation of truth from fiction being once accorded, the precise limits which ought to be far from to the the assigned credible potion of miraculous narratives are being obvious... (Hennell: iii). Hence, Hennell concluded his account of the Origin of Cbristianity in terms not unlike those of Strauss: The miraculous birth, works, resurrection, and ascensionof Christ, being fables be thus successively the of an o scure classedamongst surrendered, to doctrine life in is Christianity and age,what remains of and what there the in Jesus that they should still claim the attention and respect of mankind of history This: forms Christianity the of remote ages? a striking passagein human nature, and appearsas one of the most prominent of the means

91have not, up to this point, drawn attention to Priestley's judgement Puit Use I Tim. Scripturefor 3: 16. his Books In Notes the the and on of of on all the PlivateFamiUes 4 vols. 1804, vol. iv, p. 178, we read: "According to the pointing is MSS. it be The of some mysteryofgodliness tbepillar and may rendered, foundationoftbefaitb, and witbout doubt it isgreat, &c. There is little doubt but that the reading which our english [sic] translators followed, is a corrupt one; and that instead of the word God, the apostle wrote what we render who, saying he who was manifested in the flesh, that is JesusChrist. "


longer It boasts employedin its improvement. no of a specialdivine ori 111' in that which the Theist atttributes to the world and the wholie but shares its (Henneil: 481). events order of And asDodd haspointed out, the only major differencebetweenStrauss is Strauss's Hennell that political vision was one very much attachedto the and for bringing in a new enlightenedand tolerant age; quo asa means status Unitarians in his Hennell including George those and community, whereas Eliot, madetheir appealfor political changeto enhance the lot of the English for Antitrinitarians in the tolerance and of particular. workingclass Eliot's role in providing a channelby which Strauss's DasLebenjesu could beAnglicised,and Hennell's Inquiry could be Germanized,with a commending himself, is by Strauss That her a well established point. sheowed preface from evangelicalism "liberation" to Hennell's Inquiry, which in turn was the fruit
historical has Priestley's textual and method, not received sufficient treatment; of development historical has Priestley's to the of over-all contribution nor Viewed Priestley's criticism. as a continuation of eighteenth-century project, a be higber dawning in England can surely major aspectof the of criticism lower Priestley's understood as the offspring of criticism.

The Contribution of the Lower Criticism to the Victorian Crisis ofFaitb CILAPTER NINE SamuelP. Tregelles, Constantine Tischendorf and Samuel Davidson: NfidCentury, non-Conformist Adjustments and the Dismantling of the Second Phaseof the Ideology of Harmless Engagement

"Tbe recognition that tbc Bible was not witbout error was facilitatcd by in textual ctiticism. Belief in verbatim inspiration furnisbed a powerful developments for Bible do But tbc tc., d tbc tbc to exactly wbat ascertaining of was. motivc attempt so it impossible in Growing that passages to the text... some was ascertain original revealed inerrancy that could only apply to a non-cxistentBible and not to tbc one reakation bold biblical the the people actually read and usedcertainly weakened of old conccption, of interpolations... No to tbc people possibility of errors and authmity and accustomed by led textual criticism was an avenue wbicb men were to acccpttbc validity of wonder bigberctiticism!" B. Glover, Nonconformists Evangelical --W. in Criticism Nineteenth Higher the and Century 1954, pp. 85; 86; 87.

A. Introduction

SamuelDavidson is a significant figure for our study becausehe displays the effectstextual variants had on his understanding of the Trinity and the incarnation. Furthermore, he played a key role in advancing the textual work of the German, Tischendorf, in Britain, thus paving the way for a greater for its implications theology. acceptance of textual criticism and Moreover, both Davidson and Tischendorf contributed to the

deconstruction harmless ideology that engagement, the of the secondphaseof of did Davidson Tregelles. Samuel by so propounded the non-conformist, 295


highlighting by late development doctrines the of such asthe deity of primarily Christand the Trinity by appealto textual variants; Tischendorf did so primarily by repudiatingand refuting the dogma of verbalinspiration, againa further implicationdrawn from the data resulting from the textual criticism of the Greek N.T. He alsopavedthe way for acceptingthe plausibility of conclusionsarrived Strauss Renan by Leben-Jesu Forscbung. the and regarding nineteenth century at He did this by rejecting more consistentlydoctrinally motivated interpolations Greek Testament New in his day.' the thananyother editor of
B. Samuel Davidson (1806-1898)2

Davidson published major treatises on nearly every aspectof Biblical botb Testaments hermeneutics, Biblical treating studies--for criticism, --works Biblical introduction and the canon. He also produced a translation of the New Testament from a critical edition; and finally, he produced his own recension of

'For example, Tischendorf in his first edition published as early as 1840, was the first published Greek N. T. to excisethe long ending of Mark containing both the resurrection account as well as the ascension. 2TheDictionary ofNational Biographyincorrectly lists his date of death 1899 has 1807 Womcn Timc, 13th as as andMcn and ofthc edition, incorrectly his date of birth. My dates are those given in his autobiography (Davidson 1899:vii-xi). Davidson has received surprisingly little treatment in English He receivesno notice in Kiimmel (1972), nor in the otherwise rather sources. interesting in by Baird (1992), though selective comprehensive the nor work Oxford from by ONeill be He (1991). the work omitted altogether seemsto Dictionaryofthc Christian Church, but found a place in the hearts of his German contemporaries,namely, Philip Schaff's supplement to the Schaff-Herzog 7), Encyclo (18 Divincs Encyclo Knowlcdqc, PcdiaofRcligious P8 titled: cdia ofLiving ,has has He 49-50). 1887: (Schaff/Jackson which a rather complete treatment Rcligion four found University's however, in Open recently the volume, a place, in VictorianBritain (Parsons 1988A: 240-250); (Parsons 1988B: 104).


He busied T. himself O. German text. translating also the sourcesof theology into English--always Biblical labourer in field, studies a prodigious the and Germany, in his lifetime. equal outside of without perhaps Davidson's career spanned three quarters of the nineteenth century and

in developmental the entire sweepof textual criticism, embodied microcosm beginnings of Erasmianprobing in his early career, from the simple Renaissance development higher ftill by the of to the criticism the end of the nineteenth Theologically, began Davidson Reformation as a near pre-critical, century. Confession Calvinist,ascribingallegiance to the Westminster ofFaitb, which, in laterlife, he completelyabandonedin favour of his own Unitarian creed,resting To study Davidson is to study the finallyon the theology of Schleiermacher. century. nineteenth Davidson'sparentswere of Scottish descentbut he was born in
Kellswater,County Antrim, Ireland. While he began his education in the village he founded in 1814) (opened February the school, eventually attended newly Royal AcadernicalInstitution in Belfast.3His Scottish Presbyterian roots may havecontributed to his early decision to become a minister within the Irish PresbyterianChurch. On his entrance to the College he took a first in both Greek and Latin had his he had 1832 French. By and also studied course and completed

3This institution was founded in 1814 with the stated goals being "To diffuse as widely as possible throughout the province and population of Ulster, the benefits of Education, both useful and liberal; and by that means, to prevent the hard and disgraceful necessity, in such a great and prosperous community, of health in sendingtheir children to seek other countries, with much risk to their honours, literary for instruction, andmorals, that qualifications and and those which might be equally well attained at home, with evident advantageto the Commissioners Report (Fourtb interest individuals" oftbe public as well as to that of theIfisb Education Inquiry, 1827: 6). Of


firsts in Hebrew, in logic, a premium and a silver medal in classics. accumulated He wasthen licensedin November of the following year by his presbytery. While at the Royal Institute a major controversyaroseover the Arianism Professors Divinity (and the teaching of other subjects),one of which of several Professor in Latin Greek, Davidson's William Bruce; 4another and was was Hebrew Professor,whom Davidson called"one of my best friends," Davidson's T. D. Hincks. Rev. Henry Cooke, "the great champion of the orthodox Professor 1902: 427), (Latimer Moderator Davidson's once elected of part" synod, the Synodof Ulster, in 1824, went on a house-cleanmig attempting to rid the Royal Institution of all Arians.5 Academical ProtestingagainstRev. William Bruce'sappointment to the professorship
Cooke Hebrew, Hebrew, "if taught that the teaching argued even of very of fetters, Socinian in letters" twist the without orthodox would get a (Latimer:429). In 1825 Rev. Cooke appeared before a Royal Commission and beforea SelectCommittee of both Houses of Parliament, decrying that the Royal Institute was soon to fall completely into the hands of the Arians.6

far Antrim 4Traces; be found in Arianism Presbytery the as of of can backas 1726 when it was separatedfrom the Synod of Ulster over this issue. Recallalso that Thomas Emlyn's influence in the Protestant churches, both the his both Presbyterian established writings as a result of church and the churches, aswell ashis imprisonment, helped to create a ferment around the subject of the Trinity in his Dublin years 1691-1704. 5When once a Rev. J. Smethurst from England did a preaching tour of Ulster in an attempt to win the Arians over to Humanitarianism, Cooke followed him at every stop stirring up the conservativesagainst the Englishman, 428). (Latimer: Smethurst finally left, having so that made only one convert 6For standard treatments of this controversy see,Reid (1867: 445466); Killen (1875: 231-441); Latimer (1902: 427-444) and the Fourtb Reportof Education 3-98). Inquiry (1927: theCommissioners of1risb


In 1835, five yearsafter the Arians had broken awayfrom the Synod of Ulsterand formed the Remonstrant Synod of Ulster (1830), Davidson was by in dispute, the the winning, orthodox party to the newly created appointed Biblical Criticism his Professor 7His of at own college. salarywasvery postof low, however,mostly students'fees.He spent sevenhard yearsat the he for better Professorship Presbyterian collegeand when applied a post, a of 8 Hebrewat the Glasgow College,he was rejected. Davidsonfelt that the position he had wanted had gone to a Scottish himself less less distinguished letters than gifted and with of minister because latter belonged in Scotland. the to the moderate party recommendation, Arian No doubt the dubious reputation of the Royal Institute, because the of had decision Scotsman. the to to go with a safe controversy, contributed Davidsonhad earlier receivedan honorary M. A. from Aberdeenand soon
fruit his his Criticism Lectures Biblical (the on of seven after saw through the press in Edinburgb RePiCW lecturing), had the received a good review yearsof which (Oct. 1840). He must have surely felt, therefore, that the position was his to be had. Hence, this experience, early in his career, caused hirn to feel the blunt edge

Mat Davidson held to a public orthodoxy at this time is evident from his having to subscribe to the Westminster Confession of Faith to be licensed to he did While finishing his so with some preachupon course at the college. fetters in he "my later at reservations, mind was traditional admitted reflecting the time, and I hardly realised the serious responsibility of declaring assentand 13). 1899: (Davidson consentto an extensive system of metaphysical theology"

his in 8Thus Davidson felt the sting of ecclesiastical politics, stating from flattering he "received such as testimonialsnot only memoirs that though knewme best in Ireland, but from two eminent English scholars,Drs. Pye Smith andE. Henderson....the choiceof the electors(the collegeprofessors Maybole, Scotland Church having fallen themselves) at the of of a minister upon who belongedto the 'moderate'party, and was electedmainly on that account" (Davidson1899: 15).


In later he Church politics. reflections revealedthe permanenteffectthe Arian of had him: controversy upon

This separation[of the synods] left its hurtful mark on the spirit and dominant leaders the the of majority; especially conduct on of the orthodox lamentable It displayed: to the animus witness the odium party. was WoOcum in its worst form. A schism,brought about by appeals to ignorance, prejudice, and tradition, could promote neither truth passion, As by usual, orthodoxy prevailed numbers....I had too many nor religion.... opportunities of seeingthe manifestationsof selfishtyranny and ambition in d from to turn the greateccl the esiastical emagog 1-7ue not spectacle with a , . of disgust (Davidson 1899: 17). feeling
This experienceof the Arian controversy, coupled with his rejection at Glasgow,and his later dismissal from the Congregational College (to be treated below), meant that Davidson never produced his many studies on Biblical from detached disinterested Like the a purely criticism and academicmotive. Antitrinitarian pioneers in Biblical criticism in the seventeenthand eighteenth dissemination data he knew in that time, the centuries, public of challenging Trinitarianism--the free inquiry--would be the eventual orthodox result of 9 intolerant dominance the the undoing of orthodox. political of About the time of the founding of a new Congregational theological in had Manchester--a college city which gained the reputation as a centre of non-

91he following sentiment must be kept in view as contributing to Davidson'soverall orientation: "Free thinkers have not had an easylife. Servetus Toland's burnt his hatred Calvin's Geneva, was opinions; of at chiefly through Chlistianity notMysterious was burnt by order of the Irish House of Commons, the author escaping seizure by leaving the country; John Biddle died in a The body Huss zeal of noisomeprison; and the of was consumed at the stake. the cleric usually outruns that of the magistrate against heresy; and Gibbon may by his, before last well observewith sorrow, that the three writers of the age Leibnitz, Bayle, defended, and whom the rights of consciencewere so nobly Locke, were all laymen and philosophers. The theory of toleration may be fanaticism by it is in it is of the preached: practice, nourished as still violated ignoranceor the bitterness of orthodoxy" (Davidson 1899: 118-119).


have doubts Biblical basis to the came about conformity--Davidson of the

form of church order. He therefore applied for a teachingpost Presbyterian he in 1843. Here he had awarded a professorship was which assumed thereand he have breathing in Belfast in than room ever would experienced either more or Glasgow, though this collegewas still rather conservative(Thompson 1893).
Hmnmutics, The sameyear, he published his Sacrcd in which we find a

Here Davidson his Erasmus. kinship Prince to reveals the tribute senseof with Davidson's Humanists. Erasmus fountainhead the the appreciation of as of of a is in his it Erasmus that primitivism evident recognizing restorationist was who

by Scripture, the unfettered enteredupon a substantial examination of fathers His Parapbrases Annotations and councils.... authority of and on the books of the New Testament, form a prominent era in the history of Biblical interpretation. The method pursued in them far surpasses any that preceeded (Davidson 1843: 182). In Erasmus, Davidson finds the ideal model, one who echoesthe values his days for first he has found the the voice to expresssince time which perhaps in Belfast.Erasmus's is

He interpreter inde te the should assume. endentposition which the sacred had by they should untrammelled the ancient commentators,asthough by laborious is the compilersof the medievalage. saidall that sufficient, or he frequently Of the former he speaks although with respectand reverence, dissents from their views. Un the latter he animadvertsmore freely, not into their faults or folEcaring to mention the glaring n-ustakes concealing for in himself fell. Erasmus In this way a right position which they put discoveringtruth. He openedhis eyesto the fallibility of the sources to his been for had strong given, and allowed which a slavishattachment ages intellecttoput forth independentdecisionsupon the meaningof the written word (Davidson 1843:183).
Davidson could have been describing himself. Later in this treatment Davidson cited at length and with approval, the freely Erasmus 2: 6 from Matt. Erasmus's admitted passage where annotation on the inspired evangelist had made a clear error. It had been this text that was the in Erasmus tangible Eck's occasionof rather a and represents criticism of


beginnings desacralization Christian Bible in the the the of of the early manner5 modernera. In his autobiography Davidson rcflects an idealismstrikingly similarity to hoping dissolution Erasmus's to the see project, of an external,intolerant, in favour faith: dogmatic of a simple, near crcedless orthodoxy,
I have small ho, for the revival of religion in EnIaI nd--small hope for the ChurcT truth--till sDiritual cye o existing organizations crumble to advancement better in . their someAig appears th and placc--somcth* pieces, ;td in at red cts adventitious elements and retains a few cardinal principles. we hought Jesus basis the to the simple ethical precepts of as of not revert and life.... My fond dream is of a better age--one of liberty and love, in which the for be My theological rubbish, accumulated centuries, will cleared avay. dream is of a Church of the future, different from any now existing-broader, simpler, b%tized with heavenly fire, having a large measureof the The dwelt in Divine Master e charity which without measure.... spirit that hopes all things will throw her mantle around it, and the jarrings of hatreds, jealousies be heard their theologians envymgs, and no more; dwelling-places demons henceforward in (Davidson the of nestling 1899:86-88). Thesecould have been the words of Erasmus. One almost expectsto find a is Encbhidion, to the so common the rhetoric and the sentiment! reference In the summer of the very next year, 1844, Davidson made a momentous had learning. " He land he "the Germany, trip to the of visit to called what Biblical formidable his criticism authority on alreadyestablished reputation as a his from it fount impulse to want to visit the so was a natural whence came all inspiration. On this visit, the first in a series of visits he would make over the years,he by German Neander, Tholuck--all Bleek, standards. met rather moderate thinkers he He confessed " being "greatly stimulated and encouraged, so much so that to his disappointment, but discover Semler's no one to went on a quest to grave, seemed to know where it was. During the next few years while lecturing full-time he translated Gieseler's This Compcndium 1846-47. between the History, was ofEcclesiastical published beginning of his life's passion--to be the conduit that would convey German


for into his Britain. He few later, rewarded was efforts a years scholarship first his An Introduction the New the publication of volume of to after the shortly in 1848: the University of Halle awardedhim the D. D.. Only one Testament in his day degree British from ever received scholar such this prestigious a other Dr. Samuel Lee Cambridge (Davidson 1899:27). German of university,

C. Horne's Introduction

His early reputation as a man whose scholarship was put to the aid of a howbeit traditional conservatism, a non-conformist Christianity, was by now So Longmans, invited him that the to publishers, well established. much so in Thomas O. T. Hartwell Horne's the volume contribute an updated edition of day, introduction An Introduction British (by the standards) of standardcritical in Scripturc, Holy tbc to tbc Critical Study and ICnaw1cdqc print of a massivework into its 1818 tenth edition at this time. to go continuously since and about Davidson'sacceptanceof this project would cost him his teaching post and brand him for the rest of his life as a Rationalist. 10 Thomas Hartwell Horne (1780-1862), like Davidson, began his initially publishing career as a non-conformist, reared within the established Horne's Methodist but in tradition. church, converted early manhood to the father had been the clerk of an eminent barrister. As a youngster Horne "received 4)5 1862: (Cheyne Hospital Christ's and the rudiments of a classicaleducation" at during the summer of 1790 he was tutored there by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

"Rationalist" how 1OFor interesting was this word treatment of an Euays Pattison's to contribution understood during the Victorian era seeMark " 1688-1750. in England, Thought "Tendencies of Religious andReviews,


The first published work he produced was a musing intended to shore-up hisown faith after having read "an infidel novel of French origin" (Cheyne:9). Truth in his,A Btief Viewof theNecessity (1800), and of the ChristianRePcIation fashion, hisgoalwas, in good common-sense facts, lainly happened, truly, the to state and as avoiding all speculative Et prove...that there was a person reasoninganJrash conclusions.... Christ Eand N. documents Jesus that the true contain named a] statement . 1800: facts (Horne vii). of In 1801 he attendedthe WesleyanMethodist Church and in his words,
"like other fools who went to scoff, I remained to pray" (Cheyne: 11), thus becoming a non-conformist dissenter. No longer within the shelter of the church

find her keeper "witness, Holy Writ, " one could support as and of catholic where the impulse to establish the veracity of Biblical content, external of ecclesiastical driving into Horne therefore, the arena of authority, was a significant motive Biblical Introduction. 11

As early as 1801 Horne had planned to produce what would become the in in English Introduction Biblical the singlemost popular treatment of written him first In 1818 the nineteenthcentury. edition was complete and soon won international acclaim as an industrious scholar of the first order. He personally his hard work was sentout close to seventy promotional copies, world-wide, and not in vain: he was rewarded by seeing his Introduction expanded, and beyond his life--forty-two, in for continuously print, the rest of years--and (Cheyne:30). As Davidson's energies would eventually be focused to bring the orthodox to seeand respond to data that challenged the religious establishment, eventually 11It was J.W. Fletcher's "logical and unanswerable"Appeal to Matters of Lost Corrupt Factand CommonSense; Demonstration Rational and ofAfan-s or, a Estate, humble throne his "a in the brought Horne, to penitent that own words, of grace" (Cheyne: 12).


Horne'swork cameto be seenas an important and significant SUPPort of the Anglican Hence, did Horne's Introduction orthodoxy. of not only quo status earn him an M. A. from Aberdeen,he was drafted into the Anglican communion in 1819on the strength of this publication, acceptingordination and a living to the 12 Church, London. Christ of curacy Horne in time displayedhimself to be a near fulsome advocate of the high Tory church and politics, producing published sermonssuchas, established Prayerand thePeo Sovereign's Delivered Sunday After The Ple'sDuty: A Sermon the on Majesty, 18 8; Conformity Cb 3 The the theCoronation ofHer and of urcbofEngland Precept in HerMinistry, Doctrineand Liturgy, to theApostolic and Pattern, 1833, at he Articles Tbirty-Nine (these the theconclusionof which read entire are form He the to the published of sermon). alsopublished a seriesof appended 13 treatises. anti-Papal CharlesSimeon,the leading EvangelicalAnglican in Horne's day, madethe following commentsin a letter to Horne, replying to his TheConformity oftbe Cburcb ofEngland., Without the loss of an hour I havegone through it, much delighted with I the sermonand much edified,with your notes. hope it will be of

121n his own words: "For many years I had the privilege and comfort found I being Methodists, in Wesleyan of among whom communion with the manykind friends.... I quitted that Society, only when the ecclesiastical from England Church them regulationsof the rendered my retirement of in for the that of section necessary, to ordination previously my preparing Church Universal" (Cheyne:18). Later he conceded that it had long been his desireto enter the ministry of the Church of England (35).

Mariolarry 1827; Bible, Contradictory 13Thesc or Romanism the to were, by Mary Facts Virgin tbc Blessed Worsbip Evidences Demonstrating the the of and The 1844; Scripture, Cburch Falsifier Enemy of pcrythe and tbc ofRomc,1841; Pq Demonstrated IdentityofPq Novelty Tbc 1844; Tractatianism, ofRmnanism pcryand byHistmicalFacts,1847; Popery Dclincatcd, 1848.


benefit, but to to the public at large. parishioners not our only, Ettan's substantial is worth age deal: "Division That observation of Wm. is their reat is hits " It division is their punishment. nail and admirably, sin, and body Dissenters. Of friends the. the of of great all that you characteristic havenot one has rejoiced more unfeignedly than I at the appointment of my friend to a living (Simeon 1834). Thus Horne, who had not the advantage of a university education, earned his international the peers, established evangelical church, and an the respectof English-speaking throughout the world who community of conservative scholars his definitive for Introduction. debt his in were In his seventy-fourth year, becauseof his failing health, Horne was not able he his Furthermore, tenth the to edition of work. was production of a to attend in keep 1850's, ill the the to advanceof scholarship now up with now equipped flooding out of Germany. Samuel Davidson, however, was, and so becamethe 14 Testament Horne's Old section of work. obviouschoice to revise the Davidson acceptedthe invitation but with one majorpropiso: he must be his begin liberty than to adopt afresh with a new work, rather givencomplete intended because Davidson This framework. to to an earlier was research introduce to English readers, "new ground--such ground as the subjects have beenbrought to, not only here, but especially in other countries" (Davidson 1899:37), and by this he meant German scholarship. To this, both Horne and feature tenth Davidson this to the publishers agreed. other one contributed Plymouth his It the edition. was suggestion that another non-conformist, Brother, Samuel Tregelles, be invited to do the section treating New Testament keen light in that is This (37). the animosity text criticism of particularly ironic would develop between them lasting till the end of their careers.

141. Ellis's treatment of this account of Davidson's contribution to

Home'sIntroductionis a bit muddled, cf. Ellis (1980:4-5).


Up to this point both Tregellesand Davidson had acknowledged one

in friendly fashion. In 1853 his the a works edition of treatise on another's Biblical criticism, Davidson expressed

his obligations to Dr. S.P. Tregellesfor various hints, suggestions, and by his book has been The ice means of which cautions improved. read Tt ad learned Christian friend has this most and of never beenwanting. has beenfreely and generouslygiven (Davidson 1853:ix-x).
In kind, Tregelles, in 1848, had referred to the first volume of Davidson's

"peculiar importance Introduction to theNew Testament to the Biblical asof it is better" (Tregclles 1881: 15 the the sooner completed student.... xKviii). Moreover,he cites Davidson'sapproachto textual criticism in his Biblical Criticism, as the mannerin which I desireto act with regardto eachdis putedpassage: each fall it Let to the according evidence must standor with which comes. traditional feelingsbe set aside,and the judgement will generallybe formed di (xxvii). culty without m
Davidson had argued in a similar vein criticising the traditionalism which

from Anglicanism: enveloped scholarshipaspracticed within

Almost all Episcopalians are prejudiced in favour of the authenticity of Ignatius's Epistles; and it is uselessto try to convince them of the contrary. They will not exercisethe critical faculty impartially on that subject, as also high in Church, into Put the and you on many others. a man a position judgment from him independent on theological need not expect much topics. Content with the creedsof antiquity, he seesno reason for departing from them. Tradition savesthe trouble of toilsome and conscientious examination (Davidson 1899: 181). 15While I have quoted this from a later 3rd edition of this work, it is locatedin a "To the Reader" which was first published in 1848 and is found in his Moreover, in for footnotes in brackets) (but earlier, unaltered this edition. TheBookofRepelationin Greek(1844), he had said, "On the subject of Biblical Criticism in general I may mention 'Lectures on Biblical Criticism. By Samuel Davidson, LL. D. Edinburgh, 1839.1 know of no volume in English which He " information givesso much on the subject, and with as much correctness. fact or epery then adds the ominous words: "Of course I do not vouch for epery Davidson's Trcgefles Perhaps (Tregelles 1844: conclusion" sensed already vi). capacityto be more comprehensive than himself.


Here the solidarity of these two non-conformists can clearly be seenin

disaLlowing input into the tradition project of ecclesiastical radical their any determining documents. Both the authenticity of of express process a supreme "scientific the the ability of nineteenth-century on approach"to arrive at reliance
a conscnsus. There was, however, also a major difference between them: Davidson came be to convinced that such a procedure would eventually overturn established Trinity, Tregelles is the regarding orthodoxy while equallyconvinced catholic be Christological by that such orthodoxy can only confinned such an external Thus here have double the we yet another example of edged verification process. In directions this two the rationalism. case each respectively represents sword of
in text that to the early nineteenth criticism came expression of non-conformist leads that to a nonarchaeological-like repristination century: one claiming Trinitarian form of Christianity, based on the best attested textual evidence; 16 in the a purer, and other seessuch restorationism. as always resulting while

thereforea firmer, expression of ancient orthodoxy. Both conclusions rested on a different interpretation of the implications of interpretation doctrinally textual variousstrategic, significant, variants: one rooted in the freedom experienced only in the German context, the other rooted in the old Scottish Common-Sense approach, which demands that the evidence fit a predetermined orthodox framework, while claiming all the while to be "just letting the facts speakfor themselves. "

Dr. friend, his by 16Davidsonsigned his name to a prospectus, written Wiffis, intended to gather support for a reprint of Servetus'sCblistianismi Restitutio,but becausesponsorship was never forthcoming, the project never materialised(Davidson 1899: 117).


Both conclusionsrestedon a different interpretation of the implications of doctrinally interpretation textual significant, strategic, variants: one various freedom in in German the the experienced only rooted context, the other rooted in the old Scottish Common-Sense approach,which demandsthat the evidence fit a predeterminedorthodox framework, while claiming all the while to be "just " lettingthe factsspeakfor themselves. light between All this sweetness Davidson Tregelles and and was, doomed in to therefore, evaporate time. Upon the arrival of Davidson's Horne's had to the magnum opus, occasion contribution arrived. What no one
had understood at the time was that Davidson, since his visits to Germany, had in his Biblical literature. a significant reorientation understanding experienced of This is illustrated in the words of one of his contemporaries, Paton Gloag, of Edinburgh: Evidently a great alteration had come over his critical opinions.... If I may fostered by his I think venture a conjecture, exag gerated estimate of it was the writings of the Great German theologians (Davidson 1899: 351). Gloag went on to explain where this change could be detected within the history of Davidson's publishing career: The most valuable of Dr. Davidson's works are the two Introductions to the New Testament.... These two Introductions proceed on very different lines; for if it that the unity of style, the sameness of many of so much so were not line lists the critical references,the of words and phrases,and the common different by authors. they think that of armiment written one were would First is The lines; the second advanced, proceeds on orthodox or traditional (352). Tiibingcn almost approaching to the views of the school Davidson himself had described his propensity to evolve in terms reminiscentof Priestley: As I look back, I feel that I have made many mistakes, and that my 1 norance is still great. Who can fathom the mysteries of Providence and life et I have always tried to grow in knowledge and to supplement former beliefs. In the light of opinions which appeared more correct, I abandoned others. I have not scrupled to learn from sceptics; neither have I rejected orthodox ' from has been Yaowlcdge teaching. ever source--from welcome Calvin John believing Hengstenberg--Trom Strauss and unbelieving and John Toland. If I was not able to stereotype my theological sentiments at an


help it they enlarged, period, and shifted could early not --if without --I The the authority of conscience. reproachof changingis surely resisting Where is the thinker who has not done so? (113). unfair. Davidson in terms of two stages, Gloag assessed one where his scholarship defend latter his the to the orthodoxy; and that stage used was witnessed in scholarship the serviceof an anti-Trinitarian rationalism:
It is well known that in the early part of his career Dr. Davidson was decidedly more orthodox and positive in his views; indeed, some of the best derived from his early works, defenses the traditional of views are still his from Introduction Ncw Tcstamcnt, in in to the three especiall volumes 1848 (M). Davidson was wont, therefore, even in his own lifetime, to instruct his that, readers The only work of mine which I wish to be quoted on [rcprding] the books New Testament is last Introduction, dated 1882 the the edition of my of (the third edition, that of 1894, was not published when this letter was is 1868. As that to the threea considerable advance on of written), which it is 1848, It entirely supersededand out of print. represents volume one of longer (353). mine views no In 1854, however, when the invitation had been extended to him to Horne's producea revision of work, there was as yet no public evidenceof Davidson'sdevelopment. To all appearances he was still an advocateof the old here fiffly By Davidson that was an orthodoxy. realized accepting the task German his methods opportunity to showcase current grasp of contemporary Davidson could only have seenthis invitation as most fortuitous. Here was an latest be results of through which the very the channel,par excellence, occasionto deemed GermanscholarshipDavidson the of worthy scholarship -the only Davidson his daughter's In name--couldpass. words saw that man ge traditional opinions as to the origin, authorship, and longer Testament in Old books bound the were no characterof up tenable; and he considered that he would be doing a serviceto religion In Great Britain by helping to acquaint English people with the sounder views foreseen have the he Still, in Germany. that, amcngstI alreadyprevalent must little world of the college constituents, any doubt thro u on the Mosaic like Pentateuch quiet sacrileghis authorship of the would seem his intervals during for of the two years to the persistent application work (Davidson heroism been have duties an effort of silent college must 1899:41).


The have his let him little publishers way suspectingwhat the results perspective. 17 be. would Oncethe work was completed,it had all the appearances of a treatise in German the atmosphereof a university: comprising elevenhundred produced indices three totalling thirty-eight pages, tightly compactedpages,addenda,and in This it lacked nothing comprehensiveness. was meant to be the critical, Old Testament in English. treatment the of nineteenth-century

D. InspiratiOn, Again

Shortly after its arrival, in spite of there being so much content, and much that Tregelleshimself would have said, it was just a few pages, 372-376, treating Biblical inspiration, to which Tregelles turned his attention. 18Tregeneshad said in his own words, on many occasions,that Biblical criticism should not be feared but should be seenas God's providential means for purifying the inspired deposit. In particular in his An Account oftbc Printcd Tcxt oftbc GrcckNcw Tcstamcnt (1854) he confidently proclaimed: "Criticism need not be at all ...

17Inthe words of one of his apologists, Davidson, "considered that it the progress made in Biblical Criticism to accurately, more put or perhaps, ... Germany, England increased between intercourse literary the and and scholarly little it in impossible longer keep this country a water-tight made to up any floods it of compartment, as were, of effete criticism guaranteed against the better-informed opinion that had broken loose elsewhere" (Davidson 1899: 36). This evaluation would hold true, in Davidson's opinion, for Tregelles's kind Biblical for the conservative criticism practiced within of project as much as the establishedchurch. in discovered been have 18Thislocus on Biblical inspiration could only index had the course of reading the entire work becauseDavidson provided no listing for "inspiration. "


feared;if it takesaway on the one hand readingswhich were thought to have dogmatic it value, will give on the other quite asmuch" (Tregelles some 234).19Davidson echoedthe samespirit in his preface:"It is not necessary 1854: fellowship God be the the of spirit with that should interrupted or marred by historical investigations into books Scripture" (Davidson the of the criticism of 1856: vi). Moreover, Davidson had made clearthat for interpreting Scripture aright,
"an irreligious interpreter is wholly incompetent, for his heart furnishes no key Bible (207) in keeping Tregelles's the to revelations" and equally with own Davidson language "the by inspired that the affirmed conviction, employed is Hence is be Bible the to writers such as we can readily apprehend. explainedan books" Tregelles had his (207). thesameptinciples as otber spent entire career just in And to this the text-critical attempting argue realm of practice. yet, because Davidson had dared to be consistent in following this conviction, even into the realm of inspiration, Tregelles attacked him with a ferocity that Davidson could have little expected. Without engaging Davidson personally about his misgivings, Tregelles; inspiration, he in Davidson's wasso alarmed about what read volume regarding he sent the following letter to more than one newspaper, one of which was the Record: in low England, the most conservative, church paper As a new edition of 'Home's Introduction' bears, in conjunction with the Davidson, T. Dr. Samuel Rev. H. Horne my own, as one of namesof the and Horne. Mr. the editors, perhaps you will allow me to state that and myself in for the sentiments expressed those ortions which we only are responsible Holy In respectively undertook to edit. writing on the subject oFthe . as Scriptures I trust that I have ever sought to uphold its plenary authority inspired by the Holy Ghost; and thus it has been with sorrow as well as 19That he was completely mistaken on this point in both his dogmatic-like formularization as well as in the actual facts of the matter is the thesisof this chapter.


have Dr. Davidson I has that that observed surprise, used this work as the for bringing avowing and into notice many sentiments and theories occasion his former Scripture to which with regard works would not have intimated his heleld, that and adoption of which was wbolly unknown to Mr. Horne fmd We in thus ourselves an unexpected position, being in and myself. danger of being supposed to be, in some measure, res for Tam onsible opinions Indeed, I may say that which we earnestl -epudiate. grieved that what I have written wiVa different object, and on different principles, should appearas part of the samework as that against which I feel bound to protest (Davidson 1857: 4-5). Once this letter appeared, in the words of Davidson's friend, J Allanson Picton, "the fire ran swiftly amongst the dry tinder of zeal without knowledge" (Davidson 1899: 42). In an account written by Davidson in his own defense, him by his Statcmcnts, Facts, titled: of a sub-committee of college, requested and Conncctcdwitb tbc Publication oftbc Sccond Volumcoftbc Tcntb Evplanations Edition ofHmwc'sIntroduction to tbc Study of Tbc Holy Scripturcs Entit1cd "Tbc TcXT Considcrcd, Old he Tregelles being Tcstamcnt" London, 1857, oftbc charged with dishonestin claiming not to have known what was going to appear because, forwarded from beginning had been to the the the all sheetsof entire work the end, to all the parties concerned in it, so that both Mr. Horne and Dr. Trcgelles knew everything, I had written all along, or had the opportunity of & knowing it, while I had samemeans of observing their sentiments (Davidson 1857: 5). 20 Nevertheless,becauseTregelles's letter had been reprinted in much of the deal Davidson took of public abuse, a great conservativepopular religious press,

20Davidson'sdaughter reaffirms this, noting that her father had "derivedencouragement from the fact, that while proofs were constantly interchangedbetween Mr. Horne, Dr. Tregefles, and himself, no hint was given that either of his colleagueshad any apprehension that his work would create be As both taken to represent the more these gentlemen might well alarm. fairly Davidson Dr. take Christians, might conservativesection of evangelical in disturbing fear have the churches their silence as a token that he need of no doubt, No 41). 1899: (Davidson interest whose the college was maintained" had Tregelles Horne the with proofs to time the read taken neither actually nor his based judgements implicitly Davidson's earlier on any care,probably trusting publications.


from low Anglican the church, evangelical, the wing of particularly communion (7-8). Although, the CleficalJournal and thejournal of Sacred Literature publicly Davidson had the treatment shameless experienced, condemned particularly at Record (8-9). hands the of the Davidsonwas condemnedfor everything from denying the Trinity, to havingdrawn parallelsbetweencertain mythic narrativesfrom the Old in Virgil Testament (both Erasmusand Grotius had also accounts with classical for drawing The severe criticism such parallels). suffered rhetoric was typical of like bad "A Man Davidson times: the onlyto studyat Halle, and, having acquired language, he " German then returned to Manchester"with a trunk-load of the (8). Ncologiannonsense" It wasDavidson'sdenial of verbal inspiration, however,that was Perceived to be at the bottom of all his infidelity. Davidson had settledthe problem of honestly Biblical to authority while also admitting that there was wanting retain in historical detail, the text touching error on matters of natural science, when in following the terms: etc.,
Sometimesthe diction employed respecting natural things is neither scientific nor optical, nor popular in any senseexcept as involving erroneous If there them.... was conceptions on the part o the people and partaking of .. ideas the to the tffic of their times an accommodation on part of writers far being so respecting the objects of nature the possibility of their not knowledge inLllible have to on points of enlightened or inspired as correct, itself &c., suggests natural science,on chronology, archaeology, geography, to the reflecting mind (Davidson 1856: 372). Davidson then assuredhis readers that his approach to these problems was Broad Arnold Thomas Smith, Pye a not new, pointing to a non-conformist; Churchman and Regius Professor of Modem History at Oxford; Rev. B. Powell Tholuck, Oxford; finally, German Coleridge; as earlier of the moderate, and he did. had examples those argued as of who


Davidson then assuredhis readers that his approach to these problems was Pye Smith, Thomas Arnold to Broad pointing a non-conformist; new, not a Churchman and Regius Professor of Modern History at O)dord; Rev. B. Powell finally, Coleridge; German Oxford; Tholuck, the and moderate, of as earlier had he did. those who argued as of examples Therefore, it was Davidson's first responseto critics to point out that the low Church England, the the of evangelical, church confines party of of narrow did not constitute the regulafidei of the Anglican communion: Assuredly the high preeminence which the Church of England holds in theological literature and sound scholarship has not been attained through Low Church divines. Treatises of distinguished merit do not proceed from high leisure they them, even when occupy stations commanding and in It is learning, Church the that elsewhere scholarship, and opportunity. 5 (Davidson 18 7: 10). piety are most combined He then pointed out that it would appear that Home himself held to the had Davidson Davidson to this, that mapped out and establish sameposition drew the reader's attention to Horne's own words, in the very edition to which Davdison had contributed. Before highlighting this, it will help if it is shown his in development degree have Home himself that of experienced a seemsto Inspiration. position on In Horne's Deism Refuted, published one year after the first edition of his Introduction,Home clearly and unambiguously affirmed that inspiration, Scrip: but tires; not these to the to of whole a not merely certain parts, by but ideas the the to which they to the words even oy oglies convey, which ideasare expressed(Horne 1819: 31). Earlier, however, in the first edition of his Introduction (1818), while did he his, Refuted, in Deism not specifically stating much of what was to appear 379)--by 1818: (Horne inspiration but inspiration, speakof verbal ofplenary description, The he have which specificity of the meant the same thing. may however, is lacking in the Introduction and this would appear to be deliberate, former. in later in in the treatise, or in excluding it the either adding this


God; historical in the and other passa while words of ffell-informed es they ascribeto is due to the wril them no more authority than and is, It however, by no means easytoaetermine these questions; upright men. but this much we may venture to affirm, viz. --That God bestowed upon the degree divine influence, of X ostles such a assistance, or guidance, as enabled knowledge his the. to e(m communicate of will to others, without any shadow of uncertainty, mistake, or error, whether the subjects of such first declared then to those revealed communications were them, or who before (Horne 1818: 377things they with which were acquainted were 378). The phrase, "Knowledge of his will, " is important to note, becauseby the has become, knowledge. "religious " By this the tenth edition tenth edition Horne now saysthat God had, "imparted such a degree of divine assistance, influence as should enable the authors of the Scriptures to communicate ... knowledge (Horne 1869 vol. 1:200,1 to others, Without error of mistake" reUgious here 12th 10th. ). the the ed. reads as which give Davidson certainly must have recognized this qualifying of inspiration in knowledge being his Horne had developed his terms of religious as own position. his final he his fact, by Deism Refuted. In the time of edition, understanding since language: happy following the was with But such a perfect rule we have in the New Testament, if we consider them infallible in Spirit's asunder the guidance all the religious sentiments they in he the express,whether suggested which they are written or very words inspired Upon this the not.. writings contain a perfect view offfie subject, for infallible God our salvation, of all that and account of the whole will of is necessary for us to know, believe, and practice in religion; and what can This it?.... they contain more than this, upon any other view of view of the his New in Christian, reading subject will also readily enable a plain Testament, to distinguish what he is to consider as inspired.... (Horne 1869 534-535). 1: 21 vol.

21Cf, also, p. 202, footnote I in this edition. This rather dramatic developmentfrom a verbal dictation theory, to a limited view of inspiration as involving only religious matters pertaining to salvation, has further interesting has he but himself, Horne These those elements. are not the very words of his from drawn" justly "conclusions position own choosento quote as offering ... "by a late learned and candid writer, " whom we dicover in a footnote to be Parry, as quoted from his Inquiry Mto the Nature and Extent oftbe Inspiration of He 1797. New Testament, London, to Writers theApostles refers also oftbe and Doddridge and a Bishop Wilson in the samefootnote. Also, this detailed


It would appearthat perhapsDavidson was not far from the mark in believingthat Horne's position was, indeed, very closeto his own. But why does Horne sayclearlyin his autobiography that Davidson advocated"viewson the inspirationof the Holy Scriptures NOT in harmony with my printed ... 1862: This (Horne 177)? is because Horne had his while statements" adjusted inspiration did limiting Davidson, he did believe, Davidson did, as not as view, "material (Home 528). 1869: the uninvired content contained that error"
AH were correct, however, in assessing Davidson as one who had dogma inspiration. That the text criticism old ecclesiastical of verbal abandoned him for in decisive inspiration is traditional abandoning any was view of evident from the second edition of his Introduction to the Ncw Tcstamcnt,1882, where we

As long asplenary inspiration is attributed to the evangelists,it is in the interest of its advocatesto find pervading unity *inthe four gospels--anunity inconsistent with positive or real discrepancies.Those who decry harmonies inspiration The true corrective are inconsistent.... while advocating plenary best harmonies is honest Gospels the text the as of an explanation of fair ypotheses By of criticism presents them. exegesis,ingenious "plenary" inspiration appear at once as the inventions of apologists ... ... building castleswithout proper regard to the materials. The castlesare built first; and the stones are afterwards shped with great labour, or with a (Davidson forces them that capricious readiness into unsuitable positions 198211:356).

Horne Has treatmentof the subjectis now confined to an appendix. attempted by by to escape possiblecriticism now relegating the subjectto an appendixand because is This from not the case usingthe words of another, an earlier age? Home clearlyrefers, if only in a footnote, to only those parts of Scripture which " the other "inculcate justice, mercy, and holinessof life.... [as] the Word of God, from distinguished be the "historical " he to portions refersto as parts, always former (202, footnote I).


Here Davidson was confident that the data produced by textual criticism for because that not allow a of scripture view that simply argues the entire would be inspired, is there can no contradictions or errors. text
Furthermore, Davidson called attention to a technique that would become

inspiration to those to who wanted retain a verbal view of paradigmatic while alsoadopting the critical practiceof text criticism, namely,a view that the text of is inerrant, in the "original autographs": Scripture
i id policy to say, when a real contradiction staresthe interpreter in It is tum the face, "This could be satisfactorily cleared up, did we know all the is it but in " What have "I sayina effect, a shorter way of circumstances. difficulties harmonists? I the than the out of admit the present setting but hold if that they are perfectly consistent more inexplicability of passages, lighi were thrown upon the circumstances, becauseinspiration excludesthe itself. Scripture Perhaps is it the text also corrupt; contradiction of with be (A56). altered, even against authority" should Horne, in looking back on the harm he felt Davidson had causedhis own defender Church the of the and stalwart carefifflycrafted reputation as a son of faith, recorded in his memoirs: the Rev. Dr. Samuel Davidson (author of severaltreatises on sacred literature) who altogether ignoring my previous labours in his preface, instead.of cditn that volume with the really requisite additions and in his d learned lar which own; volume of e Voly cl corrections, og uced a very his views on the inspiration of tte Scriptures, were NOT in harmony been having dissatisfaction Much public I with myTat rinted sentiments. from dissonance, Dr. Davidson's my this sad volume was sepered expr 'Introduction. ' and was sold with a separatetitle-page to those who 177). his (Cheyne: approved of views... Home's daughter added the following commentary on this account: We need scarcelysay that the grief and vexation causedb Dr Davidson's did father the deeply to aggravate time, this muY and affiir at affected my disease from which he was sufferinS. He had often called the "Gtroduction" "his favourite child, " and the mischief which now befell that work was 178). (Cheyne: had he ever yet experienced perhaps the greatest misfortune


Moreover, Davidson's defenseof his position did not convince the

in by further he a his two students necessary attacked collegeand was parties at by TWO Plagiarisms Contradictions, His Heresies, Davidson: Dr. and pamphlettitled:


London, 1857. Here again it was Davidson'sview of inspiration that Graduates, be heart his to the at of all error. wasperceived his Inspiration In defense Davidson had cafledupon Erasmus, of on views
Grotius and Le Clerc, those whom I have been arguing were the leading phalanx desacralization Hebrew-Christian Bible by means of a toward the the tending of its by highlighting its compilation and a naturalistic view of of many textual dogmatic implications. Davidson's critics variants,sometimes of significant it indeed, Le Clerc, "is first be that the to was, who argued named" who "entertainedopinions more or less loose on the subject of inspiration" (Two Graduates1857: 111). Actually, as I have demonstrated, Le Clerc took his views from Erasmus and Grotius. Nevertheless, these critics cite Davidson's nineteenth-century allies on the subject--Alford, Arnold, the Conybeares, Coleridge, et al.--as having influences "of German origin" as though this was dismiss to them as authorities on the subject. But it has been my reasonenough by Germans first liberated from that the the contention scholastic position were Le Clerc, Locke, Newton, the Antitrinitarians and the English Deists meansof and so the successionof influence is here skewed in this presentation. Davidson's nemesis, the Rev. John Kelly, who was personally responsible for Davidson's dismissal, added insult to injury by publishing his An Examinationof the Facts,Statements, Samuel Dr. Rep. Explanations the of and DavidsonLondon, 1857. Davidson's friend attempted to come to his rescueafter his removal from the college with a reply. The Rev. Thomas Nichols published his Dr. Davidson'sRcmopalfrm tbc ProfmorsbipofBiblical Literature in the Lancasbire IndependentCollege AfancbesteronAccount ofAlleged Error in Doctrine London, 1860. All was in vain as Davidson now relocated in London as Scripture Examiner in the London University, harbouring all the bitterness that such an


from his naturally also would engender, while receiving sympathy experience Hc German truly martyr as attaining status. colleagues summedup the final his life in following London Phase the terms: of
The years of my London life are likely to be the last; and they have been the favourable During I have been free to them mental culture. most a agent, ban the though suffering under of social excommunication from the Congregationalists. But that is no loss. Others, with whom my intercourse has been friendly and instructive, have welcomed me. Liberal theologians of Church Unitarians Established have the and others showed me ... ... kindness.... But there is a solitariness in the position of him who really belongs to no outward Church or sect. Even large-minded individuals say, "He is not one of us; he is an eclectic and Cut liar. " An undefined suspicion hovers about him. He representsnobody himself. The highway to is be Churchman Dissenter. Stick to thorou to success a going or outward defend it for if do ti at all so, worldly promotion is you Tour parV, and but be ikely to I 00 ollow; 0 some cannot party men, and am one of them (Davidson 1899: 86-87). While text criticism, it cannot be doubted, certainly helped Davidson along him his thus to accept also allowing on way to rejecting a sacredview of the text Germancriticism, we wiLl now examine how his view of the Trinity was also so influenced by this discipline.

E. Davidson, Textual Variants and the Trinity

At what stage Davidson becamea Socinian is not perfectly dear. We read, however, in his diary entry for 24th February, 1888, the f6flowing: In the life of Colenso there is reference to a hymn-book which he compiled, bish7 Christ from the was excluded, and which prayer addressedto Paul's contending that epistles present no example of such prayer. passage (2 Cor. xii. 8) immediately occurred to me, in which the apostle says,I When we besought the Lord thrice that it might depart from me ....... being. heavenI looked Christ Paul who man, as a 7rom as the recollect that upon different is in form God, consubstantiality was the of which certainly in he improbable it is God, that should this one instance and coeternity with had inconsistent been have He .n Christ. himself to speakof would as praCeing he prayed to a created (Davidson 1899: 193-194).

Four dayslater we readthat he is still struggling with this theme:


The distinction between Christ and the Father, the supreme God and His Son, which Paul always makes, forbids us to believe that he thought worship be latter. He (196-197). to the paid was a monotheist should Certainly text criticism played a role in his coming to such conclusions,

fresh forth from Tischendorfs the evidencecoming particularly recensions which

Greek N. T. Earlier in 1886 he the the the evidence of earliest uncials of reflected following 14 March: the on entered This morning I finished the reading of Luke's Gos Pel in the Syriac, and am Peshito is that the version not a good authority for the still convinced For in the text. the concluding chapter it has ex mVe, original reading of 51); "and (ver. "and to theseadditions... carried up. 1 they , eaven" 52).... him" (ver. however, that the is remarkable, worshipped oldest and It best MSS. N, A, B, C, have also these later insertions of the 51st and 52nd Tischcndorf has his has been the rightly rejected verses.... vcrse[s], and note by Westcott Hort. The Western and so-. cafled copied in art readings [those lit, Vatican to the mostly] are often riT56)22 in opposition ofCodcx and Sinaitic MSS. (Davidson 1899. Originally, however, as we have already demonstrated Davidson was dogmas Trinity. Deity Christ In the the the perfectly orthodox on of of and Davidson'sfirst publication, Lectureson Biblical Criticism, 1839, he dealt lecture devoted T. He N. twelve to the entirety of text criticism. extensivelywith T. N. be idea "conjectural the that refuting the carried out on emendation" should documents. 23Here he reflected a very cautious and conservative stance,indeed, by the end of the eighteenth century. to when compared established practice All of his next lecture was devoted to demonstrating that the comma his Jobanneum interpolation. But nowhere at this stage of was a corrupt developmentis there any trace of his entertaining a non-Trinitarianism. His judgement appearsto be strictly one resulting from his own personal

245. 22See his commentson p. also

23'JhiSwas conservative, indeed, in light of William Bowyer having fourth by high the edition art raisedthe practice of conjectural emendation to a 1812. 4th Tcstamcnt ObscrPations Ncw his Gitical Conjccturcs ed. of and on the


investigationof the data and he draws no conclusion regarding the dogma itself havingbeena late development.In his prefacehe had alreadyconceded, had as Tregelles, that for the good of the Church, be dross from the gold. The spurious must be severed the must se Rose arated from the genuine. adventitious excrescences, sometimesattachedto be text, the commonly received must cut off with unsparing hand, as -7). fallible ignorant (Davidson 18A: of and men additions Hence,at this stagehe was not using textual criticism asa meansof
but it "cast "stones in to those orthodoxy, rather was aside" the undermining

divine inserted by in " believers to of revelation, edifice men, sacred order enable
fair the to gazeon and wondrous temple of the Lord, and to fall down on Him, in lowly before knees loving-kindness adoration our whose and tender in face there the so richly exhibited mercy are of Christ Jesus(7). This point is confirmed by what proceeds in the next lecture. Lecture fourteen treats the other theologically significant variant at I Tim. 3: 16. Here Davidson spendstwelve pages rehearsing the evidenceand then draws the between is (Davidson OF-0; "OEO; that the 0";, conclusion and authentic reading" 1839:158). 24

The significanceof such a judgement, within the recentcontext of the

heateddebate over Arianism at the college in Belfast where these lectures were delivered,can hardly be underestimated, since Arians and subordinationists since Erasmusall believed the OeO;reading to be an orthodox corruption of the text, by " inserted "stones, those one of men.

24While he admitted that the orthodox variant, on its own, offered

he, here little absolute for Trinitarians to proving their point, assistance his interpretation nevertheless, of the orthodox reading, recognizing affirms own that "It was by the dignity of his [Cbrists] divine nature that he was ableto atone for sin, and to render entire obedienceto all the spiritual commandsof God" (160). Here we seehow perfectly orthodox was Davidson.


In his very next lecture he tackleswhat had becomea real challenge to the Priestley's birth the time, found to the single since reference virgin orthodox as in the earlyportion of Matthew's narrative. Davidson beginswith a resentful have be defended because to that a passage should such at all tone no textual
in Greek Latin the or witnesses: variantsappear And yet, it is well known that doubts have been cast on them, as if they did form inspired Scripture. This is Such a part of passing not strange. an outrage against all the genuine principles of criticism is remarkable (186). Here Davidson reflects in almost Tregelles-like tones, an insistenceupon

documents being decisive. In Davidson's the external evidence of as always judgement,

Unitarians have thrown suspicion on these portions, becausethey contain an Christ.... The the account.of miraculous conception of miraculous is doctrine Lord conception of our a which they cannot reconcile with their ideasof his mere humanity, and hence it must be discarded (186). It is evident that at this point Davidson's allegiancewas firmly on the his the that orthodox side at own conviction was that the virgin college and birth was an historical event, and that to question its authenticity on textual 25 from grounds could only proceed a prejudiced mind. On the publication of his Introduction to the New Tcstamcntin 184 8 and in A Biblical his titled: criticism, now particular the total revision of work on Vols Scicncc 2 Treatise View Systematic Criticism BibUcal Exhibiting that of on a 1853 (published both in Britain as well as in Boston), a new Davidson begins to doctrinally definite he draws emergedas now conclusions regarding certain important variants.

25Nostronger language,in defenseof no clearerprinciple of criticism, here has "Criticism following: be found in can this volume ascomparedto the nothing to do but to receivewith implicit faith theseportions asgenuine, for it because by they are unquestionablysanctioned the sourceson which relies the establishmentof a pure text" (187).


The first volume of the Introduction had earnedhim his doctoratefrom

Halle, and here he presents this work to his British readership in these terms: What the Germans call Introduction has not engaged many minds in this it to a varity of causeswhich were superfluous to detail. country, owing Probably too little attention has been given to theolo,Every ica literature in al England. There are few books on it M our language. familiar one with by theologians and critics in various lands and the modern works published languages[read Germany and German] knows, that there is no English book which gives a fair or adequate idea of the present state of opinion in this deSartment. The author therefore proposes to supply a want which feel; in it is to and regard which many oubtless not alvays expedient to direct the young: theologian to' the most recent publications in Germany (Davidson 184 v). Having spent some time in Germany, Davidson was now part of a German he felt both debt toward whom a of gratitude, and a sense network of moderates Britain. Tholuck to uphold a new standard of scholarship within paid obligation him a visit in Manchester 1847 and so the bond with Germany was quick and

In his German-like Introduction, Davidson prepared his readersfor what they would find there. The contrast is drawn sharply here between the two distinctive academictraits of the two peoples: the Germans, who stress innovation and put a premium on developing new theories; and the British, who tended to want to preserve an ancient orthodox tradition: in The Reader who will sometimes fmd a different inion advocated the Introduction from that proposed in the Lecturesoron Biblical Criticism, 1839], must attribute the chan Ter ;e to a more careful examination of evidence. his sentiments when he seesFood reason The Writer is not ashamedto for doing so. He is unappalled by the charge of inconsistency which. may be brought agrainsthim. Others rny sympathise with the stereotype-minded; he He the he inquires do'-'s'o long the of motto adopts ana reflects. cannot as as him docet, dies them who rather than the sentiment of man who proclaims, hereditary life in his or prevailing opinion the ruts of creepsalong all (Davidson 1848: viii). In treating the Baptismal formula at Matt. 28: 19 Davidson now argues

(93). Strauss " it that "could hardly appearin Christ, and refersto asan authority And5


Whether the conunissionimplied so much asshould authorisethe persons baptism distinct to require a professionof faith in the administering Father, Son, Holy Ghost, is the unity and coequality of essential and doubtful (94).26 Citing an enormous array of sourceson the subjectof the virgin birth in Matt., including Priestley,he continuesto arguefor the apostolicity of the first birth in his his Introduction (127). But once the edition of virgin of account his completelyrevisedwork An Introductionto the StudyoftbeNew Testament
in he has in 1868, done two volumes a complete about-face on this appears He "Following internal [emphasis that, now maintains as point well. mine] be disposed did belong to that the to the say, we should chapters not evidence, (Davidson 1868 27 1: 493). It Wason the occasion of the original copy" his Introduction he formally this that edition of publishing of was from Congregational from he Church the that time tens us and excommunicated "I worshipped no more among orthodox Dissenters, but repaired quietly to the Unitarians, and sometimes to the Church of England" (Davidson 1899: 95). Davidson revealsin the fmal edition of his Treatiseon Biblical Criticism, 1853, that he is now operating from Griesbach's canon regarding the tendency in to text of scribes add to the support of an orthodox tenet: readings which Hence, favour after an extensive strongly orthodox opinions are now suspicious. Tim in I OF'O; judges he Tim. 3: 16 I that twenty-two page treatment of now 3:16 was a corruption after all, arising fromO"; (Davidson 1853 2: 402). For I John v. 7 he spends twenty-four pages in offering a refutation of its authenticity 26HereHorne and Tregelles should have been able to detect a rather significant shift in Davidson's judgements. 27Later still, in his second edition of this work in 1882 he will slightly 1882 logia" (Davidson belong his "did to the original change wording to: not 1:394). This is becauseDavidson grants that the account always appearedin the Greekrecension but believed it to have been absent in the Aramaic original of



internal "We both believe internal that and external concluding grounds that on is aswell asthe external; and thereforerejectthe evidence againstthe passage (Davidson 1853 2: 426). Interestingly, he spurious" certainly as whole concluded lengthy from Sir IsaacNewton's his analysis the comma of with a rather quote has been inserted OFov by So, in fourth too, the the orthodox treatise. verseof in OEo; John instead 1: 18 (3 78). Jude's ul'O; epistleand probably of Surprisingly, however, he retains asconservative a stanceon conjectural he did in his Lcctures: as earlier emendations
In the New Testament, critical conjecture has been vey little exercised.This believe is as it should be. There is no need for it there.... We 0 that the ,c not been from documents, has lost true reading all existing in any one instance. The thing is at least very improbable (371). But the reason for retaining this conservative stancemay be more his friends in he Having mind, conservative explicablethan one might think. quips, Difficulty in intcrprctation [i. e. aLparent errors and contradictions] has led to them [conjecturev But it is better to interpret a passage as have it, inability than to recourseto explain well as we can, or to confessour the expedient in question (372-373). One is reminded here of Davidson's earlier concern with those who were has he here in the sacredtext; and so unwilling to admit errors or contradictions desire for legitimate to maintain a those who excludedconjecture as a recourse inspiration. particular understanding of

F. Tregelles and the Second Phaseof the Ideology of Harmless Engagement Horne's had Davidson incensed become Not only had Tregelles used that Introduction as a means of communicating German thought to both the Evangelical burgeoning conservativeestablishment ministers as well as to the dissenters,he continued a running debate with Davidson on other issues,such as Litcraturc in lengthy the virgin birth. In a essayappearing theJournal ofSacrcd k" .1


(Vol. 5, no. 9,1850: 1-37), he contested the notion that the earliest and Mattliews the most authoritative recension of therefore gospel in Aramaic be Greek the priority given over authoritative recension, which, of should Davidson dismiss the that to argument the referenceto the used course,was in Matt. 28 birth virgin Before the debate with Davidson broke out Tregelles had published his diatribe against the seventeenth-ccntury Protestant scholastic stanceagainst the in his An Account Printed Tcxt Greek New text of criticism ofthc ofthc practice Remarks its Rcpision Upon Critical PrinciplesLondon, 1854. Tcstamcnt witb on Here, in an identical fashion to that of Richard Bentley in his reply to Anthony Collins, Tregcllcs desires to demonstrate that Textual criticism was once met by the itpfiofi line of argument. It was said in that various readings the text of the New Testament would be contr a t '10 the care of God in preserving it. Is it not irreverent to think that God's IqoiV 7 Word can have been subject to ordinary casualties? But this high ground A by fact No the that the argruingwas effectually met various readin exist.

it fact line of7proofthat a thing cannotexist is valid againstthe sirnp that e JFs docs 5 (Tregelles 18 0: 17). exist

both demonstrating Tregelles's Like Bentley,this treatise to wayof was have highchurchmen his Evangelicals own rank,that variants of aswell asto been have been have always they andthey always acknowledged, existed, always Tregelles's by fresh ultimategoal, remedied means revision,which was of a

28Although, it should be said that at the time Davidson had not yet laid he first (in the this merely madesuch an argument explicit edition but his in for he a critic of groundwork next edition), what would make explicit his first edition of his N. T. Introduction drew such a conclusion which Tregelles,ironically, was attempting to refute. But here Tregelles does note that Greek inspiration" "virtual the of alreadyDavidson was only willing to admit the 36. inspiration, its for Tregelles e.g. p. recensionwhile verbal clearly argued Trcgellesdoes not in fact abide by Davidson's argument but he finds Davidson's Hebrew for disturbing critic even more refusing to allow that there was a Matthew and this becomes the real focus of his criticism.


Bentley difference being (with Bentley the unlike that not again, neverbrought his project to fruition). What better way to preparefor the recastingof the text in a fresh revision than to point out in a chronicle the history of resistance to 'An Account Ptintcd Tcxt Grcck the Ncw under rubric of oftbc activity such oftbc A most effectiveway of disarming one'spotential critics. Tcstamcnt" But would such an accountundermine Tregelles's own rather conservative inspiration had "a'priofi line of verbal the of which always accompanied view for It he the the text? special preservationof sacred argument" would seem have least had become to that the text admit at part of would corrupted and so inspiration have been for as as would nullfflied preservation well verbal a time. This wasthe occasionfor him to frankly admit asmuch and to assertin classic fashionthe ideology that Bentley had raisedin reply to Collins, namely,the ideologyof harmlessengagement, that is, no dogma has everbeenaffectedeither
by textual variants or by the activity involved in sorting them out by way of he fresh Rather than seesuch criticism as a threat, argued producing a recension. that it was the Divine means of restoring what slight, unimportant corruptions had slipped into the text. But first, he resorted to a most naturalistic line of argument to make his point, thus giving the appearanceof entertaining serious his in if irreconcilable thought: paradox not contradictions for his ies Scripture God did not seefit to multiply the co the use of 11 of His hands it just IN by He to to the of men coly mankind as miracle; and Word in the samemanner as other books, so was it left exposedto e same from from or carelessness changes, want of skill in copyists, 37). 1854: (Tregelles misapprehension, as affect all other ancient writings So he wants to hold the highest view of inspiration, namely, verbal

inspiration while arguing that this sacred,verbally inspired text suffered corruption "asaffect all other ancientwritings" and yet neverto the extentthat keen He dogma is to remind other anyone was ever so slightly affected! in do God "what dogmaticians to in ougbt terms to of that they ought not argue


but 17), (Tregellcs 1850: is just this case" surely anyparticular what he has done-he has so qualified what must havehappened,in suchcontradictory his that that, entire argument takeson the sametones of absurdity ashis termsat just How he the theme. a on same variation could saythe text was opponents, but inspired, How he be yet verbally corrupt? could verbally sure,a priori, that dogma, arguing tendentiouslythat "no suchverbalcorruptions never affected is have truth though even orthodox weakened, of supports, point which some it, found differ from to thought sustained are suchsupposeduseand bearing" 1854:234)? (Tregelles One reasonhe is facedwith such tensionsis because his dissenterof
Being Primitivist is for there mentality. a restorationist no place catholic, Hence, him final, ecclcsiologicalcontinuity. criticism must supply exclusive with and absolute certainty: Some have, indeed, looked at critical studies as though they were a They basis biblical learning.... the on comparatively unirrportant part of are hic The Holy Scripture the the ard more we refTEXTUAL wh visible edifice must rest. ... be more shall we able to estimate the impor CRITICISM, by which we know, on grounds of ascertainedcertainty, the its in actual wordsand scntcnccs of that charter the true statement of it (Tregelles in in Holy Ghost gave Yrivileges, and terms which the 854: viii). But how would he ever be certain that he had arrived at a certain finality if he had begun with something less than this in the first place?As a critic he just but interpolation, late, was arguedthat the commajobanncum was a corrupt indubitable dominc is "The warrants of asadamant that most true, as resting on Holy Scripture; but it is not to be proved by citing as Scripturc that which, if he How (268). be Scripture is can there any truth in evidence, no part of at all" be so dogmatic about a dogma so obviously questionable if only becauseit dogmatically issue He significant of required such auxiliary support? raisesthe (pp Importancc On Sow Passagcs ofDogmatic variants under the heading Notc -


226-234), treating both the commaas well as I Tim 3: 16, without so much as Newton's less his treatise, much airing acknowledging arguments that these lateness dogma in Scripture. to the He well the of such witness text variants of knew the arguments: "The consequenceunhappily has been, that the most fundamental Christian doctrine have been truths and of essential supposed by (234), but he is to rest on uncertain grounds" never at pains to give us the some As be judged this work must as propagandistic and arguments. such, ideologically driven to leave the impression that text criticism can only ever lead to a more scientific affirmation of classicorthodoxy. Moreover, it was intended to make the casefor an urgent need to revise the Greek N. T. text in order to defense this to to counter the rise of German orthodoxy and offer a shore-up into British Isles. the rationalism creeping Tregelles spent the years spanning 1857 through 1872 producing his T. in by Greek N. the recensionof six Parts way of subscription and not until his death did Addenda (18 75) Prolegomena, the entire work appear with after Corrigenda in This Evangelical 1879. and recension was a product of an dissenter(who, like Horne had ended his days attached to the Church of England) (Fromow: 26) and as such it reflects his own theological agenda.His in biographer assessed T. N. Greek his terms of the the significance of work on his original primitivist instincts: The especialfeature and chief commendation. of this edition is its rigid hard facts to the adherence of epidencc respecting the ancient text of the have Some Scripture.... Other editors havetKe ursued other methods.... has Church's accredited, gathered those readings which authority but [Scrivener to some extent, preferring them to those of mere antiquity dogmaticians].... dominant legacy the of the seventeenth century his (Tischendorf) was so arbitrary that each successive work edition of disturbed his previous texts surprisingly (Fromow: 32). And here we seehow by the second half of the nineteenth century at least dominance for over the three major schools of text critical theory were vying


GreekN. T., eachwith their own sectarianinterests:the established, high church Church England, instincts; the to of giving within way catholic party the (Tregelles) non-conformists and those truly leading the prinutivist-Evangelical Germans (Tischendorf). the vanguard, In a review of Tregellcs'searly parts of his Greektext, a Church of England his Tregelles3s for efforts, noting that they editor expressed gratefulness England discipline to a return of a represented which was oncethe domain and honour of the British Isles,evenif it is being carried on by a dissenter: It is very edifying to note the progressmadeof late Teaming both in England ears, Continent, in department the that and on of sacred which aims at Testament New in the text the to the of restoring condition which it wasleft by the inspired Evangelistsand Apostles....Thus com letely had this great branchof-scriptural knowledgewithered in our islany, where it had once deep if in its home.... take to so root, as seemed native soil and its proper For ourselves (be it late in the cannot contemplate we revival everso season) Walton M the textual the of science of criticism among countrymen of and deep has Bentley, hearts God t. t the thankfulness that and without into illustration His to themselves the of so many of servants spend cheerrllylon His by diction.... As lish E to of attempting restoreits very N written word, English heartily Dr. the scholars and as o clergymenwe welcome volumes ... Tregellestoo, for if he be scarcely [i. yet among us, e. within the ranksof the he is longer far from Remembrancer (Christian established church] no us 1864:40; 80).
Here we seethe nationalistic aspirations that even embrace the activity of a dissenter,believing his labour will tend toward the good of the established Church becauseit is being conducted by one who "had before him the literary learning, for Biblical high made on the shipwreck of more than one reputation fatal rock of conjcctural cmcndation" (55). And here, of course, was a not so Tregelles Earlier in Tischcndorf Germans veiled referenceto the particular. and least last hailed in "accomplishing as much twenty years at the spaceof the was as inevitable It (42). Tischendorf... " living, this that asany one now was except link the be invoked Tischendorfs because name practice of conjecture was between the apparent safe endeavour of textual, or lower criticism as it was also known at this time--which so suited the factual, common-scnse tendencies of the


]British--with the rationalistic systemsof German higber criticism, which the Essays Repiews in just few to and would openly advocate contributors a years hence.If Tischendorf was the bridge- -howbeit, perhaps unwittingly-Davidson joint inspiration their view of was the gate to this new wasthe gatekeeperand horizon of Biblical studies.

G. Tischendorf, Inspiration and the Deconstruction of the Second Phaseof the Ideology of Harmless Engagement By the 1860s Tischendorf and his many exploits as archaeologist/ have British an equal on soil until the arrival on the palaeographerwould not his Greek Frederic G. Kenyon The Palaeograpby Papyri the of of with scene Oxford, 1899. The romantic fascination of that elite company of British scholars discoveries during Victorian divines Biblical this obsessedwith manuscript and in has had imperial dominance no equal any age, golden age of archaeological in itself. Tischendorf Renaissance sinceperhaps the was constantly the religious his discovery day, literature particularly surrounding pressand periodical of the been had Greek Bible that examined ever and analysisof the oldest uncial of the Vaticanus--the Codex Library's Vatican outside of the precious and shrouded, famous Codex Sinaiticus, now, ironically, housed in the British Library. The following is only a brief sample: Review of Travelsin the East by Constantine Tischendorf, The EclecticReview (July-December 1848): 553-569; "Codex Sinaiticus," Tbc Cbristian Observer(October 1860): 183-187; "The Codex (January Sinaiticus, and the Adulteress in the Temple, " Cbristian Observer (January 1861): 4851861): 441-446; "The Codex Sinaiticus, " Cbristian Observer 489; review of Bibliorum CodcxSinaiticus Petropolitanusin The Cbristian Cbristian The Sinaiticus"' Codex Remcmbranccr (1863): 374-402; "Notices--rhe

Sacrcd Tbejournal " Remembrancer 1; "The 25 Codex Sinalticus, (1863): of


Literature (April 1863): 1-16; "The Date of Codcx Sinaiticus," TbeJournal of Literature (July 1863): 448-449; Ibid.: 479-499; "Note on the Codex Sacred " The Tbeological Review (1864): 214-222; "The Codcx Sinaiticus," The Sinaiticus, Literature (April 1865): 108-109; "Tischendorfs Edition of the journal of Sacred Review (July 1867): 351-362.29 Vatican New Testament," The Tbeological There was even a fiffl-scale controversy as to whether or not the uncial had beenforged by an unscrupulous Greek cccentric.30 Some saw Tischendorfs discovery as a further help to the faith of believers; it traditional orthodox others saw as the tangible witness to the beginning of the end of the old orthodoxy. Tischendorf himself saw it as in between. But famous the as perhapsas something most manuscript T. in half Greek N. the the collector/collator and editor of second of the his opinion carried considerable weight on matters nineteenth century, theological.

29Thisromance with Tischendorf retained its quality well into the next Codex Tischendorf's like English translations of the century with works Sinaiticus., TheAncient Biblical Manuscript Now in the British Museum 8th ed., Life and the 1934; and Luwig Schneller, Searcbon Sinai., The Stmyof Tischcndorfs Search for a LostManuscript, 19 39, and more recently, Matthew Black and Robert Davidson, Constantin von Tiscbcndmfand the GreekNew Testament(1981). These have,however, all been eclipsed now by the rather popular but, nevertheless, Stmy important study by JamesBentley, Secrets Sinai. The the ofFinding ofAfount World'sOldestBiblc--Codcx Sinaiticus, 1986. If one would be tempted to argue its because more commercial with the substanceor merit of this work of less be it but than that authority an no appearingpresentation, need pointed out James H. Charlesworth, George L. Collord Professor of New Testament Languageand Literature, Princeton University, writes the foreword to this informative in its important work, own right. and 30ne entire account has been chronicled by J.K. Elliott in his Codcx Sinaiticusand tbc SimonidesAffair 1982. Cf. also "Miscellanies-Codex Sinaiticus 210-235. 1863): (April Literature Tbcjournal its " Antiquity, ofSacrcd and


The Unitarian Thcological Rcvicw saw Tischendorfs labour as ultimately

helpingtheir causeagainstestablishmentorthodoxy. In a seriesof reviewsin the

1867 issue issue they the Sinai of the addressed of unplications the of April

following in the terms: codex

The excessive first Protestants laid on a verbally the stress which Scripture, had the effect of casting into undue neglect a large authoritative Christian kindred in massof early writings, subject and aim with our Gospels,which lay outside the recognized canon, and putting them all, diversity to their marked without reference of origin and character, under indiscriminate ban. An has looked one sweeping and gne ho even My have iquities of the superficia. into the ant' risti religion, ri. r( must discoveredtraces M every direction of a voluminous evangelicalliterature, a large portion of which has either perished, or is only to be found in a few fragments; it having been that scattered part of which survives, not while in its form, like [that is, for example] our primitive arrestedand crystallised has Gospels, field tempting to the gratuitous offered a canonical down in transcribers, embellishments of successive and come a strangely interpolated condition to our day (Tbe TbeologicalRepiew 1867: 149). The fact that Tischendorf's codex, along with that of Vaticanus, lacked the Mark, Gospel the the resurrection account at end of earliest account, seemedto later interpolation indeed. that this suggest was evidence of a rather major Tischendorf admitted as much in his popular The Origin oftbe Four Gospels (1868): It is an interesting memorial of the nefative school of criticism at the present day, that its representatives,in part at east, take particular pleasurein basing their defenseupon just those weighty scIture passages respecting whose be doubt Among leaves may such passages want ofautbenticity ... at . no 285). 1868: Gospel (Tischendorf Mark's reckoned the close of ... With such posturing Tischendorf might well seemto be the ideal apologist Ribingen "the he his German against own more radical called opponents, whom fantasy-builder [Strauss] and the Parisian caricaturist [Renan]" (216). Yet, in the sarnedocument he himself had admitted that half even'Vrior to the second of the second century, while copy after copy of be to transcribers Gospels there of errors many not only our are was made, found, but the phraseology and the sensein particularylaces are changed, from larger apocryphal and oral sources and or smaller additions are made (212).


The ending of Mark is one such addition he explicitly characterizes as"not but Mark's to the Gospel" (211). He is appended text accepted genuine, ... of Tiibingen his dismissive flourish of rhetoric, but never the of school with bothersto answerthe theory predicatedon premiscshe himself acceptsNote his how the Gospelswere formed, with the words the similarity of construal of himself Renan on the sametheme: of
What is indubitable, in any case,is that very early the discoursesof Jesus in Aramean language, 31 the were written and very early also his remarkable These actions were recorded. were not texts defmed and fixed dogmatically. Besidesthe Gospels which have come to us, there were a number of others professing to represent the tradition of eye-witnesses.Little importance was attachedto these writings, and theZ reservers,such as Papias,greatly little authority which the Gospel texts preferred oral tradition.... Hence, enjoyed during one hundred rd fif % years. There was no sj. le in -u inserting additions, in variouslv ining in them, y coirn and c mpleting some by others.... No compilation was of absolute value.... It as when tradition becameweakened, in the second half of the second century, that the texts bearing the names of the a tles took a decisive authority and obtained the force of law (Renaa:43-44os Hence, Tischendorf was something of a mixed blessing as an apologist for English orthodoxy. Nevertheless, M the words of Schweitzer in his Questfor the HistoticaIjesus, The fact is that in theology the most revolutionary ideas are swallowed Yt ite long by few is they their readily so as smooth passaa , ye a small concessions bone only when a spicule of stands out olstintely and causeschokiiT that theology begins to take note of dangerous ideas (Schweitzer 1910: 3 Moreover, Tischendorf had a defective view of inspiration, one which he sharedwith his warmest British supporter, Samuel Davidson. As such Davidson fclt a more than significant affinity for Tischendorf and saw him as the more desirablecounterpart to Tregelles as a witness to how a critical edition of the GreekN. T. might be constructed.

3'This may well explain why Tischendorf was reluctant to acknowledge it from Hebrew Matthew Book the primacy of an which was original of the of believedthe Greek recension was taken.


To this end Davidson took in hand to produce a modern English

Tischendorfs final, of eighth and translation authoritative edition of his Greek N.T., that edition reflecting the evidenceof Tischendorf'sprized Codex Because Davidson saw such an opportunity Sinaiticus(cditiooctava critica major). him to communicatethe valuabletextual datafound asonewhich would allow
in Tischendorf's recension--not unlike the popular role played by the paraphrases Antitrinitarians the in the seventeenthand eighteenth and annotations of because his love for Bible (the the of personal century--and establishedchurch 32he did not want his work to be dismissed becauseit might Autborized Version), be perceivedto be a radical departure from the familiar phraseology of the old Bible. Hence, he acknowledges in his Introduction that "the present version is founded upon the received one; the deviations being causedby another Greek text and the desire for greater accuracy" (Davidson 1875: ix). In this way he be highest forum for his friend's the giving profile and most popular would labour in T. Greek N. producing the most critical edition of the yearsof his for he had been And knew Tregelles available. years on since also working like T. had Greek N. translation own recension of the and plans to produce a from this--as can be seen in his 1848 translation of the book of Revelation33--it

320n this seehis autobiography (Davidson 1899: 319) where he says: 1611 English Bible and rhythm wonderful our acquired authorized of ... ... fluency with choice words of Saxon origin which pleasethe reader's ear. Hence, it is admirably adapted to be the Bible of the people rather than that of the be is it in as scholar; and any revision to which subjected, the changesshould few aspossible." in himself Tregelles 331n this work on this project the expressed following terms. They could well be the sentiments of Davidson as well, but felt long have I here briefly the different basis: "I that textual with a state, may importance of putting the English reader of the Word of God into possessionof just as many the resultsof textual criticism; and as such criticism supplies Epistles Book Revelation of the the all text of as the of of alone, corrections of


Davidson's intention to get to the popular mind first with the German's was in King's English--in his the recension own words: "The latest critical text of Von Tischendorf is confessedly in publishedform in 1872, the best." It appeared Tregelles's final fascicleto his edition which containedthe book the sameyear as The labour Revelation. fifteen Tregelles's of of yearson part would quickly become however, by Tischendorfs, before Tregelles's completelyeclipsed, final form, with prolegomena, completed appeared posthumouslyin 1879, by which time it waswell dated right from the press. Here Davidson takesopportunity to criticise other attemptsto produce a English translation at about this time but finds them all wanting in critical degree how Trinitarians or another. He alsotakesthe occasionto rehearse
resistedevidencethat would strip them of their most vital proof texts, the comma jobanncum and I Tim. 3: 16 and points out that the Germans again were well in English in dispensing with these doctrinally motivated the advance of interpolations in the person of Griesbach as early as the turn of the century. Moreover, in a Foxe's BookofMartyrs-like recounting he highlights the abuse Griesbachand others took for excising these passages, triumphantly acknowledging that "it was impossible to stop the progress of sound criticism by unfounded assertions or pointed suspicions" (xxviii). Reflecting further he adds, We ourselvescan remember some of the combats waged over the word [Oe6;]; the re ublication of Sir Isaac Newton's observations upon it, and the rejoinder it cled forth under the title, "Sir IsaacNewton and the Socinians foiled in the attempt to prove a corruption 'in the text, I Timothy iii. 16 -" Happily this kind of warfare is also past. When orthodoxy and heterodoxy into (xxviii) come close collision, calm reasoning necessarilysuffers .


Paultaken together, it became book importance this that a matter of manifest should be given to the English readeron the basisof the best authorities" (Tregelles 1881:X).


Davidson wastes no opportunity to contrast Tischendorfs German

his that of native, establishedchurchmen'sefforts: with scholarship

Von Tischendorf's note on the diversities of reading here [Acts xx.28] is an fullness fairness, example of critical and excellent contrasting very favourably Alford Dean in his Greek Testament, the reasoninp of with which are weak (ibid). and perverted Davidson concluded his introductory essaybemoaning the fact that his dearfriend did not live to seethe fmished product. Nevertheless,Davidson indulges the hope that Von Tischendorf may be pleasedeven now with ... the thought that the Greek text over which he spent many toilsome years in English bearing the tongue, the sacredwords current in the circulates dwellings humble, the third the the century into church of of puttmig the inspiring him the the reader on same plain platform with scholar, and with in he draws (xlv). the the records confidence whence sustenanceof soul Here Davidson no doubt felt a senseof considerable satisfaction in knowing he had, indeed, become the conduit for communicating critical (German) scholarship to the man in the street in much the sameway that Erasmushad in his age, and the English antitrinitarian paraphraseshad in theirs. The difference was that Davidson lived in that vital age that saw its official

recognition. Quarterly and Princeton It was in the American journal, ThePresbyterian

Tischendorf that chose to counter the pre-critical element yet remaining luview, in those in the English-speaking world who looked to him as a foe of the in 34 German extremes scholarship. Significantly, the essaywas titled: "Have We the Genuine Text of the Evangelistsand Apostles?" (Tischendorf 1874: 604-618). He begins by in interpolations admitting that were added to the text early the second century

341ronically,however, although Tischendorf dismissesthe possibility of his Hebrew, in been having Matthew more the original Gospel of composed fact Tregelles, the vociferously as a antidote conservativecounterpart, celebrated (Tischendorf. Christianity British -605). to certain obscurantist elements within


from "dogmatic (610). This times because, that at arbitrariness" ft from and was ... beginning literary these writings not the were consideredas works, whoseverbal highest importance" (610). This literalness have the of was will significant he implicationslater in the essay the primary theme of the essay, as addresses inspiration in relation to the activity of text criticism. For now, namely, however,ironically, he sees thesepotentially damning concessions that ran highest the to and most traditionally conservative contrary view of things, as havinga "verywelcome,important, and indeedapologetic side" (emphasis mine) (609). Here he masterfully turns a liability into a not insignificant asset!This is it provesthat the composition of the core of the apostolicmaterialmust because for such corruptions to havebeenintroduced so early. havehad an early genesis He then maintains that contrary to catholic instincts towards the concept Protestants, from his be continuity, of vantagepoint, must the supreme ptimitivistsin the realm of textual criticism:
As opposed to the Romish traditional church Protestantism has its true is Palladium in the Scripture; therefore to Protestantism cons ge icuously the Scripture text the the greatest genuinenessand correctnessof of of for To the restoration of the the importance. strive with all means of science 35 is highest duties (611). Protestantism text the sacred one of of Here, with but one stroke, Tischendorf is able to by-passthe catholic Protestantism in Protestant tradition element and project a scholastic/dogmatic coloured by an expression, severein the extreme, of the principle of sola Saiptura. This was conveniently suited to appeal, most naturally, to both 351tmust be kept in mind, however, that for Tischendorf this argument was not driven by the theoretical belief that the autographs were either "inerrant," or necessarilyrecoverable, verbatim, as it was for the American Princetonians (in whose journal this essaywas strategically published). For these Americans such convictions were the emerging ideology that would become the dominant Paradigm for American fundamentalists of all stripes, liberating them 175-190). 1991: Letis (on happily this see to engage the practice of text criticism


impulses, German rationalist aswell asto the simplicity of nineteenth-century English Evangelicalism. 36 American and pious He reminds his readersthat he sits at the very pinnacleof manuscript in this ageof rapid discoveryand changeand from this unique investigations decision Greek N. T., the to made produce point the a critical edition of vantage founded,of course,on his own prized manuscript discovery,the Codex He differs again,however, from his Evangelicalaudience Sinaiticus. by making form but form the to the text, that autograpbic of merely no claim restore which half in He did in fact, hold the the to an second of second century. not, existed
led him believe be to that that text necessarily an original could optimism be impossible "Should [the that to text as it attain reconstituted, admitting "originally written"] still the task would at any rate be ours to approximate as 203). form 1868: (Tischendorf of the text" closelyas possible to the primitive And if this was found to be worrisome to his nervous readers,Tischendorf harmless ideology the the engagement,so of engaged calming rhetoric of his by by Bentley, successfiffly and again exactly twenty years earlier employed English Evangelical counterpart (Tregelles), in his An HistoicalAccount. In each introduction for intended the of to prepare the ground the rhetoric was case, Tischendorf's In Testament. Greek words, eacheditor's own recension of the his "To be sure the differences [between the ecclesiastical critical recensionsand text] are in the great part only of a grammatical nature, and concern nothing of

disapprobation his 36As the ecdesiological regarding rhetoric of such dimensionwas well suited to both American tastesand to the sentimentsof British non-conformists: "Shallwe now, in this stateof the question, remain Testament New in we in that our text of the quiet, spite of the consciousness " be it follow only ecclesiastical usage? ancient though custom, only usage,even (611).


historic or dogmatic importance" (613). This was--as were the two former question-begging,sincethe very goal of this essay dispose applications-to was dogma inspired; but that the text the was verbally more than this, the claim of itselfwasnothing if not disingenuous,aswe will demonstratein turn.
Moreover, in almost Priestley-like terms, he then reminds his readersthat if in dispensed the taken passages, such certain as woman even adultery, are with (though inauthentic possibly a true account), and other significant passages as judged have been to also of the same quality, such as the account of the arenow 5: Bethesda Jn. 4); Jesus "the Son the the to pool of phrase referring angelat as (Mk. 1: 1); God" Jesus's in Luke's Gospel the account of ascension of and Mark's, they can all be gladly dispensed with because"pious affection and believing prejudice must be sacrificed to the furthering of exact knowledge, to the interest of truth" (615). Besides, "Does not the Evangelical, the Apostolic truth gain in authority, in credibility, if the written text on which it rests comes forth unhurt from the use of the sharp critical knife?" (613). Here again, this judgement must be seen as problematically question-begging. He does finally concede what his readers must now be thinking, i. e., he has is loss belief his ideological that the of these passages a matter perhapsoverstated dogmatic he indifference. But may of reassuresthem that, yes, these passages " investigator, learned "be little Christian indifferent to the well reader as to the as

Mark) (not Gospels it "that even particularlywhen means not one of the lose if But " [of the ascension]. suchnarrativeswe retain recordedthis event we "the wonderful parting of the Lord from the earth remainsa the dogma because have is because This faith" (614). Christian one account, we still postulateof the in to bit be be that given threadbare, though now the evidencemight to a seen to Apostles, if Acts by in Luke exclusively the of the us even this is now reduced


hand dependent "entirely account, on the earliesttraditions3those of the asecond Apostle'stime" but given by one who "wasnot an eyewitness" (614). Finally, he comesto the two classicchristological passages have been we
Tim I 3: 16 this throughout study, treating and the commajobanncum.As to the former, "the Apostle did not write, as stands in Luther's Bible, 'God was in flesh, but ' 'who in flesh"' (617). No alarm the the was manifest manifest be however, because taken this at orthodox corruption, should The divine sonship,of Christ is not thereby placed in any doubt in the Pauline epistles, for the Apostle placed this very often in the clearestlight, in Epistle but Colossians; Timothy the to the this especially passagein can longer Paul Saviour "God" (617). to that the avail prove no called Unitarians would find this wording quite acceptablesince they fully divine but firmly believed Christ's Christ that the that sonship, notion accepted fabrication Christianity. God Nicene the of early was a was co-etcrnal Regarding the comma"AH of these words are, beyond doubt, spurious" and into his Bible" "Luther "fickle Erasmus" them and yet never received unlike the he retained the dogma of the Trinity' (617). 37 I conclude this analysisof Tischendorf's essayby addressing his final

dogma invalidity his be believe I the treatise:the theme,what of to the thesisof from implications draw inspiration. I the then some concluding of verbal will textualadjustmentsfor which he was calling.

3MiS, of course, was becauseLuther was a catholic, bound to he Hence, could, ecclesiastical and creedal orthodoxy, and not a primitivist. indeed, dispense with the passagewithout raising the issue of the consequence for the dogma. Whereas, ironically, Erasmus, as a primitivist, could place it back for its spuriousness,and thereby into his Greek recension, provide the epidcncc Trinity dogma how for demonstrating the the of the actually provide occasion formally date late Scripture interpolated into while yet the text of at a was

his to placate critics. retaining the passage


He raises the issue that all the Princetonians at this time would have been

bound to, namely, a verbal view of inspiration, and asksthe question directly: is divine "in the assuming ]. In the church correct verbal inspiration of Scripture"[? just he the this question way admits two vital points: namely,that there putting least how inspiration be to a general ecclesiastical consensus as wasat to was had beenworking a recognizable paradigm with which orthodoxy understood, inspiration. up until this time; and, that this consensus was a verbal view of
In answer to his own question his entire preceeding essaywas but

bringing him just to such an answer: prolegomena

After all this, not be asked: How can the Scripture be verbally inspired, when it is still a task, and moreover one so difficult, to establish the it documents, true text? genuine, when requires so many old such clearing of the dust from forgotten cloister corners, and in addition, courage to oppose disturb the quiet of all conservative grcjudices with results which (61 ) possession? Surely the radical, anti-ecclesiasticalelement38in the author is now without is here innocence discourse: disinterested the air of there pretenceof or academic by text the sacred an activist set on altering the theological, religious view of details inferences the application of of the modern, scientific practice of text and

38Thiscan be seennot only in his expressedconviction that it was dogma based the on ecclesiastical resistanceto the autonomy of textual research full inspiration that of verbal acceptanceof the earliest textual prevented his dismissive by highlighted but is the it towards attitude evidence, also acutely Codex he dear is It St. Catherine's' the that stole monks of now monastery. Sinaiticus from the monks and then fabricated the story that in their culpable ignorance they were burning it for fuel. As Bentley suggests,this "seems hardly ... likely to be true" (Bentley 1985: 87), and was rather a story designed "to depict Charlesworth's In (86). idiots" little better Catherine's St. the monks of than as deserve imperialism; by been have they "... these monks opinion, abused western in but deep (5), the long monks of the opinion our respect" overdue support and themselvesthey certainly deservemore, namely, the return of their rightful Sinaiticus! Codex property, the


Here have we a sermon coming out of nineteenth-centuryGermany criticism. Anglo-Saxon to the world that their time of pre-critical naiveteis giving notice having And, been before he died delivered in the over. written a year now and following year, this "sermon"carried a particular urgency and poignancy.
In fact, this sentiment is almost analogous to Strauss'semphasison the dernytholizing Christian for its the message necessityof very survival and in 39 For Tischendorf, "the the to modern era. textual usefijlness attain Apostle's the writings, on which so much rests" we must see establishmentof Providenceas now dictating that for "the right understanding of Christianity" we is bound inextricably "a this goal up serious task of must understand with " This task of scienceis now a new "religious task" replacing "old Science. i. (emphasis "the With (618). traditional text" the usage" mine), e. ecclesiastical

for in Church, Providence the the a new exchange of conceptof working direction of Providenceworking amongst those now scientificallydetermining the text, we also havean exchange of the theological significanceof the sacred text from one oncethought to be verbally inspired, to an understandingthat is "Theletter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life. " Once the paradigm exchange discoveries have the capacityto seethesenew manuscript completethen we will "like the revived dead"who "open their eyes,and raisetheir voice in witnessto the old misinterpreted truth" (618).
That Tischendorf's aim was detected by the editors is made strikingly foot the by the of conclusion the the at page evident of a concluding note at be in "While text should the received essay the errors add: editors where

Ewmined, Oitically Life The Strauss's final 39Cf.the ofTesus section of "Relation of the Critical and Speculative Theology to the Church. "


do out and corrected,we not think this affectsthe question of verbal searched inspiration" (618). This is truly a remarkablestatement.All the evidence and Tischendorf employed clearlypointed to the opposite conclusion; arguments his This illustrates how important the treatise. editors published yet merely and Tischendorfsreputation was at the time.
In an eclectic fashion it was thought that Tischendorps textual evidence impunity, be justifying amending of the text--which would at could used with leastdemonstrate that the Princetonians were not obscurantists on the matter-draw his inferences. This is because to the all conclusions or without needing Princetonians were, indeed, convinced that text criticism wasnow Providence's T. but N. dimension the text; they to retained a rather naive meansof restoring ipsissima in be that time, the the equation, namely, verbawould, restored very in inspired inerrant form be ever way. verbally and of the text would and that this Hence, if Tischendorfs data could further this causethen his problematic German defects could be tolerated. What Tischendorf did not make explicit in this essayand what the Princetonians were perhaps incapable at any rate of detecting, was that the textual alterations required by Tischendorf's recension were much more forum. in hint he dogmatically this than even was willing to at significant Strauss, in his later, more popular A New Life ofjesus2 Vols - (London, 1879), had used the missing ending of Mark as evidencethat the myth of the historical later theological reflection on the actual, naturalistic resurrection was a events: And when Mark at this point. [chapter 16] (ver. 9), as if neither the been had it the to information Jesus given about nor any resurrection of that when Magdalene with the other women, all at once Voes;on to sa kst , Mary first day. to Jesuswas risen early the appeared of the u--, Magdalenc--this mode of beginning over again in the middle of the narrative


is certainly strangeenough to lead us to give all attention to the that the concluding section of Mark (xvi. 9-20) is wanting in circumstances two of the best MSS. of the gospels,and was, accordinf to statements of eat antiquity, wanting in. severalothers which areno onger extant Srtrauss 1879:405). draw to attention to this: Renanwas also careful
For the historian, the life of Jesusfinishes with his last sigh. But such was he had left in the impression the hearts of his discigles and of a few devoted females,that durint some weeks more it was as if e were living and just however, them.... that the strong imagination of et us consoling say, Mary Magdalen I Lyedin this circumstance an important part 40This is .... follOWIn the obvious3especl7Yin ninth and versesof chap. xvi of Mark. These versesform a conclusion of the seconTGospel, different from the 1-8, conclusion at xvi. with which many manuscripts terminate (Renan:328; footnote 3). Moreover, JamesCharlesworth has highlighted the significance of the longer ending of Mark for current Leben-jesuForscbung: Today Biblical scholars know that we are far from possessingthe origilal by New Testament Even the the manuscripts manuscripts.written authors. have is do it well to remember that all the gospel manuscripts contain we deliberate in due to errors...some mistakes were... changes alterations doctrinal or thcOlO beliefs.... Tischcndorf finding Wible iCal a was obsessedwith I t the K of manuscri which was pure. and authoritative and so can imagine intense excitement he experiencedwhen he beheld the revered treasure [Sinaiticus] and began reading it alone at night.... Codex Sinaiticus, Codex Syriacus, Codex Vaticanus and Codex Bobiensis do not contain the last twelve versesof the Gospel of Mark. This is a notable omission: it is these versesonly which contain the description of Jesus'resurrection but be Since Mark's also Xpcarance. not only the earliest account seemsto based f Matthew Luke their arises: a question accounts, on and which 'at What is the basis for the accounts of Jesus'bodily resurrection according to Matthew, Luke and John? (Bentley 1985: 5-6). Finally, one last note on Tischendorfs assurance that though the apparent

longer first-hand accountof the ascension Gospel Luke's to wasno at the end of be regardedas authentic we, nevertheless, had account a valid second-hand still his in the first chapter of Acts. Tischendorf would be hard pressed to retain is discovered has Epp Eldon J. that this accountaswell missing optimism today.

40Renangoes into further detail on this theme in his other related

The Apsotles. work,


After providing the data for this Epp in certainof the old Latin witnesses. following the with question: concludes if the 'Western' text werethe original text of the Gospelsand Acts (or even ... Luke-Acts alone)--aaissuequite beyond the s. this copeof paper--couldit be then not arguedwith considerable ersuasionthat the notion of the Christ the of risen as a visibfe transfer from earth to heavenwas ascension later development in Christian onl a secondaryand thought? (Epp early 19V 144-145).

H. Summary

If Strauss was correct that "the true criticism of dogma is its history, " surely lower Testament Greek New the the emerging significance of the criticism of was the nineteenth-century's most decisive and scientific contribution to that history.

In providing the surest means for viewing the text of the New Testament through the lens of a serious historical consciousness, rather than as a sacred text, the lower criticism proved to be a significant problem for faith communities beginning book. the since the of the age of printed The full naturalistic implications of the discipline were successfully resisted

for the most part first by the Protestant/Roman Catholic dogmatic framing of in Church by Providence the evidence an appeal to working through the in Revelation ipsissima the ecclesiastical verbaof authenticating and preserving the Enlightenment dawning English With the a slight adjustment the recensions. of took place and the lower criticism was now starting to be viewed as the new few in for the places realm of providential activity shoring-up the sacredtext longer it Victorian By the era was no suffering unimportant corruptions. that harmless for ideology certainty to this possible engagement project with of lower dogma by to withstand nor the the criticism, no of evidence affected was


inexorable from historical data of the lower criticism to the the movement the framework theoretical of the
higherCritiCiSM. 41

41This is not to say that the effort was no longer made to continue Hort Anthony John Fenton harmless ideology the projecting engagement. of have 1 this (1881). in his last Introduction it addressed time would attempt one in the introduction to this dissertation.


Patrick Lambe, whose essay "Critics and Skepticsin the SeventeenthCenturyRepublic of Letters," proved to be a great stimulus to my own research, in his the to conclusion work: observed
Of course, confessional and ecclesiasticalpolitics, and EnlighteTpent pbisybes significantly affected the development of biblical criticism, but id broader Only by illuminating they so within a cultural context. this. dogmatic the can one understand political, confessional, and context why lay had the effects they did. Within this framework, more work forces at ge done biblical the on scholarship of the time, on the ways in ne, bible the which popular conceptions of were shaped and changed, and on the implications of these developments for theological understandings of issuessuch as revelation and inspiration (Lambe 1988: 295). This dissertation has been an attempt to make just such a contribution by following A belief in inspiration the theme. religious gave attending to verbal The its Church. Christian Bible the the sacredtext status within the matrix of
lower, or textual criticism, first practiced outside the sanction of the Church by Erasmus and developed further by non-Trinitarians initially, offered the first

have This, I in belief direct the early modem period. significant challenge to this desacralization. beginning of the process of argued, was the proper Moreover, it was argued that the desacralizing role of the lower criticism

discovered further it that certain theologically was manifested when was have Erasmian in by to resulted those the school significant passages, perceived from later interpolation into the text of Scripture, illegitimately lent support to dogmas such as the Trinity, the deity of Christ and the virgin birth. The practice higher before lower in a the criticism, the of arrival of criticism set motion, well historical the about consciousness rather significant awakening of a developmental stagesof the N. T. text, which in later recensionsreflected a more lower The fiffl-blown orthodox expression of christological themes. role that the 349


in introducing historical this played criticism consciousnesshas not been readily by historians, or practitioners of the discipline of lower acknowledged either criticism.

I haveargued that this is because of an ideologicalframing of the historical detailsof the discipline in development.Once this ideologicalcomponentand historical the circumstances prompting it were brought into relief, two schools in data lower two to the the ways of responding criticism clearlyemerged:one interpreting the data as affecting dogma, the other interpreting the data asnot dogma. it Hence, becomes little dearer later in the Victorian era affecting a why depelopment (John Henry Newman) be oneman3s could another man'scorruption Unitarian brother, Francis). (Newman's For non-Trinitarian Biblical critics, textual variantswere alwaysthe dearest
dogmas be biblically based, did that thought to evidence certain not match the biblical dogmas Trinity, deity the texts, the the the earlieststratum of namely, of divines had Christ, birth. Because the of an and certain orthodox virgin ideological resistanceto such arguments--though they too may have wanted to ideological lower but their the the practice confines of criticism, within instincts dismiss the often genuine critical of commitments--they were able to the Antitrinitarians as merely the result of scepticsoffering a self-serving, tendentious treatment of the evidence. Once the Bible lost its sacredtext status, primarily becauseof the data of German did lower dissertation the project of the argued, only then criticism, this the higher criticism, or the quest for the historical Jesus,within the alien context discover to a new religious of the nineteenth-century university, attempt in This for Bible. to attempt an sense, the real significance a very was, loss for the compensate of the sacredtext paradigm, with a reconstructive view The however text. being, Bible religious a still the naturalistic, nevertheless, of as


higher criticism, however, was a late developmentattempting a redemptive of reconstruction, while religiously speaking,the lower criticism was the exercise desacralizing Bible. the of means original This theme was elucidatedby returning to Erasmusasthe progenitor of a
impulse in the early modern catholic tradition. While prinutivist or restorationist he was not always the primary inspiration for all dissenting traditions he found be influence to one was early and pervasive certainly among Antitrinitarians. 1 I next treated how both the Roman catholics and the Protestant catholics histo? for ical Erasmus's by the to text quest replied affirming the sacredtext by Tridentine For the ecclesiastical editions sanctioned ecclesiastical statusof use. Vuqata Latina. For Protestant the text the the sacred catholics this catholics was T. Greek N. Eastern Hebrew the tradition the the recension of catholic and was Bible of the synagogues. It was left to the Socinian/Arian dissenting traditions to carry forward Erasmus's quest for the historical text.

11rena Backus disputed the validity of Antitrinitarians employing Erasmusto such ends in her essay"Erasmus and the Antitrinitarians" (Backus 1991:53-66), but she does so by saying those Antitrinitarians who looked to Erasmusas their source of inspiration or authority could only do so in a Erasmus's it failed Her tendentious manner. to recognize was precisely study for decisive his judgements the pbdological that were exegesis and Antitrinitarians, not his rhetorical techniques used to reconcile these judgements the dogma. Because of awareness acute she shows no with official ecclesiastical implications of Erasmus's actual text critical work, particularly the importance of its in involved Tim. 16, 3: the cmnmajobanncum and I nor of the steps Platonists, Cambridge the to from Grotius the to progressive appropriation, Antitrinitarian Newtonians, it should appear from this study (and that of her did her limits Coogan 1992) that the narrow as clear a treatment not give of have it Antitrinitarians Erasmus impact might as the on the of picture of overall done. otherwise


I next addressed the specificuse of textual variantsby the eighteenthAntitrinitarians. began I how jean Le Clerc'shighlighting of the with century introduced of variants a crisis of credibility during the English evidence Enlightenmentfor the proponents of the Protestantdogmatic view of verbal inspiration. I then gavetreatment to IsaacNewton's pivotal work discovering NotableCorru Two ptions,one eachfound in the Easterncatholic GreekN. T. by the Protestants),I Tim. 3: 16; and in the VulgataLatina (sanctioned by Trent), the cmnmajobanneum, (sanctioned I John 5: 7-8.. Coming asit did from the premier scientistof the English Enlightenment, both in its early MS form amongst a small circle of Newtonians and in its later form, Newton's Antitrinitarians boldness treatise provided to published with a for Here I their tolerance. case religious plead alsoprovide the context that ideology harmless by Richard the the explains rise of of engagement advocated Bentleyasa response to both deistic scepticsand Antitrinitarian critics aswell. I followed on to illustrate how Newton's datawere variouslyunknown,
ignored by Antitrinitarians accepted,rejected, or or catholics within thirty different editions of English Biblical annotations and paraphrasesfrom the I Here, argued, within these sixteenth century through the eighteenth century. by begun Erasmus to offer a simple and tradition annotations/paraphrases-a for fought battle hermeneutic-was allegianceto popular was where the real either the received system of christological orthodoxy, or to the argument that Scripture into interpolated had been illegitimately text the of such orthodoxy basedon the paradigmatically significant variants such as Newton had treated in Antitrinitarians for forum important to Here argue c-1690. and another was yet intolerant for basis Biblical had Church their that the established a questionable stancetoward Antitrinitarians.


I then proceeded to make a connection between these important Enlightenment developments stemming from the data of textual variants to the formidable Unitarian in English history, the Joseph Priestley. I most of work demonstrated how) once the doctrine of verbal inspiration was rejected, as lower the the the result of evidence of primarily criticism, the text of Scripture invited a more thoroughgoing naturalistic treatment to account for the now found its Again, element the commajobanneum within narratives. supernatural in opening the possibility to consider corruptions in the played a significant role for MS there text which yet remained no clear evidence, only patristic evidence alone. It was Priestley who first used conjectural emendation to suggest that the dogma of the virgin birth was the result of a later interpolation as found in the Matthew. This in inspired Unitarians, Hennell, turn other such as genealogyof to then suggest that all Biblical supernatural events were to be understood not as history but as myth, thus launching the true quest for the historical Jesusnearly Strauss. German that the of simultaneously with In my concluding chapter I continued the treatment of my theme into the Victorian era. I argued that while the non-conformist Evangelical, Tregelles, harmless for Bentley's the argument made a gallant effort to once again take up (who Davidson it Samuel lower would eventually engagementof criticism, was becomean Antitrinitarian) Tischendorf Constantine German who and the

together would once again highlight for the Victorians what was made evident longer lower Enlightenment: Newtonian to those of the the criticism will no inspiration (Tischendorf), for the commajobanncum and allow of a verbal view been indeed, have, dogmatic Tim. 16 I 3: elements and are evidence that for Scripture interpolated into the text of (Davidson), thus prompting the call


for historical blossom forth in an unrestrainedquest the to text the quest now for the historical Jesus.


While J.C.D. Clark hashighlighted the impact of Antitrinitarian socialand influences in his English Socicty 1688-1832 (1985), and Raymond Holt political The Unitarian Contribution Progrcss in treating to Social a major work contributed England(1938), and H. McLachlan produced his TheUnitarian Mopcmcnt in tbc Contribution Lific of England. Its Rcligious Thought Lcarning (1934), to and has been little Antitrinitarian treating produced precious contributions to the Biblical 2This development did begin of criticisM. not asa treatisetaking up such but it decisive for lower theme the soon emergedas a understanding role in influencing dogma from 1690-1854. Raymond Holt criticism played was he correctwhen said:
Unitarians have been leaders in most of those changeswhich have England England the transformed the of the of the eighteenth century into Towards day [1937]. the middle of the nineteenth centu the I y present 1938-73). Age" (Holt "the Vanguard the thought of themselvesas of And so they had every right to think of themselves,particularly in the field English-speaking finally Unitarians Biblical In 1808 the the gave of criticism. Newcome's based Bishop Testament, New Version Improped Bible, on the world a Testament New earlier translation, which reflected the then current state of German by found in the textual criticism as the critical edition produced Griesbach (1775-7). While it had many problems and was naturally severely

Nineteentb in Bible The is the J. Carpenter's Estlin 2Therare exception Century(1903).


by Unitarian 3it alike, nevertheless criticised, orthodox and anticipatedwhat become for the textual universally recognized standard the future. would This Unitarian version was seento be such a threat, however,that the Rev.
C.A. Moysey dedicated his Bampton lectures to the task of refuting both it and in his Doctfincs Unitatians Unitarians Examincd, as 0 pposcd to tbc oftbc the , Cburcb ofEngland (1818). His perception of their contribution to providing a in Scriptures English fair. light but In the was anything critical edition of of following how the typical events criticism appears of orthodox clergy subsequent from "critical" Unitarian the established church regarded anything coming an of source: The Unitarians profess eneral belief in the Scriptures.... But they object to in disavo-g because, lenary inspiration' "the inspiration of them.... the Tible, of imagine, for the rejection, or alteration, they they the o a way, as yen Scripture texts of which militate most strongly against or mutilation, o any their system (Moysey 1818: 165). Professor Nares, Regius Professor of modern history in Oxford had a

similar perception:
It has fallen in my way of late to know more than I knew some time ago, of Unitaiians industry the are the extraordinary zeal and with which it into Version Improved bring the notice; recommending endeavourmg to from their pulpits, and in all periodical works with which they are the translation of correct more as a only not manner, strongest connected, in "many do [with] but God, sources of away the written word of as tending to ideas "formjust true " uncorruptcd and to of the to world enable error, and Christianity. "... The present edition is set forth as an Improvedversion of the New Testament, formed on aparticularly correcttcxt, with an intent to get tid implying Christianity; doctrines, certainly, ofccrtain as palpable corruptions of for these improved Version purposes text, wanting were that an correctid and (Nares 1814: xix; xxvii).

Remarks Nares Edward on 30n the orthodox side of the question see 1814); (2nd the by Unitarians on Edited Testament New Version ed. the the of the Unitarian side seeLant Carpenter Examination oftbe Charges madeagainst Magee Dr. Rep. Right by Unitarians and Unitarianism, and the Improved Version the



That the ecclesiastical did, in fact, take notice of the textual decisions world by Unitarians in hand the took and eventually made to "improve" the established Church'sBible in 1881, with a Unitarian sitting on the revision committee,was indication the possiblethat the Antitrinitarians' long surely most significant had been in In Revised Version this not vain. campaign edition, both I Tim. 3: 16 Erasmus had limited they treated the commaJobanneum were preciselyas and be: OF-6; from to the text and the comma was expunged ought was now removed it to that was everthere. without so much as a note signal Moreover, with the repealof the Testand Cor porationActs(1828), along
desired, Antitrinitarians tolerance they the the with saw with the arrival of the VersionN. T. fifty-three years later, the triumph of critical endeavour over Revised institutionalised intransigence and the vindication of a processof thought and fully be Erasmianism. the triumph that understood as of can only practice


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